Difference between revisions of "Leviathan:Volume 4 Chapter 2"

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Chapter 2 - Towards the World Outside

Part 1

Tokyo New Town had returned to a life of peace and stability for now. Although Hal and company knew tha the situation would certainly not last indefinitely, for now, things were still in a rather relaxed state.

However, a certain person was injecting into their peaceful lives the poison known as "irregularity."

Namely, one of Hal's companions, Luna Francois Gregory.

"Welcome, Harry. Likewise to you, Asya, welcome to my office."

"W-What on earth made the school prepare this for you, a mere student..."

Asya grumbled with displeasure at the smug Luna Francois.

This was a small room somewhere in school. All the furniture including tables, chairs, cupboards and bookshelves were made of mahogany, resulting in a classic ambiance of elegance.

Thanks to the decor, the room had a solemn atmosphere almost like a principal's office.

However, the one sitting before the desk as the owner of the office was Luna Francois. Yet not only was she a student but she had only transferred in less than a month ago.

Luna went tsk-tsk and waggled her right index finger.

"Please allow me to make a correction. I am no ordinary student. In fact, as early as a week ago, I had been offered a position as a non-executive director on this school's board. Although I wanted to decline, seeing as it would be living too far above my means, at the school's repeated behest, I had no choice but to reluctantly..."

"As an American minor, Luna, receiving such an invitation is impossible!" Asya pointed out in fury.

"You clearly schemed your way with underhanded means to snag yourself that position!"

"Fufufufu. That would be a groundless accusation, Asya. Oh dear, all things considered, this school was founded with SAURU's funding and I am an important member of that organization. It wouldn't be surprising even if there were one or two unnatural and improper personnel assignments... Nevertheless, do you really think I would engage in such a ploy?"

"Isn't this tantamount to a confession already!?"

Luna Francois simply smiled tenderly at her fellow witch's accusation.

Meanwhile, Hal was thoroughly impressed by her shrewdness and asked, "Luna, you became the leader of SAURU's Kantou branch earlier too, could it be that you enjoy collecting these kinds of titles?"

"No, I have no interest in these worldly positions and titles."

The blonde witch winked lightly and replied.

"Conversely, I do enjoy exercising the convenient privileges that come along with status, such as this office provided for a non-executive director's use. Don't you find it very handy for skipping boring lessons?"

"Well said. If possible, please nominate me as the non-executive director's secretary."

"Oh dear, Harry. You are such a bad boy."

"Nowhere as impressive as you, my lord magistrate. By the way, I recently found the Tokyo specialty known as the 'golden monaka,' would you like to take some?"

"Really? But compared to confectionery, I still prefer genuine 24K gold."

"W-Why do you two look like you're really hitting it off!?"

Asya glared at Hal intently and grumbled.

This prompted Luna Francois to chuckle lightly with elegance.

"Seeing as this is a school, although it would pose no difficulty to find people who can recommend me to serve as a student leader—the student council president... I ruled it out in the end. After all, the student council president is tied down by all kinds of mundane business to handle."

"Rather, that is pretty much the position in charge of mundane business."

"I know, right? While obtaining special positions, I feel that even if they come with special privileges, sinecures with a minimum of responsibilities would be best. Sure enough, aren't we of like minds, Harry?"

"That goes without saying. It's better for work to be more leisurely. No argument there."

"I can't feel any vitality or spirit of diligence here. That's so counter to the image of teenage high schoolers. Are you two comrades in that sense...?"

"That's true too. I guess I feel quite compatible with Luna?"

Hal nodded in agreement with Asya's comment.

Undoubtedly, Luna Francois was someone who lived in a gray zone tending towards black. Not only that, but she would occasionally employ "black" methods without hesitation to secure her own interests.

The two of them were birds of a feather in that aspect. This was also why Hal felt a sense of camaraderie with her.

"By the way, Luna, did you call us here just to introduce this office to us?"

"Yes. Please feel free to drop by any time you wish. Do remember to bring some snacks over when you come. I adore the cookies that Asya bakes. However, the cakes and pies from Asya's dessert factory have an excessive abundance of calories, so once a month would be plenty enough♪"

"Demanding gifts matter-of-factly and even placing orders so haughtily!?"

Shocked by her fellow witch's demands, Asya shrugged.

Lessons were over for the day at the high school division.

"Then I'm heading out first. There's a test involving Rushalka later and I need to get to Tokyo Bay by taking a JMSDF battleship."

During the decisive battle the previous month, Asya's "serpent"—Rushalka—had been reborn.

After that, Asya had summoned her partner many times to carry out tests on various abilities including flying, mobility and pseudo-divinity over Tokyo Bay's waters.

Renowned in the past as Europe's strongest, Blue Rushalka, no problems had been found so far.

"If there are no problems today, it's time to certify Rushalka as fully revived."

"The European side will surely weep with joy if they found out. There will be an instant onslaught of loving calls to get you to go back, right?"

"That might happen, but a super formidable enemy, dragon king-class, is currently lurking in Tokyo after all," Asya responded to Hal.

"In the short term—I've no plans of returning."

"Fufufu. Are you worried by any chance? Because a woman like me is at Harry's side."

Smiling malevolently on the side was the blonde beauty, Luna Francois.

"All things considered, I am someone blessed with talent, intelligence and beauty while simultaneously favored by position and authority to an unbelievable extent... Even in a place like this, I am quite sought after (unlike Asya)."

"Hey! You added something unnecessary at the end, didn't you!?"

"No, nothing at all♪"

"Sheesh... Sigh, although I don't think I need to take your bragging nonsense seriously, I guess I should still respond. It's true, given Luna's deceptive way with words, casually captivating ten or twenty boys shouldn't be anything hard."

Hal had heard. The number of boys who confessed to Luna Francois Gregory had reached twenty-three so far. Even a cult of worshipers akin to a fan club was apparently in the works.

This news came not from elsewhere but enthusiastically from Luna herself.

"But something big like Haruomi having weird feelings for Luna, that's totally impossible."

"Oh dear, I cannot believe you would assert that."

Luna Francois frowned with surprise.

Most likely, she had always felt confident in her ability to toy with Asya on the palm of her hand.

However, Europe's former Shootdown Ace was now puffing out her meager chest in confidence. This composure made Luna Francois incredulous.

"In that case, there should be no problem if Harry and I were to go on a date tonight, right? I shall tempt him and captivate him with my charm."

"Be my guest and do whatever you want. The I'm off now."

Saying that, Asya left the office on her own.

Her pace was unusually fast. Slightly displeased, Luna Francois watched her leave then faced Hal again to suddenly smile.

"Now that Asya has said so, let us begin tonight. What are your thoughts, Harry?"

"Putting that aside... Think about it, we still have business to handle today, right? Before leaving, I'd like to get a few miscellaneous tasks sorted out. It's time for us to go too."

Tactfully brushing the issue aside, Hal made his way to the door.

Luna Francois' smile twitched slightly for an instant. However, she immediately recovered her elegance and reached for her schoolbag.

Thus, Hal and Luna Francois entered the corridor together.

While walking to their destination that was determined in advance, Luna secretly felt impressed. Asya's understanding of this childhood friend bound by inseparable ties—Haruga Haruomi's thought processes—was truly thorough...

Hal and Luna left the high school division and walked to the cultural clubs building.

The place where all culture-related clubs were gathered, it was a building adjacent to the library. The pair's destination was the room of the UFO Research CLub on the third floor.

"Ah. Haruga-kun and... the rumored transfer student."

Although President M's gigantic figure was nowhere to be seen, someone else had already arrived at the UFO Research Club. A female student facing a laptop on the long table—Mutou-san.

"I knew it, she's someone in your circle—SAURU. Given how she transferred at the very end of the first term and also after Tokyo's occupation, I was certain of my guess. Could it be that she's a so-called witch like Juujouji-san and the others?"

"Correct. This perceptiveness already makes hiring you worth it."

"Fufufu. Actually, I have a gift for you."

Luna Francois smiled tenderly and took out something from her schoolbag.

It was a keycard, a key for entering the newly built Witch Mansion under the library. That place was also where Hal had obtained Hinokagutsuchi's heartmetal last month.

"Haven't you heard from Harry? This is an invitation to the secret garden."

"Wow. I humbly accept with gratitude."

Smiling, Mutou-san picked up the card that the blonde stranger had placed on the long table.

"Oh by the way, about the materials Haruga-kun sent me, I've forwarded them to the UFO Research Club's Sakuraba-senpai too, so you should get a response soon. Apart from that, after reading it, something bothers me."

Mutou-san turned the laptop screen towards Hal.

Displayed there was the basic information about leviathans, witches and dragons that he had sent her the previous day. Passionate in her research, she kept diligently seeking knowledge even after school.

"Looking at the number of witches stationed across various eastern Asian countries... Japan, China, Korea and Indonesia have way more than the others. Does this have anything to do with economic conditions?"

"I suppose it does. After all, forging witch covenants is one of the services provided by SAURU for payment."

"Since the sponsors are local authorities or businesses, the economic climate inevitably has an effect. This cannot be helped either."

"Just as suspected. I was wondering if that was the reason."

Mutou-san nodded with understanding after listening to Hal and Luna Francois' answers.

"Howevever, 'serpents' can't be mass produced using money alone."

"The most important is finding girls with inborn aptitude to become witches. Apart from that, obtaining enchanted artifacts to become leviathan cores—Grave Goods—is very important too. Even for economically wealthy countries, the number of 'serpents' is only slightly more than for poor countries."

"I see now. Oh, there's one more thing—"

Mutou-san continued, "As an amateur who's just starting to learn the ropes, this might be a subjective opinion, I guess? I feel that SAURU is a bit stingy for treating witch and dragon matters as secrets when they're making money from that kind of business. Things would go more smoothly if they did things in a more aboveboard manner."

"That aspect is very influenced by the outlook of the old ladies."

"Who are they?"

"They're consultants and supervisors who are very important to the leaders operating SAURU."

"Furthermore, they are also eyesores. A collective composed of old ladies who only like to reminisce about the past. Incidentally, they are still talking about matters from three hundred years ago even though it's already the twenty-first century, which is a bit too..."

"It seems quite useless to be concerned about witch hunts and inquisitions by this point."

Just as the topic started to offer Mutou-san a glimpse at the inside story—

A clatter of footsteps were heard from the corridor. Next, the UFO Research Club's door was flung open loudly. However, the one who entered was not a member of the club.

"Thank goodness, you're all here! Hey hey, listen up, listen up!"

It was the other classmate, Funaki-san, who had signed an employment contract with Hal.

Her twintails were shaking on the sides of her head. Looking like she had sprinted over as fast as she could, Funaki-san was panting heavily.

"Just now, I discovered someone amazing at the Kanegafuchi Station!"

The area around Kanegafuchi Station on the New Town Loop Line—

Prior to the return of dragonkind, it was just a suburban town of limited size. But the large-scale assaults of Raptors fifteen or so years ago had brought devastation to the surrounding area. After that, with the establishment of Tokyo New Town, this neighborhood had been redeveloped into an office district persisting to the present day.

The Metropolitan Police Department was also headquartered there. It was a neighborhood where Hal and the witches frequently visited.

Who exactly had she spotted there? The gossip-loving Funaki-san spoke up, "It's the handsome foreigner who was with us during the New Town Occupation last time."

"You mean the man who transformed into a dragon—no, the silver dragon that had merely taken on human form!?"

Listening to her classmate's report, Mutou-san jumped in surprise.

"Yeah, because he's so conspicuous, I couldn't possibly be mistaken. Although I chased after him in a hurry, I lost him along the way. But that dragon person is definitely still in New Town."

Possibly a bit excited to see the handsome man's lovely face, Funaki-san was grinning from ear to ear.

In contrast, Hal frowned. The silver dragon Pavel Galad was still lurking somewhere in the Tokyo area. Most likely, he was plotting for a comeback.

Like Hal and company, he was probably making thorough preparations while taking precautions for the next commotion.

"We have no choice but to prepare properly for the next time too. Let us depart, Harry."

"Yeah. Let's meet up with Juujouji earlier and go together to see how that person is doing."

Thus, the miscellaneous task of handing the keycard to Mutou-san was done.

However, the day's main event had yet to debut. Hal and Luna exchanged nods.

Part 2

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Part 3

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