Masou Gakuen HxH:Volume 10 Prologue
The blue sky above Ataraxia was cracking and tearing off.
The sky broke and what appeared was an existence that surpassed human knowledge.
It was too beautiful to be called a weapon. It was too sublime to be called a work of art.
It was a form that was like a sanctuary adorned with beautiful decorations.
The one who lived under that sanctuary was a peerless beauty with a gaze filled with sorrow.
Hyakurath’s voice turned shrill while she was staring at that figure projected on the screen of the command room.
Beside her, Mercuria was also stiffening with a similar shocked expression.
「Why, is she here……don’t tell me, Grace-sama and the others are――」
Hyakurath’s body twitched up when she imagined what she was going to say next.
The Leon squad captain of the Vatlantis Empire’s Imperial Guards, Hyakurath. This girl who was currently serving as the class representative of the second year first group of Ataraxia high school department was the so called temporary commander who was entrusted with this Ataraxia at present where the top brass that were Reiri, Grace, and Zelcyone were absent.
Having said that, Nayuta’s camouflage on this Ataraxia was perfect, the possibility of this place being discovered by the enemy was endlessly low. If pushed to say, her main duty was to manage and monitor so that the students wouldn’t be anxious and no problems would happen.
That was why she didn’t assume a case where they were attacked by an external enemy, to say nothing of something like the machine god Thanatos marching in, she had never even imagined it could happen. If asked what Hyakurath had inside her head, it would be thoughts about the school internal technical gear tournament and the ball game tournament that was schedule for next month. Also, there were things like mock social studies field trip using the Love Room’s technology.
All of those were measures so that the left behind students wouldn’t feel anxious and could pass their time cheerfully.
「Yet……why, something like that, appeared here……」
Tears were emerging on Hyakurath’s eyes. Her lips that were trembling with fear stuttered the words she whispered.
When Mercuria stared at that growing pale face from the side, inside her heart her feeling that was thinking of Hyakurath became stronger than the shock of Thanatos’s appearance. She was also recovering her calmness along with that.
Her hand that unconsciously reached out to embrace Hyakurath stopped in the middle. Mercuria clenched her fist tightly and then spoke with a voice as flat as possible.
「Hyakurath, give your instructions. Everyone is feeling troubled, they don’t understand what they should do.」
「Even I don’t understand anything here!」
Hyakurath reflexively yelled. Tears were spilling out all at once from her eyes that were glaring at her best friend.
「Why do difficult problems always get pushed onto me!? It should be fine even if the world was not that malicious to me! Then, you do it Mercuria!」
Mercuria’s face became clouded. She understood Hyakurath’s feelings so well, it felt painful.
「It’s impossible for me. But Hyakurath, you are someone that can do it if you try.」
「Don’t say something so convenient! Something like a machine god, that’s not an opponent that we can beat you know? I don’t know how to deal with them, if my instruction is mistaken and everyone dies……when I think that, my body trembles……I cannot, I cannot do anything!」
The blonde hair that she tied up shook to the left and the right. Each time her tears were falling down.
「Right now you are the leader. The user of Vatlantis’s sword, sword saint Hyakurath.」
Hyakurath bit her lip and gripped her own hand tightly. Mercuria gently took that hand.
「I cannot bear to be killed like this without doing anything, but if I die under Hyakurath’s lead then I won’t have any regret.」
At that time a communication window opened beside the two. A red haired girl that looked strong-willed yelled angrily without a moment’s delay.
『This is Scarlet! Hey, just what in the world should we do!? Is it okay for Masters to sortie? Make it clear!』
Mercuria spontaneously responded in place of Hyakurath who faltered.
「All the members of Masters can sortie?」
『Everyone except Gertrude.』
A different window opened and a black haired girl rattled on in a fluster.
『That’s not true! If I can just wear my gear then it won’t be any different than riding a wheelchair!』
「Roger. Hasten your preparations to sortie out. I’ll send you instructions later. Also, Gertrude you just sleep quietly.」
Mercuria forcefully closed the window of Gertrude who was going to complain. And then she put her hand on the shoulder of Hyakurath who was hanging her head down.
「Hyakurath, I know you are feeling――」
「Who is near Thanatos?」
The unexpected question made Mercuria bewildered. However her hand immediately reached to the console.
「Wait a second……」
During that time Hyakurath wiped her tears with her palm. And then she lifted her face and stared at the monitor with reddened eyes.
――That’s right. Right now I am entrusted with this Ataraxia. I too accepted that role by my own will. Just because a situation that no one has expected happened, just because it’s inconvenient, it’s no good if I just throw it all way.
Hyakurath pressed her pink lips to each other tightly and then she told herself that was reflected on the monitor.
――Do your best, do your best! Hyakurath!
「It seems, Sylvia and Ragrus are right in front of Thanatos.」
Mercuria conveyed the information from the battlefield network. Hyakurath rubbed her eyes with her fingertip once more and then she turned her reddened eyes to Mercuria.
「Those two are the strongest if it’s pure attack power aren’t they……tell the two of them to equip their magic armor. After that I want them to try asking Thanatos what is her objective in coming here to Ataraxia. I want to confirm whether she is someone we can communicate with or not. Other students will be back up from a distance. However, firing the first shot from our side is prohibited.」
Mercuria promptly sent out instructions to everywhere with a happy face.
And then that instruction was also transmitted at Sylvia and Ragrus too. Ragrus was listening to Mercuria’s instruction with her mouth forming a tight line. When the communication cut off,
「Good grief, telling us whatever they please!」
She was venting her displeasure while loosening up the necktie of her uniform and lowered down her skirt. Light blue colored stripe panties appeared from under it.
「If I knew this would happen, I would’ve worn my pilot suit underneath……」
After discarding her upper wear in annoyance, she inserted her finger through the gap of her sports bra and adjusted the bra’s positioning.
「Besides even if they tell us to try communicating! Is that someone that can be talked with!? Aah, geez. Demon!」
In response to Ragrus’s angry yell, a giant silhouette wrapped around Ragrus’s small body. What materialized from inside that light was a giant robot rather than magic armor. It was a giant magic armor that boasted strong power, 『Demon』.
「But, this is far better rather than suddenly getting told to fight desu.」
Sylvia also stripped her uniform and left only her underwear. She wore white color with faint pink on the setup. The edge was adorned with frills, both her bra and panty were tied with ribbon at the center.
The specs of magic armor would jump up in response to the sense of unity with the pilot. Pilot suits had the effect to heighten that affinity, but in the case they didn’t have a suit, it was preferable to be in a state as near to naked as possible.
Magic power welled up from the core that was embedded inside Sylvia’s body. It was like looking at a manufacturing process from internal machinery to the armor that had been shortened much. Sylvia’s body was lifted up, turned into atypical appearance, and materialized a giant Heart Hybrid Gear that was even larger than Demon, 『Taros』.
「We are going desu! Ragrus-chan.」
「Yes! If it’s like this then I’ll do it!」
The two large type magic armors ignited their thrusters with large output and flew up. They were adjusting their speed so that the opponent wouldn’t put up her guard while approaching Thanatos that was floating in the sky. However, Thanatos looked completely indifferent to the approach of the two. However, both of them also understood that carelessness was forbidden, since the opponent held the strength to obliterate this Ataraxia in an instant.
Both of them halted when the distance between both sides was around fifty meters. While feeling cold sweat trickling and her heartbeat pulsing fiercely, Sylvia put her own voice into a voice amplifier device.
「Excuse me! This is Ataraxia’s defense squad desu! You, you are Thanatos-san aren’t you dessu?」
However, Thanatos didn’t react at all. Perhaps feeling a bit relieved, Ragrus asked with her voice sounding slightly rough.
「Can’t you hear!? What are you doing coming here, we want to ask what is your objective!」
Thanatos’s eyebrows moved slightly.
Just with that, nervousness ran through Ragrus and Sylvia’s body. Their hearts were greatly pounding to the degree like they were going to burst.
「Is the individual who defeated Hokuto and Osiris not here?」
Sylvia ruminated Thanatos’s words inside her heart. Hokuto and Osiris, two machine gods were defeated. She said that. Sylvia reflexively turned a smile at Ragrus beside her.
「That means, Captain Kizuna and the others……have won even against the second machine god desu. Surely they are still continuing to fight desu!」
「Then, all the more reason that we cannot die here huh.」
「That’s right desu! Even we will protect Ataraxia desu!」
Thanatos’s blue eyes caught Sylvia and Ragrus.
「You two over there. You can try attacking me.」
Sylvia raised a shocked voice, both Ragrus and her sent a glance at Hyakurath in the command room through the communication window. Even Hyakurath and Mercuria that were reflected there also had a cramped nervous look.
『Wait Sylvia-san. Try asking the reason why she is telling you to attack.』
But Ragrus grinned broadly.
「But……the other side was the one telling us that, then nothing we can do but doing it right?」
『Don’t! If you do something rash――』
「I don’t mind. The reason is because currently these two are the ones with the greatest battle strength here. I won’t counterattack. Try to fire your greatest attack with peace of mind.」
Hyakurath became speechless.
――All our communications with Sylvia-san and Ragrus-san are being heard? No, not just that, even my conversation with Mercuria…….
「Just now, were those words directed, to me and Hyakurath?」
Mercuria also whispered with a trembling voice.
――――In the end, they could only……do as the opponent told them.
Hyakurath turned to the communication window and spoke.
『I permit you to attack. Just as she wished, give her your strongest attack!』
Magic power energy circulated in the two’s magic armor. The muzzle of particle cannon in Demon’s palm, and then Taros’s main cannon Ignis, both were aimed. Light particles were sucked into the muzzle and brutal energy was being loaded.
Together with Sylvia’s short yell, the large caliber particle cannon that equaled a warship mounted on both Taros’s shoulders fired. Violet colored light instantly impacted Thanatos and caused a large explosion. A fierce flash and flame blast spread in the blue sky.
Demon’s palm fired red light to pile up on that. The result was overlapping explosions, flame and smoke were spreading in the sky.
However, both of them understood.
――It didn’t work.
They couldn’t feel any feedback at all.
「Hey, Sylvia. Can’t you use that killing move of yours?」
「If Captain is not here……that cannot be used desu.」
「Isn’t that right……I too if possible don’t want to use Inferno……what’s the deal with――!?」
Ragrus opened her eyes wide in shock.
The smoke was dispersed away by the wind. However, ahead where the smoke cleared up, the figure of Thanatos that should be there was gone.
Inside the two’s heart, ‘could it be’――such thinking flashed for a moment. But, they understood so much that such thing was impossible.
Sylvia faced towards the communication window to the command room and yelled.
「This is Sylvia! Thanatos vanished desu!」
Hyakurath who received this communication reflexively looked at the operator. The student operator was already searching for Thanatos’s location. And then, with a face that looked like unable to believe something, the student turned towards Hyakurath.
「About Thanatos’s location……」
Mercuria’s body leaned forward impatiently.
「What’s the matter! Report quickly!」
「That’s, should I say that the whole area around is Thanatos……or maybe it’s better to say that Ataraxia is inside Thanatos……」
「What……did you say?」
When Mercuria murmured as though she was groaning, the space right at the center of the command room was flickering strangely. Just when they thought ‘ah’, in the next moment there was an existence that was hard to believe there.
Hyakurath called that name with shaking tongue.
「……Machine god, Thanatos.」
Thanatos stared at Hyakurath with a sorrowful face.
「With the current status of evolution of you all, you are not supposed to win against a machine god. However in reality that is what happened.」
Sweat was suddenly trickling down on Hyakurath’s face. Everyone in that place was trembling in terror with the thought of ‘Will we get killed in the next moment? Won’t we be annihilated along with Ataraxia completely?’.
「……D, did you, come here to confirm, whether we really have the power to defeat your comrades?」
Even while trembling, Hyakurath acted with a stout-heart. But Thanatos continued to talk in a state that couldn’t be understood whether she was talking to Hyakurath or talking to herself.
「This result is worthy to be investigated. I’ll wait for the return of the individual that defeated Hokuto and Osiris, after I finish that investigation, I’ll dispose of that individual. Until that time all of you will be held in this world.」
「Held? What is, the meaning of that?」
However before Hyakurath could finish talking, in front of her eyes became pitch dark.
「Kya! Wha, what?」
「Hyakurath! Are you okay!?」
For a moment she thought ‘by any chance, was I killed?’. But she was able to hear the voice of the operators clamoring, she also felt the warmth of Mercuria who was embracing her shoulder.
「I don’t know. But, it seems unmistakable that the power source here is all down.」
Mercuria pulled at Hyakurath’s hand and she groped around to look for the door, and then she wrenched it open with brute force.
「Let’s try going out. That woman also said something like that but, I’m concerned with the analysis result of the operator.」
「Yes. He said that we are inside Thanatos……what does that mean I wonder.」
「Perhaps it’s like we were swallowed by a whale. Like in a fairy tale.」
Even in this kind of situation her best friend was as usual. Normally Hyakurath would be irritated by her frivolous talk, but right now it felt strangely heartening.
When they advanced through the dark corridor, ahead it became bright. It was a lobby with a window. They could see outside from there.
「Anyway, first let’s confirm the situation outside.」
「You’re right, if everyone is safe……i……」
The scenery they could see from the window made the two of them speechless.
There should be a sea spreading around Ataraxia. But right now, clouds were flowing in place of water. A sea of clouds was spreading out.
「Where……in the world, is this?」
「I don’t know……there is no way we can know……」
Besides, that Megafloat Ataraxia, with a diameter of three kilometers, that didn’t have any flying functions in a state of floating in the sky like this itself was absurd.
「Hyakurath, that is?」
Ahead where Mercuria was pointing at, there was a gigantic mountain range that showed its face from between the clouds. Among the mountains, there was a building that was like a sanctuary at the summit of a mountain that was conspicuously taller, the building was shining.
It closely resembled the Parthenon sanctuary in Greece, but this one was far larger and splendorous than that. The moment they saw that sanctuary, they were instinctively made to understand that it was a place worthy for a god to live.
「Hyakurath……I don’t think it’s possible but, this is, really……」
「Yes. We have become prisoners haven’t we……inside the world created by Thanatos.」
Translator's Notes and References
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