Owari no Chronicle:Volume10 Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Unknown Beginning
The sun and the moon, words and thoughts
None of them can be seen
The long hand of a clock audibly moved.
That black hand arrived at the number twelve and the shorter hand reached the number eight.
Only one gaze turned to that clock high on a white wall. It belonged to a young woman sitting in an office chair in front of a wide white desk.
“Eight at night, hm? You get no sense of time underground like this.”
She sat in a small room with shuttered windows along the wall in front of her.
The room itself was long widthwise, so there was not much room between the desk and the wall behind her. In front of her was a desk with a console attached, a PC she used as control equipment, and three monitors.
One of the monitors displayed a progress bar giving the percentage of some work. The text above the bar said “Currently sealing concept in philosopher’s stone. D-don’t touch!”
“I still can’t get used to how they do things here.”
The woman who commented on the monitor wore a lab coat over an open-necked red shirt.
Attached to the breast pocket of the lab coat was a photo ID giving the name Tsukuyomi Miyako. The top of the ID had a blue line saying “Trainee”.
She flicked the ID and opened the collar of the lab coat.
Next, she pulled something resembling a cigarette from her pocket and stuck it in her mouth.
“Plum flavor, hm?” she said with a frown.
She then stood up and the chair moved out of her way and tilted its head. She lightly patted the chair’s back as if soothing it and turned to the clock.
But she continued to frown.
“Odd. Why haven’t the Moirai shown up to call me for dinner yet?”
She just about called out to Gyes who would be waiting outside the closed entrance to the room, but she stopped. The combat automaton who could hear her voice through the soundproofed door had only just returned from Tokyo. Miyako didn’t know if she could even get exhausted, but it would be best to be a little considerate here.
…After all, I hear things were pretty exciting over there.
Gyes’s travel pay had been 750 yen an hour, but the automaton had raised it to 780 in a phone negotiation on the way back.
Miyako thought that level of meddling was for the best.
She then began to walk, quickly arrived at the door, and pressed the open/close button labelled “strong”.
The door flew forcefully open and the corridor came into view. It was actually wider than the room.
An instant later, Miyako saw Gyes in front of her, but the automaton was doing something odd.
She rotated backwards while flying right to left down the corridor.
The sudden turn of events left Miyako confused and her frown grew.
She thought about the situation, but thinking about anything too complex was not her forte. When arguing, her seminar professor had told her write out a bulleted list to simplify her points. He had been arrested for some blatant hidden cameras the other day, though.
At any rate, she thought about the situation
- I’m looking at the corridor and Gyes just flew down it.
- Gyes just landed.
- Can I maybe get out of doing my thesis paper since my professor was arrested?
- The wind is moving and something’s coming from the right.
Her thoughts ended at that last point and she heard a voice that sounded a lot like her own.
—There is no mutual understanding.
She understood this was a concept text, but she had to think about something else first.
…Something’s coming from the right.
But she did not understand what was coming from the right.
She looked down the corridor and saw that someone was arriving from the entrance there. But…
She could not understand. It was not just that she did not know who was coming. She could not even comprehend what was coming.
Shocked, she shouted out.
She turned the other way where Gyes was standing up.
However, she could not understand that either. Gyes was standing, but she did not understand what that meant.
What she did understand was why she could not understand.
…I don’t understand what she’s trying to do!
Gyes faced Miyako’s general direction, swung her right arm, and gave a shout. Miyako could hear the words and see her expression. The automaton’s eyebrows were raised and the look in her eyes was sharp.
“Lady Miyako! Return to your room!!”
She heard the voice, but she did not understand what Gyes was trying to convey.
In the same way, she understood that something was coming from the other end of the corridor, but she could not sense the intention behind it.
This space was completely lacking the ability to read another’s intentions.
It was a space where one could never have mutual understanding with another.
…This ain’t good.
Human thoughts were generally created in response to movements in the external world, so what would happen without that?
She thought and reached a conclusion.
“What a pain,” she said while giving a bitter smile that would reach no one. “It just means you have to get by without looking to others.”
She pulled a stone from her pocket. It looked a lot like pumice made from hardening a blue powder.
“I’ll be doing this whether you like it or not. Someone ordered this for the New Year’s party, but I can use it as an additional text here.”
With that, she crushed the stone between her fingers.
Blue light scattered, the space shook, and a voice reached her ears.
—You and I are cherry blossom classmates.
A moment later, she sensed a single thought within that previously empty space.
It was Gyes.
She saw the automaton looking at her in surprise.
“Lady Miyako!? Classmates!? I could not possibly be so bold!”
“Stop being so awestricken. This concept creates a perfect understanding between two individuals with some kind of common factor. …But it only lasts the length of one song. Assume this only lasts about five minutes, Gyes.”
Miyako produced a footstep as she took a step back and reentered the opened door.
She looked back and saw two figures approaching while wrapped in white waves of water vapor that resembled wind and mist.
They wore black jumpsuits and black masks. They both had the builds of slender men, one was unarmed, but the other held a giant Azure Dragon Sword.
Miyako could not see their faces and she could not grasp their intentions. She could not even tell if the weapon one held was dangerous, but she spoke to Gyes.
“Gyes, you were knocked down the corridor just now, right? That means you were hit by an attack you couldn’t tell was coming. We can’t sense their intent to attack, so we’ll be completely defenseless. However, you don’t look damaged. Do you have some way of defending against this?”
“Nothing is impossible for 3rd-Gear’s automatons. How many times must I tell you that?”
“But is losing impossible for you?”
She showed her teeth in a grin and Gyes gave a quick troubled frown.
“For now, let me say that ‘losing’ is not in my language function’s dictionary.”
“Then let me put it another way: do it. Get them, Gyes. Get them.”
Miyako crossed her arms while thinking there was no way they could lose.
“A ton of concept texts are stored down here. If they’ve made it this far, they could have already stolen some concept weapons from the sealed storage room. In fact, that’s probably where they got that sword. That means they’re thieves. They definitely are. So get them, Gyes. Don’t let them escape.”
“Now that’s an exciting response.”
With the chocolate cigarette still in her mouth, Miyako faced the two men in black whose intentions she could not grasp as they approached while wrapped in wind.
“I can’t see this enemy, so you show me what you can do. You have until the cherry blossom song ends.”
A large space filled with books was known as a library.
It had a stepped floor and the plate at the entrance said Kinugasa Library.
It was lined with bookcases, but it was now filled with the darkness of night save for one small area.
The area devoid of darkness was near the bookcases by the counter.
Light filled a large whiteboard on the wall behind the checkout counter. The light came from the small projector on the counter and the whiteboard acted as the screen.
A young man in a lab coat stood on the other side of the counter by the projector.
He pushed his glasses up his nose and scratched his head.
“As a representative of the development department, I, Kashima Akio, will be giving you a lecture on the formation of the eleven Gears.”
His words were directed at the eight people sitting at the table awash with faint light near the counter.
Half of them were boys and the other half were girls.
Kashima had a certain thought when he looked to them.
…Things sure have gotten lively around here.
The eight were Sayama, Shinjou, Izumo, Kazami, Hiba, Mikage, Harakawa, and Heo.
…What a complicated group.
As they were at the school, Shinjou was wearing her boy’s uniform, but she would be a girl at this time of day.
Izumo and Kazami appeared normal enough, but they were plenty strange. Hiba had brought Mikage along for this lecture, but her legs were still not working perfectly and he had grabbed her butt while supporting her earlier.
Heo was America’s temporary inspector despite being so young and Kashima had heard Harakawa was a figure fanatic.
This really is a diverse group of kids, he thought.
And before they had taken their seats, Sayama had mentioned something strange.
It was about a dream of the past that Baku had shown them.
Kashima had not interfered because it was a Team Leviathan issue, but it had apparently been related to the secondary damages of the Great Kansai Earthquake that had supposedly killed Sayama’s father and others.
…But he says it might have been a battle with the Army instead.
Kashima did not know what that meant and neither did the children here.
They only knew there had likely been a battle, many of their parents had died there, and UCAT had hidden the records for some reason.
Sayama had said not to tell anyone else about it because that could lead to further information being locked down.
They expect to reach the truth eventually, Kashima told himself.
But he had something else to do right now, so he crossed his arms and nodded.
“Now, I would first like for you to look at what I will display here.”
“Manager Kashima, what was that deep expression you got when looking at us just now?”
“Nothing, Kazami-kun. It just means I have my own thoughts.”
He ignored Kazami’s glare, pulled his laptop from his coat pocket, and connected it to the projector.
The projector’s light prepared to display the laptop’s screen and the eight at the table held their breath in anticipation.
A moment later, the six square meter whiteboard displayed a video of a small child. A woman held the baby in a small yard and the baby said “ah” while reaching for a red flower on a trellis.
Kashima turned to them all.
“See how cute she is?” he said calmly. “No, wait. Please don’t throw things at me. Definitely not a full drink can. At least not that.”
He ducked below the counter to avoid the flying objects and sighed.
…Students these days need to learn to keep their cool.
Once they stopped throwing things, he stood up and found Kazami waiting with a dictionary on standby. She sighed and spoke in annoyance.
“Listen, Manager Kashima. I know she’s cute and all, but…”
“S-so you do understand!? …Wait. I said not to throw things.”
They really do have short fuses, he thought while seeing them all glare at him.
…How can they do that when she’s so cute?
“Well, we can skip past the important part if you want. Let’s get the trivial lecture over with.”
“Your sense of value seems a bit off, but please continue, Manager Kashima.”
He nodded and pressed a button on the console.
…I wonder if it would be all right if I played at least one more Harumi video.
I do have a good one I’ve been saving, he thought. That one I took with the waterproof camera in the bath is to die for. Come to think of it, that would be Harumi’s first all-nude exhibition and Natsu-san joins us in the bath later. That was a lot of fun, but should I go for that one here?
However, he abandoned the idea when he saw Kazami preparing a second dictionary.
“Now then,” he said while displaying a black space on the whiteboard. “The eleven worlds formed within this black empty space. Please watch.”
He looked to the darkness on the whiteboard and a single color suddenly appeared. It was a large aqua-blue circle.
“A circle,” said Mikage.
Hiba patted her head and praised her like she was a baby.
He might be able to understand what makes Harumi so great, thought Kashima.
When he pressed the next button, the color on the whiteboard increased.
Smaller white circles were drawn inside the large aqua one.
There were ten white circles and they all had a plus sign inside.
This is how the Gears were formed according to my predecessors. First, a parent factor that included the ten positive Gears existed in empty space-…”
“That’s a lot of boobs! …Ah, I-I’m sorry, Chisato. I just thought someone had to say it.”
Kashima ignored the sounds of impacts that followed. He pictured his wife’s breasts in his mind and felt the boy needed further training if he was still saying those things out loud.
“Anyway, this large aqua circle is the parent factor and the ten small white circles with plus signs are the child factors that became the ten Gears. In other words, they’re the Gears’ Concept Cores.”
“In that case, would the parent factor be the Primary Concept Core that is created when all other Concept Cores are gathered?” asked Sayama.
“You can look at it like that. But this did not simply create a Gear.”
“Why not?” asked Shinjou. “It looks like a Gear that has gathered all the concepts to me.”
“If it was, it would have been a perfect Gear with only positive concepts. It would not have been destroyed.”
“Oh,” said Shinjou and Kashima lightly tapped the whiteboard.
“That is why we view the parent factor as ‘chaotic’. It included elements of all ten Gears, after all. And this is what happened to that chaotic parent factor.”
He pressed a button on his computer and the aqua circle containing the ten white circles suddenly broke.
Everyone gave comments of surprise as the ten white circles flew outwards on the whiteboard.
“As you can see, the parent factor burst from oversaturation and the ten positive concepts were sent outwards. Some researchers say the big bang that created our universe occurred at the same time.”
The ten circles started to move away, but something held them back.
At the center of their radiating paths, a new color formed in the darkness where the parent factor had been.
It was a black circle with an outline even darker than the surrounding darkness.
As that circle grew larger, the ten surrounding white circles slowed.
A symbol then appeared inside the black circle. Once the circle reached the same size as the other ten, a minus sign appeared. In fact, ten minus signs appeared inside it.
By the time the ten minus signs formed within the black circle, the ten white circles had completely stopped moving away.
Next, another change came over the footage. The ten plus-sign circles and the minus-sign circle had been drawn as two-dimensional circles so far, but they now changed to three-dimensional spheres.
The eleven spheres floated in a dark background much like an atomic model. The black sphere sat in the center and the ten white spheres with plus signs inside began to orbit around it.
They circled it.
Each of the ten Gears took its own path and began its circular orbit. They would occasionally cross paths and occasionally dive toward the negative sphere as if something was pulling them in. When that happened, they would break through the sphere and then return to their original orbit.
“This is the primary theory at the moment,” said Kashima. “The force of the parent factor’s explosion and the repelling force it created were what formed the ten negative Concept Cores in the space between the ten positive Concept Cores. Those are what became Low-Gear, which holds all the other Gears in place.”
Shinjou raised her hand, so he nodded toward her and she tilted her head.
“Why do the orbits of the Gears sometimes change suddenly so they dive into Low-Gear and head back out again?”
“It’s thought to be caused by interference between the Gears. As the Gears overlap, the Concept Cores change a little and take on an unnecessary burden. That burden acts as a weight that briefly pulls the world into the negative direction. However, falling into the negative removes the burden and it quickly recovers to its original orbit. And then…”
As he operated his computer, the ten white spheres indicating the Gears orbited and occasionally broke through the black sphere of Low-Gear before returning to their orbits.
However, those descents grew more frequent. Again and again, their orbits shrank and grew tighter.
“Eh?” said all the students.
All of the white spheres dove toward the black sphere at once.
The movement stopped and a single number appeared on the screen: 1999.
“That was the time of destruction that should have happened. All of the Gears would have overlapped and interfered with each other more than ever before. That would have thrown off the balance of Low-Gear and its negative concepts, so the Gear would have destroyed itself. Then, the other Gears would have repeatedly collided with each other until only the Gear with the most concepts survived.”
Sayama was the next to speak and he crossed his arms along with Baku on his head.
“And that caused the Concept War, correct?”
“Yes. And now that Low-Gear has survived, all of the negative and positive Concept Cores are gathered in the one Gear, which preserves the balance. But the negative activation is affecting that balance which will send us too far in the negative direction and destroy us.”
They all nodded except for one who tilted her head.
It was Shinjou again and she raised her hand.
“U-um? Something about that seems odd.”
“What is it?” asked Kashima with a bit of expectation in his voice.
“Why can we exist in a negative Gear?”
So you noticed, he thought while nodding at her question.
“A good question. Despite this being a space of only negative concepts, a world was created while taking pieces of the other Gears’ cultures. It has no special abilities, but the people can live and it has since accepted in the other Gears’ positive concepts. And for some reason, the positive Concept Cores and the negative Concept Cores can both exist in Low-Gear at the same time.”
“Why is that?”
Kashima puffed out his chest proudly as he gave his answer.
“We don’t know. We have yet to reach a conclusion on that. We can come up with a number of reasons just like our predecessors, but there is no clear explanation. …From a concept point of view, I think it’s best to just say that’s how this world works.”
He went on to end the program that displayed the formation of the eleven Gears. Credits containing Kashima’s name in every field began to scroll with images of Harumi and Natsu in the background.
“That was short, but how about we end the lecture here?”
As soon as he said that, a sound filled the quiet library.
It was the ringing of cellphones. Seven of them to be exact.
The cellphones of each member of Team Leviathan except Izumo were ringing.
Sayama’s was the first to stop and he pressed the phone to his ear while slowly looking across the others.
Finally, he spoke.
“Attackers have appeared at UCAT’s Izumo branch?”
Gyes performed her combat maneuvers.
She ran swiftly forward and looked at the opponent there.
She had two enemies. Both were slender men who wore black and hid their faces behind masks.
She could see them, but she could not perceive them well.
There was an intention behind every active action of something with a will of its own. Anyone who viewed it would subconsciously sense that intention and react accordingly. That was where the idea of feints and intimidation came from.
However, this enemy had cut off that intention with a concept preventing mutual understanding.
That meant she could see their actions but could not understand them.
…It’s like a strengthened version of 2nd-Gear’s Art of Walking.
The Art of Walking was a type of martial arts and could thus be broken, but this was a concept and thus could not. On top of that, this concept prevented one from understanding anything else in the world and the opponent was just a part of that.
An attack was coming. Or at least, there was a high probability one was.
The man on the right which Gyes decided to designate as Black 1 swung his two meter Azure Dragon Sword from the right.
…Is something coming?
Gyes tried to use her prediction to perceive her opponent’s actions.
He swung the giant blade horizontally toward her body, but the meaning behind that action simply did not reach her brain.
She did not view it as dangerous.
Whether they were optical, thermal, or acoustic, all of her sensory devices were functioning, but she could not read the intentions behind the man’s actions.
And that was why she received the attack without even thinking about dodging.
The blade reached her stomach and the steel curve sank into her red suit.
It would easily slice her slender body in two.
But just before it did, she reacted.
She reacted in two ways.
First, a smile formed on her lips.
Second, her mechanical reflexes activated.
She had directed her reflexes inside her own body.
She poured every last bit of her thoughts into the less than a hundredth of a second that the blade touched her suit.
The enemy’s sword drove into her suit and applied a slight pressure to it as it cut through.
The inside of the suit pressed her shirt into her artificial skin which caused a distortion in the skin even thinner than the nano scale.
She understood that extremely tiny distortion of her skin as it was her own information.
Whatever may have happened to her understanding of the outside world, she could understand a reaction within her own body.
And her body was telling her something was contacting her artificial flesh.
Only now did she grasp that she was in danger and that she was under attack.
She could not see it or hear it, but she could feel it in her skin.
…But I have determined that is enough!!
Her mechanical reflexes and athletic ability allowed her to move with the blade still touching her stomach.
She moved back to match the swing of the blade.
It was more of a leap than a back step and more of a rotation than a turn.
She quickly spun and matched the speed of the horizontally swung Azure Dragon Sword.
She rotated on her heel and swung her body to dance with the blade against her stomach.
And only then did she achieve her true goal.
The force of the blade’s swing reaching her body through her skin allowed her to calculate the estimated location of her enemy.
Her mechanical calculations reached the answer in an instant.
She pulled a sword from her sleeve and jabbed it right toward that unperceived location.
The tip of the blade easily broke the sound barrier.
With the sound of a bursting paper bag, it produced an explosion of water vapor and wind.
As for the enemy on the other end of that blade tip…
Gyes saw him avoid the blade and move back, but she could not understand that either.
She only knew he had evaded it because she did not feel the recoil of a hit as she swung.
She now knew this enemy could evade such a quick attack.
That meant he was an automaton or had reflexes on that level.
Who could it be? she wondered.
“It can’t be.”
She suddenly reached a certain answer.
She knew who this was and what Gear had created the opponent’s before her, even if it was a Gear she had had almost no contact with during the Concept War.
“In that case…”
She knew who stood before her.
She felt heat on her skin to the left.
This was something fired by the man to that side.
This heat told her there was a sun there.
Not fire, not flames, not a torch, and not even an inferno.
This sphere of heat was known as a sun.
It was big enough to fill the large corridor and it was moving at the speed of a thrown ball.
The mass of heat that was a small sun should not have existed in this world, but it flew straight toward Gyes.
It was relatively slow, but its heat was massive. Simply touching it would likely be enough to destroy her entire body.
But Gyes had no way of avoiding it. That was partially due to its size and heat, but it had more to do with Miyako’s room being right behind her.
She could not avoid it. As the shield and weapon meant to oppose the enemy’s attack, evasion was not an option.
That meant it would hit, but that was also when she grew convinced of this enemy’s identity.
She shouted toward the enemy standing unseen beyond the sun.
At the same time, the mass of heat before her suddenly broke apart.
With nothing more than the sound of a cement block breaking, the sun crumbled.
It had been destroyed by someone who had arrived behind her. And just by touching it.
Gyes gasped at the destruction of the sun.
The light’s destruction took less than a second and the world dispersed at the same time.
The concept space had been eliminated.
The light vanished, the world of no mutual understanding vanished, the heat vanished, and Gyes’s sense of danger returned.
The spray of hot light scattered like feathers and the Moirai ran down the corridor beyond it. They all looked panicked, but they had likely been unable to move within that concept space.
…I can leave Lady Miyako to them.
With that thought, Gyes turned toward the one who had smashed the sun as it approached her.
“Who are you?”
Her question was directed toward a man.
The man was in his prime and nearly two meters tall. His hair was swept back on the sides, he was well-built, and he wore a white suit.
Once she noticed his appearance, Gyes commented before he could answer her question.
“That is quite a loud outfit.”
“Oh, well, I don’t really see what’s wrong with it. I thought you might agree, Gyes-kun, what with that midriff-exposing suit and all.”
The man’s casual comment led her to look down at herself. Due to rotating along with the strike of the Azure Dragon Sword, her scarlet suit and shirt were missing from the below the chest and down.
It did not look good, but she determined it had improved the ventilation and heat radiation. She then gave a questioning frown and asked her question again.
“Oh, well, hm. I’d heard we had intruders, so I was hiding back there with my knees trembling.”
Gyes frowned even further because “back there” was the stairway down to the third basement.
“But that area is off limits.”
“Hm? Do you want to know why I came from there by any chance?”
“Yes, yes. Good, good. Not asking any unnecessary questions is for the best. You know what you’re doing.”
The man crossed his arms and nodded several times while refusing to listen to her.
The next action came from Miyako. She exited the door behind Gyes and looked both ways to make sure it was safe.
“Gyes, is it over?”
“Yes, sir. This man here saved me.”
Hearing that, Miyako frowned, looked at the man in the white suit, and tilted her head.
“Hey, old man. This area’s for authorized personnel only. Saving Gyes is fine and all, but you shouldn’t be here.”
“If it’s fine, it’s fine, right? Isn’t that how it works, Tsukuyomi-kun?”
Miyako’s confused frown grew more at the fact that he knew her name than at what he said.
Finally, she tilted her head again and clicked her tongue toward the floor.
“Who are you? And do you have a thing for looking up people’s names? Hey, Gyes. Have this guy leave. Oh, but don’t forget to thank him for saving you.”
The man showed off his teeth in a bitter smile and Moira 1st called out as she ran up.
“L-Lady Miyako! That loud person is actually IAI’s president, Izumo Retsu! He is also Japanese UCAT’s assistant director!!”
Gyes and Miyako both looked back at Retsu.
As he stood in the center of the corridor, he nodded at Moira 1st’s explanation and raised a hand toward Miyako and Gyes.
“Don’t just say hi! What’s the head of this place doing here?”
“Oh, well, hm. Can’t I just say that’s a secret? I’m not real good at explaining things. I did save you, so I’d like it if you’d let me go without too much trouble. …How about it?”
Miyako nodded and put her hands on her hips, but she also frowned and glared at Retsu.
“But you’re telling me as much as you can, old man. Who were those men? And…”
Her shout asked the question Gyes had wondered earlier.
“Is something bad happening with the Leviathan Road!?”
Inside the unlit Kinugasa Library, eight people were gathered around the central table.
They were Sayama and the other members of Team Leviathan.
As their leader, Sayama set down his cellphone in front of the others.
That black phone had been issued by UCAT.
They all looked down toward the silent cellphone, but Sayama alone raised his head.
His words broke through the silence and gathered the others’ gazes.
With their focus on him, he expressionlessly formed words.
“It seems the attackers have been driven from Izumo UCAT. However, it also seems some powerful healing charms and a few prototype weapons that were sealed there after their development were stolen.”
“The one piece of luck is that no one was hurt. Still…”
Kazami stood in front of Sayama and crossed her arms and Shinjou gave an uneasy look from Sayama’s left.
“Were the attackers from the Army?”
“If so, this means they did not harm their opponents and fled after nothing more than stealing some concept weapons. …That is not like them.”
“But,” hesitantly began Shinjou before continuing. “But if they weren’t the Army, who were they?”
“Whoever they are, there is one thing we now know: we are targets for attack. That is for sure.”
He looked away from Shinjou and toward the others.
“We possess the nine Concept Cores excluding 7th’s and a few of those are being used as weapons. That means we are the ones with a god of war, mechanical dragon, and other weapons that far exceed the level of modern technology.”
They all nodded after a moment.
After that and an exchanged look, Kazami spoke up.
“But doesn’t this seem dangerous? And Sayama, it seems especially dangerous for you and Shinjou to act on your own. No, this doesn’t just go for the two of you. Thinking about Team Leviathan and the rest of UCAT, wouldn’t it be best if you didn’t go to Okutama and Sakai?”
After a breath, she shrugged a little.
“As for that dream of Baku’s you mentioned, there might be some records in the second reference room, so why not check there for now? You shouldn’t head out too much.”
Shinjou understood what Kazami was saying. As their comrade, she did not want them moving around.
And she had likely chosen to be the one to say it because of her position as an upperclassman among them.
Sensing that intention, Shinjou brought her chin to her chest.
…Hm, is it really that dangerous to move around like that?
She brought a hand to her mouth and looked up at Sayama’s face.
“Kazami-san’s right. It would be dangerous if the Army attacked, wouldn’t it?”
She looked up at him while asking and found he had crossed his arms at some point.
He gave an expressionless nod, but…
Something was off. She could tell he had some other thought.
His crossed arms and nod showed his understanding but not his agreement.
…He must have his own thoughts on this incident and how we should handle it.
Kazami’s suggestion had been meant to bind them together. She was saying they should stay together and combine their great power to face the coming troubles. Everyone should have agreed without issue.
…But what is Sayama-kun thinking?
She saw him turn his eyes toward her.
His expression had changed, but the slight change on his lips was so subtle only she would have noticed it.
It was a small smile that seemed to ask her if she had noticed.
But he soon wiped the smile away and looked forward.
Shinjou did the same as if following the vanished expression.
Everyone was there. These were the comrades they had gained in their past fights.
They had strength, they had their own reasons, and they all helped each other.
And Sayama spoke expressionlessly to them all.
“This is indeed an excellent time for an attack. The only remaining Concept Core is 7th-Gear’s. Also, tonight’s attack might very well have been a warning to tell us what would happen if Shinjou-kun and I leave here. …And that is why I have an announcement. Effective immediately…”
His voice filled the library.
“Team Leviathan will disband.”
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