Unlimited Fafnir:Volume 5 Epilogue
"Oh, you're awake."
I opened my eyes and instantly saw Principal Charlotte's face. I shifted my gaze to confirm the situation while tracing back my memories to before I had lost consciousness.
"Is this a sickroom?"
Seeing the white interior of the room with a electrocardiogram device and other intricate instruments of unknown purpose, I asked the principal.
"Rather than a sickroom, this would be more accurately described as an intensive care unit. That being said, no need to worry, your wounds are almost healed already."
"Huh... How can that be possible—"
I remembered Yggdrasil's branch puncturing my abdomen. It should have been pain and blood loss that caused me to faint. Such serious injuries could not possibly have healed so quickly.
But I did not feel pain even when I touched the wound with my right hand. Feeling incredulous, I sat up and pulled up my hospital gown to check the wound.
However, all that remained there was a large scab.
"How long did I sleep for?"
Wondering if I had slept for several weeks, I panicked.
"Roughly three hours."
But the answer was far shorter than I thought.
"What... Three hours?"
"Yes. Although Yggdrasil's terminal was successfully defeated thanks to your efforts, Haruka and the others are still buried in work handling the aftermath and explaining to to visitors, etc. Iris Freyja also caused a commotion by using Basilisk's ability, but since there are the precedents of Mononobe Mitsuki and you, that did not cause too many problems."
The principal explained the situation indifferently. But if only three hours had gone by, my condition did not make sense.
"B-But my wound couldn't have healed up in such short time."
"—Normally, yes. But I've no need to hide my identity from you anymore, so I used the power of dominance to accelerate your healing."
"So even something like that is possible for your power, Principal..."
I remarked, impressed.
"My dominance is established by injecting my bodily fluids into the target then synchronizing our minds and physiological functions. Just by licking the wound, wetting it with saliva, my healing powers, almost akin to immortality, will remain in your body temporarily."
"Saliva... Then back when you bit my left arm to stop me—"
"Yes, that was injecting saliva through the wound. By the way, aren't you surprised by what I said about immortality?"
Finding it incredible, the principal cocked her head questioningly.
This especially childish action felt extremely cute.
"No... Since I heard you say your predecessor was the original vampire, I sort of expected it."
One tended to associate vampires with inhuman monsters with a preference for fresh blood from virgin maidens. Despite weaknesses such as sunlight, crosses or garlic, they were essentially immortal beings. Hence, I was unexpectedly able to accept the notion when she called herself immortal.
"Jeez, I said that vampire legends have a lot of embellishments, right? I'd feel troubled if you mix up the 'Gray' Vampire with conventional vampires. To put it bluntly, they're actually completely different."
The principal glared at me angrily.
"But you don't like sunlight, right? The principal's office is always dark with the curtains shut tightly..."
"That's because my body's adaptability and recovery powers are too outstanding. I get tanned as soon as I step outside but my skin color recovers the next day. It's because that'd look too unnatural, so I take care to avoid sunlight."
"So there's that kind of reason..."
An immortal body was quite troublesome too. I learned of an unexpected hardship suffered by the principal.
"Eh—But if you're immortal, Principal, why did your predecessor..."
I blurted it out when the thought suddenly occurred to me. Immediately, I noticed a sad expression on the principal's face.
"Oh... Sorry, I shouldn't ask about private matters."
"—Don't worry, I'll tell you eventually when there's a chance, but right now, there are more important matters."
The principal shook her head and spoke seriously.
"A giant tree, ostensibly Yggdrasil, has appeared in Japan."
The Yggdrasil that we had defeated was merely the enlargement of a small terminal. I did not think Yggdrasil would have been destroyed even if we had defeated that thing.
But for it to suddenly show up at Japan, I totally did not expect that.
"After that, its interference power on you has been increasing. At this rate, it might resist my dominance. If possible, we should destroy Yggdrasil immediately, but..."
Halfway through, the principal made a gloomy look.
"—I am currently dominating the part of Yggdrasil that's inside you, thereby suppressing it. And due to dominance, I've come to understand what kind of existence Yggdrasil is."
In a stiff tone of voice, the principal continued:
"Destroying Yggdrasil is impossible, or rather... Destroying it is not an option. Because taking it out requires wiping all plant life off the entire planet."
After the shocking conversation with the principal, I was transferred to an ordinary sickroom.
Although my wound was almost completely healed, it would be too much of a stretch to tell others I had made a full recovery, so I had to stay hospitalized for a few days.
What should I do from now on? Looking out the window from my sickroom, I viewed the dark red sky outside.
But I could not think of an answer no matter what. Time passed by in this manner. The first star twinkled in the sky as night fell.
At this moment, knocking was heard at the door.
"Nii-san, you are already able to get out of bed?"
The visitors consisted of Mitsuki leading the members of Brynhildr Class together with Lisa's parents, Mark and Linda Highwalker.
Mr. and Mrs. Highwalker had bandages on their heads and arms, probably treated at this medical building.
Iris, Firill and Ren were similarly captives of Yggdrasil earlier but were not injured as seriously.
However, Ariella, who had single-handedly escaped from Yggdrasil's grasp to bring back information to us, still had her arm in a cast due to fighting quite forcibly at the time.
"Yeah, my injury was lighter than I thought. Although it caused some panic because I lost a lot of blood, no vitals were injured apparently."
I made a random excuse and smiled at Mitsuki.
Perhaps because she could tell from my expression that I was really okay, Mitsuki breathed a sigh of relief.
"I see... That is a relief."
"Thank goodness Yuu didn't die..."
Tia said tearfully. Firill gave her a hug from the side and glared at me.
"Mononobe-kun, I hope you won't make others so worried. I almost cried too."
"You're pushing yourself too hard as usual."
Ariella and Ren nodded in agreement with Firill.
I apologized. A hand on her hip, Lisa immediately stepped forward.
"No amount of apology would be enough! Do you know how worried I was? You absolutely have no idea!"
Lisa looked at me with eyes red from crying.
I knew she had cried for me.
Seeing Lisa raise her hand, I prepared myself to be hit, but her hand simply pressed lightly on my cheek.
"However... However... Thank you. I am truly grateful to you... for rescuing my father and mother."
Lisa thanked me in a trembling voice. Then Mr. and Mrs. Highwalker walked forward and bowed deeply.
"I offer my heartfelt gratitude for rescuing us."
"Thank you so much."
"N-No, not at all, this is the result of everyone cooperating... I didn't do anything amazing."
I frantically shook my head.
"No, you bravely rushed up to that monster on your own. That was not something an ordinary person could do. To be honest, I originally thought that Lisa chose you because there were no other boys, however... It looks like my daughter is an excellent judge of men indeed."
Mr. Highwalker made a wry smile apologetically.
Hearing his comment, Lisa showed surprise on her face.
"May I ask for your name again?"
Mr. Highwalker looked into my eyes and asked.
"Yes—My name is Mononobe Yuu."
"Thank you. Please continue to look after Lisa, Mr. Yuu. Perhaps I am too impetuous in saying this, young as you are, but if possible, I hope you could seriously consider your future with Lisa."
Hearing this unexpected word, I was rendered speechless.
"F-Father! What are you saying so suddenly—"
Lisa went red in the face and looked completely at a loss what to do.
"I will pray from afar, hoping for Lisa to find a good partner for life."
Mr. Highwalker patted Lisa on the shoulder then turned his gaze to his wife.
"It's almost time. Let us depart."
Seeing her parents were about to leave, Lisa chased frantically after them.
After they left the sickroom, it suddenly became quiet.
"—N-Nii-san, what shall we do now!? Lisa's father now approves of you as her prospective suitor!?"
Mitsuki came to her senses and shrieked shrilly.
"So that's what he really meant just now?"
Unable to keep up with the conversation, I asked in a daze.
"But it feels like her father meant that he'll respect your wishes, Mononobe-kun. Since there's no forcing, I don't think there's a problem."
Ren nodded in agreement with Ariella.
"But... In that case, if Lisa gets serious... And Mononobe-kun doesn't seem like he's against it."
The instant Firill murmured that, the atmosphere in the sickroom got tense.
"Nii-san, pretending to be a couple was purely an act, right?"
Mitsuki asked to confirm.
"Yuu! If you're getting married, it has to be with Tia!"
Tia bounced up and down and insisted.
"E-Everyone calm down."
At this rate, Iris was going to get the wrong idea. I looked at her, who was standing behind the group.
Speaking of which, Iris had remained silent since a while ago. Fear could be seen faintly in her eyes.
"Umm... Mononobe, I-I..."
Iris walked up in trepidation, speaking to me in a trembling voice.
Not sure what was up with her, I called her name.
"I'm so sorry... Mononobe."
Seeing Iris bow her head deeply to apologize, I could not help but sound confused.
The others also looked at one another in puzzlement.
In these circumstances, Iris had come up next to my sickbed to apologize repeatedly to me.
"Because of me, you got injured so heavily, sorry... Sorry, it must hurt a lot..."
Iris had probably been looking for the chance to apologize since a while ago.
I had gotten injured due to protecting her, which she surely felt guilty about.
But fearing my reaction, she dared not speak to me until now. Anyone would fear getting scolded or resented in this kind of situation.
Just by thinking in her shoes, I could understand Iris' current feelings.
I regretted deeply that I had failed to notice her state immediately.
"No, Iris, you did nothing wrong. You don't have to blame yourself so much."
The whole incident happened because I was exploited by Yggdrasil, so Iris had no need to apologize at all.
"And you saved me, Iris, so—Thank you, Iris."
Just as Lisa did to me earlier, I placed my hand on Iris' cheek and thanked her.
Iris held my hand firmly then showed a tiny smile as though finally relieved.
Seeing her expression, I recalled—
Destroying Yggdrasil is impossible, or rather... Destroying it is not an option—I recalled what happened after the principal said these words.
I had reported to the principal that Iris had produced the red light without generating dark matter.
The answer I got was—Impossible.
That went without saying.
The principal initially said that the fact that Iris had used Basilisk's power was not too big a deal.
That was due to the precedents of Mitsuki and me.
We were able to use dark matter to replicate the powers of past dragons—antimatter and antigravitational matter.
However, what Iris did was on a completely different dimension.
Using Basilisk's power without going through dark matter, it meant Iris had acquired the power of directly creating that red light itself.
That was unprecedented.
It would be more natural to think that I had made a mistake in what I saw, or it was a misunderstanding.
I was sure that the principal probably felt the same.
After a long silence, the principal finally spoke. "Suppose what you say is true"—That was how she began before suggesting a certain possibility.
Those were truly unbelievable words.
"What's wrong? Mononobe?"
While I was lost in deep thought, Iris stared at me in surprise, asking with her head tilted in puzzlement.
Despite answering that way, I heard the principal's words repeat in my mind—
What she had told me was—
—Iris Freyja might turn into a dragon.
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