Unlimited Fafnir:Volume 7 Epilogue
"Hello, Major Loki."
Tokyo—the First Laboratory of Asgard's Far East branch. Fully lit despite the middle of the night, its premises had many NIFL military vehicles parked there. Walking out from a large trailer, Loki Jotunheim was greeted by a man in a lab coat.
Loki sighed after realizing the one approaching him was the lab's director, Miyazawa Kenya, then turned around to face him.
"I heard rumors that your unit... Sleipnir, if I do recall? They apparently failed to take down Kraken Zwei."
Seeing Miyazawa Kenya speak in such a delighted mood, Loki grinned sarcastically.
"Are you that happy that the research subject survived? Indeed, just as you said, Sleipnir failed. Assassination is possible on a first encounter with the enemy, but someone unexpected interfered."
Miyazawa's question prompted the image of a girl, who used to be a Sleipnir member, to flash across Loki's mind.
After getting kidnapped by Kili and deserting the team, Jeanne Hortensia had unbelievably gone on to act in such a way.
"The one in Kraken Zwei's company stopped Sleipnir."
"Ahhh... You mean the young man who had invaded the lab. Back then, Kraken Zwei apparently left to chase after him..."
Young man—Miyazawa Kenya apparently took the crossdressing Jeanne for a guy, but Loki did not bother correcting this mistake and continued the subject.
"—Thanks to him leading Kraken Zwei away, Tokyo's urban areas were spared from serious damage. A leak of information was also avoided. However, he obstructed our operation at a critical moment, causing us to miss the ideal opportunity."
Loki made a bitter expression and continued:
"Kraken Zwei is currently difficult to deal with. Although higher-ups sought aid from Midgard, the team of Ds only managed to immobilize it. The extermination failed."
"Team of Ds—"
Miyazawa Kenya brought his hand to his lips.
"Worried about your daughter?"
Loki's question brought a subtle change to Miyazawa Kenya's expression.
"...Looks like you've been looking into my matters. However, I am not worrying about her. Neither do I have the right to worry about her."
Miyazawa Kenya shook his head in denial with an expression of resignation.
"I see, then there's not much value in telling you this—But I'll still pass the information along. Your daughter is safe and sound."
"Then I still have to thank you. Thank you for letting me know, Major Loki. By the way, how is your Fafnir... Mononobe Yuu?"
Loki's eyebrow twitched slightly.
"Just recently, I chanced upon this term, Fafnir, so I investigated you slightly. I never expected you to be related to him."
Miyazawa Kenya spoke in a flippant tone of voice. Loki glared sharply at him.
"—What the hell do you know?"
"Nothing much. From my position, simply tracking personnel assignments is already the limit, but... I am able to deduce many things by piecing together various fragments of hearsay."
Miyazawa Kenya answered suggestively.
"Mononobe Yuu, belonging to the special forces team Sleipnir, codename 'Fafnir'—By the way, what relation does he have with that Fafnir Project?"
Loki did not answer a single word. His aura turned dangerous.
"Fafnir is a name appearing in Norse mythology. I remember the word means 'embracer,' doesn't it? What he embraced was gold. Fighting over gold, many lost their lives, but humans were the only ones who saw value in gold. Hence, it was the 'lethal gold' that only killed humans... That and the hypothesis of Code Lost happens to—"
Miyazawa Kenya kept chattering nonstop until he finally noticed Loki's expression.
"—Oh, sorry, don't make such a scary look. I have no intention of prying further. I only want to continue my research, that's all."
"Don't you think—you have already pried too deeply into this matter?"
Loki narrowed his eyes and asked. Miyazawa Kenya waved his hand ostentatiously.
"Hey hey, don't be like that. Since you've investigated me, you ought to know how Asgard recruited me. You do not wish to make an enemy of 'Gray,' do you?"
Loki nodded slightly and dispelled his murderous aura.
"Phew, I thought I was going to be killed. Then back to the earlier subject. If it was him—if it was your Fafnir—could he really defeat Kraken Zwei?"
"Do you ever learn...?"
Loki sighed with a look of exasperation then turned his back to Miyazawa Kenya, leaving silently without answering his question. However, Loki suddenly stopped, a thought seemingly occurring to him.
"Oh right. I just received a piece of interesting news."
"Already verified. The dragon marks of several Ds have changed color. Your daughter is one of them."
Miyazawa Kenya's expression wavered for the first time.
"It's possible to deduce from this that Kraken Zwei is capable of targeting multiple Ds simultaneously. In that case, there are only two fundamental solutions."
Loki spoke without looking back. Then he operated the panel on the side of the large trailer, opening the cargo area gradually.
Inside, several soldiers clad in silver-white armor appeared.
Unbeknownst to Miyazawa Kenya, they were all dressed the same as the one known as "Hreidmar" within NIFL.
These armored soldiers gave a kind of "inhuman" feeling. Even someone like Miyazawa Kenya who had never stepped foot on a battlefield could feel this.
Loki looked at them, standing neatly in formation inside the trailer, then turned to face Miyazawa Kenya.
Then smiling coldly, Loki told him in a deep voice:
"Namely—Defeat Kraken Zwei or eliminate all Ds."
Miyazawa Kenya gasped, rooted to the spot.
"This piece of news was gathered by my subordinates on their own. Midgard apparently intends to hide this. So long as they persist in denial, NIFL cannot take action overtly, however—I only need to act according to my own will in secret."
Loki grinned, then stared straight into Miyazawa Kenya's eyes after saying that.
"Go warn 2nd Lieutenant Mononobe if you're worried about your daughter. When doing so, remember to pass along this message to him from me—'You are the one making the choice.'"
The night grew late at Nanato City.
At the same moment when the Mononobe Yuu and the others' battle against Vritra was ending—
In the bedroom at Mitsuki's house, Kili and Lisa were waiting for Yuu's group to call them.
The crossdressing girl under the alias of John—Jeanne Hortensia—had yet to regain consciousness, so the situation in the room was as though Kili and Lisa were alone.
However, Lisa did not strike up conversation with Kili whereas Kili simply watched Jeanne's sleeping face to kill time.
But perhaps growing tired of boredom and silence, Kili turned to face Lisa.
"Hey, you love Yuu, right?"
"Huh? W-What are you suddenly talking about!?"
Lisa felt troubled by the sudden question. The content also made her blush to her ears.
"Nothing much, it just occurred to me so I asked. Just casual conversation. I simply wondered because I find that your attitude towards Yuu has changed compared to that time at the Principality of Erlia."
"T-That is your mistaken impression. My attitude towards him has certainly not changed."
Despite blushing intensely, Lisa still denied Kili's accusation.
"Really? Then you won't have any objections even if I became Yuu's partner, right?"
"What... That is neither here nor there! As friends, as family, I shan't hand him over to you!"
Lisa stood up and declared loudly.
"Friends, family huh... Amazing excuses, but if your feelings are only of that level—You won't be a match for me no matter what."
Listening to Kili's mocking words, Lisa frowned.
"What are you talking about...?"
"Because I need him more than anyone else. Belonging nowhere, I only have meaning if he chooses me."
Saying that, Kili presented her dragon mark, whose color was changing, in front of Lisa.
"This is not the color I want. I want to be colored by Yuu... A color belonging only to Yuu. Do you have this level of resolve?"
Confronted with Kili's dangerous gaze, Lisa could not help but gasp. However, she soon regained composure. Staring straight into Kili's eyes, she was about to launch a rebuttal, but—
Due to Jeanne making a noise while lying on the bed, Lisa lost her chance.
Kili turned towards Jeanne. Lisa approached the bed, intending to examine her condition.
Jeanne moaned and opened her eyes slightly. Her golden eyes captured Kili and Lisa who were peering at her.
"Kili...? This place is—"
Jeanne shifted her gaze around blankly, observing the room's situation.
"You finally woke up, Jeanne... No, John. This is Yuu's parental home. I saved you from the Kraken's child and brought you here."
Kili dutifully corrected herself since Jeanne hated letting her gender come to light. Lisa still did not know about Jeanne's gender.
"Captain's, parental home? Kraken's, child..."
Light gradually returned to Jeanne's eyes. Then with a look of sudden realization, she sat up.
"Where is she now?!"
Kili frowned at Jeanne's question.
"The Kraken's child!"
"—I don't know where, but Yuu and the others have gone over to defeat it. Although Mother went to obstruct them... Knowing Yuu, he will surely do everything he can to find a solution."
Despite feeling a bit troubled, Kili still explained the situation to her. Immediately, Jeanne widened her eyes in surprise and clenched her fist.
"Extermination...? No way—Wrong... She is not..."
"Wrong? What exactly is she not?"
Kili asked incredulously whereas Jeanne replied in a hoarse voice:
"She is... not a dragon. Like us, she is—Human."
The burning NIFL base.
Sirens were blaring all around with the sounds of soldiers in the distance.
After the battle ended at the base, soldiers were busy with the aftermath.
While wind filled with a burning scent was blowing outdoors at the base, I watched the girls nearby.
Iris and the others were shocked and troubled by the change in color of their dragon marks.
Mitsuki, fallen into deep sleep due to poison.
Vritra, rejoicing in conviction that her plan was achieved.
Watching them, I quietly contemplated.
Right now, what was Mononobe Yuu capable of doing?
What ought to be done—?
Without needing to spend much time, I soon reached the answer.
"Vritra—Of all the things you've done, everything was pointless."
The smile vanishing from her face, Vritra looked at me.
"I never intended to let Mitsuki fight Kraken Zwei again, because Mitsuki is unable to attack her."
Watching Mitsuki lying on the ground, I continued:
"Hence, if she must be defeated no matter what—I will be the one to do it."
Casting all confusion and hesitation away, I committed my resolve.
If that monster was both a dragon and a human—I should be able to do it.
"Kraken Zwei. She will die by my hand."
Listening to me, Vritra narrowed her eyes.
"Foolish... Thou art extinguishing humanity's potential as a species, nay?"
"Potential as a species?"
I asked what she meant.
"The third generation, born from a second-generation hybrid dragon and a D who has become its mate, will be even closer to humans. The third generation thus engendered will even be able to mate with ordinary humans who do not possess the ability to generate dark matter."
I gasped, only to see Vritra speaking with a smile:
"In this manner, the human species shall evolve, evolving into the resilient lifeforms known as dragons—"
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