On the way back, after the escape from Yamsk 11, Sousuke did not have the heart to comfort a dispirited Tessa.
Kaname turning her back on him… And then Kurz…
Whichever concern it was, Tessa strongly blamed herself. It was her own mistake. It was her own incompetence. If only she had predicted it earlier.
Nothing could be done.
When some tragedy happens the responsible party cannot blame somebody else. She was the responsible party. If only she was wiser, if only she had virtue. She suffered with thoughts of condemning herself. To such a person, exactly what kind of words could you offer?
The craft’s crew prepared a sleeping pill. They forced it on Tessa who said she “does not need it”.
Lemon was exhausted, but his life was not in any danger. His wounds were suitably treated by the crew, after that he was fast asleep.
Gripping the hand of Tessa, who was groaning from nightmares, Sousuke was thinking about a lot of things. Omni Sphere. Accident 18 years ago. Whispered and Whispering. Deviated world. And the key to that was the transfiguration of Chidori Kaname.
He could not imagine the method of solving it.
He thought about Kurz.
What was floating in his mind was the form of that enemy sniper dying from the blood gushing out of his chest. Conjecturing the firing range from the digital map later, it was 1650 meters. For Sousuke, who knew a little about sniping, he knew well that it was
an act no human was capable of. Most probably, it was the greatest shot of his lifetime. He had fired with all of his life, saving Sousuke and the others.
Death was a part of man. In the middle of that darkness, Leonard had said it to Sousuke.
In that way, he had to get even.
♦ ♦ ♦
Turning south, they returned to the Tuatha De Danaan situated at the Pacific Ocean. It was 54 hours after they had escaped from Yamsk 11.
After the report, there was a gloomy atmosphere floating about the crew of the de Danaan.
Clouseau, who had already returned, said “Good job. Take a rest now” without any persecution. Mardukas was the same, only saying “Good that you came back safely. Don’t worry about the Captain”. They also had experienced their comrades in arms dying.
And then there was meeting Mao…
In the briefing room, without anybody else, only the two of them talked.
At first, she had a calm attitude, listening to the details. When Sousuke was finished explaining, she let out a sigh, and muttered “then, it can’t be helped”.
Then after a long silence, she spoke.
“Did you hear? About us?”
“That so..... well, it was a rebound. Since it was a dry relationship. You don’t have to worry.”
“Is that so?”
“I was just playing. It’s not like it was a rush. Well, it was something to reduce stress. It’s not like it was serious, it’s because it was like this, I should have stayed my distance. That’s why....”
It was a different manner from what he himself and Tessa had heard, rather it was painful.
“Completely, it was not serious. He’s 6 years younger right? That idiot, lusty man, frivolous....only played with him a little. That’s why...”
“Don’t say that.”
It was already the limit. With her looking downward, both arms wrapping around Sousuke’s back, she was desperately pushing back her voice.
“It was not your fault. He was an idiot. That’s all of it.”
“That idiot. But I love him....”
“You can’t die. Please.”
His shoulders were soaked with her tears. All of her body was trembling, shivering. Unsuppressed emotions were pouring out. The weeping hit his earlobes. Then, saying nothing more, he could only hold her shoulders.
There was no sadness. He was experienced.
No, was that really so....?
The way of smiling, he thought he had grasped it. But he still could not understand the way of crying. An incomplete human like him, shaking his shoulders, if only he could sob- when exactly would that be?
Why are you not here?
If it was in front of you. If it was in your arms, I might be able to cry.
♦ ♦ ♦
Traveling by air was not bad.
In the cabin of a business jet, burying her body in the comfortable chair, that was what Kaname thought.
Surrounded by a robust bodyguard and an obedient attendant, enjoying first class food, watching a favorite movie… Having relaxed like that, it had really been a long time. How long ago was it? She did not know.
Sousuke and Tessa were dead. She also heard that Kurz Weber seemed to be dead.
What a pity. That had to happen in a useless fight.
Without doing anything, you should have left everything to me. If you had done that, everything would have been better. There’s no need to worry about the troublesome matters. You could have lived, enjoying every day.
“Miss Chidori. Is there anything you need?”
From inside the cabin came Sabina Refunio. She had joined up when the transfer was made to the business jet. She had to do something boorish in South America.
“Hn. Nothing in particular. But, that’s right.... I want to get into a large bath.”
“That is expectedly impossible inside the aircraft. However, we may have it prepared when we land.”
“Is that so? Then an Onsen would be nice.”
“A Hot spring. Until you have that prepared, I’ll be easy going. An open air bath. Having everyone going in would be best. Speaking of which, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a hot spring-”
From the image of the fun memories, she gradually got carried away. Carrying an armful of uncertainty, having fun from the bottom of her heart, those nostalgic images surfaced.
When she went into a hot spring, when was that? Who did she go with? Whose idea was it, and who had made such an uproar?
At that time, without relation to her own will, she felt something hot on her cheeks. Hot liquid was pouring from both her eyes. Without significance to her, it flowed. She thought it was completely mysterious.
“How strange. This isn’t supposed to be a situation like that. Well anyway. We’ll be landing soon right?”
“After fifteen minutes.” Leonard said coming from the pilot room. “It’s about time, why don’t you look at the port side? Today’s weather is good.”
Kaname bent herself forward, peeping outside of the aircraft window.
Beyond the hazy atmosphere, in the ocean reflecting the shining sunlight, a lonely half-moon shaped island floated. She remembered that island.
“It’s being constructed there?”
“That’s right. For you- and a sacred temple that will save us. At any rate, that design will be discovered, and many enemies will be coming. We have to prepare for that coming attack.”
Greatest and highest TAROS. She possessed that. In order to correct the world. After ending everything, that would be the place where everything began again.
A hot violent fight- if it were to be history’s last war, that island would be the center.
That island’s name was Merida.
The former base of Mithril’s West Pacific Fleet.