Hyouketsu Kyoukai no Eden - Volume 7 - Chapter 3

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Hyouketsu Kyoukai no Eden Volume 7, Chapter 3 - Chance Meeting and After

Part 1

Tenketsu Palace , floor 274.

Taking a single step out of the elevator into this floor which was customized for the use of the second Sennenshi, everything from the floor to the ceiling would shine with a rusty blue color.

The rusty blue color was the unhidden color of metallic ground. The thousands of buffering plates and the airships' protective film were made of a special composite metal.


Those buffering planes screeched as they sunk in. Footprints were gouged into the floor.


Stepping down with enough force to warp the buffering plates, she added her own body weight to that force and swung her fist. There was no target or goal; it simply cut through the air. But──

..................! [T/N: A bunch of ッ were in between these indicating sounds that can't be mimicked.]

The air which was split by the supersonic fist burst. The shockwave borne from a living being which has surpassed the speed of sound rent the air and roared with a sound akin to the cracking of a whip.

"So how is it going for them?"

The girl wiped the sweat trailing down her chin off. Though her clothes were light, consisting of shorts and a tank top, they absorbed her body's sweat and were currently soaked.

"As you heard."

Meimel smiled gently at her partner who continued to train in silence.

"But it might be hard to understand the finer points even if you're informed. ......Speak of the devil, here's another report."

There was no need to turn her ears to the ceiling speakers.

"Umm, it appears that the main unit and separate unit have split up. Ah, Sheltis, Leon and the two from the Governmental Sector have alighted from the airship. They've landed on the edge of the floating archipelago ......and seem to be heading somewhere."

"It looks like they've split up. It looks like they're heading somewhere. ......It's hard on us to receive a report with so many 'like's."

Ran sat down where she was with a wry smile.

"It's troubling to have a vague report."

"Come now. Voices can't be heard using clairvoyance so they're trying their best to guess."

"......I feel like I'm trying to crack a code."

"It's not a code─, it's Ymy-speak. Though it's true you need to decipher it."

......But today's on the better side.

......I was prepared for the information to be more disorderly.

"By the way, Meimel, what about today's meeting?"

"I'm skipping out. I've also called off today's and tomorrow's Priestess training. Skipping practice once will mess with my condition but it can't be helped this time."

"So you're saying it's that important."

"Yes. After all──"

"After all?"

"......No, ignore that just now. It's nothing."

"I'm curious."

"It's nothing major, okay? Come on, you need to train yourself properly. I'll decipher the Ymy-speak for you."

She scolded Ran who was sitting on the ground and stood up. Looking sidelong at Ran who reluctantly resumed her training, Meimel gently placed a hand to her chest.

──After all, if we make a bad move, they might be wiped out.

Speaking in board game terms, it would be a mistake. It wouldn't have an immediate effect on the big picture but would manifest itself as great malice in the endgame.

......Just going by the personnel selection, it's optimal.

......But the opponents and their methods are completely unknown.

The Lords of Unusual Books. Those known were only "Golden" Maha and "Blank" Igun-I.

"To outwit your opponents, you must first deceive your allies."

"Nn? Did you say something?"

"Nope, no─thing at all."

Playing it off in a feigned manner, Meimel shrugged her shoulders.

Part 2


A small species of bird with vibrant yellow feathers, rarely seen on the floating continent , left behind an adorable chirp as it flew away.

"It is a bird which habitats this section of the floating archipelago . It is known to migrate to the Governmental Sector island before winter and back here after."

Kuro looked at the figure passing overhead and recited from memory.

"Hehhh. I'm not well-acquainted with that kind of information so I'll keep it in mind. I have to input it."

"......That's fine, but don't forget something important by overwriting it."

Sheltis glanced at machine crystal which was swaying at his chest and followed after the two men in front of him.

The Number Nine was at the head, Leon was second, Sheltis was third and Kuro was at the end.

"But you know, it's humid, ain't itttt. Hey, Kuro, is this really the easiest route? It's humid and there are roots sticking out; this is rough for a walking environment."

"That's because this is the undeveloped floating archipelago ."

She said that smoothly and jumped lightly up to the top of a boulder blocking the path. Making such a casual jump while dressed in a black suit that fit her perfectly was truly resemblant of a black cat.

"My, what splendid carriage." [T/N: Alternatively, "bearing".]

"Well, she is my tag-along, you know? You can't call her a desk worker lacking in exercise."

Placing a hand on the brim of his cowboy hat, the Number Nine jumped over a tree root.

Rocky terrain.

There were countless ash brown rocks of varying sizes and giant trees were sticking out from the gaps between them. It was a more splendid sight than a forest. However, it seemed like it would cause one to trip over a tree root or rock if he or she wasn't paying attention.

"But you know, this is good weather. It makes me want to go fishing if I weren't on this pain-in-the-ass job."

The Number Nine said that in a carefree tone.

"I wonder who the one who came up with that pain-in-the-ass job was."

"......I get it, I get it, so stop poking me in the back, Kuro."

"When this is over, I'll be requesting a special reward. Also, danger pay, overtime pay and holiday work pay."

"Righty, leave it to me, I'll pay you three times as much as you request."

"Even though you have no intention of paying."

Kuro puffed her cheeks slightly and crossed her arms. Looking at her from the corner of his eye, Sheltis called out to the Number Nine in front.

"......Say, about just now."

"Yeah? What's up, nii-chan, being so formal?"

"What was that that was mentioned just now? About you coming up with this job?"

"The first one in the Governmental Sector to realize the presence of the Lords of Unusual Books was Huick-sama and Huick-sama was the one who said, 'Then I'll go.' when we were lacking information and came up with a plan to infiltrate the third organization's base."

He didn't answer, his subordinate did.

"At any rate, it's a mysterious enemy organization's base. If we couldn't find anybody to name themselves for the infiltration unit, then he would head for the enemy's territory himself......what a headache."

"That's quite the resolution."

Whether out of commendation or surprise, Leon raised one eyebrow.

"Even in Tenketsu Palace , how we will deal with the third organization is still under deliberation. It's because there was a suggestion from the Governmental Sector that a just cause to mobilize the Sennenshi was formed ── is what Meimel said."

"Are those words of praise?"

"The fact that Meimel went along with it means it was a good opportunity."

Leon's reply was blunt but its meaning was important.

"I agree. We'd have just played into the enemy's hands if we took it slow."

The fact that Golden and Igun-I attacked the Governmental Sector was more convincing evidence than anything else.

Attacking before their information could be read from Mikuva's Crimson Eye should have been their goal. However, in reality, the Number Nine , had pulled out that information beforehand.

"What's more, you planned to break in with just the two of you if the rest of us didn't come along?"

"I'm sensitive despite how I look."

While looking at the rocks underfoot.

"There are stiff elders and stubborn co-workers but I don't not like the current Governmental Sector. The meals are delicious and it's basically peaceful, and there are subordinates who do the work so I can even do my hobby, fishing."

"......My wages."

"But now there's a group that seems like it will utterly destroy that situation. It can't be helped that having those kinds of guys loitering around bugs me. That's why I'm going to confirm it. I don't know if I can completely unveil their plan but I can at least get a base."

The footsteps of the executive who was facing forward did not stop even temporarily.

"So how is it? We've actually come to look at the island. We'll be at our destination shortly."

"Me, me! I was imagining a narrow floating archipelago island but it doesn't look like that now that we're on it."

"It should be just short of two kilometers across. At any rate......and speak of the devil."

The Number Nine climbed straight up a rock hill and folded his arms.

The glint in his eye became slightly sharper as he looked down ── at the coast of the floating archipelago island opposite theirs, floating not even ten meters away.

......That's it.

......The Plant which is hiding the third organization's base.

"My, that's amazing. It's close enough that it wouldn't be strange if rather than neighboring, they were touching."

"That's what I said. We can cross with just a little jump. By the way, the island the nee-chan in the separate unit chose is about the same."


The Number Nine kicked away the small pebbles at his feet and began doing stretches.

"The other coast is......just under six meters away. The ground will crumble if we land right on the edge so it should be seven meters with allowance. Factoring in the headwind and side winds, it's nine meters. We'll jump using the fundamentals of long jumping. If you fail, it's free fall, but you'll end up on a direct course to death by even falling into the Garden of Corrupted Song ."


......Falling to the Garden of Corrupted Song .

Looking down from the edge of the floating archipelago 's cliff, he could see the blue crystal ocean created by Hyouketsu Kyoukai down in the distance. Squinting, he could even confirm black barriers swirling within.

──It's this close-by.

──People are living this close to the Garden of Corrupted Song .

"Ohh, what's up, nii-chan? Your lips are shut so tight together; are you bad at long jumps?"

"......I'll be fine. I can do it."

He clenched his fist so he wouldn't have to speak.

"Kuro? Can you do it?"

"My personal record for the long jump is 13.7 meters. That's with a suit and high heels."

"Ah─ is that so? Then there's no problem......well then."

The Number Nine flicked the brim of his hat.

"Follow starting from those with resolve."

With a short approach run, he jumped towards the opposite coast and Sheltis followed after him once again.

Part 3

The sea of trees was overgrown and dense.

Large trees with thick and rough trunks were lined up in the dark forest. There were many layers of strange vines or creepers wrapped around the trunks and the bugs on the thin ends were also mysterious.

"......Looks just like every other day."

Horn snorted and and looked away from the giant tree ahead of her.

Having gone on patrols of the Biotope with her older sister constantly, strange trees and mysterious bugs were common knowledge to her. She would not be surprised if she were to just keep up the minimum of caution.

"I'm twenty minutes behind the main unit. I think that should be just right?"

She had a long-range rifle slung over her left shoulder and her favored machine pistol in her right hand. Upon her hip were reserve magazines and a communicator.

──My mission is to aid the main unit.

She would sneak onto Plant via an alternate route from the main unit. Afterwards, she would infiltrate the base some time after the main unit and group up with them if they had succeeded in safely stealing information. If the main unit became engaged in combat with the enemy, she would support them by following the instruction of Ymy who was observing.

......At any rate, I have to sneak onto Plant and wait nearby the base.

......After that, I wait for the main unit or Ymy's orders.

The minimal personnel was good for covert operations like this. She had heard that the combined unit's members were selected by Meimel but it was a splendid choice for the one left in charge of governing the tower by the Queen.

......Now then.

"You remember what I said just before?"

"Of course. I'll remain on standby until I'm contacted by someone from the main unit or Horn-nee."

"Good job."

The airship's camouflage blended it in with the surrounding greenery. Horn made a large nod to Eyriey who was showing her face from the pilot's window.

"Add on one more thing to that. If you don't receive contact from any of us──"


"Return to Tenketsu Palace with just the two of you. There's no need to wait for us."

Part 4

──A research facility.

The walls of the rectangular structure were grey. There were no windows and neither wiring nor plumbing was jutting out of the walls. The perfectly flat wall was completely covered in moss and its singular green color seemed to blend it in with the surrounding forest.

"Leon, doesn't this look familiar?"

"Yeah. It looks like the other floating archipelago that other this some kind of joke?"

Leon, who was standing beside him, made a rare sigh.

"It's nothing strange. Tenketsu Palace also often sets up strata or environmental observation facilities like this."

Kuro surveyed the facility ahead and gently shook her head.

"In other words, it's the same as the other one Tenketsu Palace identified to us."

That was the origin of the conference between Tenketsu Palace and the Governmental Sector.

The unmanned research facility had been remodeled by the third organization. There had been a Yuugenshu breeding tank set up before but this one was being used as a base as-is.

"This was as much as Kuro saw using Mikuva's Crimson Eye. Both Kuro and I don't know the interior but they're somehow deceiving the regularly scheduled patrols."

"......I think it's underground."

Sheltis bit down on his lip at the Number Nine 's whisper.

"......If it's the exact same as before, that means they're below here."

He glared at the ground underfoot.

The aboveground research facility was just a fake and the real one was an underground floor made by extension. That's why it was meaningless no matter how many inferences were made while aboveground.


"Yes. Sheltis-sama and Leon-sama, please step back."

Taking a step out front, Kuro took a yellow key out of her breast pocket. She advanced directly to the central door like that. She soundlessly inserted the key into the rusted brass lock.


Shortly after, the metal lock fell to the ground.

"Only one side can be opened. Just in case, don't stand in front of the doorway."

While also stepping aside herself, Kuro pulled on the door handle. The grating sound of rusted metal rubbing echoed.


Only a dim space lay on the other side of the completely open door.

"Well, this is as expected."

The Number Nine patted Kuro's shoulder with a slight wry smile. However he kept that act moderate and turned to them, pointing beyond the door.

"You've seen this once before, right? Wouldn't we be more familiar with the structure from ahead of here?"

"Ah, but I wasn't with Leon......"

The ones who were with Leon at that time were Eyriey and Yuto. The one who was acting together with him was Monica so the routes they'd taken to enter the research facility were different.

"I entered this way but I think Leon entered through a secret passageway. If I remember, a path continued underground and the it had to be unlocked from Leon's side."

"That's how it was. ......Shall we try it since I was told the release code by Eyriey?"

"In that case, I guess I'll go along too. Kuro, you stick here with nii-chan and do something like introduce yourself again if you like."

Following after Leon, the Number Nine also headed outside.

Only the two of them, he and Kuro who was a Governmental Sector executive, were left behind.


......Come to think of it, besides her name and affiliation, I don't know anything about her.

"Why did you volunteer for this unit?"


He leaked out a voice without thinking at her sudden whisper.

"Meimel-sama spearheaded this operation. Around you were only Priestesses and Sennenshi who outrank you. Amongst them, the first to raise their hand at Meimel's appeal was you."

Kuro swept aside her sidebangs which were a dark green nearing black. Her eyes reflected not a shred of emotion and only stared at him dispassionately.

"I know that the other day when Ymy-sama visited the Govermental Sector, your unit was assigned to travel together with her as her escorts. Did you volunteer because you view this mission as a continuation of that one?"

"No way. That's a different mission."

"Then why? You are a Cadet Guard. He may act like that, but Huick of the Governmental Sector also possesses authority equivalent to a Sennenshi of Tenketsu Palace . You should not possess power to silence those around you with the simple words 'Then let's have a look.'"

It was a general rule that Cadet Guards would act like Cadet Guards and focus on training. For an outsider like her, his desire to participate in this mission was very unexpected.

"Am I wrong?"

"......Yeah, that's why I raised my hand first. Because I wanted to convey that I wanted to go."

"That you wanted to go? Neither a feeling of obligation nor responsibility, you truly personally wished to go?......My apologies but I cannot think of any other reason for that beyond creating achievements."

A mora.

Inserting a wordless moment, she suddenly leaked a smile.

"......However, I can't see you being that kind of ambitious person. I cannot think of the reason you joined this mission."

I give up ── he watched as she shrugged and jested.

"It's the same reason as Huick's."

"The same as Huick-sama's?"

"I can't let it slide. Somebody precious to me is in the tower and The Lords of Unusual Books are causing that person unrest so......wouldn't it stand to reason that I can't let it slide? That's why I'd like to settle this myself for that person."


She stared blankly at him.

"You, a Cadet Guard? You can't leave it up to the Sennenshi and Priestesses?"

"......That's right. I really do want to puff out my chest with pride."

His childhood friend had waited at the highest floor of the tower all this time.

In order for him to stand proudly before she who had continued to wait all alone, he wanted to bring closure to the matters of his mateki and the Garden of Corrupted Song .

"Is that strange?"

"Is that important person a woman?"


"I think the woman you spoke of is definitely happy."

The Governmental Sector woman's appraising gaze softened and she nodded.

"......That would be nice."

"I would think so if I were her. After that, for you to return safe────!"

At the sudden tremor underfoot, Kuro crouched down.

......Rumble, rumble.

The floorboards continued to vibrate slightly and a portion raised a sound, sinking into the ground. The surrounding floorboards folded up and headed underground.

"It's as was reported."

Kuro blinked as she looked down at the stairs wrapped in darkness which led underground.

"Yo, how's it going on that end?"

With Leon in tow, the Number Nine appeared from the doorway ahead of them. He walked to the middle of the room leisurely with his hand in his pocket, a carefree appearance.

"Oh, this is something."

"It's as you see─. It really did have the same construction as the floating archipelago from last time."

"Well that's a cause for celebration. ......I see, this really is quite something. I wonder just when they managed to perform such large-scale construction."

The Number Nine lightly kicked the first step on the staircase and confirmed its feeling. Having decided it could be ventured, he nodded slightly and began walking with the same gait as always.

......The same as before, huh.

While confirming the conditions of the Number Nine and Leon who were walking ahead of him, he also took care of the feeling from his feet as he went. There were no traps last time but that didn't mean there wouldn't be any this time.

"It would be suspicious if the materials for the staircase were to change suddenly."

"It'll be great if the traps are so kind. ......It'd be best if there were no traps at all though."

Straining his eyes to stare at the ceiling, there was a dull setup with a thin metal plate stuck there. The wall to the side was also the same. It was also difficult to call the construction of the staircase neat.


With his back still turned, Leon suddenly called to him.

"We received a message from Horn not long ago. She said she'd also reached the island and was heading here."

"Got it. ......By the way, will she know about this place on her own?"

"She has a guide."

──Syun-rei and Ymy.

The two Priestesses were keeping constant watch over the main unit from back at the floating continent using clairvoyance. They knew the location of the research facility so they would convey that information to the separate unit.

......As expected of them, we're this far out and still within their clairvoyance range.


"It looks like we'll get through this without fear of traps."

At the same time as those words, the figure of the Number Nine who was walking ahead disappeared.

"A corner?"

"It appears to be the destination."

A massive corridor that continued for who-knows-how-long.

......It's different from the previous research facility.

At that time, they had come out to an enormous floor immediately after descending the stairs. He remembered there were fallen over computers, all in black, here and there and countless cables running underfoot. There was but a single one in this endlessly stretching corridor.

"This is......quite the scale. I can't see the end."

The Number Nine had passed the point of being tense and instead was speechless in amazement.

"I believe this island's underground was gouged out to resemble an anthill."

"......That's quite the lightning fast construction."

The walls and floor were also of simplistic construction, covered only by grey metal plates. The electrical lines for the ceiling lights were also visible. If some shock were to sever the lines, the entire corridor's lighting would fall.

"Now then, just how far does this passage continue?"

"No idea. Well, let's just keep going without worrying about that. There's no such thing as being covert with a straight path. Let's just continue and hope we don't run into anybody."

The Number Nine continued on with a gait that could be taken as carefree. But without having taken many steps, he suddenly half-turned his face in their direction.



"Only worry about the back. I'd prefer not to get pincered in this kind of corridor."

"If for example──"

Interrupting the Number Nine 's words, Sheltis continued.

"they come from the front?"

"Not meeting them is ideal......but it's impossible to hide in this kind of corridor. While praying we don't meet them, if we do, the first thing to think of is how to escape. We didn't come here to fight a battle. Though, I would like to get a bare minimum of information."

The Number Nine spoke in a somewhat quiet voice.

"If the ones we run across are somatic cell organisms, then we should get information with the leading question and run away after that. The annoying case is if it's a fight lover who attacks without care for what we say, so if that happens──............"

Suddenly, the Number Nine closed his mouth partway through his words.

Stop ── his right hand which was held up horizontally wordlessly conveyed that.


He was glaring at the right hand-side wall ahead of them. He stared without blinking at that wall which was not even slightly different from the walls they'd passed thus far.

"You guys, don't get discovered by this wall."

The Governmental Sector executive suddenly smiled fearlessly.


"An active optical sensor. Do you know what an infrared diode and phototransistor are? They're basically light detectors."

"......Like an automatic door's sensor?"

"That's a passive infrared sensor. This one's active so it's a little more troublesome."

Leon's expression distorted in doubt and he sighed.

In contrast, machine crystal continued in a matter-of-fact and quiet tone.

"The majority of passive sensors are, if I had to say, limited to sensing a person's body heat. However, this active sensor will detect anything that interrupts the infrared rays, whether it be a person or clothing. ......But that's amazing."


"I would have pointed out that infrared sensor if you had kept going a little longer without noticing it. You did well to notice it yourself."

"Even if I'm like this, I'm sensitive, you see."

The Number Nine indicated a small crack with his chin. It was a fissure little more than a few centimetres. So an optical device was buried in the shadow of that.

"......They're good. The construction looks old-fashioned but if you unmask it, that's a high-end optical sensor trap."

Leon muttered in a very quiet voice as he clenched his fists.

"It seems to be the type of stronghold we're not good with. Sheltis, did you notice?"

"......Unfortunately, it's outside my field of specialty."

At Tenketsu Palace , this was the kind of thing that spies rather than Guards would learn. Or possibly, Kagura who was deeply knowledgeable about mechanics would have seen through it.

"No excuses like 'It's my first time encountering this.'"

With both hands and knees against the floor, the Number Nine advanced in a posture that was basically crawling. After him went Leon and then Sheltis.

Around ten metres.

Sometimes they would crawl, sometimes they would sidle along the wall and other times they would jump to slip past the optical sensors.

"......Phew. For the time being, the trap area is done. Right?"

"Yes. There are no responses on my sensors for the time being."

"That's great. But here's something difficult again."

Having cleared the section of the corridor covered in sensors, the Number Nine folded his arms.

"Left or right, which do you guys wanna go down?"

The corridor split in two.

After having passed through such a heavily trapped area, both of them probably lead to important areas.

"If we're gonna check both, then we might as well start with the right."

"That was quick. Well then, respecting Sennenshi-sama's opinion─"

"That's no good─. We won't let you go, you know?"

"Yup, we won't let you."

Two similar voices.

It wasn't through an amplifier, it was like they were directly echoing in their heads.

"Amazing, amazing, you got through the optical sensors."

"Yup. As expected, they were poor quality so they didn't help. Even though we told Natraja so much that sensors were unnecessary with us here."

Ahahaha ─ shrill echoing laughter.

"......What's this, are these guys"

"That's right, hat-wearing onii-chan. We've been watching you since you were closing in on an airship."

"Yup, we were watching. Since that's our job."

"I see, I see......I'll praise you for not calling me an oji-san, but didn't anybody teach you that peeping is a bad hobby?"

The Number Nine openly warped his expression and clicked his tongue.

"You've been watching us since we got on the airship and came? There's no way brats can pull off that kind of clairvoyance and telepathy. Who are you?"

"Ah. That's right, Neue, let's do our "self-introductions"."

"Okay. Let's do them. Igun-I also said that it's "good manners" to name yourself."


The twins inadvertently spoke that name. That meant that these twins were also one of them.

"I am Neue. Number six of the Lords of Unusual Books, 'Blue' Neue."

"I am Noesis. Number five of the Lords of Unusual Books, 'Green' Noesis."

""Four intruders detected, now capturing.""


A gigantic mass shook a section of the corridor. It slowly edged nearer.

"To the right!?"

In an instant, Leon detected that shadow and went on guard.

To the right side of the forked corridor ── the first thing that appeared was a massive steel-colored object that filled the corridor.

"Placing a mechanical soldier in this cramped they not mind a section of it being destroyed?"

The female executive shook her head in amazement.

It was a mechanical soldier with four legs protected by black armor. Its right hand was a shield and its left hand tapered off and it itself was transformed into a gigantic machine gun.

......It resembles the one I saw back in the Governmental Sector's Sanctuary!?

It was still fresh in his mind. Protected by that hefty armor and shinryoku spells, it was an opponent he couldn't deal sufficient damage to with his twin swords.

"Ehehe, we know about the dual sword user onii-chan. Igun-I told us."

"You don't match up well with this, right? Its armor is very─"

"Doesn't matter."

The flash of a sword cut off Neue and Noesis' laughs.


The great sword was swung in a straight line from ceiling to floor. The sword tip which was swung very quickly and very easily made a light sound as it touched the floor.

Following that was the sound of something solid cracking. That sound came from the mechanical soldier they had just seen coming to attack them.

As the sound gradually grew, the web of fissures in the mechanical soldier's head armor stretched out.

"Well done."

"It's nothing major enough to be praised for."

Leon had his sword pierced into the ground.

"It only took one strike anyway."

Behind him. With its central machinery in the head destroyed through its armor, the mechanical soldier fell over face-up with a thunderous noise.

"Phewww! As expected of a Priestess' escort, huh, Kuro?"

"Yes. I didn't think there was anybody other than Zeadoll-sama would could render that kind of heavily armored mechanical soldier powerless in one strike."

The Number Nine whistled and clapped.

"Waah, that was amazing, Noesis. Did you see?"

"Yeah, it was amazing, Neue. He beat it so quickly. Natraja told us to 'buy enough time for a shower' but it's not happening."

"I wonder who's stronger between this great sword onii-san and Armadel?"

"Eh─. That would be Armadel."

The twins whispered to each other and laughed.

"You can't go back anymore."

"Yeah, you can't go back anymore. Come out, virtuals."

Immediately after.

The wall in the direction they'd come from collapsed, creating a gigantic hole.


Perfectly orderly, countless footsteps came from the hole.

Virtuals, could that mean?


Sheltis was the first to react to the robed spellcaster that appeared in the corridor.

These clones that he had met with in the Nature District and the Governmental Sector were unforgettable. Each one was a monster capable of destroying Regular Guard units from Tenketsu Palace .

......Maha's clones to the rear. If another mechanical soldier appears ahead of us, we'll be boxed in!

......In that case, which way is better!?


He instinctively chose the right passageway that the mechanical soldier had appeared from and started running. Just by sensing their presences, he could tell that the Number Nine and Kuro were behind him with Leon in the back.

......The more important the location, the more severe the security should be.

......In that case, the logical choice is the passage that the mechanical soldier appeared from.

"Sheesh, what a cautious lot. Is that him? Is that the Lord of Unusual Books called Maha?"

The Number Nine spat that out with disdain.

"That was a clone. But......the clone I fought at the Nature District had a much nastier strength than that big mechanical soldier."

"That's not very appealing. But that's just how serious they are."

Donning only a smile, the Number Nine accelerated.

"Change of plans. We only intended to look around and head back but we're being watched by those twins. You guys, we're gonna bust into the deepest part of this base by force."

"No objections here."

"I was planning on doing that from the start."

"Only if I get danger pay, overtime pay and a special bonus."

"──You guys aren't a bad party for one formed out-of-nowhere."

The Number Nine 's voice grew lively as he looked over the corridor.

About 20 meters ahead. Small autonomous soldiers appeared from both branches of the next fork in the road. Each one had a shotgun, a tazer or other varieties of guns.

"I believe they're standalone. Shall we go around them?" [T/N: Standalone as in independent units (no control).]

"Nahhh, we can just force our way through."

The Number Nine declared that with razor-like thin chakrams held between his fingers.

"It's a battle of obstinance from this point on."

Part 5

Tenketsu Palace , floor 287.


Ymy sprung up from the bed she was lying on, raising her upper body.

"Syun-rei, just what's going on?"

Just when she thought Sheltis and the others had come to a stop in the corridor, a giant mechanical soldier suddenly appeared from further in. Though Leon cut it down with a single slash, the four people weren't relieved and dashed off in a hurry.

......Is there a warning bell going off over there?

......If so, were they discovered by the enemy?

There was no sound accompanying the image sent by Syun-rei. Even if a warning bell was set off or somebody's voice was coming from speakers, but as they were confirming it through clairvoyance, they could do nothing but speculate.

But she understood that Sheltis' expression was completely different from just a while ago.

"......Shinryoku detected."

Syun-rei's tiny, transient voice.


"............I don't know......but......this might be......long-range......tele............pathy......, being............used......there............"

"H-Huh? Syun-rei, your voice is too quiet─"

The telepathy from her was getting quieter very quickly. No, it's not that her voice was getting quieter. Is this noise? It's like having a conversation in the middle of a storm.


Interference. Faster than Ymy could understand the meaning of that word.

"............Ah─ah─............ Ahh, finally the detection succeeded."

"......Noie, I'm tired, that was a lot of work. When we decided to put together this complicated spell when we only knew that it was somebody from Tenketsu Palace , this was mostly expected."


A voice that she had never heard cut in on Syun-rei's telepathy.

"I think so too. It's probably a Priestess."

"Yeah, the Priestesses are suspect. Since they managed to resist our layered interference. Even amongst the Priestesses, it has to be one specialized in shinryoku spells."

This voice......?

She had never heard it before. But it definitely said that its detection succeeded just now. Could it be that these two had detected Syun-rei's clairvoyance and tracked it back to here?

"Hello, unknown Priestess. We'll get straight to the point: we won't let you view what happens beyond this."

"Yeah, we won't let you. We have lots of precious, precious secrets. Natraja said we can't allow clairvoyance. So we'll be forcibly cutting you off~?"



Her body bent backwards from the intense pain that ran through her ears.


She gripped the bedsheets with force and settled her breathing. I can't hear......the telepathy. I also can't see the clairvoyance images that Syun-rei was sending at all.

"Syun-rei, are you okay!?"


It was a frail voice that sounded like it was squeezed out from deep within her throat.

"............The clairvoyance was detected and severed. A barrier similar to Tenketsu Palace 's was erected."

"Then those children's voices just now?"

"............Those were probably their shinryoku spellcasters. Before they identified us, I severed their telepathy forcefully......though it's not guaranteed."

It was a sudden and difficult to believe story.

──They're on par with Syun-rei in territory-type spells?

She didn't know the opponents' ages, but judging from the feel of their voices, they were fairly young children. They might be five or six years younger than them.

"............It was an unknown spell."

"They said 'layered interference' just now, didn't they?"

Priestesses also used combined spells between multiple people. For example, "Triple Chained Chant" would be representative but she had never heard of an interference technique like that.

──Was it a spell that was developed in complete isolation from Tenketsu Palace ?

"What about clairvoyance?"

"............If we try, it'll probably just be detected and severed again. It might end with our identities being detected this time too."

"......I see."

Was this impatience or frustration? Pressed by the emotions coming to a boil, Ymy clenched her molars.

With this, the method to confirm Sheltis and the others' safeties has disappeared. On the other hand, based on the voices from just now, they third organization should have recognized the presence of intruders.

......I have to think.

The main unit should also be waiting for information from Tenketsu Palace now that things had gotten to this.

But they couldn't use telepathy which was essential. If they were intercepted like just now, then they would end up having the information used against them instead.

"............I think we can only contact them via Tenketsu Palace 's hidden lines."

Not through telepathy but communicators.

If I'm right, Cadres Guard Ishtar should have a communicator that's connected to Horn from the separate unit.

"............What should we do?"

"Syun-rei, report to Meimel. I'll go speak with Ishtar-san!"

Springing off the bed, Ymy left her room and ran down the hall.

Part 6

Autonomous mechanical soldiers were piled up high in the corridor.

All of them had the voltage unit in their chests destroyed and showed not a hint of movement.

"This side's done. How about you?"

"Looks okay. They've been completely rendered powerless."

Not taking his eyes off the autonomous mechanical soldiers underfoot, Sheltis moved only his neck to answer Leon.

"Sheltis has eight units and Leon has nine. Thus, Leon wins."

"Of course."

"......No, the enemies just happened to be more concentrated near Leon."

He responded with a pout. With that expression still on, he patted his jacket; there was nothing like a wound. Leon hadn't taken a single gunshot to his white longcoat, so it was important.

"Any injuries?"

"Totally fine."


Kuro elegantly closed her iron fan.

Weaving her way around him and Leon, she was the one who made sure the mechanical soldiers they left behind were crushed for sure. It seemed she was proficient in martial arts, particularly the flexible and agile varieties. Even if shot at from behind, she could dodge by bending her upper body nearly 180 degrees without a problem.

......She's strong too, as expected.

......But this is the one I still don't understand that well.

"Dear, oh dear, I broke a sweat."

"I believe that Huick-sama was furthest in the back and had the easiest time."

"I was the one who beat the first one, you know? Though it's the truth that looking at you guys, I thought I could take it easy."

Looking sidelong at his subordinate, the superior shrugged.

This man had defeated a unit right at the start by throwing a chakram and then fell back and devoted himself to giving instructions. Though his skill could be glimpsed, he would not reveal the full extent of it.

"Roughly 75 seconds......that's how long it took to defeat them. Not bad but the security robots prowling in others places should have been contacted. We're gettin' outta here before they come."

Follow me ── He signaled that wordlessly with his eyes and ran off.

"The voices have disappeared."


"The twin voices from just now. Even though we made this much of a ruckus, we haven't heard a peep from them since they called out Maha or whatever's clones."

Leon whispered that in a such a hushed tone that it was almost only audible to him.

"......I wonder if something happened."

"You mean something happened that caused them to lose the leeway of maintaining the telepathy? Judging from just now, there's also the possibility that they lost interest in us."

......It really is intriguing.

......Even though we're proceeding further into the base, it's completely silent.

"Huick-sama, behind us!"

In the middle of his thoughts, the warning cry from Kuro who was running at the back cut off his talk with Leon.

Around the corner they had come from. The hooded spellcasters appeared from there. In addition, there was a large beast probably created with the Golden Hexahedral spells.

"They caught up!?"

"That battle just now ate up time. Hurry up. If we end up fighting them, it'll take all day."

Holding down his cattleman hat so it wouldn't fly off, the Number Nine sped up. It was an all-out sprint with no checking for traps, only devoted to putting distance between them and the enemy behind.

"......Shall I be a decoy?"

"Moron, don't be having such dark thoughts. If somebody gets caught and turned into a hostage, it'll only spell trouble."

Scolding Kuro who had pulled out her iron fan, the superior sped up even more. Rounding the corner, they ran dozens of floors down in stairs, deeper and deeper ── towards the innermost depths.

At that time, there was a change in the composition of the walls.

It had been just makeshift walls of iron plates but now it was made of thick and solid stone. The ceiling lighting was large and embedded and the flooring was a crimson carpet.

"......It's sure gotten spiffy."

A sense of tension was mixed into the Number Nine 's voice.

That was a given considering how radically different the construction was until now. Even the air was heavy, as befitting the depths of a base.

──The pressure is heavy to the point that it's hard to breathe.


"............So this is the last one, huh."

Without dropping speed, the Number Nine gazed ahead.

A large corridor split into three.

All the corridors up to here had had only two choices, left or right. This one added a path straight ahead for a total of three splits.

So far, they had stayed together as four and gone down only one path.

......But...... This is............


Everyone was silent. That was because they all understood without words. That this was where the party would split.

......They're here.

......Beyond this corridor is someone from the third organization.

A heavy pressure could be felt from within even if they tried to ignore it. It wasn't one or two people. This presence was of three people. Each of them was waiting ahead of the one of the three passages.


"I'm going straight."

Leon was the first to move.


"Then......I'm heading right."

Hearing that, the female executive opened her mouth.

"Huick-sama, that means we are"

"To the left. Not bad. Rather than dragging our feet here, let's just do it decisively."

With something akin to curiosity visible in his eyes, he led Kuro and turned to the left.

"The limit is two hours. Everybody is to return to the airship by that time. Just to get this out there, I'm not waiting for you if you're late by a minute or even a second!"

"This will only take an hour."


Opposite of the Number Nine , he headed right. Nodding towards Leon who was pushing forward through the center, Sheltis took a breath.


"Constructing the dual swords' blades ─── fixing a silver monad as the core, coating it in Hyouketsu Kyoukai's azure crystals. Destruction limit set to sevenfold."

From the dual blades that were just hilts stretched a silver line, and shining azure wrapped around that to form the body of the swords.

"I will focus on maintaining the blades in silent mode. Be careful."

The blue radiance of the crystal faded to gray. It was machine crystal ' automated setting. When they knew ahead of time that combat against a powerful opponent was inevitable, she would limit her functions to audio recording only and concentrate all excess computational power to maintaining and repairing the dual swords.

"......Thank you."

There was no response from machine crystal . Of course, this conversation was recorded but as long as he did not order the release of silent mode, she would not speak.

......I know.

......Both machine crystal and I know who lies ahead of this division.

"If you want to know, chase me. Now then, Sheltis, please chase me. That will be the beginning of everything."

We're talking about those Lords of Unusual Books. It should be simple for them to sense which path I have chosen and get there ahead of time.

That's why───

"......You're there, aren't you."

Ahead of the corridor he was running down at full speed, he could see the exit shining brilliantly.

Part 7

The lighting shined blue.

In addition to the ceiling made in the image of a blue sky, there were idols, impressions and carvings treated with precious metals like brass and silver. There were even antiques like a pipe organ.

"It's a chapel."

"A giant hall, huh. To think there's a place like this underground."

The Number Nine had his eyes stolen away by the gaudy scene and stood still for a moment.

"But you's kinda, you know."

He scratched his head through the hat.

"So the one who invited me was you, excessively glamorous red-haired miss?"

"Oh. So you've finally decided to speak?"

Directly in front with the idols, bewitching lips curved up into a thin smile.

She was sitting calmly upon the pedestal which was raised one level above the floor. She appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She had a voluptuous bust and a waist so thin it looked like it would snap which swelled out again to form her hipline ── the one-piece she wore looked like it was cut straight from a mould of her and brought out her bewitching figure to an excessive degree.

"By the way, ain't where you're sitting for those religious scriptures?"

"Oh, is that so?"

She stared fixedly at the spot she'd chosen to sit.

"I don't have any interest in these things, you see. It just caught my fancy because the design looks refined."

Chapun. The red wine in the glass the woman held jumped.

"I like alcohol and men. But I don't care for the weak ones. I like them strong."

Heehee ── she placed a finger to her bewitching lips and smiled sweetly while wriggling around.

That devilish beauty lined up together with one other feature, her long hair.

It was a red devoid of any discoloration. The very wavy crimson hair made one think of a fire burning paired against her white skin.

"So then, have you had enough looking around? One of the executives of the secret military organization, 'Heaven's Wheel', Huick and his subordinate, Kuro-san."

"Unfortunately, that's only getting started."

......Oh boy, our information's totally leaking here.

He hid his expression with the hat worn low over his eyes and sighed slightly.

"How about we go about it together? I'd gladly welcome a beauty like you."

"My, how kind. seems I've strayed from my goal a little."


"I wanted to shock you more. A member of 'Heaven's Wheel' coming here alone is a confidential affair and investigating it was a lot of work, you know?"

What a pity ── she shrugged her shoulders exaggeratedly as if to say that.

"There are two basic patterns to when people get shaken up. They either stay quiet to prevent getting swept up in the confusion or they suddenly get really talkative to cover up that they're shaken. ......However, you did neither. Even though this is enemy territory and you have no idea who I am while I know exactly who you are, you're even calmer on the contrary. You're quite the experienced one, aren't you?"

"So you're saying I'm one of those strong men you like."

"......Yes. That's exactly it."

The instant she let a full smile spread across her face ── the wine's surface burst into high-rising flames with a plip.

"That's why I will be your opponent. I just happened to be bored."

Leaving the flaming wine glass atop the pedestal, she jumped down.

"Sacrement executive of the 'True Scarlet'

Number two of the Lords of Unusual Books, 'Scarlet' Natraja............shall we start our fun?"

Part 7

......The start.

The start was an omen that couldn't even be called instinct. It had been felt since stepping in the, it had been since stepping on this floating archipelago .

Somebody absurd is here.

Somebody absurdly powerful is here on this floating archipelago .

That premonition was swelling with every second and every minute, and finally became a conviction after coming here.

Left, middle and right.

Within the corridor that forked into three paths. Each of them had a bizarre sensation about it. And he had chosen this middle path out of all of them because of this presence seeping out.

──The air of intimidation was anomalous to the point of freezing one's spine.

A baby wouldn't feel it. Not even a child, adult or Cadet Guard of the Tower would realize it.

But for a Regular Guard......they would lose the nerve to fight and even an Elite Guard would have the notion of running come to the forefront. But what about himself?

"......I'm shaking, huh."

It might have been tension or fear, or possibly excitement. Rebuking himself for having his arm shake while wielding his greatsword, Leon continued down the dark passageway.

And finally, he came to see light.

Within that, the figure of a man with golden hair was the first to come into view.

......That's the man.

In the face of the pressure which rose explosively, his cheeks were dripping sweat even just by walking closer.

"Blue and Green gave me a report. They said it was an intruder."

A low sound echoed from within the light.

......From my opponent?

Unexpectedly, the one who spoke was the man in the light.

"──is what I would say normally. I can't make such small talk. After all, this is the Sennenshi Leon Nestorius Ova himself."


He wasn't really surprised that his identity had been discovered. Putting aside Huick from the Governmental Sector and Sheltis, he was the partner of a Priestess. His face and name were known across the floating continent and if his face had been described by those twins, Blue and Green , it would be a given for his identity to be found out.

"The greatsword user of the floating continent . ......I see. Although we have not met, I have heard that you possess skill which does that name justice. Splendid, that is all the more reason───"

He passed through the corridor and ring of light in response to the voice.

A battle of stone mats.

In the center stood a greatsword user with lustrous blond hair.

"Number one of the Lords of Unusual Books, 'Silver' Armadel. I shall face you."

The light in his eyes made one think of a sharp blade.

His tall body that would be prominent even at a distance was honed like steel and his muscled, manly build was visible even over the gray coat he wore. He looked more mature than his age with gallant, handsome features.

The greatsword user's looks would make any woman turn back to look at him.


Leon knew this man better than anybody else.

Their faces and physiques were completely the same.

The only difference was that Leon had silver hair and this man had blond.


............No, way......?

He tried to suppress his shock but couldn't. That was also another first for him.

Yes. Looking almost exactly like himself──


Was his brother who should be dead.

Part 8

A light and sweet citrus scent.

A sweetness like that of just the right amount of powdered sugar and a pleasant sourness......lemon pie? He had a memory of Ymy baking one long ago. She failed the first time and had her face painted black, but because of the frustration, she practiced making it many times over and it became her specialty cake in the end.

......It smells like that time.

......But why am I remembering that now?

"You're totally daydreaming."


With those words, Sheltis instantly prepared the swords in his hands.

......That's right.

......The moment he entered the room, he'd been hit by a strange nostalgia.

It might have been hypnosis or illusions. His consciousness had been blown away by something unknown.

"Your eyes were gazing into thin air. Did you perhaps remember something nostalgic?"

A very tiny study.

In the room which was obviously small in comparison to the gigantic corridor, a black shadow stood at the window.

......It's a strange room.

There's a window despite this being underground and there's an endless grassland beyond the window.

"But it's also enjoyable watching you like that. I've seen something unexpected about you."

The young man with a black hat worn low over his eyes smiled with a chuckle.

A pitch black suit and pitch black boots, with a pitch black hat. Amongst the colors dominated by black, the pale blond hair swaying beneath the hat was the only thing eye-catching.



"I didn't come for that kind of conversation."

He held up the sword in his right hand and thrust it forward. He closed in yet one more step to the Lord of Unusual Books who wouldn't lose his calm smile no matter what.

"I'm glad."


"You remembered my name."

As if he wasn't even paying attention to the hostility aimed at him, the all-black Lord of Unusual Books put a hand to his chest and respectfully bowed.

"Then I shall introduce myself once more. I am the Lords of Unusual Books assistant, Igun-I."


"An apprentice. I only joined this organization a year ago so I haven't been assigned a proper rank yet. At any rate, the Lords of Unusual Books are set to six people so unless the 'top' thins out, there won't be a rank or anything. Are you surprised?"

......This man is an assistant.

A man entrusted with infiltrating into the Governmental Sector and contacting Mikuva's Crimson Eye is an assistant?

"But I'm actually enjoying my current circumstances. 'The seventh that should not be'. The 'Blank' with no assigned rank ── no other rank would suit me better."

The Lord of Unusual Books traced his finger along the window frame.

"Hey, Sheltis, don't you agree?"

"The seventh tone color arrives before twilight.

The two keys which form the world. That is to say the Seventh Heaven Rhythm and Seventh True Rhythm ."


"That's a nice reaction. Unease and suspicion, nervousness and vigor are mixed into that expression...... It's a nice expression."

"Why do you──"

Putting aside the Seventh Heaven Rhythm , one of the Lords of Unusual Books who has no connection to Tenketsu Palace shouldn't know about the Seventh True Rhythm .

"About me, about your mateki, about the Seventh True Rhythm . You have too many questions so you don't know where to start. That's what it appears to be ── but that's fine."

Igun-I spread his hands and seemed to be looking up to the sky as he continued.

"I shall tell you everything. About the truth you wish for and that which you don't, everything in its entirety. That's why I'm here."


"Oh? Why are you staying silent?"

Sheltis had deliberately not relaxed himself in front of the Lord of Unusual Books telling him this as if singing.

"......I have no interest in your identity. But for now, I need to hear your goal at the least."

He needed to learn what his goal was in joining the third organization a year ago.

Why is he so fixated on me and why is he willing to come out about that information on his own?

"Do you like poisonous strawberries?"

At first, he couldn't understand the meaning of Igun-I's words, much less the goal.


"Let's split a strawberry cake between you and Ymy. Amongst the many strawberries is a single one with deadly poison that will kill you if you eat it. You know where the poisonous strawberry is but Ymy doesn't even know it exists. Now what would you do?"

"............I'd just get rid of the poisonous strawberry."

"That's no good. The poisonous strawberry must also be eaten in this case."

"......What...... That's stupid."

"Would you eat the poisonous strawberry first yourself before Ymy does? Or would you split it half and half and both die?"


I can't read the intentions of this man before me.

......I can't believe he's asking me for my response to such an unreasonable question.

"There's no way......I could answer that!"

"Is that so? Then on the contrary, let's give the answer to your first question. My goal is to get your 'answer' to the question from just now. Your will, your decision. The proof that your love for me alone exists and will answer."

Sway. Right after hazes appeared at Igun-I's hands, two hook-like swords were gripped in both.

Swords......and a dual wielder like me.

"Yes, let's practice for your sake. For this day which is to come. Now then──"

"I am Blank.

The colorless color, the color of a forgotten past gone by.

So Sheltis, dye me in your color.

More dearly than red.

More distinct than blue.

More magnificent than green.

More elegant than yellow.

Purer than white.

I wish......for you to dye me in the brilliance of the night's twilight.

So I can be at your side, so you can't forget me.

In return, I will dye you in my blank color.

......Even if it runs counter to the law of the world.

......This is how much I think of you. That's why.

I shall carve you full of wounds so you can't forget me this time."

Part 9

She laid back on the pilot seat which was reclined to the limit.

Occasionally turning over during her afternoon nap atop the impromptu bed, and occasionally turning over again. That had repeated itself how many times now.

"Hmm...... Everyone's sure taking their time. Even though they said they'd be back quickly."

She spread her hands wide and stretched her stiff shoulders. Using the reactionary force from that, Eyriey lifted her upper body up.

──It's already been three hours.

After letting Sheltis and crew off on another island, she'd let Horn off on this island and gone on standby. It had already been three hours since then. However, the problem was that she couldn't judge whether three hours was a long time or a short time in this situation.

"......They didn't give me a time limit or anything, after all."

She didn't hear it from Sheltis but it seemed that they were breaking into some organization's base somewhere on the floating archipelago this time. Thanks to the conversation that Shasa had transmitted with telepathy on the Tower's 269th floor, she had a rough grasp of what was going on. long does an infiltration take?

She couldn't even come up with an appropriate estimate as a non-Guard. Would it take a whole day or just an hour?

......It's already past three in the evening.

"No, no, wait a second, hold up. They said they'd be back before tonight. ......From here to Tenketsu Palace would be about five hours, wouldn't it? So it wouldn't be odd if everybody came back right now, right?"

Even so, nobody had come. Moreover, even though they should have communicators, nobody had sent in a report to now.

What was assured were the words Horn left behind when she went.

"If you don't receive contact from any of us──"

"Return to Tenketsu Palace with just the two of you. There's no need to wait for us."

"......I have a bad feeling."

There was the fact that she wasn't informed about the details but what she didn't like more was how casually she'd said "There's no need to wait for us".

This doesn't sit well with me.

Shasa had been the same when she'd first met her as well, but it felt like there were a lot of people that were self-sacrificing or didn't wanted to be minded.

"That's...... That's not how friends are."

Especially now, they were in the floating archipelago far from the floating continent . If she were to leave on her own, that would mean leaving everybody stuck on this island.

"Alright, I've decided! I'll stick here to the bitter end! With that in mind, it's time to eat snacks in preparation for this protracted battle! Come on, Yuto, you should also eat............ Huh?"

She had thought it was strangely quiet but the copilot seat next to her was completely empty.

"Yuto...... Huh, Yuto? Oiii, if you want to play hide-and-seek, say that to start with──"

Her shoulder was patted from behind the pilot chair.


"Coming to some conclusion on your own and shouting by yourself, you seem to be having fun."

Brushing aside the jet black hair over her ear, the woman smiled. I know her ── she had noble and maturity beyond her years, as well as a voluptuous body that couldn't be hidden by her pitch black vestment.

"Hm, mm? ......Aren't you Tsali-san?"

She was an acquaintance of both Shasa and Yuto. They'd only met once at The Two Swans but she striking enough to at least have her name stick.

"Why are you on this ship? would make this go fast. I'm your guard."


Being told that, the first thing that came to mind was Shasa's face.

"You need not worry about your safety. I will have a trustworthy partner accompany you."

"So please take Yuto along with you, Eyriey."

"You didn't really think Yuto was your guard or something, right?"

"Eh, no...... It's more like I totally forgot about that partner stuff."

She scratched the back of her head and smiled wryly.

"Because Sheltis and Leon are here, I was relaxed and forgot about the talk of a guard."

"I see, so Eyri-nee just acted as usual."

Eyri-nee. Using the same way of calling her as Yuto, Tsali laughed a little.

"Eh? But wait a second! So Shasa really did attach a guard to me? And that's you, Tsali-san!?"

"I just told you that was the case."

"Oh, ohhhhhhhh!? That's kinda cool, it feels like I've become a Priestess! A guard will always be by my side............ By my side............?"

"Is something the matter, my protege?"

Tsali leaned over the back of the pilot seat and looked down at her. Eyriey looked up fixedly at her eyes from her position in the pilot seat.

"Tsali-san, are you amazing?"

"I'm amazing and strong. To the point that Shasa asked me 'Are you really human?' with shock."

"Guarding means you'll protect me no matter where I am?"

"Of course."


......Whoa, whoa, that was close, too close.

She managed to frantically stop her mouth from running without thinking. Deep breaths, deep breaths...... Okay, I can't be panicking like that.

"Did you need something?"

"Well, I'd like you to search the island with me."

"──Hmm? Search this island, huh."

Tsali blinked with her eyes narrowed in enjoyment. It resembled a parent welcoming her child who scored full points on a test.

"If you're making that request of your guard, then there's no reason to refuse."

"Really!? Then I'll get ready right now. Also, I have to invite Yuto along as well."

"Ahh, if it's about her, then she's sleeping in the nap room. She said she'd be secluding herself in the back."


The nap room. There was a room called that but she heard that it didn't see much use and was basically relegated as a storage room.

"Seasickness. It seems she was just enduring it but it was hard so she went to rest. Just let her be for a while."

"Ehhh, Was she seasick while we were piloting...... I didn't realize at all. Was Yuto okay?"

"She seems to be just fine now. Putting that aside, are you ready?"

"Ah, yeah. I'll be fine with just this one bag."

She had a single backpack slung over her back. Inside were handmade crime prevention goods and communication goods, as well as candy and juice which were packed in to the limit.

"Now then, let's set off! ......Wait."

Even after she'd gone to the passenger room from the pilot room, the all-important Tsali just stayed behind and kept staring at her.

"By the way, there was one thing I wanted to ask. Is this something that you have to go that far for?"


"Going out to search is to confirm the safety of those who haven't returned, right?"

She bluntly stated what was within Eyriey's heart.

"You were told to wait by those same people. The model response would be 'waiting until there's contact', wouldn't it?"

"Mm─...... But this much time has passed. It really does concern me."

"Aren't you worried about yourself?"

"I do─"

In contrast with Tsali who was looking over fixedly, Eyriey's response was made with a smile.

"That's why I'm so relieved that you're here. Shasa-chan relies on you so I think I'll be able to really rely on you too. This way, I can search for my friends without second thoughts, so I'm relieved."


Tsali kept silent. After a little while.

"......Shasa's attached."

A sigh that seemed amazed and philosophical leaked from her lips.

"Is that bad?"

"Bad or not, I only asked out of personal interest. At any rate, I won't speak out against you going to search the island. Be at ease, I'm an excellent guard."

"Ohhh!? Alright, if that's settled, then let's go!"

Eyriey faced her assenting guard and pointed out the window, then ran to the passenger room exit.

Behind her──

"......Haa, as expected, I can't beat Eyri-nee. She really treasures her friends. What a dazzling person."

"............That's why Yuto loves Eyri-nee."

That faint sigh went unnoticed.

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