Hyouketsu Kyoukai no Eden - Volume 8 - Chapter 2.5

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Hyouketsu Kyoukai no Eden Volume 8, Interlude - Distorted Opinions

Part 1

An hour by airship from the Lagoon island that the Governmental Sector was based in. Ranging in diameters from several kilometers to not even a couple dozen meters, it was an airspace that gathered these islands, big and small and of all different kinds.

Amongst those was an island designated as 'Plant' by a subset of people. Deep underground in this island was where the third organization's base was located.

"Ah─...... I'm bored. I'm so bored. It's been a while since time passed this slowly."

She rolled over on the bed while stifling a yawn. Natraja stared gloomily at the empty wine bottles piled into a mountain next to the bed and made a small sigh.

Burning red.

Her wavy crimson hair shone bewitchingly and the twin mounds that could be seen from her underwear-clad figure appeared to almost be spilling out. In contrast to that, the curve from the top of her neck to her nape looked charming and delicate enough that it would break.

"Neither Sophia nor the Governmental Sector is making a move. I thought the'd be more spirited and come to attack us but this is a downer. ......Armadel-sama is engrossed in training and I can't even have a proper conversation with any of the others. I'd rather just leave the island and take a vacation──"

Tap, tap tap.

An uncanny rhythm knocking sound came from the door.


"As expected of you, you're right. Pardon me."

The door which should have been locked with an electronic lock opened soundlessly. There was no sign of the lock having been disengaged or the door being forced open.

......Such peculiar skills.

......Well, I've known for a long time now that this guy is mysterious.

"Good morning, Natraja-san. How sharp of you to know it was me knocking."

"You're about the only one who'd come to my room at this hour. Rather than that, there's something I'd like to say first──"

She looked up at her coworker who sauntered over to her bedside.

"As you can see, I'm dressed like this."

"Yes. You're just about fully naked."

She had even taken off her nightgown and had only a single layer on. In addition, she was drenched with sweat that formed during her sleep and that was creating an indescribable allure.

"Shouldn't you like......have something to say? Like 'Ahh, how beautiful' or 'Please let me embrace you as you are'?"

"Unfortunately, not at all."

Underneath his hat, he even made a smile as he denied it easily.

"Since it's not like you have any intention to listen to what anybody says other than Armadel-san, right?"

"Of course. But having it said to me isn't bad."

"I like that part of you. I think it's good to have a childish side while calling yourself a mature woman. But isn't it about time for you to change into something?"

"It's not like I have any reason to. Armadel-sama is training, the twins are out on some other mission and even if Beltoma is here, I have no idea what he's doing."

"That's a pity, it would present you a chance to experience a renewal of your mood if you were to change into something."

Having said that, Igun-I suddenly stared into space as if deep in thought.

"Now then. What are the twins doing?"

"I don't know. 'Don't you feel something strange?', 'Yeah, the air is strangely restless.' 'Let's go check it out.', 'Yeah, we should check it out.' ── is what they said when they headed out. As for where, I got them to write it on the memo there on the table."

"Fumu...... It's a Lagoon island somewhat far from here. It's rare for them to leave."

Igun-I stared at the scrap of paper.

"What about Maha-san? You didn't mention him, did he go along with the twins?"

"Maha? Ahh, he's at the Governmental Sector."

While stifling her second yawn, Natraja combed her bed head.

"He said that's his birthplace. Said he was going to visit the family doctor."

"Ah─...... I see. It's Maha-san's scheduled check-up."

"Yeah, yeah. It looked like he was suffering after running out of medicine so I told him to get going already. He's pretty shy so he didn't wanna go outside."

"Maha-san is sensitive and bashful after all. Unlike a certain somebody."

"Are you picking a fight?"

"Ahh, no, that was just a joke. Rather than that, Natraja-san, there was actually a reason I asked you to get changed just now. I've brought somebody I'd like to introduce you to."


"She's already here in the base."

A human he wants me to meet?

In this base? He brought along somebody other than a member of this third organization?

──What are you doing on your own?

Igun-I was not formally a Lord of Unusual Books. It had yet to be a year since this man had joined the organization and the position granted to him was that of a Lords of Unusual Books' assistant.

"What is the meaning of this?"

"Ohh, how scary. Now, now, don't look at me like that. You'll scare our honored guest with that face. After all, they're a famous person who's just as bashful and shy as Maha-san is."

"A famous person?"

"Yes. She's currently sleeping in my room. It looks like the sleeping medicine was a little too strong."

The man in full black shrugged.


"I kidnapped one of the Priestesses of Sophia."

Igun-I smiled as he always did and said that.

Part 2

6000km north of Orbie Clar.

At the end of this journey which would take five hours by sonic speed airship and ten in a low speed sightseeing ship, there was the largest Lagoon island known to date floating amidst the clouds.

──The Governmental Sector.

This was the name of the organization presiding over the law and politics and also served as the name of this island. Because there were many ores and fruits on the surrounding Lagoon islands that couldn't be found on the floating continent, it was said that there was not a single day that went by in which tourists did not come from the floating continent.

At the triumphal arch that served as entrance to the heart of the island, the central area──

"......Fumu, nothing out of the ordinary."

A giant so large that it would make people doubt it at first glance was standing imposingly at the gate's side.

He had a fierce expression that could make a child cry, short hair standing on end and, more than anything, height and musculature that slightly surpassed double that of an adult male like an impactive hero. Even his grey longcoat that was likely made to order looked ready to burst from his biceps putting pressure on it from the inside as he had his arms crossed.

"Coming aboveground after a long time is also good. Such liveliness."

The large man nodded as he gazed upon the main street overflowing with people.

As his words indicated, each direction on the street was packed and there were open-air shops and stalls lined up alone it. Cheers from tourists walking down the road could be heard here and there.

"But you can't be unguarded even if the world is at peace. They will attack eventually."

The large man's lips were drawn fully across into a straight line.

He continued to stand imposingly without shade despite sweating a waterfall from bathing in the evening sunlight. Because he resembled a sculpture, it gave off the feeling that he just didn't feel the heat rather than bearing it.


A chilly feeling touched the base of his thick neck.


"You're wide open. Would you get angry if I said that?"

The woman that touched the base of his neck with a chilled glass bottle smiled.

She had a cap, thin shirt and miniskirt on. She was a woman of small stature with a cute little bag hanging from her sleeve strap. [T/N: Tasukigake. A strip of cloth that's used to tuck up the sleeves of kimono.]

"Kuro, huh."

"As expected, you saw through it at once."

The woman raised the rim of her cap and bowed.

"Long time no see, Zeadoll-sama. I doubted my eyes when I chanced upon you. I didn't think you would come aboveground."

"Umu, this could be called my first break in a long time. I've left the defense of that place up to Number Seven."

The woman was looking up at him wonder. He nodded greatly to her and looked down at the glass bottle that was still stuck up to him.

"This carbonated water is for you. It looked like you were sweating a lot."

"My thanks, I was just getting parched."

He wedged the bottle's cap off with just his thumb and put the glass bottle up to his mouth.

"Those aren't your usual clothes."

"Ahh, this? I'm also on break after a major job. It'd be a downer to wear a black suit like I always do. Rather, my suit burned up."

Kuro made a turn in her miniskirt.

"──And that was just a joke. I'm on my way to work right now. I'd stick out if I wore a suit for this one so I went all out changing my wardrobe. How is it?"

"Umu, you mean to ask my opinion."


"It leaves much to be desired for defense."

"............Thank you for the warning."

She dropped her shoulders in disappointment for some reason.

"By the way, I don't see Huick around."

"Huick-sama is at the Governmental Sector. The other day......we received information about the third organization on the joint expedition with Sophia so he's currently organizing that. That's why I'm alone this time."

Kuro pressed up to him and replied in a voice that he could just barely make out.

"The third organization, is it. You did well to return safely."

"The fact that we had some measure of information on the Lords of Unusual Books played a major role in that. The info from you beforehand was also a great help."

"I've heard. The next time you go, Key or I should also accompany you. ......However, I appear to be holding you up. Did you not have to hurry on to your work?"

"It's fine. There's close to an hour until the airship's departure anyway. ......Excuse me a moment."

She squinted in the face of the sunlight pouring down and hurriedly went around behind him.

"Hiding behind you is just perfect. The sunlight is so strong and bright after all."

"An airship? So you're making an excursion."

"To Orbie Clar."

At Kuro's words, Zeadoll's massive form shook for a moment.

"Orbie Clar's second living district. It is the most crowded location during the day and the heart of trade. I thought I'd stand out in a black suit."

"......Wasn't your mission espionage?"

As far as Zeadoll was aware, the Number One and Kuro's main place of operation was at public facility which presided over secret information. Despite that, she was going to the living districts which gather the masses this time?

"The mission entrusted to me this time is to gather information from the populace about a boy named Sheltis Magna Yehle."


"Zeadoll-sama, you should also know him. He came to the Governmental Sector as an escort and was included as a member of the joint operation unit with us. I also heard his conversation with the Lord of Unusual Books after returning."

"Sheltis, remember. Three years ago, you were an Elite Guard and you fell into Eden instead of Ymy when you protected her."

"There are also voices of unease being raised within the Governmental Sector. Because somebody carrying mateki walked around this island. They're concerned that the land has been corrupted by mateki before they realized it."


"All the details still remain a mystery. It's unconfirmed but I've received information that Sophia's executives ordered his arrest. The living districts of Orbie Clar should also be shaken up. I am going to confirm that that's the case."

"Do you intend to contact him?"

"You mean Sheltis? Let's see...... That would be difficult right now. Sophia should be prioritizing quelling the unrest at the moment. It would just add oil to the fire if somebody from the Governmental Sector went there now."

"I suppose that is true."

He closed his eyes in silence for a while.

"......Inform me if anything comes up. I have some interest in this matter."

"Okay. Then enjoy your break, Zeadoll-sama."

He watched as she pulled her cap low over her eyes again and walked off──

"Now then, I can't let down my guard."

Zeadoll once again looked over the area from his place at the side of the gate.

......A true guardian should use their break to guard an area they usually don't.

He had the physical appearances of Maha and Igun-I memorized, as well as those from the information reported by Huick. With this, he wouldn't miss the Lords of Unusual Books when they appeared once more.

"Hmph, there is no way for them to fool my eyes ── muh?"

Zeadoll's gaze wandered about and came to a complete stop at one end of the main street.

"That woman......?"

It was a woman like snow.

Her white hair which fell to her waist was pure white, even more than snow, and her skin was also like white porcelain...... No, it would be more appropriate to say she was sickly white. The white one-piece dress she was wearing was nothing cheap but it looked like nothing other than a patient's hospital gown when worn by her.

......What is that frail appearance?

She was walking unsteadily using the walls of the buildings along the main street as a support. She stopped after a few steps, took a break, then took another few steps and another break. She would occasionally double over......which was likely due to her having a coughing fit.

"An illness, huh. But why is nobody around her lending their aid?"

The tourists were hanging around the open-air shops and the sellers had eyes for nobody but those tourists. Not a single person was looking in the direction of the buildings lined up at the side of the road.

"..................It cannot be helped."

Weighing the woman and his surveillance against each other for nearly a minute, Zeadoll uncrossed his arms and took large strides towards the main street.

He crossed the main road and ignored the open-air shop there as he advanced.

"You there."


"I mean you............ Mgh, I do not know your name, but the white and weak-looking girl."


The woman kept her hand on the wall as she weakly turned in his direction.

Her face was as dainty as her thin figure would suggest. She must have been in pain as her eyes looking up at him were welling with tears. Her clean and well-structured features only served to highlight her frailty.

"Girl, it appears to me that your body is not in good condition. Do you require a doctor?"


She turned around with feeble breaths. She reordered her breathing with deep breaths but  when he thought she finally looked at him, she opened her eyes wide upon the sight.



"............U............u...... Kuhhh......!"

She tottered as her hand left the wall and stood with her own two legs. Her expression was harsh as if facing a several decades-long nemesis.

"............Do......Don't............come......near me............"

"Wait, girl. I do not intend to harm you. Your condition was just obviously abnormal."


Cold sweat ran down her cheek from the fierce pain. Her face was losing its color and turning dark blue. It looked like she was standing on her own two feet but it was clear that this was just a crude bluff.

......It would appear that she's on guard against me.

......But this state of affairs cannot continue.

It appeared his looks and demeanor oppressive for other people. He had also been told such by Huick, the Number Seven and Kuro.

"You would do well to calm down. I mean you no harm whatsoever. I was concerned about your body......"

"......You're............lying............ Since you're────"

A moment. She fell to her knees as if a string had been cut.


"This is bad."

She collapsed. Just before she hit the ground, Zeadoll narrowly managed to grab hold of her.

"Oi, oi, girl!? ......She has passed out. She cannot be left this way for long."

Zeadoll lifted her up to chest height and once again began walking with large strides.

Part 3


"So you have awoken."

She moved just her neck from atop the bed she was lying on. Zeadoll breathed a sigh of relief as he watched over here from the opposite wall.

"............This personal doctor......?"

"Your luck is good. When I had a doctor examine you, it turned out that I had brought you to your personal doctor. Look, over there."

On top of the table he indicated with his gaze was a pitcher of water and paper pouch. [T/N: Medicine in Japan is separated into a single dose with a paper pouch containing powder. I don't know if it's still the standard but it's traditional.]

"It is basic medicine, correct? I know not the details but the doctor saw your face and immediately prescribed this."


"What is wrong? Are you still unwell?"

"............I've the care of the doctor here for a long time."

"I see."

It was the first time they had managed to hold a proper conversation. This might indicate that she had lessened her wariness however slightly.

"At any rate, it would do you well to rest now. With that, I will excuse myself."

"Ah............ Wai............"


He was called out to as he was about to leave the room and turned around.


She looked up at him with moist eyes just like when they had first met.

"............Do you............not......not......recognize me?"

"Recognize you? Uumu, my apologies but I believe you have mistaken me for somebody else. For reasons, I do not appear before people often."

"............I know...... I knew which is why I asked."


He looked down at her for a while as she looked up at him.

"My apologies but you must be mistaken."

"......In that's fine. If you wouldn't............treat me so kindly."

"I maintain justice."

Zeadoll tightly clenched his fists when the woman looked away in loneliness.

"What is right in discarding the weak? In all my life, I have never turned my back on my own ideals."


In response, she cover up to her mouth with the towel blanket.

"............I am a despised individual...... Nobody would save me."

"There is no distinction between right and wrong for the weak."

With his back still facing her, Zeadoll answered with only his face turned partially in her direction.

"Take heart. This world is comprised of thousands of people with thousands of ways of thinking and there is no absolute right or wrong. ──But the absolutely strong and absolutely weak exist outside of each individual's opinion. Then is it not the responsibility of the strong to defend the weak? Unrestrained by right and wrong, saving any and all of the weak. That is true justice."


"That is all. With that──"


He was stopped with the biggest voice she could muster. Then she continued with a bit of hesitation and some embarrassment.

"............Thank you very much for helping me."

"Umu. It is admirable to respond with gratitude."

"U-umm...... That's why I......will also not forget this debt. I will return the favor one day. F-for sure......I'm sure I'd be forgiven under these circumstances."

She muttered to herself with a blushing face.

"......I-I promise."

"That is fine but your face is bright red. Are you sure you do not have a fever?"

"Th-this is............ That's not it!"

She gave a small cry and finally covered her whole head with the towel blanket.

Part 4

"Hey, Igun-I, I didn't really hear you well."

Natraja whispered with a hushed voice as she slowly raised her upper body.

"Could you say that once more? I think I heard......that you kidnapped a Priestess?"

"Yes, since Sophia just happened to be shorthanded at the moment."

"Who gave the order?"

"It was my decision. She ── Syun-rei would be a hindrance to my goal if she remained in the tower."

"I see, your decision, huh...... Hmmm."

Faint trails of smoke were rising from the undergarments on Natraja's body. Sparks the size of dust appeared in her surroundings and the temperature of the room gradually rose.

"Just when did you become important enough to do things like that?"

"Oya, is there a problem?"

"It's too soon."

Fizzle...... She crushed the flame on her palm.

"Kidnapping a Priestess should still be in the planning phase. Even then, it should have been after the twins' [Layered World] was completed. There are no benefits to kidnapping a Priestess at this time. Rather, it'll be a problem if Sophia gets desperate to reclaim her."

There were Sennenshi and fifty Elite Guards remaining at Sophia. Even if they managed to deal with them, it would come at a cost for the third organization. If they were exhausted and a team came from the Governmental Sector next............there would be nothing more troublesome.

"That won't even be an issue."

Opposite her, the jet black man didn't drop his leisurely smile. His tone of voice made it obvious that he had expected this level of questioning.

"Sophia is well-aware that trying to forcefully steal her back risks harm to her person. If they don't do anything stupid, then the Priestess' safety will be guaranteed, and this will prevent them from moving. Rather, we can also inhibit any assassins after this."

"How will you prove the Priestess' safety?"

"Syun-rei's telepathy. It'll be fine if we just let her communicate via telepathy with a Priestess from the tower at regular intervals. Of course, any unnecessary communication would be detected by the twins' barrier."


Natraja crossed her arms beneath her bountiful chest and leaked a small breath of admiration.

......It does make sense.

......I see, so he didn't just kidnap her without a plan.

"One last thing."

"What is it?"

"You mentioned something about a goal just now. Come to think of it, what is your goal? It doesn't seem like the Layered World Project is the end goal for you."

To begin with, Igun-I isn't his real name.

He was an irregular existence that suddenly appeared a year ago and became an assistant for the Lords of Unusual Books. None of them knew what he actually looked like or what his goals were. Despite that, his status was the result of the many special qualities he had that nobody else did.

......Those twins which are like lumps of caution and rebelliousness and never tried to get close to anybody first opened their hearts to Igun-I.

......He's well-versed in Eden and Yuugenshu. He even has extensive insider information about Sophia.

......And he has that strange power to come and go from distant lands freely.

"I'd like you to tell me."

"Oya, that's unusual. I believe that it was an unspoken understanding that we wouldn't ask each other personal questions."

"Yes, that's why you don't have to answer."

"Hmmm...... Let's see. If it's your personal request."

Igun-I pretended to be thinking deeply and slightly raised the brim of his hat. The light from the ceiling made the pale gold hair peeking out from beneath the hat shine.

"But didn't I say it before? I'm fixated on Sheltis so I just want to tease, tease, and tease him to the end. I want to love him to a maddening degree."

"That has nothing to do with the Priestess kidnapping from just now."

"They are two sides of the same coin. I want to return to the place closest to him. On the other side of that, I want to get revenge on the person monopolizing that place now. About that, I'm sure that only Syun-rei would have realized about my revenge somehow."


──That's not like him.

He could normally be called the personification of gentleness but she was hearing the word "revenge" from him. For that to be discovered by a third person showed a weakness that he normally wouldn't have.

"That's about as much as I can say for now."

"......Well, that's fine."

She bounced out of her bed. She continued on barefoot to her closet and selected a red one piece from the clothes lined up in a row.

"Oya, will you be getting dressed?"

"It's a chance to meet with an esteemed Priestess. I'll relay the information to Armadel-sama later."

"That's a great help ── oops. Excuse me a moment. I'm being contacted."

"Is it the twins?"

"No, this is from Maha-san. Umm, what is it............heh?"

Igun-I's voice cracked. She'd always thought his voice was a little high for a man but his voice just now was virtually indistinguishable from a woman's.

"Ara, what a cute voice."

"......Ahem, sorry about that. I just got an unexpected message. It looks like Maha-san is in the Governmental Sector at the moment."

"What was said?"

"Umm, she said, 'Zeadoll-sama of the Governmental Sector is a very kind and wise gentleman.'"

"............Hold on. I don't understand."

Natraja pressed a finger to her temple and silently thought for a while.

"......Umm, Zeadoll being the one from 'Heaven's Wheel'? That unrefined, overbearing and uptight-looking one?"

"I'm fairly sure that's the one. 'It was like a midsummer's bedtime story, a time wonderful enough to forget about my work...... What is this beating in my chest?', she says. I wonder what Maha-san is doing."

They both held their heads and went silent.

"............It looks like Maha's special illness finally went to her head."

"............I think she may be overworked, the poor thing."

After a deep, deep, deep silence.

"Now then! I need to do my make-up and greet our cute Priestess."

"I'm also curious about the twins and will be checking something out."

The two Lords of Unusual Books continued on with their work like nothing had happened.

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