Chrome Shelled Regios:Volume15 Chapter1
 Chapter 1: The Resolute One, The Wavering One
Layfon realized that he was remembering something from long ago.
The half destroyed palace. The figure of his childhood friend, reuniting with her on the mountain of debris. Her wearing a blindfold, a face he had never seen before, showing to him a figure he had never seen before. And all of these things were losing clarity in his mind.
He had jumped up, awakened by the dream and gradually spacing out. Was time really flowing? Had everything become nothing through time?
He didn't know. Time was flowing without knowing anything. The morning turned to dusk. It repeated this cycle again and again, and this was all that told Layfon time was flowing.
"What're you doing?"
A panting voice came from behind him as he watched the sun with a blank state of mind. He turned around and saw his classmate, who was also wearing a working suit. His rotund body was swaying from exhaustion. The sweat on his body was rushing out like steam.
In a fluster, Layfon stuffed the bundles of wheat onto the truck with the spear used for farming.
"Ah, though this is to move the resources, why did I have to choose this?"
A moment afterwards, the truck was loaded with wheat. The classmate showed a faint expression at that and raised his hand.
"No. You must be very tired."
The classmate then, pulling the truck with him. Layfon watched him leave and then went to load other trucks.
He was working on a farm. This was temporary. He saw this job with his classmate while looking for work because of lack of money.
He was taking a break because there were still many bundles of wheat to move. His classmate who had finished eating his lunch was lying on the bench.
"Ahh. This is tiring but the food is great."
A helpless smile appeared on Layfon's face.
"Speaking of which, have you found a place to move into?"
"Better hurry up with that. I found my by chance but."
"But isn't Edo the first dormitory?"
"The conditions are great, and it's close to school. It's because the seniors are about to graduate. If I had waited longer, the booking would have come rushing in and no one would have paid me any attention."
"......... It's all thanks to the middleman. Ahh, there's this person – the price of rent is unbelievably low."
Even the call of an uncomfortable voice would only be sucked in by the echoless, endless sky and the farm before them.
One year had passed. This was the most intense period for the Academy city. Not only did the graduating sixth year, but students of other years were also out for the activities. For example, wanting to take the houses of the graduates because the housing conditions were better; or those who had to give up their houses because of the anticipation of new first year students. The classmate belonged to the former group, and Layfon was the latter.
The season of graduation was drawing near.
The season of parting. Layfon, first time experiencing this season, felt uncomfortable. The atmosphere of the Academy was slowly fading, and this was eating him up.
"Ahh, I'm jealous of the new dormitory that is to be built for the regeneration plan. It's not possible for me now. But speaking of which, Layfon, why don't you live there? You should have priority because of your marks in Military Arts."
"I was spacing out and so missed the deadline."
The classmate said nothing else to him afterwards, feeling that Layfon wasn't at his best.
It was such an unusual crisis to have enshrouded the entire Grendan, but the Military Artists had to concentrate on protecting Zuellni. But then almost no one knew of the truth. Many students were only hovering on the level of feeling the terror that emanated from the filth monsters, and understanding the insanity of Lance Shelled City – Grendan.
This was all they knew. The terror of the filth monsters. Military Artists who had experienced this crisis were training themselves so to prevent the same thing from happening again. This way of thinking was strong in them, but there were also many who were tortured by terror. It was rumoured that many Military Arts students had gone to find a psychologist.
But this was all there was to it.
This battle was hiding something unbelievable.
Only Leerin was in it.
And this was what was plaguing Layfon. Helplessness. He wanted to board a roaming bus right now and go back to Grendan.
But, he couldn't.
Leerin didn't wish for it. And he couldn't react to her feeling.
He had confirmed something at that time. How strong was his reaction? It wasn't such a small things as to move his feet. He had confirmed something, and perhaps it was all because he was too insensitive to his own feelings.
"Ah ~ the election. They even put a poster here."
At his classmate's words, Layfon's attention turned to the poster stuck on the wall of the rest room.
The election of the Student President was about to begin.
"You didn't come with us. They randomly picked who was to leave the dormitory, and so you lost."
"Uh, yeah. I didn't come."
He stared at the sky as he replied to his classmate's various questions. He was watching a sky empty of things, and the truth was there was only the sky for him to see.
But Grendan's sky was also the same.
Minse breathed in deeply at the pressure of the black blindfold.
This was the house of Eutnohl. He was facing two people in the most formal living room and he couldn't move his gaze from one of them.
"The introduction is a bit late, but this child is Leerin. She's Herder's daughter, so she is your niece."
The Queen held no complaints to her own unclear introduction.
Several months had passed since that battle. Half of the palace had been rebuilt. The functions of a royal palace were being performed by Alshyra's home, the mansion of House Almonise. The rebuilding of the administration building was finished. Alsheyra and Leerin, who have been living in the home of Almonise, suddenly paid a visit to him.
"Ahh, I'm sorry. I've wanted to introduce her earlier, but the ministers like Lee-chan too much."
The girl who had been honestly sitting next to Alsheyra felt more and more insignificant. Minse finally moved his gaze from her blindfold to view her fully.
Did she look like his royal brother Herder?
The hair colour was different. His brother, himself. The dark hair that characterized the three royal families of Grendan. Leerin's face also looked different. But she seemed to look similar to her mother. Minse couldn't remember much but he knew of Meifar Stadt, who was a maid in the Eutnohl family. He remembered she had gold hair, and she was a lively girl. It was hard to get a sense of Meifar from Leerin's tense expression, but he could see a bit of her mother in her face.
His brother and Meifar and their child. He thought they weren't in Grendan anymore. But now. This girl had grown up in the same orphanage as Layfon.
He never thought his brother had left the city, abandoning his child here. Then.......? He thought a bit more but couldn't say anything else. The thing hidden by Leerin's blindfold should be able to explain everything. That must be it.
"You should have seen me during the funeral. Us two. But it must be your first time hearing my name. I'm............"
"Leerin. You belong to the Eutnohl family. The Queen has acknowledged you, and so have I. Either way, you're part of the Eutnohl family," he warned quietly about including Leerin's name in the family record.
"Uh, your words are so like before. Isn't this just the same as the time when you scolded Layfon in anger?"
".......... How many years ago was that? And I still hate him."
"Oh, so honest."
"I feel narrow-hearted if I don't admit this. Besides, it'll be troublesome for my spiritual life."
He was used to Alsheyra's attitude. He ignored her and turned to Leerin once more. Leerin's expression turned tense at the mention of Layfon. Minse said he hated him. He couldn't hide his feeling, but perhaps he might be giving out a wrong impression.
"You don't have to prepare Leerin's room there."
"Ah, that's been taken care of. Ah, but I still want to notify the school. The ministers want some opinions, so they have prepared her room in the palace."
"Perhaps someone with your unstable personality wouldn't be able to understand, but it's better for her to live at home, especially with how young she is."
"But the ministers."
"I've been wanting to ask why did the ministers appear there?"
"I see. You're quite the exception."
Leerin, afraid and had retreated into herself again, was piquing Minse's curiosity.
"But we've confirmed once more the purpose of rebuilding. She should also be concentrating on her study. The ministers have thought through it. But if you get her involved too much into the administration side of things, I hope you can at least make up your determination once each week before acting."
"You're already acting like a guardian."
"Am I, the guardian?"
"Well, even so."
"Don't worry. I've never thought of becoming the Queen."
Unable to comprehend the conversation, Leerin was comparing Minse and the Queen.
"Anyway, prepare her room."
"Ah, Leerin, I still have something to say with Minse. You can bring in the luggage."
Leerin nodded. Minse called over a maid and instructed her to prepare Leerin's room. Leerin's luggage should be waiting outside the house as the Queen had said.
The other maid went to prepare new tea after Leerin left.
"Then let's cut to the chase," Minse said, but the Queen was showing a bored expression.
"How come I feel my temper flaring when I'm seeing such a speculative face?"
Minse replied frankly. "Never mind."
Alsheyra's expression changed. In here was the face of the Queen, of someone who stood at the top of Grendan's governance. One couldn't question that this was the figure of a victorious Queen who was the most powerful Military Artist and had control of all Heaven's Blade successors.
"Leerin also has the right to succeed the royal throne."
"You mean the royal grandson. But we haven't announced it."
"Yes. He doesn't want to die yet. Uh, he hasn't planned on dying even now."
"Then is this done to protect Leerin?"
"Could be. She's not a Military Artist. The rule of the three royal families is that a non-Military Artist cannot succeed the throne, but there is no such rule set for the right to becoming a successor."
"Till now, the person used to being the head of the royal family will become the next successor. Of course he'll be the one. This has already been set down by the rule."
"Well, because of that, there's no problem to work on what doesn't have a rule. The rule."
"And also, the feeling?"
"That's right. Anyway, it's your habit to speak on the good side. Since Tigris died, Claribel......... She's left home."
"That can't be helped. It's her personality."
Perhaps this might bring in other trouble.
"The problem is perhaps they're used to breaking the rules and so are complaining about it."
"Yes. That must be it."
"The problem of the inheritor to the Ronsmier family isn't resolved. Perhaps that's the reason for the argument."
"And I had to get involved." This meant the ministers were protecting themselves. It might be one of their strategies for allowing Leerin to come in touch with the governance of Grendan. Of course she had to show humility in the arena of social interaction and her ability to govern. Even so, people may get jealous of her for suddenly being raised to a high position. Things hadn't changed from the past till the present. Even Minse still held the same feeling to Layfon.
Anyway..... about that. It seemed the Queen hadn't put in her best effort to debate her case.
"Anyway, give an example of those who are complaining."
"And this is about her defense. She left it all to Kanaris, perhaps it's about..........."
"So the Rivanes, a branch of the royal family, the one she's dealing with, is a bunch of royalists, right? They might revolt if circumstances permit."
Mutiny. Conscious of her utterance, Minse shivered internally. This was on the day before Delbone's death. He had been considering it after meeting her while she was still alive. She had felt that it had become reality. She wouldn't have to worry about mutiny if the current successor's power of psychokinesis was absolute.
".......... It's good that nothing has happened."
The economic blow to Grendan was more severe than the loss of lives. The destroyed buildings weren't rebuilt for free. And debris couldn't be reused. Resources were limited. A moving city, Regios, couldn't immediately transform and use any resources that had been collected, and so the reduction of resources in reserve was a severe problem.
Though Minse had reduced his own discomfort as he continued to converse with the Queen, he only felt more disturbed the more they talked.
Layfon was invited to dinner after the two of them finished work.
"............ Why there?"
They had entered a coffee shop, a shop he was very familiar with. And the menu. But this amount of food shouldn't be enough to fill his classmate's appetite.
"Don't you know that they've added big dishes to the menu here recently?"
He wasn't asking his classmate. He was asking the waitress standing at their table – Meishen.
Meishen spread out the menu before him, her other hand holding a tray of cups.
"The shop owner has started a so-called Plan to aid the regeneration of the city."
There really was a picture introducing big dishes. He looked around and saw many customers eating the same thing, their dishes fully filled. It used to have more female customers, but now it had attracted male customers too.
"Because this is only limited to dinner, and the plan is about to finish."
"So gotta eat before it ends."
"Doron-kun comes often."
His classmate had more confidence after listening to Meishen. Meishen was called back to the kitchen after she took their orders. Layfon spread out the leaflet on the table. He was given it on the way to the shop.
"Um, everywhere else is very expensive."
"Of course it's expensive compared to the male dormitory one."
Dormitory One for males and females had reduced its rent for new students with housing problems because of their lack of money. And some students had to give up their rooms for the new arrivals. Some of them didn't want to move out.
This decision was made by drawing lots according to a student's saving and marks (after taking into account of unusual circumstances). There were people who could stay till graduation in the Dormitory One, and there were those who were kicked out just after their first year. And Layfon was of the less fortunate. The lot decided he had to leave.
"But it shouldn't be a problem with the money you get from cleaning the Mechanical Department?"
He had already negotiated, but the rent was still high.
Any places close to the school, commercial streets and tram stations had high rent. And the most important thing was there weren't many empty lots left. Most were taken by the seniors first, and then those juniors who managed to get a space through connection. Layfon's classmate was one of them. The other students also got a room the same way. And so Layfon, not good at social interaction, had to run around to find a living place. Though there were newly-built dormitories, in the end, he had failed to get anything. The effects of the previous crisis were still evident. Living in a dormitory with no other human presence, Layfon had no choice but to find a better house for himself.
"You're active in the platoon. Shouldn't you have lots of money from the reward? You could just use it."
His classmate was referring to the high level building. Its appearance was very familiar to everyone. It wasn't the same as those rent-free buildings. It was prepared for the very rich or thriftiest student in the Academy City.
Layfon shook his head silently as he looked at the price of rent on the leaflet. It wasn't a problem for Karian to live there as a successful Student President with lots of money from his family, but this wasn't the same with Layfon.
"I've used up my saving."
"There should be a way as you're in a platoon. The intercity competition was intense right?"
There was only one war between cities after leaving Grendan. This was what everyone called the intercity Military Arts Competition.
The battle for a selenium mine that was the source of a city's fuel ended with Zuellni as the victor.
But Layfon didn't think it was because of his effort alone. Besides, the most important question was "Should I still stay in a platoon?"
He hadn't contacted other cities after that. About not having contact, the Student Council made such judgement according to the principles set by experience.
The results of the three intercity competitions were two wins and one loss. Zuellni had avoided the risk of losing all of its selenium mines. Layfon, whom Karian had placed in Military Arts stream, was no longer needed. In that case, his mission as a platoon member or a Military Artist had ended. Anyone would have arrived at this conclusion. This wasn't related to Karian's concern that the feeling of sometimes being attracted by the type of people like Nina wasn't so bad. All Layfon felt was he had no strength left after the intercity Military Arts Competition had finished.
"Ah, now it's quiet."
The building that suddenly appeared before him piqued Layfon's interest. The room decoration and the width and length of it differed from other buildings. It wasn't made for one person only. Layfon was deeply attracted to the spacious living space.
"Ah, wait. Wait. That won't work. It's close to the cargo area and is far away from the school. There isn't any commercial street near, but then it does have empty lots."
His classmate was right. Cargo areas took up a large chunk of the areas in the map. What was left was an unknown manufacturing area. Not that there weren't any residential buildings, but there probably weren't as many students here.
"But it doesn't matter how far away the commercial street is as long as I can see the captain."
He could buy the necessities after school. Layfon wasn't that interested in entertainment-related facilities. Not that he would want to go to such a place by himself.
"Perhaps. Contact you later."
His classmate lifted his head to watch the sky for some reason.
Meishen arrived with the dishes. Layfon took up the spoon and began eating as his classmate explained. His gaze hadn't changed direction. He was still looking at the building.
Just like a ray of the sun was filtering through the heavy cloud layers. This was the feeling he got.
After that, his classmate began to talk with him openly. They contacted the owner of the building according to the method printed on the leaflet, set a time for a meeting and then finally signed the contract.
It was easier for Layfon to move around as he was a member of the seventeenth platoon.
The classmate who was leading him around the place had a high spirit from the start to finish.
"Really, two of you deciding to rent here. Such good fortune. Take me there. That was what the senpai said to me."
"Yes. No one has lived here before. Because of its bad location. Anyway, it's old. I said so already yesterday. This building has all the essential facilities. Cleaning is provided, but because the building is so old, there might be unexpected things."
"The most popular dormitory is the girls dorm in the self-study area of the Engineering subject. It's the best out of the best in its appearance and interior design. Anyone would have been attracted by that building. As for here, there's nothing else to look at except cheap rent and lots of space."
The senpai sighed.
"Though I've only been managing this place for two years, there's finally new people coming. And two as well."
He probably didn't like looking after this building. Layfon didn't want to think much as he watched the happy senpai.
He looked around. Dust filled the room. Sunlight filtered through the window to shine on the empty house. It seemed to be bringing something to him.
If he had to avoid something.......
"It's hard to answer."
"Then when can I move over?"
"Well, I've to start planning cleaning up the house, and I need one more day to follow up. Probably one week will do."
"Then I'll move in in one week's time."
"Ok. Give me the key for now. I'll contact you if there're any changes."
The old key was like the past.
But this wasn't related to whether the key was old or new. He could only think that it was a new key to him.
Only this situation was broadcasted all around her.
Nina controlled her annoyance. She couldn't retreat in this situation. The annoyance in her was like smoke, rising and invading her nostrils.
The empty space of the self-study area of the Engineering subject, the space where new dormitories once stood and were then torn down, had become Nina's best training ground. Students were in self-study mode during the regenerating period, and so Nina had a good chance to train, putting her accumulated experience into practice. No one could disturb her.
"Ahh, what's happening?"
Claribel was provoking her, but Nina kept practicing.
This tension-filled situation was created deliberately.
Layfon had used that technique and he had used his clones to attack Gorneo during the inter-platoon match. She knew the difference between those two moves. The former was to create an opportunity whereas the latter was to attack.
Then what was this?
Countless Claribel were moving around her. All of them were illusion, as of blurry shadows reflected on the surface of the water.
But the presence was changing constantly.
A clue had happened in a place empty of things.
The truth was the place itself was confusing her. Nina had hidden herself so she could ambush Claribel. Claribel's words and the unbearable circumstance were all made to provoke her.
Annoyance remained with her even though she knew it was a provocation.
"This is Karen Kei."
Claribel had been instructing her at the beginning of practice. "Control the amount of your kei and let it change through different limbs and joints, so that your opponent cannot anticipate your next move. Fight without regularity. My teacher wants me to destroy in a more efficient manner, but I'm not up to his level yet. Besides, I'm still not used to that state of mind."
Nina was interested in what it was like to destroy efficiently. Right now, she was confusing her opponent with Karen Kei and not moving her body an inch.
Gorneo was also using Karen Kei, the same as Shante who had been copying his moves. But he had added combat skill on top of it. Nina still wasn't sure of what it meant that he was basically just using Karen Kei.
Claribel wasn't holding the strange weapon – the weapon that she named as Kochouenshiken (The sword of butterfly with wings of flame). She was only fighting Nina with Karen Kei.
She never had to think about her opponent much, because the injured would be lying on the ground if she were to hammer with the iron whips. As for now, she didn't know where she should hit as her opponent was evading her – this was her first time meeting such an opponent.
But Nina didn't move. Maybe she didn't move because she didn't know where the blows were coming or maybe because she kept immobile so she could see through Claribel's technique. Claribel's clones surrounded her, but only her presence was flowing. Her actual body had not moved.
The key of a battle between Military Artists was speed. The style of Karen Kei was a waste of time, meaningless. She should be thinking of strategies to aid her fight while her opponent was confused. But Clarible didn't do that. As for Nina, she was doing the expected, thinking of close quarter fight and how to break through the technique of Karen Kei.
Was she thinking of this because of the training? Or would she have thought of it in a real battle too? In that case, she felt that her spirit was in danger in this battle against Claribel.
Control her worries and calmly observe her opponent. Claribel shouldn't be using Sakkei. Sakkei would be flowing out of her body as she used it. This meant she couldn't be using it. The numerous presences were used to hide Claribel's real self. Now Nina needed to find the real body from the illusory clones.
"If you don't attack, I'll begin."
The words were bounced to her from the half destroyed buildings around them. Nina couldn't tell where Claribel was hiding.
What to do?
Nina wasn't trained enough to be able to tell apart the flow of Kei. She couldn't do it with her level of skill. And so what should she do?
She had decided to stand still. But.........
"Ok. Everyone, stop."
It was an unfamiliar voice. The tip of a blade was already on her back at where her heart was when Nina realised it.
"Ah," she moaned. The muscles of her back felt like they were dead. The feeling of the tip of the blade was different from Claribel's real body. It was a quick sense of intense pressure.
"You almost failed to control it."
Nina sat down, exhausted, as Claribel replied. Claribel returned the weapon to its Dite form and sat down too.
"You can control it now. That's improvement."
Nina looked at her. She must be comforting her. Claribel had followed Layfon from Grendan and settled down in Zuellni as a new student of the coming year. She was still wearing her old clothes but she seemed happy. It took her a short period of time to adapt to life here. She had gone to find part time work after Nina helped her finish the procedures for entering the dormitory.
And so she was now training with Nina.
Claribel's expression was carefree.
"Sorry. I still have to train."
"Of course. I've to train a lot too. I'll also improve by looking at how you move."
"Oh, what would you have done if it was you?"
"Yes. I'm not sure. I'd have destroyed everything around me and used external Kei to take away all interference. And I wouldn't have given my opponent any chances."
"What if you can't destroy it?"
"Then I can take hold whatever opportunity that presents to me. If I feel that I can't win, then I'll have to concentrate on gaining time, and step into the opponent's trap. Isn't that more meaningful?"
Nina could discern Claribel's personality from her words.
"I want Layfon to participate in this training too," she muttered. It was regretful, but it would have been fun.
Layfon lacked the air of a Military Artist since he returned from Grendan. He was originally very ordinary. Now he even lacked his shine in battles. He didn't come to the platoon training. Even Nina saw that his skill was lacking luster in the last intercity Military Arts Competition.
Claribel knew all these and so she had applied to train with him in order to help him pick himself up. But it was all in vain. Now she had nothing to say to Layfon.
"We must find a way."
Nina felt that Claribel's reason for coming to Zuellni was Layfon. Claribel's expression contained a bit of anger at the current Layfon. Both of them failed to keep calm when facing this situation.
"But what should we do about the distance between us?"
Layfon still hadn't come to platoon training. Of course they were naturally growing apart. Shouldn't we have removed all roadblocks to get closer? But it wasn't possible for Nina. As a member of the 17th platoon, she understood why he felt so down.
Layfon had chosen to live an ordinary Academic life, but he was facing difficulties. Time still flowed even though Nina couldn't see him.
Layfon already had one year of experience at the Mechanical Department. He was able to make sound judgements and so didn't have to pair up with her anymore. He was an excellent Military Artist. Nina felt that he wanted to work alone.
All Military Arts students thought that they could relax after the intercity Military Arts Competition. The platoon training days and the cleaning of the Training Complex were days of the past. And the relationship between Sharnid and Felli were naturally becoming less and less harmonious.
Even Nina felt that the 17th platoon might be disbanded.
What should she do? She had no idea. There were many factors to consider, but it wasn't possible for her alone to make it into reality. Sadness and loneliness cut deep into her.
"You can only be strong.."
Did Claribel say this because of her personality or that she still didn't understand? Nina didn't know.
The person looking for a good book to read saw through the window that Layfon was walking with a lot of luggage.
Felli put down the book and followed.
"Layfon," she called.
He turned around in surprise.
"What're you doing?"
He didn't look to be shopping. It seemed he was moving his luggage to somewhere.
"I'm moving my things."
An ominous feeling flashed through her.
"I'm moving and taking the things I don't need to the rubbish collector."
She heard of his reason as they walked together.
"So have you decided to move to the dormitory that far away?"
Felli was surprised that he was moving to the cargo area. She was strongly against his choice because that place as very far away from the school. She vaguely remembered that place as she had walked past it when she went to play somewhere after school.
"But it's still close to the station."
That wasn't assuring.
"You could have picked a better house."
She could imagine the rent of his house judging by the money and reward money given to her by the 17th platoon. She hadn't need to find a new home as she didn't have to move. But it wouldn't be difficult to find a place with better conditions if she were to find one right away.
A strange smile appeared on his face.
They had arrived at the rubbish collector. The things Layfon took with him weren't worth a penny, but he wasn't frustrated. He happily transferred the money into his card and looked one more time at the things he were to sell.
This should be a busy time for the rubbish collecting point. The things that the graduates didn't need were lined up in rows. The assortment of domestic things weren't likeable because they were brought for the convenience of travel. It would take lots of effort to take apart or transfer those things.
Layfon stopped at a corner of the bed.
"The old bed belongs to the dormitory, so I've to buy a new one."
"The place is really big, and I guess I'm the only person living in it. Might as well buy a bigger bed."
"Why are you living in such a big house?"
Felli guessed he would say because it was cheap. Was this due to his being raised in an orphanage? Or that he was affected by the poverty he experienced in the food shortage crisis? Anyway, he was a thrifty and easy person.
"I've always wanted a big house."
His answer was unexpected, but it wasn't surprising. He was happy that he could use the space that was meant for two. A spacious house must be very appealing. Felli had been living in a big house all her life. Even though she was able to understand a bit of his feeling, she probably couldn't understand the inconvenience brought by a small living space. Layfon seemed to really like this bed. The corner of his lips hadn't stopped smiling as he praised the bed, caressing the mattress with his hand.
"If a large room is good, will you come to my room?"
After saying so, she realized she just said something ridiculous.
But, it wouldn't stop.
"My brother's room will be left behind once he graduates. That's why I haven't given any thought about moving. I have not received instructions from my brother, or from home to move. What do you say?"
"Iya, even if you say that..."
Seeing Layfon's confused face, Felli desperately tried not to let her cheecks become red. If it's like this, there's no choice but to act donkan. Even if Felli feel that she failed, she did not think that her proposal was bad, so she could not bring herself to withdraw.
"Iya, but that's a little difficult."
Seeing Layfon's cheecks get red, Felli taunts Layfon in the back of her mind for having good intuition only at times like this.
After deciding what to buy and telling the destination, the two walked back to their own rooms. Thinking that they would no longer share the same return paths, Felli felt a sadness in her chest.
"Oh yeah, you received something from Delbone-san, right?"
Layfon suddenly said while they silently walked without talking.
"Y,yes. I still haven't analyzed it."
The information from data converted from the battle experience she received from the Tenken wielder, nen'i user Delbone still could not be accessed.
Even though nen'i users are used to treating their own brains like a calculator, because of the transfer of a difficult thing like digitized experience, or because this is the first encounter with something like it, she just follows intuition for the current situation.
"I wonder if Delbone-san was happy."
"I said so."[sou ittemashita]
Felli could not measure the meaning of Layfon's words. However, Felli heard the woman's words on the verge of death. She did not think that it was a lie.
"To think even Tigris-san to die too."
"The oji-san of that person who came to Zuellni, correct?"
"Yes. I wonder what Claribel wants to do from now on. I'm sure it has become troublesome at home too."
"But she did not seem to worry too much about it."
"sou desu ka"
"'Because it is the battlefield, the possibility of dying is natural. I've alreadt said so', she said."
"Just like Tigris-san, かな?"
Was Layfon asking himself, looking into the distance.
"They were both so old, but I didn't very much think they were likely to die, na."
Though the impact of death can be felt anytime, the chaos is too busy for us to stare at this sadness. Layfon now finally might be able to feel the death of the two.
"Tigris-sanはね, when I was little brought me a lot of sweets んですよ. Delbone-san too often talk with otouto-tachi using her terminal[flake]. The two of them were good people."
Felli watched the figure of Layfon's imouto, whom she met at Grendan, waving her hand at Delbone's terminal.
"Demo ne, on the battlefield, whether or not you're a good person doesn't matter desu yo ne."
Felli can not say anything in front of that cold reality.
"boku wa, dousurubeki nandarou"[what should i do]
With again no way for her to come up with words that she should say to that too, Felli could only keep quiet.
Not knowing how many more of times like this she will have, Felli, feeling the anger that she could not embrace, did not open her mouth until reaching the place their paths parted, to push away the feeling of being wrapped in sadness.
The talk reached the point of 'for now there is no longer anything to talk about'.
Those who can be trusted, those who can't be, those undistinguishable gray people, in most cases, fist lifting work is left to them(?)[それらを拳げていく作業がほとんどであり]. Next, they were preoccupied with how to build preparations for the convoy for that girl.
"For now, let them protecting Leerin from the shadows in turns. That is the most efficient ga."
"I suppose, well then, how do I say it ka shira ne[どう話したものかしらね]"
Among the three classifications, the most important was the presence of the Tenken wielders.
"The completely trustworthy, or rather with ambiguous intent, Lintence, Reverse, Cauntia. The only ones her majesty picked up who were born outside. As for the others, they have a difference in size(?) and are involved in some big military families, and Kalvan and the others are usually urusai people, so they are the number one difficult enemy and thing to be considered desu ne."
The supposed political faction was outside Grendan until the other day, as was Elsmau が, kanojo wa, from the start, Delbone's blood relative であり, and now, using the multiple new nen'i users, things are busy with the construction of the information network.
Though until the other day outside Grendan, Elsmau too was part of the supposed political faction, kanojo wa, from the start, Delbone's blood relative であり, and now, using the multiple new nen'i users, things are busy with the construction of the information network. And then, for that group that uses those people, it is no longer the case like before where one preside over information and processes internal problems alone.[i TLed this wrongly, i think]
That is just a personal escape kind of danger-avoidance ability; as an organization, there are better ways, but this time, there does not seem to be one that would be helpful.
"Lin, being like he is, doesn't seem motivated yo ne. We can't rely on Cauntia for something like convoy duty. That only leaves Reverse."
"To leave escort duty to him alone, that's a job I can't do desu ne."[can't do what? the convoy duty or letting reverse guard leerin alone?]
Upon thinking about a jealous Cauntia, Minse shivered imagining the site where he[Minse] would be slaughtered.
"Even I don't want to do it if possible. But when it is requested, it is a set[of people, so everyone is included whether they like it or not]. When that happens, there's only one usable piece[a person or a method?]. Maa, since I move too, considering the shift system[taking turns to guard leerin], it's not impossible."
"I too, among my subordinates, I look for the ones that would seem to be useful."
Nodding at Minse's words, Alsheyra leaned her whole body on the sofa's backrest, looking up at the ceiling.
"It would've been nice if those[competent people] came to my assassination."
"Is that sarcasm....?"
He glared at her thin neck.
"Masaka. Isn't that person is fast at snatching up various things"
Selfishly, it was also Minse who suggested assassinating the queen.
"Yes. But this time, something like that won't happen deshou. If the queen dies, an unbeatable enemy will remain. For example, even if the rebels run wild, you would definitely become a deterent that could not be overcome."
"She too is needed nandakedo ne."
"Sore wa, to others, that is something that cannot be grasped."
"Iya na koto. Even though you experience hardships in your own lives,
to not understand it nante."
"Even if many humans expect someone with the image of a hero, or the protagonist from a story, I don't beleive that someone like that really exists among us yo. I don't want to imagine anyone having their death decided as a result of others' efforts."
"But tiresome things are pushed onto people."
"sore mo mata, truth to iu koto desu ne. Let us stop this meaningless discussion.sore de, doushitemasu? The movement is still not clear. On the contraty, we don't even know if there is movement or not. Will we still send Reverse as an escort?"
"Toriaezu, set de tanomu shika nai wa ne."
After making sure the talk was over, Minse asked for new tea and sweets to heal his exhaustion. The arranging and unpacking of the luggage that the newly arrived 侍女長[chief lady attendant, i guess Alsheyra's attendant(?)], Leerin, had brought という. Though the others work as if annoyed even if they were told off, Minse was instructed to do it as if he likes to. Though making one realize all at once one's change in position and lifestyle is one way, letting one get accustomed little by little is also a way, Minse thought.
Alsheyra reached out her hand when the lady-in-waiting brought new tea.
"I came up with something good."
Upon seeing her face, Minse very much didn't think it would be
"Between Kanaris and Barmelin, who is better?"
"Nani ga desuka?"
As expected, this was a topic about which he would feign ignorance. The lady-in-waiting with listening ears and a pretending-not-to-know face also understood this.
"Your[anta] marriage partner. We can't let you not do it with anyone anyway, so, better yet, how about you decide already?"
'And then make her a hikikomori by my side[Soushitara kochira Soba ni hikikomeru to wa]', sasuga I can't say that before others.
"My house hasn't even finished being rebuilt, kekkon nante kangaeraremasen ne."
As a result of brother helda's(?)[兄ヘルダ-] marriage-destruction cum disappearance, and the rampage by Minse, house Euthenol's economic strength considerably declined. With that house's situation, the Euthenol kinsmen slightly distancing themselves was status quo.
To say it frankly, among the three royal families, house Euthenol was the poorest.
To fix that was what the current Minse thought was his duty. Also true was that too few wandering busses were dabbled with for exploitable trade information.
"Sō iu kotonara, Kanaris to kekkon sureba iijan."
"'Jan' te...sonna kantan ni"
"You don't want your a brides connections and financial reliability? So it's Barmelin then ne. She's not from some elite military family shi - even her parents wonder how they had given birth to her[like a miracle-baby?] ni - she's docile shi, her ability is satisfactory, and no conspirators appear among her dependents kedo?"[why is this a question?]
Behind minse was his nursing mother[nurse hired to breast-feed a baby] cum appointed lady-in-waiting, whom he sensed was gesturing "tell it to him more, tell it to him more".
"Ima wa, kangaetemasen."
"Ara, producing a more than excellent military artist blood is the three royal houses's duty yo."
"If that's the case, first you carry that out. You're older than me deshou."
"But you will definitely age faster ne."[she uses kei to slow aging]
Brilliantly retorted upon, Minse breathed out a magnificent sigh.
Felli and the left-the-dorm Layfon surprisedly felt the that room became more spacious[because all his stuff are gone]. It was a two-person room used by one person. In the first place, all of this room's furniture were provided for. To that degree, there was no sense of having bought anything.
Nevertheless, the first-years to be are coming here. When the sixth-years leave, Layfon will change from a first-year into a second-year.
There was no sense of having done something or having accomplished something. Nevertheless, time continues to flow. Layfon would no longer enter this room.
Layfon did not know how to handle the indescribable feeling passing through in his chest. Though Leerin's rejection was heartbreaking, it does not mean that the remaining heaviness in his heart was the only thing he was supporting. Time flows. And then, no matter what one does, the only power humans can obtain is to stand back up.
If you don't stand, you will only die. If you are fazed by the death of a close person on the battlefield, you will be drawn into that death. Layfon has seen that scene countless times. Though the form is different, seeing that scene countless times, Layfon, as one of those people, stood up. That way of thinking datte should be doable.
He suddenly remembered.
About the time Claribel challenged him to a duel upon the return to Zuellni. Though she said it would just be practice, there was a hint of seriousness. Or maybe her style is to fight seriously even though it's a practice. That may be the thinking of one who fights on the battlefield.
Though making an encumbered face upon her Kochouenshiken (Flaming Butterfly Sword) being covered with safety equipment in accordance with academy city rules, she soon got used to it, and fought Layfon.
The result was Layfon's defeat.
There was nothing to say about it. To those who would know Layfon, independent of ability, it was a clear defeat.
"Doushita no desu ka?"
A surprised Claribel was heard saying so.
“Anata wa sonna mono dewanai deshou?”
At the forcefully-brought-to secluded place at the outer edge, in the almost undisturbed air, with a face with almost no sweat on the surface, Claribel, after her surprise was looking down with anger at Layfon who fell down on his bottom.
"To see you like this is not the reason I came to Zuellni desu yo."
With no intention of osameru[obtain, acquire; reap; accept; win...???none of them fit the context]-ing the sharpness of her words, Claribel mercilessly cut. Layfon could not do anything but stay silent. Unable to even stare at the cold light emitted by the sapphire dite right beside him, he averted his gaze.
"Nani ga anata wo sonna ni shiteiru no ka shirimasen ga"[idk what made you this way]
Kanojo wa Leerin no koto o shiranai. Ima mo shiranai no ka dou ka wa wakaranai ga, ano toki wa shiranakatta.
“Ima no anata wo mirarete, hazukashii to omou hito wa inai no desuka?"[Is there no one who would make you feel embarrassed is they saw the current you?]
“Watashi ni wa imasu.”[I have (such a person)]
"Ie wo deta koto de okorudarou iroirona koto yori mo, kore wo nashienakereba naranai to kanjiru koto ga arimasu[Upon leaving home, more than the things that would probably transpire, there is the feeling that I must do this]. Sono hito no mae de mune wo haru[stick out] tame ni wa, sou shinakereba naranai koto ga"[what must she do?]
"Sonotame ni watashi wa koko ni kitandesu"
Vexed by Layfon who could not reply, Claribel sonomama turned on her heel.[turned around]
“Watashi datte.....sonna anata wa mitaku arimasen yo”
"Dakedo kore wa, watashi no kattena negai nano deshou ne"[but this was just my selfish wish]
A voice lowering in volume as though melting into the air reached Layfon's ears, and then drowned he in Claribel's lilting voice.
......Sono hito no mae de mune o haru tame.
Sore wa osoraku Tigris no koto nanodarou. For the sake of not shaming her great grandfather, she came to Zuellni to do something something more important than succeeding her house. Sore wa Layfon wo taosu koto nanoka. But there is no killing intent in the way she fights. Naraba Tenken jujusha ni naru koto ka. But if it's only for training then Grendan which has plenty of strong people should be enough.
Wakaranai. Wakaranai ga, kanojo wa shikkari to shita mokuteki wo motte koko ni iru.[she came here properly holding a purpose]
Layfon datte, kono mamade ii to omotteiru wake dewanai. There were plenty of clapping hands in him, not wanting show his depressed appearance. Zuellni no nakama-tachi wa mochironda. And his adoptive father and everyone in the orphanage, even Lintence, he did not want to be seen.
.......Leerin ni datte miraretakunai.
Dakedo, dou sureba ii no ka.
Mondai nano wa, nan no tame ni tachiagaru no ka to iu kotodarou.
His original reason for enrolling was to search for a new self, but because of Zuellni's situation it remains unanswered[the search], and then because who-knows-what chemical changes occured, he was in the midst of a cataclysm involving Grendan.
In a sense, Leering thrust Layfon away for the sake of bringing him back to his original starting point. Sou interpret wo suru koto datte dekiru. Thinking bout Leerin maked his chest hurt wa, kanojo o Mae ni shite Kanojo no ishi ni taikou[oppose her will] Dekiru nani ka o, probably because it reminded him of the truth that he has nothing[please someone TL this sentence]. Even his feelings toward Leerin he was not able to clearly form.
Kizuite shimatta kono katachi wa, mou kowarete shimatta no darou ka.[when form was realized, it was already broken]
Once again, Layfon had become unsure of his feelings.
Dousureba ii no ka yoku wakaranai to iu koto mo, sou iu koto nanodarou ka.
Nyuugaku shita[entered school] toki kara, jibun wa nani mo kawatteinai to iu koto nanodarou ka.
Me no mae ni aru henka[change] ni oiteikarete shimatteiru[left behind] no darou ka.
Sou kangaeru to Layfon wa dou[body] ga itakunaru.[become hurt(because of the fight with Claribel)]
He threw his body onto the bed and rolled around. The excitement from obtaining a new room disappeared somewhere.
As if he had abandoned everything, he collapsed on the bed, yahari nothing disappears.[the body pain?the hurtful thoughts?]
His thoughts were running wild, like a torrent, something was screaming. And then blocking his ears, Layfon closed his eyes.
In a new place at night, it was very quiet.
Alsheyra, wearing a nightgown from her many newly bought clothes, looked out of a large window, such you could find in the royal palace. Sono mukou ni wa terrace ga atta ga, soto ni deru ki[feeling of wanting to go out] ni wa narazu[does not become], Koko kara soto o miru.
House Euthenol's garden ga ari, and Grendans skyline was visible.
[Leerin's POV]If one changes the place from where to watch, the scenery of the city also changes. She knew that since the time she entered the advance school's dormitory. Just one year. No, not a year has passed, but Shinky? suru Koto o kangaereba tatta to kangaete mo mondainaidarou. In that one year, she never thought that the landscape she could see would again change.
No, it can be said that it was a year with continuously changing landscape.[because she(Leerin?) keeps getting promoted?] She attended advance school, and then took a leave of abscence to go to Zuellni. The incidents that happened in the middle of her journey, and the things that happened even in Zuellni. Konna ni mo Hayaku Grendan ni modotte kuru koto ni naru to wa omowanakatta.[Leerin didn't think she would have to return so soon?]
Nani yori, keshiki dakedenaku[not only scenery], jibun[leerin's self] made mo henka[change] suru to wa omowanakatta.
Leerin softly touched the eyepatch covering her right eye.
Saya again returned to the inner sanctuary. She said, though she does not know whether she would be able to sleep, it can't be helped that she must stay in the royal palace. Leerin, having more things she wanted wanted Saya to tell her about, but not knowing what those things were, was unable to stop her.
Ima no jibun wa Leerin Euthenol. Sono jijitsu o mado kara no keshiki[scenery] to, soshite furikaereba[look back] aru hiroi heya o mite kakunin suru[confirm]. Kore ga saigo da. Mou konna, muikura na kakunin wa shinaito kokoro ni kimete, heya o nagameru[with a non-vague confirmation, she decided in her heart, and looked at the room?]. Hitotsu no heya da to iu no ni, the bed and the rest of the space was cleverly partitioned. If this were the orphanage, it would be possible for everyone sleep in this space darou.
Sou kangaeru no mo, konya[tonight] ga saigoda.
".......Iikagen, nareyou, Leerin"[just get used to it already, Leerin]
She persuaded herself.
Ironna mono ni. Ushinatta to iu jijitsu ni. Henka shita to iu jijitsu ni. Ima no jibun ga Leerin. Leerin dearu to iu koto ni.[Get used to various things. To the truth of the things she lost. To the truth of the things that changed. To the Leerin she was now. To the fact that she was Leerin.?]
"I have to get used to those various things."
“Sate, before I sleep I should continue a little with my report."
She had submitted her reentry notification for advance school. Unfortunately, in Zuellni, the study, inside dotabata, did not have the free time to issue a certificate, but through the queen's middleman, upon submitting the report as soon as possible, she was taken into consideration and promoted to a second-year.
First, she must return to normal life.
Her normal life as Leerin Euthenol.
The cataclysism is not all there is to life.