Shakugan no Shana:Volume22 Prologue
“Even if we don’t understand what lies ahead of us, we still have to move forward…”
In the south side of the Tianshan range that’s slumbering in the darkness, a long and thing river flows through the valley.
That long river flow that looked like lonely under the shadow of the scenery and looked like it would break anything was forming a lush green paradise on the black rocky surface.
“The world is changing, humans, ‘Denizens’, they are changing…”
The riverbanks that had only gravel lacked the nutritious soil, and the weeds were unable to grow much on the barren riverbanks. The thick undergrowth and scattered trees were scattered around like the stars.
The moonlight stealthily shone on that mysterious pasture that was definitely there.
“What do I see, who do I get, the thoughts harmonize, but what results do I get—”
Under the thing green scenery, a man who was singing loudly was dancing as he moved up the river. His fingers were playing the old lute, and the triangular hat on his head covered his eyes. He’s wearing a unique looking collared tuxedo.
This person is the musician, the‘Inviter of Satire’ Rofocale.
He was unwittingly interrupted.
The riverbank that his feet definitely felt became hard ground.
The face that was hidden under the hat and collar lift up.
Even if he witnessed it, he couldn’t understand the scenery in front of him, and could only remain there blankly.
The curvy river flow disappeared. The river, shrubs and sparse trees disappeared without a trace, replacing it with a completely new scenery under the wide and clear blue sky.
Inexplicably, it was a park.
The swing that was swinging, the ball that was thrown, the see-saw that was raised, and even a grain of sand that flew; none of them were moving. The was just a steam body around him, and an image from an everyday life was just remaining still in front of him.
However, the inexplicable thing wasn’t about the still image.
But the one thing that’s lacking in this changing scene.
In other words, the source of all the movements here—the profiles of the humans.
‘’‘’Heh, so number 22 ‘shortcoming’ was captured? It was just a work I came up with on the fly, but, well, it’s rather good as a last minute work, right? And it’s suitable for this theme, isn’t it?”
An abnormal creature that’s definitely not human looked like its tongue got tangled as it spoke in a high-pitch to the only ‘Denizen’ present.
Rofocale, who couldn’t tell where that voice came from, recovered himself, tilted his head slightly and asked.
“May I know who are you?”
As he waited for the response,
(So the other party can hide the presence past this sharp and wide surveillance network I’m so proud of?)
Though he was slightly slow, he understood that he fell into a trap. In this current situation, there shouldn’t be any ‘Denizen’ stopping him…then, there’s only one type of possibility left.
(But even so, I really can’t understand.)
‘’Right now, why must they capture such a small fry like me.’’ Just when he was thinking about that, the high-pitched voice echoed again.
‘’“Me? You should understand what the spell ‘Palacios Trail’ is, right? You didn’t notice that I stuck in on the tree branch, I suppose. You were forced to move in to make up for this difference, and didn’t notice it, correct?”’’
That person still did not identify himself as he continued to dily-daly about.
As the middleman who expresses himself according to other things, Rofocale understood that person’s feelings clearly. He nodded his head and responded loudly with honest praise.
“Yes, your brilliant artistry didn’t make me realize that this was a painting—‘Interest Painter’ Micarocal Kyuuri-dono!!”
“Yes yes, that’s how it is! You recognized me, un!”
The one being questioned answered in delight.
That person was famous in the world, not for his paintings, but for his fighting ability. But Rofocale didn’t care about this as he answered in a carefree manner. Also, he placed his fingers on the strings of the lute.
“Wait wait! Please allow me to express my praises with an inferior melody—”
“No need for that.”
At this moment, another gruff and deep male voice could be heard.
“Now’s not the time to play dumb and do some silly things, right?”
“Flieder-kun’s right. I have no time to accompany you for some appraisal or concert!”
Then, a shrill yet desparate voice could be heard.
The owner of both voices shook the legs and appeared on the bench that was empty only a few seconds back. It’s a handsome, lanky and tall man and a small little delicate artificial flower that’s in front of his chest—the Flame Haze ‘Transposer of Corpses and Bodies’ Ernest Flieder and ‘the Applicant of Arts of Crafts’ Brigid.
“Micarocal, the area you’re in charge of is far away. If you have time to chit-chat here, can you please focus on the fight?”
“Wait wait, hold on a moment. When my painting’s in my heart, my legs are running. That’s alright, right? How can I not to talk the person who moved his strings because of my brush? Right, right?”
As he frantically continued, an old man’s stern voice interrupted.
“Then I’ll begin the evaluation like usual. First, the painting of the sand was too shallow. The dynamic lines are too obscure.”
“How is that possible! That’s impossible! I had to take photo and even research on the animations just to prevent any conflicts with the mechanics, you old fogy!”
Both of them went silent, and it’s unknown who suggested it as the silence filled the entire place.
After putting his fingers on the strings for a few seconds,
“It’s been about half a century since we last met. Both of you are as tough as anyone I ever seen.”
Rofocale seemed to realize what was going on and sighed as he tucked the lute under his armpit and said hello. As he did this, he used his fingertips to pinch his hat and bowed elegantly.
“Speaking of which…we should focus on the main theme now, right? I deliberately chose this escape route carefully, so if we met at this crossroads, I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
“Of course it’s not.”
As Flieder’s words ended, he immediately stood up.
“We’re looking for you because there’s something we want.”
Brigid added with a shrill voice from his forehead.
“Your scouting range can’t be compared to the other ‘Denizens’. We wouldn’t have seen you iff we didn’t surround the entire area and shrink out perimeter and deliberately force you into the trapzone.”
“Though the Middle Asia surveillance was already lifted in advance under the orders of Chief Sawallisch, but that’s because that mad bomber took a lot of lives. I’m just glad that we didn’t let you escape.”
Shrugging his shoulders slightly, Rofocale gave a wry smile as he relaxed.
Brigid’s the same as usual as she quickly adds on to what her contractor said without mincing her words.
“Rebecca-chan angrily said that we should ‘purge those bastards who wouldn’t step forward and find an excuse to escape’, but Sophie-chan and Hilda-chan in Zurich would definitely be happy!”
On hearing that the other party launched a huge search for such a mere ‘Denizen’ like him on such a large scale, Rofocale couldn’t help but feel shocked and suspicious.
“I’m grateful that everyone spent so much time and effort to look for me. Do you have a tune you want to listen to?”
“No, that’s not how it is.”
Flieder coldly started as if he was interrogating Rofocale, and pointed a finger at him.
“Having left the battle of China, you wanted to use that ‘Long distance eye’ you’re so proud of to watch the situation in Misaki City, right? In that case, you should be able to understand what we want you to do.”
But Rofocale, who was interrogated, still didn’t understand the situation at all.
Seeing how dense he was, Brigid added in.
“There’s no need to play the fool now, right!? Amongst all the “Denizen’ we know of, aren’t you the only one who could find that kin directly!?”
The musician finally understood after Brigid said it like this.
“Ohh, I see! But well…like this.”
After saying this, Rofocale started thinking. He never thought that the other party would ask him to do this. But after thinking about this, it’s impossible for any outsider to know about that.
(What a hassle…and I can’t get away in this situation.)
He thought as he used the ‘long distance eye’ spell to check the surroundings. However, the ‘long distance eye’ seemed to be interfered with from the ‘Palacios’ trail’ as the normally clear vision was covered with a thick layer of fog. Now he couldn’t even get a chance to use camouflage, let alone run away. As he was too confident in his own abilities, Rofocale fell into this trap while viewing the situation in Misaki City, and inadvertently regretted his own ignorance.
(And fighting against the ‘Transposer of Corpses and Bodies’ isn’t in my consideration in.)
In this situation, he’s just begging to be commanded at will since he couldn’t really fight. It’s pointless to make a ruckus. And more than the sense of danger, he had some reluctance over the ‘kin’ Brigid mentioned.
(Will they understand if I say it out?)
He was still hesitating over whether he should express his feelings to them.
In contrast, whether Flider saw the heart of the ‘Denizen’ or not, he casually made an exaggerated request as if he was asking for a glass of wine.
“So please talk about the ‘Oracle’ of that guidance god.”
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