#16 – Ep
“Shit, how can something like this exist?!”
“ーIt’s not working?!”
ーAllekant Academy, subterranean research division .
Two youths, one gripping a sword-type Lux, the other a rifle-type Lux, glared at the object in front of them, utterly vexed .
Smoke filled the air before them .
The Lux weapons the youths were holding in their hands were the newest, high-performing, models produced by Ferrovius . Moreover, the students in question were ferocious individuals whose names could be found on the Named Charts .
They had been highly ranked at the previous Phoenix, but sheer disbelief colored their faces now .
No, rather than disbelief, it should be said that they refused to believe the scene before their eyes .
The shadow amidst the smoke wavered as two beams of light flashed, like the shining eyes of a demon .
The subterranean area rang out with the screams of the two .
Without bothering to watch the end, Ernesta closed the space-window before her . Both the image and audio disappeared, and the room once more left the two girls with an atmosphere of dark silence .
” . . . Well, that’s more or less the state of things . What do you think, Camilla? Although there are still some final adjustments to be made, but it’s not bad, right?”
Ernesta spun her chair, a light smile of pride on her face .
“Mind if I speak frankly?”
“Feel free . ”
“ーThis isn’t the first time I’ve felt that you’re a truly terrifying person . ”
Camilla said, her face smiling .
“Hehehe, if you ask me, that’s the greatest compliment!”
Ernesta blushed and smiled, her eyes brimming with self-confidence .
“But still, be careful not to push Ferrovius too far . They have plenty of combat-oriented students; they’re not an opponent to take lightly . ”
“Don’t worry about it! I’m taking it pretty easy on them . ”
Ernesta revealed a guileless smile .
“In any case . . . with this, victory at the Phoenix isn’t just a dream . ”
“Of course! That’s the goal, after all . The only thing that might derail things a bit would be if Tenorio were to raise a fuss . ”
Besides the window that had closed earlier, several others of similar size were hovering in the air . Ernesta called one of them to her .
The screen revealed an image of Ayato and Ser-Versta, slaying the giant dragon .
“Hehe, that really was quite impressing . Quite fascinating indeed . ”
Nodding in emphasis, Ernesta enlarged the space-window . The screen’s display wasn’t limited to just an image, however, as it simultaneously displayed a list of numbers and charts .
The collected data was beyond precious .
“With this failure, Tenorio will have no choice but to shut up . Moreover, you didn’t have to lift a finger in collecting this data; what a perfect example of killing two birds with one stone . ”
“No, no . I just happened to win my gamble, is all,” Ernesta replied, a carefree expression on her face .
“If I continue to gamble like this, seizing every chance I get, there’s no way I can lose!”
“Is that what you really believe?”
“Personal philosophy, more like . ”
Ernesta extended her hand in the direction of space-another window .
It revealed the scene of Ayato and Kirin, dueling in the gymnasium . Some Seidoukan student had recorded the event and posted it online .
“Now if we could just get our hands on that person’s data, there’d be nothing to worry about . Oh well, there’s no changing the fact that it’s beyond our reach to install our data collectors on the grounds of another school . ”
As she spoke, she reached out to close the space-window with her finger .
“Now then, students of Seidoukan and Allekant, work hard on my behalf, won’t you?”
Ernesta rose from her chair and bid a loud farewell .
“ーNow the curtain on the true show is about to rise . Please accompany me to the very end . ”
Ernesta’s face bore a lofty look .
Camilla sat stunned for a brief moment before breaking into open applause for her dear friend .
– ψ –
” . . . That reminds me, Toudou . ”
“Hmm? Is something the matter, Sasamiya-senpai?”
The practice room, after school .
Ayato, Julis, Saya, and Kirin; today was the first joint practice for the four .
Speaking to Kirin, who’d already changed, Saya suddenly opened her mouth .
“I heard that you’re fighting for your father’s sake . . . is that true?”
“Y-Yes . That’s true,” Kirin answered nervously .
Saya folded her arms and nodded .
“So that’s how it is . That’s wonderful, wonderful indeed . ”
“Is that so . . . ”
“The truth is, my situation is the same as yours . I’m doing this for my dad . ”
Saya met Kirin’s surprised eyes, her usual blank expression on her face .
“I have a proposal for you . ”
” . . . P-Proposal?” Kirin asked uneasily .
Saya answered unworriedly .
“How would you like to team up with me?”