I can understand how some people is finding Hyouketsu Kyoukai boring due to its slow pace, so I'll start alternating Onii-ai and Hyouketsu Kyoukai like I had said, beginning with the first two chapters of Onii-ai before resuming on Hyouketsu Kyoukai.
—The winds blowing into the streets was damp with morning dew.
The sun was still half-covered by the horizon. Red light was slowly seeping into the dark sky.
At the outdoor cafe, 'The Two Swans <Albireo>'.
At the courtyard next to the back door, a teenage boy was standing in the cold winds of the morning.
It was at a green garden encircled by three walls. The boy was focusing at the tree in the middle - hanging on a branch of the tree, was a white piece of paper hanging by a piece of thin string.
"Oi— Sheltis. You have not talked since just now. Are you ready to start—?"
"Eyri-nee, Yuto is hungry."
"Ahh, me too. I am hungry as well. I've brought some chocolates. You want some?"
"Yay— I want it!"
"Alright Sheltis, stop staring at that piece of paper already, come and have a chocolate——"
"Ahhhhhhh! I am distracted yet again! Didn't I ask you not to talk to me?"
Sheltis yelled, and turned to look at the two girls behind him.
"What are you complaining about? It's the person who is distracted that is wrong. Isn't that right, Yuto?"
"......You two are the ones who wanted to see this."
Suppressing his urge to sigh, he took a firm grip at the silver-colored metal sticks. These are the alloy batons that is legal for use under the continental laws.
He reverse-gripped the two batons, with his two arms dropping downwards in a natural position.
The next instant.
With the winds and sounds purged off at the area he was standing on, Sheltis made his move.
With the girls watching, the young man's body became blurry at the instant.
And that happened just in an instant. The young man did not shift from the place he was standing on, and the batons were still hanging from his hands. However, beneath his feet, a small pit appeared on the ground where Sheltis' right foot came into contact with. The sands and grass rustled into a swirl.
It was as though something had past by at an extremely high speed.
"There, saw it clearly?"
He turned back to see Eyriey, who was at a loss for words.
The rectangular white paper that was hanging by the string, had been cut into two pieces neatly. A gentle gust of wind blew the bottom half of it to the roots of the tree.
"Ohhh...... How should I put it?"
Eryiey was still focusing on the ends of the string, and the remaining piece of paper was hanging from.
Despite being cut off at the dead center, the remaining upper portion of the paper did not move an inch. There wasn't even the slightest vibration to be seen on the thin string.
—There wasn't even a trace of any wind. His single move had achieved absolute silence.
"This...... is that even possible, physically?"
"Eyriey, not there. Look here, here's the place where you should focus on."
He waved at the girl that was standing quite far away from him.
"Not the paper. Take a close look at the string."
He lightly flicked at the string that was supporting the paper beneath it.
The string, with a thickness of only the size of a pencil tip, was split into two vertically downwards..... the split gradually extended downwards, and finally, even the remaining half of the paper was sliced into two as well.
"Eh...... How...... How is that possible? Is it magic?"
"Urm- I just slice at it like I normally do."
The baton at his left hand was drawn out like he was pulling out a blade from its sheath, and made the initial slice horizontally at the center.
At the same time, his right hand was reverse gripping the second baton. Swinging it upwards, he sliced the top half of the paper, together with the thin string...... Then again, as his actions were way too fast, Eyriey could not make sense of what exactly had happened.
"Mmm- I still don't get it. The baton has a round end, so how did you manage to slice up the paper and the string that beautifully? Sheltis, let me take a look at that."
Holding onto the two batons, Eyriey carefully inspected their ends.
Due to it being a weapon for self-defense, the baton was designed with an arced tip. The baton itself was made of light-weight alloy, and thus do not have much weight by itself. One will probably end up mashing the paper if they use it to slice paper.
"I did it by scrapping past it. The tip of the baton was used to brush past the surface of the paper."
"...... Ugh, if I had known earlier, I would have recorded it down."
Eyriey puffed up her cheeks and crossed her arms in dissatisfaction. Ignoring her reaction, Sheltis once again looked at the string that was tied to the tree branch.
"But Eyriey, to a guard from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, this is not a big deal."
Only after one has survived through the hellish training and acquired extraordinary skills, can he consider himself to be on the starting line. If not, he will not be able to fight against Yuugenshu.
"You are joking, right? To me, that is already pretty sick...... That is just something minor?"
"That's right. Especially for the guards that are chosen to be Sennenshi, their skills are even more shocking. If it was Leon, he could have sliced it with his great sword, and not miss a single time, even with his eyes closed."
...... Perhaps, that was what one calls a 'window period'.
Even after he has moved to the living sector, Sheltis has never forgotten about his own personal training. However, at the instance where he was swinging the batons, he could clearly feel that his body has became dull, and he had nearly forgotten the feeling of slicing through air. It is natural for his body not to be in its best condition since he was far away from the battles, but he still felt worried-
Sheltis blinked, and looked at the baton in Eyriey's hands.
—Then again, why do I have such a sense of crisis?
The current him is just an ordinary person who is living in the living sector. He has no need to enter the battlefield, nor does he need to train on his swords play. So even if his techniques were to deteriorate, there should be no need for him to be worried. However, after moving into the living sector, he has been using the batons as swords to train, before he had even realized it. He was always worried about his skills deteriorating......
"Oh right, Sheltis."
He turned back momentarily upon hearing Eyriey's voice.
"Speaking of which, Sheltis used to wield swords back at Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, right?"
"Yeah, but why?"
She immediately revealed an expression of incomprehension when she heard that.
"That's because Sheltis looks rather skinny, and you don't seem like you have much strength. It is hard for me to imagine you holding onto a great sword and swinging it about."
"...... You have hit the place where it hurts."
"So then? What is it in reality?"
"A great sword is way too heavy, so I can only use dual swords instead. Similar to the batons that I am using, except that it is thinner and lighter. Generally, I hold one sword normally, and another by reverse grip. It depends on my mood."
Suddenly, there was a tug at the edge of his short jacket. He turned back to take a glance, and saw Yuto looking at him in anticipation.
"...... Do you want a ride, or do you want me to piggy-back you?"
"Alright. Well then, does Eyriey finally believe in me now?"
After placing Yuto on his shoulders, he directed the question to Eyriey.
"After seeing those things just now...... I'll believe you for now that you know a Priestess from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. However, to be honest, there are still some things which I am still half in doubt."
"Things about me?"
Eyriey shook her head quickly.
"Not about Sheltis, but the mateki that exist within you. That is the only possible explanation for you being able to fight head on against Yuugenshu with your bare fists, and coming out unscathed. But......"
"Initially, Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> was dumbfounded by that as well. They had thought that it is something that is not possible."
It has been three years since he had fallen into Garden of Corrupted Song <Eden>, while it was two years since he had returned to the floating continent. He has nearly no memories of the period of time where he was in that cursed world - obviously, one whole year had passed before he managed to return back.
How exactly did mateki get into his body during that time? Until now, there has been no answer to that question.
"About the mateki, will you be conscious of its existence in normal times?"
This time, it was Sheltis who shook his head. The body which is infected with mateki, is no different from his normal one. There were no anomalies found under the rigor checks by Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> as well.
"I guess - since it is unlike those of Yuugenshu, which gives off purple mist. Which means to say, even though you are the carrier of mateki, but under normal circumstances, it will be hidden in your body."
"Ah, that is not quite right. It is kind of like static electricity."
"What do you mean?"
"Though it is not in the form of mist that can be seen by the naked eyes, the mateki in my body will still radiate outwards. Due to that, once I come into contact with a Priestess giving off shinryoku, there will be a repulsive reaction."
"Wai......Wait! Which means to say, that we will be infected by mateki once we come into contact with you?"
"That can't be considered as coming into direct contact with mateki, I think?"
"Oh, sorry, but I have an urgent matter all of the sudden - Yuto, run away quickly! We ordinary mortals will die once we come into contact with mateki!"
"...... If that is really the case, I would not have been able to live in the living sector."
He walked to the trunk of the tree, while carrying Yuto on his shoulders.
He caught a leaf that was slowly falling down in mid air. It should have rapidly decayed upon coming into contact with Yuugenshu's mateki, but despite touching Sheltis, its emerald green color still remained.
"Ohh! Then again, why is Sheltis' mateki safe?"
"I have no idea. Why is that so?"
Once again, he looked at the leaf in his hand. There was still no change to it.
"Were there any experiments conducted on your mateki, back when you were still in Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>?"
"Yes. Like shutting me in a huge machine and exposing me to huge doses of shinryoku, and locking me in a room and monitoring me via close-circuits television for a few days straight....... I was no different from a lab rat."
However, even with the countless tests, they still could not unlock the secrets to the mateki in his body.
"In the end, they could only come up with two conclusions. One is that my mateki will not bring about a negative effect even if I come into normal people like Eyriey. The other, is when the person in question possesses overwhelming amount of shinryoku, like the Priestesses or the Queen, a repulsion will occur."
"Mmm, so that is why you can't stay at Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, but you can live in the living sector. I guess it is not all rain and no shine."
"However, I think I may be still under surveillance. I've mentioned it yesterday as well, when I was exiled from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, I've briefly heard the term 'surveillance' being mentioned."
"Whoa....... can it be that our conversation is being tapped as well?"
"Hard to say. At the very least, it does not feel like we are currently under surveillance. Moreover, this may be a farce by them, in order to keep me in check."
He had told Eyriey briefly about his situation the previous night. As she had personally witnessed him being unscathed after coming into direct contact with mateki, rather than to stay quiet and let Eyriey make wild guesses, he had decided it is easier if he was to take the initiative and come clean with her.
"A question. You have never once seen the Priestess-sama after that?"
"You are referring to Ymy?"
"Mmm. Since two years ago after you were exiled from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, you two has not even met each other once? How about exchanging letters?"
"Just like I had said yesterday, they has released an order later, that no one from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> is to come into contact me in anyway...... Then again, how surprising, for Eyriey to be using a term that is full of respect, like 'Priestess-sama'."
In the two years where he has worked with Eyriey together at 'The Two Swans <Albireo>', he had hardly seen Eyriey using honorifics to anyone.
"Eh - that is because they have protected the floating continent. It is due to their hard work, that I am able to focus on my research in machines. That is something that I can't be forgetting."
"You better not say these things while you are talking to her. Or else she will probably find a hole to bury into or something."
If the actual person was around, her face would probably be flushed red. But while she was feeling embarrassed, she would probably feel really happy from the bottom of her heart as well.
"Oh right. The Priestess-sama whose name is Ymy, she is older than me by a year right? What sort of person is she?"
Eyriey asked excitedly. Sheltis stared at the sky for quite a while after being asked that.
"What sort of person...... she's just a really ordinary girl. Though she makes a mess at cleaning and tidying."
"Eh— I am really curious about this. Is Sheltis really just in a childhood-friends relationship with that Priestess-sama? Or do you two actually share a much closer relationship than that?"
"Ah, it's time for work."
"Wait! Stop trying to end the topic!"
With his shirt being tugged by Eyriey, Sheltis turned around rather unwillingly.
"Nothing that you are expecting. We are just your normal childhood friends. Moreover, I am currently just your average commoner, while she is a Priestess. Regardless of the place we live in or our standing, we are worlds apart from each other."
...... I must convince myself with that.
Two years ago, Ymy was still one of the many apprentice-Priestesses, but now she is one of the Priestess that maintains Hyouketsu Kyoukai. She has turned into one of the people who is absolutely essential to the floating continent. On the other hand, he himself is just an ordinary person living in living sector, who will not be granted the permission to see her even if he wanted to.
"For me...... as long as Ymy stays safe and sound, I am happy."
"But- that Priestess-sama named Ymy, she has not assign her own Sennenshi yet, right? Doesn't that mean that she is waiting for someone?"
Eyriey pressed on. Her intentions were good, but Sheltis had no option other than to smile bitterly.
"No. I force myself not to think about things like this. I'll waste a day if I think too much about such things."
Perhaps it was purely due to the fact that there is no suitable candidates around. Either way, as someone who can only live in the living sector, things like these are just way out of my reach.
"...... Whatever. Since this is what Sheltis has decided, then I'll not talk too much about it."
She shrugged her shoulders and sighed, then raised both of her arms up high suddenly in the next instant.
"Alright! Well, in order to cheer Sheltis up, let us make use of the Stars Festival to enjoy ourselves as much as we can! We'll eat and play a lot!"
"Ah! But it seems like the person in question is not too thrilled about it."
"My pay for the month is dried up, after buying that top quality meat."
In actual fact, he had planned to survive on water alone, until the day his next paycheck arrives.
"Don't worry, I've checked. One can get free coupons just by helping out in decorating the streets. With that, we can eat and play as much as we like on the very day!"
"Oh- So there is such a thing...... Wait, who will be in charge of getting those coupons?"
"Do you even need to ask?"
"I'll think of ways to get my own coupons, so you shall be in charge of getting yours and Yuto's, alright?"
The streets next to the plaza were filled with flags, that had pictures of moons and stars drawn onto them.
One could see countless colorful balloons floating in the sky. The adults were setting up the stalls, while the children were picking up trash on the streets.
"It seems like everyone is busy with the preparations for the Stars Festival."
On the roof of the outdoor cafe, 'The Two Swans <Albireo>'-
Sheltis looked downwards at the street, while grabbing onto a bundle of ropes and flags used for decorative purposes.
The streets are already bustling during the normal days. Right now, the temporary stage has already been set up in the plaza for the festival's use, while arching gates has been constructed along the streets.
"Hadn't I said so already? This is a once in a year festival."
Eyriey was at the roof of 'The Two Swans <Albireo>' as well. She was inflating up the balloons with a pump. They will be released into the air during the festival.
"I happened to be working last year, so this may be my very first time attending the Stars Festival."
"Eh? What about the times when you were at Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>?"
"I had been busy, since I was tasked to guard the place. Since-"
Sheltis stopped his work momentarily, and pointed to the direction of the white tower.
"There is not much chance for the Queen to leave the tower."
Stars Festival - the festival with the longest history on the floating continent. It is to be held the day after tomorrow, which coincides with the time when the Queen hands over control of Hyouketsu Kyoukai to the Priestesses.
"Oh right, has Sheltis ever seen Queen-sama before?"
"I've just talked to her once. During the time when I was taking the test to be a cadre-guard."
"How is she?"
"Hard to describe. She is covered in a shawl from head to toe, even her face...... However, she is a really amazing person. One of the reason that Ymy wants to be a Priestess, is because she aspires to be someone like her."
Queen Salah holds the highest position in Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, and is deemed as the one possessing the strongest shinryoku in the whole of the floating continent. The Priestesses that aids her do hold high positions as well, but the Queen is at a level above them all.
For the Priestesses, the task of maintaining the absolute barrier - Hyouketsu Kyoukai, is just something over a three days period. However, the Queen maintains it for a cubic amount of days, which is twenty-seven days.
"If I remember right, she is Salah-sama, right? There are rumors that she is the most impressive person ever in history."
The Queen holds Hyouketsu Kyoukai for twenty-seven days, while the Priestesses take over for three days. In Orbie Clar, thirty days equate to a month, while twelve months makes a year.
In the twenty-seven days, the Queen will have to pray continuously, without sleep or rest. The only time where she is relieved of all that, is during the three days where the Priestesses take over. In order to show their gratitude and respect for the Queen, the Stars Festival, which is held once per year, will take place during the three days resting period.
"Come to think of it, why am I the only one who is working, since some time ago?"
Sheltis' job was to decorate the houses in the area. He had been leaping between the roofs of the various buildings to put on the decorations, which was rather tiring.
"My job is already done. Here, look, there are no more balloons in the box."
One can get free coupons for helping out with the festival. Sheltis was originally thinking of how to obtain coupons for both Yuto and himself, and in the end he had no choice but to do the job load for two person.
"Well, with that, I am done...... Alright, I've successfully cleared the job for today."
"It's been hard on you. Let us head back down then. The view here is nice, but the winds are slightly too strong."
Eyriey was walking towards the ladder with the pump in her hand, when Sheltis called out.
"Ah, hold on a second. I remember Eyriey has a computer, right?"
"There is something that I hope you can help out with."
Upon hearing that, she gave a sinister smile.
"Oh-? Are you thinking of something that is up to no good?"
"How do you know?"
"Simple. Because Sheltis will normally not beat around the bush."
"Mmm, you are right- Ah...... Wait."
Just when he was about to nod his head, Sheltis stopped moving subconsciously.
"No, I am thinking...... never mind, forget it."
"What the- I am even more curious now, since you have said things like that. Stop thinking too much and just shoot. I will be the one to decide if I can do it or not."
Eyriey said angrily.
"Mmm...... Well, here I go."
Despite having no one else on the roof, Sheltis still lowered his voice.
"—Are you able to hack into the central computers of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>?"
At that instance, the expressions on Eyriey's face had disappeared.
She crossed her arms and looked into the distance, while muttering to herself. What she was muttering were high-leveled equations and proofs.
That is a habit of the girl. Whenever she is thinking of something, she will flood her brain with mathematical equations, in order to pressure her mind.
"I'll say this first. This is an illegal act, no matter how you see it."
Having finished reciting the mathematical formulas, Eyriey reverted back to her normal expression.
"Because I need some data."
"I need the records of the appearances of Yuugenshu that Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> is holding. The list that details when and where Yuugenshu are sighted at. If possible, please compile the monthly reports into a year, and I need the records for at least ten years."
"Huh, that simple?"
Upon hearing how simple Eyriey made it sound to be, Sheltis could not help but to doubt his own ears.
"Mmm? What's wrong with you?"
"No...... is it really okay? I'll make it clear, those data are of second-class security."
"Mmm, in any case, I'll try to help you find it."
...... Does she really understand what I am asking for?
To hack into the main computers of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. Even as someone who is not well versed in the areas of information technology, he could easily imagine how difficult the task will be.
"Uhhhh...... For you to agree that easily, it just makes me feel uneasy...... Is Eyriey just an ordinary girl? Can it be that you are actually some sort of spy for some secret agency?"
"Nope. Even though I have not tried it before, I don't think there will be much of a problem. Come to think of it, this is actually quite interesting."
What is interesting?
Before he managed to come up with an answer, the teenage girl shrugged her shoulders and gave a wry smile.
"Sheltis has actually wanted to obtain information on Yuugenshu from the main computers of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. That's no different from the guards from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>."
"...... Eh? Is that so?"
"You are not even aware of it yourself?"
Eyriey's expressions became complex.
"Sheltis, you had said it to me before: 'If I am to be involved with things related to Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, I'll be causing trouble for Ymy, who is a Priestess. As such, I will have to live on in the living sector as an ordinary person'. Right?"
"Mmm...... To think I had already experienced it myself two years ago."
For someone who is a carrier of mateki, his existence is on the opposite ends with Ymy, who is a Priestess. For him, the only thing he could do now is to care about Ymy from a place far away.
"However, aren't you getting involved with Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>'s matters, by wanting to illegally hack into their main computers? Most people will not be doing that. The reason for your hesitation is due to that, right?"
"...... Don't go about guessing randomly. I am just concerned about the information on Yuugenshu, due to us having encountered them recently."
"Well, I am just asking casually. You don't have to answer if you don't want to."
A secure yet lonely expression. The two conflicting emotions were flickering between Eyriey's eyes.
"It's enjoyable to be with Sheltis - that is good enough for me. I think Yuto thinks the same as well. However, you really do not wish to return back to Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>? In actual fact, you must have been worried about Priestess-sama, right?"
"...... That's quite a difficult question to answer."
He did not know if he was smiling and crying at the same time, when he said that.
When being asked if he is worried about Ymy, the answer is a definite yes. That was because, he had yearned to become her Sennenshi more than anyone else. However, two years ago, he had experienced it personally, and realized that it is a wish that can no longer come true.
"Even without me around...... Ymy will still be a competent Priestess."
"Forget it. Since you have put it that way, I will feel sorry if I am to retort any further."
"In...... In any case, I'll leave the matter about the data in your hands."
"Alright. However, don't you think you will need to prepare some sort of reward?"
Eyriey's sight went downwards - to the signboard of 'The Two Swans <Albireo>'.
"I am originally in charge of buying the ingredients needed for tomorrow. As you know, I am a night owl, so it will be tough for me to wake up early in the morning."
Outdoor cafe 'The Two Swans <Albireo>'.
As the front door was not opened, Sheltis entered into the kitchen via the back door.
"I'm back. Good morning."
"Welcome back, Sheltis. Morning."
Chef turned away from the pot to look at Sheltis.
"I have helped Eyriey to purchase the ingredients. Not sure if I get everything right."
He placed the towering ingredients that he was hugging in his chest down onto the table.
"Let me see. Peransa-grass, Garagara-fish, petrified-mushrooms...... Perfect, everything's there."
After arranging the strange ingredients in a straight line, Chef clasped her hands in satisfaction.
"A new combination again?"
"You mean new dishes. Interrogation-tortured Garagara-fish, and Stubborn Salad with Peransa-grass and petrified-mushrooms."
Despite the unappetizing names, Sheltis could not understand why they are always popular with the customers.
"Chef, such things are usually not used as ingredients right...... nearly all of them are poisonous."
"Ara, Sheltis does have quite a bit of knowledge. However, as long as they are cooked properly, they will be very delicious........................ and they are cheap too."
"That last line is probably what matters to you the most!"
"Fufu, that's a secret."
"I understand. I heard nothing. I shall go back to sleep."
He left the kitchen and walked towards the staff's corridor. Since the market opens in the wee hours, plus the fact that he had been working on the night shift, he had barely gotten any sleep.
"Ah, Sheltis, Eyriey's been looking for you. She asked you to stop by her room for a while when you return."
Chef's voice suddenly came from the kitchen at his back.
"Eyriey's looking for me?"
The first thing that came to his mind was the thing he talked about yesterday.
"So in the end, it is still difficult huh......"
Not only is it difficult to hack into the main computers of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, there is the danger of being arrested if they discover any traces left behind. Though Eyriey agreed readily, it would not be strange for her to change her mind within the night.
"Eyriey, can I enter?"
From the other side of the door, came the relaxed voice of Eyriey.
"Well then, I'll be entering...... Whoa! What...... What's this?"
At the instant he opened the door, stacks of papers came crashing down. He barely managed to maintain the balance of the stacks of papers that were about to fall on his head, by pressing them down with his hands.
Before his eyes was a stunning scene.
There were probably hundreds...... no, thousands of printed papers. They were stacked together pieces by pieces, and the tower of papers had even exceeded the heights of adults. Multiple towers were clustered together in several groups. The originally huge computer and its cables took up a huge portion of the room, and thus there was no longer any room for one to stand on.
"Be careful. I've printed these out in sequence."
Behind the forest of the paper towers, was Eyriey sitting on a chair with her back facing him. She was looking at the screen and tapping on the keyboard with amazing speed.
"...... What's with this?"
"I am already done with the stuff that Sheltis had requested me to do yesterday. Didn't you want the data from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>?"
She continued on typing without turning her head backwards.
—Seems like I have worried too much.
Sheltis gave a wry smile at the girl who was concentrating on the screen.
"Well, are you really ready with hacking into their system? That's great. I do hope it will be done as soon as possible too."
"Mmm, no no."
"What I meant is, I have already finished hacking. These printed papers are the data. They are printed on both sides, and there are a total of thirty-nine thousand six hundred and three pieces."
"Ugh, which means to say......"
After being stunned for a full ten seconds, Sheltis finally shouted,
"It can't be?"
"What can't be?"
"No...... It just feels impossible for you to complete it, since I've only requested you to do it yesterday. Or should I say, that I myself is half in doubt...... How did you hack into their system?"
There are no direct connection between the computers in the living sector and the main computers of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. To hack in, one will first have to tap into Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>'s reception terminals, before cracking into the control tower's terminals, main system, followed by Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>'s integrated system.
However, all of them are independent systems. Not to mention, a firewall named 'Sanctuary Class' exists after the stages of the main system.
"Mmm- in principle, I took it heads on. Actually, up till the main system, you have that thing to give thanks to."
She pointed to the computer next to the screen.
"First, I picked a pay-to-use terminal at the cafe in the living sector, and tweaked it so that I can control it remotely. Next, I launched a series of intensive assaults with its amazing processing speed. While the initial system was overheating due to intercepting my attacks, I slipped a pre-written trojan into their systems. Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>'s integrated system and their main computers had something called 'Daibo Shinsuu' which is rather tough to crack, but I've managed to crack it after a series of tough battles. That's how it is." [TLNote: the 'Daibo Shinsuu' is actually 大母真数, but it does not really make sense to me, so I've just slipped in its pronunciation.]
Eyriey finally turned herself to face Sheltis, by giving a push to the rotating chair, which gave off a weird sound.
"I've downloaded the information straight after, and sent them over to four auxiliary-processors. However, I do not know when they will do a remote edit or delete. As such, I've chose to print them out physically, and they are the stuff that Sheltis sees before you."
"...... I'll try my best to look through everything."
"Well, that's fine with me, but there are just too many unnecessary information sandwiched in between. Thus, what I am doing now is-"
She lifted her finger, and touched the button on the screen.
At the same time, a printer by the side began to work. After a series of mechanical sounds, it threw out a single piece of paper.
"Take this. You have to thank me properly for it."
The craftily smiling girl was pinching on the printed paper.
"I had converted all the raw information into data, then sent them for processing, before detailing them onto the map of Orbie Clar. Simply put, all the information in these piles of paper have been condensed into that single sheet of paper."
"Eyriey...... For the first time ever, I think you are absolutely amazing!"
Sheltis blinked his eyes, and stared blankly at the piece of paper that he had received.
"The robots that you have made has always went out of control; the homemade rocket launcher that you used to kill cockroaches had wrecked half of the cafe; the automatic dishwasher which you repaired had broken all the plates due to the immense water pressure, and so on...... I have originally thought that you are just a troublesome girl who is good at inventing stuff that will ultimately fail...... Eyriey, how much you have grown!"
"Hmph, now you are finally looking at me in a different light huh?"
Eyriey said proudly with her arms crossed, while still sitting on the chair.
"That's right, human beings are a species that is constantly evolving. I have already left the failures and sufferings of the past, and is moving into the mechanized future at maximum speed-"
At the back of the girl who was speaking endlessly-
A *beep* sound rang.
"Maximum speed...... Eh......?"
The screens turned pitch black for an instant. White text then began to pour down from the top of the screen. That continued on for tens of seconds, before another *beep* followed. This time, the screen turned totally white.
"Ah...... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh—! The...... The data which took me great pain to obtain, they are all gone!"
The teenage girl cried out loud in front of the screen.
"...... Fu...... Fufu...... If one does not key in a certain command within a specific time-frame, the data will be formatted along with the computer huh? I really did not think that such a sinister trap will be implemented on their secret data...... I've been had."
"That's more like the Eyriey who I know. I feel slightly more relieved now."
"What do you mean by that...... Forget it, since it has already happened. Thankfully, I had everything printed before they were wiped away. Right, Sheltis, do you find anything after looking through the data?"
"Uhhh- I've just glanced through it, without taking a close look at it."
Printed on the paper, were the places of appearances of Yuugenshu. The time and frequency of appearance were differentiated by different colors and symbols. Overlapping those things, were the defense lines of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> at the respective time, indicated by various colors as well. After putting all the information together with the map of Orbie Clar-
"Sheltis? Why did you stop speaking all of the sudden?"
"...... It does not feels right...... or rather, it seems too unnatural."
He passed the paper to Eyriey, and looked into the ceiling.
"The fact that Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>'s defenses are not perfect, has came under criticism multiple times in the past. That's because it is possible for Yuugenshu to break through the areas where the defenses are weak."
"Mhmm, everyone knows that."
"However, the Yuugenshu that bypassed the defense lines did not invade the living sector. Why is that so?"
The paper which Eyriey was holding.
It had indicated with a line, that the recent Yuugenshu breaches have all occurred close to the outskirts of the living sector. That was the first thing that Sheltis had noticed.
"Is that so? Think about it, there are barriers erected by a Priestess-sama along the living sector as well, right? By a person named Meimel, who specializes in barrier spells."
"Even so, it is not perfect. Back when I was at Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, I had battled with Yuugenshu that had infiltrated into the living sector. But according to the compiled recent data done by Eyriey, the Yuugenshu had actually got close to the living sector, and yet most of them just stuck to their positions and stopped advancing further in."
Could it be that they were afraid of Priestess Meimel's barriers?
No, her barriers are actually just there to act as a basic defense. In order to cover a huge land area, the force of the barriers cannot be maintained at a high output. Rather than preventing the invasions of the Yuugenshu, it is there to slow down their movements.
If so, why did the Yuugenshu not breaking past the barrier and assaulting the living sector, despite such a long time?
"I say, Sheltis is behaving strangely."
Eyriey cast her sight on Sheltis.
"This is the first time in two years since I have lived with you, that you have asked me to steal some data, no? Could it be that there is something that caused you to be suspicious about the movements of Yuugenshu?"
A question that is hard to answer. To put it bluntly, it was a gut feeling. However, if she wants to go into details-
"It is probably the thing that happened during the barbecue."
"When we had met the Yuugenshu?"
"Eyriey had said something like, 'why did the Yuugenshu appear near the city', right?"
"Yuugenshu? It can't be...... Why does it appear at a place so close to the city!"
That will be the first thing that most people from the living sector will think of, including Eyriey. On the other hand, if it was a guard from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, he would have been relieved that the Yuugenshu has been detected before it infiltrated into the living sector.
"At that time, a question appeared in my mind. Since it had already reached the nature park next to the Third Residential Sector, why didn't the Yuugenshu follow up by attacking the humans in the living sector?"
"Wait, hold on. Wasn't we attacked by it?"
"That's what I initially thought. However, after thinking about it for the whole night, my take on it has changed. Somehow, it just feels like that Yuugenshu had no intention of attacking us."
Prior to the Yuugenshu's attack, Sheltis had seen the rotting tree among the forest of trees. They were attacked only after the Yuugenshu had left forest of trees.
"The Yuugenshu had been hiding among the trees. We were actually the ones who entered there first. In other words, we had probably provoked the Yuugenshu."
"............ And then? What are you trying to say?"
"The Yuugenshu at that time had 'something else to do', that was more important than attacking humans. Due to us closing in on it and provoking it, as a result, it attacked us. That's what I think."
Well then, the Yuugenshu that should be attacking humans, what exactly was it doing back then?
That thing is—
"Just as shown by the data, it had been loitering near the living sector, with its intentions unclear?"
"Sadly, up till now, all these are just my conjectures."
"From the way you put it...... it is as though you have a clear idea on what the Yuugenshu are up to."
"Not until that stage. It's just, based on the analysis of the data - the Yuugenshu that we saw at the nature park, as well as the recent Yuugenshu that appeared, their reason for breaking past Hyouketsu Kyoukai and into the floating continent, is not to attack humans."
"Then why did they do it?"
"It is so that they can observe the human world."
"To be more precise, they are observing the forces of human that are capable of repelling the Yuugenshu - the Queen, Priestesses, and Sennenshi. They are observing the situation and structure of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. If it is me, I'll be thinking along that line."
At that instant, the room became deadly quiet.
The only sounds to be heard was the exhaust from the computer. The girl slowly lifted her head.
"............ If that is really the case, then it is quite scary."
"That's normal. Any ordinary person will feel that way."
If his guess was real, then those mysterious beasts may be more crafty than what humans have imagined. They had no longer chose to enter by force, but instead, they picked a more reliable method of observing the floating continents.
However, the bad thing about his conjecture, was that there was not enough solid proof to substantiate.
"Mmm, if only Ilis is around, we will have someone whom we can discuss this with."
"It was something bestowed to me by the Queen, when I had risen into the cadre level of the guards - she had said, 'I shall entrust this to you'. It was an observation unit, a machine crystal by the name of Ilis."
Observation unit - artificial intelligence that are tasked with the job observing the mateki of Yuugenshu, and relaying their positions to its holder. Due to the huge mateki-observation machines that exist within Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, there are not much observation units for individual use. Ilis was something that the Queen had bestowed to Sheltis personally.
"Are things like that rare?"
"Observation units by themselves are not rare, but Ilis is different. Not only is her specs high, but she can freely connect to any other electrical devices as well. Though she is an artificial intelligence, but her personality is closer to that of a human's."
Even then, Sheltis had only owned Ilis for a short time-span of a few months. On the day he was exiled from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> due to him falling into Garden of Corrupted Song <Eden>, all the things he owned, including his dual swords, were confiscated. He has absolutely no idea who the current holder of Ilis is as well.
—Since Ilis is not around, how shall I prove the validity of my conjecture?
"Eyriey, can you hack into the computers of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> for another time?"
"The time-span between the attacks is too short. That is way too dangerous. This time round, we may be tracked down by them."
Eyriey put her arms in a symbol of 'X', to show that she was against the idea.
"This time, you just need to bypass the initial firewall. Please."
"Mmm...... Ahhh, you are hopeless. With that, I shall not owe you anything anymore."
With that, the teenage girl in her overalls turned her head away rather embarrassingly.
"Didn't you save me and Yuto at the nature park?"
"That incident? It's nothing big-"
"You think that is something normal? Then you can't be anymore wrong."
With the opposite party being a step quicker in her retort, Sheltis had no choice but to close his mouth.
"It is something different if we are your relatives...... However, against such a disgusting Yuugenshu, how many people will actually put on their courage to save someone else? Especially when things were going so badly."
"...... Is that so?"
He entered into Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, with a determination to become a Sennenshi to protect Ymy. Till now, his beliefs has never wavered.
—It is his mission to fight against Yuugenshu.
"If you think that is to be expected, then I think you must have still treated yourself as someone from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>."
A smile appeared on Eyriey's face, though it was not clear if it was her smiling wryly, or her smiling out of sympathy at Sheltis.
"I...... am not hanging onto the past......"
"Forget it, since it does not really matter. In any case, let us get to work."
The computer in front of her lit up. The lights then extended into the terminals by both sides. Multiple screens in the room began to operate. For a while, the room was filled with the unsynchronized sounds of the machines.
"Alright - time to prepare to hack into the monitoring systems of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. Round two, here we go."
Like a child who was challenged to solve the puzzles, the teenage girl stared at the screen with intense concentration, and a smile appeared on her face.
A transparent sky-blue sphere.
In the dark blue world, the fringes were gradually dyed red in the setting sunset.
"Yet another day that is about to end......"
This is one of the rooms in Orbie Clar that is closest to the sky. Ymy was sitting next to the window in her personal room, and glided her fingers past the glass.
Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, two hundred and eighty seventh story.
A height that is over one thousand and nine hundred meters tall, penetrating past the clouds and into the sky - it is a place that not even birds can reach with their pair of wings.
"There is less than twelve hours to go before the Stars Festival starts. The living sector should probably be bustling by now."
Machine crystal <Ilis>, which should originally be in energy-saving mode, spoke.
The Queen who has been maintaining Hyouketsu Kyoukai for twenty seven days is fast approaching her rest time, and Stars Festival is about to start as well. In another words, it is about time to hand over the control of Hyouketsu Kyoukai to Ymy and the other Priestesses.
There is no room for failure for the ceremony. Should Hyouketsu Kyoukai ever collapse, the whole Orbie Clar will fall under merciless assault by the Yuugenshu of Garden of Corrupted Song <Eden>.
"Don't worry, there will be no problems if you follow the instructions of Meimel. Her abilities in the area regarding barrier-type shinryoku spells are unquestionable."
"I have never once doubted her, you know."
Meimel is the most experienced in terms of barrier spells, while Syun-rei is the youngest and most talented Priestess.
Personally, Ymy was not too worried about the arts of Hyouketsu Kyoukai either. She had worked hard on her way to become a Priestess, and after becoming one, she has constantly studied on it.
"But please be careful. I have a bad premonition."
For a machine, the term 'prediction' should suit it better. However, Ilis always prefers to talk in a human-like manner.
"The Yuugenshu seems to be at unrest. It looks like they might be up to something bad."
Ymy was confused. The Yuugenshu that attacks the floating continent has always been a source of danger. As such, it seemed strange for Ilis to use the term 'unrest'.
"Before I explain. Ymy, do you know that someone had illegally hacked into Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>'s computers this morning?"
"Nope, I've only come to heard of it now."
"I guess, since I had helped the opposite party as well. There should have been no one who has realized it."
"I see, if so, then it is really............ Eh?"
She hurriedly walked towards the table, and roughly grabbed machine crystal <Ilis>.
"Ilis! What's the meaning of that?"
"Simply put, I was quite curious about the intentions of the hacker. Judging from the methods of hacking, it was obvious that the person is someone who possess machines with high specs, and also well versed in the relevant knowledge as well. He does not seem like those newbies who are just hacking for the sake of having fun. Thus, I really wanted to know what information of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> is that person interested in."
"Which means to say...... you gave that person free reign in his actions?"
"I was the one who had retrieved the records, so you are right to say that. However, part of the reason for me doing so is due to my respect for the hacker.
The main computers of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> are protected by encryption program named 'Daibo Shinsuu'. It looked as though the hacker was spending quite some time there, thus I helped by secretly overwriting his trojan with the decodes. On the side note, it is already an impressive feat for that person to have hacked till that stage."
Ilis said tirelessly. However, for a machine dummy like Ymy, it was quite commendable for her to be able to understand about roughly half the contents. The only conclusion that she could make is—
"This...... so, it means that Ilis is really good as well......?"
"It is my honor to receive your praise. Alright, next is the important part. Having received my help unknowingly, do you know what was the hacker aiming for?"
...... How should I know?
She could barely make out the contents, much less come up with an answer.
"Don't be shocked. It concerns the female employees of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> - it's their three sizes and underwear-"
"Ilis? I am actually listening to you very seriously, you know?"
Her grip on machine crystal <Ilis> tightened.
"Ymy, it hurts it hurts...... the joke shall end here...... ahem, actually, it is the data on the appearances of Yuugenshu."
"Could it be someone from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>? Typical people should not be interested in things like these."
"I thought so too back then. But not long ago, an interesting message has popped up on the public terminal systems of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, and it was sent anonymously. The hacking had occurred at about over ten hours ago, and it read-"
"Warning - there is abnormalities in the behaviors of the Yuugenshu."
"...... It happened at only more than ten hours ago, meaning that not even a day has passed yet. Is it really something that has happened not long ago?"
Considering that Ilis was explaining in such detail, could it be-
"That's right. There is a very high possibility that the hacker back in the early morning is the same person as the anonymous sender of the mail."
It was hard to imagine it as a normal staff from Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>. Well then, could it be the guards of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>? No, rather than doing all that, it would be easier to just report it to Sennenshi Leon or Run - there was absolutely no need to post it anonymously on the public terminals...... If so, who could it be?
"Then it is someone from the living sector?"
"I think so too. He is definitely not your ordinary person though. Since he had made a warning about the abnormalities in the behaviours of Yuugenshu, he must be someone who is well versed about Yuugenshu."
A person from the living sector.
And well versed in Yuugenshu—?
"..... Oh. Speaking of which, is there some truth in the warning?"
Ymy asked casually. The machine crystal <Ilis> on the table went silent.
"Looking at the way things are now...... Upon being reminded by him, it does seems like there is room for investigation."
"What do you mean?"
"It seems like the Yuugenshu are observing the Queen and Priestesses who are maintaining Hyouketsu Kyoukai - the recent sightings of Yuugenshu are spread evenly around Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> in a circle. And they are all within a fixed area."
Which means to say, the Yuugenshu were closely monitoring the human's world.
"Then again, that is a phenomenon that has just happened recently. If we are to compare it against tens, even hundreds of years worth of data, then we can only explain it by calling it a coincidence. With regards to the warning, Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> will most probably just continue to monitor on things, and nothing more. As the warning has clashed with the ceremony of the Queen handing over the barrier to the Priestesses, there is really no manpower that they can spare to look into this."
The validity of the warning was unknown. Just like what Ilis had said, if one is to extend it to tens, hundreds of years, then there might be similar incidents in the past. That's right, the people of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> must have thought so. Even for Meimel, as someone who has been a Priestess for quite a while, she may probably just consider it as paranoia.
However...... if the person is the childhood friend who she knew-
"If it is Sheltis...... then what will he say?"
"Not that, surely? Don't you already know the answer?"
"I'll investigate. Ymy, wait here for my return."
He will definitely say that.
...... Why did things turned out to be like this?
If that young man...... if he is the Sennenshi protecting her, then even if she was to encounter an inexplicable happening like this, she would definitely not feel uneasy about it.
"Ymy, regarding Sheltis-"
"I know, I should be concentrating on the things related to Hyouketsu Kyoukai, right?"
Emptying the swirling thoughts in her mind, Ymy once again walked to the window.
She touched the glass with her fingertips.
The hard and icy touch seeped into her burning body, and her soul seemed to calm down from that. Right now, she must fulfill her responsibilities as a Priestess.
"Alright, it's fine! I'll do my best!"
"Where are you going?"
While pointing to the ceiling, Ymy walked quickly towards the door.
"To the highest story. There is not much time left, and I wish to let my body get used to it first."
At the lift leading to the highest story of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>.
In front of the door of the lift, Ymy stretched out her hand.
"Confirming...... Connection to the Bureau of Shinryoku: normal...... Checking...... Waves of shinryoku: match............ Confirming......
Confirmed to be the fifth Priestess, Ymy Ele Soufflenictole."
The two doors of the lift parted sideways. Ymy stepped into the small circular space. Upon walking right to the center of the lift, the doors closed automatically, and the lift began to move.
It continued to rise, until it reached the peak of the tower that is located deep in the skies.
The bell rang, and the lift stopped.
She took a deep breath in, and out.
"Calm your heart down. You must be calmer than the hundred years old trees that are still firmly implanted to the grounds, or the huge boulders located deep within the valleys. Your heart must be burning with belief that is stronger than anyone else, and you must hold on to a wish that is purer than anything in the world - only by fulfilling that, will you be qualified to be a Priestess."
She murmured the words that were said to her by Meimel on the very day that she had became a Priestess.
...... No problem, I can do it.
The doors of the lift opened, and Ymy took a step forward.
Was a endless world of ice, appearing right before her very eyes.
Two hundred and ninety first story of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> - the uppermost story that is named <<Paradise>>.
There is no ceiling nor walls. Just an area that seems to extend on endlessly.
—As if it is another world.
Above her head, the ceiling-less space were filled with lights of the white night. Beneath its radiance, is the scene of azure ice walls that extend endlessly. The surface of the icy walls are crystal clear, and shone brighter than any precious stones - just like a mirror reflecting the views of the world.
...... Her breathes were nearly frozen.
Any sort of cold wear is meaningless. All living things, objects and Yuugenshu - the art of shinryoku that freezes anything, and seals away their time and soul: Hyouketsu Kyoukai.
Looking ahead, is a corridor made of azure ice and mirrors.
This is the praying area of Hyouketsu Kyoukai, and it is a room that is most strongly affected by the barrier.
Even the spellcaster herself must endure such freezing coldness.
"...... I can never get used to such a temperature."
Biting on her lips that were trembling from the cold, she walked down the corridor of azure ice. The peaks of the ranges of ice suddenly disappeared not too long after, and the blizzard accompanying them had quietened down as well.
The <<Paradise>> located at the upper most story of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> - in its center, lies a huge slab of crystalized azure ice.
A lady was sealed in the center of the transparent crystal.
One can barely see the pure white robes of the lady, who was deep inside the azure ice.
A lady that devotes herself to the azure ice which freezes everything, and prays for Hyouketsu Kyoukai alone. Due to her constantly staying in this room for nearly the whole year, and also the fact that her face is always covered with a veil - even Ymy has never seen her real appearance before.
...... The person who I yearn to be.
A woman who can pray endlessly for many days consecutively without sleep or rest, despite being in the barrier that freezes right down to the bone.
She cannot be compared to the Queen, who is just too far away from her grasp.
The chills one will experience exceeds that of pain, and it will gradually becomes a giddy and nauseous feeling. Initially, when Ymy first stepped into the room as an apprentice-Priestess, she could barely hold for a few minutes.
The Priestesses must maintain Hyouketsu Kyoukai for three days after taking over from the Queen. If they work harder, they can perhaps maintain it for a little longer. However, what exactly must be done, in order for one to maintain it alone for a period of nearly a month? And in such an icy cold room that will pushes one to the boundaries of insanity.
"....... Why exactly are you working so hard for?"
The huge azure crystal.
This question will never reach the ears of the Queen, since she was sealed deep within the bulky ice.
Ymy listened carefully to the melody that flows through the story, as though she was waiting for an answer.
The world of ice that freezes the flow of air, the movement of the atoms, and even time. In such a tranquil space, flows a tone that is gentler than any existing melody-
Yu/ Uhw =C r-sanc uc Eden
<Under the foils of the slumbering Eden>
term-l-pile xel, xin, ole fusen elchel
<The falling stars, time and dreams covered the eyes and faces>
That was the song of prayers that maintains Hyouketsu Kyoukai, sung by the Queen who was sealed in ice.
xearcs let laphin yahe, bie omia hec lihit clar
<There is no key to the doors-of-speech which is sketched by the transparent fingertip>
noi-roo-xin, noi melras I noe-l-habes pianic cia eyen
<In the never-ending world, the jade-like phantoms had stopped their laments>
Her single singing voice reverberated among the surrounding azure ice, and a rich tone was formed due to that.
It was as though the dull colors had entwined by themselves, thus forming a beautiful rainbow - similarly, her voice has been deeply enriched by the multiple reflections due to the icy mirrors. It was a sonata that was cold and desolate, and yet filled with love at the same time.
=C hypn phenoria, Eec qhaon nes ei getie, nephies paf lef bis cley kis ei roos
<Sleep, children. Your wings are still young, and branches of safety are still too far away>
=C hypn phenoria, Eec wat nes ei getie bies killis cley kis ei mihas
<Sleep, children. Your feet are still weak, and this frozen land is still too painful>
There is no score to this melody.
It is a thousand years old melody that is passed down through singing, from the Queen to the Priestesses, and the Priestesses among themselves. Ymy learned of its existence from Meimel as well, and learned it in this <<Paradise>> after listening carefully to the voice of the Queen.
evhes ualen, deus Uhw leya quo feo
<To who, are the prayers sung for?>
nefit Uhz yulis noi kamis egic, Sew ele nelar ris-ia sophia
<Even if the memories are to disappear, I will still be deep within it>
Ris sia sophia, kyel hiz phia nefis loar mille
<Up till the day, where one steps onto the promised land>
Shinryoku <Melody> — "Seventh Heaven Rhythm <Sophia Code>".
The secret melody known only between the Queen and the Priestesses, the song of prayer that maintains Hyouketsu Kyoukai.
"...... How beautiful."
Ymy closed her eyes, and quietly listened from her spot. What a beautiful singing voice.
It has a tempo that naturally penetrates into the human heart, while the lyrics and melody are filled with a heart-wrenching frailness. She had always dreamed to sing this song as a Priestess.
....... However, there is just one thing that she could not really understand.
A small question in her mind, that she had never brought up to anyone before.
"It sounds...... really similar?"
That's right, it is indeed similar. The song that maintains the ultimate arts of shinryoku, and Yuugenshu's—
Oe/ Dia =U xeph cley, Di shela teo phes kaon
<■ ■, ■ ...... ■ ■, ■ ■ ■ , ...... ■ ...... ■ ■>
And Yuugenshu's mateki is extremely similar.
The meaning to the lyrics of the song, the tone, the characteristics upon the activation of power, and even the lingering sounds of each and every note.
"The place where the Priestesses are at is Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>, and the melody <code> that flows within is the Seventh Heaven Rhythm <Sophia Code>...... Which means......?"
The mateki of Yuugenshu has been commonly thought to be a depressing curse-like tone. However, since such a song exist within her own shinryoku, then, perhaps there is a song with a tone similar to hers, that resides within the Yuugenshu of Garden of Corrupted Song <Eden>.
"...... Eden Code?"
Mateki - the melody <code> of Garden of Corrupted Song <Eden>. If it really exist, then what sort of power does it hold? How does the Yuugenshu, which uses it, comes about in existence? And will it appear on the floating continent?
—One day, you will understand everything.
Ymy raised her head quickly, as though she was electrocuted.
...... I thought I have heard the voice of the Queen just now. Was it my illusion?
Despite her staring into the crystal before her, the Queen within the azure ice walls remained unchanged.
That was obviously so. The Queen was concentrating on her prayers, thus there is no way she could have heard Ymy's words. Even if she hears it, she could not have made any reply.
"That's how it is......"
Ymy shook her head lightly, and showed a bitter smile.
Mmm, it's about time I go back. Ilis will get bored if I don't talk to her soon.
"Well then, Salah-sama. I will be back again later."
The Queen who continued singing, and her Seventh Heaven Rhythm <Sophia Code>. Humming along to the beautiful voice that flowed out of the azure ice, Ymy turned around and left the room.