Here's part 2. Enjoy.
"...... Gotta move fast."
Sheltis dashed into his room on the eleventh story and kicked his wardrobe open.
A pair of metal sheaths gave off a black luster.
They were made from chromium porcelain and constructed specifically for dual swords. The machine crystal <Ilis> had them prepared for him just in case — he never thought he would actually use them.
He took out the twin blades hidden beneath his bed and slid them into the sheaths before securing them onto the fasteners located on his back.
— The fourth sector of the western area of the nature sector.
The 'person' who attacked the members of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> was at one of the spots predicted by Kagura, where the Yuugenshu may appear.
There are only eight hours left.
The deadline mentioned by I'sa fell at exactly noon today.
He did not know the implications behind it, but it was definitely something bad. And in order to prevent that from happening—
"Run...... is unlikely to make it."
The first story of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia>.
Sheltis reached the pathway and dashed past the empty lobby.
It would be much better if he could team up with a Sennenshi, but she must have teamed up with the elite guards by now.
The disadvantage of moving as a team was the time spent on logistics. Gathering group members, preparing the transport vehicles and ironing out a battle plan — it will be past dawn by the time everything is done. If so, it is unlikely for them to make it to the fourth sector before noon.
I'sa must have realized that as well. That was why she insisted on sortieing alone.
"...... Monica will probably stop me if she comes to know of this."
Is it because he disobeyed the instructions from the instructor? Actually— she would probably stop him all the same even considering that. Monica would definitely not allow her teammate to head to the battlefield when his body was not even in the condition to undertake any training...... That was just the way she was; the girl who cared for her companions from the bottom of her heart despite her past struggles to become a Priestess.
That is why he must not say it.
He had to start and end everything silently.
"The hangar should be located here."
He slipped past the passageway reserved for the members of Tenketsu Palace <Sophia> to make his way out of the tower. The world was shrouded in darkness and the cries of birds were nowhere to be heard. Only the edges of the sky were dyed in a pale white.
He ran all the way to the outdoor training area. A large rectangular shadow began to slowly appear before his eyes. The white walls under the bright illumination of the lights and the large shutter in the center of the walls were becoming closer and closer.
It was the hangar — a depot under the care of the Law Enforcement Bureau, where tens of transport vehicles were parked in the building.
"...... I'm not too familiar with this, but I guess it will have to do."
Sheltis had his eyes set on a two-wheeled high-speed electric vehicle. Since he was travelling alone, that vehicle offers a higher top speed and better maneuverability compared with a transport vehicle.
"This model will be better if you want to head to the nature sector."
A strong ray of light shone down from the hangar's ceiling.
"Type 21 of the floating models, with the largest horsepower rated seven hundred and fifty Joules. Its maximum speed may not be comparable to that model there, but since it travels by a floatation device instead of wheels, it will produce a much smoother ride at the unpaved areas of the nature sector."
The person who switched on the lights of the hangar was a young girl with a mechanical helmet and visor on her head — and as she pointed towards a dark blue floating vehicle, she said,
"Geez, thank goodness I did not slacken in my monitoring of you."
"From your expressions, you're wondering why I am here, am I right? As much as I do not want to, with a large number of regular and elite guards gathering for a meeting this early in the morning, it is inevitable for me to wonder if something bad has happened."
*Kan* — Kagura gave the blue vehicle a light kick.
"Monica knows about how I've secretly installed hundreds of surveillance camera inside and outside of the tower. Part of the reason is due to my personal interests, and the other half is because I was approached by the Towers Control to do so. Upon noticing the commotion outside of my room, I activated the screen and voila — as I expected, I saw a certain someone running breathlessly."
And of course, that person was none other than you.
The young girl took a dig deliberately at Sheltis.
"To think you came down to this hangar in secret despite the early hours...... I want to be around during the investigation of the Yuugenshu — didn't I say so before?"
"It's not that, Kagura. Listen—"
He suddenly withheld his words.
No, I can't waste any more time explaining.
"The place I am going to...... is the western area of the nature sector. The fourth sector."
"Oh, so you are really going to investigate on the Yuugenshu. The place is exactly the same as that found in my data—"
"I am not investigating the Yuugenshu."
"I don't have any time left to explain. Can you please let me off the hook this once?"
Hmm— Kagura thought in silence as she placed her finger on her lips.
"Looks like you are really in a hurry. Fine, I'll not question you any further at a time like this — on the condition that I'll be tagging along as well."
...... Just as I thought.
Sheltis had already braced himself for a request like that.
"I don't think this is that bad a condition. I promise I'll not divulge anything about today if I get to come along with you. How about I drive this vehicle instead? It will definitely be a more comfortable ride if I am to drive it instead of you."
"...... Are you that insistent on figuring out my motives?"
"Yes. You're even hiding it from Monica. So where exactly are you going? I promise I'll keep it a secret if you allow me to come along, even from Monica."
What to do? Considering her personality, Kagura will definitely pester him with more questions should he reject her now. He no longer has any time to waste.
"...... Alright. But promise me this: you are to run away immediately when you sense any danger."
"And that seals the deal."
Nodding her head, the young girl climbed into the driver's seat of the vehicle.
"Here, you can take the co-driver's seat. The breeze of dawn is very comfortable at this time of day."