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Gakusen Toshi Asterisk Vol 4 Chapter 7

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Chapter 7 – Unyielding Feelings

“Congratulations! Princess!”

Flora’s passionate welcome met Ayato and Julis when they returned to the waiting room.

Managing to catch Flora, who's flying embrace ended with the two vigorously hugging, Julis smiled delightfully.

“Thank you. Flora.”

“It was really. Really amazing! I was very excited!”

Exactly as her words stated, Flora’s cheeks were slightly red, and she buzzingly waved her arms while brightening her eyes shiningly.

This time they could not escape from the winner interview, as expected. But even so, they somehow tip-toed through it with noncommittal answers and had finally been released. Quite a while had passed since the match was over. Still… Flora’s excited state meant that she was very deeply impressed.

“Amagiri-sama was also very cool! What should I do to become so strong? Will I also someday become like that?”

“E-Errr… Well, for the time being, you should never miss daily training.”

“I see! Then… Then, next time, please let me train with you, too!”

“Y-Yeah, that’d be great…”

“Whoopee! Thank you. Amagiri-sama! I will do my best!”

After Julis, Flora embraced Ayato too.

She gave a feeling of a small animal different from Kirin. If compelled for an example; It would be the feeling of a small dog fully brimming with vigor. Kirin gave the feeling of wanting to pat her head but for Flora, if anything, it was the loveliness of wanting to run one’s fingers over her hair.

“Fufufu. I see that Flora is as energetic as usual. I am relieved.”

And at the back of the room… Claudia was happily observing such a pleasant scene.

“What. So you came––well. I guess Flora could not come in here alone.”

“Yes. I did not think that I could meet her in a place like this, so I was a little surprised.”

Claudia said so and merrily laughed.

“Judging from your talk, you seem to be acquainted with Flora-chan, Claudia.” Ayato remarked.

“Yes, we met several times when she served as Julis’ maid.”

“Enfield-sama was always very kind! She also gave me a lot of delicious candies today!” Flora added in...

“Candies…?”

Now that she mentioned it… Something which looked like chocolate was on Flora’s mouth and various types of baked sweets were spread out on the table.

“Yes. This is a present from me. I’m finally on break from work so I had time.”

“Do you mean you have made this, Claudia?”

“It has been a really long time since I stood in the kitchen… I cannot guarantee the taste.” Claudia humbly admitted.

Even if she said that, upon observation, their outward appearance was in no way inferior compared to those sold in shops or––rather than that––they looked better.

“Then, since it’s a rare occasion, let’s eat them. I’m also hungry.”

“Yes. By all means.”

He picked up a cookie coated with chocolate and put it into his mouth...

“––Yes. It's delicious!”

He could not make a comparison since, he did not usually eat sweets that much, however there was a moderate sweetness that compliments the slightly bitter chocolate. It was a refined taste. You could say that this fragrant and pleasing flavor was quite to Ayato’s liking.

“Fufufu. I am glad you liked it.”

Claudia said, with her cheeks dyed slightly red, with a delightful smile.

“Still… To think that even Claudia can cook. It’s amazing.”

Since she was an Ojou-sama[1] he thought that she would not be good at these kinds of things. But, in reality, it looked as if she could do anything.

“Really, as usual, you’re perfect to the extent that it’s sarcastic. You just handle about everything as if it is a matter of course… Don’t you even have at least one thing you are not good at?”

Julis also picked up a sweet with a somewhat amazed face.

“Oh my! Even I have at least some weak spots, you know? However, this time, I thought that I must also earn some points.”

“…Points?” Julis quizzically asked again.

At that… Claudia simply put her index finger up.

“Even though all of you have appealed to him with your homemade cooking… I cannot be the only one left behind. Right?”

“Bufuuh!?”

Julis thoroughly choked over these words...

“I-I didn’t really do that to appeal him or something…! Or rather… How do you know about it in the first place?”

“Fufufu, I wonder how. ––Well. Let's set that aside.”

As Claudia lightly dodged Julis’ question… She suddenly put on a serious expression.

“To both of you, congratulations for your qualification to the semifinals. As the representative of Seidoukan Academy… I would like to express my joy and gratitude.”

She said so and deeply bowed her head.

“No. We haven’t really done anything for which you need to be grateful…”

“That's right! In the end… I am only fighting in order to fulfill my wish.”

“That might certainly be so. However, judging from the viewpoint of the current season's general record, the present Seidoukan was able to get more points than expected. After all, for the first time in several years, you are among the best four. It’s really helped us.”

“Well, I don’t feel bad from being honestly praised by you. But, which reminds me, have you also gone to see the other pair?”

“Yes, their match was earlier after all, I greeted them before stopping by here.”

Needless to say that the other pair was Saya and Kirin.

“I took the opportunity to invite them to come here with me. But… They said that they have to prepare for tomorrow’s match.”

“Hohou~u, as expected, they are really into it.”

“It’s the opponent of fate after all…”

Saya’s and Kirin’s next opponents were at last the autonomous puppets of Allekant. It was the opponent, which triggered Saya’s participation in this Phoenix; They displayed their overwhelming power in all their matches.

Ayato was also interested in how those two would confront them.

“Since you have all come so far… I would, by all means, like to see a fight between fellow students of Seidokan over the championship.”

At Claudia’s words Julis strongly nodded.

“Of course. This is our intention. And. Probably –– theirs too.”

“At last! All the best four are known.”

Sitting on the chair of the work room the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Festa, Madiath Mesa, greatly exhaled.

“Yes. Although this year’s Phoenix was in a slump in the advance reviews, when looking at the results, it became a stunning climax. Your decision to approve the substitute participation of Allekant was the right choice. As one would expect of the Committee Chairman… What great skill!”

“It’s a little early to call it great success. I mean… There is the possibility that the evaluation would be overturned in the semifinals and the finals.”

“No, no, at the present time, it has already exceeded the last Phoenix in both the entertainment industry profits and the volume of audience mobilization. There is no way that the evaluation will change from here…”

“There is no telling what may happen in the future. Isn’t that why it’s interesting?” Said his older subordinate who lavished on blatant compliments and flattery.

Madiath then operated the portable terminal on his desk and opened up multiple space windows.

The data on the eight players, who had won up to the semifinals in this Phoenix, were projected in the various space windows.

The pair from Allekant Academy, the pair from St. Garrardsworth Academy, and the two pairs from Seidoukan Academy.

“Which pair do you think will win?”

“Huh…? No, I am a Steering Committee member, so I am afraid I cannot give my personal opinion just like that…”

“Hahaha. You’re too stiff. It’s fine. You have my permission. Think of it as a part of your duties.”

“Haah…”

Prompted by Madiath, the subordinate, though looking uneasy, looked at the players projected in the lined space windows.

“Let’s see… Honestly. I didn't think the two pairs from Seidoukan would have come this far either. No matter how good Seidoukan is at the Phoenix, the sluggish wave of their past several years of performances is such a plight that one would like to avert their eyes.”

“Yeah, but in return, they have some kind of momentum. Then… Will either of these two win?”

“No. Both pairs are certainly excellent, but there are too many unstable factors. It will probably be impossible for them to win.”

The subordinate plainly explained.

Even judging from Madiath’s perspective… This subordinate was not incompetent. Or rather… There shouldn't be incompetent people existing in the core departments of the Integrated Enterprise Foundation. Taking that into account even he thought this subordinate was a capable man.

Involved with the management of the Festa for many years his discernment, from having watched a lot of players, was reliable enough.

“I see. Then… How about the pair of Garrardsworth?”

“Hmm… I think that the rank #11 of the pair is a skilled Dante but the combination is a little bad. After all… There is no close affinity between their abilities. Unless in extreme circumstances… This is as far as they can go.”

“Which means, –– from your perspective, the winning pair will be the puppets of Allekant.”

At Madiath’s words the subordinate politely nodded.

“Yes. Their specs are very splendid. Even when watching their matches so far… It's been a landslide victory in almost all. There is no bill for complaint. From a sound judgment, there is no doubt that the winner will be them. Just…”

“Just?”

For an instant… Doubt spread in the subordinate's pupils.

“No, it’s just that when I think about what kind of influence it will have in the future Festas, it might not be something very delightful…”

“Hou~u.”

“Ah, no, this is not something which the likes of me should poke his nose in. I am sorry.”

The subordinate hurriedly bowed his head.

“No. Don’t say that. It’s a very valuable opinion. Certainly, if the puppets, which have been allowed participation by exceptional measures, were to nab the victory, there will be a lot of people who won’t find it funny. Besides. The fans, even the ones cheering for them now, may find it a little too much if they were to win the championship.”

The exceptional measures of this time were something that Allekant had directly thrust upon Madiath. In other words, if Madiath messed in this matter, it would immediately become a liability issue with him.

“––But well, even if that happens, it can’t be helped that such a thing happens. After all… We just merely provided them the appropriate venue.”

“…That’s right.”

The subordinate said so respectfully. With a face, which showed that he thought of something, he said to Madiath.

“By the way Committee Chairman… Who did you think will be the winner?”

“You want my opinion? Hmm, well…”

Just like his subordinate earlier… Madiath alternately looked at the eight space windows.

“––It will be Allekant.”

“Oh, so you also think that after all.”

“If purely comparing the combat capability that conclusion is incontrovertible. They will, in all probability, reign in this Phoenix… Oh, it’s almost time, I guess.”

As Madiath said that he checked the clock.

“Oh. It’s definetly time for the liaison conference with Frauenlob. I have taken your valuable time with this idle talk.”

“No. What? Don’t worry about it since it was me who asked for it.”

As Madiath lightly raised his hands… The subordinate left the office after bowing.

Madiath, who saw him off, closed the space windows one-by-one after heaving a sigh.

The two people of Garrardsworth disappeared, Saya and Kirin disappeared, Allekant’s dolls disappeared –– Julis disappeared.

The remaining was only the space window in which Amagiri Ayato was projected.

Madiath’s hand stopped right there.

“––Haruka’s younger brother. Huh.”

On the face of Madiath, who muttered so, a pleasant smile floated.

“Yes. Indeed… There is no telling what may happen in the future. That's why it is interesting. That's right.”

––Phoenix, 14th day. Sirius Dome; Waiting room.

“Well then –– shall we go soon?”

As Kirin called so out to her, Saya raised her look, which was cast at her hands and nodded with her usual deadpan.

“? What is that?”

Saya was apparently looking at an old piece of paper.

“…This is my lucky charm.” Saya openly declared.

When she showed it to Kirin… It was a handwritten ticket overflowing with hand-crafted feelings. It was probably something made by the hands of children where the words “wish ticket” was greatly written in lovely characters.

“It’s a magic ticket. Which makes any wish come true.”

“Wow… It’s wonderful.”

It was probably a very important keepsake for Saya. Even from the way she used her hands to handle that ticket, it could be deeply felt.

“Ah, then, did you by any chance wish for today’s victory?”

However Saya softly shook her head.

“No. This is just a lucky charm. Today’s victory is something we just have to seize with our power.”

“…You are right. I’m sorry.”

Saya’s words were quite right. With the optimistic thought to rely on something like that… They could not win through this point.

Kirin thought so and once again strengthened her resolve. At the same time Saya put away the ticket in her breast pocket and slowly turned around towards Kirin.

“…Kirin.”

“Y-Yes. What is it?” She frankly asked back.

“––Thank you.” Saya suddenly bowed her head.

“Eeh!? What is it so suddenly?”

“It’s thanks to Kirin’s power that we were able to come this far. I appreciate.”

“O-Oh no. Please stop…!”

To the sudden occurrence Kirin waved both her hands.

“…I wanted to arrive here by all means.” Saya said and tightly clenched her fists.

“In order to defeat the autonomous puppets of Allekant. Right?”

Kirin had also heard of the circumstances which resulted in Saya’s participation in the Phoenix. The gun which Saya’s father made was insulted by a student of Allekant, and she wanted to make her take it back.

However. She had certainly found it a little strange.

She understood that it was very important for Saya, but still, she also thought that participating in the Phoenix just for that was somewhat going too far.

Then, as she guessed what Kirin was thinking, Saya slightly smiled wryly.

“…Kirin. Let me tell you something. My father lost a great portion of his body in an accident at the Institute where he was working.”

“Eh…?”

Since she said it just like that… Kirin, for an instant, could not understand the meaning very well.

"Fortunately. His brain was safe so he then built an atelier[2] in the house with the compensation money and connected it with the central unit (of his brain). He himself seemed to be satisfied, now that he can move make more precise movements than he could with his actual body, after some getting used to."

“…” Kirin, not knowing what she should say, could only look downward, troubled.

“Don’t worry about it. Dad says that it was good, he can now freely research what he likes. I have already come to terms with it too.”

“What he likes…” Kirin. Pointing out the obvious.

“––To make guns for me.” Saya said while stroking the Lux activation body that hung on her waist.

“…For Saya-san?”

“Yes. That’s why what Camilla Pareto said was spot on in a sense. After all. This power, rather than being made for many “people”, was created just for one person… “Me”.”

As she exhaled there… Saya closed her eyes once––and then opened them slowly.

“But, even so––that’s why I won’t forgive the fact she denies it.”

Behind Saya's pupils a strong and firm will was shining ardently.

It was an unyielding conviction.

“…Ah. That‘s right. Please keep this a secret to Ayato what I said about my father.”

“Why?” Kirin asked.

“Ayato is kind… So I’m sure he will make a fuss about it. I intend to tell him after this tournament is over.”

“…I understand.”

If Saya choose that… Then Kirin would not be the one to butt in.

Even while thinking that… Kirin secretly smiled wryly. Saya’s concern seemed just like her.

“I'm tired from having talked so much… Let's go.” Saya took a small breath and left the waiting room.

“Y-Yes.”

Kirin also hung Senbakiri on her waist and hurriedly ran after her back.

The passage leading to the stage was long and dim.

Come to think of it… This was the first time that they had a match in the Sirius Dome. It was not that much different from the other large-scale stages, but as expected, they felt that it was somewhat special to have a match in Asterisk’s main stage.

––A little ahead, in the passage, two persons’ figures could be seen near the entrance gate.

As Saya also noticed it her pace slightly weakened.

She gradually understood, as the distance drew near, but they were apparently women.

[Allekant uniforms… That means that maybe those people are––]

“Hi, hi, young lady. Long time no see.”

One of them, a woman, who tied up her hair in a ponytail––Ernesta Kühne––started to talk to her somewhat strangely and brightly.

“…What do you want?”

“Oh my, you’re rather cold. Even though we will fight against each other after this it doesn’t really mean that we shouldn’t deepen our friendship, does it? It’s not really like I will tell you to throw the match away.”

“It’s the puppets which will fight. Not you.”

“Hmm, well, that’s right. But…”

She felt that there was no way to get along with Saya.

Kirin did not know what to do in this situation and could only watch the exchanges in a dither.

“It’s just that there is something that our Camilla wanted to tell you before the match no matter what.”

In response to the words, the brown woman, who was so far standing behind Ernesta––Camilla Pareto––took one step forward.

“Long time no see Sasamiya Saya. What, it looks like I have also misunderstood a little, so I thought that I shall say it before the match.”

“Misunderstanding?”

“Yes, I have watched your matches and understood. If you look at them individually the luxes you use are all defective. However, through your usage, in other words, when seeing you yourself included with them as one weapon, I have no choice but to admit that it’s powerful without equal.”

At these words, Saya looked at Camilla as if she was surprised.

“Then––”

“But I have no intention of taking back the words I said the other day. When including you yourself, along with the gun, as one weapon, it means that the organic instability rather increases. So it isn't practical after all. And on my––the FerroviusLion Faction’s––conviction and pride, that strain to concentrate a biased power to an individual is inadmissible.”

Ahead of Saya, who was about to say something, Camilla declared.

“…Then, I will just surpass your dolls and make you admit it.”

“It's impossible. If by any chance… Though it’s impossible, even if Ardi and Rimsi were to lose to you guys, I would still not admit it.”

At these words, Saya, with eyes filled with anger, stared at Camilla.

“…However, I will take back the words of the other day then. All the technologies, which the FerroviusLion Faction and I have piled up, are poured in the armaments of Ardi and Rimsi. If you were to defeat them then even I will admit that it's practical.”

Just as Camilla said all that… She turned her back to Saya and walked off.

“Ah, wai–, isn’t it cruel for you to immediately go back after you finish your business? Even though I wanted to ask many things since I’m also interested in that child’s armament… Hey. Ah geez, wait! Camilla.”

Ernesta was running after her back while jumping up and down like a frog.

However Ernesta, suddenly stopping, looked back and shouted.

“Well then… I leave our children to your care! Enjoy yourself!” As she excitedly waved both her hands like a child.

This time for sure she disappeared down the passage with quick steps.

“…”

Saya was motionlessly looking at her direction for a while, but she soon turned towards the entrance gate.

“Let's go, Kirin.”

“Yes.”

To the stage, which swirled with lights and cheers, she stretched her legs.

“––We will absolutely win.”

“Yes!”

『"Hi, hi, everyone, thank you for waiting! Like usual, I am the person in charge of the live report in the Sirius Dome, Yanase Miko, and here is the commentator, Tram-san!"』

『"Hello!"』

『"Errr, and like that, it’s finally the semifinals of the Phoenix! The first semifinal match will be a clash between the Sasamiya Saya/Toudou Kirin pair of Seidoukan Academy and the Ardi/Rimsi pair of Allekant Academy, which became the substitute participants, by special case of restriction, in this tournament! What a pleasure!"』

『"After all, it is said that, this match is almost virtually considered as the final round."』

『"Eh? Is that so?"』

『"The other one is that, since both pairs had also fairly struggled through fierce battles, they should have quietly accumulated fatigue and damage, too. On that point, after all, both the pairs here today have arrived almost unscathed."』

『"Ah, I see, I see. Certainly, it was in such a short time that we could say that almost all the matches of both pairs were instant kills. Still, the Sasamiya/Toudou pair seemed to have a hard fight as such in the previous quarterfinal, but the Ardi/Rimsi pair, on the other hand, have settled all their matches so far in just over one minute!"』

『"And what’s more… They win even after making that declaration of “not moving even one finger for one minute” in all their matches. As for today’s highlight, I look forward to whether or not the Sasamiya/Toudou pair will break through player Ardi’s absolute defensive wall without stooping down, and become the first focus."』

––Absolute defensive wall.

They were talking about the wall of light deployed by Ardi. Before anyone knew, such a naming spread in the Net, it was completely established now. According to Saya, it seemed to be something which was the downsized version of the defense wall used in the stage. For the moment no one was able to break through it and make an attack reach Ardi.

Then, this time too, Ardi said in a loud voice.

“Listen well! This time, too, I shall give a deferment of one minute. In the meantime, we will not move even one finger. You should freely attack to your heart’s content!”

His figure, which affirmed full confidence, somehow looked more human than the humans themselves.

“…Hmph.”

Saya just glanced at such Ardi and immediately turned towards Kirin.

“Kirin, I leave that one to you.”

“Yes.”

“––Show him what you can do.”

As she lightly nodded at Saya’s words, Kirin unsheathed her sword while turning her look towards Ardi.

They prepared for the battle and changed their consciousness.

“Phoenix, semifinal first game, battle start!”

Even when the beginning of the match was declared, Ardi and Rimsi did not show any signs of movement.

Ardi folded his arms with a daunting pose. It hardly seemed to be the image of someone in the middle of a Pheonix match. That attitude was the very picture of arrogance.

“I, Toudou Kirin, engage.”

As Kirin set up Senbakiri directly straight… She confronted Ardi’s imposing figure head-on.

“Hmm, Toudou, huh. I did not think that you would be my opponent.”

Then, Ardi said with a very surprised voice.

“…What about it?”

“What, I expected Sasamiya Saya as my opponent. I am a little surprised.”

“By that… Do you imply that I am lacking as your opponent?”

“To try to break through my defensive wall... It would be more reasonable to have Sasamiya Saya, with her high firepower Lux, as my opponent.”

“…”

“Among the participants of this Phoenix, competing for first place, you certainly possess high physical capabilities to a refined degree. The data proves this. But the weapon you use is not even a lux… Just a mere Nihontou. It would have been another story if it was an Ogre Lux; but, with only this, you will not be able to break through my defensive wall.”

Ardi looked down at Kirin from above and shrugged his shoulders while saying… “Good grief”.

“I will not say anything bad, you can switch with Sasamiya Saya even now; otherwise you two could…”

“––Then, do you want to try?”

Kirin briefly said as she interrupted Ardi’s words.

“What?”

“Check with your body whether Senbakiri and I are not match for you.”

“…Very well. If you said that much then you should try. I look forward to see what you would do one minute from now.”

The moment when Ardi nodded a slash ran by like a flash.

That blow, which was slashed diagonally from the shoulder, was of a speed suitable to be called Godspeed. However, just before the point of the sword reached Ardi’s body, it was repelled by the wall of light, which suddenly appeared.

Even so Kirin, not caring about it, connected a second and then a third slash.

“Hou~u… This is a wonderful speed. To think that a human body could even reach such a domain… I am really impressed.”

Ardi, with still his arms folded, did not move an inch.

Nevertheless, Kirin’s attacks were all repelled by the wall of light.

“But, it is useless. No matter how fast you are, you cannot surpass me in reaction velocity since you are a human. In other words, your attacks will never reach me.”

To Ardi, who flatly asserted, Kirin pulled her sword once and adjusted her breathing.

“…I see, I get it now. It is already enough.”

Kirin, who said so, re-set Senbakiri to a sword fighting style and once again launched a slashing.

“Don’t you understand that it’s useless…”

––However.

“Hmm…?”

That blow took a roundabout path so as to slip through the wall of light. It made a hard metallic sound and carved a straight scratch on Ardi’s arm.

『"O-Ooh, this is amazing! Finally, finally, finally, for the first time in this tournament, player Ardi received an attack! Who would have imagined that Player Kirin would conquer that impregnable absolute defensive wall with a Nihontou!"』

The excited voices of both the reporter and the stands greatly rose.

In contrast with it, Ardi was now staring at the wound in his left hand with a dumbfounded face.

“Impossible… It’s unlikely. How on earth…”

“There is still time remaining, right? In that case, please take back you earlier declaration. And let’s have a fair fight.”

“…What do you mean by that?”

“Do not look down on us is what I mean.”

To Kirin, who declared so, Ardi shut up bitterly.

And Kirin released a slash in a flash.

The wall of light appeared trying to prevent it, but once again Kirin’s blade slipped through it and dug a sharp scratch on Ardi’s flank.

“Guh…!”

“It’s not a fluke. ––If you intend to go on like this until the end, I will end it with the next attack.”

As Kirin said so, she thrust Senbakiri at Ardi.

“…”

Ardi was silent.

Kirin took a small breath and let Senbakiri flash three times.

But, Ardi, who activated his hammer type lux a step faster, attacked Kirin first.

“––!”

As Kirin promptly pulled her sword and dodged that attack, she greatly leapt back and took a distance.

『"A-And, and! There was an attack launched by player Ardi! The time is 56 seconds since player Ardi’s declaration! One minute has not yet passed!"』

When Ardi rotated his hammer, he planted its ferrule into the ground.

“…Well done! For this one, it is my complete defeat. I shall take back that declaration!”

Ardi unexpectedly, and with dignity, quickly took back his words.

“It seems like I grew a little arrogant. I fully realized that I am still a greenhorn. Therefore –– if you don't mind, I want you to teach me what kind of technique you used earlier.”

Contrary to his words, Ardi’s attitude was still big.

However, it looked like he had said it in all sincerity.

Although Kirin took a stance, she slowly opened her mouth.

“It’s because you are a machine.”

“…What do you mean?”

Ardi tilted his head to the side as if to say he was unable to understand.

“You have predicted my attacks from my data and movements, and deployed your defensive wall based on it. Haven’t you?”

“Yes, it is exactly as you say.”

And his voice also implied this question “What’s wrong with it?”

“In the Toudou style there is a technique which leads on all factors, such as the opponent’s breathing and line of sight, changes in timing and muscle movements; it’s a constantly changing strategy. However, because you are an excellent machine, I easily guess them all and arrived at an answer greater than the 'perfect' you comprehend. Then, finally, I just had to shift only a little from there.”

“I have been led, you say?” Ardi muttered in surprise.

“If this was a fight between skilled fellow swordsmen, a wide variety of mutual reading could have unfolded in the interval of a split second. For example, I think the attack earlier would not have reached Ayato-senpai with one stroke of the sword if he was the opponent. I had led you on quite unnaturally after all. But because you are a machine you simply reacted to my movements...”

As Kirin stopped there… She completely cut off.

“––In short, you fatally lack combat experience.”

On the other side, Saya was contentedly watching the exchanges between Kirin and Ardi.

“…As expected of Kirin.”

She said so and nodded many times.

“––I can’t understand.”

Rimsi, who confronted Saya, quizzically frowned.

“Hmm? What?”

“That you did not come to attack me during this one minute.”

Right. Exactly as Rimsi stated, Saya, without even deploying her lux, was just watching the exchanges between Kirin and Ardi.

“That slowpoke stupid good-for-nothing’s self-destruction was just reaping what he sowed. That said, to think that she wastes her precious advantage. Isn’t it rather you, who are looking down on us? If that’s the case, then it’s extremely unpleasant.”

As Rimsi said that, and deployed huge gun type luxes in both her hands, she defined her aim to Saya.

“…Unpleasant? I only wanted to fight you seriously.”

Saya, still without losing her calm, finally took out her lux activation body.

“––Otherwise, it won’t have any meaning for me.”

Immediately after that, a rain of light bullets poured down like a storm.

Saya turned aside adroitly just before, thereby nicely dodging it, and jumped. She then activated her lux in mid-air.

“Type 41 - Gleaming Form - Twin Particle Guns Waldenholt.”

She muttered to herself.

It referred to the name of the weapon that her father made for her.

It was, of course, one of the rules that Saya had established for herself.

A large lux with a huge back unit manifested immediately as Saya’s hair ornament accordingly deployed into a simple aiming monitor. Multiple gun barrels began covering up, bit by bit, whole entire sections of her left and right arms.

A pale light gathered in front of the muzzle and swelled...

At the same time she landed, while also pouring her prana into the mana dites and avoiding the light bullets, which were relentlessly attacking her, Saya pulled the trigger.

“––

A pale light gathered in front of the muzzle and swelled...

The next moment… Two huge light bullets, along with a shrill firing sound, shot out with a speed as if to tear the atmosphere.

“––!”

Rimsi, who barely dodged the first light bullet, was not able to dodge the second.

A huge explosion sound blasted out and echoed, enough to make one think that the hall might collapse, and Rimsi’s body was sent flying until it slammed into the wall on the opposite side. If there was no defensive wall, she would have broken through the wall for sure and might have gone outside the stage.

It was to the extent such that it gave the impression of an overwhelming destructive power.

“Therefore, our preparations are also complete.”

Turning towards where the cloud of dust densely soared, Saya muttered.

“––Come at me seriously.”

As if responding to it… A pair of red eyes shone from within the dust cloud.

References Jump up↑ Daughter of a high-class family Jump up↑ Atelier is the French word for "workshop". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atelier

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