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Chapter 2 - RectoluzShining Type Long-Range Induction Armament
“’s true ability, you say…?”
One could see that all the members present swallowed their saliva.
The ability of the twin swords, ogre lux , that Claudia used was foresight.
But, it was not known how much power it actually concealed ── for example, specifically how many seconds ahead could it foresee. That was also because Claudia was the first person to be decently able to handle .
Though of course the development staff would know, since the development research of ogre luxes was a highly confidential domain even inside the Integrated Enterprise Foundation, it was very improbable that it would leak out from there.
In the end, there was only rumor going around about and its ability was still a mystery even now.
“First, I will tell you about the fact. ’s ability is foresight, in other words there is no mistaking it that it can see the future. And currently, what I can foresee is ── about 300 seconds ahead I would say.”
“T-Three hundred seconds!?”
Everyone could not help becoming speechless.
It was no wonder since 300 seconds meant that she could predict until 5 minutes ahead in the future. Though it might not simply compare with the , among the matches of Ayato and Julis, there was one which was over without lasting even 5 minutes. It meant that Claudia was able to predict everything from the beginning of that match to the end.
Normally thinking, one could no longer lose.
“However… even if I say so, the number 300 seconds is to the bitter end only a stock.”
Kirin wonderingly tilted her head to the side.
In contrast with it, Julis nodded with a startled face.
“I see, so that’s it…”
“As expected of a , you’re quick to catch this kind of thing.”
As Claudia smiled, Julis too continued while returning a sarcastic smile.
“In other words, ’s future foresight wears out, right?”
Claudia applauded pleasantly.
After hearing it, Ayato finally understood.
“Then… This meant, for example, that if Claudia was to read 10 seconds ahead in the future from now, the remaining time (of prediction) will be 290 seconds?”
“Yes, that’s exactly it.”
“So, it isn’t like it can be used infinitely…”
“Which reminds, you said the other day, didn’t you? That has a weakness. Were you speaking about this?”
Julis was probably talking about the time on the way to Lieseltania, when Claudia invited Ayato and them in her team.
“Yes. When I use up this stock, this child becomes mere twin swords. Also, so that that doesn’t happen, I have worked out a plan to able to preserve the stock as much as possible. For example, my first duel is the best strategic arrangement for it.”
“When you say your first duel, are you speaking about that one of the middle school section times?”
“If I’m not mistaken, your opponent was the rank #20, right?”
Julis and Kirin immediately returned so.
“Is it that famous a duel?”
Claudia’s middle school section times meant that Kirin and of course Julis too should have not yet come in this Asterisk.
“She already had very few matches, but that one is probably the most famous among them. People who try to challenge her, after having first seen that match video ── most of them had their hearts broken.”
Julis answered in a somewhat unamused tone. Perhaps she might have been one of those people.
“U-Um, I have the data about it.”
When Kirin operated her portable terminal as she said so, the match video was projected to the space window.
Standing on the stage was certainly Claudia, although her features were more childish than now.
Confronting Claudia was a man fairly older than her; he was probably around 20. He was holding a small one hand sword type lux in his right hand and a handgun type lux in his left hand.
“Heeh, a dual wielding style with a sword and a gun, huh.”
It was a quite offensive style.
“In those days, this kind of offense overemphasizing strategy was popular after all. He was quite a skillful user, too.”
“…It just sounds like pride when we already know the result.”
Julis muttered as she was amazed.
Meanwhile, the school badges announced the beginning of the match and the man shot a light bullet towards Claudia so as to check her.
Claudia easily avoided it with only a slight movement──
“Wait a minute. Don’t tell me here, Claudia… she has her eyes closed?”
Ayato muttered in astonishment.
He did not see it wrong. Claudia, not even having set up , just loosely slouched and she clearly had her eyes closed.
It seemed like the gallery in the screen has also noticed it. You could perceive that a strange commotion spread in the audience and on the other hand, that the face of Claudia’s opponent was dyed in anger. Though it was a natural reaction, he probably thought that he was taken lightly.
When the man shortened the distance at a stretch, he swung his small sword to slash sideways.
Claudia, with her eyes still closed, dodged it with a back step and then avoided the light bullet, which the man shot in his pursuit, by only twisting the upper half of her body.
At that moment, the gallery got excited as if exploding.
Though the man unleashed consecutive attacks as he became irritated, he could not even graze Claudia’s body.
It wasn’t that the man was weak. As Claudia said a little while ago, he was a very skilled user which skillfully managed the sword and gun. Though there was no weight in one blow, the number of blows in middle-range battle and the power control were considerable.
However ── no matter how many fierce attacks the man set, Claudia, with a cool face as is, easily dodged them as if dancing.
“…It’ll be over soon. Watch carefully.”
Before long towards Claudia who dodged an attacked as she greatly jumped in the air, the man, thinking that it was a good opportunity, rapidly shot successive light bullets. Naturally, evasion in mid-air is extremely difficult.
While rotating her body in mid-air, Claudia swung her twin swords for the first time in this match.
The next moment, the light bullets were all lopped off and scattered.
Claudia who landed as is slightly stepped towards the dumbfounded man and accurately bisected only his school badge as she went past him.
The mechanical sound announcing the conclusion resounded in the site which fell silent.
After finishing hearing it, Claudia slowly opened her eyes and gracefully bowed with her usually calm smile.
“…That sure is crazy.”
“Well, since this was a performance for the sake of having one believe so.”
Claudia put her hand on her thin smiling lips as she calmly said so.
“Perhaps is this match the source of the rumor that Claudia can foresee dozens of seconds ahead?”
In fact, there was no doubt that it was an impossible feat unless one had foresight ability.
And after this display, there were certainly not many people brave enough to challenge Claudia.
“Yes. In this match, I used a fair amount of stock that I had saved up; but thanks to that I had the wanted results. After all afterwards, even when I remained as rank #2, there were hardly people who dared challenge me.”
The more she used the time of foresight with , the more it decreased.
If so, then it’d be better that the opportunities to use it were as few as possible.
If this match was a performance for that, then it was indeed well thought.
──At the same time, it reminded of another condition regarding ’s ability.
“…I’ve a question.”
There, Saya slightly raised her hand.
“…If you choose such a plan, then does the foresight time’s stock recoverrestore perhaps?”
It seemed like Saya thought also the same thing as Ayato.
If had a fixed amount of foresight time from the beginning and if it was the end when it was consumed until the remaining quality fell to zero, then there would be no meaning of this strategy of Claudia.
“I see, that’s a very good question. The answer is… Yes. Even with me doing nothing, this stock will increase with time as long as I make a contract with.”
So that was it after all.
By first investing it to some extent and then through that, by decreasing the chances of battling, it would make storing up the stock easier. That was probably Claudia’s aim.
And that splendidly succeeded.
(But, in that case…)
“Um, how long does it take to recover?”
“Roughly speaking, about three days are necessary to stock one second.”
“One second in three days, huh… You can’t indeed waste it.”
Though Julis muttered so with a difficult face, Ayato realized something entirely different.
“──‘The worst personality’, huh”
With a dubious face, Julis turned at Ayato’s mutter.
“What are you talking about, Ayato?”
“Ah, no… The truth is, I have heard about ’s prize from Claudia before. She said ── ‘the user personally experiences their own death, which will come someday, within their dream’.”
Julis and the other two girls’ expressions changed at the words of Ayato.
“T-That’s too cruel no matter how you look at it…”
Though Kirin held her mouth and looked at Claudia with a face likely to cry any moment, the very Claudia only nodded with a smile.
But, that was not the most repulsive part about .
Able to use its ability for one second in three days meant that it was necessary to be together with this ogre lux for that much time in order to manage it. In other words, one could only draw out its ability by personally experiencing one’s own death nightly and keeping enduring the long suffering.
Claudia has said that she evaluated as having the worst personality before, but you could certainly agree with this.
“In other words, it’s necessary to pay a great prize for a powerful ability… No but, at any rate…”
“…It seems painful.”
Julis and Saya too spoke with sad expressions.
“Fufufu, don’t worry. It’s not that severe a prize as you are worried about. Besides… if I, its user, have to say, this child’s ability is not that absolute, either.”
Claudia said so with an indifferent face.
“As I also said before, although called future foresight, it’s not like it’s omnipotent and invincible. Let me explain it… Ayato, may I have you take a battle stance for a little bit?”
“Eh? Ah, yes. It’s fine, but…”
Ayato urged by Claudia released his seal, activated and set it up aiming at the eyes.
The moment when Claudia said that and grinned──
The body of Ayato who felt a slight chill partly moved reflexively and he exerted to the left.
Its sword blade stopped the blow, which Claudia has suddenly launched, at the very limit.
“…That’s sudden, Claudia.”
When Ayato said so with a wry smile, Claudia quickly pulled back her sword and shrugged her shoulders.
“As expected, it doesn’t work on Ayato.”
From the strength of the power put into it, he could understand that it was a blow without intention to hit.
“Now then, the attack just now has, as you saw, splendidly been blocked by Ayato. If I had used ’s foresight one second before the attack── well strictly speaking, even 0,5 second is enough only to confirm the success or failure of one attack, but I will rather go with one second in order to explain it comprehensibly ── I would have been able to foresee that scene just now.”
As Claudia said up to there, she returned to his activation body and put it in the holder.
“In that case, let’s think about how I should have gone for the next move. For example, because that just now was an attack from the right, let’s assume that I changed it to a blow from the left. Right, ’s foresight is absolute, but there isn’t one future. If I change my action, the future will again change at that instant, too. So, we can express in other words that ’s ability is ‘an ability that can repeat trial and error with no risk of failure’.”
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