Gekka no Utahime to Magi no Ou - lightnovelgate.com
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Once, a boy was asked by his master.
"What kind of person do you want to grow up to be?"
The boy then answered that he wanted to become someone like his master.
His master managed a wry smile to that reply.
"Lyle...... well, I don't know what kind of person you think I am, but I don't
want you to become like me. Don't you know that masters always want their
disciples to surpass them?"
So said the boy's master, while stroking his head.
"......People can't always be chasing after someone. Someday, they have to
stand on their own, and find their own path to walk. That is why, Lyle, you
must find the path that you, and only you, can tread. Be it left or right, be it
forwards or backwards, to proceed or to retreat―you can think about it,
when the time comes.
And so, Lyle―what kind of person do you want to grow up to be?"
The boy thought about it.
His master's question was rather vague. To begin with, it had not felt like a
question to him.
After racking his brain over it, he answered his master with the thought that
had surfaced in his mind earlier.
It was a normal, boring answer.
"I see. If that's what you want, Lyle, then you will have to become more
prideful, and stand up taller than anybody else. ―Don't worry, you'll be
alright. After all, you're my one and only......"
And so the boy's master, as though she were a different person from earlier,
stroked his hair ever so gently.
Lyle, who had taken refuge in his laboratory, took out some high-purity
amber from the bottom of his desk's drawer.
Exciting the amber, he focused magical power into Lunaria, who was lying on
the sofa. The serious wounds she had suffered on her shoulder and chest
slowly closed up, as she took in the light.
"Now—I need to come up with a plan."
Leaking out a sigh, Lyle shifted the curtains and looked outside.
Students in strange costumes were prowling about the academy grounds.
Coupled with their sleepwalk-like movements, it was like a scene from a
"Master Lyle, do you think it would be difficult to force our way through, with
your magic and my weapons?"
In a humble tone, Milla suggested a drastic measure.
Lyle shook his head.
"We also need to take control of the situation, and not just force our way. I
can't leave them like this."
"Is that what you should be doing, Master Lyle?"
"'Magic must be kept secret. They are but illusions made into fabrication.' —
That is an unspoken rule for magi. As the
break that rule."
Lyle declared while spinning the amber about in his hands, and then he took
out the piece of paper that Vilhelm had left behind from his pocket.
"......I will head for this place. Milla, I'd like you to watch over the academy."
"Are you going there alone?"
"It'd be dangerous for the people being manipulated to leave the academy.
Please contain them within the academy. You're good at that, right?"
"Well yeah... I did do my fair share of locking up bad kids in the shed at my
Milla looked a bit nostalgic.
"However... Master Lyle, I can't really let you go alone......"
"Don't worry about it. Expecting that something will probably happen, that in
itself is a form of preparation."
Lyle then took something that had been hidden, out from the bottom of the
desk. It was a high-calibre, top-break, single-shot revolver.
"Don't you think that that dandy noble needs a few more opponents to go up
"Well... this gun is just a regular one, though."
Lyle tucked the gun and various other things into his belt, and pocketed the
bullets that he had crafted himself. Over his formal suit, he put on the
"......If you insist on doing so, would you at least take some of my equipment
along with you?"
Asked the worried Milla.
Just as Lyle was about to reply that he would be fine,
"......In that case, please give me a sword."
Lunaria said, as she rose to her feet, shaking her head.
"Please give me a sword... as I will be going with him."
"You should be resting. Though you have recovered your magical power,
heading off right away is simply too much......"
"That man had the magic sword of the Nebulablut."
Said Lunaria, with a frantic look on her face.
He felt uneasy about it, but if she was going to go regardless, it would be best
if they went together.
"Milla, you... don't have a sword, do you?"
"It has been rather dangerous as of late."
Milla who had an anxious look on her face, said that and passed a key over to
"It is the key to the baggage compartment of the horse carriage. Please do as
you please with it."
Taking the key, Lyle continued his preparations.
Milla then whispered to Lunaria, who was checking her body's condition and
"—Lady Lunaria, I know I am making a selfish request, but please, take care
of the two of them."
Milla bowed her head to Lunaria.
Lunaria remained silent, and suddenly nodded.
"—All right, let's go. First, we need to hurry to Maria's carriage."
Dashing out of the living quarters, the three of them ran through an opening
within the puppets.
Maria was in ill humour.
Her rendezvous with Lyle had been disrupted, the dress she had picked out
was dirtied, the dinner that Milla prepared had also gone to waste, and worst
of all, the rope that tied her to the chair felt horrible.
"I wish you'd stop making that kind of face."
Maria glared at Vilhelm, who had remarked in a carefree manner.
"—Why don't you untie these ropes then?"
"If I do that, won't I just get slapped again?"
"You tied me up pretty tightly, didn't you."
"Then just stay like that and don't move."
Vilhelm shrugged his shoulders.
Maria had been brought to a rather dull place.
It bore a slight resemblance to a church. There were many pipes, which
looked like those of a pipe organ, lined up on the wall which had been
distorted into the shape of a fan. And further inside, was a raised platform on
the ground, on which an input device which looked like a keyboard could be
But the smell of oil and steel that permeated the area was not something a
person would expect to smell in a church. The impression that was given off
would be that of machines, cold and robotic, with an emphasis on efficiency
"......Stop sighing in that bored manner that makes it seem like you're
thinking, 'this is so pointless', it makes me feel sick."
"Was I sighing?"
Vilhelm looked surprised.
"Still, you're right. I was thinking that this was rather pointless. You had the
power, but you gave up on your chance to make the most out of it. Your
attitude to Lyle was what I thought was pointless. You erred in your method
of handling him."
"Don't just degrade me however you please."
"I was not. I merely spoke the truth."
His monologue had been indifferent, but Vilhelm's tone hinted at the
emotions concealed beneath.
"......Hah. Well, you can be used as a bargaining tool against Lyle. As long as
you have that kind of worth, I will guarantee your safety and well-treatment.
"Oh right... let me ask you something. Why do you bear such goodwill
towards Lyle Waldstein? I might learn something useful out of it, so do tell
It was at that moment, that Maria hated the fact that she could not move her
hands more than anything else. If she at least had one hand free—
"—As if I'll tell you, you dunce!"
Sticking out her tongue and going, 'beh', she scoffed at Vilhelm.
"......Oh well. It wasn't all that important."
Saying just that, Vilhelm fell into silence.
'Hmph', snorted Maria.
(......You couldn't understand it the last time anyway.)
After snorting another time, Maria relaxed her body. It was in preparation for
later, when she would have to go all out.
And so Maria placed her faith in her childhood friend, and rested her body.
The third factory site at the first military shipyard in the western outskirts
was located a distance away from the multi-purpose plaza. The water
drainage there was poor and hence the place was difficult to put to use—that
seemed to be the reason the authorities had abandoned the site. So, what
had been the reason for constructing a factory at that sort of place?
Lyle soon saw the answer to his questions.
At the centre of the open field, a dim light was being leaked from a cave
entrance. The cave was reinforced with concrete, and there was even a
It was obvious that the water drainage would be bad. This was because there
was a basement beneath the third factory site. Furthermore, it was a massive
basement at that. Most likely, that was the reason for the poor water
Giving his thanks to the horses that had pulled their horse carriage here, Lyle
descended into the underground.
The staircase was lighted at various intervals by lamps, and the steps had
been well-paved, hence it was not difficult to traverse. It was just that, it had
collected a fair amount of dust due to what was likely long years of abandon.
And on that dust, were fresh footprints, hinting at the fact that several
people had most likely been here recently.
Finally reaching the end, Lyle swallowed his breath as he took in the sight
It was as he suspected, there was a colossal, man-made underground space.
The sheer size of it made the hall in the academy where the ball had been
held at look like a child's sandbox.
However, what surprised Lyle the most was the huge structure enshrined in
the middle of the underground space.
It was a rigid airship, and its entire body was wrapped in metal. The envelope
meant to bring up the airframe measured over two hundred metres in
length. The gondola, which supported the multi-layered deck, was about as
tall as a three-storey building. On various places of the airframe, there were
batteries and suitable partitioning covers for them.
"An immense airship... no, a 'flying warship', huh......"
Left behind and forgotten in the underground, it was a rather fitting object
for the remnants of the military shipyard.
The flying warship was an airship that was outfitted with firepower. Ever
since the dawn of the airship, they were frequently proposed to be put into
practical use. However, every proposal for it had been rejected.
The reason was simple. There was a problem in the payload capacity.
Normal airships could fly due to strict weight adjustments. The armour that
protected the warship, the high output steam engine, the armaments and
ammunition, all of those already took up a huge amount of weight.
The most troublesome of all, were the personnel needed to man the warship.
During the Age of Discovery, what usually took up the most capacity were the
humans in the vessel. Outfitting the airship with complex weapon systems for
battle, would make the airship excessively unstable.
Surveying the sight before him with a doubtful look, Lyle affirmed that the
hatch in the rear of the flying warship was wide open.
His mouth pursed, Lyle headed into the interior of the warship.
The interior was already lit up by lamps. And those lamps indicated the path
in which Lyle should proceed in.
It looked like the steam engine was already running, as a light tremor could
be felt from the ground and walls.
There were pipes overhead in the narrow passageway; the conditions were
ill-suited for living in. The interior denoted silently that the airframe was a
thing purely dedicated for use in war.
At the end of the passageway, was a space, which had an appearance
drastically different from the passageway leading up to it. As for how it
looked like, it would resemble a church the most. On the opposite side of the
entrance, namely, near the front of the vessel, a gigantic pipe organ-like
device had been enshrined.
At the base of the pipe organ-like device, stood a lone man, sword thrust into
Vilhelm Zest smiled, looking as though he were tired of waiting.
While glaring at Vilhelm, Lyle observed the device resembling a massive pipe
The parts which looked like pipes, were cylinders that lined up wheels, which
engraved numerals. Those were lined up in a row on the surface of the wall,
attached to the enormous gears and cranks. And at the 'keydesk' of the pipe
organ, a huge keyboard of a typewriter had been installed.
Vilhelm was standing before that keyboard, and right next to him, was Maria,
tied to a simple chair. Seeing that there were no visible wounds on her
seemingly ill-humoured self, Lyle heaved a sigh of relief.
"—Do you know what this device that had been installed in the bridge of
been publicised by «The Last Hexe»."
Vilhelm asked, as though he were testing Lyle.
Lyle had understood immediately. Once, he had imagined its entire diagram. 1
Ymir is the ancestor of all jotun, the frost giants, in Norse Mythology. The kanji being
used is 'King of Giants'.
The Difference Engine that Lyle had come up with—a calculator that powered
a steam engine. Although it was something that calculated the certainty of
possible outcomes through predetermined behaviours, the calculations it
was capable of were comparatively simple in nature, and hence it was faster
to do the calculations on paper. Due to that, it was treated like a toy.
However, the calculator was merely the simple first stage. If a semiautomatic
machine was implemented, then there would be a next stage. That
would surely be—
"Yes, it is no calculator, but a mechanical brain that processes orders—the
A mechanical system that governs its own functions based on an order—Lyle
had thought of the theory behind it, but he did not think that the current
level of technology could have completed it.
That was what laid before his eyes.
"The hull of
of a 'flying warship'. As it was a complete failure, it had been abandoned.
After the shipyard above ground was burned down, it was just left as it is
Erllua Azoth was the one who had her eye on this failed project. She had
once collaborated with the military before, and thus, it is likely she was able
to learn of this vessel's existence. What she truly wanted was probably, a
device strong enough to power the Ingenious Engine, which needed a
complex and huge power source.
However, can you understand what kind of 'power' can be born from the
union of a war machine and the Ingenious Engine?"
It went without saying that Lyle understood.
If the flying warship was outfitted with the Ingenious Engine, then most of
the problems that the airship faced regarding weight capacity would be
eliminated. If a 'program' was installed into the Ingenious Engine beforehand,
then the machine would be able to operate on its own afterwards. The
soldiers manning the cannons, the personnel adjusting the outputs—the
problem of the 'heavy human baggage' weighing down the flying warship
would be resolved in one fell swoop.
"If that could be mass-produced, it would likely become a ground-breaking
form of weaponry. If properly maintained, they would be machines that
would not get their orders wrong, nor grow tired. No doubt, they would be
the ideal weapon."
Vilhelm said while looking satisfied, as if he were looking at an interesting
Should that 'ideal weapon' ever be released, the deaths that it would bring
would easily number in the hundreds, no, thousands—he understood that
fact, and admired its power.
"When I first came across this, I had been excited to no end—but this
Ingenious Engine did not function. I did not have the 'key' to start up this
Vilhelm indicated the opening in the upper region of the keyboard. It was
about the size of a person's palm, and was round in shape—it would be just
right for something like a pocket watch to fit into.
"The conversion key for the machine to interprete the order that had been
entered through calculation—that was what I have been searching for."
Saying that, Vilhelm took out the pocket watch he had taken from Lyle—the
pocket watch Lyle had been given by Erllua. Removing the outer cover and
the watch glass, he took out the 'interior' of the pocket watch.
It was a black, lenticular object. The part connected to the needle of the
watch was protruding out, like a key. The lines that ran around the surface
were flickering with light in systematic intervals.
"It is likely that this would activate
Turning towards Lyle, Vilhelm extended his arm, overflowing with vigour.
"In the absence of «The Last Hexe», you are the most knowledgeable person
after her—no, you would know the Ingenious Engine even better than the
«Witch». Your power is necessary. Lyle Waldstein, come with me. Together
Lyle looked intently at the outstretched hand, and the Ingenious Engine
behind Vilhelm, in silence.
He had been rather moved by the notion. That the mechanisms he had
formed in his mind had been materialised before his very eyes, there was no
way someone who studied science would not be moved.
He wanted to show the Ingenious Engine to others. That was a natural desire
that Lyle had.
"......I must humbly decline your offer."
After a short pause of several seconds, Lyle expectedly refused.
Vilhelm's face darkened. It seemed that Lyle's answer had not been within his
"Yeah, I was the one who had come up with the Ingenious Engine. However,
it was not for this sort of purpose."
"......Are you denying yourself the opportunity to realise your own power,
and your own worth?"
"My goal was not to create a weapon. I cannot stand by and watch it used as
a weapon right from its 'birth'."
"Wisdom and knowledge are 'power'. There's no worth in having power that
you do not use. And the fastest way to increase its worth—is to wield power
as a weapon."
Vilhelm shook his head as if he were clearing away a headache, and
whispered in a chagrined voice.
"Although I'd have liked to have him cooperate with me out of his own will, I
guess I have no other choice."
Vilhelm drew the sword at his waist.
"It looks like there's no other way to go about this."
The faint crimson magic sword was pointed towards Maria.
Maria snorted her nose, as if she were provoking him.
"—What a foul man you are."
"The ends justifies the means. Well then—what will you do, Lyle?"
"......If that's how you want it, then I'll be taking a hostage as well."
"A hostage? I don't have anyone you can...!"
Vilhelm was at a loss for words.
Maria's eyes widened in surprise.
From the breast pocket of his overcoat, Lyle had taken out a cylinder-shaped
object. That which looked somewhat like a tenderiser, with a metal tube
attached to the wooden handle, was a...
"To think you had a hand grenade..."
The stick grenade, was one of the most cutting-edge weapons, along with the
bolt-action rifle. Due to the fact that it used a detonator instead of an ignition
fuse, the increased amount of safety was one of its selling points.
"Where on earth did you get that from..."
"Getting to know the compounding method of explosives and how to
produce a detonator, was unexpectedly fun."
Lyle placed his finger on the cord at the end of the handle.
"If you don't want to be blown to bits, then you had best release Maria right
"......This is some outrageous plan you've come up with."
His composure up till this point in time utterly disrupted, Vilhelm's expression
stiffened, for the first time.
"It is just the most rational one with the highest probability of success."
Lyle smiled sweetly.
"Put too high of a value on me, didn't you, Lord Zest? Now, what will you
"...At this range, I will take but a second and a half to close the distance. It
takes quite some time for a hand grenade to detonate, doesn't it?"
"In that case—would you care to give it a go?"
Said Lyle, and he promptly pulled the cord.
Before Maria shouted out, Vilhelm had broken into a run.
It was just as he said; Vilhelm took a little less than two seconds to reach Lyle,
and knocked the hand grenade from his hands.
"That was close— !"
Although the hand grenade exploded, what assailed them was no shock
wave, but an intense flash of light.
"Wait, this is a— !"
"Don't worry about it!"
Lyle who had covered his face beforehand, ran past Vilhelm, who had his
hands over his eyes.
"That was just an example of chemiluminescence!"
Lyle headed for Maria at full speed.
Although Maria was blinded by the intense light as well, sensing Lyle's
presence, her face quickly glowed with joy.
"Glad to see that you're alright, Maria."
Lyle started to untie the ropes that were restraining Maria.
"Lyle, behind you!"
Turning about abruptly, Lyle found that Vilhelm was heading right back for
him. Though he had not recovered from the blinding light just yet, he had
extended his hands out towards Lyle.
"Just give it— !"
A flash of silver that came from above.
With just his intuition, Vilhelm had counterattacked with his magic sword.
Lunaria who had came falling from the ceiling, had a long sword of steel in
Vilhelm went into a safe defensive position.
Seeing that his fighting prowess had not gone down at all despite his
deteriorated eyesight, Lunaria released the [Fog]. Blocking Vilhelm's field of
vision, she grabbed both Lyle and Maria, and 'fogslided' away, putting some
distance between them and Vilhelm.
"......You sure pulled a fast one on me, Lyle."
After blinking his eyes, Vilhelm glared at Lyle.
"—What on earth was that earlier?"
"It had been powdered metal—a chemiluminescence reaction created using
some aluminium and combustion agents."
Untying the ropes binding Maria, who had been dragged along with her chair,
Lyle turned around and faced Vilhelm.
"I don't have the skills to make real explosives, due to the precision needed."
"I fell for your trap, didn't I. Good grief...... you're full of surprises."
Although he was the one who had been at a disadvantage, Vilhelm still
smiled, looking excited.
"All the more reason—to not let you return!"
Spinning around, Vilhelm ran towards the base of the Ingenious Engine.
Lyle did not even have the time to stop him.
The core of the pocket watch from the «Witch» was inserted into the
'keyhole' of the Ingenious Engine.
With a small click, the countless numbers of wheels started to turn all at
Vilhelm's fingers began to tap on the upper part of the keyboard.
In that moment, the sound of running steam engines grew louder, and with a
stir, the control deck—the flying warship began to tremble greatly.
The performing arts festival held at the multi-purpose plaza in the western
outskirts of the royal capital had ended, and the performers were drinking
themselves silly in celebration. A certain powerful noble had gifted them with
a generous amount of beer and spirits. Those who knew that said noble was
Vilhelm Zest numbered few, and those who wanted to leave the third factory
site numbered none.
After all, if they could enjoy the drink, they would not care about all the other
Initially, they had thought that the trembling was due to their insobriety.
And then, those who were less drunk had pointed it out.
"Hahaha, look! I'm so wasted, I'm seeing airships!"
Practically all of them had ignored it and continued their merry-making.
One part of the wall of the central deck in the flying warship
just as the warship began to rise, and was replaced by a glass pane that
projected the scenery outside. It conferred on them a feeling of being distant
from the ground.
By simply operating the keyboard, the massive flying warship was controlled.
The Ingenious Engine that functioned as the core of
something that would change the way wars would be waged. Although it
could only support something as large-scale as a flying warship, if a
downsized version were to be available, its worth would be unmeasurable.
"Hahahaha! Excellent! You are truly a genius, Lyle Waldstein!"
Lyle answered Vilhelm's compliments with only silence.
He had invented it, but it was being used in the worst conceivable way. He
could not find the appropriate words to describe his regret.
"......What should we do, Lyle?"
Whispered Maria, who was patting her arms and shoulders after being
released from her bindings.
"He's gone at it quite a number of times, but that dandy noble doesn't have
"......There are ways to stop this flying warship even if we do not shut down
the Ingenious Engine."
Automated it may be, but that also meant that it was a complex system. A
complex machine had many weaknesses that could be exploited. For
example, if the head could not be cut off, then one simply had to crush its
Lyle attempted to slowly retreat, but Vilhelm seemed to have guessed his
intentions, and tapped the keyboard with his fingers.
And immediately, a banging sound came from the passageway that led to the
central deck, and it was shut with a steel door.
"The way to the warship's core is now shut. What will you do now?"
Maria clapped the now silent Lyle on the shoulders.
"I don't know what you're thinking of... but you can make use of me."
Turning around, Lyle saw that Maria was wearing a rather dangerous smile.
"I'm pretty strong no matter how you look at me, hm?"
"...I know that."
Lyle smiled wryly.
It was somewhat deplorable for him, but before he made an all-in gamble, it
seemed he had no choice but to borrow her strength.
"......Lunaria, pass me the pack."
Taking the pack which Lunaria had been carrying on her back, Lyle took out
the weapons inside one after another.
"Here you go, Maria."
Taking her favourite rifle and a belt filled with bullets that was passed to her,
Maria went, "Whoa, would you look at this." The tip of the rifle had been
equipped with a bayonet.
"Now we're ready for battle."
"Alright... what about you, Lunaria?"
"......I am ready."
The girl who was staring at Vilhelm replied softly to Lyle.
"Currently, you're the only one who can oppose that magic sword of his. I
need you to buy some time for us."
Lunaria tightened her grip on the sword in her hands.
"Lunaria will give us some time. Maria, I'll be needing your assistance."
"Done with your little chat?"
Vilhelm who had turned and faced them, was approaching, magic sword in
Taking the initiative, Lunaria dashed out at him.
Wearing a bored expression, Vilhelm threw out an attack at
the «Nosferatu» who was clad in [Fog], her Eyes of Amber glowing with the
light of magical excitation.
He deflected the outstretched [Fog] with the magic blade, which shared the
same nature in their magic.
Lunaria slashed with her sword, and it grazed the tip of Vilhelm's nose as he
jumped back. The next instant, a stake of [Fog] followed up with another
attack. Jumping aside, Vilhelm hacked at everything in his way.
"A combination attack using both your [Fog] and a sword. It is more
troublesome to deal with, but..."
Using her 'fogsliding' movement which confused the sense of distance of
people, Lunaria closed the distance, swinging her blade at Vilhelm. He
guarded the attack with ease. The tendril of [Fog] that followed up went for
his weak point, but it was completely dodged, brushed away and hacked
"It seems you've gotten a little better. I can see the strength and skill behind
your sword, but it is not enough to overcome me. And neither is your [Fog]."
Having seen through her tactics, Vilhelm went on the attack.
As though the battle on the viewing platform had been but a mere warm-up,
the speed and power of the magic blade multiplied.
Lunaria felt her hand go numb as she took the attack from the magic blade.
Though she had also guarded with the [Fog], the magic blade had went
through it like a hot knife through butter. The tip grazed Lunaria's slender
neck, and blood began to flow.
"Do not resist. This is but an act of mercy, as you will be reunited with your
"...What do you know about us?"
Pressing down on her neck, Lunaria glared sternly at Vilhelm.
"From who exactly did you receive that magic blade from...?"
"Of course, from those who had burned down your hometown."
Gently caressing the blade of the magic sword, Vilhelm said.
"Besides the House of Zest, there are also others who have had secret
agreements with the Phantasm. This includes those who proposed changes,
in order to adapt to this new world transformed by the
Revolution>—those who were of the Fog had rejected the new ways, and
thus, were consequently destroyed as a result, were they not?"
The young Margrave, looked right back at Lunaria, his eyes filled with pity.
"Well, they had it coming. They were always cooped up in their own world.
Hidden in darkness, the Phantasms passed those dark days. Unable to realise
that they were trapped by the covenants of the olden days, their narrowminded
ideology rejected change—no different from those nobles who had
fallen into ruin, no longer able to be sustained by just their lineage. Utterly
worthless, with not a single bit of productivity. It is no surprise they were
destroyed, those of the Fog, that is."
Shouting out loud, Lunaria hacked at Vilhelm. He deflected both blade and
[Fog] as though it were child's play.
Lunaria's onslaught was incessant, reckless.
"My father... my mother... my sisters... How dare you insult their name!"
"Why do you feel anger? Why do you feel resentment? There's no meaning in
it, no matter what you do."
"I'm sure that even you yourself understand that there's no meaning in your
At his gentle voice, Lunaria's face was contorted, as though she was about to
break out in tears.
"Truly, you have no worth. After all, you aren't even doing the things you
should be doing here. Which is—to run away, isn't it?"
"Yes, you left those of the Fog behind and fled. You failed to die."
With Vilhelm's every whisper, Lunaria's movement seemed to become visibly
wilder and wilder. Her aim with her swords strikes and the [Fog] lessened.
Vilhelm was a formidable warrior, but he was no novice in the art of
He had said that the most important thing to have as a noble, was to possess
'eyes that can judge'. And so, the young Margrave had seen right through the
weaknesses of the «Nosferatu» girl.
"Why be angry over some insults? There's no need to mourn, nor reason to
grieve—not for you, who had thrown away even the worth of anger and fled,
Lunaria screamed. Like a child throwing a tantrum, she entrusted everything
to her anger, and swung her sword.
Vilhelm struck aside Lunaria's direct downward slash with a horizontal blow
from the magic blade.
A high-pitched sound was produced as Lunaria's sword was cleaved in two.
Vilhelm then drove his palm right into the dumbfounded Lunaria's belly. The
merciless blow from that tempered, well-trained body sent Lunaria flying
away, throwing up blood, helplessly sprawling over the ground.
She had no strength left in her body. Her body shook, trembling.
Even so, she struggled to stand, her sword falling from her hands and onto
The sword was broken. A blade that had been rendered useless. It was—just
like her own self.
The moment she laid her eyes on that blade that had almost been broken off
at the hilt, Lunaria finally gave up. She could no longer find any strength nor
"That's right. A pitiful corpse which has lost its pride and ego is practically
Slowly walking towards her, Vilhelm raised the magic sword, as though he
were an executioner.
Noticing that something was wrong, Vilhelm turned around.
Lyle and Maria were there, tearing off a certain part of the wall.
"Just as predicted...!"
Removing the maintainence hatch of the control deck with help from Maria,
Lyle found what he was looking for.
"Yup, this is Master's work. I thought she'd definitely have prepared
something like this."
Although it was not something like the keyboard in front of the Ingenious
Engine, a small terminal with a list of numerals had been installed there. It
was a backup, in case the keyboard to enter the commands with broke down.
"Will you be able to manage?"
"I'll do something about it."
Replying to Maria's question, he placed the terminal in his lap. He was
overcome with emotion. It was unlike his usual self.
—The fruits of the technology he had invented.
It existed in reality. There existed no scientist who would not be happy to see
their ideas be turned to reality.
That feeling could not be so easily erased—Lyle smiled at the irony of it.
"It's funny..... how happy I am. I shirk away from this invention that could
very well change the world completely, but at the same time, I can't help but
feel thrilled to see it right before my very eyes."
He thought that it was selfish and pathetic.
"......I'm sorry, Maria."
"I'm just scared. I'm afraid that I might change someone, or their way of life—
I'm afraid, that's why I did not do anything."
It was because he did not do anything, that he had come here. That was how
However, he had wavered in his path many times. And each time, the words
from the girl of flaming copper hair beside Lyle had brought him back on
track. If he were to respond to her words—if he were to wield his power as
she wanted him to, would it do for him to remain thus?
"...I'm sorry Maria. If I do it your way—"
"What I wish for, is what you wish for, Lyle."
Hearing Maria say that rather indifferently, Lyle looked up from the terminal
Maria nodded, a satisfied smile on her face.
"I don't know what is it you're worried about—but even though I have some
hopes for you, I won't force you to do anything. Well, I've made a few
preparations in case you ever feel like it, but... that's just a hobby of mine."
"But still, I..."
"Knowledge and wisdom are a means, not an ends. Indeed, there are many
things you can do with them... However, they are also things that only you
can do. So if it doesn't match your own wishes, then you can simply ignore it.
You're you, after all. There's nothing to be worried about."
With that, Maria winked impishly.
—Yeah, I see it now.
His chest felt lightened.
Lyle had always wondered if all Maria cared about was his knowledge and
wisdom. Whether she had wanted him to use said knowledge and wisdom
like Erllua did.
Lyle had always hesitated. Afraid that he might make a mistake, and end up
hurting others. That was why he had always held his talent back. His
conscience had always bugged him, why a girl like Maria would ever want to
have anything to do with an unmotivated person like him.
However, he did not feel any guilt nor weakness towards her.
"—Feeling distressed, Lyle? I wonder what you're trying to do now?"
Vilhelm was running towards Lyle, who was operating the terminal.
"Lyle, I leave things to you!"
Maria, without holding back, fired her gun.
Vilhelm dodged that as though he had seen it coming. As if he had predicted
the trajectory of the bullet.
Without giving Maria any time to load another bullet, Vilhelm slashed at her.
Maria did not run, and furthermore, exchanged blows with him head-on.
Pulling back the bayonet, she sidestepped her foe's attack, and drove the
gunstock of the rifle at Vilhelm, in a counter.
The iron plate-reinforced gunstock taking a bit of the skin from his brow,
Vilhelm turned his body aside and retreated instantly.
"...I see how it is," said Vilhelm as he touched the blood on his brow with his
finger, narrowing his eyes. Your true specialty is in the rifle, eh. That
technique is— [Bayonet Fechten]
, isn't it?"
'Fechten' is German for 'fencing', so yep, it's bayonet fencing.
Holding the rifle like a spear, Maria smiled fearlessly.
As guns had become a practical and increasingly commonplace weapon,
there were those who had adopted the new weapon as a form of martial art,
amongst the knights who had lived by the sword. [Bayonet Fechten] was
born along the way, polished and continued, as the newest form of close
While checking the condition of his sword, Vilhelm scowled at Maria, who
had loaded a round.
"......The maid had some skill, and so does the mistress, it seems. Do let me
enjoy myself a little longer!"
With a smile like that of a beast which had found its prey, Vilhelm charged at
Her dress billowing, Maria took the blow from the magic blade, a desperate
expression on her face.
"Lyle! Do it quick!"
"I don't know what you're up to, but— !"
Vilhelm, who had caught Maria's bullet with the flat of his blade, widened his
The scenery outside the window—the light from the stars was slowly moving.
The progress was being taken over.
"You can't be—"
"The rotor's torque was stronger than I expected it to be... three tries, it
"You actually took control of the ship without the conversion key!"
Maria took advantage of his surprise, stabbing out with the bayonet, and
Vilhelm dodged it by a paper-thin margin.
"Ridiculous! A back-up is but a back-up! Not to mention, with just a terminal
and some numbers—How!?"
"It's just as you said, Margrave Zest. Master was the one who created the
Ingenious Engine—But I was the one who came up with the theory and
Without taking his eyes off the terminal, Lyle replied Vilhelm's question.
"It might be the Ingenious Engine, but it's based on calculations. Even if you
use a keyboard that makes it easy to input text, the commands are
interpreted through a numerical algorithm. If you understand how that
protocol works, even if you key in commands in numerals..."
"Absurd! Even if that were possible—When did you crack the algorithm of
"The basis for the calculations is a binary number system involving just 1s and
0s. And then, those pipe cylinders that started rotating when you input the
program—once I saw the nature of the computation process from that, I
understood it at once."
The speed at which Lyle's fingers moved increased, by two, even three times
The pipe organ's—the Ingenious Engine's calculation wheels creaked noisily
as they rotated. After commands were entered into the algorithm which
executed the program, the doors which sealed the passageway leading to the
control deck opened.
At Maria's urging, Lyle started to run. However, seeing the figure of the fallen
Lunaria, his feet stopped for a moment.
He had heard the conversation she had with Vilhelm earlier. It explained the
recklessness and desperation in her attitude. The girl, whose name had been
called out and was looking over at him, her expression had returned to the
same empty emotionless one she had in their first meeting.
"......Whether you have any worth or not, I don't really know! Nor is it
something I can decide!"
However, he had to refute Lunaria's heart, which had been held captive by
"There is just one thing I have to tell you! If you do nothing, then it would
mean that you accept Lord Zest's insults! Are you fine with that, deciding just
that like, the worth of your own bloodline!?"
Saying just that, Lyle turned around.
He did not think that Lunaria's heart would be cleared with just that.
However, he wanted to lighten Lunaria's guilt, if only a little, just like how
Maria had done for him.
(—Doing that would probably make her keep on fighting... it's hypocrisy.)
As though trying to shake off his self-mockery, Lyle picked up his speed and
hurried towards the engine core of
"There he goes......"
Lyle's footsteps could be heard as he departed the area, and Maria took up a
stance with her rifle.
In contrast, Vilhelm was staring blankly at the exit of the deck that Lyle had
unlocked. Though he was so full of openings that it seemed like it would all
be over if she just aimed and shot him, Maria controlled that temptation,
feeling a strange air from him on her bare shoulders and nape.
Vilhelm broke out into uproarious laughter.
"Ha, haha, heheh......he input the calculations directly? I searched for the
conversion key because that had been too complicated—and looking at the
rotations of the wheels? He cracked the program from looking at all those
numbers rotating at that kind of speed? How good must your memory and
mental calculation be to do that? My worries as to whether he was a true
prodigy were all for naught! He's a monster. With his vast amount of
knowledge and his exceptional ability to do mental calculations, he's a
monster of intellect! Magnificent! I must have him on my side, no matter
Maria felt the chills run down her spine.
There was nothing resembling malice in Vilhelm's voice. It felt like that of a
positive, eloquent, pleasant young man.
However, the meaning behind those words, revealed nothing but a disregard
for the other party's will, and only a desire to enforce his own.
Vilhelm returned to the base of the Ingenious Engine and tapped the
keyboard. With a clanging sound, the metal cover was disconnected.
"I've opened up the voice pipe in the warship. Anything that happens in this
control deck will be heard throughout the entire ship."
No one knew that such a thing existed, until he had said it.
"Lyle! I don't know how you're going to destroy the engine core without any
explosives, but... get back here at once!"
The Margrave called out to Lyle, who was running in the warship.
"I hope you will think this through quickly! I do not wish to make the ladies
Vilhelm approached quietly, as though he was a shadow. The magic sword
was drawing closer, aimed towards Maria.
Spinning about using the rifle like a spear, Maria grit her teeth and defended
herself against the fierce assault from the magic blade.
If she suffered so much as a graze, she would be controlled. It was necessary
for her to push her concentration to the utmost limit.
"Bayonet Fechten is a highly offensive combat style which lacks in defence.
You won't make any progress if you're only defending, will you?"
He was explaining it to Lyle, and at the same time, provoking Maria directly.
The bayonet was used similar to a spear, but it relied heavily on defeating the
enemy in a single strike. It was unavoidable that there would be an opening
for a counterattack. And that was what Vilhelm had been going for.
"Don't worry. I will not treat you coldly. I did say that I will grant you your
wish, after all."
"I have no idea what you're going on about!"
"I'm just saying, if you won't be obedient, then I'll make you be."
Instead of defending with the sword, he went on the attack with words.
"I'll even let you bed Lyle. It'd be rather simple to remove all sense of shame
"I'll engrave the ways of pleasuring a man right onto your heart. Don't you
think that would make Lyle feel so good that he'd float right up to heaven?"
"You disgusting beast!"
Maria found herself enraged, at those words which had trampled all over her
feelings for Lyle.
Rage disrupted concentration. Maria, who was concentrating on the magic
sword, widened her eyes when she saw that Vilhelm had let go of the hilt. In
that instant, a sharp elbow drove into her body, and her body formed the
shape of a 'c'.
He nimbly grabbed hold of the magic sword in mid-air, and swung it down on
Maria, who was enduring the pain.
"Oh no— !"
However, the blade of the magic sword passed through the air before her
eyes, a distance away. Vilhelm also seemed to be a distance away.
Not quite understanding what had happened, Maria realised that she had
been carried away, the [Fog] entwined around her body, and then she was
placed down next to Lunaria, who was unsteadily rising to her feet.
"......A hateful man he is."
Lunaria sighingly said.
"......Yes, I am but a powerless, worthless and insignificant lass. I have not the
intention of changing that fact... I understand that, yet you...... !"
Maria blinked with surprise, and looked down at Lunaria's pale silver hair.
The one she seemed to be angry at was not Vilhelm, but Lyle, it seemed. Her
irritated face seemed to have several kinds of colourful languages written on
it, but the shadow of pessimism seemed to have been chased away.
"All of it... I understood..... yet you...... !"
"—Lyle is just that kind of guy."
Lunaria looked up at her, and Maria smiled wryly in response, as though she
were both proud and amazed.
"For example, he'd even save someone who's trying to commit suicide before
him, right? But, he won't tell that person to cherish their life. He'd probably
just go, 'I dislike seeing this sort of thing happen'. And so, he would stop
them from suicide. No matter how many times, he would save them... and he
would continue to do so until they give up on trying to do so."
"......I think I kind of understand."
Lunaria looked sullen as she quietened down, but she nodded as though of
the same opinion.
She felt that Maria was a surprisingly easy girl to understand, and she could
feel a sense of familiarity from her. Their hearts were being thrown into
disarray by the same young man, and it was similar to the feeling of
"You saved me earlier. I'll have to thank you once this is all over. What would
"......Then, would you please tell me your 'secret'?"
Maria raised her eyebrows, but quickly nodded after remembering their
exchange back in Lyle's laboratory.
"Yeah, that's fine by me. Well then, let's get started, shall we, Lunaria?"
"Let us do so, Maria."
The copper and pale silver hair, as though being repelled from each other,
abruptly jumped aside. Immediately after, the faint crimson-coloured magic
sword came slashing down.
"—You think by joining forces you'd stand a chance?"
Vilhelm went after Maria, who was on his right. Maria fired a shot, to
suppress him. Naturally, Vilhelm evaded that shot. In the same motion, he
thrust his sword right at Maria,
The high-density [Fog] had guarded Maria from the magic blade.
Lunaria then took the place of Maria who had retreated, after being
protected by the [Fog].
And once again, Vilhelm attacked Lunaria, who had come at him riding upon
the [Fog], with both his magic and verbal sword.
"You're still at it? What are you still fighting for? You, who had left your
brethren behind, and failed to die—"
"It is just as you say. I will fail to die."
Lunaria looked back at Vilhelm resolutely, wielding the [Fog].
"What will come of your anger? You, the powerless you, who could do
naught but flee from even your own cowardice, what will come of fighting
"Nothing will come of it. My feelings still have not changed, that I am
worthless, and that this world would be better off without me. I am but a
coward who ran away..... However, those of the Fog—I cannot forgive any
insults you make to their name!"
Vilhelm murmured, realising that he would not seize the advantage this time.
Lunaria's nihilistic ways were a result of her inability to save her brethren.
She could not forgive her own powerlessness, and that was why she had
thought herself a 'corpse that ought to disappear', 'someone who found no
worth in living, a person who failed to die'.
Her sense of powerlessness was now reversed, due to her love for her family.
"......Then, the only thing left is to cut you down."
Vilhelm spun about, the momentum adding into the heavy blow he
unleashed. The [Fog], which had increased magical density, gave in to
Lunaria took up a defensive stance with her broken sword.
"What can you possibly do with that broken blade!"
However, the magic blade that sought to split apart that delicate neck, was
clearly repelled away.
Vilhelm's eyes widened.
A vortex of the phantasmal [Fog] was swirling around the tip of Lunaria's
hand. The [Fog] coiled around the broken sword, as though taking the place
of the sword's blade, forming a white, semi-transparent blade like that of
"—This is the
With a swaying dance, Lunaria threw out a horizontal slash with the blade of
The magic blade parried. The convergence rate of the [Fog]'s density was
stretched to its utmost limits, and it was nothing like what had been seen so
far. And so, Vilhelm put in even more strength into his blows. 1
The kanji meaning of Nebula Sparda is 'The Sword of Fog'
reformed immediately, slicing at Vilhelm.
He dodged, but the blade of [Fog] grazed his well-featured face, wounding his
Lunaria concentrated all of the [Fog] that her body was emitting into the
reform itself—it was, so to speak, a sword which cannot be blocked. And like
its namesake, it slipped through defences and attacked, like fog.
However, there was a price to pay for overexertion of this power. The
consumption rate of power was in a different league from when Lunaria was
clad in [Fog], and each time the
itself, her face grew paler.
"Why you— !"
It threw away all thoughts of defence, and risked the user's life—Vilhelm,
who had thought that, promptly jumped back. Sparks erupted from the
ground near his feet, from the impact of a projectile.
"Don't forget that I'm here as well!"
Maria called out, loading a round into the rifle.
Lunaria, who had resistance against
defence, and Maria, who was skilled with the gun, offered suppressive fire
and offence. It was an unexpected, yet natural combination.
"......Still, these are merely parlour tricks, little ladies."
A faint trace of irritation flickering over his face, Vilhelm charged right at the
the two of them.
Lyle was sprinting through the interior of
control deck was being broadcasted to the entire ship since a while ago, but
he believed in Maria and Lunaria, and quickened his pace.
The location of the Amber Reactor, the engine core, he had learnt from the
map of the warship briefly flashed across his mind. The steady increase in the
number of thick, heavy doors and the thickening of the pipes substantiated
the fact that he was on the right track.
He finally arrived at a conspicuous massive steel door. Rotating valves
opened up, and Lyle could feel the hot, dusk-coloured air on his cheeks.
An object formed of thirty-two pentagons and hexagons, interlaced together.
That was the rough shape of the Amber Reactor. The interior was cast in
steel, and there a special alloy called 'mithril' was deposited, which served to
amplify the efficiency of the energy contained in the amber.
The diameter of the Amber Reactor, which was half-buried in pipes and its
furnace, was longer than the length of a large adult; it was solidly and firmly
built. If he were to open the hexagonal grate which replenished the amber,
there would be a fair amount of heat outflow, but he would not do
something that deliberate.
"......Should I use this?"
Lyle took out the weapon he had secretly prepared beforehand.
It was a single-shot revolver that fired explosive rounds. The calibre was high,
but it was not powerful enough to destroy the steel Amber Reactor—
normally, that is.
The trick was in the bullet.
Into the top-break revolver, a silver bullet that reflected with a rainbowcoloured
light was loaded.
Going back into the passageway to put some distance inbetween, he held the
gun with both hands, and pointed it at the Amber Reactor.
Placing his finger on the trigger—and Lyle hesitated then.
Was it fine to just destroy
Was it fine to just destroy this unprecedented invention, an Ingenious Engine
that was actually in operation, just like this?
His resolve to pull the trigger there and then, would not change.
His determination to not pull the trigger, would change.
The answer to the question that Erllua had once asked him, was now right at
The finger on the trigger began to tremble.
Right at that moment, a voice sounded out from the walls.
He heard a voice, loud enough to chase away all his hesitation.
The fight in the control deck was like a seesaw; the tides turning favourable
one moment, and unfavourable the next, for both parties. It was a precarious
with the sword was beneath Vilhelm's. No matter how fast her attacks, they
were all predicted and deflected.
None of Maria's shots had hit thus far; the moment she pulled the trigger, he
was already somewhere else. It went without saying that none of the attacks
from her bayonet struck home either.
With their hasty cooperation, Maria and Lunaria could barely manage to keep
at bay Vilhelm, who was displaying his superhuman skill with the sword. They
were unused to fighting side-by-side with each other, and they were slowly
getting worn out.
"......Sheesh. I wish he'd go a little easier on us."
Maria lamented, as she tried to regulate her breathing.
Vilhelm stood before them, looking rather relaxed. He did not even break a
sweat even though both his opponents possessed uncommon fighting
"It's about time you ran out of bullets, isn't it? The «Nosferatu» lady over
there looks pretty tired as well."
Lunaria was silent. She was barely hanging on, trying to catch her breath. The
Phantasms, magical power was their lifeforce. Each time she crossed blades
with Vilhelm's magic sword, a portion of her life was literally shaved away.
"Won't you stop this already? To begin with, this has been a rather pointless
"I could even give