Gakusen Toshi Asterisk - novelonlinefull.com
You’re reading novel Gakusen Toshi Asterisk Vol 5 Chapter 7 online at NovelOnlineFull.com. Please use the follow button to get notification about the latest chapter next time when you visit NovelOnlineFull.com. Use F11 button to read novel in full-screen(PC only). Drop by anytime you want to read free – fast – latest novel. It’s great if you could leave a comment, share your opinion about the new chapters, new novel with others on the internet. We’ll do our best to bring you the finest, latest novel everyday. Enjoy
Because the Battle-Stage of the Sirius Dome became unavailable for use, the awards ceremony and closing ceremony were hurriedly transferred to the Procyon Dome. Since unlike the opening ceremony, the attending students were limited, it was said that there would be no problem even if the location became somewhat small.
Actually, since it was only the winner and runner-ups who attended the awards ceremony, the comfort of Ayato who had to stand in the stage was very bad. After all, Julis had been carried to the Medical Center immediately after the final, and Ardi who was the runner-up had also been taken to the laboratory by Ernesta. In other words, standing now in the stage of this awards ceremony were only Ayato, Camilla and Rimsi.
On the other hand, the audience seating was overflowing with people to the extent that it was tightly packed. There was also the fact that the awards ceremony and closing ceremony were entrance-free (there were admission restrictions though), but customarily, it seemed that if the final was lively, the more lively it was, the more that number would increase. In such an interpretation, it would be said that the match of Ayato and company satisfied the audience.
“ーEven judging from the above-mentioned things, I think that one can understand just how wonderful this Phoenix was. Especially, although the exceptional measures regarding the two of Allekant Academy were strictly provisional, it will be important regarding the future rules enactment…”
On the platform, the Steering Committee Chairman Madiath Mesa was speaking general comments about this tournament. Whereas the greetings of the opening ceremony were mainly turned towards the students, the speech now was turned to the audience and televiewers. Probably for that reason, his tone was also somewhat formal.
As Ayato was somehow looking at the Student Council Presidents of each academy lined up on the platform, his eyes met those of one among them ー the student council president of Queen Veil Girl’s Academy for an instant.
Then, Sylvia slightly smiled and sent a wink teasingly. Though Ayato was shocked (surprised), Sylvia soon removed her gaze.
The feeling that that girl was the real Sylvia Ryuneheim sprung out now, but there were also several persons beside her who were looking at Ayato. It was the student council presidents of St. Garrardsworth Academy and World Dragon Seventh Inst.i.tute. Especially, the student council president of World Dragon looked at Ayato with strangely glittering eyes, and it was a little scary.
Contrastively, the student council president of Le Wolfe Black Inst.i.tute Dirk Eberwein didn't even try to look Ayato’s way. There was no evidence that the matter of this time was Dirk’s doing, but they could only wait for the investigation of the Hunter Guards about this.
It was said that at the time when Claudia received the information that Flora was rescued, she contacted the Hunter Guards. In the winner interview after the final, Claudia accompanied Ayato instead of Julis, but the matter of Flora was suddenly disclosed there. Naturally, there was a great uproar in the press conference room as if someone had stirred up a beehive, and due to that, the time of interview was greatly extended. This awards ceremony was originally scheduled to be held from the evening, but it had completely grown dark already outside.
By the way, Claudia said that the Hunter Guards were very angry that she had not contacted them when the kidnapping was confirmed.
“Well then, I will call the winner and runner-up of the 24th Phoenix. ーYou three, please come here.”
When they were called by Madiath and went up to the platform, huge applause arose from the audience seat.
“First of all, I praise here the superior technology and strong will of both Camilla Pareto and Ernesta Kühne ー as well as the good fight of both players Ardi and Rimsi. Congratulations for the second place.”
As Madiath said so and shook hands with Camilla, he handed her a big trophy.
“It is an honor, Chairman.”
“Thanks to you guys, it would be no exaggeration to say that a new history was engraved in the Festa again. We must always continue evolving. For that purpose, talents like you guys are indispensable. Do your best in the future as well.”
Madiath faced Rimsi next and similarly exchanged handshakes with her.
“I don’t know how the treatment of puppets in the future Festas will turn out, but your activity will definitely have a great meaning.”
“…I appreciate your words.” Rimsi answered with her usual unchanged calm expression.
“And, I praise here the bright glory, indomitable fighting spirit and brilliant victory of Amagiri Ayato and Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld. ーCongratulations for the championship.”
Madiath’s strong hand suddenly grasped Ayato’s hand.
“Though it seems that there was an unexpected disturbance in the final, you guys who pulled through the fight without losing to it are surely suitable to receive this trophy. We of the Steering Committee also intend to fully cooperate with the Hunter Guards and strive to investigate the truth. We will never tolerate something like that again, so I would like you to feel at ease.”
“…Thank you for your consideration.”
The crest of hexagon which was Asterisk’s symbol was carved on the trophy. It was even bigger than the trophy which Camilla had received, and very heavy.
“Personally, I found your match really interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing your activity again in the next Festa.”
As Madiath nodded with a smile, he put his hand on Ayato’s shoulder and urged him to turn around.
When turning around in response to it, the reporters of media gathered as they surrounded the platform.
“Now! A Grand applause for them who gave us the best excitement and impression!”
Receiving Madiath’s voice, thunderous cheers and applause arose from all over the hall.
It was the most grand and enthusiastic ovation since the beginning of the Phoenix until now. It was a storm of applause which poured from all the 360°.
Although Ayato was perplexed at how he should respond to it, he felt a sense of accomplishment which exceeded some mountains.
After finishing the awards ceremony, Ayato returned to the waiting room with Claudia.
“So what would you do after this? Just so you know, there’s a reception, but you are not particularly required to partic.i.p.ate.”
“In that case, I want to go the Medical Center. I want to see Julis’ and Kirin-chan’s conditions.”
Though Julis also received considerable damages, Kirin seems to be more seriously injured. It was not life-threatening, but even with the technology of the Medical Center and the resilience (recovery power) of a Starpulse Generation, hospitalization was necessary for several days.
That only showed how desperate she was in order to save Flora.
Saya who was standing in front of the waiting room saw Ayato and ran up to him.
“Congratulations for the championship. As one would expect of my Ayato.”
“It’s thanks to Saya and Kirin-chan. Thank you.”
As Ayato said so, Saya, unusually embarra.s.sed, shook her head.
“…No, It wasn’t my power alone. Kirin, Yabuki and MacPhail have also helped.”
When Saya pointed behind her, a conspicuously large back peeped out from the shadow of a pillar.
“Thank you, Lester. You really helped us.”
“There’s really no reason to thank me! I was just threatened by that b.a.s.t.a.r.d Yabuki, and I had no choice but to help!”
He returned a curt reply without even looking Ayato’s way.
“Hahaha… wait, eh? Speaking of Yabuki, where is he?”
Ayato looked around, but he could not see Eishiro’s figure.
“That b.a.s.t.a.r.d ran away in the middle of fight…! Geez, he calls someone and he himself flees… the next time I meet him, he won’t get away with that.”
Lester’s voice was trembling with an anger he could not hide.
It looked like he quite seriously angry. It was no wonder though.
“…But sorry, Ayato. The criminal was not caught.”
Saya looked downward with a despondent face.
“It’s nothing to apologize for. Anyway, the most important is that everyone was safe.”
He had already heard from Claudia, although the criminal who kidnaped Flora was repelled by Saya and Kirin, it seemed that he disappeared before they knew about it.
It meant that he had escaped at the opening when they were in a hurry about Kirin’s injury and the hurried contact to Claudia, but Ayato did not mind that much at that point.
Of course, if the criminal was caught, they might have been able to pursue Le Wolfe which was probably pulling the strings behind the scenes, but more than that, the fact that Saya, Flora and company were safe was much happier.
“Ah, by the way, we are on our way to the Medical Center now, but Saya, Lester, what will you do?”
“…I’m going, too. Kirin was stout-hearted, but her wound was not superficial. I’m worried about whether she’s all right.”
Saying so, Saya knitted her eyebrows as she was anxious.
“I’m going back. I tag along with you till there after all.”
Lester, still with his back turned on Ayato and company, lightly raised his hand and left, but he suddenly stopped on the way.
“That’s right ー well, um, I’ll just say congratulations.”
As he said so, this time for sure ーsomehow, at a quick paceー he left.
“Fufufu, even MacPhail-kun is not honest, eh… Well then, let’s find a means of transport until we reach the Medical Center. Please wait a little.”
Claudia took out her portable terminal and began to contact somewhere.
When making mindless exchanges with Saya about the finals while waiting for it (transportation)ー
Saya suddenly turned her gaze to the back of the pa.s.sage.
When Ayato also looked that way, Camilla and Rimsi were coming over to this place.
“…What do you want?”
“ーI take back the words of the other day.”
At Camilla’s words, Saya stared in wonder.
“…I don’t understand. It was Ayato and Julis who defeated you. We lost.”
“I am not talking about the final, but yesterday’s match. You and Professor Sasamiya’s lux had surpa.s.sed this Rimsi. That’s clear for anyone who saw the match.”
“…But, I wasn’t able to win against Ardi.”
Camilla said with the same expression as Saya who muttered in frustration.
“I think that you guys have already realized, but Ardi’s defensive barrier is something which emulated the ability of an Ulm Mana Dite. That’s a defense system which I can say with confidence to be my greatest masterpiece, but… Ardi at the time of the fusion is different. Ardi in that state gets energy directly from the Ulm Mana Dite and uses its ability. In other words, it is not very different than using an ogre lux. And, the ideal of us, the FerroviusLion Faction is incompatible to something unstable like an ogre lux.”
As Camilla sighed there, she slowly shook her head.
“Thus, I personally don’t recognize that as a victory.”
“It looked like it is not only me who think so.” Camilla said and stepped aside as if turning over.
Coming to the front, in her stead, was Rimsi. “Sasamiya Saya. I wish for a rematch with you.”
“Well, since in the current situation, the autonomous type puppets can’t afford to duel at their own convenience, I don’t know when it would be though…”
Saya who had heard it with a blank face suddenly (with a puff) loosen her lips before long.
“Understood. If it’s the case, the revocation of those words of yours will have to be put on hold until then.”
“…What do you mean?”
This time, Camilla asked back as she was surprised.
“I also have my pride. I also don’t think that as a victory.”
“Don’t worry. Next time, I will crushingly defeat you completely and clinch the decision.”
As Saya said and chuckled, Camilla also floated a light smile.
“…I see. Then, we shall do so.”
Only Rimsi had a calm expression, but for some reason Ayato felt like he saw a strong fighting spirit there.
- ψ -
The underground block of Asterisk was the jurisdiction of the Inst.i.tution Maintenance Department, and a periodic inspection was performed at a considerable frequency. Hence, it was unsuitable for a criminal to hide himself, but it is not as if there weren't exceptions.
For example, in case when one perfectly knew the route and the period of that periodic inspection.
Even so, it was impossible to hide, but if it was at least to be used as an escape route, then there was no problem.
That man, who languidly hung down both his arms, while being soaked in water up to his knees, was quietly advancing through the drainage channel which frequently branched off, like a maze. Although a small light was mounted to the surface of a wall, at a s.p.a.ce considerably away, one could hardly see well enough ahead with that light.
Even so, the man’s pace had not let up, but he suddenly stopped.
“He~e, I’m amazed that you were able to run to such a far off place with that body.”
The voice which echoed was improperly bright and light.
“GrimalkinBlack Cat Inst.i.tute, gold eye No 7. If I’m not mistaken, your name is… Oh, I remember, was it Werner?”
As the man ーWernerー turned around, a youth floating a friendly smile was standing within the very dim light.
“That scar on your cheek… I know you. You’re the Ninja of the Shadow Star.”
“Oh dear, it makes me happy that you know about me.” The youth casually approached Werner without even showing signs of being cautious.
“Of course, I would know you. An oddball fellow in the same trade, it would immediately become a rumor.” There was no emotion in Werner's voice, and only an inhuman coldness could be felt. “It looks like you’re doing whatever you please. Seidokan will certainly have a headache, too.”
“Hahaha, coming from a pro like you, there are no words to return.” As the youth expressed a wry smile, he continued with a quite indifferent tone. “But ー it’d be boring to move just as I’m told, right?”
“You… by whose orders are you moving?”
“Well, I wonder.” In the youth’s expression ,just a little, a slightly dangerous color blurred.
At that moment, a thorn which jumped out from the youth’s shadow pierced his chest ー or so it looked like it.
However, there was only the youth’s uniform skewered there and the youth’s figure was nowhere to be found.
“ーIt’s called subst.i.tution’s technique.”
That voice was immediately heard from behind, but Werner could not turn around. A hot shock ran throughout his abdomen and a tepid fluid ran up the throat.
Werner who collapsed just like that into the drainage channel raising a loud splash.
If there was enough light, one would probably see that a red color which dyed the water was spreading.
As the youth lightly swung the kunai in his hand and swept off the blood, he turned towards the man.
“That’s why I rejected the invitation of the GrimalkinBlack Cat Inst.i.tute.”
As the youth picked up his pierced uniform, he plainly frowned.
“d.a.m.n… that was a brand-new one…”
- ψ -
ーAllekant Academy Research Center Block.
“Hohoho, this is awful. It won’t be good if I don’t perform an overhaul, from the basic frame up.” Ernesta, who was working on Ardi’s repair in her laboratory, said with a really happy tone contrary to her drastic words.
“Fuhahahahaha! Well, it might be so!”
With all his limbs removed in a work room, behind a strengthened and hard gla.s.s wall, Ardi appeared to only have his head and chest… he heartily laughed.
“But, when it comes to only the materials which can withstand the output of the Ulm Mana Dite, I have no choice but to rebuild them from scratch. Even if I ask for their development from the guys of the SonnetBlack Woman Faction, it will take considerable time… Ardi, I’ll have you bear with a temporary a.s.sembled body for a while.” (Honestly “black woman” faction sounds weird but if that’s what it is then it can’t be helped lol)
“Umu! There is no helping it!”
“Then, first of allー what, what?”
Just at a point when she was about to start a full-scale a.s.sembly work, Ernesta’s portable terminable informed her of a call.
“Oh my, oh my…”
Ernesta satisfactorily laughed and opened a s.p.a.ce window, after cutting off the background sound of the work room.
“Hey there, Your Excellency, the Tyrant, good day. What business do you have with me at this time?”
『"…Tch, what a disagreeable (sarcastic) woman."』
The plump young man projected on the s.p.a.ce window responded to Ernesta’s greetings by clicking his tongue.
“Noー, but, but, the gift you took the trouble to give me, when I opened the lid, it was emptyー”
『"Shut up, d.a.m.ned woman. Isn’t it the responsibility of your junks who weren’t able to take advantage of this rare chance?"』
To Ernesta who loosely bent back and forth her body, Dirk spat so out.
“It isn’t really like I ask you anythingー.”
『"Hmph! ...Well, it’s fine, let’s go to the main subject. Can I hear your reply for what I ask you the other day?"』
“Reply?” Ernesta asked back with a blank face.
『"About whether or not you cooperate with us."』
“Ah! That, huh. Of course, the answer is NO.” She crossed her arms before her hands and greatly formed an X-mark. “As expected, you guys really have bad hobbies.”
『"I can say the same for you."』 Dirk glared at Ernesta with an extremely unpleasant face.
『"But… I wonder if you’ll be able to complete your third puppet like that."』
Soon after, the atmosphere which Ernesta wore became tense.
Her expression remained a smiling face without change, but only just a little, her eyes became sharp.
“Hmm ー I see, you’re really something. Even though I haven’t yet told even Camilla about her… Should I say as expected of Le Wolfe?”
『"You didn’t find any compatible Ulm Mana Dite, right? Well, it’s no wonder; after all, Frauenlob is the stingiest (the most stringent) when it comes to the commercial offering of Ulm Mana Dite. It’s certainly very tough to drag it out from the Research Center, right?"』
『"Well, if you’d have won in this Phoenix, it might have been different, though."』
“…So? Regarding the situation of Ulm Mana Dite, it’s the same for Le Wolfe, isn’t it? Seizing another empty box would be unbearable, after all.”
『"n.o.body said that we had to reveal it, however."』
Though Ernesta knitted her brows at that reply, she lightly laughed as she immediately realized something.
“Ah. Is this, by any chance, your wire puller?”
『"There isn’t such a guy. It’s a relationship in which we will lend you our strength only when we’re needed. There isn’t any common point between us other than having the same goal."』
As Ernesta threw in a vague response, she pondered for a while.
『"What’s wrong? Give me an answer, quickly."』
“…Understood. If it’s only hearing what you’ve to say, I’ll hear it.”
Even at that answer of Ernesta, Dirk, still with an irritated face, did not even grin.
『"All right. I’ll contact you again."』
Before the s.p.a.ce window which disappeared, Ernesta took a great breath.
“Well then, you never know what might happen…”
Ernesta’s lips, which muttered that, were unwittingly loosening.
- ψ -
“Ah, Ayato-senpai… Ouch!”
Kirin, who recognized Ayato as he entered her hospital room, sprang up from the bed ー though a.s.sumed that way, and floated an anguished expression, while holding the side of her abdomen, and stiffened.
“W-Wait Kirin-chan, don’t overdo it!”
“N-No, I’m all right… this much will heal immediately.” Kirin said as Ayato hurriedly ran up to her, she smiled warmly while floating a few tears at the edge's of her eyes.
“…There’s no doubt that it’s a serious wound. Just behave yourself.” Saya said in her own earnest way.
“That’s right. First of all, please rest your body slowly.” Claudia mentored.
Saya and Claudia, who entered following Ayato, were also anxious about Kirin’s body.
“Wah! Even Saya-san and president… Thank you for coming all the way here to visit me.”
“Come on, everything is fine now, so you should lie down.”
At Ayato’s prompting, Kirin reluctantly relaxed her body and leaned back into the bed.
Though, typical of hospitals, there was another bed in the room, it was empty.
“Huh? I heard that Julis was in the same room though…”
“Ah, it seems like Julis-senpai is presently being interviewed about the details of the recent incident by the Hunter Guards, together with Flora-chan, in a separate room…”
“I see. Speaking of which, I was also asked to talk about it later.”
In other words, it was an investigation.
It might be better for Ayato to also go out when he finished his business here.
At that moment, “Ah, um, Ayato-senpai.”, Kirin said while looking straight into Ayato’s eyes.
“Though it's a little too late, congratulations for the championship, though it was a recording, I saw the match. It was really wonderful!”
“Hahaha. Thank you. But, we were able to win because Kirin-chan and company did their best… you’ve really done well, Kirin-chan.”
Ayato gently stroked the head of Kirin.
“N-No, I didn’t reallyー”
At this inflection, Kirin’s cheeks suddenly dyed red, and she tried to hid her face into the thin hospital futon, as she was so endearably embarra.s.sed.
“…It was thanks to Kirin that we were able to defeat that Dante, so you should be proud of yourself. Especially, the last art of sword drawing was amazing.”
“Art of sword drawing? He~e… I didn’t know that there was an art of sword drawing in the Toudou Style.”
As Ayato expressed his own admiration, Kirin sank more and more deeply into bed. Already, only her eyes could be seen above the covers.
“T-That was, um… it’s a technique thought out by the branch family, and it isn’t taught in the Toudou dojo descending from the main family… It’s also the first time I succeed using it in actual combat…”
“I see… there is also a branch family by us, but there wasn’t such a thing.”
As expected, when it came to the structure of the Toudou Style, there were probably also a lot of troublesome things.
“Oh! M-More importantly, Ayato-senpai! In the final, what was that last technique which decided the match?”
Now that they begun to talk about sword arts, Kirin lifted her head out from the sheets and now her face shown and eyes glittered.
As expected, when it came to this topic, Kirin seemed to become a slightly different person.
“Ah, are you talking about "Moon of Bloodshed"? Just for note, that was a hidden technique, so I can’t reveal its secret that much, but… it’s a technique to cut the opponent when running past him without stopping on a battlefield, something like that.”
Since it was a technique which could not be done unless one was flexible, it would probably be difficult with his usual Ser-Versta.
“I see… It’s a technique of an old school, huh.”
“Originally, most of the Amagiri Bright Dragon Style Hidden Techniques a.s.sumed a one-vs-many battle scenario, but this one is somehow an exception.”
“ーBy the way.”
As they had such a heated discussion about sword fighting, Claudia suddenly said so.
“There is something about which I would also like to ask Ayato, but is it all right?”
“Eh? Uh huh, it’s all right, but… what is it?”
“I noticed it at the time of the awards ceremony, but when did you become friends with the student council president of Queen Veil?”
The surprised Ayato and Saya and Kirin looking at Ayato with a more surprised face.
“By student council president of Queen Veil, you mean… eh? Eeeeeeeeeeh!?”
“….The SigrdrífaMelodious Witch, friends with Ayato?”
“N-No. Rather than being friends with her, I only got to know her recently…”
To Ayato who became fl.u.s.tered, Claudia expressed her usual smile.
“ーAra, so you know each other after all.”
s.h.i.t. I was tricked.
“You tricked me, Claudia…”
As she said so reproachfully, Claudia teasingly shook her shoulders.
“Fufufu, sorry. But, it’s something which I wanted to know no matter what.”
“C-Certainly, it’s worrisome! Why is that Sylvia-san is friends with Ayato-senpai?”
“…Geez, when it comes to Ayato… Geez!”
“E-Errr, that’s, you see…”
Since he had he made a promise with Sylvia, the truth could not be talked about.
(Having said that, how should I deceive them…?) As Ayato was desperately thinking about something while the three girls’ gazes gathered on himー
“What on earth are you doing, you guys…?”
The entrance door to the room opened and Julis and Flora entered.
“Ah, Julis. Is the interview with the Hunter Guards over?”
Like a brief G.o.dsend, Ayato waved to Julis, if only because of the change of topic.
“Yea. No matter how fiendish a man Dirk Eberwein is, I had replied back fluently.”
Julis said so with a refreshed face.
“That’s fine, but… Julis, hospitalization is also necessary for you, right? Is it really all right for you to move about this much?”
“Unlike Kirin, in my case, this was a symptom of my Prana being completely out, after all. Although it was hospitalization was needed, it was for only a day, I’ve already recovered considerably. Of course, there are still bruises and bone fractures, but this much isn’t really… hmm? What’s the matter, Flora?”
Flora, who was still standing at the entrance of the room with her head hung down, did not try to enter.
Even so, when Julis called out to her, she raised her head as if making up her mind.
“U-Um, everyone! This time because of Flora, you had big trouble…!”
“Hardly. It isn’t as if Flora-chan really did something bad, so you shouldn’t mind it.” Ayato hurriedly comforted her.
Looking at Flora, tightly grasping her skirt and with a face which seemed to burst into tears at any time, who said. “B-But, Amagiri-sama and Princess had a really important match… Moreover, Toudou-sama was also seriously injured…”
“I-I don’t particularly mind it, so…” Although Kirin also followed up so...
Large drops of tears was piling up Flora’s eyes very fast.
However to Flora, Julis said with a comforting, soft voice.
“Stop stressing yourself for nothing, Flora. You’re a good child, but even so, you’re still 10 years old. At time when you want to cry, you should cry honestly.”
She said and lightly hit her head.
“ーIt’s all right.”
“U… P, Princeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssss…”
At last tears begun to overflow from Flora’s eyes and her face was distorted.
“Waaaaaaaahhhhh! Princeeessss, Princeeeessssssssss! I was scaaaaarrrrred!”
Flora clung to Julis and began to cry loudly.
“Yes… you really did your best, Flora. It’s already all right.”
Flora, who cried while making a crumpled face with tears and dripping nose, was only visible as a girl suitable for her age.
Until Flora calmed down, Julis continued patting her back kindly.
- ψ -
“Well then ー Ayato. Can I have a moment?”
Julis who took down Flora, who cried, got tired and ended up sleeping, on her bed pointed at the door and said.
“Yes, I don’t really mind, but… where are we going?”
“What, It’s immediately there.”
As he followed Julis who led the way, they certainly stopped in a place just away from the room.
It was a corner for a little rest where a vending machine and a sofa were located in a line. The medical center had such places here and there, but probably because of time, it looked like there was no other user now.
“It’s my treat. Choose whatever you like.”
“…Then, iced coffee.”
“Then, I’ll take tea.”
As he received the canned coffee which Julis threw, its coldness felt good on his hand.
He thought that there was something she wanted to talk about and it aroused his interest, but Julis only played with the can in her hand with a troubled face.
After a while, as he thought that she finally opened her mouth.
“No… it’s certainly true that I have something to say and took you here. But, now that it has come to this, I don’t know about what I should say…”
Saying so, Julis kept silent again.
With both of them, not sitting on the sofa and standing side-by-side as they leaned their back on the wall, a time of silence pa.s.sed.
“ーIf it was not for you, I would probably not have come this far.”
Before long, Julis said abruptly.
Without even looking Ayato’s way, she was facing straight ahead.
“…Me, too. If not for Julis, I wouldn’t have thought to come so far.”
Ayato, who was similarly facing straight ahead, answered so.
“But, still this is still only one pa.s.sage point. There’s still a long way to go.”
“I’ll tag along with you. For both your and my sake.”
He found what he should accomplish.
Now, he just had to advance to the next stage.
Once again, silence fell.
However this time, it was immediately broken.
“Then for the time being, let's go with a toast.”
Julis turned towards Ayato and softly laughed.
“To celebrate today’s victory.”
Julis said and raised her can.
“And in hope for the next victory.”
Ayato said and hit his can on hers.
A low sound echoed through the silent corridor.