Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut - novelonlinefull.com
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「I told you, how about I listen to your talk again? Lux, did you hear?」
Seven years ago. Inside the grounds of Arcadia Empire's castle.
Beside the fountain in the castle's courtyard that was decorated with brightly colored plants, a man was calling out to Lux.
At that time Lux was facing a predicament.
Lux's grandfather was blamed because of his remonstration to the emperor. He was thrown to the jail and then executed. After that Lux's mother died from a horse cart accident. Lux who fell into despair was saved by Philuffy.
After that, Lux attempted to change the old empire using proper method.
He polished his skill as Drag-Knight, an occupation that was becoming the core of this era. Even though he didn't have any authority as an imperial prince, he planned to obtain another accomplishment so that he would be recognized.
He would get recognized by the emperor, increase the number of his ally and obtained the right to speak, and then gradually changed the despotic administration and the trend of chauvinism from the inside.
He swore to create a country where his important little sister and childhood friend could live in peace.
──But, in reality even getting allowed to use Drag-Ride was very hard for Lux.
Others didn't want Lux who was the youngest son that was very far from inheriting the throne to be holding weapon or anything.
He was told like that by the people of the castle. He was unable to even touch Sword Device until Fugil obtained permission for him.
Even after that another h.e.l.l was starting for him.
Although his apt.i.tude in using Drag-Ride was high, his body was still childish and immature. Everyday he whipped his immature body to the limit and worked hard until he lost consciousness every time.
That desperate effort was coupled with Lux's prodigious talent. He obtained strength as a Drag-Ride and produced achievement in Abyss extermination, but he wasn't recognized at all.
He was made to realize his naivety that the opinion on him would change by doing such thing.
Even after obtaining strength through a probability that was nearly a miracle, people whose thought of him was the same like before──no, who thought even worse of him appeared inside the castle and they tried to remove him.
Someone who agreed with Lux's ideal of helping the people didn't exist at all in this castle.
With only a single exception, this eldest brother of his.
「Why is Nii-san listening to my opinion?」
Lux asked back while his expression was staying calm.
The eldest son of Arcadia Empire's emperor, Fugil.
The former Drag-Ride who was said as withdrawing from battle due to the wound that he got from a war.
He made appearance in public due to his status as a member of the imperial family, but he was taciturn and almost didn't get involved with other people. An eccentric man.
While he possessed a position that could make use of overwhelming authority, he didn't indulge himself in debauchery and also maintained distance from politics.
The first impression from Lux who was the youngest brother from a different mother was like that.
Lux was puzzled why he caught Fugil's eyes and why he was helping him.
「──This garden is old. Its appearance look well tended, but it's a mess due to repeated unnecessary transplantation.」
Fugil turned his gaze toward the garden and spoke words that doubled as his reply to Lux.
「If the soil is bad, the plant will also get sick. The world of man is the same. Therefore to tend to a country too, there is no other way than severing all the roots that had grown too long and entangled with each other, and then changed the plants and also the soil. That period is approaching near.」
That was an invitation.
It was an offer to Lux to change this world──, this country from its foundation together.
For Lux whose proposals and advices were completely rejected by the all the people inside the castle, this was the only remaining hope for him.
His little sisterAiri and childhood friendPhiluffy.
A hand of salvation was reaching out to him in order to protect his remaining beloved people.
He once got the chance to practice piloting Drag-Ride and obtained strength by piling up an absurd amount of effort.
「……Can you, please, wait for a little bit more?」
Lux gave a vague reply while knowing his eldest brother intention.
In order to change everything from its foundation, the plants needed to be uprooted from the ground.
There would be no chance for the rulers and the people conspiring with them to return.
「I don't mind. But, there is time limit to everything. Time that has pa.s.sed won't return back for the second time. Just like how you lost your grandfather and mother.」
「Please let me think for three more days. I want to think carefully one more time, about the way to persuade father and others──」
Inside his heart, Lux had decided how he would choose.
Even so, he needed time.
The time to resolve himself to take away something from someone else.
「That's fine, I will wait as long as you like.」
In respond the man who saved Lux out from the depth of despair responded with a gentle smile.
「I've been waiting all this time. For a person who can be called hero──the appearance of the person in possession of that will, that is exactly」
Three days later, Lux started to move.
And then, the plan of revolution started.
「Is, that……! Sacred Eclipse──?」
New Kingdom Atismata, the capital Roadgalia.
Near the castle gate that was enveloped by the hustle and bustle of the parade's first day, Lux looked up the parapet that surrounded the castle.
The one standing while clad with ominous miasma, was the person shaped Ragnarok with the outside appearance of a girl clad in pure white dress──Sacred Eclipse.
On the jutting out terrace, a tall and lean man with eye glint like a beast──Fugil Arcadia was standing.
After the mortal combat at the abandoned capital Guernica in Marcafal Kingdom, Aeril succeeded in taking control of Avalon.
And then she connected to the system and turned off the activation of Sacred Eclipse.
The remaining Lords and Fugil were defeated by the Seven Dragon Paladins and died.
The reality should be like that.
But, Lux's consciousness told him that wasn't the case.
The two threats existing before his eyes weren't dream or illusion, they were the real thing.
The memory of Lux and others had been falsified by Avalon and Fugil──.
At the very least, Magialca, Singlen, and Aeril weren't in this royal capital.
The Seven Dragon Paladins were defeated in the battle against Fugil and the reorganization of the world was carried out.
Two weeks pa.s.sed after that and the three days of parade in this royal capital was repeated.
Strictly speaking, time itself wasn't being repeated.
The memory of these three days──the consciousness of all the people existing in this country were getting rewound to the first day of the parade after every three days.
A manipulation of consciousness in world scale.
The people was being led astray by being made unable to notice only the inconsistency and specific phenomenon.
That was the truth that Lux realized.
The Divine Raiment of ArtifactTransforming Drag-Ride Ouroboros, Endless. That was the true ident.i.ty of what created this world revision.
(Then, the Sacred Eclipse hasn't stopped? If the countdown to the world's destruction is continuing, how many days are remaining!?)
Lux shuddered. When he looked up to the castle, he met the gaze of Fugil who was standing on the terrace.
Fugil's gaze was sharp as though it pierced through the opponent.
In respond Lux too also hardened his spirit so to not lose against that.
Within the tension that was just a hair away from exploding, that balance suddenly crumbled.
Fugil turned around without showing any particular action and walked away into the castle.
(……-!? He doesn't realize that I noticed what is going on? No, is he ignoring me……? But, the Sacred Eclipse is still──)
Lux's expression changed in bewilderment. Then he talked to the guard that was stationed near the castle gate.
「……? Is something the matter, Lux-dono?」
「The parade has just ended and her majesty the queen is in the middle of resting. We are told to not let anyone pa.s.s inside anymore for today, is it an urgent business?」
The Sacred Eclipse that was standing on the parapet suddenly vanished when he looked away.
Even if he tried to pursue, there was no trace remaining behind.
And then, it seemed it was only Lux alone who noticed its existence in this place.
──'The consciousness of everyone, of all the people who are in this country right now is being captured by the deception that the world is in peace.'
The fictive world created by the resonance of Avalon and Ouroboros.
Lux felt horrified by that reality once more and he became pale.
「No……. It's, nothing.」
Currently it looked like Sacred Eclipse wasn't rampaging yet.
In that case there was still some leeway.
Rather than challenging it into battle at this place and provoking it, Lux judged that he ought to judge the situation first.
Either way, Sacred Eclipse would revive endlessly without connecting to Avalon's system and turning it off.
Thinking so, Lux turned back toward the path he came from and returned back to the inn where everyone of the Academy was staying.
Lux's work for this first day of parade was already over.
His remaining schedule was only to rest in the inn until evening and then made merry with everyone of the Academy in the bar but──.
(Wait? More importantly, what does this mean!?)
The clash of Seven Dragon Paladins and Fugil.
In the battle that happened more than two weeks ago, Fugil made an allusion regarding the raison d'etre of Sacred Eclipse.
Its objective was the salvation of the weak.
Furthermore it would lend its strength to the core of the resistance movement that could possibly change the one-sided government system.
Uneasiness spread inside Lux's chest like dirty mud.
With Sacred Eclipse in the castle, did that mean that its possession target was in there?
In any case, the n.o.bles colluding with the old empire faction that was trying to overturn the new kingdom, Waybra and Sieg Kreutzer were deliberately murdered.
The mastermind of this repeating parade and the objective was──.
First, he had to determine those.
Currently, if it was impossible to learn that truth other than Lux, he had to ask for the cooperation of Lisha and others and solved it──.
(……However, who is doing this? Just who in the world Fugil and Sacred Eclipse are cooperating with? Just what kind of information Waybra and Sieg knew that it got them killed?)
『Do you really think that her majesty the queen right now has the caliber that is worthy bring the new kingdom together? Do you think that she can be entrusted with the future from here on? If I say that I'm endorsing someone else──』
Suddenly the words that he heard from Celis's father, Dist right before the loop of this period of parade began flashed at the back of his mind.
Dist conveyed those words to Lux in order to strengthen the foundation of the new kingdom that was shaken by the incidents that happened in succession. The senior consuls who supported the thinking of the old empire──the old empire faction wasn't the only faction that existed out there.
Dist who was one of the four great n.o.bles certainly said something like that, about endorsing someone else to replace the queen as the new king.
At the conversation that time, the talk finished with Dist concluding that he would keep supporting the queen as usual, but in the end the ident.i.ty of the 『someone who would replace the queen』 was still buried in the dark.
Thinking of the miniscule chance of the information getting leaked or their relationship from thereon, Lux intentionally didn't ask Dist about it at that time, but he could roughly imagine the answer.
Prime Minister Nulph was originally in the Atismata faction.
There was no other candidate other than him who was supporting Queen Raffi as her close aide.
If he moved in order to kill Waybra and Sieg Kreutzer who attempted to shake the structure of new kingdom using some kind of information──.
(No……, it's still too hasty to decide that it's Prime Minister Nulph.)
In any case, if he was going to solve this incident, there was a need to know everything.
What was the secret grasped by the core personage of old empire faction that could shake the foundation of the new kingdom?
Who was it who feared that secret coming to light and instructed the Automatas to carry out the a.s.sa.s.sination in order to seal the truth?
The person who conducted that act, if for example it was the person from new kingdom faction just like he imagined, in that case Lux would have to throw himself into a battle of no return.
It wouldn't affect Lux alone, it might bring harm to his little sister Airi and his comrades in the Academy too.
This was a completely different situation compared to before when it would be fine to just defeat the enemy.
「What in the world is this, it's like──」
Lux felt that he was at his wits' end and he unconsciously leaked out a sigh.
The incident whirling under the surface.
Tension that even made it hard for him to breathe caused him to remember of the time five years ago at the era of the old empire.
「……This is, like the era of the old empire?」
The wild delusion that surfaced at the back of his mind made him leaked out a bitter smile.
The country had changed from that time.
The time when he had to be mindful of the expression of the aristocrats, of the time when he had to stifle his heart and be mindful of other people's mood was over.
A world unlike of that should have been created.
That was……how it should be.
If not, the sacrifice of the imperial family and their retainers five years ago would be──.
「──You should look to the front properly when you are walking you know? If not, you will stumble even when it's at a place where there is nothing.」
*Tap*, Lux returned to his senses when someone lightly poked his shoulder.
Looking there, there was the nostalgic figure of a girl in the middle of the main street that was jumbled with a lot of people.
「Long time no see, Lux-kun. Are you well?」
The one who directed an expression filled with affection to him was Krulcifer in her uniform.
At the first and second loop of the parade, he was reunited with her along with Mel and Pope Nias of Ymir Theocracy in the castle. He never thought that he would meet her here.
Thus Lux was shocked and asked her, but Krulcifer smiled wryly and placed her hand on his lips.
She chuckled and turned her gaze toward a food stand at the main street.
「I was asked to babysit those girls. They said that they are curious of the food of the stalls and won't listen.」
Lux followed her gaze and found Soffice who was stuffing her cheeks with skewered meat and Mel who was holding cheese cake wrapped in paper.
It seemed that the two of them were enjoying the parade first before the formal visitation.
But, perhaps they clearly heard Lux and Krulcifer's exchange even within the noisy street. Mel walked toward them quickly with an exasperated expression.
「Can you please not talk as you please? It was you who forcefully asked for outing permission because you said that you want to watch Onii-chan's hour of triumph right!?」
「Is there something like that? My memory is a bit blurry.」
When Krulcifer played stupid like that, Soffice too immediately flared up at her.
「I'm not that much of a glutton. Correct that in front of Lux.」
Lux's cheeks unconsciously loosened up seeing Soffice's figure that was lacking in persuasiveness due to her holding skewered meat in one hand while saying that.
The Seven Dragon Paladins of Ymir Theocracy who had pet.i.te stature and platinum colored hair, Mel Gizalut.
The representative of Turkimes Confederation who had dark brown skin and black hair, while wearing the characteristic outfit of a foreign country──Seven Dragon Paladins Soffice Xfer.
The two of them existed here even in this situation where Lux had recovered his normal consciousness.
In other words, at the very least the two of them were alive.
「Both of you, I'm glad! You two are safe!」
The instant he saw them, intense happiness welled up inside his chest and he reflexively took the hand of the two of them and hugged them.
Unlike Aeril, Singlen and Magialca who he saw in the middle of the parade as illusion created by Avalon's perception manipulation, these two had definite presence which made him felt relieved.
「Wai-, Onii-chan. People are looking you know? I'm happy though.」
「This lad is bold, unlike his appearance.」
When Lux held the waist of the two girl with both hands and hugged them, Mel and Soffice who didn't know the situation were surprised while their face was reddening.
(As I thought, it looks like Mel and Soffice are still under the effect of the perception manipulation……)
What did it take for someone to notice?
Lux was also curious about that, but suddenly he noticed a mute dangerous presence rising up behind him.
He gasped and turned around. When he saw Krulcifer there, she turned her gaze aside for some reason and looked down with a complicated expression.
「Haa……. The Lux-kun that I know is already nowhere to find. He shouldn't be a person who can calmly embrace girl who isn't even his lover even if it's a reunion with a friend that he hasn't met for a long time.」
Krulcifer unusually made an expression of displeasure. She was sending a cold gaze to Lux.
Lux let go of the two in panic and swung around his hands as though crossing them in front of him with a fl.u.s.tered look.
「Kru, Krulcifer-san, you are misunderstanding!? That's, it's, there isn't any particular deep meaning in that hug, it's──」
「I didn't notice the lad's hidden feeling……. To think that his positivity level to me is far higher than Krulcifer, this is honestly troubling. It's okay if it's only as far as a kiss.」
「Krulcifer, defeat isn't something to feel shame about. After all it's simply that the enemy is too strong.」
Soffice showed a bewildered gesture while her expression was staying blank. Mel intentionally made fun of Krulcifer.
Lux got fl.u.s.tered even more by the dialogue of the two who were related with Ymir Theocracy and Key's Supervisor.
「It looks like I was mistaken. Lux-kun was making a very grave face, that was why I carelessly called out to you but, it seems you actually have a lot of leeway.」
Krulcifer turned around while sighing deeply. She was turning her back on Lux.
Without pause she was heading into the congestion of the parade.
「Wai-, it's a complete misunderstanding Krulcifer-san! Or rather, both of you please stop adding fuel to fire!?」
「Haa……. It can't be helped. How about we go off by ourselves? We made that kind of promise anyway.」
「It's boring but, that's the promise. Let's meet again tomorrow, Lux.」
Mel and Soffice seemed to guess the situation and let him go for now.
Lux chased after Krulcifer in panic and after giving explanation desperately, they went to take a rest at the central park.
「Here. Krulcifer-san! I bought snack for you!」
After soothing down his girl cla.s.smate somehow, Lux bought crepe at a stall and handed it to her.
But, although Krulcifer accepted it, her gaze was chilly.
「Lux-kun. I'm different from the princess and your childhood friend. It will be a big mistake if you think you can deceive me by something like a crepe.」
Lux's shoulders dropped in dejection and he stood stock still.
Then, Krulcifer finally let out a long sigh 'fuu' and her expression returned to normal.
「Haa……. I was shocked when I saw your brooding expression at the start, but it seems it's the usual Lux-kun. I'm relieved.」
She said that with her usual cool att.i.tude and tone while showing a small smile.
It seemed she wanted to say that the exchange before this was her tricking Lux in order to observe his actual state but──.
(It feels like she was seriously getting absurdly angry. It wasn't an act……!)
Lux had the self-awareness that he was ignorant of woman's heart, but as expected he was able to at least understand that really well.
「And, what happened? I'll be happy if it's something that you can also tell me.」
Lux was conflicted when Krulcifer peered into his eyes.
He wondered whether it was fine to tell her about the terrifying truth that he noticed.
Most likely other than Lux, there was no one who remembered about what happened in Avalon at that time.
He also didn't know whether she would be able to remember even if he dared to tell her.
However, Lux himself was also unable to grasp fully what was going on.
In the abandoned capital Guernica of Marcafal Kingdom, the Seven Dragon Paladins were defeated by Fugil in the battle for Avalon and the 『world's revision』 thing was carried out.
After that, more than two weeks pa.s.sed in reality and a parade was held in the royal capital.
Someone who controlled Avalon, or perhaps Fugil who allied himself with that person rewound this three days parade at the very least two times and made the parade started from the first day.
The reset only rewound the memory of the people back to the parade's first day, while the time was properly pa.s.sing in reality.
Also, the inconsistency that resulted in that occasion wasn't noticed by anyone because of the perception manipulation.
And then each time the loop happened, people who seemed to belong to the hostile force that was opposing the new kingdom were removed without anyone knowing.
At the last day of the first loop, the man called Waybra who belonged to the old empire faction and held the secret of the new kingdom was dead.
At the second loop, one of the four great n.o.bles, Sieg Kreutzer who colluded with Waybra was similarly murdered.
In other words it could be inferred that the user of Avalon was someone at the side of the new kingdom.
And then, there was a possibility that someone was being possessed by the human type Ragnarok, Sacred Eclipse.
Sacred Eclipse was the greatest and strongest Ragnarok that was said it would destroy the world. Even if it was defeated, with the pa.s.sing of time it would revive. To stop it could only be done by controlling Avalon.
(──Looking back after I put the situation in order like this, it's full of things that I don't know.)
He only knew one thing, that Fugil was lending his hand to this situation.
He only grasped that he didn't know how long this loop would continue.
If he didn't expose the true ident.i.ty of the person managing the loop, it was possible that someone else would become sacrifice again.
It seemed to be able to smash through the binding of the perception manipulation, it could only be done by someone who was receiving Baptism or Elixir, or someone who felt strong discomfort at the fictive world.
Thus, it was doubtful whether Krulcifer would be able to understand if he told her about the situation.
「──It looks like, you cannot say it.」
Krulcifer made a small smile seeing Lux who was falling silent.
In the end, Lux was unable to say it.
If he carelessly asked for a.s.sistance while still not understanding anything, she who was originally an exchange student from foreign country would get dragged into the trouble of the new kingdom and got hurt.
Just like how Airi got involved at the revolution five years ago.
「Sorry. Right now I'm still confused. What should I do, how should I say it. But, I'm──」
He couldn't express it well in words.
Krulcifer had made peace with Einfolk family and grasped happiness. He didn't know whether he should tell her.
He thought that he shouldn't involve her, at least until the true ident.i.ty of the enemy became clear.
「Is that so? In that case, from now I will look out for you.」
Then Krulcifer brushed up her beautiful blue long hair and quietly brought her face closer to Lux.
Lux's chest beat fast toward that mature and mischievous smile.
「If for example Lux-kun is in my position, you won't be able to leave me alone when I'm making that kind of face. Even if there is nothing that can be done, you'll still try to become my strength. I have no doubt of that.」
Lux was unable to reply immediately hearing that.
Even though he was trying to put some distance from her so to not involve her, his escape path was immediately taken away.
Krulcifer didn't know anything about the revised world.
Even so, she said that she would become Lux's strength.
Then, there wasn't any need anymore to hesitate taking the hand that was offered to him.
「Thank you……. I still cannot say anything clear, but there is something that I want to investigate, regarding the truth that is happening behind the scene of this parade.」
「Then, let's go to a quiet place with just the two of us. If there is a need to hide your action, it's best to spend an ordinary day naturally.」
Krulcifer said that in delight and pulled on Lux's hand while her other hand was holding her crepe.
Lux also accepted that proposal that was really like her amd headed to a certain district.
──Three hours later.
He walked around the city that was in festive mood due to the parade along with Krulcifer, then they rested under a tree's shadow in the central park under the name of taking a break.
Incidentally, the place was under the big tree where he heard Celis's confession at the first loop.
「Fuu, I'm more tired than expected, doing this investigation while pretending as lover.」
「This is the first time I heard about that setting though……」
Lux smiled wryly at Krulcifer's very forceful att.i.tude and sat down beside her.
They tried clothes in dressmaker shop and each of them purchased casual clothes for themselves.
They bought clothes for spring which was a bit too early at this period of time.
Then they partic.i.p.ated as pair in a quiz tournament that was held in the downtown. It was fun when they obtained second place.
However, what bothered Lux more than that was──.
「Come to think of it, the last path that we took, it was the path that I walked together with Krulcifer-san in the past wasn't it?」
「Yes, it's great that you noticed. That was the course of my first date with Lux-kun.」
Krulcifer chuckled and said that with a smile.
When he heard her delighted voice, somehow he too also felt ticklish.
Honestly speaking, he almost forgot their front of doing investigation.
He was nervous when he went out alone with her for the first time, but right now his heart was beating fast while at the same time he was feeling a mysterious feeling of relief.
Normally Krulcifer was thought as cool and flawless by the students around her, but she was unexpectedly playful. She also had a childish aspect that liked to joke and find fault.
No, Lux thought that was her natural state instead.
She was used in wearing a mask since her childhood and feigned to be someone flawless. But her showing him her affable att.i.tude like this was surely the proof of how much she was letting down her guard toward him.
He was immersed into his time with her so much that he almost completely forgot about the pressing situation he was placed in right now.
「After this Lux-kun will return to the inn and partic.i.p.ate in the Academy's banquet right? We should confirm the result before that. Alterize.」
Krulcifer suddenly dropped her voice's tone and turned her gaze behind the large tree she was leaning on.
Then, a female with intellectual look wearing black butler outfit slowly showed herself in front of Lux and Krulcifer.
A Drag-Knight of Ymir Theocracy who served as butler in Einfolk family, Alterize McClair.
Normally she was a.s.signed the role of ascertaining the romantic relationship of Lux and Krulcifer, but this time alone she seemed slightly different.
Since around three hours ago she was carrying out the request to observe the surrounding of Lux and Krulcifer who at the surface were innocently having fun of the parade.
She was asked to watch the surrounding, whether there was anyone who was watching Lux and Krulcifer's action.
「There wasn't anyone that look suspicious at the surrounding, so I found myself hoping to get called to report briefly. It was a bit unfortunate that I was unable to confirm the progress between Ojou-sama and Lux-sama.」
「No that's……. Forget about that, Alterize-san, did you find anything?」
When Lux asked with a complicated expression, Alterize straightened her back.
The tone of her voice dropped by a level and she formed her words quietly.
「Speaking from the conclusion, it's just as Lux-sama predicted. I believe that it was the military officer of the new kingdom who was observing you and Ojou-sama.」
He half expected that, but that report still made Lux looked grave.
Perhaps previously he was also being observed during the parade?
He thought that because he noticed the pattern that the people in this looping parade fundamentally were trying to trace back the same action every time.
At the first and second loop, Yoruka detected suspicious figure approaching Lux's position.
That figure only approached toward Lux, and after that they headed toward the castle. In the end he didn't find the figure's true ident.i.ty, but with this it was confirmed.
However, he didn't understand why the person immediately left even though they were watching him.
Lux thought that most likely the person sending the watcher didn't know Lux's circ.u.mstance well.
If they knew about Yoruka, they would be on guard against her excellent senses and they wouldn't approach too near.
(Are they ordered that in case it's confirmed that Yoruka is at my side, they are to quickly abort the investigation and return?)
It wasn't outside the realm of his conjecture. Surely it was generally like that.
That conjecture was completely right on the mark, conversely Alterize who was someone from Ymir Theocracy's could move under the radar.
「Yes, perhaps……. It was a face that I once saw when I headed to the abandoned capital Guernica for the decisive battle against the Lords. I believe it was the aide of Prime Minister Nulph.」
Lux frowned hearing Alterize's words that were laced with tension.
In a sense it was an answer that just as he expected.
But, it was a fact that he didn't wish to be right.
If Prime Minister Nulph obtained Fugil's cooperation and he was removing the new kingdom's enemy, then it was an alarming situation.
(However, what's this? Despite this, something bothers me. The person who came at the first loop, and the one at the second loop, are they really the same person?)
A strange discomfort grew inside Lux.
But, he didn't happen to have enough information that allowed him to express it in words well.
「Prime Minister Nulph? I wonder what is his intention?」
「As expected to investigate until that far is……. But, if I'm allowed to say my personal opinion, I cannot see any movement to harm Lux-sama or obtaining some kind of information from him. It was a really pa.s.sive monitoring.」
On the surface Lux was spending time with Krulcifer for three hours enjoying the parade. And yet their watcher didn't particularly try anything.
What that fact showed was──.
「Rather than spying, perhaps they are just observing? Maybe they wanted to insure Lux-kun's safety, or else──」
「Perhaps, they are trying to ascertain that I don't notice anything and acting like usual.」
Lux himself who was muttering that thought that it was unexpected, but if that was the case then he could understand.
A pa.s.sive monitoring could only result from that kind of situation.
Lux himself made that conjecture from his experience observing several imperial family members using Drag-Ride five years ago at the time of the revolution.
「I see, that might be likely. Then, is Prime Minister Nulph observing whether you are doing anything strange?」
「……I think so. Perhaps he is doing this so that I won't get attacked by anyone. Thank you very much, Alterize-san.」
Lux relaxed his tenseness and said his thanks to Alterize.
With that he informed her that this case was closed with this at the surface.
「It's great if there is no problem. Then, please have fun in the parade together with Ojou-sama without any worry.」
「Then Ojou-sama. Do your best to make Lux-sama fall for you completely just as planned. Pardon me.」
「Yes. Thank you for your hard work. I will return back this favor.」
Alterize left immediately while Lux's eyes opened wide in surprise.
Lux and Krulcifer were left alone under the large tree in the park at evening.
When Alterize's back was gone from view, Lux suddenly asked a question.
「Krulcifer-san. Come to think of it, what did you say to Alterize-san when asking her for this favor?」
When Lux asked for Alterize's cooperation, he did it through Krulcifer. But he didn't ask so far about the detail.
「I didn't say anything significant. I only said to her that it feels like my relationship with Lux-kun is going to advance soon, that's why I want her to leave aside her work from Ymir Theocracy for now and help out.」
Another misunderstanding was created.
「Say, Krulcifer-san. About our relationship, how is Einfolk family interpreting it right now? About the matter of engagement, the misunderstanding has been cleared up completely right?」
「My, do you mean that Lux-kun doesn't like to get engaged with me?」
When Lux asked in panic, Krulcifer played stupid mischievously.
The innocent expression that was showed by the usually cool Krulcifer caused Lux to blush and he averted his gaze away.
「I, it's not that kind of problem. That's, in the first place I'm a criminal and unable to marry so──」
「You're right. But, that collar, I think it will be taken off soon anyway.」
Lux faltered toward that sentence that Krulcifer stated with a serious look.
Certainly his collar would be taken off at the last day, Lisha also said that to him.
But, Lux was unable to hide his surprise that Krulcifer who shouldn't know about that yet this time was guessing it right.
「I don't believe that I said anything that shocking though? I think that it's only natural. You who are a member of the Seven Dragon Paladins and raised a great achievement at the battle this time cannot possible be treated as criminal forever. For normal statesmen, this should be something that everyone is thinking about.」
「……Perhaps, that's so.」
He couldn't say that he had never even imagined it until Lisha told him at the first parade.
「Yes, that's how it is. That's why I want to think about it beforehand. If your collar is taken off and you can get engaged, what will you do? I wonder, do you have someone in your heart already?」
Lux comprehended in his heart.
The reason why Krulcifer who didn't come into contact with him last time was being this proactive.
Perhaps, she was nearby when he exchanged oath of love with Celis and Yoruka.
If she was waiting for the time when his criminal collar was taken off and awaited for a chance at the previous time and the time before that──.
(Such thing, there is no way……)
「Then, let me at least make a booking right away. When your criminal collar is taken off, if you can come to meet me first……」
He understood clearly now that he had heard the girls' confession.
With what kind of feeling Krulcifer was interacting with him since long ago all this time.
How she was waiting for the wall in Lux's heart to crumble and the time when his criminal collar was taken off──.
At that instant when he confirmed anew his feeling toward this girl who was intimate with him,
He noticed a certain existence and his heart leaped inside his chest.
At the building far at the other side of the park.
He found an Automata girl within the shadow of a house created by the evening sun.
On the head of that figure who was wearing a gown above her pilot suit, there was something like an ant's feeler made from machine growing from her head.
If he remembered correctly, she should be the Automata that Singlen destroyed into pieces at the first Ruin, Babel.
That existence who he didn't even know the name of was watching from afar──.
(……She is looking, not at me? Is her observation target, Krulcifer-san?)
「Lux-kun, what's wrong?」
Krulcifer was worried at Lux who kept silent and looked behind her.
「There is no one though? Was there something?」
「No……. It's nothing.」
However, Krulcifer was only tilting her head. She didn't show any sign noticing the Automata that Lux caught in his sight.
As expected, she was affected by Avalon's perception manipulation and was unable to grasp the existence of the Automata.
He didn't understand what was the objective of the mastermind, but as expected it seemed they intended to do something once more without anyone noticing.
Lux mustn't allow the opponent to notice that Lux had seen through this loop.
Thus, he couldn't say anything here.
With how Krulcifer was unable to see through this false reality, it would be useless even if Lux told her about the truth that he learned.
「Then, let's meet again at the dinner party for the Seven Dragon Paladins tomorrow. Until the last day, I'll think about what I'm going to do after my collar is taken off so──」
「……Yes. See you again tomorrow, Lux-kun.」
While Krulcifer noticed Lux was acting somewhat strange, she didn't even try to detain him and finished their talk.
Like that Lux turned around to make it looked like they parted at this place.
「Lux-kun. Just don't forget one thing. No matter what happened, we──I will be your ally.」
「……Thank you, Krulcifer-san.」
Seeing Krulcifer's smile with the sun behind her, Lux also replied back with a warm smile.
He still didn't understand anything.
He also didn't know what he should tell others.
In such lonely situation, it felt like he could see a ray of hope.