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Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Volume 16 Chapter 4

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Episode 4 - The Captive Inside The Box

Part 1

「Nn, uu……」

「Lord-sama, are you waking up deyagarimasu?」

The odd but robotic tone of an Automata talked to the girl before her.

It was a silver s.p.a.ce that was tinged with bluish white light.

Aeril Vi Arcadia was chained inside the metallic and cold room.

「How are you feeling? Do you remember my name deyagarimasu?」

The chained Aeril was stark naked without a single string covering her. She looked up at the girl in front of her.

「……This place? I'm, why, what is……?」

「I got no obligation to tell you. I'll at least just listen to you.」

There was sheep horns made from machine on the head of the girl who wearing a tight outfit that was similar with a pilot suit.

It showed that she was the Ruin's Gear Leader──the Automata who existed in this place.

「You are, Clan Lieze……? Then this place, is, the Garden……」

「As expected you remember the eight people of the beginning deyagarimasu. Haa, how troubling. For me alone to be left out like this, I want to go look at the imperatorial capital for the first time after several hundred years you know? No, right now it is called the imperial capital isn't it?」

Clan Lieze muttered while showing a strange look of puffing up her cheeks while her expression stayed blank.

When the seven Grand Forces were installed in the Ruins, Garden was captured under Listelka's direction.

Aeril wasn't present at that time, but Aeril who was an imperial princess of the Lord knew the name of all the Automatas.

But, at present it seemed the Automatas received the control command of someone else and they were also remodeled to be stronger.

After all a Gear Leader was confining the Lord, Aeril who was originally their master.

「Are you……, planning, ……to kill me?」

When Aeril whispered that with half dozing tone, Clan Lieze sighed in exasperation.

「Even though I have healed you until this much, you said that terrible thing deyagarimasu. It's planned to remodel you by the current master's order, but the priority before that was to heal you from you dying and weakened. After all you have resistance toward nanomachine. The imperial family of the Lord really got troublesome thing done to them.」

Aeril wracked her brain trying to grasp the situation while her eyes were staying lightless and blank.

But, her head wasn't working perhaps because of the drug injected into her.

(I see, I'm……. Getting the role, of being reused, as p.a.w.n……)

After the loss against Fugil in the decisive battle in the abandoned capital Guernica, she wrung out her last strength of perception manipulation with the intention to send message to Lux, but was he safe?

She didn't know whether the other Seven Dragon Paladins were alive or dead, but at the very least Singlen should have died.

Aeril who was at the death's door was recovered by Avalon's Automata Arshalia.

Even among the Ruins, the Garden played the role as the treasure warehouse.

Because it also bore the burden as development base at the same time, it was a facility that excelled in remodeling, surgery, and manufacture function.

「Endless……. It will become impossible to extract information of Avalon if I myself got eliminated. That's why, I'm going to get conveniently brainwashed, is it……」

Clan Lieze's eyes opened wide and she scratched her head when she heard Aeril formed the words that surfaced inside her head.

「……It' surprising deyagarimasu. Your mind is still clear like that. Then, I'll arbitrarily make a proposal. Won't you negotiate with the current master? If you swear loyalty to the new kingdom's master, Raffi Atismata, you will be guaranteed a safe life deyagarimasu.」

「In any case even if you stay silent, in not so distant future your personality will be remodeled. I think it ain't too bad even if you submit here while it's still ain't that painful for you yeah?」

「……I, guess.」

After hesitating slightly, Aeril smiled weakly.

In this situation she couldn't do anything to resist.

Rather than suffering for long, perhaps it would be faster to swear loyalty to the new ruler.

But,

「But, I'll……refuse.」

Aeril quietly formed her word with her frail expression and breathing.

Clan Lieze who saw that frowned with a dubious face.

「Why? Could it be you are a m.a.s.o.c.h.i.s.t deyagarimasu, Lord's imperial princess-sama?」

「The current master of you all, surely, they were someone with weak position, right……? After all, she is someone who Automata Arshalia and Fugil and Sacred Eclipse allied themselves with.」

The expression of the questioned Clan Lieze vanished and she fell silent.

That was because her program as an Automata that was commanded to keep secret was working.

「You see, since waking up, we the Lords used special power from beginning to end. Because we were persecuted, we got everything stolen from us, because we shouldered the fate of our clan, that's why it doesn't matter no matter what we do. We continued doing such thing by making justice as our excuse.」

「Is that something that's not allowed?」

Clan Lieze tilted her horned head with an expression that vaguely looked human.

「My big sister, my little sister, and then me too, we all acted like that to a greater or lesser extent. There was no regret. Because we thought we could only do that, but……」

Aeril made a weak smile, even so she continued her words.

「After forcing such thing on other people, now that it's my turn to be the one in the side that get stolen from I don't want it, I cannot do such thing. It might be a tiny thing, but even I have my vanity as a Lord.」

Aeril stared at the tube connected to her body and smiled fearlessly.

Clan Lieze silently turned her back on her in resignation.

「Human has really strange thinking deyagarimasu.」

After seeing off Clan Lieze leaving, Aeril's consciousness was starting to cloud.

Her words just now were undoubtedly her true feeling, but she didn't say her other feeling.

(Besides, even in this situation, I still believe……)

Just one, the only possibility of overturning this situation.

The possibility of Lux giving the answer──.

Part 2

「Nii-san. Please sit over there for a bit.」

The night of the second day. When Lux returned to his room in the inn, Airi was waiting for him with her eyes looking a bit angry.

He instinctually understood that there was a scolding waiting for him. Perhaps it was his experience telling him.

Seeing how even was Noct beside her, Lux could surmise that they were killing time until Lux came back.

「Err, why is Noct also here?」

「Yes. I'm planning to serve as watcher, so that the talk won't go too long and Lux-san get enough sleep. After all the last party tomorrow will be in the castle too.」

He thought that she might be here to be Airi's ally, but contrary to his expectation she was volunteering to be the stopper. It could be seen how well she knew about the power relationship of these siblings from this act.

「Since when Nii-san became someone who would lose focus and play at night in the middle of official business? Just because the battle against the Lords is over doesn't mean that we become common citizen you know?」

If Airi's preaching was summarized, it seemed she was telling him to not act carelessly in this or that without thinking of their own standing.

「Right now Nii-san is being pampered because you are a hero, but don't you understand that it's also bringing the same amount of danger? You are in a position where it won't be strange if people who don't think well of the new kingdom kidnap or attack you.」

「Ah, right. Sorry……」

Other than that, there was also the matter of getting involved with representatives and important people from various countries which might invite its share of trouble.

She also warned him about little details like how at the present they were in the middle of the parade event so the attention of many people were focused on them.

Before long when the talk was going to be over, Airi took a sip of the completely cooled down tea and spoke.

「Good grief, it seems that you were also seen here and there flirting with Philuffy-san or Krulcifer-san──. So, how is it going, Nii-san?」

「Eh……!?」

Lux was bewildered when the talk suddenly changed.

「Yes. There is no need to hide it. The students of the Academy had also witnessed it from afar.」

Certainly in the middle of this parade he was acting together with those girls because of various circ.u.mstances.

Half of it was for solving the mystery of this world revision, an investigation to trace the back the clue, but it seemed that everyone had splendidly misunderstood it.

「……And, Nii-san, which one you are going out with?」

Airi seemed to perceive Lux's silence as affirmation and asked him while averting her eye fidgetingly.

Lux noticed her meaning after a few seconds pa.s.sed and his face reddened.

「Eeh!? That's, you mean to ask──」

「Please don't make me say the rest-!」

Lux tried to confirm but Airi shut him down.

But, after wavering Lux couldn't say anything in the end.

It would be pointless even if he told Airi here about him accepting the confession from Krulcifer.

There was the possibility that the loop of the world revision would occur once more. He couldn't show an unnatural reaction at that time and got noticed by the Automatas.

Above all else, he couldn't think of any reason to reject, he was unable to reject it.

For the time being the formal reply was put on hold until the last day of the parade but──.

「Haa, so you haven't decided.」

「No, it's not like that.」

「Then, who is it?」

Airi was blushing from embarra.s.sment while looking up and stared fixedly at Lux.

Airi today was really persistent.

He didn't understand the reason but──.

「Celis-senpai too, I think that perhaps she love Nii-san. Her eyes when looking at you walking with other girl looked lonely.」

'I see.'

Lux comprehended it for the first time here.

Most likely at the second loop too when he entered love relationship with Yoruka, she held herself back and gave up from saying her feeling.

She really hesitated to say it.

Celis at the first loop intended to confess by mustering out all her courage.

(Celis-senpai……)

Thinking of that, a p.r.i.c.kling pain ran inside his chest. It felt like his heart was being squeezed hard.

He intentionally didn't think about it but, Yoruka too was surely the same.

Regarding her, if there wasn't the circ.u.mstance at the second loop, she might not even confess her feeling to Lux.

「Besides Philuffy-san too, it looks like her condition is a bit strange you know?」

Then, what about Philuffy?

Lux realized about that when Airi told him like that.

He wondered how she was doing at the previous parade and the parade before it.

(……Come to think of it, after the fight with Prime Minister Nulph, we parted from each other.)

She shouldn't get injured but, he was a bit worried.

「Airi, is it okay if I go checking on Phi-chan for a bit?」

「Feel free. The scolding too is enough already, also──」

「What?」

Airi took a deep breath to tell something to Lux.

But, in the end she didn't say anything and looked at him with a quiet smile.

「No, it's nothing. Please be careful not to stay too late.」

「Yes. Sleep ahead of me if you get sleepy.」

After exchanging only those words Lux headed to the room where Philuffy was staying in the same inn.

After that, there were only Airi and Noct remaining in Airi and Lux's room.

「──Is it alright Airi? You not telling Lux-san.」

「Yes, I don't think it's something that should be heard from me.」

Airi muttered with a lonely expression that looked conflicted.

「Since the past, I'm not good with Philuffy-san.」

「Do you mean that you hate her?」

Airi shook her head slightly at Noct's question.

「It's not a problem with her personality or att.i.tude, it's something that is more fundamental. I think that surely, it's just jealousy. Because she has a lot of things that I don't have.」

「……Yes. Certainly, that fact cannot be denied.」

「Where are you looking while saying that!? Noct!」

Airi looked at her best friend with a twitching fixed stare.

But, she understood that it was a joke to soften the mood.

The era of the old empire.

Airi at her childhood was sickly and tended to get looked down at despite her status as an imperial family member, furthermore since losing her mother, she lived by depending on her big brother Lux.

But, in contrast with her who could only depend on her big brother at that time, Philuffy was giving various influences to Lux even from Airi's point of view.

Airi understood that exactly because Airi was looking at Lux more than anyone else.

She understood how big an existence Philuffy was inside her big brother.

What her big brother's true feeling toward Philuffy was.

What he obtained while being together with her.

Exactly because of that Airi was not good at dealing with her.

In contrast with Airi who was considering everything with logic and rationality, Philuffy herself was someone with few words, but she was seeing through the truth of everything with her instinct and intuition.

Even though normally she was silent and expressionless, she was able to express her feeling straightforwardly.

That aspect of her was charming, and enviable.

「I thought that surely someday, she would take away Nii-san from me.」

Airi muttered that in a self-depreciation while smiling.

「Then, why are you mentioning about Philuffy-san just now?」

「……Why, I wonder.」

Airi showed a vaguely powerless smile and answered Noct's question.

「Perhaps, it's because I don't want to see Nii-san sad. There is also how distressing it, pretending not to notice while noticing it.」

Hearing Airi's muttering, Noct silently leaned closer to her.

「You are a really great little sister you know, Airi.」

The level and calm black haired girl showed her rare smile.

Part 3

「Phi, chan……?」

「Sorry, Lux-kun. Even though you expressly come to meet her.」

In the most s.p.a.cious room within the inn.

When Relie met him at the door and invited him in, there was Philuffy lying on the bed.

Beside her the personal doctor of the Academy was also present.

It was late at night, so it shouldn't be strange even if she was sleeping, and yet Lux noticed her abnormal condition in a glance.

Her body was sweating and she was breathing as though she was having nightmare from fever.

「Why? What in the world is──」

「It looks like her fatigue come back to her. This is because she forced herself right away without listening to me.」

「Is it, my fault……?」

After standing stock still for a while, Lux muttered in a daze.

The Ragnarok transplanted in her, Yggdrasil was annihilated and the command from it vanished.

Therefore Lux was under the impression that Philuffy was safe already.

There was no way that was true.

At the very least, fighting using Abyssification continuously put burden on her body in exchange of drawing out further strength that surpa.s.sed human.

The strengthening method of fusing with Divine Drag-Ride using something like B-Blood should also become a cause that worsened the symptom.

However──.

「Why, you didn't tell me? Relie-san should know about Philuffy's condition in detail.」

「That's, because it's this girl's wish.」

Relie didn't look angry or even negligent.

She spoke with an expression that looked faintly proud, and lonely.

「Because she wanted to become Lux-kun's strength. She doesn't want to worry you.」

Lux couldn't ask why anymore.

Why did she fought by mustering her strength to the limit, until she her life was at risk like this?

Because she wanted to continue staying at his side. Lux understood that.

That time too when she was opposing Yggdra.s.sil at the training camp in Ries Island.

Also at the time when they headed together to Heiburg Republic and fought against the King of Vices, and also the exploration of the deep level floor of Avalon and defeating Hayes.

And then this time too, she stayed quiet and accompanied Lux.

All this time, Philuffy was staying at his side for him because she had her own reason.

He didn't notice that.

No──, he was pretending to not notice it.

He contented himself with her feeling and the fact that he had a peculiar status.

「Her spasm has settled down already so it's alright. Thank you.」

After Relie said that to the female doctor of the Academy, she got out.

Relie muttered with a small voice in front of Philuffy who was in a deep sleep.

「Phi will hate me later if I say this to Lux-kun……. But, perhaps it's alright even if I tell you. About Phi's ture feeling, toward you.」

「……Please, do.」

Originally he should hear it from Philuffy, but right now he intentionally asked it from Relie.

And then a few minutes later──, Lux went outside the inn.

Part 4

「Fuu……」

This time he was in a distance that couldn't be called as taking a walk.

He had informed Airi just in case, so he only walked around the inn once.

There wasn't any Automata around.

Most likely it was because the doubt to Lux had cleared up.

There was also the possibility that he just didn't realize it and right now they were waiting for him to make a move, but he couldn't know that.

「I'm……why」

Philuffy's words that Relie told him were burned into his chest even now.

How that when this parade was over, Philuffy intended to temporarily take some time for recuperation.

How Relie was stopped from telling that to Lux.

The reason why was something that was really unexpected.

Why didn't she confess to Lux in the middle of the parade even though she loved Lux?

That wasn't because she lost her chance to the other girls or because she was being considerate to the other girls.

If Philuffy herself was released from the perception curse and she knew that Lux's criminal collar would be taken off at the last day, she should be able to say it.

And yet, why didn't she?

『I don't want Lu-chan, to suffer more than this. If he is staying at the side of someone beyond help like me, surely, it will be painful for him.』

When Relie asked her about it at the middle of the parade, Philuffy smiled slightly and said that to her.

When Lux heard that, he couldn't endure his tears from spilling.

Philuffy too surely had recalled her memory of five years ago that was sealed.

She was kidnapped to Ries Island for human experiment and entered a state of apparent death. Lux who saw that then wailed in sorrow. That memory.

Lux left behind a burden on Philuffy. She didn't want to see him lamenting and suffering from being unable to save her.

That was why, most likely she intended to pull back without confessing her own feeling.

「…….Just, what am I doing?」

Philuffy didn't want Lux to act recklessly in order to apply treatment for her in the negotiation concerning Avalon with all the other countries.

That was why she was trying to go through this parade looking like there was nothing wrong with her.

In Lux's life that was filled with ups and downs, she was a place that was like a sunny spot.

He was able to feel peaceful the most beside Philuffy, it was comfortable beside her.

However, because she was an existence that was closer to him than anyone, there was also a feeling of reservation inside him.

Because until now──staying as they are was happiness for him.

「I see. Surely, that's how it is……」

After thinking for a while, Lux finally noticed.

Why was Philuffy thinking of Lux until that far?

Because that was──the same like Lux's own feeling toward Philuffy.

Because she was most important to him than anyone else.

It wasn't from sense of responsibility or obligation, but because he loved her.

「Sorry, Phi-chan……. I swear, I'll save you. Not for anyone else's sake, but for my own sake──」

He also had to convey his feeling regarding her to her.

When this world revision was over, after his criminal collar was taken off.

Swearing that once more, Lux looked up to the sky.

The night wind felt pleasant on his body that was still languid and flushed.

But, on the contrary of that, his heart was darkly clouded.

「I, what should I──」

During the repeated three days period, there were several things that he noticed.

The true ident.i.ty of the mastermind who caused this loop──Queen Raffi who was possessed by Sacred Eclipse used that power to make her new kingdom prospered.

Fugil a.s.sisted Raffi due to his own mission.

Just like how he once cooperated with Count Atismata and Lux, and the Lords after that──.

However, Lux didn't understand what he should do after this.

If he stopped this world revision and defeated Raffi, what would happen to the new kingdom?

There was no way he could just overlook this. If Aeril might still be alive, he had to save her.

But, if he did that──Lux would become the new kingdom's enemy.

The place for him to belong that he finally obtained at the end of a long battle, he would discard it away by his own hand.

And then he would also become unable to respond to the feeling of the girls close to him.

He would drag even them into this battle that could ruin them.

「Everyone, I……what should」

When he muttered that once more, *clack* a faint sound of shoes rang out.

A presence that he didn't sense at the slightest until now appeared behind him.

「……Are you, the one that boss mentioned?」

A shock that tightly grasped his heart ran through him.

The moment Lux noticed and held his breath, a Drag-Ride's Dagger was thrust before his eyes.

「Don't make any sound. Calm down, I don't have any intention to harm you.」

When Lux focused his sight, inside the darkness there was a pet.i.te silhouette wearing general purpose Drag-Ride Drake.

The peron was wearing a hat and mask other than the pilot suit. Short blond hair peeked out from the gap of the hat and mask.

Most likely this person used the camouflage function of the Drake and waited for Lux's arrival.

It seemed like this person was a boy who was still young from their tone but──.

「You are……?」

Lux's mind was in chaos, but he somehow pretended to be calm and replied.

Lux was at disadvantage in this situation no matter how he struggled, so it was pointless to resist.

「My name is Alma Kilzrake. A member of Kilzrake family, and a candidate to be the next underboss. Lux Arcadia. My boss wants to meet you. Can you come with me?」(TN: This person talk in boyish way, with rough wording and 'ore' to refer himself)

「Kilzrake family……? Is it a type of mafia?」

Lux kept both his hands held up while asking his question in confusion.

Then the boy sighed in exasperation.

「What the h.e.l.l. You don't know about us Kilzrake? How dull. We are famous bodyguard of companies in Marcafal Kingdom. In this country, you will get it if you ask Relie Aingram. Haa.」

'I see', Lux guessed from this atmosphere.

A mafia family of Marcafal Kingdom.

He was able to accept it from the boy's rough tone and att.i.tude.

「Well ain't matter. So, you gonna come? Even if you say no I'll still bring you though. It's fine, it won't even take fifteen minutes.」

Oddly, it was just as Airi was worried about, was he being targeted by an unknown organization?

Even so Lux himself was surprisingly calm.

Perhaps it was because in contrast to his dangerous atmosphere, the boy wasn't directing hostility and killing intent toward him.

「What is your group's objective? Ransom money? Or perhaps──」

「It's the same like you. We notice the loop of this parade and want to destroy it. And, right now the Automatas too are pulling back to the castle. It's finally the chance for doing secret talk yeah.」

The blonde boy's words changed Lux's expression.

Someone who noticed this world revision and destroyed the perception curse.

An existence that shouldn't exist except Fugil and Queen Raffi.

「How do you know the secret of this world revision? The repeated three days of parade──」

「The circ.u.mstance of that is also similar with you. ──Though I'm sayin' that, boss also helped me to notice it. It ain't possible with only having experience of Baptism. At present I noticed for real was from this third loop.」

The boy talked nonchalantly with a tone that sounded a bit proud.

「Well, I searched various places following boss's instructions from the first loop though. I felt the chill when I almost got found out y'know? I thought I'm really good at tailing someone but, this sucks.」

「Wait a second!? That's, don't tell me──?」

The time at the previous loop when he was together with Yoruka, the two of them curiously found someone's silhouette.

At that time they completely thought that it was the work of someone related with Queen Raffi or Prime Minister Nulph but──.

「Could it be, after that you also headed toward the castle?」

「……That's right. So I got found out by that much huh, good grief.」

The boy's voice changed into dejection under the mask.

Lux had grasped Yoruka's exceptional sensing ability, but as expected their side didn't seem to have noticed it.

Silence where both sides probed each other's intention continued for around thirty seconds, when before long the other side leaked a sigh.

「Well, fine. Who cares whether you noticed or not, it ain't matter as long as you listen to our talk.」

「……And, you are a subordinate of that Kilzrake family?」

「I'm a newcomer who only joined several years ago, but I'm a candidate for the next leader of the Drag-Knight force. Well, I can't hold a candle to the boss before the boss got injured though. But if I train for five more years──」

「Just what is your group's business with me?」

「……Haa」

The boy looked quiet put off because Lux interrupted him when he was talking about himself.

He still didn't know whether the boy was ally or enemy, but he seemed to be a boy with relatively abundant emotion.

「I told you at the beginning, this is boss's order. The boss wants to meet with you. Come later to the place written in this paper. Then, I've definitely convey it to you okay?」

The boy only left behind a paper and said that, then he activated the Drake's camouflage function and his figure completely vanished.

Lux who was left alone beside the rear entrance of the inn dropped his gaze toward the paper.

      

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Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Volume 16 Chapter 4 summary

You're reading Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): AKATSUKI Senri. Already has 134 views.

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