This is "Chrono Dran" who has heightened his Power of Destiny in the "World of Possibilities" where all possibilities intersect. The great change in his traits influences his body, turning most of his armor white. The change in his "G Organ" is particularly significant, which differs a lot from the original in terms of components. The new organ is called "Z Organ" for convenience, and is scheduled to be investigated carefully after everything is settled. Just like in the past, Chronojet Dragon has set a protection on Chrono Dran's Z Organ, so Chrono Dran cannot use the organ's power without permission. The Z Organs' power exceeds that of G Organs, and no one could tell what would happen if two Z Organs resonate (Stride Evolution).
Monthly Bushiroad Short Novel (April 2018 Issue)
Those who Lead the Way Ahead
---One day, in the observatory of southern United Sanctuary.
"A black fissure in the sky...that rift in the sky is no illusion!"
"What's happening in this world..."
"Don't just put your hands on your head! I'm gonna call the capital! You keep on observing the sky! Don't miss even the slightest change!"
The remnants of Star-vaders caused significant damage, but ceased to function suddenly, just like what happened centuries ago. They crumbled into black dust---just as the leaders of nations were about to rejoice, a deadlier message was relayed to the entire world. From the aurora-resembling rift of space, a black fissure spread in the sky. At the same time, earthquakes occurred in many places of Cray. The magnitude and duration of earthquakes increased with the spreading size of the fissure. Many did not know, that this was because of the Destruction Deity's revival, and the world faced the crisis of doomsday.
Here was "Void Relics", the space that attracted all kinds of souls as sacrificial offerings to the Destruction Deity. This space, strong enough to remain unscathed by direct hits of forbidden spells, was crumbling. That was because of the gigant standing against the warriors of light.
"How can it be..."
It assumes the form of a xenomorphic gigant, which can be classified as neither human, dragon, demon nor mechanical doll. That was "Gyze", the manifestation of destruction.
"This thing is Gyze..."
Cold sweat dropped down on "Altmile"'s face when he looked up at Gyze.
"Dragon Deity of Destruction... this is unexpected..."
It was not only Altmile. All warriors of light were trembling, both body and mind. That was the difference between diminutive creatures living on the planet and a deity, a supernatural being.
"That's quite differen' from the deities I know..."
"Fenrir"'s instincts were similar to beasts, so he was more sensitive to the gap of strength. He spoke in a casual manner, but his voice was shaking.
"L, Luard's voice...!"
Chrono Dran was quivering more than anyone else, but he showed response to that voice. He stopped trembling gradually, but that was none of Gyze's concern.
<<The hour of indulging false peace has ended>>
And Gyze continued to speak. Whenever it used that voice, Chrono Dran gripped his fists harder.
<<The divine punishment shall be upon thee--->>
"Stop using Luard's voice---!"
In this place where everyone were dominated by Gyze's suppressing presence, only Chrono Dran shouted. Gyze stopped speaking, and Luard loaded in Gyze's chest faced turned head to face Chrono Dran. Being recognized by the Destruction Deity made him tremble again, but,
"You aren't Luard! Stop using Luard's voice for wicked purposes!"
He forced himself to stand against fear, and continued shouting. And,
"Right! We'll definitely save Mr. Luard!"
"I have sworn that I shall never bend to despair. There is no way we will end here without achieving anything!"
"Tch... how could I be inferior to a dump brat!"
The little boy carries a great courage,
"Thank you, Chrono Dran. As expected, you are my, no, our light."
And his courage spread to cleanse the gloomy clouds from the warriors' hearts.
"Grandpa, this is the time!"
"Yes, now is the time to unleash,"
Chronojet's arms crossed in front of his chest. By doing so, the gemstone on his chest emitted a blinding radiance. Then, the gemstone on Chrono Dran's head also emitted a strong radiance.
"The power of Z!"
The two radiances combined, mixed, and generated an even brighter radiance.
<<...O Chronovisor, o warrior who emitted the nostalgic radiance. Thy name will be carved in my memory>>
The gigant's arms spread to express its exclamation.
<<May thou embrace the glory of immortalization in the memories of a deity, and perish with the world>>
Responding to his words,
Chrono Dran replied in Chronojet's voice.
"I want not to remain in your memories! You who toy with Luard!"
<<This vessel is mine. How I use it is my--->>
"Shut up! Don't be bossy just because you're a deity! I will never forgive you!"
<<Impressive barks from a puny creature>>
Gyze looked down, and saw Ahsha, Altmile and Fenrir taking their weapons. Even they were shown an overwhelming gap of power, they intended to fight.
The gigant raised his right arm, and opened a rift in the sky of Void Relics. Two men appeared from that rift.
"Lord Gyze! It is my ultimate awe and pleasure to be summoned to this place!"
"I cannot think of better words to express my gratitude, also for the restoration of this body."
<<Where is Apostle Gredora?>>
"She showed no response to thy summonings."
"M-Mistress Gredora, is it really good to do so?"
"What are you talking about, Alicides?"
"About denying the summoning of Apostles. Though Gastille gave up further calling."
"That stoneheaded Valeos almost burst his blood vessels. What an epic face. "
"Gyze may take vengeful actions on us. This isn't a laughing matter---"
"Alicides. No, Darkface."
"What does that part of your name stand for?"
"It is the title of the strongest warrior, the king..."
"Yes. Exactly. And how can you, who bears the title of the king, lose composure?"
"What should you do now, as the strongest warrior, as the king of the next generation?"
"To lead the soldiers..."
"Wum, good to see you understand. Then, I shall leave everyone to you."
"Then! Alicides shall serve you, All Hail Your Majesty!"
"Wait, I have more to say... oh my. His hasty temper must be fixed as well."
Gredora laughed, so steathily that no one could hear.
"The world is most likely to be destroyed. But, for the one myriadth of a chance... no, for a chance even lower than that... I must take the future of Gyze's defeat into consideration, for I must protect my soldiers... my children."
"She violated the pact of Apostles just to protect her colonies! Blasphemy! Foolish!"
Valeos was so furious that he gripped his fists hard enough to cause turbulence.
"Calm down, Valeos, for you stand before the Deity."
"...My apologies for my misbehavior."
Valeos set his military cap upright, and Gyze declared in a mechanical tone.
<<Fine. O my Apostles. Unleash your strength, untether my bestowal. Destroy the warriors of light.>>
"As my Deity wills."
The two Apostles turned to look at the warriors of light behind Chronovisor.
"...Kk! That is..."
Valeos lost composure again. He stared at Altmile, his eye burning in hatred.
"Alt... he is staring at you, have you met him before...?"
"I have fought with him once in the outer world. In collaboration with the rescue troop of 'Aqua Force'... he should have been cut in halves by Vice Admiral 'Thavas'."
"He said something about the restoration of body before."
"Yeah, I see no wounds on him. He can regenerate as long as Gyze is alive... that's likely the answer."
"But, he wasn't defeated by Altmile, why is he staring at you so hard...?"
"He stares not at me, but this..."
To answer Ahsha's question, Altmile turned his eyes on the sword on his waist---"Fides". Valeos frowned so hard as if wounds were carved on his face, and he could control his anger no more.
"Fides... that vexatious demonic sword! This time, I will banish it from the world, no, the whole spacetime!"
Valeos opened his eyes and mouth so much that almost tore them. His stoic face was distorted by rage.
"As expected, his target is Fides."
"I don't know the particulars, but he was obsessed with Fides. It seems that he had some deep hatred with the sword."
"This sword is disliked by many, I say..."
"Hey! No time for dallying! He's coming!"
Valeos charged in a leaping mana with his lance. His target was of course---
His attacked grudgefully at Altmile. The thrusts were refined so much that one would think it could overpower the divine sword. All Valeos's attacks were imbued with an enormous amount of mana and physical strength, that Altmile's body suffered a strong impact when blocking those attacks.
(So powerful...! If I had not borrowed power from Fides, I would not have parried those attacks...!)
Altmile lost the first-move advantage, and could not but focus on defense.
"Don't get devoured, dump fool!"
Ahsha and Fenrir leapt in an attempt to save Altmile, but,
"Oh, I shall stand as your opponent."
Holes opened beneath their feet. The holes were spaces of complete darkness, that one could not tell what would happen if they were entrapped. Fenrir evaded with his reaction speed.
However, Ahsha was unable to do so. Just before she dropped into the hole,
"Tch, ya slow-witted fool!"
Fenrir kicked at her waist and blew her away. Ahsha did not drop into the hole, but she landed on her face.
"...It, it hurts, but thank you."
"If ya hav' time to say thanks, save it for support. Ya're specialize' at the rear, right?"
"Fine, time to deal with you, masked freak!"
"Oh my, you are emboldened, but I hate fighting in a barbaric manner..."
Gastile flicked his four arms like a conductor. Then,
In a manner similar to the Apostles' appearance, rifts opened in the space. But there was not one, not two, but uncountable rifts behind Gastille.
"At your side, Reverend One."
"Please give us orders!"
Starting from "Mujinlord", Gastille's direct subordinates appeared, followed by numberless forces.
"A favor for you, Valeos."
Valeos's direct troops appeared as well.
"You shall support the Admiral-of-the-fleet fighting over there."
"Yes, our gratitude to Reverend Gastille!"
More than two thousand enemies showed up against the three. That was not a number they could deal with on their own.
"So many... Tch."
"Alt... what should we do..."
Yes, that was not a number they could deal with.
If they were on their own.
"No more violations!"
Descended from the sky in a commanding voice was a black angel---"Gavrail". Her hands delivered red trails of slashes. And,
The knight in golden armor---"Gurguit", cut down the sailors attacking Altmile. And that was not all.
"He must be slain, here."
"Yes, there is no other time to resolve the past."
Admiral "Maelstrom" and Vice-admiral "Thavas" of "Aqua Force".
"Threats of spacetime, face my claws and fangs!"
"You guys are doing bothersome things again, aren't you?"
"Altmile! Captain Nightrose has come to save you!"
Captain of the "Granblue" Nightrose Pirates, "Nightrose".
"Delicious mana, so many... I humbly partake."
"Our recent reunions are always like this, do you think so?"
"Gavrail! And all of you from Cray, why...?"
"We were sent to this place by the power of Messiah."
"Yes. Now, Messiah is doing their best to protect the outer world from the influence of Gyze's revival."
"Is everyone in the outside world okay?"
"They are, for now. But, if this space crumbled and Gyze entered the outer world... none could tell what would happen."
"It can't be..."
"That is why we are sent here. Messiah has little power left, so they could only send around ten people..."
The Apostles' forces were overwhelmingly tremendous. However, Messiah used their full strength to summon the elites of Cray.
"Awesome... we're at an advantage."
Even tens of underlings could not stop them. Only high-ranked enemies like Mujinlord could stop their advance face to face.
"And we should fight. The world has not yet come to its end."
"Yes! The future still exists ahead of us!"
<<Puny powers clash, puny destructions recur. Frail beings cannot stand even one swing of my arm>>
"How dare you!"
<<Thou resemblest me, Chronovisor. O mighty being who deserves a seat among deities. Compared to thee, they are--->>
"Shut up! Stop treating everyone as fools just in terms of power!"
<<Incomprehensible. If not power, how dost thee judge the value of other beings>>
"I just want to stay with everyone!"
<<...Thy words are unintelligible. Further discussion is meaningless. Then>>
The gigant's head looked down at Chronovisor. The muzzle blinked slightly, and at the next moment,
Gyze's forehead fired a beam. The space on the beam's trail was distorted. Everything hit by this power would be disrupted.
"No one's annihilated!"
The outcome disagreed with Gyze's expectations. Chronovisor, with Full-drive of Z organs, could evade at a speed beyond light. Even the deity's eyes could not follow his speed.
<<As foreseen, thou art different from those puny beings. Thou possesseth potential of reaching my level>>
"I will defeat you, absolutely!"
<<If thou holdest not this ambition, begone with this world>>
"Hahahahahaaa! How is it, Fides! Is that all you got!"
Thanks to the reinforcement, Valeos's subordinates were stopped, but Valeos was still superior to Altmile in terms of individual strength. Engulfed by Valeos's turbulent emotions, Altmile was in a disadvantageous position, and could only defend himself.
(How much time has he spent to become this powerful...)
"Be crushed, Fides! Eternal slumber be upon---"
A surprise attack slashed at Valeos, but Valeos parried it reflexively.
"Sir Altmile, fall back temporarily!"
Taking this chance, Altmile leapt away from Valeos. On his side stood Thavas and Maelstrom.
"Maelstrom... you, again!"
"Silence! My ears serve no words from a betrayer! Together with Fides, you will be slain here!"
As Valeos interrupted Maelstrom's words, Thavas stepped forward and asked,
"Admiral-of-the-fleet Valeos, I would like to ask you one question."
"...Say it, whippersnapper."
"In the past, the Admiral-of-the-fleet sought justice of 'Aqua Force'... where is it?"
"Justice... justice, justice you say. Kukukuku, hahahahahahahahaaa!"
Murmuring the word "justice" for several times, Valeos burst into a lunatic laughter.
"Justice is me, the current me! Obey the deity's word, accomplish the deity's will! If that is not justice, what is justice!?"
"You will destroy your comrades, your subordinates, the creatures living in this planet, just because it is the deity's order?"
"What a foolish question! All should follow the deity's will! For Lord Gyze, I shall dedicate everything!"
After hearing those words, Thavas turned to Maelstrom, and nodded to each other.
"I see... you have no qualification to talk about justice. A future which demands the sacrifice of comrades and future itself is meaningless at all!"
"Admiral-of-the-fleet, no... traitor Valeos, in the name of 'Aqua Force' Vice-admiral Thavas, you shall be purged!"
"Whippersnapper! You think you can stop me!?"
"It is not only the Vice-admiral."
In front of the furious Valeos, the strongest knight of the Holy Nation advanced again.
"His target is Fides. I shall fight alongside you."
Valeos charged like a bullet again, his lance aimed at the Fides-equipped Altmile again. But this time,
Even Valeos could not have an advantage when fighting two experts. Though he could still attack, it was not in an one-sided manner like before. And,
"No way you can do that!"
Altmile and Thavas learnt the tempo of each other gradually. Their combination was refined.
"Guu... how could these whippersnappers, stand against me, an Apostle of the deity..."
The scales were tilted against Valeos bit by bit. The combination of Altmile and Thavas would have overpowered Valeos, but,
"There is no way I would fall back!"
A good chance to destroy Fides, a perfect place to slay the betrayers. And, the ego of a warrior. These thoughts were mixed, and removed the option of "retreat" from Valeos.
Valeos's roar was halted by a massive piece of scale penetrating his chest.
"Mael, strom... how dare yoooooooou!"
Valeos's single eye was filled by burning hatred, but he could only see his ex-subordinate's lamenting face. He stretched his arm, perhaps in an attempt to sustain his body, but,
The swords of the two heroes penetrated Valeos's chest like the piece of scale.
"Even if you are an aquaroid, your destruction is inevitable if your core is destroyed. This is your loss."
"Gu, uuuugh... uugguuuurgh!"
"This is... Thavas! Fall back!"
Seeing Valeos's screams, Maelstrom shouted. In this place, only Maelstrom knows, that Valeos's true body is a gargantuan sea dragon, the biggest in Cray's history.
"We should have destroyed the Admiral-of-the-fleet's body... so it's restored by Gyze's power...!"
An explostion blew away Altmile and Thavas.
"If he released his body, the situation would become worse... Thavas!"
Thavas and Altmile charged at Valeos again, but they were stopped by the surging torrents of power.
Maelstrom opened his muzzles, and fired a horrifying amount of projectiles at Valeos. Yet,
"How can it be possible... how could he stay unscathed even with the Admiral's full strength?"
"So that's the end of us...!"
At that moment,
Fides left Altmile's hand. Of course, Altmile did not throw it away. Fides floated in the sky, leaving Altmile in awe. And,
Leaving flashing light like lightning bolts, the blade of the divine sword penetrated Valeos's forehead. It cleansed the surging torrents of power that was strong enough to stop the veteran fighters.
Unable to sustain his crumbling body, Valeos could only grasp the edge of Fides.
Those were Valeos's last words. The blade of Fides released light to engulf Valeos like an orb of light at size comparable to a humanoid's.
As Altmile tried to touch the orb of light, it burst and dissipated as particles of light. There was neither Valeos nor Fides. Everything vanished as light.
"Fides... because you wanted to save us, to save the world..."
Altmile gripped his fist, with no Fides in his hand. To lament the loss, Altmile lowered his eyes, and placed his hand on his chest.
"...It's over, finally. The old 'Aqua Force' is over."
Maelstrom showed his sorrow for only one second. The next moment, he turned back into the stoic Admiral.
"Thavas, you will become a leader of the new generation. For this, we must protect the future."
His words were imbued with strong willpower, and Thavas replied in a corresponding determination.
"Support other battlefields with Sir Altmile."
"Roger. I will fight alongside him."
Thavas left, and Maelstrom recalled the form, of his comrade in the past.
"The genuine justice you sought in the past has become the roots of the new generations. Rest in peace, I can't really say that, but..."
Maelstrom placed his hand on his forehead. That was his last prayer, for the man who walked on the wrong path, for the man who guided him in the past.
While Altmile, Thavas and Maelstrom were fighting against Valeos,
The massive forces led by Gastille were fighting Ahsha and other warriors of light. Though Ahsha's side were composed of elites, the difference in numbers was too big. Thus, the enemies' cadres worked cooperatively to stop them from joining others' fights.
"You shall not go!"
Almost all warriors were forced to fight on their own.
"Fufufu... swords clash, blood spills, lives wither... it sounds good. An appropriate music score for the end of the world."
Somewhere away from the battlefield, Gastille was observing the chaotic battlefield. Despite being a mighty demon lord, he did not favor face-to-face combat. It was his motto to move the chesspieces without dirtying his hands. But,
"...I hate having to take action myself."
He sensed murderous intentions from behind, from above and from below. Gastille moved with the minimum actions to dodge the attacks.
"But it seems that is inevitable."
Two trails of attacks penetrated the location he had been standing on.
(An arrow, a kunai, and...)
"A shield, is it? That is not suitable for attacking, I suppose."
Gastille created projectiles of mana and fired them at three directions. The projectiles burst, forcing the attackers to reveal themselves.
First, a dragon holding his shield was blown away, and landed on the ground.
"Tch, you saw every one of us!?"
"As expected from an ex-mercenary. You have my praise for attacking without making a sound, Dumjid. Then,"
A goddess with a bow and a ninja with an evil-eye showed up in front of Gastille.
"So impressive. The losers Team Diffrider assemble again."
"You... dare to call us losers!?"
"Calm down, Dumjid."
The goddess "Amaruda" mollified the petite dragon of great shield.
"You should know as well. This is Gastille's trick."
"But you all should have been restricted by your nations to await your punishments, I suppose?"
"No one is foolish enough to waste precious combat forces if the world is about to end."
"Those land-dwellers are too soft. Traitors should be executed immediately."
"You're always this annoying!"
"Fine, all your efforts are futile. The world will be destroyed. Even if you are liberated, you can do nothing to change the fate of the world."
" I (Boku) don't think so. The people of this world are stronger, beyond your expectations."
"I find myself glad I never met you over there. I am sure there is no way we can get along well."
Gastille descended on the ground, and looked at the eyes of the trio. On the patterns of his eerie mask, black pupils appeared and squirmed.
"If you willnot wait and enjoy the destruction with good manners, you leave me no choice."
Gastille concentrated the mana in his body. The true strength of the primitive demon lord... none live long enough to tell in present times.
"Before the world ends, you shall all rot."
"Dumjid", the ex-mercenary who had struggled to survive in many battlefields; "Amaruda", the goddess with the potential to become a battle deity; "Shiranui", the chieftain of a clan of the Empire's Espionage Corp "Nubatama". The trio were powerful, but the fight between them and Gastille was extremely severe.
Without even waiting for Shiranui's words, the trio leapt to different directions. At the same moment, the spot they stood on exploded.
"Oh my, I expected one would be blown away."
"How were we easily beaten!?"
"Then, how about this?"
Magical projectiles danced on Gastille's palm again. Dumjid took up his shield immediately,
"They won't hit!"
"Behind you, Dumjid!"
The projectiles attacked from behind. Dumjid was only saved as Shiranui cut down all the projectiles.
"M, my bad, you've saved me."
"Manipulate projectiles of mana at high density at will... more than that,"
"Yup, it's not only one or two. He fired at not only us, he also provided support firepower to the whole battlefield whenever he finds a chance. He seems to manipulate the projectiles with the movement of his arms."
"So he moves his arms like a conductor does, not only because he wants to show off... how dare he look down upon me!"
"Stay calm, Dumjid. That is his aim."
Dumjid's anger was eased by Shiranui. Disrupt the opponents' minds, toy with them using sweet words, and manipulate them at will. That is Gastille's expertise. Shiranui had been bound by Gastille's words and bore the cross of sins, and that is exactly why he knew Gastille's tricks.
"But, what should be done? It is likely that Gastille is saving his strength. If he uses his true power..."
"...There is one and only one technique to make him show a moment of fatal weakness."
"However, if anything goes wrong, our aim will be exposed. And he will crush us with his full strength..."
"So there is only one chance, is it..."
The solemn attitude of Shiranui made Amaruda looked gloomy. But,
"A good plan, isn't it?"
Dumjid said something that could surprise Shiranui and Amaruda together.
"W, why are you looking at me like that?"
"No, just a bit surprised."
"Sorry, I did not expect a craven like you would accept my plan so actively."
"Annoying you are!"
Dumjid stood his shield on the ground, and spoke proudly.
"If we keep fighting like this, we'll just be toyed to death. Before more sickening fights, a stake of life provides a higher chance of survival, isn't it!? It's not like I thought of anything else!"
"...Yes. As you said. Thank you, Dumjid."
"It seems that we have not understood each other well. You have my gratitude."
"E, enough! Just explain your plan!"
Dumjid was not used to those thankful eyes, and spoke in a hurry. Shiranui nodded, and told Amaruda and Dumjid his plan. After that,
"Oh my, have you finished your meeting of operation?"
"Thanks for waiting like a good kid, I say!"
"No, no, all your efforts are futile, so if you want to fight, I would like to have some fun, at least."
Gastille's lips twisted into a malicious curve, his hands raised high.
"Then, let the party resume!"
Magical projectiles were fired at the trio again.
(It seems that they are protecting Shiranui... what is their plan?)
Amaruda shot down the projectiles, and Dumjid blocked the others. They worked not to attack Gastille, but to cover Shiranui.
(So they intend to buy time for Shiranui to do something.)
Gastille's projectiles were composed of high density of mana, borrowing power from Gyze. To shoot down or block each of these projectiles would cost immense amount of mana.
Amaruda and Dumjid's mana was consumed quickly. In addition, the projectiles left cracks of varying sizes on Dumjid's shield. At this pace, several more hits would break Dumjid's shield completely.
"Unfortunately, your plan won't make it on time. My condolences."
"No, not yet..."
"I cannot understand. Why do you, one who is desperate in life itself, continue struggling?"
"...For the part 'desperate in life itself', I haven't really changed. Our lives are influenced by the weaklings of that planet, I still find it intolerable."
The glow in Dumjid's eyes stunned Gastille for a bit.
"In that last battle... that girl undoubtedly staked her life to fight. Can you understand? A human, a weakling, a feeble creature who can be slain by a swing of my claws, staked her life to fight!"
"When I was defeated by that girl and returned to Cray, I finally understand, that strength does not mean individual might."
The masked demon lord recalled his old memories of war. In the past, the warriors of light who fought life-staking battles with him said something like that. That their strengths come from not physical nor magical power, but the strength of minds.
"Nonsense. Utterly boring nonsense. Then, try to kill me with that willpower of minds!"
Numberless projectiles showered on Dumjid's shield. Even though Dumjid imbued his shield with his mana, bigger cracks were made on his shield, and his mana supply was insufficient to sustain the consumption.
"Impossible. Impossible, isn't it!? Do you know why? Because you are powerless! A weakling! No matter how strong your mind is, it is meaningless before an overwhelming power!"
"...We'll see about that!"
Gastille was too provoked that he let down his guard for a moment. This one and only chance,
"Open the Evil-eye."
Shiranui was poised to strike.
"Sunder the Saṃsāra ."
Tha barrage of projectiles halted. The remaining projectiles shrunk and vanished as the supply of mana was no more.
"This is the first and the last time I would use this power."
(Evil-eye... but there should be no power like this... no, it can't be...)
Shiranui's evil eye, in Stride Fusion form, possessed the power to sunder the connection between the target's body and spirit. In other words, common creatures would die immediately just by looking at that evil-eye.
"Stride Fusion...this is a future possibility you do not know. This is the consequence of underestimating the future."
(I can't move my body at all... the link between my body and spirit is torn? Then, if I separate them first.)
Gastille possessed the extraordinary power to separate his spirit form from his body at will. By separating his spirit form before death, he can wait for a chance to re-combine after regeneration. But,
(Even my spirit form...!)
The reinforced evil-eye does not only sunder the connection. Everything is bound by Shiranui's eye once the power takes effect. Spirits are no exception.
"Bound by the power you bestowed, and be destroyed!"
(I see. So this is my finale.)
Separated from his body, Gastille's spirit was like a verdigris-colored mist,
"I (Boku) believe! In the future ahead!"
Shot down by Amaruda's mana-imbued arrow,
(The destruction of the world is inevitable. Even if I am slain, nothing---)
"Die alone, here, now!"
And dissipated before Dumjid's shield. Dumjid's shield finally met its limit, and crumbled with the vanishing mist.
"The strength of minds you look down upon... the strength to protect someone, watch it carefully from the deepest pit of the hell!"
One day, a boy was born in a corner of the world. He had no parents, for he was born from a fragment of the deity's mana, born to become the deity's vessel.
He had been seeing all kinds of hideousness since his birth. To struggle for survival, he steals, sometimes even kill. Forced to live a life like sipping dredges, his mind was filled by black negative emotions.
When he grew into a teenager, he encountered a knight in black armor. The knight adopted the boy, and as they lived together, the knight gave all kinds of warmth to the boy. Eventually, a "heart" sprouted within the boy to admire the knight. His mind was enlightened by hope. The negative emotions accumulated in his mind were illuminated and cleansed by the glow of hope.
Yet, when the teenage boy grew into a young man, a tragedy occurred. The separation from the brotherly figure shaded the glow of hope. His mind was stained by despair again, his destiny distorted by revenge. The negative emotions rampanted rapidly. His mind clinged to "The Journey of Revenge", yet the journey ended in an undesired way. The apostles of the deity had waited for this moment.
And so, the young man became the vessel of the deity. The connection terminal to anchor the deity's body to the world. This is the predestined fate of the young man.
As the warriors of light were fighting the deity's apostles on the ground, Chronovisor continued fighting with Gyze. With his trump card Stride Evolution and Full-drive of Z organs, Chronovisor's power went beyond Gyze's expectations. But that was about the power within living things' aspect.
"Dang! This is too big!"
Chronovisor had higher speed, but his attacks were ineffective against Gyze, due to the latter's armor and size.
In contrast, all of Gyze's attacks were fatal. Should Chronovisor touch the beams fired by Gyze, even the slightest graze would devour and demolish Chronovisor with the surrounding space. Chronovisor must focus on evasion to keep fighting. To make things worse,
As Luard was loaded on Gyze's body, Chronovisor could not unleash his full strength. He attacked bit by bit in fear of dealing collateral damage to Luard.
(Chrono Dran. Do not give up, keep calling out to Luard. It is likely that Gyze has not dominated his mind completely.)
Chronojet sensed Chronovisor's (Chrono Dran's) intention and spoke in his mind. With courage enlightened, Chronovisor charged at Gyze again.
"Okay! Luard---! Luard------!!"
(Someone, is someone calling?)
(My name is Lu---)
(Nay. Thou art Gyze. The vessel of the deity.)
(I am Gyze.)
(That is not calling me.)
(I am alone...)
"It's not working! Luard hasn't shown any response since the beginning of the battle!"
(Do not give up. Your voice, your light will definetely reach him!)
"...Yup! Thank you, Grandpa!"
However, the scales were still tilted towards Gyze. At this pace, Chronovisor would be exhuasted mentally and physically, and faced the hour of demise.
Before so, he must save Luard, yet Luard's mind was infested by Gyze's influence.
(At least, if we can seperate Luard from Gyze physically,)
"I know, but...! I can't close the distance!"
As Chronovisor attempted to fly beneath Luard, Gyze's attacks became more intense, and he could not reach Luard.
(That said, this level of attack... we cannot rely on the other warriors.)
Only Chronovisor's reaction speed could follow Gyze's beams, others could not even react at all. Seeking reinforcements from the other warriors would be no different from killing them.
"Yup, we can't call the others... we must do it by ourselves!"
Even at a disadvantage, Chronovisor did not give up and kept flying. A chance would eventually come, and until then, he could not afford to lose hope.
<<Why dost thou struggle? The destiny determined by the deity is absolute. At the moment my power surpasses that of Messiah, only destruction awaits your future>>
"LIKE-I-SAID! Destiny is not determined! Even a deity cannot determine that!"
<<Incomprehensible. Thou should have understood, that thy strength could never meet mine>>
"And that's something you can't tell as well! There is a chance a super duper power awakens within me, and I would beat you up!"
<<So thou waitest miracles. Fatuous--->>
Gyze's voice halted. It lowered its gigantic head, and looked at its chest. Luard was not there.
"How dare a deity determine our destinies!"
Shiranui stealthily cut down the tentacles entangling Luard's body.
(So Gyze underestimated the creatures of the land, and could not identify them even as recognizable enemies. That is why it was reached without it noticing...)
Releasing Luard from the tentacles, Shiranui threw Luard's body into the air.
"Take care of hi---"
At that moment.
Gyze's beams grazed Shiranui. Shiranui sensed the attack and jumped up. He was not directly hit by the beams, but his right arm and left leg were annihilated.
"I am fine...! I will rely on you, about Luard, about the world!"
"...Yup! You can rely on me!"
Chronovisor descended rapidly to catch the falling Luard. But,
<<That is my vessel>>
"Waargh! Don't block my way!"
Gyze showed no more interest in finishing Shiranui, and it stretched out its tentacles, aiming to retrieve Luard. The tentacles also blocked Chronovisor.
"Then nothing will change... At this pace, Luard would be caught by that thing again...!"
<<O vessel, return to me>>
Before Luard fell into Gyze's clutches, his body was covered in blinding light.
"Wake up, Luard."
(Who is calling me?)
"Oh my, oh my, so you're still a late riser, aren't you?"
"This... voice... is..."
Recognizing that nostalgic voice, Luard regains consciousness. He raised his dull eyelids, and saw,
"Oh, finally woke up, huh?"
"Dagda"---he who bestowed Luard heart and hope, he who was bestowed the fate of death by the deity's scheme.
"Am I dead?"
"No, you're still alive."
Luard looked around in a hurry, and saw the dark space of Void Relics.
He did not know the current situation. But, the brotherly figure was in front of him, that was more than enough to make Luard satisfied. Clinging to Dagda's chestplate, Luard cried like a child.
"I've always tried to get revenge for Big-bro... but,"
"I know. Though I want to talk with you about lots of things..."
Gyze's tentacles pressed on towards Luard and Dagda. But,
Chronovisor's hand chop cut down the tentacles. Gyze did not fire its beams because its vessel, Luard, was behind Chronovisor.
"Take time to talk! You're family, right!?"
Chronovisor cut down the tentacles one wave by one wave. Dagda nodded at Chronovisor, then faced Luard again.
"He said so, but we have only little time in truth. I shall rely on you."
"Are you talking about telepathy?"
"You have my trust. Show me your growth."
Luard stood in a pure white space, facing Dagda. Now, their minds are synchronised because of Luard's magic.
"Big-bro, you didn't come back to life, did you?"
"Yup. It is only because I was in that space (Void Relics) that I could assume my form again, for a limited amount of time..."
Luard's shoulders bent forward, and Dagda placed his hand on Luard's shoulders. Luard placed his hand on Dagda's, and questioned,
"Big-bro died because of me... If you had not adopted me that day, you should have been al... ouch!"
Dagda helmbutted Luard. Luard fell on the ground, and in a strong and clear tone, Dagda said,
"There is no way I would hold a grudge against you!"
"Luard. I wasn't really a knight of greatness. I joined 'Shadow Paladin' only because of chance. I had never thought of protecting the nation, or anyone else. I just joined the order's missions without thinking... At that time, I found you, small and fragile."
Luard could not see Dagda's face in the helmet. But he could easily sense the change of Dagda's facial expressions.
"In the first place, I adopted you on a whim. Perhaps that's because I had been away from the others for too long, and I sought to have someone in touch. But, those simple days I lived with you made my mind strong."
"I, made Big-bro strong..."
"No one else would protect this boy. Only I can protect him... I was someone who could not even trust my true family, my desolated heart was only illuminated by you, who was weak during those times."
"I, who was weak... oh, ohh."
Dagda reached out his hand, and Luard held Dagda's hand. Dragged by a force stronger than he expected, Luard stood up in a stagger.
"I had no determination to live, but you have given me a reason to live, a reason to become strong. To me, I'm indebted to you, as a younger brother who needs care, as the dearest family member. No matter what happened or what happens, I shall never hold a grudge against you."
As Luard tried to say something, the space started flickering irregularly.
"Time is almost up."
"Big-bro... dear Big-bro, I've always wanted to say 'thank you' to you...!"
"But, I'm ended... I've committed numberless sins. I've caused lots of trouble, even killed many... I can't be helped."
"YOU BIG IDIOT!"
Dagda delivered a helmbutt, again. Luard did not fall on the ground this time, yet he still couldn't help but hold his head in pain.
"Which part of you is ended, you say? You are still alive. Do it over again, no matter how many times it takes."
"But, in a world without Big-bro..."
"There should be someone other than me who has tried to understand you. Those who know your situation, yet still want to help you."
Luard recalled the many people he encountered on his journey. Sometimes they laugh, sometimes they clash. During those moments, he even forgot about revenge.
"Big-bro, I... I have to protect them!"
Dagda nodded, and placed his fist in front of his chest. Luard understood, and hit Dagda's fist with his own.
"The manly greeting. So you still remember it."
"That's one of Big-bro's teachings. I have never forgotten anything Big-bro taught me."
In the rapidly flickering space,
"Then, you are alright."
The last thing Luard saw was,
"I'm going, Big-bro."
"Do your best, little brother."
With his helm removed, the full smile of his Big-bro.
"Luard! You've woken up!?"
When Luard awakened, he saw not his big brother's form, but Chronovisor blocking the tentacles. But,
"Yeah, I've awakened. Thank you, for protecting me."
He rubbed the teardrops from his face, and stood with a dignified facial expression. His proud smile bore no despair. As if celebrating his revival, the remaining fragments of Dagda's soul danced in the air as particles of light.
(Dagda... he had the potential of becoming a warrior of light. That is why he could intervene with Luard's fate...)
"In the future, you have to buy lots of sweets for me, you know---!"
"I'll give you a treat of any amount you want, so now..."
Luard raised his left arm, and that arm transformed into a dragon's claw. After that, his right arm, left leg, right leg, wings and tail transformed one by one. Moreover,
His body was engulfed by a pillar of light. As the light dissipated, a pitch black dragon appeared.
"Ohhh! Awesome! You've become a dragon!"
"We shall go together now. Oh, you are---"
"I'm Chrono Dran. But I'm now Chronovisor, and Grandpa is within me..."
"So bothersome. I'll just call you Chrono. Go, Chrono!"
"Yup! Here we go---!"
As they became high-spirited, a barrage of beams was fired upon them. Luard, with his physical and magical strength greatly improved, managed to somehow dodge all the beams. But that doesn't mean he can let down his guard.
<<Irredeemable. Irredeemable. Thou hast no value to become my vessel>>
"Yeah, and that's a good thing. I shall say no to your offer of becoming a vessel as well! By the way, stop using my voice!"
<<As one of the numberless insects rampant in this world, perish futilely>>
"That's also a no! I still have lots of things to do! I have the important task to protect the world... to protect everyone!"
"So do I, so do I! I'll protect everyone!"
The barrage of beams was unleashed again. But, the actions of Chronovisor and Luard were different. Fighting against two dragons who dodged the beams easily, Gyze was confused a bit.
"So fighting alongside someone makes power brimming from myself, that's a bit beyond my expectations!"
"And I've become stronger than before! Because Luard is at my side!"
"Good! It's time to let this monstrosity taste our Combination Technique!"
"A Combination Technique!? I don't really understand, but I got it!"
The white dragon and the black dragon flew at high speed while dodging the beams. Their bodies drew trails of double helices in the sky, and clashed with the emblem on Gyze's forehead.
"With this, you're finished!!"
They could not penetrate it.
Their attack was not enough to crush the deity's body.
"Dang... even this is not enough, you say!"
"Don't give up, Luard---! I'll do my best too!"
"Of course! Woorrgh!"
Strength is not solely determined by physical or magical abilities. And this was the space where souls assembled.
Those with stronger souls, minds and thoughts would become the winner. The forms of existences did not matter.
<<Impossible... a broken vessel, an insect, reached the level of the deities...>>
Chronovisor and Luard shared the same thought. The more powerful their enemy was, the stronger their thought was, to protect the world from this threat.
"I won't be destroyed by you! I have to live, I have to atone for my sins!"
"I want to be with everyone! So, I can't forgive you, who attempt to destroy the world!"
Gyze was pressed down gradually. The shining emblem that blocked their attacks became dimmer from the edges.
"It's working! In this way!"
<<Know that I am the Deity. I am absolute. The destruction of the world must be accomplished>>
Gyze's chest---the part where Luard had been loaded was filled by eerie light. Chronovisor sensed the change quickly, but he could not tell what that sign meant. But,
"That color, that light... it can't be!"
"What's it, Luard?"
"That monstrosity is going to detonate itself...!"
"...Detonate itself!? Is that fine!?"
"Definitely not! If something like that exploded, it'll obliterate not only us, but the entirety of Cray!"
"Dang! We must finish this as quickly as we can!"
The emblem disappeared gradually, but before they could penetrate Gyze's body, the self-detonation would have completed.
"This won't work... I've finally noticed what I have to do, yet..."
Luard is a clever mage, and so he grasped the situation accurately. And that made him gloomy.
"Don't give up, Luard!"
"I know! I know...!"
"You want to protect the world, I assume? You are determined to atone for your sins, am I wrong? Then, you cannot concede!"
That stoic voice made Luard lower his head to look at Chronovisor.
"You're Chronojet, right..."
"This world, where you wish to live, where Chrono Dran wishes to live, where everyone wishes to live... it cannot be destroyed, at any cost!"
"But what can we do? That's beyond what our thoughts can reach..."
After a breath,
Chrono Dran was separated from Chronovisor's body.
"What are you doing---owargh!"
"My apologies. Pass it to me."
Moreover, Chronovisor absorbed the power of spacetime used in Dragstride Fusion from Luard. Losing the power to transform, Luard returned to his humanoid form, and was blown away from the trail of double helix.
"I count on you to protect Chrono Dran."
From those words, Luard sensed what Chronojet was trying to accomplish. Without asking further questions, he moved to catch Chrono Dran from falling.
"Z organ, Over-drive!"
(O Messiah, the Creation Deity of Cray. The power you lent to me, every bit of it... shall be utilised for this instance.)
"Messiahnic Energy, be connected to the organ. Begin the process of Multi-excitation!"
Red, white, blue, yellow, green...the gemstones on Chronovisor's body flickered in different colors.
<<That form... that light...>>
The emblem dissipated, and all of the energy unleashed by Chronovisor hit Gyze directly. Even the deity's body could not sustain it, and the surge of energy struck Gyze.
<<Thou art... that deity's...>>
The gigantic body of Gyze crumbled. It stretched its massive arm, trying to grip Chronovisor, but the arm could not reach Chronovisor and crumbled.
"Be destroyed with me! Dragon Deity of Destruction! The world is not a chessboard! Mankind are not chesspieces!"
From the sword Chronovisor raised, the space engulfing Chronovisor and Gyze distorted.
"Here is the planet environed by hope, the cradle of the future woven by splendid lives!"
At the moment Gyze's chest was saturated with mana, and was going to unleash a blinding radiance,
Their forms disappeared beyond spacetime.
<Recorder: Sin-magir, Rank I Researcher, Past Administration Section Division III, Spacetime Administration Department, "Gear Chronicle">
At the same time of the disappearance of Chronovisor Heritage and Gyze, Void Relics crumbled. All individuals in Void Relics, be it friend or foe, returned to Cray. There were remnants of the Apostles' forces, but the absence of the Apostles and other cadres made them vulnerable to the elite warriors of light. In short time, all enemy combatants were arrested and handed over to "Gear Chronicle".
And so, Planet Cray is saved from destruction. How were the warriors of light after the war? Here are pieces of my record.
"So there should be no problems for a while... let me deal with more documents in advance..."
"Stop it, Alt."
"Overworking is both your strength and your weakness. If you spend excessive efforts on paperwork, you'll have a breakdown. This would do nothing good to your subordinates should emergencies arise again."
"...You're right. Let's call it a day."
"Likewise, take a leave for tomorrow, too."
"No, that's too much..."
"I'll deal with the troublesome red tape."
"...Got it. I'll do that."
"He said that, you guys heard it?"
"Mr. Al! If you're taking a leave, let's return to our hometown, it's been quite a while since the last time! I wanna eat sand-apples!"
"Hey, Senior Felax, saying something to the Grandmaster is..."
"What? There isn't any outsider here, so it's fine. Stop acting goody-goody, Sici-sir!"
"My name is SICILUS! And seniors, please say something to him!"
"But it's not good to be too serious in this situation, Sicilus."
"Even Mr. Livarot said that..."
"Leave it to Alt."
"It's fine, Sicilus."
"Oh, Mr. Al, then..."
"Ahh, after a long time, we're going home."
"Tch, aren't the sequences here messed up... Dromi! That's your mess!"
"I'll fix it up for ya this time, but should you mess it up next time..."
"S, stop showing off your claws..."
"Fenrir, it isn't appropriate to scare your subordinates."
"Shut up, Gleipnir. Ya ain't an inspector anymore. Ya just a colleague."
"And that's why I'm acting as your colleague to ensure a comfortable working environment."
"Mr. Fenrir. I have finished my parts."
"Hand it over... no problem. Hand it in."
"Y, yes! Thank you very much!"
"Leyding seems to be jumping for joy---"
"He has been admiring Fenrir from the beginning. Even in this semi-confinement situation, he is happy to work with Fenrir."
"But, leaving us aside, I didn't expect that the top brass of the nation would allow Fenrir to return to the cooperation."
"In terms of talent, few could rival Fenrir. They probably consider Fenrir's return necessary, to accelerate the restoration of the nation."
"Without caring that he is a sinner, is that---"
"I suppose the greatest reason is that Fenrir promised to work obediently, under the terms of having annual grudge-relieving matches with the Grandmaster of the knightly order."
"Fufu... it's a surprise that Fenrir looks like he's having lots of fun. That is yet another interesting thing to see.
"My apologies for calling you out all of a sudden, Gavrail, Amaruda."
"Then, Sir Gurguit, why have you called us (bokura) out?"
"Ah. In fact, I'm helping out with the record of the scramble this time."
"Record, you say?"
"The person in charge had done me a favor. He wanted to interview as many participants as he could assemble, and I'm helping him."
"If that is the case, it is my pleasure to aid you. But that said, I will be going to 'Neo Nectar' this afternoon. Do it quickly, if possible."
"...You've become totally different after making a friend. In the past, you were called the Iron-faced Graver Captain..."
"You, you are a nuisance."
"Iron-faced... seeing Lady Gavrail now, it is difficult to imagine that in mind..."
"Even Amaruda! Ku... enough, I am going back."
"M, my apologies! Please stay here!"
"Is that true, Chieftain?"
"You would formally retire from the seat of Chieftain... you say."
"Yes, this body of mine cannot accomplish missions."
"But, there isn't anyone competent to succeed Lord Shiranui..."
"I know. I have no intention of appointing one successor."
"I am going to establish the cadre system."
"Now, this organization is fragile, for its functions are disabled without a chieftain in perfect condition. Therefore, it is necessary to set up multiple cadres to prepare for unexpected situations."
"I see... it's true that there had been no definite ranks in our clan, except genin (low-ranked ninjas), chūnin (middle-ranked ninjas) and jōnin (high-ranked ninjas), and the roles are ambiguous."
"If the chieftain is absent, the cadres would act for the chieftain according to their roles. If there are leaders, the disorder will be minimized."
"I see... understood! I shall call everyone here swiftly to hear your announcement!"
(Even though my role as the chieftain has come to an end, my atonement continues. Until the time I can meet him again, I shall do everything I can...)
"Do you know what is the most important thing on the battlefield?"
"To slay as many enemies as possible!"
"Then, to focus on the enemy commander---"
"Instructor Dumjid, please teach me the correct answer."
"Yes. The Empire has been wasting lives. Veteran generals and common soldiers are the same when they die. All are ended. So, the most important thing to do on the battlefield, is to preserve your own life."
"B, but, if we do so, no successes can be achieved..."
"If you survive, you will eventually become strong. The most foolish thing in the world is weaklings dying as they rush for achievements. Got it!?"
"An armistice agreement, how long has it been since the last time we signed one? Will you tease me as a cowardly queen, Alicides?"
"You must be kidding! How would I question the decision of Your Majesty!?"
"Fool! You will eventually become the King, you know? Think with your own brain, you idiot."
"M, m, my sincerest apologies!"
"Oh my, oh my... At this rate, the abdication is still a long way to go..."
"Please keep your voice lo---waarrghh!"
"M, Mistress, what's happening!? That big bouquet is..."
"Ehehe, I must have ordered a bit too many flowers, the bouquet isn't balancing... ah."
"Gyah! An avalanche of flowers!"
"Ahh! The floor is flooded with flowers..."
"Don't think like that!"
"Are these... rindo gentian?"
"Yup. These are the flowers of Antero, and I want to decorate this mansion with them forever. "
"Well then! Let's change the mood... please help me to carry them!"
"Haa... we have no choice but to help."
"I'm going to bring you some vases."
"Thank you! As expected, what one should have are outstanding chief maids!"
"Oh my, oh my..."
(Antero, though I am still unreliable, I will work hard... rest in peace without worrying about me.)
"Mr. Cosmo Wreath... are you okay?"
"You can make the report later, you know?"
"Understood. Please present."
"Yes. Lord Messiah has fallen into a deep slumber. Because Gyze has been annihilated from the world, Lord Messiah faces the fate of perishing, for it is the Counterpart Entity of Gyze."
"So they are deities on two poles..."
"From now on, mana will be gone from Lord Messiah's body, and it will eventually lose its form and dissolve into the land of Cray. "
"So Mr. Messiah is going to become Cray itself..."
"We 'Link Joker' are exploring new ways of living now. So, I would like to say..."
"What's the matter?"
"...Is it possible to seek your advice when I am in need..."
"It's our pleasure!"
"We're ready to stand by your side!"
"Thank you very much. It is really my honor to have met you."
"Sir Thavas, may I ask you about the assignment of the new generations just enhanced..."
"I have checked that and handed in the paperwork. You may check that."
"Yes, thank you very much!"
"Vic... ah, my apologies! Admiral Thavas!"
"No, that doesn't really matter. I haven't gotten used to my new rank as well."
"What is your business for coming to me?"
"R, right! Admiral-of-the-fleet is summoning you!"
"Admiral-of-the-fleet Maelstrom, have you summoned me?"
"...Quite some time has passed since then."
"Yes. The restoration of the navy is going smoothly. A brand new instruction programme has been designed for the new generations..."
"I am considering resuming my slumber on the seabed in the near future."
"What!? Admiral-of-the-fleet, that is..."
"I've tried to cut off the shackles of the past and stand on the same position just as the Admiral-of-the-fleet stood in the past... as expected, my time had passed away long ago."
"It's not like that..."
"I have told you, Thavas. You younger generations would bear the new era."
"The sailors, the navy... the seas of this planet, I will be relying on you."
"Gyaa! Anego (Big-sis)! This's reall' risky!"
"Don't give up! You can do it! Draw that big bad dragon's attention!"
"This's reall' killin' me!"
"Rest assured, Colombard. That's when necromancy can be put to use. Even if you die, I'll raise you as Princess's puppet."
"Dang it, Lazy! Prepare ya'self when I come back!"
"Oh, is that the treasure?"
"Ohhh, so impressive... how much can we get by selling them?"
"So Nightmist did give us a piece of real information this time... I've raised my alertness, but this time, it seems I overthought it..."
"Anegooooo! Save meee!"
"Ge!? Hey, you idiot! Don't come here!"
"Colombard! You are going to expose Princess to danger! Leave quickly and become its prey! Try your best to buy some time for the Princess!"
"Be my company to helllll!"
"Gyyrgh! Pesky Nightmist! So he knew that things will end up like this!"
"Hmm, this smell of charring... Princess, the dragon's breath is coming."
"Aaaahh! Lord Schar! After a long interval, your Drain is particularly luscious!"
"...Thanks for the meal!"
"I have been thinking about this for a long time, but is Mr. Glanzend's mana unlimited? He has been providing mana for Lord Schar, for a total of three days without pause..."
"Humph, that is the only saving grace for that mana-idiot."
"Listig... as usual, you are harsh on Mr. Glanzend."
"Of course! I shall never recognize that idiot-of-idiots as Lord Schar's close aide!"
"Hawargh!? You, when did you get here?"
"...All I need to be proud of is being Lord Schar's close aide. So, if I am spoken of like that..."
"W, what are you doing...?"
"Kukuku... I am going to eat you from your head!"
"N, no way! Don't come any closer!"
"Fufufufu, I'm just kidding... arrgh!"
"Aaaaaaarrgghh! Lord Schar is especially brutal today!"
"Ah, why does the Great me have to teach others... it's disappointing."
"Ge!? Lady Luquier!"
"Are you slacking off again?"
"N, no! I'm just having a rest after breakfast..."
"So you are slacking off, aren't you?"
"Your honesty is good. Then, as your punishment for slacking off, could you help clean the grand warehouse?"
"T, that is... sorry! I'm not good at cleaning!"
"Gyah! There's a trap!"
"I know you hate cleaning, and your fleeing is within my expectations. Go, take him away."
"Understood. So, Mr. Harri, let's do the warehouse cleaning together. It's from the first to the eighth, so you can't come back for a while---"
"N, No! Someone, help me!"
Here ends the record of the heroes. It's good to see everyone restoring the world and enjoying the peace. I also hope that this peace is long-lasting... Huh? Ahh. About them. For sure, their stories must be included in this record.
Sylphalia, surrounded by lush forests, is one of the few dark places in the Sanctuary. There is one and only one castle here. It is the fortress-type golem "Eingang", which has become the research facility of Dragwizards.
"Luard, do you have a minute?"
Inside Eingang, a female mage knocked on one of the room's door. Appearing from the room was a tall blonde young man.
"What business do you have here, Babd... Big-sis?"
"...You don't need to force yourself to call me Big-sis, you know?"
The lady rubbed her cheek in embarassment, and the young man responded with a gentle smile.
"No, I'll make myself get used to it. Because we are family."
"It makes me uneasy, but... it's fine, if you want to do so."
"Thank you. So, why have you come to me?"
"Here's a letter from the nation."
On the old-style parchment scroll, the written words were glowing. This type of letter was exclusive to the Sanctuary.
"A demand to assist in the investigation carried by 'Gear Chronicle', is it?"
"It writes assistance to the investigation, but that's likely interrogation in nature."
"...Considering the crimes I commited in different nations, that's reasonable."
"Yes. And as the investigation proceeds, you'll face trials and punishments befitting of your wrongdoings."
"I know. I shall do everything to atone for my sins... I've made the decision."
"This will not undo my wrongdoings. And there must be someone who will never forgive me. Even so,"
Luard recalled the many faces he encountered on the journey.
"I've decided. I must never run away. I must think about how to bring well-being to people, more than those I've hurt."
"...So you understand. Yes. You are still alive, so you can do it over again, no matter how many times it takes."
Luard did not look bright. Many confusions and gloominess still remained within him. Even so, he has decided. He will not stop on the way. He will go forward. As long as his family and friends need him, he will keep moving along.
"Okay, I'm going."
"Eh? Going at this time?"
"Haah... You must have inherited Big-bro's impatience."
"Sorry. I would like you to explain to the others."
"Got it. Godspeed. And, you must come back here. Your home is here, your family is here. They are always here."
"...Yeah, I'm off. See you!"
In the ruined site of Dark Zone, in the headquarters of "Gear Chronicle".
"Uluru, are you all right?"
"Lord Chronofang... yes, I am all right."
The disappearance of Chronojet had led to a period of severe instability. A new leader is chosen from the Zodiac Time Beasts urgently summoned... that was the original plan. However, due to the recommendations from all Zodiac Time Beasts, Uluru, once the spokesperson and assistant of Chronojet, was chosen as the leader.
"You must take care of yourself. If I am down, there are still substitutes; but, if you are down, there is no substitute of yours."
"...Thank you for your thoughtfulness. But I still have work to do."
"Even Chronojet would give tasks to his subordinates. That was why assistants were chosen recently. You should rely on them."
"...I know that."
Uluru kept working hard without shedding a single teardrop. Chronofang sensed her burden earlier than anyone else, so he called to different departments to rally a group of assistants.
"How is Chrono Dran?"
"As usual, healthy and cheerful."
"Is that so... it is good to hear that."
"And you are as usual, thoughtful for and only for others."
"Because they are my dear family."
Uluru made a lonesome smile, and Chronofang patted her head gently.
"Then you should understand. Just like how you hold your family dear, we hold you dear as well."
Those words made something crumble within her.
"Ahh... ahh... wuaaaa..."
"You may cry. Don't bear the sorrow of bereavement by yourself."
"Wu, wu... wuaaaaaa!"
"HEEEY! DRAN! YOU SCRIBBLED ON YOUR NOTES AGAIN!"
"Waargh! Melem's gotten mad again!"
The corridor of "Gear Chronicle"'s headquarters resembled those of schools. On the corridor, there were a girl and a dragon... that was not all.
"Dran! You again! How dare you open holes on my beautiful clothes!"
"The culprit of bending the training apparatus is you! I've found evidence!"
"How dare you spill beverages on the documents I've prepared all night!"
The old and the young, men and women, members of "Gear Chronicle" ran after the dragon. Almost all of them had their faces go red in rage.
Chrono Dran ran, dodging the catching hands, running in the gaps between legs, using heads as jumping platforms... he ran with physical prowess that would surprise acrobats.
"Dang! Because he has powered up, we can't catch him!"
"I shall forgive you no more! Get out of my way!"
"Wait, Lady Balulu, those are..."
"These aren't real bullets, but they can hurt! Even if you really get injured, I don't care! You idiot!"
The members, recovering from the surprise, took out their weapons and fired aimlessly.
"Waargh!? Yo! Ho! Haa!"
"So he can even dodge that..."
"How awful, at this pace he can run away!"
Chrono Dran ran while dodging the bullets, and finally leapt out from the ruined site.
"I did it! It's my victory!"
Making roars of joy, he transformed into a bizarre dragon.
"Argh, hey! How many times have you been told, that you cannot transform without Lady Uluru's permission..."
"I'm just off a while, to find Luard~!"
The blue dragon flies in the sky.
"Who should I find after meeting with Luard?"
His eyes are filled by brimming glows of hope.
"Ahsha, Altmile, Guruguru, GavGav..."
He is not the only one. Be it more or less, the eyes of the people living in this world are filled by hope.
"I wanna meet with them asap-!"
Sometimes, they are sunk into despair. Sometimes, they are stained by darkness. But beneath the darkness, light is always there.
"I can't wait anymore, let me accelerate---!"
He, and the other warriors of light are there. Their light is the sun that cleanses the darkness. They lead the world towards hope. People call them,
"Everyone---! I'm coming---!"