Previous Chapter: Chapter 11: Kirkus's Eyes             Next Chapter: Chapter 13

 

Novus: Lord Feil, General Kirkus has sent the schedule and location for the Coronation Ceremony. Here are the documents.

Feil: I see… It’s even sooner than I thought it’d be.  As expected, he doesn’t plan to hold the ceremony in the capital.

Novus: It’s incredibly rude for him to treat you in such a manner. And further, the ceremony will be televised…. It seems Kirkus’s goal is to show his power to the citizens.

Feil: ….

Novus: Have you prepared an escort?

Feil: I plan to ask Masaki, the Elemental Lords and Steel Dragons.

Novus: I see… If the Hagane is there, Kirkus won’t be able to do anything foolish.

Feil: Exactly. If the Assault Carrier was finished, I wouldn’t bother them with this, but….

Novus: But it’s still behind schedule because of the Shutedonias invasion…

Feil: At the very least, I want the Duraxyll ready for use. It’s possible Kirkus’s forces may have continued the Hyper Elemental Project.

Xenia: Feil, sorry to make you wait.

Feil: Xenia, I’m sorry to bother you.

Xenia: You called me… to talk about Duraxyll, right?

Feil: Exactly. I want to re-start work on it.

Xenia: Have you already brought it here?

Feil: Yes, and I’ve also summoned the production staff.

Xenia: Then it should be ready in 2 or 3 days. I wanted to examine the readings from the Huckebeins up close, but…. For frame and joint strength problems, we’re clear to use parts from similarly sized robots, and it should be okay. It’ll perform better than Elementals or the surface’s mechs.

Feil: I’m looking forward to it. Also, as for Terius’s coronation… I’m thinking of asking the Steel Dragons to escort me.

Xenia: So… you’re going?

Feil: If I don’t go, then I can’t do anything.

Xenia: Then I’m going to.

Feil: I need you working on the Duraxyll….

Xenia: I’m worried about you and Terius. And if I instruct the staff on what to do to the Duraxyll, when I get back I can finish it quickly.

Feil: … Okay.

*HANGAR*

Masaki: An escort for Lord Feil?

Tytti: Yeah.

Masaki: The coronation ceremony… Do you think the Lord’s really going to let it happen?

Tytti: I think so… Or maybe he’s going to talk with Kirkus…

Masaki: I think it’s pointless. Kirkus is trying to appear on the side of Justice, so he won’t let anything get in the way of that.

Tytti Maybe so… But we have no choice but to escort him. And we have to protect him through the coronation….

Mio: Hey, are you two going somewhere?

Masaki: Yes, we’re going to Valentine.

Mio: Well, bring me a souvenir, like a flag or a skeleton keychain.

Masaki: Is this really the time?!

Tytti: Uh… You’re coming too, Mio.

Mio: Oh, really? Well, I can look for myself, then. Maybe a floating eyeball keychain, or a Tokyo Tower figure.

Masaki: … Langran isn’t going to have Tokyo souvenirs….

*Bridge*

Feil: So this is the bridge of the Hagane…

Novus: There’s fewer crew members than I thought.

Tetsuya: Space Noah class ships have a lot of autonomous systems. In any case, the Admiral’s seat is over there, your Highness.

Feil: Thank you very much. I’m looking forward to watching you work.

Azuki: So that’s the prince of Langran… He’s even more handsome in person!

Eita: It seems he’s got a lot of interest in the ship. I guess La Gias doesn’t have space ships.

Tetsuya: Hey! No personal chatter in front of his highness!

Azuki: S-sorry!

Novus: Hmm… This ship seems a tad undisciplined.

Feil: Nothing wrong with that. I prefer it over it being too strict.

Novus: I disagree. It’s a military squad, so discipline is important.

Feil: W-well, I guess… (If I say anything more, he may start lecturing me…)

Eita: (I-it feels like open school at the academy all over again…)

Tetsuya: Enter in the launch sequence! All hands, prepare for take-off!

*Map*

Feil: Hmmm. It’s impressive that such a huge ship can fly so easily.

Novus: Yes, it’s certainly quieter than a Sodium Class.

Azuki: Captain, we’ve received a message from Kirkus’s forces. It’s for Lord Feil.

Tetsuya: Send it to his seat.

Azuki: Roger. Here you are, your highness.

Feil: …. This…!

Novus: What does it say?

Feil: It say they’re postponing the coronation. The reason… It appears the High Priest Zabod is missing.

Novus: What?!

Feil: It also says to head back to the capital. …I assume the statement about the priest is a lie. They’re up to something.

Novus: Or maybe it’s a trap… Let me try to contact General Kirkus.

Feil: No, that’s not necessary. Commander Tetsuya, please respond that we have received their message.

Tetsuya: Are you certain?

Feil: Yes, let’s see what happens. Though I’d like the Hagane to be on alert.

Tetsuya: Roger.

*Briefing room*

Masaki: Lord, what the hell is going on!?

Tytti: Masaki, try to lower your voice…

Feil: I don’t mind, that’s what makes Masaki interesting.

Masaki: Kirkus is toying with us! He’s treating us like kids!

Feil: No, I think something unexpected happened on their end.

Masaki: Something unexpected…?

Rai: Something that would weaken the General’s position…. And something that he wouldn’t want you to know about.

Feil: Exactly, Lt. Raidiese.

Rai: You know of me?

Feil: I read up on all of the Hagane’s fighters.

Rai: (I guess I should expect no less from the leader of the army.)

Rio: Come quick, everyone!

Feil: What happened?

Rio: Ah, your highness…. I didn’t mean to disturb you…

Feil: It’s no problem. What is it?

Rio: We got a transmission on the monitors… The Coronation Ceremony is starting!

Masaki: Wh-what?!

Tytti: But it was supposed to be delayed….!

Novus: This… is exactly what you expected, right, your highness?

Feil: …Masaki, can you turn on that screen so we can see it?

Masaki: Y-yeah. Just a second.

*BEEP*

Announcer: In this foreboding atmosphere, the 288th leader of the Holy Country of Langran, His Highness Terius Gran Bilseia is undergoing coronation. The high priest Zabod’s declaration of ascension is echoing in the quiet air.

Zabod: In accordance with the spirits, with your mother, Natalia Zoram Rachemia, and your father, Arzarl Gran Bilseia….

Feil: …Did he say Zoram?

Novus: Your highness?

Feil: It can’t be…!

Masaki: What’s wrong, lord?

Feil: Novus, come with me. We need to talk.

Novus: Understood, sir.

Feil: Masaki, is there a place Novus and I can talk in private?

Masaki: You can use my room.

Kuro: Don’t get ahead of yourself, Masaki… Can you even find it by yourself?

Masaki: This isn’t the time to be saying things like that!

Feil: Indeed. Please, lead the way.

*room*

Feil: Novus… That Terius isn’t the real Terius.

Novus: W-what?!

Feil: Terius and I are half-brothers. His mother was Natalia… a noblewoman.

Novus: I had heard that before.

Feil:  But that’s not the truth. His mother was actually of the royal family. The only people who know of this are Terius and myself.

Novus: That’s… but… why….

Feil: …She was from the Nolanza family.

Novus: Nolanza… the cursed lineage!

Feil: That’s not true! That is a myth to hide to the truth. That’s what Terius told me.

Novus: ….

Feil: Terius is proud of his mother’s lineage. It’s the only thing he’s ever fought for as an adult. That is, statements about his mother. He will not forgive people who look down upon her. To him, his mother is a legitimate member of the royal family.

Novus: Then why did they call her Zoram in the ceremony? If she’s in the royal family, it should be Grania….

Feil: Exactly. Terius is proud of her. If that were the real prince, he wouldn’t let her be called by that name.

Novus: I see… And that’s why Kirkus went through such lengths to keep you absent from the coronation.

Feil: Exactly. If Xenia or I had been there, we would have seen through it instantly.

Novus: What should we do? Should we protest against Kirkus?

Feil: There’s no proof. Only I and Terius know about Natalia.

Novus: Then let us search for the real Lord Terius.  We can say we’re searching for the High Priest. That’ll give us a good reason to be out there.

Feil: Hmm… It may come down to trading blows with Kirkus….

*bridge*

Tetsuya: I see, the situation has changed. Are there any clues to Lord Terius’s location?

Feil: I’m thinking of asking Xenia to search for him.

Eita: Um, Captain, I’m sorry to interrupt, but may I say something?

Tetsuya: What?

Eita: We’re detecting an elemental-like reading, 10 kilometers, dead ahead. From how it’s moving, it appears many units are chasing one other one.

Tetsuya: If it’s a unit deployed around here, it probably belongs to Kirkus’s forces… Could it be an exercise?

Feil: It could be…! Commander, can we move to their position?

Tetsuya: Roger. To be safe, I’m putting the ship on level 1 alert.

Chapter 12: Terius’s Flight

Ratel: Please stop this, Lord Terius. If you resist any further, we’ll have to use force….

Terius: S-stay back!

Ratel: Oh dear…. Leslie, have you prepared the shadow shackles?

Leslie: It’ll take just one more minute.

Ratel: You have 30 seconds.

Terius: Don’t come any closer! I-I’m serious!

Ratel: Are you sure about that, your highness? Our orders are to bring you back dead or alive…. We would rather have you return unharmed. But if we’ve got no other choice, we’ll settle for your body…

Mira: Major Acros, the surface battleship is headed this way!

Ratel: Crap, they noticed us. Lt. Lioness, Contact Lord Ahmed.

Mira: Roger!

*AND NOW BLACK MAGICKS*

Terius: Wh-what the…?!

Leslie: Shadow shackles, successful.

Terius: Ah! I c-can’t move!

Leslie: It’s useless, Lord Terius. Even if you’re from the royal family, you cannot escape from these shadow shackles. Now please come along quietly.

*deploy screen*

Feil: Terius is on that Gadyful!

Novus: Terius was escaping from Kirkus….!

Xenia: But could he really steal an elemental?

Feil: Masaki, Tytti, please save Terius. If we do that, we can end Kirkus’s little scheme.

Masaki: Understood!

Ratel: (I have to buy time until the reinforcements show up…!)

Tytti: … I assume you all are part of Kirkus’s forces. I am the pilot of the Elemental Lord Goddess, Tytti Norbuck.

Ratel: You are well informed. I am Major Ratel Acros. Is there anything you need of us at the moment?

Excellen: Oh look, he’s so good at playing dumb.

Aya: He’s probably trying to buy time.

Tytti: …Major Acros, we came to get Lord Terius back.

Terius: T-Tytti…

Ratel: Please wait a moment, Lady Tytti. Lord Terius is very important to us. I’m afraid we can’t just hand him over. Even if…

Masaki: Even if it costs you your life?

Terius: Aaaaaahhhh!

*Hey, look at that, he did a thing*

Masaki: What?!

Tytti: Huh?

Leslie: Impossible, the shadow shackles are broken…. No matter how strong the royal line’s magic power is, there’s no way a human could do that!

Feil: Terius…!

Terius: Haaah… I… I hate this! I hate doing what people tell me all the time!

*and it’s motherfuckin’ Shu time bitches*

Shu: That power… I will take it.

Presia: !!!

Masaki: Sh-shu?!

Feil: Kristoph! Why are you here?!

Xenia: Could it be, he’s trying to!?

Presia: Sh-shu….!

Masaki: Calm down, Presia!

Terius: K-Kristoph…!

Shu: Terius, You’ve shown your power. With that power, you have nothing to be afraid of. Now, come here.

Terius: I… I have power…?

Shu: Yes. I need your power. But I will not force you to come. Your own opinion is important.

Xenia: Kristoph! What are you saying?!

Terius: I… As I am now… I’m always in someone else’s shadow… But… Kristoph… If you need my power… if I am needed... Take me with you!

Shu: Understood.

Xenia: Terius, are you serious?!

Masaki: Don’t listen to his lies!

Terius: Xenia, Masaki… I’m going with Kristoph. I’ve decided… Don’t try to stop me…!

Feil: Wait, Terius! Do you plan to abandon your royal duties?!

Terius: Brother… Even you can’t stop me…

Feil: …!

Shu: Then let us be off, Terius.

*And away they go*

Masaki: That bastard!

Ratel: Gah! Who would’ve thought he’d come in and ruin everything!

Feil: (Terius…)

Masaki: First Queen Monica, and now Lord Terius… What is he planning?!

Xenia: (Kristoph…. What do you plan to do with Terius?)

Irm: … Is it okay for us to not be following Shu and the Lord?

Viletta: It depends on what these guys do next.

Tytti: Major Acros….

Ratel: … You can just call me Ratel.

Tytti: Well then Ratel, what will you do?

Ratel: We don’t have a choice. We need to report this to the General.

Mira: But if we do that!

Ratel: If we couldn’t capture him, we were supposed to kill him…But I couldn’t do that.

Leslie: But if the real Terius met up with the Terius at the Coronation, General Kirkus’s plan would fall apart!

Ahmed: I agree. That cannot happen.

Torres: That’s… Soulgady!

Masaki: Ahmed! You’re on Kirkus’s side?!

Ahmed: Yes. Is that bad?

Masaki: Of course it is! He’s a usurper!

Ahmed: What? What was that?

Masaki: U-sur-per! A person stealing power above their status!

Excellen: Oh hey, Masa knows some tricky words!

Ahmed: And you’re saying that’s a bad thing, Masaki? People with power desire rise to the top. Isn’t that the obvious result?

Masaki: You say that, with Langran in this state!

Ahmed: I know wars are something to be hated.  In this world and the world above.

Mio: That person’s from the surface?

Ahmed: Do you understand? What’s important in a war is the fastest way to end it. That means helping the strongest person win.

Tytti: …Even if that side is evil?

Ahmed: Only God can truly know who is evil and who is not. But I do not think Kirkus is wholly an evil person. And I do not think the Prince Feil you follow is wholly a righteous person.[1]

Feil: …

Novus: H-how can that man say something so rude?

Masaki: We don’t agree here, Ahmed. What are we going to do about it?

Ahmed: You’re all going to die here. To shut you up.

Masaki: You bastard, you’d say that in front of Lord Feil?!

Ahmed: Prince Feil being here is the optimal solution to our problems. In one battle, we could end the confusion in Langran.

Masaki: Are you serious?!

Ahmed: Yes. I’m following the road I believe in.

Ratel: Wait, Lord Ahmed! This is all my responsibility! So…

Ahmed: If you took responsibility and died here, nothing would change. It would simply signal the start of Kirkus’s downfall, and the battles would escalate.  To expose the truth here would be the worst possible timing. And thus…

Masaki: Ahmed, you’re unbelievable!

Mira: Lord Ahmed!

Ahmed: If you get in my way, I’ll take you down, too.

Ratel: !!

Leslie: Major Acros, Lt. Lioness, what Lord Ahmed is saying is correct! General Kirkus is in the right! Let us bring justice to Prince Feil and all those who follow him!

Ahmed: It is as Lt. Rasheed says. Remember the reason you follow Kirkus.

Ratel: …Understood. Lord Masaki, Lady Tytti, prepare yourselves…!

Tytti: Wait!

Ahmed: Shut up!

*And boom goes the dynamite*

Masaki: He brought a squadron with him!

Tetsuya: Lord Feil, these conditions are…

Feil: …If we were run from here, Kirkus would send soldiers after us. Terius has decided to fight against me. We can no longer avoid a direct confrontation. And thus, we can’t be defeated here. Commander Tetsuya, please order the attack.

Tetsuya: …Roger that.

Masaki: Let’s go, Ahmed!

Ahmed: Come at me, Masaki! You won’t be forgiven!

Chapter 12: Terius’s Flight

Victory: Reduce the Soulgady below 5500 HP.

Defeat: The Hagane is shot down.

SR point: Fulfil the victory condition within 5 turns.

*bye leslie*

Leslie: You fiends! You are obstructing justice!

*bye Ratel*

Ratel: Damn, my mech won’t move! I have to retreat!

*Bye Mira*

Mira: We’ve been pushed this far…! I must retreat!

*Masaki V Ahmed*

Ahmed: This time we’re enemies, Masaki. This freedom to switch sides suits the Pilot of the Elemental Lord of Wind, don’t you think?

Masaki: Who the hell are you to say that?! If you’re trying to kill Lord Feil, then I won’t forgive you!

Ahmed: Hmm… I’d like to see how long you’ll be able to say that.

*Tytti V Ahmed*

Ahmed: Do you not think it arrogant to unequivocally decide what is right and what is wrong?

Tytti: You're in no position to say things like that!

*Presia V Ahmed*

Presia: Mr. Ahmed, why are you doing this? Please stop!

Ahmed: So you're piloting the Diablo now, Prescia... I guess you've grown up... so I won't hold back.

*Mio V Ahmed*

Ahmed: So you're the new pilot of Zamzeed. But judging by your movements... You're inexperienced.

Mio: Hey, I'm going to keep on trying to get better!

*Xenia V Ahmed*

Xenia: I won't let you reach my brother, Ahmed!

Ahmed: Even if I'm facing you, Lady Senia, I will fight. Prepare yourself!

*beat Ahmed*

Ahmed: Not bad. Well, whatever. This time, I’ll leave peacefully.

*And away he goes*

Masaki: He retreated, eh?

Mio: I guess this means we’ll have to fight Kirkus’s forces now…

Xenia: …

Ibis: Masaki, what are we going to do about Lord Terius?

Masaki: Since Ahmed showed up unannounced, we can’t pursue them….

Xenia: It couldn’t be helped. Though judging from what Kristoph said, it didn’t seem like he’ll be in any danger….

Masaki: I guess right now, Kirkus is the bigger problem.

Feil: …Commander, let us hurry back to the capital. Kirkus may already be playing his next hand.

Tetsuya: …Roger.

*Map clear*

 

Previous Chapter: Chapter 11: Kirkus's Eyes             Next Chapter: Chapter 13: The Price of Ambition


[1] Or something. This could be a quran reference, given how "subtle" the rest of Ahmed's character is.