Hundred – Volume 3 – Chapter 3

Operation Begins / Feelings of Claire / Jamming

The very day of the beginning of the operation. After lunch, the Slayers changed their clothes to their Variable Suits and gathered at the base camp set in the wilderness.

– Well then, I will stay here. I will be praying for your safety.

Unlike Hayato and the others, Shuemei sent them out, and is wearing the uniform of Little Garden Martial Arts Department like yesterday.

She’s being stationed at this base during the operation as it was decided that she will do logistical support with members of Warslan’s communication unit that came along from Little Garden.

– Of course that we are going to come back safely. Don’t you think so, Hayato?

– Yeah.

Prompted by Emile, Hayato nodded firmly.

Shuemei shows a relieved smile towards the usual sight.

Continuing, Claire opened her mouth.

– Ryu Shuemei——although you are going to remain <here> in this base, you are a Slayer member of Little Garden desu. Please firmly grasp the state of our vitality, the remaining amount of our sense energy and the progress of the strategy masuwa.

– Yes!

– Good answer desu. Precisely because we have a logistical support unit, we the frontline troops can fight with confidence desu. You are not going to fight directly but comprehending the battle with the Savage on the battlefield should be a great asset for your future desuwa.

Parting with Shuemei, Hayato and co. aligned at the place where the rally was held last night.

There’s no need to say that there are no dishes, chairs or tables, only the air strained with bottles is here.

Hayato was a bit nervous due to the suddenly change in the atmosphere.

Both Latia and Fritz are the same.

Their faces are stiff.

When all the organizations have finished forming a line, the commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, Acyl Besançon, appeared on the stage, greeting at the rally.

– I will be informing the brave Slayers about the details of the 《Operation: Bird in Cage》that we will be carrying out from now on.

What was told by Acyl is that the fifty Slayers in this place are divided into 10 teams and 2 of those 10 teams will be standing by at the base and are going to be sent to the neighboring villages when the Savage appear and will be dispatched to the location of a team that have fallen into a critical situation.

The remaining 8 teams are deployed so as to surround Mt. Kongur and Mt. Kunlun, and each of them will move to their place of destination. While taking a rest, they will explore the surroundings. They will descend the mountain by the night of the next day and will return.

The team divisions are already done by the UN Peacekeeping Forces who are taking command of this operation.

It’s to ensure that no organization loses, and yet, it seems that Slayers of more than two countries are expected to be included in a team.

– Does that mean that Hayato won’t be in the same team as me? I haven’t heard anything about that discussion, but…

– It was decided at the lunch meeting yesterday desu. I told Fritz and Latia after the rally, but I didn’t tell you since you came back first deshitawane.

It was a thorny way of speaking, like blaming the two of them, but Claire knows the circumstances about why Hayato and Emilia slipped out of the rally.

Last night, while Hayato was returning to the hotel from the dōjō, Claire noticed that they weren’t in the venue and made a phone call to ask the reasons for acting without permission.

At that time, Emile talked about Claudia to Claire.

Although Hayato didn’t know, in the interrogation that was done after the secret that Emile Crossford is Emilia Hermit was leaked out at the time of the first sortie, Emile told Claire that she was the third princess of Gudenburg.

Therefore, she was able to understand their circumstances right away.

– But, why do we need a team? And a combination team——

– Because it depends on the ability of the Slayer according to the organization, you see? And because it has the nuance of monitoring.

It’s Erika who answered that.

– … monitoring?

What’s that? Emilia cocks her head in puzzlement.

– The remuneration for the search-and-destroy operation of the Savage carried by the UN Peacekeeping Forces is divided among the war results of the participating countries. Each Slayer comes to this place on behalf of their country or organization. In other words, some may try to sacrifice other countries and increase their achievements. There may be a possibility of manipulating the number of Savages that they slaughter. They may hide them and bring them back to their countries without reporting the cores of the Savages and the Variable Stones they acquire in the operation. It’s to prevent such things.

– Although they are affiliated with the UN, they aren’t monoliths, huh…

– Exactly.

– So, are Hayato and I in the same team? It’s important to know that.

– That’s something we don’t know. That’s going to be announced now.

With the words of Liddy, Hayato and the others turned their eyes on the stage again and a man with several sheets of paper on his hands appeared on the stage and replaced Acyl, the commander.

He informs that he’s the deputy commander and starts announcing the team divisions.

A team is a team mainly composed by the Army of the Qin Empire.

B team is a team mainly composed by the Army of the Empire of Rasiya.

C team is a team mainly composed by the Army of Liberia.

D team is a team mainly composed by the Slayers of Al-Salaam

(I hope to be with Hayato, I hope to be with Hayato…)

Emile was praying, piling up her hands in front of her chest.

– Next is E team. Kisaragi Hayato from Little Garden——

The moment he was called, Hayato showed a surprised reaction.

– Next, Emile Crossford.

The moment she was called, the expression of Emile became bright in a flash.

But, it quickly turned into a grim one.

It’s because the deputy commander announced the names of Claire and Erika.

It looks like the hopes of Emile wasn’t completely definite, since E team is formed almost entirely by Little Garden.

– And finally, from the Empire of Britannia, Claudia Lowetti.

– Eh…

Following Emile who opened her mouth without thinking, apart from Latia and Fritz who don’t know the circumstances at all——Claire, Liddy, Erika and Hayato showed a troubled look.

Hayato found the figure of Claudia out of the many Slayers, looking at his surroundings.

The moment the line of sight of Hayato and Claudia overlapped, Claudia shows a sinister-like smile.

She looked like she was saying that she can recover from the front of the promise of the duel of yesterday.

– Even though I’m finally with Hayato, why do I have to be together with Claudia…

Emile murmured spontaneously.

– I wonder if we can change the division of the team somehow…

– I think that it is impossible already masuwayo. Good thing is that both Erika and I are in the same team with you desuwane.

What Claire meant to say is that with these members, the possibility that the real identity of Emile is found out is low.

– That may be so, but it’s still a hindrance…

– … did you say something?

– No, not at all.

From there, the announcement of team divisions continues.

Fritz, Latia and Liddy were assigned to F team all together. A girl, Aly Harlech of Al Salaam and Wendy Velvet of the Army of Liberia joined them, totaling 5 people.

Four girls and one man, the gender composition it’s same as the team of Hayato.

– If it wasn’t for the battle, this does really looks like a harem, don’t you think?

Fritz said while laughing.

Latia suddenly stepped on one of his feet.

– … ah, what are you doing!? You are injuring an important fighting power before the battle, you know!

– Humph, that’s because you say stupid things.

Latia turns her face away.

Once the announcement for J team finished, each and every one of the teams gathered.

The Slayers who are parting vowed to meet again tomorrow.

– ‘kay then, see you tomorrow.

– Yeah.

Hayato does a high five with Fritz, wishing to meet again.

Latia declared while putting both hands on her waist.

– I’ll beat a lot of Savage, I’m not going to lose against you!

– It’s fine to have that enthusiasm, but don’t get injured by doing something absurd. That’s the most important desuwayo. Understood desuka?

– Yes.

– Of course.

– Well then Claire-sama, see you later.

Latia and Fritz replied cheerfully all together and went to the meeting place of F team with Liddy.

– We should also move.

When they moved to the meeting place of E team along with the guidance of Claire, Claudia was waiting for them with an imposing stance.

– … Hayato, be careful.

– Even if you tell me to be careful…

– In any case, we have no choice but to work with her masenwa.

Claire said so and went forward before Hayato and the others, heading towards Claudia, then presented her right hand.

– Nice to meet you, I am Claire Harvey, Student Council President of Little Garden desu.

– … I know that. You are famous…

While pouting her lips, Claudia replied, but she didn’t hold the hand that was presented by Claire. Even against Claire, the representative of Emilia’s current living place, she seems to be wary.

While fixedly staring at such Claudia, Claire opens her mouth.

– I have heard about the relationship between you and Emile Crossford, and I also know the purpose about why you are here masu. However, as for us, Emile Crossford is an important companion and an essential fighting power desu. If she wants to stay with us, then we will do our utmost to protect her masu.

– … what do you want to say?

Claudia shows a sulky attitude towards the sudden preemptive attack of Claire. Claire continued her words.

– We will come out to the battlefield from now on desu. Each of our lives will be exposed to critical situations, so my purpose is to try to not get caught in them desu That is why I have exposed my own thoughts here mashita.

– … I see. I understand that. I have discerned something like that.

– ——If that’s the case.

With a smile, Claire presented her hand once again.

– Fine, I understand.

Muttering like being annoyed, Claudia grasps back.

(Are we safe for the time being with this?)

While still being with anxiety, wireless Vital Rings and other tools used in this operation, together with pouches and rucksacks to put those things in, began to be distributed by the UN Peacekeeping Forces.

In the case of a five-person team, they are divided in: two vanguards, two rear guards and the last one is the support, and everyone carry their luggage in a distributive way.

The vanguard and rear guard have pouches. The support members will carry the backpacks and various supplies.

On E team, Hayato and Claudia, who have melee weapons, are the vanguard, Claire, whose weapon is mainly a long range one, and Emile, whose weapon is registered as a Dragoon type, are the rear guard. Erika is the assistant role.

After listening to the explanation, the members of each team equip the Vital Ring on their arms and once they are ready, it has been decided that they will be transported to the operation starting point by a small transport helicopter.

Thus, the joint operation under the UN Peacekeeping Forces was starting exactly in the afternoon.

※※※

– There’s really a lot of them, huh. If we think in the numbers of the Hundred only, then it’s like a mountain of treasure.

A girl with bright hair and darkish skin is observing the Slayers of the UN Peacekeeping Forces with binoculars from an elevation in the desert.

She’s Nakri, one of the three hunters who flew from the unfolded fierce battle against Hayato and the others in the Zwei Islands.

– Moreover, there’s a large number of Savages on that mountain. A real mountain of treasure, isn’t it?

The next one who opened their mouth is Krovahn, a boy with an aloof personality.

– If we finish this mission, we are going to clear what we had to do and will be free…

There’s another girl, one who has a red scarf, she’s Nesat, Krovahn’s older sister, who said so.

– … at last, right…?

Nakri murmured with a voice tinged with sadness.

Nesat nods.

– C’mon! Let’s go Nakri, Nee-chan! Let’s head to Mt. Kongur!

                                   ※※※

2pm of the first day of the operation. Hayato and the others have already descended from the helicopter and were halfway down Mt. Kongur.  One hour has passed since they started the search.

Because human beings haven’t entered this area for nearly 10 years, plants and trees have grown in abundance as a matter of course, and even though there’s quite a lot of animals and bugs they aren’t familiar with, there’s nothing abnormal so far.

Only that much gave a little of a hiking feeling… but the truth is, the heart of Hayato can’t be at ease.

He should be fine, he’s walking with Emile, behind them are Claire and Erika. But, the problem is that behind them——

– ……

Claudia Lowetti is walking, making sure to glare at Hayato.

In the last hour, Hayato was continuously feeling something stinging, like thirst for blood on his back. Even though it’s not like she was going to swoop down on him abruptly, in a situation like that, it was natural for his mind to be wearing out.

– The weather has become somewhat worse mashitawane.

Stopping her feet, Claire muttered while looking at the sky.

Of course, they don’t have an umbrella.

If it starts to rain, they will have to take shelter from the rain somewhere, or else they will have to move forward while getting wet.

– Please wait a moment, I will check the latest data on weather forecast.

Erika’s glasses connected wirelessly to the PDA inside her pouch. She’s opening the weather data.

– In the latest weather forecast, the precipitation probability is near 50% between 9pm and midnight local time, but outside of that hour is around 10%. If we exclude those 3 hours, although there are many clouds, I think that the rain will come first.

– If that’s the case, at that time we will surely be in the shed, the place of destination already, so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem desuwane. However, if the Savages appear during that time, it will be a little troublesome.

– Troublesome?

– Optical weapons don’t get along with rain, you know.

Emile whispers into Hayato’s ear who thought is that so?

Although it uses energy, the beams emitted from an optical weapon drop due to the friction with air, dust, dirt and so on.

He remembers learning in classes that rain is the biggest among them.

– Haa, I can’t believe that you, a man of such degree, says that he doesn’t remember such a commonsense thing, is worthy of Emilia-sama.

– … worthy of Emilia-sama? What is she talking about desuno?

Hayato gets stared at by Claire.

– No, that, well…

And, Hayato was at a loss for words.

– Everyone, please calm down a little.

Erika exclaimed.

– From the direction of three o’clock from our direction of movement, I hear the sounds of many trees grazing against something.

– Eh…?

Erika turned her eyes towards that direction, Hayato and all present turned their eyes, and heard it.

– Certainly, I heard it.

Emile shows consent with a small voice.

– Yes, I heard it too mashitawa.

– I heard it too.

That’s the same for Claudia.

Of course, Hayato also noticed the sound.

Not only the sounds of threes touching each other, but also sounds like branches of trees breaking can be heard.

– It would be nice if it was a bear or a wolf but…

Claire makes a severe facial expression.

If it was an ordinary human, it’s still enough a subject of terror, but not for the Slayers.

Compared to the Savage, they are an easy opponent.

– Let’s go check first.

Emile walks ahead.

She’s doing it slowly to not make a sound.

Nukiashi, sashiashi, shinobiashi*.

*TN: 抜き足、差し足、忍び足. All of them are translated as “stealthy footsteps”.

– … there it is shitawane.

Having walked not more than 100 meters, Hayato and the girls stopped their feet, as they could see and confirm the figure of their target from the opening of the many trees.

Erika muttered at the same time she grasps the giant that is 50 meters ahead.

– In the end, it was a Savage…

Moreover, it wasn’t one, but two of them.

Erika moves fiercely the eyes beyond the glasses.

Her glasses are wirelessly connected to the PDA inside her pouch and the Vital Ring, so that images can be projected on it. It seems she’s analyzing the Savage, comparing it with its historical data.

– It looks like these are just normal types. They are relatively small. Given our strength, they aren’t great opponents.

– If so, I will take care of one of them. Emile Crossford, Kisaragi Hayato, Claudia Lowetti, please take care of the other Savage.

– The president is going to take care of it by herself?

– It’s no more than a normal type, so with me is enough desuwa. We still have a long way to go, so we should be able to consume minimal energy desu.

Claire shouted, taking out the Hundred.

HUNDRED ON!!

The red ore shed green light, the body of the president is wrapped in popping particles and is quickly covered in red armor.

In the surroundings of her body, there are six floating batteries, they are the symbol of her Dragoon type Hundred, 《Noble Warrior Princess》Alisterion.

– Come now, deploy you too.

– No need to tell me.

Following Emile who replied, both Hayato and Claudia also deploy their Hundred.

– Hmm, is that your Hundred…?

What appeared on the body of Claudia and that wrapped up her in orange particles is a western knight style Sliver Plate and a hammer-like thing that she was holding in her hand and used it like she did yesterday at the dōjō, it’s evident that what’s attached to the tip it’s not a wooden ball, but an iron ball-like thing.

– Yes, this is my Crusher type Hundred, 《Rose Iron Ball》Tudor Rose. Fufun, what do you think, it’s cool, isn’t it?

Claudia was elated and behaved like a spoiled child.

– Like always, the armament of Emilia-sama is also very cool. Kisaragi Hayato doesn’t deserve a mention.

– I told you, stop calling me Emilia!

Like that, Emile was dressed in white armor and deployed 《Fog that Covers Everything》Arms Shroud around her body.

The right arm of Hayato, who’s standing next to her, is covered with an armor like a sleeve of an armor piled up many times, and a thick sword appears in his hand.

His Hundred, 《Swallow in Flight》Hien, is a Chevalier type.

– It looks everyone is ready desuwane. In that case, I will begin masuwa.

Claire confirmed that the other three finished deploying their Hundred and deployed six floating batteries towards the target and accelerated, going after it.

The targeted Savage soon realized the presence of a foreign enemy aiming at itself.

Rising violently while moving its antennas, it takes offense.

Aiming at the Savage, the floating batteries of Claire began to fire beams one after another.

With a glimpse, it seems there’s almost no damage, as it defended against them with its steel shell, but the barrier covering the surface is wearing out while receiving the beams.

Depending on the specimen, if it receives more than 10 beams, then they’ll be able to surely penetrate the barrier.

– Ah, it’s gone!

Hayato shouted instinctively.

It went through the barrier of the Savage and an air hole was opened in the steel shell.

Savage raised a yell-like scream, raised both pincers overhead and launched an attack on Claire.

But Claire dodged them with a jump, then changed the armor of her right arm in the air into a railgun.

The six floating batteries assembled with the railgun, turning into something like a huge cannon.

– I will finish it——with this desuwa!

What she’s aiming at is, of course, the core that is in the head.

According to Claire’s declaration, the brilliant energy bundles and gathers in the muzzle and not only pierced through the defense of the Savage, but also the steel shell and the core.

– Amazing…

Hayato muttered spontaneously.

It was because the battle style of Claire, as well as her alias, 『Undefeated Queen』Perfect Queen and 『Guardian of the Roses』Rose Guardian, were refreshed to a certain degree in his mind.

– We can’t get behind!

Immediately after Emile said so.

– If so, I will go!

Shouting, Claudia rushed out alone and ran towards the Savage.

– Will she be fine?

– I think she’ll be okay, I guess… well, let’s see. If it gets dangerous, then we should help her.

She doesn’t look flustered at all, even though she’s fighting now, that’s because Emile won’t do things like exposing her childhood friend to the danger in a merciless way.

(Sh-she won’t, right…?)

He became somewhat worried, but Emile said that Claudia’s skill as Slayer was equal to Latia and Fritz.

If so, she should manage it somehow.

Looks like it was perceiving the presence of enemies nearby.

The Savage moved its long haptic senses and noticed the approaching Claudia, standing up and attacking just like the one who did it with Claire.

And then, as soon as it opened its head, it fired a bombardment.

– Ha, something like this, it’s nothing!

However, she wasn’t perturbed at all by the sudden bombardment.

Claudia avoided the beam that was fired by jumping and brandished Tudor Rose. Because of her sense energy, things like red thorns appear from the iron ball.

– Take this!

Claudia’s iron ball hits the defense barrier of the Savage.

However, it didn’t lead to its destruction. It was merely scratched by the thorns.

– There’s no need to say that that wasn’t all.

Claudia pulled the chain of her hand and attracted the iron ball to her body, then rotate it over her head, and hit the big body of the Savage again.

However, what she hits is the abdomen covered with steel shell, the Savage wasn’t affected at all.

On the contrary, it raised its pincers.

But Claudia didn’t try to evade them.

– Hah, there’s no need to do that with something of this degree!

Claudia immediately stops the blow of the right pincer of the Savage with the iron ball attached to the end of the hammer that pulled towards herself and return it as it is.

The pincer springs up towards the sky.

And while Claudia rotates her body using centrifugal force, she delivered a hit towards the torso with Tudor Rose.

The giant Savage blows off while knocking down all kinds of trees and crashes into a rock wall.

P161

Because of the impact of hitting the wall, the Savage can’t move. It seems that it’s in a rigid state.

Unlike a while ago, in this state it lowered its head.

– Finish it, Emilia-sama!

– Got it!!

This is not the time to say to her to not call her Emilia.

Emile jumped high inside the whirling cloud of dust, changes one of her Arms Shroud to something like a huge hammer and swings it down, aiming at the core of the Savage.

– Eat this!

The shock was enough to destroy the defense and the core in one go.

– As always, Emilia-sama is superb!

– I’m telling you, I’m Emile, not Emilia…

– No, that’s no good, Emilia-sama. And what do you think? Don’t you agree that I did a good combination with Emilia-sama, and that I’m more useful than Kisaragi Hayato?

– Don’t tell me, it was your intention to let me finish it off like that?

– That’s right, the first group work of us.

Claudia shows a bashful facial expression, putting both hands on her cheeks.

Hayato thinks, looking at their exchange.

(In some way, they are quite similar…)

He thought that the behavior of Emile hugging out of nowhere may be the influence of this girl.

… or maybe it’s related to their lineage?

Both of them are very obstinate, and only hear themselves.

– Anyway, shouldn’t we end our task first…?

Erika sighs with exasperation.

– I think so too desuwane.

Following Claire who nods and cancels the armament, both Emile and Claudia also cancel their armaments.

Finally, Hayato also canceled his armament.

– Erika, report the end of the battle to HQ please.

– Understood.

After she listens the reply of Erika, Claire approaches the side of the corpse of the Savage and began to bury black, small stakes-like things on the ground that she retrieved from the pouch.

– What are you doing?

– I am attaching a transmitter desuwa.

– … a transmitter?

Being told so, it definitely has a shape like an antenna.

– The position data of this place has already been transmitted to the base camp, but it is easier for the soldiers at HQ to recover the core if you set this up desuwa.

In other words, it seems that the soldiers of the UN Peacekeeping Forces will come to collect the core of the Savage later.

Claire finished installing the transmitters, turned around and pointed her eyes towards Hayato.

– … Kisaragi Hayato. Are you perhaps thinking that you couldn’t do anything now?

– Eh…?

– Am I wrong?

– No, you are correct.

– It is obvious. You were having that sort of face.

Claire slips out a smile.

– But, do not worry about that masenwa. We still have long ways to go from now on desu. Surely there will be times when we will need your strength desuwa. When that happens, you have to fully demonstrate your strength. We count on you masuwayo.

                                   ※※※

5 hours have passed since the operation began.

The sun is almost hidden in the ridgeline of the mountain and the sky is dyed with gradation of cobalt and madder red colors.

The F team where Fritz, Latia and Liddy belong to, is battling with the Savage.

– Take this!

It’s Aly Harlech, a girl of Al Salaam who swung downward a weapon shaped like a Yanagi knife that she held with both hands, pointing towards the defensive barrier of the Savage, jumping high.

The attack didn’t lead to the destruction of the defensive barrier, but it was effective, it only had the effect of bringing down the head of the Savage that was just about to attack.

– Latia-san, the chance is now!

A girl of the army of Liberia. It’s Wendy Velvet, the supporter of F group who shouts.

– Yeah, leave it to me!

If It’s right after the attack, then the Savage will incline its head, that means that it’s In a rigid state and that it can’t attack.

The accelerated Latia struck the knuckle shining in pink color, which is the color of her energy, on the defensive barrier of the Savage.

Although she was able to destroy the defensive barrier, it didn’t lead to the destruction of the core.

– Out of the way, I’ll finish it off!

– No way!

When Latia shouted, Harlech protested, her face is deep red.

– Don’t “no way” me! That’s not what we agreed!

In this battle, the vanguards Latia and Harlech decided to start attacking it by turns, one hit each.

Only that, Latia’s behavior goes against the rules, making Harlech to lay bare her anger.

– No, I haven’t broken my promise.

– What, the…? What do you mean with that, Latia Saint-Émillion!

– Because, my attack hasn’t ended yet.

Latia smiles and shouts.

– Look, this is my new “Killer • Technique”!

The moment the fist emitted a strong light, the knuckle separated from the arm and penetrated without stopping not only the steel shell, but also the core of the Savage.

– How was it!?

The knuckle left a trail of pink color like a rocket and returns to the arm of Latia who shows a “got you!” facial expression.

*Whistles*, you used it, huh? I haven’t heard of that either.

Whistling, Fritz praises her.

– Fufufu, if the opponent is a Slayer, it’s possible to damage them with shock waves and air swirls but I thought that’s not going to work if the opponent is a Savage. I consulted Dr. Charlotte to improve secretly the Hundred in order to use this technique. It was an attack at zero distance this time, but this can be released towards long distances. What do you think? Amazing, right!?

– Uh huh, amazing, and I was truly surprised. You do have a head to think about something like that, don’t you?

– Don’t touch my head! Even I fight thinking with diligence, you know!? I’m not a child, I’m an adult already!

– Anyway, with this, we have defeated 2. Wendy, can you contact HQ?

– Yes, understood, Liddy-san.

Watching Wendy who starts the communication, Liddy canceled her armament. Next, Latia, Fritz and Harlech cancel their armaments too.

– They are coming to collect the cores right away. I will set up the communication devices now, please wait a moment.

Wendy began to bury the communication devices in the ground.

In the meanwhile, in order to take a look at the situation of the others, Fritz starts to touch the PDA that he took out from the pouch.

– Oh, Hayato’s team has defeated four.

– What, for real!?

– Look and confirm it by yourself.

Doing as she was told, Latia also takes out the PDA and confirms it.

– Wow, it’s true! As one would expect of Hayato and the others.

– We must do our best as well.

– Yup!

                                   ※※※

In the dark woods, Hayato and co. were engaging their third fight today. They encountered only 1 Savage this time——

– This will decide it!

Hayato saw the gap created by Emile and the president and readied Hien in an overhead position, then accelerated and soared through the opening of the many trees and stabbed the pointed end of the sword into the core.

The core breaks in two due to the attack and the movement of the Savage stops.

– Hooray!

Landing on the ground, Hayato takes a breath.

– You were able to play an active role like you wanted, Kisaragi Hayato.

Claire shows appreciation for his efforts while showing a smile full of fondness.

– I only did it because I was the last one. It’s thanks to the president and the others.

– Humph, exactly.

When Hayato showed a humble attitude, Claudia laughs scornfully, looking down on him.

– In the first place, you were able to deliver the final blow because I destroyed its defensive barrier with Tudor Rose.

It seems that Claudia won’t recognize the ability of Hayato.

– Of course, I also acknowledge your results masuwayo, Claudia Lowetti.

– I- I don’t care, it-it’s not that I wanted to gain results!

In response to the words of Claire, Claudia counterarguments, and her face turns red.

– Anyway, this is the fifth one. It feels nice.

That’s what Emile said.

– I agree.

Erika nodded and continues her words.

– We are almost at our target point, and for now nobody is hurt. The amount of consumption of sense energy isn’t that great, it’s safe to say that we executed it perfectly, don’t you agree?

– How is the situation of Fritz team?

– Please wait a moment. I will connect to the database of the basecamp and check it.

The glasses of Erika who received the question of Hayato begin to emit light inside the darkness.

– It appears that they have defeated their third Savage. They are approaching their target point like us, and there’s no information regarding injuries and the like. However——

Erika’s facial expression becomes cloudy.

– Is there something wrong?

Being worried, Hayato asked again.

– It’s not that much of being a problem, but their consumption of sense energy is strong. There’s almost no damage on their side but having that many fights is a waste. Especially Latia and the Slayer of Al-Salaam, Aly Harlech, both have consumed more than 50% of sense energy. The sense energy of the other two people has barely decreased, but…

– Does that mean those two are fighting for battle results?

– Al-Salaam is an antagonistic organization of Little Garden, so that possibility is high.

Erika agrees to the guess of Emile, and continued, sighing with exasperation.

– When we arrive at the destination point, we will be able to eat and sleep. With that, sense energy will recover naturally, so we shouldn’t care about too much. Other than me, our team has consumed around 20% of sense energy.

– I’ll say a little more but, how much further is the destination point? I’m a little hungry now.

Emile asks Erika while covering her abdomen with her hands.

– We are still around 5 kilometers away of the mark point desuwayo.

Claire answered after finishing setting the transmitter near the corpse of the Savage.

It seems that she was checking the map data with the PDA.

– In short, we have to endure around one hour more.

Sighing, Emile mutters.

– I want to eat food asap, so I hope we don’t encounter more Savages…

The wish of Emile came true, they didn’t encounter any Savages till they get to the target point.

As Claire hypothesized, they were able to reach the target point around the established time.

As might be expected from this vicinity which entrance was blocked for 10 years, there are ivies twisting around the shed, emanating quite an ominous atmosphere.

– Looks like the lock is broken.

Erika thrusted the key that she was entrusted with by the operation headquarters into the keyhole, but she’s unable to rotate it.

– What do we do? Assuming we break the door, it will be extremely unlikely to rest inside this tattered state, and it looks that it will rain.

– Don’t worry desuwa, Emile Crossford. This shed is no more than our place of destination. I also assumed this situation nanodesu.

Claire says that there are no blankets nor sleeping bags in this shed in the first place.

The goods of that kind were delivered from a transport aircraft around one hour before they arrived, there’s an arranged tent for taking a rest among those goods.

– So, where are those supplies?

Hayato asks after Emile.

– Please wait a moment.

Erica’s glasses shone out in the light darkness. Somehow, she’s projecting the map data on the lens.

– I have found the location. There seems to be a box with goods in the direction of north-northwest——that is, 11 o’clock, 300 meters from this place. Nonetheless, it has a transmitter attached to it, so it will be easier to find it before the sun has completely gone, so let’s recover it fast.

Following the lead of Erika, Hayato and the others walk in the light dark forest.

– This seems to be the area.

Erika’s Vital Ring was shining bluish-white.

It appears to be informing that the objective is within the radius of 50 meters.

– Over there!

Hayato notices that a part of the thicket is emitting light when he creeps with his line of sight the surroundings and indicates with his finger.

When heading to that place, there was a square box of around 1 meter in length, width and depth, marked with the stamp of the UN Peacekeeping Forces, covered with cushion around it.

– There’s no doubt this is the one desuwane.

– Do we open it here?

– No, let’s go back to the shed, we will open it there.

– If so, I’ll carry it.

When Hayato heard the answer of Claire, he puts his hands on the boxes, looking like he’s showing his manliness,

– I’ll help too.

And, Emile put her hands on the box too.

Claudia raised her voice there.

– There’s no need for Emilia-sama to do that! If Emilia-sama holds it, then I will hold it!

And, Claudia puts her hands on the box, pushing aside Emile.

– Kisaragi Hayato, we will carry it.

– O-okay…

While puzzled, Hayato answered and raised the box.

– It-it’s heavy…

– I don’t think so.

The contents are probably around 20 kilos.

– Should I help you?

– It’s fine. The hands of Emilia-sama mustn’t suffer!

Claudia keeps carrying the box, although she seems to be suffering with the height difference with Hayato.

They walked a bit, and *drops* *drops*, it started to rain.

– It feels like we will have to contest a big one, don’t you think?

As guessed by Erika, when they arrived in front of the shed, the rain was pretty strong

When Hayato and Claudia put the box under the eaves at the entrance of the shed, Erika brings the Vital Ring to input the PIN that came with the email closer to the sensor.

Sounding with a click, the lock is released, open the box, and check the paper placed on the top.

Inside the box is a folded tent and 5 sleeping bags——.

And, it is written that there’s water and <battlefield meal> combat rations that come sealed in silver aluminum, like a retort pouch.

– Let’s set up the tent for the time being.

Claire took the tent.

Hayato also helps setting up the tent.

He was taught about it in class work, and since this was something made by Warslan Company, he was able to set it up in the blink of an eye, without being bewildered.

In order to keep out the rain, everyone enters into it.

The size is wide, but barely enough to let 5 people lie down.

Immediately after, Erika informs Shuemei, who’s in the base camp, that they arrived at the objective point, recovered the supplies and started to rest, Hayato and the others also were able to hear this conversation since it was in open mode.

They are now listening to the situation of the other units.

Looks like more than half of the teams, including the team of Fritz, haven’t arrived at their destinations. She continues informing the instructions that come after this.

There are many dangers while raining, so refrain from exploring, remain in the tent and take a rest.

As the rain will stop past midnight, they can explore their surroundings lightly, focusing on their current point.

Continue doing that until tomorrow noon, descend the mountain, and the operation is over.

– Well then, please continue doing your best.

Being those words the last ones, the communication with Shuemei was terminated.

– I’m going to eat to my heart’s desire!

Emile gives a happy voice.

The meal is a hard cookie in a sealed silver-colored aluminum pack. Three cookies come in a pack, and if you eat these, you can ingest enough calories to move for a day, these are indeed battlefield meals.

Certainly, it’s adjusted to have a great effect on the recovery of vital and sense energy but, the degree of satisfaction was another problem, since the taste was very nonexistent.

The stomach of Emile, the glutton, wasn’t satisfied without gourmet, and even after she finished her meal, her stomach was rumbling as if it was natural.

– Ugh, this doesn’t calm my hunger…. The ones that I ate in the outside training before with meat paste were delicious. And there was canned food…

– It can’t be helped because the current battlefield meal is from Al-Salaam.

It’s said that the amount of supplies goods being used is approximately the same from Warslan, Al-Salaam and Paladian, the three companies which are the major Private Military Companies participating in this operation*.

*TN: It means that if there are 12 tents, each company brought 4, and so on.

This time, the thing of Warslan is the tent and the food is of Al-Salaam.

– By the way, tomorrow morning we will have crackers, and finally cereal bar for lunch.

– Noo, nothing delicate… There’s nothing else?

While saying that, she looks inside the sack that contains the supply goods, but there were only the same aluminum pack.

– Ah, there’s more than I thought. Can I eat another bag? Even if we exclude tomorrow morning or noon, its’ only three meals.

While saying so, she tried to take out one pack from the sack, but Erika instantly hits her hand with her palm.

– Eating is prohibited. This food is used mainly for disasters or any of the sort.

– Tsk….

By the time the meal was over, the outside of the tent was completely dark. The rain is getting intense, and the sound of the raindrops that hit the tent resound inside of it.

– I would like to divide the team into two teams from now on masuwa.

It’s Claire who announced so.

The instructions from HQ should be on break until the rain stops——although, of course, not all of them are absent.

Wild dogs and bears may attack them, and it’s possible that a Savage may raid too. Someone must stand watch outside the tent.

– The plan we are going to carry out is to stand watch with a rotation of two teams desu.

– Yes, a question.

Emile suddenly raised her hand.

– What is it, Emile Crossford?

– Our team has 5 people, right? In that case, the teams are going to be of 2 and 3 people, aren’t they? If Claudia and Hayato are in the same team, I feel that might be awfully dangerous…

They can understand what Emile wants to say.

Hayato himself wants to be forgiven of that.

– In that case, the four of us who are from Little Garden do 2 pairs and then Claudia Lowetti joins one of the two.

It was Erika who made that kind of proposal.

– If so, then I’m with Hayato.

– He-hey!

Hayato is upset, because Emile who’s sitting next to him grabs his arm.

– As for me, I feel that you, being together, is dangerous masuwa. Separate right now.

Claire said so with a trembling voice.

It’s Claudia who opened her mouth next.

– Claire-san says that it’s dangerous for Kisaragi Hayato and I, but as for me, I think that it’s dangerous for a man to be alone with a woman.

– Now that you mention it so desuwane. In that case, Kisaragi Hayato will be in the team of three. I will be in that team masuwa.

– Wait a minute, why is Prez entering that one? That’s so sly, isn’t it!?

– Why are you saying that it is sly desu? I don’t know what will happen if Claudia, Kisaragi Hayato and you are standing watch desu. It’s too risky masuwa.

– Ough…

Emile is clogged with words.

Certainly, it’s just as Claire says.

However, Emile seems to be unhappy.

– But then, if it’s not the Prez, then the vice prez will do?

– If it’s Erika, then she may not be able to stop them if anything happens between them, don’t you agree?

– That may be so but…

Emile turns her line of sight to Hayato.

– Is Hayato okay with that?

– I certainly think that, as things are going, that this team division is the best, so I agree with it too…

– I think so too. But it’s unfortunate that I’m not with Emilia-sama.

Following Hayato, Claudia said.

It’s surprising for Hayato, because he didn’t think that she could be easily convinced.

– Erika-san, can you say that you are okay with it? Don’t you want to be together with the Prez?

– … wh-what are you saying, Emile Crossford. I will follow the decision of Claire-sama.

– Uu….

Because Erika yearns for Claire, she thought she would accept to be together with Claire.

Emile hung her head, looking deplorable.

– … fine, if that’s what you want to do, then do it.

Emile shows consent while pouting her lips.

As a result, the sleep was divided into A team of Erika and Emile, and B team of Hayato, Claire and Claudia.

The remaining issues are order and time.

Tomorrow at 08:00 they will vacate the tent and start to move normally.

Now is past 20:00, they have scheduled to wake up at 06:00.

As one of the two teams will sleep from 21:00, each team will have 4 and a half hours to sleep.

As a result of the discussion, Erika and Emile of A team had to stand watch first until 01:30.

By the time the day changes the rain will have stopped, and if so, the three people think that they can do effortless search.

– I really wanted to sleep and patrol together with Hayato…

Emile was sitting on the floor grasping her knees at a corner of the tent.

Erika calls out there.

– This is not situation where you can grumble about it. Let’s go outside.

– … eh, now?

– We are going to pick up dead trees that are not wet as much as we can at once to make something like a fireplace once the rain has stopped to make fire.

They heard that installing that can help with the animals, so they don’t approach them after this.

– Shall we also help?

– Claire-sama and the others are a little hurry, but please take a rest. We have to explore after the rain stops and I think that it’s better to recover more sense energy even if it’s a little in case something happens.

– Uu, Hayatoo…

Emile appeals that she wants to be a little more in this place, and shows a sad expression.

However, Erika didn’t allow it.

– Let’s go, Emile Crossford.

– U〜

Emile is dragged out of the tent by Erika.

After that, the team of Hayato get into their sleeping bags and decided to sleep.

                                   ※※※

– Wake up, Hayato, it’s time to change…

With that voice, Kisaragi Hayato wakes up.

– I see, it’s time already…

Looking at Emile Crossford in the eyes and the oblique wall behind her, Hayato remembered the situation he’s placed now.

Although the sleeping time was of 4 and a half hours, in fact, Hayato could sleep for about 3 and a half hours.

Speaking of the reason, is that he had to sleep with two girls at his side inside this narrow tent, those are Claudia and Claire.

They were wrapped up in sleeping bags, but more than that, he was also afraid of being attacked by Claudia.

However, the interior of the tent was enveloped by a sweet scent peculiar to women, and after a while, he also heard their lovely sleeping breaths.

Because of that, his heart was somewhat racing, so he couldn’t fall asleep right away.

Still, he has to get up already.

When opening the zipper of the sleeping bag and trying to raise his body, PPPPP…. The alarm began to ring next to Claire.

Looks like that woke her up. Claire opens the sleeping bag and raises her body slowly. Claudia woke up in the same way with the sound of the alarm and also raises her body from the sleeping bag. The three of them went outside the tent with Emile.

The rain has already stopped. When they look up at the sky, they could see the shining stars from the gaps in the trees. However, the ground is still wet and muddy.

– Good morning, Claire-sama.

Erika greets Hayato and the others who came out from the tent.

She was sitting on a big rock, which is on the side of the bonfire.

It seems she collected them as a chair replacement.

A total of six were placed so as to surround the bonfire.

– Good morning, Erika. How is the situation desuno?

– There are no changes in particular, the exception is that the rain ceased around an hour ago. As for the situation, it’s peaceful and safe.

Erika taught the situation of the other teams when Hayato and the girls sit on the stones surrounding the bonfire.

She said that all teams have already arrived at their target points.

While some explore in the night, there are groups that have found Savages and are fighting them, but there are no severely wounded Slayers.

It’s just been half a day now since the strategy has started.

42 Savages have been slaughtered.

Three big fragments of Variable Stones have been found too.

They are close to those estimated 50 Savages existing on this mountain, but that also means that there may be 60 Savages if this keeps like this.

There may still be Variable Stones.

– Well then, Claire-sama, I will leave the rest to you.

Erika finished the report, stands up and attempts to enter the tent, but notices Emile who’s sitting on the rock next to Hayato, smiling with her whole face.

– Go to sleep, Emile Crossford.

– Hayato and the others have finally woken up, so it’s impossible to stay awake a bit more? I’m not that much sleepy and I’d like to talk for a little while.

– I haven’t forgotten that you said over and over that you were hungry until a while ago, and that you wanted to sleep with Hayato.

– Uh…

– If something happens from now on, you will have insufficient energy due to lack of sleep, and your fighting power will go substantially down. Let’s get a good sleep.

– Fine, I’ll do it…! Good night, Hayato.

– Yeah, sleep tightly.

– U〜〜

While raising her voice mixed with vexation, Erika dragged Emile into the tent.

Claire murmured while looking up at the sky. Around 10 minutes have passed since they are standing watch.

– Nevertheless, it is a beautiful starry sky desuwane.

Similarly, Hayato looks up at the sky.

The altitude is high, the air is clear and, in the sky that can be seen through the gaps of the trees, the stars and planets, as if they weren’t already enough, were spread all over.

Hayato keeps fixedly staring at the starry sky for several seconds.

– … I couldn’t see such a beautiful starry sky in the rural town of Yamato where I lived.

Those were the words that he came out with.

– That goes for me too, it’s the first time I see such a beautiful starry sky desuwa.

– I want to show this to my little sister. She will be delighted to see the gorgeous starry sky in Little Garden too.

– I’m hoping for that day to come desuwane.

Claire continued, looking at the starry sky, and said as if she was talking to herself.

– We are fighting like this to create a world where you can look at the beautiful starry sky anytime, anywhere desu.

– And for that, we must end the fight with the Savage first, deter disputes among humans and to end the chaos of this world on and after the First Attack, correct?

Claire always declared that that’s the first goal of Little Garden.

– Yes, you are right desuwa.

Claire smiled complacently in response to the words of Hayato.

– Err, somehow you too are having a good time, and I’m sorry about this but, do you have a minute?

– Wha, what’s that “having a good time” desuno, Claudia Lowett!!

– A world created by two people, that was just like a love scene of a movie.

– …!

The face of Claire turns red.

Laughing with a *hihihi*, Claudia continued.

– I’m sorry for stepping in and getting in your way for the time being, but there’s a reason for that.

– A reason?

– Yes, that’s right, Kisaragi Hayato.

Saying, Claudia pointed out her finger towards the west

– There’s a quay that way, right? There’s a lake in that area.

– I know that masuwayo. It was made by a meteorite that fell during the First Attack desuwayone. What’s with that mashitano?

– The trees shook over there, and I felt that a big shadow was reflected on the quay.

– That’s, no way——

– I think the possibility of being a Savage is high.

Fixedly staring at Hayato’s eyes, Claudia said.

It’s very likely that a Savage has appeared near the place where the meteorite has fallen.

That’s why this place is the base of the hunt.

– … that said, it may be better for us to check properly if there are any Savages or not. How about conducting it yourselves?

– But if it’s a Savage, you will be the only one remaining in this place masuwa. It’s dangerous if something happens, so we should wake up Erika and Emilia.

– No, it’ no good to wake them up because there’s no confirmation of it, and you will be okay. Of course, in the case that something happens, if a Savage has appeared, we will contact you with this.

Claudia turns her eyes towards the Vital Ring.

– … will you really be okay desuno?

– Yes, I will be fine.

Hitting her chest with a slap, Claudia continued.

– By the way, there’s a lake on that direction as I said earlier. The sky is open too, I think you can see the stars more beautifully there. And if there’s nothing, how about having a date you two over there? Because no one will get on your way, you will be able to flirt as much as you like.

– A da-date you say? Don’t say such stupid things! Besides, things like flirting are…

Claire began to walk, refuting while her face becomes red, turning her eyes towards the direction they have to move.

– L-let’s go masuwayo, Kisaragi Hayato.

– Ah, yes…

Running after her, Claire gives a warning to Hayato.

– Th-this is not a date. I-it’s patrolling desuwayo!

                                   ※※※

– Now, that turned out well.

Claudia Lowetti had a contentment smile while looking at the backs of the two disappearing into the forest.

As a matter of fact, she hasn’t sensed the presence of a Savage.

It’s positive that the forest shook, but she thought that it was due to beasts such as bears or wolves.

However, she has two reasons to have them head for exploration.

She’s convinced that Claire Harvey cares about Kisaragi Hayato due to her behavior during this half day.

If this event triggers them to get closer and become lovey-dovey, the place where Emile belongs will be gone, and.

(If that happens, Emilia-sama will come back to Gudenburg… gufuh, gufuh, gufufufu…)

Claudia couldn’t contain her overflowing laugh thanks to the perfection of her plan.

                                   ※※※

At the same time, a boy and two girls who have tanned skin were resting in a small cavern located around 10 kilometers from the place where Hayato and co. are resting.

They are the trio of hunters.

– It seems that the rain has stopped, we must start moving soon. And it’s a good time for the Savages to move lively.

It’s Krovahn, a boy with black hear and aloof personality who stood up and is carrying a sort of antenna with a tripod on his shoulder.

Then the two girls, Nakri and Nesat, also stand up.

– Krovahn, what do we do now?

– First, we do what Vitaly told us, and that is, to sever the means of contact of those guys. The place we are aiming from now on is over there.

Krovahn answered the question of Nakri and pointed with his gaze at the peak of the mountain of around 3,000 meters height around Mt. Kongur.

                                   ※※※

– It’s no surprise that the inside of the forest is dark, huh.

The light of the moonlight and the stars comes in from the gap of the tress above their heads, however, it’s a small amount. The visibility is less than one meter.

– If you feel uneasy, I can make it brighter masuwa.

Saying that, Claire took out the Hundred from her chest and put it on the palm.

Then the Hundred gently rises from her hand and starts to emit green light.

Thanks to that, it illuminates the surroundings like a torch.

– Awesome, the president can do something like this.

– Anyone will be able to do it as long as they practice for a while masuwayo. Let’s hurry.

Claire slips out a smile and starts walking further into the forest.

Claudia said that the lake was around 15-minute distance from the shed.

They should get there soon.

And there, the president suddenly stopped her feet.

The light being emitted by the Hundred also vanishes.

– President, did something happen?

– Shhh, listen carefully.

– Oh, yes…

Doing as he was told, he listens carefully and noticed that in the noise of the trees, a rustling-like noise can be heard.

It sounds like something is grazing the trees.

In addition to that, they can hear the sound of something walking on the mud.

– No way, that’s a…

– It’s definitively a Savage.

Claire declared so.

– … should we contact Claudia?

– Please do so. We will tail the Savage so that it doesn’t found us out and wait for the arrival of the other members.

– Understood.

Nodding, Hayato tries to contact Claudia with the Vital Ring, however,

– … huh?

– What’s the matter mashitano?

– I can’t connect with Claudia. Can the president do it instead please?

– You really are poor at machines desuwane…

Saying that and looking amazed, Claire started manipulating her Vital Ring, but the situation is strange. She immediately narrows her eyes with a troubled appearance,

– It’s strange desuwane I can’t connect either masenwa. Not only with our group or headquarters, I can’t access the map data either…

– Maybe this place is at fault?

– The state of the signal is good but…. It may be that the magnetic field is disturbed masenwane. At any rate, I’m not completely sure in this situation masenwa.

That means, she gives up.

Looks like the cause is unknown.

– Then, what do we do?

– Let’s check the Savage first. After that, we will decide on what to do masuwa. We might be able to get in touch if we change our position.

Both Hayato and Claire walk to the direction they hear those abnormal sounds.

In less than a minute, they were able to grasp the appearance of a Savage from the gaps of the trees.

It’s at a distance of 200 meters.

– As expected, it’s a Savage shitawane.

– … yeah.

Nonetheless, its size isn’t a big deal. Looks like it’s a normal type.

– The communication won’t recover as usual masenwane.

Checking the Vital Ring, Claire murmured, looking troubled.

– Should we turn back for now?

– Yes desuwane…

Then, she thinks for a few seconds.

– Judging from its appearance, there’s no point to be particularly concerned about it, but we will be troubled if we lose sight of it masu. And if the size of the Savage is of that degree, then we should be able to manage it somehow, don’t you agree?

That was the conclusion of Claire.

In short, it means that they will be the opponent of the Savage.

Taking out the Hundred, Claire mutters in a small voice.

– … Hundred On.

She deployed Alisterion.

A red armor covers her body and six floating batteries appear around her body.

– Well then, me too…

There is no need for that masenwa. If it’s that one, then even one person will be fine desu.

Claire restrains Hayato who took out the Hundred and grasped it tightly.

– But…

– Please watch.

Saying so, Claire created a railgun in her hand and accelerates, heading towards the Savage.

When she got closer to a distance of 10 meters, the floating batteries were deployed around the Savage and fired a beam from one of them, instead of a greeting.

The Savage stands up in response to it and started an offense using its long antennas, searching for the position of the floating batteries and started swinging the pincers.

However, the six batteries evade the attack of the Savage and start to fire beams one after another.

The effectiveness of the first two beams just damaged the steel shell. However, the third burned off the steel shell and penetrated the body.

The Savage shrieks.

– This will decide it masuwa!

Claire let go the moment to stop her movement and kicks up the ground, jumping and punching the defense barrier of the core on the head with the railgun created in her right hand with the intention of destroying it, but——

– Kyaah!?

Tripping up on the ground because it was muddy by the rain, she loses the balance of her body, moreover, she falls on her bottom.

The pincers of the Savage that are no longer in a rigid state were raised overhead and she raises her face, becoming confused.

– …!!

Claire, who has fallen on her bottom and while being like that, turned the railgun of her right hand towards the Savage.

She ponders that maybe she will push away the Savage with that power.

However, just before firing, Kisaragi Hayato appeared with his armament deployed in front of her eyes. Swinging Hien, he sent the body of the Savage flying far away.

– Kisaragi, Hayato…

– Are you okay, president!?

– Umm, yes, I just simply fell, it’s not a big deal…. B-by the way, thank, you…

Mumbling as if she was embarrassed, the president turned her face downward, but she immediately stared in wonder.

– Kisaragi Hayato, a bombardment is coming masuwayo!

Hayato looks back with the voice.

In response to the attack of Hayato, the Savage that cancelled its attack state, immediately raises its body and opened its head.

Still, there’s no need to be impatient.

– If so, then this much will do!

Hayato accelerates, returning to the position of the Savage while cutting it off with Hien that was clad in energy.

He jumps high and strikes towards the cranium of the Savage.

(Alright…!)

He felt an accurate response in his arms.

With the momentum, Hayato swings Hien, destroying the defense barrier, including the core.

He lands on the ground.

– President, are you okay?

Walking near Claire, Hayato reached out his hand.

– Yes, you did it nicely, Kisaragi Hayato. Besides… umm, you saved me.

While saying that, Claire grabs the hand that was presented to her.

– I was surprised because you suddenly fell down. Still, it’s unexpected for the president to be careless.

– Wha…! Wh-what do you mean that I was careless desuno!? B-besides, if you weren’t here, I would have cut my way through…

Despite saying so, Claire stands up, being pulled up by Hayato.

– I’m sorry for interrupting you.

He laughs with a *Ahaha*.

– … nevertheless, you have grown quite a lot to have a fighting style like that mashitawane.

– It’s an honor to receive such words.

Hayato cancelled the armament.

Next, Claire also cancels the armament.

– With this are six, correct?

Claire muttered, turning her eyes to the corpse of the Savage.

– More than that, what will you do with that mud? It’s better to wash it way before returning to the tent, right?

– You are right desuwane, I can’t get inside the tent like this.

– If so, shall we go to the lake mentioned by Claudia?

– Eh…

– In that case, you can wash it away, isn’t it? If it’s on this side, then that will do it.

– Yo-you are right desuwane…

– Is something wrong, president?

– N-no, I have something to do before that.

Saying that, Claire touched the Vital Ring of her arm.

– It looks like we still can’t communicate desuwane.

Knitting her brows and looking troubled, Claire continues.

– For the time being, I have two transmitters masu. For now, I don’t know whether these have a meaning of signal here or not, but let’s set them up for now.

Claire soon began to set up on the ground the transmitters she took out of her pocket.

– We are okay with this desuwa.

– In that case, shall we go?

As they walk towards the lake for about 3 minutes, the trees covering overhead disappeared and the front of their eyes opened.

– Wow…

Hayato was at a loss for words because of the beautiful sight in front of his eyes.

That also goes for Claire.

– It’s very gorgeous desuwane.

– Yes, it is…

The round moon floating in the sky without clouds and the stars spread all over the night sky are reflected on the lake surface. It’s as if there are two skies. It’s a very splendid sight, the two became speechless again.

– ——and, this is not the moment to watch the stars like this deshitawane. Because we have to get back to the tent fast.

While saying so, Claire took something like a test tube from the pouch.

– … what’s that?

– It’s to make sure that the lake is not contaminated by harmful substances that came above ground with fragments of the falling meteorites desu. I think it’s fine but, let’s confirm it at once.

Claire scoops up water of the lake into the test tube.

Then, drops a chemical that she took out from the pouch, close the lid, and shakes it gently.

There’s no change.

– Apparently, there’s no problem if we enter the lake desuwa. Incidentally, the water is quite tepid desuwane.

– … it’s that so?

– Yes.

Hayato soaked his hand in the lake like Claire did.

– Yeah, it’s tepid. It looks like a hot spring.

It’s probably because Mt. Kongur is a volcano.

It seems that the lake being like a hot spring is due to the heat of the underground magma.

– If that’s the case, I don’t think there’s a problem if I get soaked a little desuwa.

While saying so, Claire starts picking up branches of the trees that have fallen on the ground.

– Why are you doing that?

– To make a bonfire desu. Assuming that I wash the Variable Suit, it will be unpleasant to keep it wet desumono.

If it’s a bit of water, then it can be dried using sense energy, but it looks like that can’t be done if it’s dripping wet.

Claire ignites with a tool she retrieved from the pouch the leaves and branches of the trees that she collected.

– Err, Kisaragi Hayato…

– What is it, president?

– … do you intend to see the whole time how I bathe? And for now, I would like to take off my suit, so…

– Ah, I’m sorry!

Being glaring at by Claire with half-opened eyes, the flustered Hayato turned his back.

After a short time, he heard the sound that she was taking off her suit, his heart goes *Ba-dump* *Ba-dump*

Hayato tried to fiddle with his Vital Ring to distract his mind.

(If it’s here, will it connect with someone?)

Speaking of results, it was useless.

He can’t get in touch with either Claudia or the base camp.

With a *Splash*, the lake surface makes a sound.

Seems that Claire set foot into the water.

Of course, he can’t see the lake (she’ll get angry if I see), the figure of Claire who’s soaking her body in the water is beyond the mind of Hayato.

Although an accident, he saw her breasts directly at the pool, and even though it was over her Variable Suit when he touched them, he can clearly imagine that figure.

– Kisaragi Hayato, how is the communication state desuno? It doesn’t connect anywhere yet?

– Ah, well… umm, I attempted just now, but there’s no change.

– I see desuno, I hope nothing strange happens but…

Claire, facing up and floating on the surface of the lake, muttered while gazing at the sky.

– Be that as it may, the stars are really beautiful desuwane…

– I agree, and there are no clouds.

Hayato answers, looking up at the sky.

P203

The sky is full of stars as ever.

– Although we don’t have time to relax, it’s been a long time since I had a time like this, and it’s really refreshing somehow desuwa.

– You mean, a time to watch the stars?

– There’s that but, the communication doesn’t come from anywhere, I mean, it’s as if this wasn’t related to work desuwa. Of course, we are on duty but…. This is like a ray of hope in the darkness masenwane.

Certainly, it’s different however, being the case that Claire said it while slipping out a smile, he guesses that it’s a joke of her.

– President, you seem to be always busy. Have you never thought of wanting to take a small break?

– To be honest, I have thought a little about it arimasuwa.

– Is that so?

– Is that surprising desuno?

– This, it’s just that the president is also an ordinary girl who thinks about things like that…

– … wha- what are you talking about masuno? Of course I am desuwayo. But I wished myself to live as the president of Little Garden desu. To be at the side of Liza——

Breaking her brief silence, Claire continued speaking.

– That’s why I can’t afford to be idling desuwa. For the sake of Liza, and for what Liza tried to protect——I am sorry. Telling you such a story so suddenly….

– I don’t mind.

– … it’s true desuno?

– Yes. If the president feels at ease talking like this, then please talk as much as you like. I will absolutely tell nobody about this.

– You are a mysterious person desuwane.

– … a mysterious person? What do you mean?

– I don’t understand you well.

– Eh….

– That’s why you are a mysterious person desuwa.

Saying that, and slipping out a smile, Claire continued.

– Looks like that time has come desu.

– That time…?

– You said it before, don’t you? If that time comes, let’s have a talk.

Hayato remembers the day he met Liza.

There’s no doubt Claire said such a thing.

– Kisaragi Hayato, how much did you hear about Liza from my older brother desuka?

– Well, if I’m not mistaken, Liza is the younger sister of the president, she’s the motive power of Little Garden and about the thing that she’s a Slayer…

– Is that so desuka…? As my Onii-sama said, Liza is my little sister desuwa. But, she’s not an ordinary a human being, and it’s not an ordinary Slayer——

– That’s, no way…

– In your way talking, she’s what you call a Variant desuwa.

——A Variant.

That’s the word that raised to the surface of the mind of Hayato now.

– … but, unlike you, Emile Crossford and Kirishima Sakura, Liza is, by nature, a <infected body> Variant nanodesu.

– A Variant by nature?

– Taking out the fertilized ovule, she injected improved body fluids of the Savage that were genetically modified to demonstrate superior intelligence and physical ability. Then it returned to my mother once again and gave birth to a 《Produced Child》—— to my little sister, Liza Harvey desuwa.

– No way, she did such a thing…

That story remembered him about Sakura and the three hunters. They were inoculated with an improved version of the body fluids of the Savage and became infected——

– It’s not Vitaly Tynyanov masenwayo.

– Wha, is that so?

It was a surprising answer, because he surely thought so.

– She was no more than an assistant, after all. Linis Harvey——my mother, was the one who took the initiative in technical development and forced the experiment.

– Then in short, she took out her own ovule and mixed it with the body fluids of the Savage? Why did she do such a…

– It seems that my mother used to say——that it was to win the battle against God desu.

Judal said something similar.

Is that the reason why, for this world, and for Warslan Company, she accepted to be the experiment body and gave birth to Liza Harvey in this world? It’s said that the reaction value of the Hundred of Liza, since she was born, was beyond the value of Hayato when he entered the school.

Therefore, she received a gifted education as a Slayer from a very young age, and from the tender age of 10 years old, she was fighting the Savage in order to protect the Earth.

– But I didn’t know that Liza was hiding the fact that she was training as a Slayer and that she was a Variant. But, when Liza was with me, there was a raid of the Savage desu.

Aside from Liza, Claire had also been training as a Slayer due to the high reaction value of the Hundred.

That’s why she saw people who were hurt by the bombardment of the Savage, and thought of beating the Savage, so she deployed her own armament and faced the Savage.

– However, at that time I had never fought with the Savage. My handling skill of the Hundred wasn’t great either deshitawa. Moreover, the Savage wasn’t a regular type, but a large one.

As a result, Claire was driven to a predicament.

She dodged the attack of the Savage, but she was being pinned under a crumbled rock.

– Liza saw me and manifested her forbidden ability, deploying the armament with the momentum, and entered into battle with the Savage desu. She was able to defeat the Savage, but it was impossible for her to control the ability of the Variant——about the consequences, she spat out blood, collapsed, and lost consciousness desu.

Liza was protected afterwards by the people of Warslan who came running, but she hasn’t wake up since then.

– And yet, she continues emitting a strong energy from her body desu. That’s the reason why she’s in that capsule desuwa. If Liza isn’t inside that, she wouldn’t be able to keep her life desuwa.

Claire told that, looking sad.

– In other words, that capsule has the meaning of “life-support system” of Liza… no, of the little sister of the president?

– … it is as you say desuwa. The liquid contained in it has the function of weakening the development of the Variant Virus and the function of absorbing the sense energy released from the body of Liza to reduce it as nutrients desuwa. If there’s a time when either of them is insufficient, Liza will——

– The facial expression of Liza becomes gloomier.

– But, the older brother of the president said that Liza is the power of Little Garden too…

– It means that we are using energy released from the body of Liza desuwa. It’s not possible to return the released energy back to the body. Therefore, it was Charlotte Dimandius who came to Little Garden after the death of Linis and made the capsule and thought of a valid use of that power nanodesu.

The capsule is connected to a huge Variable Stone, transforming the energy of Liza into a huge force, making it part of Little Garden’s motive power.

That was also a story he heard from Judal, the older brother of Claire.

– Now, as we talked about, the strength of Liza is enormous, even though she’s sleeping——but my Onii-sama and my father are using that power to not only take control of Liberia, but also to control everything in this world masu. I am the captain of Little Garden to monitor my father and Onii-sama so they don’t use thoughtlessly the ability of Liza nanodesu. If that happens, that may have terrible consequences for Liza…

Saying that, Claire laughed at herself.

– … in the end, I may not care a single bit about the world anyway masenwane.

– President…

– Liza, my precious little sister who saved my life again, I begged my mother that I wanted to have a little sister…. I might just wait for Liza to wake up. Do you despise this selfish Queen of Little Garden, no, this Claire Harvey?

– I absolutely not. I understand the feelings of the president well. As the president knows well, I’m similar to you.

It’s not for this world.

He decided to become a Slayer and went to Little Garden for everyone who grew up in the institution that is in Yamato and for his little sister.

– Of course, there are times where I think that I can save this world with my own ability.

– Now that you mention it, we do are alike deshitawane.

Claire unintentionally lets out a smile.

But with a complete change, she turns her eyelids to the ground, looking sad——

– Of course, I also want to overcome the fight with God and save this world masu. That was the hope of my mother, and for that, Liza must be released as well. But, that might be nothing more than a pipe dream. How much Savages are still on the Earth? We don’t know from where in the space they are coming and why they are attacking the Earth. Even if such a situation in front of our eyes becomes pitch black, I believe we can walk ahead, because there are ideals desu.

Saying so, Claire turned her eyes to the Hundred hanging from her neck.

– Besides, if we wish it strongly, the Hundred should respond to us desuwa. In that situation, the road will surely open. I have such a feeling desu.

– … the Hundred, will respond? How?

– By the power of the human will, the Hundred changes its shape. Won’t you lend us your strength?

Claire murmured, looking at Hayato while fixedly staring at the Hundred,

– Kisaragi Hayato, can I use a part of your ideals and of your strength, for my——for the sake of Little Garden?

– Of course.

Hayato answered firmly.

– I don’t know how much helpful I will become for the president, but I will go and try as much as possible. I can do that much.

While listening the words of Hayato, Claire smiles broadly.

– Thank you. I’m looking forward to it from the bottom of my heart masuwa.

At that time, *Bip* *BIp*, the Vital Ring of Hayato made a sound.

– This sound is…

– It’s an emergency call desuwa.

Following the splashing sounds that came from the water, the sounds of footsteps draw near.

– Kyaah!?

– Hee!?

Caused by rushing over in a haste, Claire tripped up on the sandy soil.

Although she didn’t fall because of that, the overenthusiastically Claire assaults the body of Hayato.

– … ah.

Becoming flustered, Hayato caught the body of Claire in his arms.

– President, are you okay… huh…?

Hayato embraced the soft, wet body of Claire from the front, and not only the nape of the neck ended up having such an appearance where many drops of water are running down like tracing it, but also the lines of her body composed of curves, which are very erotic.

(Besides, this is…)

One hand of Hayato was turned around the back, and the other hand was buried with his fingertips on the meat of her soft buttocks, to support her waist.

Only that, that was a very bad situation and the two soft, warm big masses of meat on her chest shake like a jelly, and as they are pressed against the chest of Hayato, their shapes change with a *munyu*.

– I’m sorry, I got a little impatient…

Claire raises her faces. The two, far from sighing, were getting closer until their distance was enough to make them hear the sound of their hearts.

– No, that’s…

Looking properly the face of Claire, she was overcoming with emotion due to the conversation of seconds ago, her eyes were red and became swollen.

He can even see rest of tears.

But, her facial expression seems to be accompanied by a unique lasciviousness, that made his heart beat fast.

– U-umm, well…

What to do now? Hayato was bewildered.

From her wet hair, a seducing aroma accompanied by charm flow into his nasal cavity.

As a matter of course, the sound of his heart goes *DOKU* *DOKU*, it beat furiously.

Naturally, his breathing becomes intense.

It’s there that Claire finally noticed the situation in which she was situated.

– Kisaragi Hayato, what’s wrong mashitano…? Ah…

The cheeks of Claire redden.

– I-I panicked all of sudden and…!

She tried to separate herself from Hayato while shouting, but she tripped up on the sandy soil again.

– Be careful, president!

Hayato reaches out his hand, trying to support her body, as she might fall if she keeps like that.

He grabs a narrow arm with one hand, and with the other hand——

– Ah…

As a result, following the feeling of a soft sensation in his palm, the existence of a firm protrusion is transmitted.

(O-oops…!)

He did it again. At the time of the duel, it was over the Variable Suit, but this time he touched it directly with his hand. Moreover, He’s in a posture like holding and supporting the body of Claire with his knee.

This posture is close to what is called “carrying a lady in one’s arms”.

– U-umm…

– Hyaah, fuah, nuuuh!

In order to confirm their existence, the fingers move naturally.

Claire shows a sensitive reaction to the movement that was like a caress.

Making her face blush, she was panting and enduring that while biting her lower lip.

– Ki-Kisaragi Hayato… you, nuh…. Where are you touching, hyan! T-this is not the moment to do something like this…!

Receiving the stimulation of the fingers of Hayato, the body of Claire was dominated by pleasure. *Haa* *haa*, the breathing that leaks from her mouth becomes rough, the skin of her whole body becomes more reddish. Her eyes are also swollen in red, he can see the drops of tears on the edge of them, her body seems to be trembling, like if it was pulsating. While desperately subduing her seductive voice, Claire continues her words.

– Nn… ah… I-I’m telling you, get your hands off quickly! I-I can stand by myself already masuwayo!

– Ah…! I-I’m sorry!

Hayato takes his hands off the chest of Claire.

At that moment, his gaze was attracted to her chest.

Thereupon, the pink rings at the tip of the two swells and the bean-like protrusions at the center of them meet his eyes.

His line of sight come down as it was, and he was about to face a small bush of her lower body that had a trace of moisture——

– … y-you s-saw my chest now, isn’t it!?

Shouting, while hiding her chest with both hands, Claire crouched down on the spot.

– No, that’s… just a bit, but…. Ah, apart from that president, please wear this for now!

– S-so you did see!

While turning his face, Hayato picked up the Variable Suit that was in the middle of getting dry and presented it to Claire who was still crouching down.

– … b-but, thank you very much masuwa. I will change clothes soon, s-so, don’t turn around! Besides, you will have to take proper responsibility for this masuwayo…!

– Ah, yes… of course, eh… ehh!?

– Wh-what’s left is… to check if we can communicate somewhere now desu. Because the line finally connected!

– Ye-yes!!

When he noticed, the emergency call was gone.

However, there should be a history of incoming calls.

Hayato turns his back on Claire and verifies the Vital Ring.

Thereupon, the emergency call rang again.

– Err, it seems like it’s a whole communication from D team. Can I connect with it?

– O-of course desuwa. Increase the volume, so I can hear it too.

– Understood.

– Hayato manipulates the Vital Ring with unfamiliar hands and connects to the whole communication.

But what he hears is jarring sounds mixed with noise.

– What’s this desuno…?

– I don’t know, the volume should be maximized properly.

He’s thinking that the place is at fault, so Hayato left the trees and approached the side of the lake.

However, the situation doesn’t change.

– I thought that it finally returned, but it seems that the communication status is still bad desuwane. Is the communication still in the connected state desuno?

When he noticed, Claire is right behind him.

Her hair is wet, but her clothes aren’t wet anymore.

– Yes, it is, but.

– If so, then that’s better than before desuwane.

Right after Claire said so.

『… hear, me…』

From the Vital Ring, the voice of a man slightly mixed with noise can be heard.

– President, just now…

– Yes, I heard the voice mashitawa.

However, they didn’t hear the rest.

With an appearance like getting their bodies closer, they fixedly gazed at the Vital Ring.

– … president, even if you don’t get so close, you can hear if the communication connects, right?

– O-of course I know that masuwa!

The flustered Claire takes distance with Hayato.

With that, Hayato was relieved.

Still, when he looks at Claire, her hair is still wet, the dripping water flows through the nape of the neck, she looks very sexy, making him feel very excited.

There, a communication entered again.

『Can anyone hear me…! If you can hear me, please respond!』

The voice they hear mixed with noise is much clearer than before.

– This is E team, I am Claire Harvey of Little Garden desuwa. What’s the meaning of this? What has happened!?

The voice of the man they heard is quite impatient, the enthusiasm of Claire also goes up.

Her voice became quite big.

『… Little Garden? But I’m glad it connected… I’m in D team, I’m Zayed Ayman』

Hayato and Claire looked at each other.

The communication has stabilized. However, his words weren’t what Claire wanted. Claire urges him, looking impatient.

– Please explain the situation quickly. I don’t know when the line will cut masenwa.

『R-right… while we were fighting the Savage, three hunters who had golden eyes and wore black Variable Suits suddenly appeared and attacked us…』

– What did you say!?

Claire raised a hysteric voice.

『As a result, I left D team, which was annihilated』

Once again, noise enters the communication.

At that time, what came to the mind of Hayato are the figures of the three guys that he met in the Zwei Islands.

– Your location, where are you desuno!?

『The location is——』

『I’ve found you, Al-Salaam…! We won’t forgive the Slayers of Al-Salaam, you’ll die for running away!』

『*Shriek*, please stop…! If you want the Hundred, you can take it, but please, my life…』

『Don’t fool around!!』

『Guah!!』

Following the shrieks, the man whose body falls to the ground with a thud is heard from the Vital Ring.

『I, Nee-chan and Nakri and everyone who was with us at that time, even if they supplicate like that, we won’t forgive them. You are Slayers, aren’t you!!?』

The voice of another man resounded there.

There’s some youth in his voice.

Then, the noise began to mix again, and the communication came to an end.

Although she’s warping her face with a frustrating-like expression. Claire tried to make a direct connection with the man just now using the communication function of the Vital Ring, but it looks like she can’t connect.

– The voice of now, was one of the hunters that appeared in the Zwei Islands, right?

– Their characteristics that you guys know and the features you heard in the communication are the same wayone.

– … yes.

And, Hayato nods.

As he thought, the day when they came to the Qin Empire, were they the gang of three he saw in the street?

– If it comes to them, then maybe——no, given the situation, this connection malfunction may be due to the hunters masenwa.

– … such a thing, is that possible?

– If it’s Vitaly Tynyanov, then it shouldn’t be difficult to make a jamming device that disrupts electromagnetic waves desu.

– In other words, does that mean that the communication will recover if we destroy the device that generates the jamming?

– Exactly desuwa. But, we don’t know where it is, so it’s impossible for now desuwane. What we should do now is to contact the other team members or join them, share the information about the hunters and elaborate countermeasures desu.

Claire immediately turned her feet towards the shed.

– Let’s return to where everyone is.

The distance from the lake where Hayato and Claire are to the tent where Emile and the others are waiting is around 15 minutes on foot. If they run straight through the forest, they will arrive in 5 minutes or so.

The moment when Hayato and Claire attempted to run.

*SHYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU*…

A pillar of light stood towering over the surrounding, going towards the sky.

– That’s a…

Hayato asks, stopping his feet.

Stopping her feet in the same way, Claire replied.

– That must be without a doubt a Slayer. Instead of a beacon he bombarded, he must be trying to inform about his whereabouts masenwa.

The pillar has already disappeared.

It’s been around 20 seconds since they were able to see it, but that was definitely due to the use of energy.

– That is to say, something is happening at that place, huh…

– The direction is close to the direction in which the D unit that communicated a while ago was searching desuwane. However, the color of that energy…. Isn’t it the same as that of Fritz Grantz?

– Yes, it definitely is. Was the president also aware?

– Anyway, they must be asking for help masenwane. I will head to that place right away masu.

Claire muttered in order to resolve herself, took out the Hundred and grasped it tightly with her fist.

HUNDRED ON!

Together with the shout, the body of the president is wrapped in red particles released from the ore and gets covered in armor, then gives form to six floating batteries around her.

– Kisaragi Hayato, I would like you to act as a messenger to Erika and the others masuwa.

– But, with one person…

The opponents are likely to be those three artificial Variants.

Can he let her go by herself?

– There’s a possibility that our valued comrades of Little Garden are requesting help desu. I, as the president, should head there right away, don’t you think? After you join with Erika and the others, please follow me. This is all, I will rely on you as the messenger masuwayo!

– President!!

Using energy, Claire accelerates towards the place where the pillar of light stood and goes through the gap of the trees.

Her back got smaller quickly.

For a moment, Hayato was wondering if he should go after her, but he told himself that he should do what he must do now and ran towards the shed.

Go back to Volume 3 – Chapter 2

Continue to Volume 3 – Chapter 4

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