"......nobody's coming to see me off..."
Emitting a rising dark aura, Acena sat atop of her chair biting her thumb and hugging her legs.
Stationed inside the ever dim and dark room within the base, Mega Neptune Mk II assumes a yielding pose and goes, "Good grief."
"We got a message from No Bul Club didn't we? We hafta get back to them about things properly."
"...No Bul Club... They've got a lot of troublemakers with them so..."
One of the corners directly under the leader's command, No Bul Club, has sent Dark Grasper a message. We followed the rebel elemarian on the run to the world where the trail ends. Our unit will go and secure him - that's what the message comprised.
Normally, Dark Grasper would have needed to depart even before they contacted her. The reason for her still remaining in the base would be that she was expecting to see a big send off from her subordinates.
'I shouldn't be away from the base for too long.'
'It looks like I have a real tough case on my hands.'
She had stopped each and every elemarian she came upon in the halls and made sure they'd hear such words to bring some sympathy her way but she never got the follow-up she should have gotten after. She never got that big send off ceremony where everyone's in tears at her imminent departure from the base.
Consequently, Mega Ne's had to go along with Acena's willfull pretexts like "I just don't feel like going to day" and return right back to their room no matter how many times they've finished their preparations and headed to the launch bay.
"Couldn't they just give me a card they've signed together... or maybe a bouquet of flowers..."
On top of that when she goes quiet she steadily makes more and more of these demands.
Irritably tapping away with her foot, Mega Ne still manages to somehow impart upon her some kind words.
"Lookie here. It's not gonna be your last goodbye, that much is a given. I'm sure they all think this is going to be a normal mission for you. It's not like you're planning to lose to this rebel are ya?"
"Of, Of course not... But I said I'd be going out on a mission with my life at stake and yet nobody's even so much as worried about me..."
"You are such a big baby! We're going today! We're going! Today!"
Acena reluctantly transforms into Dark Grasper and exits the room.
"Alright. I'll just visit everyone one last time."
"Make sure you mean that! Last one okay!"
Mega Ne sighs saway as she pulls out the full body costume from inside her hip storage box. She disguises herself as the mascot Meganedon and follows Dark Grasper from behind.
Dark Grasper entered the hall only to find it enveloped in a deafening silence. The only sounds that to be heard were the tap, tap, tapping of the pen against LCD panels as the soldiers sketched away.
Beetle Guildy notices her presence and greets her with a bow.
"How are they faring Beetle Guildy? Is all going well with the mens' training?"
"Yes. They've been drawing Tail Blue to fight off their fear and have grown from the experience."
It was slow progress but everyone was gradually starting to draw Tail Blue in a more lively fashion. They wouldn't be improving their sketching ability so easily but it was plain to see that their general sense of ineptitdue for it was fading away.
"It does look that way. Everyone harbors a "symbol" of fear. Demons have horn. Devils have wings. Reapers have scythes. Absolute existences of the sort must have their own symbol to them."
"Quite right. Tail Blue herself may be bothered by the flatness of her chest but to them it symbolizes her cruelty and as such they have come to fear it... That is how I see it."
"And you are right to do so. I can out my mind at ease and be on my way now."
Dark Grasper moves the front of the hall and take a sweeping look over the soldiers. She clears her throat.
"Everyone, please put your hands to rest for a brief moment."
"D-D-Dark Grasper-sama! I beg your forgiveness!"
They all rise at once and bow down deeply to their superior officer.
"It's fine. You were in the midst of training yourselves. I just figured that before I leave I should talk to0 all one more time before I leave."
What!? You still haven't gone!?
So thought the entire room in wordless puzzlement. Dark Grasper was none the wiser and continued on.
"The truth is that I have been honored with a terribly vital mission by our leader. I will have to take my leave of this world for some time. In my absence, Beetle Guildy and his men will take on the reins of command."
They've heard this before quite some time ago but they took it in with the same solemness as before and an aura of those cheering wildly going "HELL YEAH!" with both hands thrust out in the air rose off the men.
"Furthermore... This battle does not seem to be one I can walk away from unscathed. In fact... This may be my very last farewell to you all..."
They stayed silent. Not a single word was uttered. This was not from shocking nature of the words however but rather from them being at a loss on how to react after the umpteenth time of listening to her putting on airs repeating the same announcement. That was the sort of mood about them.
"I said, this may be my last farewell..."
It might have been due to her putting a little bit too much emotion into it that made hearing it painful but those words rang out loud and clear to every corner of the hall.
"And so it may be."
"We are reluctant to see you go."
"It does awfully hot though. When I put my tail on top of the LCD tablet it feels just... Ah. Godspeed to you."
The warriors bow down in reverence to her derparture. However, Dark Grasper let's rip an enraged bellow.
"You bastards!! What's with that completely uncaring attitude you're showing meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!"
Over at the entrance Meganedon was wiping away tears from its eyes with a fin.
"Chaosic Infinite...! I'll have you all fall down into the depths of elemera!!"
"Please don't Dark Grasper-sama! We are not in a state where we can reduce our fighting force because of internal strife!!"
Dark Grasper's God Glasses had just begun to shine when Hopper Guildy rushese to stop her in a panic.
"Damn you all! I'm leaving! If I come back and find that you haven't made any progress at all I'll take all your of your eroge and switch out all the portraits for the heroines they introduce in their opening movies with ones of me!"
Closing things off for her departure with those unseeming words of parting, Dark Grasper breaks into a run and leaves.
Meanwhile, a briskly paced Swan Guildy was walking down the passageway with Sapprow Guildy desperately calling out for him to stop.
"I implore you to reconsider Swan Guildy! It is too sonn for you to do battle with the Twintails!!"
Swan Guildy stops in his tracks and turns around. The shame was evident in his voice.
"The invasion has now come to a complete standstill thanks to Beetle Guildy-sama's orders. If give them so much time to do what they will then the Twintails may take that chance to go on the offensive and charge in on our base."
Swan Guildy was all too aware of the fact that his training was still incomplete. Even if he sortied, the best he could probably do was buy them time. However, what they needed right now was exactly that.
"You know perfectly well from all the battles up till now! Even if Tail Red grants you your wish to duel her one on one, Tail Blue would definitely end up intervening it! That one doesn't seem to have a shred of emotion or honour in her! She is destruction incarnated!"
Coming from Sparrow Guildy who's watched so many perish before him, those words weigh in more heavily than had they come from anyone else.
"But even so! I still have a debt to repay to the unit that put up with my selfishness!!"
This is the impassioned decision of a young man and I am incapable of stopping him... Sparrow guildy's shoulders falter.
But then, whether it be fortunate or unfortunate, Dark Grasper approaches waving as she comes nearer.
"Hey Swan Guildy! I've been looking for you."
"D-Dark Grasper-sama...! How did your mission fare?"
"Yes, well I'm just about to leave for it. I won't be able to send you any texts for a while though. Sorry about that."
There were those who were keeping an eye on Swan Guildy's growth as a warrior. If he were the same man as he were before, he would probably have let joy creep up to his face and brought on her wrath. But having gone through days of blood-spurting and blood-swallowing training, he had been gifted with unswaying impudence.
"Then this humble Swan Guildy shall pray for your lasting fortunes Dark Grasper-sama!!"
He bows down to her with the full acting prowess that young new employees set on track for promotions were known for in the face of their superior. Sparrow Guildy follows suit as well a beat slower.
It might have been due to little gratification she got from hall but Dark Grasper nods in satisfaction.
Incapable of leaving without a parting gift, she goes on to demonstrate the main reason why she has yet to inspire faith in her subordinates.
"Very well then Swan Guildy. Let us part ways for a short while. Send me 50 messages of encouragement in the next 30 minutes. It goes without saying that the contents must be unique in all of them. I shall take them with me in my bosom and be on my way."
That was Swan Guildy finding himself speechless but Dark Grasper takes it as him assenting instead and leaves them.
The moment she turns a corner and disappears from sight, Swan Guildy staggers aimlessly before banging his head on the wall. Sparrow Guildy franticly pulls him away and says,
"G-Get a hold of yourself Swan Guildy! I'll help you come up with what to write!"
So rises the curtain on a mission they would consider harsher than one of putting your life on the line to buy time. Be it fortunate or unfortunate, by the time he had finished sending them all, he was left with nothing to spare in spirit or in guts for any further sorties of the sort.
Inside the Star Twoearle's cockpit, everyone was doing as they pleased. The ship set on auto-pilot so even Twoearle herself was becoming restless at having nothing to do.
The sight outside the cockpit window was a familiar one. It was the same erratic marble pattern as the one I see everytime I sortie out and pass through the gate till the I come out the other side and the world expands before me.
"Twoearle. This tunnel to the other world, is it the same one as the gate we use when we go out and fight?"
To my surprise, Twoearle's answer came in the form of a denial.
"They are two completely different things. What we are currently travelling through is overflowing with substances harmful to the human body. Even the tailgears would have a difficult time shielding them off. What you see are simply the colours that exist at very edge of human perception."
"Most of the technology on this ship exists to protect its passengers making it essentially just a box. Lolory-chan having sent only her consciousness over should be for the very same reasons they do."
A small alarm rings out from the pilot seat's monitor and pulls Twoearle's line of sight its way.
"...Ah, it appears that we are about to reach our destination."
Aika was yawning away halfway through the explaination but her eyes pop open at that.
"But it hasn't even been 30 minutes since we left!?"
"This is a space where time has no bearing in it. When you consider the amount of time that it takes to transport you out to the field it's actually just the opposite when it..."
As Twoearle gives her explanation, the cockpit starts rocking hard and the right side of the ship tilts down like a wheel sinking down into a ditch.
"Tha-that was pretty strong turbulence just now."
Aika instantly takes her stance. The ship shakes hard again as if it were sinking down into something but this time it came from the opposite side.
Twoearle runs over to the pilot's monitor and her expression changes as she says,
"We've run into trouble! As we reach closer to our destination it has become impossible to keep the ship under control."
Mom was looking panicked at first but once the shaking got so bad Twoearle started shaking too she happily put clasped hand together in front of her face.
"Oh god! Being onboard a battleship that's lost control is one of my favorite situations! Thate's another one I can check off!"
"Mom, once this is over come up with a list of all those situations you love so much. I want to make sure that we don't ever get into another one of those from this moment onwards!"
And it was here that I finally came to learn of my own mother's fearsome fatality foretelling ways as a Death Prophetess.
"We're already in the drive-out phase of dimensional travel...!? How!?"
Not even getting a chance to look down below, the Star Twoearle plummets backwards at full speed.
"...is everyone okay?"
I get up from my seat and check around if everybody is fine. We crash landed but apparently we didn't need to brace ourselves at our seats as thoroughly as we did during impact. It barely felt like anything but a disappointment. Looks like the ship's absorbers are top of the line too.
"I'm sorry about that everyone. I was sure that maintenance was carried out perfectly but..."
Twoearle's downcast demeanour made me feel like I should have been the one apologizing instead.
"Don't be. It was thanks to your inventions that we all managed to walk away from that without a single scratch! All I felt was little bit of shaking when we hit the ground."
"Thank you for saying so Souji-sama. However, while I've yet to determine whether a lack of proper maintenance was the sole cause of the event, it felt like there was interference coming from a large source of energy."
"A large source of energy... Do you mean elemera?"
"No, I must have imagined it. More importantly, I was so focused on restabilzing the ship that I let the chance to do boob press during the turmoil slip by. What a shame."
I'd say that it was thanks to her doing so that saved us all but Twoearle just laughs it off just like that. Thankfully we crashed down in the middle of a prairie so it doesn't look like there was any other damage that came out of it.
I head towards the window to take a good look at the scenery that the very first otherworld I've been invited had to offer.
"It looks so... normal..."
A clear blue sky. Forests. Grasslands. Open fields. All of them were also familiar sights.
"That is essentially how they all are?"
As the only one who's been to many other worlds this sounds like a sight she's gotten used to.
"Well no, it's just that I kinda pictured that since it's another world that it'd be the kind of place where the ground would be made of crystals or something like that."
I remember the explanation on how these other worlds are roughly like. They are supposed to be "Parallel Worlds". Still though, I mean it's another world so I can't help but expect to see something right out of a fantasy. Something like an animal that can speak in a human language.
"The problem lies with what comes after this. Lolory-chan mentioned that she would be waiting at a castle, yes?"
"Yeah. If that's so then she just might be something like a princess. She was wearing a dress then."
Now that I think about it, she only said to come but she didn't explain where exactly she'd be waiting.
"Couldn't we just track her down if we just searched for the strongest elemera reaction in this world?"
True. Lolory's also a twintail warrior so that's a good way to go about it.
I thought we'd be following Aika's suggestion but Twoearle's reaction to it was unfavorable.
"While we can send out the ship's miniature probes to do that, their elemera searching capabilities simply cannot compare to that of an orbital satelite like the "Little Girl". If we are lucky though we still might be able to catch such a response..."
Oh yeah... We don't have that satelite with the problematic name that was launched up back in our world. Thinking about it now, the base's Elemera Searcher has been able to pinpoint signals instantly since we linked them up together.
Twoearle works at the the panel and sends the ship's probe out flying.
"But worry not. Their ability to find girls below a certain age threshold is in no way inferior to the satelite they are based on."
"Why didn't you use the resources for that stupid feature on their Elemera Searcher instead!!?"
Aika may be ticked off by that but it's probably still just what we need to track down Lolory... That is rather unfortunate in a way.
The probes come flying back some dozens of minutes later and Twoearle begins explaining their findings.
"It's quite a curious world you see. More than 95% of its surface is covered by seawater and we have landed on the only continent to be found here."
"That's almost all ocean! What the heck kind of world is this!?"
Such a world's civilization must have evolved quite differently from ours.
Twoearle pores over the information on the screen once more muttering to herself and lets out a quiet "mmmm".
"It appears that we were able to catch a large quantity of elemera without any issues."
It was a familiar scene back at the base. Elemera would show up as points of light on the monitor's map. But looks like it was too much to expect them to map out things like buildings as well in such a short time so there's no way of telling if that's at a castle or not.
"Furthermore, there appears to be two of them in the same location... If they have the capabalities to conceal their elemera through means similiar to that of the Imagine Chaff then it seems that they have no reason to do so. We can take comfort in that fact at least."
Two powerful elemera readings in the same place... That does sound like a pretty good place to start with.
"Then does that mean that the person there that possesses another twintail elemera needed to transform like we do?"
Erina and I shared the same thought. With our braces we all have two twintail elemeras each at our disposal.
"I wonder about that myself... That transformation system itself is one of my own originals. That location though... I believe we can walk there so for now let us try paying it a visit."
Everyone agrees with Twoearle's take on the issue and the plan is set. Aika however asks her a question to be sure.
"Twoearle. Is it really okay for us to go out just like this?"
"It's not another planet so there won't be any problems at all and to add to that the atmosphere doesn't have a trace of pollution in it either."
Everyone gets ready to go but mom stays right where she is in her seat.
"Huh? Aren't you coming along too mom?"
"Oh I just wanted to get on the ship and go to another world. I won't be going any further than this. Buck up Sou-chan! You gotta get gung-ho about bringing that girl of your dreams back home okay!"
"Well if you just want to stay here and keep watch then that's fine too..."
With that smile on her face and all those buttons around her though I can help start worrying. Twoearle says the ship doesn't have any weapons so she shouldn't be able to put herself in any unwanted situations if she presses any of them... I hope that's true.
We leave mom here to watch over the Star Twoearle and head out.
The sunlight here is a bit too bright but the place itself looks incredibly peaceful.
"...So this is an entirely different world then..."
Erina fills up her lungs with the air and mutters that out.
"Yeah. We're in a whole other world now."
Looking out from inside the ship, I didn't think anything of the sight beyond it looking so normal. I'm out here now and the way the grass I'm stepping on feels, the gentle breeze on my cheeks - they don't feel any different from our own world's. Yet, there's this strange feeling of excitement to it. It's all so normal looking but I can't help feel like I'm looking at some sort of illusion. Did Twoearle feel the same way when she first set out on her journey across worlds?
Sakuragawa-sensei tak- accepts the terminal from Twoearle. It shows a rough map of the area and Lolory's location is marked on it.
"Alright then, let's go. Since this is a training camp don't get too carried away got it."
Walking up ahead of us, we follow after our club's advisor. The Twintail Club's training camp starts off with a bit of a hiking mood to it.
Time passes as we move, chatting away as we walk.
Suddenly, a familiar sensation washes over me like a tsunami. I piece things together as if the last one smacked me in the head and I come to a stop.
Sakuragawa-sensei also signals for our attention as she seems to have spotted something.
"Hmm... Everyone stop. Something's coming."
Kicking up a small duststorm, the ground shakes as a flood of black masses approach.
These black masses, they were gorillas. Too many gorillas to count.
"What the? All these gorillas... Are we in the middle of some safari park or something?"
"No wait! Look carefully Aika! Those are no ordinary gorillas!!"
So this is what I felt just now. We've finally got that sense of being in foreign territory boiling over here.
The gorillas in front of us were covered in fur like that of a bamboo screen and at the ends of their heads were tufts of fur sticking out.
Those are twintails!
Clearly, their ecosystem and branch were not of our Earth. On top of that...
"They don't look too friendly to me."
Sakuragawa-sensei clicks her tongue at them.
They start beating away. This is the bloodthrist of wild beasts.
They leap out at us right away as their muscles stiffen away under their bristling fur.
"Souji. Sakuragawa-sensei too. Take care of any that slip through, okay?"
Aika loosens up her shoulders with a light spin and starts getting warmed up for battle.
"Why are you acting like you're getting into a scrap when you're facing down a herd of animals!?"
Aika's grandpa has his regrets. Not knowing what to do with an all too naughty Aika, he took her out to the mountains to fix that. What happened instead however was that she ended up taking down wild animals without a single shred of fear.
...She was 10 at the time.
'I only wanted to teach her to rightly be afraid of wild beasts. But instead, she just became even more skilled than ever before...'
I still remember politely making converstaion with him as he sat down on the ground hugging his knees while we watched the sun go down.
"That's what she wants so let us leave Aika-san here to deal with them and go on ahead without her!"
Twoearle gladly accepts Aika's voluntary step forwards and moves to take the rest of us elsewhere.
"When you think about it, this is just one stray gorilla turning against the pack. Us humans have no place in such matters!"
And sure enough Aika grabs hold of Twoearle by the neck and charges in at the gorillas.
"Guess these numbers are bit too much to handle. I'm going to at least need a shield for this one."
"GYAAAAAH! Stop it! Don't! Let me go! This damn gorilla caught a pretty girl like me because it wants to climb up a building doesn't it!?"
I can understand why the gorillas are at a loss at this. The exchanges these two have are aimed at such high levels that amateurs can't help but be disturbed by them. It's only natural for them to feel that way.
In between the gap in their usual banter, the leader gorilla makes his move. It pulls something from out of its fur and flings it with a heavy sidethrow.
"! It's a boomerang!!"
It was a roughly carved wooden boomerang. By the time realized what it was, the weapon had already been launched at a defenseless Erina.
Sakuragawa-sensei gets in front of Erina and covers her as she swings her leg up high. The boomerang is deflected and she proceeds to slam down the heel of her boot down on it. If she had simply avoided it then it would have just flown back into the hands of our foes. She took it out with the first shot so that wouldn't happen but if she was off by even an instant her fleg would have been blown away. She has some serious guts. She's so cool when she's actually carrying out her bodyguard duties but...
"Don't think for a second that you quick to mate apes are going to be a match for a woman rushing to marry with her 30's coming down on her. The difference in our hunger can't even begin to compare!!"
Watching this acquaintance of mine valiantly yell at gorillas that she's more starved than they are makes the corner of my eye sting.
With these two seemingly fearless women blocking their path, the can't make any careless moves of their own. The balance having completely crumbled away, one particularly big gorilla steps forth. One of its eyes had a jagged scar running across it and the twintails it had were tied up nicely, this must be their boss. It stops right in place to face down Aika armed with her Twoearle Shield.
The boss gorilla points a finger at Aika and growls fiercely. Pounding on its chest with great strength the drumming begins. The very air itself trembles at its mighty roar.
...it's taunting her.
Normal gorillas drum at their enemies to intimidate them but things are a little different with these highly intelligent ones. It took one look at Aika's level chest and proceeded to beat away at its own proudly. Like how one would draw their blade at to agitate a warrior who does not show their intent to fight at their appointed duel this was no doubt a taunt of that nature.
Aika, how will you respond...!!
Not letting go of the Twoearle in her left hand, she makes a fist with her right.
And with that fist, she lightly strikes her own chest.
A sound that shouldn't have been made was heard.
Her lips may have formed a straight line between them but that bit of mimicry just now was clearly Aika's voice at work. It was basic ventriloquism. She's even carrying Twoearle around like a puppet to boot.
You heard it yourselves, my chest is too soft to drum with. Just give it up.
She didn't say it out loud but that's what was written on her face. Aside from Aika, everyone was dumbfounded. Humans and gorillas.
"Just when I thought you were standing ready to pound on my chest in place of yours, you go and do something that surpasses my imagination instead..."
Twoearle quickly was soon foaming in the mouth and convulsing in pain. Even I saw that one coming.
To go beyond what Twoearle's brain can follow... Aika's evolution knows no bounds.
The gorilla starts groaning audibly.
That gorilla's twintails... Aren't they swaying anxiously...?
I ask for Aika to lay down her Twoearle Shield.
"I'll take it from here. I think we can talk things out."
"What do think you're even saying Souji!?"
"Aika, look at their twintails. There's not a trace of wickedness in them. They just got spooked at humans showing up out of nowhere. They have no intention of being our enemies."
It's the same with humans. To show them you're sincere you need to look them in the eye while you talk. But when you're dealing with a twintail, there's nothing better than looking into their twintails.
The gorilla distinctly said so as I bide my time stare straight into its twintails.
"Woah what the!?"
"The gorilla taaaaalkeeed!?"
Both Sakuragawa-sensei and Aika take a step back and yell in surprise.
Why though? How did I know to expect that?
"You. Are. Twintail?"
It struggled to speak the boss gorilla's words made it across just fine.
"You're pretty awesome! I'm a guy right now but you can still see my twintails?"
More than it using human words, that was the bigger surprise for me. Mental lifeforms like elemarians may be able to feel out elemera but my twintail elemera should hidden away behind imagine chaff from even them. That means that it was able to sense the twintails inside me just by relying on pure wild instinct.
The boss gorilla puts down its club and look straight into my eyes.
"You. Not. Laugh?"
"Laugh? What for?"
"Humans. Us. Laugh. Gorilla make twintails. Funny. Laugh."
So that's what it was. These guys looked at the humans' twintails, looked up to them... and memorized them.
I take another good look at the boss gorilla's twintails. They were tied up with what looked like dried vines in place of string.
"You worked hard for them. I totally get that."
It was only recently that I myself learned how difficult it was to tie up beautiful twintails.
"But you see, humans don't just laugh when they find something they want to make fun of. They also laugh when they see something nice and cheers them up. I'm sure that a lot of the people who can't help but smile when they look at you are laughing for."
Of course, that's not going to be the case with everyone. But seeing animals trying to copy humans is something that's just going to brighten up your day isn't it? That's sure to bring a smile to your face.
"Your twintails are the real deal. I guarantee you that much. I mean you can't exactly call them cute but... they're still pretty cool. Sure I may look like this but when it comes to twinails I'm bound tight to them."
The boss gorilla gives a big wave of its hand the gorillas who were snarling menacingly quiet down at his signal.
"Th-this one. Not. Lies. I. Know."
"...Even if some guy actor from hollywood becomes a twintail, he'd still get welcomed for it..."
Aika says so sardonically but both she and Sakuragawa-sensei let their guards down.
"That girl. Sorry."
The boss gorilla's suboordinate that attacked Erina apologizes and looks up at me pleadingly.
"Humans. Hate. But. Twintails. Like... Humans. Twintails. Again. Want."
Did the twintails in this world dwindle down because of the Ultimaguil invasion?
"It's alright now. The fighting in this world is already over. A lot of people may have stopped wearing them so they won't be targeted but I'm sure they'll go back to them soon enough."
I console the gorillas as best as I can. Everything's going to be fine, the fight is over for this world and peace is here.
"Even if they're twintails it doesn't change the fact that they ARE gorillas. Really this world, just what went on here...?"
Standing right next to me was an elemarian whose slim body was covered entirely in pink and it was just staring at the gorillas.
I jump back in a panic. Why does an elemarian show up right after gorillas do!
"...Hang on a minute! Before that why is there an elemarian here at all!?"
"Oh!? Dear me, dear me!? Are you all the twintails over there!?"
The elemarian's attention is immediately drawn to Aika and the rest.
Not good. We might be on camera right now so we can't transform in front of them.
"Hmmm. That's rather strange. Why do I see such magnificent twintails in front of me but feel not one speck of twintail elemera from you all?"
The elemarian observes and scrutinizes them. Even with that said, we can't rest easy just yet. There are those that set out for their own pick of affinities as well. What affinity does this one hold...!?
"Oh right. There's no need to be so afraid. I don't mean to cause any harm after all."
Saying that the elemarian turns on its heels and disappears into the gate that showed up from behind it.
"...was it a survivor?"
That's what I figured it was. An underling that got left behind after their commander kicked the bucket.
"I was relieved that Lolory said the fighting had come to a complete stop but that was a dangerous moment."
Erina and I share that opinion.
"We need to hurry over there and tell them about this!"
Aika stands still motionlessly staring quietly at where the elemarian had vanished.
"Aika? Come on!"
"...Yeah. We definitely need to meet have a meeting with that girl."
It might be thoughtless of me to do so but I could sense this hazy feeling of distrust coming from Aika's twintails.
Once we finally made it past the grasslands we came upon a castle with sharp pointy roof that was very reminiscent of a theme park that could be found in present day Japan and surrounding all around it was a very prosperous looking town. In addition to taking a rest I suggested we take a look around the town as well.
"Even the towns look so... normal"
That was the impression Aika shared with us once we reached the castle town. The normally richly receptive Erina was too tired to be excited about it but both me and Aika thought the same of the place.
While the buildings aren't exactly like the ones back home the town was still filled with those resembling western styled designs though. There wasn't anything particular standout about them so in a good way it was pretty much as I pictured it.
The people walking around in this normal city on the other hand however filled me with unease. Left and right, there were ponytailed women as far as I could see. No, not just women but men too. Old, young, male or female didn't matter, the place was filled with ponytails. There wasn't a single twintail to be seen at all. It was just too much.
We were dumbfounded but then we locked eyes with someone walking towards us.
Just one look, he turns tail and looks back at us with his jaw dropped. His exaggerated reacion draws the peoples' attention towards and they start grouping up together.
It was clear that Aika, Erina and Sakuragawa-senseis' twintails were what shocked them. Those drinking juice did spit-takes. The ones chatting happily on their phones dropped them and did a 180 from smiling to sterner expressions. Ponytailed old ladies got down on their knees started chanting away prayers. All these waves of heavy surprised reactions were actually scaring us instead.
I hurry the rest on and the wordlessly nodded in affirmation.
This is weird. There is definitely something going on in this world. I can feel their stares piercing right through me and make a beeline straight for the castle.
Once we got out of the town and reached the castle I ask Twoearle about what just happened to make sure.
"Twoearle, is this really the right place?"
"Yes. There's a strong elemera signal coming from here. There's no mistaking that it's hers."
Something is off here. I know that there's supposed to be elemera here but I'm not picking up any presences of Twintails at all.
We approach the castle and soon a set presently closed iron doors just past a rampart comes within sight. Standing in front of them were guards that looked only a little older than myself... the both of them were women. With their armor glistening in the sun, these two could only fall under that existence told of in our history books and our fiction - they were "Knights".
The female knight on the right side of the gate shouts at us as she come towards us. Her helmet comprised of just a visor so the ponytail she wore under it presented itself beautifully. It was tied high and measured long so the sight her ponytail swaying in step with her was perfection itself.
"To come to the princesses' dwelling in twintails, you lot are a ingratious bunch of knaves. I shall cut them down right here as punishment!!"
The knight brandishes her blade and swings it down on Erina. I grab the woman's gauntlet by her wrist and grip it tight as I stare down her cold eyes with unbridled fury.
"You! What do you think you're doing!?"
The knight yells at me. Frightened, Erina pulls on the hem of my shirt.
"I'm the one who should be asking you that. Don't tell me that you were just about to chop off Erina's twintails were you...?"
"Of-of course not! I was simply going to go after her ribbon as a warning..."
So she waved her sword around and tried to give out a punishment to make herself look like a bad guy. Going by the force I caught in my hand it certainly fits in with it just being a scare tactic... But so what?
"Even if you were going to cut just her ribbons, you'd still be cutting away her twintails!!"
"Wha... What is the matter with this man!? Am I really talking to a human being!?"
The other knight who was standing on the left of the gate comes rushing towards us. It most likely because she saw me fight back against this one.
"Pa-pardon me but it would be great you could not do anything suspicious..."
This other knight had her ponytail tied up at eye level and the length was short. It probably has nothing to do with volume of her hair but she warns me in a quiet unsure tone.
"The one acting suspicious isn't me! It's her! She's the one who tried to rough up those twintails!!"
"Wooo. I don't get the feeling that I'm talking with another human here..."
As furious as I am and rage seething through my whole being, I'm doing my best to answer them as calmly and reasonably as I can but all they do mock me! What a rude pair of knights!!
First gorillas and now humans. Aika and Skuragawa take their stances.
At that moment however the castle gates start opening up, loudly.
"Wait! Those people are our guests!!"
Before the gates could open up fully, a little girl in a pink dress squeezes through and moves towards us.
"Oh-Ohhhh! So it really wasn't just a dream!"
The girl in my dream... As soon as I see Lolory, I feel relief and comprehension set in together. The reason why I couldn't feel the presence of her twintails. For whatever reason, she had undone her twintails and tied up her hair into a ponytail with a single white ribbon.
"Souji-sama, this is a recognized class A once in a lifetime opportunity... Our coming to this world has borne fruit! And to top it all of she talks just like a boy does! A Bokukko! Twoearle wholeheartedly approves!"
Flying high on joy at the sight of Lolory, Twoearle begins her commendations of an entirely different dimension.
Lolory's ponytail is hangs off to the side hence this type of ponytail would be called a sidetail. Looking like it was tied up without needing a single glance, even I as a twintail lover would see the splendid beauty in just how complete her hairstyle was. The triangular contours and angles it formed between itself and her face was the manifestation of the the golden ratio itself.
Without going too much into that glamourous dress she wore in accompaniment with her sidetail, she had this visible aura about her. An absolute sense of existence even though she looked to have the same unchanging youthfulness tha Tail Red has.
"I beg your forgiveness, your highness..."
The knights stow away their blades and bow their heads down low to Lolory.
"I do apologize for any disrespect that our knights may have treated you with. Please follow me into the castle."
She spoke with a clear childlike voice. It held the cheeriness of a little boy to it. Her tone may sound awfully overdone right now but I'm sure the she can't really afford not to talk like that here given her standing. When compared to that sweet self she showed me in the dream, I couldn't help but feel like bursting into laughter at the gap between them.
"So you normally wear your hair as a sidetail then... Have you all in this world been hiding away your twintails to avoid being targeted by Ultimaguil till now?"
After seeing that strange spectacle back in the town, I can start making some sense of their reactions if it was all really a countermeasure against Ultimaguil.
"Hm? If you mean Twintails, we have outlawed them."
Lolory calmly lets that tidbit loose and I can feel my sense of wrongness flash back into action.
"Outlawed... Even if you warn people, pointing a sword at them is definitely over the line. A girl's hair is her life, isn't that how it goes?"
I recall back to the dream, the moment she said she wanted me to pat her hair. I thought I could bring her attitude back down to what it was like then so I reached for that fluffy sidetail of hers.
"Ahh!! Wait! No don't!!"
Her expression changed and she shrieked but I realize she was rejecting me in time and proceeded to scoop up Lolory's hair in the palm of my hand just like that.
The moment I touch Lolory's hair, her body shivers like she dove into a pool of ice cold water and she jumps back away from me.
"Yo-yo- Ho-how could you do such an ingratious deed...!!"
Hands to their brow, the two female knights faint. Lolory just stood there face all red and the rest of her shivering badly. I apologize to her without knowing the reasons behind this.
"Errm... I'm sorry. Did I do something I shouldn't have?"
As she holds and wraps her sidetail with both her hands, Lolory gives me a stern glaring.
"How dare you taint my chaste hair with your dirty touch you lowly grievous fiend!!"
"..........say what now?"
"Do you all not know!? Here in this world... Our customs dictate that the first man to touch any woman's hair besides her own father is to become that woman's husband!!"
"...that ...that is just way too much culture shock for me..."
I can feel my soul very nearly escape my body but I stand my ground.
"Hang on! You're the one who told me touch you there at that time in the first place! If it was so important why did you tell me to that at all!? Was it just a passing thought!?"
Arms folded, Twoearle nods in agreement.
"I expected no less from you Souji-sama. You've already done it once so you'll have it anywhere and anytime you want. Yes, it's perfectly fine for a boy to be so forceful and have their way with their women!!"
"Don't go out of your way to phrase things to sound so wrong!!"
Lolory on the verge of tears says.
She repeats my words almost as if she's lost her memory of it. Suddenly.
Hearing that sweet voice that I've gotten used to hearing, I look back in the direction of the gate.
There was another Lolory running towards me from said gate.
I turn about face in shock and there she was again, glaring daggers at me as if I had killed her parents.
"I'm so happy! You actually came like I asked didn't you!?"
The other Lolory comes up and clings to me.
I compare the two Lolory's in front of me and I finally get why our conversation wasn't falling into place like it should have.
"Don't tell me that... You're Lolory!?"
The Lolory clinging onto me energeticly nods in response.
"Anesamaaaaaaaa! Don't hug filthy men like him! You can't do that!!"
The other Lolory's face screams as despair spreads across her face even more so than when I touched her hair.
These girls, they were twins...!!
"Welcome, everyone from the other world!!"
Lolory stops at the castle's entrance. She turns around, raises the hem of her skirt and curtsies in a cutesy fashion.
"Hmmm... So this is girl you've been dreaming about then. She's cute."
Contrary to her words, Aika's mood had turned quite sour. I can't blame her when we have all these guards who are in no mood for guests themselves escorting us around. Did they think there's something about me that called for special attention and all these extra knights? They've been sneaking peeks at me an awful lot.
The twin princesses take notice of the confused state we're in and begin introducing themselves.
"Okay, let us introduce ourselves. This girl is my twin little sister Ryruna. Also, my real name is Loel."
"So Lolory is..."
"Lolory is the name we use for when we fight."
I see. Just like Tail Red for me. She was in her transformed state when we talked through our thoughts.
Side by side, I really wouldn't be able to tell them apart. The way they talk may be different but they both have the same voice. To make sure I don't mistake one for the other I peel my eyes wide open for any small details that might stand out.
The older sister Loel has a similarly mostly pink dress but her choker, boots and ribbons were black and she sports her sidetail on the left side. The younger sister Ryruna on the other hand contrasts her with her items being white in color and having her sidetail tied up on the right instead.
"We came here going after a strong elemera reading but what we found was that there were two such readings. Could Ryruna also be a..."
"Hey! Don't talk to me you lousy degenerate!!"
I don't have a place to stand on with the younger sister.
Ryruna has been barking and glaring at me the whole time Loel has been showing us around the castle. We squeezed in our own introductions to them during and we looked over the extravagant goods here and there that we passed by on the way to the top floor's guest room.
Places like this were nothing new to Erina and Sakuragawa-sensei so they were pretty calm about being here but I haven't made much progress since having seen the luxurious cottage on that uninhabited island that the Shindou family has. I really couldn't help but feel like I was walking on needles here.
We all sat down at this round table that must have been made almost entirely of gems considering the way it was gliterring. Aika looked over to where Loel and Ryruna sat with their knights standing by right behind them and calmly made an attempt at persuasion.
"The younger sister, Ryruna was it? What Souji did earlier, doesn't him being from another world cancel things out?"
Ryruna, whose faced had been red even till now, responds back with anger.
"That was not so trifling a matter! What world he comes from doesn't matter! So long as he's not some elemarian and is human, the custom stands!!"
I may not have known about the law but all the same, candidly touching her hair without her consent was my bad. I bow my head down at her.
Aika continues to plead her case.
"Souji might have been acting thoughtless there but didn't your sister let him touch her hair too? That was negligent on her part and wasn't so abiding to that law in the first place."
That right. If that time didn't count because Loel came over to our world then would that same logic apply to us having come to this world?
It probably sounds like an excuse though...
"Umm yeah, about that. Of course that one still counts! Loel came to like Souji-oniichan a lot so Loel gave him Loel's first time with Loel's hair. ...Ehehe, we're totally going to get married!"
Loel puts on an innocent smile and cutely proposes to me. When she said that the two of us were connected at the time, she didn't mean through hearts but through marriage?
As she wailed, Ryruna grabs Loel tight with no intent of letting her go and nestles her face against her sister's.
Aika and Erina both get up and look at me and at the two sisters.
"So-Souji! Why the heck are you acting so calm about this!?"
"Well, I mean she's just a kid and kids do say the darndest things."
I answer back with an awkward smile. It's not so strange for a girl her age to say they want to get married just because.
Erina points over at Loel and shakes her arm vehemently in denial.
"Please look at those eyes of hers! She doesn't appear to be merely playing!"
Sakuragawa-sensei follows her up in a tone that seemed to have been meant to gently remonstrate Loel down.
"You are still just a child so I'm sure you don't realize just how heavy the word "marriage" can be but you must know it really isn't something you should joke about so lightly."
The knights behind them remain standing upright but they look like they're staring down an unrepetant fraudster. I guess I have that coming. She may just be a child but getting proposed to is hardly an everyday life sort of thing and now there's just no sense of weight to the matter because of what just transpired.
...in other words, I'm a pretty unpleasant fellow to them...
Ryruna glares daggers at me as she irritably grinds her teeth in frustration.
"I was the one who wanted to marry Ane-sama without letting any man defile her hair for life! You had your way with me and now you want to touch her hair too!? I won't stand for it you lousy lecher!!"
Between the two, I'd have to say that Ryruna's the one means serious business here...
Loel touches her finger to her lips and gives a hmmmm as she thinks aloud.
"But Loel and Ryruna-chan can't get married at all right? ...ehehe ...we can't have babies either. But if it's with Oniichan then babies are a-okay!"
She's really got a good head on her shoulders. That said, do kids really go around showing off that they know about these sort of things?
"What do you mean we can't!? If it's for getting a successor I'll just do my best to carry Ane-sama's child through a false pregnancy!!"
...these kids hear some really weird things.
Aika gnashes her teeth as she glowers at the sisters and speaks out with a tinge of menace to her voice.
"Let's go home Souji. The training camp is hereby over. We're not just going to stick around if they're going to force all these local rules on us and make a criminal out of you."
"I agree. I have had enough of this other world too so let us carry out our training back in our own land!!"
Erina sounds in too with a rare bout of sulleness to her voice.
"Calm down, the both of you!!"
Twoearle had been very quiet all this while so I look at her at hearing that.
There was this demonic grin plastered on her face. It was making my hair stand on their ends.
The escort knights seem to have noticed this as well and go to counsel their princesses.
"My ladies! Putting that man aside for now, that woman has been shooting incredibly dubious looks your way for some time now!!"
Twoearle casually regards the now alerted guards who have drawn out their swords at her without a shred of hesitation.
"Hmph. Do you really think those dull pieces of metal are going to be enough to stop me when I have these high potential lolis right here turning me on like this?"
Wickedness sways around her like a heat haze... So these two girls really were right in her strike zone weren't they!!
Twoearle pulls out something about the size of a tissue box from inside her labcoat pocket.
"I am very well aware of how to handle female knights. When it comes to their kind, there's a particular type of stimuli that they all fall prey to. When faced with it, they become the most defenseless lifeforms in the cosmos. I had been planning on unleashing this portable tentacle kit on Aika-san but... Behold your undoing! Anti-Aika system no. 5, the Aika Gropey Groper! "
"No matter what comes our way we will protect the princesses! We will not yield, not even in our hearts!!"
The knights bravely declare so at Twoearle but she wordlessly flashes a grin back at them in return.
Aika gives out a dry laugh at this.
"That's a relief. If she set that thing on me I don't think I'd be able to hold anything back."
Ryruna shrinks away with tears in her eyes and blames me.
"Wh-what are you!? Ane-sama invited over a twintail warrior! She wasn't calling out for men!!"
"You have it wrong Ryruna. Souji-oniichan is actually a super strong twintail warrior! The fact that he felt up Loel's hair is proof of that isn't it?"
"Please don't talk about that so loudly..."
The knights' eyes are picking up more and more distrust at mach speed as they look at me.
Since we hit a break in main topic of conversation, this would a good time to bring up what we saw in the grasslands earlier.
"Loel, before we came here we ran into an elemarian. It looks like there are still survivors in this world so it's best you keep an eye out for them."
As I tell her that, the smile on Loel's face goes away and she starts acting a like a kid who got caught being naughty.
"...umm, Oniichan. There's something I have to apologize to you for."
It seems difficult for her to say as Loel looks down and falters in saying it.
"For this world... The fighting isn't over yet here. In fact, the enemy is too strong that Lolory can't do anything about them."
Twoearle and Aika didn't show much of a reaction to hearing that piece of news. In fact, they took so calmly it was like they already figured it out. Now that I think about it, Twoearle seemed to catch onto something since the emergency landing.
"And because of that, Loel and Ryruna have been sending our hearts out to other worlds every night to find those who would want to help."
"Why didn't you just ask for help right from the beginning..."
Since asking directly wouldn't do, I do my best to gently coax the answer out of her.
However, the one who answered it was not Loel but Ryruna.
"You say that like most would be kind enough to say yes... But that simply isn't true. Of course ane-sama asked people for their help when we started but not even a single one would lend us their ears. Nobody would even have the luxury to help us out to begin with."
...true. Twintail warriors out there would have their hands full just protecting their own world.
"So then does that mean that the battle against Ultimaguil in your own world has already come to close?"
"The guys in our world said they'll be taking a break from the fighting for a while but they'll get back to it again after some several days."
"I see. Then the timing was indeed miraculous..."
After all that's been said and done, relief finally surfaces up to Ryruna's face. She didn't seem to want to carelessly betray her joy so I took that as her being honest with herself.
Just how many worlds have they gone to looking for help? Just how far away did they need to separate themselves from their feelings?
"Our world really did come to enjoy peace at one point however. We were simply no match for their commander who appeared to us after so many battles but just when we were at a loss over what could be done, the entire unit simply upped and left this world just like that."
"But it wasn't long until a different elemarian came and that one was even stronger. So much so that it was ridiculous. We have no idea why they took this course of action..."
Ryruna continued on after Loel explaining the circumstances to us but there really was nothing there that'd help us figure out the reason from it.
"So they withdrew halfway through..."
Twoearle crosses her arms in thought and then asks Loel and Ryruna a qestion.
"Regarding the elemarians who first invaded your world Loli-chan... What kind of elemarians were they?"
"They all pretty much shouted asking around if there were any twintails with large busts around... Loel's boobs are small so they put Loel off."
Loel pulls back on the opening for her dress at her bosom with a finger and stretches it out to show me. Aika may be glaring at her slightly but her silence was probably borne out of resonating empathy for her. Still, that phrase is still a relatively fresh one among my memories.
"Twoearle... Elemarians looking for large busts, isn't that..."
"Yes. 8 or 9 times out 10, that'd have to been Levia Guildy."
"Oh? So you all know of Levia Guildy too?"
Ryruna asks with a blank look and Twoearle flashes her a pleased smile as she pointed her over to Aika.
"The one slew that beast and showered in that it's blood using only her bare hands is none other than the beast over there Loli-chan."
...it's troubling that it's not at all an exaggeration.
"So Levia Guildy's unit was summoned while they were invading Loli-chan's world and came to Souji-sama's world as reinforcements. Once they traveled between these two worlds the tunnel through space that Loli-chan mentioned was created and thus the threshhold to travel between them was diminished."
It was then I realized that Twoearle had been hiding how seriously she'd really been taking matters into consideration. The totally desire-fueled pet name derived from the first syllables in the sisters' names that she forced on them was her way of covering that up.
Then if that was the case it's easy to guess the reason why they passed Lolory up even though they already fought once before. He even let our first fight with him go after he was at a loss over Blue losing her will to fight.
Sounding like she didn't even want to remember Loel continues on about the enemy in a nearly fading voice.
"And then there's the super strong elemarian that came after them. Its affinity is ponytails."
"...Ponytails!? That's another big affinity..."
Since Ultimaguil puts twintails up as their foremost priority the number of elemarians showing up with other hairstyle related affinities are extremely few. It's to the point where Keroberos Guildy of the Tribraid affinity had to retire because of it. For a powerful elemarian with a major hairstyle affinity like ponytails to exist...
"That elemarian told us that it didn't come to take away our twintail affinities but instead wanted us to stop wearing twintails and wear ponytails instead. Loel is a princess of this country so Loel had papa make it a law that twintails can't ever be worn. It was so that everyone in this country would be safe."
This girl with her innocent smile who now spoke with such sorrow was unmistakably a warrior who grieved for world peace as well as a princess who leads her people.
"Whatever the case may be, we'll definitely take down that ponytail elemarian for you. Once we do you can lift that ban on twintails and put an end to that miserable law."
Even if that one isn't going to steal twintail elemera, there's no way it won't come after us once we transform. We should be very attractive bait for it.
"You will!? Thank you so much...!!"
Ryruna finally shows me a smile but she quickly looks away from me right after.
"O-Of course you will! After you did such a horrible thing to me it's only natural that you atone for it this way!!"
Suddenly, the doors slams open violently and a very alarmed looking female knight comes running into the room.
"My princess! There is trouble brewing! We have received reports of an elemarian appearing in the castle town."
Without skipping a beat upon hearing that, Ryruna asks the knight for further details.
"It doesn't seem like the elmarian is clad in flames so it's not the same one as the one we were discussing."
The sisters' expression relax at hearing that information and they both get up.
"Let's go Ryruna-chan!"
"Hold it! Shouldn't we be the ones to go out there and fight!?"
"If it's not that one elemarian then it should be fine! Oniichan should just stand by and watch Lolory in action!!"
Even as they rush out to keep things under control, Loel acts as innocently as ever and heads out. Ryruna follows after her.
"Hey wait! Are you a twintail warrior too Ryruna!?"
"Just you wait and see. We'll show you what kind of bond ane-sama and I have. There is no room for you between us in the form that give shapes to our perfect love!!"
Ryruna smiles meaningfully at my inquiry and gladly responds with equally meaningful words as she runs out. The escort knights leave as well so the only ones still left in the room are us. Twoearle has a grasp of the essentials but,
"They're right. I believe it would be best for Souji-sama and you two to concentrate on defeating that ponytail elemarian who may very well be a commander class elemarian. Let's go after those two and watch what they do."
"But if we go out there too aren't we just going to stir up a fuss too?"
Aika seems to be recalling her memories of the ruckus back in the town earlier. Not one to overlook such things, Twoearle puffs out her chest.
"It'll be fine. I have a portable imagine chaff with me right now so we'll be using it from here. As long as you stay close to me, no one but Loli-chan will even notice you exist."
Oh, this device brings back some memories. I haven't seen it since the fight with Lizard Guildy.
"Okay! Let's get a move on!"
We chase after Loel's group. Sakuragawa-sensei chases after us having missed a beat.
We looked out for a place where there seemed to be a lot of noise going on and managed to reach the scene without getting lost. A huge audience gallery had gathered there by time we got there. This was also a familiar sight back in our own world. There was even a large video camera set up like the kind you'd see with news crew cars. These very out of place looking recording equipment were filming the princesses.
The real problem here though were the people of the town and ponytails they wore. After having heard the story from Loel and Ryruna, I can pinpoint that feeling of wrongness that I felt when we first reached here and why I felt that way.
It wasn't the fact that everyone had ponytails that bothered me. It was that I didn't get the sense that most of those people in those ponytails actually cared for them at all. They had to have been forced on them because I can't feel any vitality in those ponytails.
It's frustrating to admit but... There's no mistaking that the ponytail is a hairstyle loved by all. With such a simple base to expand on, just about anyone from the young to the old, male or female, could look good sporting one. That was a huge part of its strength.
Different from twintails which tend to be misunderstood as kids' only territory, ponytails enjoy an overwhelming level of popularity in comparison.
I may be a novice when it comes to other hairstyles but back when I was trying to figure out ways to spread the love of twintails around the world even more, I also did some research on the ponytail majority out of envy.
I felt that there had more to what separated them beyond something so simple as there being one or two tails. There just had to be some deeper secret hidden behind it.
It could be worn without any pretention. It was practical and easy to pull off. There was no lack that personal touch to it. All of that made it all the more appealing.
It really is a wonderful hairstyle.
The ponytail didn't just come before twintails as it's senior. Aren't they also worthy rivals that push each other on to greater heights?
Just what was going through the head of that elemarian that Lolory and the others here couldn't beat?
No matter how much they loved ponytails, Ultimaguil's greatest goal is the proliferation of the twintail affinity and the pillaging of it. There is just no merit in them forcing people to stop wearing twintails and put on ponytails instead at the individual level or at the organizational level since that's not going cultivate affinities for either hairstyles.
All this does is earn the emnity of those who originally loved twintails towards ponytails and make this world a much harder place for ponytail lovers to breathe easy in. All this does is bring forth more tragedy into the world...
The world is spilling over with ponytails but it's not just the people here that are different. One look is all it takes to notice the stark difference between our world's Ultiroids and this one's.
A huge gathering of Ultiroids stood there with their weapons at the ready and Loel and Ryruna were standing in their way. Their whole bodies where red as if they drowned in paint. They look like the usual lively Ultiroids but we've never run into any other variations of them besides the black ones up till now.
"What the heck is up with them!? There haven't been any like them before!!"
Aika was confused by this.
Their voices were not only serveral pitches higher than usual but the way they carried themselves was also different in a number of ways.
Standing pigeon-toed watching them, Erina yells in surprise.
"Those are girlish mannerisms!"
"So then does that mean they're the minions of one of those Girls' Boy bunch?"
No. The Ultiroids that came with worm guildy were black too, same as the rest.
The elemarian who came into town shows up shortly. It was a recognizably pink elemarian.
"Hello my dear princesses! I am Cherryblo Guildy!!"
...so it was a cherry blossom then. This is the first time I've seen a planty-type elemarian.
Cherryblo Guildy takes a onceover of the area and nods satisfyingly to itself.
"My~ The people of this world are quite wholesome! They watch their princesses, drooling over them from their mouths! You must be incredibly popular!"
The townspeople franticly wipe away at their mouths. Are Loel and Ryruna so popular that drooling has become a conditioned reflex for their spectators?
"Drool is the precipitation of wholesomeness! It is the nectar of love! SPRING HAS COOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMEEEE!!"
"...It's another one of those affinities again..."
Aika stared hard all over the elemarian whose thoughts were in a full bloom of their own making.
"Well said! I could let 20 glasses worth of love nectar flow out from me in a single day if it's for Ane-sama's sake!!"
The younger sister evidently sympathized and was letting said love nectar drip out without wiping any of it away...
But it was from this point that I was able to reconcile the line she gave me earlier to their meaning.
Those two powerful elemera readings we picked up back at the Star Twoearle... Was it because of Loel and her transformation item? Or could it have been because Ryruna and Loel were both twintail warriors?
The answer was neither and yet also both if you look it at from certain perspective. We were in for an astonishing show.
Loel and Ryruna put the palms of their hands together and shouted.
That phrase must be what they use in place of our own tailgears' start up word. The two sisters are peas in a pod in every way. Light envelopes the both of them and their silhouttes overlap, not even a single hair out of place save for their ponytails. Rainbow stars scatter out and light rains down from them as a new lifeform shines on in a brilliant beat.
"They became a twintail...!?"
The sidetails left out of the overlapping shadows have been reborn as a pair of twintails.
"Sisterly fusion, Lolory has arrived!!"
With that line, they do a three finger salute the way an idol would and strike a pose.
The crowd goes crazy wild for them. Even Cherryblo Guildy looks intimidated by their intensity.
Don't tell me that the reason they casually transformed in front of their citizens is because of...
Like a planetarium of its own, their pink dress shines with countless beads of light like rippling stars as the wind blows the skirt's frills up into a flutter.
To think that they'd take those sidetails in symmetric combination and make twintails out of them.
"Parallel worlds really are amazing aren't they..."
That just comes out of my mouth in wonder.
Planets. Galaxies. The universe even. Worlds aren't contained within them. It's the other way around. A single "world" contains an entire universe and within it are countless galaxies and even more countless planets expanding out along on an endlessly extreme scale. We came to know that when we met Twoearle and yet there were still twintails unknown to me beyond my wildest imagination within those worlds.
So fantasy-like twintails like these do exist...
At the same time though, I feel doubt welling up within me. For those two girls who normally wear sidetails and only transform in into a twintail in times of crises, are they really able to make use of the twintail affinity within them perfect safety?
As if to wipe my worries away, Lolory begins dancing.
"Here we go... Twintail Whip!!"
Lolory holds her stick over her head and her twintails begin moving on her command through it.
"The twintails... they're growing!?"
It isn't just that they're growing either, they're growing to incredible lengths. The twintails was easily five, no, maybe ten times as long as their little body was tall. They were long enough to give the impression that they'd stretch out to the end of the world and they rushing towards the ultiroids as if they minds of their own.
The red ultiroids take a powerful whipping from those twintails and get launched up into the air. From there, they get spiked down into the ground like a volleyball and disintegrate explosively on impact one after another.
"You are freaking awesome Lolory!!"
Hearing the cheers calling out the name they used when fused together, Lolory strikes an idol-like pose once again.
"It's love! Love! Love for twintails can make twintails do anything and everything!"
Lolory must have heard my voice earlier as she turned towards me even as I blend right into the crowd and shouted off that creed.
I can't say for sure if that was the case but I cheer her on anyway as another spectator among the rest.
Even if the two of them have their everyday twintails taken away from them, the two sisters will still stand fast and uphold their oath by unleshing their twintails in battle.
So this is the strength of their hearts then.
"That is simply sublime! Combining after drying away their drool, it's so sexy!!"
"But Lolory doesn't do gross things like drooling!"
Making an appeal to her own purity as an idol, Lolory faces Cherryblo Guildy.
Cherryblo Guildy's arms sweep out and countless cherry blossom petals fly into the air. Explosions and earthly tremors followed everytime they impacted the ground.
Lolory leaps left and right dodging the explosions coming after her. As she does so, she singles out petals still in the air uses her twintails to cause them to explode in a flash.
Once she enters within striking range of Cherryblo Guildy, Lolory thrusts her stick straight ahead. Her twintails then gather perpendicularly at her head like a pair of cannons as light converges on the tips of her twintails.
"Look! She's firing her beams from the twintails!"
I couldn't control my excitement. I thought Aika and the rest would be just as pumped up as I was but all they did was stand still with flat looks on their faces.
Why are they reacting like that? Even the hero loving Erina did the same...
The beam didn't have the power to finish things off but it was more than enough to put a stop in Cherryblo Guildy's tracks.
Lolory twirls her stick like a baton to bring in the showstopper and holds it in front of her chest. The air around her begins getting pulled into towards her in swirling vortex.
"Finishiiinnngggg mooovvveee! TWINATAILNADOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!"
"Not the wiiiiind! Anything but the wiiiiiiind! All the drool is going get blown dryyyyyyyy!!"
Having been swallowed up by the roaring winds brought forth by those twintails, Cherryblko Guildy bursts into an explosion within them.
Sure enough, Lolory poses for effect and the crowd goes ever so wild.
Brimming with the drive to discuss Lolory's magical twintails at length for two or three hours I look to Aika and the rest hoping to see the same in them but all I was met with was speechlessness and human turned statues.
"Come on guys! You saw that didn't you!? It was amazing right!? A pair of twintails just gave birth to a hurricane!!"
"...If you saw it too then that wasn't a hallucination. That..."
If we're bringing out the power of our twintails with science then these girls are bring out theirs with magic.
Elegant to no end and overflowing in charm...
Firmly denying the bloodiness of their battle to its core in that glittering dress, the magic weaving girls were bonafide magical girls.
Twintails are just overflowing with variety.
I've been struggling very hard to deal with the fact that I couldn't manipulate my twintails like the way yellow could turn them into her anchors. I did eventually give up and wrote it off as an individual trait unique to her after not having been able to will my twintails moving even a single milimeter but these girls have taught me that all I did was run away from it. I will dare to dream of Tail Red's gallant figure controlling an endlessly expanding pair of twintails.
"Say Aika. Could it be that you've been able to shoot out beams too all this time but kept quiet about it out of consideration for me?"
"As if I could shoot them ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttt!!"
I see... I guess even expert twintails wouldn't be able to pull it off so easily.
When we got back to the castle I ask Loel about the battle that just happened.
"You were pretty awesome Loel! Still, do you always make sure to show yourselves off in battle like that?"
Since she was a kid, I should stop her if the reason was that she wanted to be heroine that put herself in danger. That's what I thought but I got a look at the strength of at her core instead.
"We do it to so the people of this world don't lose their spirits. By having them see Lolory doing her best, we're also asking them to keep themselves at their best."
"Is that how it is..."
Loel gave her all into thinking what she could do and followed through with it. She's just a kid but she looked beyond herself, learned her limits, and still fought on in spite of them.
"Next lemme see you fight Oniichan. If we fight together. I'm sure we can beat even that one elemarian."
"Sure! You can count on me!!"
I want to save this world. I want to save these kids.
I'm giving it everything I got to protect my own world so this probably isn't a desire I can discern for myself...
But even so, I still can't stop wanting to make it happen.
The elder sister of the royal twins they meet in the world they've traveled to. Different from Souji and the rest who put twintails as their first priority in need of protection, she places her people above all and shows who she is as she fight since she believes this will invigorate her nation. Contrasting with her younger sister, she acts like a pure innocent child but she also has a strong-willed side to her and takes a very keen interest in Souji as a man whom she adores as her Oniichan.
The younger sister of the twin princesses. When it comes to her doting nature towards her sister Loel, her deviancy is not inferior to Twoearle and the rest. Peeping and spying are natural for her and her acts of sexual harassment towards her sister only escalate with every passing day. Even with that side of her known to them, her people love her all the more for it.
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The form that Loel and Ryruna take when they come together to perform their sisterly fusion, Twin Connect. It is only the elder sister Loel who was "chosen" as a twintail wariior but she wanted to combine with Ryruna herself. Having achieved this, Loel's power goes up by leaps and bounds compared to Loel having to fight on her own. Her magical stick is called the Hurting Stick and she uses it to freely manipulate her twintails for attacking and defending. She fights in a cute way befitting of a magical girl.