The mode of life for elemarians is full of mysteries.
They are born from elemera with bodies composed of it and self-awareness to go with them. And since they originate from human hearts, their personalities would of course be split between male and female.
Even without the need to propogate amongst themselves, their silhouettes would also come to be female to match their personalities. As a result, their numbers are overwhelmingly few when compared to their male counterparts. There are an especially high number of cases where female type elemarians are born as plant types as well. Mental lifeforms they may be but there's no choice but to chalk that up to one of life's mysteries.
But for the many boorish elemarian warriormen there lies a problem with such female elemarians - they find that it is even harder to communicate with women of their own species than those from the human race. For the few scarce female elemarians out there, this gave rise to feelings of alienation and unable to come to terms with that pain they go on to "drop out". A small scale replication of a tragic society much like that of humans.
The one that saved these girls was the female elemarian of the Teacher affinity, Yggdrasil Guildy. Doing what she could as one whose abilities merited her being tasked with leading an elite unit, she kicked that all away. Not willing to abandon them, she welcomed these wayward girls one after another, not as underlings but as "comrades". And eventually, they were bestowed the honor becoming one of the four units that served under Dark Grasper and thereby direct command of the leader, No Bul Club, and won themselves a place within the organization. Not everyone in their unit possessed high battle power but even so these girls undoubtedly held the strongest sense of unity within ultimaguil.
But then why were these girls regarded as troublemakers when elemarians were almost entirely composed of troublemakers to begin with? What made these girls so hard to communicate with to the point of being isolated? It was of course a matter of grave importance, one they gleefully discussed before Souji and the others.
But then why were these girls regarded as troublemakers when elemarians were almost entirely composed of troublemakers to begin with? What made these girls so hard to communicate with to the point of being isolated?
To be sure, it was a matter of grave importance, one they gleefully twittered on about right in front of Souji and the others.
At this very moment, every single member of No Bul Club was in the hall of the ship "docked" to this world about to open up discussion for their strategy meeting and what could be seen upon expanded out across the grand table they were seated at were not images and data on the world's native twintail warrior Lolory but that of Tail Red's.
It would seem that what goes as far as strategy meetings are concerned would mirror the tail red appreciation assemblies back in her own world...
however, the topic that currently captured their interest was actually the great men that she had defeated.
"Just look. Tail Red... The elemarians she's taken out. It's plain unbelievable, that face draws your eyes in... I just can't believe it. She did Drag Guildy-san too you know?"
"For one twintail warrior to defeat this many commanders, that's gotta be the first time it's ever happened."
After Rafflesia Guildy's voiced her admiration, her subordinate continued on.
"Ooohh... It looks like Worm Guildy and Snail Guildy both sortied out together!"
"And they both got taken out at the same time too... That's just goddamned romantic ain't it!!"
"Since it those two they'd have to get all sticky and twisty when they get together won't they!?"
Yes. They were presently honoring the heroic souls who are now at rest after fighting to their ends by shipping them together.
And speaking of rest, Mandragora was doing her own thing in one corner of the hall snoozing away in the hole exclusively meant for her use. It was her policy to make holes like this one outside her room and sleep in them buried head deep with just the leaves atop it left to stick out of the holes. If one were to try and force her awake by pulling on those leaves, they'd find themselves flying into walls by the sheer force of her booming voice. And since it was determined that they were never to awake her midslumber, she was treated as hazardous goods.
"Look Anesan! She did Arachne Guildy-san too!!"
"What!? Then that means... Him, Worm Guildy and Snail Guildy are...!"
This newly arisen forbidden triangular shipping instilled delight in all who were there.
"Then that leaves Beetle Guildy-san and Stag Guildy-san doesn't it!? Oh man! That's- Geheheh."
The tiny unit leader Ygddrassil Guildy eyed her merry subordinates with affection. Seeing that stare of hers, Rafflesia Guildy wordlessly hung her head down in shame. The ruckus had propagated throughout the hall much like radio waves but at the end, the place was blanketed in silence.
"...What's the matter everyone?"
Yggdrasil Guildy asked them in amazement. A subordinate in punkish looking make up tries not to but starts sobbing.
"Sorry Sensei. It's because we're like this... If you were on your own you could rise through the ranks like crazy but you're here with us and we're just holding you back...!!"
Those words became the spark that lit the kindling aflame and soon everyone started crying one after another while some fell to their knees and began striking the floor with their fists. Only Yggdrasil Guildy stood firm but even she had tears streaming across her cheeks.
"Really everyone! Again with this!?"
Yggdrasil Guildy pats the shoulders of each and everyone of them who have fallen to the floor where their eyes would meet hers as she comforts them.
"I'm just so happy to have you all here with me. I don't care about some silly promotions!"
"But when that one gets here this mission is going to be passed off as one of her achievements isn't it!? That's just not fair!"
"That bastard Phoenix Guildy! He's the one who came and picked a fight with us! Ally of justice my ass! Fuck that shitty bird!!"
"It was one of ours he took out so it should be us that do the avenging!!"
They had no way to take out their anger on Phoenix Guildy.
"But that's just fine isn't? All we need to do is keep a lookout once we found him so let's take it easy! ...Yes, it's painful to have watched one of our own go like that but that's how things are fated to play out for us."
"Even if we can bear with it, Sensei you...!!"
No matter how much Yggdrasil Guildy consoles them, her students simply cannot come to terms with the trouble they cause her and the promotions she's been passed over for because of them. In spite of that, she still remonstrates them with patience.
"...Everyone, you girls can do anything if you set your mind to it. I just know it. By taking you all as my students, I have a monopoly on the elite warriors of the future."
Yggdrasil Guildy. She may be an elemarian of dimunitive size but the love she holds within her is immensely vast. Patiently guiding along these youths ostracised by society she treats them like they were her own personal affairs that needed to be attended to. Nobody but an adult with the disposition to teach properly would be capable of this.
"It's not just you guys, I love me some shipping too. And the thing is, I already blundered things up once before so moving up through the ranks has always been out of the question."
"*Sniff*... Sorry... Senseii!!"
"We were just being stupid!"
So as to not let their hearts break any further than this, everyone wipes away their tears and gets back up.
"You're such good girls! You're all my precious students!!"
...This would the 30th time this sort of exchange has happened. This unit has turned it into an artform.
"At any rate, it's all just because those guys are so petty! They have plenty of their own delusions but when we do have our shipping fun they go and say stuff like "Seriously, please stop!" and we end up having to apologize for it! It's not like we were doing it in front of the actual people themselves!"
"Tell it like it is!". "The inside of our heads is our absolute territory!". These were heard out in the hall.
"Don't worry about it! I have a friend whose affinity is Boys' Love and she lives doing whatever she likes!!"
By nonchalantly telling them of her friend she brings them ease. That was Yggdrasil Guildy's kindness.
"Still, it's a real pain that twintail warriors are all girls isn't it? I think that if we leave no stone unturned in all the parallel worlds we'll be sure to find a male who possesses strong twintail elemera. I'd love for the day to come where we can ship such a person with all the elemarians out there."
"Haha! Sensei, if there really were such an extraordinary person out there, the leader wouldn't keep quiet about it."
Rafflesia Guildy smiles bitterly at the notion.
...yes. Such an existence was extraordinarily scarce.
Having that dangerously near miss come up in their during their idle chatter, the elemarians of No Bul Club continue on with said friendly chatter...
Loel had a guest room within the castle prepared for us so we took the chance to have a short rest.
Twoearle folds up her notebook computer and places her devices atop the unbalanced table with the curved legs.
"We've been attacked a lot today... I thought to contact Captain Miharu and tell her to meet up with us but since it looks like we'll be able to progress along with events without a mother around I changed my mind and decided it would be better to let her remain in the StarTwoearle."
"What do you mean by events...?"
Well, the inside of the Star Twoearle is basically a shelter so it would really be safer for her to stay there instead of coming here. But still, wouldn't she be afraid having to stay in an unknown place all alone? ...Yeah, probably not. I bet she'll find some part of that thrilling in a way and enjoy herself.
"And now our suspicions have been cleared up as well. That Phoenix Guildy guy is a traitor to Ultimaguil and therefore isn't acting on their orders. That means the whole prohibiting twintails and allowing ponytails instead is probably him doing whatever he pleases."
"And No Bul Club had been chasing after Phoenix Guildy who had appeared in this world and that merited the deployment of an entire unit here."
But what bothers me is how Yggdrasil Guildy stteled down the attack that her subordinates lead. That strength she had. Did she come to fight a one on one duel so that no casualties would come from her unit? Or could it be that... Before the fight could happen, there was a bigger problem she need to take care of?
I glance over to Aika to see how she's doing and I find her sitting up on the bed hugging her knees in melancholy. She's been like that since after the fight with Rafflesia Guildy. Occasionally, she would lift up her arm close to her nose and take a whiff of herself.
"I told you that it's fine! You really don't have to keep smelling yourself over and over to make sure!!"
Probably having gotten sick of it, Twoearle doesn't even tease her and seriously tries to raise Aika's spirit.
"B-But Souji, you heard her didn't you? She said..."
"That she smelled something from you right? I'm not really picking anything up other than some nice scents from your shampoo and that sort of stuff though."
I was hoping to cheer her up with that but instead it made Aika's whole face go completely red and she curled her body inwards even more.
"Aika. She was an elmarian with the Fragrance affinity after all. It's likely that her power complimented her sense of smell so well that she's got a dog-like sensitivity. Humans are going to smell so long as they so don't worry about it."
"But why me? She only said so about me..."
Why her... yeah. Aika's in a dangerous spot. This isn't merely a case of her losing her will to fight. She's been completely traumatized by this.
"You can be counted on when you fight against perverted ones so what are you doing acting so maiden-like at a time like this Aika-san!?"
Seeing Twoearle not taking advantage of chances like this to vent her grudges like usual really makes the two of them out to be best friends. It's reassuring to see that. Rather than a guy like me handling this, Twoearle can take care of this matter more delicately since she's a girl herself.
"You may be in this sort of state Aika-san but this looks like it will become quite the intense battle. We are in urgent need of bolstering our fighting power so every please come over here."
At Twoearle's beckoning, me, Erina and Sakuragawa-sensei gather around the bed that Aika sat on.
"Aika-san. Erina-san. Please lend me your Tailbraces."
Aika removes her Tailbrace from her right hand and gies it a light sniff before handing it over.
"I told you that you smell fine!!"
Taking the brace from her, Twoearle patiently explains something to Aika the way a parent would admonish their child.
"I explained to you before that the Tailbrace normally behaves like air haven't I!? As long as you don't touch it purposefully, particles will simply pass right through it! Your own body may reek of beastly odours but no such smells would ever come off the brace Aika-san!!"
...she didn't have a reply for that. It doesn't look like she'll be getting over this one and back up with so little time and effort.
Twoearle prepares a device that resembled a dish washing machine. She opens up the front facing visor-esque lid, puts in both tailbraces and connects her notebook computer to it with a cord. She types away at it with light taps as she were playing a piano and the equipment begins vibrating weakly as she puts on her programming performance.
Minutes pass us by. Twoearle opens up the lid and returns both tailbraces back to their owners. She puffs out her chest, full of confidence.
"I have added a more refined Elemeration equipment to them, Elemeraddition!"
Erina repeats after her.
It seems to be an update for the tailgear's functionality.
"When I analyzed Arachne Guildy's Girl's Boy elemera I discovered that it had the ability to merge the abilities of two other affinities together. I originally wanted to develop all new equipment for this but the output was too unstable for it to work. Consequently, I attempted hybridisation with a second elemera."
So she's taking the best of both elemeras then. I ask Twoearle about it.
"Hybridisation you say... So what's the other one?"
"Snail Guildy's Transexual elemera. It's similar and yet the polar opposite to it. It's polar opposite and yet similar. The two complimented one another and that made this strengthening possible."
Twoearle tone then turns apologetic,
"Unfortunately Souji-sama, due to the power of Red's Progress Barettas that allows for the transformation of the tailgear beyond my initial plans, I am afraid that I cannot risk adding this equipment to your tailbrace. I apologize for that."
I figured something like that was the reason when she only took the two of theirs. It makes me feel like I'm the one should be apologizing instead.
"Yeah, it's okay. I'm not all that good with using elemera orbs in battle anyway. So, how does it work?"
"Elemeraddition, is a feature that allows for the simultaneous activation of two elemera orb abilities at once. You will be able to make use of the effects of both elemera at the same time and if the compatibility between them proves to be high enough then they may potentially give rise to a new hybridised power between them."
Sounds like a pretty complicated function but Erina seems to have grasped the gist of it all.
"So should I fly with the Ribbon elemera, I shall also be able to use the School Swim gravity manipulation elemera alongside it as well then."
So that means they'd be able to use another elemera orb without cancelling out the first one. Aika uses them quite often so this is especially useful for her.
"Twoearle-san, would I be able to pair any two affinities together with this equipment?"
Erina poses the question and Twoearle notes that she expected her to catch that.
"Yes, but there is a weakpoint to it. Id you were to pair two affinities that were polar opposites and their compatibilities with one another proves to be bad then you will not be able to make continuous usage of them."
With more information that needs remembering I immediately shoot a question.
"Polar opposites... like?"
"At present the best example would be the Cowtits and Flatchest elemera."
Erina raises a counterpoint to that without a moment's delay.
"But we have used a combination technique of the two before this."
Twoearle nods and presents an easy to understand answer.
"That was because Blue and Yellow used them separately on their own and that allowed for the combination technique to succeed. In the event one person were to activate both simultaneously, the two elemera would repel each other and would not be able to maintain pairing."
So that's it. An outwardly powerful easy to use piece of complicated equipment.
"To activate it, you must first activate the either the Girl's Boy or Transexual elemera with elemeration. From there, the amplification equipment will install itself on the tailgear. However, please note that the ability is incredibly taxing for the tailgear so make sure to limit its usage to only once per day. It is very much an ace in the hole."
Erina immeidately starts listing down all the elemera orbs we have in our possessions right now and starts matching them all up as if to calculate the odds between any twoof them.
"Since I cannot input the startup command for Elemeraddition with the tools I have on hand, I will be returning to the Startwoearle for a time. I would like to have it ready in time for the next battle."
I glance to my side and see Sakuragawa-sensei diligently listening to the explanation as well. She pays a surprising amount of attention to the technical stuff as well. She must be doing it for Erina.
...or she just wants to feel like part of the team thanks to that lonesome nature of hers.
Once Twoearle finishes her explanation, Aika who was crucial to this and seemed to have listened along absentmindedly to Twoearle's words, hangs her head down with a heavy air about her. Twoearle grabs her by the shoulders and shakes her somewhat forcefully and spits out unkind verbal abuse right into her ears.
"ENOUGH ALREADY! Don't worry so much about what you smell like Aika-san! You are an existence must want to understand if there is any point to you being alive at all when you obsess over that excessively flat chest of yours!! Right, Souji-sama!?"
"Huh? Y-yeah. What's wrong Aika? The usual you would be way more bothered about your chest than how you smell right?"
It was here that I stood on the receiving end of two or three of her punches as she blasted Twoearle away to bits. Having gotten her to move like that, Aika should have also forgotten about those unpleasant things now.
"...How I smell... That's going to bother me too you know..."
"What is with that absolutely no good show of femininity!!? Come at me! Go berserk already!!"
"...no...I'll definitely sweat if I do..."
Seeing this complete change in Aika, Twoearle gushes ectoplasm from her mouth and collapses to the floor.
What can we do to fix this?
The two of them were supposed to get new equipment but while Erina's eagerly coming up with as many combinations as she can, Aika's in a funk, a real serious one at that.
The bath for guests here hadn't been used in quite some time but the castle maids cleaned it up in the blink of eye and drew the hot water for me. Even Sakuragawa-sensei acknowledged their work with a "Not half bad". My turn came last after the Erina and Sakuragawa-sensei, Aika and then Twoearle.
It's for guests but it's the actual thing was the size of a public bath at a bath-house. The marble pillars that stood erect in lines as it were a temple of some sort evoked the feeling of being in another country perfectly.
I soak myself in the milky white hot water which eased my fatigue with particular effectiveness. As I do I make out the entrance door opening beyond the steamy vapors in the air. A silhouette of a person stood there.
"...huh, is it one of the maids?"
Did one of the maids come here thinking that everyone had already taken their bathes? She hadn't come in yet so I try to tell her about the mistake but,
"Erm, Mitsuka-kun... Please turn the other way please!"
The owner of that voice was someone I would not have expected.
"Erina!? Didn't you already come in earlier!?"
When I realized that the silhouette within the steam was starting give way to skin, I turn around at full speed.
"I am sorry... But, I thought that I would not get the chance to talk with you alone if it we did not do it here..."
I take a tiny glance back and I could see that Erina's twintails spoke of her seriousness.
"I will not be undoing my twintails. I realize it would be improper manners to let them just float on the water but..."
I'd be relieved if the two of us were both immersed in the bath waters and couldn't see each others body. They were tied up with rubberbands instead of their usual ribbons but Erina's twintails were unmistakably still intact. That much proves that she has something very important she wants to talk about. It'd be rude of me to get so embarassed when she's come to me with something like that.
Erina asks me to turn around once more.
"Could we, lean against one another's backs...?"
"Ah... sure. What do you want to talk about?"
With our backs up against each other I could feel a warmth separate from the bath... That was Erina's body heat coming across. We stayed there like that for some time in silence without seeing the other's face.
"It is all so strange, isn't it? The amount of land and sea here is vastly different but the planet is of the same size as the Earth. The night sky and the moon here appear no different from how they do in our own world..."
Just as Erina says, the half moon in the night sky shines down on us through the bathroom's skylight.
"What do you suppose is the right thing for us to do for this world...?"
Perhaps it was the work of the moon's gentle light but Erina is at ease now and brings up that matter.
"Let us say that we defeat both Phoenix Guildy and the entirety of No Bul Club. If we do so, wouldn't the removal of one of the units under their leader's direct command lead to drawing attention to this world and even more powerful elemarians would be sent here as consequence? It would be the same as what happened in our world..."
Wouldn't it result in a cycle of fighting? It seems that Erina feared as such.
"True... But like I said before, I don't think we can just leave this world the way it is."
Loel loves twintails more than anyone else of this world but she was forced to prohibit them by her own hand. For that little girl who kept on fighting to have to bear the absurdity of this world herself... I won't stand for it.
The townsfolk looked so happy to see Lolory fight. She believed that the fighting would one day come to an end. The people may have accepted the law so they wouldn't trouble their princess but... It's painful to have your freedom taken from you out of fear for your invaders.
"A unit has already completely withdrawn once from this world. I'm sure that if we beat all the elemarians in this world the fighting will finally be over. This world got caught up in some internal strife within Ultimaguil but that doesn't that this is an invasion."
The best outcome is if Phoenix Guildy fled from the world out of fear of his pursuers but... that guy just told them to come at him instead. We probably won't be able to avoid fighting.
"At the very least, it's fine if we just drive those guys out of here. Let's give it our best shot Erina."
"Mitsuka-kun, you are strong aren't you..."
With her back up against mine, I could feel her heartbeat. Her heart seems to have started beating a little bit faster.
"I don't know if I will be of any use to you and the others..."
"What are you saying? You've helped out a lot already Erina."
"Tsube-san is feeling depressed right now but I don't know what I should do to make her feel better. As her teammate... as her friend, I want us to be able to support each other in times like these. Just like how Twoearle-san does. Being able to get hit without reservation, able to shout at one another..."
There's the matter of degrees to what she's saying but I knew I wasn't the only one who smiled watching those two fight.
"I understand that you and Tsube-san are childhood friends so it is to be expected for you two to be familiar with each other but Tsube-san and Twoearle-san have only met recently, and not very long before we did at that..."
"Didn't Aika already tell you before? She was able to pull herself back up and get out there at one point because of you. You don't need to rush it and just let yourselves get closer naturally over time."
"...yes, you are right. It would do no good to force it..."
I feel Erina's back shake with a jolt against mine.
"So-someone is coming in!"
"Who is it this time!?"
"Wh-what should I do? If any of the other girls find me in the middle of doing a stunt as outrageous as this I would... *pant pant*..."
Erina must be panicking. Her breathing's going wild.
"Erina, hide behind me!"
Seeing no other way, I have Erina hide between my back and the wall it faces. The door opens the very next instant and I see a small silhouette beyond the steam.
"Oniichan! Let's take a bath together!"
"The thing is, Loel has something Loel wants to talk to Oniichan about alone!"
Loel's also sporting a simple change to her intact sidetail so it doesn't hang down.
"Don't worry, Loel is wearing bathwear after all."
"Yeah, in that case..."
I won't need to turn around. And before that she is just a kid anyway. Just when I started to feel at ease though, I nealized that there lengths of floating hair cling to me.
Crap! Erina's twintals are floating on the surface! She hid her head but not her twintails!?
I grab hold of Erina's twintails as gently as I can and pull them down into the water.
I can feel my arm getting grabbed too in the water and let out a yelp. There was a slight sense of horror to this. Erina's pulling hard on my arm as if she were trying to demand something from me.
Was it too painful for her to bear without holding on to me? At any rate, I hope her breathing doesn't get any more wild than it already is out of fear of being busted for this.
Still, this is unexpected. I would have thought Loel would jump right in completely naked without minding anything at all. She's wearing bathwear out of consideration and isn't jumping in with a splash but properly making her way in the way one would enter a public bath. I guess that's a princess for you.
Loel faces towards me and falls to her knees to sit down.
"...Oniichan, please marry Loel and stay here in this world forever."
With my nerves strained elsewhere, Loel throws those earnest feelings of hers at me.
"Loel is serious about this. Loel wants to marry Oniichan."
"That's... sorry, that's just impossible..."
Loel looks down sadly. This little girl however thought first of protecting her world without a trace of ill will to her. She probably wanted to marry me so she could welcome me as the next strong successor for the crown. If things were better this would be a matter of highest priority but the sisters even considered the matter of succession too. She was going to put herself up for a political marriage. I can't approve of a painful decision like that.
"Ryruna may be acting shy about it but she really does like you Oniichan. She may say the opposite of what she thinks but she's really a good girl behind that. Loel thinks that she may even like the idea of her and Loel both being married together with you Oniichan."
Almost like she saw right through my head, she puts Ryruna's feelings on the table as well and remains all the more intent on doing so. Somehow, she's gotten frightfully talkative.
Erina was shaking and it was getting through her twintails. I desperately shook my body around as well hoping to cover that up as well as I could. But saying nothing as I do so, I seem to have hurt Loel even more with my actions... Actually, aren't Erina's twintails a bit too good? Transmitting her shaking like this.
"So it's no good no matter what?"
"Yeah. That much is too much for me. You fought hard because you love this world right, Loel? I'm the same way. I love my world too. That's why... I have to go home."
Seeing Loel now on the verge of tears makes me want to run away. Wanting to say something to console her I unthinkingly lean forward - and I ended up pulling along Erina's twintails that I held onto in my hands.
I force a sneeze to cover Erina's voice. Rather than getting worked up, my nerves have been on end since just now and I can't stop sweating. I can't stop sweating cold sweat.
I noticed some slightly off things about Loel since she came into the bath but now that I'm leaning forward closer to her like this, it all becomes strikingly clear to me. I ask her to be sure of this.
"...you're... Ryruna aren't you?"
"Wha!? Wha-what are you... saying!?"
Looking resigned after making that all too clear giveaway Loel, no, Ryruna glares at me bitterly.
"Woooo... How did you find out!?"
Putting aside that she'd look identical just by swapping which side she tied her hair on, she definitely had Loel's speech and mannerisms down perfectly. However, she herself may not be able to see those tiny discrepancies but I did and that's what clued me in.
"...it was your sidetail. Ryruna, you're completely used to it so it's perfectly balanced as well. Loel however... probably gathers the weight of her hair into it to one side so her neck bends at a little bit of an angle."
When one sticks to the same hairstyle for years on end they'd have found a way to keep it properly balanced even if it was a sidetail so if someone switched to a new style for a few months it's not at all unreasonable for them still not be familiar enough with it to achieve that. On top of that, when they combine, Lolory's twintails are perfectly symmetrical so it made that unfamiliarity stand out more noticeably under normal circumstances.
"You said that you like ponytails too right Ryruna? That's why I figured that you were used to wearing your hair in a sidetail even before it all started."
We found two large elemera signatures during our search. Seeing the sister combine I thought for sure that both of them were twintail affinities but... she's used to it. Could it be that Ryruna's actually...
A smile that held both exasperation and admiration to it forms on Ryruna's face and she shrugs her shoulders at me.
"You really do have to love twintails to pay so much attention to that. So that's how it was. I didn't think my being accustomed to sidetails would give me away... You see, my hobby is mimic Anesama. I thought I was doing it perfectly enough that no once could tell... I just didn't notice that there was such a small difference there."
I get that people have all kinds of hobbies but is that really such a good hobby for her to have?
"However, Anesama really does want to marry you. I just poked my nose where I shouldn't have. Keep this a secret from her, alright?"
"Yeah, of course I will."
The two of them really treasure one another. Ryruna then goes completely red in the face with a start as as she starts panicking in the steaming hot water.
"D-D-Don't get me wrong! What I said earlier! When I said that I liked you I was just saying it because Anesama's so kind and would probably follow up with that! That was just a perfect imitation of Anesama!!"
"I get it. You can calm down."
Rather than smiling about her confidence in following up the way her sister would it was more out of the assurance in her sister saying she's a good girl.
"Just what is it with you...! You act like you're so used to dealing with women at times. I don't like it one bit! I just haven't had any men around me until now. If I just get a little bit more used to having men all around me, I know I'll have my fingers wrapped around them all too easily!!"
Something... about that isn't quite right.
"Well that's only because I turn into a girl when I fight. I just got a bit used to it."
Ryruna gives me a strained smile. Must be because she recalled Tail Red's form.
"I see... So that was it."
Ryruna comes closer to me and looks at me with sweet upturned eyes. It's ironic but she's doing it exactly the way Loel does without needing to imitate her.
"Souji! I beg you! Please stay...! I'll even call you oniichan! I'll be your little sister! And also... To uphold the law means I would need to marry you... I-I will devote myself to you too! So please, stay in this world forever...!!"
Erina must be getting dizzy from coming into the bath a second time. She pressed her head on my back and it didn't feel like she did it to stay hidden. Because of that, Ryruna's desperate pleas just aren't finding their way into my head at all.
"And Aika was just so strong! Even if you weren't there the world would still be protected wouldn't it!?"
"Ryruna. It's not about distributing our fighting power or any mechanical sort of thing. I want to protect my world. Aika, Erina and Twoearle all feel the same way too. It's not that I don't want to remain here in this world. We love our world the same way you love yours... We want to protect them."
And on the other end, I can feel Erina's breathing getting more shallow and a some giggling was mixed in with them. Things are getting dangerous here.
"Your comrades have no idea just how blessed they are! No matter how strong they may be, there's no hope if they only have women on their side... It's enough to crush you...! No matter how foolish the enemies may get, not being able to see the end of the fight in sight is scary! The two of us are twin sisters so we share the same fears... Courage isn't something we can give each other!!"
"...yeah, sorry. It's just like you said and I can only say this because I'm in a lucky place. It's because we fight together and have friends to back me up that I can..."
So showing off their fights to their people wasn't just to give the masses courage but also to overcome that sense of helplessness too. It's just that they can felt those expectations mounted on them and felt obligated to answer them. So they kept on fighting like that. The two of them are two warriors in one, and their twintails had no one to turn to when they needed someone to rely on. I can't imagine how scary that must have felt.
Twoearle... she fought a lonely battle too. She must have felt the same anxiety. And it's not just them. Even now, all the other twintail warriors out there in all the worlds they're fighting in must feel the same...
"Before we go, we'll make sure to get every single last one them in this world. It won't be much but I want to take away some of those worries have. You can count on me to do all it takes. Tell me you understand that Ryruna."
These are once in a lifetime twintails and I'll make sure to protect them. That's what I... what we decided to do.
"Ngh... Souji... don't! I don't want you to go back!!"
Overcome with emotion, Ryruna jumps into my chest... But our eyes were drawn to what was floating off to my side.
...it was someone's bottom.
Someone's bottom was floating on the water's surface.
"UWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Souji's butt separated from him and is floating awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!"
"Sorry but that butt belongs to my teammate! Looks like it wasn't just her twintails, I needed to hide her butt too!!"
Thoroughly hardboiled, Erina's twintails and bottom were just plopping atop the water's surface. Panicking, I made to help her up but then I remembered that Erina was currently stark naked. The bright redness and complete lack of eroticism slowed delayed my judgment but seeing her bottom was a big no no to begin with!
"Ryruna! I need you to help Erina up for me!"
Ryruna props Erina up by the shoulder once she realized she was there but then,
"...su-such a depraved scoundrel you are! For men and women to bathe together before marriage is against the law!"
Coming down on me with same harsh stabbing manner she originally met me with, I struck back at her.
"Then that means you were one that took the initiative in breaking that law!!"
"Silence! I have a duty to keep the law and order of this world in place of my father! A man and a woman coincidentally meeting in the bath by chance and mutually assenting to that just by chance is not an excuse I will hear of!!"
Just what is this little girl saying...
Pop. So went a a small bubble that found itself floating up to the surface. Wearing only a pair of goggles, Twoearle suddenly bursts out of the water with a splash.
"Phuh... I knew it. This loli really is far too precocious for me not to watch out for."
Naked Goggles is a fashion two whole centuries ahead of its time for my retinas to take in so I cover up my eyes with my now emptied hands.
"What is the matter with you!? How long you been underwater for!?"
"Baths are exceedingly defenceless spaces. They are places where gentlement let their guards down and expose their entirety out in the open. The ability to submerge underwater is simply a basic skill all girls have."
She didn't answer the question at all but it's clear that she's been down there longer than I want to think about.
"Oh my. I certainly saw some wonderful things! Here you are Erina-san, it's a deluxe cooling sheet."
I'm quite thankful that she came to aid of this dizzied Erina. She may pull all these outrageous stunts, very casually at that, but Twoearle still makes sure to be there for us when we need help.
...still, there is no way that one didn't hear all this ruckus.
"Wh-what are you all doing...!?"
The bathroom door slams opens once more, hard enough to make me think it's off its hinges, and a quaking Aika enters the room. Completely clothed.
Once Twoearle finishes applying the sheet on Erina's forehead she points at Aika and laughs.
"Hyahahahaha! While you were sniffing yourself and crying about how you smelled like flatchested loser you are, I was getting perfect focus on some pistils and stamen!! Tonight's dream is going be a good one!!"
"...then you can go on and keep dreaming till the end of time!!"
Her eyes narrowing down to triangles, Aika leaps into the bath and waterwalks with desperate speed of one trying to avoid envious startes of old ladies at a swimming school over to Twoearle and grabs hold of her.
Like a sunfish making its splashdown after jumping, Twoearle makes a splish splashing sound as she is struck against the bath floor.
Aika's completely back to her usual self.
...So that's it. Twoearle wanted to bring Aika back to normal so she put on this little show.
"Twoearle. Thank you."
Gratitude wells up within me towards Twoearle as the sounds of her flailing steadily take on a harder quality.
Aboard No Bul Club's transport ship and inside a room barren of anything save for it current occupants, Yggdrasil Guildy and Rafflesia Guildy. No other suboordinates were there with them. Their discussion was to be kept secret.
Rafflesia Guildy inquires back.
"Yes. Everyone's bothered about having the glory get snatched away aren't they? The one who needs achievements isn't me though. We'll have eveybody in No Bul Club can snag a huge achievement. If we do that everybody will stop crying about hating themselves won't they?"
Rafflesia Guildy did not conceal her confusion at Yggdrasil Guildy's sudden suggestion. Everyone in the unit cried and laughed even today. She had assumed that it would end the way it always does.
"I do not know why the Twintails have shown up in this world but they have the same objective as us don't they? In that case, why not...?"
Yggdrasil Guildy speaks of surprisngly bold things on occasion.
"But the Twintails are fighting the unit under Dark Grasper's immediate supervision. If we tried anything to snatch things away from her that woman is going say all sorts of messed up things to get us to tell her our email addresses."
"Daasan is going to ask for email addresses regardless so it'll be alright."
There was nothing she could say to that. Thinking of it, one would get the feeling that Dark Grasper is actually much more isolated than strays such as themselves as the only human in the organization.
"We were the ones who were attacked. If we fight out of self-defense and win then there'll be nothing more that can be said after."
"I get that but what do we do if we egg them into a fight and they hit back hard?"
"It'll be fine. I'll make it so they won't get the chance."
"! Sensei, don't tell me you..."
Yggdrasil Guildy nods in affirmation, her eyes brimmed with determination running deep.
"But that... didn't the leader forbid you from using it?"
"It is a dangerous technique with no gain to be found for Ultimaguil. But, even if it does cost us a fair bit, defeating the twintails will more than make up for it."
To go pick flowers for them, Yggdrasil Guildy would cross a perilous bridge.
"The Twintails' elemera... Rafflesia Guildy-chan, we'll combine everyone's power and take victory for ourselves."
"All of us are quite the crybabies aren't we? But from here onwards, we absolutely can't let ourselves cry, okay?"
Shaking off the tears, Rafflesia Guildy resolves herself.
"Got it! Please make sure to keep yourself safe too sensei!!"
With a flash of her longcoat, Rafflesia Guildy leaves the room.
They weren't going to have flowers picked for them. They were going to pay her back. It was time for them to go pick the biggest flower they could get for their beloved teacher.
The morning after, I got dressed and go to meet with the others outside my room.
I was the only one who stayed in a different room but the I kept hearing sounds of a ruckus going on in the next room Aika and the rest stayed in. They were still going at it by the time I dozed off.
A Erina pops out by herself and I give here a greeting.
"Morning Erina. Did you sleep well?"
"No, but I did have fun last night. It was similar to being on a school trip!"
"Twoearle was flying around instead of a pillow though."
With that tidbit from Sakuragawa-sensei I can come up with a basic picture of what went on. Twoearle and Aika couldn't have gotten more than a scant few moments of lull to catch some sleep but the two of were already up and at it.
"Why did Souji-sama have to be put in a different room!? A love affair on a trip... There wasn't even a speck of the basic feeling for it at all!"
"You reaaaaaaaallly have a bottomless pit of stamina in you don't you!? You knew that I'd throw you down any number of times so why didn't you think of just giving up and go to bed!?"
"I was about to say the same of you, you stubborn brute! If I don't make any progress this time I will lose favor with captain Miharu once again! It's about time my season came and I get to knock one out of the park!!"
The bags were growing heavier under their eyes but they still kept on playing around till morning came. They sure are an energetic bunch. At any rate, I'm glad that Aika's gotten back into gear. It's reassuring to see that.
Loel had secretly come to my room last night with a proposal. I share that with everyone. Incidentally, Loel was so surprised by the sound of slamming against the wall(Twoearle was most likely Twoearle behind that) that she took off right after.
"Everyone, Loel said, "We'll be going to the castletown after breakfast tomorrow so why don't you all come with us?". "
Aika and Erina consented to it.
"We only got to see what was there during Lolory's fight before we pulled out so it wouldn't be so bad to take some time to see the sights."
"Yes. I shall be joining along as well."
It must be because of what she said about needing to make final adjustments to the Elemeraddition but Twoearle suggests an alternative course of action instead.
"In that case I will be returning back to the Star Twoearle at once. Come with me please Mikoto-san."
Before anyone can point out that it'd be dangerous for her to go alone, Twoearle nominates Sakuragawa-sensei.
"Why me!? I want to take a stroll through the castle town too!!"
Sakuragawa-sensei fusses ever so immaturely.
"You were the one who said you were our club advisor so at least live up to being a bodyguard! Just what exactly am I supposed to do if I get attacked by gorillas again!?"
"But you know I can't transform ..."
"That's exactly why I want you to come! Mikoto-san does not have the twintail affinity so there's a low risk of being attacked by elemarians. I am counting on your skills as a bodyguard!"
I see. Rather than having one of the three of us send her off, it'd be much safer to do it that way. We can't risk having anything less than the full battle roster ready in case they attack.
Sakuragawa-sensei puts up resistance, falteringly.
"But I... Are we even going to be able to hold a conversation with just the two of us? It'll be painfully awkward if we get silent on each other..."
"That is some half-baked dose of reality you're going with! Well have no fear, I'll make sure to lord my overwhelming youthfulness over you out loud all the way there!!"
"Yeah... I don't know why exactly but I just don't feel like there's much in you for me to feel envious about. It's like you don't give off the youthful vibe that Tsube and the rest do. My lifelong honed instincts are telling me as much."
With her 28 years of instinct drawing upon Twoearle's loathing contempt all too easily, Sakuragawa-sensei gets forced into coming along with her and they leave.
In this world with a single nation and a pair of cute twins for princesses, a battle for the safety of the world was being fought by those princesses.
With that setup alone, there's no way they wouldn't see popularity. You'd think there was a parade going on with how they're reacting to Loel and Ryruna simply walking around the town. And as expected most of the onlookers are in ponytails.
"Princess! You were so cool yesterday!!"
While the knights kept their way through clear for them, Loel and Ryruna smiled for the people shouting on for them. Aika and Erina walked in pace immediately behind the knights so they were probably being taken as exceptions by Ryruna so it was naturaly that they didn't show any odd reactions this time around. I did think to brrow the portable imagine chaff from twoearle but I'm just glad that we didn't cause a stir.
Of course, they were still considered very rare sights in this world so there was no avoiding the attention. And rather than looks of curiosity their gazes looked more akin to yearning. For these people, twintails were probably reminding them of the fact that they're being invaded. I don't like that twintails are being seen in such a way.
I hear a voice call out from behind and I turn around. He was some distance away from me but there stood a diminunitive old man with full white beard waving at me to come over.
'Me?' so I point to myself and he nods, smiling. I tell Erina that I'll carch up in a bit and head over to the old man.
"Err hello, do you need me for something?"
The old man looks at not me but Aika and Erina's backs... no, twintails, and says,
"You all... Did perhaps come from another world?"
I wasn't sure if I should be honest with him so my words falter for an answer. He seems to see through me as he speaks on in a kindly manner.
"Their twintails sure are lively. We don't see girls like them in this world anymore."
...he's quite the perceptive one. I don't confirm it for him but I ask him what I've been wanting to ask the residents of this world.
"Pardon my asking sir, but do you think that prohibiting twintails was a painful thing to do?"
The old man turns his eyes up at the sky.
"That it was. Even as old as I am now, I still enjoyed watching twintails... However, it was done for the sake of the world's peace. If the world my grandkids get to live in is a happy one I can go on without them."
"...I see... Sorry sir. It was a stupid question."
For the sake of coming world, they'll give up on twintails in the present one. Would I be able to make that sort of decision...?
"Fofofo, it is fine young man. I still have my number one. I've always loved mature ladies ever since I was a mere lad and that's nothing so strange for me now as an old timer. I'll just have to spend my remaining years admiring them instead. Lad... Would you care to discuss those ladies with me?"
"I'm afraid I'll have to decline."
"Honestly. Not appreciating the charms of a much older woman just shows how green you are."
"Well I am young..."
"The world looks very different when you love mature women from a young age lad."
I bet it does.
"Thanks for taking the time to listen to this old timer's ramblings. The word on the grapevine has it that the princess has been calling for aid from people of other worlds... I was wondering if that were true."
"No, I was glad to have talked with you too."
That was supposed to be top secret... Just where did he hear that from? Still, hearing it come from someone else puts my heart at ease. I was worried about what the people really thought of Loel and Ryruna but it looks like it was for nothing. I'm sure that the little princess fighting to protect their people helps leep their spirits up. Anyone would understand the harship they have to go through and they would accept it.
Like the old man, I cast my gaze up to the sky. It was clear blue without a single cloud to be found. That clear blue sky...
Suddenly turns scarlet red.
Red colored particles suddenly starts snowing down on us. At first I thought it might have been part of a town event but it wasn't long before I started hearing people screaming in anguish and it dawned on me what they might actually be.
They looked just like the pollen that was coming out from the No Bul Club elemarians when they were acting entranced by what I was telling them. But just how exactly were they spreading them about? I looked to all corners of therr sky and all I could see was that they were falling everywhere uniformly.
The old man suddenly starts falling to his feet as he held a hand onto his chest. I head over to him in a panic.
"What is this... I loved mature women so much... But now I don't feel anything towards them anymore... A hole is opening up in my heart... Oh the older ladies... the older ladies..."
The old man loses consciousness as he mumbles about older ladies deliriously.
"Are these particles causing this!?"
I lay the old man up against a wall and run towards Aika and the others. The people all around are fainting and collapsing to the ground just like the old man did. I don't have the luxury of helping them out one at a time.
"Aika! Erina! Are you guys okay!?"
"Souji! We've got trouble!"
I catch up to them and the women knights were down on the ground acting like they were stricken anaemia. Besides them was a Lolory fused from the two sisters, her face was pale as a sheet and she was on her knees. The only ones who were left standing without a problems were just us three.
Without getting up, Lolory grabs hold onto the sleeve of my pants and looks up at me.
"...Oniichan... These particles, they're taking everyone's elemera away... Lolory made it so that they wouldn't take anymore away but it still hurts..."
One of the knights groans in pain.
"Wetting herself... My memory of the princess wetting herself have gone... Don't go..."
That might be what's coming from the knight's heart but it's best she doesn't speak about such an uncommonly unique affinity in front of her coleagues.
...At any rate it looks like their elemera really is being stolen. Could these particles... Do they have the same effect as the giant elemera stealing rings they have!?
Twoearle and Sakuragawa-sensei should have reached the Star Twoearle by now. I take out the fearsome phone capable of connecting to other worlds and call Twoearle up. For some reason, it was Sakuragawa-sensei's voice that I heard first.
["Hey Mitsuka! Wait till you hear this! We spotted a huge school of fish with legs growing out of them stampeding away on the way here. I got a picture of them so I'll show it you later."]
["Give that here Mikoto-san! ... Souj-sama, I have a grasp over the situation. Right now this world's elemera is being stolen bit by bit!!"]
I figured Twoearle would say that but I was hoping that it just here and nowhere else.
"But the twintail elemera hasn't been spread everywhere around the world yet right!? Not everyone should have enough of the elemera to the point where it can be manifested into being stolen right!? "
They'd just be taking away the hidden away feelings they'd have for the outlawed twintails. All the other affinities would just be whatever they could get their hands on. They're not even taking the strength of the affinities into account anymore.
["Exactly. This would be like going out of their way to harvest completely unripe fruit... There is no point in them doing so. No, if there was one then it'd be..."]
No Bul Club, They did say that they'd get us back for their fallen comrade but I didn't think they would go so far as to attack indiscriminately like this.
["Whatever the case may be, it doesn't seem to have the same level of coercive power as their ring. Souji-sama and the rest are fine thanks your tailbraces and those of us in the Star Twoearle are fine as well."]
But even someone with a twintail affinity as powerful as Lolory would still need to fight back against it... Lolory's twintails were covered in the red particles. For these girls who cast aside twintails for the sake of the world to lose the twintails hidden away in their hearts too... I can't let that happen!!
"Twoearle-san! If this pollen is the handiwork of the No Bul Club then there should be a place where they are producing them, correct!?"
Erina's right. If we just go to where they are we can take care of this...!
["Transform and leave the town. You should be able to see it. We can see it from here."]
"Got it! Lolory, you stay here! Don't move a muscle okay!!"
Unable to even reply back to me, it looks like Lolory is exhausted. Aika stares at Lolory and doesn't move from her spot.
"Hey Aika! I understand how you feel but we have to hurry!"
We leave the town and transform where no one would see us. Even the red blue yellow lights from our lined up tailgears come out hazy in this heavy fog of particles. What jumped out at our enhanced vision was something unbelievable.
"Wh-what the heck is that..."
It wasn't there yesterday... No, it wasn't there even when we came down to the town.
An enormous tree that pierced the heavens and towered above all and stood out against the horizon was now there and it was spewing out the pollen.
It was so huge that I didn't recognize immediately but... That was without a doubt the one I saw yesterday. That was Yggdrasil Guildy.
Blue raises her left arm in front of her and presses me on in an urgent tone.
"You activate it too Red! Elemera Orb - Leg!!"
The three us all activate the leg strengthening ability and run through the uninihabited region. Before we could reach the gigantic Yggdrasil Guildy landmarking our destination though, we ran into the assembled elemarian troops of No Bul Club all looking ready to rehash the events from yesterday. We put on our emergency brakes as our boots dig through the ground as we confront the source's conspirators.
"There seems to be fewer of them today..."
I take a closer look over them once Yellow said that and found her observation to be true, there definitely a lot less of them even taking into the account all the ones that got taken out yesterday.
"All right bitches! I wanna hear you shout the gut, got it!?"
Rafflesia Guildy stood at their forefront as she punched her fist up in the air and spurred her underlings on.
"GOT IT ANESAN!!"
They all seem to be off their bikes today. Their raging as they can be voices blast out even louder than yesterday's din and the air shakes from the noise.
"OKAY STABBITY IMPERIAL DRAGONHEADED TWINTAILS! LETS RUMBLE!!"
"They went and made up a punk gang-ish name for us too...!!"
With a flash of her longcoat, Rafflesia Guildy's hand draws in on the metal pipe looking weapon she had on her.
"Rafflesiia Guildy... Just what is this!? What have you done to this world!?"
"Tch... Sensei's...! This is Sensei's secret skill, the deathmist spreading dance "Maximum"! The one who came up with that name was me!!"
As vexed as she sounded saying it, the Rafflesia still seemed to be decidedly proud of it.
"Sensei's went into her final battle form. There ain't nobody who can stop her now. Until this world gets run down to bits, she definitely won't turn back to her original self..."
As if I'm just going to let that happen. I shout out with as much force as I could.
"Don't screw with us! We're putting a stop to this!"
The red pollen had already started piling up on the ground like volcanic ash. It's just like Rafflesia Guildy said, at this rate they'll probably keep falling till the world is completely buried in the stuff.
Intent on getting in our hurried way, Rafflesia Guildy spreads out her arms as if to stop us with them.
"I ain't about to just let you get to Sensei, Stabbity Imperial Dragonheaded Twintails! Once we beat your asses and turn that into our grand triumph, we can live on with our heads held up high in the organization! That's what Sensei wishes for!!"
The little speckles on the flower petals on top of Rafflesia Guildy's head lights up with a strange glow. They speak of the reality of her going out at maximum power.
"...I said to stop screwing around... You're seriously pissing me right off today... You're saying you're not stealing away their elemera to feed and that it's all just so that you can make a show of your existences!? I'm not letting you get away with that!!"
My anger has also similarly reached its maximum point.
"Red. You go take all that anger out on that huge one and thrash it. I can handle all of them here just fine by myself."
Blue activates her Wave Lance and locks glares with Rafflesia Guildy.
"You're going to fight Rafflesia Guildy!? But just yesterday you were still so..."
So as to stop me from saying anything more, Blue thrust her arm out in front of my mouth.
"...just go already. It always turns out this way. Anytime an enemy I'm bad with shows up, you have my back and cover for me by fighting them instead..."
If you're going to say that then I'll ask you just how many times you had mine.
"I have no idea what kind of freaks are going are coming for us from here on out but if I chicken out at something of this level then there's no way I'll be able to fight. I am going to get over my fears with this one. That's why... you need to get going, the both of you."
Even so, for Blue who was bothered as much by her as she was yesterday, this was a battle she needed to overcome. The anger at the irrationality of what they're doing burns intensely alike in all of us.
Me and Yellow nod in tandem and take off running in accordance to Blue's wishes.
"Hey, you love smells don't you? Not stuff like perfumes but the special kinds that come from living things right? In that case I'll be sure to splash life all around so you can take a good whiff of the stuff!"
"How kind of you to share your own blood with us!"
Blue and Rafflesia Guildy kick off the ground at the same time and lock horns with their respective prey.
"Now go! Red! Yellow!!"
"...we're counting on you Blue!!"
The underlings to our side made no move to stop us either. It's clear that they split up their fighting force so they could get hold us back. Yellow and I both make our way to Yggdrasil Guildy running.
"Twoearle! How long do we have before it's too late to return them back where they belong once elemera gets taken away!?"
I ask Twoearle over the comms like I was clinging to her words as we rout the enhanced Ultiroids.
["I-I can't give a set time frame myself but... The longer elemera is separated from their source, the less able they become at being fixed back onto their original bodies. We must take them back as soon as we possible!!"]
So it really did work out that way... We've got no other option but to fight them.
The red enhanced ultiroids zipped around in the pollen as if it were to be their camoflage. There was point in aiming for them so I just swung my blade around in earnest.
Yellow and I finally clean out the enhanced Ultiroids but then suddenly,
"Red! Watch out!!"
Immediately after Yellow pushes me out of the way, the spot where I was standing gets blown to bits by bullet fire.
"Hmmph. This puppy sure has a loyal heart doesn't it. How about we settle things here, Tail Yellow?"
With her hair-like blades of grass sprouting out the top of her head, Mandragora Guildy came for a revenge match. Yellow readies herself with her Vortex Blaster and says to me,
"Leave this to me. Please go on ahead without me Red."
"But this one's a commander class elemarian!"
"Please have faith in me. It will be okay. I will definitely win and I'll catch up with you later."
No, that's not it. I'm scared that if I let these two fight some sort of chemical reaction is going take place...
"I have always wanted to say that line. Blue said it before I did though."
Yellow shyly winks at me as she admitted that.
"I see... Sorry then, I'll leave her to you Yellow!"
Our backs are up against each other's just like yesterday in the bath. There's a huge difference in her height now and more notably, I can't feel the warmth of her skin... However, we now entrust our faith in one another in place of our body heat and we kick off the ground at the same time.
"OFFOOOOOOOOOO! Shoot me more! Tepid! This just plain tepid!! Fill up every nook and cranny of my body alreaaaaaaaddyyy!!"
"An enemy that is pleased to be shot at...! H-haa... Th-this is... This seems to call for some stripping...!! M-Master, I re-really want you to watch me to the end so please..."
........Like the person herself asked of me, I sprint away without looking back. I definitely am not going to turn around Yellow. I believe in you after all.
By chance I run past bikes and hot rods. They must have been the remaining No Bul Club members who were going to back up Mandragora Guildy.
Even if it's just a second sooner, I have to get to Yggdrasil Guildy as soon as possible! I get ready to activate the Leg elemera ability once more when a tense Twoearle calls in over the comms.
["Souji-sama! Be careful! Something is coming your way again!!"]
I spot it myself soon enough, the figure took its time walking towards me as the air around it shimmered like a heat haze.
"Damnt it, why now...!!"
With a fiery red body like fire and wings to match, it was the elemarian Phoneix Guildy!
"Yo! So we meet again, Tail Red."
He raises his and calls out to me like he was greeting friend who he just happened to run into in town.
"A trap to smoke out my magnificent self... So they went with stealing elemera indiscriminately huh? That's just messed up."
Looking up at the disasterous sky, he continues to approach me ever so unguardedly.
"...I don't have the time for this but regardless of how I still need to beat this one too and drive it away don't I!?"
I break out that soliloquoy to spur myself on and determine myself to fight him here and now.
However, Phoenix Guildy doesn't just meet me in an unexpected fashion but goes further on to stroll right up next to me with lightheartedness of someone breaking the ice.
"Okay. Count me in! Let's go clean those guys up!"
"You want to fight Yggdrasil Guildy!?"
I'm pretty sure that No Bul Club weren't going to fight this guy but...
"You're not telling me that I should let these guys destroy the world just like are you!?"
"Are you for real..."
"Of course I am! I am an ally of justice after all!!"
He might be heated up to the point of being over the top but it doesn't look like he's lying. For him to be so refreshing to the point of being pleasant, I just can't reconcile him with the kind of person capable of doing the devilish deeds that Loel spoke of.
An ally of justice huh...? This guy probably just gave birth to a fatal misunderstanding when his straightforward impulsiveness met with Loel's purity. I'm going to need to have a nice long talk with him after we take back the peoples' elemera from Yggdrasil Guildy.
"...Okay, got it. Let's just focus on stopping her for now. Let's go."
"Sure thing. Otherwise this world that's just starting to sprout ponytails is going to get spoiled. Jeez, it's one thing to just go after twintails but they're really going nuts here."
I stop in my tracks the moment I hear those words.
"...Phoenix Guildy. Just answer me this. When you said you fought for justice... That you fought to protect the people who get attacked by elemarians, that wasn't a lie was it!?"
"It wasn't. But that's why I have to keep Ultimaguil's goal in check by preventing the spread of twintails don't I? They're the root of all evils, that's why I travel to different worlds to remove them!"
Blood rushes to my head and I let Phoenix Guildy have it!
"You're no ally of justice you lousy fraud! You're just another one of those rare big villains!!"
"H-hey we have to hurry don't we..."
It's true that we don't have time to argue... But I just can't let him go for what he's doing!
"Don't go making out twintails to be the perpetrator in all this! If you say you're going to protect the worlds then don't do it in such a roundabout way and just fight back against Ultimaguil like we do!!"
"Right, listen to me okay. You twintail warriors really can't go thinking that everything should revolve around twintails! You have to look at the bigger picture! For justice's sake!!"
After Phoneix Guildy takes on another over the top pose after saying that, he points things out further.
"I can't put in a good way but I'm just putting the sword back into its original sheath. Back to the way all should be! Whether they're cultures or the evolution of living things, moving along at overly radical speeds is only going to speed up their demise. The same goes for twintails. I mean it was just a minor hairstyle to begin with wasn't it? It's best to keep things in moderation! Ponytails on the other hand are accepted by all. That's what normal isn't it!?"
That's a completely arrogant take on it. He's basically saying that twintails should know their place!
"I definitely don't think that twintails are evolving excessively!"
To go so far as to deny the spread of love of twintails through admiration of them is what's going to send them to their demise even without said evolution!!
I get closer in on the wincing Phoenix Guildy and rage indignantly at him
"Look at this world! Are you telling me that those ponytails were just accepted here!? All I see here is all the people who've lost their freedom...! Moderation my ass, you're the one who's treating ponytails like everything revolves around them!!"
The ones who like ponytails and the ones who don't are both living with the same rigid thinking... No matter where you look in this world, just where exactly are you going to find the natural order of things that he's prattling on about!?
"That suggestion of yours to prohibit twintails and raise ponytails instead... Do you really think the twintail warriors of the other worlds really accepted that in their hearts!? Of course they didn't!!"
Lolory said they couldn't beat him so they caved into his demands. No matter which world it was, this guy passed off his belief as justice and trampled over those girls' feelings labelling them as a false evil.
'There's still elemarians out there just as strong as me so it's pointless for you to keep on fighting.'
He'd tell them something like that and break their spirits. He'd leave no room for dialogue and declare his way the best way to do things. Rather than pursuing the best outcome, he's just not paying attention to what sort of help they're looking for.
"If you're just going to drown in those indulgent ideals then keep it to yourself! What lies waiting at the end of the path you chose will lose twintails and ponytails their brilliance and all those worlds are going to be dyed in sorrow and resentment instead!"
Phoenix flashes an invincible smile and crosses his arms.
"Gnunu... What fellow you are, there's not a trace of doubt in your belief in twintails! I see now, you weren't just Ultimaguil's idol for your appearance but your creed is the real thing too! I like it!!"
"Of course it's the real thing! Why would I risk my life fighting for something fake!!"
This guy is so overly confident in his opinion that he's looking down on the strength of peoples' hearts.
"However! My creed isn't so weak that I'll roll over just because someone lectures me about it!!"
"Yeah... I bet."
I'm not so upstanding a human that I'll be able to completely deny Phoenix Guildy's creed. This guy's say in the matter is on the extreme end of things but it's true that there will be those who'll be saved by just removing their twintails. That'd bring them an ostensible measure of peace.
But at the very least, I've seen this world. I've seen the sorrow and the lamentation of those whose twintails have been oppressed. If I can just do what I can to bring back their smiling faces, that little girl would...!
"I am aiming to just plain help them. That's why I'll definitely save them. This is my fight. I will take back this world's twintails as well as their ponytails!!"
I sever that fleeting notion of potential friendship with him and turn on my heel.
Phoenix Guildy calls out to me to stop. I turn back at him.
"...umm, how do I say this, hey... that crazy serious and passionate side of you or something is..."
He's stopped putting on that air of superiority about him and was now looking at me, fidgeting.
"Y-you're just so damn cute, you cute bastard!!"
He squeals as he says it and shrinks away as he covers his mouth to stop it from leaking anything else out.
"Just what are you saying out of the blue!?"
What the heck is with that attitude gap!? Just how far does he plan to get me wrapped up in his pace!?
"Please marry me!!"
It was a heatedly passionate proposal but I give it a seal of disapproval with an exaggeratedly huge sigh.
"...Sorry but I can't tell you just how many proposals I get sent my way."
From humans, elemarians too... Seriously.
"Wh-what... You're flashing those innocent looking twintails around, just how many hearts have you played with them!? You don't even leave out your manliness out of it!"
I can say the same about you with the way you toyed with my heart and almost made me reconsider what to think of elemarians! ...is what I wanted to say at once but I already don't care about that. I think to just move on and ignore him but...
"...just now, what did you just say?"
Once again, I stop in my tracks.
"Hahaha! No need to hide it. My Phoenix Eye isn't going miss that your true identiy is that you're actually a man! All the more reason for me propose marriage to you!"
I take out the Blazer Blade and swing wildly at him. Phoenix Guildy continues to approach me with a persistent stride.
"Don't come any closer! DON'T COME ANY CLOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSEEEEERRRR!!"
"No, I will come closer! I'll take you with me and we can go exchange our vows of love to each other under that holy tree over there!! That Yggdrasil I mean!"
What is this guy saying! What is this guy even saying!? Just what is this guy even saaaaaaaayyyyyyiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!!?
I'm going to leak! I'm already leaking!! I don't want to leak!! I'm leaving the cleanup to you superscience down on my lower half!!
I slink down to the ground and strongest pervert closes in on me step by step while I shake in place like a small animal.
"Now then Tail Re-"
An unmanned silver bike come riding in and rams into Phoenix Guildy.
It was probably because an attack from the side would catch him by surprise but Phoenix Guildy completely took the crash and gets sent rolling across the ground.
"That's was dangerous. Really dangerous. It looked like a really dangerous picture was forming from afar so I charged in at max speed."
The bike makes some metallic sounds and sparks fly out as it transformed intoa humanoid robot.
"Mega Neptune...!? What are you doing here!?"
No wait, if she's here in this world then that means...
"Just in the nick of time huh, Tail Red?"
Her black mantle cuts through the scarlet colored world. Sure enough, with her back to me, she cockily and leisurely turns to me. Dark Grasper shows herself.
What's going on... She's helping me!?
Height: 68cm -> 154m
Weight: 42Kg -> Approx 30000 tons
A commander elemarian. In taking care of the outcast female elemarians, she ended up becoming the leader of a unit. A teacher in earnest just like her affinity, her gears are always turning out of wanting to bring in merits for her beloved members of No Bul Club. However, she herself is in fact the biggest problem child of them all with her ability to potentially destroy human hearts themselves. She's been reprimanded by the leader and other commanders for it. She possesses the ability to grow gigantic as well and can go from the size of a small animal to a fortress-sized giant.