Am I... Is Tail Red a man? That was the question that Dark Grasper wanted to ascertain. Her stiffened expression tells that this cannot be some lightly made joke.
I didn't mean to falter but I did. Dark Grasper fought with Phoenix Guildy who had seen through my true identity as a man. I'd probably be right if I were to think that he had let it slip during their fight. He was all muscles and good will. I never figured him to be one to get chatty about other people's secrets...
"...right now, I am the only who knows about it. Whether or not this secret stays within my bountiful chest will depend on what kind of attitude you take up with me."
...kuh.... she's already starting with the bargaining. If me or Aika were to retort back at that remark about her chest size we might end up breaking down negotiations. It's better for us to keep it going.
"Look, are you sure you didn't let some weird little idea take over you just because Red talks like a guy?"
Just what I'd expect from Blue. She's acting dubious about this shocking profession with nary a flinch.
"I was speaking to Tail Red!"
Dark Grasper sends a glare Blue's way to get her to back off. What intensity. It's like she's being cornered by something.
"You and Tail Yellow! Even if it's just temporary you're both women aren't you!? You might be seen naked by a man you don't even like and maybe even end up getting kissed on top of it! You should be worrying about that! Even now as my heart may be, I still haven't thrown aside my womanhood to the point I can no longer see it!!"
"Dark Grasper... san..."
Even Blue feels the pressure from that. Yellow even more so. She thought I was a woman so this was a betrayal to the bouts of slutty friendship she showed my way. Her anger was just. She stopped with the condemning in time and began staring doggedly at me.
"Tail Red... Is this not a lie? If it is then undo your transformation and put my heart at ease...!"
What should I do? If I don't make it clear here and now, Dark Grasper might end up rousing up all the elemarians by casting doubt on Tail Red's true identity.
"...I see. So you won't reveal it yourself then! You stole my lips you craven! I'll have you change that face of yours at once!!"
Clenching her fist, Dark Grasper's glasses, and her eyes behind them, burn with hostility.
"Just hold on a minute there. If you get up in this much of huff about it, ya'll make even Red-chan want to go along with it even less."
Mega Ne who was silently staying off to the side chose an oddly timed place to chime in.
"This is where ya properly show off yer standing as a big sister. I'm sure the little boy that turned into a little thing as cute as this has to be a cutie himeself too, right?"
...it feels like Mega Ne is deliberately dodging the subject. In reality though, I can see a bit of that edge soften away somewhat from Dark Grasper's face as she responds to it with a hmph.
"I bet he's just an unremarkable man with bangs long enough to hide his eyes. One with no redeeming features at all and does absolutely nothing but still somehow manages to draw the eyes of all the school's beauties. He's got to be the kind that's always listless anywhere and everywhere except for when he gets down to business on the bed."
"That's one of those student types that comes with the label "Ya must be 18 or older for this" slapped on it isn't it? I'm sure when Tail Red-chan transform back to normal she goes back to being to a cute little boy."
Dark Grasper's eyes blink at hearing Mega Ne's words.
"...you might be right. Why did I assume that this one's true identity would be that of an older man..."
"Acena-chan, don't ya think that yer image of men might be a teensy bit hardened from playing all those pervy games?"
She probably can't come up with anything to refute that so she didn't argue that little bit of motherly chiding. These two always act like parent and child whenever I see them. Mega Ne devotedly supports the rampaging Dark Grasper as her stopper. She's such a good partner...
But after hearing Mega Ne's follow up, there still remained something that needed to be talked out. Tail Red is basically a two-stage transformation - transforming into a girl and transforming into a kid.
Neither Phoenix Guildy and Dark Grasper who heard of this from him wouldn't have been able to see through things as far as my pre-transformation form. If I can at least keep that under wraps then the worst that can happen is that she'll confirm that I'm a guy. I can still get by with just that. That's why I have push my way through this here and now.
I make eye signals at Blue and Yellow.
"If you can just push yourselves through... is probably along the lines of what you're thinking but I am very much intent on getting serious today of all days."
And with that bit of mind reading-like prediction, Dark Grasper emanates battlelust.
"If you don't want to make things clear to me then that's fine too. After all, I can just damage your Tailgear to the point where it can't sustain itself and you'll have no choice but to show me your true face."
Dark Grasper charges at us with the grand scythe of darkness, the Darkness Glaive, in her grip.
So it's come to this huh... That doggedness doesn't seem faked in the least.
Blue and Yellow have their Wave Lance and Voltic Blaster at the ready in relexive fashion and the air takes on the tension of a powder keg ready to blow.
"Dark Grasper. I am sorry that I saw you naked."
I hold the two of them back and step forwards with empty hands.
"If you're so sorry then what are you going to do about it!? Are you going to prostate for me!?"
"I'm willing to grind my brow into the ground if that's what it takes. I would not hesitate to make a show of good faith to my opposite if need be. However, right now I am a twintail. And I cannot bring myself to grind twintails into the ground!!"
"Mmh. I'd expect no less from Tail Red. Even in that sincerity lies that head held high pride... Khhh. To think that a man could hold so much love for twintails, it's utterly inconceivable! "
Dark Grasper gives a grand sweep of her shredded cape as if to shake off her doubts.
"Let's go Mega Ne! We'll see the truth for ourselves! If she's a man then I will simply turn him to dust! And if her identity as a man itself is a fabrication, then I will punish her for making me jealous with another kiss!!"
"She didn't do anything wrong though!?"
"No, the blame lies with Tail Red! She was the one who transformed into such a darling little twintailed girl and made me bare my naked self at her and slip her a kiss!"
"No, that just makes ya a slut!!"
Seeing that display of passing on the blame, the mother's chiding had little to no power behind it.
"If you haven't the will to fight then stand aside Mega Ne! Let me take all three of them on my own!!"
"Acena-chan! Ya honestly really need to rest! Yer already all tuckered out!!"
"Jeez! You just never stop nagging at me! What are you, my mom!?"
...I see. So that's why Mega Ne seemed like she was being pressed for something... That's what it was then! While the two of them are busy throw their words at each other, I activate the Tribraid elemera.
"Elemera Orb - Tribraid!!"
I don't know why but Yellow runs in front of me and puts on a sporty rendition on that running pose on those emergency exit signs as her armor purges itself from her. She directs heavily lidded eyes my way but I wasn't able to pass her anything besides the usual look of seriousness.
My and Blue's weapons combine together with Yellow's Unite Weapon and the Twintail's finisher weapon is formed to completion.
"Alright everyone! Fusionic Buster time!"
"You really were planning on stripping her again weren't you!?"
Last time we unleashed the Fusionic Buster on Dark Grasper we ended up blowing her Gear away and as result of that, stripped her naked. According to Twoearle, that was an effect that came from making sure that the blast would disintegrate armanents without causing any actual injuries. I understand where Blue's hesitation to use this is coming from.
"You realize she's dead set on taking us down for real don't you!? Thing is, we can't be fighting against another human being...! We don't have any other option except for this one!!"
I feel fearful of that look of wonder on Blue's face but at any rate we really don't have any other means left to us. She shouldn't have much fighting power left in her right now. That's why Mega Ne is trying so hard to resolve this in peace and avoid a battle. The Fusionic Buster is the most effective weapon we have for disarming Dark Grasper without huirting her. There's no room for worryibg about worsening her impression of me even further.
I brace my gut and pull the trigger. The spiral forming wave of light draws a straight line towards Dark Grasper.
At first I thought she had stayed motionless and stood there facing forwards towards us with the intent on countering the blast head on but when I looked right at her, I could see Dark Grasper trembling slightly at the sight of the Fusionic Buster.
"N-no... A man is going to see me naked again..."
The instant I hear those little words, I dig into the grip to pull it away.
"Ngh... I can't!!"
I push the already fired Buster upwards and force the firing angle to change.
Extending both her arms outwards, Mega Ne runs out in front of Dark Grasper whose legs had given out on her. The flash of light scratches past her silver whorl and vanishes into the sky beyond.
That spoke to her loud and clear that I had purposedly missed at the last moment. Mega Ne stares at me in shock for it.
"Hey Red! What was that about!? Weren't you just going on about that being the only option we had!?"
Rolling back in a somersault at the recoil, Blue protests my decision.
"Sorry about that... I was the one who came up with it but I just couldn't attack a scared little girl like that!"
"Wh-wh-wh-who are you calling a scared little girl!? I was only matching my eyes down to where yours are!!"
Mega Ne rests her hand on Dark Grasper's shoulder and winks apologeticly at me.
"Acena-chan, it's no good now. They're not gonna fight. Let's just go back for today. Whaddaya say?"
"Don't joke like that! I have already shown my back to them once before!!"
"Knock it off already! Turning yer back on Red's kindness is an even worse look for ya!!"
Mega Ne transforms into her Megane Winger mode and forces Dark Grasper inside. She flies off to the other side of the sky not listening to what the other has to say about it.
Mega Ne may have said like that but she was must have been really worried about Acena's body. The damage from the fight dug deep into her mind and body weakening them both and it was probably the main reason behind her shaking at our attack.
"Wh-what should we do...? It seems as though that my dear master's true identity may be compromised. *pant* *pant*"
Going for some sort of play where she doesn't reverse the purging of her armor, Yellow voices her frail anxiousness as bare as her present state of dress did her.
Yeah. I want to ask the same thing...
As the sole surviving remnant of the battle with the Twintails at Comiket, Rhinocera Guildy's feet carries him towards Beetle Guildy's room to make his battle report.
It was an unforseen clash and regrets lingered at its end but Cicada Guildy and Mosquito Guildy's decisive fight had struck them all to their core and it served to raise morale within the Ultimaguil unit.
Techniques abandoned, they struggled and they astonished. They had demonstrated for all to see attitudes they would have never taken before their training in their fight against Tail Blue. They had only just gone on the attack but the warriors were already going gaga with an extra ga in petitioning to sortie out themselves.
The base had gotten considerably larger with all the warships for each individual corps combining to form it up but even then the vastness of Beetle Guildy's private room within Bee Tiful Heart's area was far off the beaten track with regards to it size.
Rhinocera Guildy entered through the door and took the whole room in as he did. Ultiroids were bustling about carrying cardboard boxes around the very spacious room squeaking out "Moke, Moke" as they did. A large and long conveyor belt like that of an express home delivery company's relay station had been constructed in the middle of the room and Beetle Guildy's silhouette could be found hard at work there.
"Beetle Guildy-sama. What are all these boxes stacked so high that they seem to pierce through the ceiling...?"
Beetle Guildy answered him from in between the line of boxes that surrounded him on both his sides.
"They are the spoils of war from Comiket. I am in the process of sending them out one after another. The Tail Red books are a given but there is no shortage of superb goods purchased for every genre here either so work isn't moving along quite so quickly. As such, I thought to borrow some hands from my men."
Their numbers were so staggering that one would wonder if they had not actually bought just about every book that was put up for sale. The contents of those unsealed boxes were strewn about on the conveyor belt making their way along it as the Ultiroids stood at every node working their way through the stream to sort them all out.
"Of course, the rewards for your soldiers lay within as well. It would do you good to wait here for a short while."
A closer inspection revealed there to be a further branches splitting out from the end of the lanes that were connected to makeshift dustshoot boxes and on each of those boxes were names of subordinates plastered on them. Books bought and matched to the preferences to each one of them, sorted out according, individually wrapped and packaged back up again.
At this time, this room had been converted into Beetle Guildy's personal mail processing center.
"...and obviously, the books meant for the two brave heroes who departed for the convention shall be delivered to their owners by hand."
There was no need for words lamentation for his fallen men. After all, what better praise could there be for valiant warriors who fought so magnificently besides their parting gift of those thin books.
"bh... B-Beetle Guildy-sama...!!"
Not holding back his burning tears, Rhinocera Guildy sobs in the face of Beetle Guildy's thoughtfulness.
Peeking on in secret from the doorway, Dark Grasper look wearily watches on.
"What are they even doing..."
Mega Ne's face also pokes in from behind her to see.
"Looks like those boys took part in that event they were having."
Dark Grasper crosses her arms and immerses herself in thought.
"...maybe I could have joined in too if I had been able to defeat Phoenix Guildy..."
"But we ended up being absent on the actual day."
The battle with Phoenix Guildy was called off as a draw due to injuries and left in an unsettled state. In other words, she had failed her mission. On top of that, when she went to confront Tail Red for her true motives and attacked her, she ended up being dealt compassion instead.
Mega Ne took her back to base but she can't make her return a triumphant one so consequently Dark Grasper isn't indulging in her habit of appealing herself to everyone as usual. She instead opts to keep herself concealed from them. Even if she expounded upon them the finer details of her valorous efforts, her story wouldn't hold very much persuasive power in the worn down state she was in.
At the very edge of the reluctant Dark Grasper's vision, she spotted Rhinocera Guildy picking up smallish cardboard box. Written on its label in a Moke-esque scribble was "Dark Grasper-sama".
"Ooh Beetle Guildy-sama. You even got books for Dark Grasper-sama too!"
"I have. Her mission seems much harder mission than envisioned. She'll have wanted to play around at Comiket too once she gets home. Dark Grasper-sama eyes Tail Red in a sexual light so I thought that I would gather her a few somewhat lewd books."
He bought those thin books for his superior who was too occupied with work to go to Comiket to do so herself. He truly was a capable subordinate.
"...I didn't peg him to be such a cute fellow. Those underlings had such weak reactions when I was leaving but it turns out there were just some who were awkwardly tsundere to me."
"I think it'd be good if ya reflected a smidge on the fact that those underlings of yerrs picked up on the fact ya were looking at that girl in sexual way..."
Following up after her grattitude for his frank thoughtfulness with some remonstration, Mega Ne lined up a question for her.
"Acena-chan, are you going to tell them all about Tail Red-chan?"
Dark Grasper tightly purses her lips at being asked that showing her own doubts on the matter. With the way her subordinates look at that face, there was no way she could.
"...hmph. It's not something that the soldiers need to know about. Even if her true identity did happen to be that of a man, that doesn't change the fact that Tail Red is strongest bearer of the Twintails elemera in this world. For her Twintail elemera to be reaped... Losing her twintails itself will be the most torturous punishment she could receive."
"So yer saying that we're gonna keep Tail Red's little secret to ourselves?"
Dark Grasper faces away from Mega Ne who so cheerily called attention to that point and avoided answering to it by changing the topic.
"How despicable Tail Red is...! The nerve of her! What she did is no different than using that her cuteness of hers as bait all so she can sink her venomous fangs into the masses...! Gnnh! It's unforgivable! That little vamp!!"
"Are ya sure about that? From the way I see it, it looks more like it's Tail Red-chan who's got venomous fangs sunk in her by the women around her... that means ya too Acena-chan."
Grumbling audibly to herself at that sound argument, Dark Grasper crosses her arms and spits out what she has to say.
"All that is just... You have to be human to understand the mysteries of the heart!"
For a brief instant, Mega Ne stood stock still in silence. Not even her drive engine made a sound. It was as if her system had hit a freeze. Mega Ne swallows back down the words that had been about to leave her and gives a lonesomely pained smile.
"...I guess ya do."
Startled at herself, Dark Grasper's lips trembled minutely at what she had just said. She averts her eyes at that unpleasantness and hides them beneath the shine of her glasses. The emotions behind them couldn't be seen.
An unbearable silence followed afer. Dark Grasper broke it with her best shot at a cheerful tone.
"F-First off! We need to get back to the room to take care of maintenance for the Glass Gear and you! We can't be presenting ourselves in this all beaten down like this!"
"Presenting... Ya don't mean..."
"I do. We're going to see the leader. What are you going to do Mega Ne?"
Mega Ne's lonely clouded expression clears up suddenly and returns back to its hardy gallant sheen.
"I'll be coming with ya of course."
They can't keep on running away so leisurely. Dark Grasper has picked up her determination to report their failure to the leader directly.
"There sure are all sorts of affinities out there in the world aren't there..."
Today's fight has come to its end and Blue utters so in a profound tone as she walks through the locker made transport gate to the middle the twintail club clubroom. Yellow and me follow after her and nod as we undo our transformations.
Today's foe had the Limit Space affinity... It belonged to the Amoeba Guildy who insisted on sharing his love of closed, narrow spaces. He was at an internet cafe preaching to people about the wonders of closed spaces all around us in nooks, crannies and furnishings like capsule hotels all the way to MRI machines.
"Claustrophobia is one thing but this is the first time I've heard of loving tight spaces."
The act of spreading that notion was a misfire to begin with. If you go to the pool you're bound to find those with swimsuit affinity so going by that line of thought then the idea that there would be those who love closed spaces taking trips through the MRI is... Well, I don't think there would be too many of them.
"Furthermore, they seem to be appearing more frequently in these recent few days. It is as though they have had their morale boosted."
"Yeah, seems like it.."
It's been days since we got attacked by Dark Grasper. The end of summer vacation is coming up and Ultimaguil have been picking back up the pace with the attacks almost as if to make up for the ceasefire in the first half of the holidays.
Dark Grasper on the other hand... there hasn't been any word from her. Going by how her subordinates have been acting during their attacks, it's clear that they haven't heard out her suspicions on Tail Red being a man.
Not bothering to hide our apparent exhaustion, we all plod over to our chairs. Deep sighs escape as we take our seats. Twoearle who was waiting for us in the room comes up to me and rubs my shoulders as she makes her inquiry.
"Souji-sama, you seem to be quite tired."
"Well they are coming every single day now... And the ones who've been coming lately seem to have done their research on how we fight too."
Aika throws up her hands up behind the back of her head and vents out her frustration in a sigh.
"That goes especially for me... Why the heck are those guys even going that far into researching Tail Blue."
"No, you obviously brought it on yourself. Have you really forgotten the atrocities you commit when you fight!?"
When she got fed up at Amoeba Guildy for dodging all her spear charges, Blue saw it fit to enact the brutality of grabbing him by the ankle and then smashing him again and again against the ground. This was a tactic she employed against Twoearle during their altercation in the bath so the members of Ultimaguil would have no data on it. By the end of it, today saw yet another one-sided sortie sent to the slaughter. This battle's data too will be studied and Tail Blue will not let them go unpunished for it. This is a probably going to be a rising trend. How truly futile the chain of war can be...
Twoearle presses herself further up against my back as she continues with her shoulder massage.
"He called it Limit Space earlier but isn't what he really wanted closer to wanting to return back into the womb?"
No, she probably didn't mean to press up against. With a body like hers, moving even the slightest bit closer would have it make contact...
"What the heck? Feels like I've heard something like it before..."
"Ufufu, shall we make a practice run of it then? We'll make do with just one part."
"....just one part? ...umm ...where exactly?"
"Nice toss Souji-sama! I'll take responsibility by navigating your return to a womb!!"
Twoearle comes at me with excited fingers. Aika gives her cheeks a light snappy slap.
"Navigate your self back to the cycle of reincarnatiooooooonnn!!"
Leaping from two table lengths away opposite me, Aika takes a single bound over them and unleashes a spinning kick on Twoearle.
Since her aim was to kick Twoearle who was stood at my back, Aika's panties(Sky Blue Stripes) had been left completely bare to my eyes from an absurdly close proximity. I dared not inform her of that.
A cry rises out from Twoearle's neck as she raises a provocation against Aika.
"Fufufu, well I've been ambushed but the edges of your retort are wearing down. The day my endurance triumphs is coming into sight."
Wearing down!? The wind pressure from her fearsome kick was so strong that it felt as though a pair of barber clippers cut across the side of my hair.
Twoearle took the full brunt of that. She's gotten used to it. Repetition is empowering her.
"In any case, afterbattle care for everyone's fatigue is also one of my responsibilities. That's why I set up this newly completed machine here in the twintail clubroom."
I did wonder what was with the white cloth hung over that human sized thing propped up against the wall near the door. Twoearle goes up to it and unveils it with one swift pull.
It was an oval shaped capsule with slanted platform leading up to it. An oxygen capsule...? It looks like one of those cold sleep machines that pop up in movies every so often.
"Healing Machine "Twoearle-Health"! Twoahel for short!"
The idea behind the name couldn't have been given for anything but wholesome intent, and yet, I can't shake away this sense of foreboding from it.
"You go in, take a nap and then a mere 10 minutes later you wake up completely refreshed! I can also quietly boost the settings up to even make you hard... Oh, never mind that last bit."
Twoearle said something but covers her mouth with her hand dismissing it with a "ohohoho".
"It reminds me of those oxygen capsules and they do help recover you from weariness too... Is it okay to think of it as a more amazing version of it?"
"Certainly. That is what it is more or less Souji-sama. It'll break down all the lactic acid you built up, improve your blood circulation and make you har... Oh, never mind that last bit."
It looked interesting so I thought about giving it a go but Aika stands up before I could.
"I'll be the first one to use it. That's fine with you, right Twoearle?"
"Of course. I actually wanted you to be the first one to use it."
"Just be quiet and let me... wait, what!?"
Twoearle answers her with a smile and it catches the one who brought it up off guard. The reason for that quickly became clear.
"You cannot utilize it unless you are completely nude so please strip yourself of all articles of clothing and enter inside."
Angered by the severe explanation that followed after, Aika furiously digs into Twoearle's side with her palms.
"Don't leave that that kind dubious machine in schooooooooooooollllll!!"
Twoearle's arms level out in front of her she goes spinning and flying into the ceiling like a Taketonbo toy... Just how much force do you need to apply to a human's sides to make that happen...!?
"I've set the stage for you so why haven't you stripped!? Get your act together! If you gave it proper thought then you'd smirk and say,'Geez, darned Twoearle and her nosy antics,' or something like that following it up by dressing down to your birthday suit!!"
Twoearle makes her way down to the floor and gives her retort with a pout when she touches down.
"Nosy my ass, that's barging right in and taking over you idiot!!"
"Pardon, but could be that the two of you are still minding that promise...?"
Erina asks so uncertainly and Twoearle replies with an 'Of course', a forced one.
"We thought it'd never happen so Aika-san and I took up that promise because it wasn't supposed to! However, the miracle that was elemarians drawing Tail Blue actually did come to pass! Therefore, Aika-san must answer that miracle with a Full Powered Full Frontal!!"
When Aika agreed to the promise she didn't have any strong opinions to say about it but the two of them have been at it like this ever since Cicada Guildy shed some light on the matter.
"Full Powered Full Frontal! It's got a nice to ring to it, doesn't it? I'll let you have the copyrights to it Erina-san!"
"T-Thank you... it does sound cool but I don't think I shall actually make use of it..."
Erina had no choice but to answer her gift with its due honesty. Cool sounding or not, nudity is nudity. I also hope she never comes to use it. Never ever.
"...At any rate, the longer something like this gets put off the harder it gets to do when you get down to it! Take it off like a bandaid and let it rip!!"
She might be right about that. If she does it that way there's it wouldn't bother her as much and Aika will learn to be careful about the promises she makes. That is, if there weren't a guy here.
"I'll, be stepping out."
"No! Rather than you let yourself go outside, I ask that you come inside Souji-sama! Inside!"
Twoearle's flaring nostrils have me cornered. Why is she putting so much emphasis on it though...
In a manner very unlike her, Aika lets her shoulders droop in defeat and goes up to Erina.
"P-Prez... Could you do this with me?"
"I am glad to hear you invite me along since you seldom do so Tsube-san but this really is a bit..."
She's even trying to rope Erina in.
"Oh come on now! Get to it!!"
Aika lets out a huge resigned sigh and slaps her cheeks like before.
"Souji! Keep your eyes shut!!"
She starts undoing the buttons of her uniform in force.
"Wah! That's too fast... hold it for a sec!!"
Aika was close to door when started stripping down so I missed out on my opening to get out of the room. I turn my back to her and close my eyes out of consideration.
"It'd not like me to moan on about stuff like this! I have to make good on my word!!"
"You're so cool Tsube-san!"
What do I do? If she takes Aika's on-campus stripping as a pass she'll find more and more chances to strip the way Tail Yellow does...
"...hang on. Ahh!! These twintails...!!"
I feel the presence of a pair of familiar twintails coming down the hallway and it makes me open eyes and turn towards the door.
"Souji! I said not to look!!"
Aika yells at me just as she's about done taking off her skirt. If she's worried about her panties then I already saw them just some moments ago so... wait, that's not the issue here!!
"Sorry! ...but not the time!"
I was in a light panic and her getting angry at me didn't help me get the words out right.
"Erina-san, did you see that? I'm certain I saw the ends of her mouth go up. She says one thing but there's a carnality behind them. That's the barbarian's lewd side for you."
"You're right, she did seem a bit pleased..."
Those two seem to be whispering a little girl talk between themselves but it's really not the time for it!
Too late. I couldn't tell them in time. The clubroom door opens.
"Pard on me."
Yup... I cradle my head. I was right on the money about those twintails I felt, our guest was the chairwoman.
It was summer vacation so nobody was going to foresee a sudden visit from the chairwoman. Sakuragawa-sensei stood behind her giving us a look that said, "I'm sorry". She must have tried to stop her when she said she wanted to pay us a visit like before but it looks like that was out of the question this time.
The chairwoman's eyes narrow at the half naked Aika who stood there gripping tightly onto her school blouse.
A female student was stripping in the room... with a boy inside with her. There's no way the chairwoman can just let something like this slide when she sees it for herself given the responsiblities that come with her position.
"Would you care to explain the meaning of all this? Erina!!"
As expected, the sounds of her harsh reprimand reverberates through the room. On top of that, the target of it seemed to be Erina for failing to supervise us properly and so I ran to the chairwoman in a rush.
"I'm so sorry chairwoman! You've got it all wrong! This is...!!"
"Why do you not strip in front of the son-in-law when Tsube-san is stripping!? I demand to know the reason behind your inadequacy!!"
If this were a silent movie then that figure and those dignified eyes... just going by those alone it would have been all too easy to imagine her as the upright mother who was educating her daughter. That was the sort of presence that the chairwoman exuded. The superlative dubbing made one doubt their ears for this movie though.
"Chairwoman, I'm only doing this because of a punishment game! Souji and the prez had nothing to do with it!"
Aika chimes in with her own follow-up but they fall on the deaf ears that belonged to the charming uncompromising old-style picture of an ideal japanese woman that was the chairwoman.
"Some other woman has undressed herself in front of the son-in-law that you have sworn your future to! For the proper wife-to-be to simply sit there and do nothing is a poor bertrayal to unfaithfulness! This absolutely cannot be overlooked!!"
I didn't want Erina to be forced into a marriage against her will so I pretended to accept the betrothal that the chairwoman is speaking of... but because of that, it makes things difficult since I can't raise objections in times like this.
"Chairwoman! Did you have some business with us!?"
I stand right up so as to block the chairwoman's line of sight and ask her with plenty of energy to spare. It seems to work as the chairwoman's face loses its edge and she greets me with a smile.
"I had some business to attend to here in the academy and simply wanted to see your club activities once more."
Seemingly pleading for the chairwoman's attention, Erina turns to face her. She's got her hands shaking over her shirt button for some reason.
"That reminds me. I heard about Tsube-san's birthday party from Erina and she told me that your abode also happens to be a cafe."
Not paying any mind to even the tiniest amount of this summer heat in the kimono she wore, the chairwoman shows me an elegant smile keeping in with the posh graceful swaying of her twintails. Seeing such a childishly impish smile form on that chairwoman's face had was oddly refreshing.
"I often frequented a cafe during my schooling days you see. That cafe was managed by a senior of mine who I happened to be very intimate with and she did it out of her own home."
Oh, I'm suuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrreeeeeee yooouu diiiiiiiiiiiiddd!
I can feel my eyes rolling into the back of my head from the sudden jump into even more perilous territory.
"Oh, you vistied such a place mother?"
"Yes. I truly did love the coffee that Senpai poured for me."
The tense air had cleared now that mother and daughter chatted idly with one another but my own back was now drizzling cold sweat because of it.
"So what do you think Son-in-law? I haven't any plans after this so if it isn't an inconvenience to you, I would like to take the opportunity to have you bring me to your home."
"NONONONONONO CAN DO! Not home! The coffee is weak, the chairs are hard and even the customers can be ridiculously unusual! We even have things like living giant dragonflies from the Cambrian period buzzing around the shop!!"
"Huh? But your place servces really tasty coffee Souji. Both me and oneechan are fans of it too."
"I should like to see those ancient dragonflies as well! They would be nearly a meter in size wouldn't they!?"
I feel myself covered in chills all over at the prospect of Aika blurting out "auntie Miharu" at any time now but my throat was as arid and dry as a desert. To add to that, I stoked Erina's curiosity too with an addition too many.
I desperately signaled the three of them via eye contact. Aika quickly gave me an "Oh right" and assented. Erina seemed to catch on one beat later. Twoearle... she kept on smiling. I can probably take that as her understanding.
He doesn't want the chairwoman to meet the customers since that was the one thing that was true in his explanation... is what they're probably thinking. That's not it at all.
If she goes to the cafe and meets mom face to face, it's very possible that the chairwoman will transcend even those unsual cutomers of ours beyond their eccentricities with her own!!
"Mother!! I, actually have some very important matters to attend to with Mitsuka-kun from here onwards so... we will have to await another opportunity to pay a visit!"
Erina sends out a lifeboat. The chairwoman's smile broadens like a blooming flower upon hear that. I thought that we'd need to push some more but the chairwoman simply backed down just like that.
"Oh my.... Well now. Ufufu, is that how it is? I will have to apologize for my outburst earlier then Erina. That was uncouth of me. From here onwards, is it?"
The chairwoman hides her mouth behind the sleeve of her kimono and sends a bewitching look my way.
Seeing her chance show up in just that momemnt, Sakuragawa-sensei gently prods the chairwoman into returning home.
"We-well then mistress, I shall escort you the car."
"Very well. Honestly though, I would have preferred it if you had just told me so Mikoto."
"? But I did say that they would be busy inside the roo-"
"So you did. I suppose I am still lacking in insight then."
Sakuragawa-sensei escorts the chairwoman off and I collapse onto the table like a husk that was casted off. We undid our transformations in the clubroom today didn't we... that was close.
The chairwoman had also come by before with strangely impeccable timing during the middle of one of strategy meetings and she chose today of all days to come pay us a visit right after an elemarian attack.
"...Twoearle, can I get in the Twoahel...?
"Yes, please! Naked of course!!"
"Nah, I'll just keep my clothes on..."
It's a pain to take them off. I must be running on fumes at this point to feel this way.
In any case, above all else, mom and the chairwoman must not meet!! ...just why is it that after all this I have be the one that keeps on holding in one secret after another...!
That word brings up a moment and a face to the forefront of my mind. Dark Grasper is also keeping a very big secret from her subordinates, isn't she?
She... I wonder if she's okay...
It was a space dyed deep in the whole spectrum of colors. The very same space used by the Twintails and the Elemarians for deployment and transport. Dark Grasper and Mega Ne were both walking through the four-sided tunnel formed of that vividness, through that mystical passageway.
"It's been a while since we paid a visit ta mister Leader."
"...the Leader isn't one to be met with in person outside of rare occasions to begin with, not even for commanders."
Normally, Ultimaguil soldiers set up their personal rooms inside their base but for those with a fondness for privacy, like Dark Grasper, a transport gate can be set up at their entrances for the sake of security. This way, only authorized individuals would be allowed inside. The Leader's "room" took that security measure and ran further beyond with it by connecting it to so many more spaces that it was enough to make one feel faint.
The Marchbass Cube.
The absolute domain where the leader of Ultimaguil sat, the existence known as "The Leader's Space", lay at the very core of this particular breed of multidimensional space. The "passages" leading to the Leader's Space that come undone and reform themselves infinitely number in billions or maybe even trillions worked the way a sliding box puzzle did.
One would never reached the same order of passages a second time. If they strayed off their guided path, they would be forever lost within the myriads of dimensions. One must stake their very life for the Ultimaguil Leader even if it was simply to seek an audience.
What Dark Grasper had staked at this moment was something else entirely.
"I suppose I will be given harsh reprimands for everything that's happened this time..."
Even Dark Grasper would have to prepare herself to be rebuked. Whether it was her failure to subjugate Phoenix Guildy as instructed or allowing the Twintails to eliminate the entirety of No Bul Club, she had a lot to answer for as one of their commanders.
"I'll be there with ya ta say sorry too so let's get through this, okay?"
Mega Ne slapped her on the shoulder as she gave her some consolation.
"Don't be a fool. Bowing your head down with me because of my misconduct? What are you, my mom?"
It though it was her usual odious mouth, it seemed off by a smidge.
Dragging her feet along, she took out the "current order" that would guide her towards her requested audience.
"Rather isn't it Acena-chan who's the little kid that needs ta be accompanied by a parent whenever she gets up ta something?"
"Hmph, now you've gone and said it. I'm going to have to make you bow your head with me then."
Regaining a bit of her composure Dark Grasper gave a dry smile. The two of them walk together under the domed lighting over them.
Dimmed dark on one side and shining bright on the other, they were in a crystalization of divinity. The Ultimaguil base itself was made of mysterious materials not seen in present civilization and its exteriors looked just as mysterious but that was nothing compared to this place.
Space itself had been condensed and the starlights were scattered all about. There was nothing furnishing this solemn and sacred space. Not even its horizon could contain the vast entirety of this realm.
One thing did stand out within it though. A starry path laid out like the milky way started from the realm's entrance and ended at the structure the path led to.
It was a single spire surrounded on all four sides by walls of particulate matter. As if it were a throne for a god, several steps led up to it and just beyond those steps was the shining aurora-esque curtain that majestically protected it - the Veil.
"Dearest Dark Grasper, it's been too long."
Enshrined behind the sacred Veil was an unfathomable degree of menace.
"We believe we commanded thee to carry out the total anhilation of Phoenix Guildy. Therefore, we should surmise that thou hast come to report thine mission's completion, should we not?"
Man, woman, human, beast - his voice was overlaid with an enigmatic tone that could have been assoicated to any of them and it reigned over all it reached. It was obvious that his words spoke of his knowledge of the battle's outcome.
Dark Grasper stays reverently on her knees and answers him untimidly.
"I don't have anything to say for myself. The rebel Phoenix Guildy... He would fall without being downed and be killed without dying. He held far more power within him than I could imagine."
"I did not retreat from the battle but I detrermined that it would not do to simply go on battling forever. In order for me to make use of the data I had gained in our battle to devise countermeasures, a one time retreat could not be avoided."
"...hm. The threat that Phoenix Guildy poses... thou hast witnessed it then."
Dark Grasper had prepared herself to hear his stern edict the moment she finished speaking but instead, he simply accepted it with apparent disappointment. Perhaps it was out of generosity from knowing the target's strength.
A thick table-shaped chessboard suddenly floats up to the relieved Dark Grasper.
Its black and white pieces stood in their starting positions but they would eventually come into conflict with their counterparts. The eventuality brought out the beauty of their exquisite make through their sheen. Also accompanying them on the board were some supple fingertips floating beside them. Those five fingers could have belonged to either elemarian or human but they were in fact the manifestation of the leader's thoughts.
"Dark Grasper... Our beautiful executioner. Thou art this Queen."
The grandiosely propped fingers moved not the queen but the knight.
Does this even mean anything, wondered Dark Grasper in silence without breaking face.
"In the sitting King's stead, the Queen skitters across the board as his greatest warrior. We had bestowed upon thee privileges as such."
The horsefaced Knight danced tirelessly across the board for the leader. Actions exceeding the utmost authority were the King's dominion.
"We have bestowed thee with many ponds."
Calling those pieces the wrong but right sounding name out of some miraculous misunderstanding, he advances them forward. By four spaces. The rule stating that they can move either one or two spaces only their first move clearly was not in effect here.
"And those ponds fell."
However, as soon as the pieces reached enemy territory the pawns vanished from the board. As far reproducing the current state of affairs go... well, it wasn't entirely wrong. There was still a limit to how far you can force things though.
After that, a black shiny stone appeared on the chessboard. The leader's hand lightly picked it up.
"What dost thou know of this?"
"...is it not a Go stone?"
"Indeed it is."
Dark Grasper didn't think that was what it would be so she answered without too much consideration but she had actually been right.
"Normally, Chess pieces and Go stones would never fight against the other. However, once they are lined up on the same board..."
The smooth-looking lustrous black stone is positioned to the immediate right space of the Queen piece.
"Thus the outcome."
Though there was no reaction to be seen his voice was brimmed with confidence as if his story were moving along.
She didn't get one lick of it.
She saw nothing but the Chess piece and Go stone lined up next to each other. Whatever they were supposed to suggest was completely lost on her.
"We would not think thou would want to become the Go stone."
Before she left, the one who said to Beetle Guildy that "People fear the unknown" prior to undertaking their illustrator training was none other than herself. Wasn't this exactly what she meant back then.
It was as difficult as answering God's interrogation and Dark Grasper was terrified to her core. Even as she ruminated over the leader's proclamation, comprehension was completely beyond her.
If this had been coming from one of her own subordinate, she would have had the conversation transcribed for easier reviewing and marked out places with x's and comments like "Way too obtuse. Use language in a way to communicate things properly to your reader". Some very strict revision would have been unavoidable.
This however was the leader of Ultimaguil. The absolute existence that transcended everything. It was unthinkable for him to be likened to a young boy of a particular age that didn't know enough about a game to play it but still fiddled about with its pieces just to show himself off. He was not some prepubescent boy or girl in puberty that you had to halfheartedly play along with out of consideration for them when they did whatever and wrongly declared "checkmate".
Holding her hand up against her chest, she takes a deep breath. Her expressions tightens instantly as she takes in the leader's words once more.
"Dearest Dark Grasper. We have looked past... thine many, many failings. What comes next is..."
The leader's fingers grips the knight and places it right in front of the king.
Perilously close to coughing up blood, Dark Grasper holds firm.
The knight stood right in front of the king. Checkmate was regrettably entirely out of the picture.
"Is something the matter?"
"Ha-hah... It's just the damage from my battle with Phoenix Guildy getting to me..."
It was just an excuse she came up with on the spot but she certainly was feeling damage comparable to the one she received from that battle.
The ever so slightly floating board lowers itself to the floor and the leader's silhoutte eeriely sways behind the Veil.
"The ancient Twintail civilization... its long lost glory..."
Continuing on without saying so much of preamble, he begins a seemingly meaningful soliloquoy.
"Why is that the twintail affinity is the ultimate one? That is a matter that even the omnipotent we do not know truly... well, not truly but we have our grasp of it."
But this time however, Dark Grasper holds her own breath at the conclusion she derived from the bits and pieces to be picked out of his monologue.
"The will and dominion of the god that rules over both genesis and beginning as well as devastation and finality in equal measure... Twintails are what would be the existence and power that all elemera originates from."
Once again, Dark Grasper finds herself unable to prohibit any shudders after hearing the winding way he rambled on with his words. The leader had a power to him, one that let him launch attacks with simple doubtful terminology.
"Thus, the one who comes to have in their hand the ultimate twintail elemera will be the one to rule over all dimensions in existence as its supreme god."
That is the truth of Ultimaguil's ideals. Their dogged pursuit of twintail elemera was not simply for its unparalled power. It leads its possessor to godhood. The ultimate elemera that transcends all, the twintail elemera, still has many mysteries hidden within it.
...that bit he threw out about the ancient Twintail civilization or whatever he said did bother her though.
"...dost thou find us terrifying, Dark Grasper?"
Hearing the dry disappointment in those words, Dark Grasper is brought back to reality and lifts her face up.
"Which is it that has won in your struggle? Is it thine racing heart at hearing that secret or thine dread towards us? Has thine love for twintails gone so far? Or art thou but mere glasses?"
She tries to protest immediately but her body trembles and her voice won't come out.
"After all, glasses are just props of fashion that sandwich the face of men and women alike for the purposes of masking one's outward ambience. Loving such a thing to extremes, it is no wonder thou hasy come to be in such an unsightly state."
Even though this was enough of a provocation to draw out any glasses lover's blade, Dark Grasper doesn't lift even a finger at it.
"Why? Why dost thou not give us any defiance in return for these words? Why not speak thine passion for thine glasses?"
The leader's disappointment gives way to anger.
"Why dost thou have no recompense for our abuse of glasses? Dost thou feel no fury for them? Why dost thou not point thine blade at us...!?"
Even though she is feared as the executioner of the dark, Dark Grasper... Acena was still just a child. This was the first time she has ever tasted it. The enmnity from this absolute existence peeled away the mask she wore that was her glasses.
"Thine checkmate must come now."
Her final notice came in without any prior ones. The sound of a fingersnap rings out from beyond the thin cloth. Immediately right after, a prismatic gate materializes next to Veil clad spire and a single elemarian comes out of it.
His tightened tense body was dyed in a brash youthful mix of purple and black. A sharpened beak accompanied his skypiercing head. Sets of three huge talons adorned each of his limbs. Blade-like wings with a bizzare quality to them extended out from his wrists to his elbows. The impressiveness of his form was a far cry from what any presently living organism could hope to imitate for it was the very picture of an ancient Pterosaur.
"One of Ultimaguil's four suit corps... Da Ino Rhombus! Ptera Guildy!!"
"Ptera Guildy, here to complete the mission."
So it seems he was intending on having Da Ino Rhombus pick up where she left off on the mission to eliminate Phoenix Guildy. Recalling the mission was understandable. She did just fail it herself. But once Dark Grasper considered the scope of Da Ino Rhombus' duties, she couldn't see any reason it should be reassigned to them.
"...the mission you all are tasked with is to take out any twintail warriors that demonstrate unpredictable potential to grow into possible threats to ultimaguil and rob them of their twintail affinity. So why then are you being assigned to execute a traitor!?"
"When that traitor becomes a threat that must be eliminated the mission falls to us."
Ptera Guildy quietly offers a bow.
"And the traitor whose life I've come for is yours, Dark Grasper-sama."
A huge ring appears before Dark Grasper in the blink of an eye. It was the devilish ring that robbed its victims of elemera. The user's strength and usage of the ring must have some influence on it for it shot out at its target like a speeding bullet in a surprise attack.
Mega Ne jumps out from from Dark Grasper's side and the pursuant ring digs into her body instead.
The ring however steals no elemera from her and Mega Ne jabs he finger cannons at Ptera Guildy.
"Fascinating. Though there may be a Glasses elemera orb serving as her core, the "String Theoria" has no effect on machines."
So the leader surmised sounding mildly impressed. Nobody in Ultimaguil really knew that the ring had such an over the top name attached to it though so a question mark made itself apparent on Ptera Guildy's serious face.
Like before with the chess board, the leader's arms manifest themselves before Dark Grasper's eyes again.
"Very well then. This should do it."
A powerful blast unleashes itself from his palm and bursts through Mega Ne's whole body.
Trying very hard to come to grips with the sight, Dark Grasper stands stock still in shock.
Sparks fly from all over Mega Ne's body. There wasn't anything she could do about it but even so she still spreads her arms out wide to protect Dark Grasper. In spite of that, her internals start exploding from inside and her body goes flying to pieces.
Mega Ne calls out to her as her head rolls across the floor. The lights of her eyes die out as she spoke.
Dark Grasper's pained shriek rings out through the leader's space.
She shakes her head as if to deny it as she reaches out for Mega Ne's head.
"How unexpectedly fragile... We had only meant to deliver some light restraint."
The leader's mirth laced feigned ignorance invites explosive rage.
"...leader...! YOU BAAAAAAASSSTTTAAAAAAAAARARRDDDD!!"
"That's it! Strike with that rage! Dark Grasper... Thou should have loathed Ultimaguil from the outset. Instead, thou had ingratiated thyself with the organization and bared thine fangs for it... Thou had sunk to such a lowly existence. However, now is the time for thee! Thine glasses reflect the burning rage in thine eyes! They draw out the greatest beauty in thine glasses!!"
"Don't talk like you understand anything about glasses!! What would you know!?"
Wicked laughter spills out from the leader and professes himself in a voice chilling to the point for despair.
"We know. The is no affinity we do not know. Save for one."
It should have been some idle exaggeration but his words held a bottomless depth to them. They made her see a vision of universe's endlessness. It froze her over. She could say nothing. She could do nothing but pull herself back.
Dark Grasper uses Chaosic Infinite and bores a hole in space. She evacuates Mega Ne's body into the hole and runs away from the leader's space, carrying Mega Ne's head in her arms.
"Shouldn't I go after her, my lord?"
Ptera Guildy doesn't immediately chase after and instead inquires the leader's intent.
"We suppose it would be amusing to leave her in the hands of the twintail warriors... After all, that one is incapable of reaching the peak of twintails. That is, as long as her glasses bear such impurities."
It was easier said than done to escape. It would be a trifle to cut off her routes if he just shifted the pathways himself. However, he did not seem to make any move to do so. His silhoutte just shook ever so slightly behind the Veil.
"An existence that could leave behind the evolution of humankind, that can unleash the fullest extent of their instincts they themselves spread thin and offer it all up to their love of twintails... that is the warrior that we seek."
It seems that he had already lost interest. He spared not even another passing glance to the newly made traitor's back and instead cast his gaze to far off unfathomable distance.
"Rationality and instinct.... the two indgredients, the twintails that the one warrior could manifest their heart for war... The one who would transcend humanity for the sake of twintails! The ultimate twintails!!"
The leader speaks heatedly as if he were in a musical climax.
"It must come into our hand! The one true shining light, the ultimate twintail affinity must be ours!"
Not pausing for any affirmation of comprehension, the leader prattles on. This should probably be something to be thankful for as his words of supposed wisdom were difficult to digest. An ordinary civilian would probably need to listen a recording on repeat 90 times befores they could get a vague grasp of everything it entailed. Ptera Guildy, a commander of the four suit corps, would need to listen to it 79 times.
"Thou needn't pursue her immediately. Bestow upon the traitor the rightful terror she should bear. Let the lens of her glasses form their cracks."
The question marks flying around Ptera Guildy's head disentegrate into nothingness as he hazily droops his beak down.
Allow her to run for some time and then pick at her to grant her despair. A prudent wickedness.
The spire covered by the Veil fades away like mist together with the leader. It seems the leader has returned to being a formless divinity once again and left for any of many other worlds.
Ptera Guildy goes to put away the left behind chessboard but his hand stops without him meaning to.
The positons on the chess board were a chaotic mess but by some happenstance, the black king was surrounded by the white knight and bishop as if they were something more to be made of it.
Unlike the pieces in Shogi, fallen chess pieces cannot be captured and used to face off against their similarly colored compatriots. Especially not with the way things would play out on the board as it does now.
However, if that weren't the case then the black king would be in checkmate. And the one that put him there would be none other than the black queen.
If the pathways were to shift while she was escaping, Dark Grasper had planned to use the signal from Mega Ne's body to track down the space it was in and transport herself there instead. That was her plan but she had actually managed to return back to the original path she used to arrive to the leader's domain without any complications.
"*pant* *pant* Mega Ne... just wait for me! I'll fix you back up in no time!!"
Dark Grasper calls out to her but Mega Ne's head doesn't react to it. She hugged it closer to her self relexively.
She escapes the vast dimension and gloomy forests and hills of varying sizes come into her view. She opens the gate that led her to the leader's realm and it shows her a place on a world that's been conquered already.
Confirming that no one had followed her, she finally catches her breath.
This time Dark Grasper makes to open a gate back to the Ultimaguil base but no matter how much she repeats the familiar operations, the gate simply won't appear for her.
"That can't be... The gate to the base won't open!? Why!?"
The rattled Dark Grasper then hears some ruthless words behind her.
"Dark Grasper-sama. You are no longer a member of Ultimaguil. Please make your peace with that."
She turns around and sees Ptera Guildy appear silently behind her. She had finally understood the leader's intentions. Wait until she's had her window of hope, then snatch it from her and give her despair. Tastelessness right out of a cheap horror film.
"Wait...! I get it! I'll surrender! But please, just let me go back to my room one time to repair Mega Ne! She's always mouthing off like she's my mom but... she's my precious partner!!"
Ptera Guildy is taken aback for a brief instant. Dark Grasper who was in desperate straits however did not have the composure to notice it. Mega Ne's elemera orb core lay inside of her head and that alone she clung tight to her chest with all she could.
"Please forgive me. The leader's commands are absolute."
Resigned to her fate, Dark Grasper's legs give out on her. She kept her hold on Mega Ne's head even as she did. If she were in the pursuer's place, she wouldn't have given any attention to any pleads for mercy.
"...so this is karma catching up to me... The executioner becomes the executed. How ironic..."
Ptera Guildy brings out the "String Theoria" and lines it up for Dark Grasper.
With her destruction that she herself spoke of before now at hand, she wishes she could hear that nagging scolding of hers all too dearly. Now that she's lost it, she's come to understand parental love for the first time. It came too late now.
The String Theoria shoots out at her like a bullet once again. She can no longer bring herself to watch its approach.
A single cleaving fire falls out of the sky and parts the elemera absorbing ring clean in twain.
Raising her chop up high, the warrior announces her name with pride.
"The ponytail that ties worlds together! Warrior of the sun, Phoenix Guildy is here!!"
Phoenix Guildy was back in her elemarian form once gain and she stood in front of Dark Grasper with her arms crossed. Even Ptera Guildy would have to be shaken by this.
"To come to me of your own will... You may be a traitor but you are also tremendously valorous!!"
"Yeah, the fight looked pretty over to me. Chasing a girl around so pig-headedly, that's pretty low! You're gonna make your title as a commander of one the Leader's corps cry, Ptera Guildy-san!!"
Letting slip whatever recent memory she had of reviving herself over and over again to challenge Dark Grasper to rematches to the scorching heat of her muscleheadeness, Phoenix Guildy passes down a harsh conviction on Ptera Guildy.
She brings out her gunsword the Phoenix Slashooter and jabs it the barrel end of it at the stoic Ptera Guildy's face.
"Just back away from here. Or are you looking to get in a fight with this awesome me!?"
He had received a direct order from the leader so it was a given he'd hold fast to it but contrary to expectations Ptera Guildy instead turns his back to them without a hint of reluctance to hisactions. He kicks up a dustcloud and flies away.
Dark Grasper gives her unexpected savior a suspecting gaze.
"Why did you save me!?"
"...what did you say back to Tail Red when you asked her the same, Dark Grasper-san?"
"Well, if I had to say why I'd say it's my way apologizing. It was looking like you'd get into a bit of a hot spot from getting involved with me."
Putting away her weapon, Phoenix Guildy sits down cross-legged in front of Dark Grasper.
"Sorry about that. You were just so strong that I got all heated up during our fight! If it was for real, I would have just pretended to go down since that would have made things easier for both you and me!"
What she said to her would be subjugator was an incredibly arrogant thing to say. Of course, she was expecting to hear something back in force after saying so but Dark Grasper just hung her head down and stayed where she was. She was in a much bigger state of shock than Phoenix Guildy had imagined her to be in.
"Just... just let this sink in then. That leader y'know, he's always going on about how profound he's supposed to be, but the moment someone shows up that might be able to give him some hurt he'll give the word to have them executed just like that."
That was a matter of course for an organization's head. At the very least, Dark Grasper hadn't been enough of a problem to merit that kind of rubbish till now.
"Yeah... that lousy old snoot. All that big talk about becoming a god even though he's such a petty little thing. Made my sides hurt."
Seeing Dark Grasper get little of bit of her bite back in her bark, Phoenix Guildy nods to herself with her arms crossed and stands up.
"What are you planning to do from here, Phoenix Guildy..."
"I felt something fate-like between me and Tail Red. That little bout between you and me gave me an idea of why that is. So now I think I'll be taking a little trip to see for myself!!"
Forming a symmetry with the bewildered Dark Grasper, Phoenix Guildy keeps her gaze straight ahead. The two of them were both being pursued now. they truly were in symmetry
"You head on over to the twintails. Have them fix up that robot mommy. She's there ain't she? That super elite science supporter of theirs."
Her suggestion is spoken in vain as the girl wordlessly hangs her head down. Phoenix Guildy approaches her in confusion at this.
"Hey now, you're not thinking he's still on your tail after all that just now. are you? You don't need to worry about him!"
"That's not it! I don't know how I can face them or bow my head for their help at this point!"
Phoenix Guildy lightly digs her knuckles into Dark Grasper's head.
"Make whatever face you need to and bow as low as you have to! You gotta do whatever it takes to save the ones you care for!!"
"nh... You...! You prance around as an elemarian but there you go talking like a human...!!"
Phoenix Guildy spreads her wings takes to the air.
"I don't know about prancing or whatever but this makes us even now!"
Leaving her with some parting words to lift the weight off her chest, Phoenix Guildy vanishes into a vapor trail of flames. As ironic as it may be, those gentle knuckles were so similar to hers. As distant as she may act when they came, she was still happy for those big hands belonging to robot she called "mom".
She pulls Mega Ne's head closer to her chest and hugs it tight.
"...if I bow my head low enough for my twintails to touch the ground, I'm sure she'd just get angry at that..."
Her eyes brimming with determination, Dark Grasper lets loose some self-deriding irony at herself and gets up.
"You just don't see how truly charming you are! Those exquisitely constricted hips and t-"
Preaching desperately about hips to his last, Flamingo Guildy goes out in an explosion. The battle has come to an end and we leave the battlefield-turned sports gym parking lot.
Today's enemy had their own countermeasures for Blue so Yellow jumped in to her aid and fought a hard battle but... once I did what I could to lure them outside, she just fired away to her heart's content and stripped herself down right after.
"...I apologize for losing myself once again..."
With regards to Yellow's circumstances, both me and her know all too well just how much she tries to hold herself back. So why is that she still always end up breathing heavily and purging off her armor? Just trying to stay on my toes for that is proving difficult.
"I'm just glad nobody was coming around to watch when he started to explode. Let's hurry back."
We quickly head towards to the transport gate's coordinates. It might have been a desolate area without too many people around but the noises from Yellow's Full Burst Mode explosions will have them coming in to see what happened soon enough.
"I think that if you do have to purge, I'm sure you'd change peoples' impression of you if you just put on a more gallant face when do it."
"It is embarassing to be naked! However, I simply cannot not undress myself in front of my master!!"
This... would probably take up its own page in a journal of rare cases for the world of psychology. Coming to understand Erina's self-contradictions makes me realize yet again just how inexperienced I am.
"I mean even Dark Grasper knows well enough to feel embarassed for being bare naked..."
"D-Dark Grasper knows what..."
Hearing Dark Grasper's voice I turn around to say I thought it'd be good to follow her example on the matter.
"Like I said, Dark Grasper is-"
Dark Grasper is right in front of me.
"Uwhoohaaaaahh! She's here!?"
She didn't look like she was in a doing okay though.
Contrasting the defensive stances we took, Dark Grasper was walking powerlessly towards us. When she got close enough, she held out a pair of scissors in front of me.
"What are you trying to pull here!?"
Dark Grasper pays no mind to Blue who cut in from the side and leaves her inquiry unanswered. She simply kept on staring at me without pause.
"...I, I'll offer up my twintails to you."
"The happiest gift anyone can give you are these, aren't they...?"
Not waiting for answer to that, Dark Grasper scoops one of her tails that hung over her chest and brings the scissors close to it. My body instantly heats up and I grab her wrist to pull it away.
"Cutting up twintails makes me happy!? Don't say something so stupid!"
"Tail Red, are you saying that twintails aren't the chief source of your sustenance...!?"
What a horribly dangerous misunderstanding. I have to set this idea straight.
"Yeah, they are! But who the heck is going around saying that I literally chew on them!?"
"...chief source of sustenance.... you're really going to just admit to that one aren't you..."
Blue covers her face with her palm as her shoulders shake.
"But I... this is the best I could come up with! I couldn't think of anything else!!"
Leaning in and down on her knees, Dark Grasper pleads to me at my eye level.
I was only just urging Yellow to exercise more self-restraint but the few times she did so, Dark Grasper has always flaunted her exposure with composure to spare and never forgot to be witty and playful. Bearing that in mind, it spoke bounds about just how badly cornered she must be right now.
"...sorry. I said a bit too much. Tell me why you're doing this."
I look at her face feeling ashamed that I hadn't considered what would drive her to a mental state where she'd try to offer me her twintails.
"...this is why."
A black hole in forms right next to Dark Grasper and it expands out like ink blotting up a piece of paper. What appeared out of that hole and floated out in mid-air made me my heart feel like it was being squeezed.
"Th-this is... don't tell me it's Mega Neptune!? What happened to her!?"
Her figure was in a graphically pitiful state. Even Blue and Yellow didn't bother to conceal how shaken they were at seeing their familiar opponent.
"I've been branded with the mark of rebellion. When that happened, Mega Ne shieled me and ended up like this..."
"What!? A rebel... you!?"
The three of us gasped at those hard to swallow words.
Amongst all of the parts floating in mid-air, Dark Grasper reels out what was unmistakably Mega Ne's head and hugs it to herself.
"I was chased out of the base so I can't fix her anymore...!!"
Getting down on her knees, she looks up to I who she was supposed to be looking downwards on and makes her plea.
"I don't care what happens to me! Just please, do something to save Mega Ne! I beg you, save her!!"
Gender: Tentatively female
A spectacled shark mascot character that the idol Iisuna Anko came up with to be popular with families(mainly aimed for kids). Mega Ne is the one who's inside of her. Her dopey and calming frame coupled with the gap between her appearance and her moves that put an action star to shame made her popularity shoot right up. Her merchandise does well too but her fame is starting to outdo Iisuna Anko's so they're in a situation where they put the cart before the horse. Mega Ne was reluctant to play the role at first but once she got out there in front of people and kids started happily flocking to her, she herself started feeling glad for it.