Apr 24, 2017

Last Embryo V1 Chapter 6

Chapter 6

On the morning of the second day, Sakamaki Izayoi and Mikado Tokuteru went to the French cuisine restaurant, “Don Bruno”, that was situated near the orphanage. It was because of Tokuteru’s strong demand to “fill his stomach” that they have come to this place. However, as they have reached the front it, Izayoi stared at the curtains of the door bitterly.

“...... Are we really going in there? It’s not even open yet, is it?”
“It won't be a problem. Don and Madam are rather generous. Not to mention that the dishes here are also rather delicious.”

“I know that more than anyone. I have been coming here since I was a kid.”

“Isn’t that just perfect? Such coincidences don’t happen twice, so, why don’t we just enter with a sense of nostalgia?”

Just like that, Tokuteru opened the curtains of the door as he dragged Izayoi along. Due to its old fashioned appearance from outside, it was hard to imagine that the decorations inside were all features of modern art.

Looking at it positively, it would be described as a stylish store with strong characteristics. While in a negative light, a shop that was completely devoted to one's hobbies.

——To build a castle that only belongs to me. Such passion was conveyed deeply.

At the counter of this shop of strong characteristics, sat a grim white haired chef with a cigarette and had just spread out a newspaper.

Seemingly displeased, he gazed towards the two guests who had just entered the restaurant an hour earlier before its opening time in a blue funk.

Realizing who the two guests were, his displeasure grew as he smacked his lips.

“....What on earth is with today. Just when I thought you guys were some acquaintances that I have not met for ages, turns out it was just the return of the two problem children. Leave, there’s no food here for someone who doesn't know etiquette or understands gratitude.”

“Hey Izayoi, he was talking to you.”

“Shut up. Half of that was about you…..Well, I am well aware that I am ungrateful. Long time no see, Don Bruno. Shouldn’t you quit smoking already?”

“Hmph, don’t be a busybody. Now it has just become my hobby at most.”

Don Bruno’s face that was filled with wrinkles began to purse, with his facial expression looking more and more terrible.

If you took a good look at him from the front, the fact that he was from the Western Europe could easily be distinguished. However, with his facial expression along with the traces of labor on his face, was of the so-called stubborn father in Japan.

As he stood up, he turned his shoulder and asked for their order while looking bothered.

“So, what do you want to eat? Would the usual pumpkin quiche be fine?”

“Yeah. Rather, that would be great. After all, the pumpkin quiche made by you is the best in France.”

Hmph, with a snort, Don Bruno returned to the kitchen.

As Izayoi and Tokuteru sat down on their seats within the restaurant, it was followed by a question, Tokuteru asked as he smiled.

“Well well, you seem to be quite close to him. Are there some special circumstances behind it?”

“I guess so. I first met him when I was still travelling with Canaria in the Western Europe. Since then, it has been 5 years…… No, with accordance to the time of this world, 7 years.”

Izayoi’s bitter expression from before had vanished without a trace, and had his eye glued towards the kitchen happily. Even Tokuteru, who was not really close to Izayoi, was able to understand just how rare this sight was.

“How’s it? Coming here was a good decision right?”
“Don’t get me wrong. It's not that I didn’t want to come. I simply didn’t want to violate your righteousness and creed.”

“Is it. Then, let's get to the main point right here…...confidentially speaking, how much do you know about this Game in question?”

Tokuteru put away his smile and asked in a low voice. The reason why he chose to enter this store before its opening time was probably because he didn’t want anyone in the surrounding to hear this. Leaning against his chair, Izayoi answered with both of his arm crossed.

“Even if you ask ‘how much’... It has only been 3 days since I was summoned back onto this world, and all I have learnt was that a Celestial Beast had escaped. Instead, you should be the one who has heard something about it.”

“No, there’s nothing I have heard. I have said this many times already, but the reason why we came here was totally due to other reasons. You can think of it as something that is unrelated to the Sun Authority War.”

Tokuteru Mikado asserted. If there’s no news from the Little Garden, obtaining any more information about the matter would prove to be difficult.

“...Seriously. You are such a useless god.”

“Don’t say it like that. I am already aware of it.”

With this, they were in a deadlock. Without some topic, the discussion couldn’t be carried on.

Izayoi started to look around his surroundings, and picked up the newspaper Don Bruno was reading just now, spread it onto the table and turned a page.

After flipping to the page regarding the report of the recent typhoon, he pointed towards the situation of the damages.

“Over two millions families have been victim of this incident, huh...Jeez, it has really caused quite a lot of troubles in this world. Excuse me for my selfish desire, but I want to settle this debt with my own hands.”

“I understand your anger, however, our main priority now is to have a discussion on finding a way for you to return. We will do something about  the issues in the outside world. With the Celestial Beast returned to Little Garden, dealing with the aftermath is our duty───”

At this moment, the store’s door opened with the clanking sounds.

A tanned woman could be seen sticking out her head through a crack in the door.

“Please excuse me for entering before opening hours, but may I know if Tokuteru is here?”

“Hm? Oh, Is that you Prith? I’m here.”

Tokuteru called out to Prith, the woman who was peeking in.

After hearing the name, Izayoi started to doubt if he had heard wrong.

“Prith….“Prithvi Mata”[1]? Oi oi, not only You(Taishakuten), but to think that even this great mother goddess has come. No matter how you look at it, this is definitely overpowering. What are you plotting?”

Although Izayoi was rather offensive in his speech, Prith answered him while giggling as she held her chin.

“It was rude of you to call it ‘plotting’, Sakamaki Izayoi. All we have been doing is just living normally in this world.”

“That’s right. She’s just a staff from my company. Just an ordinary and exceptional staff.”

“Even shamelessness has a limit. When two of the infamous strongest war gods, The 12 Devas are assembled here, I think it would be pretty normal to think that something fishy is going on.”

From Izayoi’s comment, the two Devas started to giggle as they tried to hold in their laughters. They were the Divine Spirits who have created a community that was prominent even among the many gods of Little Garden.

The name of these gods was, “Twelve Deva Guardians”.

The strongest group of Gods, built mainly through the gathering of war gods who are widely believed in the countries of Asia.

Prithvi Mata, was counted as one of the oldest goddesses within the many gods in India.

Although she was known as the goddess of fertility after the separation of Heaven and Earth, the true nature of her spirit rank did not lie there.

To spread the agriculture since the dawn of humanity, this is her true nature───That is, to act as the god who’s responsible for the origin of human civilization. Living under the sky as one of the twelve heavenly gods, and settle such abnormal state of agriculture was probably one of her missions too.

“I too have heard the stories of your heroism, Sakamaki Izayoi. The Hero who was summoned 3 years ago in Little Garden, including the demon lord of Zoroastrianism, “Azi Dahaka”, you have already defeated a total of 5 demon lords.”

“That is an honor...Or so I want to say, but I was not the only one who defeated him.”

“I know. All I’m saying is that your name as their representative has become well known.”

“....... There is some inaccuracy in your words, but forget it.”

As Izayoi felt that it would become too troublesome if he continued on this topic, he gave up on it. While Prith giggled as if she enjoyed this and then sat while pointing towards the article.

“Let’s end this chit-chat here. I have just confirmed the traces left behind by ‘The Bull of Heaven’ who was on a rampage.”

“Incredible, a competent woman is indeed different from others. So, what’s the situation?”

“The source came from a sea in the South American continent, from where it traveled north of the coastline and to the island of Crete. However, it did not land on the interior of Europe, and instead, it hit West and Southeast Asia and headed straight towards Japan.”

“Mhm. So far it’s the same as the article. How about the rumored virus and agriculture damages?”

“In general, the virus has a high infection rate. From the symptoms shown, the disease was smallpox that could even infect plants.”

“Smallpox? Isn’t that disease supposed to be extinct?”

“Oh, is it?”

Prith asked in wonder. It seems that she was not familiar with modern history.

Especially because India, the country she governed, had a fortuitous history with the hardship of smallpox. Hence, the astonishment.

Izayoi scratched his head and explained the matter of that aspect.


A disease that rivaled the Black Death disease and the Spanish flu, one of the viruses that had caused countless deaths.

Not only was it an air-borne infection, but also a deadly virus with over a 40% mortality rate that could even spread by physical contact with wounds or pus. Once infected, even after making a complete recovery from it, the ugly marks would be left on the skin, scarring the patients physically and mentally. There’s a famous story in Japan, where Date Masamune had one of his eyes robbed by the smallpox, which has become an anecdote.

“It seems that for the eradication of the smallpox, a similar virus known as cowpox was used, infecting the people with it beforehand and making patients immune. I heard that the only remains of it are being kept under strict supervision in the research facilities.”

“...Ho. So it was a type of disease that was  similar to cowpox, which only occurs on cows.”

Ahem. The three of them fell silent.

The matter this time was related to the Sun Authorities - The Twelve Ecliptic Constellations.

Within the “Twelve Ecliptic Constellations”, the twelve Celestial Beasts consisted are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

And within the “Twelve Chén of the Equator”: Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

These twenty-four Celestial Beasts that exist within the Sun’s Orbit, are generally referred to as the Sun Authorities.

“The rampaging Taurus trial this time is roughly divided into two kinds. One of which is the Game “Monster of the Labyrinth” based on the Minotaur from Greek mythology.”

Minotaur───A bull monster that was quoted in several varieties of works even in Japan, was originally a monster of Greek Myth that had been passed down from the floating island above the Aegean Sea, Crete.

In the mythology, it was said that the king who reigned over the island of Crete that time was given a beautiful bull temporarily from the God of the Sea, Poseidon. However, as the King began to obsess over the beauty of the bull, he violated the contract he had with Poseidon, keeping the beautiful sea bull to himself.

The sea god was angered by the King’s action and thus placed a curse on the Queen of Crete, causing her to fall in love with the sea bull. Eventually, the Queen ordered the famous craftsmen of the country to disguise her appearance as a cow, realizing her love with the sea bull.

As a result, the Queen gave birth to a half-bull, half-human bull monster.

The child Queen gave birth to, was temporarily given the name of his ancestor “Asterius”, but was later renamed to “Minotaur”.

Minotaur was hence imprisoned by the King into an inescapable labyrinth, to only be killed off by the Hero Theseus who sneaked into the maze as a crusade, closing the curtains of this legend.

“And the other one of which used ‘The Bull of Heaven’, a bull which appeared in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem that has been passed down by the ancient Mesopotamian civilization. Both of these are Gift Games of immense difficulty and strength…But I would never have thought that these two would be held at the same time.”

Especially the Celestial Beast of the latter….. ‘The Bull of Heaven’, is a Celestial Beast that could reveal its threat especially in this modern society. Within the records, it was said that once ‘The Bull of Heaven’ descend upon the world, there would be seven years of famine.

Within the records of Gilgamesh, the bull was originally referred to as ‘The Bull of Heaven[2], However, this is probably due to the constellation being Taurus.

Thinking up to that point, Izayoi muttered as if he had noticed something.

“Heavy storm, smallpox, famine...thinking about it now, rather than just the appearance of “The Bull of Heaven”, every natural disaster that were recorded in Gilgamesh’s Epic are manifesting one by one.”

“The heavy storms are the flood that ended the world. The smallpox is the skin disease that the demon beast, Humbaba, has cursed to spread. The famine that is likely to happen in the future is ‘The Bull of Heaven’ huh?”

“While there are various theories on curses, a theory about King Gilgamesh’s death being due to smallpox also exists. The problem we face now is that the scale this time being more vicious than in the epic.”

“This could be due to the difference in human population between the past and present. Try to compare the two situations where ancient Uruk is an arena and the present world is also an arena. In order for both games to bring about the same gameplay, don’t you think the power of this degree would be necessary?”

“Well, taking into account the original spirit rank of the Celestial Beast, it would be natural for it to have that degree of power.”

So it is. Izayoi crossed his arms, and started to digest the contents of this discussion.

In the end, although the original spirit rank of this Celestial Beast was different from this, but in accordance to the Gift Game that followed the legend, it seems that there was a regulation of power to a certain extent.

Yet, it was rampaging in this outer world, revealing its enormous power.

“Ahem...But if that’s so, it’s fortunate for us that it has returned back to Little Garden. If it had remained here forever, the level of damage that would happen to this world would be catastrophic.”

“Indeed. The outside world is really narrow in comparison to Little Garden.”

“It’s true in our territory. But if this is a recurring Gift Game of the legend, the game of “The Bull Of Heaven” would probably last for seven years. Taking into account the speed of infection and disease, humanity might really have perished.”

Izayoi frowned after he heard Prith’s words.

“....Is it really that bad?”

“Very bad. Although the damage done by the typhoon was huge, the damage done to the crops is what’s really bad. In my judgement, that type of virus would stay within the soil for a while.”

“Oi oi, don’t you dare joke with me. Having the virus left in the soil is the worst outcome that one could expect.”

“Exactly. While we thought that “The Bull of Heaven” was the embodiment of a drought, in actuality, it seems that it was actually the embodiment of famine. It must have judged that the best way to give rise to famine in this era was to suppress the key, the earth.”

How terrible this was. If this was true, then stating that the damage dealt at the present stage was devastating would not be an exaggeration.

Yet, Tokuteru ignored the serious expressions shown on the two faces and laughed suggestively.

“What are you guys so serious about, that issue has already been dealt with. I have stated that Homura has already took measures against this virus. It will not be long before this issue would be solved.”

“Oh? That boy from that day?”

“You have said that before, but will it really be fine?”

“Jeez, there’s no need for worries. After all, he───Uh, sorry. A call from Uesugi.”

A tone that sounded like the heart sutra was suddenly projected within the store. As one would expect, even Izayoi and Prith couldn’t help but reveal smiles.

“What a ‘great’ taste you have….Or rather, Uesugi from the company of Twelve Deva Guardians... could it be,”

“Being too observant is bad for you, Sakamaki Izayoi.”

Prith revealed a mischievous smile of an adult, and put a finger on her lips.

Izayoi was at a loss, but shrugged as he laughed.

“Okay, okay, I get it. I understand that even Gods have spare time to spend.”

“Yeah, especially after you went and defeated the ‘Last Embryo’”

The giggle that the Earth Goddess gave contained traces of gratitude and playfulness. At first glance, she looked like a woman with strict persona, but it turned out that she was unexpectedly friendly.

In this steady mood───The hard-faced chef, Don Bruno, brought out the two pumpkin quiches.

“What? Prith, you came too? If you had called me earlier, I would have prepared a third share.”

“Don’t mind it, Don Bruno. I am okay with taking Tokuteru’s share.”

“Okay, just take it. This is all Tokuteru’s fault for not telling me that you were coming.”

After Don Bruno’s consent, Prith stretched her arm towards Tokuteru’s pumpkin quiche without any hesitation. Izayoi’s eyes were also shining, laughing heartily as he stared at the quiche that just been taken out of the oven.

───Quiche was one of the local dishes common within parts of Europe, but by no means was it a high end cuisine. It would be better to say that it is one of the most popular dishes among the locals.

The wafting sweet aroma of the freshly baked pumpkin quiche and steaming pie dough made Izayoi unconsciously breath a sigh.

“Damn...It’s nice to come back once in awhile. Thanks to that, I can taste the world's best quiche once more.”

“Don’t be loquacious, you damn brat. You probably brought along some trouble as you returned, didn’t you? It would be fine if you were to die by the roadside, but don’t drag the kids in the orphanage along with you. For wanderers, it’s the most basic etiquette to kick the bucket without causing trouble to their homeplace.”

“....... Yeah, I’ll be careful.”

He opened his mouth just slightly and put the pumpkin quiche in it. For Izayoi, this flavor hadn’t changed a bit after three years, and was tasty as ever.

───The same taste, but with a bit of bitterness.

Oh how he'd like to live well as Don Bruno said, but at the same time, he also swore that he would make the person behind the incident taste ten thousand times the bitterness.

“Sorry, Don. Since you are good at taking care of people, have you been taking care of those in the orphanage?”

“....Well. We don’t really contact out of goodwill. But well, until I have cleared all my debt I had with Canaria, I will keep being in touch with them. Or else, I wouldn’t be able to come up with an explanation when I go to hell.”

Don Bruno scratched his head as he returned back to the kitchen.

Then, Tokuteru who had just returned after his call was stunned as he saw the empty plates on the table.
“Ugh, Oi, wait a minute! Where’s my salted pie!?”

“Thank you for your hospitality. It was delicious, boss.”

“Well, it would be a waste if someone as useless as you were to eat it.”
Izayoi laughed, and Prith grinned as she tried to hold in her laughter.

After awhile of indignation, Tokuteru ordered another plate of salted pie.


“Underwood’s Stage Area” Before the entrance of the Spirit Train.

“....? Has the weather gotten worse?”

The sunny weather since yesterday had suddenly disappeared, and the it began to deteriorate severely.

Dark clouds were gathering in the skies above the great tree, and even the traces of lightning could be seen. Yet, the city was filled with noises from the citizens, nagging about when will the game begin. Seats were already prepared without one’s knowledge.

Ayato gave a smile, and sat on the back of the “Hippocamp” Hyutos.

“Looks like the landlords have gathered quite a number of audiences. Their business spirits are strong as ever.”

“Hehe. Although we can’t reject and there’s no pay for it.”

“Well, who knows? It’s possible that Miss Shirayuki-san might have already made some kind of negotiation with them. After all, we are free to use the waterway of the city, so she must be making the necessary arrangements.”

“That’s right, about that Shirayuki-san. But, Kuro Usa is the “Moon Rabbit” from Buddhist Tales right? In that case, could Shirayuki-san be the ‘Snow White’ from Grimm’s fairy tales?”

“No, I think that’s not quite correct.”

Homura shook his head, and tapped his head as if he had recalled something.

“Body of a giant serpent, a Japanese style Kimono. Also the name Shirayuki-hime. There’s no mistake, she must be Shirayuki-hime from one of Kyoka Izumi’s famous works, Yasha-Ga-Ike.[3]

Kyoka Izumi’s Yasha-Ga-Ike...Oh, that. The legend of a Dragon God on which the anecdote about human sacrifice is based on, right?”

“That’s the one. It seemed closer to the Grimm’s fairy tale because she said something about being a divinity holder, right?”

“So...she is the Water God right? …...This is getting tricky. Although the ‘Hippocamp’ are running on water, but in actuality they are controlling the water pressure to move forward. If a whirlpool or a waterspout were to appear, it would cause us to lose quite some time.”

What should we do? Ayato tilted her head.

But Homura and Suzuka looked at each other, and giggled meaningfully.

“On that field, there’s nothing to worry about. ───Right, Sister?”

“Of course, Brother. How about the situation of ‘that’?”

“For ‘that’, it went beyond my expectation. I gave it to Kodama[4] right after I had drawn the finished blueprint of the water carriage, and they actually finished it in just a day, so I got surprised! Furthermore, it’s end result is perfect!”

Homura patted the body of the carriage. Although it was called a water carriage, it’s figure was like that of a wooden boat that couldn’t accumulate motion force. The carriage cabin was also made to be classical and simple.

Rather than a carriage, it was more of a boat that would glide on water, but since it was pulled by a ‘Hippocamp’, then it belonged to the classification of a carriage perfectly.

“Although, I never expected you to start drawing the blueprint from scratch. Senpai’s Gift is as convenient as ever.”

“Well, on the other hand, that’s as useful as my gift can be.”
Yes───Saigou Homura’s Gift was not a power that could play an important role when it came to critical moments. Instead it was a different kind of Gift, possessor of which could recreate anything that he destroyed or disassembled before.
But according to the holder, although he would be able to thoroughly understand the structure, he wouldn’t be able to perfectly understand what it was made of, however, the situation this time was somewhat different.

Tracing the wooden part of the carriage, Homura happily said:

“The wood of this Water Tree is amazing. If you made a boat with it, the resistance of water’s viscosity almost vanishes, allowing it to glide smoothly on the surface of the water. As for the roots of the sapling, it seems like it could absorb and accumulate quite an amount of water, considering the standards of living within this ‘Little Garden’, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it was one of the necessary things.”

Homura looked towards the Water Tree as he spoke of it with deep emotions.

However, Ayato was stunned from his words.

“Wa-wait a minute. Senpai. Where did you got all these knowledge from…?”

“Oh, you were talking about this. It seems that the woods and minerals in Little Garden itself have a variety of powers, so even if I don’t disassemble them, I will be able to somewhat understand its nature just by a glance. Then, using what I already know, I made the blueprint and gave it to the kodamas to make it. Something like that.”

There’s rarely any opportunity to draw a blueprint for a galleon like this, so I really wanted to give it a try,  said Homura in good mood. She heard that he was interested in vehicles the day before, however it would be more accurate to say that he liked building them.

Yet, Ayato got more stunned after she heard what he had said.

When it comes to drawing information from just a glance, it wasn’t such a simple matter. Depending on the Gift’s growth, it boasts with the absurd rarity when it came to Game makeups.

Homura tapped the carriage once again, and turned his sight towards Suzuka and Ayato.

“However, this is as much as I can support. I will leave the rest to you two. Especially Suzuka, there’s no need for limitation this time. Feel free to use it in front of others.”  

“No problem! I will never know when I will have such an opportunity again, so I really wanted to use it to the full potential.”

“Very well. I also wanted to see how far Suzuka can go.”

Sounds of laughter could be heard from the two of them.

Yet on the other hand, Ayato pouted as she held the reins tight.

“I understand. I will serve as the rider so the two of you may focus on thinking of some schemes. Well, if push comes to shove, I will do something with my horsemanship skills alone.”

“Alright, alright. I know Aya-chan’s horsemanship is really high. So the main character this time would be Aya-chan, and we two will be the workers behind the scene!”

Suzuka also stepped onto the water carriage. As the whistle of the Spirit Train’s departure sounded, Shirayuki-hime slowly rose her sickle-shaped neck from the water, overlooking them.

『Fumu, looks like everybody is ready. ───Then, let us confirm the rules again. First of all, the game will start right after the Spirit Train’s departure. Then, we would do a one anti-clockwise lap around this great tree of “Underwood”, and whoever arrives at this place first would be the winner. The first one that returns to this position will be granted the position for the winner. Although the lands behind the Aquatic City are still undeveloped,there are still narrow waterways connected to one another. You may choose your favourite route to the finish line.』


“I understand.”

“But I would have to ask. In this race, any behaviours of intentional collision and direct impediment towards opponent are forbidden right?”

“Rest assured, I am not the kind who would resort to such vulgar means. If I won by such mean, wouldn’t I receive criticism from the audience? Abiding to the rules while competing in Games is what makes them sacred ───That said, it is legal to exercise your Gifts.”

“OK. I’m relieved to hear that.”

Both parties assumed their positions. It’s a water city after all, even if it was a short distance, a boat would be needed for it. Hence, it wouldn’t be odd if there are several boats that would be crossing on the road. Luckily, with the help from the landlords, a large amount of it was reduced for the sake of this race. It seems that the money made through the selling of tickets would be rather high, should we fetch some fee? Homura and Suzuka thought about these.

The vibration caused by the departure of ‘Spirit Train’, caused the water surface to sway.

Ayato picked up the whip and started preparing as she focused all her senses onto her hearing.

At the same time the ‘Spirit Train’ came out of the great tree while raising a whistle after unloading the cargo, Kuro Usagi stood in front of the gong used for the game, and raised her hand to declare the start of the game.


Dong~~~~!!! The gong projected a loud sound, and the whistle of the train sounded at the same time the game started. Ayato was slightly quicker than Shirayuki-hime and got her hippocamp running first.

Since it was a water carriage, there were no wheels attached to it, but instead, it was gliding on the water instead. Ayato who originally thought that there would be pressure after setting off, smiled as she recalled that the hull of the boat was made from the trunk of the water tree.

(Looks like the gliding was smoother as I thought. Like this, it would be fine even if I went overboard up a bit.)

Ayato clenched the reins. As if responding to the spirit of the rider, the Hippocamp also raised a neigh as it rushed forward in full speed. Although it was only by a bit, but it was clear that she was in the lead.

On the other hand, Homura and Suzuka spread out the rough sketch of the city, planning the routes they were going to be in.

“What do you think, Brother? In general, wouldn’t it be better to travel inside as much as possible?”

“No, you are too simple-minded, Sister. While the waterway is indeed spread out like a spider web, we wouldn’t be able to use any way where the boat's hull cannot pass, and protecting ourselves would be difficult were something to happen.”

“I see. Then, we shall have the highroad as our main focus.”

He drew the route on the map with a brush. Although they have told the plan to Ayato before hand, they have not actually surveyed the entire city.

They started the water town race without any prior knowledge of its terrain. As a result, they had to grasp the characteristics of the city and find the shortest route as soon as possible.

“At the beginning, try to keep a distance between you and Shirayuki-san, it doesn’t have to be far, but don’t be too close either. Then, after we have decided the route, sprint as fast as you can. The rest would be how the other will hinder us…”

“Hehe. I have already seen through your plan, foolish children! Don’t think that this would be so easy!”

Shirayuki-hime roared while she was underneath the water, causing the waterway to tremble violently, forming waves. Looks like the hindering had already begun.

Within the trembling carriage, despite hitting their heads, Homura and Suzuka confirmed the time.

“It has been 3 minutes since the start of the game! There will be an intermittent attack later on!”

“Understood! I will return the attack later, so be prepared for it, Aya-chan!”

Suzuka warned Ayato as she was in the carriage. However, Ayato didn’t have the time to fuss over it.

As the horseman of the carriage, she had to prevent the boat from overturning, pay attention to the water flow, and also to prevent herself from falling, causing her to strain her nerves.

The timing to pull the reins. The balance between the two stirrup when she was stepping on them.

Water horsemanship was a skill that could not be cultivated through ordinary experiences. Yet, Ayato was driving it perfectly.

(......This is really surprising. If it’s just making the Hippocamp run, even an amateur could do that, but to be riding it this perfectly!)

It would be impossible to be this good just from learning basic horsemanship. It seemed that she was no ordinary person. Shirayuki-hime swung her body beneath the water, as if she was trying to say “It’s more interesting this way.”

In a flash, a giant wave approached.


Ayato’s breathing began to synchronize with the Hippocamp. In order for the Hippocamp to enter the waves easily, she moved her center of gravity to the right. However, from this, there’s a risk of the boat overturning.

She released her grip on one of the hands that was holding onto the reins and used it to support the equipment that was connecting the Hippocamp with the carriage, and called out to the two of them inside.

“The waves are approaching from the right! In order to move smoothly, please try to support the boat!”


Right after that, Suzuka bend her body from the boat and grabbed the top part of the door. Ayato could feel a cold sweat rising as she thought what Suzuka was doing, but what could be seen on Suzuka’s face was only an expression of seriousness.

As the wave approached, Suzuka bowed her body substantially, balancing the overturning boat.

Ayato’s eyes widened as she was shocked from Suzuka’s stunts, but she realized immediately, the reason behind this stunt that this girl made.

“So that’s it…! Using the essentials of surfing….! I Didn't know that Suzuka had such skills,”

“Nah, this is actually my first try, I can do it if I try!”

“....... Except that the water intake of the carriage is severe.”

Homura who was drenched by the waves stuck out his head from the other side of the boat. Ayato, while showing a wry smile, asked for next instructions.

“What should we do next, Senpai?! If there is no other countermeasures, I think it would be more appropriate to take the highroad!”

“No, turn right next at the next fork in the road, then move towards the industrial area! Let’s settle it there once and for all!”

Understood! Right after the instructions were given, Ayato turned the water carriage towards right, in the direction of the industrial area. A remarkably large waterway appeared on their way. It appeared that it was a shopping district. There were not only street stalls, but high-flying banners could also be seen on top of the clean and luxurious buildings. With a glance, one could see that the banners here and there were the same. Presumably, these must all belong to the same community.

While Homura looked at the state of the shopping district, he counted the flags that were repeating the most.

(Looks like the most are the ones with six scars imprinted on them…’Six Scars’. If I remember correctly, the ‘Spirit Train’ also had the similar mark.)

It was probably the banner of the landlords community. The second most was the ‘Draco Greif’, ‘Underwood’, and a red banner with a girl as its emblem.

The fact that these flags were deeply respected was clearly understood. Despite the fact that they were hung outside, there wasn’t even a trace of stain that could be seen on them, it’s obvious that they washed it everyday. In addition, there were no other flags that were hung as high as or higher than the 4 flags mentioned, which is also one of their characteristics.
(Although it may be due to fear, but from the street’s lively and cheerful atmosphere, it doesn’t seem to be the case. So, it’s more because of respect?)

Moving away willingly just by greeting them, and being able to convene such an audience. It seems that there’s an absurdly high amount of support for this competition. The leader who governed this place must have been highly respected.

(Could it be that Iza-nii….No, that’s impossible.)

Homura gave a wry smile as he shook his head. Although he definitely had talent, he definitely was not the type that would bear the lives of others. Izayoi’s good intention would never target an organization, but instead, a strong-minded individuals.

The fact that he would want to live in ‘Little Garden’......Presumably, there are many people living here whom he values.

(Well, he probably doesn’t have time to introduce them to us)

If he gathered pleasant comrades like that Loli Kuro Usagi and Shirayuki-hime, it’s assured that one could make an enjoyable organisation.

Shirayuki-hime who was their opponent, seemed to be enjoying this Game very much.

“Alright, I am going to increase the difficulty! How’s this!”

As Shirayuki-hime roared loudly, waterspouts started to rise one after another.

Although it was not enough to cover the entire waterway, tripping up now would definitely be dangerous.

Ayato had no choice but to lower their speed. Not letting go of any chances, Shirayuki-hime sped up and closed the distances.

“Like I’d let you! Suzuka, do it!”

“Got it!”

It has finally come, huh? Shirayuki-hime had also put up a stance. She had never thought of the Gifts they would have, but since they were summoned into ‘Little Garden’, they must be some special Gifts.

Just when she intended to take advantage by extending the distance between them────Shirayuki-hime’s vision suddenly dyed pink.


With her vision blurred, Shirayuki-hime couldn't help but to lift her head up. She did not know what had happened, and swung her head in pain. However, the serpent couldn't advance during the period that her head was out of the water.

Homura and the others then took this opportunity to overtake the water serpent.

“Nice! The paint hit her! Aya-chan, take this chance and yank her off!”

“O-Okay! But Suzuka, the Gift just now, after all it’s…”

“Ah, although it looks like teleportation, it's actually a bit different. It's Apport & Asport, which is rather inconvenient in comparison to teleportation.”

Homura explained as he stuck out his head out of the carriage.

───In the past, the orphanage "Canaria Family Home" gathered a variety of children that had some ‘slightly’ special abilities. Or rather, it might be better to say if you were gathering children with no place to return to, those kinds of children would naturally gather. Basically, most of their powers weren’t so big as to call them super powers, and were just slightly special, but among them, there were two prominent exceptions.

And they were, Ayazato Suzuka and Sakamaki Izayoi.

“Apport and Asport...So they are the "Gift of Bringing"(Apport) and "Gift of Sending"(Asport), is that correct? But nevertheless, being able to control both at once, it's really incredible…”

“Not really, it's actually very inconvenient you know? There are many restrictions, for example, only the right hand can be used to extend the line of things to be transferred to the extension line on the left hand and so on. In addition, I can transfer myself as much as I want, but I cannot use it simultaneously.”

After hearing Suzuka talk about the restrictions, Ayato’s mind started digesting the information at high speed.

Basically, Suzuka's Apport & Asport ability appeared to work like the moving of a train. The object uses the 'tracks' of her right hand to pass through the intermediary train station, in this case, Suzuka, and then arrives at the destination, in this case, her left hand.

There might be some inconveniences, but it was still a very strong Gift. Within the Little Garden, powers related to teleportation could only be used by Divine Spirits and Demons that governed the boundaries.

Maxwell(Hot and Cold), Ignis-Fatuus(Life and Death), and Halloween(Planets and Stars). A Gift that only those who managed realms could have, she possessed it in her human body.

(Although the degree of freedom cannot be compared to the normal teleportation, these methods can be used to different lengths. Senpai aside, why does Suzuka posses such level of Gift....?)

“Aya-chan, look out!”

Ayato raised her head all at once. While she was thinking, the next waterspouts had already appeared. Even though the collision was close, she still manipulated the reins, but still, it was way too close.

Ayato could not help but emerge in cold sweat, but Suzuka raised her hand causing the waterspout to disappear right before their eyes.

Yet, on the contrary, Shirayuki-hime was the one who got hit by the waterspout.


Getting hit by her own waterspout at the edge of her head, she was blown away at once. Watching Shirayuki-hime who was rolling into the city, shouts of enjoyment could be heard from the audiences.

“It’s...It’s.c..c...coming here!!!”

The audience screamed as they fled.

They scattered in every direction would be more appropriate to say. Veins could be seen popping on Shirayuki-hime’s forehead as she bent her head and moaned with anger.

But she was calm on the inside.

(Grrr...Out of all Gifts one could have, she has Apport & Asport….However, the fact that they are kind enough to explain how her Gift works just when I was beside them, they are truly immature.)

If what Ayazato Suzuka said was true, then there was a fatal weakness in her Apport & Asport ability. Shirayuki-Hime wasn’t foolish enough as to overlook it.

After getting rid of the paint, Shirayuki-hime got back into the waterway and this time, dived even deeper.

(There’s no other choice, I will have to use the underground waterway even if it’s a longer path.)

Shirayuki-hime dove into the underground waterway within the sunken area. Then, she slipped her body inside. With this, Suzuka’s Gift would be useless.

Due to the nature of her Gift, if the straight line while holding the right hand can not be visualized, the accuracy should be dramatically reduced.

And that conjecture turnout to be correct. Shirayuki-hime had become able to interfere with her opponents while not showing them her body at all, and she began an unilateral attack on the three contestants.

However, the three of them weren’t so delicate as to give up from just that.

Despite the huge whirlpool which had appeared in front of their way, Suzuka climbed up on the carriage and confirmed the situation.

“Aya-chan, I’ll send you over to the other side, get ready!”

“I...I am ready!”

After finishing her sentence, Suzuka crossed the obstructing whirlpool and appeared on the other end.   

With her right hand aiming at the water carriage, and her left hand aiming at the waterway under her, she pulled the carriage that was from the other side of the whirlpool. The water carriage dropped as it was accompanied by water droplets.

Ayato started sweating cold sweat as she discovered another weakness of Apport & Asport.

(I..I see! Since Suzuka is acting as the station and it’s route, it’s natural that she can’t move herself while she is transferring the objects. Because there’s this restriction, she had to either transfer herself first, or transfer the carriage.)

In comparison to teleportation which allows the operator to move at the same time, Apport & Asport required more steps. It would be fine for this race game, but it would become a huge hindrance during an emergency.

Ayato strengthened her grip on the reins as she tried to store the information in her head.

“Well...it is also part of my mission to avoid falling into such situation.”


“No, nothing. ───Senpai. If this continues we will be beaten one-sidedly, any ideas?”

Ayato asked while she was driving the carriage, Homura answered immediately without thinking.

“Although the map of the underground waterway was not drawn, there’s probably no shortcuts. If she’s unlucky, the distance might even grow longer. She would definitely show herself somewhere. Until then, continue running like this.”

“Understood.───By the way...”

Ayato who was sitting on the Hippocamp turned her head alone and looked at Homura who was in the carriage.

“I have already understood it clearly just how powerful Suzuka’s Gift is, then is it possible that Senpai’s gift has a certain power that I have not known……...or perhaps that is not the case, huh?”

“Sadly, no. You should have known how weak my Gift is, right?”

“Ni-haha. If only this was an ocean, his Gift could be utilized to its full potential.”

Ayato and Suzuka showed a mischievous grin as they teased Homura.

Homura scratched his head awkwardly, but immediately recovered as he picked up the map to see their current location.

“We are almost at the industrial area. It’s going to become complicated from now on, are you ready?”

“Yes, I have already memorised the estimated route beforehand, if anything happens, please instruct me.”

“The industrial area, huh? Since it’s a game, maybe we could borrow something that might be useful?”

Just after speaking, they brought up the topic of who is going to pay for the paint that they have used. Since there aren’t any catcalls...That would probably mean that someone else would fix the damage done throughout the game….They hoped so.

“Yeah, if it’s just borrowing, there shouldn’t be a problem”

“You’ve got it. Oh...there it is!”

Suzuka pointed towards the industrial area.

Just as the game entered the state of mid-war….The dark clouds that had surrounded ‘Underwood’, became thicker, and thicker….


“Ooh...Homura-san and the others are using a rather safe game strategy.”

Kuro-Usagi who was the referee jumped between roofs of the city, entering the industrial area to watch the progress of the game. The game so far was about fifty-fifty.

Matching against a divinity holder like Shirayuki-hime, it was natural for one to be surprise.

“Well, It would be really amazing if they were all at the same level as Izayoi-san and Yo-san. But on the other hand, putting up this much fight just by using Apport & Asport is already quite surprising indeed.”

If Ayazato Suzuka’s Gift was entirely based on teleportation alone, the entire match would be one sided. They wouldn't even need a minute.

The Gift of ‘Apport’ and ‘Asport’, in order to carry out long distance transportation, the two steps must always be carried out. Both Suzuka and the carriage would have big openings which would expose them to danger.

Well, at least it would be proper game balance for the audience.

(They will be reaching the industrial area soon...There are various man-made Gifts created there, and many high-priced articles are scattered around. I wonder what we should do if they get rolled up in this, But it should be all right the way this is going.)

Kuro Usagi flung her Usagi-Mimi happily.

Entering the industrial area that deals with iron manufacturing, sounds of iron forging could be heard everywhere. It's been rumoured that the water in “Underwood” was suitable for enchanting Gifts into “Adamantine”.

Within the great tree, dwell many variety of spirits, allowing them to make great use of their power. As a result, this industrial area was formed.

Kuro Usagi hopped down from the roof onto the riverside of the industrial area.

Sure enough, unlike the shopping street, the production line here doesn’t stop. At most, a Casino was opened by the shore for those who didn’t have any job on their hand.

There was no one to hinder them, and the atmosphere there also seemed to have no problems

(But the weather seems to be a little unstable...Maybe it will get stormy?)

“Hey Porol! Isn’t that big sis Kuro Usagi? It’s rare to see her at such a dirty place.”

“There’s no need to say it was dirty, Sharol-nee. In addition, I am the boss here, please use some honorifics.”

Hearing familiar voices, Kuro Usagi jumped in shock.

As she followed the direction of the voices, she saw two cat beastmen with nekomimi on their heads.

“Sharol-sama! And also Parol-sama!”

“Long time no see! Big sis Kuro Usagi. How’s the game going?”

“YES! Other than the river which got tainted by the paint, there are no other damages!”

“Nyahaha, then I am relieved! After all, every time we lent our stage to you, it would always end up being wrecked!”

“Sharol-nee, please mind your manners as you speak.”

The young catboy, persuading his older sister, Porol Gundark.

The catgirl, wearing a blacksmith uniform while carrying a giant hammer on her shoulder, Sharol Gundark.

These two who had the flag of ‘Six Scars’ imprinted on their chest, were responsible for the industrial area. They probably came down to check the damages done from Shirayuki-hime’s Gift Game.

Porol stepped forward as he waited for Homura and the others.
“As we, ‘Six Scars’ owe ‘No name’.........Master Izayoi and big sis Kuro Usagi’s community, a favor. That’s why, we would accept almost any request you would ask. However, if this industrial area was to be destroyed, we won’t be able to do business anymore. If that happens, as expected, we won’t be able to cover for you.”

“O-Of-of course, I understand! We would never add any trouble to ‘Six Scars’ which are our sworn friends.”

“......Nyahaha. Speaking of it, I have been had so hard back then.”

Sharol suddenly showed a distant look in her eyes.

While Kuro Usagi raised her usamimi in a panic.

───’Six Scars’ was a trading-specialised community which constructed the ‘Spirit Train’ and also used it for transporting goods. And Sharol Gundark, was one of the very few talents in it who specialised in combat. As part of the alliance, they had many opportunities where they would combine forces with ‘Six Scars’ in a Gift Game, so there were many occasions where Kuro Usagi had teamed up with Sharol.  

Sadly for them, they probably drew the shortest stick while they joined forces.

“Wahhh...We ‘No Names’ have cause you so much trouble that time.”

“There’s no need to worry about it, we still won the Gift Game in the end. But well, a new model of ‘Spirit Train’ is being built here in industrial area…”

“Since I heard that the one of the contestant this time was master Izayoi’s brother, I simply couldn’t just sit still anymore. If the train got destroyed as it got involved in the game, it would turn into a big problem you know?”

“I-I see. However, I personally think that there’s no need for concerns.”

As of now, the style of the game was rather steady. It was instead quite opposite game style from his said brother. No matter how wrong it went, there couldn’t possibly be anything like industrial area getting blown away, Shirayuki-hime getting flung around, or the destruction of land in order to create a shortcut.

As the three of them were talking, the waterway started to tremble.

Sharol’s Nekomimi stood sharp and and she pointed to a certain direction.

“Oh, it’s coming! Big sis!”

The sound of something gliding on the surface of water was heard.

Their lines of sight were changed towards the water carriage that was charging from the city. As the carriage charged while it was suffering from Shirayuki-hime’s attacks, Ayato was able to dodge every obstacles in front of her with her exquisite horsemanship.

Seeing the beautiful “Hippocamp” running between the whirlpools, Porol exclaimed in excitement.

“It’s the chief of the group, Hyutos! why was it willing to help?”

“It is not clear why, but as soon as it saw Ayato-san, it charged towards her.”


“Nyahaha, it’s obvious that Porol got rejected to be ridden on.”

Porol pouted towards Sharol who just cracked a joke with him and looked the other way.

On the other side───After avoiding the big whirlpools and entering the industrial area, Homura and the others were muted from the sight of Beastmen who were creating industrial goods and spirits who were forging ironworks. Especially those lanterns and candles which were carrying the goods, and those fairies of palm size───which were referred to as ‘Spirit Colony’, helping out with the works, made it really cute yet unusual sight at the same time.

“Oh...oh! Look, Brother! Those cute fairies are running about! How cute!”

“Yes, yes. I can see them too.”

While Suzuka was in great spirit, Homura was calm.

This was the difference in interest between both genders. Instead of looking at the fairies, Homura’s attention was drawn to the train parts lying around the industrial areas, and was looking around while folding his arms.

“Hmm...from those wheels, pistons and other parts, the source of power of the ‘Spirit Train’ should be a reciprocating engine. Then, is it being water resistant due to the power of a Gift?”

The structure itself was no different from an old-fashioned train. But contrary to it’s appearance, it felt unnaturally fast, which caused him to think that it was the work of a Gift.

“The weather has worsen. It will be unfavourable for us if the water level increase and it’s force grows.”

Thunder clouds began to gather, lightnings started to shine above the humongous tree. The signs of a storm had already began to show up. It was just a matter of time before it would start to rain. The site would become favourable for Shirayuki-hime.

“If that happens, we have no choice but to obtain our life necessities by our own hands───Speaking of which, does Senpai have any survival experience in case of a storm?”

“What kind of rubbish are you spouting? I completely belong to an indoor faction.”

“That accounts for it. The only choice is to win. Let’s finish this before the weather worsens even more. ───Suzuka, is there anything that we can use as a weapon?”

“Uh...There’s something like a large crossbow, but it probably won’t fit in the carriage. The roof would be crushed if we do so.”

“...So is there anything that resembles a sword or a rifle?”

“Of course, but we couldn’t possibly carry such large items. It would become a hindrance just by leaving on the side”

As Suzuka shook her head, Ayato sighed in disappointment as she continued to spur the ‘Hippocamp’.

───It was at that moment, when a huge lightning struck ”Underwood”.

After the violent thunder, the three of them stopped the carriage. Gales of wind started to blow, forming a whirlwind that was seemingly surrounding the great tree of “Underwood”.

The three of them turned towards the huge tree at the same time. Then, A figure of a bull’s head entered their field of vision.

“That is…!”

“Oh...oh no!!!”

Ayato raised her voice. However, it was already too late.

The Minotaur cast out an axe enhanced with lightning, and crushed the water carriage that the the three of them were on, into countless bits. The waterway was divided into two, the river became flooded, a pit appeared underneath the water, and a whirlpool was formed.

The carriage that the three were on, sunk into the depths of ‘Underwood’.

1 The Mother Earth Goddess who ties the Earth and the Heaven.

2 The Kanji used here was 雄牛 which is different from how it was written previously - 牡牛. While both of them mean ‘Bull’, the former refers to bull in general, while the other is used specifically for bull of constellation.  
3 Yasha-Ga-Ike. Lit. “Demon Pond”. A drama from 1913, composed by Izumi Kyouka. It tells the story of Princess Shirayuki who was sacrificed to the pond in exchange for the rain. (more info). The drama is based on the actual legend of Dragon God of Yashaga Pond.  
4 Kodama.