Dec 16, 2017

Rakudai Kishi V8 Intermission 2

Intermission: A Late Arrival





Through Arisuin’s report, Ikki, whose heart had stopped, was immediately carried over to the newest medical facility available in the dome to do an emergency resuscitation surgery.

In a small waiting area before the operation room that only allowed Ikki’s relatives and Kurono Shinguuji, the Director of the school he belonged to, Shizuku clasped her hands together as if she was praying while looking at the operation room’s door.

And then, two hours after Ikki was brought in.

Despite the light ‘in operation’ still being lit, one of the doctors came out of the room.

Shizuku immediately went up to him and asked about her brother’s situation.

“My Onii-sama! Is my Onii-sama saved!?”

The doctor did not shake or nod his head, and replied in a heavy voice.

“......No, we still don’t know.”

“Wh-What’s with that!? D-Don’t know you say, what do you mean by that!?”

“That’s, we don’t know what reason is causing that. We first thought that it was a heart attack. There are no external wounds anywhere, only the heart was in the state of stoppage. However, after resuscitating the heart, the brain was having issues, after caring for that then another place caused trouble......just like in a game of whack-a-mole, as if 「death」 was attracted to his body.”

Death was attracted to him.

The first thing she had connected to those words was the opponent, Amane’s ability.

However...

“But didn’t Onii-sama dodge all of it!?”

That’s right, Shizuku shouted that he had not received a single injury.

However ── Kurono told her that it was a mistaken recognition.

“You see, Kurogane-imouto. If you confirm with the recorded footage......you will know that both of his arms were grazed by the reaper’s hand when he had protected the main referee. Most likely, the 「death」 seeped in from there.”


“H-How can that be......!”

The worst situation possible caused Shizuku to feel dizzy standing.

However, when her brother’s life or death was still unclear, she couldn’t let herself fall.

What Shizuku, who immediately supported herself back up, thought of was ── obviously to remove the cause.

“Then if we kill that guy......!”

“Calm down.”

The person who reproved her for her extreme plan was her father, Itsuki.

Shizuku glared back at him like a vengeful ghost...

“Since the symptoms still appear after Bad Luck has lost his consciousness, it is meaningless to do that.”

“...!”

The reasonable justification made her unable to refute.

Certainly, Amane had lost consciousness at the time the match had ended.

Even so, if the result of death still remained, it meant that once his power carved down the result, it would work regardless of the caster’s intention or consciousness.

Itsuki asked Kurono.

“Shinguuji-sensei. Are you able to return my son’s condition to before the match with your power to manipulate time?”

However, Kurono shook her head to deny it.

“......It’s regrettable, but that’s impossible. Putting aside non-living things, the act of rewinding time is too much of a burden on human body. The limit is several tens of seconds. The human body will not endure the bending of time any longer than that......Since Kurogane’s heart has already stopped for several minutes after he was discovered, my power isn’t......”

“..................I...see.”

“Then, are you saying that there’s nothing else we can do!? No, I don’t want that!”

Hearing Kurono’s answer, Shizuku stood up, unable to endure anymore, and rushed towards the operation room.

“Shizuku!”

“You cannot go into the operation room!”

Itsuki and the doctor immediately stopped her from entering, but Shizuku would not behave.

She went half berserk while shaking off the two of them.

“Let me go! If you all can’t save him, then I will! I will save my Onii-sama! Don’t obstruct me! Onii-sama! Oniisamaa!”

At that moment.


“Oh my. The waiting area is quite noisy.”


A female voice holding a tinge of anger scolded Shizuku.

“This facility is at least somewhat similar to a hospital, so please keep quiet.”

“Ah, you are......”

Shizuku remembered that voice.

It was a woman’s voice that she had been in contact with for just a few hours.

As she looked at the entrance of the waiting area, the person she thought of was standing there.

Wrapped in white robe, a woman with green hair. That was...

“K-Kiriko-sensei!”

The best doctor in Japan known as the White-Robed Knight.

With her arrival, the doctor who was holding Shizuku down raised an elated voice.

Kiriko nodded sightly...

“I have already inquired the story from Chief Kurogane. I will take over the rest.”

Saying so, she walked past them and opened the operation room’s door.

At her back...

“If it’s you, will you be able to save Onii-sama......?”

Shizuku asked with a sobbing voice.

──Able to save.

She probably wanted such affirmation.

She probably wanted to feel safe.

However, as doctors are existences that handle life, they could not make such promises so lightly.

They must let the patients and patients’ family feel safe, but they were not allowed to say empty words without basis. Hence, Kiriko turned back to Shizuku...

“Imouto-san. You, could it be that you are taking me for an idiot?”

Her brilliantly red lips showed a powerful smile, and said.

“How can one be a doctor if one cannot beat a reaper or two that tricked the patient?”



Part 2
The lead-colored clouds that appeared at noon on that day had long floated to the western sky, revealing a night with a beautiful moon.

Amane Shinomiya sat up on his bed in the sickroom. While watching the white moon, he thought about the words of Ryouma conveyed through Ikki.

Soon after, with a small sound, the window of the sickroom opened.

“..................”

“Oh, what? You already woke up huh. That’s a pity.”

The one who had entered the room by opening the window like a ninja was a petite person wearing a crimson kimono.

It was the Yaksha Princess, Nene Saikyou.

She pouted as if the fun had disappeared and put the magic pen in her hand back into her kimono.

“Even though you’ve caused us quite a lot of trouble, so much that I thought of playing a prank on you, you are still a lucky kid as always.”

Lucky. Amane truly thought so.

Since currently, there was just something he wanted to ask.

That was──

“......Is Ikki-kun alive?”

Saikyou showed a slightly surprised expression hearing that question.

“You noticed?”

“Just now, I heard it from the conversation of the staff here. He’s in critical condition.”

“I see.”

Saikyou was convinced, she also only knew the situation from Kurono’s phone call a while ago.

“He safely kept his life. The White-Robed Knight rushed over and handled it.”

“That person............”

That nickname was still fresh in Amane’s memory.

It was the name of the knight he won against without fighting by using underhanded method in the first round.

“I came here to pass on that Kiriko-chan’s message.”

“To me, is it?”

Amane was not intimate with her enough to receive a message, but prepared himself for what it might be.

Saikyou...

“I paid you back for the first round. Serves you right. That’s all.”

Passed on the message with a mean smile as if imitating Kiriko’s emotions.

Amane laughed dryly at that...

“I see. In other words, I couldn’t even win against my opponent from the first round huh.”

He accepted that result.

“......So strong, everyone is.”

“Of course. Kiriko-chan is a monster that would definitely receive an A-Rank evaluation if she seriously did her knight activities. She wouldn’t look inferior standing beside Stella-chan or Ouma-chan. She would be too much of an opponent to the current Ama-chan.”

“By the way, is that the only thing you came for?”

“No, there’s one more. It’s related to the incident of you rampaging this time. The Committee and League have reached a consensus to pass on the judgement the day after tomorrow......It’s naturally obvious that you will receive a heavy punishment. Well, it shouldn’t matter to the terrorist Ama-chan.”

“I will receive the punishment.”

“......!”

Not expecting that reply without any delay, Saikyou widened her eyes.

However, to her reaction...

“That’s why, Saikyou-sensei. Taking into account of my intentions of reflecting, can you lighten my sentence a little?”

Amane used his feminine voice to plead without any shame.

Hearing Amane’s words, Saikyou sighed in resignation...

“What a cunning brat. Well, I’m a teacher now. If you can still be saved......I can more or less say a few good words.”

She still gave a positive answer.

The organization known as League still owed her some favors to make that possible.

However, she obviously did not intend to do that for free.

Saikyou had put on a sharp glare and gave conditions to Amane.

“But in return, absolutely do not meddle in tomorrow’s finals, you got it?”

The finals next day was obviously the match between Ikki and Stella.

Although the two of them were not bothered about Amane’s interference, it did not mean that he could just interfere with that reason.

That was really a mood spoiling matter.

Be it as a teacher or as a knight.

Hence Saikyou used the form of a trade to enforce that promise on Amane.

In response, Amane...

“I promise. There’s no reason for me to do it anyway.”

Accepted that condition crisply with a smile as if the evil was exorcised.

......Seeing that, it was unlikely for him to break his promise.

“Then, I will be returning since I’ve finished my business. You should also sleep soon.”

“Yes. Good night......Thank you.”

Finally, Amane lowered his head towards Saikyou and expressed his gratitude.

Saikyou took a glance at that, went out of the room and closed the window, then smiled.

“Seriously. What a refreshing expression.”

Right after that ── she went straight towards the presence she had felt a while ago.

“Oya oya. What a rare encounter, Tsukikage-sensei. What are you doing at this hour?”

Waving her kimono’s sleeve, she called out in an intimate voice.

In response, Tsukikage stopped in his steps on the hallway from the other end, and smiled bitterly at the ‘rare encounter’ greeting.

“That is my student’s sickroom. Isn’t it natural for me to visit him?”

“What, are you still continuing that? The students of Akatsuki Academy have all lost.”

That’s right. It was as Saikyou had said, with Amane’s defeat, the pawns of Akatsuki Academy had all lost.

The plan Tsukikage made by illegally forming the National Akatsuki Academy had mostly failed. However──

“All of that is a pity. I was hoping that Akatsuki Academy’s strength could prove that they would be able to carry on the future of this country.”

The attitude of Tsukikage who shrugged his shoulders did not really seem to be that of regret.

No, rather......it seemed to be the opposite...

“You are someone who doesn’t show his true intentions.”

Even Saikyou could not see through what he was thinking.

However, putting that aside for the time being, Saikyou changed the topic.

“Well, it’s good to meet you here. I want to ask about one thing, is it fine?”

“What might that be?”

Saikyou’s question was just one.

It was the preparation he made before the semi-finals a while ago.

“The second match of the semi-finals. It’s about how you saw through Ama-chan’s intention to forfeit and told Kuro-bou the method to provoke Ama-chan, but did you really do it for the sake of making Ama-chan win?”

She could not be convinced no matter what.

There were many other methods to set Amane up.

Handing the trigger to Ikki had too many uncertain factors.

At least, Saikyou thought so. Hence...


“Sensei hoped that Kuro-bou could save Ama-chan from the start, didn’t you?”


“────”

Tsukikage kept silent and did not answer Saikyou’s question immediately......a tiny curve showed on the edges of his lips.

He remembered something.

Last night. When he handed over the trigger known as Amane’s past to Ikki, he inquired...

「Please tell me one thing in the end. Is the one you want to set up Amane-kun? Or ── is it me?」

Saikyou’s question held the same meaning.

In that case, he chose to answer in the same way.

“I wonder. My job is full of superficial acting after all. After continuing that for so many years, I don’t even know my own true intention.”

He just gave a vague answer that could not be considered an answer at all.

At that, Saikyou...

“I see.”

Responded disinterestedly.

Since Tsukikage had no intention of answering it, she immediately discarded that question as it was worthless. On top of that...


“Then one more.”

“Didn’t you ask for just one question?”

“A man shouldn’t be so fussy with the details.”

She took a step closer to Tsukikage and asked.

“What I’m interested in is the matter about Sensei knowing enough of Ama-chan’s past to be able to tell another person.”

“............”

“Seeing Ama-chan’s behavior, I don’t think that he told others about it. More importantly, considering the property of Nameless Glory, it would be impossible for any disadvantageous information of Ama-chan to be leaked to a third party. If that was possible, then there would exist  a method of 「having an even stronger causality interference ability」.

Hey Tsukikage-sensei. I don’t know what exactly your Noble Arts is, as I couldn’t find anything no matter which database I had searched, but is taking an abnormal action of a country’s leader joining hands with terrorists related to that power?”

Although Saikyou’s tone was intimate, her eyes contained a sharp pressure, and pierced Tsukikage.

Even though she didn’t say it out loud, that gaze did not allow him to play the fool.

However ── in fact, Tsukikage no longer had any intention of playing the fool regarding that question the moment Akatsuki Academy was defeated. However......it was not the time for it yet.

Hence, Tsukikage replied as such.

“That answer will probably be told by me not far in the future.”

Not there, but in a more appropriate place, in front of more appropriate actors ── to be said.



Part 3
The awakening arrived slowly, like seeping water.

Opening his heavy eyelids, what he saw was an unfamiliar grid-pattern ceiling.

“Mm...u..................where am I?”

Ikki sat up and rubbed his eyes while looking around.

It was inside a clean room with white as base theme. Simple decorations. Also the bed he was sitting on.

It was no different from a sickroom.

Even his groggy head could understand it.

However, it was strange.

He was certain that he should be......in the waiting room.

(Putting that aside, my body feels uncomfortably heavy......)

Not only his body, his head also felt dull.

He understood that it was currently night time from the darkness of the room, but he could not determine the exact time.

Ikki sought the answer of that question from the student datapad on top of his uniform folded next to his pillow.

He pushed the power switch and pressed on the display.

The time displayed was 10:30pm.

It was nearing the time for the date to change.

It was natural for his body to feel languid if he slept from noon till night──

“............Eh.”

At that point ── Ikki’s expression froze.

At the date displayed next to time.

10 August. That was ── the next day after semi-finals.


It was the day he would be going to the finals with Stella.


“──────!!!!”

In an instant, he remembered the moments before losing consciousness as if a firework went off in his brain.

The unusual sense of powerlessness when he reached the waiting room.

It was clearly different from the usual fatigue caused by the backlash of using Ittou Shura, it was despair, he immediately noticed.

He was being violated by the result known as 「death」.

──As he thought about it, it was the moment when he had protected the main referee.

As it was too sudden, he did not pay attention to it, but at that time it probably grazed him slightly. After comprehending that much, he thought that it would be bad, but......the sense of loss robbed even the strength for Ikki to make a sound, shutting off his consciousness.

Most likely, someone caught him and carried him to where he was after that.

──No, that kind of thing didn’t matter!

Rather than that, did he misread the current date?

If not......

“~~~~!”

As he thought about it, cold sweat oozed out from his entire body.

However, believing that he was mistaken, Ikki looked at the reality he wanted to see again──

(M-Mail......!)

Ikki noticed in the corner that he had received a mail.

Sender’s name was ── Stella.

He immediately opened the mail as if he was possessed by something.

The contents did not even have a title, just one sentence.

「I will be waiting for you at the ring.」

After seeing that, Ikki dashed out from his bed.



Part 4
“Hah...haa...!”

Ikki did not even change his clothes or wear his slippers, and ran to the bay dome, indicated by the mail, barefeet in the night.

He passed through the empty reception counter, dashed into the contender waiting room, pushed open the door connected to the entrance gate ── and ran towards the exit shone by the moonlight.

Then, the instant he crossed the gate...

“────..................”

A dignified silhouette standing on the ring attracted Ikki’s eyes.

A beautiful girl with crimson colored hair fluttering in the night sea breeze.

He went up the ring without adjusting his rugged breath and walked towards the girl.

Then he noticed.

Her scarlet pupils also reflected only him.

Those pupils were mixed with sadness.

“......Stella.”

“You woke up really late, Ikki.”

“...”

“I have been waiting. A whole day. The whole time.”

The words weaved by those pitiful lips made Ikki feel so desperate as if he would collapse on the ground.

He did not see wrong after all.


The Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival......was already over.


While he was foolishly sleeping.

Even though Stella was waiting for him at that promised place all the while.

──How did it become like that?

He had to apologize.

For not being able to carry out his promise.

Even though he thought so...

“............──Ah...!”

What leaked out from Ikki’s throat was only saddened groans.

The corners of his eyes felt burning hot, his throat ached.

Apology could not come out in words.

And what he finally squeezed out was...

“DAMN IT............!”

Only stifled anger at himself.

He did not hate Amane.

Just that, he hated himself to the point of wanting to cut himself into pieces.

Even though he already came that far, finally, with only one more step to go......!

“~~~~~~!!!!”

He lacked the tenacity to take that last step.

That turned everything into a waste.

That reality was too heavy to accept──

Sorry. It was such a frustration that a word like that could not even come out.

On the other hand, seeing Ikki’s figure trembling in frustration, Stella...


“I wanted to hear that. Not your apology, but Ikki’s heart.”


──Muttered those confusing words with joy to the point that tears of happiness could flow out anytime.

“Ste...lla......?”

Ikki was about to ask what she meant.

However, before that, Stella turned her head back as her hair fluttered...

“You all heard that right!? Everyone!”

And shouted. ──Immediately...


「「OOOOOOooOoooo!!!!」」


Suddenly, dazzling light burned through the darkness, tens of thousands of cheers and applauses like a squall hit Ikki’s entire body.

If he looked at the audience stand that he had not paid any attention to due to focusing all of his attention on Stella, he would’ve noticed that the entire crowd of audience was still there despite the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival, which should’ve already been over, and sending him encouraging gazes.

“Th-This is, what exactly......”

The situation was so unexpected that he could only say those default words.

The person to answer him was standing right at where Stella looked at.

A bald old man with a stern face stood right below the huge screen.

It was the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival Organizing Committee President, Yuuzou Kaieda.

He spoke.

“Everyone has been waiting. For you to wake up.”

“President Kaieda......! But, the finals is already...”

“Not over yet. Isn’t that so?”

He asked the audience crowded at the audience stand.

The audience cheered loudly in response...

「OBVIOUSLY!」

「We have been looking forward to it!」

「The Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival is not over until we see the match between Crimson Princess and Another One!」

Everyone was shouting for the ending they wanted.

And amongst them...

“ONIISAMAAA! ABSOLUTELY...YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST WIN!”

Shizuku, whose eyes were red and swollen, and Arisuin next to her...

“Kurogane-kun! Stella-san! Fight on, both of you!”

Kanata and Touka, who were waving their hands...

“Don’t worry about the surroundings! We all will follow-up for you, so fight to your heart’s content!”

Starting with Moroboshi, the figures of his rivals fighting for the same summit in the Festival were also there.

And everyone was seeking it.

The fight that Ikki wished for to the point of him shaking in frustration.

“......Everyone............”

“Nobody will be satisfied. Not until they see the fight between you and Stella-kun. The Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival that revolves around the Japan’s summit, that is the battle between the two of you. ──You can be proud of it.”

At the same time Kaieda spoke those words, Stella turned towards Ikki again ── swung her Device, Lævateinn, with the momentum of her turn, and pointed straight at Ikki.

Then enveloped Ikki with her burning crimson eyes...

“What’s left is just your feeling, Ikki.”

“────!”

Receiving everyone’s feelings, a soundless cry came out from his throat.

Different from the tears of frustration, warm tear drops moistened the corners of his eyes.

Not out of kindness, nor out of sympathy.

Just, ‘not satisfied if they did not see the fight between himself and Stella’.

──Aah, what a proud thing that was.

His reply had long been decided.

There was no need for words. Ikki wiped away the tears, and he hit his Intetsu with all of his strength at Lævateinn, Stella’s soul, before his eyes.

Sparks flew, steel and steel locked against each other.

However, despite the full strength hit, Lævateinn did not shake a tiny bit.

The feedback felt like hitting against a huge chunk of metal.

Feeling the numbness in his hand from that girl’s powerful strength, Ikki trembled.

(That’s how it should be......!)

He overcame various kinds of battles.

He won against many fierce opponents.

However, as expected, she was ── special.

If he did not have a fight against her, if he did not win against her...


He could not let the curtain of that dream stage drop......!


“With this, after confirming the intent to battle of the two contenders, I shall exercise the authority of the official Organizing Committee President, and acknowledge the holding of the finals of the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival! The match will begin tomorrow at 7:00pm! Both sides, please adjust the condition of your heart and body to the most optimum, and have a match that will not leave any regret!!”

““YES!!!!””

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. But before that... an afterword

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  2. Thanks for the chapter

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  3. Thanks for the chapter ! Will you be doing the translation of volume 9 ? I have already read a translation on this site (https://jasonwanderblog.wordpress.com/) but it does not look complete.

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  4. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete