「So ya ain’t satisfied with your close friend comin’ to save ya?」
「That’s not what I mean. I’m not asking the reason; I’m asking how this began.」
Taiyou tensed up at Youran’s serious expression. He immediately grasped what kind of conversation it was.
「What, ya too lovestruck to realize?」
But he couldn’t understand Leticia’s words. Youran was lovestruck? He tilted his head down.
「Just answer the question.」
「’Right. ‘Though it ain’t anythin’ special. There was just somethin’ I forgot to tell ya and when I called ya once more it didn’t go through.」
「So that’s why……」
「That’s why? Huh, could you at least explain that?」
Taiyou cut in. For whatever reason, he always ended up using polite language when talking to Leticia.
She came off as easygoing with her Kansai dialect, but her fantasy-like blonde hair and blue eyes reminded him of a princess’s appearance, which made him do that.
「Yer a commoner.」
「Eh? Well, I suppose I am.」
Taiyou made a face as if to ask “And what of it?”
「Here, that, could ya gimme it?」
Youran nodded, taking out her own cell phone.
「This here just looks like a cell, yeah? Can’t be helped since it looks like a simple cell, but it uses all imaginable techniques and can transmit anywhere on the globe. Whether it be the cavern of a snowy mountain or the deep part of the sea where no light reaches, it’s made to transmit through all of that. Well, as long as the main body doesn’t break. Hmm, I wonder if it would’ve been able to even transmit to and from space if conditions were met.」
She sought confirmation from Youran, who gave a small nod.
「And so for disaster strikin’ and the like, the batteries also are set with every method out there to be replenished and last longer.」
「That’s amazing. I didn’t know they made those sorts of cells.」
「They had ‘em made. One-of-a-kind custom-made.」
「Oh, come to think of it, there wasn’t any maker’s logo on it at all.」
「Right. By the way, I have somethin’ similar, though it ‘as some unnecessary functions.」
Leticia said, waving her own cell phone in front of him.
「These sorts of things ‘r necessary, fer us. We’re humans of that sorta world. We’re really connected by a hotline, me and ‘er.」
「The usual meaning, yeah.」
Youran said, supplementing. He couldn’t initially understand what the usual meaning was.
However, he did understand one thing.
「So it’s unthinkable that your lines wouldn’t connect.」
「”That’s right！” Welp, although I didn’t realize ‘till it was too late ‘n then when I dashed over here it was all over.」
Leticia shrugged her shoulders in the exaggerated mannerism of a westerner. While looking at that, Taiyou developed another question.
「So things would progress as expected. But then why did you ask that?」
Taiyou threw the question point-blank at Youran. If such a thing was really to be expected, then Youran should understand it without having to ask.
「Well now, I wonder whyyy」
Youran didn’t answer. Leticia instead made a phrase that sounded as if she were playing dumb, putting a mischievous smile on her face. Youran gave her a stern glare; they seemed to have made a meaningful exchange.
But even that was just for an instant. When that was over, Leticia erased her smile, gazing at Youran with an earnest face as she spoke.
「But still, this is your home ground innit? Things that don’t normally occur shouldn’t occur…What ‘appened?」
It was a simple word, and Leticia made an expression as if comprehending everything.
「Hah, “a snake in one’s bosom” I see. Always the woman to experience things in style.」
Taiyou asked puzzledly, hearing that name for the first time.
「This gal’s subordinate, and until yesterday she was the retainer held in high regards.」
「So by “a snake in one’s bosom”…did she seriously betray her?」
「Right. Otherwise I wouldn’ta said all that. Gave one human too much jurisdiction.」
「Welp, ain’t nothin’ helped now.」
Youran kept her mouth shut as Leticia spoke exasperatingly.
It was becoming a rather long-winded conversation, but he was able to somewhat grasp the situation.
He glanced out the car window. Hera showed no signs of returning. Taiyou decided to dig a bit deeper into this conversation.
「So what now? I meant to take you back to your former location, but if that’s the case then it might not be a good idea.」
「Yer right. Hey.」
Leticia called out to the sectioned off driver’s seat. A speaker near the ceiling answered her in the form of a low male voice.
「Change of destination. Let’s go ahead and go to the guest house――」
If Youran’s place was no good, then Leticia vouched for hers――
Thud! An explosion swayed the car. The black-coated limousine that had been treading on the public road spun around in inertia.
As if answering her scream, the minute that the car stopped revolving, it took off in a flash. The tranquil driving from earlier had shifted to rough driving.
It was a raging speed that lightly exceeded the speed limit of the public road. It was a speed fast enough to beat even the incessant explosive sounds.
He looked through the rear window to see what was going on. He could see dense explosive flames rising up from beyond the glass.
「What in tarnation!」
「Seems like our pursuers are here.」
「What! This car’s a diplomatic number. Are they seriously tryin’ to take the car and all while we’re ridin’?」
「……Thinking about it, that way might be more convenient. Aiming only for me would make their objective too clear, but if you also became a sacrifice then their intentions would become vague.」
「Yer way too cheerful ‘bout this!」
Leticia clicked her tongue. The two girls were having the conversation while holding onto the grip above the window.
Taiyou gave a wry smile at that. He didn’t really want to ask, but it was just so odd for these two girls to be so valorous as to not let out a single scream even in this situation.
「This car’s armor?」
「Nothing but the minimum bulletproof. We get it full-on and that’s it!」
「How about weaponry?」
「Is that what you equip when going to a close friend’s house to play?」
「Do it from now on!」
「A’ight, I’ll load it with nuclear stuff!」
Shortly after the two girls had spoken frivorously…
Thud thuuud, the grand explosion noises tore through the eardrum. Top and bottom became disoriented for just an instant, and the interior・・the entire car revolved sideways.
The girls made tense faces, but still did not scream.
The car wasn’t moving. Looking at the driver’s seat, the driver had limply lost consciousness.
Youran and Leticia put their hands on the left and right doors, pulling the levers and trying to escape, but either door was squashed and wouldn’t open.
Explosive sounds could be heard from far away. Looking further, new rocket ammunition was flying toward the car.
「……I at least wanted time to think of a farewell poem.」
「I win. I just had m’ will updated.」
The two girls joked with each other. It was in such a lighthearted manner so he wondered if there were some way to achieve that, but looking closely, they both had faces of resignation.
The gallant faces unique to humans who had accepted death.
These girls were too sportsmanlike. At a time like this, immediately readying themselves.
That resignation was scary, fearful.
He wanted to smash through that.
「Leave it to me.」
He said quietly to the two, whispering.
He said with even stronger resignation than them, surprising them.
「I’ll do something about it.」
He gripped the shovel, ignoring the perplexed and puzzled girls. He stabbed the half-blade shovel through the ceiling.
The next moment, Taiyou put all his might into rotating the shovel.
The car was split into two from the inside. With Taiyou in the center, the hull had been parted in tears from front to back.
Leticia’s eyes widened at the scene that occurred before her. Not heeding her, Taiyou pushed the split back end of the car and went in the opposite direction.
Rocket ammunition flew over at the half-car body and bumped into it――exploding.
「No, he’s fine.」
「Whaddya mean, not with that kinda――」
Youran stopped her friend, her face filled with confidence.
She knew about Taiyou・・.
Still dissatisfied and speechless at the calm Youran, Leticia once again lost her words in another sense the next moment.
It was the appearance of Taiyou in the flames, appearing composed, that caught her off guard.