Last Embryo Volume 1 Chapter 6 Part 4



Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist

Editor: Weasalopes

Underwood Stage Area, entrance to the Spirit train.

「Is it just me, or has the weather gotten much worse?」

Even since yesterday the sunny weather that graced them when they first arrived in the Underwood was now gone completely, and it looked like it was going to get worse by the minute. Dark, stormy clouds were gathering high above near the top of the Great Tree, and they could even spot the traces of lightning. But despite that, the city itself was still filled with the hustle and bustle of the people who were loudly inquiring when is the Game going to start. They didn’t know when they were able to do it, but the terrains near the waterway have been lined up with numerous seats. Ayato looked at that with a smile as she mounted the Hippocamp Hyutos and observed the surroundings from atop its back.

「Quite an amazing audience we have in here. Looks like the landlords of this city have quite a knack for seizing of the business opportunities.」

「Hehe, you think they are going to make a lot of money from it?」

「Who knows? Maybe Shirayuki-hime struck some kind of deal with them? After all, we are going to be using the waterway, a public property of the entire city for our own selfish reasons, so I can’t imagine getting a green light to do something like that without a few “favors” here and there.」

「Probably, but there is something that I would like to know about her. If Kuro Usagi is the descendant of the Moon Rabbit from the Buddhist mythos, then could it be that Shirayuki-hime is actually the Shirayuki-hime, the one from Grimm’s Fairy Tales?」

「Hmm… no, I do not think that is the case here.」

Homura shook his head and the tapped his temple as if he had just recalled something he was struggling to remember.

「A giant white serpent able to morph into a kimono-clad beauty… and that name, Shirayuki-hime…. There’s no mistaking it, I think she is actually from one of the most famous works written by Izumi Kyoka, Yasha-ga-ike.

「Izumi Kyoka…? Yasha-ga-ike? Oh yeah, I remember there was something like that. It was about the Dragon God who enjoyed human sacrifices, after whom that famous anecdote is based on, right?」

「Yup, that’s the one. You thought about Grimm’s Fairy Tales first because she mentioned that she is a Divinity holder, correct?」

「Yeah. Also… she is a water Goddess, right? It’s getting kinda hard to keep up with all that information, that’s for sure. Same as with the Hippocamps. Everyone says that they are running on water, but that is not exactly true. In reality, they are controlling its pressure around their hooves in order to continue moving forward, so if we were to happen upon a whirlpool of a watersprout, it would be quite troublesome and make us lose quite a lot of precious time.」

「What should we do about it, then?」

Ayato asked, tilting her head, but all Homura and Suzuka did to answer her was to look at one another and start giggling.

「Oh, I don’t think we have to worry about anything related to that. Isn’t that right, Sis?」

「Of course, Bro. And what about “that” other thing?」

「I daresay that the end result went beyond my wildest dreams! When I finished the blueprint I gave it to a Kodama right away, and they actually finished the entire carriage in less than a day, can you believe that? And it came out perfect!」

Homura patted the body of their carriage with pride. Although it was technically a water carriage, it looked more like a boat meant to accumulate as little motion force as possible. The cabin’s design was also kept as simple as possible.

Since it was technically a boat it would have to glide on water, but because it was going to be pulled by a Hippocamp then I guess you could say that it still could fill the category of a carriage perfectly.

「But I have to say, I never expected you to actually prepare a blueprint from scratch. Your Gift is as convenient as ever, senpai.」

「True, but on the other hand, that is about as useful as it can be.」

That’s right. Saigo Homura’s Gift was not something that could be used to dramatically turn the tables on a bad situation in the most critical of moments. It was a more technical Gift, one that allowed the one who possessed it to build and recreate anything that he destroyed or disassembled. But according to Homura himself, even though he would be able to understand the structure of whatever he created, he would still be unable to comprehend what his creation was being made of, but thankfully the situation today was a little different.

Touching the side of the carriage and tracing alongside it with his finger, Homura said happily:

「The wood of the Great Tree is something truly amazing. Make a boat with it, and it completely eliminates the water’s viscosity, making it possible for the smoother glide on the water’s surface. Just the roots of the sapling itself could absorb an absurd amount of water, so I guess it can be said that even here in Little Garden it is one of the more useful building materials.」

Finishing his speech, Homura looked at the Great Tree with admiration. However, his words made Ayato speechless.

「Homura-senpai, please wait a moment! When did you learn all of this, and how?!」

「Oh, I believe you told that to Kuro Usagi yourself when we were talking about it yesterday. It looks like all of the materials here in Little Garden have a variety of properties and powers assigned to them, so even if I don’t literally destroy or disassemble them, just having a glance at them will give me a general idea of their nature. Then I just used the knowledge obtained that way, made the blueprint and gave it to Kodamas so they could make it. That’s the gist of it, basically. Also, I rarely have a chance to create something as awesome as that, so I really, really wanted to do it no matter what. Looks like I really am such a kid when it comes to machines and vehicules.」

Homura was in an exceptionally good mood. Ayato heard Suzuka clearly when she said that Homura liked all manner of vehicules, but she would have never expected that his “liking” involved building them as well.

She hoped for a plausible explanation, but it only made her more confused instead. Obtaining information just by looking at something was not an easy feat in the slightest, but I guess that just shows how amazing Gifts are and how bigh their growth potential is, she thought. Depending on it’s power and rarity, even the simplest of Gifts could prove to be a potential game changer.

Homura patted the boat once again, and then turned towards Suzuka and Ayato.

「As much as I would like to do more, that is my limit, so I will leave the rest to you. Oh, and Suzuka, I hope you know this already, but there is no need for you to hold back. Feel free to go as wild as you want.」

「You bet your butt I will do just that! There’s no telling when an opportunity like that will come around again, so I will use it to its full potential!」

「I am also curious to see how har can you push yourself, Suzuka.」

And then the two of them laughed heartily.  Ayato, on the other hand pouted and gripped the reins tightly in her hands.

「In that case, I will be the rider while the two of you will think of some strategies to distract our opponent, and in the worst-case scenario,, I will carry us to victory with my riding skills alone.」

「Way to go, Aya! Your horse-riding skills have always been without equal, so I’ll be counting on you. This time, you’ll be in the spotlight while the two of us will support you from the shadows!」

Suzuka stepped into the water carriage. When the sound of the whistle signalling the time for the Spirit Train’s departure filled the area, Shirayuki-hime emerged from the water, bringing her large head over them.

「Well well, looks like you’re all set up and ready to go. Before we begin, why don’t we go over the rules once again? First of all, the Spirit Train’s departure will be our cue to start. Then, we will do one anti-clockwise lap around the Great Tree, and whoever arrives here first shall be declared the winner. Some parts of the City of Water are still in development, but the waterways connecting them all work just as they should, so choose whichever route you think is best for you.」


「I understand.」

「One question: in this race, it is forbidden to cause other participants to collide with the surroundings or to directly impede their moves, correct?」

「Yes, but rest assured, I am not someone who would result to such foul trickery. If I won by stooping so low, it would be all but insulting to the audience, don’t you think? It is our sacred duty to compete in th Gift Games while always staying true to their rules. But, that being said, you are allowed and encouraged to use your Gifts.」

「All right. It’s good to hear that.」

Both sides assumed their assigned positions. They were in a City of Water, after all, so it would be logical to assume that with so many waterways sprawling across the entire city there would be quite a lot of them still in there even after their Game commences. But as luck would have it, a part of Shirayuki-hime’s deal with the local landlords included reducing the number of boats to a bare minimum. Also, apparently the tickets were selling like hot cakes, earning them a crapload of money, so maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to request a part of the money form the entrance fees for themselves, Homura and Suzuka thought.

When the Spirit Train departed, the vibrations send ripples across the water’s surface. Focusing all of her senses, Ayato took the whip in hand and prepared herself. When the Spirit Train left the Great Tree with a whistle after unloading its entire cargo, Kuro Usagi walked to the gong that would signal the beginning of the Game and raised her hand.




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