Last Embryo Volume 2 Chapter 1 Part 1
The weather on the Mediterranean Sea couldn’t have been better for a voyage. The sun was shining brightly, and not a single cloud could be seen in the sky above their heads.
The rather rough shaking of the boat as it cut through the water at high speed was something they could definitely do without, but when faced with the beauty of the endlessly blue scenery of the sky above them and the ocean around them was a well worth putting up with such a minor discomfort, since the glittering of the emerald, clear waters accentuated by the sunshine was always a breathtaking sight to behold, no matter how many times one saw it already and in which worlds, because if there was ever something that the two different worlds could have in common with one another, it would definitely be the alluring beauty of their nature, untouched and untainted by human hands.
Since Golden Week was still in full swing in Japan, it seemed like many of the Japanese tourists have chosen the sea as their intended vacation spot, since the beach was filled to the brim with both families, lovers and groups of friends alike. But even though everything looked so idyllic right now, it was only one side of the Grecian coin, the other one being represented by the damages done to the country’s shoreline by the passing on an enormous Typhoon Nr.24, 『Taurus』. To say that the destruction it caused in its wake was severe would be an understatement, to the point that some of the shoreline areas have been destroyed completely, while others had to be blockaded and quarantined die to the possibility of them being affected by the mysterious new virus that has been spreading anywhere the typhoon went. The palm trees, usually standing tall and proud were now broken in half or torn from the ground, and the olives from the olive oil trees have either completely withered away or were scattered all over the place only to be stomped over and trampled, first by those who were running before the typhoon when it was passing through the area, and later by the passers-by when the situation has calmed down and the danger had passed.
Overall, it could be said that the contrast of the two sides of the proverbial coin before their eyes was truly painful to look at.
Many of the small, private boats that would normally be lend to the tourists wanting to go for a quick dash across the shoreline were damaged to the point of not being usable anymore, and the smallpox-like virus has probably already spread to the neighboring areas, so it won’t be long before this region will start displaying the symptoms of an incoming famine. Even though the incident happened a few weeks ago, the scars it left on the land will probably take many more days, if not months to fully heal, if a full recovery will even be possible.
Sakamaki Izayoi, Tokuteru Mikado and Prithvi Mata were worried if anyone would even be willing to lend them their still-working boat under such circumstances, but as it turned out, disaster was one matter, and business was another matter entirely. No matter the times, business needed to keep going, fueled by the ever so reliable sayings that 「those who do not work at all do not get to eat at all」 and 「strong will east, weak are meat」. That thought was simultaneously reassuring and worrisome, but as long as they could get their hands on anything that would allow them o cross the sea, the rest didn’t matter to them at all. And quite fortunately for them, one of Don Bruno’s acquaintances just so happened to be running a boat rental shop, so the three of them managed to obtain one rather easily aster mentioning his name, thanks to which they were currently on their way to their destination, the island of Crete, a solitary island in the middle of the Hellenic Republic of old.
In order to pass the time before they arrive on the island, Pritt asked Izayoi to tell them how did he end up coming back to his original world again, but as she listened to his story her eyes became wide with surprise.
「And? What happened next? Are you saying that when you were in the middle of that Minotaur Gift Game, it was suddenly interrupted?」
「That is exactly what happened. My original intention was to go around and gather as many Sun Authorities as possible to make sure that the 『No-Names』 will have a more advantageous position in the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority, but everything seems to be pointing to the fact that the ones who interrupted the Game right in the middle of it were the Hosts themselves, just when I finally figured what it was about and was this close to snatching the victory for myself. Ugh…」
Izayoi folded his arms on his chest and grunted in displeasure.
The 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority – a Gift Game of an unprecedented scale unheard of even in Little Garden, where the contestants fought for the ownership of the 24 Sun Authorities: 12 Celestial Beasts embodying the constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces and 12 Zodiacs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Those 24 Celestial Beasts which were said to inhabit the sun’s orbit were commonly known and gathered together under their collective name of the Sun’s Authorities.
The Games that were being held now were only the preliminary stage to the proper war, meaning that there was still time for anyone who wanted to participate in it or was invited to do so by the Hosts to gather as many of the Sun’s Authorities to gain as big of an advantage over the other contestants before the final selection stage. The Community that Sakamaki Izayoi belonged to, 『No-Name』 was one of such candidates, as well as one of the favorites predicted to get to the final stage of the entire war and win it.
「Ah, so that must be the reason why Shiroyasha released over half of the Sun authorities that she owns? As I know her, she probably did so to gain special privileges in making the rules. A smart move, but also the one that’s going to increase both the number of potential competitors and the struggles needed to collect all 24 Celestial Beasts. Haven’t you heard about that before?」
「No, that is literally the first time I’m hearing anything about it, but… I see. If Shiroyasha, the winner of the former War for the Sun’s Authority released that many of the ones she owned, then that means there should still be quite a few of them running around freely, huh?」
Shiroyasha, also known under her favorite alias of 『The King of the White Night』, the Celestial Spirit that governed the movement of the sun and the winner of the 1st war for the Sun’s Authority has been selected as the current war’s Chairman of the Production Committee. While many would undoubtedly perceive it as a privilege allowing her to make some of the rules however she pleased, it was also a severe limitation, because being part of one of the Committees responsible for the war’s organization meant that she would not be able to participate in any of the games herself. Bad news for her, but definitely good news for every other contestant who was worried about their chances of victory disappearing with her around.
Both Izayoi and Pritt stopped talking at that point and leaned against the railing at the boat’s top deck and stared at the horizon of the Mediterranean Sea.
「With all that said, that is all the more reason to get you back to Little Garden as soon as possible. If any of the Sun’s Authorities ends up falling into the wrong hands of someone who would use their power for nothing more than personal gain, I fear that the resulting damage might end up spreading well beyond the boundaries of the 2nd War for The Sun’s Authority. Also, this time I managed to think of an excuse to get permission for paid vacation, but I would be extremely grateful if I didn’t have to use any more of them than absolutely necessary.」
「Wow, you have vacation days? But why are you using your paid ones for this? And here I thought that your boss was supposed to be a pretty reliable guy.」
「He has nothing to do with this. I am working first and foremost as the personal bodyguard to the daughter of Everything Company’s CEO, so I directed my paid leave request to him directly. And speaking of paid leaves and vacation, when this is all over, I intend to have Lady Ayato spent the rest of the Golden Week overseas with me.」
Said Pritt while putting her hand on her chest and smiling gently. Izayoi wasn’t fully aware of their circumstances, but from what Pritt had already told him, he understood that this Ayato-chick must have been someone pretty special for her.
「Hmm, but wait… if you have so many ties and connections within Everything Company, the wouldn’t it have been better for us to secure a boat through those means instead?」
「No, now, don’t be absurd. Do you know what would have happened if anyone from the top branch of the company found out that Lady Ayato was not with me anymore? To put it lightly, all hell would break loose, so that’s why we have decided to rely on Don Bruno for that matter instead.」
In an answer to Pritt’s mature, but somehow mischievous smile, Izayoi could only shrug his shoulders.
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