Last Embryo Volume 2 Chapter 5 Part 1
Guided by the Earth Spirit Merul, the member of one of the Spirit Colonies present on board of the 『Sun Thousand』, Homura finally arrived at the wagon reserved entirely for the special visitors. Since his guide was no bigger than his clenched fist he had to ride on top of Homura’s head, which once again helped to reassure him that he has been transported into another world much different from what he used to know. He was unsure how such a small body could function properly and was increasingly curious to find out exactly how it worked, but because he was on a rather tight timetable he had to constantly remind himself that now was not the time for that, and maybe that was for the better. If he did ended up falling to the temptation of examining the little Spirit’s body, who knows what manner of secrets, both normal and the dark ones, would he be able to uncover?
「Here! Queen’s room, right here~~!」
「Thank for showing me all the way here, little buddy. I think I’ll be fine from this point onward, so you can go back to the engine room.」
「Got it~~! Say hell to Asuka’s family when you see her, okay~~?」
Accompanied by a funny sound, Merul jumped off from Homura’s head and proceeded to walk back to the wagons they just came through with adorable squeaky footsteps.
(Who the hell is this 「Asuka’s family」 supposed to be anyway? Someone I’m supposed to know?)
Homura tilted his head to the side in puzzlement and swatted away the question marks that were floating all around his head, coming into conclusion that the little fellow must have confused either him or his friends with the family of that so-called 「Asuka」.
(Tiny children Spirits, huh? The world really must be coming to an end. Although I’m willing to bet that the runts back at the orphanage would have been delighted if I showed those Spirit Colonies to them, but I guess taking some of them back with me as proof of what happened to me is out of the question, right?)
Besides, even if he did tell the kids back home about this bizarre trip and everything that happened to him so far, none of them would have probably believed him anyway. The thought of being spirited away to an entirely different world was already absurd enough, but if he were to tell them about the things such as giant albino snakes turning into beautiful girls, bulls woven out of the storm clouds, pocket Spirits and Giant Spirit Trains, some of them would have undoubtedly question the sanity of his mind, or maybe suggest him to go see the mental health doctor, because even though all of the kids from Canaria Family Home could be considered to be a bit special, they were all the children of the modern age at hearts, so if he started to tell them about the things that looked like they were taken straight out of a fairy tale, they would get angry at him for treating them like little kids for sure.
Facing against the door and fixing his expression, Homura reached his hand to knock on the door, but just when he was about to do so, he heard the sound of footsteps coming towards him, and when he turned around to see who was that, he saw Ayato running to his side.
「…Senpai? What are you doing here? Have you been summoned by the Queen again?」
「No, this time I came here of my own accord. What about you?」
「I… Y-Yes, I came here to take care of something as well. I was thinking that it is about time for me to get back the things I have entrusted her with.」
That answer came out of her mouth incredibly naturally, but Homura was not surprised by it anymore, because ever since this entire mess started, that is to say, ever since the start of the Golden Week, Ayato was dropping more than enough hints that she actually was very well aware of what was going on in here. She knew everything, starting with all of the mysterious and unusual phenomena plaguing their world right now and finishing with the mail that was the reason they ended up in Little Garden and the identity of its sender. He didn’t know why or how exactly was she related to Little Garden, but it’s not like him knowing that would change anything between them. As far as Homura was concerned, he was still her dependable, slightly annoying senpai, and she was still his adorable kouhai and the one to whom he swore his life. That is why he didn’t ask any further questions, and simply nodded at her with calm and serious expression.
「So you want to see the Queen as well, huh? You probably know this already, but she is not just your average person?」
「Yes, I am well aware of that, probably even more than you are, senpai.」
「Seriously? In that case I would love to hear more about that, but it can wait until we finish our business here, okay?」
「Sure, I will be more than happy to do that.」
Homura and Ayato both expressed their agreement. As long as they acknowledged that each of them had their own circumstances and reasons for doing what they were doing, waiting for the right moment to have a nice, long talk was the most obvious thing to do.
With a tensed expression Homura resumed the action he was about to do before Ayato ran into him, and knocked on the door to the special guest room, requesting permission for them to enter. For a while there was no reaction whatsoever, so he tried knocking once more, and this time he received a reply from beyond the other side of the door.
「Come on in. You have my permission to enter.」
That voice definitely belonged to Queen Halloween. So she was inside after all.
Fixing their postures and making sure that their clothes weren’t all crumpled or wrinkled anywhere, Homura and Ayato stepped into the special guest room with just a little bit of hesitation. Homura was especially on edge, wondering what kind of traps will be waiting for him this time around, however, much to his surprise, it looked like there wasn’t anything of the sort planned for him this time. The only two things accompanying the Queen now were a young woman dressed like a butler and a walking candlestick.
The butler woman had her long, dark-violet colored hair tied into a braid, and she exuded the auras of both perfection and the charm of an adult woman. As the two made their way inside, she looked at them with gentle eyes, and when she made eye contact with Ayato, she raised her hand in a friendly manner. Ayato nodded in response with a meek and still smile and straightened herself once more.
As expected of the room for the VIP’s, it was filled to the brim with all kinds of expensive-looking furniture, and the flames from the candles reflected from the cut glass chandelier illuminated the entire room with flickering lights. On the table where Queen Halloween sat, the walking candlestick with a blue flame flag engraved upon it was running back and forth, placing the tea set down an making everything ready for the tea party. As for the tea itself, it was probably being prepared behind a small door at the back of the room which were only about 50 cm wide, but as for how it was being brewed in there, Homura was better off not knowing, and Queen Halloween was definitely not someone who could be asked such a meaningless question.
As for the Queen Halloween herself, she was courteously sitting at the round table made out of dark oak. Her golden hair and shining clothes were arranged as perfectly as usual, making it really obvious that her other title, 「The Golden Queen」 wasn’t just for decoration, however, Homura felt that something was… different about her today, because despite her usual smile, she was definitely looking at Homura and /Ayato with a gaze that expressed only one thing, and that thing was annoyance.
Initially Homura wanted to get his business done as quickly as possible, but given the Queen’s current state he wondered if it was even going to be possible, because all of a sudden, he was finding it difficult to open his mouth and speak first.
(Have I… have I done something to offend her without even knowing?)
He directed that question to Ayato with his gaze, but instead of helping him out, she also was looking at him with open disappointment. Yup, if even Ayato was giving him the look as if he was something she scraped off of her shoe, then he definitely screwed up somewhere. The question was: where, exactly?
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