Last Embryo Volume 3 Chapter 4 Part 4
「I’m aware that Pritt is a superwoman, but I just can’t see anything amazing when I look at Tokuteru. He easily makes debts. And embezzles money.」
「So, what kind of monster is this useless guy connected to? Is it a God of Poverty or something?」
「Well, I’ll keep that a secret for his sake. But well, his true name is something that you’d find quite fitting if you heard it.」
Uesugi looked at Indra with a scornful glare. His weeping voice was heard from within the mat, but no one sympathized with him. Ayato cleared her throat and got back to the topic.
「With that said, Uesugi-san’s true identity…」
「I mean, that’s pretty obvious without needing to spell it out.」
「Her name, 「Uesugi Kenshin」, says it all. I don’t know if she’s a representative of the Uesugi family or what, but I think she should’ve put a bit more effort into hiding her name, don’t you agree?」
Uesugi pouted in objection but stayed silent. It wasn’t as if she chose to go with her real name because she herself wanted to. Divine Spirits or Divinity Holders raised the density of their Spiritual Core with faith, and just the act of lying about their name made it decrease. Also, for her, who got resurrected as Bishamonten’s representative, lying about her name would be equivalent to showing disrespect towards her chief god. She used her real name because of such circumstances, so it was a bit hard for her to stomach the way he worded it.
Not taking notice of her displeasure, Homura and others continued talking.
「But still. It’s great that the Game is held during the summer holiday. But what exactly should we do?」
「If you open this invitation, you will be resummoned into Little Garden. You guys are allowed to move between the worlds as an exception, but please leave all questions for when you get to the ceremonial opening hall.」
Uesugi took out the invitation letter marked with the banner of Queen Halloween. Last time it came as an email, but this time it seems that it was an envelope. It was a notice of the event that may change depending on the Queen’s whims, but it was still better than it being too erratic, suffering inconvenience.
「Then, without delay…」
「Ah, w-wait a minute! Before that, I have something to say!」
As they were about to open the invitation, Mikado Tokuteru’s scream came from within the mat.
Although he turned silent when everyone directed cold gazes at him, it seemed the situation didn’t allow him to falter here. He forcefully tore off the bamboo mat and escaped, then took out two shining cards from his bag and passed it to the siblings.
「I’ll give you two these Gift Cards. You don’t have them yet, right?」
「Gift Cards? What are those, Bon festival gifts?」
「They aren’t…New Years gifts, are they?」
A little embarrassed, Ayato played along the sibling’s joke.
Tokuteru continued without minding them.
「If you have these Gift Cards, you can carry all your weapons and daily emergency items with you at all times. Be sure to put the Gifts that you manage to obtain in these cards.」
「Oh? So in short, they are 4D cards with a take-out function.」
「You can think of it that way. Moreover, based on my assumption of how the next Game will be, I’ve stored all the Gifts in them that might be necessary. As long as you don’t lose them, they’ll prove to be useful in various situations. ……Well, they turned out to be more expensive than I thought. I didn’t think it would reach nine digits.」
Tokuteru scratched his head awkwardly. Everyone widened their eyes in shock as if they took a sudden hit to their heads, not believing what they just heard.
「Nine digits….then, the 500 million you spent was for…」
「Sorry, I spent it all on the contents of these Cards! I thought they’d be cheaper, but I was kind of sized up more than I thought, or maybe my general conduct was to blame, so yeah, what I’m trying to say is…….I’m really sorry about that. If I knew you’d be summoned to participate in the Sun Authority War, I would’ve made more useful Gifts for you. The fact that I’ve been out of touch with the Game’s organizing committee for a long time had backfired on me. I’ll definitely return the money I embezzled so, please, forgive me for this.」
He shrugged his shoulders with a sigh. It seems that the ‘Siblings who got rolled up in a certain incident’ that he mentioned earlier referred to Homura and Suzuka. He tried to prepare the Gifts for winning through the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority, but he was forced to spend more money for unexpected expenses. It seemed that was the whole truth of this incident.
「Ayato. Your new arms that the Queen prepared for you are also included in Homura’s Gift Card. Please confirm it later.」
「F-For me as well?」
「Of course. You are the biggest battle power among the three of you no matter how I look at it, so it’s best to strengthen your power further. Suzuka, you can store the 「Paopei」 you stole from Shen Gongbao in them as well.」
「I-I see. That seems quite convenient. I’ll go grab them right away!」
Suzuka ran back inside her room.
Moving on, Tokuteru now faced Asterios.
「Asterios. Your situation is quite complicated. You are currently treated as a 『Property』 of Homura’s group. It’s also possible to treat you as a player, but with the Gift Card, there’s a more useful way. For that reason, are you okay with being treated as their property this time?」
「I don’t mind, but can you explain it in a bit more detail?」
「I’ll explain that after the Game starts. So just stay in the orphanage for now. If my predictions are correct, you remaining here will prove to be more useful for the predicament.」
Hearing Tokuteru’s proposal, Asterios send a questioning glance at Homura. Homura’s group, with Asterios included, had only four participants. It was hard to say if decreasing that number even further would be a wise move.
However, Homura nodded unexpectedly easily.
「Isn’t it fine? Besides, you can’t just skip the work at Don’s restaurant without even giving him prior notice, right? No other shop would hire someone with unknown origins like you.」
「……Are you sure?」
「If Tokuteru says he has a plan, it’s better to go along with what he says. Uncle Mikado is quite reliable when it comes to things other than money, right?」
Homura said jokingly, but Tokuteru didn’t reply to those words. Then, as he finally looked towards Homura, he asked with a serious expression unlike any before.
「……Homura. There’s one thing I have to ask you no matter what.」
「W-What is it so suddenly?」
「Are you really sure you want to participate in the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority? Do you, Saigo Homura, fully understand what it means to take part in it?」
From the words that he spoke, everyone held their breaths. Those weren’t words the usual him would ever say, but ones that were full of dignity befitting the one who carried the name of a 「God of War」.
Tokuteru asked Homura with a face that he had never displayed to the children of the orphanage in these five years since their meeting. He asked about Homura’s reason for participating in the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority.
Queen, the one who summoned him into Little Garden, had promised a generous reward, but that was close to ex-post-facto acceptance. A hindsight bias, so to speak. Albeit he cleared the Labyrinth of the Minotaur, Saigo Homura was far from being the directly related party even to this day.
Tokuteru was asking about his reason for fighting, the requirement to become a true Player in order to compete in this Game of Gods and Demons.
「……My reason for fighting, huh?」
He hesitated for a bit. He understood that it was something that he needed to clarify. A reason for fighting, for taking action, if there were no such thing, then it would become difficult to motivate himself when he gets caught in a dilemma.
Homura himself thought over that matter considerably over the past two months. For Saigo Homura… there was no real reason for him to fight in the Authority War.
But there was one to participate in it.
Although the 『Bull of Heaven』, the source of 『Taurus』 and the monster called Minotaur originated in Little Garden, the reason behind his summoning were the Star Particle Bodies. And the previous battle was the result of the abuse of said Star Particle Bodies. Tens of thousands of people suffered from just one battle over something as stupid as Authority.
Saigo Homura had to take part in this War, even if just to find out the enemy that had caused such a calamity.
「There’s……no grand reason to it at all. I feel bad for Queen, but I’m not aiming for anything like fame in another world or victory for the sake of victory itself. But I think that since I decided to be a part of it anyway, the lest I can do is to try my best.」
「……So, that is your decision? You’re still going to participate no matter what?」
「I have no other choice. At the very least, monsters like 『The Bull of Heaven』 were all summoned due to the abuse of Star Particle Bodies. I can’t forgive an organization that would abuse them like that for nothing more but their own personal gain. Also, I’ve focused more on thinking about finding out the true identity of the enemy, so I didn’t really think about other matters. That’s why I won’t do anything too unreasonable. If I die the orphanage would be out in the cold, I have to avoid that at any cost.」
Learning everything about the organization that abused the Particle Bodies. He was taking part in it for that reason alone and didn’t even consider doing it for the sake of achieving victory at all. Tokuteru nodded several times as if processing those words, then he eased his expression and nodded once more.
「To find the enemy that abused the Star Particle Bodies, huh……that’s right. That is the best reason to keep your motivation at its maximum. Above all, it suits you.」
「I think so too. ……But well, if I had to ask for more, I would like to have a match with Big bro Iza at least once.」
He showed a bitter smile and shook his head. If what Scáthach said was true, Izayoi would lose his right of participate in the War as soon as he turns twenty. He wanted to seriously compete with him at least once before that happened. These were unmistakably his true feelings. When this Authority War comes to a conclusion, the point where Saigo Homura and Sakamaki Izayoi’s paths intersect would also come to a definitive end.
But there’s nothing to do about it if their circumstances strayed from each other. They had surely cut their ties on that day five years ago and lived on planets that were completely separated from each other.
「If it’s possible, I want you to tell me about the results of Big Bro Iza’s investigation even if it’s just when you are free. I think I might be able to guess who the enemy is from that, and if all goes well, Big bro Iza and I might be able to get them with a pincer attack.」
They would pursue the mystery of the enemy, Sakamaki Izayoi from his home world and Saigo Homura from Little Garden, worlds’ apart, but still working towards the same goal.
Accepting the conclusion Homura reached, Tokuteru stood up while patting his back with a smile.
「If you’ve thought it through that much, there’s nothing more I need to say. ……Well, It’s a Game without the risk of death, so first and foremost you should focus on having fun and coming back home safely. After all, it’s a journey to another world, and that doesn’t happen every day.」
「Yeah, that’s the plan. The first stage of the research is also completed and it has entered the next one. Now, if the ‘Genome Tree’ project goes smoothly, then we can also start talking about the concrete construction plan for the Environmental Control Tower. I’ll go enjoy the brief holiday.」
They bumped fists with each other. With this, he heard everything Mikado Tokuteru had to say.
Finding the opportunity, Uesugi raised her hand and said:
「With the current summoning, Tokuteru and I would also be accompanying you up to the Spirit Train. In reality, it wasn’t me but Pritt-sama that was invited, but she was given a job to accompany Sakamaki Izayoi.」
「Ah……well, it’s a reasonable selection. There should be no one aside from Pritt among Tokuteru’s subordinates who would be suitable for Big bro Iza anyway. Are you fine with that, Uesugi?」
「It was a command from my Chief God, so there’s nothing to discuss here since that result was inevitable. Besides, I often show up in Little Garden as a special envoy, so I’ll at least take care of the reward part.」
Although her way of speaking was a bit overbearing for someone who was hired, she was still reliable nonetheless.
When Suzuka packed up her bags and returned to the lobby, they all touched the invitation together.
「Okay then……let’s go!」
She then broke the seal on the envelope with high spirits. The moment the wax seal on the invitation was torn, the surroundings were covered in light…
… And they were dropped from 4000 meters in the sky.
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