Last Embryo Volume 3 Epilogue Part 5
(I have to get a grip and focus on what’s in front of me! Right now, the only goal that I care about is keeping Suzuka and Homura-senpai safe! But… but with how I am now, I… I don’t even know if I will be able to do that.)
In order to psyche herself up and get into the right mindset, Ayato slapped her cheeks with both her hands so hard that they actually began to hurt. Once again she realized that not only was her body out of practice in comparison to her days as the Queen’s Knight, but her mind was severely lacking in diligence and discipline as well. If she were to continue carrying on like that without doing anything about it, it would inevitably come back to bite her when the time for the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority’s final selection will finally arrive. But now that she realized and acknowledged her own faults and shortcomings, she can actually work on fixing them, and the first step to doing so is going to be fixing her mistakes during the first stage’s 『Lost Continent』 Gift Game.
「Putting that matter aside for now, I think you should have another look at your invitations. Looks like something else has appeared on it as well.」
「Oh, you’re right! It… it kinda looks like a map, but of what, exactly?」
A map of an entire continent appeared on the surface of the invitation letters out of thin air along with the three engraved sun seals. After giving all of the Players a while to look at their invitation letters, Shiroyasha nodded her head and continued on with her explanations.
「Now I will explain the rules of how you should go about looking for the Games to participate in. There are many of them with varying levels of difficulty; some are easier than others, while some can be exceedingly difficult, so please be sure to find the ones that might be best suited for your individual abilities.」
The Players all nodded in unison. The Hosts, however, all had a good chuckle at that, because they knew that the rules will most definitely not stay just like Shiroyasha described them, because that simply would not be any fun, both to watch and to participate. Not offended by their mocking remarks in the slightest, Shiroyasha glared towards the seats where the Hosts were located and laughed sharply.
「Ah, that’s right! Listen up everyone, this old lady here almost forgot to tell you something of the utmost importance, so let me announce it now before I forget again!」
She opened her fan and then closed it abruptly, causing the sound to go through the speakers so that every person on the Giant Spirit Train could hear it.
「Well, if the circumstances were any different I would not even bother myself with going out of my way just to state something so obvious since I know that a vast majority of our Players, both the heroes and great individuals hailing from Little Garden as well as our guests from the Outer World have their heads squarely on their shoulders, but since this Great Gift Game also includes the crafty fools from among the ranks of the Divine Spirits and their followers who share their beliefs and viewpoints, then I feel that a thorough, decisive explanation is in order. On that account… Players, Hosts and Sponsors, make sure to listen well and engrave those words into your very souls if you know what’s good for you.」
Up until that point she was speaking in a tone that was mischievous yet informative, but now it went through a change into a gravely serious one, capturing the undivided attention of all the Players, Hosts and Sponsors who were listening to her. With their breaths held in their chests and sweaty palms, they were waiting to hear what her next revelation was going to be, because they all knew that it was going to be a big, potentially game-changing one.
「The bearers of the Twenty Four Sun Authorities… are hereby prohibited from engaging in battle and stealing their Authorities from one another without the consent from all of the parties involved to do so! If that rule is broken for any reason, those responsible for breaking it shall be dealt with by the Gift users belonging to the Almighty Domain of Three Digits, who will have all restrictions on their powers removed for the sole purpose of passing judgement upon those who will choose to ignore the rules of fair play!」
「What the fu…?!」
One after the other, the voices and yells of the Players who became surprised at that bomb of a revelation filled the Spirit Train in reaction to her announcement. This declaration was so sudden and out of the blue that even Demon Bull King and Kurma the World King could not contain their astonishment, joining the chorus of the voices dumbfounded at the last rule that 『The Demon King of the White Night』 introduced. Normal passengers would probably tilt their heads in surprise not knowing what she was rumbling on about, but since every last one of the Players present on the train truly understood all of the implications behind that last statement, they obviously could not do anything to stay calm and restrain themselves. The only person who was an exception to that rule was Queen Halloween. Looking totally unfazed by all of Shiroyasha’s words, she simply continued to drink her tea in her seat in the VIP lounge. But as she was doing so, her calm expression which normally looked like the surface of the ocean untouched by the waves got distorted by a frown that lasted for but a second as a particular thought crossed her mind, so she turned towards her most trusted servant and asked:
「Scathach. Are there any restrictions placed on me personally?」
「Ah, no, you remain fully autonomous, my Queen. None of the restrictions apply to you, so you can be as carefree and violent as you wish without worrying about anything.」
「Good. That is what I wanted to hear.」
Queen nodded her head in consent and then requested her Head Butler to pour her another cup of tea.
Unfolding her fan and covering her mouth with it, Shiroyasha proceeded to explain the rules of the next Gift Game with an amused expression.
「Naturally, as all of you Players probably guessed by now, those who will pass the Final Selection Gift Game will obtain the privilege of getting one of the Sun Authorities for themselves! However, taking part in the Gift Game is not the only way Players can earn it, for there is one more option for you, and that option… is winning the Sun Authority from another Player by besting them in a mutually agreed Gift Game, and the person who manages to gather the most of them before the Great Gift Game’s end shall be declared the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority’s ultimate victor!」
What Shiroyasha’s words meant was that the Gift Games would continue for as long as necessary until one of the players managed to obtain the Majority of the Sun Authorities and not lose them to other Players. That must have also been the reason why both Arjuna and Shen Gongbao decided to take part in the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority in their adolescent forms: it was their precaution against the possibility that the entire war thing would last for a long time without determining a victor.
Thanks to her announcement every player present on the train was now lost in thought, deliberating on the meaning of her words and coming up with the best possible course of action for the upcoming event, but Shiroyasha was not going to give them that much of a breathing room, and so she made another declaration in a voice that was even louder than before.
「Let us be on our way then, shall we? Onwards, towards the first stage of the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority… 『The Lost Continent』 Gift Game!!!」
Thunderous applause echoed throughout the entire Giant Spirit Train as it made its way forward towards the Ley Line. Using it as its railway, it then continued to accelerate until it reached the speed that made it look like a giant shooting star, and then it vanished without a trace to emerge back when it will arrive at its current destination, all the while the hearts of all the Players pounded with excitement and anticipation as they were all eager and ready to take on the challenge the mystery of 『The Lost Continent』 of Atlantis.
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