Volume 5 Chapter 2 Part 1
About three hours before Izayoi and You reunited with each other and went to have breakfast.
Giant Spirit Train 『Sun Thousand』, bar lounge with a viewing crystal.
A huge crystal ball was floating in the center of the bar lounge that has been filled with purple smoke. It was most likely a device prepared for the investors so that they could observe the struggles of the Players participating in the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority from a distance in the best, most convenient way possible. The smoke that filled the entire lounge has been enchanted in such a way that you could only see as far as the area around the chairs at your own table, but anything further then that, especially the silhouettes of other patrons and their voices has been so blurred that it was practically impossible to tell who else was in the lounge besides you. It was a special type of countermeasure employed to make sure that there will not be any fights that would inevitably occur if two or more patrons who hated each other with a passion just so happened to bump into one another. The crystal ball in the middle of the bar lounge wagon, however, has been tweaked in such a way that you could perfectly see the image it was displaying from ever corner of the room, no matter how far away from it you were sitting.
Other than to avoid the patrons engaging in battles to the death on the spot, there was also another reason why the purple smoke was implemented, making all of the investors just sit at their tables quietly and behave properly, like all the model patrons of a bar establishment should.
Ever since its first installment, one of the War for the Sun’s Authority’s strongest, most prominent aspect was its role as a proxy war between various Gods Demons and Spirits, to the point where it became customary for assuming that the placement and the rank of the champion of the given God in the war reflected the position of the patron God’s themselves. Because of that, if any of the Sponsors or Investors present onboard of the Giant Spirit Train were to start any fight in there, it would result in their immediate and irrevocable disqualification from the competition without any means for them to go back to it, and since none of the sponsors would be able to handle the disgrace and embarrasement of being thrown out of such an important competition for something so mundane as initiating a brawl outside of the proper battlefield, instead they all concluded that it is going to be more efficient to allow their chosen Players to eventually duke it out for them.
Sitting at the closest table to the Viewing Crystal, the winner of the first War for the Sun’s Authority: 「Demon Lord of the White Night」, Shiroyasha smiled at the loli Kuro Usagi, who was sitting right next to her, while taking a sip of her drink.
「Fufufu. . . . . . . . . . . well would you look at that, Kuro Usagi. It looks like all the Communities finally begun to move all at once, which should make things all the more interesting.」
「YES! And you can be sure that from this point onward our 『No Name』 will do everything in their power to steamroll through the competition! We are definitely not going to lose to Miss Asuka and other Communities!」
Kuro Usagi declared while blowing the air out through her nose proudly.
「It is a fact that 『No Name』 continues to struggle with the shortage of manpower and depends greatly on Izayoi and You, but as long as these two are around, I do believe that they will find a way to pick the best course of action hat is going to bring them victory.」
「Umu umu, I could not have said that better myself! It is true that there is power in numbers, but at the same time, numbers are not the only source of power. Bonds, course, individual abilities and a bunch of other factors are all intertwining with one another in order to forge a path towards victory. Our approach is entirely different from that of the certain Demon Lords , who just rely solely on numbers and throwing out large quantities of Players onto the game board, would you not agree?」
「The Demon Lord of the White Night」 opened up her fan and covered her face with it while looking at the woman who was sitting at the other end of the table: The Golden Queen, Queen Halloween. She finished elegantly drinking her cup of tea and then gazed at Shiroyasha with an annoyed gaze from behind the veil of her flowing golden hair.
「. . . . . . . . What was that? Are my ears deceiving me, or are you really accusing me of relying solely on numbers?」
「Surely you jest. Why would I ever stoop so low as to openly accuse you of doing such a thing. . . . . . . . . . then again, it is an undeniable fact that you are acting as a patron for the biggest number of Players among all the Sponsors involved in the current war. On top of that, your power is to control the boundaries of between worlds and stars. . . . . . . . so do you not think that such a combination is a kind of an overkill even for you?」
What 「Demon Lord of the White Night」 meant by her words did not refer only to Queen Halloween acting as a sponsor for the Pseudo-Community consisting of Saigo Homura, Ayazato Suzuka and Kudou Ayato. . . . . . . . . because aside from those three, Queen Halloween has sent out many other Players to act on her behalf. After all, she is a Celestial Spirit with the power to command the boundaries of the world, so there is nothing and no one that she cannot summon. That is the reason why she, a three-digit Celestial Spirit is said to be on equal footing with Shiroyasha, A Celestial Star Spirit and a 「Demon Lord of the White Night」with two digits to her name. To put it in other words, as far as the concept of “summoning” goes, Queen Halloween does not have any kind of restrictions placed upon her. And that is also why someone like her, who is capable of summoning forth an infinite amount of monsters that might even surpass the limits of her own power, does not need to hold anything back when it comes to the mobilization of the Players who would act and win on her behalf, so it would not be wrong to say that in terms of aiming to achieve victory, it can be said that both Homura & Co. and the members of her own Community, including the survivors from 『Avalon』 are like a steadily advancing army of pieces on the board.
Queen swept her hair to the side, revealing a somewhat moody expression.
「As long as I am not doing anything that might be classified as going against the established rules of the 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority, then I believe that trying to scold me for merely using my abilities to their fullest extent is even more of an overkill, to borrow the words of a certain jealous someone.」
「Oh yes, there definitely is nothing wrong in using the talents you have at your disposal. But you know what? All things considered, this 2nd War for the Sun’s Authority is not just some random contest, but a grand ritual that is going to determine the power balance between the Gods and Deities of Little Garden for years to come, so do you not think that it is more than a little lame to try to snatch the victory for yourself in such an unglamorous way like pumping out big numbers of Players instead of a select few who could do the same for you in a much more honorable way?」
「L-Lady Shiroyasha! Do you not think that this was uncalled for?! Surely there was no need for you to use such aggressively thorny words, was there?!」
Kuro Usagi hurriedly tried to stop Shiroyasha from provoking Queen Halloween even further.
When it comes to the relationship between Queen Halloween and 「The Demon Lord of the White Night」, it can be best summarized in the following way: these two have been at each other’s throats ever since the first War for the Sun’s Authority, the one where Shiroyasha emerged as the victor who defeated all the other contenders who stood in her way.
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