Hey happy to bring you another chapter, I definitely think this is my favorite chapter in the volume so far. After this is the last chapter and epilogue which are about 30% translated so look forward to that. Of course if you seen any mistakes or if there’s confusion let me know, a couple parts of this chapter were a pain.
If you want another (visual) novel to read in the meantime I recommend the Zero Escape trilogy. It’s on sale on steam and has Steins Gate feels to it.
The Endless Night
The banquet was finally in full swing.
The centerpiece of the night, the dance competition, came to its end.
Due to winning the competition, Rumia was in the process of changing into [The Gown of Fairies].
As one would expect, Glenn wasn’t able to follow her into the dressing rooms in the back, so he sent Re=L to guard her in his stead.
“Yes! I’ve always wanted to see Rumia in [The Gown of Fairies]!”
“Dammit! Even though I wanted to see Sistine in it!”
“I’m more of the Re=L faction though~”
“Mouu…next year though…. next year this this noble-blooded me…!” (TN She uses a formal/pretentious version of I)
“Seriously…You guys are annoying. Being this loud over a simple dress.”
Glenn’s students were responsible for the commotion before him.
Looking around, even after the dance competition finished, the excitement in the ballroom showed no signs of dying down.
The conductor continued to weave his baton through the air and the musicians passionately responded to his orders. The performance that dominates the venue continues to flow in perfect form.
The delightful chatter seemed to flow endlessly, and the dance circle remained broken. Instead of coming to an end, it appeared the excitement continued to build up even more.
(…. How is everyone…. not tired of this much commotion yet? These guys….)
Maa, it might just be something like that then. After all, tonight is something like a special night.
Partying till morning…. Even Glenn had difficulties saying such a thing.
(Hahaha….Even I got wrapped up in the mood of tonight’s ball….)
While Glenn was looking around the ballroom….
But suddenly at the center of the room……. “Oooooo,” a commotion started to stir.
“Sensei! Sensei! You came!? Uwaa, seriously, that’s more than I expected…!!”
“…. Nn? What came….?”──
Being pulled by his sleeve, Glenn turned his head over his shoulder ──
“…..Thank you for waiting. Sensei….”
Rumia, now dressed in [The Gown of Fairies] …. showed her lovely appearance with Re=L as her escort.
The hem of the skirt unfurled like an angel’s wings.
Her arms fluttered about like a fairy’s feathers.
The jewelry that decorated her dress were brighter than the stars that lit up the night sky.
The embroidering of the gown was a brilliant display of silverwork.
With the chandelier overhead, it was bathed in dazzling lights and gave off a mystical sparkle.
That dress polished and refined the beauty and elegance of the rough gem named Rumia to her upmost limit.
That overflowing beauty ── seemed to rob Glenn of his soul.
── Without a doubt, [The Gown of Fairies] will be a lovely final outfit for her. ──
For just a moment, the words of a certain somebody passed through somewhere in his heart.
But before Rumia’s beauty, that feeling was blown away.
“…..S-So……Sensei….What do you think….? Does it look good on me……?”
Growing shy, Rumia’s cheeks turned red and she cast her head down while peeking at Glenn for a response.
” ………………….. “
As if he were senile, Glenn couldn’t help but just stare at Rumia without replying….
“Seriously…Hey get a hold of yourself, Sensei.”
Wendy clapped him on the back and Glenn returned to his senses….
“…..Yeah. Amazing, it really suits you…. they say fine feathers make fine birds but….”
Is all he said. The words he muttered weren’t effective in expressing how he really felt.
But with just that. Rumia was already quite satisfied.
She looked happy…. she felt really blessed…. she was laughing.
“Well then…..Sensei. Tonight’s final escort…..if you don’t mind, please?”
Like how she dreamed of, Rumia smiled as she walks towards Glenn….and held out her hand.
Glenn took her hand and headed towards the center stage.
According to the ball’s tradition, the couple that won the right to [The Gown of Fairies] would start off the final dance of the night.
Glenn and Rumia attracted everyone’s attention at the center of the ballroom.
The crowd watched as those two appeared on stage in their own time.
The conductor of the orchestra quietly raised his baton….
Sinfonia di Sylphide’s 7th movement was played.
And the dance paired with it was Sylph’s 7th Waltz ──
At the same time, on the roof of the student center.
“Fuu….somehow it feels like it has come to a peaceful end, right….”
“I agree. There are no more enemy reactions to my barriers.
“I’ve always thought this, but this ball has really good music.”
“Yeah, I’ve wanted to go inside and listen to it…I’ve also thought of that.”
Bernard and Christopher took a short break to listen to the final dance’s musical performance.
And at that time.
Re=L kicked off the outer wall of the student center and jumped into the night sky; everyone there turned their heads upwards as they watched her land at the center of the roof.
“Nn. I came.”
Those garments were not the garments of a pretty boy dressed for a ball, but one of Imperial Courts Mage Corp’s ceremonial wear.
Those dainty shoulders easily carried a giant sword through the air at a high speed.
“Ooh, Re=L. I’m glad you could make it, good work! Excellent!”
Like a doting grandfather, Bernard rubbed Re=L’s head as he drew closer.
“A bit ago Eve said that area was good, now she told me to come here. So, I changed quickly and came here.”
As usual she seemed tired and expressionless, but also somewhat dissatisfied.
“Oya, you seem unusually cranky? Re=L.”
“…..Rumia’s…..gown?……..I wanted to see more.”
“Wahahaha how regrettable! Hah we’re almost finished so be patient!”
” …… Mu”
Re=L turned her head to the side and with a “puku” her cheeks grew bigger.
“How should I put it, I’m seriously jealous of Glenn-boy. Earlier I was using magic to check the situation inside…and Alicia-chan’s daughter looked jaw-dropping…. fuu…. forget what I just said, if she heard me she I don’t doubt that she would mobilize the whole army…and then I would eventually get shot dead.”
“Ahaha well if it’s Bernard-san. That’s right, at that time I’ll help.”
“Both of you be diligent. Our mission still hasn’t ended,” Albert scowled while reminding those two of their duty.
But a weak spot couldn’t be found in either Christopher or Bernard.
Despite what it appeared like, Bernard and Christopher were still combat capable, ready for a fight at a moment’s notice.
In their hearts…. those two felt as though this hasn’t ended yet, and.
Of course, Albert felt the same.
(But…there’s really no sign of the enemy. And there’s no sign that they’re planning anything. Is it really possible it ended just with that?)
Albert couldn’t help but try to assess the situation.
While not feeling completely satisfied with how it turned out, Albert took out his pocket watch. It was time for his periodic report to Eve.
“This is [The Star]. Can you hear me, [The Magician]? Respond. Currently, at the time of 11○○, there is no abnormalities while on patrol of the outer area. Per your instructions, we have joined up with [The Chariot]. I repeat, there are no abnormalities while on patrol. We joined with [The Chariot] …….How is your situation? Please respond.”
Albert indifferently reports the situation to Eve through the communication device on his ear.
“……Eve? Are you listening? Please respond.”
But no matter how long Albert waits.
From the communication device, a reply from Eve ── never came.
Albert suspiciously knitted his eyebrows ──
Around that time ──
“I’m sorry to suddenly ask for the help, Sisti.”
“Ah, no. Please don’t worry about it, Liz-senpai.”
“Even though I’m always always telling the other officers to neatly organize the documents.”
Sistine and the student council president Liz were currently in a room in the student center building where the ball was being held ── in the management committee room.
After the dance competition had ended, at the behest of Liz, Sistine temporarily left Rumia and Glenn and came to this room to help alleviate some of the workload off her shoulders.
In the room, various documents such as management schedules and personnel staffing and so on, were scattered disorderedly. All the other officers, save for Sistine and Liz, had long deserted the office.
“Every year this happens, but we’re always short of people….”
“Ahaha, but wasn’t this year a huge success, Senpai?”
With not even a sign of reluctance, Sistine was quickly gathering the scattered documents.
“I’m sure it was all thanks to the Senpais’ in the student councils hard work!”
“That’s right, I’m happy if you can say that.”
Liz was smiling and laughing.
“……By the way. I saw the finale. You were so close, Sistine.”
“Oh, you’re talking about the dance competition. Ahaha, I guess my half-hearted resolve wasn’t good enough after all. Compared to Rumia who seriously wanted to wear [The Gown of Fairies], and me who was just haphazardly competing, I never stood a chance…..”
“…..Fufufu, you should be more honest with yourself…..listening to your heart’s inner voice is essential. This is advice from your Senpai.”
“….? What do you mean…..? Ah, the organizing is over, Senpai.”
Just as she finished filing the papers, Sistine rose from her seat.
As if to escape from that topic.
“Thanks. I’m really sorry, ne? I think if you hurry you might be able to catch the final dance. Hora…..right now I think the prelude just started.”
As Liz wryly smiled while saying that, the musicians could be heard from the ballroom.
“Ah, me? I can go? Aaahh I want to sear the image of Rumia wearing [The Gown of Fairies] into my mind!”
“Fufu, have a good time.”
Prompted by Liz, Sistine left the place…. but at that time.
Scores of sheet music scattered on the floor caught her eyes.
“…..Are~? Senpai….this is…..?”
“Ara….mou, those children left these important papers lying about….”
Letting out a sigh, Liz began to collect the sheet music. And Sistine began to help.
“This is. The original sheet music used in tonight’s ball. Yes, it’s exactly what the orchestra is playing right now.
“Ahh, is that right?…. This is what they’re playing huh….”
“…..Yes. It’s no exaggeration to say that the success of this year’s ball is thanks to this sheet music.”
“…..What do you mean?”
Sistine asks a question in response to Liz’s strange statement.
“Fufu see this here? This is a very pleasant arrangement. When I’m listening to it, my heart automatically starts to beat faster…. it’s such a type of arrangement.”
“Ahh come to think of it, I think this year’s piece, [Sylphide], is somewhat different…..that’s right…..this arrangement huh….”
As she came to realize something, Sistine peeked at the sheet music in Liz’s hand.
…..And, it was at that time.
After she caught sight of the sheet music, Sistine’s facial expression suddenly stiffened.
“Eehh ──!? Why!?”
Suddenly screaming, the sheet music was violently snatched from Liz’s hand.
Leaving Liz to blink in confusion, Sistine leapt toward her bag stashed in the corner of the room and pulled out a massive bundle of papers from within. They were borrowed from the Institute’s library; it was a magic thesis that Sistine read enough to bore a hole through….it was Professors Fosil’s most recent publishing on archeothanatology.
She forcefully opened the book and flipped through as fast as she can ── until she reached a certain page, and while comparing the sheet music with what was written ──
” ── I was right!? Something about this arrangement!? Something about this is definitely strange….!?”
Then, Sistine drew closer to Liz who was at her wit’s end ──
“Senpai, please listen! You might not believe me, but I have a request! Senpai ──”
Staring dumbfoundedly, Liz listened as Sistine gave her request.
Then Sistine rushed out of the office ──
Heading towards the ballroom, Sistine was panicking as she sprinted.
“Faster….Faster, I have to tell Sensei and….! I have a bad feeling….! I’m not sure if something really will happen but….! I have a really bad feeling about this…!”
At the opposite side of the hallway and just one more right turn, would be the ballroom.
Right now, the exorbitant amount of empty space in the hallways left a bitter feeling in Sistine’s heart.
And as Sistine was about to round that corner, at that time.
Suddenly, a man appeared on the left side of the passageway.
The figure of an imposing man dressed in all black quickly heading towards the ballroom ── could not be overlooked.
” ── Ah Albert-san!?”
Albert, who was called by name, stopped for a while and gave a sharp glance towards Sistine.
“…. Fibel? What a coincident to meet here.”
Affiliated with The Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Missions Annex, its 7th operative, [The Star], Albert. A colleague from Glenn’s military time, an ace of the military’s special force who secretly handled magical incidents.
Why is such a person in a place like this?
But the fact that Albert was here ── just proved the validity of Sistine’s suspicions.
“A-Ah, please, Albert-san! Please listen to my story It’s possible…..it’s possible that something terrible is about to happen! You’ll probably think it’s a kids joke but….!”
Having said that, Sistine raises her hand holding the music, and with a desperate expression pleads to him.
Albert was scrutinizing Sistine with a sharp glare……and eventually concluded something was out of the ordinary with how frantic she was.
That’s right, with a short dispassionate answer he urged Sistine on.
” ── That’s all the information I got from Fibel. What do you think? Old man.”
“Anyhow isn’t that really important! Then that makes sense why the enemies outside left so easily!?”
When Albert quickly communicated the information to his companions with the magic device, he got Bernard’s frustrated, surprised cry in response.
“Kuu ー, we’ve been tricked! No way, how did you come by this information!? If that’s true that means I’m in danger too!? When, when did we get tricked…..how many hours has it been!?”
“I know. But the princess is completely stuck in the enemy’s trap. We need to get her back as soon as possible.”
“I understand! For now, I’ll leave that place to you! I’ll handle this area!”
” ー Albert-san, Bernard-san! This is Christopher!”
During that time, Christopher interrupted the conversation between the two.
“Christopher. How is it? The state of affairs over there ー”
“No good. Although Zayeed and Lawrence are tied up on the floor…. Eve is nowhere to be found. And, the thing according to the information we got from Sistine is installed in the center of the room. I fear that it’s likely that ー”
“Ahh that’s right…..Aaa mou why did it end up like this….”
“We all misread the situation. That Zayeed and Lawrence are innocent…. they have no relation to the organization at all 一 they’re ordinary citizens. They’ve been manipulated beforehand by some type of technique, while we thought that they were part of the organization’s assassinations we we’re just dancing in the palm of their hand…..that was the real smokescreen.”
“I see, even Eve-chan guessed wrong….”
“At the very least, Eve-san should’ve informed us of the mastermind beforehand……that Zayeed was actually that kid called Kite from the Kletios Magic Academy, and as well that someone was manipulating him…..if she just told us beforehand…! Even worse, if she just allowed us to have a direct line to Glenn….!”
“Aah we can’t even get in contact with Glenn-boy….!”
Now that they think about it, Eve was adamant in denying a communication line between Glenn and them, she wanted to manage the information flow from both sides…. she was worried they would uncover the mastermind. All in order to monopolize the winnings of tonight’s battle ──
“At this point in time it doesn’t matter what we say, we have to start. We soldiers will merely do our best on our given battlefield.”
“…. That’s right.”
“Old man. Christopher. Please be attentive. We let the enemy get a head start. From here on out…. we can’t allow them to get even one more step ahead.”
Albert shuts off the communication device and turned around.
“No way……during the ball tonight…..such a thing really was going on…”
Sistine’s face began to lose its color and she started trembling on the side after learning the truth from Albert.
“Then….when Sensei was overbearingly forcing Rumia to be his dance partner…..it was for the sake of guarding her…..? That’s why…. he was acting that desperate…..? Despite that, I……acting like an idiot I was nothing more than a nuisance to him…!?”
“…. Pay it no heed, Fibel. You didn’t do anything wrong,” Albert said dispassionately before the troubled Sistine.
“If someone is in the wrong, it would be the enemy organization….and us who tried to exploit you students for military gains. You would be totally justified if you were to hate us and call us demons.”
Sistine fell silent as she felt a swarm of emotions swell in her stomach.
“But, now I’ll have to add another shameful act to my list tonight…in accordance with Imperial military law section 6, under emergency exceptions article 4 I order you──…..No…that’s too vulgar. Fibel, I have a request. Will you lend me your strength?”
“You can think that the situation has already gotten this bad. The princess’s life is already in the enemy’s hands. We can no longer do this alone. To reverse the situation…. we need your power.”
Right now, Sistine’s body began to shiver. To cooperate with Albert in this kind of situation…. without a doubt would end up turning into a battle.
A fierce battle with the magicians from The Researchers of Divine Wisdom…..an exchanging of lives….
“Of course, that’s if you want. I will not force you. I will do my best with the cards in my hand.”
Fear, tension, and uneasiness dominated Sistine’s body.
Such a thing had happened in the past as well. Albert had requested help from Sistine ──
And at that time, her body trembled, she cried and wailed, she couldn’t even more an inch….
“…. T-There’s something only I can do…?”
“T-Then…! I understand…. I-I’ll do it! Then thing only I can do…..!”
While her knees were wobbling, Sistine stood straight and looked Albert in the eyes…. her quivering voice cut through the silent air.
“‘Be careful of the warrior whose been gone for three days’ ── is a proverb from the Far East….I see, that’s right.”
(TN 士別れて三日なれば刮目して相待すべし is the original proverb. I looked it up and they explained it as “Those who make an effort will grow, so be wary of when you meet them next” I think Sistine is saying it in regard to how she grew from the last time she met with them.)
Albert who always wore an icy expression as if to reject others, slightly let his face relax…..but immediately turned around and headed toward the ballroom.
“…..Let’s go. Follow me.”
“Albert-san!? B-But, what can I possibly do…!?”
Sistine became flustered and chased after Albert’s back.
“Fibel. Can you dance Sylph・Waltz’s 8th movement?”
“…. Eh? Sylph・Waltz’s…..8th movement….?”
Sistine could only blink at Albert’s excessively cryptic words.
The conductor’s baton was swaying through the air.
Along with that, the orchestra was playing with its undivided attention.
And all the attendees of tonight were dancing.
Elegantly, gracefully ──
Gently, gently, they were gently dancing the dance that would end tonight ──
It seemed the lingering sound of the music would last forever.
While watching over the dance of Rumia and Glenn…each and everyone in the ballroom smoothly joined hands with their partner next to them…..and couple by couple began to take to the dance floor.
Now all of the people in the hall were dancing hand in hand.
The guests, the people of the management committee, and everyone without exception surrendered themselves to the music and began to dance.
Everyone was left swaying to the music.
How pleasant it was, seeing that sense of unity.
It’s as if the hearts of all the people in the ballroom melted into one.
Tonight ── without a doubt.
For all the participants here, it would be the best night of their lives ──
While Glenn was leading Rumia in the dance, a sense of a faint alarm bell could be felt ringing through the depths of his heart.
Since when did something begin to rule over Glenn’s heart?
Gulping repetitively, he felt that it was just recently. Now that he thinks about it…when the ball started, was when he began to feel it.
Somewhere, he felt like a thin film had been stuck on his mind. Like he was in a trance due to delirium from a fever.
It was so comfortable…his mind began to fall into a haze.
However, only that music that dominated the hall was able to penetrate deep, deep into Glenn’s heart.
(…. Something is definitely wrong…..I can’t understand it at all…but, even so, something’s weird…. what the hell….is it….?)
Following the choreographed dance routine, he pulled in Rumia.
Rumia, entrusted to Glenn, was wearing a face like a dream came true.
And Rumia who was wearing [The Gown of Fairies] ── looked so beautiful like an actual dream come true.
It surely appeared as if he were intoxicated.
To the atmosphere of this venue. To the music and dance that dominated this venue.
And ── even to the beautiful girl held in his arms.
Everyone, everyone looked equally intoxicated.
After all, this place itself seemed to be in the paradise of a dream ──
I want to give myself to a sun-bathed world like this forever.
I want to sink into this world as it is.
Contrary to the alarm bell ringing at the bottom of Glenn’s heart, he naturally gave himself to the feeling he was experiencing……
Glenn threw out any ideas or thoughts, and merely surrendered himself to this world….
At that time.
With a snap.
At the edge of his field of vision, something unpleasant pricked Glenn’s fading consciousness.
Far away, just barely on the edge of his horizon, a silver that burns intensely ──
Glenn looks in that direction with a sense of discomfort.
Beyond his line of sight ── in a corner of the ballroom.
For some reason, Sistine and Albert were ── holding hands, and dancing.
Seeing that, strangely made Glenn’s heart sink.
Cold water was thrown onto Glenn’s heart, which was comfortably submerged in a lukewarm reservoir.
After all ──
(You guys…. why are you dancing…why are you dancing Sylph・Waltz’s 8th movement…?)
That’s right. Right now what was dominating the ballroom was [Sinfonia di Sylphide No. 7].
Of course the dance that should’ve been accompanied with it should’ve been Sylph・Waltz’s 7th movement.
Therefore, the dissonance that should’ve been found in their movements, was not there.
They’re too annoying. Even more so, Sistine’s silver hair stands out too much. I can’t get it out of my head.
They…..They’re completing disrupting the unification of this perfect world, they’re cancer ──
(Stop…..Stop it…! This perfect world…they’re ruining the unification…. stop…..stop disturbing me….! Please ──)
(── That’s wrong…..That’s right…..That’s right isn’t it, I’m Glenn = Radars…!)
Glenn’s fading consciousness, which had sunk in the sea of haze, slightly rosse due to the dissonance.
Staring intently at Rumia. She blushes and calmly breaks into a smile…. her consciousness was completely here, her mind was completely here.
Looking over the rest of the dance hall.
People who were dancing with all their heart and soul, and the musicians who play their instruments frantically.
Even so…something, something about the situation was weird.
(…. Think….Think already!…. Something’s weird….!? Dammit I can’t understand it…weren’t we just enjoying the ball?….. Feeling a sense of unity through music and dance, this was supposed to be the best night…. but even still, what the hell is…?”)
── Without a doubt, [The Gown of Fairies] will be a lovely final outfit for her. ──
Again, Eleanor’s words were unexpectedly recalled.
(That’s right…..That…..what the hell does that mean….?)
In the first place, speaking of weirdness that phrase was the first thing that came to mind.
(…. Why would [The Gown of Fairies] be Rumia’s burial gown? In order for Rumia to wear [The Gown of Fairies], she would first have to win the competition…meaning, if the ball was not close to its end…. Rumia wouldn’t be wearing the dress in the first place…!)
In other words, while Rumia is wearing the dress…. her safety isn’t guaranteed from the [assassination] attempt?
What? At the beginning of the ball and the end. What the hell is the difference between the two?
If another [assassination] attempt were to happen, what type of timing would they use.
Rather, at the time just before something ends, people are most vigilant, thus making an [assassination] attempt near impossible.
Why would they specifically have to wait till the end of the ball?
(Speaking of the main difference between the beginning and the end…. it’s the general mood of the time….)
It’s unlikely in the whole history of the institute that a ball has been as successful at this one.
This mood has been brewing endlessly over time since the ball started.
If that’s the case. Speaking of the thing that brewed this mood, it would be ──?
── That which holds the princess’s fate is…..[If you look with open eyes it is roughly five steps, with closed eyes it is eight]. That subtle grace majestically running parallel to the feelings that will run aground a certain person.] …. That’s the feeling ──?
Suddenly, in a corner of Glenn’s mind, an answer popped up like a flash of light,
I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it…. but I don’t think I’m wrong.
(If that’s the case, then I see ── the meaning they had in creating dissonance by dancing the 8th movement is ── !?)
It was at that moment Glenn suddenly realized the meaning they had behind dancing Sylph・Waltz’s 8th movement.
The conductor ── raised his baton as high as he could.
In response, the orchestra vigorously and powerfully strummed their instruments, further enlivening their musical performance.
It was the tempo of the music. The composed mood till now shattered due to a change of key, the tune swelled remarkably ── the mood of the ballroom ── turned strange.
” ────── !?”
Suddenly, Glenn’s body was pulled by something similar, a feeling he remembered.
As if his whole body was bonded firmly by an invisible thread; being pulled, being manipulated, he himself didn’t notice on the inside despite being happy, didn’t notice the discomfort which was that he was being forced to dance wholeheartedly. This is what Glenn remembered ── this was the true identity of the discomfort he was experiencing.
If he did not catch Albert dancing the 8th movement, he would’ve never noticed the discomforting mood in the air, and surely would’ve resigned his body to complete domination──
Even though now he was consciously aware of it, he still wanted to surrender himself to the pleasant mood.
(…. P-Please…..Sera…..! Give me power to….!)
Tan, tatata, tan.
Glenn suddenly moved away from Sylph・Waltz’s 7th movement and started the steps of a difference dance.
One that had been taught by the late [Wind War Maiden] Sera = Silvers, similar to the Sylph・Waltz’s 8th movement, that characteristic step was the start to ──
But suddenly, Rumia violently pulled on Glenn and disrupted his movement.
After all, Rumia was still dancing to Sylph・Waltz’s 7th movement.
Dancing a different movement from Glenn, of course she would be out of step and pull on him ──
But that level of power from Rumia was abnormal.
The male Glenn was completely being overpowered by the slender female Rumia.
All the meanwhile, the innermost depths of Glenn’s heart were being corroded by the mood ──
If this continued any longer, he would just abandon everything, surrendering his body to the bewitchingly pleasant air ──
(Dam-mit gaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ──!?)
Forcefully stopping himself as he was on the brink of surrendering his body, Glenn violently embraced Rumia, swung her, and went into Sera’s dance.
At that moment ──
” ─── !? S-Sensei!?”
Rumia who suddenly came to her senses, stared at Glenn with a look of surprise.
“Match my movements! Okay!?”
Leaving behind the perplexed Rumia, Glenn once more started that characteristic step of that dance.
In the ballroom that was full of Sylph・Waltz’s 7th movement, Glenn started his irregular dance.
This was, a world made from the ballroom, a barrier meant to hold Glenn ──
And then ──
“Haa….! Haa….! Haa….! Haa….!”
The previously noisy room came to a halt.
Glenn’s rasping breath echoed throughout the ballroom that became still as death.
Glenn, devoid of strength, fell to his knee and looked around the hall.
Along with the end of the music, everyone was still in their finishing pose, and like bronze statutes not even the slightest movement could be seen.
The music ensemble. The management personnel as well. Even the people who were having a friendly chat.
Every human that existed in that place stood still as if time came to a stop.
Everyone uniformly, unfocused, with eyes devoid of life──
“…. Eh? W-What is this….? This…..”
As Rumia took in the bizarre scene around her, her face began to pale.
“Rumia! You’re okay? Perfectly sane!?”
Sistine rushed over to where Rumia was standing panting all the while.
“Haa,,,,,,Haa…..that was dangerous…. since when….? How long have I been under this technique…?”
“…..Since the beginning.”
Albert, who also just walked up, said so provokingly.
“From the beginning, we were in the midst of this trap. It seems that they hoped that Eve would see through the mastermind….and used that to their benefit.”
“Dammit….! I of all people….!”
Glenn cursed and slammed his fist on the ground.
“All the same, I’m surprised you noticed, Glenn. At the eleventh hour you’re strangely quick on the uptake…. Honestly speaking, the expectation I had for you this time was minuscule.”
“…. Maa-na. I had a couple hints somewhat beforehand…..”
Which was, the representation on paper where staff notation had five lines which made the eight fundamental musical scales.
In other words, if you look at it with eyes open, it was five steps. With eyes closed, it was eight.
That is ── what music is made of. It was the performance that has been in control of this place since the beginning of the ball, and it was the biggest trap that the enemy had set ──
“S-Sensei….What is this…? What happened.”
Rumia who couldn’t follow the situation exchanged glances with Glenn and Albert in confusion.
“……Step aside, Rumia.”
Glen staggeringly stood up, looking at the orchestra while shaking off the discomfort in his head.
“Now, well then, the most suspicious one here is you, you….”
Beyond Glenn’s piercing gaze, was the orchestra’s conductor with his back towards them.
The conductor held his baton still overhead, as if he were frozen ── but his stillness was unlike the others which gave off a feeling similar to statues.
Despite the end of the music, it’s reverberation could be still felt throughout the air.
“Enough fooling around, should we end this already? Tonight’s assassination attempt’s true mastermind ── and most likely the true body of [The Demon’s Right Hand] Zayeed!”
The conductor with his right hand holding the baton overhead…..slowly…. lowered it…..
“…. Well done, you escaped my [Right Hand].”
He ….. slowly turned his head towards Glenn’s group
With characteristically curled hair, a truly musician-y like appearance, he glared at Glenn with ice-cold eyes.
“You’ve beat the secret of my [Right Hand] with that [Dance of the Great Wind Spirit’s] 8th movement of yours…. Impossible, there shouldn’t be any practitioners left….
“It’s a dance of a certain nomadic tribe that uses the spirits of the deceased to purify demons and protects one’s heart. If that trap set at the beginning of the ball, was of the mind-domination system…. then it would be particularly effective…..”
“Hmm. This is a concern, I specifically choose the No. 8 from the [Sinfonia di Sylphide] for my plan ── unless, that’s where it originally came from?”
Among all of the people that were so stiff as if their soul was stolen from then, [The Demon’s Right Hand] and Glenn’s group glared at each from across the room.
“Hahaha….I finally connected the dots. Liz was saying…that tonight’s ball was making use of prearranged sheet music…..? You somehow imbued magic into that arrangement!? What the hell did you ──”
“Sensei! I’m sure it was the [Devil’s Tune]!”
Possibly due to the tension, Sistine who had kept quiet till now, broke into the conversation.
“…..The [Devil’s Tune]?”
“Yes! I read about it the other day in Professors Fosil’s thesis on archeothanatology. The rise and fall in music…. meaning the change in music can take control of someone’s mind and manipulate them, it’s an ancient magic ── it doesn’t have a form but, this is a legitimate magic legacy.”
“…. Magical legacy!?”
The magic legacy [Devil’s Tune] In other words, the magic legacy of sheet music which can activate a particular magic by a specific music composition.
At first glance, it sounds like a crazy story, but the truth it is not.
In the first-place magic is a language that is a close echo to the [Original Sound] that alters the depths of the consciousness, meaning it’s a technique that intervenes on the laws of reality by using the sound of one’s inner heart. The magic that influences people’s hearts through music is a magic that is closer to stereotypical magic rather than every-day magic.
“The [Cursing Song] of the nomadic tribe of the Southern Plains also uses that theory! In the thesis, regarding the [Devil’s Tune], it seems that there is always a certain special tone and rhythm present…. I’m sure that the [Devil’s Tune] was inserted into tonight’s arrangement!”
“B-But ….. in order to start, just like how regular magic needs an incantation, the [Devil’s Tune] also needs a special musical performance, without it the song will just be played normally and the [Devil’s Tune] won’t activate….”
Says Sistine as she loses self-confidence.
“…. That’s where [The Demon’s Right Hand] comes into play.”
Albert spoke up as if to support her claim.
“[The Demon’s Right Hand] Zayeed…..by using that hand holding the baton, he can command the ensemble to unknowingly perform that special musical performance. It does not matter whether it is suggestion, hypnotism, or even if the baton itself holds some type of magical functionality.”
Then, Zayeed’s shoulder shake as if he were laughing, and proudly begins his narration.
“For generations, members of my house have secretly inherited a stone that holds the secret of the [sheet’s music’s magic legacy] …..I don’t understand the working theory of the magic, only the usage and operational methods, even though it has been researched quite a bit.”
Even though the cards in his hand were on display for everyone to see, Zayeed still stood there smiling gleefully.
“If you trace my lineage back to ancient time…..it’s possible, my house might have had a job akin to the royal court musicians of the time. Maa, the rest is roughly as you imagined,” Zayeed declares with both arms spread wide.
“I can gain command over the consciousness and memory of all present by playing the seven [Devil’s Tune]. Everyone, leaving no one to spare! It doesn’t matter what type of guard they have! With this, I can easily carry out an [assassination]. Amazing isn’t it!?”
Glenn had no choice but to stand dumbfounded.
What he said was definitely true.
At the moment of an assassination attempt, as long as you can control the consciousness and memories of all the people present with the [Devil’s Tune], you can do whatever you want. Even in the broad daylight, no one would notice an assassination.
The mysterious assassination technique of [The Demon’s Right Hand], which has remained a secret despite being used in front of a many people.
Its true identity was ──
“Hahaha…no one would ever believe such a bold [assassination] attempt would be carried out!….. If no one was aware or remembers the moment it happens, then it truly is a magnificent [assassination]! If your opponent is a product of ancient magic, then it’s useless to try to detect them with modern magic!”
And once the technique is activated, it does not matter what happens next. Whether he finishes it by his own hand or commands the mind-controlled victim to. It merely depends on his whims at the time.
Hence the reason that the cause of death of Zayeed’s assassination victims are never consistent.
Assassination is usually something done by sneaking behind the scenes and waiting for the chance to strike between the gaps in an opponent’s armor.
But this was an extremely bold move that overturned the common knowledge and preconceived notions of assassinations.
“But you guys broke the illusion hidden behind [The Demon’s Right Hand].”
Disregarding Glenn’s group who were still left in shock, the ever-prepared Albert turned to face Zayeed.
“If you quietly surrender, then that will be fine. But if you resist, I’ll show no mercy.”
“Hmm…..what a fool.”
Disregarding what Albert said, Zayeed raised his baton overhead. And reacting immediately, the ensemble who had been standing perfectly still behind him, resumed playing similarly to a mechanical doll ──
At the same time.
Without hesitation, Albert was about to activate his pre-prepared spell [Lightning ・ Pierce].
Turning his arm like a whip, a flash of lighting from his fingertips ──
No, Albert did not fire his magic. With his finger still pointing toward Zayeed, he stopped the activation of the spell that was about to fire at the last minute.
“Hou….what a smart fella….”
A rather cold laugh came from Zayeed. Once again, the performance from hell dominated the ballroom….
“O-Oi….Albert what are you doing!? Hurry up and fire!”
“It’s impossible. Just now, my deep subconscious was instantly taken over by the [Devil’s Tune].”
Albert matter of factly responded to Glenn who was angrily raising his voice.
“What did you say!? In just that instant of playing!?”
“If I use magic in such a state, I wonder how much damage I’ll accidentally cause. Disregarding how much backlash the caster would receive, it’s possible it could hurt some innocent bystanders standing next to me.”
Calmly saying that, Zayeed wielded his baton and once again resumed playing.
“To some degree you’ve all been continuously listening to my [Devil’s Tune] since the beginning of this ball. You’ve been gradually eroded by the [Devil’s Tune]. By using the [Dance of the Great Wind Spirit’s] 8th movement, Glenn = Radars was able to somewhat fend off the encroachment of his mind, it’s the same thing those guys in special forces do with rushed spirit defense. Consciousness and memory ── although it was unexpected I couldn’t control your surface level consciousness, but I already have control over your deep subconscious!” Zayeed proudly declares to the paling Glenn who was glaring daggers towards him.
“Meaning ── that as long as I play the [Devil’s Tune]. you guys can’t freely wield magic! All humans shall prostate themselves before my music performance! This secret magic of mine, that can control anyone’s heart and soul with music ── my original magic [The Orchestra of the Cursed Night].” Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to my musical performance! Fuuhahahahaha!”
“Dammit, this yapping bastard…. what does he take people for!?”
Cold sweat was pouring like a waterfall from Glenn’s face while he reflexively said that.
And then…. the people in the ballroom, controlled by the [Devil’s Tune], came alive.
Everyone with vacant eyes…. began to creepily surround Glenn’s group of four……
“I’ll say it right now, but don’t think crushing the innards of your ear will have any effect on my [Devil’s Tune]. Because my [Devil’s Tune] is heard with the spirit. And with the exception of you guys, everyone in this ballroom is already under my control.”
As the orchestra began to pick up, Zayeed ordered the surrounding people to close in.
“Saa, I hope you’ve said your last words. After a few minutes, when the people here come to their senses, I’m sure they’ll be plenty shocked…. before they realized it, four dead bodies appeared out of thin air!….. Without ever knowing they were the ones who did it!”
While being on guard of his surroundings, Glenn took up a fighting stance. Among the those afflicted by the [Devil’s Tune] and currently surrounding them…. he could recognize some of the faces…..the faces of his pupils in class.
(Dammit…..This type of thing…..it doesn’t matter if it was using something like magic! Can I even do anything like this!?)
“……A-Ah……T-This is!? …..Everyone…..M-My fault!?”
Behind Glenn, the ghastly pale Rumia stood in a daze.
The always courageous Rumia, was reduced to nothing but a trembling girl scared in the corner this time.
It was completely natural, the once enjoyable ball suddenly turned into a party from hell. Even more so it happened during the event where she accomplished her dream of wearing [The Gown of Fairies] The shock of that was unfathomable.
In front of the students who were creepily shuffling….
Albert silently drew a knife and turned towards the students.
His blade caught light off the chandelier and gave off an ominous glare.
Glenn grabbed Albert’s arm that was holding the knife.
“…..As naive as ever. Do you understand the situation?” Albert said that to Glenn who was pleading with him to stop.
“I know! But, please! Don’t! At least not those guys…..!” Glenn said such things while completing understanding. He himself knew that he was just saying lip service while trying to gloss over the real problem.
They had already become checkmated. There was no other way. They were completely had.
His own softness brought this problem upon him.
It already turned into an ordeal── where he had to choose who to save and who to cut down. During his time in the Imperial Court Mage Corps, Glenn had to kill people time and time again, and once more he was faced with a similar situation.
In accordance with his mission, Albert would’ve held no reservation about cutting down anyone to save Rumia. Then, what about himself? What the hell was he supposed to do.
If he didn’t do anything, Rumia and Sistine would be killed.
But by protecting the girls he would have to fight his students, and most likely ──
It was impossible. He couldn’t do anything. Not being able to choose someone in this situation, Glenn was very ──
(Dammit……! Those who don’t know them have to kill them for the people who do but are unable to lift their hands!? Dammit I’m such a hypocrite!)
However, without looking at the overwhelmed Glenn, Albert softly whispered.
“…..I told you this is how it would be. I’ll do my job, and not take the easy way out.”
“It’s not over yet. We’ve already prepared…….for this level of trouble. …….Have faith”
To Albert’s powerful words that came out of nowhere.
Glenn instinctively released Albert’s arm, and at that moment.
The students swelled up like a wave and crashed down on Glenn’s group ──
At the same time, Albert’s arm moved fast enough to leave a blur, and the knife was thrown.
The blade cut through the air, but in the wrong direction ── flying over the student’s heads at a high speed ──
A high pitched shrill pierced their eardrums.
(Built into the knife’s body….is a whistle!? For signaling!?)
Glenn noticed the true purpose of the knife ── at that time.
“Fumu? Yosh, it’s about that area? Ookay hold.”
Jakin, and from somewhere, the sound of a firing hammer being dropped could be heard ──
“Now then~, if this shithead’s musical performance corrodes a person deep subconscious and interferes with the activation of magic ── then there should be no problem with [Magic that was activated before hearing his performance]!?”
Jakin…. Jakin…. Jakin…. Jakin.
From the entrance of the ballroom the sound of gunpowder igniting could be heard echoing four times.
Zun! The student’s surrounding Glenn on all four sides, as if a heavy load had been placed on their shoulders, fell to their knees instantaneously.
Then, the sound of a dumped musket slamming on the floor could be heard.
The many people crowding Glenn sealed off his movement and line of sight, but with the four people falling to their knees, he caught a glimpse of the figures at the entrance.
And they were ──
“Old man!? Christopher!? Re=L!?”
“Now, Glenn-boy! Come here! Run away now! While the special [gravity barrier bullet] I made is still working!
“……Wait no, but the one who created that [gravity barrier bullet] was me…”
Next to Bernard who was holding a rifle with a self-satisfied look, Christopher let out a small sigh.
His gravity barrier magic was most likely used for riot suppression. Deploying a circular barrier centering on the position of impact, and whatever’s inside is forced to submit under the dense gravitational wave. It had no killing ability…. but it was plenty enough to seal the student’s movements.
“Wait, we’re enclosed inside a gravity barrier!? If it’s us who trained under heavy gravity that’s one thing, but for White-Cat and Rumia it’s impossible for ──”
“I’m fine, Sensei! In preparation for this, before coming here I used gravity manipulation magic, so my body is a tenths of its originally weight! But Rumia, ──” Sistine shouted out.
Re=L rushed out alone through the gravitational field.
“Help is coming Rumia!”
“Ah … “
Re=L nabbed Rumia and with her in tow turned around ──
With the cry of a screaming girl, she ran towards the entrance past the gravity field. She used no tricks there. It was a breakthrough using brute force.
Sistine who had shed some weight using magic ran after Re=L.
“…..Hahaha, aren’t they amazing….” Glenn said that with a strained laugh.
“Step back Glenn. [The Demon’s Right Hand] Zayeed…..is about to start again.”
While crawling out from the gravitational field…. the mind-controlled students tried to latch onto Glenn and Albert as they escaped using their body enhancement fortification magic ──
Like a cat enjoying a game of chase with a mouse, Zayeed left just enough room for them to run.
“But there is no escape…..now that everyone has assembled, this whole area is under my domain.”
Raising his baton overhead, Zayeed began his [hunt].
The orchestra started to walk behind Zayeed as if they were slaves….and once more began to play their cursed performance ──