“–That’s what happend”
By the time Claire had finished her story, the sun had already set.
Alexia sipped her coffee and took a breath as the fire crackled in the fireplace.
“….I think I have a pretty good idea what’s going on”
“Do you believe me?”
“Yes. It may be wildly absurd, but it does connect.”
“Yes—-everything connects. Shadow Gardens, Diabolos Order, and the events that are happening in the school. The ghost is a little hard to believe.”
“A-Aurora is here! She’s sitting next to me right now laughing!”
Alexia glanced at the empty couch.
“Let’s leave the ghost out of this for the moment.”
“She’s right here!”
“But the name does sound familiar. Aurora, the Witch of Calamity. It was mentioned by a leader of the Diabolos Order.”
“What does Aurora have to do with the Diabolos Order?”
“That is something I don’t know. I also looked into it, but there were almost no documents of the “Witch of Calamity” left behind. The only thing I could find out was that she once caused a great disaster.”
“Aurora, did you bring great disaster?”
Claire talks to the ghost next to her.
She seems to be having a conversation.
“Fmm fmm, so that’s what it is. Aurora says she was the one who exterminated the pig-orcs. Physiologically, she couldn’t do it.”
“……It is not that one.”
“Not that one huh…… Fmm fmm… I see. Aurora says she was the one who scribbled on the sacred shield Aigis. She didn’t know it was such a famous shield.”
“Absolutely not that one! To begin with, the holy shield Aigis is lost and has yet to be found. ……”
“I see. So neither is this. Then—“
“—–let’s stop talking about this for now! Let’s move on.”
“But Aurora, I’m sure she has more tales to tell.”
“Enough already, let’s get back to the subject at hand!”
Alexia clears her throat.
“First of all, I need to clarify what’s going on at the school”
Claire made a crisp, serious face.
“Claire was trapped in a mysterious space, but I’ve had similar experiences. In the sanctuary—“
Alexia explained what she had experienced in the sanctuary.
“—It’s definitely similar.”
“There’s a phenomenon going on at the academy that’s very similar to the ‘sanctuary. And Claire must have fought against ‘Dark Smile’ or something like that. Probably someone from the Order of Diabolos.”
“It was Viscount Jean, captain of the Third Order, Fourth Squadron.”
“I expected it, but the Knights are being infiltrated by people from the Order of Diabolos. I don’t trust the Knights nowadays.”
“What about Iris-sama? I think you can count on the Order of the Red Knights, right?”
“My sister is …… busy right now. In any case, the Order of Diabolos is planning to kidnap the school’s students, that’s for sure.”
“Planning for what?”
“The phenomenon at Midgar Academy is very similar to the one at the Sanctuary. “
“Come to think of it, there were rumors that Diabolos’ right arm is sealed in Midgar Academy, but …… that’s just a rumor, right?”
Alexia slowly shook her head.
“That’s not entirely true”
“I can’t be sure yet,…… but there is a forbidden book in the library that contains the history of the school. If Diabolos’ right hand is sealed in Midgar Academy, it must be in there.”
“Can royalty enter the forbidden library by authority?”
“It’s a long process.”
“Then what are we going to do?”
“We’ll have to sneak in.”
“If they find us, we’ll be in big trouble.”
“As long as they don’t find us, that’s all that matters. We can’t trust the Order, we can’t trust the teachers —- I mean, we’ll just have to figure it out ourselves.”
“If they find out, I’ll have to rescind the job offer.”
“I’ll hire you. I’m experienced at throwing gold coins.”
“Why throwing gold coins?”
“It’s all about hierarchy”
“Anyway, we have to do it. Even at this very moment, the Diabolos Order is active and Shadow Garden has gathered. If we don’t do something, the number of victims will only continue to increase.”
Hearing what Alexia said, Claire thought about something with a downcast look on her face. Then she spoke slowly.
“What about the option of letting the Shadow Gardens handle it?”
Alexia was taken by surprise and was speechless for a moment.
“…… Shadow Gardens is an organization that is full of mysteries. We don’t know what their reasons are for being at odds with the Order, and we can’t trust them unconditionally.”
“I wonder. I think they helped me in the lawless city.”
“Still …… They are dangerous. If such a force were to be directed against this country, my sister’s concerns are valid.”
“I see…… But we might know.. Shadow single-handedly overpowered Queen of Blood Elisabeth, and if the strength of the Queen of Blood is as legendary as it seems, then Shadow is something extraordinary.”
“I’d like to believe that she was indeed weakened. …… If the legend is true, then the Kingdom of Midgar will be in Shadow’s good graces for the rest of its existence.”
“So one wrong move and the threat is even greater than the Diabolos Order.”
“That’s right. The Shadow Garden has a close personal group called the “Seven Shadows”. Each and every one of them is as good as or better than Sister Iris …… It’s not just Shadow, but his organizational strength is also considerable.”
Come to think of it, the beastman named Zeta …… was also unusually alarmed by Aurora. She said she can’t see the bottom.”
“I too hope they are on our side. But …… right now, I still can’t trust them. They are too dangerous.”
Alexia bit her lip.
” Right,…… we have to do what we can to help. I’ll help you, Alexia.”
“Thank you, Claire.”
Claire clasped her magic-engraved hands.
“Waiting won’t get anything done. I need to know about Aurora, about this magic circle, and about Shadow ……. Thank you, Alexia.”
The unexpected words made Alexia jump.
“I’m so glad you listened to me. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do anything on my own. I feel better now that you believe me.”
“That’s why I understand you, Alexia. It must be so lonely being alone.”
“I am not really……”
Alexia’s voice shook.
As if possessed by something, her sister swung her sword and stopped looking at Alexia.
Rose left Alexia behind and went far away by herself.
Natsume……It doesn’t matter because she doesn’t trust her from the start.
“We’ll stick together.”
Alexia naturally held the hand that Claire held out to her. She felt warmly enveloped.
“Thank you, Claire.”
“It’s okay. And I can keep an eye on them while I’m at it.”
Claire muttered quietly and gripped Alexia’s hand tightly.
“If I can get one less bad bug, it’s a small price to pay.”
“I-It hurts, Claire.”
“I’m sorry. Nice to meet you, Alexia.”
“N-nice to meet you too, Claire.”
Alexia also gripped her hand and they both laughed.
They’re very similar, the ghost thought.