Two months has passed since the [Return of the Lost Royalty].
Just after Aleksandra and Yozora encountered Ártemize, as if losing all their strength, the gods fell from the sky. They had greatly exhausted their [Mind], namely their existential strenght, they were barely holding their consciousness.
They had been using and accumulating at a fast rate so after what they had passed, regardless their talent or their [Quality], all 5 fainted. They didn’t regain consciousness after 3 days, and thanks to Ártemize and Frederica, they knew that even though their [Mana] and [Spirit] was recovered already yet they didn’t regain consciousness, they were not in any danger.
But there was something that bugged the three other users of [Mind]- Shirayuki, Ártemize and Frederica;[Why they didn’t look exhausted?]
As a matter of course, even if what the force they used was ethereal, the physical body was still active and being affected by that force; that’s why like [Mana] and [Spirit], the continuous use of [Mind] shows effects of tiredness on the user after a prolonged use, yet- Engel and co. didn’t look like it.
Even so, at the fourth day, they woke up to be flooded by test, exams, testimonies, proves, interviews, confirmations and so on.
Brunnhildr, Yozora and Aleksandra procured that no information from the outside would reach them before the appropriate set time. After all, 30 years have passed. All this time there should be a gap that would make them uncomfortable, regardless who they were. The three who were in the top of the acclaimed [Camellia Academy], with full power to do as they wished, decided to wait until it was fit to tell Engel and co. about the general situation.
After all, they had just come back. Feel like you were in home was the best feeling of all.
“And so, Engel came and said- “Dudes, the paper here is really rough, who has some I can actually use in their [Item Box]?”
“What? Are you serious?!”
“That’s so Engel-like. I remember once he complained the barber left his hair weird and so went back and came back with his hair so short that it was almost a skinhead!”
“I mean it.”
“… I’m still here, I can listen to all of you.”
“…. No one… Cares.”
And so, after the hundredth interview, Lene was telling stories about when they were in the different worlds to the Aleksandra-Yozora-Brunnhildr trio, as well as Brunnhildr giving some bits of past memories.
At the beginning, the trio couldn’t believe what they said, but they still had the airship, as well as the people accompanying them so convincing them was easy.
Engel was there, listening and Isold was with him, yet Krestin and Izaak were finishing some tests they weren’t able to finish due to the interview.
“Still… When are we gonna get out of this hospital room? It depresses me every minute I pass here.” Added Lene while reclining in her bed. Isold nodded to her statement and Engel felt it was quite blunt of her asking about it, as well as the sudden change of topic.
“Don’t rush them, I am sure they know when the time we can go out is. We’re public figure who came back from death after all. A pair of months of tests can’t make it to 30 years of disappearance.” Replied Engel whilst reaching for a glass of water in his night table.
“No, it’s okay. You have the right to know when you’re being released. Well, you’re not monitored 24/7 anymore, so it may be soon.”
“Actually, you’ll be released today.”
Said a voice from the door after Yozora’s words. It had been left open to Lene’s suggestion of “this place is so closed, open this shit!”
The one talking was the doctor in charge of their tests, Blair Asterisk- A former party member of Engel’s [Black Bixbite].
“And as a side note, never thought that foul mouth of yours would become more venomous.” Added Blair as Izaak and Krestin walked into the room after her.
“So black~ says the kettle to the pot!” Smiled sarcastically Lene as she said those words with a teasing tone.
“Lene, it’s the opposite.” Said Engel while tapping her back.
“Oh…” She mutters while directing her gaze to the now closed door and pouted.
“Still, it’s unbelievable that fouuu- that Blair would become a doctor.” Said Engel as he received an advertence gaze from Blair.
“Neither did I. I wonder how my teammates are doing.” Commented Krestin while slightly smiling and sitting on her bed. Izaak also silently wondered about his companions.
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The bed order was: Engel-Lene-Krestin in the right side and Izaak-Isold at the opposite.
“So, Blair, how were the tests?” Asked Brunnhildr while crossing her arms.
“Nothing out of the norm. Their bodies are just like ours, as we had determined a month ago.” Replied Blair with a bored tone.
“Well, that’s also to say, not counting the unbelievable power they have gained.” Said Yozora with a complicated look in her eyes.
“They were introduced to the [New Laws of Magic] after all. It was a surprise their bodies would suddenly react to it.” Complemented Blair, hinting some of the event which were unfold a month ago.
“Really~ I’m getting tired of this imprisonment you know, so release us at once. I’m a step away from becoming Gandhi.” Complained Lene, as if that would make them release her and co. faster.
“Haa… True; we deviated from the topic at hand. Your clothing is being prepared as well as suitable watchmen for you. The massive power you hold make people in power nervous after all. The vigilance will be on you at least 30 to 40 days from now on.” Said Blair with a seemingly poker face.
“Do you mean watchmen was in security, right? Wow, I knew politicians were paranoid, but to this extent?” Added Izaak with a shrug.
“Not at all. In fact, it’d have been better if we didn’t come back at all… Or that we were powerless puppets who only smile and greet.” Said Engel with a wry smile, but some disgust on his eyes. Even if he knew what they were doing was the obvious, he still felt some annoy as the lack of trust.
“…Fear…” Mutters Isold to aid Engel’s comment.
“True, but the people on top are just a bunch of cowards that only know how to eat and order around… Excluding ourselves that’s it.” Declares Brunnhildr with a smile and a conceited expression.
“We understand. But still, there’s more to say about our release, right?” Asked Krestin.
“Yes. Actually, all your properties- Namely money and possessions are not yours anymore. Your houses became museums, your dorm rooms became exhibit rooms and your money was donated to orphan kids. Well, Izaak’s was given to species protection though, as most of it was already donated.” Replied Aleksandra while giving them information through the [Menu].
“I see…” Voiced Engel in a low voice.
“But don’t worry, we’ve prepared suitable places for each of you.” Added Yozora with a wry smile.
“It’s okay. It’s been 30 years so it’s the obvious… Some way or another…” Says Engel with a half-smile.
“Now that I notice, there’s something weird.” Intervened Blair.
“Weird? What is?” Wondered Lene.
“Well. You told us you five, plus some other people, spent almost 70 years training- So due to that you’re old far… Adult people, but haven’t aged more than 2 years. I get that right?” Mentioned Blair as a matter of fact.
“Yeah, and? We already told you that’s due to the [Skyfall Tear]” Voiced Engel.
“True but… I mean, we are not as you, so how come you see us as the same age yet you don’t wonder why we haven’t become adults?”
“Not that I didn’t notice but didn’t want to ask until it was okay to do so.” Replied Izaak to Blair’s words.
“… Didn’t notice…” Said Isold.
““Neither did I”” Voiced both Lene and Engel.
“I second Izaak’s answer.” Replied Krestin while raising her hand a little.
“I thought it was weird, but it was only your strange sense of values, huh. Well, you’ll know soon enough.” Said Brunnhildr while wondering just how much things happened to them in that gap.
“What’s with these clothes?” Asked Engel while walking towards his new place. It was the same day, but at night. He was in a black, long luxurious limousine. In the front seat was Yozora looking at him dearly while moving restlessly.
“Eh? Is there something wrong, Yozora?” Asked Engel while half-smiling. If Lene were there, she would tell it was a smile of “I don’t know what’s going on but I’ll ask just in case”. Luckily, Yozora couldn’t tell.
“No-Nothing…” She replied while fidgeting.
“Still, Blair sure has grown up…” Said Engel, bluntly changing the topic. He considered Yozora didn’t want to tell what had her restless so he backed off.
Of course, Yozora couldn’t tell him that she was eager to glomp, snuggle and cuddle with him like there was no tomorrow.
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“Su-Sure. It’s been a “long” time after all. Even if we don’t look that old, it’s been 30 years. Well, it’s the same with you. At glance I couldn’t tell the change but when the 5 of you weren’t together, it was easy to tell how much have you have grown.” Followed up Yozora, while talking about the five of them.
30 years couldn’t compare to 70 after all.
(I wonder how the others have changed… How did our deaths affect them? I’m even afraid to ask. Haven, Cale, Leslie, Alize…) While recalling some names, Engel touched a memory he had forgot to confirm.
“Yozora, you knew right- That I was alive.” Said Engel out of the blue.
“… Yes, I did. So after all, you were-…”
While she tried to finally confirm her suspicions about her past, she gazed at Engel’s face, and stopped talking.
She couldn’t tell Engel’s smiles like Lene, or even try to guess like Krestin, but she knew one thing- Engel’s current smile was one of gladness.
After listening to Yozora’s words, Engel limited himself to smile gently and end it there.
Now, she knew he was the one who saved her and gave her the drive to live. With that smile alone, she didn’t need to talk anymore. Her emotional restlessness calmed down and both went all the trip in silence.
After half an hour, they arrived to their designed location.
Engel could have teleported, moved with a warp gate or fly through the sky, but as he was now, he could only get sick of those options. For him, a slow trip in a car was more meaningful than a simple teleport spell.
They had arrived to tall building in downtown, no less than 70 floors and it looked as if completely made of glass.
“Your… No; our new home.” Said Yozora while smiling and walking into the building. Engel followed suit, not complaining about how the events unfolded.
“How about the others?” Asked Yozora with wonder while they both ascended on the glass elevator. Aleksandra was the one in charge of assigning their places, so Yozora only concerned herself with Engel’s accommodation.
“They went to visit their families. I have yet to listen about Mom, Dad, as well as Valeriya and Mrs. Alicia too.” Replied Engel; soon, they reached the top floor.
“They were informed about your arrival as everyone else, amidst that confusion the day you defeated that colossal dragon. They had enough time to prepare themselves so it’ll be fine.” Said Yozora, as she was the one in charge of said event.
“Sorry… I didn’t know it would be such a problem.” Said Engel, feeling a little guilty about the commotion caused by his sudden “revival”.
“It’s okay; honestly, I’ve been bored since a while ago so one or two hectic days make me keep my mind awake.” Added Yozora with a smile. She was totally honest, as her days had become more and more routinely.
Engel only half-smiles wryly as he didn’t know how much “a while” was for someone with 500+ years old.
“I can tell you’re thinking about my age, right?” Said Yozora, keenly sensing Engel’s thoughts.
“N-No…” He said while honestly averting her gaze.
And so, Yozora opened the door to their new home.
The place is full equipped with the latest technology. The best furniture and fresh edibles.
“Really, Aleksandra didn’t held her wallet…” Said Engel while checking the place.
(It’s my wallet though…) Thought Yozora in her mind, preferring not to voice it and ruin the mood.
“And so, do you want to celebrate our arrival?” Suggested Yozora while embracing Engel from the back. Her two soft bulges pressed on his back making Engel’s face faintly blush.
Even though he was with Yozora, his long-life love, deep in his heart for a mere fraction of second felt an ethereal sting. As the fighter he was, there was no way he would not notice such reaction.
(It’s not guilt… Nor uncomfortableness with Yozora… What is it?) Asked himself Engel as the world around him moved slower. This phenomenon was due to him accommodating his thought process level to an unbelievable speed for battle purposes.
(Is it… Regret?) Wondered Engel as the answer didn’t appear in his head.
It was not that he felt unable to show affection towards Yozora, as this hadn’t happened in the two months they had been together, nor was some kind of guilt in his heart due to betraying someone’s feelings. He knew very well that for Yozora, there was no one opposed to their relationship.
Was it regret? Did he wanted to have someone other than Yozora with him? Not in the precise moment but due to the action he was about to perform?
But this thoughts vanished from his head in a mere blink.
“Engel~ Let’s go~”
Those three, sweet words from his long-life love erased any kind of eerie thought from his mind and any kind of uncomfortable feeling in his heart.
“Let’s go.” He said while half-smiling.
Of course, this half-smile was of “you know what I mean”.
“What is this?” Asked Engel in a concerned voice.
“Your uniform.” Replied Yozora with a cheerful smile.
This day, a week after Engel arrived his new home together with Yozora, he received a package from Brunnhildr.
It seems Yozora had taken paid leave from her work, leaving an assistant to take care of everything, and spend her so desired quality time with Engel.
The package he received was a set of military-like uniform resembling a ceremonial outfit. It was not only flashy, but it even had a decoration sabre. It had no cap and the pants were whole black, yet the jacket had golden-like embroideries and a golden sash-like belt as well as one row of golden buttons at the right side.
“Do I have to wear this? Why?” Wondered Engel while frowning.
“Well, all the previous interviews were for the sake of proving if you indeed were the [Lost Royalty] but now this is the very first interview declaring to the world you really are the infamous [Lost]… Sorry, the [Gods of War].” Declared Yozora in high spirits, who for a moment wavered in her words. After all, she couldn’t suddenly changer her speech. She was completely accustomed at saying the “Lost” part in Engel and co’s titles.
“It’s okay. Actually, I think its cooler that way.” Says Engel with a wry half-smile.
After some minutes, he was ready to go. In the way, Yozora spent her time glomping and cuddling with Engel, who was more than glad received the soft love from his beloved.
He arrived to [Camellia Academy], where all the media was gathered. In the way, Lene and co. teleported inside the limousine, greatly cutting Yozora’s cuddling time and adding time to keep up appearances.
They four also wore the same outfits. It wasn’t a uniform for nothing.
In case of the female part, it was a skirt replacing the pants though.
While being swarmed by cameras and microphones, Engel and co. left the limousine and arrived to the conference room in the facilities. On the location, there was an uncountable number of chairs as well as a plain white table with a cloth on a stage. There were 8 places to sit with mineral water, microphones and tablets ready for Yozora, Brunnhildr, Aleksandra, Engel and co. to seat and answer prearranged questions for the media. Of course, there was a margin of what to answer and what not when someone talked about anything not considered on the practiced pattern.
“Very well, today February 9th at 8:00 am, we start the conference of the [Lost Royalty].”
Declared Yozora while everyone on the place, the people seated and the ones at the back of the audience, clapped courteously. It was full house.
But just at that moment-
A great explosion-like sound came from the stage.
It was because strange silhouettes landed on it, just in front of the white table. Those shadows amidst the oddly generated smoke rose, uncovering themselves.
“GOOD MORNING OLD FARTS! TODAY IS THE DAY, WE THE [NEW BLOOD] WILL BEAT YOU ASSES OUT!”
Voices a white-haired girl with a rude and arrogant demeanor towards the [Lost Royalty]