“Are you sure about this?” Asked Izaak as the whole top brass trio and the Lost Gods walked towards the training grounds.
These training grounds is in fact the place where they fought the Colossal Dragon. It was a renewed area of [Camellia Academy]. Designed for thrice the strenght of the Lost Gods.
It was a total hassle to rebuild everything and to cast barriers on real time every time powerful participants fought each other so while Engel’s mom, Ishild Falsch, and Mrs. Cole were still on charge of [Camellia Academy], they decided to make the mightiest training grounds.
“Yes, we are! Those stupid kids dared to interfere our interview, as well as humiliate us” Do ye think we should just stand still?!” Complained Lene whose hands were itching, unable to wait for teaching a lesson to the brats who interrupted their interview.
More than humiliated, she was upset by the fact that they had to repeat the interview and all the annoying preparations they had to take to once more held it.
“No, but…” Added Izaak while worried about the situation.
“It’s fine. We won’t be using [Mind], right?” Pointed out Krestin while leaning towards Engel.
“Of course, we may end up killing them were we to use it.” Cleared Engel while half-smiling. Lene knew that he was too looking forward to beat them up.
“Oh. If it’s like then fine, let’s beat the crap out of them.” Said Izaak whit a darkish voice.
“Please, don’t let them traumatized, they are this city’s symbol after all.” Pleaded Brunnhildr.
“Hmph, those boorish imitations should just disappear already.” Added Yozora whilst pouting. She was mad due to her time with Engel reduced once again.
“So this lil’ shits are the so-called [New Blood]?” Wondered Lene.
“Yes… And I’m ashamed to accept it.” Said Aleksandra as they all stopped just before walking out the tunnel.
“Not all of them are like them; you could even say that this generation is quite conceited unlike the previous ones.” Added Brunnhildr with a wry smile.
While in the span of 7 days, as soon as the 5 gods got a day’s worth time, Brunnhildr, Yozora and Aleksandra, the top brass trio summoned them. The 3 of them started to tell everything that happened during all these 30 years. Of course this only included general culture and some private matters concerning them.
One of them was, obviously, the [New Blood].
8 years after Engel and co. disappeared, the 5 were declared dead; in fact it was delayed by a year due to the media disturbance. After that, the morale of the people was on the floors, they did not even signed to participate in the Tournament.
That’s why, after 2 arduous years of planning and restructuring, a [New Tournament] was decided. This was called [The Rise of the Black Swan’s Testament].
The whole format changed- Instead of being teleported to another world, they created an artificial environment on Earth. It’s at least 10km2 and the whole even unfolds there with wild beasts and other participants.
And so, the named [New Blood] is the designated Elite from the [Royalty Academies]. These academies were founded with the names and titles of the now [Lost Gods] in their honor. They are 5 in total, 1 for each academy, and these participants can lead to their academy as a winner against the other academies in this New Tournament.[That’s pretty much H***er Ga**s you know~] Opined Lene when she heard the story.
“Well then, these punks will have their share of punishment!” Said Lene while cracking her fist… Not that she’d use them though.
The five [Lost Gods] plus Yozora walked towards the center of the training grounds. Aleksandra and Brunnhildr left them in order to supervise the pop event from above.
Due to the timing, also the reporters and media were in a part of the seats to witness this legendary moment. How many times haven’t they wondered how would it be the fight of the [Lost Gods] against any of the [New Blood]?
Amidst snaps, flashes and ovations, the show started.
“You’re late oldies!” Shouted the white haired girl; the one who looked the most arrogant and made the declaration among the mass-media before.
“In fact, that phrase sounds much similar to “Old Ladies” than “Old People” though…” Muttered Krestin while she heard the white haired girl.
“Alright. I’ve got no idea of your purpose, so can you enlighten us? Also if it’s not a bother, present yourselves. We’ve got no idea of who you are.” Declared Engel. Of course, this was not heard by the press or he’d be slaughtered publicly.
“Wha-?! Are you saying you don’t know about the great us?!” Shouted the white-haired girl, which actually was the only one rambling about it.
“Calm down [Holy]; this is no time to argue. You needlessly invited the press, so keep your cool and end this soon.” Said Yozora with an overly polite tone, hinting her annoyance about the recent events.
“So-Sorry Principal!!” Said [Holy] with a flustered attitude and making a weird military-like salute.
“Very well; In that case, I’ll abide to Principal’s advice. My name is Adrianna Livingstone, [Elite Electric] of [Holy Blade Maiden Academy]”
Introduced herself Adrianne, the sophisticated-looking girl that recognized Krestin when she showed herself to them.
“My turn then. I am Alba Roth and come from [Empress Cleopatra Academy] and nicknamed as [Elite Shadow]” Said the guy with glasses and cool air around him.
“I won’t let any other of you to present yourselves before this great one! I’m Anya Light and am called [Elite Holy]. Of course I come from [Archangel Metatron Academy]!” Said Anya with her default haughty tone.
“I’m Kris Papercrane, go to [Hephaestus Craft Academy] and am named as [Elite Strike]” Added the slightly tan and brawny guy.
“Finally me. I’m from [Valkiriya Rossweisse Academy]. My name is Leonora Avant and my nickname is [Elite Berserk].” Bluntly finished Leonora, the boyish girl.
(No one ever saves themselves from the chuuni, huh…)
(The chuuni went overboard these past time!!)
As Engel and Izaak retorted in their minds, Lene gave a step ahead.
“I see… You can be considered our replacements, right? And what do you want? A proof you’re better than us?” Curtly declared Lene while crossing her arms and looking down on the [New Blood] members, whom by law their nicknames were accompanied with the word [Elite].
“Indeed. That is what we are looking for. Even if you are unbelievably powerful, and insanely famous as well, we think that our strength is enough to surpass you.” Replies Adrianne, who even with her gentle aura around, she had her own fair amount of confidence.
“That’s right! Old farts, let’s battle immediately so we can beat your puny ancient asses as we like!” Shouted arrogantly Anya, which only caused Yozora to facepalm.
At this point the Lost God’s annoyance went to capped levels, which would have made Frederica rage-quit and Autumn go Berserker Type against everyone on the training grounds.
“Be quiet [Holy]. Whichever the outcome is, you still have to respect your elders. Do you hear me?” Talked back Yozora, which made Anya go stiff once again and allow the event to unfold.
After deciding the rules of the event, Yozora walked towards the Mass-Media site where she could calm down the anxious reporters and let them fully understand the one who is on top.
Part Three.[Reporter “X” POV]
Good morning everyone, my name is Maxwell Aldrich of Ulm; more widely known as Reporter X.
I’m a reporter known due to my impartialness and strong sense of duty. I’m not like those tabloid-idiots who only know how to make a mess out of things. I specialize in saying the truth as is, with no make-up.
No one knows my real identity, except some higher ups of [Camellia Academy]. If my identity as Reporter X were to be exposed, I’d be chased to death by fans, enterprises and enemies I’ve made of through the years.
Today, the most exciting day of my life came! My idols are here!
When I was a kid, I watched how [Camellia Academy] and [Schwan Enterprises] released the videos of the fights starring the [Lost Gods] and decided to be a reporter.
How these two things are related, it’s a story for another time.
“Good day people of the press, streaming media and newspapers. As you all know I’m [Camellia Academy]’s Principal, Yozora Sakurai. Today, instead of receiving an interview directly from our dearest [Lost Gods], we’ll witness a short exchange of fists between our current [New Blood] and the [Lost Gods].
The true purpose of the previous event was to verify the fact that our iconic heroes have come back from the dead. They saved us from the [Space-Time Tremor] 30 years ago and now, once again stand here with us to protect us.
Please, remain seated, focused and open-minded to whatever happens in this place.
Thanks for your attention.”
Said the striking beauty, Yozora.
I know her personally, and was heartbroken when she rejected me. Of course, I interviewed her quite the amount of times, yet all my advances where instantly crushed with a heavenly smile.
After she left to the middle of the arena, I and my partner Lia Segawa, payed attention to the grounds.
In the middle, there already were Isold Ähnlich and Leonora Avant. It seems they have chosen a 1vs1 against their respective counterpart.
(This time I’ll become even more famous!)
I thought in my heart quasi-ignoring all the event while maintaining a poker face; after all, I have the exclusive to interview my idols more personally after this![START!]
After a few moments later, Yozora’s voice echoed in the whole place, and-“WHAT?!”
I could not stop myself from shouting out loud my surprise.
After all, in less than the blink of an eye, [Valkiriya Rossweisse], with a single punch.
As a magician myself, I can tell when someone triggers magic. My job and life’s length is directly proportional to my sense’s strength; yet, I could not feel even a single trace of magic coming from Isold Ähnlich’s body.
Of course, my senses didn’t betray me as I felt the sudden rise of power in Leonora’s body. It was so massive I myself couldn’t even think I’d get to rise my power su much even if I had two extended lifespans; yet there she is, doing it like nothing hen being less than half my age!
Still, I just can’t believe that the [Lost God] destroyed a [New Blood] with sheer strength as if it was nothing!
And like this, the next encounters came.
Izaak Ausgewogen vs Kris Papercrane. The [Lost God] won by a single, simple and effortless kick which sent flying the [New Blood] the same distance as Leonora Avant.
Lene Nachahmung vs Alba Roth. Just before he activated his magic she destroyed him with a single punch.
Krestin Spiegel vs Adrianna Livingstone. Learning from her peers, I could tell she tried to create a defensive spell but without time at all, the Lost God broke her attempts in a faster speed than Lene, Isold and Izaak.
And finally, Engel Falsch vs Anya Light. This one was more interesting… Or nor. Just after the bell rang, Anya was already against the wall, unconscious due to Engel’s punch.
Everyone in the seats were completely stupefied; of course, no matter how much I barge about my abilities of detection, the other people around me are no means that behind, so everyone else has already figured out.
The [Lost Gods] knocked out every single [New Blood] with pure physical strength.
No one even said a word, or even a noise, to either praise or cheer the Lost Gods; nonetheless, they didn’t mock the [New Blood] either.
It was simply that stunning.[End of Reporter X’s POV]
“That aint enough! Let me… Just let me one more time!! I gotta punch that bastard in tha-ksdjfdskflj“
“Lene, sorry but you foul mouth is getting nastier by the second.” Said Engel while stopping her from blurting more “words”, covering her mouth from behind.
“I do agree with her, but we can not show this early our real power. First of all, we might kill them, and second… We were supposed to be sleeping in the “Void”, so rising our abilities is out of the question.” Explained Krestin, which was still a little fired up. It seems that they regulated their physical abilities in order to match the ones they had when they were sucked out from their world.
At this time, a team whose purpose is to retrieve blacked out people from the training was taking the unconscious [New Blood] under the silence of the spectators.
Yozora had finished to give a closure to the event and came back to where Engel and co are; the tunnel’s entrance.
“Are we ready to go? We have a little interview after this.” Asked Yozora with some eagerness. She was ready to have her time quality time with Engel after all.
“Once again?” Complained Lene, whose mouth was already unsealed.
“Yes. Even if the big event was replaced with this, with enough proof to spare, the real interview with someone we trust has to be done. This guy, “Reporter X”, would blame his own family of mass murder if it were the truth, so if we do well, everything will be done as is.” Explained Yozora to the Lost Gods… Yet the five gave a step back.
“I know how honest you want to be seen… But sometimes your metaphors are… Quite… Bloody?” Commented Engel quite aback for Yozora’s words.
“I’m sorry…” Said Yozora while feeling genuinely sorry. It seems this wasn’t the first time a bloody comparison was made.
“Anyways- I’m really impressed. I already knew how powerful you were, and at least a glimpse of how terribly strong you’ve become… But still I didn’t know you five were able to completely obliterate the [New Blood], who are supposed to be as strong as you were when you disappeared.” Commented Yozora, trying to change the topic to a livelier one.
At this moment, Krestin scowled a little due to a bad feeling in her gut.
“Yes; we’ve risen quite high our strength… Yet, I won’t let you have our way with us.”
Replied Engel while changing to his [Serious Mode] and gazing Yozora.
Both Yozora and Engel shouted and activated their magic eyes, blocking each other’s.
“Wha-What is going on? Can you explain to us?” Asked Krestin.
“She’s hiding things from us.” Bluntly said Lene.
“She has hidden the whereabouts of our companions. Krestin, do you know where Aura is? Or Olivia? Corbin? And what about Leslie?! Izaak what about you? Where’s Bell?” Asked rhetorically Lene to her partners.
“You can’t fool us Yozora; I’ve seen people from Bereich, [Raubtier] and [Hälfte] people, walking down the streets and even if you want to hide most of the events in the past 30 years, there are big loops on the matter!” Complained Lene; at this point, her foul language had disappeared due to the seriousness of the problem, even if she was quite upset.
“Damn; [Quarta]! Extract their information!”
At the same time that Yozora had asked [Quarta], the Artificial Intelligence, to extract the hidden stats of Engel and co, Lene created a thin barrier, which she was practicing, in order to ward off [Quarta]’s cracking.[Impossible to retrieve data, Yozora. It seems they have some kind of protection around them, something I don’t know. Even before, I couldn’t save the data previous to their “turning” due to this interference] Explained [Quarta].
“So can you explain exactly what is going on? I know we’ve been lied to due to our circumstances, but it’s only now that I notice how I haven’t been told about my companions’ whereabouts.” Asked Izaak with a doubtful expression.
“Does this matter has to do with to know or not our current strength?” Asked Krestin while narrowing her eyes in suspicion.
“Give… And take.” Added Isold to the conversation.
“Damn…” Muttered Yozora while failing in keeping her secret from Engel and co.
“There’s no other choice than telling you, huh…” Said Yozora with downcast eyes.
“You can release the barrier, I’m not going to attempt a steal from you anymore.” She added as she smiled wryly.
At this moment, Engel and co. sensed the atmosphere of the moment and place had changed from tense, to worry. It seems Yozora had been shouldering quite a big load.
Lene took off the barrier by Engel’s orders, yet he maintained caution and didn’t release his interference against Yozora’s Demon Eyes. She didn’t say a word about it, fully knowing that Engel wasn’t so nice to give a sudden 180° turn in the current state of events.
“I’ll leave the long explanation for later. If you really want to know the truth, follow me.” Said Yozora with a really serious expression.
“Can I leave it to you?” Asked Yozora to Engel, implying that she wanted him to teleport them all.
“Of course.” Replied curtly Engel, while Yozora sent him some coordinates with the help of [Quarta]. In less than a minute, Engel analyzed the coordinates, deactivating temporally his interference. She didn’t even attempt to pry in his status, and so the 6 teleported away in the blink of an eye.
At the other end, Engel and co. plus Yozora arrived to a forest.
It had gloomy and dark appearance, as it was winter and it seemed to be located in a northern country. The trees without leaves and the white-colored pines surrounded them whilst they stood in daze in the middle of an animal trail in a slope.
“This is the backdoor trail, please follow me.” Said Yozora as she changed her clothing from an office lady suit to a snow-fit one. Jeans, snow boots, a white coat and a gray scarf with the help of her [Item Box]. Engel and co. decided to not to change.
“This place is under a secret location, protected from people of the outside. Only chosen personnel can come here under strict security and rules.”
After these words, anything more was said during the 15 min travel from their location to a now visible house on the end of the trail.
It was a pretty house with glass walls, wooden pillars, floors and other details. It seems to be made in order to be minimalistic-like.
“Wait. I’ll deactivate the barrier, if not an alarm will trigger and the place will be a whole hassle to quiet down.” Announced Yozora whilst manipulating her menu and a bluish light was visible to the naked eye for a second.
“It’s off for 2 seconds, come he… Right.”
The backdoor barrier was only de-activated in order to let people pass through by only 2 seconds, so Yozora tried to urge them to move, but they had already got into the barrier’s protective area.
She being oblivious to said fact shows how shaken her emotional state is.
“Snowing…” Muttered Isold as she and everyone else saw how small snowflakes fell.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Principal.”
Out of the blue, a person appeared from the door they were going use.
“Good afternoon Tabitha.” Replied Yozora to the maid-dressed, bunny eared girl who appeared. She was Tabitha Arktic, Brookelle’s [Pixie], an existence akin to a [Half Spirit] and an alike to Lilya.
“Good afternoon to you as well, Engel, Krestin, Izaak, Lene and Isold.” Said Tabitha with an unfazed smile. It seems she was also up to the news and wasn’t that surprised to see Engel and co.
“Did you noticed our arrival?” Asked Lene sarcastically.
“Well, don’t fret over simple snipers. They were only doing their jobs after all.” Commented Tabitha to Lene’s blunt comment.
Since they arrived snipers had locked them with their scopes and most likely notified Tabitha of their presence, not mentioning whether she had felt something too or not.
“Do they know what kind of place is this?” Asked Tabitha.
“No. Something came up and I have them look around and explain to them as we check.” Said Yozora, to what Tabitha nodded and urged them to walk in.
Where they walked in was none other place than a laundry room.
Then the 7 people waltzed in a large hall, where to the left they could go to a common area and the right, to more utility areas. They walked to the left, slowly inspecting everything in silence.
There, they found something unexpected.
They had seen some silhouettes from outside, but due to respect towards Yozora, they decided to not to scan the place.
“It’s Aunty Yozora!”
And so on, several children, no more than 10 years old called out to Yozora, whose face had suddenly turned gentle and caring.
“… Damn…” Muttered Izaak whilst looking gloomy. Since they got out of the laundry room, he had been in said state.
It seems he had guessed what the place was long ago, as someone who had spent most of his youth in such facility.
Thought all of them as they looked to the 25-30 kids on the common area.
Still, there was something odd with these kids.
“Yozora, care to explain?” Asked quietly Engel. Yozora took a package of chocolate and candy from her [Item Box] and handed it to Tabitha in order to move the pack of kids from her to the bunny-eared maid.
“Did you check their status?” Asked Yozora once out of the common area.
“No…” Replied Engel, representing all the others behind him.
“Pry.” Said Yozora. The five looked at them and had their mouths agape.
“Level… 100… Veränderten?” Muttered Lene in shock.
“But… But they have [Raubtier], [Dämon] and [Hälfte] characteristics…” Added Krestin in wonder.
“Are they from [Bereich]?” Asked Engel.
“No, they are 100% earthlings. These kids… These orphans thrown away by their parents are the result of the incident 30 years ago when you left… The incident called [Space-Time Tremor] where thousands of people died, many were lost and caused unimaginable changes on earth.
Like right now- We are supposed to be on a deserted island on the equator, yet it’s snowing like in northern countries.
These kids are also an outcome from that incident. Veränderten born from a clash between worlds, rejected by their own parents and society, mistreated and thrown away like trash… Earth’s higher ups want to vanish them.” Explained Yozora with an expression like she had eaten a silk worm.
“They don’t look like, but we had a hard time treating many of them with [Divine Element Magic] to heal their wounds. Burns, cuts, lacerations, concussions, missing limbs… Even now, many of them have mental scars, and the worst don’t even leave their room. Sometimes… Parents… Ugh…”
Whilst talking, Yozora recalled a talk she had with one of the kid’s parents, which made her disgusted to the core.
“Parents… And people in general… Fear the unknown…” Said Yozora before leaning her back on the wall, while shedding some tears.
On another secret location, there was a single building hosting a single person… Or better said, imprisoning.
There were personnel to take care of this person, guards and security. These security was not for the inside, but for the outside.
On the top floor, a single person was imprisoned and no one approached unless necessary. The person was imprisoned in a transparent cage with layers and layers of barriers where they could see her actions and appearance.
It’s because the fear they feel induced by that person that they keep their distance. The person, a woman, has an extremely unkempt appearance as well as her cursing-like insane words that give people the chills. Not to mention her strength. The average security level is lv. 80, barely enough to contain her among 2 people.
Today, as always she leans to a glass wall while screaming and banging it. Later on, she tries to scratch the wall as if writing with her nail, though it’s a futile action.
“Is that the lunch?” Asked one of the guards that stood in front of the only way to access the glass cage.
“Yes; I don’t get why they keep sending these luxury food. She always throws it away and uses it as paint.” Said the one holding the plate with 3 star food in his hands.
“I wish I could eat food like that.”
“Me too; I remember once I-“
“Stop; I know you’re put off but don’t try to mislead the talk. Sooner or later, you’ve got to get inside.” Said the guard who wasn’t talking.
The one with the lunch just kept silence. He stood firm and with a stern face.
“Ready?” Asked the guard at the left, the one who talked first. The lunch guard nodded and-
“AYAAAAAAA!!!! IYAAAAA!!!!! EEENGGEEEEEEL!!!!!! ENGEEEEL!!! WHERE ARE YOUU!!! ENGELLLL!!!! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS!!!!! ENGEL PLEASE COMEE!!! AAAARGHH! ENGEL!! ENGEL! ENGEL! ENGEL!”
Yelled the woman with an unbelievable loud voice while banging loudly at the walls.
The place reeked like someone who hadn’t taken a bath in years.
(Today is the quiet day, huh…) Said the guard at the right, who saw the desperate expression on the lunch guard’s face as he, with a superb sprint, left the food in the middle of the enormous room and came back as fast as he could”
“That was fast.”
Said the guard at the right while closing the door, as well as silencing the place.
“OF COURSE! I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO SHIT MYSELF THERE!” Shouted the lunch guard.
“Still, what can happen to a person has to be to end up like that?” Asked the left guard.
“I don’t know, but it’s a waste.” Said the right guard.
“A waste? What the heck you talking about?!” Asked the lunch guard who still felt his heart in his throat.
“Remember who I am. I’m the Vice-Chief of this place and naturally, I’ve seen her personal data.” Said the right guard, the guard vice-chief, while crossing his arms.
“And so? How was she before?” Asked the left guard.
“It’s like heaven and earth. She was a striking cool beauty. I was so perturbed with the difference that I can barely remember her name… If I’m not wrong…” Said the Vice-Chief Guard while tilting his head and making eager the other two to know the woman’s name.
“Her name is Leslie. Leslie Elain.”