Chapter 05 – O
We knew right away that the assault at the Orion Observatory will draw the attention of the public and, of course, the Nebula Corp’s forces. As a result, we can’t afford to stay there any longer. Some of us got on our cars, while the rest of us ride the backs of our beasts out to the middle of nowhere.
Out in the plains under the starry sky, we set up camp fire and take a rest. There, each of us briefly introduces ourselves to the rest.
Just like what Priori – one of Ophiucus’s six Zodiac Beasts – said, the angels of the 12 zodiacs are now sitting here together in one place. Well, there are 13 people here since Lin and Len are the same angel, but I’ll just go with 12 for the sake of simplicity.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to see all the 12 Zodiac Angels at the rendezvous point. Not that I’m complaining. I just thought that after I meet up with Viola and Auria, we would go on to look for the rest of the angels together. But with all of us here, it appears that our agenda has advanced much faster than I thought.
Somehow, everything does not seem so hopeless like when I first started this journey any more.
“So, I guess that concludes our introductory phase,” the girl with green hair, Vanessa, the Zodiac Angel of Cancer, spoke up, “How about we talk about our next move?”
“That’s a great idea. But first, I would like to talk about all of your expectations,” mom said.
“Expectation?” Auria tilted her head.
“That’s right. So far, we all had the same thought of meeting up with each other at the Orion Observatory. But what is your ‘reason’ for coming to this meeting? What did you expect from teaming up with everyone here?” mom asked.
The whole circle was quiet. Everyone looks at each other, as if waiting for someone to speak first.
“…To crush the Nebula Corp.” Surprisingly, the first person to break the silence is Miki, who hasn’t spoken a thing since we evacuated from the Orion Observatory (with the exception of when she introduced herself with a simple ‘The name’s Miki’).
“I don’t know about the others. But to be honest, that was only reason I came here. Originally, I was trying to assemble all the angels for that very reason. But now that everyone has gathered here, there goes one thing off my list.”
She sure is frank and honest…
“Miki! Why would you say that? I thought we agreed—.”
“Agreed on what, Auria? I never told you that I’m gonna stop taking down that organization. I just said that I agreed to come here with you,” Miki interrupted Auria.
“I like this girl.” Miss Frey chuckled and crossed her arms.
“…I’m with Miki,” the purple haired girl spoke up, “The Nebula Corp’s pursuit is a much more immediate threat. At this very moment, they could very much be planning their next move to capture us. Whatever we do, I’d say our most important priority is to take down that organization. The Ophiucus’s servants will just have to wait.”
“Moreover, we don’t even know when or where the Ophiucus Servants are going to strike. Going after them now is like chasing after thin air,” Vanessa added.
Both of them gave a very good point.
While Ophiucus’s army is indeed the more overwhelming problem, the Nebula Corp could very much be on the move to capture us right now.
“What about the rest of you?” mom asked and looked at the others who haven’t said a thing.
“I’m with Vanny!” Nat, the Zodiac Angel of Aries, said confidently. It appears that Auria has completely healed her injury as she no longer shows any signs of pain.
“Same here. There’s a reason I need to take the Nebula Corp out as soon as possible, and time isn’t going to wait,” said Sarin, the silver haired girl who was with us at the Orion Observatory town square. She is the Zodiac Angel of Taurus.
“I want to teach them a lesson for messing with my head!” the blonde girl sitting next to Auria spoke up. I believe her name is Lauress, the Zodiac Angel of Sagittarius. She seems pretty lively, just like Nat.
“What about you, Auria?” I asked the caramel haired girl.
“…Well… I… just want to be safe from the Nebula Corp. I came here thinking that if we stick together, we’d at least be safe from their pursuit,” she replied, “I haven’t thought about actually going against them.”
“I really have no opinion. I’m just sticking with sis,” said Orica – Auria’s younger sister. She is the Zodiac Angel of Aquarius.
“Well, Myria, you know my answer.” Miss Frey crosses her legs and slightly leans back.
“We’ll do whatever sis Sophia decides!”
Lin and Len said.
I quickly think about what ‘I’ wanted to do. Referring to my list, the top priority item – assembling the 12 Zodiac Angels – is already done. The remaining items are ‘destroy Nebula Corp’ and ‘stop the Ophiucus’s army’.
I haven’t really sort out the priority among these two as I didn’t expect the first item to be accomplished this quickly.
What should I do?
What should I say?
“I haven’t really thought about it,” I said after a short pause, “Between the Nebula Corp and Ophiucus, both of our enemies are much bigger than us, both figuratively and literally.”
Everyone just keeps looking at me without giving a respond.
I’m just really bad at speeches and jokes…
“Because of this, I guess I’ll just roll with what the majority of us want to do.” I quickly end my answer to prevent any more awkward mood.
Defeating the Nebula Corp and Ophiucus… Eventually, we’ll have to tackle these two enemies anyway. So it probably doesn’t matter which one we go after first…
“The majority, huh? Then I guess ‘destroying Nebula Corp’ is now our highest priority,” Viola spoke up and crosses her arms, “Anyone has any objections?”
Everyone looks at each other, but no one shakes their heads at all.
“…So I guess we are all at an agreement?” Miki asked with a slight hint of a smile. That’s a pretty rare sight as I’ve seen nothing but frowns and angry faces on her.
She seems satisfied…
“In that case, let me ask you one more question. If you girls planned on destroying the Nebula Corp right now, how do you exactly plan to achieve that?” mom asked.
Everyone remains silent.
It was like everyone forgot the most important question: Who is going to tie the bell to the cat?
…In fact, I think we even forgot about ‘what’ we have to tie on the cat.
“I don’t mind joining everyone’s cause at this point, because I’m sure most of us here suffers a huge scar from that corporation,” mom said, “But if we are really intent on taking down the Nebula Corp before going after Ophiucus, then we are going to need a plan. We might be the reincarnations of the goddesses, but we still have the limitations of a human.”
Everyone hasn’t spoken a word since mom’s question.
Wow… She is so good at breaking the mood.
“…Mom’s footage…,” Viola spoke up all of the sudden.
“Huh? The video your mom left for you?” Nat asked.
The one that was murdered?
“What about it, Viola?” Sarin asked.
“In that video, mom… Lyra said ‘at least let me set things right’,” Viola said.
“…’Set things right’?” mom muttered.
“Doesn’t she simply mean that she wants to tell you about what happened to you 20 years ago?” Nat asked.
“Think about it, Nat. How would telling me about my past ‘set things right’?” Viola asked.
“…You’re saying your mom somehow knows of a way to strike the heart of Nebula Corp?” Van asked.
“I’m not 100% sure. But maybe… Just maybe… Among the things she has to say, there might be something that can spark us an idea on how we can effectively take down the Nebula Corp…,” Viola suggested.
“Sounds like a good start,” Van agreed.
“Lyra Hikari…? I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” Miss Frey spoke up, “After all, I wouldn’t trust the person who put all of us in this miserable state.”
“Put all of us in this miserable state?” Miki raised her eyebrow.
“Care to elaborate on that?” Van asked curiously.
“Yeah. What do you mean ‘put all of us in this miserable state’?” Viola asked. I could see an obvious frown on her face.
“Cliff Estella – Sophia’s father – was the person who scientifically discovered the source of a Zodiac Angel host’s power – our hearts. But his work was stolen by Lyra Hikari and given to the Nebula Corp. Because of that, they begin tracking us down since 20 years ago,” mom explained, “Frey and I are the only survivors of that onslaught.”
“…What was that?” Miki’s eyes opened up wide.
“Exactly like what Myria said. It was because of that woman – the one who our Viola reveres as her mother – that the Nebula Corp starts hunting us,” Miss Frey repeated what mom said.
“Wait… So you’re saying… all of us here are under this onslaught because of her mother!?” Miki screamed and looked at Viola, “The reason Nebula Corp wants to capture Zodiac Angels… The reason I lost my big bro… It’s all because of your mother!?”
“And she was also the person who raised me up!” Viola spoke back with an upset look. “I don’t know what exactly happened 20 years ago or what the Nebula Corp had done to all of you. But she said she’ll set things right, and I trust her for that.”
“Well, I don’t trust her.” Miss Frey frowns. “And as a matter of fact, because you sided with that bitch, I don’t trust you either.”
“Not my problem!” Viola scowled.
“Well, screw you!!! I’m not gonna let the same bitch put us through that hell again!!!”
“And you better watch your tongue!!! Cuz I’m gonna—-!!!”
The two of them starts yelling at one another with their hands grabbing their weapons.
I can’t watch this anymore…
I yelled at the two of them. Viola and Miss Frey turn their face towards me with the eyes that screamed ‘Butt out!’, although they didn’t outright said it.
“20 years ago… that magic number… How much blood has been shed? How much has the Nebula Corp taken away from all of us? How much more do we need to lose to realize that?”
Viola lost her mother.
Miss Frey lost her sister.
Mom lost dad and her friends.
We’ve lost so much…
“If we break up among ourselves right now, won’t that be equivalent to letting the Nebula Corp win?”
Viola and Miss Frey are still frowning.
“…Please. The two of you… Please settle down for now…,” I begged.
As reluctant as they seem, the two of them comply and go back to their seats, frowning. The whole circle is once again quiet, filled with an intense atmosphere that could easily snap at any moment.
“…How about this…?” Viola broke the silence. “…Since we have no real heading right now, we’ll listen to what my mom has to say—.”
“Oh give me a break—.”
“Frey!” This time, mom was the one who screamed, startling Miss Frey. “…Please… Let Viola finish what she has to say first. Haven’t you heard what Sophia said? The 12 of us has finally reunited. Why are we breaking up this circle again?”
“Fine…” The blonde lady rolls her eyes and turns her face away.
“……So as I was saying… We listen to whatever my mom has to say. If whatever she said gets all of us into trouble… I’ll let you all do whatever you want to me. Kill me. Chop off my head. I don’t care.”
The purple haired girl’s daring challenge made everyone surprised.
“Wha!? Viola!” Auria cried.
“Why the heck would you wanna do that!?” Nat cried as well.
“You sure are confident.” Miss Frey chuckled.
“…I have my own reasons on why I trust her, but that’ll be telling everyone my life’s story, which I’m sure none of you are interested to listen,” said Viola, “We listen to what my mom has to say. If you guys still think it’s a trap. Then kill me or do whatever you want with me.”
“Challenge accepted,” Miss Frey agreed with a smirk.
“No, Viola! Why would you go that far!?” I asked.
“Because that is just about how much I trust her,” Viola replied, “I’m putting my life on the line. Who have any objections?”
I don’t like this.
Not that I don’t trust Viola and her mother… But the chance that whatever Lyra has to say is a trap isn’t exactly 0%. If out of all the odds it happens to be a trap, then Viola is gonna…
“I have no problem with that…” Miki said.
“Miki?” Auria whispered.
“Well… We have no real heading anyway, don’t we?” Miki said then glares at the purple haired girl, “Just be sure not to take back your words when the time comes…”
“Do your worst then.” Viola scowls and turns back to the circle. “So… No objections?”
No one objected.
But to make it more accurate, it seems more like no one has a good argument to make an objection.
“So now, we have a small problem to think about,” Van said, “How are we going to watch that footage? We’ll need a computer terminal. And I don’t think going into public libraries now is a good idea.”
“…Why don’t we travel up north?” Sarin suggested, “I have a personal vacation house up on the mountains to the west of Minoa. You can access my computer terminal there.”
“Not a bad idea,” Viola said.
“But isn’t Minoa like… really far up to the north?” Lauress asked, “That’ll take us ages to get up there…”
“That shouldn’t be a problem. Currently we neither have a heading nor a base of operation. If we can get there, then we just might be able to relax a bit,” Viola said, “Plus, I’m sure none of us would enjoy sleeping out in the open like this every night from now.”
“So, anyone has any objections?” Sarin asked.
Everyone shook their heads.
“Then it’s settled. We’re going up north to Minoa,” mom said, “Let’s go to sleep, everyone. We’ll move out once the sun rises.”
And with that, everyone got up from their seats and went to find a spot to sleep. I lie down next to the camp fire and try to close my eyes to sleep.
This is just too painful to see. The 12 Zodiac Angels have finally assembled, but why do I feel like everyone is still so far apart from one another…?
These girls came from different background. You can’t expect them to instantly become good friends together 😀