Chapter 06 – O
“Lyra. Kraine. The two of you disappointed me. You fools were the one who took that theory from Cliff Estella and brought it to me! You were the one who helped me prove that a Zodiac Angel’s power source is her heart!”
“Cliff Estella – Sophia’s father – was the person who scientifically discovered the source of a Zodiac Angel host’s power. 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.”
“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 down.”
“Vi…o…la. I’m…I’m so sorry…”
I know how sorry she was. In the vision Rokishi showed me, Lyra… Mom was crying. She was begging Gregory to stop the extraction.
But it didn’t work. The process carried on and everything became history. My powers were given to Rokishi and I became an infant. After that, she volunteered to raise me up out of shame.
She didn’t want me to get involved with the Nebula Corp any more, that’s why she kept everything a secret from me.
Because of that, I trust her.
I know that I can trust her…
“After all, I wouldn’t trust the person who put all of us in this miserable state… And as a matter of fact, because you sided with that bitch, I don’t trust you either.”
“Just be sure not to take back your words when the time comes…”
There’s no need to take back what I said.
Absolutely no need…
That’s why I went that far…
“If you have something on your mind, just come out and say it. Don’t act like a stalker,” I said while lying leisurely on the front seat of Van’s car. The darkness of the night has covered the entire area. Yet I could easily sense a presence hiding in the shadows, peeking at me from outside of the car.
“Impressive. Your senses are ever sharp.” The blonde lady steps out from the darkness and leans by the car’s window. She’s the woman I had a fight with earlier at the camp fire. I believe her name is Frey, the Zodiac Angel of Capricorn.
Anyway, Van, Nat, and Sarin are deep asleep in the car, so they were not aware of Frey’s presence. I really should have been sleeping too, but the discussion we had earlier kept me from having a pleasant sleep.
“What do you want?” I asked.
“…Just wanna ask something from the fellow survivors of the onslaught 20 years ago,” she said.
“That magic number again? I assume we were acquainted with each other back then?” I asked.
“That’s right.” Another lady steps out from behind Frey. It’s Sophia’s mother – Myria, the Zodiac Angel of Virgo. Surprisingly, I couldn’t feel her presence until she revealed herself. “And because of that, we have something to ask you.”
“…I don’t mind.” I got down from the car. “I’m kind of curious about my life 20 years ago too.”
“So you really are the same Viola Hoshikari,” Myria said.
“…Hoshikari…? So that’s my real family name, huh?” I asked.
“Why don’t we go talk over at the camp fire?” Myria proposed.
The three of us then move to the camp fire and sit on a different corner. Sophia, Auria, and Lauress are sleeping nearby, but the three of them seem to be under a deep sleep. Apparently, Auria and Lauress gave up their places in Miki’s car for the twin angels, Lin and Len.
“I’ll be frank and get to the point. What happened 20 years ago after you and Saki split up with us?” Myria asked.
…Who the heck is that?
“…You don’t remember her? She’s the previous Scorpio Angel, and your best friend among us,” Frey explained.
Previous Scorpio Angel?
Then that means that she must be Auria’s previous incarnation…
So I was a close friend with her in the ‘previous life’?
Maybe that explains why I suddenly had the urge to approach her when she was standing alone at the balcony…
“Put it this way. I have no memory of 20 years ago, whatsoever. But I can tell you what I know. Do you still want to listen? It’s my life’s story and I don’t guarantee you that it’ll be interesting to listen though,” I said.
“Please. What can be worse than Myria’s lectures?” Frey laughed.
“Hey… Some students sat through my classes, okay?” Myria glares at Frey. “And heck, you’ve never even been to any of my classes.”
“Lectures?” I muttered.
“I’m a university lecturer at Orion University. But that’s beside the point,” Myria said, “Let’s hear your story, Viola.”
So I told them about what I know so far: The Reunion Project – the horrible experiment that turns me back into an infant – and about Rokishi killing mom. The two of them listen to my story intently without making a single interruption, which was a surprise because I thought that blondie would be interrupting me at some point.
“…And well, that’s my story,” I finished.
“I see. So you were turned into a baby and you grew up again. No wonder you still look like yourself 20 years ago,” Frey said, crossing her legs.
“I can’t believe it,” Myria muttered, “Turned back into a baby from extraction…? I don’t think I’ve heard anything like that from Cliff…”
“Well, there’s really no reason for him to extract your powers, doesn’t he?” I asked.
“In any case, now that we’ve seen 10 new faces, I guess it’s safe to say that the three of us really are the only survivors,” Myria said.
“You shouldn’t really count the previous Viola as alive,” I corrected her, “My memory of 20 years ago are gone. I’m practically a new person right now.”
“…Isn’t there anyway for you to regain your memories at all?” Myria asked some more.
“Who knows? I already got my powers back from Rokishi, but there’s no sign of my memories coming back at all.” I shrugged.
“Oh well. That’s really a shame. At least I wanted to know what happened to Saki,” Frey said, leaning back against a log behind her.
“…So now it’s your turn… Tell me something… anything about me 20 years ago.”
I’ve told them everything I know. Now tell me something I don’t know yet…
“The three of us here, Frey’s younger sister, and Saki always hang out together. When we were chased down by the Nebula Corp, Saki and you stayed behind to stall us some time for us to run away,” Myria explained.
Why didn’t we just run away or hold our line together?
I thought we were best buds…
“It’s because Myria was pregnant with Sophia inside her,” Frey explained.
“Oh… I see. That makes sense.” I crossed my arms. “…Say… How many soldiers were after us back then?”
“I didn’t even bother to count. It’s roughly an army,” Myria said.
“Angels like you are nothing that special. Against a storm of bullets, all of you fall like flies. You might have flashy powers, but remember that your body is still that of a human girl! That was exactly how we captured Viola 20 years ago – overpowering her with number!”
“…An army…I see. So that’s what Rokishi meant,” I muttered, “…I supposed Saki either got killed on the battle field there or never made it through the experiments…”
Thinking about it, we were pretty lucky that Rokishi’s troops were still rookies, as evidenced by how they immediately ran away when they had no leader to hold their line.
I was careless…
If those troops have been much more skilled, would Van and the others…
…Nah… I don’t think they’ll be defeated. At least not with Nat around…
“Viola. Do you hate the Nebula Corp?” Myria asked.
That was quite a sudden question.
“Do you even have to ask?” I chuckled. “My life was stolen from me ‘twice’ because of that organization. I’d do anything to destroy it and make sure no one else has to go through what I went.”
“I guess our scar is really not that different in size.” Frey chuckled.
“What about you, Myria?” I asked her.
“…I.” She paused for a while, looking for the best answer. “I don’t like living with hatred. Sure, I was mad that Nebula Corp stole the person I love most away from me. And after that, they even attempted to take my daughter away from me as well.”
“Sophia…? They tried to capture her?” I asked.
“Oh? She never told you?”
“…I see… I guess she probably doesn’t want to talk about it. She was traumatized by that ordeal after all,” Myria said, “…She was captured and held captive by the Nebula Corp for almost two days. They tried to extract her Zodiac Beast out of her and tame him. They couldn’t do it on the first try so they keep doing it to her again and again. You don’t want to see the state she was in back then…”
I don’t know what they did to Sophia, but I could almost tell how painful it was just from the word ‘extract’ alone…
“I…never knew that…” I whispered.
Now I get it. That was why, back at Grand Central, her face was equally as pale as mine when we heard that Auria’s sister was captured.
I guess she and I probably share the same thought right now – “No one should go through what I went through.”
“But anyway, I tried running. I ran away from this fight, leaving everyone behind me to save my girl,” Myria said, “…But now… I don’t want to run anymore. I can’t keep running forever.”
“Yeah. Running is not going to stop these men from stalking us,” I said, “…It’s our turn to show them that we are no pushovers.”
“I like where this is going.” Frey chuckled.
“That’s why… I want to listen to what my mom has to say… She said she’ll set things right. So I’m sure she will. She must have some information that is invaluable to us,” I said.
“Now that I’ve heard your story, Viola, I’d say that I can understand the reason why you trust that woman so much,” Frey said and stood up, frowning, “But know one thing Viola. I still don’t trust her… And if it really happens to be a trap, then I won’t forgive you…”
“Fine. When the time comes, you and Miki are free to do your worst on me.” I stand up and daringly look at her. “But you can keep dreaming though. Cuz that’s not gonna happen.”
“We’ll see…” She glares back at me.
“Oh can you two knock it off?” Myria stands up, sighing. “Frey… It’s not that I don’t understand you. But from Viola’s story, Lyra really seems like she regretted what she did. Plus, she even raised Viola up again for 20 whole years, and on top of that, she left a message to Viola to find out about her past. There’s no reason for her to complicate things up like that to betray Viola again. Let’s just… Let’s just hear what Lyra has to say. Then we’ll decide later if she is lying or not.”
“Whatever…” Frey shakes her head and walks away.
“Well said, Myria…” I told her. “I’m glad you understand me.”
“Don’t get me wrong Viola.” She turned around with a serious face, almost giving me a jump. “I’m on the neutral side here. If Lyra’s message was really her attempt, for whatever reason, to pull a fast one on us, then I won’t forgive you as well.”
“……Okay. I understand. You have my words. My mom’s—.”
“I don’t need your promise. I’ll decide whether or not you are a traitor after we’ve seen the footage. And if you are, then I’ll hunt you down and make you suffer. Until then, we’ll remain comrades. Is that a deal?”
That was quite a straightforward and fair deal.
“Sure. No problem.”
“Okay then. Good night.” The lady with emerald eyes then turns her back at me and walks towards her daughter, lying nearby. She takes off her outer white gown and blankets it over Sophia and Auria who happens to be sleeping right next to each other. After that, she lies down on the grassy ground next to her daughter and goes to sleep.
With the chat over, I return to Van’s car, trying to go back to sleep.
There’s no way mom would lie to me.
She said she’s going to set things right…
And I’m sure she will…
We’ve heard the story from both Viola’s side and Myria’s side.
What do you guys think?
Do you think Lyra is trustworthy?
Post your theories and discuss! I’d like to hear them! ^^
(More like I want to know how well I am building up the suspense, lol)