Chapter 25 – O
The next day, all of us pack up our stuffs, getting ready to leave. But before that, we sit together in circle inside the shack where we slept, discussing about our next heading.
“So what are we going to do after this?” Lauress was the first person to speak up. “We are back to square one, aren’t we?”
“Yeah… It’s a little depressing. I mean, it’s nice we know about Reisa and all, but that didn’t exactly help our situation at all,” Orica said, sighing.
Lin and Len sigh at the same time.
“I don’t think so though,” I said, “I’m sorry if this sounds a little selfish, but this is exactly why I came here – to learn about Reisa. I want to know more about her – why she loathes this world so much that she wants to destroy it. And so far, I’d say I got what I came here for.”
“To be honest, me too,” mom added, “I honestly wasn’t expecting to get a reliable solution to all this mess. I… really just want to take it easy for a while…”
Wow… I really wasn’t expecting that from mom.
“But I guess we’ve take it easy enough,” mom then continued with a more serious tone, “After hearing Reisa’s story, I’ve realized that our current situation is a lot more dire than we thought it was.”
“Reisa’s plan was well thought out. She has already foreseen everything and closed almost all possible direct counters to her plans,” Auria commented, “Outside of going back in time to stop her… I guess there really is only one way to stop her…”
“… And that is?” Orica looks at her sister in anticipation.
“We have to undo the seeds Reisa sowed,” Auria said, “… We have to stop Athenia’s dependency on her power – Nebula Corp’s power. Only then would we be able to negate the Ophiucus Fragment’s time bomb effect.”
“In other words, this means that we REALLY are back to square one.” Lauress sighs and drops her neck down depressingly.
I guess Lauress is right. There is no denying that.
I would not say that our side trip here is a waste of time. But no matter how we put it, what we’ve learned here did not help us with our situation at all.
“Well, everyone. Since we don’t have any heading right now, can I suggest something?” Auria spoke up, drawing everyone’s attention.
“What is it?” I asked.
“…Can we go to Eternia?” the caramel haired girl asked.
That night when we were ambushed, Auria also said that she wanted to go to Eternia. Her eyes were that of a girl who was half dead inside; she no longer cared about what would happen to her, and she probably intended to throw her life away that night.
But now, unlike that night, her face is no longer filled with hopelessness and despair. Instead, her voice is stern and her face radiates a determined look, completely the opposite of herself that night.
“What will you do when you get there?” mom asked her.
“There’s something I am curious about,” Auria replied, again with a stern voice, “I tried calling Lynus again last night before we all went to bed, and the result is still the same.”
“He didn’t answer your call?” Orica asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
“… why do you still wanna go?”
Lin and Len asked curiously, tilting their heads towards one another.
“It’s exactly because he neither turned off his phone nor cut off my line that made me curious,” Auria explained, “The call connected but no one picked it up.”
So she’s saying that she could reach him, but he did not pick up her call?
He just left his phone ringing like that?
“Hm… Now that you mentioned it, that’s really weird,” mom muttered, thoughtfully, “If he really did betray us, he should have just picked up the call, and dragged on so they can trace your signal. But instead, he just left his cell phone ringing without picking up your call like that?”
“Yes.” Auria nods.
“… weird indeed.”
The twins nod as well.
After that, Auria continued. “I don’t have any solid proof right now, but given this circumstances, I’ve thought of a few possible scenarios. I… came up with a lot of pessimistic ones, but here is one of the more optimistic scenarios: All of this was scripted by the Nebula Corp to make us waver.”
“… So you’re saying that everything that happened that night was the Nebula Corp’s setup?” I asked.
“Yes. Perhaps, the Nebula Corp somehow knew about Lynus’s Rich Generator, and knew that we’re going to ask for his help. In the world of business, there are lots of insider trading cases like this. So if Lynus’s team was able to reverse engineer Nebula Corp’s generator, then it’s only natural that the Nebula Corp can get the information regarding Rich Generator from him as well,” Auria explained, “So this means that right after we left the warehouse, the Star Units immediately took over the storage then waited to ambush us. They’ve probably taken all of the workers and probably even Lynus away as hostage.”
“But if he didn’t work with the Nebula Corp…”
“… why didn’t they just kill him?”
Lin and Len asked again.
“Why would the Nebula Corp kill him? He is the head of the Rich Generator project, which was designed to generate the same amount of energy that they do. If I am the president of Nebula Corp, I would rather keep Lynus alive and use his machine as a spare plan in case my Celestial Halls operation ends up in a failure,” Auria explained, “So under my assumption, chances are he is still alive and he is being held captive somewhere by the Nebula Corp. His phone was probably confiscated, and that was why he could not pick up my call.”
She is pretty amazing.
Even in face of hopelessness, she is still able to come up with that conclusion with so little clues…
“But that still leaves the question of how they knew that we were contacting Lynus though,” Lauress said, “Nothing guarantees that Lynus was not the one who reported to the Nebula Corp about us.”
“Well… I honestly do not have a proof that he didn’t,” Auria said with a voice full of regret, “But still, I want to look deeper into this. If he really did betray us, then I want to hear it from him… Even if it’s going to break my heart, I want to hear it from him with my own ears…”
“But Auria, based on your assumptions, you said that Lynus was captured, right?” mom asked.
“Yes, that’s right.” Auria nods.
“Then what do you want to do at Eternia?” mom asked some more, “Do you think he is being held captive there?”
“I wasn’t expecting to find Lynus there. Instead, I want to look for his friend,” Auria explained.
“Bro Lynus’s friend?” Orica tilts her head.
“Yea… Lynus’s friend, Lex, is the son of the deputy chief of Eternia. He has his connections with the police, so I might be able to get some insights on Lynus’s current whereabouts,” Auria said.
“Hm… It sounds quite risky, but it seems like it’s worth a shot,” mom muttered, “If Lynus really didn’t betray us, then we still might have a chance to get the Rich Generator back, and releases Athenia from its dependency on Nebula Corp’s energy.”
“Well, what is everyone’s thought on this?” Auria looks around the circle.
“I’m all for it!!!” Orica enthusiastically shoots her hand into the air. “If it’s about saving bro Lynus and restoring his reputation, then I’m all for it!!!”
Lin, Len, and Lauress did not say anything, so we assumed that they are not against this.
“Then I guess it’s settled,” mom said, “Let’s pay a visit to Eternia. But let’s be on our guard. We don’t know if the Star Units are going to ambush us again.”
Everyone gives mom a nod and gets up to leave the shack one by one.
Mom walks over to Mr. Shikoba’s shack to bid him farewell, so the rest of us simply stands outside, waiting for her.
“How did you ever think of all that just from the fact that he didn’t pick up your calls?” I asked Auria curiously. I’m still amazed at her deduction.
“Well… It’s because you told me to trust in him, Sophia,” she said, smiling, “You told me to believe in him. That was how I encouraged myself to not lose faith in him and keep going forward.”
“O… Oh… Is that so? I… um.”
I can’t help but blush right now.
She is giving me way too much credit. I just want to cheer her up in my own childish way and I didn’t expect her to take me so seriously like this.
But still, I am really happy for her. At least things are looking up, and she is not depressed any more…
That’s more than enough.
That moment, before I could say anything else, all of the sudden, my phone starts ringing.
“Viola…?” I muttered, reading the caller’s name from my screen, before picking up the call. “Hey, Viola. What’s up?”
“Hey, Sophia! I got some urgent news. Have you seen today’s headlines?”
“Huh? No. I… uh… We’re sort of in the middle of nowhere right now, so we have no newspaper,” I replied.
“Then listen carefully. The Nebula Corp is launching a shuttle into space!”
My mind went blank for a few seconds as our worst fear was about to be realized.
“Oh no… It has already started?!” are the only words that slipped out of my lips.
The Nebula Corp is sending a shuttle into space. The first thing that comes to my mind is, of course, their ultimate scheme to reunion with Ophiucus.
“Yeah. They are probably going to the Celestial Halls. At this rate, they’ll be suppressing Angel of Ophiucus,” Viola said.
… That’s right…
Viola was not aware of the information on our side. She doesn’t know that the Nebula Corp’s plan was doomed to fail from start!
And by sending the Ophiucus host to the Celestial Halls, they’ll only be freeing Reisa!
“No, Viola. That’s not it!” I cried.
“Huh? What do you mean that’s not it?”
“If the shuttle gets to the Celestial Halls, Reisa will claim the Ophiucus host’s body!”
“… Reisa? Who the heck is Reisa?”
I panicked so much that I’ve already forgot that Viola was not on the same page as all of us here.
“Oh… Reisa is the real name of the Ophiucus Angel!” I said.
“What? Where did you get that from?”
“Everyone and I went to where we got my Connection Pendant and learned a lot about Reisa.”
After telling her that, I then realize that this is probably not a good time to explain everything we know to her. I should probably only tell her the important things.
“Listen. The Nebula Corp’s plan was doomed to fail from start! We can’t let Fiore get to the Celestial Halls! If she does, Reisa will suppress Fiore, and she’ll be free from the seal!”
“… Wait… I don’t understand! What are you talking about?!”
What do you not understand????
I’m saying we can’t let them launch that shuttle!
“Argh… um… Okay. Put it this way, we can’t let Nebula Corp launch the shuttle!” I told her, “When are they launching the shuttle?”
“Three days from now at Great Constella,” she replied.
“All right! We still have time! Let’s meet up somewhere around Great Constella, and I’ll tell you everything!” I suggested.
For now, we need to get her side on the same page with us. Then we’ll plan our assault on the shuttle launch. Viola sounds a little confused, but she agreed nevertheless.
After hanging up the call, I found that mom has finished talking to Mr. Shikoba and has joined us. Everyone looks at me with a puzzled face, probably because of the anxious expression on my face right now.
“The Nebula Corp is launching a space shuttle three days from now,” I said.
“Wait. So does this means that they…!?”
“…are going to the Celestial Halls soon!?”
Lin and Len cried.
“That must be the case. What else would be their reason to launch a space shuttle at a time like this?” mom said with a serious face.
“Yeah. Viola’s team is now heading to Great Constella where the shuttle will be launched. We’ll meet up with them at the city’s outskirts,” I said.
“Let’s go everyone! We can’t let them launch the shuttle!” Auria said.
“But sis! What about Eternia and bro Lynus!?” Orica asked.
“… That will have to be for later,” Auria said, slightly grinding her teeth in regret, “If my assumption is right, I’m sure Lynus must still be alive and held captive somewhere. Right now, the shuttle is a much more serious matter. We can’t let them get to the Celestial Halls!”
“Yeah. Everyone. Let’s move! We have to get to Great Constella as soon as possible!”
Everyone gives me a nod and moves out of the shack.
Great Constella is further up to the north.
Hopefully we can make it in time…
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