Chapter 25 – O
After the rumble yesterday, our party rests up at Sarin’s manor for the night. We talked with Sarin’s father, Selvic Ramel, only briefly after the incident yesterday. He thanked us for saving him and had the servants escort us to the guest rooms so that we can rest up after the tiring day. This is just a private manor, but the rooms we slept are no different those from 5-stars hotels. The carpet is clean and the beds are soft. I leisurely took my time in the bath alone, washing my hair and rinsing dusts and sweat off my body. After that, I slept like a log the instant my head hits the pillow.
Anyway, it is morning now and we move downstairs, greeted by a nice warm breakfast. It was only after the meal that we finally sit down in the living quarters and get to talk with Selvic. He sits on the couch opposite of Van, Nat, Frey, and I. Only Sarin is sitting right next to him. Miki sits on another sofa nearby. It seems like she still prefers to remain isolated as usual.
“Once again, I would like to thank all of you for saving me and for taking care of my selfish daughter who ran away from home,” Selvic said, stroking his daughter’s silver hair.
“Hmph! Just so you know I ran away from home to save you!” Sarin pouts and blushes at the same time.
Haha, she’s so cute.
“Speaking of which, Sarin, where is your mom?” Nat asked curiously.
“Sarin’s mother died giving birth to her. Because of that, she has always been alone since she was young,” Selvic replied.
“Oh… I’m sorry I asked.” Nat scratches her cheek nervously.
“It’s okay! I’m not lonely at all. I have daddy with me. And now, I have you guys as well!” Sarin said, smiling.
I see. She must really love her father. No wonder she decided to run away from home like that.
It must be great to have a father. I don’t have a father in this life, and I don’t remember my biological father either.
“But now, let us attend a more serious matter,” Selvic spoke up with a serious face, intensifying the atmosphere, “I’ve briefly heard about your current situation from Sarin last night. You all are going after the ‘Ophiucus Fragment’ in the Nebula Corp’s power plants, am I right?”
“That is right,” I replied.
“And I’m sure you all know about the consequences of destroying the Nebula Energy. Is that correct?” Selvic asked.
“Yes, we’ve heard about it,” Van replied, “We tried to look for an alternate solution, but so far, we haven’t found anything yet.”
Lynus Richter – Auria’s boyfriend.
If we could get his Rich Generator to operate, then we might be able to destroy the Nebula Corp without being branded as terrorists. After all, the world probably wouldn’t care as long as they still have energy to use.
To be honest, right now, I myself have not really bought into the fact that Lynus betrayed us yet. Based on everything Auria told me, I don’t think Lynus is someone who would pull something dirty like that on us.
Plus, he also said it himself that the Nebula Corp is his division’s rival. Why would he join side with his rival?
Still, we could not close our eyes at the fact that we were indeed set up that night. Because I don’t have any good arguments, I wasn’t able to support Auria…
“Is it really going to be like that if we destroy the Nebula Corp? That the world would hate us?” Nat spoke up, “I mean… Why can’t we just ask your company, the Ramel Media, to tell the world about Nebula Corp’s evil deeds?”
“Well, do you have any prove? Do you have any evidence that the Nebula Corp is evil?” Selvic asked back, “To the public, the Nebula Corp is a great company that provides energy to the world. It serves the society, and made everyone well off with its CSR projects, like the Nebula Sky Train in Grand Central. Who is going to believe you if you don’t have any evidence to dispute their reputation?”
“I probably don’t have to tell you this, but my company and I are ready to support you, Zodiac Angels. However, Nebula Corp is a filthy giant. If it retaliates, then my company can be crushed at any moment. Before we can actually fight against the Nebula Corp, we will first need to know where we can hit them,” Selvic explained.
What he said is all true.
Nebula Corp is no longer an opponent that we can simply defeat by overpowering them. We need a better strategy against them.
While discussing, a middle aged man in a butler suit walks inside the room, attracting our attention.
“Master Selvic. The article you requested last night is here,” he reported.
“Oh, thanks, Rupert.” Selvic gets up from the couch and picks the data card from the butler.
“What’s that, daddy?” Sarin asked.
“Last night, you told me that the Nebula Corp conducted experiments on Zodiac Angels, so they could find a way to suppress the Ophiucus Angel, right?” Selvic asked, “After hearing that, I thought that perhaps this article might mean something to all of you. So I asked Rupert to prepare it for me.”
Selvic inserts the card into the computer terminal at the back of the room. While waiting for the card to read, Rupert the butler presses a few buttons at the corner of the room. The curtains then automatically slide close and the lights on the ceiling dims down. A screen slides down and projector displays a news article on it.
“This article is scheduled to be published for this morning’s headlines, but here is the original copy sent to us from the Nebula Corp’s headquarters,” Selvic said.
“[Exploration of Space for new Possibilities]?” I read the article heading out loud.
I have a bad feeling about this…
“So… They are launching a shuttle into space at Great Constella? What about it, daddy?” Sarin turns towards her father.
“… Hey, Sarin,” Miki spoke up, after remaining quiet for the whole time, “At the Andoria Power Plant, do you remember what that scientist said to Orson?”
“Huh…?” Sarin tilts her head confusingly.
“Gregory said they are ready for the ‘second phase’,” I said, jogging her memory.
“Oh… Yeah. I think so,” Sarin muttered. But then a second later, her face turns pales in fright. “……… Wait a sec… Are you telling me that…!?”
“Yeah… There’s a high chance that they are going to use this Space Exploration project as a cover to launch their shuttle and take that Ophiucus girl, Fiore, to the Celestial Halls,” Frey said.
“H… Hey hey hey!!! Then if they get Fiore to the Celestial Halls, they’ll be able to suppress Ophiucus!? They are doing that now!?” Nat cried.
“If that’s really the case, we can’t let them launch the shuttle,” Van said with a serious face.
“Daddy, when’s the launch date?” Sarin turns towards Selvic.
“… Three days from now,” he replied.
“Three days!?” Nat cried. “Then what are we waiting for! Let’s go now! We can’t let them launch the shuttle!”
“… We can’t,” I interrupted, “We can’t just walk straight in like this.”
“Why!? If we don’t hurry, then Fiore will suppress Ophiucus!” Sarin cried.
“Exactly! It’s because Fiore is there!!” I replied, startling Sarin. “Chances are if we go there right now, we’ll most likely have to fight her as well. You tackled her once too, Sarin. So you should know that Fiore is not an opponent that we can take on recklessly like this. I’ve trained up Integrated Summoning, but that doesn’t mean it’ll instantly guarantee my victory.”
Sarin remains quiet, grinding her teeth nervously.
We fought Fiore once, and she completely thrashed me. I know exactly how strong that girl is, so we can’t make the same mistake again.
“You’re right.” Van nods in agreement. “Let’s call Sophia’s team. We’ll need every hand we can get for this.”
“Let me call her,” I said and pull out my cell phone, dialing Sophia’s number.
Thankfully, she picks up the call after just a few beeps.
“Hey, Viola. What’s up?” she asked.
“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,” Sophia replied.
“Then listen carefully. The Nebula Corp is launching a shuttle into space!” I said.
“H…Huh…? HUH!? WHAT!?” the girl screamed right back into my ears, “Oh no… It has already started?!”
“Yeah. They are probably going to the Celestial Halls. At this rate, they’ll be suppressing Angel of Ophiucus,” I said.
“No, Viola. That’s not it!” Sophia cried.
“Huh? What do you mean that’s not it?” I asked.
“If the shuttle gets to the Celestial Halls, Reisa will claim the Ophiucus host’s body!” she said.
“… Reisa? Who the heck is Reisa?”
“Oh… Reisa is the real name of the Ophiucus Angel!” Sophia explained.
“What? Where did you get that from?” I asked.
“Everyone and I went to where we got my Connection Pendant and learned a lot about Reisa,” Sophia explained, “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?!”
“Argh… um… Okay. Put it this way, Viola, we can’t let Nebula Corp launch the shuttle!”
And Sophia, that’s exactly what I was trying to tell you.
“When are they launching the shuttle?” she asked some more.
“Three days from now at Great Constella,” I replied.
“All right! We still have time! Let’s meet up somewhere around Great Constella, and I’ll tell you everything!” Sophia said.
“Everyone, let’s go,” I said after hanging up the call, “We’re going to Great Constella – the Nebula Corp’s headquarters!”
Van, Nat, Miki, and Frey get up from the couches, giving me a nod.
“Mr. Selvic. We will take our leave,” Van said.
“And I’ll go too,” Sarin said, standing up, “Daddy. I’m sorry, but I have to go with them. Please take care if yourself.”
“It’s okay. I’ll be fine. You look after yourself well,” Selvic said, “Please go, Zodiac Angels. Athenia needs you.”
“Don’t worry. Leave it to us,” I said, “Come on everyone. Let’s move!”
And with that, all of us move out of the manor.