ZA – Chapter Ophiucus 26 A

Chapter 26 – O

Auria

It was the evening of the second day after we left the Marfik Village. The Nebula Corp will be launching their shuttle tomorrow evening, so we still have plenty of time. Right now, the sun is just about to set, and the sky begins to change its color from orange to complete black. Our party met up with Viola’s party, which has been waiting for us on the cliff at the outskirts of Great Constella. All of us assembled and began sharing what happened to all of us in the past week.

Viola’s party did not exactly make any advances in their plans to destroy the Ophiucus Fragments. Instead, after they split up from us, they have been sparring with each other, honing their skills. Then two days ago, Viola and her party headed up north to Minoa to save Sarin’s father, who has been captured as hostage. There, Sarin’s father told her party about the shuttle launch, and that was how they knew about this.

On our side, Sophia shared what we learned at the Marfik Village. Viola’s party listened to us attentively, exactly like how we listened to Mr. Shikoba – the chief of the Marfik Village and the blood descendant of Reisa.
“I see… So Ophiucus… Reisa was the one pulling the strings all along?” Viola muttered after hearing everything from Sophia.
“So that’s how the Nebula Corp got the Ophiucus Fragment,” Van muttered thoughtfully. I remember that she was the one who brought up the question of how the Nebula Corp acquired the stone in their possession to our attention. That question must have been bothering her for a while now.
“But that aside, so you’re saying she wants to destroy this world because her boyfriend was killed by the humans?” Nat raises her eye brow.
“It’s not only about her boyfriend, Nat,” Sophia argued instantly, “Reisa came down to Athenia, devoted her time to understand the human’s culture, selflessly turned herself into a fearful figure in hopes of stopping the humans from starting wars, and even introduced diplomatic solutions… But nothing has changed and the only thing she got back from all of her deeds was pain.”

Sophia is right.
Losing Faram might have been the trigger that destroyed her last faith in humanity, but her hatred for them is not without support.
She came half way and reached out to the humans – to the very creatures that she despises – in hopes of understanding them more.
Yet all the humans did was fueled her with more rage and hatred…

“In any case, with Reisa’s story out of the way, let’s plan out our operation,” Miss Myria suggested.
Everyone then gives her full attention.
“While it is tempting to take out Fiore once and for all, I want everyone to realize that our main goal is simply to stop the shuttle launch. Therefore, the objective for this operation is simply to destroy the shuttle,” she continued, “Since this shuttle is of utmost importance to the Nebula Corp, there is no doubt that the Star Units and Generals will be guarding the shuttle area.”
“Question!!!” Nat shoots her hand into the air. “Why can’t we let Frey’s dragon shoots the shuttle down from air?”
“Millenium Flare needs some time to charge up, and they’re not gonna let Algethi do that. The moment they detected an unidentified flying object heading their ways, they’ll be shooting him down,” Frey explained, “Plus, I don’t intend to get innocent civilians caught into the fray.”

“Um… Guys. Sorry to interrupt but…”
Just as our meeting is about to start, Sarin spoke up and points towards the city.
“What the!?” Sophia cried.
Everyone else’s face is equally horrified when we notice a cluster of dark fog, resembling a dimensional hole, swirling above the city.
“The Ophiucus monsters are here too!?” Orica cried.
“What a great timing.” Van shook her head.
“… Actually, this might be a good chance,” Viola spoke up, drawing everyone’s attention, “Think about it. If the monsters are wreaking havoc, then we can use this chance to unleash our full powers in the middle of the city without having to worry about being accused of destroying the city.”
“Oh yeah! Then I can blow up stuffs and blame it to the monsters?!” Nat cheered gleefully.
“In that case, let’s make this brief and get over it quickly,” Miss Myria suggested, “We will form a small Vanguard Team and let them plunge into the city to destroy the shuttle. The rest of us will be fighting the monsters, attracting attention from the NEF and Star Units. This way, they will be distracted and loosen the defense on their shuttle.”
“Sounds like a great idea,” Viola said.
“So then, let’s form our Vanguard Team. Who wants to lead the operation this time?” Miss Myria asked.
“Viola should lead the operation this time,” Miss Frey said, attracting everyone’s attention again, “There is a high chance that Fiore can be lurking near the shuttle. If fighting her is unavoidable, then Viola is the only one who can fight her at full strength without having to fear Connected Harm.”
“Well, I don’t really mind but…”
Before Viola could finish, Orica interrupted, “That’s not true! Sis can also use her Zodiac Beast without having to fear Connected Harm!”

You seem so eager to send me to the front lines, my dear little sister…

But still, I was actually thinking about volunteering anyway because, like Orica said, Antares is the only Zodiac Beast who is not affected by the Connected Harm. I don’t know what Miss Frey exactly meant, regarding Viola being able to fight Fiore at full strength. But I know that Fiore is an opponent to be reckoned with. As the one carrying the title of the strongest Zodiac Angel, I am obligated to take part in the front lines.

“Yeah, let me go too,” I volunteered.
“Well, if you’re with me, then I’m relieved,” Viola said, giggling, “Having someone who took out two Ophiucus Servants single handedly with me is definitely reassuring.”
Aw, Viola…
You’re flattering me too much.
“Then I’ll take the third spot!” Sophia said, shooting her hand into the air, “I can use the Zodiac Link to collaborate our attacks together. That way we can fight against Fiore at an advantage! Plus, I’ve teamed up with Viola and Auria with Zodiac Link before. The three of us were a great team back then.”
“Heh… That’s true. With your eyes, I feel a lot more secure moving around,” Viola said, smiling.
Well, having Sophia with us is definitely reassuring. Back at Grand Central, the three of us – who were inexperienced in battle – were able to take down that giant monster because of Sophia’s Zodiac Link coordination. She will definitely be an invaluable asset if we really were to fight against Fiore.

“Sophia. You sure about this?” Miss Myria asked her daughter with concern.
“Please. Don’t worry, Miss Myria,” I spoke to her in Sophia’s stead, “This time I do not need to chant my spells anymore. I can trade spots with Sophia and have her at the rearguard so she can orchestrate the Zodiac Link with full concentration.”
“… Okay then. You girls all take care of yourselves,” Miss Myria said. She seems a little reluctant, but she still gave us the green light anyway.

“Well then, let’s move out, everyone!”
At Viola’s signal, all of us quickly charges straight towards the city.
“Hey.”
As I was about to move out with everyone, I felt a hand tapping onto my shoulder.
It’s Miki.
Speaking of which, I think Viola told us that the person who was behind the assault on Sarin’s father was Oscar, the mad scientist who brainwashed Orica and Lauress and issued the order to kill Miki’s brother. I heard that Miki got her revenge, but since we were discussing about our current situation, I did not have the opportunity to talk to her about it.
“Oh? What’s the matter?” I asked.
“I got something to talk to you later. You take care of yourself,” the twin pony tailed girl said then rushed on forward.
Well… that was unexpected.
But it’s definitely heartwarming to hear that from her. Perhaps the icy wall that she created is finally starting to melt…

———————————————

A/N:
And surprise update because this chapter is really short >_>

Since this chapter comes up this Wednesday, [Corpse Party: Ghastly Carnival] Period 19 has been moved to this Friday instead.

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