Chapter 37 – O
“All right, guys. How have you all been? Nice to be out of jail?” the blonde young man spoke up loudly from atop the raised platform where he can see all of his men gathered in the middle of the warehouse.
“Yeah, we’re fine!!!” both the workers and the researchers in the warehouse replied to their boss in unison.
“Man, now I know why no one wants to go to jail! The cot there sucks and my roomy stinks!” the young man continued, making the crowd laughs amusingly.
“Well now, I know you guys just got out of jail, but we cannot afford to rest just yet,” the blonde young man then continued his speech in a more serious tone, “The Nebula Corp accused us of creating an illegal weapon and confined us for a week. What the hell is with these guys?”
The workers’ cries changed from amusing laughter to ferocious cheer.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I hate it when I am pushed around like that!” Lynus continued, “What about you guys!? Do you want the Nebula Corp to keep pushing us around?!”
“HELL NO!!!!!” the workers roared in unison.
“Well then that’s more reason for us to finish this project!” Lynus announced, “With this machine, we’re going to hit them where it hurts! Their market share! In other words, their wallet!!!!”
“So are you guys with me!?”
“Let’s make them see what they get for messing with us!!!”
The gathering is then quickly adjourned with the workers and researchers going back to their work stations. Lynus watches as his men continue working for a few minutes before stepping down from the platform.
“You sure know how to get people pumped.” I move out from the corner and approach him after I made sure that he is done with his speech.
“Hah. You were listening to all that?” he asked, scratching his cheeks in embarrassment.
“Well, yeah.” I giggled. “I like it though. Kinda gets me pumped too.”
“Haha. Glad you like it.” Lynus laughed. “What about your friends? Where are they?”
“Viola and Sophia are patrolling the perimeter just in case. We’ve already contact the others by phone, so they should be here any moment from now,” I replied.
“I see…” Lynus crosses his arms and nods. “Well, wanna go outside for some fresh air?”
“Sure. Why not?”
Agreeing so, the two of us walk out of the warehouse area and stand outside the structure, looking up at the starry night sky. The cool night breeze is extremely refreshing and I could not help but feel relaxed. It’s almost midnight right now, but the workers are still working hard to complete the generator.
Lynus told me that he knew that there is definitely no way they can compete with the abundance of Nebula Corp’s energy plant in the first stage of his product launch. As a result, the plan is to penetrate the market by hitting the small communities on the outskirts of bigger cities, where the Nebula Corp has yet settled their plants. This way, Richter Electric can still earn some revenue to maintain the Innovation Division’s working capital while the collect the fund for expansion.
Hopefully, this project can be launched soon, so we can decide on our next operation.
“Say Auria,” Lynus spoke up all of the sudden, “Sophia really got her powers back?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah,” I replied, “I don’t want to say that I doubt the chances of Sophia getting her powers back, but after seeing what happened, all I can say is that it’s a miracle – one that heavily favors our side as well.”
“What exactly happened? I heard she completely trounced that Star General. What suddenly made her so powerful?” Lynus asked some more.
“Well, we had many speculations, but this is a theory that we all agreed,” I said, “You see, Lynus, a Zodiac Angel host like me uses our heart to invoke the powers from the stars. Essentially, our heart shares an unseen link with the stars in the sky.”
“Uh huh.” He nods to show that he is following.
“Now, what Fiore did was simply severing that link, making it impossible for Sophia to invoke her powers. With no signal from the stars, Sophia’s mark does not react when other Zodiac Angels are near her,” I continued, “However, that does not mean that her heart is no longer compatible with the angel’s power. That was why she was able to disperse the curtains of illusion around the Halls of Reverie; she is still a Zodiac Angel, but she lost the ability to invoke powers from the stars. To make it simple, you can simply think of Sophia being in some kind of an ‘offline mode’ when she was hit by Fiore.”
“Uh… huh… I guess that makes sense,” Lynus muttered, “But still, how did she relink with the stars?”
“Well, that moment when Sophia called out to the Angel of Leo, for a brief moment, I saw the pendant on her neck glowing,” I explained.
“The pendant that you said contains a part of Ophiucus’s power? So you’re saying the pendant answered Sophia’s prayers and relinked her powers for her?” Lynus muttered, “… But based on what you said, then that doesn’t make any sense. If it’s a simple relink, why is she so powerful right now? Wasn’t she simply supposed to get access to her old powers?”
“Well, you are right and this part is what puzzled all of us as well. But here is my speculation.” I pause and take a deep breath. “You see, Lynus. Sophia’s wish was to protect Athenia and free Reisa. Both wishes contradict each other because to protect Athenia, Reisa can’t be free from her seal, and to free Reisa from her torment, Athenia has to be destroyed.”
“Uh huh?” Lynus nods, but makes a slightly confused look.
“My theory is that her wish calls forth to both powers: her Leo Zodiac Power and the power within in the Connection Pendant,” I explained.
“Wait… so you’re saying… She has both the power of Leo AND Ophiucus Zodiacs inside her!?” Lynus cried.
“That’s the idea. Although, to say that she has complete access to Ophiucus’s power is inaccurate,” I continued, “Sophia told me that she can’t quite do all those tricks like Connected Harm and Disconnect Ray that Fiore did. But she was able to initiate the Zodiac Link like how she would normally invoke her powers as opposed to channeling her powers through the pendant. My guess is that Sophia hasn’t really become an Angel of Ophiucus; she simply assimilated a portion of Ophiucus’s power that was embedded inside the pendant into herself.”
“So she’s an Angel of Leo with a hybrid of Ophiucus’s power… That’s what made Sophia so powerful right now?”
“To simply put it, I think that’s the case,” I replied.
“Wow… Things just got really convoluted,” Lynus muttered, scratching his head.
However, personally, I don’t think that was all.
The heart with such a powerful desire to protect others…
The selfless intention that wishes to save even the most dangerous goddess…
That is what created the miracle that restored her power and made her so powerful. The stars reacted to her pure intention and bestowed her a new power.
If it were me… no… if it were to be anyone else, maybe this miracle might not have happened at all.
Sophia is strong.
She has always been.
Perhaps, her heart is the most powerful weapon that she possesses, even more so than the power she wields.
I heard a voice calling from behind. Lynus and I turn around to meet the brunette with emerald eyes waving at us.
“Hey. You’re done with the patrol, Sophia?” I asked.
“Yeah. I just finished,” she replied, then looked at both of us, “… Huh… Did I come in the middle of something?”
Lynus and I look at each other briefly before replying.
“Oh. No. We’re just chatting,” I said.
“Ah. Right.” The brunette then stretches around and takes a deep breath. “I’m glad we got the warehouse back.”
“Yeah. I really have to thank all of you. Not only you helped us cleared the Athenium Mines, but you also retrieve our facility back unscathed,” Lynus said.
“Well, we need your help. So it’s only natural we do what we can to return the favor. There’s no thanks needed,” Sophia said, giggling.
The cute and bubbly Sophia is back.
I’m so glad to see her smile again…
“So Sophia, what do you suppose we do after this?” I asked the brunette.
“Haa… Well, to be honest, I haven’t really thought about it. Naturally, I’d suggest we go ahead and continue destroying Nebula Corp’s power plants. We have Lynus’s Rich Generator and Sarin’s Ramel Media with us, so there should be no more problem if we resume our operation,” Sophia said then pauses briefly. “… Buuuuut… I don’t know. I want to wait and hear what everyone has to say.”
“Hm? Oh, look!” Lynus points up to the sky.
It appears that everyone else is already here. The great armored dragon descends from the starry sky and lands near the warehouse. Viola, who happens to be right around where the dragon landed, welcomes everyone at the front gate. Orica and Lauress quickly run towards me with Miki walking right behind them. But before I could wave at them, my eyes caught the emerald eyed lady in white gown standing near the front gate. She is looking at Sophia from afar with a bitter face.
“Um… Sorry, guys… Excuse me for a minute.”
With that, Sophia then runs off towards her mother.
I know I have no right to say this, as I am an accomplice who stole Miss Myria’s daughter away. However, from the bottom of my heart, I really wish Sophia and Miss Myria reconcile…