ACT 7 : The Cat Is Sleeping Inside The Box
Chapter 40 [The Realization of Despair]
TL : Cnine
ED : MystiKnight
In her room on the 3rd floor basement of the school, Irogane Ayako was brought back from the world of dreams by the sound of the communication device she placed beside her pillow.
「What’s the matter?」
『Tendouji Ayato escaped from his room with Hermes’ Sandals. He might be heading toward Nagano pillar』
The emotionless voice of Chikagesawa Otome coming from the communication device was like a bolt of lightning to her sleepy head.
「…Is there any doubt about that?」
Calmly listening while doing her best to swallow her surprise, Ayako nodded back to Otome.
『Yes, it seems he was spurred into action by Inudzuka Kirie』
She was one of the students in 1st year class A, and today was the one working as Tendouji Ayato’s companion.
She was shedding tears, letting him sneak peeks at her thighs and breasts, whispering into Ayato’s ears while showing her loveliness without shame.
”――Please, destroy Nagano pillar which has become the enemy of everyone, and save Japan！”
By using imaginary siblings, parents or friends, she’s abused his sympathy by telling lies to make him beat the CE.
Normally to prevent such an action, there were no less than two girls always by Ayato’s side. This was an arrangement for them to mutually monitor each other.
But, Inudzuka Kiria trapped the other girl, Tatsumiya Miyako, locking her inside a toilet, and then she instigated the hero in the time when Tatsumiya was trying to escape.
「To be betrayed by a trusted follower huh」
Ayako felt dizziness and a violent headache as she covered her face with both of her palms.
Originally, the girls of class A weren’t supposed to goad on Ayato in this way, their job was to watch him.
The power of holy sword wielded by the hero was terrifying, so to prevent him from being manipulated by anyone, a watcher was needed.
And yet, there’s no guarantee that『an opponent』 who hid amongst the seniors and classmates wouldn’t bring harm to the hero.
Thus, for the sake of accomplishing the duty of bodyguard and watcher, long before the completion of the special force, they looked for suitable candidates for over four years. They were then trained in combat knowledge, the way to use phantom weapons, flattering the other party to hide their true feelings and then, the art of conversation to lead a man by the nose.
「Inudzuka Kirie, she was definitely the relative of that diet member, Shinkai… Tsk, with that said」
Ayako unintentionally smacked her lips.
The『Mechanized Hero』 project commenced when the girls of class A assembled together, and before the matter regarding phantom weapon was made public.
For that reason, the chosen candidate was also unknown to by ordinary people, chosen in secrecy.
For example, by conducting an inspection for illness in children of orphanages and secretly looking for their aptitude.
Children who had lost their parents to attacks from when the CE first appeared were the highest priority.
But, they couldn’t gather that many. It was around one in every 5000 children, they were just that rare.
Therefore, the goverment issued an order, to seek 『The children of SDF members or politician who know the contents of the project, otherwise look for children who can adapt from the children of your trusted relatives』
Naturally, Kyoko, Ayako, and the rest of the people who had authority in the project gave a harsh refusal.
Though they said a relative who you can trust, there’s no way that the project would be kept secret.
Because they didn’t know from where the highly classified information would be leaked.
And above all, they didn’t want any political warfare to be fought around Tendouji Ayato, the central pillar of the project.
Just like this situation, manipulating the hero while driven by one’s own selfish desire. The breaking down of this project would not be tolerated.
But, their complaints were crushed by the hand of the government on the spot.
Due to those with selfish desires, the decision was passed because of the movement of money behind the scenes.
（Diet member Shinkai was in the ruling party of the goverment, but there were suspicions that he had secret meetings with the ambassadors of Russia, America, and the opposition）
Maybe he lost to woman, money, or else to protect the life of his family and himself, or maybe he was a spy from a foreign country or the opposition since the very beginning.
It certainly had nothing to do with Ayako. She had no choice but to leave the dealings of politicians to other politicians.
Thus, she just focused on the things she could do herself.
「How about Inudzuka Kirie？ 」
『I’m securing her』
「Yosh, don’t take your eyes off her. No matter what happens, don’t let her kill herself」
She’ll be handed to the intelligence agency of the Ministry of Defense alive, and she’ll be made to spill all the information she has.
Revealing who she was backed by or anything on Shinkai would ensure that they weren’t played the fool again.
After Ayako gave that order and cut the communication, she took a deep breath and slammed her fist into the nearest wall.
「You bastard, are you going to interfere again…！」
Her hatred and fury from 5 years ago came back, and with her feelings unintentionally exploding outward, she left the room wearing the same face of that calm and composed commander again.
In the command post on the second floor, the staff members already aware of Ayato’s actions were following his whereabouts despite their panic.
「Where’s Tendouji Ayato？」
「He’s currently flying in the sky of Myougi mountain to the west. At this rate…」
「He most likely wants to keep chopping down the pillar」
Ayako quickly gave orders to the operator to keep her from muttering “What a fool” out loud.
「Make contact with the Souma field garrison and send a request for them to pursue Tendouji Ayato with their 12th Helicopter squad」
「But, sending out the heli squad is…」
「I know that they won’t be able to catch him. But, we won’t make any progress if we don’t do anything」
She didn’t even joke about taking him down with our missiles.
Even as a joke, to sortie without permission to fool the young girl, it doesn’t change the importance of the hero.
「As I thought, we should have used the locking mechanism huh…」
Even if she knew that regretting later is futile, Ayako wouldn’t be able to keep her cool without grumbling.
In the phantom converter affixed to the arm of the ACE troops, there was mechanism built for stopping the phantom material armor and phantom weapon by sending a signal from outside.
But, only the one used by Tendouji Ayato was entirely lacking that mechanism.
In case of when the phantom weapon user runs wild just like now, it was a must-have safety device to stop such an event from happening.
As for the reason why, it was because it became irreplaceable after a certain failed case occurred.
「You’re late, Kyoko」
In that moment, Ayako who caught in a sorrowful memory was comng back to reality due to the voice of Kyoko who arrived late.
「How is he？」
「There’s no way we can stop him from reaching the pillar」
When she wanted to ask if there was a method to capture a human body flying at speeds of 50 km/hour, Ayako’s let out a despondent sigh.
And then, when everyone turned to watch the blurry recording from the satellite, Tendouji Ayato had finally reached the Nagano pillar and brandished his holy sword.
The gigantic pillar of light which could be seen clearly even in the blurry image from the satellite tore through the ground in a straight line.
But, the pillar which a height of over 200 metres didn’t even shake.
Just like when it was bombarded by land, sea and air arms of the JSDF simultaneously when the war had just started, it stood still without even suffering a scratch.
It was a fact known by every single person in the command centre.
From the data that was gathered when the small pillar in Maebashi city was destroyed a few days ago, when comparing the strength of Nagano pillar and the power of the holy sword, the rough estimation of the necessary energy to destroy Nagano pillar was around 20000 times the sword’s current power.
That’s why, this result was known to them. Even so――
「The holy sword isn’t working…」
「The thing that we build, the hero is………….」
The Nagano pillar can’t be destroyed by Tendouji Ayato.
Although this was undoubtedly the truth, the staff were crestfallen.
It was just a possibility, that he might be able to destroy it. While there was a part of them which embraced that faint hope, the darkness of their despair was too deep.
SInce it was made clear right now, Ayako didn’t hand down the order to destroy Nagano pillar while Otome and co tried to stop Tendouji Ayato, even if they had to engage him in combat.
「How far have we been set back by this？」
「I don’t even want to think about it」
Kyoko’s showed an unpleasant reaction to Ayako’s question.
It had nothing to do with the authenticity of the phantom weapon. This was something given from by gathering the thoughts and imagination of many people.
It doesn’t means that all of that was only composed of good things.
「Tendouji Ayato-kun , the 『Mechanized Hero』 can’t destroy the Nagano pillar… Yeah, we know about that, and are at peace with that fact. I wonder how much of our belief is taking effect in the power of holy sword」
It’s not only the staff member who were gathered in this place right now. The report had already gone to the upper-echelon of the SDF and the government.
Though the people who knew of this fact numbered around 1000 people, currently, the people who knew of Tendouji Ayato’s name and face was not few in number. Just how much of a negative effect was caused by that number?
But, this was something that could be fixed with effort and time.
During the entrance ceremony, the existence of Tendouji Ayato who was nothing but a faint rumor on the internet is rising tremendously as the hero who flew in the sky to save Maebashi city.
Or so it seems, it’s because the staff members of the special forces were spreading rumors and vague information.
Anyhow, at this rate, the information which was scattered on the internet will eventually pique the interest of many people. If the information released in media such as newspapers or TV, the illusion of the hero might turn into something unshakeable.
120 Million Japanese people will recognizing him, and then, the existance of the hero will be known by the 7 billion humans of this world.[TL : 7 billions? what happen to those comatoes one?]
When that energy turned into the power of the holy sword, Nagano pillar will definitely be destroyed, and it might end this long and painful war.
They came and pooled together all the resources they had just for that sake, and yet, the trouble of the crystal they’re trying to destroy is also sensitive issue.
「…Tendouji Ayato is getting away from the pillar」
Following the report by the operator who was in a daze before, the marker on the satellite image was moving towards the eastern direction.
「Contact the heli squad, guide them to descend until they reach a safe place, and retrieve him if possible」
Ayako asked her friend who gave sidelong glances to the staff members, just starting to send notifications toward various related places and to the operators who started to make contact following the instructions given to them.
「Do you think it’ll be alright？」
「Though I know how you feel, please don’t ask me that」
Kyoko replied while letting out a deep sigh.
「Though we’re the ones who made the 『Illusion』 called ‘hero’ someone undefeated by anyone, it’s destroyed by 『Reality』 . Moreover, if someone with a strong mind resists it, if we who made it can’t even believe in a childish『Illusion』such as ‘the strongest’ ourselves…」
Contrary to her bitter tone, there’s no scorn in Kyoko’s voice, only guilt and sympathy.
Because the one who tempted Tendouji Ayato to become someone like that is none other than themselves.
「They’re troublesome things aren’t they, both the phantom weapon and it’s user」
But, since they could’t even grumb, Kyoko turned to the ceiling.
The phantom material which took form as phantom weapon was a mysterious particle which creating energy from the emotions of humans.
They then taught the students about the aggregate amount which they can use, their emotional strength, and their phantom material interference ability.
But, the thing normally called emotional strength was different from fortitude or one’s force of will used to overcome a trial, the extremities of emotion was the right way to call it.
In fact, from the result of an experiment, an easily angered girl who then received severe training for self-control will be unable to use phantom weapons, that’s an established proof.
But, to say it more accurately, one’s phantom material interference ability is their 『strength of the awareness of their phantom self』. To put it in more simple words, it was 『The extremities of your imagination』.
In short, the people who believed from the bottom of their heart that they’re stronger than anyone in this world will wield the strongest phantom weapon.
Maybe a lot of people would be mad if they heard such a story.
The truth is, even Kyoko who was there since they began studying the phantom weapons still had some doubt left in her heart.
But, the data of the experiment was proof that each person was always thinking about more fleeting and vague 『Illusions』 than actual reality.
Someone with knowledge of quantum mechanics would recognise the phenomena if they heard about it.
The Observer Theory: 『For something to exist in this world, it mus be observed（recognized） by humans』.[TL : What the, this line is just too inhuman for translator] [ED : I’m no quantum physicist, but simply put, its the idea that something needs to be observed by something else to exist. Schrodinger’s Cat is a famous thought experiment about this idea, and is also what the Act’s title is referring to]
Even if it’s not Einstein, it made one want to retort 「Even if I can’t see（observe）it, the moon exists」.
But, this theory is true, if we assume that human recognition has formed the world, then it could explain the mysterious particle called phantom material.
Human recognition is the energy that gave form to the world, and phantom material is the particle which transmits that.
A phantom child carries the materialized phantom weapon which forms from vast amounts of energy to become the 『Legendary Weapon』, which is recognized by many humans.
The barrier which surrounded the body surface on the phantom child is phantom material armor, the energy which is recognized as each person’s desire to 『Exist（Live）』.
The particle which transmits that energy and the four powers which existing in nature.
『Strong power and Gluon』, 『Weak power and weak boson』, 『Electromagnetic Power and Photon』, 『Gravity and Graviton』 and then, the fifth power, the particle which transmitting those are 『The Power of Recognition and Phantom Material』.[TL* : Force of Nature [Gravity, Electromagnetic, Strong Force, Weak Force, and there’s a theory regarding the existence of the 5th force but it’s still in hypothesis. basically it’s as astonished as the fact that beyblade is the most popular sport in the world(in beyblade anime of course)] [ED: I’m no quantum physicist, but I’m also no particle physicist either, so I’ve got nothing here.]
It’s not just physics, though this theory is overturning the world itself from it’s very root, since the invasion of the CE was an emergency case. Without the resources given for its research, the staff, equipment and funding, who knows if this theory would have ever been formed?
There was only a single thing which Ayako knew was a reality.
「Tendouji Ayato will be heartbroken for a while after this battle」
Though they can help him regain his footing via numerous means, they didn’t know how long it would take.
「Until that time, we have no choice but to fight the CE by basing our stratagem around the 2nd and 3rd years like usual」
The seniors who developed cracks in their heart after witnessing the power of holy sword would be used merely to stall for time once again.
「The empty hole will be filled by the other 1st years」
Even if the newcomers had little real combat experience, they’d be used and crushed for the sake of protecting one hero.
「Am I clear?」
All of the people in the command post nodded heavily to Ayako’s cruel order.
Even while feeling guilt weighing in on their heart, they knew that was the only way.
「…I really want someone to come and smash that idea」
Maybe phantom material picked up on this destructive wish from deep in her heart.
While strongly grasping Ayako’s hand as she looked up to the ceiling, Kyoko idly had thoughts just like this.