Ar tonelico III – The Girl’s Song that Pulls the Trigger of World’s Demise
Vol.1 Chapter v1

Author:
Source: Platina

Planet Ar Ciel has been finally regenerated. Five years have gone by since that day, but the people of Sol Cluster still continue living in the Third Tower. Right now, the lifespan of Tilia, who is also the Third Tower herself is coming to its end. Sol Cluster is plunged into chaos now they have to face her death, which also means the disappearance of the Tower. To save the people, Aoto and the others have started a plan of extending Tilia’s lifespan, but doing this means she will undergo a tremendous suffering. A completely original story showing what happens after the popular PlayStation 3 RPG of the same name. Characters from the first two games also make an appearance and provide their help as everyone faces together the Third Tower’s disappearance. So, what will be Tilia’s final fate…?

...If we held such an event in Metafalica too, there is the possibility it could greatly cause excitation on the people.

“Ah, Aoto, Croix! Long time no see, you guys! Have you been okay!?”

“There is no point in you being here, is it? If possible, I'd like to be left alone”

Beginning ------------------------------------------- 3 Five Years Later --------------------------------- 13 The V-Board Grand Prix ---------------------- 51 The Three Origin Sisters ---------------------- 81 Convincing Tilia -------------------------------- 121 The Frozen Great Fang ---------------------- 161 Work on the Telomere ----------------------- 174 Sisters in the Binary Field ------------------- 203 Clusternia ---------------------------------------- 254 Sol Ciel ------------------------------------------- 275 Work on the Satellite -------------------------- 296 Initiating Dive ----------------------------------- 306

700 years ago, the planet Ar Ciel lost its surface in a great catastrophe known as the Grathnode Inferia, and the people who remained after it ended up clinging to the “Towers” existing in each of their three regions for their survival. These were the Soundwave Amplification Tower located in the region of Sol Ciel: the First Tower of Ar tonelico, the incomplete Second Tower floating above the region of Metafalss, and the setting for this novel, the Third Tower that stands above the region of Sol Cluster. The Third Tower had as its original goal shooting the XP Shell into the Planetary Core, conversing with the Planet, and use said conversation as a means to regenerate it, but due to the Tower being created in an incomplete state, it could never carry out its goal. There were three great powers in Sol Cluster: Clusternia, the Reyvateil nation that existed on the upper floors of the Tower; the Great Fang, the mountain range protruding around the Tower; and Archia, the city-state that was recognized as an independent power despite being located inside the Tower and ruled by humans. And thus, the history of the humans being ruled over by the Reyvateils continued.

The humans of the Great Fang lived fearing Clusternia's oppressive rule. In a small village located within that region, Aoto from the Blue Canyon Hamlet met Saki, a girl who could cause [Miracles]. As Saki was being pursued by Clusternia, Aoto ran away from the village with her, and they saved and started traveling alongside a girl who used to work at a bistro called Finnel. As Saki was a [γ-Sublimate] created by the Archia Think Tank, she also carried the burden of being destined to neutralize the [Antibody Brain], the core existence to the Antibodies who constantly caused large losses of human life. On the other hand, Finnel lodged within herself the Antibody Brain due to the intrigues of Ayatane, who intended to completely obliterate humanity. Both also lodged many Wills of the Planet within their Soulspaces, which caused their life spans to decrease dramatically. Aoto and his friends sought to meet the Administrator of the Tower: the Reyvateil Origin Tilia, and by providing them with additional Telomere, their lives were saved. The life of Planet Ar Ciel was also nearing its end, but thanks to the encounter the Wills of the Planet lodged within Saki and Finnel had with Tilia, the party started working towards realizing the true purpose of the Third Tower: the Planetary Regeneration. After Aoto and his friends overcame several battles, Tilia remembered the Song that was used to create the Tower: [Rebirthia Protocol], thanks to Aoto Diving into her. The [Heart of the Land] that would serve as an essential component of the Planetary Regeneration was brought over from the Second Tower by Cocona, and thanks to her and Sasha, who had also come with her from Metafalss having made their greatest efforts, the Third Tower was finally completed. And after having boarded the XP Shell with the Heart of the Land in their hands, Aoto and his party were shot into the Planetary Core. After a final battle with the Antibodies, they finally could hold a conversation with the Planet's Consensus of Wills, and Ar Ciel finally accepted the Heart of the Land together with the humans' feelings, allowing the Planetary Regeneration to begin.

This describes the characters' setting as they are when they appear in the book. The numbers between parentheses denotes which [Ar tonelico] games they appear in.

Aoto (3)

A young steeplejack. After having saved Saki and Finnel, he was very deeply involved in the Planetary Regeneration.

Saki (3)

A Reyvateil who loves children. She is the being that personifies the [maternal side] of the Planet.

Finnel (3)

A cheerful yet clumsy Reyvateil. Her forte is astrology.

Tilia (3)

The third Reyvateil Origin. She is the Third Tower herself.

Harvestasha (3)

The Mainframe (AI) that controls the Third Tower.

Rikkaryosha (3)

The mayor of Archia City and wife of Hikari Gojo. She is a former Clusternian General.

Akane (3)

The Clusternian General. She and Finnel are childhood friends, and thus share a very close friendship.

Gengai (3)

The representative of the Great Fang. He used to be the leader of an anti-Clusternian organization called Fallen Heaven Peak.

Croix (2)

A Grand Bell Knight. He was a valuable part of the creation of Metafalica in the Second Tower.

Cloche (2)

The Maiden of Mio of Metafalica. As the head of the Grand Bell, she is also the region's political leader.

Frelia (2)

The Reyvateil Origin of the Second Tower. Shun is always protecting her.

Shun (2)

A digital lifeform that is extremely lovey-dovey with Frelia. He used to be human.

Cocona (2, 3)

The girl who brought the Heart of the Land from Metafalss to the Third Tower.

Sasha (2, 3)

A genius girl that came from Metafalss with Cocona, and who provided an invaluable contribution to the Planetary Regeneration.

Jakuri (1, 2)

Also known as Mir. A Reyvateil who long ago caused a tremendous crisis in the First Tower.

Lyner (1)

A [Knight of Elemia] from Platina, in the First Tower. He is the son of Commander Leard.

Shurelia (1)

The Reyvateil Origin that serves as Administrator to the First Tower. Her true name is Eolia.

Radolf (1)

The Bishop to the El Elemia Church, whose beliefs have Goddesses Eolia, Frelia and Tilia as their core.

Reyvateil

Women who have their minds connected to the Song Magic Servers, allowing them to craft Song Magic. There are three main kinds to them: Origins, Pureblooded β-Types and Third Generations.

Origin

The very first three Reyvateils created, they are the First Tower Administrator Eolia, the Second Tower Administrator Frelia, and the Third Tower Administrator Tilia.

Pureblooded β-Type

Reyvateils cloned from the Origins, which have a lifespan of approximately 150 years. Many of them exist, like Misha, Jakuri, Finnel and Akane. Origins and βs turn into water upon dying.

Third Generation

People descended from a human and a Reyvateil or their descendants that happened to have their Reyvateil qualities active. Many of them exist, like Cloche, Luca and Aurica. They must be periodically administrated a drug called the Life Extending Agent.

Telomere

This is an organ that determines how long a β’s lifespan will be. Since the Triangular Nuclear Loops can work stably for about 150 years, the Telomere exists to prevent any abnormalities from happening in the Loops' functions by terminating them before that can happen. Tilia is the only one among the Origins to be equipped with a Telomere.

Triangular Nuclear Loop

The being that serves as the core of the formation for the bodies of the Origins and βs. In a way of speaking, their bodies are maintained as long as the Loop [continues singing]. The Third Generations need the Life Extending Agent precisely because they don't have a Triangular Nuclear Loop. None of the methods used for creating and reproducing the model used in the Origins remain.

Heart of the Land

The being that serves as the core of a Planet. As long as the Heart of the Land [continues singing], the lands filled with abundant life will continue existing. Five years ago (during the game's ending), it was thanks to the Heart of the Land that the Planetary Regeneration was successfully carried out.

Metafalica

A floating continent that was born above the region of Metafalss. Many Reyvateils gave form to a Heart of the Land with their feelings, and thus they could make a reality the utopia from their legends.

Dive

The act of interfering the personal consciousness (Cosmosphere) of a Reyvateil to craft stronger Song Magic. A Dive Machine is used for this purpose.

Binary Field

The ultra-high wave frequency region of the Song Magic Servers. It is located beyond the areas where the Individual Consciousness Fields and Shared Consciousness Fields exist, so it could be called the Tower's Soulspace. It is impossible to Dive into it using conventional methods.

Maintenance Droid

Robots shaped after shrine maidens that are deployed in the Towers. In the First Tower, there are the housekeeping droid Meimei who resides at the Observatory in the higher areas of the Tower and watches everything that happens in it; and the Plasma Bell guardian Kanade. In the Second Tower, Rhaki, the droid who possess the strongest combat abilities in all history; and her side-grade Rheki are deployed.

A Planet that had been covered by the Sea of Death for many centuries: Ar Ciel. The people were unable to descend to the surface, and thus they had to live clinging to the surroundings of the three enormous Towers that extended far into the highest reaches of the sky: the three Towers of Ar tonelico. However, five years ago the admirable act of regenerating the planet was finally accomplished successfully. Below the now-inexistent Sea of Death, the people could see again the surface they had sought for so long, and the entire world was filled with enthusiastic happiness. However, almost no one of them thought they would descend to the surface and start living on it. Cities constructed on the outer walls of the Tower, an artificial floating continent that was created around a Tower, a gigantic mountain range that extended from the surface. Most of the population was concentrated in such narrow places, but yet they still considered these areas their home regardless of anything else that happened. And even if they descended to the surface temporarily, the only thing they found there was a barren, undeveloped land. They would have to relinquish all the essentials they had gained up to that point, and no matter how wide it was or how much freedom they had to do whatever they wanted in there, life was so difficult and inconvenient that no more than a handful of people ended living on the surface. It was due to these reasons that despite five years having gone by from the day the planet was regenerated, there were still so few people that dared to descend and live on the surface. The people that lived in Sol Ciel, which had the First Tower of Ar tonelico at its center, didn't find their current lifestyle inconvenient in the slightest, while the people of Metafalss, which had the Second Tower of Ar tonelico at its center, had just started a new life in the gigantic floating continent of Metafalica. And the people of Sol Cluster, which had the Tower that contributed the greatest to the Planetary Regeneration: the Third Tower of Ar tonelico; had ironically gotten too used to living in it and thus didn't want to let go of that lifestyle.

Yet they didn't realize that the end was nigh for their current way of life.

There were several girls called Reyvateils in that place, all of which had the ability of putting their feelings into Songs to use a mysterious power known as Song Magic. There was a country in the Third Tower of Ar tonelico where many such girls lived. It was called Clusternia, and while they formerly treated the humans as slaves, it was the country that ruled the entirety of Sol Cluster. Even now they had decided to coexist with the humans, the fact that Clusternia was the ruler of Sol Cluster hadn't changed at all. The reason for this was the existence of a gigantic room called the Harvestasha Module in the deepest areas of Clusternia, as it was where Harvestasha, the master computer that controlled the entirety of the Third Tower's systems was installed. Therefore, it was natural that Clusternia ruled the region due to the controller for the Tower's systems, Harvestasha being inside their territory. So whenever any incidents that involved the Third Tower took place, all the leaders from every single settlement in it would gather at Clusternia. The proof of this was that there was a large meeting room inside the Governorate, and the leaders from all its major areas had assembled in it.

The leader of Clusternia, who was also the Supreme Commander of its army: a girl called Akane.

“If Tilia isn't coming, then there is no point to this meeting. I'm sorry, but I have to get going now”

Aoto raised from his chair as he slammed his fists on the table.

There had been talks about the Third Tower being destroyed some time ago.

The enormous Dive Machine that was prepared for the conversation with the Wills of the Planet was no other than the XP Shell.

And Tilia herself also started feeling things were about to get dangerous, which was why she warned all the residents of the Third Tower that they should evacuate as soon as possible, but three months had passed already since she issued her last warning.

“You two know that if Tilia dies, the Tower is gonna collapse, right?”

“And I say the same”

“There is no need to worry. While steadily, the residents of Clusternia have started evacuating to the other Towers. It is true there are still some citizens remaining even now, but they are in stand-by and prepared to evacuate as promptly as possible”

This wasn't the first time they were warning everyone about the danger of the Tower being destroyed.

Upon hearing that, Rikka and the others started carrying out actions to evacuate their citizens as quickly as it was possible.

And while this was happening, a certain transmission from the people who were surveying the Third Tower got to their hands.

However, this didn't mean everyone went back to having the exact same lifestyle they had before the evacuation. The people who had their houses sacked by the sky pirates during the time they lived as refugees, and the organizations they were employed by originally were the ones who returned to the Third Tower before anyone else, yet there were a very significant number of people who were lost about what they would be doing now they had all their belongings stolen.

“I think you already know about it, but my approval rating hit rock bottom because of the evacuation we led back then. It's a miracle I could still retain my position as mayor, so do you really think I would be able to lead the entire population into another evacuation attempt?”

So now Rikka was barely anything beyond a figurehead mayor, as it would be no exaggeration to say that her influence in the city assemblies and her trust among the citizenry was pretty much inexistent.

While their methods weren't praiseworthy in the slightest, it was the truth that the hunters had caused the number of pirates around the Third Tower to decrease. Aoto thought this was something they all should be happy about. However, a bitter expression appeared on Gengai's face after hearing Aoto's words.

“I'll be going heading back now. I'm extremely busy at the moment, as we have to make preparations for hosting the V-Board Grand Prix in a few days, so I don't have time to waste in pointless discussions like this one”

If that was the case, wouldn't it be natural for their actions to put the people over everything else all the time?

“You don't really think that, right? I know you got angry, Miss Rikka, but it's disappointing to hear you say that!”

Metafalica, the floating continent that had been born in Metafalss.

Of the two, Cloche was the younger sister, and the one who handled single-handedly everything related to politics.

“Now you mention it, Lady Cloche's here, right? I've gotta go and greet her before she goes back. Is she staying at Clusternia?

“Well, you know, that's...”

Rikka felt the same way about that question.

It was then that Aoto and his friends thought that if they couldn't get all the people to escape in time, they could at least find another way to help everyone who was too late in escaping.

“I understand why you're so angry, Miss Rikka, but we couldn't just stay here doing nothing, you know? If the Tower really disappears, everyone's gonna die before they've got a chance to escape!”

As she was talking now in a calm voice, unlike how she was a moment ago, Aoto felt a little relieved.

“...Well, sorry to say it, but both Rikka and I feel the same. Honestly, this hasn't been fun to watch for me at all”

“Yeah, you might be right about it...”

Upon leaving the meeting room Aoto and Akane headed to a room that was located next to the Harvestasha Module.

He had struck the nail straight on the head.

Upon noticing it, Tilia turned around to go back to her original position.

But Aoto thought something when he saw Tilia sitting there.

And no sooner he said this; the door's buzzer rang again.

While she was glad to have so many different kinds, Tilia ended up troubled about how she'd manage to eat them all. And while she was pondering about this, Cocona went and dropped off her bags at her side. “Since you're both here, that means you already had the meeting with Rikka and Mr. Gengai, right? Did it go well?” Having Cocona ask him about it was what had been making him so uneasy. But Cocona could imagine very well what the result was from how he was behaving without having to ask. “Yeah, we gotta tell you about it. But I don't really think we could really call that having a discussion...” Remembering Rikka's words caused Aoto's heart to sink down. Unable to just stand around and watch how Aoto was, Akane decided to continue where he left off. “I shall take care of explaining. It should not take long, but even so, please take a seat”

“I see... So both Archia and the Great Fang said they don't care about the evacuation, huh?”

“It's true the estimated date has gone by and the Tower hasn't disappeared yet, but its unstable condition still remains. We don't know when the risk of the Tower disappearing will come again, so you'd do better to never go back to it”

“But Archia and the Great Fang aren't inside the Tower, right? That means nothing should happen to them like the mayor and the leader said, no?”

So maybe they should agree to just leave them alone then.

They were seeking a way to minimize the damage the Tower's destruction would cause to the people as much as possible.

“Besides, Archia has always been a very crowded city. Even if there were enough airships to overcrowd the airport, they still wouldn't be enough”

However, there was no one in the current Sol Cluster who had thought of building such kinds of airships.

“Got it. In any case, it seems that Miss Sasha and the others have decided on a course of action and were planning to inform us of it. Once they do, I'll go and ask on how much they've progressed on the airships”

The day a V-Board Grand Prix was held, the entirety of Archia was covered in a crazy enthusiasm from sunrise to sundown. The people who had bought their tickets for the event in advance made lines to enter the stadium and slowly disappeared into it. At their side, the place was filled with people who couldn't buy the tickets, and there were people who screamed they would be willing to buy them at double, even ten times their original price. However, it wasn't like they couldn't watch this V-Board Grand Prix if they didn't get to enter the stadium. As it was a national event, people could watch it being broadcast live either through their personal telemos or through the large monitors that were installed around the public areas throughout Archia. “Oh my, to think they would be even willing to buy the tickets for ten times their asking price just to watch the event... With this I can understand the popularity level the V-Board races enjoy” Said Cloche as she walked next to the line for entering the stadium. Rikka was walking at her side and smiled upon hearing Cloche's words. “It's because V-Board racing has quite the massive appeal, as it's a sport everyone: men and women, young and old enjoys greatly. Excuse me for my rudeness, but you have never seen a V-Board race before, correct? Lady Cloche?”

“I have quite a few times... But perhaps it would be more proper to say I have only seen V-Boards being used in special ways, as I only saw Cocona using one as a weapon while she faced off against a new recruit during the training sessions for the Grand Bell Knights Corps”

After the stairs, there was a small private room.

In simpler terms, the racers would run through the transparent tubes that extended throughout the whole course.

“Sometimes that happens, but we have placed defenses all over, so it'll be fine. Besides, no one among the racers would do something like that. They would fall to the surface if they slipped and went off the railings”

“More importantly, have you come to call Rikka?”

“...I'm not sure how to excuse myself... We have acted so unsightly in your presence...”

“This is incredible. They really are looking forward to the event beginning”

“...”

“Who knows? But honestly speaking, I haven't decided yet what I'll do. But since Tilia is the Tower herself and she's the one saying that it's going to disappear, I think we should do as she says... But as things stand right now, unfortunately we have no persuasiveness for convincing everyone else”

He added “It's troubling”, but Hikari Gojo had a very proud look on his face as he saw how Rikka was leaving the course.

They then heard steps going up the stairs located behind them.

“B-But... *sigh* You really have no remedy, you know?”

“...I’m not capable of doing anything that would wound her pride even more”

The start signal had his lights lit up in red.

The DW-Engines roared louder, flying before them.

It was shaking.

“...Ah!”

A violent shaking struck the entirety of Archia out of nowhere.

The spectators gathered in the stadium were going through the same experience Cloche had.

It was a sight that just couldn't be described.

“Kgh!”

There they saw a child slipping down as if he was tumbling around through the now slanted stadium, crying while he tried to hold onto something desperately.

“We must get everyone to a safe place somehow”

Not minding her, Cloche looked out to see how things were in the stadium.

Cloche was about to start running again while pulling Rikka by the hand, but she shook Cloche's hand off.

It would be a full-on panic.

“Well, can you think of any other cause for this aside of the Tower having some sort of malfunction?”

Cloche answered immediately, without even stopping to think,

While these words wounded her own pride, she didn't mind it at all.

But while Cloche said this, there was an additional reason why she couldn't turn down Rikka's request.

Several days went by since the incident in Archia. Naturally, the news about this spread throughout the entirety of Sol Cluster, so even Clusternia had initiated its evacuation. Or so it seemed, but since this had no effect yet on the city of Clusternia, its residents were quite slow to evacuate. The same was true for the restaurant in Clusternia, as only the cuckoos were still chirping in it unlike it was days ago. However, the large window-side chairs and table some certain tourists were occupying were the single exception. It was a round table surrounded by ten chairs, all of which were occupied. Tilia was sitting at the center with her back turned to the window, while to her right were Saki, Aurica, Radolf, Aoto, Cocona, Katena, Mute, Sasha and Finnel. There were several desserts and light meals lined before them, with Tilia having an extra-large platter of chicken steak filled to the brim. She cut a bite-sized portion and took it to her mouth, “...The sauce's flavor is a little too weak” She muttered in an unsatisfied voice.

Aoto and the others just sighed upon seeing Tilia say this.

“I'm feeling okay. But a part of the Tower disappeared... maybe it's doing a diet or something?”

Everyone else in the table couldn't help but think the same thing.

“Because they don't have enough airships, right?”

Sasha said after mentally calculating the answer as if it was nothing, but such a complicated calculation was impossible for a normal person to do.

“...They are so expectant, but everyone is going to be disappointed once they hear what that method is.”

If she knew how to do it, she would have done it already.

After taking a closer look, it was obvious that were many others aside of Radolf who didn't what the Telomere was.

The Telomere is an organ designed to terminate the functions of the Triangular Nuclear Loop.

And the Triangular Nuclear Loop is configured to have a specific time period during which it is guaranteed it will continue operating normally.

Once Finnel finished her explanation, Radolf nodded.

Aoto was already itching to do something, but Katena just shook his head.

However, Cocona was assaulted by a question.

“Aki? Why are you so flustered?”

The Harvestasha Module was a large spherical room.

That's why Harvestasha's shape was in the end a mere projection.

“Naturally. I'm always making great efforts to preserve my beauty, unlike a certain other someone”

But now they thought about it, they realized there was nothing that should surprise them at this point, even though they couldn't accept it from the bottom of their hearts.

He kept on eyeing Aoto and the others, who understood this even though they couldn't voice any words. Cocona then rushed in.

“...M-Maybe he’s going to rattle my head hard?

“Pleased to meet you... Sis Frelia”

So despite acknowledging that bond they shared, Tilia wasn't able to accept Frelia so easily.

Tilia had already reached the room's center before anyone else and was in the process of exchanging greetings with Shurelia.

Shurelia bowed and said,

Sasha screamed in shock.

“...Are you really Professor Sasha?”

An embarrassed Shurelia then glared at Jakuri, who had been the cause of this whole misunderstanding and was still broadly grinning.

“Tilia, does it hurt anywhere, or are you having any sort of difficulties with your body?”

“...Did she start hating me?”

“Deceiving the Telomere...? It certainly sounds like a surefire method”

“Well, how much Symphonic Power you think it'd be necessary for a Tower's maintenance?”

The one who screamed in surprise was Cocona.

This time the circle only covered the area around the Tower.

Aoto was thinking about which would be the most optimum place for the residents of the Blue Canyon Hamlet to go if they had to run away.

“No, I cannot tell you to tranquilize yourself. However, I shall still shoulder the duty of informing Sir Gengai about this”

“Huh!? Any of the others, you say?”

“N-No, we can't! The satellites would explode if we did that!”

“T-Then, can't we just send the energy directly to this place?”

Sasha couldn't help but agree with Katena.

“Please, calm down. That plan was interrupted halfway through. Besides, it was drafted up during the time my personality program was configured as an evil girl”

Three blue points appeared on the map.

As long as Harvestasha was giving them instructions, there wouldn't be problems.

While the tone of her voice hadn't changed at all, everyone noticed repulsion was mixed into it.

“Umm, Tilia...”

She muttered as she cast her gaze downward.

Aoto and the others didn't know how to respond to Tilia after she flatly refused to receive the life extension. Extending her life was after all the first step they needed to carry out to get enough time to evacuate everyone who was still in Archia. They had explained this countless time already, so it was impossible Tilia didn't know about it. But the fact Tilia was saying she wasn't going extend her life was exactly the same thing as saying she would just let all the Archia citizens die without even lifting a finger. “Tilia, have you lost your mind?” Shurelia walked to Tilia. “Are you actually saying you don't know what the refusal to extend your life means?” “If I refuse to get the life extension, I'll die once my predetermined lifespan reaches its end. Isn't that right?” “...Tilia, didn't you hear anything we talked about all this time? The lives of all the Archia citizens are at stake here!”

Tilia frowned upon listening to Shurelia's words.

“Is the organ that forcefully shuts down the Triangular Nuclear Loop once it has reached the limit for the time under which it can operate normally... You all know that much, right?”

And since her answer was correct, that meant the Telomere had precisely the function of stopping the Triangular Nuclear Loop's functions before the body started suffering such a horrible state.

“B-But...”

“I've already warned them. That I was going to die from old age soon and the Tower would disappear once that happened. That they should evacuate if they didn't want to fall to the surface and die”

“That may be the case, but you are still an Administrator, right? In that case, protecting the people regardless of how painful that ends up being is your mission... No, our mission as Origins, the reason we were born for”

If that weren't the case and Administrators were allowed to do whatever they wanted, they would blast those people who said they wouldn't escape with powerful magic and use threats to force them to leave.

“It's all because I had almost not data on the Triangular Nuclear Loops, and still continued on that path without considering anything else... I'm sorry, Tilia”

She wasn't capable of even hiding the sad expression she had on her face, but she gave up on trying to do so.

“That is unacceptable!”

“T-That may be true, but...” If they did so, Tilia would become a sacrifice. She knew she would end up living through hellish days until the instant her Triangular Nuclear Loop completely crumbled away, yet it didn't mean she wanted Tilia to undergo the life extension treatment if there actually was another way. “Lady Shurelia, don't you think you want to save Tilia at all?” Shurelia stopped talking upon hearing Saki's question. It didn't mean she didn't want to save Tilia. It didn't mean Shurelia actually wanted to tell Tilia these terrible and awful things. After all, she finally managed to meet again with Tilia: one of her precious little sisters. Yet still, Shurelia only said, “...My personal feelings and intentions have nothing to do with the situation at hand. Tilia must undergo the life extension treatment to save her people” Shurelia, Frelia and Tilia were all Administrators. And they all had duties due to being born as Tower Administrators. Therefore, shirking these duties was completely unacceptable. She knew fully well that telling Tilia “undergo the life extension treatment!” was exactly the same thing as telling her “suffer and agonize until your death!” And while she knew that, Shurelia still had to tell the little sister she had met again after so long these things. This was immensely troubling her.

But still, she had to say these things.

Since she didn't have a Soulspace that represented her mind, she had comparatively less opposition to Diving than any normal Reyvateil would. However, he entered a realm formed by her memories when he did so. The Dive they did was completely different from any one he had done previously, as the Dives into Tilia were done with the purpose of restoring her lost memories.

“We made our arrangements for evacuating as soon as we heard your warning, Lady Tilia. Even though we were searching for a method to postpone the Tower's disappearance until the very last possible moment, we still prepared several airships in the emergency evacuation airport”

She acknowledged how precious a life was.

Tilia placed a hand over her right cheek, where she was slapped.

She felt her left cheek get warmer, as if it was swelling up.

When Jakuri extended a hand to Tilia's face, she instantly noticed Tilia had put herself on guard.

“...Thanks”

She said without taking her eyes away from Shurelia.

Everyone else in the place couldn't help but feel pity for Shurelia when they saw her unable to reply back and putting up with the irritation she was feeling.

But Harvestasha herself didn't really agree with it.

“The reason I want you to undergo the life extension treatment is for the other me... Harvestasha XP, who used to be the Tower's Mainframe”

Harvestasha XP.

That was the other Harvestasha that was within the XP Shell that was shot into the Planetary Core when the Planetary Regeneration Project was carried out.

“For XP?”

Tilia had said that she wouldn't receive the life extension treatment no matter the reason given for it, but this time her reaction was different: she had a hard time believing it.

When considering the feelings of her close friend Harvestasha XP, Tilia may have had a hard time deciding what to do.

As she really hated the idea, Tilia dropped her shoulders and sighed.

“Even if such a situation came to pass, I don't think you would ever do something of this sort. And even if you had to face such circumstances, I would ask you to please disregard such things”

“T-Then I'll go too! I may be able to help you with something, Tilia”

Now Tilia was absent from the meeting.

“ would be the satellite's repairs... But Mr. Radolf, you said we can take some of the airship construction staff members with us, right? About how many?

“...I think it would be impossible to do right away. We would need to change the Symphonic Power routes before we could supply this Tower. And for that, we would have to break through the Tower's security”

“Now you say it, I'm actually surprised I can't deny that”

Jakuri's reply to that was a malicious smile.

So maybe it would be for the best that they installed it in Clusternia, since they could get to its highest point right away?

“I want you to assist me, Finnel”

“That's a pretty important job. Don't worry and leave things here to us”

What she had just said were words coming from the bottom of her heart, but neither anyone in the room or Shurelia herself realized it.

“Well then, let's head for the satellite right away. Aurica, let's go”

Aoto remembered having heard the Platina name.

“The Symphonic Power transmission controls are in a place protected by the strongest state-of-the-art security that can be found in the whole Tower. Honestly, I am thinking that destroying such strong protections is going to be impossible even if Lyner is helping us”

“There's a woman called Lakra in there. She's got a professional level knowledge on the Binary Field, so she should be very helpful”

A few days went by after the Musical Corridor's power output was halved. As an effect of the limiting to its effect area, the Great Fang completely changed into a frozen land. The Great Fang was already in the border of the Musical Corridor's effect to start with, so it was a land in which temperatures in it were always low and that constantly got swept by strong winds. Now the conditions on it had become even harsher, it turned into a group of snowy mountains enshrouded by blizzards. Given it was a place in which life was pretty difficult already, it had now become completely inhospitable to the people. So they had no other place in they could head into to escape the blizzards and cold that weren't the caves. Many refugees from Archia had also come to and gathered in the large city that was located in the Great Fang's caves: the Eternus Shaft.

“...There's so many of these guys now”

But Eternus was now in a state where even walking around was difficult.

Gengai was working very hard on making and implementing measures for the inhabitants of the Great Fang, so he still hadn't heard the full details on the disaster that took place in Archia.

And as if running away to the surface wasn't an option, more and more new refugees were coming to the city.

She was the landlady of the Yokkora Bistro, a woman everyone affectionately called Mrs. Lu.

“The stores can't work anymore because they set up their tents in front...”

The guard said “Understood!” and ran into the crowd.

The first one was that time had barely gone by since the surface was regenerated, so it suffered from frequent earthquakes.

“It's not like it could be helped. I'd have to hang myself if I didn't”

In short, this was what Gengai wanted to say.

“Gengai, sir!”

“...Just a little food's fine. These are rations after all, so we don't need to give 'em enough to fill up their stomachs”

“Okay, time to get goin'. If anythin' comes up, call me”

Or maybe it was Akane, the Supreme Commander of Clusternia.

All the members of the team that would work on deceiving the Telomere had gathered at the Rinkernator, which was located far above in the upper zones of the Tower. Its center had a Symphonic Power plug that connected the upper and lower parts of the Tower, but at that point it was disconnected. The disconnection of the plug was done so they could bring out the two Dive Pods that were enclosed inside of it. These pods weren't like the ones installed in standard Dive Shops, as they were special ones equipped with the devices and systems necessary for the Administrator's change of guard. And now, Katena, Sasha and Shurelia were in the middle of performing the final adjustments. It had been several hours since they started working. And during that time, Tilia had just kept on gazing at the scenery that could be viewed from there while she gnawed on the large amount of agepan they had bought before coming to this place. But even so, she couldn't see anything but the clouds that stretched below them and a gloomy sky.

Besides, it's not like Tilia was looking around to enjoy the view.

Even though they had come along to cheer Tilia up, they both couldn't find anything good to tell her.

Tilia wasn't a life that was born from another person.

They couldn't even think “Are you okay just with that?”, but since Tilia said it, it really was the best for her.

“...It'd be great if they finished setting up the pods before they finished eating”

She felt that was the case because of how long they had known each other.

Shurelia felt the danger, so she stopped walking to Jakuri and instead continued glaring at her from the distance.

“What awaits Tilia is not just a functions suspension that can be fixed through a reboot, it's actual death. Moreover, she should just die in peace and without any suffering like she's supposed to”

The Wings of Horus.

The number of people that died back then was in an entirely different order of magnitude from the number of refugees that were still stuck in Archia now.

Upon hearing “the one who caused half the Wings of Horus to fall”, Shurelia understood how serious Jakuri was.

But while she thought that, Shurelia couldn't stay silent.

“...If it's for saving a countless number of lives, sometimes you have no other option but make your heart into that of a demon”

“B-Because back then... I remembered I felt sympathy with Lyner when he said he wanted to try persuading with you”

“We knew the feelings you used to hold toward the humans, and that is why I took a gamble on that idea. After all, the best solution is the one where no casualties spring up”

“Of course they are! Why can't you understand it!? We were born in this word with the goal of protecting the people as the Tower Administrators in the first place...!”

Despite how much the Reyvateils had suffered, they had chosen a way for them to coexist with the humans without ever having to resent them.

Cocona and Mute saw how much strength there was in the glare Shurelia was giving Jakuri.

These two girls who had ridiculous amounts of power were already prepared to start fighting, so trying to stop them at this point was nothing but a suicidal action.

But right as they were about to start singing, Tilia moved away from where she was covered by Jakuri's back.

The great power that Jakuri and Shurelia were emitting from their bodies quickly dimmed down.

She turned around, but Tilia already had closed her eyes within the pod.

“...I'm feeling the same too...”

Suddenly, Sasha stopped operating the console.

“Whoa! He's asleep already?”

While Sasha kept a hand on the pod's lid, she used her free hand to operate the console for Shurelia's pod, locking it so the lid couldn't open or close itself.

“Lady Shurelia, please leave Tilia to herself for now”

Cocona said this with such a serious voice that Sasha, being closer to her than Shurelia, was scared when she heard her.

“...I have nothing to reply back”

But given everything she had done since she came to Sol Cluster was antagonize Tilia, Shurelia didn't have any confidence that she'd believe her.

Then the lock on the lid was released as it emitted a soft sound, and it started moving again.

“...Why did she come all the way here?” Shurelia suddenly showed up in front of Tilia, who was working in the Binary Field. She realized right away she followed her by entering into the second pod, and an expression of annoyance appeared on her face as she thought “Is she here to annoy me again?” Shurelia noticed that right away when they faced each other, and she recognized anew that Tilia really hated her. “...I already figured this would be the case, but it's still painful to get a face expressing such a frank hatred directed at you...” While Shurelia thought that, Tilia had no interest on her and thus looked away from her. “U-umm... Tilia...” “I'm in the middle of doing my Administrator duties, so please just stay put” She didn't really care about such things, but calling up the Administrator duties was a very convenient phrase for her to keep Shurelia quiet.

As she guessed, Shurelia swallowed down everything she was going to say after Tilia said that phrase.

“I can't leave you alone, Tilia. That's why I'll be with you until you have finished deceiving the Telomere”

It wasn't unexpected to be shocked from what she said.

“That goes both ways. I don't get why you are so persistent about the humans, and what's more, about the mere ones that aren't friends, lovers or anything to you”

“Eleno was like a father to me. I was born as Eolia, but he gave me the name his daughter had: Shurelia, and raised me as if I was his own daughter”

“Unbelievable... But if that's the case, he should have just called you Eolia instead of giving you his dead daughter's name”

That was why Eleno renamed Eolia as Shurelia.

He thought that was a way for him to raise her while giving her a lot of love, but since he caused her to misunderstand she was just a replacement for his deceased daughter, he made her very anxious.

A few days after Shurelia started living with Eleno, she started calling him “dad”.

“...In the mood to start telling love stories?”

As she had these doubts, Tilia relaxed when she learned she was mistaken.

However, she never saw that man called Kurogane among them.

While he was her guardian, Kurogane never actually appeared before her unless it was strictly necessary.

“They time after I moved to the Tower of Origin may have been the time I had the most freedom. I lived alone in an apartment, and even could go to school... But I had no friends aside of Harvestasha”

It was a little difficult to say, but Tilia continued speaking.

“Given this, it's just natural that she couldn't understand everything I have told her” thought Shurelia.

And furthermore, Tilia herself had managed to get Kurogane's interest focused exclusively on her.

“...I'm sorry”

Shurelia lowered her head to Tilia.

After knowing the reasons behind Tilia having such a weak emotional attachment to the humans, there was no way she could order her to extend her life for their sake if these were normal circumstances.

“...Is she gonna get mad if I tell her something like I wanted to tease her?”

But that still didn't change that Shurelia saw Tilia as her little sister.

But now she went over it again with a cool head, she became conscious of all the things she had done, which were bad enough for Tilia to have all the rights to hate her. But since they all had been already put behind them, she thought she should be happy now.

“Okay. But what kind of stories would you like? I've gone through many things; I don't even know where to start”

“Hey, do you think everything's gonna go okay with Tilia and Lady Shurelia?”

She had continued working without stopping for a good while, as there was something she was worried about. No matter how much the others tried to talk to her, she didn't respond. She continued being deep in thought for a good while, to the point everyone was wondering what kind of answers Sasha would come up with from this. “Do ya think that's gonna be ok? These two were fightin' so much...” Given that Mute had seen them fighting so much until a moment ago; she thought Shurelia and Tilia couldn't ever get along. And as they couldn't get along here, wouldn't they actually be doing something absurd in there? Cocona also lodged these same worries. Tilia had already accessed the Telomere, and thanks to that they started doing their part of the work to deceive it. Everything was going according to plan and smoothly, but they started wondering... Did Tilia do this on her own? Or Shurelia started threatening and forcing her to do it? They were Origins, so they could have been able to control the pods and deceive the Telomere from inside the Binary FIeld. The more she thought about it, the more anxious Cocona became. Upon noticing that, Jakuri placed a hand on Cocona's head, who had still been looking at the pods where both girls were with a complicated expression.

“Huh...? Jakuri?”

But given their brainwaves had been settled down so much, it meant that Tilia had already fully accepted the life extension treatment.

“Well, what would you have felt like if Tilia had rejected the treatment?”

“I know how you feel, but there have never been any precedents for this. So not even I know what can we do about it”

From where Cocona and the others were standing, Sasha had been working with her back at them.

“So if there was a Hymmnos for transforming her into a Tower, there should be an opposite one to it too, right?

It was just as Mute said.

“There's the possibility of making one from scratch, but given the large scale this implies, it'd take me at least a few years before it was complete”

Filled with regret and anger toward herself, Sasha looked downward while she started biting her lips.

“A-Amazing! I think we'll need a few more hands, but if that's true, we should be able to analyze the structure of the Hymmnos Tilia has Installed within herself!”

“A-Ah, okay! We'll hurry up and finish the Telomere work as quickly as we can, so wait up a little!”

“As soon as we're done here, we'll go to Sol Ciel too”

“Darlin', how about tellin' Tilia and the others this?”

By the time Katena had resumed working, Shurelia had finished telling Tilia her stories in the Binary Field.

While there had been several people she couldn't remember anymore among the ones she had met during these many years, she picked and talked about how she met the ones whose stories seemed that would make Tilia happy.

She always felt she wanted to have more friends.

“...Can't I do anything about it?”

It was as if she didn't want Shurelia to say the rest.

Even though she said everything was fine, Tilia wouldn't look like that to anyone who saw her now.

There was no need to force her into the hug, so Shurelia loosened her grip on Tilia.

She just moved her hands again to surround Tilia's sulking figure again.

“Having great individuality? Like who?

“Y-Yeah...”

“Of course. No matter what you say, nothing will ever change that you're our cute little sister to both Frelia and myself”

Shurelia was surprised at how suddenly she hugged her, but...

“And sis Frelia too?”

Clusternia's airport was filled to the brim with citizens that would be evacuating using the airships. Even so, no one was trying to trample over the others or get themselves into first place to escape like what had happened in Archia. And it was because the evacuation was being guided by the Clusternian Army that Akane commanded, which made sure that everyone took their proper turns to board the airships. After Gengai disembarked the airship that had brought him here, he gave a sidelong glance to the Reyvateils who orderly awaited their turn to board an airship before leaving the airport. Given that most of the people had already been evacuated and the ones whose turn to evacuate hadn't come up yet were told to stay at home, the city of Clusternia was deserted. “This is bad. I can't ask where Akane has gone off like this” He had already come to Clusternia several times in the past, but the times he could walk through the city like this were so few they could be counted with the fingers. Due to that, he still hadn't grasped where everything was located. So he had no other option but to go back into the airport and try asking the girls that looked like soldiers. “General Akane? Who knows...? I've been working here since early in the morning, so I don't know where she is. But she comes by every now and then in her patrols, so I think you may get a lead on her if you wait here” It's true that could be a lead to her, but as things were now, Gengai didn’t have the time to wait until Akane came by. So having no other options, Gengai left the airport and walked through the main street. There were no other people walking around and all the stores he came across had their doors closed. While there were some houses that seemed to be still inhabited, the city pretty much was now like a ghost town. Not even the beautiful atmosphere it had from a being a city inhabited in over a 90% by girls remained. “...Archia and Clusternia're both fine, so what the hell they're doin'?” While he caught word about the slanting incident in Archia, there didn't seem to be any abnormalities in Clusternia. But there were still airships coming and going at the airport, taking the people away. So did that mean that something was going to happen here someday? Gengai didn't have much information at the moment, so he didn't know at all. “...Hmm?” He caught sight of a crowd before him. It was a squad of armed Reyvateils, so there was no mistaking they were part of the Clusternian Army. Given that Akane could have been among them, Gengai quickly approached them. “Hey, can I ya ask somethin”?

The girls turned all at once, surprised from hearing his deep voice from behind, and they were even more astonished upon seeing Gengai's gigantic figure before their eyes.

“Why are you all so flustered?”

“Before we do that, might I ask what kind of matter compels you to meet with General Akane? You may be the Great Fang's leader, Sir Gengai, yet that doesn't change the fact you are still a [human] outsider. I cannot just lead you to General Akane so lightly”

However, that decision was the actual misunderstanding.

They had set up tents and spread sheets in front of Clusternia's entrance, which made it very similar to the situation with the refugees in Eternus.

“But it's pretty quiet 'round here. It wouldn't be weird for some guys to try and force their way in outta desperation, right?”

“I will act as if I never heard anything... However, not even we are demons. Once we have finished evacuating all our citizens and the members of the Clusternian Army, we pledge that we will allow them to use our airships to evacuate”

“Okay, but hurry”

“It is just as you said. To reduce the amount of Symphonic Power the Musical Corridor consumes, it is now operating with a more limited effect area”

Gengai said this as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, but, “...The Granvart Gauge doesn't exist anymore” “...It doesn't exist...?” Akane nodded. “Sorry, but I don't get what you're sayin'. What ya mean by saying it doesn't exist anymore? Are ya sayin' it disappeared!?” “It did not disappear. It got caught up in the disappearance of the Tower, so part of the rail lines and the trains that were in service have all fallen to the surface” “The Tower's disappearance...! No... What about Tilia...!?” Akane shook her head. “She is still alive.... However, she does not have much time left” While Gengai was relieved to hear that, he still couldn't understand more than half the story, just like a moment ago. He had heard that story last time he came to Clusternia, but there was no basis behind it at the time. But now, Archia had slanted, the Granvart Gauge had fallen off and part of the Tower was disappearing. There was already more than enough evidence to support the claim that Tilia's lifespan was coming to its end. “How's Tilia now?”

“She is doing her best to save the people who remained in Archia... No, rather, she is doing so to not let the feelings Harvestasha left her be in vain... Sir Gengai, I am afraid I will need to explain to you in detail about everything that has happened to Tilia”

Gengai listened to everything Akane told him.

In other words, once the Tower disappeared, the Musical Corridor would disappear too naturally, which would make the entirety of the Great Fang inhospitable to the people

Gengai also realized he was asking for something impossible.

Shukure giggled at the sight of this.

“What? That's all? But that's a perfect job for us Great Fang guys!”

“Besides, shouldn't we get that installed in the highest place we can? The place I know isn't large enough for even an airship to land, so we hafta march through the blizzard to reach it. The winds are stronger than usual and the snow's so thick your feet would get buried in it. If you plunge head-on into territory you're unfamiliar with, things're gonna end badly”

“Akane, I got you're worried about us, but isn't it more important to do this successfully? Don't ya think it's a good idea to leave this to us?”

Besides, she needed to think it was more important to make this a success than to worry about both things at once.

The object he saw they were constructing in the door behind both girls a moment ago was no other than antenna.

There was an enormous Cathedral in the city of Platina. Located in the city's center, it was the building where the governmental body that ruled Platina had its seat. However, its exterior had a beauty that captivated anyone who looked at it. And the same could be said about its inside. This was particularly true for the room that was reserved solely for foreign VIPs that awaited an audience, as those who first entered it were overwhelmed by its beauty. Beyond an atrium, there was a hallway that had a carpet extended throughout its whole length. And beyond it, there was an altar where an elderly man was standing. This man was the commander-in-chief of Platina: Leard Barsett. As he was the man who ruled over the entirety of Platina, he exuded an intimidating air that overwhelmed even that of the Grand Cathedral itself. He was currently in the middle of an audience with the people that had arrived from outside Sol Ciel. Before Leard there were two men and a woman standing.

One of the men was Aoto, who had come from Sol Cluster. There weren't any buildings like the Grand Cathedral in the region of Sol Cluster he was born in. Maybe it was because of that or because of how overwhelming the place's solemn atmosphere was, but he had his gaze wandering all over the Cathedral's inside. “Aoto, was it?” “Huh!? Y-Yes!” Surprised by how suddenly Leard called him, Aoto straightened himself up. A smile formed in Leard's lips upon seeing this. “There is no need for you to be so tense. You are one of your guests, so please relax yourself a little” “T-Thanks... Ah, no, it's just there're no places with that feel like this anywhere in Sol Cluster, so I got all nervous and...” Instead of thinking to answer in a calmer way, nervousness got the best of him and left him unable to talk properly. Deciding it would be better to allow him to calm down a little, Leard moved his gaze to the other two people that were next to him. “Croix and Lakra, correct?” “Yes, Commander Leard” “...This is the first time we meet” Unlike Aoto, Croix and Lakra replied with firm voices.

“I heard you two provided inestimable contributions to the creation of the Metafalica continent and that Aoto also played an irreplaceable role in Ar Ciel's regeneration... It is an honor that heroes of your caliber have assembled today in our city of Platina. It's unfortunate we have not prepared anything for such a magnificent occasion though...”

Upon saying that, he ran in, leaving behind the woman that was walking at his side.

“You saved me, Misha! It'd be awful to get lectured in front of Aoto and everyone else!”

After Lyner, Misha, and Lakra had introduced themselves in a way as simple as possible, they finally started talking about the problem itself.

“Well then, allow me to explain what we will be doing in the Binary Field. If there is anything you don't understand, please feel free to ask me any questions you have”

Aoto remembered how Jakuri said they would need physically strong guys for this, but after all Lakra had explained so far, it seemed they wouldn't be able to do anything.

“Even the security's gonna take form? In that case, we should be able fight these things. It's great, we can fight like always!”

Lakra started thinking what would be the best way to answer Croix's question.

“...Y-You're joking, right?”

She then struck both Lyner and Aoto's backs.

While Aoto had taken part in countless battles already, he didn't have any confidence he could pull it off this time.

“And I don't think two different entities will assume the form of a single one either. So we'll lure the security's embodiment away and on the meantime, we'll figure out a way to redirect the Symphonic Power routes to Sol Cluster”

“So, we're fine just with luring the security away, yeah? If that's all we've gotta do, it won't be a problem”

They had to make it a success no matter what.

“Even if we call them robots, they're not lumps of metal like the guardians: they actually look just like human girls”

Lyner replied with a bitter smile, and he was the first to get away from Leard.

“Commander Lyner, huh...? I don't know, I'm not sure that fits me”

“The will to do it, huh? ...Well, next time my old man gives me a sermon about it, I'll just tell him I don't wanna do it because I don't have the will for it. Maybe he'll leave me alone if I do that!”

Sol Ciel and Sol Cluster could be connected by a straight line. And a little outside of that line, there was an ancient and large satellite floating above. Untouched by the hands of people for long ago, that satellite had been floating over that place without ever moving, and there wasn't any rust on it despite being exposed to the wind and rain for several centuries. However, its interior was completely different from its exterior, and almost all its functions had stopped. It was filled with shorted out wiring, burned circuitry boards, and even several places where anyone would think that small explosions caused havoc. It even seemed the number of damaged parts in it were countless. Yet it still managed to keep floating until the current days. That was what Aurica and the others first thought when their airship docked right next to it and they entered the satellite. When Harvestasha heard about the satellite's condition via Telemo, she told them that it would be impossible to get it back to full functionality in such a short time. That much was obvious from the number of people that were sent there to repair the satellite. These were Aurica and Radolf, and six engineers that had been dispatched from Tenba and the Church. And when Aoto and the others went to pick Croix and Lakra, Chester also heard about the satellite and came to this place to help them. In total, they were only nine people.

And in any case, calling for reinforcements wasn't a good idea. While the satellite was indeed enormous, there wasn't enough space in its interior to allow even a few tens of people to work comfortably. Therefore, it was decided that their current repair work would only focus on two points: get the minimal functions needed for the satellite to work back up, and get its reflection plate working to allow the transmission of Symphonic Power.

“Ngh...”

He pointed at the place he had been striking at with the hammer. It had several dents from the many blows he had dealt to the wall, but there were also some fine ditches everywhere that extended to the sides.

Once the unpleasant sounds finally stopped, Aurica took her hands off her ears.

“Indeed. Honestly, I was frightened once I saw how badly this satellite's condition was. Maybe it could end up falling down at any moment now”

[Calling Now: Harvey from Clusternia Talk Time: 58:22:13]

Right after they arrived at the satellite, the people who were working on the satellite made a call to Harvestasha and kept it open for all this time. In other words, the Telemo had been working from the time they had reached this place: about two days and half.

[I can guess from the way you all are breathing that you can't believe me. Is that so?]

[If you repair the control panel by removing several of those wires and replacing them with new cables, you should be able to get this done before tomorrow's noon comes]

“No, I've slept enough and I'm okay. I'll do everything I can to help Chester get the reflection plate working again!”

[Well then, I will be giving you the instructions for the work you will be carrying out now, Radolf]

While she was preparing to go back to the airship that had brought them there and pick up the materials they needed, she suddenly looked at the dazzling light that was coming from above her.

And as if that wasn't enough, the effects of the Musical Corridor didn't reach this place, so the temperature was very low and strong winds constantly blew throughout it.

“Whoa, a-amazing! What's up with this gigantic telescope!?” The first thing Aoto saw when they entered the Observatory was the enormous telescope that went beyond the ceiling. Aoto had seen astronomical telescopes many times previously, but all those were smaller models owned by individuals. However, the one Aoto had in front of him was several hundred times larger than those. “I thought a place called the Observatory would naturally have a telescope, but I never imagined it'd be one so large!” Croix said with an astonished voice. “If you like, we could ask Meimei about it later. I'm sure she'll let you use it” “Meimei? Ah yeah, she was here, right?” said Croix as he started looking around the Observatory. Aside of the telescope, what caught their eye the most was a table that had a tea set placed over it. They didn't see more than a chair next to the table, so Croix wondered if it was for the maintenance droid's own use. Further in, they saw a long table placed next to the wall. There was a monitor and a console on it which seemed to be used for controlling something. However, what Croix was most interested in was the large pile of books that was scattered all over.

He got closer to the books that were scattered at his feet and started checking them out.

“...That is true, it's just as you say, Croix. Understood”

“...This girl's a robot?”

Meimei then grabbed her own neck, as if she was going to do something.

Meimei then turned to Aoto, who was still looking at her with doubtful eyes.

After saying this, Meimei started running further inside the wall.

When Lyner saw the young man's face, he said,

“Got it. No, it's just that I knew a guy that looked just like you, so I thought it was that. Sorry for asking weird questions”

The Mir's Echo Incident.

“I'll just devote myself to supporting you from the outside with Meimei and the others. So please Misha, support Lyner and everyone else with your Song Magic in my place”

“...Huh?”

Aoto suddenly opened his eyes and found himself floating in the middle of the pitch-black darkness.

But as they were talking, Lyner, Misha and Lakra appeared between them.

Instantly, a fluorescent light started shining from above them as a clicking sound was heard.

“If you've got memories with this place, does that mean you've come here before?”

And there were signs placed all over their walls.

After Aoto and the others left the building, they walked through the back alleys in direction to the main avenue.

“No, there is a very specific reason why I chose this city”

“Hey, where are you going? You know we shouldn't be walking recklessly, right?”

A wide street appeared before their eyes, and beyond it there also was an enormous dome.

She nodded in response.

Even though Croix was so flustered when he called out to him, Aoto had already distanced so much from them by that point that he didn't listen to Croix's warnings.

The girl had grabbed Aoto's sword between her index and middle fingers, using them to completely stop its movement.

While that happened instantly, Aoto felt as if he was living through that in slow-motion.

Lyner and Croix hurried to Aoto's side, and saw how badly the girl had beaten him up.

The girl's body slowly rose, and from behind her, something seemed to be moving under her priestess garments.

And at the same time they started running, the girl's boosters roared. Her body started lightly floating above the ground.

To Be Continued on the Second Volume

Ar tonelico III – The Girl’s Song that Pulls the Trigger of World’s Demise
Vol.1 Chapter v1