Chapter 7 – Uranus and Pluto
“This is a destructive weapon that can turn the entire continent into ashes. And so I vow to that I will only wield this extraordinary power to protect the people that I love. I swear this as the Fourth Princess of the Knight Country, Silvia Lautreamont! Appear, the power to destroy evil! The Dragonar Gun bestowed to me by the great Maestro Lancelot — its name is Arondight!”
Silvia recited the chant and summoned her Ark Weapon. Its appearance was like a fusion between a lance used by cavalry and a gun. Similar to the blue and silver Ark that Lancelot had created, it was a beautiful long-barrelled gun. Silvia analysed the design of the Ark Weapon in her mind. According to the blueprint made by Lancelot, an ordinary bullet was not suitable for use in this Dragonar Gun. Based on the design, the weapon seemed to use Bright Dragon Crystals as ammunition. So long as a crystal was mounted in, the Dragonar Gun would internally convert and use it as energy that could be fired. In addition, as long as Bright Dragon Crystals with different attributes were used, it was possible to launch various different elemental attacks such as with fire or water. In the part that was equivalent to a magazine, the Bright Dragon Crystals that Lancelot secreted had already been installed.
“Hmph. So what if you’ve become an Ark Dragonar, I’ll advise you not to be careless just because of that!”
The demon Oscar yelled loudly. Although there was still a fair distance between both sides, that voice was still loud and clear. Silvia didn’t listen to those word of spite, and she held the Dragonar Gun up with both hands.
“Let’s go, Lancelot!”
When the distance between her and Oscar was narrowed to only a hundred metres, Silvia pulled the trigger. Only a gunshot was heard — no, it could be described as a boom akin to that of a cannon which resounded in the sky.
“W-What is this!?”
Silvia was hit with an unexpectedly powerful recoil, and she staggered back as far as she could. Her entire body had almost been pushed off from the dragon that she rode, and it was fortunate that she was just barely able to stand. The Bright Dragon Crystal had turned into a magic bullet, and it pierced through the space several metres away from Tristan’s rear side. Just that was enough to cause Tristan’s enormous body to lose its balance. Because of the immense pressure generated by the trajectory of the magic bullet, even its body was pulled in. The one that Silvia initially used was a Bright Dragon Crystal of the wind element. She had only intended to warn Oscar with that shot. It simply wasn’t possible for her to open fire directly at Tristan with the intention to harm. After all, Veronica’s naked body was still buried in Tristan’s chest.
“This can’t be possible! Dragons should all have inherent limits set on the power of their Ark Weapons! Is Lancelot allowing its master’s possession of such a destructive weapon…?”
The smile suddenly disappeared from the demon Oscar’s face.
“Don’t be mistaken, Oscar. The Dragonar Gun Arondight is not a weapon of destruction!”
“Then what do you call it!?”
“This is — the power to protect!”
Silvia majestically declared. A fierce aerial battle thus began.
While riding atop the Maestro Fergus, Ash continued to watch the aerial battle between Silvia and the demon Oscar. The demon Oscar locked on to Lancelot and fired off an endless rain of arrows. Silvia accurately shot down every single one of the demon’s attacks without fail. The Dragonar Gun was just like the holy sword Excalibur, it possessed the ability to nullify the power of fate that was imbued by the magic bow Failnaught. On the other hand, because Fergus was injured, just flying in the air was difficult. As it was now, it was impossible to actively assist Silvia, but Silvia probably wouldn’t want him to jump in and interfere anyway. Ash’s responsibility was to protect Veronica in an emergency and to take her away from the battlefield. While keeping an eye on the battle, Ash and Eco listened to Navi’s explanation at the same time.
[The black crystal on Tristan’s forehead is actually a legacy of Nehalennia’s Underworld Dragon Family — Pluto.]
Navi used telepathy to speak to those two in their minds.
“Nehalennia!? Could it be something that Mordred did — kuh!”
Ash’s momentary astonishment caused his ribs to ache and he began to feel a dull pain there.
[No. It should be someone from the present era who used Pluto through genetic inheritance to cause this incident.]
“Genetic inheritance? Isn’t Pluto a stone? How can it be like a living organism…”
[Pluto is a magical stone of darkness, and it specifically parasitises on people who are known as <Pluto’s Children>. In terms of this kind of behaviour alone, it does seem like a living organism though.]
[The culprit who has caused this with the stone on Tristan’s forehead is a descendant of <Pluto’s Children> — the maid called Celes. Mordred has nothing to do with this.]
In any case, Ash couldn’t help but feel relieved upon learning that Mordred didn’t play a part in this incident. Eco also sighed. On the contrary, after learning that Celes was a descendant of <Pluto’s Children>, they were finally able to gain a clear outline of the entire incident.
“To sum up, the cause behind all of this is the thing called Pluto, right? So if we can just destroy that thing, then—”
[That won’t work. The Pluto that Celes has given to Tristan is attached directly to the brain. If you recklessly destroy it…then Tristan will die.]
“Kuh! Then what exactly can we do to save Tristan’s life?”
After going silent for a while, Navi used telepathy to convey her words again.
[The only way is to wait for Oscar and Tristan to break the curse of Pluto, and bring Pluto under their control. It’s just that Oscar’s consciousness has been imprisoned by Pluto, and it probably won’t be easy to break free…]
“What do you mean by imprisoned?”
[The demon Oscar is actually another personality that has temporarily been given form by Oscar’s negative emotions. The true Oscar is currently hiding in the abyss of darkness, sealing off all vision and hearing…]
“Then, so long as we can reach Oscar’s consciousness and try to convince her…then it should work? Then problem is just how to reach her consciousness…?”
[I can send your spiritual body to get in touch with Oscar. By going through the Dragon Workshop, I can send you to the place where Oscar is imprisoned. The key then lies in your performance afterwards.]
Ash was resolute in his determination and didn’t feel any sense of confusion. To Ash, it was sufficient so long as there was a way for him to reach Oscar.
“Alright, then please start.”
[That’s a rather quick decision. Obviously, I still don’t know if you’ll be able to come back alive—]
“Hey! If it’s such a dangerous thing, then you shouldn’t make a decision so hastily!”
Eco angrily yelled to interrupt Navi, who seemed slightly surprised.
“You don’t have to worry about me. And with the state that my body is currently in, it’s probably easier to be in my spiritual body.”
Ash’s entire body was still crying out in pain. Even when he was just talking like this, he would occasionally feel pain in his body.
“Haa…okay. But you have to promise to me that you’ll definitely come back alive.”
“Yeah, I promise.”
Ash clenched his teeth to endure the pain as he raised his hand to pat Eco’s head. He then shouted to Navi
“Please send me in!”
“…So Oscar is in this space?”
Having moved into his spiritual body, Ash examined his surroundings with wide eyes. It was a mysterious space. The deep darkness extended like a straight road indefinitely. Although the atmosphere was somewhat similar to the Dragon Workshop, it gave off a narrow and more enclosed feeling. Various kinds of scenes floated around and past Ash, and then quickly disappeared. It was like a slideshow consisting of numerous landscapes and portraits. After a while, Ash realised that they were all fragments of Oscar’s memory. It was because there were many scenes in which Celes’ figure was visible. The only person that Celes was close to that Ash could think of at this point was Oscar.
“I see. This place…must be Oscar’s heart.”
As Ash moved deeper into the interior of the space, the stream of memories began to grow older. Occasionally when glimpsing into these memory fragments, he could see Celes who appeared to be around ten years old. Memories involving Dragonar Academy were completely absent here, and instead, most of the scenery involved agricultural landscapes that Ash was unfamiliar with. The location in those memories were most likely the territory of the Brailsford family that Oscar was adopted into. After a while — Ash finally arrived at the end. A completely naked girl was curled up in the depths of the abyss. In terms of age, she appeared to be around twelve years old. Her long shoulder-length hair was tied into a ponytail behind her head, and she buried her face in between her folded knees. Although he couldn’t see the girl’s face, Ash believed that she was Oscar.
“Oscar! Answer me! You’re Oscar, right?”
No matter how loud Ash yelled, Oscar refused to lift her head.
[—Don’t get in the way.]
The sound of Celes’ voice was suddenly heard, and Ash was taken aback. All he could hear was her voice, he couldn’t see her figure anywhere. When he thought calmly about it, he recalled that Celes was currently manipulating Pluto. She must have used the black magical stone to transmit her thoughts.
[Get out, Ash Blake. Uriel-sama ordered me to use Tristan to assassinate Zacharias III, and to cause the downfall of Oscar. I don’t intend to take Oscar’s life away as well…]
“Are you serious!? Isn’t Oscar your precious master!?”
[…She is certainly my most important master! But I cannot go against Uriel-sama. That person brought me light. Because of my relationship with Pluto, everyone except for my mother alienated and rejected me, but Uriel-sama was willing to accept a person like me…and thanks to Uriel-sama’s assistance, my mother was able to have a normal person’s life. When I consider my mother’s future, the only person that I can obey is Uriel-sama…]
“Stop this nonsense! Uriel is obviously just using your mother as a hostage, and forcing you to obey him, right!? What kind of justice is that!?”
[I’ve long been aware of what you’re saying. But…I have no other way…]
After saying that, Celes’ voice disappeared. It was probably because she concentrated her mind on Pluto.
Oscar finally looked up and murmured with a sullen look.
“I…really want to sleep right now. It’d be best if I just sleep like this and don’t wake up…”
Ash was incredibly shocked. That melancholic attitude didn’t suit Oscar at all. Perhaps the positive aspects had all been taken away by the demon Oscar.
Ash couldn’t help but unleash his anger. In the real world, Silvia and the demon Oscar had begun a fierce battle. Although Silvia had become an Ark Dragonar, Lancelot had been injured, and it also should have consumed a vast amount of magic during the decisive battle. In terms of skill as a Dragonar, the demon Oscar probably had the upper hand. Calmly analysing the situation, Silvia understood that it was disadvantageous for her to draw out the battle. In order to win this battle, it was absolutely necessary to persuade Oscar and bring her back to the real world.
“Stop this! Your attitude has always been defiant and arrogant, you go around seducing girls everywhere, and you’re also a top-notch Dragonar — where has that Oscar Brailsford gone? What use is there for you to hide here when you have strength comparable to Rebecca-san!?”
Ash was swayed by his emotions and let out a stream of words. But Oscar was still unmoved.
“Hey! Didn’t you say that you were going to become the future King of Chevron!?”
Oscar’s fingers suddenly twitched.
“Stand up, future King of Chevron! Take Celes back from Uriel’s hands! Use your strength to subdue the curse of Pluto! Show your greedy side and devour the demon Oscar!”
Before he noticed, Oscar was staring at Ash’s face.
Oscar was still hesitant. Ash walked over to Oscar’s side and then pulled her into his arms without saying a word.
Oscar was so surprised that she couldn’t speak.
“I’ll be your friend! I’ll lend you my strength, and help you become king!”
Ash embraced Oscar even more tightly. Although both Ash and Oscar had left their true bodies in the real world, they could still feel the warmth of each other.
“Thank you, Ash.”
Oscar’s pupils suddenly reignited, and light returned to them. At the same time, her young appearance gradually began to grow. Her deep black hair grew to cover her back, and her limbs also stretched. The twin peaks upon her chest also bulged up plentifully. Oscar had finally returned to her original self.
“I’m going to step forward first, Ash.”
After Oscar smiled, she turned into particles of light that disappeared. She had probably set off to fight against the demon Oscar.
[—Ash, you succeeded.]
And then, Navi’s voice floated down from overhead.
“Thank you, Navi. But the next thing is key. Although I’ve managed to convince Oscar, I don’t think the demon Oscar will be defeated that easily. What should I do now?”
[Don’t worry. That thing can come in handy.]
The large arena of Dragonar Academy had almost been completely destroyed now. The task of evacuating the crowd had not made any progress. Although Rebecca and the others had done their best to provide instructions and direction, the crowd was simply overwhelming. Even now, there were still hundreds of people remaining in the audience area, and they ran around in panic. The number of wounded and injured was constantly on the rise, and this would only further drag down the speed of evacuation. It was a vicious cycle.
“Kuh…as long as aneue remains a hostage to the opponent, I cannot attack Tristan directly.”
Silvia muttered desperately as she was unable to think of a countermeasure. Silvia and the demon Oscar were fighting against each other at a height of one hundred metres above the ground. Meanwhile, the Maestro Fergus was hiding in a corner of the destroyed arena. Ash and Eco were both riding atop its head. Their original plan was to rescue Veronica when Oscar showed an opening. As a result, Silvia would be able to fight without having any worries. However, what worried Silvia right now was the fact that Ash appeared to be in an unconscious state. But, Eco seemed rather calm next to him.
“—It’s time to finish this battle.”
Silvia’s mind was were drawn back to reality by the demon Oscar’s voice.
“From what I can see, Lancelot is already at its limits. It looks like it could run out of magical energy and fall at any time.”
His observation is really sharp…Silvia irritably thought to herself.
“Also, I’ve thought about something rather important. I’ll go and destroy the Claíomh Solais in just a minute.”
Oscar’s tone was so causal and natural that it was as if she was just going to meet a friend for lunch.
“Are you serious!?”
The guests of the magic ship Claíomh Solais included the Chevron King and a large number of other royals and nobles. If that magic ship was destroyed, it would inevitably cause a lot of turmoil across the world. What angered Silvia even more was Oscar’s disregard for human life.
“Speaking of which, that guy has been hiding in the audience stands for quite a while now. Does he think that he’s been hiding so well that I wouldn’t have noticed? Although I don’t know what you’re all up to, I think it’s about time for him to disappear.”
After the demon Oscar mumbled that to herself, she drew back the bowstring of the magic bow Failnaught. The target of the drawn arrow was in a corner of the rubble — the Maestro Fergus.
Silvia rapidly descended towards that corner of the audience gallery. At the same time, the demon Oscar released the arrow.
“Please make it there in time!”
Silvia made an emergency stop right in front of the rubble with Lancelot and immediately raised her Dragonar Gun to fire back. The magic bullet swallowed the arrow, causing the fate of ‘shooting through Fergus’ to disappear as well.
“Kuku…I wonder how long you can hold out for.”
The demon Oscar began to fire a wild onslaught of arrows. Although Oscar’s attention was diverted away from the magic ship Claíomh Solais, the problem was that Silvia’s ammunition would soon run out. Lancelot’s magic was nearly depleted, and it was now impossible to ask it to produce more Bright Dragon Crystals that could be used as ammunition.
“Hey, Eco! Ash looks like he’s unconscious, what’s going on?”
Silvia deflected the oncoming arrows while she asked Eco who was behind her.
“Ash is persuading Oscar right now…”
Eco quietly replied so as to prevent the demon Oscar from overhearing.
“…Can you give me a few more details?”
Silvia also lowered her voice a bit.
“I-I don’t really understand it myself. Anyway, just protect Ash please!”
“I’d do that without you having to tell me!”
After Silvia boosted her own morale, she devoted herself wholeheartedly to defence.
At that time, the demon Oscar suddenly held her head in pain and let out an intense cry.
Just when Oscar let out a pained wail—
Like a diver who had just emerged at the surface of water, Ash gasped heavily as he awoke.
“Geez! I was so worried about you!”
Eco couldn’t hold back her tears as she clung onto Ash’s body.
The sudden pain across his body caused Ash’s face to distort.
Eco remembered that Ash was injured, so she quickly lightened the strength of her embrace.
“You’re awake, Ash! Quickly tell me what’s happening to Oscar!”
Silvia shouted out to ask from the other side of the rubble.
“Oscar is currently trying to resist the curse of Pluto — *cough*!”
Ash tried to get back up, but he couldn’t stop himself from coughing up blood again.
“Hey! Are you okay!?”
Eco’s expression showed worry as she looked at the paling colour of Ash’s face. She took out her handkerchief to help Ash wipe his lips and chin. The white handkerchief was instantly dyed red.
“Eco, please. Give this thing…to Princess-sama.”
Ash gave up on the idea of getting up, and instead took something out from his pocket. His bloodied hands held a single pink Bright Dragon Crystal.
Eco felt incredibly embarrassed.
“Yeah, this is the first Bright Dragon Crystal that Eco produced for me. Although I used it to summon you once, there should still be enough magical energy in it.”
“Why are you giving it to Silvia?”
“I heard from Navi. The Bright Dragon Crystals produced by Avalon’s Holy Dragons’ Emperor Family are very different and special, they’re called Uranus . It’s exactly the opposite of Pluto…Uranus has a holy attribute. And I want Princess-sama to help me with something…”
“How do you want me to help you?”
Silvia allowed Lancelot to move closer to Fergus while she kept an eye on Oscar who was in the air above them. Oscar was currently still in the midst of a painful struggle, and she constantly let out bone-chilling wails.
“That Dragonar Gun uses Bright Dragon Crystals as ammunition, right?”
“Then…I hope that you can use your gun to fire this Uranus.”
“What are you planning?”
“Lock on to the Pluto embedded on Tristan’s forehead…but don’t destroy it. If you break the stone, then Tristan will die with it. All it has to do is touch — *cough*!”
Seeing Ash’s condition worsen, Eco’s heart felt like it was tightening.
“…As long as I do that, can we save Oscar and Tristan?”
Although Silvia was probably quite worried about Ash’s body as well, she didn’t particularly express concern.
“That’s what Navi told me, and I believe in her words.”
After Silvia received the Bright Dragon Crystal, she loaded it into the Dragonar Gun. She sat on Lancelot’s saddle and pointed the muzzle directly at the sky. Will it really be okay…unease began to mount in Eco’s mind. Sure enough, Silvia’s arms trembled. After all, everything was riding on this shot, so it was no surprise that she felt nervous.
“Stop! STOOOP IT! Oscar! Don’t confuse me—…!”
But the demon Oscar’s shrill screams never stopped, and Silvia found it difficult to concentrate.
“…Can you…hold my body? No, even if you’re just touching me…”
Even Silvia’s voice began to tremble. Despite her usual imposing manner that displayed the elegance of a princess all the time, her timid nature hadn’t changed.
Eco sighed and then moved from Fergus to Lancelot so that she could hug Silvia from behind. Although Silvia was wearing her Ark, Eco could still feel the warmth of her body. Eco silently swore to herself ‘Someday, I’ll also build something like this…no, I’ll make the world’s best Ark for Ash to wear.’
“Umm…I’m not that happy about it, but I can accept it.”
Eco became enraged by those words.
“What did you say!? You wouldn’t have…originally wanted Ash to hug you, right!?”
At such a critical moment, Silvia panicked because of such a problem.
“—How about like this?”
And then, two arms stretched out from behind Eco. Those arms were much stronger than they had been when Eco was born, and they held onto Silvia’s shoulders.
“…Ash! You can already move!?”
Eco turned her head over her shoulders and widened her eyes. As he was now, Ash looked incredibly haggard, almost as if he was about to burn out.
“Haha, actually…my body won’t stay up for much longer, but the only way that I can help right now…is just like this…”
“Thank you, Ash.”
Silvia felt deeply moved by the action as she thanked him. For some reason, Eco suddenly felt rather disappointed.
“Hey, Silvia! You have to make sure it hits!”
Silvia calmly locked onto the target this time. Her hands were no longer trembling. To be honest, the way they looked right now was not cool at all. From the eyes on an unsuspecting third party — one would probably think that Ash and Eco were simply stuck behind Silvia who was responsible for the gun. Although it was rather awkward, it was warm. Sandwiched in between Silvia’s back and Ash’s chest, a warm feeling arose in Eco’s heart. And then, all that was heard was a single gunshot that reverberated through the sky—.
“The Two Stones ~A.S.B.1365.10~” is closed.
(All 5 of 5 parts) (26/3)
 Kanji reads as Holy Star Stone.
Continues on to Epilogue