HxH Vol 5 Prologue

Prologue


It was a dim room.

A bluish white magic circle was floating on the wall.

A thin light ran as if that magic circle was split vertically. The next moment, that light widened in width at one go.

“……Kuh”

The light pierced the eyes that were used to darkness. He avoided the light with his hand against the radiance outside the door and scowled his face.

“Get outside, Hida Kizuna.”

A voice came from inside the light.

Kizuna opened his crunched eyes and focused his eyes to the light. By doing that, he could see a faint outline of a person. That shadow of a person was pushing out its right hand forward. Something that was the same like the magic circle floating in the darkness was shining bluish white on that palm.

The door that was until now didn’t even flinch when he kicked and hit it was closed with a slide. It was likely that magic circle was accomplishing the role of a key.

He confirmed his own appearance by the light that was shining in. After his Heart Hybrid Gear was removed by Zeros’s Forbidden Armament [Code Breaker], he was soon taken captive by the imperial guard of Vatlantis. Thanks to that, he was still in his tattered pilot suit.

His wound from being thoroughly whipped by Zelcyone hurt. But, it was fortunate that he was given treatment before he was thrown alone into this cell. His left leg that was pierced by a sword was also wrapped in bandage.

After he rose from the simple bed, sharp pain traveled his leg. As if to ascertain it, he took a single step with his left leg and put his weight on it. It was quiet painful, but he could walk.

Kizuna looked around the single cell with width of four and a half tatami. Whether it was the bed or the tray, it was a room that was molded from a single material that was like plastic. The lighting was only a single lamp on the wall that was like a LED. There was nothing else.

How long had he been confined here he wondered? Five hours……no, perhaps eight hours. He was locked inside a dim room, so his feeling of time was blurred.

“What are you doing? Get out quickly.”

He could hear an irritated voice. His eyes were mostly used to light now, so he could confirm the owner of the voice.

Her hair was blonde in bob-style that was worn in braids. Her amazingly well-ordered face had the beauty and cuteness of a western doll coexisting in it. However as if to reject those two factors, her right eye was hidden by an eye patch. He could understand that she was a member of the imperial guard by the uniform she was wearing.

‘――This woman was the one that threw me into the cell. If I’m not mistaken……she was called Clayda of Quartum.’

Her appearance was around the same age like Kizuna, but her appearance had strange presence and pressure. It was likely that she had survived much scenes of carnage. After piling up a journey that she had walked and experienced, compressing it, that body was now built up by density far higher than normal people.

This Clayda of Quartum that was clad in a dangerous air would show unbecoming foolishness if she was in front of Zelcyone. But, from her current bearing, such thing couldn’t be imagined even for a bit coming from her.

Kizuna exited the cell while being cautious of Clayda. The outside was a long corridor. Similar with the solitary cell, a pure white corridor without any decoration was continuing endlessly. And then, similar doors were lined up at the left and right walls with fixed interval between them.

‘Are Himekawa, Yurishia, and the others also locked up here?

And then……what about Aine?

What happened to Aine?’

Clayda was leaning on the wall and stared at Kizuna suspiciously. One of her hands was holding a scabbard that was greatly curved like a crescent moon.

“Oi, Clayda……right? I have something I want to――”

Suddenly something cold could be felt on his throat.

“!? ……-”

A sharp blade almost cut off Kizuna’s neck. The sword that was drawn out from the scabbard that Clayda held was surprisingly thin and long. That elegant sword that was extremely curved like a crescent moon, he didn’t understand at all just when it was drawn, and when it was swung. He didn’t notice a single gesture or even any presence.

Sweat floated on Kizuna’s forehead.

‘If she felt like it, I’ll be cut down instantly.’

“Kizuna. I’ll say it one more time. Don’t try to do anything unnecessary.”

Clayda stared at Kizuna with her only eye. There was no anger or hate in that eye. For Clayda, Kizuna was not an important existence or even a dangerous existence.

“Yeah……I understand your skill……besides I cannot equip my Heart Hybrid Gear, I got no way to resist here.”

Kizuna slowly raised his right hand and displayed the bracelet that was fitted on his arm.

“It’s the fault of this thing right? No matter how much I yelled, I cannot equip my Heart Hybrid Gear.”

He showed his nonresistance, but Clayda still didn’t put away her sword.

“Oi……is there still something else? Rather, I want you to put away this sword already.”

With a single motion of Clayda’s wrist, Kizuna would have his throat cut and then die. His flowing out sweat followed along the sword at his throat and dripped down from the edge.

Clayda’s expression warped slightly in displeasure. Her soft looking lips opened grudgingly.

“Also one more thing. Don’t call my name familiarly, black magic armor. No matter how high a position you have in Lemuria as a magic knight, in here you are lower than the frontier savage. By all rights, you should have your neck cut off just like this.”

Similar when it was drawn out, the sword was stored back to its scabbard instantly. That sword which was close of being semicircular was sheathed back skillfully. Kizuna honestly felt impressed as if he was seeing acrobatics.

“Good grief……if only there wasn’t that annoying order coming out to not kill you.”

Clayda murmured in a bad mood. However Kizuna’s ears couldn’t catch that murmur. When she noticed Kizuna’s dubious expression, Clayda lightly clicked her tongue and pointed ahead of the corridor with her chin.

“If you got it already then quickly walk. Don’t make wait any longer than this.”

He had something else he wanted to ask, but it wasn’t worth being slain. Kizuna endured and began to walk the corridor in silence.

After progressing forward while harboring anxiety, he could see a small entrance like the ship’s hatch. His anxiety grew violent of what was going on outside. Would he get suddenly pushed down from the sky and below there would be a mountain of needles awaiting? While thinking of such things, he came outside resolutely.

And then Kizuna reflexively gulped from the spectacle that spread before his eyes.

“This is……where is it?”

A gigantic black wall that was towering high was spreading in his sight fully. The wall that gave him the impression of an armor that was shining black was higher than three hundred meters. The outrageously high wall was continuing until far beyond, that the wall far ahead looked misty.

And then magic weapons were heading for the black wall in an endless line. Just how many machines were there? The magic weapons that were creating an orderly line were slightly different from the usual magic weapons that he was familiar with. The Blue Heads and Albatross’ appearances that were like knights were the same, but on top of the armor color being painted in different colors of white and red, there was also a crest like a hemming or a family crest painted on them together with the splendidly refined ornament decorated on them. The magic weapon at the head of the line was carrying a huge flag, it was like a parade would be carried out after this.

When he looked carefully, the line wasn’t made from only magic weapons, vehicles that were reminiscent of cars and huge palanquins were also mixed inside. Even amidst them all, his eyes were attracted to a golden palanquin that was put in the center of the parade. It was a triangular pyramid of stair shape with a height of about ten meters. It was like its summit was cut off, creating a flat space. There a statue that seemed like a goddess and a chair decorated with gold and silver jewelry were put on it. Perhaps the main lead of this parade would sit there he guessed.

A level below it, imperial guard members wearing red mantel were standing straight, glaring at the surroundings without moving an inch.

At the opposite side of the black wall, behind the line there was boundless wasteland without a single grass growing continuing. In the scenery of the desolate land littered with fissures, wind was running through while rolling up clouds of dust.

“Don’t tell me, is this……the AU?”

He was captured in Tokyo and then he was immediately thrown into the cell of Vatlantis’s battleship. Since then he was continuously in a room without any window, so he didn’t understand where this scenery he was looking at was located.

He could imagine that the ship was moving from the slight vibration of the floor. The scenery spreading before his eyes was like the wasteland of Arizona.

Kizuna looked up at the black wall that cut off the light.

‘But, what is this wall? Who was building something like this? Or else, was this thing something that was brought along through the Entrance?’

When he dropped his gaze, there was a ramp that was stretching out to the ground from below his feet.  Ahead of the ramp was a car with a strange design, like a magic weapon combined with an automobile, it was stopping in place. The large car that was like a truck had its behind half like a box made from mirror, while its front half was a magic weapon that was similar with a horse. He guessed that the magic weapon was the engine substitution.

“How long are you going to stand around, black magic armor. Get down quickly and enter the prisoner transport.”

His back was pushed away by Clayda and he slipped off the ramp by a few steps in totter. He almost fell and rolled down, making him have cold sweat. Kizuna turned back to complain at Clayda, but she just pointed ahead with her chin to urge him to hurry like before.

Kizuna descended the ramp reluctantly, then he looked up at the car fixed with the glass box.

Was this the prisoner transport that Clayda told him just now?

The surroundings of the car was circled by the imperial guard, he could feel their will of not letting him escape absolutely.

It would be pointless even if he tried to escape now.

Just as he was urged by Clayda, he entered inside the mirror cage.

“Eh?”

Looking at the situation inside, Kizuna raised his voice reflexively.

It looked like a mirror from outside, but looking from inside, the box’s wall looked like a transparent glass. So to speak it was the same like a magic mirror. And then, the moment he saw the faces of the people sitting on the floor, relief and happiness welled up inside him.

“Everyone! You are all safe!”

Hearing that voice, the looking down Himekawa, Yurishia, Sylvia, and Scarlet turned at him with surprised expressions. And then, all at once they showed him smiling faces like blooming flowers. It was like colorful flowers were blooming in profusion inside the bland prisoner transport.

Yurishia stood up faster than anyone and hugged at him with a leap.

“Kizuna!”

“Owaa, Yurishia! E, err, is everyone okay!?’

Himekawa and Scarlet, and Sylvia too raised their body and directed at him their happy faces. All of them were similar to Kizuna, they were in pilot suits covered all over with wounds. There were many tears here and there, so the pilot suit that had been sexy from the start, now became an excessively suggestive clothing.

The corners of Himekawa’s eyes were slightly teary, and she smiled as if she was relieved from the bottom of her heart.

“Kizuna-kun yourself……I’m glad you are safe.”

She softly wiped her tears with her fingertip, then in a complete change she glared at Yurishia who was hugging Kizuna.

“That’s that, but Yurishia-san! What are you doing taking the chance in the middle of the confusion! Right now is a time of crisis, so please discern of the time and place!”

“How annoying. Don’t be a hindrance in this moving scene of reunion Hayuru.”

Yurishia didn’t mind it and pressed her breasts that were nearly bared to Kizuna. The huge breasts were crushed tenderly on him, transmitting soft pressure to Kizuna’s chest.

Scarlet that was watching that also looked daggers on Yurishia and lost her temper.

“What are you saying-! This is the scene of the moving reunion between me and Kizuna!”

Scarlet slipped through Himekawa’s side and she too jumped at Kizuna. She quarreled with Yurishia for a spot and hanged on Kizuna.

“Uu……the, the both of you are not fair desuu. Sylvia too……”

Sylvia too hugged around Kizuna’s waist with a face that was going to cry. Yurishia and Scarlet were hugging at him, so there was no other empty space. However due to that, Sylvia’s pose looked like she was burying her face on Kizuna’s groin.

“Wha-, what shameless thing all of you are doing―!”

Himekawa’s fury exploded.

“O, oi, everyone, I got it already! Release me a little!”

Regardless of Kizuna’s desperate appeal, the three kept clinging at him and wouldn’t let go.

“Why don’t all of you have any air of tension! Never mind that, just separate from himm!”

Due to Himekawa who looked like a demon, the three were torn off from Kizuna. Himekawa breathed hard with her shoulders heaving while looking at Kizuna with a glare.

“So, Kizuna-kun. What kind of situation is this? Where are we! Were we taken into the AU? What is going on in Tokyo? And Ataraxia? Also, what about Aine-san?”

“I don’t know, even I……”

At that time the door behind him closed. The door became perfectly one with the transparent wall, making them unable to comprehend where the door was.

Yurishia patted around the wall to investigate, but she couldn’t find even the littlest gap.

“It’s the same like the cell, looks like it’s locked by sorcery or something……”

Deciding that it was meaningless to investigate further than this, Yurishia separated from the wall and returned back to Kizuna and the others. The state where she played around just now was hidden, the color of her eye was serious.

“Then, how about we organize the situation. Scarlet, what about the other members of Masters?”

Scarlet pointed behind them. There was a glass car the same like the one where Kizuna and the others were in right now.

“When I was put in here, I saw them getting in the car behind.”

“I see. Anyway it seems that we can think of them as safe for now. Then, Sylvia-chan. Weren’t you standing by above the sea separated from Tokyo? How could you be captured I wonder?”

Sylvia curled her body as if to shrink herself.

“Sylvia is sorry desu……looking how the fleet of the AU appeared, Sylvia thought that Sylvia has to help everyone and returned to Tokyo desu……but suddenly a mysterious light enveloped Sylvia. After that Taros suddenly disappeared. It was already the best Sylvia could do to land in emergency just before Taros could completely vanish desu.”

Himekawa tilted her head with a difficult face.

“Is that……the enemy’s new weapon?”

When Aine used Code Breaker, Himekawa and Yurishia were under the magic of Zelcyone and lost their senses. That was why they didn’t know about the shocking truth. But the sight of that time had been burned behind Kizuna’s eyelids.

“That was Aine’s……Zeros’s Forbidden Armament’s power.”

Himekawa opened her eyes wide at Kizuna’s answer.

“Forbidden……Armament, what is that? Is that different with Corruption Armament?”

“It’s a weapon with special power that surpassed Corruption Armament……that’s a Forbidden Armament. Zeros’s Forbidden Armament [Code Breaker] has the power to terminate all enemies completely. Anything that touches the magic circle Zeros created will be decomposed into shining letters and graphics. In front of that power, whether it is magic armor or magic weapon or battleship, things that are created by AU technology will be completely useless.”

Yurishia lightly whistled.

“That’s really shocking, for such amazing weapon to be loaded inside Zeros.”

“But, Sylvia’s Taros is not a weapon of AU desu. Despite so it can still be shot down by Aine-san desu?”

“Aah, that’s……Code Breaker doesn’t affect just the enemy, it will also disintegrate Heart Hybrid Gear.”

If he believed Hida Nayuta’s story, then both Heart Hybrid Gear and magic armor was using the same Core and the product of the same technology. If he thought like that, then he could believe that it was only natural for both of them to be similarly disintegrated.

“I see now. Because of that our brainwashing was also cancelled.”

As expected of Yurishia, she had quick understanding. Putting aside Scarlet who was having a question mark above her head, they continued the talk.

“Butt, like they than that is mostly invincible isn’t it……after all in front of that power, no one can do anything, whether it’s us or those AU fellows.”

Scarlet crossed her arms and asked while groaning.

“Nn―……I don’t really understand but, doesn’t that mean that we obtained a powerful weapon? Then won’t we get the absolute advantage in the battle against the AU like this! With that there is no way we can lose anymore-!”

Yurishia sighed in astonishment towards the elated Scarlet.

“Yet despite so, why do we have to meet this kind of experience I wonder?”

“Eh……hu, huh? That’s right isn’t it, why is it?”

There was no one that could answer that question.

But, the sight at that time was left in the memory of all of them.

The figure of the general of the enemy, Zelcyone kneeling in front of Aine.

{Vatlantis Empire’s imperial princess, your highness Ainess Synclavia. I offer you my utmost welcoming.}

“That was……just what was it I wonder?”

In contrast with Himekawa whose eyebrows were knitted, Yurishia returned an answer calmly.

“If we comprehend it as it is, Aine is the princess of the AU……something like that I guess?”

‘――That’s stupid.’

Kizuna murmured so inside his heart. However there were also several things he happened to know.

Each time they did Heart Hybrid and Climax Hybrid, Aine said that she recalled her lost memory.

No, rather than calling them memories, it was more a puzzling image that floated inside her head. Mysterious scenery and preposterous events. The memories were completely like something that came from a movie. However, even if it was preposterous, it was not incoherent, but an image of a world with order.

‘So that was really a real memory.

Aine was scared to remember her memory. That she was going to become someone that was not herself.

And then now it had become reality.

Even though she was that scared, even though she was that desperate.

Have I ever seriously thought about Aine’s feelings, her anxiety?

In the end I actually didn’t listen to Aine’s words seriously didn’t I?’

He started to feel regret so severe that it felt like his heart would be crushed.

“Captain! Please look at that desu!”

Sylvia pointed at the front of the parade. From the deck of the battleship that Kizuna and the others boarded, a bridge was crossed towards the pyramid-style palanquin. When he saw the shadow that crossed the bridge, Kizuna’s heart *dokun* beat strongly.

It was a girl with silver hair and red eyes, her body wrapped in a white dress. That girl was walking between the lines of the imperial guard.

“A……Aine?”

That figure was greatly separated from the figure of Aine that Kizuna knew. It was not Aine that was a pilot of Amaterasu, but the figure of a splendid princess of a foreign country, who was obeyed by a great number of knights.

The foreign princess was not in a pilot suit, she was walking in a white dress that elegantly fluttered in the wind. In exchange for a headset on her head, there was a beautifully shining golden tiara decorated in her hair.

It was a beauty that could make him mistake that this was the entrance of a fairy princess in the middle of a movie.

However there was sadness somewhere in her eyes that was slightly dropped down, her gait also looked heavy.

The Amaterasu members were staring at that procession with a held breath. Seeming unable to bear the silence, Scarlet let out a bright voice that was out of place.

“Ahaha, she looks similar to Aine somehow doesn’t she! We, well, their atmosphere is different somehow, guess that’s someone different though! After all, Aine isn’t supposed to be in that kind of spot isn’t she? Right?”

Kizuna was driven by the temptation of agreeing with Scarlet’s words.

“No……that’s Aine.”

――He shouldn’t be able to mistake her.

Aine lead the imperial guard that was commanded by Zelcyone and sat down on the throne that was put on the summit of the pyramid.

As if the parade had long awaited just for her, it began to move forward.

“Wha-, what’s this! This car is moving.”

Scarlet raised a panicked voice. The car followed the line, moving towards the gigantic black wall.

“It seems, that we are heading towards the other side of that wall. Is the place we are going to heaven or hell……I wonder, what kind of experiences we will be subjected under from now on?”

“Wait, Yurishia! Don’t say anything that will make me even more anxious here!”

Scarlet yelled with teary eyes while her lips were trembling. She looked like she was pretending to be fine, but she was desperately opposing the fear and anxiety inside her heart. Even Yurishia who usually spoke to Scarlet with a gentle voice didn’t seem to have the composure for that right now. She crossed her arms while looking up at the towering black wall they were heading to from inside the prisoner transport that was surrounded by transparent walls.

Himekawa too made an audible gulping sound.

“That wall. Looking at it from nearby like this, it’s much more……huge.”

The largeness of the towering black wall overwhelmed everyone. When looking at it from near like this, they understood that it was something built from piling up black stones.

“Ah! The gate opened desu!”

The vanguard of the parade reached the wall. So as to not stop the procession of the magic weapon that was walking in the lead, the gigantic gate with height that reached a hundred meters began to open. Ripping sounds and voices of a great number of people could be heard simultaneously with that.

“Wha, what commotion is this?”

Himekawa’s voice was trembling fearfully.

The palanquin and magic weapons lining up in the front became shadow and they couldn’t see inside the gate. They were approaching the entrance of the black wall. When the prisoner transport that Kizuna and the others were boarding entered inside the gate, the surrounding suddenly became dark. It was like a tunnel that was dug in the wall, regardless of the advance of the car, they couldn’t see the exit. The black wall was not only high, now they really understood that it was also very thick. Before long the front became bright.

Kizuna’s throat gulped audibly with a nervous look on his face.

“So at last it will be the inside of the wall.”

The screaming of the people and the sound that was like explosion resounded even louder.

And then finally the prisoner transport passed through the wall.

Light was pouring down from the sky.

“Uwa……”

Kizuna unconsciously raised his voice from the sight spreading before his eyes.

At the other side of the wall, an AU city was spreading.

It was the imperial capital of Vatlantis Empire, [Zeltis].

Magnificent townscape in Victorian-style vaguely resembling an European city. The difference was in the point that it was built with the same black material like the wall outside. Even though it was afternoon in the sky, it was like only the city was left behind in midnight, it was a strange sight.

However there was not just black color, on the buildings, the wall, the roof, or the surface of the street and so on, there were beautiful lines of light flowing, coloring the city. Those lines were the lifeline of Zeltis. That was the proof of the supply of magic power energy that was the equivalent of gas and electricity on earth. Because the city was black, it enhanced the beauty of the stream of light of magic power even more.

At the black buildings along the street, colorful images were projected on the wall to decorate the city even further. The images were projecting the letters of AU. Kizuna and the others couldn’t read the letters, but they were welcome messages directed to the leading actor of the parade.

Several mechanical blimps were floating in the sky, raining down particles and fragments of light created from magic power like paper storm. Those radiances made Kizuna and the others hallucinate as if this place was a dream kingdom.

At the two sides of the street the parade was advancing on, human wall was continuing endlessly. And then the gathered people were all females. People with joyful expressions, people choking with tears from being deeply moved, people that raised loud cheers. Everyone without exception was welcoming this parade even in various shapes. And then they sent blessings and joy from their mouths, they were yelling the name of the AU princess in appellation.

“Your highness Ainess! We’re happy to welcome you home!” “You are really safe Ainess-sama!” “Ainess-sama-, Ainess-sama! Banzai!” “Welcome home, your highness Ainessss!”

The blessings that were raised without pause were accompanied with the raining down fragments of light and explosive sounds from the sky without pause. And then, without realizing it, the flow of the march made their filling stirred up even reluctantly.

“……Amazing desu.”

The voice of Sylvia’s heart naturally leaked out from the great shock.

Kizuna too, his gaze was completely fixed on the look of the AU that he saw for the first time.

“Aah……so this is, AU……shocking, huh”

The city was well organized, it was easy to imagine that this city was built with proper city planning. Surely this was the main street, all the buildings that face the street looked like shops. There was display windows, inside were accessories and western clothes and so on lining up. It was just that there was a crowd of people in the front so he couldn’t really see well.

“Even so……are there only females here?”

Himekawa’s question really hit the point. Among the pushing crowd, there was not a single figure that seemed to be a man.

“Who knows……that’s strange. I cannot imagine, that all the men died because of the war or anything though.”

Even though there was no fence or anything along the street, even though the crowd was this enthusiastic, there was not a single person that acted in hindrance to the parade, like jumping out to the street or something. They were not savage or rude people in the least, far from that they seemed to be people with extremely high cultural standards.

“Ne, nevertheless isn’t this a great welcoming? Just, what in the world, is this?”

Scarlet made a cramped smile.

“Of course, there is no way this is for our welcome. I’m glad that the wall of this prisoner transport is a one-way mirror. If we are completely seen from outside, perhaps we will have stones thrown at us.”

Yurishia replied with serious eyes looking around the townscape of AU. And then her eyes turned to the front of the parade.

“The one welcomed like this is……there is no need to say it isn’t it?”

Kizuna also sent his gaze at the pyramid-style palanquin moving at the front. From the prisoner transport, there were the vehicles and magic weapons moving in front, also the huge throne was also in the way, so he couldn’t even see the figure from behind.

“Aine……”

He guessed that she was likely to be sitting over there, the former comrade that now had become the princess of the enemy.

No, wait.

It was still too fast to think that she had become an enemy.

He hadn’t even seen her face since then.

‘――Sayonara.’

‘She said that to me right before she activated Code Breaker…..I think.

What is happening, what is she planning to do.

I want to meet Aine. I want to talk to her.

Besides, I wonder what is happening on earth.

Now that we are captured like this, there should be almost no battle strength remaining in Ataraxia.’

“……Aine.”

Kizuna called that name one more time.

 

Aine who was sitting on a throne suddenly stood up.

“……?”

And then she looked around her wonderingly.

“Is something the matter, Ainess-sama?”

Zelcyone who was standing by beside Aine wasted no time to call to her.

“It felt like……I was called by someone so……”

Hearing that answer, Zelcyone suddenly smiled. She twirled her body to turn around and spread her arms like a gesture in a play.

“Right now in this Zeltis, there is no one that is not saying out Ainess-sama’s name.”

“I……I guess.”

Aine returned a troubled smile.

Actually, it was exactly as she said. The joyful voices that enveloped the parade were mostly calling out Aine’s name if one bothered to listen. The return of the first imperial princess who was supposedly dead after ten years. The whole imperial capital was raising a warm welcome for the miraculous return.

Aine didn’t think that she would receive this much hospitality, so Aine herself was also greatly shocked. However, she had a familiar feeling with this scenery.

“……Riding a huge palanquin, a great number of people kneeling……it’s exactly the same with the sight I saw in a dream.”

“Surely that’s the memory of Ainess-sama’s coronation ceremony.”

Not overlooking Aine’s whisper, Zelcyone answered immediately.

“Coronation ceremony?”

“The previous emperor passed away when Ainess-sama was seven years old. And then Ainess-sama was enthroned and made into the emperor.”

“That time’s……”

There were still a lot of parts in Aine’s memory that was muddy. But once she caught in to a slight memory and pulled it out, the memory would be clearly projected in Aine’s brain. Like that, a fragment of an image that she recalled from the Climax Hybrid settled into the timeline of Aine’s past.

“But, right after that I disappeared didn’t I? Then what happened after that……”

“The second imperial princess that is your little sister, Grace-sama was splendidly serving as your substitute but……”

Zelcyone’s words sounded ambiguous as if there was something she felt a little hard to say.

“What’s the matter?”

“No, although Grace-sama is a substitute, but she has served for ten years. Also, it was a situation where the fate of Ainess-sama was unclear without any clue. In the present it can even be said that Grace-sama is the emperor in reality. And so, there is also the possibility that Ainess-sama’s return will become a seed of conflict. It will be great if this is just a needless anxiety but……”

Indeed, Aine also thought that it might be something like that.

“I don’t have any intention to become the emperor after all this time. It’s fine if I just quickly recognize Grace as the emperor isn’t it?”

Zelcyone frowned.

“It doesn’t seem like it can be resolved that simply……besides, Grace-sama might not agree with that.”

“Really……”

Grace was the little sister of Aine that was two years younger than her. She was very cute, with abundant talent in sorcery, and most of all she loved Aine dearly.

{Nee-sama, play with me?}

There was no child of the same generation inside the palace. So when Grace tried to play with her big sister, she would come to Aine’s place. Even though Aine thought that her little sister who adored herself was cute, but usually she always said mean things to Grace against her better judgement.

{What is it Grace? It’s still ten years too early for you to try to play with this me.}

{Te……ten years? I cannot play with Nee-sama for that long……uuu-}

And then even though it was Aine herself who said the mean thing, but feeling pain in her heart looking at Grace who got sad was also the usual occurrence.

{It, it can’t be helped then. I’ll allow Grace to follow me. But, that’s only if you can follow me.}

{Yep-! Thank you Nee-sama.}

Inside the palace, Grace frequently followed along behind Aine. They would explore the inside of the imperial castle, when Aine left her behind while running around the courtyard, Grace would desperately try to chase her. When Aine jumped over the small stream in the garden, Grace would imitate her and take the challenge resolutely. But, it was the constant that she couldn’t reach the other side and fell into the small river. Even so, Grace would crawl up without paying attention to her wet dress and came happily to chase the back of her big sister.

{Nee-sama, read me the book?}

And then when it was time to sleep at night, she would come bringing her favorite book to Aine’s room.

{Really, I’m astonished that you still cannot read the letters. Perhaps, you won’t be able to read letters for your whole life.”

{Is that true, Nee-sama? Grace won’t be able to read letters forever?}

Tears blotted Grace’s round and cute eyes.

{U……bu, but, at that time I will read the book for you so don’t worry. Never mind that, hand over the book to me. I’ll read it to you.}

Even though there were maids……yet even while thinking so, Aine read the book. However, she would doze off while reading and in the end they would sleep together in the same bed.

‘Grace who was like that……will she try to kill me as a disturbance factor?’

Thinking like that, Aine’s feelings sunk down darkly.

“Is Grace……healthy?”

“Yes. So healthy that it makes us troubled.”

Zelcyone smiled wryly. However, there was deep affection behind that smile.

“When there was conflict with the savages at the outskirts, she would be in high spirits and rushed there by herself. Of course, it raised the moral of the soldiers so we are thankful, but it’s a little bit troubling that she would take the sword herself.”

Aine leaked out a chuckle towards Zelcyone who really looked troubled.

Grace’s personality that was lively and reckless didn’t change.

The next gate opened and they entered into the inner part of the city. The attire of the people lining up on the roadside and the city’s state became a step more luxurious. This was the area where the wealthy lived.

“Also……Zel.”

“Yes?”

“Everyone……the prisoners that we captured in Lemuria, is there no problem with them? You didn’t cause any harm to them right?”

“We are giving them the highest treatment as prisoners. We fixed them with interference for equipping magic armor, but that’s all. If there is any inconvenience……then I think it’s only about the meal. There is the possibility that the ingredients here can be poison to them, so unfortunately we avoided giving them food. We are planning to take them into custody in the special cells exclusive for magic knights at the palace, so we will give them the meal after asking Nayuta about the ingredients that are safe to eat.”

“I understand.”

Aine nodded in relief.

“……Ainess-sama, it seems that you are exceedingly favoring that magic knight called Kizuna aren’t you?”

“Eh!? The, there is no such thing! He is a pervert that would make an outrageous coercion in a classroom or the grand auditorium you know. He is the pervert king!”

“Then can I kill him?”

“There is no way you can-!”

Aine yelled with a red face.

Looking at Aine who was like that, Zelcyone felt anxious. However she hid the color of worry deep inside and showed a wide grin.

“Ainess-sama used Code Breaker for the sake of saving that man. You really wanted to save that man even if you had to erase most of the prided elite fleet of the imperial guard weren’t you?”

Aine pursed her lips tightly and looked aside.

“That’s……I felt sorry for that. Even I, at that time……had no composure, in the first place I didn’t think that it would be that powerful.”

Zelcyone shrugged her shoulder as if to say ‘good grief’.

“Don’t mind it. Fortunately, there was no deaths. Besides, compared to the return of Ainess-sama’s memory, it was a cheap price to pay.”

At that time, the parade entered further to the next wall. This was the city where the nobles lived. The buildings that looked like stylish mansions increased in number, the heavy use of female engravings in the buildings looked conspicuous. After they passed through this area, it would be the imperial castle gate next finally. The appearance was different with the walls until now, a splendorous gate appeared.

“The imperial castle of the imperial capital Zeltis……I really, have returned.”

Aine looked fondly in nostalgia.

The castle gate opened and the palanquin that Aine sat on entered into the courtyard.

A vast space that was unthinkable to exist inside the dense city was spread. Even though she was in the middle of the city, but it felt like she suddenly arrived in a grassland. And then ahead was a gigantic castle and the high towers surrounding it. The surface was covered with armor that shined black. The appearance was like the castle itself was wearing armor for the sake of battle.

And then, the thing that the castle in black armor should protect, was located at its back.

The tower that pierced the sky, [Genesis].

The square pillar with width more than two hundred meters was elongating straight to the sky. Its ends were spreading as if it was taking root at the ground and sky.

When she returned her sight to nearby, there were colorful flowers at the garden in front of the castle blooming in profusion. Flower beds were tidily lined up in the vast garden of lawn and stone steps, and then there were also several ponds and fountains.

The water spurting out from the fountains was rhythmical like a dance, the water’s shape changed, depicting enjoyment and joyfulness with various motions and shapes. Passing through the rainbow gate created from the fountains, the parade halted in front of the castle.

The front of the pyramid-style palanquin became a stair, after descending down, there was a red carpet spread to the entrance of the castle. Imperial guards and palace guards in formal dress were standing in a row at both sides of the carpet, waiting for the arrival of Aine. And then in recognition of Aine who stood up from the throne, all of them drew out the blade in their waist all at once and held them up in front of their faces.

“Then let’s go.”

Invited by Zelcyone, Aine walked down the stairs. And then the tips of her toes touched the ground. Finally Aine got down and stood on the ground of Vatlantis.

‘――I, returned.’

Nostalgia, happiness, sadness. All of those mixed emotions were rampaging inside Aine. However more than that, she couldn’t help but feel a large completely empty hole inside her heart.

An absurdly great feeling of loss. This was――

“Aine!”

A familiar voice called out her name. It was her name in the world of the other side(Lemuria).

“Kizuna!”

Aine turned her face at the direction of the voice as if something was flipped.

There was the figure of Kizuna dragged out from the glass-sided prisoner transport with both his arms restrained by palace guards.

“Aine! Let me talk to you, no, listen to me! You are――”

Several more guards crowded on the yelling Kizuna and held him down. Behind him, Himekawa and Yurishia and the others, her comrades in Amaterasu were lined up.

“Aine-san!”

“Aine!”

Her comrades were staring at her. However those gazes were obviously different with the gazes they directed to Aine until now. There was doubt and anger, gazes that were looking and appealing for something. Their eyes couldn’t understand of this situation and irrationality, looking for explanation from Aine.

“……u”

Aine turned on her heel and left to the entrance of the castle as if in escape. Himekawa’s sorrowful yell meaninglessly resounded to that back.

“Please wait, Aine-san! Please don’t ignore us!”

Scarlet ranted and raved with a furious heart.

“What’s with that! You’re putting on air as a princess?”

Yurishia’s eyes quickly became cold.

“No matter what the reason is, it looks like Aine has completely turned to the other side.”

Kizuna didn’t have anything to deny those words.

“……Aine.”

Aine was walking with hurried steps.

The voices of her comrades that she could slightly hear pierced Aine’s heart. Her steps felt like it was saying that she wanted to quickly run away to a place where those voices wouldn’t reach.

But, a lonely whisper was repeated many times inside her heart.

‘――Because, there is no way……I have any face to look at them.’


 

7 Responses to HxH Vol 5 Prologue

  1. happinezz001 says:

    Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Ky questions just increased dammit

    Like

  2. Dark Jackel says:

    Thanks for the prologue! Damn it, Aine! 😞

    Like

  3. frozendeva says:

    Welcome back

    Like

  4. antonio says:

    welcome

    Like

  5. jean says:

    where is the pdf version?

    Like

  6. waittttt……this is the entire frigging volume man……..do u know what break means though i wonder? THANKS….is what i mean to say though

    Like

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