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last day

 Intermission: The Last Day of the Empire

Monica burned the sight of the blazing capital into her eyes.

From the roof of the palace, she looked over the scene.

"Five hundred years... we held out five hundred years, Lyle-sama."

Five hundred years. Monica who had watched the empire the whole time. She looked over the imperial capital. It had continued to expand, had become a metropolis that supported a population of three million, but now it was wrapped in a sea of flames, black smoke rising all around.

While the other Valkyries had applied changes to their bodies with the advancement of technologies, Monica alone, for these five hundred years... never set foot out of the capital.

And what she saw at the end was the sight of those carrying Lyle's blood attacking the city. Among them she could confirm the forms of Valkyries.

"To think they'd invade us so far in want of the Jewel. Having memories burn away is a lonely sight, even for an automaton. Even when the records remain in my databases."

The clock tower slowly tilted over before crumbling to bits. The fall of the bell at the top of the tower raised a terrible din.

Inside her hand, Monica was gripping the Jewel.

"... How unfortunate. There is no way I could accept anyone who would do such a thing as Lyle-sama's successor. This Jewel shall remain under this Monica's management."

Jumping down from the roof, she ran through the noisy castle.

In the decayed empire, the generals who bought their status with money were shouting at their men.

The officials were trying to run, and among them were even some trying to take the castle's valuable along with them.

Five hundred years. Monica had seen it all.

She had watched it all. She had always operated as one of the maids of the castle, and didn't even approach the inner palace.

The Valkyries distanced themselves from the inner palace as well.

Perhaps there was a conspirator in the castle, as the gate opened so easily. The ones on standby outside stampeded in, and raised a ruckus through the palace walls.

Perhaps they had strong ones among them, as the castle's knights didn't even serve to buy time. Even if there were those that could fight, they were singled out, surrounded, and cut down.

"They really did their research."

Monica ran through the chaotic structures, only to find some enemy knights standing before her.

"Maid over there! Stay where you are!"

"If you resist, I've no choice but to kill you!"

Two well-trained knight.

A fearless smile on her face, Monica grabbed and tossed them away. While the surrounding allied soldiers were surprised, they faithfully bowed their heads and ran off to fight another battle.

"They didn't lay hands on the innocent maid. They were good knights. So I didn't take their lives."

If they had cut at her without question, even if she didn't go as far as taking their lives, she'd at least have given them grave injury. Monica proceeded down the secret corridors she'd grown accustomed to, heading to the throne room to find the panicked forms of the authorities.

And his imperial highness... Lyle's descendent was placed on the seat Lyle once sat. Placed was the proper term.

His eyes were vacant.

Despite the ruckus going on outside, he didn't show a reaction. But there was a prime minister nearby, and ignoring the emperor entirely, the minister shouted out orders. As Monica approached the throne, the prime minister noticed. He was a man who got his status with money and authority.

"W-why is a maid in such a place!? Stand back, you're committing a deed of disrespect!"

Monica narrowed her eyes.

"You're the ones being disrespectful. Good grief, it takes quite the mind to think of these means. Even if the emperor is but a single governing system, doing something like this..."

He was once a wise child. Monica had confirmed it from afar. But once he had a successor, he was incapacitated with drugs, and even fed poison.

From his half-open mouth, a small, 'aaah' came out as he tried to say something. This sort of thing had already carried on for a number of generations. It had continued for half a century. The surrounding authorities. And the prime minister and those that took care of him, had made the emperor into nothing more than an ornament.

For that sake, the shifts in generation during that half a century happened exceptionally quickly.

Monica smacked the palace guards away and came out in front of his imperial highness. And getting on her knees, she deeply lowered her head.

"My deepest apologies, your majesty... From the founding emperor Lyle, this Monica... but at least at the very end..."

Saying that, Monica kicked away the prime minister who had drawn his sword to approach. The minister who fell down the stairs broke some bones, but he seemed to be alive.

And Monica quietly cut at the neck of the current emperor. As the blood spouted out, she let it shower her body.

The empty-eyed emperor reached a hand for Monica. Monica gripped that hand tightly.


With a face as if he had been released at the end, the emperor closed his eyes. Monica turned a glance to the secretly swapped out fake Blue Jewel before her own eyes.

There, the door to the audience chamber was broken down.

The form of four Valkyries led by the crown prince of Cartaffs.

"Your majesty. The crown prince of Cartaffs, Zerg, has come to save you. To punish the parasites nesting in the empire, and... woman, are you the one who killed him."

Seeing the bloody form of the emperor Monica embraced, Zerg stopped his advance. The knights and soldiers that raced around the audience chamber.

But Zerg who watched Monica was perfectly calm. The ones who flew into a rage were the Valkyries around him.

"Monica... you betrayed!"

"Not only did you keep us away, even his majesty... as we surmised, you were broken after all!"

"We shall destroy you by our hands!"

Blue armor, and white wing binders. In the space of five hundred years, the Valkyries had grown in power. Against them, Monica alone was at a disadvantage.

"It would be troublesome if I was destroyed here."

Monica sat the emperor down on the throne, took a tidy bow, and ran from the spot. She was more knowledgeable of the castle than any Valkyrie. For it had been remodeled bit by bit.

With nothing to do, apart from her regular work, she'd either tamper with Porter or tamper with the palace... such was the life that Monica led.

As she ran, she headed for the inner palace at once. The alliance army that invaded the castle had already reached and lain hands on the women and children of the palace.

"Kill them! The legitimate bloodline rests in Faunbeux alone!"

"Eradicate the blood of the Walt House!"

"It's Zerg-sama's orders. Do it!"

No Valkyries stationed around, the knights and soldiers could do as they wished. Monica hurriedly made for the largest mansion, and saw the knight who had cut down the legal wife.

The woman who had tried to protect her young child collapsed, not a single guard around her.

"I'm sorry. Don't hate me kid."

As a representative knight tried to cut the child down, Monica took a gatling gun from her apron.

"As I thought, you had no intent to save him. Unfortunately, I will not let you take any more."

Once she had felled them all, Monica instantly embraced the young boy and headed for the secret passage that led out of the castle.

All those secret ways she made in times of old had proved useful.

Escaping the castle, a long way off from the capital, Monica had come to a point she could look over the city.

The young boy in her arms, she looked at the capital. The city was ablaze, and reconstruction would surely be extremely difficult.

"Even after all his heart's blood he poured into it, it only took a few days for it to fall to ash. But as long as his blood lives..."

The child was too young to know what had gone on. But still he cried tears of sorrow. Monica soothed him as she opened her mouth.

"Lyle-sama, this Monica... has fulfilled her promise. So someday... once is enough. Just one more time, let me hear your voice."

Monica gripped the Jewel in her hands. The real Jewel she had received from Lyle all those many years before,

Fifth Generation Head (;゜д゜): "... What's this, that wasn't heartwarming at all. What's more, that was heavy. The hell... I can't smile at that."