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Epilogue

Epilogue

"Hah, the dream I saw last night was the worst. I think I'm going to give up on today's address. See, I'm sure it was a bad premonition."

When I said such a thing over breakfast, those around didn't seem to mind it too much. Monica carrying the food over, and Damien's automatons seemed somewhat excited as they saw the large portion of the meal that had been eaten away.

"This is what I'm talking about, this! Ah, at this moment we are sparkling brilliantly!"

Born to serve humans, it seems they were delighted at having fulfilled that duty. Before my eyes, May eating so much meat so early in the morning was...

"That's my meat!"

But Shannon pinched a portion and ate it.

"Isn't it fine? I'm still a growing girl!"

I looked at Shannon's chest as I scoffed. There, an eaten-clean bone hit my face. 'What are you looking at!?' said Shannon, so I sent a look of pity at her chest.

"I'm looking at your chest that hasn't shown any signs of growth at all."

Miranda munched on toast as she spoke.

"Shannon, quiet down. So what sort of dream was it, Lyle?"

Normally, it was Novem who reacted to me, but the current Novem would only eat and nothing more. Miranda called my name so I raised my face.

I wiped my mouth off with the towel Monica brought over.

"Listen to this, the truth is, last night's dream was terrible. When I woke up in the morning, there was a naked woman sleeping next to me, and... no, this is all part of the dream okay? Not reality."

When I said something about a naked woman, the slightly boisterous mobile fortress dining hall had grown silent. When I properly explained it was a dream, General Blois spoke uninterestedly.

"It's right before the decisive battle, so when I think of who could be sleeping beside you... we'll have to carry the bets over to the post-war period."

Baldoir seemed to feel the same.

"Don't use Lyle-sama to gamble. But having come so far, to be honest, I'm not sure what to think about you sleeping alone."

A little down, Maksim-san pierced food with his fork.

"... Can't you just go for Novem-dono? And I've already placed a considerable sum on her, so just decide already."

Please don't say it so carelessly. Damien took up the drink put out by one of his automatons.

"Having still yet to decide on a partner, it's quite Lyle-esque, or how should I put it... what's your take on it, old Letarta?"

Old Letarta who'd been eating heartily stuffed his cheeks with meat.

"Can I place my bets too?"

Damien called out an automaton and began relaying the current odds and contenders to the dwarf. I cleared my throat.

"... Anyways, there was a woman so I jumped to my feet. I couldn't see her face, but she was naked so I panicked, and Miranda opened the door."

Miranda looked a little happy.

"Oh my, so you like me so much I come out in your dreams?"

But I instantly.

"... She was holding a knife with a scary look on her face. I cried out, 'I'm still wearing all my clothes, so it's probably a misunderstanding', and ran off. A look in her eyes and I could tell. I was going to be killed at this rate."

There, looking at Miranda's frozen expression, Aria and Gracia covered their mouthes as they withheld their laughter.

"I-it's possible. Miranda'd really do it, that girl."

"Yeah, I can imagine it."

Muscleheads the both of them, they had much to talk about, and were getting along as of late. Miranda's eyes was taking them in. But that's fine for now.

"So when I ran out, it turns out I was inside this fortress. Running down the narrow corridors, I found Elza."

Elza showed a twitch, but it wasn't anything too large.

"She was running around looking for Gracia, so I pointed at Miranda. Yeah, she's scary, so could you hold her off some? I asked."

I felt really sorry for Elza as she gave a crestfallen look, but anyways, I continued on with the dream.

"I ran outside and see, there were armed soldiers around waiting for me. As I looked around, I saw Aria on a horse looking at me. Those were definitely eyes full of hatred. Maybe because it was a dream, I was being chased around as if I was a traitor."

Bearing a grudge I had slept with someone I was being chased around... but the worst was yet to come.

"Gracia was there too. So I ran to get away only to find Ludmilla in my path."

Ludmilla elegantly sipped some tea.

"So I got the drop on you. Looks like my dream self's quite competent."

"You were in a bed and sleepwear for some reason, so I ran in a different direction."

As Ludmilla froze, Gracia and Elza pointed at her and laughed.

"Bringing a bed outside, how competent... pff!"

"Yeah, how competent. We'd never be able to think up such a plan."

Ludmilla looked at the two of them, 'You know it's a dream,' she said in a threatening voice, so I continued on with the dream.

"When I finally got away and hid myself I found May."

May ate her meat and continued munching on it.

"Eva was on her back, and she was poised with a bow. Ah, these guys are enemies too, I thought and ran when an arrow came flying from behind."

Eva and May wiped their mouths.

"Archery on horseback... it's a bit difficult. Though I won't say I can't do it."

"I try to run without shaking to an extent. But I wouldn't chase Lyle around for something like that."

I know. These two understood they were low on the order of precedence.

"I knew the skies would be dangerous so I fled into a cave. When I did, I found Clara reading a book in a dark room. I've already sealed off all the exits, she said. And when she did, Vera came walking down the path I came with a smile."

Vera sighed.

"What, so you're saying I cooperated with Clara to corner you? No, that's a bit pushing it..."

Hoping she'd declare she wouldn't do it, Clara looked around at everyone's eyes in confusion.

"Wait a second. He's talking about a dream you know."

But Ludmilla touched a hand to her chin.

"The dark horse... no, it's possible."

I continued on.

"So I grew scared and somehow got away. In the end, I didn't know who I was sleeping next to, but I just kept getting chased, and when I woke up I was covered in sweat. Shannon came up and told me to wake up. Well, that was probably because she had come to wake me up and was calling out in reality. But I was so surprised I cried out."

Shannon looked at me.

"So that's why you let out a scream so early in the morning? How idiotic."

In regards to Shannon's smile, there an individual blatantly dropping her shoulders. It was Monica.

"F-for me not to appear in the Chicken Dickwad's dream..."

To her, Damien's automatons No. One Two and Three touched their mouths and laughed.

"I was being seriously chased around, and everyone's face looked scary you know. Hah, in the end, who was it... rather, a dream of being chased around by allies is definitely a nightmare. I think I'll give up on today."

There, having heard the story, General Blois rubbed his chin.

"Doesn't that mean it was Novem-dono? No, I mean the one sleeping next to you. By process of elimination."

Monica looked at General Blois.

"So you've casually taken me out of the running? The only one who can shun me is the Chicken Dickhead. I don't get excited at all if another treats me coldly."

As I thought, it really was best to ignore her.

Everyone's eyes gathered on Novem. But novem was a little dazed out.

"Eh? ... U-um, is something the matter?"

She stiffened in the middle of lifting her toast. There, Baldoir cleared his throats, and transferred everyone's gaze.

"It would be troublesome if you avoided giving an address just because you had a bad dream. Today's the day you invade Centralle, for Pete's sakes."

Right, the allied army had gathered around Centralle. Before the city that showed not the slightest reaction, I was to give the final address.

"Eh~? Let's make it a different day. It's a bad sign, I'm telling you."

On my lack of motivation, Baldoir's eyebrows were twitching.

"Not happening. We already have all the preparations together."

Well, I didn't seriously intent to stop it. It was just a breakfast conversation. I was quite tense myself, so I wanted to let myself loose a bit.

But at the very least, I could understand Novem was brooding over it even more than I had anticipated.

-

-

-

Once upon a time, my ancestor... the previous Lyle had attacked Centralle.

It was to eliminate the beautiful vixen, the source of the decline overcoming the country.

To speak to results, he succeeded in defeating Agrissa.

But the Bahnseim House... feudal nobles at the time, made off with all the glory. Pushing him off the stage of history, it turned out that the Bahnseim House saved the continent, founding the Kingdom of Bahnseim.

Perhaps out of desperation, it seems he had erased the records quite thoroughly.

From the start, my ancestor focused on nothing but Agrissa's defeat, and didn't advertise himself much to the public.

At the time, he had a woman he was dating, or perhaps married to, and already had a child with her. The Forxuz House's Novem of the time's attempt to take down whatever Bahnseim built up was a story lost to the ages. The woman wished for peace, and Centralle entered the protection of the Bahnseim Monarchy.

Perhaps that wasn't wrong.

"Well, based on how she went about it, she could have destroyed Bahnseim."

On the side of the moving fortress' stage, I muttered such a thing as I gripped the Jewel in my hand. To my side stood Novem.

"... She had given up on fighting. Rather than thinking of all the pain her husband suffered through it all, she had prioritized herself."

I think that was taking it too far.

"If you had a child in your stomach, wouldn't you want to protect it?"

The one who responded to Novem in a fed-up tone was Aria. Holding her spear over her shoulder, she was waiting for the time to come.

Perhaps Novem understood that as she didn't linger.

"Because of that, the Bahnseim Kingdom was formed, and the continent divided. After that, they had a number of wise lords, but the Walt House was tormented by the Bahnseim House time and again. It wasn't only the Walt House either."

It seems the First was the grandson of the ancestor who defeated Agrissa.

Our Founder, Basil Walt went independent with his first love as the trigger, and since he became a feudal lord, close to two hundred and fifty years had flowed by.

Perhaps the preparations were in order, as Clara came over to me. And in the back, Eva prepared to use her Skill.

"Lyle-san, we're ready. Eva is prepared to activate her Skill. What shall we do about the music?"

I thought a bit.

"Well, let's play safe and do a dignified piece, with a movement to fire them up at the end, perhaps? Rather, Eva's Skill sure is convenient. It lets your voice reach people, and it can even make music at will."

There, Eva popped her face out.

"It's convenient. But personally, I think live performances are best. And I don't really like it if my voice is only reaching through Skill. So don't make me use it too much, okay?"

She waved her hands as she returned to her post. I gripped the Jewel.

Miranda and Aria nearby called over to me.

"Now get out there."

"Cinch it firmly. You're the supreme commander after all."

I smiled at the two of them. Clara went off to move the mechanisms. And once the stage started to ruse, Novem looked at me and lowered her head.

"Lyle-sama, I'm sure you have much to think about, but this Novem Forxuz... shall accompany you to the end."

I nodded.

"I do hope that end is the same end I'm thinking of. I'll be off."

Before the stage reached its peak, I could hear Eva's music start up through her Skill. It felt as if their was an orchestra playing nearby.

And I took a deep breath.

Slowly, the stage rose, and positioned me so I could look over everyone. When it stopped I could feel the eyes gathering.

It was time for the Third's Skill [Dream]. I could see Centralle's ramparts before my very eyes, and the allied armies that surrounded them.

Right above me, I made an illusion of myself so everyone could see. I matched its movements to mine, making it reproduce whatever I did.

My voice would reach, and my form was visible. With this, I'm sure it would have a slight effect. As I heard the clamor I opened my mouth.

"Heroes and heroines who've gathered here today, lend me your ears."

Calling the knights and soldiers heroes, I praised them. They were heroes without a doubt. Standing against the heinous acts of Celes, they were to save the continent.

And among them, just how many would return alive...

"I'm sure there are many among you who've lent ear to the atrocities the Bahnseim House has committed. Perhaps some among you have quivered under their brutality. But against it all, you stand! You are all without a doubt, heroes... and men of valor! In this battle of historic proportions, you shall definitely carve your names into history's slate!"

It's not like that wasn't going to happen, but at least the fact they participated in this battle would remain.

A song of dignified majesty was playing, and that atmosphere came out in my words as well.

"If we do not win this battle, then dark clouds loom over the future of the continent. And in truth, many sorrowful events have transpired. In Beim, a large number of casualties have come out from the army dispatched by Bahnseim. The inside of this country is the same. I'm sure you've all seen it on the way here."

The towns and villages without vigor, and the lords and soldiers of doubtful character. Even when released and their sanity regained, they would turn back on all they had done, filled with a sense of guilt and regret.

"Eventually this hell shall spread through Bahnseim to the continent as a whole. If we don't prevent it now, the lands shall be stained in fear and death! Here, now is the time to fight. Now is the time to decide our future!"

To many of those taking part, it they could call themselves justice, it made it easier to fight. If they thought they were doing something wrong, they couldn't help but give way to hesitation.

When it came to life or death, doubt would be born.

Especially when many of them were foreign soldiers without any relation to Bahnseim at all. Justice... if they didn't have a reason, they would never get serious with this battle.

There was meaning to what they were doing. I had to teach them that. Even if that was for my own sake.

"Ladies and gentlemen, in this large battle, I require your power. To defeat the fiendish line of Bahnseim, and exemplify righteousness to the continent!"

Using shills planted from the start and thought transference, the cheers began to spread.

Ah, so this is how I'm going to send so many men to their deaths. And as I thought over how many would die, I lifted up my fist.

But someone had to do it. And I couldn't sit and wait around for the one who would.

If they were there, I'd obediently lend them my power, and perhaps plow a field or something in some remote land post-war. Just how many times easier would that be?

If I stayed silent, the people gathered here wouldn't be in danger. But eventually Celes would move, and perhaps they would fall dead without resistance or meaning.

While the surrounding countries still had power, I had to stop Celes at all costs.

I didn't think I was right. Whatever I was doing was exactly the same as her.

Looking at someone like me, what would the ancestors think? Once more I'd been told to flee to some land beyond Celes' hands.

But even so, I was the one who chose to tread this bloodstained path. If I mulled over it, perhaps they would yell at me.

Milleia-san had said it.

To sit on a throne made over a mountain of corpses. And to grasp the future.

"Heroes, grasp the future in your hands!"