Having destroyed the engine parts, Lyle blew into the voice pipe that had caught his eye, running through the passageway leading to the control deck.
“That which exists at the end of light, the end of darkness. That which denotes the origin of wind, the origin of fire—”
While sprinting, Lyle chanted the <Oracio>. There was no amber in his hands. But what was there in its place, was the high-calibre revolver.
“Of forgotten dusk, of heretic gold, that which is the cradle of time. Embrace the distant lands with thy gentleness, and in thy kindness, grant us forgiveness—”
He finally reached the control deck, and so the final curtains were about to fall.
Vilhelm, covered in wounds, was about to kill both the girls.
“…..Ah, it’s you, Lyle.”
His face looked wild as he faced Lyle; almost like he was someone else.
“……You’ve surprised me. These girls weren’t the ones who drove me into a corner… it was you. Your worthless little speech.”
Said Vilhelm, in a hollow voice.
“It was the first time anyone has ever told me that… still, it’s strange, isn’t it? Why did no one ever try to?”
“……That’s because you’re overtly positive.”
Lyle narrowed his eyes, as though in pity.
“You’re different from me. I’ve always been at a standstill… you have a will which pulls people along with you. It’s just that—there’s no ‘end’ in that will of yours.”
“Yeah, I see… I did not have a starting point. I only moved, according to what was required of me… But somehow, I just feel something seething well up inside me when I hear you say that. Like you’ve reached something in the depths of my heart.”
Vilhelm looked back at Lyle with a light in his eyes.
“The world ought to thank you, I suppose. If not for your prideful kindness, the world would have been changed! Your ‘power’ is far larger than I had given it credit for… and I wanted that! And that is the only truth that is left for me! Even if the means I choose have no purpose…!”
“Well then, I give you a choice….. will you join forces with me and change the world, or will you reject my offer, leave the world as it is and lose everything!”
Indicating the girls who were struggling to breathe, a demonic expression flickered across Vilhelm’s face.
“Even now, I still hold their lives in my hands. Now, what will you choose!?”
“……This will be my reply.”
Lyle quietly raised the revolver in his hands.
“Are you sure about that? You might end up shooting them with your own hands, won’t you? I doubt that it would be the right decision.”
“There is only one thing that will always be right, to me.”
Saying that, Lyle smiled.
Lyle slowly aligned the revolver horizontally.
Vilhelm noticed that, and his eyes widened suddenly.
“Stop… do you even understand what kind of mistake you are about to make!”
“Yeah. I’m taking responsibility for what I have created… that much is obvious.”
And into the revolver Lyle held in his hands, he breathed the last verse of the <Oracio>.
“—Thou art the tremors in the boundary; Surpass logic, and overcome time! And thus, bring unto us a dusk of eternity!”
The bullet loaded into the gun in Lyle’s hand—the high-calibre, single-shot revolver, was no ordinary bullet.
It was of special-make; a mithril bullet. And within it, amber was sealed.
The amber, which normally reached its critical transition state with the aid of various external machinery or tools through an increase in heat or pressure, would be rapidly excited by the magus, Lyle.
The inside of the mithril bullet acted like a miniature Amber Reactor; the magical power of the amber was being converted by the heat.
A product of magic and science—the fusion of both art and technology together, that was the <Frei Kugel>(1), which only Lyle could produce and control. This was also what had destroyed the gigantic Amber Reactor in <Ymir>’s engine core.
Lyle pointed the <Frei Kugel> at the Ingenious Engine.
Ignoring Vilhelm who was trying to stop him, he pulled the trigger.
The amber bullet that was fired cut through the air in a natural parabola. It passed by Vilhelm’s side, and straight behind him—right into the Ingenious Engine.
Upon hitting its target, the deftly crafted amber bullet compressed the miniature Amber Reactor inside it. The amber which was in a stable state, converted all of the energy contained within it into heat.
And along with the heat came the sudden expansion of air, creating a shockwave.
The whirling destruction melted the cylinders, smashed the keyboard, and sent countless numbers of gears flying. The pipe organ-like Ingenious Engine, was reduced to scrap in a single moment.
Releasing Maria and Lunaria, Vilhelm turned around and faced the destroyed Ingenious Engine. With unsteady steps, he walked towards the smoking wreckage.
“O-oh… Why did, why did it come to this……”
Vilhelm was devastated by the ‘answer’, which was expressed with far more impact than eloquent words.
The first thing that he had wished for and gotten—was in no way what Lyle had, that was what the destroyed Ingenious Engine seemed to say.
It was Vilhelm Zest’s first experience of ‘despair’.
His advantage of holding Maria’s and Lunaria’s lives in his hands—was all but gone.
“……Can you stand, Maria, Lunaria?”
Lyle called out to the two of them, and they firmly got up, with their own two feet.
“Yeah, ’tis but a scratch.”
Said Maria, smiling.
As though to make him feel at ease, Lunaria nodded with that expressionless face of hers.
Lyle felt relieved.
A certain familiar voice resounded, and Lyle looked up, taken by surprise.
“—Most likely, you’re the one who’s going to be listening to this.”
The nostalgic voice of his master—the voice of Erllua Azoth resounded forth.
(1) Frei Kugel; Frei = ‘free’, Kugel = ‘bullet’, you can put two and two together. The kanji, on the other hand, means ‘magic bullet’.