Innocence Seekers: April Light/Chapter 2/Episode 13

From Innocence Seekers
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is the first episode, "The Beginning of the Search" (探しの始め), of the second chapter of Innocence Seekers: April Light.

< Previous episode | Next episode >

Episode text

Louise was sitting alone in the castle's courtyard. The days were becoming shorter and colder in Likkra, and it was getting to the point where rain was becoming sleet. Louise knew that the first snow was not too far off. Louise did not mind the cold, wet weather, although she would rather it be wet during the summer, when it was normally dry. However, today was an overcast day.

Stephanie entered the courtyard.

Louise: Stephanie? What are you doing here?

Stephanie: Thought I'd spend a little time with my sister. But, as usual, Amelia isn't here.

Louise: Well, she is busy. Especially since the revelation that some entity will appear and possibly destroy humanity, if not the entire galaxy.

Stephanie: Yeah... I hope we find the April Light in time. Anyway, Louise, here you go.

Stephanie handed Louise a letter.

Louise: What is this?

Stephanie: Ah, a messenger told me to give it to you.

Louise: Well, it has the royal seal on it, so I'm guessing it's from Amelia.

Louise opened the letter.

Stephanie: What does it say?

Louise: It says that I am to lead the search for the World Orbs.

Stephanie: I thought they would've chosen the Mimori Flower Club for this task. Why you?

Louise: Amelia wants me to do this, because she wants me to get experience from performing tasks like this. It's a pretty important task, though. Besides, the Mimori Flower Club, even though they were distinguished three years ago, only has one person with experience with the World Orbs, and she has largely worked alone until now.

Stephanie: You mean Tamaki? Well, I can see where they're coming from. The girl never had any experience leading a group. If she were to lead the club on a quest like this, I wonder how Uzuki and Aoi, who have had experience, would feel.

Louise: Anyway, this seems to be a test of my ability. Stephanie, do you still remember your role three years ago?

Stephanie: I do. I was asked, by Amelia, to guide Akari and the others in their training, and their quest to defeat Gakran.

Louise: You were quite assertive back then. While you didn't speak up as much as Catherine, nor did you stuff up like Flavia... you actually did a very good job. You even cleaned up the mess left by the others when they screwed up. I wonder why, after all of that, you're content with letting others do things for you.

Stephanie: It was the same time, though, that I figured out that I wasn't a born leader like Amelia. I had realised how often I let Catherine run things.

Louise: Stephanie... if there is a time for you to step up, now is the time. I know you can become a great leader. Amelia knows this. She sees potential in both of us. That's why, make your own decisions. It is your own destiny. Take control of it, and don't let others dictate to you what to do.

Stephanie: I... I understand. Thank you, Louise.

At Mimori Elementary School:

Nomura: Everyone, before we begin, we will have a new student in this class, starting today.

Nomura turned towards the door.

Nomura: Shiba-san, you may now enter.

The girl entered the room, while Nomura was writing her name.

Wakaba: Wait... is that Kanade?

Benio: Uzuki, is she really coming to school with us?

Uzuki: Ah, I must've forgotten to tell you. Sumippe and I agreed that she should come to school with us.

Aoi: So she's decided to take Shiba-san's name...

Nomura: Everyone, this is Kanade Shiba. She only recently moved here, so she may be unfamiliar with things around here. So please be kind and show her around.

Kanade: I... I'm Kanade Shiba. It's... it's nice to meet you all.

Everyone clapped.

Nomura: Alright, Shiba-san, can you take the seat right next to Harumi-san?

Kanade: Yes.

Kanade walked towards her seat, right next to Wakaba, and sat down.

At the lunch break, all of the other girls in the class crowded around Kanade.

Girl A: Shiba-san, what brought you here?

Girl B: Shiba-san, where did you live before you moved here?

Girl C: Do you have any hobbies? Do you play sports?

Kanade: Umm...

Benio: Everyone, you're scaring her. Can you all back away and ask things one at a time?

Girl B: Ah, sorry, Shinokura-san.

The crowd dispersed.

Kanade: Ah, thank you, Benio.

Benio: Well, the others can be quite excitable. Kanade, do crowds make you uncomfortable?

Kanade: Well, yes. I preferred to be alone, or with my own small groups. I never really liked speaking to strangers, and I have to admit, I was a bit scared of you when we first met.

Benio: In some ways, you're like Mirai. Inori said that Mirai couldn't even bring herself to speak to others, leading to a fight with Mizuki.

Wakaba: Well, Inori herself wouldn't usually speak unless spoken to, so...

Benio: Wakaba, Inori isn't shy. It's just that she's too polite to interrupt someone else's conversation or thoughts.

Aoi: Anyway, Kanade, welcome to the school. And welcome to the club.

Kanade: The club?

Uzuki: The Mimori Flower Club.

Kanade: Wait, I never said anything about joining.

Uzuki: Although, in reality, it's just a front for the Zodiac Warriors. Our role in the recent events were, in fact, club activities.

The classroom door suddenly opened. A girl had come to the classroom and was now standing in the doorway.

Uzuki: Ah, Tama-chan! What is it that you want from us?

Tamaki: Everyone, I need you at the club room now.

Uzuki: Ah, okay.

Everyone headed out the classroom.

Uzuki: Kanade, come with us as well.

Kanade: Ah, okay.

Kanade followed the girls.

In the club room:

Tamaki: Everyone, there is something I need to say to you, and it concerns the World Orbs.

Uzuki: Are we going to go out and search for them?

Tamaki: Unfortunately, the task wasn't assigned to us.

Uzuki: I see. Then, who is in charge?

Tamaki: Louise has been chosen for this task.

Aoi: Then maybe we can ask her to let us help her.

Tamaki: Actually, she is asking us to help her. This morning, I received a letter with Likkra's royal seal on it. She specifically requested me to help her, and told me to bring you along as well.

Aoi: I see. So, when do we start, and where?

Tamaki: Louise will be arriving next Monday at the earliest. We have yet to decide which World Orb we will search for first, but I feel it's best to search for the water Orb, as it's located in this country.

Wakaba: Ah, that's right. Kanade, have you found where the World Orb is?

Kanade: Well... I've narrowed down the possible locations. As far as I know, it's in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Tamaki: I see. Well, we'll tell Louise once she has arrived. Anyway, Uzuki, how are you handling all of this?

Uzuki: Well... I initially thought that I would be overwhelmed by all the work I needed to do, but... it seems that I'm getting the hang of it.

Tamaki: Well, at the very least we have time on our side. It has already been 19 days since we fought the Donsilans, and the entity the Donsilans mentioned doesn't look like appearing yet. As opposed to three years ago, when Akari's group were attacked nearly every day until Gakran's defeat.

Benio: Okay, Tamaki, that may be exaggerating it a bit, but the entire Gakran mission took only around two months. And besides, didn't you have an eventful period of time yourself?

Tamaki: Ah, yes, last year. Kanade, do you know of the Cave of Illusions on Ocypsa?

Kanade: Ah, yes. I've heard quite a bit about it. If I recall, that is where the entity responsible for forcing us to escape was eventually sealed. Tamaki, you've been in there, right?

Tamaki: Ah, yes. When I reached the bottom, I found something so horrifying I cannot even put it into words. Fortunately, as you said, it was sealed. However... at that time, the seal was weakening.

Kanade: No way...

Tamaki: I inspected the seal, and noticed that someone or something was tampering with it. This is a rough guess, but I think the seal has been weakening for around 20 years.

Uzuki: Then, how much time do we have?

Tamaki: Judging by the power I felt from that abomination, I'd say... we have until September.

Kanade: Then, that should be plenty of time to find the April Light. But, Tamaki, what led you to the Cave of Illusions? It's located in possibly one of the coldest places humans currently live.

Tamaki: It was the World Orbs.

Wakaba: Wait, you've actually found the World Orbs before?

Tamaki: Not the main sets, though. It was around this time last year when the Zodiac Warriors noticed many uninhabited worlds becoming barren. They asked the Mimori Flower Club to investigate, and Sumire ultimately chose me.

Kanade: If the worlds did become barren, then... that must mean someone was destroying the World Orbs.

Tamaki: That was precisely what I found. When I arrived at the caverns holding the Orbs, I found them shattered. Kanade, I'm sure you know full well what happens when a World Orb is destroyed.

Kanade: Yes.

Tamaki: At some points, it was so bad I couldn't change out of my mage outfit, and the shuttles couldn't get me off the planet. I had to fly back to the ship myself.

Aoi: Anyway, how did the World Orbs lead you to the Cave of Illusions?

Tamaki: Those particular World Orbs, were actually the source of magical energy for the seal within the cave. Ultimately, the Orbs helped me find where the seal was, and allowed me to see for myself the condition of the seal.

Kanade: My superiors told me that there were numerous World Orbs supplying mana to the seal. This ensured that the destruction of a single planet's set wouldn't result in the seal weakening enough to release the entity. But if someone or something has been destroying World Orbs for the past 20 years...

Uzuki: Do you know who is responsible?

Tamaki: Unfortunately, no. The Zodiac Warriors have some idea as to who is responsible, but there are only tentative links to the incidents. I wanted to pursue the matter further, but I was knocked back, and told that it was someone else's personal issue.

Kanade: I see.

Uzuki: Wait... could it be...

Tamaki: Uzuki, do you know something?

Uzuki: Natasha mentioned something about someone's personal issues, and how it has been going on for over 20 years.

Tamaki: She was referring to her friend's mother. Some have also speculated that the Dark Angel and Gakran incidents were also linked to this issue. The 2003 coup in Treproa is apparently also linked.

Kanade: Wait, what is going on?

Tamaki: It's a long story, but apparently it all stems from a murder 26 years ago. Or, at least that's what Otohane told me.

Kanade: And here I am believing that the incidents which affected you were unrelated.

Aoi: It's only a theory, though. Anyway, we should prepare for the task ahead.

Uzuki: Right.

The following Monday morning, Uzuki was asleep in bed. There were empty gift boxes lying around on the tables, as it was Uzuki's birthday the day before. Suddenly, the alarm clock went off. Uzuki put out an arm to turn it off, then got up. She then went through her morning routine, and then sat down at the kitchen table alongside Sumire.

Sumire: Uzuki, are you prepared for what will come?

Uzuki: Yes, I am. Sumippe... you worry about me, right?

Sumire: Of course I do. Yayoi worries about you as well. But you're motivated to do this, right? After all, you want to be more like your sisters, right?

Uzuki: That's true; I looked up to my sisters. But... I want to make my own mark on the world. I can't just stay in the shadows of my sisters.

Sumire: You know, no one can stress just how important this mission is. We need to find the April Light, and find her before they do, or it'll be the end for humanity.

Uzuki: Sumippe...

Sumire: Uzuki, there's one thing I need to tell you.

Uzuki: What is it?

Sumire: I heard from Aria that the April Light alone isn't enough to defeat the entity which drove away the Donsilans. Well, given that the original could only fight it to a stalemate...

Uzuki: Sumippe, why did Aria tell you directly? If it was that important, then she should've told Otohane-san, or someone else higher up.

Sumire: I'm not exactly sure myself. But Aria mentioned something about destiny itself choosing people when the situation becomes very dire.

Uzuki: What exactly did she mean by that?

Sumire: I'm not sure. But, I asked Kanade about what Aria said. Kanade's response was quite interesting.

Uzuki: What did she say?

Sumire: She said that destiny, in this era, currently revolves around the Black Rose.

Uzuki: I hear that name thrown around quite a bit, Sumippe. Do you know anything about the Black Rose?

Sumire: That is the title the Zodiac Warriors, Puella and the Donsilans use to refer to Chyla.

Uzuki: Chyla? You mean the Demon Princess?

Sumire: That is correct. Ever since her birth, she was the focal point of many wars and conflicts. While she holds immense power, she never, at any point, was allowed to use that power of her own free will. Someone always wanted that power for themselves. Gongor, the Dark Angel, initiated a war between the humans and demons simply to kidnap her from her human mother. When he was inexplicably unsealed 23 years ago, he again sought her. Gakran, after noticing her power, began sending minions after her.

Uzuki: But Kisaragi-nee told me that all that changed four years ago.

Sumire: Indeed it did. For the first time, she entered into a contract with a magical girl, and that magical girl was none other than Madeline, the princess of Nodaima.

Uzuki: Then... what about now?

Sumire: Of course, there are still those after her. While the Donsilan faction which wants to wipe out humanity is still after the April Light, I'm sure they've heard of the Black Rose and want her as well. And whatever chosen ones may be present.

Uzuki: Anyway, Sumippe, what do you know about any potential chosen ones?

Sumire: Hardly anything. I asked Madeline, and she simply said that there were a number of chosen ones, that's all.

The doorbell rang. Sumire headed to the front door and opened it. It was Inori.

Sumire: Ah, Inori, you're here. What brings you here this early?

Inori: I want to speak to Kanade. Is she awake?

Sumire: No; she's still sleeping. But I can wake her up if you want.

Inori: Anyway, can I come in?

Sumire: Ah, sure.

Inori entered the house. Both girls then sat down at the kitchen table.

Uzuki: Ah, Inorin, you're here.

Inori: Ah, hello, Uzuki.

Uzuki: Inorin, what do you know of the Black Rose?

Inori: To be honest, I don't know that much about her, or the chosen ones she says exist in this era. However, one of the other witches mentioned that whoever are the chosen ones will always be a reincarnation of a historical magical girl who significantly influenced destiny. I am one of these reincarnations, but of course that doesn't make me a chosen one. Akari is another one, and it's a fair chance that she's a chosen one.

Uzuki: So, how many chosen ones are there?

Inori: No one knows. I wanted to ask Kanade about this, but...

Kanade walked downstairs.

Uzuki: Ah, Kanade, you're awake.

Kanade: Ah, morning, Uzuki. Oh, and you're here, Inori.

Inori: I am. Kanade, I'd like to speak to you for a moment. Can we go upstairs?

Kanade: Ah sure.

Inori followed Kanade upstairs.

Sumire: Uzuki, you know that Louise is arriving today, right?

Uzuki: Ah, Tama-chan told me. And it seems Tama-chan will be helping us from now on.

Sumire: I see. Tamaki isn't very powerful, you know, but her Inherent Ability allows her to even things a bit. It allowed her to traverse the Cave of Illusions alone, for instance.

Uzuki: Wait, about her Inherent Ability...

Sumire: It's the ability to master any skill or technique. Despite being a weapon user, Tamaki has a boost-type magic device, unlike your weapon-types. This is because she's capable of using ordinary magic-augmented weapons to full effect, and she can use any of them.

Uzuki: Anyway, what will we expect when we actually get to the World Orb?

Sumire: To be honest, I don't know. You'll have to ask Tamaki. Uzuki, on what day are you intending to head to Fukuoka?

Uzuki: We haven't decided yet. Why do you ask?

Sumire: It's just that storms are forecast on Wednesday and Thursday there.

Uzuki: Ah, okay. Then we'll be careful. I'll tell Louise that as well.

Uzuki stood up from her chair.

Uzuki: Anyway, should I wait for Kanade?

Sumire: No, it's fine. You can go ahead.

Uzuki: Okay.

Uzuki headed to the front door, picked up her yellow randoseru, and put on her shoes.

Uzuki: Sumippe, I'm heading off now!

Sumire: Have a good day, Uzuki.

Uzuki left the house.

On the way to school, Uzuki found Wakaba hanging upside-down from a tree.

Wakaba: Uzuki!

Uzuki: Wakaba, how did you get into this situation?

It was then that Uzuki noticed the red magic ribbons around Wakaba's ankles.

Uzuki: It must've been Benio. Hold on, I'll get you out.

Uzuki began to cast a spell. Yellow magic circles appeared around the magic ribbons, causing them to dissipate and release Wakaba, who was caught by Uzuki.

Wakaba: Thanks, Uzuki. But, Benio took my bag...

Uzuki: It's right in front of you.

Wakaba: Huh?

Uzuki pointed at the bush. Lying in front of it was Wakaba's green randoseru.

Uzuki: Sometimes I wonder why the school forces us to have our bags the same colour as our magic. It's not like anyone wants a purple one outside of the school.

Wakaba picked up her randoseru and put it back on.

Wakaba: Anyway, though, we have a fair amount of time until school starts. Why don't we wander around a little.

Uzuki: Won't we get lost?

Wakaba: If that happens, we can fly to school.

Uzuki: Umm, Wakaba, the school's uniform includes skirts. Are you sure you want the world to see your panties?

Wakaba: Ah, you have a point.

Uzuki: Anyway, let's head to our meeting point.

Wakaba: Okay.

The two continued along the street.

Meanwhile, in Fukuoka, several dark figures were conversing with each other. The leader of this group appeared to be an old, but battle-hardened man.

Leader: So, what kind of plan do the Zodiac Warriors have?

Figure A: They have elected to send a princess of Likkra to lead the search for the World Orbs. As of now, she should be arriving in Japan.

Leader: Very well. Remember this, everyone. The World Orbs are important in bringing forth a new world, a world where we, and we alone, implement justice. We will find the World Orbs. We will find the April Light. And we will make her follow us. Remenber this.

Figure B: And what about the Donsilans?

Leader: Kill them. We don't need them, and they have no business interfering with our plans.

Figure C: Master, you should remember that you hold the highest position in the Zodiac Warriors. You can't allow them to act too much without you. And furthermore, you cannot allow them to know that you have betrayed them.

Leader: And should they find out, they shall be annihilated. For I am the most powerful mage in the galaxy. This power makes the galaxy mine, and mine alone.

Figure B: Master, what should we do with the World Orb?

Leader: Secure it. Neutralise its defence system. Make sure no one else ever gets near it.

Figure A: Master, our troops are in position. We await your orders.

Leader: Very well.

End of Episode 13

< Previous episode | Next episode >