Innocence Seekers: April Light/Chapter 3/Episode 31

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This is the seventh episode, "Infestation" (蔓延), of the third chapter of Innocence Seekers: April Light.

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Episode text

As the boarding pod sped towards the unknown ship, the ship put up a barrier to prevent entry by any foreign object.

Uzuki was watching the viewscreen and noticed the barrier being raised.

Uzuki: Everyone, there's now a barrier around the ship. And I don't think this pod has the resources to break through it.

Meanwhile, Lyra picked up a communication device.

Lyra: Kanade, this is the boarding party. Over.

After a delay, there was a response.

Kanade: Lyra, if you're wondering how to get past that barrier, let us handle everything. Over.

Lyra: Roger. Then, we'll be taking our leave. Over.

Lyra put down the communication device.

Tamaki: It appears that the Spica is preparing an attack.

Himawari: Ah, you noticed as well?

Right when the pod was about to impact the barrier, the Spica fired a single magic orb at the unknown ship. The magic orb impacted the barrier, completely shattering it. Since the barrier was destroyed, the pod was able to go through and impact the hull of the ship.

Inside, the girls braced themselves for impact. The impact shook the pod considerably, but no one was harmed.

Miho: Now what do we do?

Lyra: If I recall, the pod has machines that can bore through the hull of the ship, allowing us inside. But before I activate it, everyone should change into their mage outfits.

Uzuki: Ah, right.

The girls changed into their mage outfits.

Lyra: Right, is everyone ready?

The other girls nodded.

Lyra: Okay, then...

Lyra pressed a button on the controls. Suddenly, the pod shook, and the sound of a drill reverberated throughout the pod. After a minute, the sound stopped.

Himawari: Has it finished?

Lyra: It appears so.

Uzuki: Alright, then. Everyone, let's go.

Uzuki reached for the pod door, only for Lyra to grab her arm.

Lyra: Ah, U-chan, that's the wrong door. That leads to space.

Uzuki: Ah, I didn't think about that.

Lyra opened the correct door, revealing a tunnel leading into the ship.

Uzuki: Right, then, everyone, follow me.

Uzuki headed into the tunnel, with the others following her.

When the group entered the hallways of the ship, they were immediately confronted by hordes of insect-like monsters.

Wakaba: Eek! W-What are those?!

Himawari: Wakaba, calm down. But really, what are they?

Tamaki: I've seen these monsters before.

Uzuki: Tama-chan, do you know what they are?

Tamaki: I'm not sure exactly, but these monsters are Brikrodi. They are native to the planet Nargel, a planet that once harboured intelligent life.

Miho: Tama-chan, when you say that, you mean...

Tamaki: Whatever civilisation that lived there has been wiped out. Possibly by these things. But anyway, we need to prepare for battle.

Tamaki took a gun from her bag and opened fire on the Brikrodi. However, the bullets had no effect.

Tamaki: Oops... I forgot that these things are exceptionally tough.

Meanwhile, one of the Brikrodi charged straight at the girls. Uzuki noticed this and put up a shield in response, only for the monster to effortlessly break through it. Uzuki grabbed Wakaba and leapt out of the way of the attack.

Uzuki: You're right; they are tough.

Uzuki let go of Wakaba.

Uzuki: Now let's see what they can take!

Uzuki began to cast a spell, and a yellow magic circle appeared beneath her feet. Her sword became electrified.

Wakaba: Uzuki!

A Brikroda shot what appeared to be a ball of toxic saliva towards Uzuki. Wakaba noticed this and shot an arrow towards it, deflecting it.

Uzuki: Ah, thanks, Wakaba.

Wakaba: At least be more careful, Uzuki. I don't know what would've-

Suddenly a Brikroda swiped Wakaba with its appendage, sending her into the wall.

Tamaki: Wakaba!

Wakaba: Urgh... I didn't see that coming...

Lyra: Wakaba, are you okay?

Wakaba: I'm fine.

Miho: There are lots of them. I just hope that we can get through them.

Miho took out her spiked yo-yo. Meanwhile, Uzuki launched her attack on several Brikrodi, incapacitating them with electricity.

Miho: U-chan, don't overdo it. There are lots more of these creatures.

Uzuki: Ah, right.

Miho began to cast a spell, and a purple magic circle appeared beneath her feet. A ring of darkness appeared above the Brikrodi.

Himawari: Right, now let's see if they can withstand my flames.

Himawari took out her staff and leapt into the air. Using her staff as a flamethrower, she immolated the Brikrodi that were approaching her. However, they did not seem to be affected.

Himawari: What?

Suddenly, one of the Brikrodi shot a ball of toxic saliva straight towards Himawari, forcing her to evade the attack.

Tamaki: Himawari, they won't go down with an attack as weak as that. Watch me.

Tamaki began to cast a spell, and a pink magic circle appeared beneath her feet. Several pink magic circles appeared around the Brikrodi, and from them emerged massive icicles.

Tamaki: Now to add some spice to the spell.

Tamaki reached into her bag and took out two mana crystals.

Tamaki: Miho, can you handle a powered-up spell?

Miho: Eh, what are you planning, Tama-chan?

Tamaki showed the mana crystals to Miho.

Miho: I don't know if I can handle it, Tama-chan. U-chan, cover for me!

Uzuki: Right!

Wakaba: I'll help too.

Uzuki and Wakaba began to cast their respective spells, and magic circles appeared beneath their feet. Meanwhile, Lyra was taking out the Brikrodi one by one by firing massive beams of light from her staff.

Lyra: Just how many are there? They keep coming and coming.

Himawari: Just keep it up, Lyra. Surely they can't come forever.

Suddenly a Brikroda struck Lyra, knocking her down. Himawari responded by attacking the Brikroda with an improvised flaming sword, cleanly slicing it in twain.

Lyra: Hima-chan... thanks.

Himawari: Lyra, at least be more careful next time.

Lyra: Right.

Meanwhile, Tamaki threw one of her mana crystals at one of the pink magic circles, and the other at the ring of darkness. The latter expanded in response. However, Miho began to show strain at the massive amount of mana currently in her spell.

Tamaki: Uzuki!

Uzuki: Right!

Several yellow magic circles appeared around the ring of darkness, stabilising it. Meanwhile, another wave of Brikrodi appeared in the hallway. Wakaba noticed this, and switched her magic device into its twin cannon form. She turned towards the advancing Brikrodi, and pointed her weapon at them. A massive magic orb appeared in front of it.

Miho: Tama-chan, now!

Tamaki: Right!

Almost simultaneously, Tamaki and Miho executed their respective spells. The pink magic circles rained icicles on the Brikrodi, while the ring of darkness began to shoot the Brikrodi with magic beams. Once the attacks died down, all of the Brikrodi were killed. That left the wave of Brikrodi advancing towards the girls. However, Wakaba was about to attack the advancing wave.

Wakaba: Secret Skill, Blast Calamity!

Wakaba fired the magic orb towards the advancing Brikrodi. Upon impact, it turned the hallway into a powerful wind tunnel, forcing the girls to ground themselves to the ship. When the wind died down, Wakaba glanced at the carnage and noticed that every single Brikroda was dead.

Wakaba: I guess that's it... for now.

Uzuki: Right. But let's be on the lookout for more of those creatures. Anyway, let's go.

The girls continued through the hallways.

Eventually the girls reached the CIC of the ship. In it they saw that all of the control panels were covered in a strange alien growth.

Wakaba: How disgusting... are we supposed to clean all of this up?

Uzuki: I'm not sure. But we still need to be on our guard.

Wakaba: Right...

Meanwhile, Lyra walked up to one of the panels and pressed one of the buttons.

Himawari: Wait, Lyra, what are you doing?

A screen appeared above the panel.

Lyra: Identification...

Lyra pressed several more buttons, and the screen changed.

Lyra: ... Altair.

Tamaki: Wait, Kanade was right. This is the Altair.

Lyra: Indeed it is.

Lyra pressed more buttons, and the screen changed again.

Lyra: Current status... main weapon offline. Auxillary cannons... ready to fire!

Miho: We're too late...

Uzuki: Actually, Kanade said that the Spica can hold off the ship's attacks for an extra 90 minutes. We still have time to wrest control of the ship from whatever is controlling it.

Miho: Is that so? Then, what can we do to wrest control?

Tamaki: Ideally we need Aria, as she is the one who can control this ship, but she's gone missing.

Lyra: Tama-chan, I have an idea.

Tamaki: What is it, Lyra?

Lyra: I can sense Aria coming, even if it is very faint. However, her shuttle won't be able to penetrate the ship's barrier, so what we need to do is to head to the barrier generators and temporarily disable them.

Tamaki: Do you even know where the generators are, or how many there are?

Lyra: The general layout of the pendant holders' ships are identical. I've been in contact with Kanade, and she can tell us where we should find the generators.

Uzuki: That sounds like a good plan. But how do we go about disabling them?

Tamaki: I'll figure out a way. In the mean time, let's focus on actually getting to the generators.

Uzuki: Right. Everyone, let's go.

The girls left the CIC.

As they ran through the ship's hallways, the lights dimmed for a moment.

Wakaba: What was that?

Himawari: I presume that was the weapons firing.

Wakaba: I hope everyone's okay.

Uzuki: Regardless of what's going on out there, we need to focus on our current goal.

Wakaba: Ah, right.

The girls continued running, taking out any Brikroda in their way, until they reached the location of the first generator.

Lyra: Ah, it's the generator. There's a big red button close to it that will disable the generator for around two hours.

Miho: Lyra, are all four generators needed for the ship to put up barriers and shields, or are the generators redundant?

Lyra: They're redundant. While there are four generators, only one is actually needed.

Uzuki: So that means we need to disable all four. But how do we get to the button anyway? There's a barrier in the way.

Lyra: Ah...

Wakaba readied her bow.

Wakaba: Well, if there's a barrier in the way, then let's just blast through it!

Tamaki: Hold on, Wakaba. If you activate your Inherent Ability, you'll risk permanently disabling the generator.

Wakaba: Wait, Lyra, is that true?

Lyra: It is. Damaging the button will cause a failsafe to activate, and it will prevent reactivation until it is repaired.

Wakaba: What if I deactivate my Inherent Ability while my magic arrow is inside?

Miho: Wait, you can do that?

Wakaba: Actually... I'm not sure.

Himawari: Then why don't you try to bounce your arrow off the inside of the barrier?

Wakaba: Ah, good idea, Himawari.

Wakaba shot a magic arrow at the barrier. It phased through it, then abruptly changed direction. However, despite its new trajectory taking it outside the barrier, it simply bounced off. The arrow dissipated by itself.

Uzuki: Ah, you can. Then, how would you go about actually pressing the button? As far as I know, magic arrows and bullets mainly just damage things.

Wakaba: Good point.

Wakaba reconfigured her magic device, transforming it into a rifle.

Wakaba: I'll just make an explosion, then. That should be enough to push the button.

Wakaba aimed her rifle at the button, and fired a single magic bullet. The bullet phased through the barrier, then when it was only around five centimetres from the button, it exploded. The force of the explosion, while not enough to damage the button, was enough to depress it, causing the generator to turn off.

Himawari: Come to think of it, Wakaba, I've never seen your magic device take that form before. Is this something added by your sister?

Wakaba: I'm not sure. I noticed that neither Hiyori nor my sister mentioned it. It took me a while, but I figured out what it's purpose is.

Uzuki: Anyway, let's head to the other generators. Lyra, lead the way.

Lyra: Right!

Lyra left the generator room, with the other girls following.

Meanwhile, on the Spica, Kanade was observing the Altair on the viewscreen. She noticed that the barrier surrounding the ship was beginning to flicker.

Kanade: Wait... what's going on in there?

Kanade picked up a communication device.

Kanade: Lyra, this is Kanade. What is going on with the ship? Over. After a delay, there was a response.

Lyra: Ah, I was able to sense the presence of a shuttle carrying Aria. Right now, we're temporarily disabling the barrier and shield generators to allow her to board the ship. Over.

Kanade: Wait, you can sense Aria? I better check the Spica's sensors. Over.

Kanade pressed several buttons on the control panel, switching between screens. She analysed each and every datum given to her by the Spica's instruments, and only once she looked at everything did she pick up the communication device again.

Kanade: Ah, you're right. The Spica's sensors detect a shuttle heading your way. And a mana signature analysis suggests that it is Aria. Over.

Lyra: Understood. Right now we're at our final generator. How long do we have until the Spica's barrier fails? Over.

Kanade: Around sixteen minutes. Give or take a minute. Over.

Lyra: Right, it's time for us to get this over with. Over.

Kanade put down the communication device and left the CIC. Meanwhile, on the viewscreen, the barrier surrounding the Altair disappeared.

In the final generator room, Wakaba stood in front of a now-deactivated barrier generator.

Lyra: That's all of them. The barrier should have dissipated by now.

Suddenly there was an alarm. Almost immediately, Brikrodi swarmed into the generator room, cornering the girls.

Miho: Great, now this...

Himawari: Well, I guess we have no choice.

Himawari took out her staff, and held it in front of her.

Himawari: Bloom, my flower!

With a massive burst of orange light, Himawari entered Full Burst mode. Her staff had transformed into a flail with flames connecting the ball to the staff, and the ball itself glowed red-hot.

Tamaki: Wait, Himawari, are you seriously thinking about-

A massive orange magic circle appeared beneath Himawari's feet. She swung her flail straight towards the Brikrodi, the flame chain lengthening in the process. Upon impact, it caused a massive explosion, incinerating much of the Brikrodi.

Uzuki: That's not all of them.

Uzuki drew her sword and charged at the remaining Brikrodi. She attacked each Brikroda in sequence, cleanly slicing them in two. Meanwhile, Tamaki reached into her bag and took out a Gatling gun. A pink magic circle appeared in front of her, and she placed the massive gun on it. Ribbons emerged from the magic circle and held the gun in place.

Tamaki: Uzuki, out of the way!

Uzuki: Ah, right!

A Brikroda attempted to strike Uzuki with its appendages; however, Uzuki jumped back before the attack could connect. Almost immediately, the Brikrodi were met with a massive torrent of bullets.

Miho: My turn.

Miho took out her spiked yo-yo, and sent it flying straight towards the remaining Brikrodi. While the attack did not have the same dramatic effect as Uzuki's attacks, it did kill them. However, more Brikrodi emerged.

Miho: They just keep coming and coming.

A massive purple magic circle appeared beneath Miho's feet. Several massive rock pillars emerged from the floor right beneath the Brikrodi. Many of them ended up in precarious positions on top of the pillars. Suddenly, more pillars appeared, this time from the ceiling, crushing the Brikrodi between them. Meanwhile, Lyra was blasting the Brikrodi with her staff, when she realised that regardless of what the girls were doing, there would always be more Brikrodi to replace those that were killed.

Lyra: Here goes...

Lyra leapt into the air and began to cast a spell. A massive white magic circle appeared beneath her feet.

Lyra: O goddess of light, thou who art brighter than the sun, purer than the earth...

Several more magic circles appeared, this time around the Brikrodi.

Uzuki: Lyra?

Tamaki: Let her be, Uzuki. I can sense it; she's casting something very powerful.

Lyra: ... mine enemy hath appeared before me. I beseech thee, grant me thy power, and destroy the enemy that stands before me with thy light!

More magic circles appeared, this time in the hallway where the Brikrodi were swarming.

Lyra: Secret Skill, Luminous Blast!

The magic circles shot massive beams of light straight towards the Brikrodi. Upon impact there was a massive explosion, and both the generator room and the hallway were bathed in a blinding light, far brighter than that of the midday sun. When the light died down, all of the Brikrodi were defeated.

Uzuki: Is that it?

Wakaba: I'm not sure. But we need to be careful. There are probably lots more of those things.

Uzuki: Right.

The girls left the generator room and ran along the hallway, trying to get back to the CIC. However, along the way, they came across another group of Brikrodi.

Himawari: Not again...

Suddenly, the Brikrodi charged towards the girls. However, the girls heard a drilling noise coming from the hull.

Uzuki: What is that noise?

Miho: I'm not sure. But whatever it is, we have more important things to worry about.

Miho began to cast a spell, and a purple magic circle appeared in front of her. A purple magic orb appeared in front of the magic circle.

Miho: Let's see how they like this!

The magic orb fired a massive purple beam straight towards the Brikrodi, annihilating them. However, behind them there was another wave.

Himawari: I've been thinking, is the thing controlling this ship actively trying to get rid of us?

Tamaki: I'm not sure, but I wouldn't count it out. But let's take care of these things first.

Tamaki took out a magic cannon from her bag and set it in front of her. She aimed the cannon at the Brikrodi, then fired it, sending a massive white magic beam towards the Brikrodi. Upon impact there was an explosion; however, the second wave hid a third wave of Brikrodi.

Tamaki: It's just as I suspected. Something is healing and regenerating the Brikrodi.

The third wave charged straight towards the girls. However, during the battle, the drilling noise became louder and louder, and by the time the third wave reached within fifteen metres of the girls, the wall of the hallway burst open. In the hole was a drill, which fell to the floor. The girls turned towards the hole, and saw Aria.

Lyra: Aria! Where have you been?!

Aria: Sorry for the absence, everyone. But we have bigger things to worry about. Let's take this ship back!

Aria jumped from the hole and stood between the girls and the Brikrodi. She took out her spear, and began to cast a spell. A green magic circle appeared beneath her feet.

End of Episode 31

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