Innocence Seekers: April Light/Chapter 3/Episode 44
This is the twentieth episode, "Fragments" (欠片), of the third chapter of Innocence Seekers: April Light.
On board a ship somewhere in deep space, a young girl entered the CIC. She inspected one of the computers.
–Voice: Identification: Vega.
–Girl: I knew it...
The girl attempted to type in several commands into the console. However, her commands were not accepted.
–Voice: Access denied. Unauthorised user.
–Girl: That didn't work...
The girl typed in another command. This time, the command was accepted.
–Voice: Warning: Setting an individual person as a destination may result in unnecessary waste of resources due to possible use of Portal Monoliths. Are you sure you want to proceed?
–Voice: Affirmative. Setting destination.
The ship began to accelerate, knocking the girl down. She got back up.
–Girl: Lyra... wait for me...
–Melody: Uzuki, can I speak to you for a moment?
–Uzuki: What is it?
–Melody: It's about Lyra.
–Uzuki: What about her? If I recall, you, her, and the other two went to the same orphanage, right?
–Melody: That's right. However, it wasn't just us. Lyra herself was bullied by the other kids, and Aria and another girl took it upon themselves to protect her.
–Uzuki: I see. Wait, who was this other girl?
–Melody: My memory is hazy, but if I recall, she had shown quite the interest in humans. In fact, even back then, she already chose the name she will use in front of humans.
–Uzuki: So, do you think this girl is a part of the same faction as Kanade's?
–Melody: Highly likely, yes. However, Mira and I never spoke to each other again after that incident, and of course we were separated, adopted by different families days after that incident.
–Melody: Ah, I let it slip. That was the name she chose. It represents a star visible from Earth, much like how Lyra represents a constellation visible from the same planet.
–Uzuki: Anyway, what was it that you were going to tell me?
–Melody: Ah. It's just that I sensed Lyra's ship being activated.
–Uzuki: What? But how? Doesn't activating the ship of a pendant holder require the pendant holder herself?
–Melody: Technically, yes. But I'm guessing that whoever took control of the ship has simply got it to set course for here, where Lyra is.
–Uzuki: That makes sense. So who do you think activated the ship?
–Melody: I actually think it's Mira. I wouldn't put it past her, given how protective she was of Lyra.
–Uzuki: Anyway, what will you do if you meet her?
–Melody: I'm not sure, to be honest. It has been a while since I last saw her, and I don't know what she thinks of me and Aria joining what were her faction's enemies.
–Uzuki: Well, I'm sure it'll work out. Anyway, I need to speak to Akacchi for a bit, so please wait here.
–Melody: Ah, okay.
Uzuki went upstairs.
–Wakaba: Just where is the World Orb anyway? We've been searching in this heat for hours...
–Miho: Well, I'm impressed you're still hanging on, Wakaba. Aren't you usually weak to heat and fire?
–Wakaba: That's true, but...
–Aria: I've found it!
The girls ran towards Aria.
–Miho: Aria, where is the World Orb?
–Aria: It's deep underground.
–Wakaba: Well, how are we supposed to get there?
Miho stepped forward.
–Miho: Leave it to me.
Miho began to cast a spell, and a purple magic circle appeared beneath her feet. Suddenly, the earth began to part, and a passage underground emerged.
–Miho: Oh, and one more thing.
–Wakaba: What is it, Miho?
–Miho: There will be flowing magma down there.
–Wakaba: You don't have to tell me...
–Aria: Anyway, we should head inside.
–Miho: Ah, right.
The girls headed within the passage.
The girls finally reached the seal. Aria stepped forward, and held the jewels up. With a flash of red light, the seal disappeared.
–Aria: Let's go.
The girls continued until they reached the innermost chamber. What they saw shocked them, even though they already knew what to expect.
–Wakaba: The World Orb...
–Miho: It has completely shattered...
–Aria: It really is as bad as I thought...
Aria approached the pedestal, and placed her pendant on it.
–Miho: Aria, what are you doing?
–Aria: You'll see.
Suddenly, the pendant began to glow. It emitted beams of red light in random directions.
–Wakaba: This is...
–Miho: Wait, they're all pointing down. Aria, what does this mean?
–Aria: The beams are marking the location of every single fragment. All of the fragments are within this chamber. Some are large, like the ones you can see. Some are too small to be seen. However, we must gather all fragments, or else we cannot repair the World Orb.
–Wakaba: I see. Wait, how do we gather the fragments?
Aria began to cast a spell, and a green magic circle appeared beneath her feet. Suddenly, the visible fragments of the World Orb began to rise and gather into a point in front of her. While not visible, the smaller fragments also gathered at the same point, as indicated by the moving beams of light. Once all of the fragments were gathered, Aria took out a small bag and placed the fragments inside.
–Wakaba: Is that it?
–Aria: What, did you expect more?
Aria took her pendant from the pedestal.
–Aria: Come on, let's head back.
–Miho: Ah, okay.
Suddenly, a piece of paper appeared in front of Aria. Aria took the piece and read it.
–Aria: This is...
–Wakaba: What is it, Aria? What does it say?
–Aria: Nothing. Let's go.
–Wakaba: Ah, right.
Wakaba and Miho left the chamber.
The girls found themselves back on the surface; however, the sun was now far to the west.
–Wakaba: Ah, it looks like it'll get dark soon.
Miho checked her phone.
–Miho: Ah, you're right; it's close to eight o'clock.
–Aria: Well, I suppose we can return to the Spica. Everyone, gather around me.
The girls gathered together, and Aria began to cast a spell. A green magic circle appeared beneath the three girls, and in a flash of green light, they disappeared.
When the girls boarded the Spica, they saw Melody already on board.
–Aria: Ah, Melody, what are you doing here?
–Melody: Well, you're a bit early, Aria. Anyway, did you also receive that note?
–Aria: That? I did.
–Wakaba: What was that note anyway?
–Melody: Well, there's no use hiding it; besides, I already told Uzuki about this.
–Aria: You did?
–Melody: Ah, well...
–Aria: There's no point pushing it further. Anyway, Wakaba, Miho, listen carefully.
–Aria: During our time at the orphanage, there weren't just four of us. There was a fifth person of our group, by the name of Mira.
–Melody: Neither of us told anyone until now, as we didn't know what would happen if the deviant elements within humanity caught wind of her existence.
–Miho: What do you mean by "deviant elements"?
–Wakaba: And what makes Mira so special?
–Melody: That was what I meant by "deviant elements". Evil humans, or demons born from humans, like Gakran, will want what Mira possesses.
–Miho: And what is that?
–Aria: She is the secret fifth pendant holder.
–Wakaba: Fifth pendant holder? But I thought there were only four.
–Aria: Which is why I said "secret". Have you ever wondered why there are only four pendant holders when there are five World Orbs on each planet?
–Miho: Now that you think about it...
–Wakaba: It does make sense, but the White Orb is also special.
–Melody: Mira is also special, among us pendant holders. Her pendant is not an Innocence Shard, but a one-of-a-kind item known as the Rainbow Jewel. While it can function as a locator for the White Orb, it possesses power far beyond what this galaxy has seen in the past two million years. Needless to say, it is sealed, and only the right key can unseal it.
–Miho: And what is this key?
–Wakaba: Miho, don't ask that question!
–Aria: Wakaba's right, Miho. Now isn't the right time to tell you.
–Miho: Ah, I understand.
–Wakaba: Do Lyra and Kanade know?
–Melody: Lyra, definitely not. I don't know about Kanade.
–Aria: Anyway, should we wait for the others?
–Wakaba: It may be a while; if I recall, the location of the earth-elemental World Orb is still dark.
–Melody: Ah, right. Even though the local time there is seven o'clock in the morning...
–Aria: Melody, have you ever lived on a planet before?
–Melody: Yes, but not for long. Why do you ask?
–Aria: You don't seem used to how seasons work on planets.
–Melody: Of course I know about that! I mean, right now it's winter in the Northern Hemisphere, so days are shorter, and the summer in the Southern Hemisphere means days are longer, right?
–Aria: Melody... you may be right, but you're clearly not used to even living with a variable day and night periods. As expected for someone who has lived on a station for most of her life.
–Melody: And you?
–Miho: Now now, let's not fight here.
–Melody: Okay, then.
Kanade emerged from one of the rooms.
–Melody: Ah, you're back already, Kanade.
–Kanade: We managed to get the water-elemental World Orb in one piece.
–Wakaba: And where are the others?
–Kanade: They're... drying their clothes.
–Wakaba: I can see what happened. Anyway, by any chance, did you receive a note?
–Kanade: Wakaba, how did you know?
–Aria: We also received those notes.
–Kanade: I see. Aria... I don't know that much about Mira, but I can tell you that she isn't part of my faction.
–Aria: I see. Then who or what could she be working for?
–Melody: Maybe she's after Lyra.
–Aria: That's possible.
–Wakaba: Kanade, you still haven't regained your memories?
–Kanade: No, I still haven't. Anyway, we should wait here for Lyra's group to come back.
–Miho: I guess that's okay.
–Wakaba: In the mean time...
–Wakaba: Umm, what exactly happened?
–Eun-Yeong: Ah, Wakaba. Well, we kind of fell off the boat when we arrived at the location.
–Wakaba: How did you manage to do that? Don't tell me you were leaning on the rails.
–Himawari: Well, it was her who was leaning. I tried to catch her, but fell into the ocean with her.
–Wakaba: I see... anyway, did you notice anything odd with the World Orb?
–Eun-Yeong: No. As usual, the defence system was active, and I used my spells to deactivate it.
–Wakaba: Well, I'm glad you're okay. Anyway...
Kanade entered the room.
–Kanade: Everyone, please gather in the war room.
–Eun-Yeong: War room?
–Wakaba: Hold on, shouldn't they change back first?
–Kanade: Ah, of course. We'll be waiting, so don't take too long.
Kanade left the room.
In the war room, everyone had gathered. Not only were Aria's and Kanade's groups gathered, but Lyra's group, who had just arrived with the earth-elemental World Orb, was also there. In addition, Uzuki and Tamaki were with Melody. Finally, Akari and her mother Akane were in attendance.
Himawari was the last to enter the war room.
–Himawari: Sorry to make you wait, everyone. Wait, Akane? If you're here, then it must be really urgent.
–Akari: Indeed it is. Himawari, please take a seat.
Himawari sat down at the table.
–Aria: Anyway, can we confirm the condition of the other World Orbs first?
–Kanade: No damage to the water-elemental World Orb, from what I can tell.
–Lyra: Mine is without a scratch.
–Melody: As for the air-elemental World Orb, so far nothing unusual has happened to it.
–Louise: So it's only the fire-elemental World Orb that has been affected...
–Akari: Anyway, my mother has something really important to inform you about. Akane rose from her seat.
–Akane: Everyone, I have gathered all of you here to tell you about an incoming spaceship.
–Louise: A spaceship?
–Akane: That's right. An unidentified spaceship has been detected by the Zodiac Warriors, Puella and the Royal Namari Navy. While we do not know what this unidentified ship is, a preliminary analysis suggests that it may be similar to the Spica and the Altair.
–Aoi: Melody, could that be your ship?
–Melody: No; I would've known if it were mine. However, given the notes that Kanade, Aria and I have received, I have reason to believe that it is, in fact, Lyra's ship, the Vega.
–Lyra: My... ship?
–Kanade: Obviously, being cut off from Donsilan civilisation for so long, you wouldn't have known about it, but as a pendant holder, you have your own ship. Now why it's heading here, I'm not sure.
–Melody: I believe I know.
–Akane: What do you think, Melody?
–Melody: Everyone, I want you to promise that you'll keep everything I say about this a secret.
–Akari: We will. Besides, Melody, there aren't that many humans you trust, so it'd be best to just keep this to ourselves.
–Melody: That's right. Anyway, have you ever wondered why there seems to only be four pendant holders when each planet has five World Orbs?
–Louise: That's something I've been wondering for a while.
–Aoi: But isn't the White Orb special?
–Akari: So, Melody, you're saying that a fifth pendant holder exists, right?
–Melody: That's right. And I believe that she is the one responsible for bringing the Vega here.
–Akane: I see. I get the picture now. Melody, thank you for telling us this. Anyway, have you gathered the World Orbs?
–Aria: We have. However, as we already know, the fire-elemental World Orb has been shattered.
Aria placed the bag containing the fragments on the table.
–Himawari: So this bag contains the fragments of the World Orb, right?
–Aria: That's right. However, we do not exactly know how to repair it. We have all of the fragments, but I'm not sure if the renewal ritual is enough.
–Uzuki: Well, there's only one way to find out. Come on, let's head to the royal palace!
–Tamaki: Uzuki, hold on a minute. We shouldn't rush things here.
–Miho: Tama-chan's right, U-chan. Besides, most of us are exhausted, so it'd be best for us to wait until tomorrow.
–Akane: Anyway, that is all we need to discuss for now. Everyone, please head back home and rest.
The girls, except Akari, left the war room.
–Akari: Mum, what do you think?
–Akane: Akari, do you know what has happened on Krukia?
–Akari: I'm well aware of what happened. But Yamamoto's keeping his word, right?
–Akane: He is. If the World Orbs keep shattering, then we may end up facing Gallurum sooner than expected. But I think I know what is causing the World Orbs to shatter.
The next day, the four pendant holders and Himawari gathered at the chamber of the World Orbs beneath the royal palace.
–Himawari: Has everyone brought the World Orbs?
Everyone nodded their heads.
–Himawari: Alright, then, let's place them on the pedestal.
Lyra placed the earth-elemental World Orb on to the pedestal. She was followed by Kanade and the water-elemental World Orb, then Melody and the air-elemental World Orb. Aria was last, and she placed the bag holding the orb fragments on the pedestal.
–Kanade: Aria, is it really okay not to remove the fragments from the bag?
–Aria: It's fine.
–Melody: Anyway, let's begin the renewal ritual. Lyra, do you remember what to do?
–Melody: Alright. On the count of three, one... two...
The girls held their pendants up to the pedestal, and all four began to glow.
–Lyra: Is it working?
The World Orbs began to glow as well. However, the glow faded after one minute. Aria approached the pedestal and opened the bag. She peered inside it.
–Aria: It's no use. It looks like this is too much for the renewal ritual.
–Lyra: Then... what do we do?
Just outside the gates to the palace, Uzuki was waiting. Suddenly, a young girl approached her.
–Girl: Excuse me, but is this the Namari Royal Palace?
–Uzuki: It is. What business do you have here. If you wish to have an audience with the queen, I'm afraid that she is busy right now. So is the princess.
–Girl: I see. Anyway, you must be Uzuki, right?
–Uzuki: How do you know my name?
–Girl: Well, you are a princess of this kingdom, right?
–Uzuki: Technically, yes, but I'm rarely called that. And I prefer it to remain that way.
–Girl: Anyway, I'd like to see the World Orbs.
–Uzuki: Wait, just who are you anyway? And what do you want with the World Orbs?
–Girl: Ah, I should introduce myself before I come inside. But before that...
The girl took out her pendant. Uzuki observed the pendant, which vividly displayed all the colours of the rainbow.
–Uzuki: This is...
–Himawari: Well, I guess there's nothing we can do now.
–Kanade: Hold on. Aria, open the bag.
–Aria: Ah, okay.
Aria opened the bag on the pedestal.
–Kanade: Himawari, focus your mana on the fragments.
–Himawari: Eh, why?
–Kanade: Just try it.
Himawari began to cast a spell, and an orange magic circle appeared beneath her feet. Mana began to gather within the bag.
–Kanade: Now, everyone, let's do this!
The pendant holders held out their pendants, and began to focus. White energy began to stream into the bag, and eventually a bright red glow emerged from it. After a few minutes, the glow died down.
–Himawari: Did it work?
Aria approached the bag and inspected its contents.
–Aria: I see a single orb.
–Lyra: So it worked, right?
–Melody: Hold on, we need to perform the renewal ritual as well.
–Lyra: A second time? It didn't work last time, so...
–Melody: Well, we won't know until we try. Aria, take the orb out of the bag.
–Aria: Ah, right.
Aria took the World Orb out of the bag and placed it on the pedestal.
–Melody: Alright, here goes... one... two...
The girls held their pendants toward the pedestal. All five World Orbs began to glow. Suddenly, a voice spoke to the pendant holders.
–Voice: <Pendant holders. The damage to the fire-elemental World Orb is too extensive for the renewal ritual to succeed as is.>
–Aria: No way...
–Kanade: You mean... we did all that for nothing?
–Voice: <No. You are simply missing a crucial item. Only with that item will the World Orb be repaired.>
–Lyra: Then... what is this item we need?
Suddenly, the door opened, and the girls turned around. On the other side of the doorway were Uzuki and the girl she met just outside the palace.
–Himawari: Ah, Uzuki, what are you doing here? And who is this girl anyway?
–Uzuki: Listen, everyone. This girl is...
–Lyra: Wait... I recognise you...
Lyra ran towards the girl and embraced her.
–Lyra: You came for me! But... I can't quite recall your name.
–Girl: It's Mira. Don't worry, Uzuki told me everything about your memories, and those of Kanade.
–Aria: Mira... you came. But why?
–Mira: I'll explain later. There is still something we need to do first.
Mira approached the pedestal and placed her pendant on it.
End of Episode 44