83 Kirishima Family 1 Kirishima Masamune
「Please raise your head, Meria-san. There’s no need for you to apologize like that」
The previous capital that was destroyed during the great war, and in exchange for that, the center city 『Imperial Capital』 was newly established in Tokyo. Among the buildings in the Imperial Capital, there was a black skyscraper that stood out. Kurono Meria and Kurono Kagenobu were in the office at the top floor which is where the leader of the army is.
It was the room of Kirishima Masamune, the most important person of the Imperial Army who is appointed with the role of 『Commander』, and also the founder of the world-leading munition corporation 「Kirishima Corporation」.
「Kurono, if even you apologize, it makes me feel regretful. I was the one who left my daughter in your care. Originally, it’s a parent’s duty to protect the child. From the beginning, I don’t think of making you to carry such responsibility」
「No, Commander Kirishima……this occasion was a deplorable event of our school. I think that no matter how many times we apologize, it won’t be enough since we made your daughter to go through such thing. We are really sorry」
Saying that, Kurono Meria kept her head bowed. Then, Teihen High School’s principal, Kurono Kagenobu stands up.
「I have already received enough apologies. Above all, regarding this case, it’s also my fault that I didn’t disclose the information about Kaname properly. If you have the information from the start, things may have changed. Anyway, please raise your head, Meria-san. You’re making me troubled」
Upon hearing that, Kurono Meria straightens herself silently.
In front of her, there is a mountain of documents on the table, and a large man who’s wearing the unique Imperial Army Leader’s black uniform, Kirishima Masamune is standing beside the table. He is 195cm tall which is slightly lower than Kurono Kagenobu, but still, his trained body happen to have the dignity as one of the top in the power of the state.
「I heard that you obtained some important information on your side, but……let’s start from the 『reason』 why my daughter was kidnapped. I prefer it that way」
The man begins the talk politely to the two of them.
「Do you have a clue?」
「Ah, yes. And this is something that I must apologize to you two. Well, let’s not talk while standing. Please have a seat」
Kirishima Masamune said that, and suggested them to sit on the sofa. After making sure that they sat on the sofa, he opens his mouth slowly.
「My third daughter, Kaname was the 『Extra Individual (EP)』 of the final stage of the 【Talent User Production Project】, Project Number Six during the war. First, I should have told you that before she enrolled」
Hearing that, Kurono Meria opens her eyes wide.
「Project Number Six……then, Kirishima-san is as expected……!」
「Hey, what do you mean by that?」
「That’s right. It looks like Meria-san have already guessed it, but……Kaname possessed an 『artificial』 Talent. My Talent 【Divider】 was used as the original and was copied into her. Her two older sisters are the same too」
「The 【Extra Individual (EP)】of the 【Talent User Production Project】 is the secretly tested subject. I have seen the numbers of subjects through documents, but……」
「Ah, that’s right. Satsuki took the surgery when she was 11 in Project Number Four, while Setsuna took it when she was 7 in Project Number Five. And they manifested the Talent 【Divider】. After that, at the final stage of Project Number Six, it was Kaname who took the surgery」
「That Haba’s research, huh. You let him touched your own daughters?」
「Ah. You can laugh all you want. At that time, I really believed that it was the best for my daughters. That in order to survive in this abnormal era, there’s a need to obtain a strong Talent」
「……Everyone would think so during the war」
Upon hearing Kurono Meria’s words, Kirishima Masamune smiles slightly and nods silently.
「But I realized my fault long after that. 9 【Sites】 signed an agreement of inviolability, and the long war ended……Even the opposing power signed a peace treaty and peace came to this era.
And yet, those girls chose to join the battlefield on their own. That’s all because they have 『power』」
Kirishima Masamune’s voice was filled with regret, and the two of them just listened to him silently.
「I allowed them to hold such power. Ultimately, Level 5……Kurono, I know that they won’t stand a chance against you guys of the top level」
「I don’t think it was useless」
「Haha, if Kurono say that, it feels slightly weird」
Then, Kurono Meria slipped in a question.
「But if I am not mistaken, Kaname-san was……」
「Yes, that’s right. Meria-san.
Kaname was different from them. According to Haba, he performed the surgery normally, but for some reason, the Talent almost didn’t manifest. In the end, it seemed that the copy of the ability failed」
「Failed, is it?」
「But the war ended immediately after that, and I started to think that she was lucky gradually」
「While having an important role in the army, I don’t want Kaname to step into this kind of barren territory if possible. I started to wish so before I know it.
I don’t want her to have unnecessary power and I want her to live peacefully. This era allows it. People who have powers can just protect them. Although she didn’t like it, I thought that it was the best for her. ……It’s really a convenient story」
「Fufu, really, it’s not something of my position to say things like this. I would be glad if you take this as a foolish father’s monologue」
「Hey, what’s the reason of being kidnapped? Why only Kaname was targeted?」
「Ah, you’re right」
Kirishima Masamune ponders for a while and opens his mouth once again.
「I don’t have anything certain. But there are 2 clues」
「2, is it?」
「First one is as a result, due to the cancellation of the 【Talent User Production Project】 accompanied by the end of the war, Kaname became Haba’s final subject. He was obsessed with the project. Exceeding the work limit of the secret country project, he seemed to treat research as his own purpose in life. Hence, I think that it’s not strange that he would target Kaname who became an incomplete subject」
「……What’s the other one?」
「The next clue is they know each other. For Satsuki and Setsuna, they only took an indirect surgery by Haba because I was cautious of him, so they didn’t meet him, but Kaname was the only one who met him directly」
「Meet him directly? Does that mean that both of them know each other’s face?」
「Ah. However, Kaname was 5 years old at that time. She probably doesn’t remember about it. But that was really my mistake. At that time, I misunderstood about 「Haba Ryuuichi」. You can say that I already trusted him as a subordinate because he completed the surgery on my two daughters successfully. I misread his true nature and showed an opening. Even though he’s in charge of the secret Talent research, I was careless to think that he was just a researcher」
「……Haba is not a person that you can let your guard down. I can say that for sure now, but……」
「When the project was decided to be discontinued, Haba was already moving strangely. There were traces of him taking the research materials to the outside under the pretext of experimenting on the subjects. When I think about it now, I should have dispose him by executing him instantly at that point」
「Are those the information you have?」
「Ah, these are originally, information that I should have disclosed. You understand, right? That the moment I didn’t tell this, it’s already my mistake」
「Well, but still, we are also responsible for it……」
「Hey, Meria. Enough with that already. Now’s our turn」
「Ah, please do so. Can you tell me, Meria-san?」
Hearing that from Kirishima Masamune, Kurono Meria starts to talk about the information she prepared.
「Yes. We have 2 from our side. The first is about your daughter, Kirishima Kaname-san」
Kirishima Masamune cast his eyes down when he heard his own daughter’s name.
「This is only an unconfirmed information, but the mastermind of this case said something really bothering」
「I also heard that. He said 「There are 3 people of the 【Principle】 here」」
While biting his lips upon hearing the words from Kurono, Kirishima Masamune ponders.
「That’s the said boy who ran to the site, Kurono, and……don’t tell me, the other one is」
「Yes. Guessing from the man’s remark in the situation, it is probably your daughter, Kirishima Kaname-san」
「No, impossible……you mean that girl? That Kaname who suffered because she could only manifest a weak Talent?」
「Regarding that point, it is still unconfirmed, so we need to investigate it. However, on the occasion of the School War the other day, Kaname-san’s Talent showed a surprising improvement. Because it was a sudden change, her Talent evaluation was changed from 【Divider】 to 【Edge Manipulator】, but this is generally impossible. From my view as a Talent appraiser, there are many strange points about her Talent」
「……I see. But to be a 【Principle】……Meria-san, can such thing really occur?」
「It is not confirmed yet, but when thinking about the course of events until now, I think you can consider it」
「……What irony. The girl who I tried to keep her away from power, is like that」
Just like that, Kirishima Kaname’s father, Masamune cast his eyes downwards and pondered for a while.
Unable to just watch him, Kurono speaks.
「It’s not confirmed yet, right? It’s all after investigating it」
「Ah, you’re right. Can you let me investigate about it for the moment? There’s a specialist of this kind of thing in the intelligence department. I also want her to see it. I will report the results to you. I also want to hear Kurono’s opinion as a 【Principle】 Talent User」
「Yes, please do so」
「Then, the next one. Meria」
Against the man who started to turn forward slightly, Kurono Kagenobu urged Kurono Meria for the next topic while looking at his wristwatch.
「Ah, please continue」
「Yes. The next one is the information about 「Haba Ryuuichi」」
「Haba? I think that I heard that you said that this conversation would be on the mastermind of the assault in the call」
「He’s not Haba. I saw him directly, so I’m sure of it」
「Ah, I received such report from the army’s inquiry division. The DNA extracted from the blood in the site, was concluded to be 「Kiryuu Yousuke」. This information is not different from yours, right?」
「Yes. However, it is conceivable that the mastermind 「Kiryuu Yousuke」 has the 『knowledge』 and 『personality』 of Haba」
「What? What do you mean? Don’t tell me……」
「Haba probably made his own copy. Furthermore, there is a possibility that there are multiple of them. Their aim is unknown. But we need to create a force to deal with that」
「There’s a possibility that Haba’s sphere of influence will be added to the Dark Side which is already giving the army’s Talent Police Force a problem, is it?」
「Yes. There is a high possibility that such force will increase below the surface, and I think that it is necessary to get information from now on」
While biting his lips upon hearing Kurono Meria’s words, Commander Kirishima Masamune cast his eyes down and muttered.
「……Again, a war, huh」
「……In order to prevent that, I think we need to make our move quick」
The room was enveloped by silence for a while, and the three of them just stayed silent.
「Masa. We can only say this much. Sorry, but we’re leaving now. We need to meet Akihito next」(TN: Author changed the Mikado’s name)
It was Kurono Kagenobu who broke the silence. While saying his next plan, he confirms his own wristwatch.
「Commander Kirishima, I am very sorry, but it is just as what Otou-san said. We will be leaving now」
Turning around to Kirishima Masamune, Kurono Meria bows.
「Ah, sorry. My monologue took too much time」
Just like that, Kirishima Masamune calls out to them suddenly when they were trying to leave.
Kurono Meria stopped upon hearing the voice, and turned around.
「Yes, what is is?」
「As a military personnel, and furthermore, the head of defense industry, it might be weird to ask something like this, but……Meria-san. Do you hate war?」
「……Yes. Of course」
「What do you hate the most in war?」
「I hate people dying in the battlefield」
「People dying in the battlefield, huh」
「Yes. I think human should die like a human. Not dying like being melted in half or being cut into small pieces or exploding like a balloon. If possible, I don’t want anyone to die in such a cruel way」
「……Your words are heavy」
「Because I have killed many. Even during the assault the other day. That place was a place that affirms such action. And a war makes everything into battlefield. I must make sure that no one will experience such thing at least by the next generation」
「You’re right. I think so too. It’s not something I can say because I’m still selling the weapons, though」
「You are wrong, Commander Kirishima. Power depends on how you use it. Depending on the user’s heart, it can be a lethal weapon but it can also be a tool for self-protection」
「Depending on the use, huh」
「Therefore, there is a need to make the Talent Users of the next generation to have the right strength by getting rid of the absurd. I think that way. This should be something that can prevent the disastrous scene」
「So that’s why Kurono created that school as a 『low class』 that scoops up the overflowing Talent Users from the society」
「It’s not something that complicated. There are too many brats who have Talents, are off the path now. I just created a place for them」
「Fufu, at first, I thought that you should do something about the name a little more, but……thinking back now, I think that it’s a good name」(TN: “Low class” and the “Teihen” from Teihen High School have the same pronunciation, but different kanji)
「Hey, enough with the reminiscence」
「Ah, sorry for stopping you. My bad habit came out again. As the army and Kirishima Corporation, we value the cooperation with you. Please tell me anything if there’s anything I can do. ……Ah, and」
「What, you have more?」
Kurono Kagenobu looks at the man in front with a fed up face. Although this man may look quiet at first glance, when he starts speaking, it would get extremely long.
「If there’s any politicians who’re associated with the Dark Side like Inou, I’ll crush them right away. Please report any information without hesitation if you have it」
「Ah. But don’t overdo it」
「Don’t worry. I’m just following the current law. Otherwise, it would return to that era. I know that much」
「Right. Protect the order. Otherwise, you’ll be the same as them」
「Ah, I know」
「Then, we’re leaving. Don’t stop us anymore. I’ll bring alcohol the next time」
「Ah, goodbye. I look forward to it」
Just like that, the large man in a black uniform, makes sure the two of them left the room, and he sits on the chair while exhaling greatly.
「……I need to talk to Kaname about a lot of things, no, first, I need to apologize……」
When the man muttered that, he started to approve the mountain of permission approval documents while thinking about his daughter who’s on her way back home.