Chapter 13:

Blue metal

Blue in the sky

After a week, the Academy was practically empty with few students and teachers left who vary part of the Phoenix operation, Junjoumaru left the infirmary early, so much so he was still with some dressings on his body, we were waiting for him at the door doing the same pose as my second date with him, then we laughed at the situation that is marked in our memories and we went straight to the dorm, on the way explain what would happen from now on because of the letter I received the night before his discharge and when we got to our room he can read the letter in full.Bookmark here

— This general, rigid as ever, will soon send us to jump on a bridge just to attend to his own whimsBookmark here

The General honored us with his word, for this letter was the presentation honor, this document certifying that we would be present at the phoenix operation, only this document said that the operation would begin in the courtyard of the Academy, the place where the opening ceremony took place, at noon today and also said that if the summoned is not present at the time wearing his uniform would be expelled from the Academy automatically, it was already ten hours and this did Junjoumaru’s blood boiled by the possibility of expulsion for such a silly reason, however, he saw a package that looked like a gift in his bed, that item there was a letter, but that was only read right after he opened the present: it was a new pair of uniforms, coming directly from his mother who among her routine at work at court took the time to buy a new pair of uniforms for him and Victoria, she also said she would enjoy the vacation with her husband, something that had not occurred since the birth of Ayako so that they would go some time without responding to them, we knew that his parents would have a lot of fun, but Junjoumaru did not think so much and soon put on the uniform, he was impeccable, except for his smell, After all, it’s been a while since he’s had a full-body swim, so he took a bath and right after we went to the Academy yard.Bookmark here

— Are you late, were you getting ready for the prom?— Victoria was already prepared and waiting for us in the courtyard in front of both dormitories, we quickly greeted her and went with the same speed to the courtyard of the Academy that different from the opening ceremony this rather empty, should this around twenty students, Including us, many of them seemed afraid of this operation, but all of them turned their attention to General Hostviner who, along with his teachers, took the stage together, only that unlike the opening ceremony they were wearing the standard uniform of the order.Bookmark here

— I thank all those present here, after all of the people I selected, you made the point of being present today, you must remember very well what I said here six months ago about that event that was called the occurrence of the Coliseum and the urgency of having new soldiers in the troop as soon as possible, something that hasn't occurred since the need for the foundation of the order, as we were well lucky during this rare period of six months without Ghosts attacks, or if you remember well the management crisis classes: of the Stray Dogs, you, today, shared the same story of those who founded the Cities because you will be the pioneers of this new method that mix theoretical and practical learning, you will be the phoenix cubs that are the order of Holdfighters, in this next one month you will have combat training with the HF Armors, theoretical survival classes outside the City and the main one, you will visit the outside of the Wall and will glimpse the splendor from this world we live in, for those who are still afraid of it, they will be able to leave from now on, anyone?Bookmark here

With the lack of answers, Hostviner closed his speech wishing good luck to all and as his first order with superior in this operation ordered everyone to go to the refectory because after lunch the lessons would be given until nightfall, Before I left for his office he asked me to speak alone.Bookmark here

—Lt. Col. Berna explained to me what happened to you last week, since then have you felt something strange with you or your arm?Bookmark here

— Nothing, I didn't try to do a test to see if it would react differently, this week my routine consisted of visiting the gym and reading a little in the library.Bookmark here

— Wow, didn't know you had fun reading, what is your favorite genre?Bookmark here

—Basically fiction, I don't have a specific genre, but I've been reading some interesting books.Bookmark here

— Look, you can tell what you like, I can be a little eccentric, but I can keep secrets well, besides I also really like to read if you don't remember the title of the story, just talk about it and I can give you her title— He looked like a father trying to fit in with his son who wouldn’t talk because of work, and I accepted because Hostviner is superb but not dumb.— Well the story was about a happy girl with a very close friend with everyone around her and everyone made fun of him, but when he was on her side he smiled, they both liked stars a lot, so much so that he, that was quite studious, explained about the stars and planets to her who reciprocated telling stories of great kingdoms and castles, both had goals to create their own kingdom on a nearby planet, but they parted when her family went to the big city while he stayed with his family in a city that wasn't even considered from the countryside, but it didn't have the same immensity of the city her family moved to, but they both played cards with pictures of the night sky, in the part I stopped reading he moved to the city where she lived because he went to study at a university there.Bookmark here

— Have you gone far in? well, you've probably read Blue in the Sky, it's a book with a navy blue cover, I hope you have time to read it before we head out of the City— He perfectly accepted the color of the book cover, but we could not continue because Victoria was calling me I hope he doesn't feel sad about the end of the story. it seemed that I had heard the general’s voice, but when I turned back he seemed quiet until the arrival of Berna who seemed to want to talk to him, something important because his calm side was soon changed with the beginning of the conversation, it seemed that it was about work, That’s what I understood when I saw his face before I entered the institution.Bookmark here

— What were you talking about?— Victoria understood our conversation, after all, she called me.Bookmark here

—We were talking about the book that I was readingBookmark here

—The one I referred for you?Bookmark here

— Which one?— Junjoumaru was with us to go through the mess hall, but I didn’t tell him what book I was reading since I started reading this book just when he went to the infirmary, So I was enjoying my free time between visiting him and spending my time in the library.Bookmark here

—Blue in the SkyBookmark here

—Victoria, is it really true that you referred him to that book, was it the one that Ayako liked?Bookmark here

— You don't remember when our grandfather read this book to us, this book was good for a reason, if you read the book…Bookmark here

— I've read the entire book three times, I even memorized the end of the work…Bookmark here

— So what is this ending like?—I interrupted their discussion, it seemed that Junjoumaru would not like to relive the past while Victoria seemed to want to rewire with those same memories, I did not know the weight of that book in the memories of both.Bookmark here

— No need to worry, you will discover how amazing this book is.— So the focus of the conversation shifted to our everyday life and we talked some inside jokes among ourselves, right after lunch we were divided into two groups, while Victoria and Junjoumaru went to the HF Armor practice classes, I went to a class on how to survive outside the Wall, in which we learned the importance of the Pilot uniform, that orange jumpsuit that has that color when we were inside the City perimeter, this perimeter consists of all dwellings within the Wall and about 100 meters away from the total circumference of the City, outside this perimeter it is necessary to be in the riding uniform with a sealed helmet, so that no air leaves or enters the uniform, on the outside the color of the uniform changes to black for chemical reasons, but the main reason for this color is to capture the maximum amount of solar radiation for the entire technological artifact to work, in addition to the process of artificial photosynthesis required, but the clothing possessed a large weight, at least it was what I saw with the other students, because when I put this uniform, the color of the jumpsuit changed from orange to black automatically, when I reported it to the teacher, he said I could watch the rest of the class without him and the rest of the class was just first aid lessons, at the end of that class that same teacher who reported the "error" of the uniform asked me to stay in the room until the arrival of Berna.Bookmark here

— So this is what happens when a person with your condition while wearing the pilot's uniform, you felt any tingling or the urge to vomit when you put it on?—She had a clipboard to write down my answer, and even though she asked me other symptoms I answered no, so she stopped asking to reformulate her hypothesis.— Look, you will be a mental pilot when you go to practice tomorrow, this will be the best choice for you, try to sleep well because unlike my mechanics classes I won't let you rest easy during my lessons, you can ask your friends, they say how peaceful was today's class.Bookmark here

I did not understand her provocation, but when I went to the mess hall I saw Junjoumaru and his extremely tired cousin, so tired that they did not meet me with their typical warm welcome, it surprised me and I immediately asked what happened to them— That felt like hell.— The smiling facet of Junjoumaru disappeared to show a suffering and dehydrated facet of someone who spent countless years living in the middle of a desert with very limited food supply, while Victoria was practically sleeping at the table, After dinner, we took her to the dorm, because she finally arrived at the kingdom of Hypnos just after she finished her meal, on the way to our dorm Junjoumaru talked a little about how was the class.Bookmark here

He said that Berna explained to them about the differences of the control interfaces and the two ended up becoming body pilots, they spent the rest of the afternoon testing the use fighting each other, checking how much G-force they could handle and even drove upside down, it made Junjoumaru vomit during class, it explained the fact that he smelled when we met and it also showed Victoria’s tiredness, when we entered the room he ran to the shower, while I picked up the book to read right after changing clothes, I rented the book to finish reading it in my own room since I would not have time to stay in the library, when I started reading I practically resumed diving into the story that I didn’t realize that Morpheus came to get me.Bookmark here

“In the middle of the pages of the books, I remembered Annabella, when I saw the countless stars, dates between these essays, I remembered her voice from the times when we played together, we imagined stories with warriors and monarchs who conquered the world in their light.”—It's been a while since I saw those words, I was surprised that you chose this book right away, I hope you continue to enjoy this book, it's the best book of my life— That cherry blossom-colored girl was sitting in what appeared to be a library, she was holding the book while drinking a cup of tea, unlike the last time I was chained in front of her, it seemed that she wanted to demonstrate superiority to me by touching my arm with the intention of taking me to the place where she was, but she could not precisely by the chains that trapped my body, at every pull of it, my body seemed to energize itself, hurting me in the process.Bookmark here

—STOP IT HURTS, it hurts a lot, please stop.—For the first time I could say something inside the dream, something that surprised her too because my voice reverberated in the environment, but in an alien tone for me.Bookmark here

—You've been evolving, since when you could communicate, it's not possible, I should have seen the records before I communicated, now the great mother will make a nice complaint on me—She was leafing through another book, but it had the same blue cover until it stopped on a specific page and despaired of its contents, I couldn’t look right because when it came to this page, she automatically closed this book and it seemed like she was depending on herself waiting for the whole scenario that she was wrapped up like a picnic mat—We'll be meeting up soon, I hope you're wearing something fancy as I'll be wearing something that will grab everyone's attention, GoodbyeBookmark here

Her departure caused me extreme seasickness that I woke up quickly I went to the bathroom and practically vomited everything I had eaten the day before, it left me dehydrated and surprised Junjoumaru who woke up with my rush— What happened to you, until yesterday you were fine, but you woke up and you're already vomiting, did you happen to go out for a drink?— When I was able to pull myself together, I realized that the book in my bed seemed to have its edges lightly burned, but I didn’t worry about it because it was time to go to the mess hall, to eat our breakfast, the urgency made us simply ready for the next day, at the exit of the dorm we met with Victoria who still seemed extremely sleepy who hardly noticed us, but after the reinforced breakfast she cheered up and took her dear cousin to survival class, but they said to go to the garage that there would start the class.Bookmark here

It seemed that the fear of the previous day had reached my colleagues, they all seemed dismayed or frightened by the possible torture session and it didn’t help when Berna came in raving at everyone, she basically told me everything that Junjoumaru told me yesterday, but when she noticed that everyone already knew this information, she went straight for the test to define the pilots' affinity, At least that’s what I can notice because I stayed out of that exam that consisted of them getting into a cockpit for the mind pilot and everyone coming out of the cockpit vomiting, the second test would be for those who couldn’t stand the first test, was to get on a gyroscope and see how long they lasted, the one that lasted the longest, about two minutes, had to go to the infirmary, Berna didn’t let me participate in those two tests, it generated anger in everyone on the spot.Bookmark here

Finally, we entered the HF Armor, after the result set our interfaces, but still generated a certain confusion, for even with the high numbers of cockpits for body pilots it was still necessary to commission more such units by the high approved numbers of body pilots, but during the waiting, Berna placed us within the units present, As I entered it seemed that I had seen this same cockpit before, so much so that that same phrase was on the screen, when I sat my body off in the blink of an eye, when I woke up I was already connected to HF Armor, everyone was amazed by it.Bookmark here

—HEY!!!! Are you listening to us, if you understand wave your arm?— When I replied to Berna, she was surprised and quickly gave me some instructions on how to go to the small stadium, run inside the stadium, activate the combat system and train with the Field Tool, but the three standard utensils that were present were not compatible with me, however when I returned my vision to the entrance of the stadium and I was automatically attacked by HF Armor that seemed to be piloted by someone professional because the second I was already on the ground.Bookmark here

—Come on, it's been a while since I've piloted an HF Armor, so I'm sorry if you get hurt, but that's necessary for us to be able to format some theories for our operation.— Berna communicated via radio with me, this was the first time she tried to communicate via this route with me, so I was confused because HF Armor did not have speakers to communicate with civilians, but when I heard her voice it sounded like she was talking to me like I was in the classroom, not her way of speaking, but her tone of voice sounded like we were in the environment, yet during my reflection, she would unleash numerous attacks against me, I was practically on the ground most of the time.— Come on, you don't have to be afraid, your goal is to knock me to the ground, if you can't, I hope you've already gathered your things to go home— Unlike the tone of voice we used to hear during the semester, Berna was defying a more animalistic tone of voice for the other students who were going to the stadium field already driving the HF Armors, but this did not change the result, I tried to blend into the horde of students who attacked her and were summarily defeated by her, but they were with their Field Tools while I only possessed the bluish hands of armor, when I stopped to repair, all the HF armors were silver while my unit was all in blue, so I remembered the night of the Colosseum occurrence and automatically went into a frenzy, my memories of the event with if it were flashes, all I remember was attacking everyone without distinction, of other HF Armors arriving from the sky, from them dismembering me my arm that was turned into a dagger and then all stabbing me at the same time, making me feel an unbearable pain that managed to steal my conscience with a smell of burnt metal.Bookmark here

— In fact, this kid will be of great benefit on the front lines, but it is still necessary to polish him so as not to attack our troops.—The imposing voice of the general woke me up, he seemed to talk to someone on the phone behind the white curtains that skirted my bed.— I see you were happy with his evolution, but that was costly.Bookmark here

—Not so much, thank goodness he didn't kill you or those students, but even so it was almost twelve extremely damaged units, their repair bill will still fall on me—When I heard Berna’s voice, I quickly tried to call her, but my throat was dry and it hurt with every sound I tried to play, I would put my right arm on her to try to ease the pain, but when I realized I screamed with fright that the two who were talking next to me opened the curtain to see what was happening: my arm was broken, only existed until my elbow, but the phantom pain of an amputated limb amplified my despair— By the way Sleeping Beauty has finally woken up, her arm will return to its original shape by tomorrow, at least that's what we think after seeing her medical history after Bloody Night, you're lucky your arm has this ability, many people who were in your situation it would be six months before you even never wake up.Bookmark here

When the general spoke it returned to my mind that memory of the hospital, of those desperate people trapped in inanimate bodies, to remind me of that day arose in me vomit craving, to remember the suffering of all who were there, seeing me in this state the general summoned the doctor to help me, after-event the general explained that I would still be in operation phoenix, but being in a state more advanced compared to my colleagues, so much so that I would visit the security perimeter tomorrow, but I was relieved of the other activities of the day, something that surprised me was to look behind the general and see that the windows showed that it was near in the late afternoon and to feel the light of Sirius slowly recharging me, so much so that when he left to answer a call, I was feeling better—You should lie a little longer as you may be feeling better when you feel Sirius' light, but it's just a feeling as our data shows that you are recharging your Blue disease— Berna stayed when the general was leaving and she quickly realized my "improvement" and quickly diminished my animus.Bookmark here

—Blue disease?Bookmark here

— Your arm is something extreme of a phenomenon we call Blue disease, usually, this happens when a combatant is infected by some substance coming from the Ghosts, your skin has a coloration in the place of contact with this substance.Bookmark here

— So can I die from that arm?—I felt a fear of death for the first time since the Bloodynight, but quickly Berna tried to relieve my panic— You’re a rare case where you've survived for so long without having a problem that we've documented before, so we don't know what will happen to you in the future, but since you're here, alive, then you'll probably stay alive in the future and fulfill your promise to your sister, so take a break and talk to your friends who are already at the door.—She pointed at the entrance door of the infirmary and then I could see the worried face of both were already squeezing at the door to check my health, when a nurse opened this door, they both fell automatically, but after they got up and ran off towards me, asked about what happened to me and if I was hurting, the funny thing was seeing their faces when they saw my arm destroyed, Junjoumaru fainted while Victoria was amazed at the state of my arm and how slowly it "regenerated".Bookmark here

— Do you feel any pain in that arm?Bookmark here

—Not when you touch it, but every time I remember the full form I feel something like a shock, though I'm feeling like my arm is being ripped open.—I told her, my arm accelerated the regeneration process of simple ash fragments connecting to make a small part for a cluster of particles coming together simultaneously, this event looked like a hurricane was happening in my arm, terrorizing everyone on the spot, all instinctively moved away from the scene of a miniature storm, with lightning and strong gale, this show lasted a few seconds and with its end some doctors and patients left the place, obstructing the entry of the general who upon seeing this event became amazed and quickly responded to the one who was talking "that everything was happening", Berna soon fetched his bag to note down everything that had happened, Victoria froze with fear of the event, while Junjoumaru soon recovered from his fainting spell with the lights coming from my arm, The last thing I could remember before I was the faint one was that the light coming through the window changed sharply from orange to purple and all the white curtains looked stained by blue coming from my arm.Bookmark here

—Welcome to the goddess temple, be graced by memories lost in the sea of time.— The peaceful domain of Morpheus that I normally frequented became the true Tartar because when I opened my eyes there I came across a gorge whose sky above had the same purple color as the infirmary, I tried to escape the possible fall, but in the end, I was swallowed by the darkness at the bottom of this gorge, the only phrase I heard from the place before closing my eyes again possessed the same tone of voice as the girl with cherry-flower hair.Bookmark here

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