.hack//C.S. Chapter 13
Ikaruga returns to town with his “usual method.” Then, from the bridge, he watches the sunset. Various things were jettisoned onto him in a short span of time. As such, for the first time in a long while, he’d like to slowly contemplate all of it.
Ikaruga hears footsteps running towards him from behind.
“What a relief. Just as I expected… you came here.” Divine, despite her heavy breathing, is relieved to see Ikaruga unharmed.
Ikaruga, however, in response to her joyful expression, stiffens. He gives her a distrustful stare and speaks with a low tone. “…tell me again. Why are you sticking by my side?”
“Why? Because no matter what, I want to rescue you…”
Ikaruga steps away from the bridge’s handrail and approaches Divine. “Are you, part of the C.C. Corporation?”
“Like I’ve said before, I already quit.”
“Maybe, but can you prove it?”
Divine is baffled by Ikaruga’s attitude. His behavior is nothing like how he has been until now.
“I’ll tell you something good, chibi-neko…” Ikaruga bends his knees and lowers himself towards Divine’s ear. “I’ve remembered just about everything.”
Divine looks at Ikaruga in shock, but he isn’t the Ikaruga she has come to know. On his expressionless face are sharp eyes full of mistrust and a smile radiating in self-confidence. She has only seen such an expression once before and it was on the 100 man PKer. The person who first wielded twin blades, than a great sword, and now a scythe and is revered as the strongest PKKer, [[The Terror of Death]] the PKKer Haseo.
The expression Ikaruga shows to Divine is exactly like Haseo’s. It don’t think it’s exclusive to that Avatar, but The Terror of Death is an apt alias.
“Well, what about that Yata P.C.?”
Divine does her best to stay calm in order to avoid stimulating Ikaruga. “…Do you want to meet him?”
“That guy, I’m positive he’s a C.C. Corporation employee. There’s a lot I want to hear from him.”
Even though an immediate answer is impossible, Ikaruga won’t wait long. Divine squeezes her eyes shut as she can’t respond to his expectations. She says, “I understand, however, since he doesn’t always stay in one place, I’ll try to contact him.”
Divine, judging that separating from Ikaruga then and there would be too suspicious, sends ★ a short message. [Is Yata at the Serpent of Lore?]
[He isn’t here. Actually, saying he’s gone missing would be more accurate. Pi-san is frantically searching various areas for him.]
Divine doesn’t have time to ponder why Yata would vanish. He just did so at the worst moment possible. She says, “I’m sorry, he doesn’t seem to be available.”
“…in that case, I’ll wait. Notify me the instant he returns.” Ikaruga then returns to leaning against the bridge’s railing and resumes watching the sunset.
Divine, unable to continue the conversation, nods and walks away. However, that Yata would vanish is strange. To begin with, for someone to go missing on the net is impossible. Furthermore, this is Yata.
Divine’s intuition prompts her to head for the Serpent of Lore. Once inside, she discovers Pi moving about in a rare fluster. Apparently, Yata truly is missing.
A call for everyone to gather is sent out and soon Haseo, Atoli, and blue haired steam gunner appear within at the Serpent of Lore.
Haseo expresses himself in a single breath. “Seriously, you need help for something like this?”
Pi, however, doesn’t have the leeway to rebuke him. She’s too busy typing away at the terminal in her ceaseless search for Yata. Not once do her hands stop.
Pi instantly switches on the monitor as she says, “…found him.” The area displayed is the lowest level of a cave-type dungeon.
Divine loses composure for once and raises her voice as she says, “Hold on, that’s…”
Yata’s P.C. is wrapped within an orange pattern. The audio isn’t very clear, but he’s clearly in pain.
The steam gunner turns to Pi as he says, “Yata’s has an Avatar too!?”
Pi steps away from the Serpent of Lore as she says, “…Yeah, and judging from the current situation, there’s a high chance it’s going berserk.”
Haseo stops Pi before she can get too far. “Are you planning on going alone?” At the same time, he signals the steam gunner with his eyes. The steam gunner nods and leaves the room ahead of Pi.
Divine follows the flow Haseo setup and says, “Although I might not be any help, let me come as well.”
“Then ★ will stay here and monitor the situation for all of you.”
Pi calls out to Divine as she’s about to open the door, “At this time, you…” but is too late.
“Yata looking into Koch might have…” The door shutting drowns out that sentence’s conclusion.
Pi calms herself by taking a deep breath and runs after the three.
The bridge needs to be crossed in order to reach the Chaos Gate. As they reach Ikaruga’s spot, he reacts to Haseo’s presence.
Ikaruga, despite his head being assailed by a light noise, notices Divine. He says to himself, “…tch, what are you doing together with that guy?”
Then, after taking a moment to think it over, he follows them to the dome. Once he’s before the gate, he closes his eyes.
[To the same place as those from earlier…]
Ikaruga is enveloped by the Chaos Gate’s rings for the first time. The goddess appears to be granting him permission to use this method of transportation, but it’s only because P.C. aren’t able to travel to his destination.
Ikaruga appears on the third floor. He chose that spot in anticipation to Divine’s later arrival.
His first action is to advance forward. He turns left at the T-juncture, but comes across a dead end with two treasure boxes. With a click of his tongue towards his bad luck, he returns to the juncture and takes the other path. That’s when he hears something.
That isn’t the cry of a monster.
The sound is muffled, but it sounds somewhat like a groan.
Ikaruga dashes forth after the sound and soon comes across a head of the beast statue. He slows to a walk and spots the lord of the voice. Crouched down inside is Yata.
He walks straight up to Yata and looks down at him. He then places the tip of his taichi against Yata’s forehead as he says, “I felt something strange back when we met at that area. Looks like I was right, you’re also an Epitaph User.”
Ikaruga, for some reason he can’t explain, is overwhelmed with both anger and a sense of superiority at seeing Yata’s condition.
He reminds me of someone…
“I get it now, looking at you makes me think of that bastard, Amagi… You’re just like him, getting all of us involved just for the sake of “killing” truth.”
He was the project’s chief executive, a man who couldn’t handle the seeing truth. Despite always acting like a bigshot, he was able to escape responsibility by becoming one of the victims.
Ikaruga’s expression relaxes. He glances at Yata and speaks with a laidback tone. “Mine’s a bit deteriorated, but I’m an Epitaph User too… I can teach you how to properly evoke yours.”
Yata, despite being halfway to breaking down, snaps at Ikaruga. “I’m… perfectly fine… thank you.”
Ikaruga’s expression doesn’t falter. Instead, he just lowers the hand holding his tachi and eases his eyes shut. He takes a light hearted deep breath and focuses on his consciousness while remembering how he felt at that time.
He finds that which connects them. Within him stirs a score composed of C major.
A swirl of patterns appear on Ikaruga’s body. Following soon after is the silhouette of his Avatar, the first form of Skeith. Yet, his is different from Haseo’s. Not only is it enveloped by noise, but there are areas where its pixels are fracturing. Even the horn arcing off the head cracks.
Ikaruga grits his teeth as he invokes a large scythe. It too deteriorates. The sickle’s edge crumbles into dust. Still, despite the Avatar’s form, it’s sufficient for harvesting the present Yata.
Ikaruga says, “I was planning on asking you some question, but that doesn’t matter anymore. The Epitaph Users, the C.C. Corporation, I’ll eliminate them all.” As Skeith, Ikaruga swings his scythe down at Yata.
The blade doesn’t hit.
The wings of Pi’s Avater, Tarvos, protect Yata by wrapping around him. The figure causes Ikaruga to explode with rage. Tarvos was Amagi’s Avatar.
Skeith falls back and again hoists his scythe overhead.
“…Are you going to keep attacking this guy?” No one possesses the strength necessary to shatter Tarvos’s defense.
Tarvor’s wings spread apart enough to reveal a small gap. Pi exposes her main body to Skeith so she can shout, “Stop it! You were too reckless with summoning your Avatar…”
“And that stops me from using drain data!? Then I’ll use it against you bastards until I break, until everything turns into dust!”
Skeith’s words break Pi’s line of thought. She doesn’t know a thing about either the C.C. Corporation or Ikaruga. Yata wasn’t very clear in his explanations and the present doesn’t allow her to ask for clarification.
A small voice mutters, “…Behind, Gala Space.”
Tarvos stops moving due to shock. Not only is Skeith’s body slashed by a melody, Ikaruga’s body is pulled free from it. He’s unable to resist and drops onto the ground. Divine dashes up to his side at once in order to confirm his safety.
As Pi releases her Avatar, Haseo calms Yata’s rampant Avatar, Fidchell.
The cavern returns to its natural tranquility. From all around, drips of water can sometimes be heard.
Haseo looks over the still unconscious Ikaruga as he says, “Damn it, Yata. I thought this guy would be the only one giving us trouble.”
Pi crosses her arms and says, “What sort of grudge does he bare against Yata-sama…?”
Divine, who’s next to Pi, stands up without saying a word and pulls out a copy of a report from the Real. “…I’d like to talk about the C.C. Corporation and the Avatars, and how they relate to Ikaruga.”
“In that case, let’s switch locations to the Raven’s @HOME.”
Divine nods at Pi’s suggestion and returns to town with Ikaruga.
Mere anger swings down,
To yield a sin.
T/N: Well, this was different. Maybe things are going to start getting more exciting now?? Well, we’ll find out within the next two chapters. When they’ll come out… no idea~
Hopefully, you guys haven’t given up on this series.
Thanks for reading,
 ★ is the one speaking here. 「★はここでモニターよろしくね」
 It actually say’s lord of the voice. If there’s a deeper meaning to this word choice, please fill me in >.> そして更に歩を進めると、声の主が踞っていた
 その直後、もう一体のスケィスの曲刄が斑鳩の背後で振り切られた。 Particularly, this kanji combination 曲刄.