"No Excuse"


Route: Unknown


I'd never seen Bluefield this furious before. Ever.

"She was five paces away from you!" he fumed, shaking Takumi against the wall. "There's no excuse! At all!"


But Bluefield cut him off. "You're an expert archer! You should know better than to shoot an allied unit! Or what? You still thought she was the 'enemy'?!"

"That's… I…"

"Dammit, you're a fool!" Beat. Then Bluefield pulled away from the prince, letting go of his robe. "…and I trusted you…" he muttered.

Takumi stayed where he was, a new expression crossing his face—utter shock. "What…?"

"You heard me," Blu snapped. He then turned away, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Hhhhhhhgggh… Dammit. Trey, can you take him to Dreyza? I need to…go punch something."

I nodded, relaxing only slightly. "Sure thing."

Bluefield exhaled. "Thanks. Guess I'll owe you two solids."

And then he walked off.

Sighing, I took Takumi by the shoulder and guided him out of the building. "C'mon," I said, trying not to sound forceful.

For being shot in the back, Dreyza was in pretty good condition. Her breathing was slow and deep; and the expression on her face was peaceful (she must've stopped having a nightmare).

Kyoku was taking care of things in the medical tent when Takumi and I came in. He'd given me a nod before glaring at the prince. Like the other Zeros, he'd been angry with Takumi's…mistake. Me? I was only stunned.

"…How did she…um…"

I turned to Takumi. "How did she what?"

"How did she survive…that?"

"Oh, um…" How could I (not) explain this? "It's…obscenely convoluted, let's put it that way."

"You're not going to tell me?"

"We've never really told anyOne, honestly," I said, shrugging. "No reason to. At all."


"Besides," I sighed, "that's the kind of info we trust absolutely no One with. …ah."

"Mmm…" Dreyza stirred, registering the light hanging over her bed. Wincing, she opened one brown eye and slowly looked around. When her gaze met mine, she gave a small smile—a smile that quickly vanished when she saw the guy next to me.

Before Takumi could say anything, she turned over in her bed, back to us. "…" she groaned.

"I think she knows who shot her," I whispered. There was only one guy in the army who wielded a divine bow, after all. Would getting hit by an arrow from that really be like getting hit with a regular arrow?

Takumi sighed.

"Well? Go on and apologize."


"Why else would I bring you here? Go on!"