“Damn it! Again!? Why!?”
In a room filled to the brim with research apparatuses…
A man vented his frustration by slapping his desk with both hands.
Years after the clash with the Devil King’s army, one boy who had overcome the Legends themselves — Bright — had grown up big and strong.
The adolescence is his face was long gone, which would make him one looker of a gentleman… if not for his gaunt countenance and unkempt facial hair.
He stared bitterly at the point directly in front of him, in which a faintly luminescent liquid substance was contained.
“Why was he able to do it, but not me…!?”
A large figure stood behind Bright, its appearance cloaked in the shadows.
“Give it up, Bright. You are not like my father. And remember what Kaoru and Jun’ko told us — only those chosen by God may obtain it.”
“Ngh–! Are you saying that I was NOT chosen, then!? Chappie!?”
Bright scowled at his long-time friend.
Chappie met that gaze head-on… exactly because they were friends to each other.
“I suppose this is what it means to not be doable. Drops of Eternity aren’t something you can create… intentionally. At least that’s what I think — even if you follow the same recipe as my father and the Shamanesses.”
Chappie said bluntly, as if to admonish Bright.
“…So you’re saying that my life’s efforts have been all for nothing?”
“No. The magic and magecraft you have invented can be passed down to future generations. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“It must be nice to be you, Chappie — getting to live a long life and all that jazz! But no — this thing is nothing if I don’t finish it myself! Fifty years is the most I have left! I must finish this… or it WILL be all for nothing…!”
It took no time at all for Bright’s anger to turn to sorrow; tears of frustration welled up in his eyes.
“…Give me a moment, please.”
Bright said, implying that he did not want his friend to see such a disgraceful side of him.
Chappie pondered over his choices for a moment, then sighed and left the room.
Standing near the summit of a certain mountain, Ferris looked up at the sky and asked,
“How has Bright been?”
“Not exactly well… He’s holed himself up in that cave. You should say something to him, Ferris. If something goes wrong, I’d feel like I’ve wronged him… and it won’t feel right to face my father and mother ever again.”
Chappie spoke his true feelings.
Upon hearing the news from Giorno and Lylia that Holy Warrior Poer had disappeared, the one most distraught was none other than Bright.
Chappie had been so hurt to witness Bright’s composure break apart that instant as he asked — in great detail — the remaining Holy Warriors what had happened to Poer.
It seemed like Bright had merely been using Poer for his own means, but in truth, he had felt a close connection between them — and respected the latter more than anyone else.
Feeling responsible, Chappie had decided at one point to tell Bright about Poer’s uniqueness — that Poer was an immortal.
Since then, Bright had begun obsessively researching the creation of Drops of Eternity.
Distancing himself from home, he had set up base in a Dungeon deep in the mountains, and single-mindedly continued to pursue what Poer had achieved.
Chappie, out of a sense of responsibility, had followed Bright and never left him alone… and frequently visiting them was Ferris, who still had feelings for her childhood sweetheart.
“Just let him do what he wants. He’ll be fine.”
“But why? He’s been growing more and more distant from you, too — shouldn’t you be worried?”
“Ugh, why do you have to be so blunt, chicken? I’m fine with this! I’m interested in seeing where he goes from here!”
Ferris lashed at Chappie, causing the latter to groan in exasperation.
Chappie contemplated saying something back, but in the end decided against it.
And at almost the same moment, the look in Ferris’ eyes suddenly changed.
“…Who could be climbing this random mountain in the middle of nowhere?”
“I wouldn’t feel THIS alert if they were normal climbers. Who are they…?”
For a second, Chappie’s body swell up — the same thing that had happened before whenever Shi’shichou got near him.
Despite having trained year after year, in an era without the Devil King, Chappie felt that he was under threat. Ferris was now on high alert, too.
“But in this era, no one is as powerful as us… Wait, actually…”
A gust of wind blew past them.
Chappie narrowed his eyes while facing forward. For a second, Ferris did not seem to notice any change, then she sensed that the ‘threat’ had circled around behind them. She turned around.
Ferris uttered, prompting Chappie to turn around as well.
“How did you even find us?”
He proceeded to say, sounding not at all hostile.
“We LOOKED — All over the place.”
The calm voice echoed as light green hair fluttered in the wind.
And to the voice’s side stood a crimson Ox.
“Lylia and Weldhun! Long time no see!”
The ones who had appeared before the two… were none other than the Elf Warrior and the Crimson King Ox.
“Hmph, still the same old tomboy princess, I see.”
Weldhun threw a sarcastic remark Ferris’ way, which she simply shrugged off.
Ferris knew well what Lylia had meant just now. The Elf had to have a good reason to search specifically for them — An absolutely unavoidable obligation.
A hint of Lylia’s reason could be seen painted on her face.
[She looks… uncharacteristically sad…]
Ferris subtly groaned before sitting down on a nearby fallen tree.
“…So, what happened?”
Lylia sat down next to Ferris.
Then, after a few moments of silence, Lylia started talking,
“……Giorno has… passed away.”
Ferris and Chappie instantly widened their eyes wide; the former stood right up, caught off guard by the abruptness of the news.
“W-what? Are you serious? I know he’s past his prime now, but he should still have some decades left in him!”
Lylia could sense the anger in Ferris’ voice, but she did not answer.
All she did was cast her eyes down, obscuring the sorrow on her face.
“H-hey! Say something!”
Lylia proceeded to unsheathe the sword on her back, but not the one on her waist.
She held it with great care in both her hands — something she had never done to her own weapons.
“He left this behind for me…”
Sensing tender emotions in Lylia’s voice, Ferris now understood…
…That Giorno definitely was dead.
Ferris sat back down on the fallen tree, then fell silent just as Lylia had.
Chappie closed his eyes. Despite being a Heavenly Beast, he felt the same pain, as he himself had been raised by a human.
Weldhun seemed somewhat uptight, but ultimately did not carry as much grief on his back. He had spent most of his life in nature — that may have made him resilient to such changes.
Ferris finally asked.
“…After the Devil King was destroyed, Giorno went all over the place, teaching humans and Elves alike his way of the sword. Many people told him it was a stupid thing to do, what with the world finally being at peace — but he’d always say…”
‘I cannot do much by myself, but all these little things will help with the development of the art form… and in turn, will be of help to my friend.’
“His friend… Poer, right?”
“But then he went and died in vain…”
“It’s been a decade since the rest of us last met him. He still looked perfectly fine back then, too…”
“…The epidemic got to him. No one knows where it came from, and the doctors couldn’t do anything. There have been rumors floating around that it’s the Devil King’s curse, but he’d always laugh it off… clearly suffering all the while…”
“Ugh… those people should learn when jokes go too far.”
“Heh, I understand how you feel, Ferris. Giorno, he… he kept smiling and laughing to the very end.”
With that, the two of them looked up at the sky.
Chappie did so as well, then Weldhun groaned and said to Lylia,
“Hey, cut to the chase already.”
It was something incomprehensible to Ferris — since it implied that the news of Giorno’s death was not the main topic at hand.
That prompted Ferris to look at Lylia.
Lylia cast her eyes down for a moment, and then shook her head as if to shake her grief out of it.
When she looked up again, Lylia’s eyes had turned unnervingly calm.
“……I have business with Bright.”