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"Now, it's showtime!"

This article Sympathy, is the sole property of Per and as such, no user may edit this article without explicit permission from the aforementioned creator. If you wish to use this article in any way, please ask me first.

As Deen managed to get himself out of the tonnes and tonnes of rubble left by the chaotic battle, he noticed a single figure standing tall in front of him, whom remarked, "Well, what do you think now? Now you've seen Tsuruko Sejren's true nature, you must want her dead, am I right?"

Deen looked straight up at this person—they had long bright pink hair with bangs that covered their left eye and yellow eyes, which were a sign of the Makō poisoning they had endured. For attire, they wore a purple witch hat and a Magic Council uniform with the additions of a purple ribbon tie and cape, a long black strap attached to their sleeves, long black legging curves that reached to their mini skirt, and black slippers. This woman, was Alexis Tenjouin, head of the Magic Council, and Deen's boss.

"...Ah. Alexis, why are you here..." Deen really didn't respond to her statement—he didn't know what to think anymore.

"Oh, I've come to see how well those Zodiac Knights were slaughtered by the Coordinate." She cackled, "My alliance with them was only a farce—I just wanted them to trigger Tsuruko Sejren's reveal as a Type Zero so I could see her power for myself."

"...Wait." Something immediately clicked within Deen's mind. "...So, you used me as bait just to get a pacifist to kill your enemies?!"

"That was the plan." Alexis stroked her chin. "Though I'm surprised...I had no idea that DTD was this powerful."

"...DTD!?"

"Once it deems the enemy as a demon, her limitations would be removed, and everything from the movement controls to the magic controls would be controlled by her mind. Her own will here would not even be a system software here. It plays the part of receiving the thought waves and converts them into antagonistic intent." Alexis began to explain, "The thing controlling Tsuruko Sejren just then was the DTD System. The Dust To Dust System."

"...Just tell me what it is!" Deen snapped, uncharacteristically impatient.

"Tsuruko Sejren can detect the thought waves of the enemy, while her body would be in charge of destroying it. What we see is an interface that uses her mechanical body to carry out cadence that far exceeds human limits, and also, a hunting machine that's equipped with the ability to control enemy magic. This Program was created to exterminate the last greatest fable that the previous left behind, demons."

The deliberate voice caused Deen, who realized what was going on, to give a tense look on his face, "I see. So it's a product of technology used to purge demons. In that case…"

"It can bury the fable of the Zodiac Knights completely." Alexis followed up and continued, "They wanted to dissolve the Zodiac Knights and the demon fable together with the 100 year anniversary, and use this to wipe off the nightmare called the Zodiac Knights completely. As habit, they call this the Type Zero plan."

The nightmare that caused the first 100 years to be stained in blood called the Demon Alliance shook the foundation of the X Century from its base, so they had to remove this nightmare before they welcomed the next hundred years. The theory of evolution human kind would have after entering subspace was just a fantasy, and the so-called demons were just monsters with ridiculous amounts of fighting abilities. The sayings that demons perceptions were outstanding were just rhetoric, and they could overpower it through the power of science and technology. To prove this, a cybernetic being known as a Kaizorg would be most fitting. It was a symbolic existence of the Magic Council, and up till this point, the Kaizorg was a machine that could not be separated from the demon fable.

Kaizorgs were being mass-produced as part of the realignment, and the power of science alone would be enough to exterminate the monsters. There was no method that was more effective than this political propaganda if they wanted to erase the demon theory. They would imitate their forefathers who single-handedly built the Council's organization, and this would be the time to take great strides and push for massive changes, all in the name of making sure that Earth Land would be at peace at the X Century's 100 year anniversary-

The Zodiac Knights, which was raised as a separatist, tried to maintain an economy that could not last without war on one hand; while on the other hand, such forces were allowed to continue existing because of this trail of thought.

Deen looked horrified at he stared at an unconscious Tsuruko. She was a monster born out of the fear of demons and their intelligence, the source of it.

"Even the activation conditions of the DTD are an undisclosed classified secret; but I realized what that condition was when I finished researching the Type Zero." Alexis scratched her head in apathy.

"Activation conditions?"

"Tsuruko Sejren can't just remove her limiter at will. The DTD will only activate when certain conditions are met. That is...a powerful emotion. The high mobility state…or the Kaizorg mode, I should call it, allows Tsuruko Sejren to activate the Laplace Program with the DTD, as it reveals some encrypted data in phases." Alexis said as she cracked her knuckles.

Deen asked, "What do you mean, in phases?"

"In other words, the seal will be undone every time the DTD is activated, and will show new information. This was activated twice from when Tsuruko Sejren was created. The first time was to let the system get into a standby phase, while the second showed these coordinates as she unleashed it subconsciously with the activation of Gaiki, and that's all. Maybe it'll show new information the next time it's activated, and to be honest, I don't know for sure. However, it's more natural to assume that there's still unrevealed information from the percentage of space the Laplace Program occupies the hard disk."

"You can't release all the information during this current phase?"

"It already took this much time for me to extract the information that was given; because since you've been spending time with her, I was able to put a tracker on you and extract subtly. If I randomly try to interfere with it, I might end up causing all the data to be erased. I'm going to let it reveal itself according to the process." Alexis yawned as she weakly slumped her shoulders. "But what are you going to do?"

All sorts of memories flashed through Deen's mind at this moment.

"Hey, Deen? Don't give up on your dream, okay? Maybe we'll cross paths again."

Alexis continued, "She's part of the race that killed your family. If I was you, I'd never go near that doll again; she's far too dangerous."

"Ehhh!? A movie that starts by introducing the main characters is bad, and as expected of a bad, movie the plot was terrible and the story direction was bad and not to mention they had... L-lewd scenes..."

"Somebody like Tsuruko Sejren should only be considered a tool for a greater purpose. Once she's used, then she should be discarded like the toy she is. Do you understand, now?" Alexis's tone was one of absolute mockery.

"...I understand you too, Deen. You've been through a lot, and I'll make sure that I'll protect you from the dangers of this world."

"Don't you dare." Deen growled in a low tone at Alexis, in an antagonistic manner.

"...Huh?" Alexis opened one eye, briefly. "You know as well as me that she's a danger to mankin—"

-WHAP!-

All of a sudden, Deen smacked Alexis across the face with an open-handed slap. It wasn't a particularly powerful slap—but it was more than enough to get his stance on the issue across to his superior.

"SHUT UP, WILL YOU!! TSURUKO IS A HUMAN AT HEART!! DON'T LUMP HER WITH THE REST AT YOUR LEISURE!!!"

Deen had just snapped at the woman, as he very directly told her; "She's not just some killing machine, understand? Before I met Tsuruko, I thought that I was utterly worthless. After going on so many missions as a Rune Knight, I realized how small we humans are. I also thought of Tsuruko as just another jackassed mage. I thought that there was nothing for us to reach an understanding on. But...I knew that she wasn't just some average person. I wondered if she was somebody extraordinary...but I didn't want to accept that. I wanted to become a superhero when I was a kid. But as time went on, I started to give up on my goal; it was too naïve. But Tsuruko...she continued to believe in herself and press on. She set my heart on fire, in a big red blaze."

Alexis's ears perked up; slightly annoyed, yet she was intrigued, "You've come this far, but are you confident that your conviction will not waver? The weight of the burden that Tsuruko Sejren has to bear is immense. You'll need the resolve to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders if you go with her. Do you have it?"

"When Tsuruko's around, I really do believe that I'm a superhero. She makes me feel...special. She makes me feel like I'm worth a damn! She does so much good for this world! I'm not going to let this amazing woman fall into despair from her true nature. I...I care for this woman so much. I want to be by her side no matter what, got that!? If everyone was like Tsuruko, then there'd be no need for heaven... We'd already be there! I don't give a flying damn if Tsuruko's a war machine! Tsuruko is Tsuruko, and that's the way it's always gonna be! Damn right I've got that conviction!"

Alexis smiled subtly; it wasn't a grin of smugness, but instead, she seemed rather pleased. "That's good. I want you to take care of Tsuruko Sejren for me, because I've lost any right to hold her hand and protect her from the dangers of this world. The pressure of being head of the Magic Council, they've gotten to me. I don't belong in this world...and the scorpion ascends upon my body. I don't have much time."

"What do you mean!?" Deen exclaimed; he'd never seen this side of the commander before.

"Don't worry about it." Alexis brushed him off. "I'm repeating this one last time. I want you to take care of Tsuruko Sejren for me. But when the time comes, and you decide to become the man you've always wanted to be, even though your teeth will be chattering and your knees will be trembling, as a shiver runs down your spine, you'll realize that those are the emotions of a true hero—if you don't understand that, you'll never become that hero! For Tsuruko Sejren, you need to show her how much stronger you've become, and fill your chest with courage! Hold her tightly and don't let her go. That's an order!"

"...Alexis..."

"There's not going to be any objections, hear me?" Alexis growled. "My order is absolute, you damn well know that." Her irritation faded as she smiled softly at Deen. "Now, Rune Knight, no, Deen Lhant, get going with Tsuruko Sejren. This might be the last time we talk...so I just want to say, it's been a pleasure having you under my command." With that, Alexis Tenjouin teleported away from the rubble—however, before that, she snapped her fingers—the debris of the food court became covered in eternano; as it reformed while lives were restored.

"To think that she had such amazing power..." Deen mused to himself; but as if instinctively, his attention turned to the unconscious Tsuruko.

The next thing he knew, he was moving; Deen stretched out his trembling hands and embraced Tsuruko's body that was still limp and without strength; her azure eyes opened and looked at him, blinking thrice.

He embraced her tightly.

He embraced her so as to never let her go again.

"…Thank goodness…"Those words leaked from his mouth. His voice was trembling. "Dammit. Thank goodness. Thank goodness…!!"

"...Deen, I was a monster back then..." Tsuruko glanced away, trying to control herself. "There's no way, now that it's known that I'm one of them, that I could—"

"So?" Deen just brushed her off. "I don't give a damn if you're a robot."

"But my race killed your—"

"You're different. I don't want to hear it. All I want to know is that the next time something this big comes up, you allow one of your friends to do to you what you do for them: that's talk it over, and not make a big fuss and run away, okay?" Deen smiled gently. "It's as you say. You're Tsuruko, and that won't change. Besides, you're the smartest, funniest, friendliest, bravest, incredible-est girl in the world to me!"

These words touched Tsuruko's "heart"; though she didn't understand why. It was like with that silver haired boy in her childhood; no, maybe Deen was this boy...? "...Deen..."

"Come on, let's go back, alright? The others will probably be getting worried."

Tsuruko paused momentarily, taking in what Deen just told her, before she smiled—her smile was as beautiful as a sunflower. "Yeah!" Abruptly, ruining the tension-filled-moment between the two, Tsuruko leapt up on her feet, throwing her hands up in the air cheerfully, screaming from the top of her lungs, "It's home time!"

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