31 March 2013 @ 01:18 pm
OKAY FOLKS HERE WE GO.

First, before the novel which is under the cut, Aerial Log as a whole didn't have much in terms of new artwork. Just the anime stuff that was in the monthly magazines (which are all online IIRC since I have them all saved), and the novel illustrations (which are under the cut with the novel!). There's no timeline (boo), but there is a staff table talk as well as World Report-- which IS texty so hopefully serves as enough of a background description about the Earthside of things.

There is a sketchy thing of Tatiana and Alis though so here.

And here are a couple of Diocentric things before we get into the novel:
- The novel after talk calls Fam Dio "a big brother Dio who is bright and dependable." More after novel talk will be under the cut at the end of the novel, mainly concerning Lucciola and feels and things that make Tara cry a lot.

- Repeat of the whole Dio is the captain of the Silvius vanship team, but hates being bound by military rules so is off wandering on his own and calling it "reconnaissance" (since it ends up being).

- The blurb on the fight with Alauda toward the end-- mainly the text on the side of the vanship that they translate as "Lucciola's seat" in the episode says: "The rear seat of Dio's vanship was originally the constant position of his his closest friend and biggest partner, Lucciola. In the fourth episode, Dio stopped Millia from touching one of the levers, because Lucciola is still a precious existence to him. In this episode (19), even though Alvis didn't do anything, the hose naturally came off and saved Dio in his crisis. Perhaps it's the spirit of Lucciola, still by Dio's side." ABLOOBLOOBLOO MY BABIES.

- Profiles just make references to how he served as Al's escort/bodyguard (Dio and Al's profiles) and has a longstanding relationship with Dagobert (Dagobert's profile).

AND WITH THAT, here is the translation for the novel, "Friends". YOUR USUAL DISCLAIMERS APPLY. Moon is not great, worded things so it reads less choppy, Alison and TK are the wind beneath my wings for help with lines and other things. o/




Friends
- The Blank Principal -







1
The flock of rainbirds that flew out of Anatoray seven days ago had attempted to pass through the thick wall of near-impenetrable, turbulent currents three times since then.

Half of them were lost along the way, and they were on the verge of giving up crossing the Grand Stream, their beautiful wings breaking, feathers losing their luster. A single wall remained, and that final stretch was their greatest obstacle as one after the other, the birds and their companions were swallowed by the torrents of the Grand Stream.

Their nesting grounds in Disith were so close, just beyond that final hurdle...


*



The boy's body was swept along in the currents. His pure white pilot suit was barely keeping him alive. No matter how hard he tried to breathe in oxygen, the Grand Stream did not permit it.

Just as death stretched its hand toward the boy's body, a countless number of rainbirds flew toward him. Circling their wounded comrade, they wrapped him inside their wings. From his arms to his feet, his entire body was protected by the warmth of so many lives.

"Lucciola..."

He moved his fingers slightly as the final breath of life was about to pass through his lips. But the beak of a young rainbird hit the switch located on the pilot suit's neck, the visor expanding and shaping itself to wrap around the boy's head. The life-sustainment display changed from red to all green, as his lungs were filled with fresh oxygen.

The fangs of the Grand Stream seemed to loosen its turbulent grip around the boy and the rainbirds while carrying them, wrapped up in that soft embrace.

The boy fell asleep. Not an eternal sleep of death, but a sleep longing for tomorrow's awakening.






2
Staring into space from the edge of the returning ship, Claus Valca looked at the huge, artificial world that spread out before him. It was a giant hourglass that he was seeing again, for the first time in a year.

Until they journeyed through outer space, this place was the only home he ever knew. Anatoray and Disith were once two nations at war here, bringing death and devastation to many people due to the scheming of the guild.

It was also the resting place of the boy's mother and father.


*



The vast wheat fields were dyed gold from the setting sun sinking behind rolling hills. Near the wheat field, smoke rose out of the chimney of a small house that stood alone, a small distance away from a nearby village.

"The wheat is growing really well."

Lavie smiled, happily narrowing her eyes. "Yeah, that's good."

And good it was. Lavie had been in high spirits all day, and the night would be no different.

"Um ... Di--"

"What?" Lavie looked up from her dish.

"This stew is really delicious."

"...yeah."

Lavie scooped some more soup into her mouth.

"And the baked pie looks good, too."

"Al made it."

Looking up at Lavie, Al's expression as she nodded seemed to say "I'm sorry" to her.

Perhaps I'm stepping on a landmine?




*



The sound of boiling tea accompanied Lavie as she wiped to clean dishes with a dingy rag. They were able to use water abundantly now, though Lavie still did her best not to waste even a drop.

"I want to go look for Dio..."

While lighting a fire in the lamp, Claus finally spoke what he had been thinking for many months.

"Mmn, you should go if you want to."

"I feel like I have to go ... is it okay?"

Next to the dismayed Claus, Alvis, who was pouring tea into a cup, smiled. The scent of the infusion filled every corner of the room.







3
One year ago, Anatoray and Disith allied together in order to defeat Maestro Delphine in the Grand Stream. This was achieved through sacrifice of many, including that of the captain of the Silvana, Alex Row.

Concurrent to those operations, Claus Valca and Lavie Head, accompanied by Alvis Hamilton, piloted a vanship through the Grand Stream. They brought to light the true nature of the Exile, a ship veiled in mystery, and paved the way of the return to their homeworld.


*



"As you should be aware, Miss Sophia has been busy in Weskia, where there appear to be remnants of the Guild in that airspace."

"But it's Claus who's coming back!"

Mad-Thane, already having retired from the war, dismissed the opinion of his friend and former chief of staff with a single word.

Moving from side to side through the white clouds, visibility in the front was clear. Through the large window of the heavy cargo ship, the large body of the Exile that had just arrived could be seen.

"To hell with the spirit of chivalry!"

... that girl, I wonder how she is doing now?

Just as Mad-Thane smiled along with that thought, it happened.

"In the sky, seven star-shaped units!"

The three military vanships that had been escorting the heavy cargo ship discarded their external tanks.

"Into the clouds!"

The cockpit of the cargo ship was wrapped up in tension as the aircraft tilted to the left. Mad-Thane could see the form of the escort machines as they zoomed past the window. The dark green aircrafts were piloted by courageous pilots.


*



"It's Mad-Thane's heavy cargo!"

The word of that shocking scene out there spread among those on board the Exile, which had had a peaceful voyage so far.

Busy in the hangar with landing preparations, Claus rushed to his aircraft. Prepared for him by Tatiana Wisla was the prototype of the next main fighter for Anatoray's military force. Compared to the current aircrafts, this new one was more slim around, faster, and all around exceeding in performance to its predecessors. Reflected in its unpainted silver was Claus' appearance of impatient irritation.

"There's not enough time."

Claus took off without waiting for a navi. He flew from the large hangar and into a tunnel, one so long and winding that one couldn't see the light of the exit on the other end.


*



On the morning of Claus' departure, in a small hangar adjacent to the cottage, the sound of a thick steel plate echoed.

"Wake up, sleepyhead!"

Clinging to the blanket, Claus lie next to their aircraft, after having finished some maintenance on it to prepare to leave.

"Claus, you'll miss the Exile!"

Al shook him under the blanket.

While Claus slept until the very last minute, Lavie had been awake, finishing preparations for his trip that morning.

"Lavie ... thank you."

"There are leftovers from last night. You should eat some before it spoils."

Claus thought about how much he loved Lavie making that excuse.


*



"I want to go look for Dio."

Lavie and Alvis agreed with him right off the bat. Tatiana prepared a prototype vanship from the military, and Alister introduced a friend of hers to Claus, who was also a navi.

I'll absolutely find Dio, and return.

Claus thought, wanting to answer the thoughts of his friends.


*



"A white vanship?!"

As its presence was made known, its pilot was flying around into the blue sky.

Experienced veterans who survived in the war with Disith had been chosen to escort Mad-Thane. And those three escort aircrafts did not allow one shot to Mad-Thane aircraft, at first. Four starfish were downed by them despite the numerical inferiority, due to blocking and dodging the their shots skillfully.

... Until the shining white vanship appeared.


*



"Wow~!" "The sky isn't visible."

Dunya's little brother and little sister stared, wide-eyed. They were standing under the Exile, which covered the entire sky, and were gathered waiting to see Claus off on his journey.

"Sorry, Claus, though we wish we could come with you ... there's important things we have to take care of here. Gah!"

Mullin was elbowed in the side by both Lavie and his bride, Dunya, Dunya blushing as she did so. Claus didn't quite understand what he meant by that.

"When you arrive, you'll be able to speak to us with this."

Alvis had put a small, important communication pendant, given to her by Lucciola, around Claus' neck.

"Can you please give this to father?" asked Holly Mad-Thane, and just like she had given him when they first met, she held out a cylindrical tube with a shy look.

"Ten stars?"

Lavie laughed next to her.


*



Holly's tube bounced around on the floor beneath the navi seat.

The glass frame of the windshield shook and vibrated dangerously as the vibrant, pure white vanship quickly downed two of Anatoray's machines.

"Quickly, I have to get there quickly."

Claus felt a rush of urgency. And although he pulled full on the throttle, his speed was not gaining.

Lavie, Lavie, why aren't you here?

If she were there, she would have been able to help and abolsutely keep up with him.


*



"This is the end."

With a thumb moving to the joystick, the boy pulled the trigger gently. An array of gunfire was shot a the approaching unit, hitting it in a weak spot that was protruding out of its side. The duralumin airframe tore, the claudia engine that was set within the metal tubing of the framework began to fall apart. Shards of iron flew and liquid Claudia began to splatter out of the engine like blood, as the boy dodged it gracefully.


*



The final escort aircraft was downed. Mad-Thane had lost all of his shields.

Waspishly speeding to its main target, the Guild machine drove a bullet into the heavy cargo.

"Holly, my love, is the wheat growing well?"

In the wheat fields that spread toward the horizon, the young people were smiling. Holly stood with them, smiling from ear to ear.

With sharp, wind-like noises, a starfish shot its needle gun, piercing Mad-Thane's heart and collar bone.

"To the young people who will carry our future, I wish you luck..."

Keeping that hope until his very last moment of life, David Mad-Thane's slowly lost consciousness.


*



The aircraft hit the sandy ground and slid down a sloping hill, skidding to an eventual halt after a few hundred meters.

Shoes stepped across the sand quickly. Thin beams of light shone through the countless bulletholes and cracks as Claus advanced toward the downed heavy cargo ship. Mad-Thane's face still held the the ghost of his last smile.

Placing Holly's request tube into his hands, Claus then disappeared.






4
In the jagged mountains of the Dragon's Fangs, several types of starfish were moving beneath the clouds around the fifteenth tusk if one counted along on the surface. Beneath the cleft of the rock beneath the clouds stood a enormous, crimson cross-shaped structure. Maintaining buoyancy, countless anchors and chains held a Guild ship within the Dragon's Fangs. These "white terrorists" were the cause of the disruptions of the migration preparations of Anatoray-Disith.


*



I am always at Lord Dio's side.

In a bridge made out of glass, there was a single, leather-upholstered sofa where a lone figure sat. Delicate fingertips stroked the hair of a beautiful boy who was resting with his head on her lap. The girl had long been at a loss for words, so to express her feelings for the boy, used the movements of her hands and fingers.

"...Lucciola."

The boy opened his eyes and looked up at the {girl}.

"Ah..."

Words about to be spoken were lost in her throat.

"Lucciola, it's okay. I understand what you're thinking without words."

The boy resting on her lap moved his hand up to {Lucciola's} neck. Light flooded in through the clouds, wrapping the two delicate forms in warmth.




*



"Mad-Thane was there instead of me..."

Sophia stood apologetically next to Mad-Thane's coffin, which was surrounded by olive flowers.

"My husband fulfilled his mission until the very end."

Dressed for mourning, the figure of the young widow smiled as hard as she could through her grief.


*



"And Claus?"

"Nothing yet ... but we are looking to pursue every avenue to find him."

"... I see."

Sophia excused herself from her escort, Vincent, and ascended the heavy cargo airstair.

The airflow from the cargo increased, gently rustling the beautifully landscaped gardens below, making the waters in the fountain dancing around in the sunlight. The Mad-Thane butler, Worsley, bowed his head deeply towards Sophia's royal aircraft that was just taking off.


*



Five months since Claus disappeared, the Exile came back to the mother planet full of people. The news of Mad-Thane's death was brought with them, and not only was his daughter Holly devastated, but Lavie and Alvis as well.

"It's not Claus' fault that my letter didn't make it to him. I'll be okay, so please go look for Claus."

In the ward clinic completely filled with returnees, Holly spoke as she kept her hands moving. Having just lost her beloved father, she was trying to keep moving to put up with the grief.

Claus probably felt Holly's sorrow as if it were his own. So, unable to forgive himself, he disappeared.

"I cannot forget the fact that the letter you entrusted to him couldn't be read to your father"

Lavie spread out the sheets she just washed.

"So, that's it! I'm going. Not only for Claus, but I'll absolutely come back together with Dio, too."

Wrapped in the fresh scent of the newly cleaned sheets, Lavie decided to return to Prester.






5
The Exile could be seen arriving through the low-hanging clouds.

It's been eight months since Claus disappeared, I feel ashamed to face those children like that.

Princess Sophia's expression was dim.


*



"Miss Sophia!"

Lavie and Al came out to greet the princess with a hug.

"I'm here too, you know!"

Vincent raised his arms up for a hug as well.

"Uncle Coffee, too?"

"Uncle coff ... eh? I'm still young, in my twenties!"

"No way?" a wide-eyed Lavie and Alvis asked him.

"Do you think I'd be able to do this if I were in my thirties?"

Pulling the younger girl up onto his shoulders easily, the 29-year-and-11-month old Vincent Alzey ran toward the pier. Though puzzled, Al smiled over his shoulder. Lavie and Sophia followed them slowly.

"Anything about Claus?"

"I'm sorry ... not yet."

Sophia shook her head apologetically.

"I see ... hmm, Miss Sophia, I have a request"

"Anything, if there's something I can do."

"That pendant Al got from Lucciola."

"The communication equipment they used in the Guild?"

"Yeah, Claus left with it."

"Understood, I'll arrange things immediately."

This is good, we might be able to get in touch with Claus with this.

Lavie smiled, looking slightly relieved.


*



"They are the ones who made Lucciola that way." Coccinella's whisper echoed in Dio's mind.

They... they did that to...

"You must kill them, kill them, kill them, for Lucciola."

Yes, I'll kill them, for my Lucciola.

The white frame fired at the escaping vanship. The duralumin alloy body split off, pieces of iron scattered to the wind.

A stray screw flew into the windshield. A crack formed in the glass, and with the impact Dio regained his sanity.

"Where am I? What did I just do?"

The vanship broke apart before his eyes.

"Are we going to die?" the navi's eyes appeared to question.


*



We've been on Prester for a week.

They split up and looked for Claus until the very last moment before sunset. But, they found absolutely no clues.

The moonlight shone through the clouds. Standing on the terrace of Sophia's quarters, Lavie called out Claus' name.

"Claus, answer me, Claus! Where are you? Hey, Claus!"

Her throat was getting sore. The outline of the moon was blurry through tears. Holding the pendant to the night sky, Lavie kept calling Claus' name.

"... Lavie."

At that moment Alvis, noticing something strange, took the pendant from Lavie.

"It's you, Alvis."

A familiar voice came from the pendant.

"Di--"

"--o! It's been a few days."

Alvis didn't speak, her breath taken away as the voice was really coming from outside the terrace.

Huh? What was that? What floor did it come from?

White shoes tiptoed and leapt along the railing of the stone structure. With a carefree smile, the boy who moved as magnificently as a prima embraced both Lavie and Alvis.


*



"What kind of place is the 'blue star'?"

Dio asked while curiously touching the luxurious furnishings of the vast drawing room about two hundred square meters big.

"Hey, hey, that stuff is expensive!"

'Please stop, if anything breaks, I would not be able to repay it even if I worked hard for the rest of my life', Lavie's eyes seemed to say watching him nervously.

"There's a large lake full of fresh water, people call it 'the Grand Lake' and it's very sacred to them."

To make up for Lavie's worry, Alvis answered him.

"Hm, the Grand Lake, huh."

Dio's eyes landed on his next target.

"Immelmann tuuuuuurn!"

Dio jumped onto the plush bed that his eyes landed on.

"Kyaa!"

Alvis, who was sitting on the bed, reacted with a start.


*



"Immelmann is missing?"

Dio shielded a hand over his eyes to block the light shining through the skylights.

"You don't know anything about it?"

"No, I didn't see him."

Dio and Lavie sat on the bed, Alvis sandwiched between the two of them.

"Dio ... where's Lucciola?"

Alvis asked, unaware that Lucciola had died back then.

"Back then, Lucciola helped us ... I haven't gotten to say thank you yet."

"Lucci ... ola?"

Dio muttered, pupils shrinking as his eyes flickered.

"Or maybe, have you heard anything about him? Claus, I mean..."

Lavie's voice didn't reach Dio.

"Lu... cci ... o ... la."

To Lavie, he seemed like a broken music box. His feeble breath sounded like the last dissolving notes of a metallic-sounding musical scale.

It hurts ... my head ... it feels like it's going to explode...

"I ... I have to go ... to look for Immelmann..."

Dio coiled his arms around himself, trembling.

"Ki ... ll..." The curses echoed in his head, never disappearing, commanding.

No ... I don't want to ... I don't--

"... Kill."

"I ... wasn't ... supposed to ... come here."

The anxious looking figures of Lavie and Alvis began to blur and fade away in Dio's gaze.

"I don't want to!"

He ran out of the room. Before the repeating words of the curses completely took over his consciousness, Dio disappeared into the darkness.


*



The hut had been built on top of a crossbar that passed over the waterway still had a hole in the ceiling. The bed was still broken from the starfish attack. There were square marks on the wall where pictures had once been. The smell of the kitchen, of the ham, bread and mayonnaise that Lavie would always make was almost ingrained in the house itself.

His most important times were spent in this house with Lavie.

The sound of the water flowing gently below could be heard.


*



By the light of the lamp in the hangar, the silver vanship was resting its wings.

Where the navi seat should have been, there was a vapor pressure lever and a claudia pressure adjustment lever that he could control from the pilot's seat. Claus had finished removing all of the bulletproof plates to even out the additional weight from two steam mounted machine guns he had gotten from a crashed unit.

Even if I'm alone, I'll fight with that white vanship.

That white vanship piloted by a Principal.

I might die. As if to cancel out his worries, Claus turned off the lamp and wrapped himself tighter in his blanket.


*



Immelmann?

Slender fingers moved, as is to ask that question.

"Yeah, you've also met him, haven't you Lucciola? Immelmann."

Smiling broadly, he used his hand as a vanship, mimicking a halfroll off of a somersault.

"I've never seen such a beautiful turn!"

The boy's palm changed direction to turn 180 degrees before leveling off from the back.

Did something happen to Immelmann?

"I'm going. Yeah. I'm going to find Immelmann!"

Getting up and bouncing from the sofa, Dio bolted for the bridge.

That smile is really ... so bright.

Smiling as he took off, a voice could be heard nearby.

"So is the Principal a friend today? Or a murderer?"

Leaning over the back of the sofa, Coccinella smiled.

Huh? How long was he behind there?

"He'll listen to anything you request of him, Ros of Aspis."

"You really do look just like Lucciola."

"Yes, very similar."

The face of the girl named Ros was stiff.

Sitting by the window, Apis looked up from a book.

They're scary, scary, always appearing like this without any warning.

The girl's thin fingers trembled with fear.

"Everything we have done so far, it was only for Queen Delphine. Like true young brothers."

"Scary, scary, scary..."

Apis' trembling fingers turned the page.

"Yet sometimes, she could be gentle."

Coccinella put a trembling hand around Apis' shoulder to hug him from behind. Apis placed his hands over that arm.

"This time we'll avenge our Delphine."

"Yeah, let's return the favor to the woman who killed our precious {older sister}."

"Princess Sophia."





6
It's been one year and six months since the final battle with Delphine. The Exile had traveled three times between Prester and the mother planet. In this way the newly settled people little by little had sent information on the climate and the environment they had found, on other nations already returned to the mother planet, even on some nations who, left behind on the panet during the age of calamity, have survived and tenaciously endured until now.


*



"Admittedly, the information brings a mix of 'relief' and 'anxiety' at the same time."

In this way summarized the widespread feelings Nestor Messina, one of Sophia's most trusted aides, the man who had once been the commander of the Disith's invasion forces in the war against Anatoray, but who later had the courage put aside his feelings of hostility for the sake of his country and allied with Anatoray to fight against the Guild.

"The fourth voyage is approaching fast, we must wipe away this feeling of 'anxiety' now, before this dangerous infection spreads like a 'rumor'."

So spoke Grail Danmark, the cool-headed, pragmatic man who had been promoted to aide following the death of Mad-Thane.

I let duke Mad-Thane die, and caused so much sorrow

... she did not wish for the people to harbor such negative feelings.

"I shall speak to the people. Since they are going to return to the mother planet, I shall not hide either the positive or the negative news."

Sophia said while staring outside of the castle.


*



"The letter ... I was glad to be able to deliver it."

Alvis sat in the pilot seat.

"Holly's feelings were conveyed."

Lavie smiled as she checked the liquid claudia gauge pressure.

They took some time to get the hang of it, but eventually Al and Lavie could fly as if they had flown together for years as pilot and navi.

On the way to Norkia, they stopped by the Mad-Thane mansion in Minagith, and Holly's mother embraced them in tears.

"Lavie, I see Norkia!"

"...yeah."

Beyond the sea of clouds, the nostalgic Norkia came into view. They wondered if they'd find Claus there ... in the small house surrounded by waterways and stone buildings.

"Let's hurry, Al!"

"Roger!"

The girl pulled the throttle lever.


*



In a hilly, grassy area on the outskirts of Norkia, a stage was set up. Wires extended from all sides of the stage to large screens, having been removed from Guild ships.

"Tomorrow morning, the many people gathered here will cover the green of the land."

Nestor narrowed his eyes.

"What about the guards? The stage is surrounded by slopes, there will be no place to hide if there is an emergency."

Grail asked without even turning toward Vincent.

"You need not worry. I, Vincent Alzey would protect the princess, even at the cost of my own life."

He bowed his head to the two of them, and walked away.

"......I won't let her die."

Vincent muttered while gazing at the stage.


*



They found pieces of meat dishes and dried up pie, as well as traces of a vanship being worked on.

The bulletproof plate was removed ... What did you install?

Lavie looked worried.

"Claus, you were here," Alvis said, and hugged a blanket.

With an audible clack, the pendant fell out of the blanket.

"Claus..."

The hope they held slightly weakened.




7
Trying to get a close look at the princess, people gathered all though the night to fill the slopes surrounding the stage. Burning here and there, the light of the lamps created a suggestive scene before the daybreak. Those who were late lumped before the screens that had been placed at regular distance around that area, and the waves of people kept coming to this venue packing themselves to the point that no empty space could be seen when looking at the surrounding hills.


*



"Don't worry, Claus will surely come."

Sophia tried to encourage Lavie and Al before she stepped up to the stage.

"Listen everybody, we have very good news. The reports from our settlement say that the wheat brought from Anatoray to the new world sprouted safely and grew abundantly."

People's expressions softened at the princess' first words. Sophia was going to kindly speak about the new world and the bright future awaiting those people.

Vincent, right there, was keeping a wary eye on the crowd.


*



"True, many people still reside there who, excluded from the Exile plan, left behind on the planet during the environmental upheaval, resisted and and survived for all this time.

Princess Sophia spoke earnestly.

Beneath a grimy cloak, Coccinella stared with narrowed eyes.

"Fake princess."

"At the start of our return, it is likely that our claims will cause clashes. But we will eventually come to understand each other as we are all human beings. I firmly believe so."

Sophia then began speaking about the beautiful water that filled the Grand Lake, as well as all of the countries surrounding it.

"Now, let's begin."

Apis took off his hood. With a signal, assassins who were standing in the crowds cast off their cloaks and began running.

Vincent's sharp senses picked up the sudden, murderously-intent movement.

"One, two-- six figures."

Like white winds, they aimed for the stage from all sides. And with a simple glance from Vincent, the escort guards began moving.

The guards stepped up to engage the enemies without hesitation, but the assassins knew that the soldiers could not use their guns among the crowd. The young assasin boys started killing the guards without slowing down their pace. People who were listening to the princess' speech barely even had time to notice the soliders starting to die a hair's breadth away.

"Lavie..."

Hearing Alvis' completely anxious voice, Lavie was now on the alert.

This child has been watching Miss Sophia so far, now she is looking at her back and is frightened. What is that? This wind.

The moment Lavie grabbed Alvis' hand, white shadows jumped onto the stage, like thieves bursting in.

"Sophia!"

Vincent jumped in-between to protect her with his his body. He pulled out his gun and repelled the enemy's blade with the gun's barrel. Attack and defense repeated over and over, lighting up the stage with sparks. Eventually Vincent, although having dodged the tip of Apis's sword actually aiming at his neck, was hit in the shoulder.

Fresh blood gushed, as that silouette stood in front of him.

"Indeed you are strong ... not like those soldiers"

"You monster, they were my friends."

As Apis smiled, Vincent slowly pulled the trigger. The bullet fired at zero distance pierced through Apis' body.


*



"Don't get in my way! I will avenge my {sister}!"

A large, empty space formed amid the crowd. Coccinella looked at Sophia on the stage but was shot down by countless bullets.

If only I could strech my arms enough, I would lay my hands on that imposter. I would strangle her with all my strength. Even if that woman cries out in pain, and suffers, suffers, cries and begs for her life, I would not forgive her. But, there's still our fellow...

"Delphine ... sister..."

Coccinella fell to his knees. The grass around him began to stain with fresh blood.

"Ki ... ll ... for ... Lucci... o ... la..."

Coccinella managed to choke out those final curse words before he stopped moving.


*



"Ki ... ll..."

The boy recieved the final words of Coccinella.

"Yeah, for ... Lucciola..."

The robes that he wore contracted around his body. There was no emotion in the face of the boy, as his once serene eyes turned glassed over and clouded.

No ... you don't have to kill... these... people.

The fingers of the girl extended toward the sky.

"...Lucciola."

A small light that was held in the palm of Dio's hand grew and extended, changing its form and turning into a knife.


*



As the terrorists had all been eliminated, relief spread amongst the soldiers.

"...Lucciola."

Slowly, as if he was simply taking a walk, the boy approached.

"A song...?"

A young soldier listened to his voice as the boy stepped lightly toward him. With a flash of blue light, the soldier's head went flying. The soldiers tried to restrain their fear to confront the boy in order to protect the princess.

"...Dio."

Was that really a slaughter happening in front of her eyes? Flashes of blue and white danced within water droplets dyed red.

"Beautiful..."

Alvis' voice trembled with fear.

"Don't look!"

Lavie covered her eyes.


*





The clouds began to become slightly visible as the sky began to grow light. On the stage stood the princess and the boy. At their feet, the knight who could not protect her had fallen.

"Vince."

"Princess ... Sophia..."

His eyes pleaded her to try and run away. But Sophia resolutely faced the boy.

I absolutely will not run away. Not from a crisis right in front of me.

"...For Lucciola."

The hand holding the knife went up slowly. Just as that sparkling blue light from earlier appeared and came down on Sophia, a small white shadow slipped between the two. Fresh blood gushed, and the delicate body of the girl collapsed.

"Lucci ... o ... la?"

"I'm ... so ... rry..." The girl squeezed out a voice from the back of her throat.

Her blood silently spread across the stage, the girl's skin began to pale into a beautiful crystalline white. Even Sophia could not hide her surprise at the recognition of that familiar face.

"Di ... o ..."

The girl's lifeless hand fell to the floor.

"Lucciola!"

Trembling fingertips stretched out, as his heart pounded faster, eyes opened wide.

"I killed him. I killed Lucciola!"

In his lost state, Dio began clutching so harshly at his chest that his nails tore at his skin. He thrust the knife into the floor of the stage. Over, and over, and over... The debris fragments that scattered from doing so flew and cut at Dio's body. Lavie couldn't take her eyes away from the scene.

"A vanship?!"

Alvis stared at the sky. As the silver aircraft glittered, the shooting of a steam-type-machine-gun echoed. The machine-gun shells hit just between Dio and the girl. The bullets cut through the floor, and debris scattered all around the stage.

Dio found the {enemy}.








8
Dio will definitely come after me.

Claus' aircraft left the venue and began to head through the Calgray forest, toward the empty town of Norkia.


*



"...I found you."

Dio narrowed his eyes as the silver vanship moved forward through the narrow valley.

"I won't let you get away."

He pulled the throttle. The hum of the liquid claudia could be heard as he accelerated, as the white aircraft pushed forward in chase.


*



"He's coming."

With visual confirmation of a pursuing aircraft, Claus raised his speed, inviting Dio to keep dogging him. The two vanships swept through the valley in the city.

Dio's unit fired off machine gun bullets that hit and shattered some roof tile on a house. Claus dodged by rolling the aircraft to the side. He descended until the very last moment to break out of the alleyway at breakneck speed. The aircraft grazed the stone pavement below, sparks flying.

There's a t-junciton ahead. It's a dangerous area that a lot of pilots get frustrated by in a vanship race.

"4 ... 3 ... 2 ...1 ..."

Claus' machine began veering to the left without compromising the vanship's speed, as Dio gave chase effortlessly.

"He's still remarkable, after all." Claus smiled.

"There!" Alvis cried.

Claus' machine looped into the reservoirs below, Dio's still chasing behind him.

At that sight Lavie understood immediately that they were about to enter the underground waterway.


*



The sound of machine gun fire echoed in the underground water canal. Water splashed up, blocking visibility. As Dio's shooting accuracy increased, Claus' machine continued to bear the scars of it.


*



"I am with you, everyone."

Sophia spoke gently as the venue began to regain its composure.

"The Grand Lake will nurture all of our lives with its abundant waters."

Even though he was layed out on a stretcher, Vincent continued to keep watch around him.


*



The two vanships exited the waterway and began to ascend, unfurling their wings as the dogfight continued. Dio kept shooting without mercy, Claus timing to dodge it at the very last second. The violent clash was reminiscent of the Horizon Cave endurance race. A bullet grazed Claus' machine, the duralumin alloy being torn apart.

I'm almost out of fuel.

Though he figure he did pretty well, having made an enemy out of someone like Dio. Would Lavie praise him that he did his best?

The image of Dio's machine approaching began to fill the back mirror. Claus pulled the throttle, lowering the flap of his ship. He suddenly drew upward, tracing a beautiful turn, the silver aircraft shone beautifully under the morning sun.

"An Immelmann Turn ... but, you can't get away. You won't escape because I know that move."

Dio made the same move without effort, moving his ship's nose to directly face Claus' machine.

"Lucciola, we've won."

Dio pulled the trigger slowly.


*



"Immelmann Turn!"

"I've never seen such a beautiful turn!"

"Immelmann is Immelmann."

The very moment the trigger was pulled, the image of a boy and girl flying a silver vanship flashed into his mind.

Dio Eraclea's cloudy, glassed over eyes suddenly regained their clarity.


*



"Immelmann?!" Dio shouted.

The silver aircraft was going to dive as the spray of gunfire was approaching.

"Don't hit it!"

Pulling his hands away from the stick, Dio stretched himself forward.

"No!"

He reached his hand out, fingertips stretching out as if to try and catch the bullets. It looked as though light spilled from his fingertips as it reached toward the silver, shining vanship whose body began to split and scream.

Steel bullets shot through the steel where the pilot sat, hitting Claus' shoulders, his arms, and straight through his legs. Claudia liquid spewed from Claus' machine. His goggles went flying, and the pilot's expression could be seen.

"Immelmann!"

Dio had recovered.


*



It might have been a plain coincidence that the vanship carrying Claus went crashing down on the slopes where the young boy and girl who desperately tried to survive after the death of their parents learned to fly their vanship. So many times they almost went falling off the side of that cliff, and eventually in the end their silvery aircraft took to the skies.

The vanship carrying the injured Claus finally stopped at the very edge of that cliff.

The smoldering white vanship dropped and hit its goal right after it. Dio jumped from his aircraft though it hadn't completely stopped yet and raced across the grass, stumbling once over a stone.

"Immelmann!"

He climbed up into the battered aircraft to pull the pilot out of the cockpit. His flying suit was mangled, both legs that had been shot drenched in fresh blood. Dio desperately pulled him out.

"Claus!" Lavie cried out.

Beneath the cliff, Dio could be seen pulling Claus away from the smoldering vanship. Lavie and Alvis began to run toward them as Dio layed Claus' body down to cover and protect him as the vanship exploded into flames.


*



"Throw away your fears, overcome that anxiety of moving to new world. We shall keep building our future together in that new land."

When she was finished speaking, Princess Sophia closed her eyes.

"Princess Sophia!" one boy cried out.

"Sophia!"

"Sophia!"

"Princess Sophia!"

The crowd burst out the chants just as Sophia finished her last word.


*



"It's your birthday ... be happy..."

Despite being near death, Claus weakly worded the song.

"You're ... born ... you ... live ... and back to ... dust ... you go..."

Dio held Claus close.

"Congratulations ... congratulations ... happy birthday..."

Fresh blood poured from the flight suit.

"Dea ... r ... Di..."

"Claus!"

Crumpled over, his face wet with tears, Dio called Claus by his name for the first time. On this day, Dio Eraclea turned 18 years old.


*



"You can do it!"

"Just a little bit more, Miss Dunya."

It's been half a year since then, and in the small house in a wheat field, a new life was about to be born.

"Is it here yet? Is it?"

"Kweh, kweh!"

Mullin and Sleepyhead were waiting outside, uneasy.

After a moment of silence, they heard the first cry from inside the cabin.

"Uwah~!"

"Kweh!"

Running down the steps of the cabin and jumping over the fence, Mullin dashed toward the wheat fields.

"He was born! He was born!"

Sleepyhead happily chased after him.

"I'm a father!"

Mullin cried out, before tripping and falling face-first into the mud,





9
"Dio Eraclea, you are hereby released with a special pardon."

In the dimly lit corridor, Tatiana spoke through the glass of the cell.

"Why? I tried to take the princess' life..."

"Because for us, this new world awards everybody with a new life."


*



"Get out."

Tatiana spoke as the elevator door opened. The soldiers removed his restraints and Dio, now free, stretched his hands out toward the sky.

It's warm ... this is the real sun?

He lifted his hand up as his eyes adjusted to the light, and then started to look around.

The Silvana? No, it's a different ship.

"Look, this is our future." Alister smiled.

Golden wheat fields seemed to spread out across the entire surface of the ground. After glancing out at it, Dio turned around. Golden wheat also blanketed the smooth hills behind him, the stalks of ripe wheat swayed in the breeze.

"I don't deserve to be here ... I killed so many people, and caused so many others pain." Dio looked down sadly.

"Holly said she has forgiven you. As have done the parents and brethen of the soldiers whose lives you took away."

The clouds rolled by slowly, the winds carrying the scent of wheat.

"You'll be protecting the 'future' of those who live in this world. That's for the many lives that you took away."

"... how can I do that?"

"A Principal of the Guild who speaks of impossible things?"

Alis asked, and Dio laughed mischievously.


*



He stepped firmly over darkened soil. It was soft, almost like a carpet. The wheat that surrounded him was dyed in gold.

"Dio."

Alvis' smiling, tearful face could be seen.

"Dio."

Lavie laughed and waved at him.

"Look, look! Dunya and I had a baby~!"

Dunya turned red at Mullin's outburst, elbowing him. The baby looked so tiny, almost breakable. Dio gently touched its cheek.

"It's soft ... and warm."

The little life grabbed one of Dio's fingers and laughed. Holly smiled. Tatiana and Alis laughed.


*



"The scent of wheat."

Dio reached down to pick up some barley, his emotions filled with a mix of love and regret.

"This is... the future."

Hearing the sound of wheels, Dio looked up. A boy riding a wheelchair approached. He still seemed a bit unaccustomed to turning the wheels to move himself.

"Immelmann."

Dio started running instantly, the golden colors of the wheat reflected by the sunlight seemed to flow behind him.

Running, running.

Toward Claus, who had been waiting for him.

A vanship flew overhead to scatter celebration petals, to celebrate the birth of new life.








--------------------------------------------------------

AND NOW I'M GOING TO DO A LOT OF TALKING. And man I don't even know where to start with this.

A COUPLE OF TRANSLATION NOTES
Only two here, I think! Since I HOPE most of the stuff is understandable, even if the novel was written strangely.
- Dio greeting Al and Lavie in Sophia's quarters greets them with the line he uses in canon a lot-- the "it's been the day before last since I've seen you" line. In Japanese the line starts with "o" hence how he cuts off the "Di--" line starting the next sentence with the "o," so it's mean to kind of "connect" in that sense. Either way, I changed the line slightly just because it's been a lot longer than what he's said in the first series.

- When Al says "beautiful" to Dio ... killing everyone, it goes with the line above it, implying that she hasn't realized what was actually happening yet, since it was happening so homoelfy quick. It was a really weird line because I translated it right and got it doublechecked to be sure and ... yep that is what it is. Al not realizing people are dying but blurs and colors are pretty? I dunno.


PACING AND SCENE CHANGES
FIRST, the pacing and how awkward it's read in places. Especially in a translation sense!! Since it goes from DIO IN GRAND STREAM which happens right at the end of the first series, then jumps to Claus returning to Prester to find him months later, THEN we go into the flashbacks to Claus deciding to go look for Dio. And the whole Claus leaving for Prester flashback coincides with Dio and the Guildies going after and killing Mad-Thane. So it's these awkward jumps in time back and forth that can come off as kind of confusing. It was very confusing in the translation process as well! I hope it was still readable because that is how they wrote it! And if you had a hard time reading the novel until reading this and realize what they were doing now, it does help to go back and re-read it because it's a little more understandable.


DIO AND DIO'S LIFE (AND SOME NOVEL AFTER TALK)
And Dio's life overall, with the addition of this, is even worse than it already was. Before all of this info about Claus and other things came out, Dio already had the regrets about Lucciola dying for him and being unable to do a thing about how many lives his sister ruined which was already bad enough. The infodrop about Claus from the BD booklets made things worse because now Dio's injured another one of his closest friends. And now with THIS, he also remained brainwashed to lead attacks and kill poor little Holly's father as well as countless Anatoray people over the timespan of the story, including Sophia's guards during the assassination attempt. And his mind also had the (albeit crazy at the time) thought that he killed Lucciola with his own hands before he snapped out of it. Which he would have still remembered even when turning back to normal (since Dio remembers what happened during his brainwashing according to Fam 15.5). And then after snapping out of that he ... has to sit in detainment for six months and think about what happened, how many lives HE ruined with his own hands even though he wasn't himself. Dio how are you even sane at all after all of that jesus fuck. Also the novel after talk mentions that he didn't even truly know Lucciola's fate because of the crazy so probably heard it in detainment. This is the line from the after talk following the novel:

"This time in the novel, Dio didn't understand/remember that Lucciola was truly dead, and was probably informed of Lucciola's death when he was detained. In the cell of the Silvius, he had a lot of time to think of his "important friend" in full. Lucciola had died for his sake. And though Dio is flying solo in the skies now, the feelings for Lucciola he still has are placed in the navi seat."

TARA WEEPS FOR HER SAD OTP FOREVER THE NEVERENDING SERIES.

The after talk also mentions Dio's self-loathing in him saying that he shouldn't be forgiven. And the response to that helping him begin a sort of atonement with the "protect the future for those who are still alive because you have that strength in you" that leads into FamDio and his badassery.

I love him being the rainbird whisperer though, his soul animal.

Also lol'd at Mullin and Dunya being all YOU WERE CRAZY AND KILLED MAD PEOPLE BUT HERE, TOUCH OUR BABY DIO!!!!!!


ROS
There is so much that confuses me about this character but at least the name got logic'd out. In that translating her name looks like "Rose" but is actually probably "Ros". Originally I was like "okay Delphine would not name a servant after her favorite flower when servants to her are nothing but shit she would not bestow such a lovely name on someone in a class she doesn't think have hearts." But Apis/Coccinella call her "Ros of Aspis" and since she's female, Ros means "dew" which fits in with Nix and Pluvia's names as Delphine's female servants. SO THAT ENDED UP ACTUALLY MAKING SENSE.

But not much else makes sense, mainly because of the whole retconning to add/change things. Obviously as a new character she was never in the first series proper. Assuming she was alive the whole time (though this canon and lolclones now WHO THE FUCK EVEN KNOWS) she was obviously born from the same gene pool Lucciola and Cicada were since she's basically Lucciola with boobs and a sideponytail, since Dio thinks she is him for fuck's sake. So in how the canon brought in things like cloning and genetics and gene pools, her existence makes sense, if not ridiculous sense because this is Last Exile, whose side-stories and novels apparently never wrap things up but rather make things more convulted and confusing. Did Dio know her before this in that he would have realized what happened after he recovered? Did Lucciola know her? Mysteries.

But her personality and inability to speak are sort of glaring contradictions to ... existing in the Guild, especially so close to Delphine as part of Aspis. In the novels she's visibly and noticeably frightened, shaking, meek etc. Whereas in the series the servants were always expected to be emotionless and as not self aware as possible because Delphine could not allow any possible slip ups and FEELINGS from them (that was the whole point of why she tortured Lucciola so much-- to make sure he didn't get feelings or anything like that, knowing that as a child Dio tried to treat him like a friend). Even the ones who served as her maids. Servants with feelings = no. Her voice is another thing, since the novel IMPLIES that it's more that she can't talk (since when he dies she kind of forces out what little she says) instead of doesn't talk. Which falls again into Delphine and the servants that surround her expected to be perfect, and why would she bother keeping one who couldn't even speak? With the logic of the Guild and especially Delphine's expectations and treatment of the servants, one who couldn't speak and was showing such signs of fear and emotion wouldn't have been considered good enough to keep around. If she was around during the first series, they never even bother elaborating any more on her after the fact, not even in passing from Dio's POV in the novel. :|a WHICH IS STUPID considering how for over a year...? He thought she was Lucciola because he was crazy so you would think he would have THOUGHT ABOUT THAT A LITTLE. If she existed before the novel anyway, remember Last Exile lol clonal aging lol whatever. Even though again, she was called Ros of Aspis, sssssso. Thanks for making things more confusing Last Exile, thanks.


DIO AND LUCCIOLA
This whole thing. :'D... THIS ... WHOLE THING. I have a lot of feelings about this whole thing. THE MAIN ONE, is Dio's open feelings for Lucciola in the novel. Remember that even though he is touching and cuddling and snuggling in Ros's lap, he is still in crazybrain mode, so he thinks he is doing that with Lucciola and calling her that. And Apis and Coccinella want him to keep thinking he is snuggling with his boyfriend to keep him under their control, since he'll do anything "Lucciola" tells him. Which is just. My baby. So there are adorable lovey boyfriend feelings happening there (EVEN IF IT'S SAD AND CRAZY) and I just. ;3; Ugh. Like in Dio's mind he is cuddling and alone and happy and so peaceful in Lucciola's lap and. Just looking at his expression and how happy he looks in the illustration because he thinks it is Lucciola he is with. Why do you assholes do this to me.

But then there is also the whole Lucciola's name/face being used as a way to control Dio which is ... sad. And it's not like these two and their lives were bad enough as is, but crazyDio did terrible things because Apis and Coccinella were using Ros and the "for Lucciola" thing to make Dio do what they wanted. (even though the whole THEY DID THAT TO LUCCIOLA, what took his voice? Gave him titties? I'm assuming took his voice but lawl.) SO IT'S THAT SPLIT ONCE AGAIN of Dio's feelings for Lucciola and how much he loves him versus ... being controlled by them because he's also still crazy.


APIS AND COCCINELLA
I don't even know where to begin here. Because there are so many just ... outright WRONG THINGS going on as opposed to what you see in the series. They're crazy, thirsty for vengeance and obsessed with Delphine to the point where they're also calling her "sister." Which would have worked in showcasing just how much Delphine really, REALLY controlled the servants. How without a source of that sort of power and leadership they wouldn't know what else to do sans for those feelings of servitude manifesting into a form of revenge for taking away that only "rock" they had for their entire lives, as bad and as terrible and monsterous as that "rock" was. Like the after talk says, there WAS this distorted obsession. But using Apis and Coccinella to showcase this made little sense because of how the Chronicles artbook and even the series itself showed what they did with the two of them, and how they worked with Lucciola for Dio's sake.

They, like Lucciola only probably to a lesser extent because of how Lucciola was around Dio personally a lot more, seemed to have those same small senses of self awareness, taking care to never be caught. Wishing more to protect Dio. I mean hell, when Lucciola in the end went to fight, Apis and Coccinella did not stop him. Apis warned him that Delphine would never forgive him, but the point is that they let him go and Coccinella even gave him a weapon. They were more on his/Dio's side and less on Delphine's and seemed, despite not aiding him personally, like they were more with him than her. They even said this in the Chronicles artbook. It's just such a complete 180 in personality and what you see in the series that it's jarring to make sense out of it without better elaboration, which we're never going to get because it's Last Exile. So they went from these kind of neutral, more on Dio and Lucciola's side and being careful not to slip up around Delphine dudes, who even end up helping Lucciola when he goes to fight Delphine and Cicada, into ones who get hellbent obsessed with revenge and then USE Dio by using Lucciola's memory/someone who has Lucciola's face. :|a

The after talk talks about that distorted sister obsession and a jealousy developing toward Dio who is her "real" brother hence using him. But again, using those two for that after what the rest of their development implied just kind of throws that development to the wind for the sake of using familiar characters/names for the antagonism for the readers. Even though the after talk also says the real villain this story in the end is still Delphine because of her influence on Apis and Coccinella (dumb as the writing was) and that Dio was still mindfucked from her and ended up being controlled for so long.

So I dunno man. That was a thing.


DIO AND CLAUS
I know Claus disappearing and Dio being crazy through the novel and the time passage were the main points of this story, especially Claus being missing for so long because he was out searching for and then trying to help Dio. But man, for a novel that was like THIS IS ALL ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP, they outwardly interacted like ... once, technically twice in the whole novel. And that was when Dio dogged and shot him and then snapped out it and freaked out at his dying body, and then at the very end when Dio is released and goes back to them. And those two parts ARE pretty good at conveying the feelings, but it's sad that so much was focused on everything leading up to those moments instead of those actual moments and anything between those moments and Fam. Since I would have liked to see more beyond the whole happy omg welcome back Dio we all love you you were just crazy. In Last Exile, especially with the cast, it's how they all deal with these shitty worlds and things and find each other and each influence and latch onto each other and love each other no matter what, and I love that about this cast. That despite all of that, they can still love each other so much, and just as strongly. But I also like seeing the feelings and the strife below too. Like how Dio would have settled back with them after so long, what kind of talks they'd have, things like that. Especially between Dio and Claus!! But alas.


THE STUPID TIMELINE?
Two years pass between the end of Last Exile and the beginning of Fam. Dio had been with the Sky Pirates 6 months prior to the start of Fam, implying that a year and a half goes on before he leaves Anatoray and finds them.

Yet, the novel mentions a year and a half time skip, and the skip after that which includes Dio's detainment is six months, making two years.

ALSO, about that year and a half time skip-- it was "a year and a half since Delphine's death"-- and she died after Dio's 17th birthday. So a year and a half after Dio's 17th birthday is when Dio shoots Claus, yet Claus sings him the birthday song and be turns 18 that day. ??????????????

And at the start, Claus arrives at Prester that he hadn't seen "in a year." So it was at least a year before he even went back.

I mean I know you can shave or add a few months on that from either side (as in two years can also mean two years + some months and such) but it's still very confusing when you read it in terms like that. But still, stuff like the birthday makes no sense, timeline wise. And it's just really odd, awkward time pacing and doesn't add up in places. Instead of aiming to cover the whole two year span between series, a focused story would have been a lot better while still telling people a lot.

And you have to take Travelers from the Hourglass into account, too. Travelers takes place after homes are built and there is some settlement on Earth, which takes ... time. So that kind of meshes shittily with everything else timeline wise too, when you're trying to put things together.


VINCENT UNCLE COFFEE
I just want to marry him forever ok. HUG REJECTIONS and then such badassery in trying to protect Sophia and when she's about to die his eyes just pleading for her to run and. Vince. ;; I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. SOMEONE APP HIM YOU GET COFFEEBONERS AND CHAINSAWS.


DEATHS
The bigger deaths didn't have too much emotional impact imo, but maybe it's just me. Apis and Coccinella because I didn't like what they did with them in the first place considering all of the contradictions in personality and how it seemed like they just threw characterization to the wind with them for the sake of bringing in antagonism for and through Dio. Mad-Thane was probably the only real surprise that makes you go "... oh oh noooooo :(" because he was the coolest bro in the series. CHIVALRY BRO!!!! And worse yet is that Dio is leading all of the attacks in the series so it's his fault. :'D. But it was also a little odd seeing him die after Travelers where people went "why is Holly by herself with Claus and Lavie when she has her family?" and in turn they explained that her parents were taking care of things/political shit/etc. back home on Prester. So it seemed kind of "answered" in a way like oh eventually they'll come to Earth too like everyone else and trusted Claus and Lavie with her. It was still pretty sad tho. :( And unfortunately Ros didn't have much of an impact (aside from the fact that the novel was short anyway so there was no room for ... giving you time to care) because the bigger impact of that scene was that Dio thought he'd killed Lucciola so was flipping out about that. Not to mention how, like talked about before, her existence just doesn't fit in with anything else in the Guild so her ~sacrifice~ between Dio and Sophia while already clique in and of itself wasn't really anything to invoke many feels. Not from her end as much as Dio's reaction to it, anyway. And his reaction wasn't to killing her, it was to killing who he thought was Lucciola.

So overall the only really impactful death was Mad-Thane's and even that one was kind of like "WHAT."


OTHER THINGS
Some of the things just read as really strange. Like how it takes Lavie ... five months to be like O WAIT CLAUS HAS THE PENDANT? And then there are two pendants? Also how they didn't think to look for Claus in his old house in Norkia earlier on. Also Claus waiting a year to go look for Dio. SO MANY THINGS JUST ... don't come together in a way where this read like a good, in-character, coherent and well thought out story.

BUT apparently this was planned as an after LE thing way before Fam ever happened and was written to connect to Claus in a wheelchair which was a plotpoint many of the crew was against so it's no wonder this is so shitty.


RANDOM AFTER-NOVEL TALK STUFF:
- Talks about the tandem/buddy system LE has and how the entire cast each is an intrictrate part of the plot, playing their own parts and complimenting each other. There is a foundation of feelings of "what can I do for someone else" and "I would give up something for someone".

- They go on about how no character is useless, even if they are small. Like how Wina heard Alex's voice and last words, and Sophia had to fire on Delphine's ship knowing he was in there. How she carries a heavy cross, but at the same time none of them would have made it through the Grand Stream/activated the Exile if she hadn't given the order.

- Friends was something Chiaki wanted to do after the first series ended, but it never happened. There is talk about continuity and Dio fans and basically all of the stuff about how he didn't actually die in the end. He wanted to make it an animation...? (LOL) Mentioned later was something about how in a novel they could write AND THEN THAT SOLDIER'S HEAD WENT FLYING but can't really animate that and wanting to show the relentless fear Dio was inflicting or something.

- But when they started brainstorming sequels, they wanted a new story of a new hero, so Friends idea still didn't happen. He also talks about how hard I think he pushed to write this in AL? And how he almost ended up releasing it as a sort of douijin or something.

- The original idea for the sequel starred a boy named Teddy who was the opposite of Claus in a lot of ways. But for some reason where thet thought the hot blooded type wasn't "Last Exile" someone was like WHAT ABOUT A FEMALE LEAD and that changed the route to what Fam became. Things like Glacies and their rocket fighters were present during the old old story ideas.

- Then they talk about Dio and how he's a cheery dependable big brother type. And on top of Friends in general being very not happening and push to happen from his end, there was apparently opposition about showing Claus in a wheelchair in 15.5. So that whole sub-plot and novel that came from it were apparently things most of the staff didn't want very much but was pushed hard enough that it ended up happening. (I CAN SEE WHY THERE WAS OPPOSITION HA HA HA!!)

- Talk about how even in the novel, the enemy is still Delphine in how she influenced Apis and Coccinella's actions (T_T) and that Dio was still mindfucked because of her in the first place.

- Go into Apis and Coccinella and how they killed their characterization and tried to being up things like fear over Delphine being dead. And how the moment when they comfort each other in the novel it's almost "like they are real brothers." People of the Guild toward Delphine may have had a "sister" yearning for her. Because it's such a distorted yearning, there may have been some parts that were jealous that Dio was the true brother of Delphine. So they picked Dio up from the Grand Stream to use him.

- Then they talk about Dio and Lucciola's death and how gay he is for him forever like mentioned above already. As well as the whole atonement thing.

THE END. LOL THIS NOVEL. What the fuck you guys. What the fuck did you do.
 
 
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