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[Utsuwa Sentai Seitenger] Vessel 3: The Traveling Novelist

Somewhere in Yokohama…

It was night time. A teenage girl was standing in the middle of a small library of that mansion. She was looking at the book shelves with a melancholic look on her face. The same melancholic feeling that the full moon was giving off on that particular night.

“Grandpa, I’ll be leaving tomorrow. I guess it’s about time, huh? I’ll put my travels on hold for now. Just until I finally finish my mission,” the girl said to no one in particular. But she made it seem as if the old man she was referring to was just in front of her.

A heavy sigh came out of her mouth soon after, as she looked at the cylindrical item on her hand. That item looked similar to the Seitengers’ HyakuReiDer, only smaller and with only two slots and three buttons. One more feature unique to this cylinder was the figure of six wings near one end of it, three wings placed on each side. The girl gripped the cylinder hard as she began thinking of things that she knew were about to come now that she decided to do this.

She had to leave the mansion she could ever call home for a long time.

Once again, she sighed and eyed the portrait of an old man hanging on one part of that library.

“Grandpa… Guide me, okay? I know you trained me all this time for this moment. But to be honest, I’m not really sure if I can really do this,” she muttered, her voice quivered a little. Soon after, she noticed that her hand holding the cylindrical item started to quiver, as well.

Was she really this scared?

For now, she didn’t have much of a choice but to fight that fear. She has a mission to finish whatever happens. She promised that to their graves.

It’ll be fine…

XXXXXX

Mizuhashi mansion…

Around the same time, Hideoki stepped out of his room and eyed the full moon from the veranda. Though looking at it only reminded him of his wife Mariko, that wasn’t the reason why he felt quite melancholic. He looked at the envelop on his hand, still unopened. He couldn’t find himself opening it despite the fact that the sender requested him to open it on the night of the full moon.

He looked at the letter one more time for a few more moments before finally deciding to open it. Nothing would come if he remained indecisive about things like this. But soon after, he frowned at the words he read on that letter.

‘Atsuko’s daughter… is coming here?’

And that wasn’t all he read there. There was one particular passage on that letter that surprised him to some extent.

“That means the soul has finally chosen its next incarnation,” Hideoki muttered as he continued to read the letter. Not many details were placed there with regards to the identity of the next incarnation that the sender was talking about.

But one more passage only brought him confusion and to some extent, fear.

‘Her role is to stop the tragedy from repeating again. You must protect her and the current incarnation at all cost.’

Hideoki just received that letter yesterday. But the sender had been dead for two months now. And no, it wasn’t because of the Tareans. It was already the sender’s time, but not without leaving Hideoki a task that might determine the fate of the children under his care.

But there was one question that lingered in the historian’s mind even after reading the rest of the letter.

Who was the current incarnation?

XXXXXX

“She’s here. The chosen is finally here…”

Itsuki kept on hearing the same words over and over as he roamed the place he was currently at. To his confusion, though, he was roaming the forest near the hotel where his parents died because of the fire 10 years ago. What frustrated him more was the fact that he couldn’t leave that place at all no matter how hard he tried to leave.

“Where in the world am I?” Itsuki could only mutter as eyed the surroundings once more.

“Don’t let them die, child… I beg you… Don’t let them die or it will end with her… The world will end with her…”

That voice again…

It was a different voice from what he would usually hear in Itsuki’s other dreams. But he was sure about one thing. That voice belonged to an older woman, probably in her late 20’s or maybe even in her early 30’s. But that voice was surely mysterious in more ways than one.

“Who are you?!” Itsuki shouted as he continued to search the surroundings. He couldn’t use his powers to detect the whereabouts of the speaker.

It seemed that his powers inclined to earth even has its limits.

“Please… Don’t let them die…”

Itsuki could only scratch his head frustratingly and breathed out a heavy sigh as soon as he bolted up. His dreams were surely getting weirder by the minute.

What in the world was going on? What kind of dream was that, anyway? It was the first weird dream he had ever since becoming a Seitenger. Thinking of that, he soon faced the bedside table where his Celestial Shifter was placed.

As surreal and unbelievable as it might seem, it was the truth that he accepted weeks ago. He was one of the chosen Vessels tasked to defend the world from the Tareans. In his case, he was the chosen Vessel for the power of the Heavenly Earth Spirit Guardian. He still had little knowledge about the Heavenly Spirit Guardians or even the realm called the Hundred Heavens where these Guardians resided. But for some reason, despite his desire to discover more about these mystical beings, something still tried to hold him back.

But what could that be?

A knock on the door disrupted the flow of his thoughts.

“Yes?” he responded.

“Onii-chan, it’s time to get up. We’re going to have breakfast early so we could start our training today,” Erika said on the other side of the door.

He sighed inaudibly and got up from his bed. “I’ll follow. You go on ahead.” And with that, he proceeded to do his morning routine.

But not without giving a last meaningful look on his Celestial Shifter placed on the bedside table. Moments later, he shifter his gaze towards the music sheets beside his Shifter with unfinished written composition.

A thought entered his mind that made him frown.

‘Could it be that… the voice was talking about the girl that always appear in my dreams since before?’

Wait… It was possible. But the voice kept on saying the word “them”.

Just how many people that the voice was trying to imply with that word?

Shaking his head to remove any more possible questions to enter his mind, Itsuki went on. He didn’t have any plans of getting scolded today or any other day just because he was distracted.

A few minutes later, Itsuki was done with his morning routine and went out of his room to proceed to the dining area. His lips curved upward upon seeing the usual scenario whenever breakfast was being served. Eichirou eyeing all the food with delight and anticipation. Misae trying to calm the photographer down just until everything was ready. Akira and Erika still serving the other foods from the kitchen. Shuichi, and surprisingly, Shuichi’s biker friend/rival Raisaki Amuro was helping the former set up the dining table. The two elders Nanami and Hideoki were nowhere in sight, though.

He frowned at that.

“Good morning, Onii-chan,” Erika greeted with a sweet smile.

Itsuki just acknowledged it with a nod and a ruffle on Erika’s hair, which annoyed his sister.

“Onii-chan, stop that! You’re ruining my hair again.”

It didn’t take long before Shuichi and Amuro finished setting up the table. When Itsuki thought that the two bikers were going to announce that it was time for breakfast, he spoke.

“Where’s Nanami-san and Hideoki-san, by the way?” he asked as he looked around the dining area.

“Dad’s in his room. He hasn’t come out yet,” Eichirou asked. “As for Aunt Nanami, she just went outside to get the mail. Come to think of it, we’ve been getting a lot of mails lately.”

“Well, blame yourselves for that.” It was Amuro who said that, which made them focus their attention to the said biker.

“What do you mean?” Misae asked.

“If my guess is right, those letters were all invitations for you guys. Shuichi’s been invited to participate for the race two weeks from now. Eichirou-san’s for the photo exhibit showcasing most of his mother’s previous works in fashion designing. Misae in an archery competition to be held next month. And the concur that they want the siblings to perform as guests.”

“But that’s not what happened last week.”

“Huh?”

“The ten letters sent here last week were all for Dad,” Eichirou continued. “Until now, I kept on wondering what those letters were for.”

It wasn’t just Eichirou. Even Itsuki and the others had the same thought. They wouldn’t have those thoughts if it wasn’t for the grave look they saw on Hideoki’s face the day those letters came. It was the same grave expression he showed when he and Nanami told them the truth about the hotel fire and the Seitengers.

Did something happen that Hideoki didn’t want them to know?

XXXXXX

Tareus Dimension…

Though the rumblings and clashes of thunder and lightning dissipated in the realm, it doesn’t mean that the one who was actually causing it was calm. Emperor Darshao, sitting on his large throne with his eyes closed, was just quiet. And to be honest, to the Dark Shadow Defenders who were in the Throne Room, it was a scary type of silence from the Tarean leader.

“Who would’ve thought those newbies could already form the SeitenOh? How did it all come to this?” Karkino could only grumble in frustration.

“We just didn’t anticipate their growth,” Orcus calmly answered. “They might be newbies but I can tell that they possess the most powerful Hasureiki among all of their predecessors. There must be some secret behind this that we need to know.”

“What we need to focus on is the destruction of the other seals. We’ll have an upper hand once we did that,” Nemia suggested and tried to approach the emperor but Alvre stopped her. “What’s the meaning of this?”

“None of us should approach the Emperor unless we could give him an actual result of defeating those pesky Seitengers!” Alvre growled. “You know that we need those negative emotions to help us break the other Tarean Seals.”

“Two of my Triske Monsters have been destroyed by those brats! I need to save face for my humiliation,” Siriso entered the conversation.

“I think I have a way to torture those pesky newbies,” Nemia said that made the other Defenders’ attention focus switched to her.

Nemia only looked to one side of the Throne Room. Soon after, a serpent-like Triske Monster which looked like a hybrid of a water serpent and a manta ray to view. And it was cackling.

XXXXXX

“Helen!”

As soon as she stepped out of the bus, it was that voice that greeted Helen. With a travel bag on her left hand and a duffel bag placed to her right shoulder, she looked around to find the source of that voice. Her expression brightened as soon as she saw a familiar face.

It was a woman in her late 20’s with bob cut hair and wearing a business outfit. The woman was waving at Helen as she approached her.

“Minako-san, it’s been a while since we saw each other,” Helen greeted with a wide smile.

“You’re right. It’s been a while. A long while, if you ask me. Where have you been for the past two months? I haven’t heard from you since then,” Asakura Minako ranted as soon as the woman finally stopped in front of her.

The last sentence only made Helen’s smile disappear that Minako soon noticed.

“Wait. Did something happen?” Minako continued, a little wary that perhaps, she might have said something that crossed the line.

Helen sighed before speaking. “Grandpa died two months ago. Makoto-san and I had to take care of a few things aside from the funeral services and the burial, as well.”

Minako was speechless. She didn’t see that answer coming. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Makoto didn’t tell me anything.”

“It’s okay. It was Grandpa who told us not to mention anything to others, anyway.” Helen smiled once again when she remembered something. “By the way, how did you know I’d be coming here?”

“I received a message from Makoto two days ago. He said that I should help you locate Mizuhashi Hideoki since it’s important. He sounded really firm when he sent that message to me.”

The younger girl could only sigh at that. “It’s not like I’m going to get lost while trying to find him.”

“I know you won’t get lost. But I’m only making things easier for you. I happen to eat almost everyday at the family restaurant that Mizuhashi Hideoki owned. I see him there most of the time since he’s one of the cooks and he personally manage the place.”

“He’s a restaurant owner now? But Grandpa said that he’s a historian,” Helen stated with a frown.

“He was. But ever since his wife died, he decided to retire and start over by opening up a restaurant.”

Helen didn’t say anything anymore. She just coaxed Minako to accompany her in finding the Mizuhashi mansion. She did this despite so many thoughts running in her mind at the time. But thinking this over and over again won’t get her anywhere. Right now, she had to focus on her mission to that place.

All of a sudden, she felt the cylindrical item in her pocket vibrated. It immediately stopped her to her tracks and looked around.

They’re here, as well? That distressing thought was in her mind before she noticed people frantically running.

“It can’t be…”

XXXXXX

The breakfast was going well for the Vessels that time but for some weird reason, only Nanami ate along with them. Amuro went on ahead before the breakfast could even start since he said he had to go to the racing stadium to help out his uncle who managed it.

“Nanami-san, where’s Hideoki-san?” Itsuki managed to ask when everyone seemed to be hesitating to do so.

A sigh came out of the woman’s mouth before facing the composer. “He has to go to the restaurant for a while to fix some things.”

“But what could that be? I’ve never heard anything about any possible trouble the restaurant was facing yesterday,” Eichirou said in which the girls nodded in agreement.

“It’s not about any trouble, okay? So you don’t need to worry. His mind is a little messed up because of the letters he received from an old friend.”

“You mean, the letters that were sent here last week?” This time, it was Shuichi who asked that.

Nanami nodded and continued eating. To the others, it was an indication of putting the discussion on hold until breakfast was over. Hesitatingly, the Vessels continued eating their own breakfast.

But Eichirou nearly choked while the others were just about to put food in their mouths when they heard a familiar beeping coming from their Celestial Shifters on their wrists. The girls could only exhale exasperatingly.

“You got to be kidding me… A Triske Monster early in the morning?” Misae complained.

When Itsuki looked at his sister Erika, he noticed that she was already checking the location of the attack through her Shifter.

“It’s on one of the bus stations near the town border. We need to hurry. Several of the buses there have already been exploded. Soon, the fire they created will reach the nearby buildings,” Erika stated calmly which only confused the other four Vessels. Erika just tilted her head when she saw this. “What?”

“How can you even say it so calmly, Eri-chan?” Eichirou asked which only made the pianist smile.

“Nothing good will come out if I panic. Besides, it’s our job, right? We have to protect everyone, just as the will of our parents and Eichirou-san’s mother who protected us that night.”

Upon hearing that, Itsuki remembered the dream he just had before he woke up.

“Don’t let them die, child… I beg you… Don’t let them die or it will end with her… The world will end with her…”

Her… Now he remembered. The woman in his dreams was referring to a certain female individual. But the only female people in the team whose lives were in possible danger were Misae and Erika.

Could it be…?

“Let’s go,” Shuichi finally said which disrupted the flow of Itsuki’s thoughts. “We can’t afford to let the damage escalate.”

The rest nodded since it was definitely the only answer there was. They could think about other things later. Or at least, Itsuki wanted to think of it that way.

‘I need to concentrate. I can’t afford to get distracted today.’

XXXXXX

What greeted the Vessels were burning buses when they arrived at the bus station near the border of that town. Several people were frantically running just to escape from the fire. The police and several firefighters were doing their best to settle the situation. But what those people didn’t expect were the arrival of a bunch of skeleton-like creatures led by what appeared to be a water-type creature.

“Great! Why do we have to deal with a creature related to water again?” Eichirou whined when he finally saw the full form of the Triske Monster.

“Seriously, Eichirou-san. Do you still have the rights to say that?” Misae retorted rather incredulously. “I know your power is related to water but doesn’t give you the rights to complain about the monsters we have to fight.”

“They just appear whenever they want to. I guess the broken Tarean Seal was really big enough for these troublemakers to come out,” Shuichi said in distraught.

“Let’s go. We’ll discuss this later,” Itsuki said that the others agreed on.

Placing their Heaven’s Medallions on the slots of each of their Celestial Shifters, they recited their transformation call.

“Spirit Power, Cross Shift!”

A few seconds later, the Seitengers donned their suits and weapons and started fighting off the Gargonemas led by the Triske Monster who never said anything even after he saw them. SeitenEarth soon found that a little weird.

“Onii-chan, what’s wrong?” SeitenLight asked while trying to fend off the Gargonema on her end. She noticed that her brother was paying attention to the Triske Monster instead of the Gargonemas going after them.

“I’ll let you guys deal with this,” was the only thing SeitenEarth said before he charged after the Triske Monster that was just standing on one part of the burning bus station looking at the scene.

‘Wait… Just looking?’ That was when the green warrior decided to use his inclination with the power of earth to detect any other disturbances besides the ones that his comrades were dealing at the moment. He closed his eyes in order to concentrate.

It didn’t take him long to figure things out. But before he could even do anything to attack, the Triske Monster was already in front of him and punched him really hard, sending him flying.

The others soon noticed this and was surprised to see SeitenEarth getting thrown off then hitting the building. Due to the impact of the attack, the green warrior collapsed to the ground, but still trying to fight off his dizziness so he wouldn’t lose consciousness.

“Itsuki!” the three older Seitengers yelled in worry and faced the Triske Monster.

“Onii-chan!” SeitenLight exclaimed before rashly turning her attention to the Triske Monster whom they don’t even know the name. Come to think of it, this monster hadn’t even said any word since they arrived. Could it be that her brother already noticed this? “What did you do to my brother?”

“Just this!”

SeitenLight only heard those words before she found herself also flying and eventually feeling her body hitting on something hard. As soon as she dropped to the ground, her transformation was disabled and she was struggling to even move because of the impact.

“Erika! Are you okay?!” SeitenEarth could only shout as he tried to stand up despite the searing pain hitting him. He managed to do so and approached the struggling Erika.

“Onii-chan…” Erika could only say in pain. “What happened? That monster…”

“Yeah, I know,” SeitenEarth replied along with a nod and turned his attention towards the Triske Monster still standing. “That Triske Monster standing there is just a trick. A double.”

“A double? Then—” But Erika’s words was soon cut off when they heard more screams coming towards them.

The siblings were surprised to see the other three Seitengers getting thrown off and hitting some of the buildings’ walls, as well.

“Everyone!” both of them yelled in shock.

SeitenEarth immediately recovered from it and soon focused on the enemy. But to his surprise, the Triske Monster just standing there earlier was nowhere to be seen. “Where is he?”

“Right here.”

Once again, SeitenEarth found himself flying as soon as he felt being punched hard and soon after, hitting the hard pavement. The pain he was feeling earlier doubled after that. But he mustn’t lose consciousness now or his teammates—-

Wait, his teammates! He tried his best to look around the area to find both SeitenWind and Erika. He sighed in relief somehow because SeitenWind was with the red warrior while his sister was tended by SeitenWater. Extracting the blade of his HyakuReiDer and stabbing it to the ground, SeitenEarth used it as a support for him to be able to stand up.

He closed his eyes once more and concentrate. This wasn’t the dream world where he couldn’t use his powers over earth. He just needed to put enough effort to do the task right—-and that was to find where the Triske Monster really was.

Inside SeitenEarth’s suit, it could be seen that Itsuki’s eyes snapped open as soon as he was able to detect the monster’s movements and location. With that, he took out his HyakuReiDer from the ground and inserted his Vessel Medallion Heaven Tiger into one of the two slots before pushing the required button. The blade of his weapon emanated a green-colored glow and he waited for the right time to deliver his attack.

He just hoped it would work, though. At least for a while.

“Onii-chan…” Erika could only utter as she and SeitenWater watched how the green warrior would deal with the situation where they couldn’t even see where the Triske Monster was at the moment.

The other Seitengers could only watch with bated breath. What was SeitenEarth planning?

Before any of them could comprehend the situation, SeitenEarth noticed about four rays of laser beams fired from the western direction to the approaching Triske Monster from under the ground, as if swimming it. He took that as an opportunity for now and stabbed his HyakuReiDer to the ground, earning a pained scream from down under. It wasn’t long before the ground where SeitenEarth stabbed his weapon exploded and soon after, revealed the real Triske Monster which was a water serpent-manta ray hybrid sort of a creature.

The Seitengers were surprised at the sight of the monster coming out from under the ground.

“He was there the entire time?” SeitenWater could only ask.

“I think so,” Erika replied with a sigh. “Onii-chan said that the one who first appeared to us was just a double.”

“Itsuki’s power to sense using the earth is really incredible,” the blue warrior commented in awe.

“But where did those beams come from?”

It was the same question that bothered the other Seitengers even after the monster escaped for the time being. The injury that SeitenEarth gave to the Triske Monster was obviously a deep one, judging it from the smoke coming out of the monster’s body through that injury. So it was obvious that it needed to retreat just until the injury would be healed.

They had to prepare for the Triske Monster’s next attack then, if it comes to that.

SeitenFire was about to approach SeitenEarth who disabled his transformation soon after and returning to being Itsuki. But he was surprised to see the composer collapsing to the ground, letting go of his HyakuReiDer in the process.

“Onii-chan!”

“Itsuki!”

Immediately, the others, even the still hurting Erika, approached the unconscious Itsuki.

“That last attack he did must have taken a lot out of him,” Shuichi commented.

“Not only that, using his ability to sense disturbance using the power of earth must be truly exhausting,” Eichirou added.

“In any case, we need to head home. It’s better if I could heal Itsuki there,” Misae suggested.

“Can you even still do it, Misae-san? You’re injured, as well,” Erika said without bothering to hide her worries not just for her brother but also for the archer.

Misae smiled and ruffled Erika’s hair. “It’ll be fine. The wind around the area of the mansion somehow becomes a booster for me to do this thing.”

“How is that even possible?” Eichirou asked with a frown.

The archer shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ll ask Hideoki-san or Nanami-san next time.”

XXXXXX

On the rooftop of one of the buildings near the site of the Tarean attack, Helen could only watch the situation there. She didn’t know what to feel, though. But the first thing she did as soon as the situation was temporarily settled was to smile, especially when she saw a particular someone she realized was one of the Seitengers.

“I guess this is where everything will become hard for the two of us… Erika…” she muttered and looked at the two cylindrical items on each of her hands.

The one on her left hand was the item she was always holding—-the same one that vibrated when it detected a Tarean attack a while back. The cylindrical item on her right hand, however, was the one she used to fire four laser beams towards the Triske Monster that was approaching the green warrior earlier.

“So the previous SeitenEarth’s successor is a male one, huh? And to think it’s even Erika’s older brother…”

Helen heaved a heavy sigh a few moments after saying that. She did that without removing her sight on the items she was holding.

“Helen! What are you doing up here? Shouldn’t you be staying in the lobby?”

Minako’s words soon disrupted Helen’s flow of thoughts and stealthily hid the two cylinders. “How am I suppose to stay in the lobby when there’s a lot of people using it to hide from those creatures? Besides, I know I’ll be safe here.”

“How would you know?”

“I just… know.”

The older woman sighed in retreat soon after. “Fine. You win. But come to think of it, things had gotten a little weird in this town since that earthquake in Mt. Kumamoto.”

“Earthquake?”

“Yeah. You didn’t know? There was an earthquake there that killed most of the children and teachers who were having their field trip around the area. But there were speculations going around that the victims weren’t killed by earthquake, but by those creatures attacking earlier.”

Mt. Kumamoto… Helen knew that place very well. Studied everything about it, even, with the help of her mentor and guardian who was a former historian. ‘The location of the Tarean Seal created from the power of the first SeitenEarth…’

“Anyway, I think the situation has been dealt with. Now we can go to the Mizuhashi mansion and finally let you see Mizuhashi Hideoki.”

Helen nodded and smiled. But behind that smile, she was trying really hard to hide both her fears and worry. ‘I can’t believe that the Tareans had gotten so powerful… But what was that the reason why there were particular in attacking this place?’

XXXXXX

Misae heaved a sigh of relief as soon as she was done healing Itsuki. Thankfully, he didn’t receive too much injury. Eichirou was probably right about one thing with regards to Itsuki and his powers connected to earth. It would really suck out a lot of Hasureiki. And to think they were just starting to get used to having that kind of mystical energy within them.

She wasn’t joking when she said to the others a while back that for some reason, even though she was exhausted and was weakened because of the Triske Monster throwing her, the wind surrounding the area of the Mizuhashi mansion was helping her with her healing ability. And she would definitely ask her mentors with regards to that matter.

After standing up, Misae gave a meaningful look towards the sleeping Itsuki. She smiled when she remembered how he fought earlier and how he managed to deal with the Triske Monster alone. But from what she could see, that driving force must have been taken from something quite tremendous for him. She also noticed that since that morning, he was slightly distracted. Was there something bothering him?

Perhaps Misae would be able to figure it out sooner. Right now, she had to check on the others’ condition, as well. But as soon as she went out of Itsuki’s room, she noticed someone standing by the veranda and looking at the sky. It didn’t take her long before she was able to discern it as Hideoki.

‘I wonder what’s wrong. He’s been doing that for quite some time now,’ Misae thought before deciding to proceed to the veranda and approach Hideoki.

It looked like the older man was truly in a deep thought and didn’t even notice Misae approaching him. He only realized that when he felt someone standing beside him, making his attention shift to the archer.

“Misae… How’s Itsuki?” Hideoki started.

“He’s already healed. He just needed some rest to regain the Hasureiki and the strength he lost because of what happened earlier,” Misae replied and became silent for a few moments. She was hesitating if she was going to finally ask Hideoki about the issue that had bothered her for quite a while or not.

But it seemed that Hideoki was already aware of that. “You want to know why you can use your healing powers in a stronger version with the help of the wind around the area of the mansion, right?”

Of course, Misae was surprised at that. How did he…?

“Not just you, Misae,” Hideoki continued on. “Even the others can use the stronger version of the abilities they’ve gained because of their Hasureiki finally unleashed after the awakening in this area. Shuichi’s ability to determine thoughts by touch… Eichirou’s ability to manifest water in its different phase, even create copies of himself using water… Itsuki’s extension of his senses using the power of earth… and Erika’s light and even sound-related ability… But the reason for that to happen is because of Mariko’s barrier that she cast even before she died.”

Misae frowned at that. “Mariko-san? She was also a Vessel Support, right? But I thought—-”

“She doesn’t just have the ability of precognition, but also barrier creation. Those barriers that she cast around the house, the land where the restaurant stands, and even Nanami’s bookstore… All of those came from Mariko and she cast all of them as soon as those places were constructed. The Hasureiki maintained inside the barrier since the barriers’ creation was what helped you do your healing without exhausting yourself too much,” Hideoki explained.

“Does Eichirou-san… knew about this? About his mother being a barrier creator?”

Hideoki nodded. “I explained it to him as soon as you all went home from your first battle with Juman. But I didn’t tell him about the Hasureiki maintained inside the barrier. I told him that because of Mariko’s barriers, you guys had been kept protected and also undetected by the Tareans for the past ten years since I saved you from that fire. And those barriers will keep doing its job as long as the Vessels are alive.”

XXXXXX

When Itsuki woke up, it didn’t take long for him to realize that he was back in his room. He must have collapsed after dealing with that Triske Monster earlier. Man, being attacked suddenly like that really hurt. In addition to that, he must have used much of his Hasureiki to track down the movements of that monster a while back. He had to admit, that monster was fast when it was underground. Fast motion was something he wasn’t exactly fond of.

A knock on the door snapped Itsuki out of his musings. When he gave the signal to enter, the door opened to reveal Erika and Hideoki. His sister was carrying a food tray.

“How are you feeling, Onii-chan?” Erika immediately asked as soon as she placed the tray on the bedside table.

“Ready to fight that monster again if it appears once more. Besides, I think Misae-san’s healing powers really did its job. I’m completely healed.”

“That’s good to know,” Hideoki said with a nod.

But it was obvious to Itsuki that Hideoki must have wanted to say something more besides that.

“Hideoki-san… Is there something wrong?” he asked the man when he couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer.

Hideoki shook his head. Of course, that should’ve calm him. But he knew that something was going on for the man to have such serious expression.

“How are you going to deal with Diwall the next time he appears?” Hideoki asked.

The name he mentioned made Itsuki frown, though. “Diwall?”

“That’s the name of the Triske Monster we fought earlier. In one records that Natsume and Akira managed to pull out, it was one of Nemia’s Triske Monsters that has the ability to swim through solid objects like water,” Erika explained.

“First, Diwall. And now, Nemia? Who are these people you’re mentioning to me right now?”

“I never mentioned anything about the soldiers higher in ranking than the Triske Monsters,” Hideoki replied. “There are seven of them that, you could say, under the orders of the boss of the Tareans.”

“Emperor Darshao…” Itsuki once read the name before while he was skimming some books at the heart of Hoshizora Bookstore where the records were placed.

Hideoki nodded and continued. “That’s right. Those seven warriors were called the Great Shadow Defenders. Nemia is one of those seven.”

Itsuki didn’t say anything after that. The Seitengers were dealing with the Triske Monster for now and they were already having a hard time. What more if they actually encountered one of the Great Shadow Defenders along the way? Could they really handle it?

“In any case, what I’m more concerned for now was the source of those four beams fired before I delivered my attack to Diwall before. Where did that come from?”

“Onii-chan, we all have the same question. But we didn’t manage to find anything about that,” Erika replied and shrugged. “Kanako-san did her best but nothing comes up.”

“Beams?”

Erika nodded as an answer to Hideoki’s question. She soon mentioned that particular detail to Hideoki who, in turn, listened quite carefully and with that unusual serious expression on his face again.

“I think I need to pay attention to the battle the next time you will deal with Diwall,” Hideoki suddenly announced which surprised the siblings.

But why?

XXXXXX

A sigh escaped on Helen’s lips as soon as she finally reached the place. Well, she actually headed to the Taiyou Family Restaurant in which she learned that it was the restaurant that Mizuhashi Hideoki owned. Earlier, Minako received a call from Makoto that they should head at the restaurant for now since Hideoki was there and Helen could mention to the older man about the detail of her visit to that place.

So here they were.

But for some reason, Helen could feel something weird about the place. She couldn’t quite place it but the area seemed to be surrounded by a considerable amount of Hasureiki. Was that even possible? It was amazing, if one would ask her. She had never encountered such a place before in her life.

“Are you okay, Helen? Don’t worry about anything, okay? He’s not going to eat you,” Minako said jokingly.

Though it made Helen smile, it was a forced one and only for a short time. She couldn’t deny that she was indeed worried. But it wasn’t because of her meeting with Mizuhashi Hideoki. She was more worried about that Triske Monster earlier that gave the Seitengers a hard time. That monster was definitely something, she would say that.

“Are you Tennouji Helen?” a man’s voice snapped her out of her musings.

When she turned around, she saw a man who seemed to be in his late 40’s coming out of the restaurant with an apron still on him. She bowed and nodded as politely as she could. “Yes, that’s me. Are you—-?”

“Your guardian already told me why you’re here.” Soon after, he took out an envelop from his pocket and showed it to her.

Helen knew that envelop. In fact, she was the one who placed it on the mailbox. “That means I don’t have anything to explain to you, Mizuhashi-san.”

“You could answer a few questions for me. If that’s okay with you.”

Helen faced Minako who was looking at them with curiosity and she noticed that the woman was a bit wary. She smiled at her friend in assurance. “It’s okay, Minako-san. You can leave me here. We can meet again after this.”

It took a while for Minako to do what she was told. She embraced Helen and reminded her about her next meeting and her manuscript, which she only replied with a pout. “I know that. Sheesh! Do you really have to remind me about that?”

“Well, you’re a month late, in case you’re not aware.”

“Fine.”

Soon after, Helen was waving at the retreating Minako.

“Who is that woman, Helen?” Hideoki soon asked when they saw that Minako was gone.

Helen faced the old man and smiled. “She’s my editor and also one of my mentors.”

“Editor?”

She nodded and smiled proudly. “Yes. She was the one who encouraged me to continue my mother’s legacy as a fantasy-adventure writer. But of course, I did that using the name that would always connect me to her.” When Helen faced Hideoki, she saw him smile wistfully which made her frown. “Mizuhashi-san?”

“I always admire Atsuko’s wits and imagination, even before I realized she was the famous Hanasaki Kaoru-sensei,” Hideoki said, mentioning her mother’s pseudonym in the writing world. “But you don’t have to pressure yourself in continuing your mother’s legacy as a famous writer.”

“It’s something I chose to do, Mizuhashi-san. Besides, that way, I would always be close to her whatever happens. Especially now that Erika, my childhood friend, was chosen to become a Seitenger.”

“How did you know that?”

Helen sighed once before continuing. “I was at the site of the attack when it happened.” She chose to just say that before coaxing the man to enter the restaurant so the discussion could proceed.

As for Hideoki, he could tell that there was more to what Helen had said to him. If she was at the site of the earlier attack, does that mean…?

XXXXXX

The next day, the Vessels were at least glad that Diwall hadn’t commenced his attack again. But that only made them quite worried. The quieter it was, the more dangerous things would seem to appear. And danger was something they all didn’t want to deal with all the time, given the fact that they weren’t exactly used to facing it.

It was supposed to be a normal morning for all of them. But that didn’t happen when they saw someone talking to both Akira and Nanami by the porch when they woke up and supposed to find Hideoki so they could get ready to prepare their breakfast. The two were talking to a girl, perhaps around the same age as Erika.

And speaking of the pianist, it was her who immediately approached the girl with glee. Of course, that surprised the other Vessels and Itsuki couldn’t even say a word with regards to his sister’s excited mood.

“Helen-chan?” Erika, despite her excitement, asked that question in an unsure tone.

That was when the girl talking to Nanami and Akira diverted her attention to Erika. It didn’t take long before the girl that Erika called Helen showed a bright expression, alongside the recognition in her eyes.

“Erika! It’s been a long time!” Helen immediately left her seat and approached Erika. The two girls even hugged each other.

“Umm… Erika…” Itsuki called out to his sister who seemed to have been caught up in the moment of reunion.

That was when the pianist finally noticed the presence of her brother and her friends. “Ah! I’m sorry, Onii-chan.” Without giving Helen a chance to protest, Erika pulled her friend and approached the others. “Everyone, this is my childhood friend, Tennouji Helen-chan. Helen-chan, these are my friends. And I know you’ve never met my brother before so I’m going to introduce you to him, okay?”

All Helen could do was to nod because it was all too fast for her. She realized at the moment that Erika sure hadn’t changed at all.

“Childhood friend? How come I didn’t know about that?” Itsuki asked, curiosity now getting into him with regards to this matter.

“Because I chose not to tell you that. Besides, it happened 11 years ago. I was eight back then.”

Now Itsuki was surely surprised at his sister’s revelation. Even the other three Vessels couldn’t contain the surprise they felt when they heard that.

“Umm…” Helen ventured. It did catch the others’ attention somewhat. “I’ll explain the details about that, if you want.”

“But do that later when we’re done having our breakfast,” Shuichi said.

“Yeah. I agree. Dad would definitely scold us if we still loiter around here. We’ll do the proper introductions later,” Eichirou added, determined.

“Dad?” Helen repeated with a frown. “You mean Mizuhashi Hideoki-san?”

Eichirou faced her with a smile soon after and nodded. “That’s right. He’s my father.”

“You don’t look like him, though,” Helen uttered before she could even stop herself which froze Eichirou for a bit. “W-what I mean is… you look a lot like Mariko-san since I’ve seen her a lot of times whenever I would see her in several fashion shows she hosted before.”

“Woah…” Eichirou could only say as a response while staring at Helen in surprise. “Not many people notice that, though.”

“That’s true. It also took me a while to notice that particular thing,” Misae soon joined in the conversation. “So you’ve met Mariko-san before, Helen-chan?”

Helen nodded. “I also took pictures with her since she was really acquainted with Grandpa.”

“By the way, how is he?” Erika asked.

That was when Helen’s expression dimmed that made Erika frown.

“Did I say something wrong?”

Helen shook her head and sighed before facing her friend. “Grandpa died two months ago.”

XXXXXX

What the others didn’t know was that Hideoki remained watching the interaction the whole time, even before the Vessels went down. His mind was still stuck in between the letters he received a week ago and the conversation he had with Helen the day before. There were a lot of things that still didn’t make sense to him.

Especially about Helen’s so-called mission that she mentioned to him when they had their conversation yesterday.

Why was he feeling something foreboding from all this? But he was sure it had nothing to do with Helen’s arrival. In fact, he was glad that he was able to finally meet Tennouji Atsuko’s daughter. Even though that woman died earlier than expected, he was sure that Atsuko’s legacy would definitely live on through her daughter who sure grew up as beautiful as her.

“Hideoki…”

When he turned around, he saw Nanami approaching him with an understanding smile on her face. “What’s your verdict?”

“There’s nothing for me to decide about Helen and her decision to approach you with regards to her situation. What I’m worried about was your son and the other kids.”

Hideoki sighed and faced the five Vessels conversing with Helen who seemed to have gotten quite comfortable with the presence of the children he had taken care of.

“They’ll be needing her help, whether we admit it or not, Nanami. You know that.”

“Did she mention anything about the identity of the current incarnation?”

The man shook his head. “She said that she didn’t know. But she said other things that made me doubt if it was really like that.”

“What do you mean?”

“‘Not all truths are meant to be revealed at the start.’ She said that if there was one thing that Mitsuharu had taught her all the while she was in his care, it was the fact that revelations of certain truths and secrets all have their own time.”

“So you’re saying that she knew something that we don’t?”

“I don’t know, Nanami. But whatever it means, what I can say is that Helen is definitely someone important for Mitsuharu to send her here after he died. He knew I could take care of her in his place. Not only because she is Atsuko’s daughter, but also because Helen knew more than what we learned all this time.”

XXXXXX

As all of it was going on, the next expected attack of the Triske Monster Diwall was already underway. This time, the area of the attack was the nearby town just west of Tsukikage, which was something new. It already made several buildings and vehicles explode and had hurt many people. Some of the residents already left the town in order to seek refuge on the other nearby towns besides Tsukikage.

It didn’t take long before the Vessels’ Celestial Shifters began reacting to that.

XXXXXX

That moment of reunion and meeting was disrupted by the sounds coming from the simultaneous beeping of the Celestial Shifters. The atmosphere suddenly became tense. The five Vessels left Helen by the porch for a while since they needed to check on the situation. They were surprised to see that Diwall was attacking the nearby town of Morizumi.

“Why Morizumi?” Eichirou asked with a frown as he kept on looking at the map detecting the location of the attack.

“Whatever his reasons, for sure it’s not something good,” Misae said.

“Was it a Tarean attack?”

That question stiffened the five Vessels. All of them soon turned to the source of that voice. They saw Helen’s grave expression, which already gave them the impression that she was aware of the situation.

“Helen-chan, you know about the Tareans?” Erika approached her friend and asked that.

Helen nodded. “For a long time, I’ve been aware of them. In fact, they were after me that night we first met.”

Now that was a surprising revelation. The others couldn’t hide the shock on their faces. But before any of them could say something, Helen continued speaking.

“It’s okay. You have to go, right? I’ll… I-I mean, Erika and I will explain the details about our first meeting once you’re back.”

In spite of the hesitation, Erika and the other Vessels agreed. They had more pressing things to take care of at the moment. That should be their priority. Other things could wait.

XXXXXX

With the help of Nanami’s teleportation ability, the Vessels were able to reach their destination in no time. But they were shocked at the damage that Diwall had already caused to the town. Many people were huddled on several places, crying and pleading for help. They could only clenched their fists at the sight.

“That Diwall… I’ll make sure he’ll pay for this!” Eichirou uttered in anger.

“It’s like we’re seeing a repeat of what happened at the hotel fire ten years ago,” Misae said sadly. “I don’t like this at all.”

“Who would like this kind of violence, anyway? Only the Tareans, that’s who!” Itsuki stated in irritation. It was something that he’d been meaning to let out ever since that girl Helen appeared.

“Onii-chan, are you okay?” Erika couldn’t help asking since she noticed that her brother had been in quite a bad mood ever since he woke up.

Shuichi sighed and tapped Erika’s shoulder. “I think the sooner we finish this, the sooner your brother’s mood would change to something bearable. If you know what I mean.”

The pianist smiled at Shuichi’s attempt to joke around despite the serious situation. But before any of them could transform, the racer faced Itsuki. “Can you sense his movement?”

Itsuki immediately knew what it meant. So he closed his eyes and concentrated. It took a while before he could answer Shuichi. His expression was serious when he opened his eyes and faced his teammates. “The one causing the trouble above ground is already the real one. But there’s no telling when will he decide to swim under the ground again and attack us from there.”

“I think Erika and I could do something about it,” Eichirou suddenly said.

Both Shuichi and Itsuki faced the photographer with a frown. “What do you mean by that?”

But Erika and Eichirou just looked at each other and smiled knowingly.

XXXXXX

“They’ll be alright, Helen. You don’t have to worry about them.”

Helen turned to the source of that voice and found Nanami approaching her. She was still standing on the porch where she saw the Vessels off earlier. Her hand was in her light pink jacket’s right pocket, this time holding something else other than the smaller cylindrical item that she still wasn’t showing to anyone at all.

“I know they can do it, Nanami-san. Besides, I could feel that they could definitely change the history of the Seitengers,” Helen said before facing the garden’s gate once again.

“Helen, are you saying that…?”

But instead of answering that, Helen chose to do something else. “I’m sorry, Nanami-san. But I want to make sure they’re alright.” And before the woman could even protest, Helen took off with one destination in mind.

This might create suspicion to the elders but she had to make sure the Seitengers would be able to pull this off.

XXXXXX

The Vessels finally found their target and they saw that it was busy destroying a gasoline station which could seriously cause a larger scale of damage if they let the fire from there scatter even more. Shuichi did his best to dissipate the rage of the fire as Eichirou and Misae combined their powers to put out the slowly dissipating fire. They needed to prevent the fire from reaching the nearby forest.

Itsuki and Erika evacuated the other people trapped in the buildings and several areas blocked by the Gargonemas. It was a good thing that they didn’t need words to tell the people what to do.

Soon after, Diwall finally noticed the Vessels’ activities and gave an order to the other Gargonemas to attack. But the Vessels already anticipated it and was already ready to transform and fight.

“Let’s go, guys. We still have to deal with this ground-swimming monster before we could finally have our proper breakfast,” Eichirou said as he took out his Heaven’s Medallion around the same time he opened his Celestial Shifter.

“I think we’re already going to have lunch if this battle takes longer than usual,” Misae replied.

“Whatever will happen, we just have to defeat it. That’s our job right now,” Itsuki said, which earned him determined nods from his friends and his sister.

“Let’s do this!” Shuichi said and opened his Shifter. He placed his Heaven’s Medallion onto the slot and pushed the button required for the transformation.

“Spirit Power, Cross Shift!” the five recited together.

Soon after, the Vessels were donning their suits, letting them become the Seitengers once more and now, they were ready to fight.

“Heaven’s Hundred Blaze, SeitenFire!”

“Heaven’s Hundred Outpour, SeitenWater!”

“Heaven’s Hundred Tremor, SeitenEarth!”

“Heaven’s Hundred Howl, SeitenWind!”

“Heaven’s Hundred Shine, SeitenLight!”

“The Hundred Heavens’ greatest victory! Utsuwa Sentai Seitenger!”

SeitenFire extracted the blade of his HyakuReiDer and pointed it towards Diwall. “It’s time we set up the right stage for you!

Without wasting anymore time, they dealt with one group of Gargonema after another with ease. SeitenEarth did this despite the fact that he was also activating his Hasureiki to monitor Diwall’s movement both above and under the ground.

It didn’t take long for him to notice certain abnormalities with regards to his observation. He gave a signal to the others and almost at the same time, the other Seitengers destroyed the Gargonemas attacking them.

“Where is he?” SeitenFire asked as inconspicuously as he could to SeitenEarth.

“He already began moving underground. I’ll do what I can to take him out of there. Eichirou-san and Erika, you proceed with the plan when I did that.”

The blue and white warrior nodded and started taking their places to do what they had to.

As for SeitenFire and SeitenWind, they decided to lend SeitenEarth their powers by channeling their own Hasureiki to the green warrior who was now concentrating on casting a spell that he could use to strike. SeitenEarth needed to only cast a single but powerful attack to the ground that could hit Diwall if he wanted to take that monster out of there. Despite the fast movement of the monster, he was able to detect him quite easily, thanks to SeitenWind’s Hasureiki.

He could tell that the monster was getting closer towards the three of them, and then—-

With the push of the green button of his HyakuReiDer, he recited the spell he needed as soon as he opened his eyes.

“Heaven’s Rumbling Land Strike!”

But instead of doing a slash attack, SeitenEarth just stabbed the ground and let the spell ‘travel’ without destroying the ground itself until it reached its target. Moments later, a part of the ground exploded and threw out Diwall which seemed to have earned even deeper injuries because of that attack.

“You did it, Itsuki!” SeitenWind exclaimed. But her excitement soon faded when Diwall started sinking. “Don’t tell me…?”

“Eichirou! Erika! Do it now!” SeitenFire ordered.

Soon after, the three Seitengers noticed the ground exuded a light blue glow, indicating a combination of two different powers. They soon saw that Diwall was trying to move since its feet remained submerged on the ground but to no avail. It looked like the monster stopped sinking before it could reach halfway.

“What is this? What’s going on?!” Diwall yelled while still trying to move its feet and get out of there.

“I think it’s our turn to strike,” SeitenFire said rather calmly and pushed the green button of his HyakuReiDer. “Misae, let’s do this.”

SeitenWind nodded and also pushed the green button of her HyakuReiDer.

Each of their weapons glowed with their respective colors and prepared themselves to cast their attacks towards Diwall.

“Heaven’s Raging Fire Strike!”

“Heaven’s Turbulent Wind Strike!”

The two slash attacks were soon thrown to Diwall who couldn’t do anything to get out there, even with the help of its own powers. The impact of the attack, however, was the reason why the ground exploded once again and threw the monster off of its position. When Diwall tried to stand up and regroup, SeitenEarth stabbed the ground with his HyakuReiDer once more—-this time, for a different reason.

When the other Seitengers looked around, they saw several vines growing quite fast and soon bound Diwall before it could even get up.

“Itsu-chan, you sure are angry right now, aren’t you?” SeitenWater commented warily as soon as he reached the others.

SeitenEarth just sighed quite rashly and faced the blue warrior. “I just want to end this as soon as I can. I’m still tired from that last fight.”

“Then why don’t we end this already, Onii-chan?” SeitenLight suggested when she reached her brother and stood by his side.

The others nodded as soon as SeitenEarth agreed to that.

Once again, the Seitengers pushed the green button of their HyakuReiDers and prepared themselves to cast their finishing attack. No matter how much Diwall tried to struggle and break free, the vines themselves won’t budge.

“Five Heaven Slash!” the Seitengers recited together. Not long after, they threw their combined slash attacks towards the bound Triske Monster.

The vines that bound Diwall were destroyed along with the monster who barely had a chance to do anything to escape after that.

When the explosion dissipated, the Seitengers heaved a sigh and looked around. This was the third monster they’ve destroyed by far and yet the damage that Diwall caused was too much for them to see. Indeed, it was the kind of damage that reminded them of the hotel fire ten years ago.

“Onii-chan, are you okay?” SeitenLight asked as she placed her hand on her brother’s shoulder.

SeitenEarth just nodded and placed his hand on his sister’s head. But the Seitengers became tensed when they felt something foreboding that was about to come.

“Get ready. Here it comes again,” SeitenWater warned the others and prepared himself for the trouble that was about to appear before them.

It didn’t take long before the scattered dark energy from Diwall’s destroyed body started gathering once again. Soon after, that gathered energy gave birth to a giant Diwall, revealing the monster’s second persona.

“Let’s go. We can’t let him do anymore damage here,” SeitenFire said firmly that the others agreed on.

“Soar forth, Grand Vessel Spirits!”

With that command, the five mecha that the Seitengers owned began descending from the sky. Soon after, all five of them boarded their respective Grand Vessel Spirit. But it didn’t stop there.

“Utsuwa Gattai, Formation Build Up!” SeitenFire shouted that command which started the combining sequence of the five Grand Vessel Spirits into a single entity. They needed it to fight Diwall together.

“Heavenly Warrior, Descend! Seiten-Oh!”

The moment that SeitenOh was complete, the Seitengers were surprised to see Diwall already attacking them with punches and kicks that they didn’t even have time to prepare for the next attacks.

“What is wrong with this monster?” SeitenEarth complained as he tried to steady himself despite the continuous shaking of the cockpit the team was in. His grip on the podium-like control mechanism was tight, even to his bladeless HyakuReiDer placed there.

“Well, that proves one thing, then,” SeitenWater said soon after. “You’re not the only who’s pissed off, Itsu-chan.”

“Eichirou, you can joke around later,” SeitenFire reprimanded. “In case you’re not aware, we’re dealing with this ground-swimming monster. And if you don’t do something—-”

But the red warrior’s words were cut off forcibly when the inside of the SeitenOh trembled again, indicating that the monster was still striking the robot.

“It’s too fast! I can’t even stop its movement!” SeitenLight nearly yelled who was also struggling to remain on her podium with her HyakuReiDer still placed on it.

But as sudden as the monster attacked SeitenOh a while back, it was also the same that the shaking stopped. The team couldn’t help feeling wary about that.

“Where did it go?” SeitenWind cautiously asked as she tried to scan the surroundings using her wind powers even from her position.

“Don’t think this is over yet, Seitengers!” And once again, the inside of SeitenOh shook terribly. It turned out that Diwall swam inside the ground while the team was preoccupied with keeping themselves steady and struck the robot from there, just like the first time the Seitengers encountered the monster.

Because of its continuous attack to SeitenOh from the ground, the said robot couldn’t keep itself steady any longer. Before they knew it, the giant tumbled down, also throwing off the Seitengers from their position.

“I really hate this monster,” SeitenEarth grumbled as he struggled to get up. He reached for his HyakuReiDer still placed on its slot on the podium.

But to the team’s surprise, Diwall was already going to strike them down using its foot that appeared to have been enlarged, which they never saw the monster used before even in his first persona. They didn’t have any time to strike back. And yet, another surprise appeared before them when they noticed the sky suddenly emanated a pale pink glow. Seconds later, a large beam came from there and struck Diwall terribly. The team saw how the beam passed through the monster’s body, totally injuring it.

“What was that beam?” SeitenLight could only ask in surprise. Then she faced SeitenEarth. “Onii-chan, do you think it’s from the same source as last time?”

But the green warrior remained speechless and eyed the sky for the last time. “Let’s use this chance to end this, Shuichi-san.”

SeitenFire nodded and soon gave a notice to the others to pay attention to the battle for now. Soon after, the team took out their HyakuReiDers from its respective slots and pushed the red button of their sidearm. Each HyakuReiDer’s tips glowed with its owner’s respective colors. That action allowed SeitenOh to take out its sword and charged it with a powerful amount of Hasureiki that they needed. But instead of the Sky Sword that it used last time, the robot took out a second blade—-the SeitenKen.

They saw Diwall struggling to stand up while clutching its injured part. They were surprised once again to see that the monster’s wound was a through and through. That beam was seriously terrifying—-they all came up with that conclusion.

“Let’s do this!”

The rest nodded and shouted the attack. “SeitenKen, Celestial Drive!”

With that command, the long sword that SeitenOh was holding struck Diwall by throwing two slash attacks that came to the monster like a shuriken. It wasn’t long before the Triske Seed was destroyed and exploded.

“Stage set!”

Despite the victory achieved now that they defeated the second persona of the Triske Monster (usually called the Triske Seed), SeitenEarth’s mind was still stuck on the mysterious beam fired towards Diwall once again just a while back. Where could have that beam come from?

“Are you alright, Onii-chan?” SeitenWhite asked once again, worry was evident in her tone.

The green warrior, though startled, had managed to nod just to assure his sister. If there was one thing he didn’t want to do, it was to give her more worries than what they had at the moment. “I’m okay. At least, that ground-swimming monster is gone now. I really hate that Diwall. He made me really dizzy with all the swimming he did underground.”

The others laughed at his remarks.

But SeitenGreen remained quiet after that. That beam again… Just where could that beam came from?

XXXXXX

With a tired and ragged sigh, Helen brought down the cylindrical item she was pointing towards the sky a while back during SeitenOh’s battle with Diwall’s second persona. She did that for a few times, as if catching her breath. Before she knew it, she collapsed to her knees that made her drop the cylinder to the ground.

It had been a long while since she used that technique. Who would’ve thought that firing that large beam could immediately make her weak like this?

Despite feeling extremely weak, she still managed to crawl to retrieve the cylinder and place it in her jacket’s pocket. She looked up once more to see the SeitenOh. Helen couldn’t help smiling sadly at the sight of the giant robot that she only heard from her grand-uncle’s stories to her before.

“SeitenOh… I never thought I’d finally see you with my own eyes,” she uttered, her tone was laced with the same sadness as that of her smile. “You really are going to surpass your predecessors, Seitengers. I can see that now.”

With that last thought in her mind, she decided to leave the place before Erika’s brother could suspect her. She wasn’t oblivious to the fact that Hoshiyama Itsuki seemed to have started feeling something weird about her considering the unwelcoming aura she felt from him while they were at the Mizuhashi mansion.

But she stopped to her tracks not long after. With a anxious look on her face, she gazed towards the sky.

“Mom… This is it. This is where my mission will finally start.”

XXXXXX

The Vessels tried to leave the town as inconspicuously as they could while the authorities did their job to do some repairs and bring immediate attention to those who were hurt during the commotion that Diwall caused.

“Do you think the police will suspect us about this? I mean, they did see us help the people escape this place just until we defeated Diwall,” Eichirou inquired as they walked by the park where the authorities won’t be able to spot them.

“We only helped. But from what I felt a while back, I don’t think they saw us do those things,” Misae said with a sigh.

They were supposed to continue walking away from that place. But Itsuki soon noticed that his sister stopped on her tracks as she was looking at a certain direction. The other Vessels decided to just follow Erika’s gaze. Only to be surprised to see a certain familiar person among those civilians helping out the citizens.

“What is she doing here?” Itsuki didn’t bother hiding his irritation as soon as he was able to confirm that the person Erika was looking at was indeed Tennouji Helen.

That girl was surely starting to get on his nerves for some reason. And yet he didn’t know the reason why he was feeling that way. One thing he was sure of, she was starting to become suspicious of her. Why did she arrive at the Mizuhashi mansion, anyway? How come she was here in Morizumi?

“Who knows. But this isn’t something we should worry about for now,” Shuichi said calmly, to the composer’s surprise.

“What do you mean?” Eichirou innocently asked moments later.

Shuichi sighed before speaking after a few moments. “I know we were all surprised to know that Erika and Helen are childhood friends. But don’t you think that this is something we should be happy about?”

“I don’t understand…” And Itsuki wasn’t lying or bluffing when he said that.

“Whatever reason that Helen-chan had for going to the mansion, I think it’s for the best if we should set that aside for now.” This time, it was Misae who spoke. “Erika’s been reunited to her friend. From what I can see, it seems that they haven’t seen each other since that fire. Seeing a familiar face from the past might be one of the things she needs to further bring out Erika’s full potential—not just as a pianist but also when it comes to fighting the Tareans.”

“Okay, now both of you are confusing me,” Eichirou replied before shaking his head. “I can understand the part about bringing out Eri-chan’s potential as a pianist. But bringing out her potential as a Seitenger? You lost me there.”

“Didn’t you hear Helen said it a while back? The Tareans were chasing after her during the first time she and Erika met eleven years ago. From there alone, we know that Helen has a knowledge about our enemies and even us Vessels. She could help us since she’s probably a Vessel Support just like Hideoki-san and Kanako,” Shuichi said.

But Itsuki could feel that he had a different theory about Helen. He couldn’t understand that for some reason. Nevertheless, if it would be for Erika, then maybe he could tolerate Helen’s presence.

End of Vessel 3

Next Time On Utsuwa Sentai Seitenger:

Vessel 4: A Dangerous Race!

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