Eater, Nessiah, and Gram Blaze; gen. Trigger warning for ableism and bullying.
In the conference room, Velleman and the principal members of Gram Blaze were gathered together having various small discussions. Velleman was looking over reports and propositions for where to move out next, and proposing how to use the budget; Nessiah and Jenon both suggested strategy patterns; whereas Siskier, Medoute, Leon, and Garlot were deciding on different types of battle tactics based on geography and topography.
Then again, there weren’t many places that they could go, and there were few points of worry, so the meeting was held at a languid pace over cups of tea.
“Oh? This music…”
Jenon raised his head when a gentle melody began to flow to his ears. Eater had begun to play in the neighboring room. Eimi and Elena were seated before her, and she had opened a little concert for them.
“What a pretty piece.”
Siskier propped her face in her hands and began to smile. Leon folded his hands silently and leaned back in his seat, but from the look on his face he didn’t have any complaints to make.
Embraced like that in the timbre of the harp, the council continued, and by the time they got to the last item on their agenda, they were quite used to the noise. But at that point, probably because the song was over, the music stopped.
“Eater-onee-chan, you’re awesome!”
“It was a beautiful song.”
Smiling elegantly at Eimi and Elena’s praise, Eater touched her harp’s strings once again.
“Then next, I’ll play a song from my memories.”
When the two girls exclaimed in joy, a very different melody from before embraced them. It was a very difficult sound to get used to, but it still seemed comforting. The girls felt as though they had entered a daydream, but at that moment a great sound of glass shattering interrupted.
All the participants of the council, who had likewise been drawn into the music, returned to their senses and cast about for the source of the noise. There was a stain of spilled tea against the wall, and beneath it a broken teacup. And, from the direction the stain suggested, Nessiah’s hand was outstretched as if he had thrown it.
“N-Nessiah……? What’s wrong?”
Nessiah gasped at the startled sound to Garlot’s voice. He stared at the wall, looking shaken; apparently he had acted involuntarily.
The music continued to flow in, filling up the vacancy of their hush in conversation. After some time, Nessiah stood up weakly.
“Please excuse me for a moment.”
Bowing, Nessiah left the room. The others, unable to grasp the situation, were unable to do any more than watch him go.
“I’m coming in.”
Nessiah knocked lightly on, then opened, the door of the neighboring room where Eater and the girls were. Eimi and Elena turned to face him.
“Oh, Nessiah-san. There was some loud noise, is everybody okay…?”
Ignoring Eimi’s question and her slight uneasiness, Nessiah stared directly at Eater, who was still playing with feigned ignorance, and spoke:
“Would you be very kind and please stop playing that song?”
At those words, Eater finally halted her hand and raised her head. She wore a polished smile, as if to proclaim that she didn’t know what could be wrong.
“Whyever so? It’s such a good song.”
“It makes me feel ill.”
Nessiah’s reply was extremely sharp, but upon hearing it Eater began to giggle as though he had said something extremely amusing.
“Oh dear, don’t you have any understanding of music? Here, listen again. It is an absolutely wonderful piece.”
Her fingers danced upon the strings again, and once more melody poured forth. The same song as before began to fill the room, but it was interrupted again almost immediately.
Nessiah’s shout was violent to a degree that no one would have believed him capable of. He covered his ears, gritted his teeth, and faced the floor, sinking into himself as if to shut everything out.
Siskier charged into the room in a panic at the sound of Nessiah’s voice. At this unexpected development, everyone else who had been at the meeting soon followed her.
Eimi and Elena had been frozen in a mixture of shock, unease, and a little fear; but with the others all arriving, they wheeled around to face Eater in a panic.
“E-Eater-onee-chan. I wanna hear something else!”
“M-me too! Um, this song is lovely too, but I want to listen to a different one!”
“Oh my, then there’s no helping it. Let’s have a new piece.”
As though nothing at all had happened, a different melody began to play. But Nessiah still stood frozen in the middle of the room. Perhaps he had calmed down just a little now that the music had changed, as the hands that had firmly covered his ears had relaxed slightly, but he still somehow seemed to be in pain.
“Nessiah, the meeting is already nearly over. If you feel ill, go rest.”
Velleman called quietly to him, having grasped the gist of the situation at last. In response, Nessiah finally let his hands fall.
“Please allow me to do so.”
Nessiah left the room in a stagger, and continued down the hallway with the same uneven gait. Sneaking a peek at his mannerisms, Eater smirked.
(Goodness, I was only teasing him a bit.)
After that, Velleman and the others returned to the conference room, and the concert ended soon after. Before leaving, Eimi quietly turned to Eater and asked.
“Hey, Eater-onee-chan. Um, just what was that song that made Nessiah-san so mad?”
Eater smiled benevolently, and after first cautioning her that this was to be kept a secret from the others, she replied.
“It was music from a country in a place high, high above the sky.”
And even though Eater was definitely facing Eimi, the young girl somehow knew that Eater was not looking at her, but the scenery of a very faraway place.