This is a very secretive meeting room in one desolate corner of the earth.
There are many who knew about the existence of this meeting room. However, few are qualified to enter this place.
Of those with the appropriate clearance, each of them had a background that other humans cannot imagine. These big wigs are really the top dogs of the world.
The big wigs also rarely used this room. The frequency of this room’s usage is less than once a year so the room looked eerily quiet and menacing.
Today, the meeting room became very lively.
The meeting room is wide, it’s basically half the size of a soccer stadium. The tiles are also made of very smooth limestone. The smoothness and clarity are such that one can see one’s own reflection by looking down at the ground. Heck, the ground can double as a mirror.
The walls and the ceiling are also made of the same materials. The meeting room also lacked windows. There is only one door and one huge round table in the center of the room.
Six individuals can be seen seated around the round table. Due to the faint lighting of the room, one can barely make out the facial features of the members present.
One of the committee members here is Kotori.
The person chairing this meeting is apparently Woodman.
Insiders can see what the members are here for. There is only one usage for this meeting room.
The Round Table.
It’s the meeting that they convene on an annual basis although they sometimes skip this as well.
The meeting’s been going on for about 20 minutes now. Kotori is the one who spoke the most. Woodman only officiated the start of the speech and greetings.
Kotori’s voice echoed in the meeting room, she talked about the Ratatoskr’s general affair and the reports on the status of sealed spirits. The real meeting hasn’t started yet.
When Kotori stopped, she nodded towards Woodman.
“That as the sitrep on anti-spirit operations for Ratatoskr. There are no abnormalities for now and all ongoing operations are still on track…”
The meeting room is deathly silent. The members of the Round Table are currently digesting the reports Kotori submitted.
Soon, disagreeable murmurs started reverberating in the room.
One of the Round Table members spoke up. It’s not immediately clear what age group the speaker belonged to. The member sat to the right side of Kotori’s table.
“You mentioned the Nightmare’s untimely departure on a vague reason, didn’t you?”
Kotori crossed her arm.
“The subject, Tokisaki Kurumi didn’t mention her objective or destination. We are still unable to ascertain her current location and motives…”
“And that’s not abnormal to you?”
Said one of the figures on the left.
“We are talking about a spirit that killed over 10,000 people. You’re saying we still don’t know where she has gone and what she is doing? That sounds like a huge problem to me, no?”
“Commander Itsuka, you really screwed up there…”
Said another member just one seat away from Woodman.
“To think you would release a dangerous spirit like that. I am afraid the rumors…”
The guy didn’t finish his sentence. He left it up to Kotori to figure out the rest. It is highly odd that Kotori would let Kurumi leave like that, that much was obvious and the guy just wanted the whole room to take note of this.
More than half of the Round Table agreed with the dissenter.
“What are you guys getting at?”
Kotori coldly snorted.
“Don’t forget about our objective to peacefully deal with spirits. Our aim from the start was always to integrate them into society while reducing the risk they pose to the public.”
The three dissenters held their breaths. One of them retorted back in anger.
“That may be the case, however, it’s highly dangerous to let her go like that, what if she hurts another human…”
“Don’t worry, she won’t!”
Kotori cut the guy short.
“Also, Woodman-sama gave me the green light for this.”
The others turned mum when they heard the chairman’s name.
“Since the chairman said so, I guess it’s fine…”
The first dissenter acquiesced.
The dissenter quickly changed the subject.
“Okay, let’s leave Kurumi’s problem aside for now. What of the other spirits?”
Kotori wasn’t amused by the slimy member’s quick change of tune. She used her calm voice to reply.
“The other spirits are still sealed. They can’t Fade from reality so they are humans in so far as their seals remain intact.”
“No abnormality on that end?”
The dissenter to Kotori’s left started weighing in.
“How can we be sure the seal won’t suddenly weaken?”
“We have already tested and verified this, there is no possibility of the seals weakening or being compromised.”
Kotori roamed her gaze over everyone.
“The sealing rings are very sturdy and only the person with control over the bracelets can release or reapply the seals. I can assure you that’s fine…”
“Right, and, why should we think it’s fine?”
The member closest to Woodman joined in.
“We are talking about spirits here. These things can destroy the world with the powers they have. We just placed their powers in the hands of your brother. It’s almost like he can command the spirits. What’s stopping him from going crazy and making the spirits wreck the world for him?”
Kotori leered at the guy for a second. She used the best poker face she had before answering the query.
“I reassure you, my brother has no intention to turn himself into a demon lord…”
If he did, the world would have gone to hell a long time ago…
Kotori didn’t say that. Woodman seemed like he connected the dots. He floated a bitter smile.
“Giving an unknown spirit the authority and ability to command the sealed spirits, I still think that is reckless.”
The dissenter continued regardless of Kotori and Woodman’s reaction.
“The risk is too great. We started this organization with Shiori in mind. Shouldn’t we let her seal the spirits instead of him?”
Kotori slapped the table before standing up.
“I was the one who proposed that my brother should be in charge of sealing spirits!”
Kotori glared at the dissenter. Her red eyes looked very menacing.
“Are you questioning my loyalty and abilities?”
“Commander Itsuka, you misunderstood me…”
He nonchalantly replied.
“It’s just insurance.”
“I recall you’re the one who agreed to let my brother do this since ‘Shiori’s ability to seal spirit has a slight chance of Reiryoku leak.’.”
“Now, you want to drag my sister into this mess. Maybe we should give you the authority to oversee the sealed spirits since you like having insurance so much?”
Woodman chimed in.
“We need to stop with the what-ifs. Let’s just stick to the plan.”
The members exchanged looks. They nodded albeit very unwillingly.
Woodman turned towards Kotori.
“Your brother is indeed someone with an unknown background. His identity and abilities are shrouded in so much mystery that I feel like the members are justified in their worries. Naturally, I have no doubt that you trust your brother very much. I too, trust your decision. But, I would like to have a word with your brother when the chance arises…”
Kotori hesitated. She thought about it long and hard before nodding with a sigh.