Hey glad to bring you the final chapter. If I have time I’ll try to get the Epilogue out by Monday but can’t make any promises, it’s mostly translated and I need to edit it some more. I’m trying out a mailing list for chapter updates at the request of another reader here. You can find it on the main page and subscribe to it and confirm in your email.
On a personal note, I moved from the West coast to the East and I’m hating the humidity here, I don’t know how they do it. And god the mosquitoes. For some reasons they love just my left arm and hand. Anyways if you want another novel to read in the meantime I recommend: The Unwanted Immortal Adventurer. It’s pretty dang good.
The Unspoken Understanding
At the Eastern end of the school. Among some shrubbery next to the iron fences surrounding the yard.
Barely escaping the ballroom, everyone present was holding their breath trying to keep silent.
“Fuu……It seems that we’ve lost them for now….”
“It’s bad isn’t it. It seems like everyone in school has been placed under the control of the [Devil’s Tune].”
While hiding within the bushes, Christopher explained the state of affairs.
Outside, the school members who looked like lifeless dolls were walking around endlessly.
“It seems, that the whole school is already under Zayeed’s domain.”
Even from so far away, Christopher grimaced from hearing the sweet utterings of the [Devil’s Tune]. It seems it wasn’t just an ordinary [sound].
“What should we do? Should we escape to town after all?”
“…..No, thanks to being completely afflicted by the [Devil’s Tune] now, the musicians are able to play the [Devil’s Tune] with greater area of affect now,” Albert says that while remembering having his magic sealed by it.
“If we bring that guy’s [Orchestra of the Cursed Night] to downtown, everyone in the city will fall under his control, and we’ll be trapped. Our worst move will be going to a place full of people.”
“If we want to settle it with him, we have no choice but to do it on the school grounds…”
With a complicated expression, Bernard wrinkles his eyebrows.
“But as long as we hear the [Devil’s Tune], our magic will be sealed. And though the [mental fortitude] magic we applied before rushing into the ballroom is still working…. now it’s just a matter of time. Before long our consciousness will fall under his control as well.”
“….Nn. In other words, there’s nothing to think about.”
Bearing a huge sword over her shoulder, Re=L tries to leave the plants without hesitation.
The moment Re=L jumped from the cover of darkness to an area under the moonlight, Albert stretched his hand and grabbed Re=L’s hair like an animal’s tail…..
Gui! Pulling it tight, Re=L’s small body involuntarily let out that sound, and like a yoyo was turned back to the forest. Hyunn! And she was pulled back in.
“Hey…..were we found!? Is it still safe!? Hey!?”
“N-No….luckily it seems like we’re still hidden…..Ahh that was close….”
Bernard & Christopher wearing a stiff facial expression wiped off the cold sweat with a sigh of relief.
Contrary to them who were acting like the situation was fine…..
At a little distance away, Rumia was trying to stifle her voice and shed tears quietly.
“D-Don’t cry, alright?…..”
Glenn and Sistine had no choice but to helplessly look over the sobbing Rumia.
“That is, well I know it sucks that the ball tonight was ruined but…”
“…. It’s not that. It’s…..it’s my fault…..everything….”
“The truth is…. I was vaguely aware. That Sensei was secretly doing something for my sake…in order for us to enjoy the ball tonight…he was working hard behind the scenes…” Rumia mutters while crying. Glenn stood there dumbfounded.
“But…..I….was behaving like a spoiler child in front of Sensei…..pretending not to notice…..I thought that if it was Sensei, he somehow would’ve done something like usual….that if Sensei didn’t tell me anything, it’ll still turn out alright…,that if I didn’t ask anything, that would be for the best….”
Rumia was desperately looking up towards Glenn with tear-filled eyes.
“This whole time…. since the beginning…. I’ve been looking forward towards this! I was surprised that Sensei forced me to come to the ball with him but even still I was really looking forward to this! Since I was a child it’s been my dream…..I just couldn’t give it up! Something could’ve been happening, but I was sure if it was Sensei, he could’ve fixed it…..is what I thought!”
Glenn had no choice but to watch as the ordinary young girl in front of him gave a crying confession.
“I’m…a cast-aside princess…..when I was discarded from the Royal Court, it wasn’t strange…..when the enemy organization tried to kill me. it wasn’t strange…..but one day my time would come, and then in order to not regret it….ahhh I want to smile at my short but wonderful life…I just wanted….normal memories….with Sensei, and Sistine, and Re=L, and everyone in class….I just wanted to treasure these memories in my heart….”
Everyone was at a loss of words due to Rumia’s heartbreaking monologue.
“But….due to my selfish request……I’m sorry…..I’m sorry everyone! Because my selfishness,,,, I noticed the weird circumstances, but if only I stopped to ask Sensei what was wrong…. because of me the ball got ruined! It’s my fault…..because I got caught up in dreams…. everyone…..all my classmates…. gusuu…. hikkuu….”
That battered figure that was sobbing while shedding tears ──
There was nothing to be said. That wasn’t the figure of the mature, always aloof saint-like Rumia.
But one befitting the young girl that she was.
Hearing Rumia express the true feelings festering in her heart, Sistine and Re=L dejectedly cast down their eyes.
Without batting an eye, Glenn plopped his hand down on Rumia’s head.
“Aren’t you being too overoptimistic on how much you can do? If you had asked me if something was wrong in the middle of the ball…..at that time, I would’ve played dumb till the end. That’s what I decided to do beforehand.”
“Also….so what if you wanted to enjoy the ball? So what if you didn’t want to be disturbed? What’s wrong with that? In a world where it’s a sin for a child to want to win at something…. then I’ll destroy that world,” Glenn said with a gentle smile.
“Didn’t I already say it? That I’m your ally. Even if the whole world becomes your enemy…. I’ll still remain by your side. How should I put it, maybe it’s because of your upbringing, or how you work hard towards your goal, or how you’re usually forced to behave yourself…..”
“Maa, once in a while there’s that cute selfishness too. Anyways, in the first place you didn’t do anything wrong. If anyone’s bad, it’s us adults and the enemy organization tonight, it’s fine to resent us…that’s why don’t cry…..there’s no need for you to feel responsible.”
Rumia clung to Glenn and cried like a baby.
“…. Haha, there’s no need to grow up so fast…you’re still just a brat.”
Glenn was gently stroking Rumia’s head as she wept in his arms.
“Tsk, when such a beautiful girl is clinging to him in tears, how can I not be jealous. Can I shoot him? Ne? Can I seriously shoot him?”
“Bernard-san…..read the mood……”
Christopher wore a bitter smile and tried to soothe Bernard who had turned a musket towards Glenn.
Glenn looked back on them and proudly said.
“Now then, you guys. Let’s work together! Our princess wants a happy ending right? We’ll defeat Zayeed without harming a single mind-controlled person.”
“Haa! If we’re in front of such a pretty girl then we have no choice! We’ll just gave to do it!”
“Hahaha, it’s easier said than done, Senpai. You should know right? That we’re already in his trap? What can we even do?”
Despite that, both Bernard and Christopher’s answers were plastered on their faces.
“Are you sure? If you decide to do so…..you’ll have to scheme like a certain enemy of yours….”
Then, Glenn who kept quiet while folding his arms, turned towards Albert.
“Oi, gonna do it? Albert?”
And so, those two began a strange conversation from those looking on the sidelines.
“Then, where are we going to do it?”
“If you look from the top of the Grendel clock tower in the South-East of Fejite, you’ll be able to see the whole school grounds. If we consider the effective range of the [Devil’s Tune], and if we account for the time it’ll take to move from here, that place is the most realistic spot.”
“If so, I’ll go to the Northern Lost Forest. Then it’ll probably be somewhere in the Southern slope of the Austras mountain range. If all goes right you see me right after. The problem is the distance but ── can you do it?”
“…. Who do you think you’re talking to?”
“Haha, I stand corrected.”
“In this situation the most useful partner is…. Fibel? I’ll be borrowing her. Will she be useful?”
“Who do you think you’re saying that to? She’s my prized disciple y’know?”
Glenn let out a showy laugh and Albert coldly snorted.
“Oya….it seems their little conversation has finished.”
“You’re right.. We should do our best to follow Glenn’s plan.”
“Nn. I don’t really understand but.”
Bernard and Christopher were nodding in agreement…. while Re=L had a puzzled look on her face.
“…. Eh? M-Me too…? No wait, in the first place what the hell are you guys planning….?
A seriously uncomprehending Sistine had her eyes wide open in confusion.
Glenn put his arms on both of Sistine’s shoulders and earnestly stared at her.
“Now listen Shiro-Neko. We ──”
But at that time something interrupted Glenn’s explanation.
The puppet-like people finally approached Glenn’s group hiding in the shrubbery ──
They faced the oncoming students ready for a fight.
“Tsk ── they came before we even had time to discuss the plan!?
“Eh? Eh? Eh?”
“Hey Shiro-Neko, listen here! Go with Albert! And then ──”
“Now then…. I wonder if it’s really possible to escape from here….?”
Zayeed calmly walked through the school grounds veiled in the darkness of night. That aura, created by the ensemble playing the [Devil’s Tune], followed right behind him.
And the students of the academy who were drawn by that sound, started to gather.
That grotesque sight was like a horror story told of ghouls in the Far East.
All the people under the [Devil’s Tune’s] control are Zayeed’s hands and feet, eyes and ears, and above all his hostages.
The effective range of the [Devil’s Tune] encompassed the whole of the academy.
No matter what they planned they could not get away, he would not taste defeat but instead would laugh at their struggles. If they fled towards the town that would only empower him. It would be a perfect victory by manipulating everyone in town.
And so, that Zayeed caught the eyes of a certain group hiding in the North.
A relatively faint noise could be heard from the other side of the school building.
Using the controlled student’s eyesight, the image of Glenn’s group frantically running with Rumia in tow could be seen.
“Hou? North huh?…. they plan to hide out in the Lost Forest? Although it’s smarter than trying to hide in town…. how ridiculous, they don’t know when to give up.”
Zayeed raised his baton.
And so the mind=controlled people changed their direction.
Glenn, Re=L, Bernard, and Christopher were guarding Rumia on all four sides, and ran North along the road as fast as they could.
From time to time, one of the people manipulated by Zayeed, moving with the agility similar to a beast, would sporadically attack their group ──
As Glenn was charging toward them, he would grab his pupil’s arm, sweep out their feet, and send them tumbling forward…..
“Hoi hoi hoi. Forgive me younglings.”
Bernard took a quick step behind a student, hitting the back of their neck with a knife-hand, rendering them unconscious…..
“In the way.”
Re=L gently thrusted her hand and blew away another student.
“Zayeed has found us! He’ll be here shortly!”
Since the beginning of the night Christopher who had been deploying barriers to monitor the enemies, was able to gather information about the enemy’s positioning.
Now that magic had been almost completely sealed away, Glenn’s only lifeline was Christopher’s [enemy searching barrier] that was set up beforehand.
“I see! How about Albert and Shiro-Neko!?” After dodging a student’s forward strike, Glenn asked that while tripping another.
“It seems that enemy’s target is just the princess. Albert-san is not being marked. Those two have escaped from the institute’s ground with no problems.”
“I see! Thanks for that! Please keep monitoring just like that, Christopher!”
While talking about such things, Glenn and they were single-mindedly rushing through the campus grounds with their eyes set on the Northern Lost Woods.
“Haa….Haa…. E-Everyone, what is going on……?”
“I’m sorry. We don’t have time to explain,” Christopher apologetically explained while running next to Rumia who was struggling to breath.
“But please have faith. In Albert-san and Glenn-san….and us as well…”
“We certainly used you. I’m sure you have no faith in us. But Bernard-san and I….have a great debt of gratitude towards your mother, Queen Alicia the 7th…in exchange for our bodies we will lay down our lives to protect you…. that feeling is real. That’s why ──”
Rejection was inevitable. With clear resignation, Christopher appealed towards Rumia.
“…..I understand. I’ll place my trust in you.”
Rejecting his expectations, Christopher opened his eyes wide.
“I believe in Sensei. What I mean is that Sensei believes in relying on you guys. So why shouldn’t I be able to trust you guys as well?”
Christopher was staring at that figure of Rumia, as if his brain came to a halt ──
“…. Resembles her.”
“No, it’s nothing. When you think about it, you really are her daughter…. after all.”
And a thin smile broke out on his face ── at that time.
Christopher senses an alarm set off from the barrier sharing a link to his consciousness.
“…. So you’ve come huh?”
That calm and gentle Christopher, in an instant changed his expression to that of a seasoned warrior.
“West, distance 400 meters! Three enemies are heading straight here! If they continue like this, they’ll be in range of type-1 special tactics distance within two minutes!”
“Oooo gentlemen here they come! It’s just as we expected!” Bernard shouted as students lunged at them from behind, right before he mowed them down with his knife-hand.
“I’m sad to say Rumia-chan! We’ll have to part ways for a short time here!”
Bernard, Christopher, and Re=L separated from Glenn and Rumia and immediately dashed towards the West.
“Please old-man! Don’t do anything unreasonable!? All you have to do is prevent them from leaving!”
“Wow! It’s not yet time for the chicklings to grow up and worry about this old fellow! Rather than me, make sure Rumia-chan doesn’t get a single scratch on her!? If you do I’ll give you a good beating!”
“Rumia-san! Please follow Glenn-senpai’s instructions! It’ll be okay! That person is usually unreliable until the last minute, but when it really matters he actually acts like a man!”
“…. Glenn. Please….protect Rumia…and I’ll do my best too.”
Glenn and Rumia once again turned towards the North ── and plunged into the Lost Woods.
Bernard, Christopher, and Re=L turned to face the threat approaching from the West.
While her field of vision changed like someone being swept in a raging torrent ──
Sistine was struggling to stop her heart from bursting due to nervousness as she advanced through the night sky of Fejite like a soaring bird, heading towards a certain place.
Black Magic [Rapid・Stream].
A black magic that, while clad in a vigorous wind, explosively increases the subject’s mobility.
While alive, the one who excelled the most with this magic in the Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Missions Annex, was operative number three, [The Empress], Sara Silvers. Learning this spell from Glenn prior to learning any military-magic, Sistine flew from rooftop to rooftop ──
The moment she kicks off a building, she recasts [Rapid・Stream], and clad in an explosive wind, propels herself forward like a bullet.
Furthermore, when she would approach walls from the side, she would run along it until she started to lose momentum, and then cast [Rapid・Stream] once more and continue running on the wall.
Time after time ── following the laws of gravity, the pavement of the road would draw closer at a frightening speed ── and time after time she would recast [Rapid・Stream] on herself and soar parallel to the ground.
Once more she cast [Rapid・Stream] in a hurry.
The body of Sistine glides through the air just a couple inches off the ground, flying through the sky ──
Wrapped in weightlessness, Sistine’s body gains more distance from the ground.
The next building approaches Sistine rapidly, as she lands on the roof.
Recasting [Rapid・Stream] without a moment delay, she moves to jump into the air once more ──
Sistine herself unreasonably, nonsensically, and irresponsibly pushed her body to the limit ── due to the toll that the 3D movement of [Rapid・Stream] placed on her.
In the Imperial Court, there was a technique called [Tempest Feet]. In short, it’s a foolish technique that propels the caster forward at the expense of repetitively exploding a pocket of air behind them.
In all reality they don’t actually fly through the air, the mana consumption was the worst, it wasn’t suitable for tight corners, and it’s generally more useful in an open field than a city with densely packed scaffolds layered on the sides of buildings.
That being the case, if she were to lose control for even just a second, she would crash into the wall and scrape against the ground at an incredible speed causing an instantaneous death.
Sure enough, Sistine made an error in her timing for recasting [Rapid・Stream], abruptly stalls, and falling headfirst towards the ground ──
At that moment, a roaring wind enveloped her.
At the moment Sistine was about to collide with the ground, Albert, who also was using [Tempest Feet] caught her body like a child and saved her.
“…..Don’t disrupt your breathing. Focus on adjusting your mana・biorhythm.”
Once more getting into the rhythm of [Tempest Feet], Sistine separated from Albert.
Countless buildings disappear behind her like she was riding a raging torrent.
“B-But! While we’re doing this ridiculous thing, we’re getting farther and farther from the academy, what the heck are you planning!? Even though Sensei is fighting right now…. we’re just running away!” Sistine cries out while running alongside Albert.
“We are not running away. We are headed to defeat the enemy.”
“E-Excuse me! I don’t understand what you mean!?”
Parting from Glenn and rushing into town, and then escaping from the effective area of the [Devil’s Tune], is what she thought. By using [Tempest Feet], the Sistine-Albert pair got farther and farther away from Glenn’s group as they escaped into downtown Fejite.
At this point she was questioning if she could even do anything to help.
(In the first place what can someone like me even do to help Albert-san.)
Sensing the anxiety rising in Sistine.
“…. Have confidence. Fibel. You’re stronger than you think you are,” not looking towards her, Albert plainly said that.
“For example, this [Tempest Feet] ── do you think everyone in the Imperial Army can use this at a practical level?”
“…. Eh!? Is it really such a difficult skill, [Tempest Feet]!?”
“Even though you have an innate affinity with wind magic, you were still able to successfully use it with just having received instructions on it. Be proud. That’s the reason I choose you.”
“…..B-But! Seriously, where are headed towards?”
What appeared before Sistine’s eyes was ──
Piercing the night sky above Fejite, reaching high into the sky, the clock tower was ──
“Run up that with [Tempest Feet]. The current you should be able to do it now.”
“Eeeeeeeeh!? Up there!?”
“Be careful, Fibel If you make a mistake with [Tempest Feet] this time, you’ll fall headfirst towards the ground. I don’t know if even I will be able to chase after you.”
“H-Hyiiiiiii…. that!? Aaaa mou! Let’s just do it already!”
Shaking her pale face.
Recasting [Tempest Feet], placing her left foot on the wall, she once again felt the sensation of weightlessness as she ran up the wall ──
“Fuhahahaha! Where do you think you can run away to?”
In the pitch-black forest, they could hear the crackling laughter echo. Countless signs of people could be sensed from behind.
Wherever they went they could hear the reverberation of the [Devil’s Tune] bounce between the trees ──
As if driven on by that crowd, Glenn led Rumia hand in hand through the forest.
Like before, Glenn’s magic was still sealed.
It completely turned into the situation of a hunt on a mountain.
“Dammit! The encirclement is steadily getting smaller….”
Glenn had been constantly glancing at his pocket watch since a little while ago.
“Just a little time left….! Will we make it…!?”
Aware that the presence of the pursuers were gradually closing in on them, while Glenn felt sweat roll down his back, he rushed into the Lost Forest without a moments delay.
With wavering eyes Rumia hesitantly turned to Glenn.
“It’ll be okay!….. Believe in me…..and them!…..”
Saying that despite the situation, with unwavering eyes and a reassuring voice…..Rumia entrusted herself to him ──
That place was hell.
An extremely frigid blizzard blew violently, and a scalding burst of flames rose from the ground.
A high voltage fist and great broadsword clashed in the middle of the clearing.
A storm of flame swirled about ── and in turn was blocked by a wall of lighting.
“Seriously, these guys…..!”
“Re=L, you’re too far forward, fall back!”
” Nn, I understand. Charge! Iiiiiiiyaaaaaaaa ──!”
Separated from Glenn and Rumia, Re=L, Bernard, and Christopher met with the enemy ──
“Fuhahahahahaha ──! That’s fine then! You, [The Chariot], Re=L!? How interesting! That the likes of you wants to fight me ahahah ──!”
In lieu of where his arm preciously been lopped off, Zeto had a large steel forearm in its stead.
Swinging her large sword like a tempest, Re=L and him traded blows, on countless occasions the shock of clashing of fist and sword would make the surrounding atmosphere tremble or leave a crater in the ground.
“Ufufuu ♪ don’t you think that was a quick reunion ♪ Christopher-sama ♥ I’ve wanted to see you so bad ☆ it seems to really be fa~ ☆ ~te ♪”
“You’re joking…. like hell it is!”
Wearing a broken smile, a chilling blizzard surrounded Gracia like usual.
Christopher’s few remaining barriers were crying under the onslaught of the frigid cold ──
“Oooiiiiiiii! What should I do Eve-chan!? You fell so easily for the [Devil’s Tune]!?
Dominated by the enemy’s [Devil’s Tune], reduced to merely a puppet, wielding her powerful flame magic ──
The [counter-magic bullets] rapidly fired by Bernard met with each ball of flame fired by Eve and cancelled each other out.
Due to the suppression of the [Devil’s Tune], neither Bernard nor Christopher could cast any magic.
The execution of magic spells is outlined through the [Five Processes], which starts with mental concentration, incantation, transformation of the inner consciousness, magical boot-sequence, and projection of the inner consciousness ── but by being in the proximity of the [Devil’s Tune], there’s interference at the third process, the [transformation of the inner consciousness].
However, when magic tools are manufactured they’re already put at the final stage of the third process. Furthermore, the area of consciousness used is a temporary [pseudo-consciousness] separated from the real one. Therefore, magic tools cannot activate in the presence of Glenn’s [The Fool’s World] which nullifies the fourth process, [magical boot-sequence] …but they’re effective against the [Devil’s Tune].
Christopher and Bernard were using all the emergency magic tools they had prepared to deal with the onslaught of the opponent’s fierce attack……
(But…..at this rate….)
(We won’t be able to hold out for long….!)
After all, they were simply magical tools. They could only output a predetermined spell with a sub-standard predetermined power.
Compared to a traditional spell invoked by incantation, with magical tools you couldn’t alter it on the fly nor imbue it with more power. The amount they kept in stock was also limited. If they ran out it was over.
“Ahahahaha ♪ ahahahaha ♪ What’s wrong? ♪ Compared to earlier ☆ you’re awfully weak Christopher-sama. ♥ Ah, is that it? ☆ You can’t attack your beloved I? ♪ Ahh ♪ So intense ♪ I can feel your love for me so intensely. ☆”
Christopher and Bernard were being pressured on both sides by Gracia’s sub-zero blizzard, and Eve’s raging flame.
Fortunately the weakness of Gracia’s magic was previously identified, and Eve’s blistering flame was the worst possible teammate for her, using that to their advantage Bernard and Christopher were barely able to hold off ── but the situation was gradually getting worse.
Under such circumstances where magic was being suppressed, the most reliable girl was ──
“Fuhaha! That’s good that’s goooood!? I’m enjoying this type of battle!!!!”
Separated from Bernard and their battle, Zeto appeared to create a world of his own with the clash of his outrageous punches.
“……That damn muscle for brains…..!”
“Hahaha … “
Bernard decompressed one of his muskets and shot down a fast-approached blade of ice.
Christopher spread a scroll, expanded a barrier and intercepted the flames.
“Good grief…. this is too unreasonable of a battle…..”
“It always seems to be like that. But…..it’ll be over soon……”
“That’s for certain.”
Bernard and Christopher back to back joke with each other without fear, and once more move to engage the enemy.
And then ──
The impact of Re=L’s broadsword and Zeto’s fist let out a resounding ring throughout the night sky.
Glenn and Rumia were wholeheartedly running through the forest, and up the mountain slope.
Albert and Sistina were rushing towards the top of the clock tower.
Bernard, Christopher and Re=L were locked in a battle to the death in order to stall the formidable enemies.
And ── tonight’s battle was finally coming to its end ──
Byugou, byuugou, byuugou ──
The point closest to the Fejite sky, high on the clock tower ── at its summit.
A place where the night winds blew ferociously, and the moon stood out in the background.
Sistina was fearfully standing on a corner of the roof ──
She was anxious due to the cold wind fluttering her skirt about, and as she used her hand to hold it down.
Carelessly misplacing her foot, she became flustered and backed further onto the roof.
She had no choice but to give up on covering her skirt.
“So, Albert-san!? After bringing me to this dangerous place…..what hell are you planning on doing!?”
The Albert in question, whose robe and hair was flapping in the wind, stood on the edge of the roof without any sense of danger.
They were already a great distance from Glenn and Rumia.
If one were to look the scene over, it would look like the bottom of an endless pitch-black sea. If he were to focus on the sight before him, he could catch the sight of the dead of night blending with the academy’s light on the horizon.
How far were they from the academy? 3000….. no, more like 4000 meters.
From a distance this far, something to save Rumia and Glenn ── didn’t seem likely.
At that moment, such feelings darkened Sistina’s heart.
” ── Sniping.”
Saying something unbelievable
Sistine’s eyes opened wide in shock.
Overwhelmed by her surprise. she once again lost her footing and almost fell on the roof.
“S-Sniping….the enemy!? F-From this far!? Using magic sniping!?”
“That’s right.” However, from this distance, if they have magic defenses in place, I say it’s a 10000 to 1 chance to land a fatal shot on their heart or head. Therefore, I’ll be aiming for the conductor’s baton in Zayeed’s right hand.”
── What in the world was this person saying.
From this distance, in this darkness, sniping that ── microscopic target.
Sistine no longer was able to understand what the human known as Albert was.
“I confirmed it earlier. Zayeed controls the performance of the orchestra with that baton. That baton is a magic conductor. If we destroy it Zayeed won’t be able to control the orchestra…it’ll cancel his power out.”
“T-That….that might be true…. but the baton…. how do you plan on hitting such a small baton from this distance ……!?”
“Fibel. You’ll become my eyes.”
” ─── !?”
Sistine stiffened in shock due to Albert’s unexpected words.
“At this distance, in total darkness, with such a microscopic target…. I need to concentrate all my attention on only sniper control. I don’t have the luxury to simultaneously launch far-sight magic. Temporary form a familiar-contract and become my eyes, Fibel. By using you for control of far-sight magic ── I’ll be able to shoot.”
“I didn’t have time to confirm where it would take place but…..but at the very least you should expect Glenn to be luring him from the North of the academy into the woods. In that forest, you’ll look for Zayeed, and capture him with your eyes. I admit it’s an unreasonable task. But do it.”
“I-Impossible …. That’s impossible for me…! I mean, the Northern Lost Woods…..in the first place I don’t even know how to do that!”
Sistine groaned while a cold sweat dripped off her face.
“How would I search for enemies in this darkness, at this distance, even more so while they’re hiding within the forest!? I’m not confident my far-sight ability can do even one of those! I-If…..If I’m not able to find them what will happen!?”
“If you can’t find them, then Glenn and your best friend will die.”
” ─── !? T-That…..Albert-san, if we rush using [Tempest Feet] …..we might able to get to Glenn on time!”
“It’s late too now. Understand the reality of the situation. In the first place, if we get in range of the [Devil’s Tune] our magic will get sealed again. And even if we made it in time, there’s not a single thing we could do.”
Albert stares sharply at Sistine.
“Understand? It’s here. The place where the [Devil’s Tune] can’t reach us, the perfect spot for sniping on the tallest building ── it’s because of that that we have something to do.”
” !? “
“Fibel. Didn’t you decide to save the princess? For that reason, didn’t you ask Glenn to train you and get stronger? Now is that time. Was that resolution merely a sham?”
“That’s not…. b-but…. I….confident….if I can’t find them then they’ll ……..”
Sistine was shaking.
Not from fear. It was from the weight of responsibility entrusted on her shoulders.
Such, to Sistine.
“Fibel. I’m not your teacher…. but I’ll impart one thing unto you.”
Albert said dispassionately.
“Right now, Glenn, my companions, everyone is fighting desperately for their lives. They’re staking their whole beings on us. Especially the old man and Christopher who barely met you for the first time. However, they instinctively trusted you without you having anything to show, because Glenn trusts you. We have to act on the trust they gave us.”
” I-I understand…..! T-That’s why…..! I absolutely cannot find them….! I know such a thing but….!”
” ─── !? “
Sistine was left dumbfounded by Albert’s unexpected denial.
“Humans make mistakes. Even in circumstances where mistakes are not permitted…. they still make them. Therefore, not making mistakes is to not respond to their trust. It is only blind faith to look at the possibility of failure that can occur in any situation and expect only success. That is not trust.”
“The correct response to trust is to bear the pressure of responsibility and take action. Seeing what needs to be done, not running away, and getting it done.”
” ─── !?”
“If your chance of success is 0%, find a way to raise it to 1%. If your chance of success is 90%, find a way to make it 99%. And act on it. That is responding to trust. At the very least Glenn ── that’s what Glenn has done all along.”
One could see Sistine was deep in thought. For that reason ── of course something came to fruition.
As she trembled in fear from the heavy pressure of responding to their trust, how difficult it would be to accomplish it ── she finally resolved her heart.
“…. I under-…….-stand….! I’ll do it….!”
Rebuking her cowardly heart, Sistine’s gaze fell upon a distant area.
And she slowly started to recite her far-sight spell.
“Zee…haa…zee….haa…. Like I thought this slope is a pain!”
A dense forest covered in total darkness.
While carrying the exhausted Rumia on his back, Glenn passed through the gaps between the countless trees.
After reaching the base of the mountain in the forest, Glenn’s sprint started to slow down.
And the musical performance could be heard from behind him. The [Devil’s Tune] playing.
And gradually the distance from the countless people shortened.
Catching up ──
“Tsk ── Close your eyes Rumia!”
Making a sudden decision, Glenn took out a flash-stone ── and threw it.
A dazzling flash of light blinded the oncoming pursuers, causing them to flinch ──
“Just a little more, hold on! Albert and….Shiro-Neko will certainty do something one way or another!”
Encouraging Rumia, he once again delved deeper into the woods.
And the game of cat and mouse restarted once more ──
And, beyond a far distance of four thousand meters ──
The night wind raging fiercely at the peak of the clock tower ──
(Found you ── !?)
She could see the far away scene on the inside of her closed right eye.
Sistine was able to find Glenn with comparable ease.
After all, Glenn would occasionally make use of a light-stone. In the pitch-black forest, by looking at the area where the flashes went off…..it was easier than she thought it would be.
(But it’s hopeless…..! I found Sensei, but I wasn’t able to find Zayeed’s location….!”
The hillside of the mountain was vast and spacious. There were countless blind spots hidden on it.
And there was currently many people hunting on the mountainside right now.
The main problem was Sistine’s ability in using far-sight magic.
In order to deal with this darkness and distance, she altered her far-sight with the high-powered magnification・high-powered sensitivity magic, [Accurate・Scope], but Sistine’s field of vision narrowed worse than she’d thought.
Just by slightly altering her head’s angle, her field of vision would shift to a whole nother scene like a zoomed in telescope completely changing direction. The mental strain Sistine was under also affected her far-sight magic, she wasn’t able to maintain fine control over it due to the trembling of her heart.
Additionally, the obstructive foliage partially blocked her view and caused a decrease in quality for her.
Zayeed was definitely present in the group scouring the mountainside in a frenzy hunt ── but he couldn’t be found. Under these awful conditions she felt like it was hopeless trying to find him.
Uneasiness burned through her body, temporarily causing her to stop.
“Albert-san…. the enemy…. if I can’t find them…. w-what’ll happen….?”
There was no reply.
Albert’s consciousness level had already been lowered, as he focused on sniping preparation.
With his eyes closed, he stuck his half-opened left hand out forward.
It seemed to be some type of self-suggestion ritual that the number one sniper used to attune himself with the magic completely.
There was no longer any chance to get advice from Albert. She would have to think of something to do by herself ──
(But what if ── what if …with my incompetence, at this distance, in such a spacious area, among hundreds of people…. trying to find just one person ── at this rate ──)
A tragic image of Rumia and Glenn’s dead body sprawled on floor popped into her head.
It was just a matter of time now.
Using the light-stone to help escape, Glenn’s pursuers flocked to him like a moth to flame.
(Faster…..I have to find him faster!….. But how…..how can I find him!?…. It’s impossible, at this rate ──)
It’s like trying to find a specific grain of sand in a vast desert using only a microscope.
Sistine was overwhelmed with the difficulty of such an unreasonable request.
── If your chance of success is 0%, think of a way to raise it to 1%.
(That’s right…..think…. there has to be a way…..)
If you directly search for it, it will not be found. Therefore, it’s useless to search directly.
If I look at it from an different angle, I’ll eventually find it. Then how do I ──?
At the same time.
Sistine could see a light burning in the distance using her far-sight magic.
It was the light-stone Glenn was using in order to escape.
(Again….he had to stop to light that…but why, he’s just driving himself further into a corner….)
But a gleam suddenly overcame Sistine’s face.
(…..That’s right! That guy wouldn’t let himself be driven into a corner by doing useless stuff…..then…. that light definitely has some meaning behind it!…..)
If she thought about it, Glenn’s means of escaping was pretty strange from the start. He wasn’t running away directly. It kind of felt like he was running in a circle.
As if he was searching for something ──
(If you think about it…..if it was Albert-san he definitely could find Zayeed in this situation…. but Sensei should know that I can’t do such a thing….)
Then, what would Sensei do?
(…. If it’s Sensei…..yes I’m sure of it!…..)
What Glenn is trying to tell me through using the light ──
── Hey Shiro-Neko, listen well! Go with Albert! And then ──
── Watch me!
If there was a hidden meaning behind Glenn’s words at the time.
(If so…. what should I do ───)?
I’ll no longer blindly look for the enemy.
In the faraway darkness, I’ll watch only Glenn.
No, that’s not the case.
Even blindly searching for Zayeed and hoping for a miracle is fine.
Forcing that line of reasoning down…..she focused on single-mindedly watching over Glenn.
Believing that the way to raise 0% to 1% is by watching over Glenn.
It seems that Sistine’s prediction hit its mark.
After a while Glenn used his light-stone less and less.
Instead it seems that he would take a pocket-watch from his coat and compare it to the clock tower many times over. He seemed to be anticipating when Sistine would appear at the top of the clock tower.
Even if they met eyes it’s not like they could exchange words.
In the first place, it’s too dark for Glenn to even see the outline of the clock tower clearly from that distance.
── Are you properly doing your job there? Properly watching us?
Even without exchanging words. Despite this distance.
Sistine had the feeling that, one way or another, she was able to understand Glenn’s request.
And then ──
The Northern Lost Woods of the Magic Academy.
Facing the slope of a mountain covered with pine trees, deep in a certain corner.
There was a clearing where the rocky surface was exposed to the moonlight.
Running from an endless pursuit ── In the center was Glenn and Rumia driven into a corner.
Deep in the mountains, their pursuers’ encirclement grew tighter.
It surely was a desperate situation with no escape.
“Well done, holding out till now. But….it seems this is as far as we go…..”
“Zee….zee…. zee…Yes that’s right!….”
Zayeed came out of hiding in-front of Glenn himself.
(…. I-I can’t believe it!?…)
Even though she believed in Glenn, and continuously watched over him, even so facing the reality of it head on was unbelievable.
Now that she thought about it, it’s possible that Glenn’s way of escaping had some merit to it.
It was a way for him to find a suitable place to be sniped from and to lure out Zayeed himself.
That’s why Glenn recklessly used the light-stone in darkness to tell Sistine his position.
He was able to do such a risky feat like run from place to place with Rumia in tow with such a large amount of pursuers. That’s why it was unbelievable to see such a scene actually properly unfold.
(Zayeed…..I can see him!)
Sistine was able to use her far-sight to see Zayeed who appeared before Glenn.
Sistine’s heart started to beat rapidly under such mental tension.
“…. Well done Fibel.”
Albert gave her a short praise with his eyes still shut.
Now, the sniping preparation…. his ritual of self-suggestion seemed to have come to an end.
“Keep on focusing on Zayeed. The rest is my job.”
Such words were completely comforting but…..
“But….it’s no good…. I can’t get a good angle!…”
Sistine raised a sorrowful cry.
A giant tree was in front of Zayeed.
It was a huge obstruction to Albert’s sniping. If it remained like this shooting would be impossible.
“That….coming all the way up here….it was all for naught!?….”
The mind-controlled people surrounding Glenn and Rumia would grab them at any moment now.
I could see Rumia besides him, clenching the hem of his shirt tightly.
It was as if her anxiety and fears were being transmitted over this great distance.
(…..Please! Just a little more…. just a little more to the right…. just move!)
Sistine was gazing intently and praying for a miracle to come true.
“…. Rest assured. There is no problem.”
Albert quietly closed his eyes and slowly extended his left hand forward with his index and middle finger together ── almost as if he were taking aim.
The flustered Sistine.
“Glenn believed in us. We we’re able to find the enemy…….Then, isn’t it our turn to have faith in Glenn? Am I wrong?”
Deep in the forest ──
“…Seriously…..you Researchers of Divine Wisdom….this time and last time and every single time a bastard group of people!….. Seriously get a fucking life you hear!?
“Kukuku…..such tasteless rambling!”
While protesting against Zayeed, Glenn slowly moved Rumia behind himself to protect her ──
Zayeed’s gaze fell on Glenn as he started to back off ──
“Unbelievable! A path…. opened up!?”
As Zayeed forced his body towards Glenn, barely visibly was…. smaller than the eye of a needle, a small portion of his chest could be seen.
“I don’t understand!? Why can we see him now!?”
“Because I haven’t had the ideal circumstances to shoot under yet.”
” ─── !?”
“If there’s one thing that guy trust about me is my shooting ability. If I hadn’t shot yet, that guy should know by experience that it’s a problem with positioning.”
Sistine stood there in amazement.
This was no longer merely having faith in your companion. It was at the level of telepathy.
Albert said it as easily as if he had predicted this development.
A spell ── started to be chanted.
“[O noble god of thunder, bestow upon me leagues of clear sky・──]”
“Saa, now is time for the party finale…. Glenn = Radars. And Princess Ermiana.”
Surrounded by his ensemble, Zayeed held his baton ──
Rumia nervously held onto Glenn’s shirt from behind ──
“Don’t worry Rumia”
Glenn smiled, and with a “poof”, placed his hand on her head.
And Glenn, while looking straight ahead at Zayeed, a fearless smiled started to form on the corners of his mouth.
“Now then, Mr. Zayeed….you’ve probably never held a doubt about your superiority over us did you?….. I wonder if there’s something you’ve forgotten about? You see, behind me is ──
“[──・Let this one’s left arm soar as a thunderbolt・──]”
“── one of my most trusted comrades whose ──”
“Now, kill them!”
Ignoring Glenn’s murmuring, Zayeed swung his baton down.
“── called the [Hawk’s eye] is watching over meeee!!””
With that as a signal, Glenn kicked off the ground and ran towards Zayeed ──
At that moment ──
“[── ・ and strike down my distant enemy.]”
At a far-away distance, Albert’s spell finally came to its end.
The incantation for black magic [Lighting・Pierce], which was Albert’s own version magnitude times shorter from the original, it was a variant unique only to him.
Its name was [Hawk-eye’s・Pierce].
A flash of blinding lightning was released from those extending fingertips.
A ray of lighting exploded from atop the clock-tower and illuminated the pitch-black night.
A flash of light that shone like a falling star.
Flying at the speed of light.
A lance made of light stretching indefinitely.
Soaring across the skies of Fejite ──
Continuing to elongate endlessly ──
Straight, straight, straight ── across the distance of 4000 meters almost instantaneously.
And then ──
Passing through the minuscule gaps between the countless numbers of trees like a thread through the eye of a needle ──
While Zayeed was raising his baton overhead ──
── and shot right through it.
The people who were controlled by the [Devil’s Tune] suddenly stopped their movement.
The music performance stopped. The conductor’s baton hit the ground with a “plop”.
Zayeed momentarily stunned couldn’t comprehend what just happened.
“M-My baton!? W-Where the hell from!?”
And at the same time that ray of light grazed the cheek of Glenn who was running towards Zayeed ──
Regardless of it, Glenn kicked off the ground once more towards the trembling Zayeed ──
With his fist extended towards Zayeed’s face ──
The fist connected ── with all the power that he could muster.
Zayeed who received a full force punch from Glenn flew backwards without any resistance.
Not even having time to scream he lost consciousness instantly.
It looked like it was finally over…. the last act of the memorable night for all involved.
A cold night breeze was blowing like usual.
After everything came to an end, Alberto slowly lowered his left hand while looking into distance.
It looked nothing like a man celebrating a job well done or having excitement for victory.
As if it were just another ordinary day to day job.
The silence he held was enough to convey how he felt.
(A-Amazing……this is Albert-san!?…. A close comrade from Sensei’s time in the army…. this is the type of person Sensei relies on!…”)
She committed the awe and amazement she felt towards such a flawless job done into her heart.
Despite all the things Glenn said about him, he’s still a trusted comrade.
(Yeah, it’s not just Albert … there’s Bernard-san and Christopher-san … and Re=L too … Everyone has the power to be relied on … they all have enough power for Sensei to rely on…Being recognized by all those people, Sensei really is amazing…..)
Helplessly comparing herself to them. Both in terms of true strength and mental fortitude.
During the whole ordeal tonight, Sistine painfully realized it.
(…..Far. How far away…..?)
Up until now, training with Glenn and frantically fighting for their lives together. She thought she was slowly getting closer to where he stood. She thought she could become an existence Glenn could rely on a bit more.
But how pretentious she was being. She realized that it’ll be quite a while before Glenn could entrust his back to her, he was still quite far off compared to her.
From far away she was gazing at Rumia who was clinging to Glenn while sobbing, and Glenn who was gently comforting her.
Sistine herself felt somewhat refreshed by the sight.