Hey y’all, I’m going back to work so my translation speed is gonna slow down a bit. So enjoy a two for one today.
Chapter 5 Memory of Flames
The fifteenth day of the study abroad program. At long last it was the final day.
The sun had completely set on the student quarters located in St. Lily Magic Girls’ Academy’s grounds.
At an open cafe in the corner.
The loud shout of the girls holding up their cups resounded through the air.
Renting the outdoor table facing the main street, right now Glenn’s class was having a farewell party for the departing teacher and fellow students.
At each table, easy to eat party dishes such as fish and chips and sausages, snacks such as cakes and cookies, beverages such as juice and wine, and various other goods were elegantly scattered across the tables.
“How should I put this…time passed by so quick didn’t it….”
Sitting at head of the table in the seat reserved for the guest of honor, putting his elbow on the table as he chewed on a piece of shrimp, was none other than Glenn.
“Fufu, Re=L’s short-term study-abroad program was a success…..it’s such a relief.”
Rumia, sitting to the left of Glenn, smiled gleefully as if the problem had directly affected herself.
In the end, Francine and Colette had a change of heart and diligently listened to Glenn’s lessons, and so the foundation of Re=L’s study abroad program was set.
And due to her own effort, Re=L was able to get the required credits. She was able to escape from the fate of being expelled from Alzano Imperial Magic Academy.
“I sent Re=L’s certification of credit to our school the other day via express mail, and Celica contacted me using communication magic and told me the verdict. She said that they cancelled Re=L’s order of withdrawal.”
“Is that right!? That’s a relief!”
“That damn Celica…..she seemed to have laughed in the faces of the anti-military ministers after their plan failed.”
Seeing Sistine stunned after imagining such a scene, Rumia let out a wry smile.
“By the way….where did Re=L run off to?”
Saying that Glenn looked around his surroundings.
He wasn’t able to find Re=L, one of the other main guests for this going away party.
“Huh….? Speaking of which….she was just here a minute ago…..”
Rumia was also looking around in puzzlement for Re=L.
“If you’re talking about Re=L, then I think she left on a walk with Ms. Elsa not too long ago?”
And Sistine quickly interjected into the conversation.
“That’s right. …..Well, among the people at this academy, Re=L was particularly good friends with Elsa right? I wonder if they’re just trying to talk to each other as much as possible before we return?”
“…That might be right.”
After all, Elsa was the first friend Re=L was able to make without the help of Sistine and the others. The first friend she was able to make without anyone’s help.
In some way, Elsa’s existence might’ve been more special than Sistine or Rumia’s.
(She left farewell party after we went through all this trouble but….well, I’ll let her do what she wants since it’s the end….)
While thinking such thoughts, Glenn let out a bitter smile.
“Are you having fun!?”
Throwing themselves against his back, Francine and Colette clung to him.
The two people who planned this party were trying to gauge its success.
“Sniff sniff….it’s already time to say goodbye to Renn-sensei…..ahhh, if only Sensei could teach here permanently, that’d be perfect…..”
“Sensei! Will you come back one day!? And teach us various things again!?”
“Uh ah…..someday huh…..”
The two young noble ladies were intertwined with Glenn, sticking closely, and hassling him.
Glenn couldn’t help but break out in a cold sweat after feeling the displeasure radiate from Sistine and Rumia.
“But Renn-sensei’s body….in the end it hasn’t returned to normal has it….”
“But having your body turn into a mans…..it was an aftereffect of a magic experiment gone wrong? That’s so horrible…..when you get home make sure to properly talk with a doctor okay?”
“Ah ahh……you’re right…..I want to hurry up and return to my originally womans body soon.”
Glenn was smiling after seeing his deception work. He truly was lucky that his secret didn’t get found out.
“B-But…..as for me….w-well….Renn-sensei……umm…..even with a male body….it’s okay with me…..so don’t worry about that okay…..?”
“…..Ah ahh……right…..maybe…..how should I say it, Sensei….that is…..well it’s a pretty attractive body isn’t it….?”
Francine and Colette suddenly turned meek and were blushing wildly…..
“But if that doesn’t happen! And if it’s really true! I-If…..if Renn-sensei was really a man…..well I…..if by some possibility….I’ll….I’ll still like……Renn-sensei…..”
“It’s a bit of a disappointment….but if Renn-sensei really is a woman….or if you’re really a man…..I’m sure that….that I’ll….still….fall in love….”
It’s no good. Glenn’s face started to stiffen up due to being exposed to such a dangerous mood. At that time.
Sistine and Rumia’s temples started to twitch…..
“Hey you guys! Isn’t that enough already!? Don’t you think you’re bothering Sensei!?”
“Fufufu…..hey you two….don’t you think you’re clinging too close to Sensei? Mhhh?”
Forcibly yanking off Francine and Colette who were clinging to Glenn.
“W-What are you doing!? You guys!”
“We’re saying goodbye to Sensei, why don’t you stop disturbing us!?”
“Don’t you feel like you’re overdoing it though!? Just get away from him already!”
“Kii! If you further disturb mine and Sensei’s lover’s meeting then I won’t forgive you!”
“That’s right! Sistine and Rumia! Wanna have a final match before you leave!?”
“That’s just what I wanted! Please give me support, Rumia!”
Sistine and Rumia vs Francine and Colette.
A grand magical battle was about to begin like usual ──
“Enough alreadyyyyyyy!? Don’t fight for my sakeeeeeeee!?”
And also like usual, Glenn got blown away by a stray spell.
“Haa…..aren’t they really just such good friends.” (*Chewing*)
Gazing at the situation unfold like usual, Ginny scarfed down some cake without a care in the world.
── Meanwhile, around that time.
“I’m sorry, Re=L….we’ve finally had our farewell party, but I dragged you all the way out here….”
“No problem. It was Elsa’s request.”
Re=L and Elsa who had quietly escaped from the farewell party, were currently walking close to one another across the academy grounds, having a friendly conversation.
“Thank you….before you left, there was something I absolutely had to talk to you about….”
Calmly walking around aimlessly, the two were steadily walking away from the heart of the district……
“At any rate…..the time passed by really quick, Re=L.”
“Nn, it did.”
“Thinking back, it feels like it was just yesterday that we met…….”
Before they knew it, the two had arrived at the train station’s main square.
Now that the last train of the day had already left, the station was deserted and there wasn’t a person in sight.
Sitting side by side on one of the benches, they continued their talk with.
“….Hey do you remember it, Re=L? The first time we met each other….”
“Umm…..where was it?”
“Fufufu…..you don’t remember when we met for the first time at the Reitzel・Cruz station where you suddenly tried to slash me?At that time I was so surprised.”
Letting out a slight chuckle, Elsa looked at the side of Re=L’s face.
Perhaps recalling that time now, Re=L seemed a bit too embarrassed to speak clearly.
“Uh that was…..well….um…..at that time….”
“….At that time?”
“Um….I don’t know how to say it but…Elsa was….kinda scary.”
“Eh!? I was? …..Scary?”
Elsa tilted her neck in confusion after hearing Re=L’s words.
“Nn….at that time, I was…..um…..nn I was scared of Elsa…..I thought that…..a frightening enemy had snuck up behind me….”
Elsa remained silent listening to Re=L pour out her feelings.
“But….I’m sure that was just my imagination. After all, right now Elsa isn’t scary at all.”
Re=L tried to explain herself further while becoming a bit flustered.
“I think it was just that……at the time I got lost from Glenn and others and panicked….”
“….As expected of you, Re=L.”
Elsa’s words were barely audible….and she got up from the bench without making a further sound.
“In that half a second, you were able to sense it weren’t you…..you’re really are a prodigy aren’t you?”
Elsa took several steps in front of where Re=L was sitting…..and her feet stopped moving.
Her surroundings were dark, and her back was facing Re=L so her facial expression couldn’t be seen.
“I’m a bit jealous….of that swordsmanship….”
“Umm…..Elsa…..? What’s the matter…..?”
“Ahaha….sorry, it’s about time we move onto the main subject okay?”
Elsa suddenly turned around and flashed Re=L a charming smile.
She looked no different than she usually did. An extremely normal girl.
An important friend that Re=L had spent countless hours with during her study abroad program….
“…..Hey Re=L, please listen. ……I have something…..it’s called my [Memory of Flames].”
“If I close my eyes like this…..I can still remember to this day. The day my father was killed before my eyes── the day I lost everything ── it feels like it was just yesterday.”
While muttering such a thing….Elsa slowly put her hands on her glasses……
She carefully….took them off….. and at that moment.
Suddenly, as if she were slashed at from all directions, Re=L felt a sharp blood-lust penetrate her whole body.
She jumped up from off the bench while at the same time bringing forth her great-sword, standing at the ready.
“E-Elsa….? Um….you….who are you….?”
Re=L was trembling, filled with shock and unease.
The person in front of her was, without a doubt, the figure of Elsa….but the overwhelming presence and air of intimidation she was giving off made her seem like a completely different person. Before she’d noticed it, there was an unexpected monster standing in front of her.
Standing across from Re=L, the girl who once used to wear glasses gave a small smile.
Calmly letting the glasses slip out of her hands.
Losing the only thing holding them up, they began to fall freely….slowly…..
And the moment the glasses hit the ground.
Elsa’s figure suddenly disappeared into a haze accompanied by the sound of wind blowing by.
Her instincts sounding the alarm bells in her head, Re=L immediately leaped away from the bench.
The bench was diagonally bisected all the way through ──
Re=L looked back as the soles of her feet skidded across the ground.
Looking back, she could clearly see the bisected bench, with Elsa standing in front of it.
And in her right hand ──
“Huh….? T-That’s, a sword….?”
And before Re=L knew it, the girl was holding a beautiful [katana]…..remaining quiet, Elsa withdrew her sword from the bench and let it gently sway, completely on guard.
It’s true identity was a summoning technique. Elsa had instantly summoned that [Katana]. But, its speed, so fast that Re=L couldn’t even catch a glimpse of the technique, was far beyond the level that students should posses.
And ── just now, if Re=L was even just half a second slower, there’s no doubt her body would’ve been bisected along with the bench ── the truth of the matter left Re=L trembling.
“….As expected. I should’ve know that this level of an attack, even if was a surprise attack, wouldn’t work on you.”
Elsa calmly said that.
Flicking the sword, Elsa gently put the sword back into its sheath.
Then, with her left hand holding the sheath and her right hand holding the hilt, she leisurely corrected her posture ──
── and faced towards Re=L.
“W-Who, who are you…? Like a different person….no that’s wrong…..that’s right, I remember…..”
Overcome with surprise, Re=L’s eyes flew wide open once she realized something.
“This presence…..this blood-lust….mmm….that feeling I had when I first met Elsa at the station….it’s impossible…..why didn’t I notice till now….?”
“A true warrior, in times of peace is calm like a spring breeze, but at the first sign of battle will immediately turn into a storm ── this is what you usually do.”
Elsa carelessly answered Re=L’s question.
“But as for me, I’m still immature. I’m not able to do that without my glasses. Those glasses are an autosuggestion tool that lets me change from peacetime to battle ready…..you could call it my switch.”
“At the time when we first met at the Reitzel・Cruz train station…..I took off my glasses and switched to my [warrior] side to ascertain whether it was truly you or not….and in that instant I was almost cut down. I didn’t think you were that sharp.”
And after revealing the secret hidden behind her glasses, Elsa quickly changed the topic of conversation.
“….Now, let’s continue the story. You know, I had a father. Even though he was an Eastern foreigner, he was bestowed a place to live and pledged allegiance to Her Majesty, the Alzano Empire was his homeland, and he proudly wielded his sword for the Alzano Empire. He decided to take a wife in this country, to live for this country, to fight until his death for this country….that’s the kind of person he was.”
Re=L had no choice but to listen to Elsa’s monologue.
“You see my father, he was plagued by a lung disease, and day by day he got weaker, but he still continued to fight for his country. I respect him more than anyone else in the world….I wish to bear the heavy burden that he carried….since I was a child, my heart has been set on being a soldier.”
“My father believed I was blessed, saying that my talent in the sword far exceeded his own. I was so happy. Wanting to reach him, aiming to surpass him, I practiced swordsmanship every day just for that reason. The days spent training with my father…..everyday was tough, but I think I also enjoyed it. However…..”
Elsa suddenly glared at Re=L with a look of pure hatred.
Blood-lust that only got more and more potent…..and Re=L unconsciously took a step back.
“The story from here on out starts about two years ago. An assassin had come to our house. An evil magic group that has laid its nests in this country…..it was their retaliation against my father who continued to strike them down. On that day, the assassin murdered my gentle mother, killed my disease-stricken father. Coated my house in fresh blood, and then burned it to the ground with crimson flames.
“….Your countenance might’ve changed. But do you finally remember? The name of that assassin…..was Ilushia. Ilushia = Rayford. ……that’s right, it was you Re=L.”
Hearing Elsa’s accusatory words….the paled Re=L started to shrink away.
“Y-You’re wrong…..that wasn’t……um….but I’m also Ilushia…..”
Shaking all over, Re=L was in complete confusion and couldn’t get her words out without tripping over them.
“…I can’t forgive you.”
Not even listening to her, Elsa had already assured her own convictions.
“Changing your hair color, eye color, even your name, throwing away the past…..I don’t know the details, but I know you’re in the Imperial Army. Yet you killed my father who was once a perfect soldier! It was my fathers pride….it was my dream….of serving the Empire! I can’t forgive you….how could I ever forgive you!?”
“My life has been a mess since the day you killed them! Shitty relatives stealing my parents fortunes like a pack of wild hyenas fighting over the last piece of a carcass! Inheriting my mother’s noble blood, I was treated as nothing more than a tool to be used in a political marriage! I was forcibly disenrolled from my long sought-after military academy and forced to attend this useless spoiled girls school! And you know what ── above all else, my [Memory of Flames] still continues to burn me to this day ──”
“I’ll absolutely never forgive you……with my father’s sword…..with my own techniques I’ve spent countless hours developing…..I’ll kill you! I’ll take back my life that has gone wrong since that day! I’ll finally be able to live my life after I kill you! Now, if you’ll grant me this fight! Ilushia!”
An unimaginable amount of blood-lust could be felt radiating off of Elsa’s sword.
Years of fury was rupturing the space between the two girls.
And so ── Re=L’s intuition took hold.
Elsa was strong. Even an amateur whose never held a sword before could grasp the extent of her intimidating presence.
But, right now more importantly than that……
“Th-….-at……t-then….the time that Elsa and I spent together…..?”
Re=L asked such a question with tears streaming down her face, like a child who’d been abandoned by her parents.
“Yes, that’s right Re=L. That’s all it was…..just for the sake of determining your skill level.”
“How could you be so conceited in the first place? Our first meeting you attacked me with your sword…..almost as if it were as easy as breathing…..did you really think there’d be such a convenient person who’d want to be friends with such a suspiciously dangerous person like that?”
“After seeing your track record, whether it be as an assassin of a certain organization, or a soldier of the military, I could understand. Without a doubt, you’re strong. Whether you were calm or battle ready ── it’d be impossible to take you by surprise. If I wanted to defeat you first I’d have to determine your weakness……and that’s the only reason I approached you.”
“I-I…..E-Elsa….I thought that….you were a friend…..”
Re=L looked at Elsa like she was clinging to her not to let her go.
It’s a lie right….? Speaking louder than she ever could, Re=L’s eyes all but begged Elsa to answer the question.
And, for just a moment, a flash of pain could be seen in Elsa’s expression.
Breaking her line of sight so she didn’t have to look Re=L head on….
As if to shake off some feeling, Elsa muttered something under her breath.
“You’re the enemy of my father and mother! I’ve never felt anything close to friendship with you!”
At that moment, Elsa’s body seemed to blur.
She stepped towards Re=L with her sword still in its sheath.
As fast as a swallow flying through the open air.
Moving at such an extreme speed, her body twisted sideways.
Her arm wielding the sword seemed to turn into a whip using the rotational force as a supplement ──
── she took a slash.
A horizontal slash cutting through the empty space ── a white flash of light blinded Re=L’s sight.
And, at the same time.
The sword had already been returned to its scabbard.
Re=L had immediately taken a step back but that didn’t stop a part of her bangs from being cut.
Releasing a second, and then third slash ── Elsa relentlessly attacked Re=L.
Re=L had no time to react to the slashes.
She barely dodged the following slashes by crouching and rolling to the side.
Elsa’s technique, it was like magic was imbued in her swordsmanship.
Drawing the sword, slashing, returning it to the scabbard. Those three actions flowed together at a terribly frightening speed.
Breaking into a run, rotating her hips, she carried the momentum in order to explosively increase the speed of her draw. She was able to do that due to the intrinsic nature of the special blade she wielded, her [uchigatana].
It was the technique known as iai ── an ancient technique found in the [Eastern sword artes] which differed from the modern swordsmanship that knights and nobles used, the style focused on the practitioner drawing their sword and then returning it to its scabbard after each attack.
Elsa continued her assault. Attacking more and more. Trying to cut her down.
In one moment she performed a slash and the next moment she had returned the sword to its scabbard. The pattern repeated itself over and over, her attacks were like a meteor shower following Re=L wherever she went.
Elsa’s superb iai skills let her truly dominate the battlefield.
While executing precise movements, a [Heavenly Wind] assaulted her overhead ──
Slashing from below was a [Frost Wind] ──
A [Whirlwind] was unleashed from left to right while she held the blade in her right hand in a reverse grip ──
After slashing with her right hand, her left hand holding the scabbard followed like a [Windstorm] ──
[Eastern Winds], her body rotating in the opposite direction now, instead of using the sword this time she lunged and thrust the scabbard forward
Following that were the [Fair Winds], now thrusting with her right hand ──
It seemed that she’d honed her technique to a terrifying degree ── moving so fast she’d leave behind countless afterimages.
Elsa suddenly let out an ear-piercing screech while rushing forward.
A silver flash of light accompanied her.
And then. A white thread clouded Re=L’s field of vision ──
The thread grew in intensity till it eventually exploded and it’d scorched her eyes.
Rotating right, moving her hand in a straight horizontal path ── [Gale Wind].
A normal slash from a normal stance, there was nothing out of the ordinary about it.
The most fundamental slash in the iai techniques.
But despite being a move that even a child could use, Elsa moved lightning fast.
Re=L jumped backwards narrowly avoiding Elsa’s attack.
She turned pale after looking down and seeing a shallow cut across the chest portion of her uniform.
Barely able to handle Elsa’s attacks.
Originally iai should’ve been used for defense instead of offense, used to intercept the enemy’s attacks. It was a technique used to block the enemy and then cut them down the next moment before they had time to reposition.
The moment she voluntarily enters Elsa’s range is the moment she gets cut to pieces ──
That’s what Re=L’s instinct was screaming at her.
“…What’s the matter? This isn’t like you at all….”
In her current stance, Elsa was shuffling her feet, closing the distance inch by inch.
Sweat dripped off Re=L’s forehead as she took a step back.
Using almost off her magical power to enhance her physical ability, movement speed, and reaction time, using a sword to decide the battle in close quarters ── Elsa is same type of mage that Re=L is.
“Now, get serious oh great assassin of that organization, Ilushia. If he didn’t get sick my fathers skill would’ve been greater than anyone elses….I’ll prove that he’s not inferior to you!”
Despite her own provocation, Elsa’s thoughts were stone cold.
(….Our speed is equal, raw-power goes to Ilushia, but when it comes to skill level I’m better…..in terms of total fighting power….as far as I can tell I have the advantage….I can do this! …..I’ll win!)
And as the tension in the air felt like it could explode at any second now ──
Re=L, who had been trembling with a confused expression till now, had suddenly regained her usual sleepy look.
“….Elsa…..you want to kill me?”
Her murmuring seemed somewhat heartbroken.
“It wasn’t my intention to kill you in such a brutish manner. …..But this will be your death. I swing my sword with full intentions of killing you. This will be the end of you, the ultimate punishment for someone who committed such heinous crimes….regardless of how, you’re going to die by my sword.”
“I see. ……Hey Elsa, listen. I…..I don’t want to hurt you.”
“But….I also don’t want to die,” Re=L plainly replied.
Her face no longer showed the pain that it had up till now. Almost as if she had already gotten over it.
“I promised everyone. That I’ll live. I still don’t know the reason why I was born but…..even still…..I’ll live and search for that meaning.”
“So….that’s why I can’t fulfill Elsa’s wish.”
“I see….so you’re going to kill me for your own reasons? Very well, I’ve prepared myself to ──”
Seeing the unwavering resolve in Re=L’s eyes, Elsa was about to assert her stance once more ──
Re=L could barely be heard whispering that.
“….Nn. I won’t kill Elsa.”
“What are you even saying….I intend to kill ──”
“Nn. It’s fine if you do as you like.”
“T-Then! You too will ──”
“No. I won’t kill Elsa.”
In front of the bewildered Elsa, Re=L responded in her usual indifferent voice.
“….Because….after all, I still like Elsa.”
Hearing those words, Elsa’s eyebrows twitched in anger.
“I’ve already said this! That the reason I approached you was to gauge your strength!”
“I don’t care about that. The fact that Elsa hates me…..it’s very unfortunate but…..but after all, I still like Elsa. …..That’s why.”
Elsa glared at her parents killer standing before her.
But dismissing that with her half-opened eyes, Re=L spoke trying to appeal to Elsa.
“Hey, Elsa. I need to say something. My…..my head isn’t particularly good …I don’t know if I’ll be able to convey it properly but…..about Ilushia…..”
“Aren’t you Ilushia!? I don’t need to hear anything further than that!”
“Nn. I don’t know how I can make Elsa understand.”
Saying that, Re=L slowly brought her great sword overhead…..
“I don’t know how that’s why….I’m sorry. For the time being, I’ll have to beat the hell out of Elsa.”
The moment Riel said that.
Using all the strength she could muster, Re=L suddenly threw her sword.
Rotating vertically through the air, the great-sword drew closer to Elsa ──
(S-She threw it….her sword!?)
Elsa was taken completely by surprise.
Was how it seemed ── but Elsa calmly stepped away.
She barely dodged the terrifying blade that was half the size of her body ──
Given the perfect opportunity, Re=L forcibly kicked off the ground and closed the distance.
(I was a bit surprised but that’s a poor move!)
Smoothly lowering her center of gravity, Elsa’s right hand gently grasped the hilt of her katana as she stared at Re=L.
Intercepting an enemy who rushes forward. It’s the situation where iai was perfect for.
(It’ll be over with this!)
Drawing the sword while matching her breathing.
The blade sliding out of its scabbard, her waist rotating, accelerating her movements ──
Her mind, sword, and body were in perfect unity, a slight flash could be seen as she drew her sword out an unimaginable speed.
Elsa sent her utmost slash towards Re=L, quickly cutting through the empty space.
And, Re=L’s blood flying through the air ──
── could not be seen.
The feel reverberated through Elsa’s hand wasn’t one of cutting through flesh, but of metal meeting metal.
Till now Re=L’s hands had been completely empty, but a great-sword had appeared out of thin air….and it had completely stopped Elsa’s strongest slash.
(Damn it! This child’s alchemy, she’s trained it to where she can summon it so fast without any incantations! I should’ve watched it that one time in the class to see how fast it was!)
Grinding her teeth, Elsa finally realized it.
On this last bout, she didn’t intercept Re=L who had desperately lunged forward.
But Re=L who lunged forward made Elsa desperately try to intercept her.
Her upmost slash was easily read, like a child waving a stick around.
The right thing to do would’ve been to take a step backwards to open up the space without trying to intercept ──
(Tch….how could I make such a mistake after coming this far…..!)
Elsa was hesitating as the two swords were locked in a clash against one another.
As a practitioner of the Eastern sword artes Elsa never would’ve thought of throwing her precious sword away. Cause if she did, she’d be empty handed and undefended── she was busy unconsciously thinking about such a thing.
Therefore, Re=L who had become unarmed, exposed such a crucial gap in Elsa’s planning.
…..But it was incomprehensible.
“How….how could you’ve know…..! That I’d intercept….!?”
Elsa was glaring at the regretful looking Re=L across from where their swords were intersecting.
“On that last clash….if I didn’t meet you but instead took a step back, you’d most likely be dead…..!”
That’s right, taking a second to correct her posture, Elsa admitted her mistake of intercepting Re=L.
It didn’t matter how fast Re=L could swing her sword when she entered within Elsa’s striking distance. As an iai practitioner, she could draw her blade and perform a slash in just a flash ── it’s an instant・kill technique.
“I can’t understand, why didn’t you……!”
That’s right. The current situation wasn’t just due to Elsa’s mistake….but also because of Re=L’s mistake as well.
Where as Elsa’s mistake was because she hadn’t done something, Re=L’s mistake was because she had done something.
“I can’t understand why….!?”
That was Elsa’s question.
“….Nn. Intuition,” whispered Re=L.
“It’ll probably turn out fine…..is what I was thinking.”
Re=L was saying that with her usual sleepy expression.
Elsa was stunned.
Intuition. Just intuition. With that it’d be possible to live your life to its fullest without any hesitation.
Ahh, it’s no wonder. In Re=L’s military files, there were countless strange records of her defeating enemies that were leagues above her level.
Didn’t she spend time with Re=L to ascertain her true strength? How conceited she was.
Thinking that she’d seen the full extent of Re=L’s sword skills.
But, Re=L’s strength wasn’t something that could be seen that easily.
But right now wasn’t the time to lament her foolishness. She had to reposition herself.
As they were in point-blank range from each other, Elsa pulled her sword back.
Of course…..she could only perform her iai techniques if her sword were in its scabbard.
Trying to create some space, Elsa performed a feint and desperately leaped back ──
But Re=L suddenly stepped forward and chased after her.
Elsa fumbled to put her sword back in its scabbard, but wasn’t able to.
Re=L who knew nothing but instinct, whose fighting style relied on her refined instinct, was hot on Elsa’s heels unleashing heavy slash after slash.
The power and speed of her sword could be compared to a bolt of lightning.
Elsa had no choice but to clumsily parry it with her still drawn sword., she didn’t have the luxury to return it to its scabbard.
Like a raging storm blowing around a pile of leaves, it seemed like Re=L was just toying with Elsa.
A metallic sound could be hear as the great-sword and katana met each other.
Whether she crouches down, repositions herself, or draws a feint, Elsa was chased wherever she went.
Hot on her heels, one blow two blows three blows four blows five blows ── each one containing enough destructive force to crush her.
If Elsa’s technique was amazing due to it’s refined elegance, then Re=L’s was due to her bulldozer-like strength.
Elsa might’ve been able to perfectly parry the strikes, but she couldn’t kill off the shock of the impact.
With each slash she received, Elsa’s arm grew number, her body more fatigued, her bones creaked under the pressure ──
It was becoming unmanageable.
I thought that I had completely seen through her. That if I had fought with my original sword style….that the simplicity of my technique would’ve been enough to surpass Re=L. I should’ve won without trouble.
Right now Re=L’s spirit was completely immersed in the battle, she gave off the feeling of a terrifying god of war.
(── I’m going to die. She’s going to kill me ──)
Elsa was panicking under the merciless onslaught that she was barely able to ward off.
It had already turned into a defensive battle. The feelings in her hands were long gone from the constant barrage and her rate of breathing was rapidly increasing.
At this rate it was only a matter of time till Elsa’s defense gave out ──
(No….I don’t want to die….! If I die just like this then what was the point…..!?)
── Elsa…..wield your sword only in defense. Wield your sword for the sake of saving people. ──
With the threat of death looming over her head, Elsa recalled the advice her father used to give her.
Why did she forget about it until just now. Why did she let herself be taken in by that woman’s sweet words and soil her father’s sword for the sake of selfish revenge.
(Is this….divine retribution….!? Father….!?)
While thinking such thoughts, a strong shock sent Elsa flying.
The very next moment Elsa was flat on her butt and she looked upwards──
Her great-sword raised overhead, Re=L unleashed a slash towards Elsa──
Suddenly, Elsa recalled her [Memory of Flames]. A world dyed bright red.
A girl raising a great-sword overhead in front of her. Right now the scene from that one day was being reenacted before her eyes.
A great-sword being swung downwards.
The sound of the air being split could be heard….
The impact that should’ve carried Elsa’s death sentence….no matter how much time passed, it didn’t come.
Elsa who had inadvertently closed her eyes, timidly opened them…..
As Re=L was on the verge of slashing through Elsa….she had stopped her hands.
“….Hey. Let’s stop already, Elsa….”
Muttering that, Re=L gently looked downwards towards Elsa….
“Please…..listen to me talk….I….I don’t want to hurt Elsa …”
In the corner of her eyes…..tears could be seen flowing out.
Seeing Re=L like that, Elsa’s [Memory of Flames] once again reignited.
That’s right. In the past, in the completely red world ──
The moment that Ilushia swung her sword downwards ──
(Killing my father, killing my mother, robbing me of everything, that Ilushia ──)
Right now Re=L had the same posture, even how she stopped her sword ──
Right now Re=L remained just as quiet ──
Right now Re=L was crying just as well.
The anger Elsa felt from that day, the humiliation ── all of it suddenly ignited violently like oil.
Don’t mess around with me. You’re a murderer. A heretic. I can’t forgive you.
You’re a villain, you can’t cry like us normal people.
I want to cry ── I had wanted to cry ── that’s my right!
Elsa’s hand holding her katana was impulsively raised.
This time it Re=L who faltered due to Elsa’s piercing yell.
Re=L quickly jumped back to avoid Elsa’s sword.
Going from a overhead slash, Elsa started to return her sword to its scabbard ──
And the moment it was fully sheathed, Elsa summoned all the strength she could muster and rushed forward.
Re=L’s reaction was delayed just a second due to the amount hatred and animosity she felt coming off of Elsa.
She feebly held the great-sword in her hand without any real power behind it ──
Elsa took a step to close the distant between herself and Re=L.
Taking off with so much power that her foot had left a mark on the ground, her right hand became a blur.
Like a passing by breeze ── the hair on the back of Re=L’s head fluttered about.
……If she’d even notice.
Standing back to back with Re=L, Elsa remained alert with her still drawn sword.
But after a moment of silence ──
“──I did it.”
Elsa swept her blade away….slowly putting it back into its scabbard….until it was all the way in.
With the sound of the sword being fully slid in ──
…….Behind Elsa’s back, a vivid flower of blood started to bloom.
With a confused murmuring. Re=L’s knees finally gave out….as fresh blood continued to flow out from her.
Like a puppets string being cut, she fell face down ungracefully.
“Haa──…..haa──….I-I did it … “
Groaning that while standing there trembling, Elsa used the sword in her scabbard as a cane to prop herself up.
“….I won…..it’s over…..with this…..my life……can finally start…..”
That’s right. With this it’s over. I’ve finally settled my past.
In exchange for finally cutting down the felon named Ilushia, she could finally start her dream of becoming a soldier like her father…..that’s what she vowed to herself at the beginning.
That’s right, it’s over. Everything is over…..and now it can begin.
“…..Don’t worry….Ilushia…..I won’t kill you….”
Elsa was so furious that she planned on slashing Re=L with the sole intention of killing her, but for some reason she withdrew her hand back at the last moment.
Therefore it was merely a superficial cut. Elsa slashed from Re=L’s right flank up to her left shoulder….but it was not such an injury that would immediately bring about her death.
“That’s right…..you’ll received your punishment for your sin…..”
Elsa turned her head over her shoulders.
Glaring at Re=L who was drowning in a pool of her own blood.
The moment she saw the bloodied Re=L, Elsa’s heart suddenly pounded in her chest.
Just now, Elsa’s field of vision suddenly grew hazy. The throbbing in her chest only grew stronger as she started to hyperventilate.
The strength was quickly leaving her body….she was suddenly assailed by the sudden urge to vomit….
“Oo, ue…..ugogoeuuuu! Agugu”
Elsa laid down on the ground and vomited the contents of her stomach.
Unbelievable. Elsa gazed at her quivering hands.
Her eyes spontaneously started to feel hot, and bitter tears started to stream out.
“I-I…..beat Ilushia….my past…..my [Memory of Flames]…..I’ve finally overcame it…..I thought that….with this….! Without this…..why…..for what reason……!?”
It’s hopeless. I feel sick. My head is in pain. I’m freezing and feeling nauseous.
Her whole body was shivering, and she couldn’t stop her teeth from chattering.
“….T-That’s right…..my glasses….where did my glasses go….?”
As Elsa curled herself up like a frightened child, she anxiously looked over her surroundings.
And not far away she saw where her glasses had fallen down.
Forcing her trembling knees up, she was barely able to stand by using the sword as a cane….she staggered over to her glasses as fast as she could.
“….M-My glasses……quickly…..need to put on…..!”
And so….just as she was about to pick them up.
The glasses were tragically trampled right in front of Elsa’s eyes.
“Thank you for your hard work, Elsa.”
And before she knew it a person had appeared in front of her.
The woman who looked down on Elsa with a detestable expression was none other than Marianne.
And next to her were a countless number of female students.
The girls following Marianne were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years, from different classes and different cliques, no shared trait could be found among them.
“….I’m sorry m’kay? It was so dark I couldn’t see where I was stepping and I accidentally crushed your glasses. ….I wonder if they were just poor quality?”
After seeing her ruthlessly smash her glasses, Elsa switched her hateful glare from remnants of the them to Marianne.
And trying her best to remain calm she said,
“It doesn’t matter…..After we finish talking I can just buy some new ones. Leaving that aside….”
“Yes, I know.”
Marianne quickly waved her hand and the surrounding girls silently started to act.
The girls cast the sealing magic, [Spell・Seal], on Re=L’s limp body and physically restrained her body with a sturdy rope as well.
“Ufufu….I was finally able to capture this child…..thanks to you, Elsa.”
“Hmm…..it’s not like I did this for your sake. …..More importantly, you’re going to keep your promise right?”
“….Are you talking about you returning to the military academy?”
“Yes, that’s right. If I defeat and capture the felon named Ilushia….you’ll arrange for me to return to the military academy…..that’s what you promised.”
The sole reason that Elsa was cooperating with Marianne was because she proposed that.
I never want to see lady’s face again ──
“Yes of course, Elsa….I’ll make sure you return to the military academy right away….”
And Marianne, smiling sweetly, replied to Elsa with a laugh…..
“Just kidding~, did you really think I’d say that? Aren’t you really the idiot.”
…..As if she were mocking her.
“Wh-….!? What exactly do you mean…?”
And at that time.
Elsa once again held herself up with her sword. Vigilant of her surroundings.
She realized the girls around her drew their sabers and had started to prepare magic.
“…..What exactly are you planning? Marianne.”
“Elsa….you constantly insisted that you’d kill the girl named Re=L on the basis of executing Imperial law….but did you really think you could do something like that that easily?”
Ignoring Elsa’s question, Marianne grinned and said that.
“W-What are you talking about…..? Aren’t you a person related to the anti-military ministers? And that a girl named Re=L was being a hindrance over at Alzano Imperial Magic Academy…..that’s why she needed to be eliminated….it was because our interest were the same that I went along with such a detestable person like you….for the sake of revealing the past she’d concealed and the crimes she committed against the Imperial Army!”
“Araa~, was that how it was?”
“Don’t play stupid! You brought information concerning Ilushia to me for that reason! At this academy isolated from the outside world, I’d pretend to be Ilushia’s friend and then capture her when she was alone! In order to prove her crime in court! Wasn’t that how it was supposed to be!?”
“Ahaha, you’re an idiot, Elsa. Re=L = Rayford….I’m not able to prosecute her in court. That kind of thing would be pointless.”
“It’s not like she’s doing anything illegal. Her being a former・assassin of The Researchers of Divine Wisdom…..that’s already been taken in for consideration by the Imperial Army and they’re fine with it. So is it that strange that the Imperial Army, whose continuously power-hungry, let go of her leash for a bit to keep her in the long run? See now why it’d be pointless to try to prosecute her then? It’d just be brushed aside.”
Hearing Marianne say such a thing, a blazing fire dwelled within Elsa’s eyes.
“That’s different from what you told me….! Then why did you plan this!? What are you planning on doing by pitting me against Ilushia, making us fight, and then detaining her once she’s defeated!?”
“There are people who want her….as an experimental specimen.”
“…Huh? An experimental specimen?”
“It’s a top-secret magical research institute within the Imperial Government’s Ministry of Magic….it goes by the name of Azure Sky Cross Institute.”
Azure Sky Cross Institute. Elsa couldn’t help but laugh hearing the words leaked from Marianne’s mouth.
“Azure Sky Cross…..? Ha, haha…..are you insane?”
It’s a popular urban myth that started a long time ago.
“The Ministry of Magic’s special shadow budget institute ….the darkest part of the Imperial magic society, where even Her Majesty the Queen is kept in the dark, where they do research into cursed subjects such as [Project: Revive Life] or [Project: Frame of Megiddo]…..do you really think that such an organization truly exists?”
“….But what if it did truly exist?”
Marianne let out a devilish smile that chilled one to the bone.
“Right now the Imperial government is split into two major forces: the [Military Faction] led by the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the hard-liners, and the [Civil Administration Faction] led by the Ministry of Magic and the moderates. However, the Kingdom of Rezalia and all its religious fanatics have been constantly aiming for absorbing our Empire, and in our country which prides itself on military strength, the Ministry of the Armed Forces is allocated a great amount of our national budget; therefore, the [Military Faction] has some pretty substantial influence…..in addition to that, the Ministry of the Army also has the Imperial Court Mage Corps, a collection of the strongest mages in the country….the people in the Ministry of Magic, who should be managing the magic that supports the backbone of the Empire, can’t just sit down and accept such unilateral terms.”
“Therefore, what should one do? What if they completed an irreplaceable magic technique that allowed them to compete with the Ministry of the Armed Forces? Particularly, a technique that could revive the dead to a quasi-like state….if such a magic existed…..with the Ministry of the Armed Forces who is constantly worried about their fatalities….what do you think the Imperial Army would do? That is, so to speak, a forbidden technique that couldn’t be revealed to the public…..if such a technique existed, then they’d have no choice but to bow their heads down to the Ministry of Magic right? See how quickly their positions would swap…”
“You’re lying….[Project: Revive Life]……!?”
“Right on the spot. The project is officially halted by Her Majesty’s edict, but it’s actually being continued secretly behind the scenes….fufufu, it’s not something too terribly unusual, it’s a common enough story anywhere.”
“There’s no way! Something like that couldn’t be possible! The Azure Sky Cross Institute is just an urban legend……!”
“That’s what I’m saying, it exists…..after all, I’m a former・researcher from the Azure Sky Cross Institute.”
Elsa couldn’t help but remain speechless.
“A long time ago, I may have messed up once or twice and was driven out of the organization…..and nowadays I’ve been restricted as the dean of this good-for-nothing noble girl school….but you see, I got the sudden opportunity to return to the Azure Sky Cross Institute….”
Marianne smile seemed to ridicule the dumbstruck Elsa.
“That’s right. That was, if I could capture Re=L = Rayford, or who you know as Ilushia. If I did this…..then I’ll be able to return to the Azure Sky Cross Institute.”
“How could such an absurd story be true!?”
Elsa swung her arm as if to deny it.
“Why does the institute want to capture Ilushia!? Let’s suppose for arguments sake that the Azure Sky Cross Institute intends to restart the development of [Project: Revive Life], then why does Ilushia ──”
Saying that much, she cut off mid-sentence….Elsa had suddenly noticed.
── Y-You’re wrong….that wasn’t……um….but I’m also Ilushia…..
──Hey, Elsa. I want to talk…..I…..my head isn’t particularly good …I don’t know if I’ll be able to convey it properly but…..about Ilushia…..
Earlier, when Elsa had accused Re=L of being Ilushia.
It wasn’t as if Re=L was actually completely denying it….but it felt like she was talking about someone else….
As if the girl called [Ilushia] was a different entity from herself….that’s the feeling she was giving off.
“….You’re lying….that’s impossible….r, right….? Re=L…..y-you…..”
Elsa stood there dumbfounded as her brain connected all the dots. She couldn’t believe it….but that would be the only reason why the Azure Sky Cross Institute would want Re=L.
“It looks like you finally realized it huh, Elsa……yes, it’s just as you thought.”
Marianne smiled as if she were the devil himself.
“Re=L = Rayford. She’s a person created from the previous image of Ilushia using the research of [Project: Revive Life], completed by The Researches of Divine Wisdom. I wonder what kind of research the Azure Sky Cross Institute will do after they get the specimen they’ve been so desperately wanting….?”
Then, what she did….was not justice. Not retribution nor vengeance.
It was the worst kind of violence against a girl that kept saying she didn’t want to fight until the bitter end.
“T-That’s a…..lie right….! In the first place, if Re=L was born from [Project: Revive Life], then where the hell did that information……!?”
“Hmm? I’ve heard some rumors for awhile now that The Researchers of Divine Wisdom and the Azure Sky Cross Institute have had a cooperative relationship with one another, I wonder if it came from there? Well, it’s not like the source of the information really matters all that much. What’s important to me is that if I capture Re=L then I can be reinstated back into the Azure Sky Cross Institute…..that’s all that matters.”
“And of course, I’d like for you to accompany me Elsa.”
Marianne glared at Elsa like a snake eyeing its prey.
“Isn’t it natural? You already know our secret….well from the beginning I had wanted to capture and take you with me, it’d be a pain to explain it all but…..your combat skills would be perfect for pushing [Project: Revive Life] to new bounds.”
“….You mean my sword techniques!? W-Why!?”
“I mean isn’t it obvious? To begin with, [Project: Revive Life] started off from the concept of reviving the dead in order to replenish the loss of military forces right? But how much can one recreate the combat skills from when they were originally alive….that’s a pretty important point right? So wouldn’t you be the perfect element to add to [Project: Revive Life] Elsa? After all, you’re already a prodigal swordsman at such a young age too, just like Re=L!”
The techniques inherited from my father. This technique that I desperately honed.
Was it all for this woman to use it in the detestable manner as she wishes?
“….I can’t forgive you….using me for something like this….preying on me! You guys are all the same! Robbing me of even the smallest things! My family, my belongings, my pride, and now even my techniques ── I won’t let you! You old hag!”
“Ahaha! I don’t need your forgiveness! But please just obediently stand there and let us catch you!”
Saying that, Marianne gave a nod of her chin.
The female students began to silently shorten the distance to Elsa.
“Y-You guys….didn’t you hear what she just said!? Why are you following this woman’s orders ──”
“Hmm? Why are they cooperating with me of their own free will?”
Marianne laughed at Elsa as she continued to tremble.
“I told them that if they cooperate with me then they’ll be able to easily join the Azure Sky Cross Institute ── after hearing that they all did as I said.”
“Wh-….!? Y-You’re kidding right….?”
Elsa looked around her surroundings as if she couldn’t believe it…..but everyone had a serious look in their eyes.
“It’s not just your classes that are suffocating. The students enrolled in this academy already have a predetermined future, with a predetermined life…..they’re all tired and fed up of that. I want freedom. I want to become a different person….they all have desires like that.”
But Elsa wasn’t able to comprehend their feelings.
St. Lily Magic Girls’ Academy. An academy where the daughters of the upper-echelon of society such as nobles and wealthy merchants were enrolled for the purpose of acquiring the proper education before marriage. The nature of the school was completely different from the one she was hoping to transfer to, Alzano Imperial Magic Academy.
But they had no freedom after graduation from here, whether they’re succeeding one’s household or being used as a tool via political marriage……most people would suffocate at having such a gloomy future shoved down their throat.
It’s no surprise that Marianne’s sweet utterings were able to tempt the hearts of these students.
A legendary top-secret government institution. Becoming a member of such a place ── obtaining it by their own hand ── it was like a spiders web for those drowning in remorse, who had neither the power nor the spirit to remedy their cursed situation…..that must’ve been their sole hope.
“Did you seriously think…..that you could catch me with this group of amateurs?”
Elsa took her iai stance. A sense of intimidation was released over the surrounding area.
The female students unconsciously took a step back in fear.
Ordinarily, not even 10 or 100 students would be a match for Elsa, who was able to fight on par with Re=L ──
“Normally that’d be true…but right now….”
Saying that, Marianne grasped the antique-looking sword from her back, and with her left hand holding it, she pulled it slightly out of its scabbard.
Some small flames suddenly set ablaze around Elsa ──
The force of the flames wasn’t strong. They didn’t directly burn Elsa, in fact they were comparable to sitting next to a campfire.
They were quite weak for attack magic. But they were still enough ──
Elsa turned pale in the blink of an eye and started to tremble ──
*Clang*, and Elsa’s sword fell to the ground….
She let out a blood-curling scream as she held her head and crouched to the floor.
“Ahahahahahahahaha! It’s such a shame Elsa! You’re right, you’re so strong that no one here would be a match for you! But don’t you remember your fatal defect!?
“Noooooooooo!? No no no he, help meeeeee!?”
“That’s right! You’re burdened by your traumatic experience! Anything reminding you of your [Memory of Flames] will set you off, whether it’s fire, the color red, or blood! If you look straight at it then you’ll freak out like a stupid brat!”
“Aaaaaa!? No!? Hot, it’s too hot!? Aa blood….it’s red!?”
“But when you wear glasses you’d just stiffen up and be unable to move….if you don’t look at it directly you can still live your everyday life…..isn’t that right!? But the girl who could become a fierce warrior just by taking off her glasses really falls into such a panic just by seeing the slightest color of red or fire!”
The flame grew stronger as Marianne continued to pull the sword from its scabbard.
“It’s cause you keep your distance from others! Everyone cares for the pitiful girl that can’t look at fire magic or keeps away from red objects….but it’s sad that you haven’t been able to get along with anyone! All I can say is you’re nothing but an idiot right!?”
“Noo! Noooooo……!? Stop thiiiiisss!?
“It’s my masterpiece! Didn’t you dream of being a wonderful solider like your father!? Don’t be ridiculous that’s impossible! How could someone who can’t even deal with flames or blood be a soldier!? That’s too funny! Ahahahahaha! But you’d be perfect as a magic experimental specimen!”
And so, Elsa who was panicking couldn’t raise a finger in resistance and was easily held down and tied up by the surrounding girls….
“Help me….please….the flames….the red….hot…so hot….ugh!”
“Shut up already, how much longer are you going to cry!?”
Marianne mercilessly kicked the trembling and frightened Elsa in order to silence her crying.
“Now then. What are we going to do? Dean Marianne….”
“As soon as the train arrives we’ll start preparing for departure. And we’ll take those two with us to the Imperial Capital.”
Marianne gave out her instruction in response to one of the girls’ question.
“….Leaving that aside….I wonder if this is really alright with you guys? It’s not too late to turn back?”
And Marianne asks the girls that question as if she were testing them….
“It’s fine there’s no problem! We’ve already prepared ourselves!”
“I hate everything in my life, this school, my home, my future…..!”
“We’re not just tools to be used by our houses and family! I want to become something special!”
“I see….those are good responses!”
Marianne gave a satisfied nod in response to the girls answers.
“Very well then, let’s begin. Everyone prepare to leave. Tonight’s going to be a busy night….”
The female students energetically responded after hearing Marianne’s orders.
── And, that was the situation concerning Marianne’s group.
(Sigh…..it’s really turned into a huge ordeal now hasn’t it….)
Holding her breath, Ginny watched the scene unfold from the shadows of her hidden corner.
(Even though the party’s in full swing, Ms. Re=L and Ms. Elsa still hadn’t come back yet. Everyone split up to scour the school grounds for them but…..I never imagined that this would happen…..)
Ginny broke out in a cold sweat as she watched Marianne’s group enter the train station area.
Using her lip-reading ability, she more or less understood that they were planning on taking Elsa and Re=L to the Imperial Capital.
And sure enough, she could see the shadow of a train slowly pulling into the station at an hour where it shouldn’t have been. No sound came off of it, so it seemed that some type of sound-cancellation magic had been prepared beforehand.
(Whether it’s the [Project: Revive Life], or the Azure Sky Cross Institute, or the impostors…..all of these are completely above my pay-grade….forgetting all that I’m still outnumbered to begin with…..)
Making a rough estimate, Ginny had guessed there were close to forty people down there.
(I should just return to Renn-sensei and report this information right….)
Turning on her heels, Ginny was about to quietly leave that place, when at the time.
“Hehe….is that a curious little peeping chick…?”
Ginny stiffened up suddenly hearing a voice right behind her.
Female students suddenly appeared from hidden spots and hideaways armed with sabers and the like.
There was no need to guess whose subordinates they were.
Twelve people in total. Before she knew it Ginny was completely surrounded.
(…Too immature. I was so disturbed that I hadn’t even noticed them growing closer…..I’m disqualified from being a ninja now.)
Scanning over them, there was a student known to be one of the most powerful student’s at St. Lily Magic Girls’ Academy….whose rumored to be on par with Francine and Colette.
If it was one-on-one there’s no way she’d lose…..but right now the excessive difference in people was too much.
“….Do you really hate this school that much? Really hate having the easy route?”
“Isn’t that a given? There’s nothing worse than staying here.”
The girl replied to Ginny’s mocking questions.
“Hmm…..having neither the power to change your situation nor the will. From the start having the desire to change you fate but not the courage huh? …….What? A member of top-secret government institute? Don’t make me laugh, what is this, the wild delusions of a child? Is it because you’re going through puberty right now, ridiculous.”
“Say whatever you’d like Ginny. But isn’t your master in the same situation?”
Ginny was suddenly at a loss for words, but right now wasn’t the time for this little Q&A session.
I have to inform Renn-sensei about this situation as soon as possible.
As they closed in, Ginny took a step back looking for a way to escape…..
“Araa~? Are you trying to run away? Ginny.”
Already guessed what she’d try to do, the other girl let out teasing words.
“Aren’t you always saying something about that? Something about your family pride. Something about [living in disgrace].”
“Wouldn’t you rather proudly stay and fight your opponent than show your back and flee like a dog with its tail between its leg?”
“Is that all that your pride amounts to? Hmmm….as an Eastern ninja? I don’t know if it’s just you or not….but your family isn’t all that strong is it….?”
Unable to stand being insulted to such a degree, Ginny rushed forward without thinking ──
── If you can’t win then you should retreat as fast as possible.
── Throw away your pride and think of another means. What’s your goal?
Glenn’s words suddenly resounded in the back of Ginny’s head and calmed her down at the last second.
“…Thank you for your words.”
Clenching her teeth Ginny swallowed her pride. She detested the immaturity within herself.
“Right now I’m not just a proud ninja….but I’m more or less a mage as well. Sorry but I’ll be trying to escape now. I can’t let you guys do as you like.”
“Ahaha! Isn’t that surprising!? Yes let’s see you do it….if you’re able to!”
And so, in a back-alley unbeknownst to most ──
“I’ll push throoooouuugh!”
“Kyahahaha! I’ll play with you a bit!”
The battle between Ginny and the girls surrounding her had just begun.