Roku de Nashi Vol 9 Ch 3

Chapter 3 Please don’t lose

 

Fejite Security Forces.

At the city hall terrorist bombing incident special investigation headquarters.

“The criminal disappeared!? How!? What the hell is going on!?”

The investigatory council had already fallen into complete disarray.

The VIP’s in this grand conference room were constantly looking over data on one hand and then bickering with each other on the other, it could hardly be called a discussion at this point. The communication devices on the desks were constantly ringing to the point where it was near impossible to hear even the voice of the person standing next to them.

“Grr! What happened to the office in charge, where’s Officer Yuan = Bellis!? Summon Yuan this instant! Why can’t we contact him!? ………What’s the situation of his whereabouts!? Search again!”

*Clang!* Ronald = Maxwell, the director of the Fejite Security Forces, slammed the receiver down on his desk.

“I swear we’ll catch you, Glenn = Radars….! I won’t let a damn terrorist like you hurt a single citizen of Fejite……!”

Ronald was burning with a fiery, righteous indignation.

*Slam!* The door of the investigations headquarters’ conference room was violently thrown open…..

“That’s enough.”

With a chilling inflection, the voice of a young girl cut across the room like a sharp gust. Her mere presence brought upon an overwhelmingly thick air of intimidation, bringing silence to the room that was once filled with chaos.

“Seriously…..I can’t even look at this. Well I guess it can’t be helped when you’re made up of a bunch of amateurs.”

As the sounds of her footsteps sounded out as she advanced through the silent room, the hem of her Imperial Court Mage Corps ceremonial uniform fluttered behind her. Everyone present couldn’t help but have their eyes glued to her eye-catching appearance and ambiance.

A young girl who it was questionable if she’d even reached the age of twenty.

Her fiery, deep crimson hair seemed to give off sparks, glimmering as she continued her advance. Her appearance gave off subtle beauty, but unlike the fiery hair that reminded one of flames, it more so gave of a cold expression like an spirt of ice.

The deep, violet flames in her eyes burned with condemnation, piercing through everyone and leaving an instinctual chill in their bodies.

A beautiful flame of ice that burns away chaos, that description fits her perfectly.

“Well it’s fine. You guys are going to be moving as my pieces from here on out so be as incompetent as you’d like.”

“W-Who the hell do you think you are you bastard!?”

Ronald screamed with a vein popping out of his forehead at the young girl who so arrogantly proclaimed herself the boss.

“Chief of the Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Missions Annex, operative #1 [The Magician], Eve = Ignite. ……You should’ve been informed of this already right?”

That girl, Eve, let out a mingled laugh towards Ronald like someone laughing at the antics of an idiot.

“Are you kidding me!? Why the hell would the military be concerned about this matter!”

“Haa….this level of incompetence…..is the reason why this matter can’t be managed by a bunch of amateurs like you.”

“What was that….?”

“In this case, a certain conspiracy is secretly moving behind the scenes. It’s not just a mere bombing terrorist incident. Therefore I’ll be taking command from here. If you just move as I say…..then I think even incompetent amateurs like you can handle that much right?”

“Don’t fuck with me you child! I don’t care how high in the military you are; you think I’ll let you just waltz in here and arrogantly take control like that!? In the first place this place is in our jurisdiction! What the hell kind of authority do you ──”

“Ahh how annoying just look at this and shut your mouth.”

Eve thrust out a sheet containing an Imperial directive.

And on it were orders, a signature, and the stamps of ──

“I-Impossible….this is an order from the Empire’s highest decision-making council [The Round Table], directly under His Excellency Azel = Ignite…..!?”

“Do you get it now? Follow me, listen to my instructions, and move how I tell you to…..like a dog. …….Do you understand? Or is it too difficult for a dog to understand human words?”

“Tch….”

Eve swiftly passed by Ronald who was clenching his fist in rage.

Then Eve took a seat at the head of the table, threw her bewitching legs onto of it, and began to scan through the piles of papers scattered about; she let out a smirk in response to the gazes and mutterings filled with hostility directed at her.

“Now, shall we get started. In this case…..the key is you, Glenn.”

She had the look of someone looking down on the person they hated with scorn, but at the same a passionate maiden in love looking towards the one in her heart.

“…..I have high expectations for your role in this play. Do your best to give me a passionate dance that’ll make me fall deeper in love with you…..”

And Eve glanced outside the conference room, seeing a butterfly gently fluttering in the air.

She let out a faint, lascivious smile towards it…..and snapped her fingers.

*Ssss!* The butterfly instantaneously burned up right before her eyes ─

 

At the same time ── in a certain place in Fejite.

“…..I see. Eve = Ignite is starting to intervene.”

“Wa-…..”

Hearing Lazar murmur, the hoodlum boy let out a groan.

“…..I was only able to see it for a moment through my butterfly familiar….she’s seriously a considerable woman.”

“Hol’ up hol’ up. You saying Eve-chan is here? Ain’t she the chief of the special mission annex or somethin’? Oi oi Lazar-san amarite? This time them court mages shouldn’t have been able to mess with us before hand right!?”

“Of course, I’ve already prepared for this.”

Lazar responded indifferently.

“Just before we started our plan, the Imperial Army dispatched a platoon of mages from the Imperial Court Mage Corps away from Fejite, so they should be busy fighting a Researchers of Divine Wisdom combat unit in a distant place right about now. Well, they’ll eventually defeat them, but it should buy us enough time to finish what we need to….that was the plan at least.”

“…….However. Eve = Ignite exceeded our expectations. Using her subordinates as a decoy, she herself intervened in Fejite and jumped onto the playing board.”

The man in the dark suit who had keep quiet till now opened his mouth and spoke solemnly.

“Hmm. As expected of the Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Missions Annex’s operative #1 [The Magician], Eve = Ignite……ordinary methods won’t work on her.”

“Oi oi is that fine? Speaking of Eve-chan, ain’t she the Ms. [Lord Scarlet] (haha) of close quarter combat? Ain’t matter a thing cause I’m stronger though ♪”

(TN: read as Lord Scarlet but written as crimson flame ruler, also lord scarlet is a type of flower in the cosmos family I think)

“It’s no problem.”

Lazar responded in a dignified manner compared to foolish words of his hoodlum counterpart.

“Needless to say the timing of Eve = Ignite’s participation was beyond our expectations….but our plans will continue without delay. For now it’ll be fine if we just watch and wait. …….However.”

“…..Aside from that there’s an even more troublesome fly on the board…..isn’t that right?”

Lazar calmly nodded in response to the man in the dark suit’s conjecture and said.

“It doesn’t have any particular significance; the pawns are already laid out systematically on the board. An irregularity that is undeniably disturbing it……Glenn = Radars, and……the person pulling the threads from the shadows. For the sake of carrying out our plan……I don’t think we can leave it as is. Those two.”

“Naturally. That’s the whole reason I’ve came back in the first place.”

And so, the man in the dark suit turned on his heels as the hem of his suit fluttered behind him.

“I’ll be off. And I’ll take care of Glenn = Radars. While you deal with the one pulling the strings.”

He said that to the hooligan boy standing off to the side……but.

“…..Ahh? Ya’ bastard…..don’t think ya can boss me around with that asshole attitude of yours.”

The irritated hoodlum continue to spit out words towards the man in the dark suit.

“Get the fuck out of here with that……I’ll be enough to take them both on…..”

“Don’t underestimate the enemies. …..We were once killed due to our self-conceit.”

“Haa!? Killed? …….Don’t fuckin’ say that! I’ll beat you to death get it!?”

He grabbed the collar of the man in the dark suit as he let out a menacing yell.

An overwhelmingly sense of killing intent washed over the man in the dark suit……..

“…..You want to do it?”

Those words were muttered in a composed manner, practically parrying the blood-lust.

“Do you really want to do it, right here and right now? Against me? ……I have no problem with that.”

The hoodlum’s intense killing intent was blown away like a candle, but yet an overpoweringly icy aura remained behind.

The illusion of the temperature suddenly dropping below freezing point dominated the whole area ──

The hoodlum instantly broke out into a cold sweat, his forehead dripping ──

“……….. ……U-Ugh…..I-I’ll say this once, my bad……”

He had no choice but to regrettably release the collar’s he was violently grasping.

“Let’s go. Don’t make a fuss this time.”

“…..Tch! Damn it…..”

The man in the dark suit threw out those words as he started to depart while the hoodlum boy clicked his tongue in irritation……

The two worst men…… have finally started to move onstage.

 

Glenn was walking alone in the dark, relying on a magic light extending from his fingertips. He was in a dry passageway, with nothing there but dust particles. It was remarkably similar to sewer passages, but the only things different was that the drains were completely dried up and there wasn’t a drop of sewage present.

Glenn advanced silently through such a strange place……and before long he came to the end of the passage and climbed the ladder there….he pushed up the manhole cover above him…..and exited to the surface.

His eyes that were used to the veil of darkness became disoriented after coming into contact with the bright light. After resurfacing, Glenn let out a sigh of relief and rested his back against a nearby building in order to catch his breath.

“Surprised? If you poke around you might just find something interesting right? Such as an escape route like this.”

Letting out a broad grin, Glenn starting talking to Sistine who was on the other end of the communication device.

{I never would’ve guessed that such a thing would be in Fejite…..an old sewage line not marked on the map….that hasn’t been used till now……}

Sistine’s befuddled murmuring could be heard in return.

It was at the time when Glenn was about to be completely surrounded by guards. After his and Sistine’s exchange where he was asking incomprehensible questions, Sistine thought that he’d finally gone insane when he suddenly started to blast away the stone pavement base of a certain streetlight.

However, that’s when it appeared. Underneath the stone pavement, where nothing should’ve been present…..was a rustic looking manhole cover.

“Fejite is a city that was born and developed alongside the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy.”

Glenn started to talk with a triumphant visage.

“It was originally a backwater town out in the countryside, and so with the passage of time there were multiple revisions done to the land division and water and sewage maintenance…… and thanks to that sometimes old sewage lines that should’ve been sealed up remained intact.”

{So then your strange questions were to locate an area from the olden days…..}

“Exactly. While I was running around I was looking at the craftsmanship of the buildings around me and I figured there might be an old sewage line somewhere or another. And if push came to shove I’d have one more escape route.”

{Y-You even thought that far ahead….? Amazing….}

Sistine was taken back in astonishment. All she could do was observe the surroundings and report it back to Glenn as best as she could, she wasn’t thinking two, three steps ahead.

But Glenn……who was escaping from the guards…..who was unmistakably suffering harsher conditions compared to Sistine, was still preparing contingency plans. In the first place, she who had been aware of the surrounding circumstances more so than Glenn…..at that time she had already half given up and was thinking it was useless.

{….If you don’t give up….if you stand and fight…..then there’ll always be a means of survival huh…..}

Sistine was down in the dumps. She was so excited to help Glenn yet…..this pivotal point had highlighted the weakness dwelling in Sistine.

“Don’t let it get to you alright? In the end, it’s thanks to your support that I was able to get out of there.”

Glenn started to get up with a grin on his face.

“Now then, I guess my little rest is over. Even though the manhole cover was hidden by the black magic [Illusion・Magic]……but I’m sure they’ll notice it before long and follow after me. Now before it’s too late I’ll ──”

And, at that time.

*Clap clap clap….* An unexpected applause could be heard from his other communication device.

{Aha bravo bravo! Glenn. You did well to escape from that situation.}

Jatice’s usual jarring voice was pouring out from the magic device.

{Thanks to your hard work I was also able progress smoothly. You seriously have my gratitude Glenn.}

“Tch…..I’m done playing your game of ──”

{Mm? Ahh, don’t worry about that anymore. At any rate, the guards won’t be following you anymore. Meaning….the second task….is cleared.}

“Haa? They’re done chasing me? Why?”

Glenn asked his question while knitting his eyebrows in suspicion when.

{S-Sensei what that person is saying is true!}

The sound of Sistine’s astonished voice had reached Glenn’s ear.

{The city guards….for some reason they’ve all been put on standby in their current locations…..what in the world….?}

{It’s probably cause she’s arrived. …..Well, [I’ve already predicted that.]}

“…..You said she’s arrived?”

Glenn parroted the ambiguous words back towards Jatice for clarification but…..

{Well Glenn. I’d love stay and have a lovely chat with you a bit longer however…..we can’t just loiter around like this…..it’s almost time for you to start the next tast.}

“Tch…..do whatever you’d like.”

{Hurry up and go to the place I’m about to specify……Please. There’s not much time. This is….a matter concerning whether you live or die. That place is ──}

After hearing all of his words, Glenn felt a strange, out-of-place feeling.

It was vexing but he had no choice but to listen to every whim and command of Jatice. Continuing while looking for the opportunity to snap at his throat…..obeying silently in the meantime.

The area where Glenn had emerged from the was the southern district, moreover it was in the warehouse ward that was in the outskirts away the lively shopping wards.

Warehouses belonging to various business operating in Fejite were lined up all around. The general public was restricted from this area and so there was hardly anyone there. Looking up at the sky, the sun had just reached it’s apex and was about to start it’s descent. It should’ve been just about after midday.

Before long, Glenn finally reached the warehouse that Jatice specified and he laid his hands on the two heavy doors standing in front of him. …… It wasn’t locked.

The doors opened accompanied by a squealing sound of iron. And the sunlight peaked into the dimly lit warehouse. Old wooden crates were stacked along the walls of the interior…..And, in the center of the building was a bag with a distinctly different aura from the rest of the surrounding area.

{Open that bag up. …..It has something necessary for the next task.}

“…………”

{It’s alright don’t be so anxious. It’s not like it’s a trap…..it was prepared for you in good faith…..have some trust for me.}

Of course he didn’t have an ounce of trust for him and was being forced to follow his commands as long as he held Rumia hostage. After preparing magic countermeasures and looking for any signs of a hidden bombs or poisonous gas, Glenn readied himself and opened up the bag.

The thing inside it was ──

“This…..what exactly….is this….?”

Glenn’s eyes narrowed sharply after witnessing the contents of the bag.

Throwing needles and knives enchanted with magic, steel threads, talismans, amulets, all sorts of magic stones, special revolver rounds, magic gunpowder, the Imperial Court Mage Court’s ceremonial uniform that had a powerful defensive effect imbued in it ──

These were Glenn’s favorite armaments and defensive articles when he served with the Imperial Court Mage Court Special Mission Annex.

{I know! I understand it Glenn! I understand just how angry you are!}

Perhaps feeling the wrath radiating off of him, Jatice tried to soothe Glenn and calm him down.

{After all, this is a symbol of your darkness…..It’s your vestige that’s stained in blood and reeks of the smell of rotting corpses for you whose turned your eyes away from the dark and started to walk among the light…….it’d be unreasonable if you weren’t this mad when this stuff was so insolently thrust before you……I’m sorry Glenn. I already knew it’d affect you like this. But ──}

It was at that time.

*Ba-dump.* Glenn’s heart was throbbing.

*Shudder.* Glenn’s body was trembling.

{── You understand right? Now’s……not that time to say such things.}

The surrounding atmosphere got heavier and heavier, almost unbearably  colder and colder, like it was freezing over ──

Some sort of catastrophic premonition grew stronger and stronger with every passing second.

Glenn was confident in his belief.

That something was coming.

Beyond human understanding……something unbelievably powerful…..was coming here, and.

 And so, that endlessly overwhelming presence forcibly spreading across his skin like an electric shock, leaving his body numb, reawakened Glenn’s mage instincts which had grown so dull.

“Geh!?”

Although he was momentarily taken back, Glenn began to furiously don on the equipment laid out in front of him. Putting on the ceremonial uniform, inserting his hands through the steel threaded gloves, cramming the magic tools into his belt…..

{That’s enough Glenn. Tell be completely honest, I’m a bit hesitant to force this on the current you…..but the thing you’ll be facing isn’t the type of enemy you can beat with such a half-hearted resolve.}

“…..I already know that without you having to tell me that you piece of shit! Just shut the hell up for a minute!!”

“Even within the Imperial Court Mage Corps, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who could beat that in a head on confrontation…..it’s possible that not even [The Star] could? Well, even I’d hesitate if I was forced to face him directly…..be careful Glenn.}

And then….

{That thing….is strong. The first time you defeated it…..when you first killed it its bad luck and complete lack of preparation….the reason for all of that piling up one after another…..it was just pure chance.}

………Somehow or another Glenn was ready and he grated his teeth as he turned towards the entrance. And at the same time both of the doors to the warehouse were flung open.

……..With the light flowing past his back, a man stood there calmly.

A man he’d never forget, clad in a dark suit.

In the past when Glenn was a part-time lecturer, there was an attempted bombing incident on the institute.

A man he’d never forget, the person he confronted during that maelstrom, the dreadful mage who employed multi-front attacks using dragon fanged soldiers, who unleashed transcendental magic as if it were easy as breathing.

After the incident, the higher ups informed him the man’s name was ──

“Reik = Fohenheim……The Researchers of Divine Wisdom, Second Order [Adeptus Order]…..[Dragon Emperor] Reik! You bastard…..You were still alive…..!?”

“………….”

Hearing the exasperated words from Glenn, the man in the dark suit, Reik without any emotions, without any sounds, just stared at Glenn with a sharp expression.

Glenn’s heart screamed out as if it were being crushed under the weight of just that look.

{Well Glenn. The third task is ──}  

And Jatice’s voice could be hear resounding in his ear ──

{ ── to survive. ── By any means necessary.}

It was a presence hidden from one’s eyes. It was if the demon king himself were standing guard in front of Reik.

Glenn’s brain was already beyond the point of being able to form words ──

 

“W-What!? How’s this possible!?”

Far away from the warehouse ward in the southern district……on the roof of the Imperial Opera House in central district.

Sistine who was watching over Glenn from afar using far-sight magic, couldn’t help but fall into a panic after seeing Reik suddenly appear.

“How is that man still alive and here now!?”

The fear she had started to forget began to take hold again. In the past, Sistine had once helped Glenn with his victory over that man….but now she was questioning if they really won that day. It was merely a stroke of luck that even after a vicious battle they were able to barely beat down Reik who was already informed of Glenn’s original magic [The Fool’s World].

However, it was an indisputable fact that Reik died after Glenn pierced his chest with his sword.

But despite that, then how──?

“Now that it’s come to this I have no choice but to ──”

Sistine cast aside her far-sight magic and shoved the communication device into her pocket.

And just as she was about to activate [Rapid・Stream] and rush to Glenn’s location to support him.

“Yoshaa~!”

A *thud!* sounded out behind her and a frivolous voice accompanied the sound.

“…..Eh?”

Looking over her shoulder, Sistine immediately stiffened up.

“Ehhh~? It shoulda been ’round here right~? The puppet-master pulling the strings of ol’ teach Glenn…..eh? Wait, it ain’t seriously you is it? What a shocker? ……Well, ain’t like it matters all that much….cause you look a lot more delicious looking than I thought ehh.”

The hoodlum-like boy suddenly let out a broad smile and laughed at Sistine.

“…. Aa………aah……y-you’re……!?”

 

Sistine’s legs started quiver and it felt like her knees would give out any second now.

“Wh……y……!?”

She’d never forget the one standing in front of her. Couldn’t possibly forget.

The pure and innocent Sistine who was still naïve to the horrors and dark side of magic, had reality painfully engraved in her as her body was almost violated, it’d be unthinkable for her to forget such a man ──

“Hyahaha! Ya! It’s been too long! White-Cat-chan! You’ve been good?”

Jin = Ganis.

What a cruel reality. The symbol for Sistine’s nightmares….was now in front of her in the flesh.

 

“How….!? How the hell are you still alive…..!? I’m sure that you died there…..! I saw it with my own eyes! There’s no way I was wrong!”

Glenn brought the muzzle of his revolver level with Reik as he said that.

You could see a thick, cold sweat flowing off of Glenn like a waterfall. He wasn’t even able to stop the revolver from shaking as he held it.

“Is such a trivial matter really worth worrying about? I’ve come back from the underworld. And now I’m here to kill you. …….That’s the reality you should be facing head on right now.”

“Tch….! Thank you for your damned suggestion! You damned son of a bitch!”

Glenn cursed at him after receiving an arguably sound warning.

(Damn it….recently it was Jatice and now it’s Reik, is every dead person coming back to life…..? What the hell is going on…..!?)

However, Glenn knew of one possible method to revive the dead.

([Project:  Revive Life]……but that technique ──)

Sion’s original magic or Rumia’s supernatural power was essential for it.

── That’s right, her supernatural power. Rumia’s [divine amplification].

One concern that arises from that ──

Burks = Blaumohn, director of the White Alchemy Research Institute. What was the topic of his research? I had thought that I was overlooking something at that time but….but this is unbelievable. Just for arguments sake, leaving Reik aside, Jatice should’ve at least been a former citizen of the Empire.

Who could’ve possibly prepared the [Astral・Code] for the revival?

The Azure Sky Cross Institute ── the top secret government institution rumored to have ties to The Researchers of Divine Wisdom suddenly passed through Glenn’s head ──

(Tch….leaving that aside, I’m facing this bastard Reik right now….!)

He shook his head as if to force him from thought.

Glenn recalled the after-action report concerning Reik.

And he couldn’t help but break out in a cold sweat remembering the horrible facts ──

Reik’s Fohenheim lineage seemed to have been a traditional mage household and the leading figures in dragon research. His usage of the dragon fanged soldiers was probably attributed to that fact.

And so, the Fohenheim household had succeeded in a taboo ceremony, succeeded in injecting the blood of a certain ancient dragon and gaining the powers of a dragon beyond human comprehension ── but the compensation for gaining such a power was an unavoidable curse from the ancient dragon.

That was Dragonization. Instead of just gaining strength of a dragon, they lose their human shape and reasoning being reduced to a mere raging dragon ── that was their curse.

(TN: Read as Dragonization but written as Curse of Dragonization)

A descendant of such an insane lineage ── the last one, who was able to perfect its form, was the man standing in front of Glenn now.

(But……the Reik I’d fought against….to the end he was just a mere human. He was quite powerful, but….to the bitter end he remained in the realm of humans….!)

But right now, the overflowing magic power that Glenn felt pouring out from the man in front of him, and even his very presence ── it was a blasphemous aura that far exceeded the realm that humans reside in.

(I’m pretty sure there’s almost no combat techniques in the Fohenheim household like there are in Ignite’s…most of their hidden techniques should’ve been [sealing] magic…….)

Which ── only meant one thing.

“I see. You….did you dispel the [seal] this time? Of the [Dragonization]…..”

“…..Excellent guess, magic instructor.”

Reik responded without faltering even as he faced down the muzzle of a revolver.

“In order to halt the progression of the [Dragonization], our clan applies three [dragon sealing type chains] to our flesh the moment we’re born. Therefore, we’re usually not too different from ordinary human beings. However, once we dispel the seal…..the power of the dragon manifests.”

And Reik’s sharp gaze had reached Glenn ──

“This time I’ve dispelled the first chain ── for the sake of fighting you.”

“There’s that much magic power from just the first one? And after that seal there’s two more left….you gotta be fucking kidding me.”

Glenn had already gone past being panicked and frightened and now was just plain amazed.

“I have no reason to lie. The other two seals require, time, labor, and certain catalysts. In this battle I won’t be able to exert any more of the dragon’s power.”

“Heh…..are you fine with that? If you repeatedly dispel and reseal your [dragon sealing type chains] won’t that accelerate the effects of the Dragonization? Won’t that leave a mark on your mental health?”

“It does not matter. You are a human whose worthy of at least this much.”

Reik gave an immediate reply.

“I had previously hesitated to break the seal of the first [dragon sealing type chains] when we fought the first time. At that time I was like an amateur compared to you……and I wasn’t willing to expend my life force……I foolishly looked down on you.”

“……And yet I wish you would’ve looked down on me again this time…..is it seriously okay to go all out against a small-fry like me?”

“The Fohenheim household ── really was a foolish clan.”

Disregarding Glenn’s frivolous words, Reik indifferently continued his conversation.

“For countless generations they’ve sought a forbidden power, indulged in the forbidden power, and even discarded people to grasp the forbidden power……an insane power that is only useful for killing……what a seriously foolish household. It’s only natural they were brought to ruin.”

“……..”

“But thanks to that I’m gifted with this perfected form, I might as well sacrifice myself now that it’s come to this. The result of what my clan has aimed for by discarding people generation after generation…..if the fate of my own ruin has already been decided, then I wonder what I can see by walking towards the end of my own battle…..if there’s any meaning to it…..I want to verify with my own eyes.”

And then Reik held up his left hand towards Glenn ──

“I’m thankful……for when I was previously brought to ruin by your hands. It seems like I’ll be able to see the world of the end once more ──”

“…..You….puberty is messing with your head too much. Learn to live a little.”

“Prepare yourself Glenn = Radars. What will my fight with you show me this time?”

“Tch!”

Glenn’s left hand blurred as he fanned the hammer of his revolver ──

“[──■■■]”

Reik murmured in an inhuman language comparable to the roars of a beast ──

The warehouse was reduced to nothing after a powerful explosion accompanied by a bright light.

 

Meanwhile, while Glenn and Reik were fighting in the southern district ──

Far in the distance, on the roof of the Imperial Opera House in the central district

“Haa….haa….haa….!”

Sistine was struggling to even breath as she stared at Gin.

“Hyahahaha! At any rate I ain’t believe how lucky I am! I mean just look at me, I never thought that I’d get to steal that White-Cat-chan’s first time here after I missed my chance that one time….?”

Jin on the other hand was licking his lips like he just found an unexpected, ripe treat.

“Who wouldda thought that we’d have the full course cat meal tonight!? Teasing your spots, raping your spots, beating you to death, making you cry and sing, making you sing like a bird hyahahahahah!”

“….Hii!?”

Terrifying. Tears were unintentionally pouring out. Her body wouldn’t stop trembling.

Why was this horrible guy in a place like this? In front of me?

What am I even doing here? I really should’ve just stayed behind after all ──

Such weakness was starting to completely dominate Sistine ── but.

She took a deep breath, wiped the tears away with the back of her hands, and scowled at Jin.

Settling her raging heart with just a strong will, cutting off the fear from her emotions, calmly, calmly ──

(It’s okay….it’ll be okay, I…..I’m strong….! Move…..my body…..! Compose…..my thoughts…..! I can recite a spell….!)

That’s right. I’m not like how I used to be ── I’m stronger.

(I can fight now…..! I’ve grown a lot stronger since that day…..!)

In the first place. If I carefully look at this man named Jin….Reik, Jatice, al-Khan…..compared to the catastrophic enemies I’ve faced till now, Jin doesn’t even begin to give off a similar aura of intimidation.

By all means….shouldn’t it be possible for me to handle an enemy of this level by myself?

(That’s right….I’ve been frantically doing intensive training with Sensei day after day just for moments like this….my power now is nothing compared to how I was back then when all I could do was scream and cry……!)

In fact, during out study-abroad program at St. Lily Magic Girls’ Academy I was able to completely overwhelm the two powerhouses there, Francine and Colette. The me right now is stronger.

Such self-confidence and pride…..was finally able to quell…..the shaking of her hands and knees.

“……Hou? Kinda surprising ain’t it~?”

Jin tilted his head to the side amused seeing Sistine go from her heart  seeming to be completely shattered to her eyes burning with dignified vigor.

“Humph…..I’m not scared of a third-rate mage who can’t even do anything like you…!”

Sistine threw out such provoking words towards Gin.

“Hehh? You’re even able to say stuff like that? But I hate cheeky brats like that ya’know, they just irritate me. Well I need an appetizer before the delicious main course don’t I?”

Jin held out the pointer finger of his left hand towards Sistine.

And she just calmly observed it’s movements.

(…….Remember. This guy’s signature move was…..an incredibly shortened version of [Lighting・Pierce] that he was able to activate almost instantly ── however!)

Sistine quietly refined her magic while attentively watching over his fingertip.

(It’s just incredibly fast, if you know that it’s coming from the beginning then ──)

“Let’s kick off this meal by showing me what you got….. [Zudo──]”

Jin began to cast his spell.

A ray of lightning was bursting from his fingertips ──

(── It’s not impossible to deal with!)

Sistine made her move a moment later.

” ── [Disperse!]”

Her instincts forged in the countless battles she’s been in till now; she recited the incantation for [Tri・Banish] at the perfect time.

By activating it ahead of them, it was a counter-spell that was able to negate the affects of fire, electric, and ice magics ──

*Pop!* Gin’s high-speed lightning magic exploded and disappeared into nothingness ──

(── I did it!)

And the perfect chance had appeared in front of Sistine.

The spell [Tri・Banish] was a relatively [light] spell that didn’t disturb one’s internal mana・biorhythm too much. Compared to casting a [heavy] spell like [Lighting・Pierce], one’s mana・biorhythm would return to a calm state much faster.

Meaning that for just this moment, Jin wouldn’t be able to wield magic while Sistine could.

This was her only chance……if she launched a counterattack she could win ──

── is what she thought.

“[── Dodododododododododon.]”

“Eh?”

She was sure that she negated Gin’s spell….but despite that a countless number of lightning bolts came flooding out of his fingertips and rushed towards Sistine.

The countless number of bolts came screaming by, passing dangerously close to Sistine’s body.

“….Eh?”

She should’ve cast a counter-spell…..but she had already forgotten such a thing a long time ago.

Sistine couldn’t help but stand there dumbfounded and petrified for a short while…..

“………..W-What was that just now…..? You’re kidding…..t-ten shots in the blink of an eye…….!?”

Eventually her trembling voice could barely be heard.

Jin let out a repulsive laugh and smile seeing Sistine in such a state.

“Iyaa it’s been too long since I’ve done that aint it? I managed to miss evr’ shot….what a failure what a failure…..”

That was a lie. Without a doubt, such a thing wasn’t true.

This man Jin……deliberately missed all of his shots. For the sake of showing the hopeless difference in power between them….or maybe just to tease Sistine. If he had decided to let even one shot hit her, she would’ve undoubtedly died.

After all, if you wanted to negate ten shots ──then it’s only natural that you’d need ten counter-spells.

And such a thing was beyond the realm of Sistine’s current ability.

“Even so? You evn’ managed to raise your arms? *Clap clap clap*, I’ll give you a gold-star for a job well done.”

“Aa aaaaaa……!?”

It was plain to see that her fighting spirit was immediately shattered and scattered to the winds. Her show of courage was just a mere mask that was torn off in the blink of an eye, and the true despair that was festering there was cruelly revealed, uncontrollably devouring her heart.

“Now then, next is ──”

At the same time that Jin was leisurely preparing his next spell.

“── [G-Gale Wind!]”

Sistine reflexively screeched out the incantation for [Rapid・Stream].

Clad in a layer of wind, Sistine escaped from that spot as fast as she could ──

 

A sudden violent gust of wind rushed through the streets of Fejite. Its true identity was Sistine who had become one with the wind by using [Tempest Feet].

Running through the roofs, kicking off walls and pagodas to get further, further, further ──

(TN: Pagoda’s are those stereotypical multi-layered Asian buildings/towers, google it if you don’t get it)

The sight of the city below her eyes passed by like a raging torrent.

(I-Impossible…..you’re lying lying lying! I’ve been trying so hard…..! I’ve been doing my best……but there’s still……this much of a difference……!? It’s still this far from me…..!?)

Shouldn’t he have been nothing compared to the enemies I’ve fought till now? Shouldn’t I have been able to deal with this by myself?

What self-indulging hubris. My own power doesn’t even begin to compare to the [real thing].

I now know that it wasn’t that Gin’s aura wasn’t overwhelming.

But it was just that I grew arrogant and my own intuition had dulled ──

(I-I have to get away! I can’t win! There’s no way I can beat a monster like that!)

As she turned off the main road, the wind carrying her died down and she took refuge in a narrow, back alley. From the perspective of the average citizen, it would appear that a shadow had momentarily passed by them and disappeared a second later.

(Haa…..! Haa……! This far…..since I’ve escaped this far…..)

Sistine timidly peeked out towards the main street from her hidden spot in the back alley.

It’s okay, there’s no one……following me. I probably lost him.

After confirming that, Sistine took a short breath and let out a sigh of relief…….but at that moment.

“*Whistles!* That’s a pretty nice [Tempest Feet] ain’t it? I’ll give you a passing grade.”

The familiar, crass voice was accompanied by a *clap*, as she felt someone’s hand on her shoulder……

She was feeling something akin to her guts wanting to claw their way out of her throat…..

“W-When did…..h-how…..!?”

Stiff as a stone statute unable to move, Sistine called out to who was standing behind her.

“Ehh? Ya asking how…… did ya really think that [messing up my enemy’s [Tempest Feet] and filling them full of holes] was my type of fighting style? The hell is up with that? Ya really think a damn brat like you’s [Tempest Feet] was all that? Kyahaha!? This is just too perfect!”

I can’t move. He was able to catch up so easily. There’s nothing left for me to do. I might as well ── just die now.

That’s wrong, a more heartless and humiliating fate awaits me after this ── thoroughly trampling on and violating my dignity as a woman…….such a cruel and wretched ending.

“Aa aaa……uwaaaa……Sen….sei……save me…..”

When Sistine started to shed tears and her body violently trembled ──

“Don’t cry like that…..you still have a chance don’t you….”

Such a snakelike voice slithered into her ears as he gave a reassuring pat on her head, as if to encourage her.

“……I’ll gladly wait for you. ……Until ya exhaust all your counter spells, use everything in your arsenal, and begin to run away again ya’know?”

“….Eh…..?”

“I’ll also take it easy on ya…..with your magic powers you won’t die so easily if ya actually put in the effort. Let’s continue our game of tag a bit longer? ……..Alright?”

Sistine could instantly understand his vulgar intentions.

“J-Just to torment…..? Me…..”

“Exactly. I’m looking forward to the long-awaited pleasure time where ya ain’t gonna be able to move no longer.”

That was…..just a mere sadistic and vile action compared to outright killing her.

“Aa uu…..*sniff*….y-you’re heartless…..doing….such a thing….”

“Hyahahahaha! I’m really just a third-rate mage who can’t do anything right!? Haha…..what’s the deal about being a first-rate mage anyhow? This is more fun ain’t it!? And since I can’t be a first-rate…..being a third-rate is good enough…..right?”

It was a gross miscalculation. This person Jin, wasn’t a third-rate mage who couldn’t become a first-rate one.

But he was one who denied the title of first-rate for his own joy and pleasures.

Winning ── was completely impossible.

“Oh? What’s wrong? White-Cat-chan. If ya gonna do something then better hurry up.”

“…..Uu….uuu….”

It was inevitable. All she could do was miserably wait for her wretched end…..she understood that much.

Sistine had no choice but to desperately apply various counter spells as she stood there weeping and lamenting her fate. Black magic [Tri・Resist], black magic [Air・Screen], white magic [Body・Up]……the various counter spells she knew, she applied them again and again using all of her magic power.

And even though she had already come to terms with the fact that this was merely extending her time in hell……she had no choice but to do so.

“Ahh your preparations a-okay?”

“U-Uhm…..please….just let me go….”

Completely ignoring Sistine as she pleaded with tears in her eyes ──

“Then let’s kick this off and start with just one shot! [Zudon!]”

Being suddenly shot in her back, Sistine’s body was blown away by the thunderous impact and her body was sent tumbling in an unsightly manner onto the main street ──

 

“Ooooooooooooooooooo!”

Glenn was currently running. Running. Running. He couldn’t do anything but that currently. Nor did he have any legroom to even think about what to do. Pouring all of his magic power into [Physical・Boost] to reinforce his physical abilities, and then running as fast as he could ──

Running at such an inhuman speed where he’d leave his footprint in the concrete and afterimages behind, he turned to face Reik who was coming up on his left side and his hand turned into a haze as he fanned his revolver at a high speed.

*Bang bang bang bang bang bang!* ──  all the shots had hit Reik a moment later.

A custom-made magic gunpowder, ash powder that was used for bullets that exploded on impact. If they were used against an average human, then their torso would be shredded to pieces and their limbs blown off. It’s power was so great that Glenn was blown backwards from the recoil of firing it.

However ──

“── Too slow.”

Reik’s right hand instantly moved up, down, left, and right a countless number of times.

He eventually thrust out his closed fist towards Glenn ── and opened it up.

*Cling…..*

Six bullet heads that he’d caught scattered in every direction as he let them fall. Of course there was not a single injury to his hand.

(── Is he a monster!?)

Glenn kicked off the ground, corrected his posture and jumped again, and then once more. Trying to open up the distance.

Reik turned his left hand towards Glenn ── and recited a spell.

“[──■■■!]”

The true nature of the spell that sounded like the howling of a rabid beast to human ears was actually the words of the ancient dragons speaking directly to nature ── draconic magic. So to speak, it was the language that the ancient, wise dragons used to control natural phenomenon and cataclysmic disasters, the language of the kings of the realm of nature.

And so nature bared it’s fangs towards Glenn in accordance with Reik’s draconic magic.

A cloud suddenly covered the sky and a storm started to violently swirl around. From above a hammering rain and dancing bolts of lightning started to fall, fall, fall ──

Lightning was striking the warehouses next to Glenn one-by-one, easily blowing them to smithereens and closing in on him ──

“Shit, what the hell type of joke is thiiiiissssss!?”

While screaming out the incantation for [Force・Shield], Glenn unfolded scrolls with defensive magic etched into them and threw out defensive amulets.

The countless layers of magical defenses were torn just as easy as paper while barely sparing Glenn’s life ──

“Gyaaaa!? Just how powerful is he!? I just want to cry!”

Managing to escape from the raging lightning storm, Glenn had entered a side-alley and turned towards the back of the warehouse ──

“[──■■■■]”

But a swirling tornado suddenly rose from the ground and demolished the warehouse that was covering Glenn

“……How foolish.”

Glenn couldn’t help but stare at the rotating warehouse as it flew up into the sky in mute amazement.

No sooner than that, the storm, winds, lightning, and rain had suddenly come to a stop ──

*Roar!* But the surrounding warehouses had caught ablaze.

The ward was crumbling to ashes right before his eyes ──

“……This time it’s a wildfire you son of a bitch!?”

And so, using the warehouses as a kindling, the fire only grew thicker till it was as hot as magma and looked like a dragons tail and attacked Glenn from every direction.

“Tch──!”

He was barely able to guard against the flames by opening up countless protective scrolls. Expending all the magic power imbued in them, the scrolls began to carbonize one after another before Glenn’s eyes ──

“[──■■]”

Seeing Glenn struggle to even defend against this sea of flames, Reik once more began a chant in his draconic language ──

“Knock it the hell off already!”

Glenn reluctantly pulled out [The Fool Arcana], activating the original magic [The Fool’s World].

Even if it was the draconic language, it was still magic that intervened with the principles of the world. Unlike ordinary rune magic that altered the depths of ones’ self-conscious, this was without a doubt a technique that spoke directly to the world.

Therefore, [The Fool’s World] should’ve been able to block the draconic magic as well.

“…..As expected, you’re bringing that out.”

Having his draconic magic momentarily sealed, Reik annoyingly narrowed his eyes.

Perhaps remembering the feeling of being cheated once before.

“Heh! What the hell can your draconic language do now, you dumbass! From here out we’ll settle this with the language of fists!”

Glenn held his fists and recklessly charged towards Reik.

“Very well. ……Let us have a bout.”

Reik pulled out his sword.

A sword made of mithril and orichalcum, lined with the scales of an ancient dragon.

To Glenn who was charging like a violent wind, Reik stood there calmly ──

His sword made a distinctive sound as it cut through the air.

“Ooooooooooooooooooo!”

In response, Glenn unleashed his fist with the full weight of the momentum he’d been able to create ── or, at least pretended to ──

“…….Heh, just kidding.”

He smoothly lowered his center of gravity and kicked passed Reik’s side.

Reik’s sword suddenly struck the ground after losing its original target. A shock wave traveled along the path of his sword and was actually able to split the warehouses dozens of metras in front of him into two.

“The hell that this could be considered some type of honest bout! I’d be smashed into pieces you dumbass!”

With the pressure of the sword swirling behind him, Glenn ran away and away as fast as humanly possible ──

“Is this really the damn [Dragonization] of the Fohenheim family you shithead! I know I beat him before but how the hell did killing him work out so smoothly the first time!?”

The foolish clan was able to possess the legendary powers of the ancient dragons by discarding and exhausting people. A sturdy physique, tremendous magic power, and the language to call out to nature and control it ──

Those were the characteristics that the man named Reik = Fohenheim currently possessed. It’s as if he truly  was the very embodiment of a dragon.

(Damn it….what should I do…..? What’s a good way to fight against a powerhouse like this guy…..?)

Glenn continued to flee as he felt the dreadful aura chase after him.

Pouring all of his energy into keeping his legs and moving and thinking ──

 

── Meanwhile.

At the Fejite Security Forces, special investigations HQ.

“What the hell are you planning!? Eve = Ignite!!!”

Ronald, the director of the Security Forces, slammed both of his hands on the desk and drew closer to Eve.

“Mysterious natural disasters are happening in the southern district! A mysterious heretic mage is chasing and assaulting a young girl in the central district!? Why aren’t you taking action!? Why can’t we guide the residents to safety!? Why can’t we help that girl!? Why are you keeping the guards on standby in a totally unrelated location!? Hurry up and give us orders to sortie!”

“Even if a flock of small fry go, they’ll just pile up in a mountain of corpses. I won’t toss resources aside like that.”

Without even turning to look at Ronald, Eve continued to write a countless amount of runes on the black slate she was holding. It was a small magic computation device. Lines of runes made of light streamed across it’s black surface like a flood…..Eve’s eye’s have been restlessly trailing after it for some time now.

“If that’s the case then why aren’t you going then!? Eve-Ignite, chief of the Special Missions Annex!”

“Why should I have to go? In the first place, the one behind this matter is ──”

“Knock it the hell off! Like hell I care about your circumstances! At the very least, the girl in the central district let us ──”

“I refuse. Await further commands. No guards will abandon their post. These are your orders.”

“Like hell I’ll listen to you!”

Leaving such sharp words, Ronald turned on his heels to face the members of the task force and appealed to them.

“I’m going! What is a guard if we ignore a weeping girl being hunted down by a scoundrel!? I’m going to protect our citizens even if I’m foolishly throwing away my life! If you’re someone who wants to uphold justice and protect Fejite then come with me!!!”

“Director! I’ll go with you! Please let me go!”

“Me too! How can we permit any more tyranny in Fejite!?”

And as the guards in the room raised their arms and agreed with Ronald ──

” ── [Silence!!]”

The four walls of the conference room were suddenly set ablaze and a wall of flame blocked off the exit.

“My family’s secret art [The Seventh Garden] has already completely taken control of this building. I’ll burn whoever goes against me to cinders! I won’t even let scraps like you foolishly throw away your lives!”

“Guuuu! This cold-blooded witch….!”

The guards couldn’t help but tremble as the flames danced in front of them.

“Hmmp! Dogs shouldn’t just quietly listen to what their masters say…..!”

Letting out a snort while a faint smile escaped her lips…..

(That’s right….setting aside The Researchers of Divine Wisdom, I have to stop the man pulling the strings behind this incident……! That’s the Ignite’s…..my mission…..!)

Eve broke out in cold sweat as she anxiously commanded herself ──

 

── Why!? Do we really have to do such a thing!? Why don’t you send [The Star] to support [The Fool] and [The Empress]!? Please Father, at this rate then ──!?

── There’s no point. After all, their usefulness as pieces for us Ignites has expired.

──You only need to stop the traitor [Justice] and efficiently maximize the military gains from this battle, that’s all that matters. That was the raison d’etre of the Ignite household. If you go against it then ──

 

(That’s right….everything had already been decided at that moment last year! It’s too late for me to turn back…..! For the sake of the honor of the Ignite household…..for the Ignites…..I’ll……!)

Eve took a deep breath to suppress the rising emotions building in her and continued to think calmly.

(Jatice is cunning. He won’t be captured by ordinary means…..but he can’t help but eventually come into contact with Glenn eventually. That’s why I’m forced to put the guards on standby in the areas he’s most likely to go ── I can’t let a single one of them go!)

There’s a certain secret to the badge, that not only the Fejite city guards are compelled to wear, but all of the guards throughout the Empire as well. The truth was that badge was actual a magic device called the [Eyes of Flame] and functioned as a intelligence collection device that members of the Ignite household could use freely.

And that’s exactly the function that the computational device that Eve was operating held.

Although each badge by itself was weak, it displayed an extraordinary level of intelligence gathering and could be comparable to a mage-finding barrier when being used by the full force of the guards.

It was one of the overwhelming intelligence collection capabilities of the Ignite household that others couldn’t even begin to dream of matching, as well as being one of the driving factors behind their exemplary military gains for generation after generation. Of course, it was a highly classified secret of the Ignite household kept from the Imperial Government, The Round Table Council, and even Her Majesty the Queen; a secret [privilege] that let the Ignite’s control the Special Missions Annex and command the country’s guards since the dawn of the Empire.

This time, her father permitting her the usage of these [Eyes of Flames]……meaning that she absolutely was not allowed to fail. Eve has to absolutely, thoroughly complete the mission this time.

That’s why ── she’s severing everything unrelated to the accomplishment of the mission. That was Eve’s resolution.

(Besides…..at that time I decided to forsake Sara, it’s too late for me ──)

Despite such self-deprecation…..she still came to a clear solution. But despite that, for some reason she was still a bit anxious. Eve activated far-sight magic even while continuing to operate the black slab ──

First, she sent her magic to the warehouse ward in the southern district.

(Glenn is……… ……well….for the time being he seem’s to be fine…..)

Eve confirmed the state of the battle between Glenn and Reik, where of course Glenn was completely on defense. However, Glenn was a disciple of Bernard = Jester, the Imperial Court Mage Corps’ greatest trickster. Even if he couldn’t win he’d fight in a way where he wouldn’t lose. Whereas normal people would gain tremendous strength after training, Glenn’s forte wasn’t in straight up fighting, but in being resourceful.

(…….If Glenn’s luck runs out, then Jatice might come running along to save him……if his life is at risk then Jatice would have no choice but to publicly make a move……I’ll take advantage of that opportunity….that’s right, it won’t be a hindrance to my mission in any way……)

But despite that.

Why……am I relieved to know that Glenn is still safe.

(……Ridiculous. …..Next.)

Next, Eve sent her magic towards the central district.

(Haa….is there really such a person who’d cooperate with Glenn to fight the heretic mages of The Researchers of Divine Wisdom……how foolish……lets see what they look like, an honest blockhead carelessly crossing into our side…..hmph, you reap what you sow…..)

Just as she was thinking such things, Eve’s magic caught sight of a silver-haired girl.

“Eh!?”

Eve unusually opened her eyes wide in surprise…..and murmured with a stunned voice.

“…..Sa…..ra?”

 

“Haa….! Haa….! *sniff*….*hic hic*……[F-Ferocious thunder emperor, pay heed・and pierce with your・brilliant lance of light] ── [Pierce through]! [Pierce through!]”

Sistine weepingly cried out the incantation for [Lighting・Pierce] three times. Three bolts of lightning were sent flying from her fingertips.

“Hmm how disappointing~. Can’t you aim better?”

However, it didn’t even give a hint of grazing Jin who was jumping between the gaps between the buildings at an extreme speed.

“[Bang bang bang!]”

Jin sent three spells as he was flying through the air as if he were playing around. The three bolts of lightning flew from his fingertips and mercilessly struck Sistine’s shoulders and abdomen.

“Kyah!!? Agu!?”

Sistine was thrown back by the impact like a ball being kicked. Bouncing many times over, her delicate body tumbled down the main street.

How many times does this make it now? Sistine’s whole body was already in tatters ──

“Hmm bit much~? Sorryyy~, I ain’t too good at holding back, it’s hard ya’know.”

“*Cough cough!* Hii hiiii……s-save me….”

It was so painful that her whole body seemed to be breaking apart. It was as if a snake made of lightning electrocuted her and repulsively slithered over her body trying to devour it.

“I-It hurts…..it hurts so much…..t…his is horrible……!”

Sistine had no choice but to unsightly crawl along the ground while her body ached and her eyes wept.

“Oya? I wonder if the appetizers just about finished?”

And so, as the sounds of his footsteps stopped as he reached his destination, Jin grabbed the back of Sistine’s collar and lifted her up as if one would do with a small animal.

“…..Aaa…..uu….. ……”

Sistine’s body, devoid of any strength, languidly was held by the end of Jin’s hand.

“Hehh, ain’t it about time to enjoy the pleasure of dinner~? Mmm~?”

Her death sentence was whispered close to her ears. The disgusting feeling of his hands slipping into her skirt.

“N-Nooooooooooo!”

Sistine’s whole body flailed as she tried to escape from the clutches of Jin──

“[Gale wind!]”

She activated [Rapid・Stream] once more, and she flew from the spot and escaped from him glad in a violent wind.

“Hyahahaha…..what the hell you could still move?”

Although he was momentarily taken back, Jin let out a light laugh as he saw Sistine’s back disappear over the top of a nearby building.

“Hehehe……you really are the best! Seriously a high-class ingredient!”

Jin started to leisurely chase after Sistine with a joyous expression.

And so ──

 

“Someone help, someone help, someone help……”

In a gloomy, narrow back-alley, Sistine sat down hidden between two dumpsters holding her knees, her body trembling while she sobbed. But this kind of thing wouldn’t keep her hidden. That man would soon appear before her.

And when he does, that marks the end of the girl named Sistine.

“I don’t wanna die…..I don’t wanna die…..Sen….sei……Rumia…..Re=L….”

At her wits end, Sistine repeated the same things over and over like a broken record.

Her spirit has long since been broken. Her self-image shattered. The overwhelming difference in their strength was made clear.

And ── her hopelessness has turned to despair. For being a fifteen year-old girl, it wasn’t out of the ordinary if such an excessively hopeless reality would’ve cruelly shattered her spirits a long time ago.

That’s why at the very least, as her end drew near, as if she were clinging to her last hope…..

She reached into her pocket with a trembling hand and grabbed the communication device that was linked to Glenn…..

“Sensei…..save me…..I’m begging you…..save me…..pl…ease…”

She pushed it against her ear. Murmuring the incantation to activate it’s function. A moment later an intense sound could be heard from it ──

 

“Uoooooooooooo”

It was an ice cold hell that easily went well below freezing. A beautiful snowy-silver world in which frigid air and snow stormed and dominated the area.

If he were to stop, his lungs and blood would immediately freeze over ── that was the current state of the world fighting against Glenn as he ran away.

Running, running, running as far as he could.

Trying to think of a means of survival as he continued to run ──

“Die!”

Shaking his arm, Reik sent a great number of blocks of ice flying towards Glenn.

“Dahhhhhhhhhhhh!”

The blocks of ice chasing after Glenn exploded ── sending out deadly fragments that caused irreparable damage to the surrounding warehouses.

However, as one shot was closing in on Glenn ──

“Like I’ll let you! [O crimson lion・──]”

Glenn leaped into the air and rotated, turning his left arm behind him. And from the tip of his left hand, a countless number of steel threads cut through the air and flew out ──

Running across the incoming block of ice ──

“[In a torrent of rage・roar in madness!]”

The heat from magic [Blaze・Burst] ran along the steel threads at a tremendous speed.

In just a second ── that huge block of ice was scattered into pieces due to the extremely high heat.

“Hou?”

“Heh! Even if I don’t have much magic power, if I use it like this then my true strength is amazing! And now my steel threads are useless!”

Throwing away the glove with steel threads attached to it, Glenn once again broke into a run ──

“You really will use anything to survive….but what of it? Not a single one of your attacks will work against me!”

A furious snowstorm swirled ── and a countless number of ice fragments were hurled towards Glenn.

“Shit!?”

But he suddenly jumped behind a warehouse to shield himself. Which began to be shaved away due to the fierce impacts of the ice fragment ──

“Hahaha this is a damn hopeless situation isn’t it…..seriously, what should I do….?”

A complete about-face from when he was standing in front of Reik, Glenn’s words now had a hint of despair mixed in them…..

“Tch….what cheekiness. It’s always the case of me desperately fighting against stronger enemies….leaving that aside, think….think, how……! How I can overcome this situation and ──”

Forcing his hands into action despite them growing ever number in the cold, Glenn tried to think of a way out as he reloaded his revolver.

“…..That’s right. He’s a dragon. In other words, I should just think of how they dealt with ancient dragons….because the ancient dragons and that guy might have the same weak points…..if that’s the case then…..”

Glenn finished reloading his revolver while thinking such things and properly grasped it once again.

Racking his brains, calculating the extent of his abilities, and figuring out what he can do.

“Yossh, let’s test it out…..let’s see if he’ll fall for this trick….!”

And after preparing himself ──

“Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

While throwing out a defensive scroll and using it as a shield, Glenn leaped out from the shadows of the warehouse.

A defensive barrier that got worn down in the blink of an eye it no longer prevented the icy fragments from assaulting Glenn.

“Suicide? Even though you would’ve been fine if you just remained hidden behind the ──”

In the rampaging snowstorm, Reik calmly shifted his hand.

Blades of air were now intertwined with the raging blizzard ── as if the Kamaitachi themselves decided to make an appearance ──

(TN: Kamaitachi are monsters/yokai that are said to appear in storms and are how winds cut people)

(……I need to cast [Body・Up]! It’ll cut through my flesh ──)

As his body was mangled as he walked over the frost, blood spurted out of his body and fell to the ground, turning the pure white a deep red.

Casting a sidelong glance towards that, Glenn fired his revolver.

However, he wasn’t aiming at Reik. It was in a completely different direction.

“What!?”

His bullets weren’t made of his usual magic ash powder, but of the regular black gunpowder. He used the surrounding pillars and blocks of ice to ricochet the bullets to attack Reik from behind.

But Reik was able to dodge it without even needing to even turn his head as if he’d already seen through all of it.

“What are you thinking using such a peashooter after all this time?”

“Heh…..didn’t you just dodge those now? I saw it you know?”

Glenn declared that as he held a fearless smile and was filled self-confidence.

“Your skin is supposed to be as invincible as dragon scales, right Mr. Reik? Now why did you dodge the bullets from such a peashooter then?”

“………..”

“Did you know? Is there one even in a bastard like you? The only weak spot of the dragons that stand atop the world’s strongest beings ── their [reverse scale]! You were scared that one of those bullets could’ve hit that spot!”

(TN: Something I found about dragons on the interweb “Dragons have one scale growing in the opposite direction to all the others said to be a sensitive spot”)

Cocking the hammer of his revolver, Glenn once more pointed it towards Reik.

“I wonder what would happen if I managed to shoot it! Just one shot and it’d be my complete victory! How’s that? The match is finally about to start…..don’t you think so too?”

……..It was a complete bluff.

The strongest species, dragons, did in fact have the Achilles Heel known as the [reverse scale]. But because he was merely undergoing [Dragonization], Glenn didn’t know if the same truly applied to Reik or not.

That’s why it was a bluff.

Glenn was trying to give off the impression that he [knew] it existed. Generally people would only dodge surprise attacks from their blind spot if their weak spot was at risk, so Glenn was trying to trip Reik up with these unfounded accusations.

If, a [reverse scale] really did exist ──

At that moment, Glenn steeled his nerves and focused on Reik’s expression.

Then ── for just a second. Glenn was able to see it for just a moment ──

Standing behind the whirling snowstorm, Reik’s expression had sharpened up.

(…..Hou? Is that so….?)

Glenn chuckled as he was filled with conviction seeing that sharp expression.

It was a godsend. With Reik responding in such a way ── that meant there was a chance for him to win.

Yes ── if he just used that technique.

Still chuckling, Glenn turned his back on Reik and started to run away.

“[…….・────・~~~~~]”

He whispered a certain spell into the spare cylinder of his revolver and crammed it into his pocket ──

“I won’t let you escape, [■■!]”

Reik once again recited a spell in his draconic language to sic nature onto Glenn’s heels.

There was suddenly a great flood at that spot.

Before he could get swept away in it, Glenn kicked off the wall of a nearby warehouse and got onto the roof, once more turning his back on Reik and fleeing as he continue muttering to himself.

“Tch, I’m tired of there being such a huge power difference…..but…..giving up…..is something I refuse to dooooooooooo!”

 

Such was the cry of Glenn’s soul ──

And such a sound reverberated within Sistine’s withered soul.

“…….S-Sensei…..”

Murmuring as if she had gone senile. Little by little……the light returned to her dead eyes. She didn’t know the full extent of what Glenn was dealing with, only being able to imagine it through the sounds being transmitted through the communications.

But despite that ── facing his own hell and despair, he refused to give up and continued to fight ── the heat radiating from his soul seemed to be physically transmitted through the communication device and scorch her.

That….empowered Sistine to fight once again.

(That’s right. I only used to be able to do nothing but have regrets….but didn’t I want to save Rumia….!? Didn’t I want to become Sensei’s power….!?)

And even now, as she herself was in tears begging the other person to save her ── he was desperately fighting against an opponent absurdly stronger than himself, refusing to give up. Staking everything just to grasp onto the thin thread of victory.

If she thought about it, Sistine’s respected Glenn had always been like that.

Previously, and even now as well ── Glenn would never take a step back from [fighting for his cause] no matter how dangerous or agonizing it was.

If he had just given up, just accepted it and died, it would’ve been much easier but despite that ──

“Have I……really been doing anything up until now…..? Have I actually been fighting……?”

Have I actually exhausted myself or am I just making excuses? Did I make an actual effort?

Wasn’t I fighting with a superficial resolution after having my spirit shattered at the start?

After being taught by Glenn and desperately taking in his lessons ── can I really do nothing after confronting just a bit of genuine despair…..was all that really just worthless?

By all means ── it wasn’t.

Sistine turned off the communication magic without saying a single word to Glenn.

“At the very least…..Sensei didn’t teach me all those things for me to unsightly bawl my eyes out in such a place like this, at such a time…..!”

She rebuked her trembling knees as she used a wall of the back-alley to unsteadily bring herself to her feet. While her eyes were still wet with tears……but at the very least they didn’t have their previous dead look to them.

“Think…..Think Sistine…..! Is there really no way for me to beat him? Is it really impossible for me to get in a blow? Think harder……!?”

At long last Sistine’s usual intelligence returned to her.

First she has to calmly assess the facts and analyze the situation.

(If I want to outwit him…..I need something he doesn’t have, I need a weapon….)

As a mage ── in what way am I possibly better than Jin?

That would be ── nothing.

No matter how much I think about it, there’s nothing.

With his ability as a mage, there’s not a single aspect where I’m better.

That was the undeniable truth ──

── ordinarily it should’ve been.

(But…..if it’s now….there is one! The truth is….that man made it!)

It might’ve been something artificial….and only at this point in time, but there was a way that she could surpass Jin…. it definitely existed.

Her own strength lied in a certain magic that she’d recently learned from Glenn during their special training.

If she were to use it, then he’d ──

── It was at that time she realized it.

“Oya oya~? You ‘eally been hiding in a dump like this eh?”

Jin was standing approximately twenty metras behind Sistine with the wind dying down around his feet.

She immediately felt her heart violently throb in her chest.

“Kukukuku….ain’t it about time to end this? Gonna finally give up?”

Jin was drawing closer as he licked his lips in anticipation.

Compared to the beginning when there was a sense of alertness in his step ── now none could be felt.

(He’s…..completely off-guard….? He thinks I’m completely broken….?)

And since he was like that ── she only had one chance. There would be no redo.

(…….I might die…actually…..the possibility of me dying…..is extremely high….)

But even so….I have to do it…… I can’t step down, I can’t be afraid…..like how Glenn is.

“Ain’t that right? Ain’t ya tired of this game of cat and mouse like I am? Ain’t it time we enjoy the pleasures of dinner about now? Mmm~?”

Sistine ── had already ── made up her mind.

“[O wolf of the mountain winds・ swiftly, fiercely dash through・with me on thy back!]”

Sistine screamed out the incantation for [Rapid・Stream] in one go ──

A moment later, clad in a furious wind, she rushed towards Jin.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

“Wh-!?”

Jin who had already decided that [Sistine was soundly broken and lost the will to fight], was completely taken by surprise by this unexpected development.

However ── that didn’t mean he lost his presence of mind.

After all, this was a narrow back-alley with not much room to maneuver left or right. He could fire off spells with his eyes closed and still hit the rushing Sistine.

Jin calmly extended his finger out….

“Oi oi still wanna go…..what’a bother…. [Bang.]”

He half-heartedly recited his spell and a high-speed bolt of lightning flew straight towards Sistine.

With this, Sistine will definitely have her spirit shattered this time…..now what type of pathetic begging is she going to show me? …….Jin smiled while thinking that.

“Kuu!?”

Just before the moment of impact, Sistine’s body drifted slightly to the side ──

The flash of lightning just barely grazed her cheek and continued on its way.

“The fuck!?”

This time it was Jin who had underestimated Sistine too much.

Earlier in their first magic fight, Jin made it painstakingly clear the true difference in ability between them by rapid-firing off ten [Lightning・Pierces] in the blink of an eye ──

At the very least, the first of the ten shots was able to be negated ── Jin had already completely forgotten that Sistine had been able to see through that much at least. If he had realized that Sistine wasn’t an opponent that shouldn’t have been fought while looking down on her like prey. If he wasn’t negligent and rapid-fired ten shots here intent on bringing her down without fail ──

── The outcome of the battle might’ve been completely different.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Carried by the momentum from her charge, Sistine rammed Jin and clung to him ── and those two tumbled along the floor intertwined with each other.

“Geh!?”

The sudden impact had disrupted Jin’s breathing and left him momentarily stunned.

And ── without letting the moment pass by ──

“[O God of Wind, lose your temper ・and fervently dance・while wielding your thousand blades!]”

Sistine recited the spell she had burnt into her head as she clung to Jin.

At that moment.

The air began to make a roaring sound as it spun around those two on the ground.

“Wh-!?”

The rotating air grew until it turned into a storm, tightening around the two in it’s center and continuing to constrict them ──

“This…..this is [Shred・Tempest]……!?”

Black magic [Shred・Tempest]. It was a C-ranked military-grade wind type magic attack spell.

A spell that creates a storm on a designated location, unleashing a countless number of blades of air to shred the person trapped in its wake ── and the closer one was to the center the more powerful the blades became.

It was often appraised as a weak military-grade magic attack spell, but ──

“At the heart of an intense storm like this, you can’t cast spells that require complex vocalizations and rhythms can you!? Such a thing would be impossible!”

That’s right, with the wind swirling so violently and irregularly, all other sounds would naturally be disturbed. And a disturbed spell incantation would lead to an unpredictable discharge.

“It’s already too late for you to escape from this storm of blades!”

“Y-You dumbassssssss!? You fuckin’ insane!?”

Jin whose had a composed face since the beginning, finally was showing irritation for the first time.

“Shouldn’t you normally fire this spell at your opponent from a distance!? You’ll get caught up in it too at this point blank range ya dumbass!?”

“I’m fully aware of that! I was taught that by Sensei!”

“So what the fuck then!? At this rate ──”

Then Jin noticed.

They would die together ── is what he thought, but that was wrong. It was something different.

(She’s….devoting a decent amount of magic to defense. I let her do that…..!)

And? Himself?

(I didn’t put up any magic defense against such a damn small-fry….!?)

His whole face went pale as he realized that.

A mage of just flesh and blood and one with the protection of magic. Swallowed up in the same violent storm of blades, which one would fall first?

That answer to that ── was already set in stone.

“That’s right…I can’t hit you with any attack spells…..or run away…..or dodge your attacks…..! Then this way is the only option left!”

“T-That’s what you’re planning!? U-Uooooo!? L-Let go! God damn it fuck offffffff!”

“Agu!? *cough*!? So annoying….letting you go…..like hell I willlllllll!”

Losing his presence of mind, Jin pounded his elbow into the back of Sistine who was clinging to him; but instead of letting go Sistine only clutched him harder as she poured even more magic into [Shred・Tempest].

And the storm’s sharp blades finally began to mercilessly carve into the two ──

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaa!?”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!?”

Their two screams overlapped with one another before disappearing into the raging storm.

The splashes of blood began to dance in the wind.

The blades of wind excessively carved up the bodies of the two present.

A countless number of slashes could be seen appearing at a merciless rate ──

── But.

As expected, Sistine’s wounds were shallow while Jin’s were considerably deep. The difference from her multi-layered magic defense was made obviously clear here.

“Ughya!? This hurts!? God damn itttttttt!? T-This small fry……me!? Uooooooooooo!?”

And in the end ──

When the spell had run its course, and the wind came to a stop…..silence was finally present.

And there…..

“Gehh! *cough!?* gaa…..haa….haa….! Bullshit…..!”

Jin’s bloodstained body fell flat on that ground covered in slashes……

“……Haa….haa….kuu…..! That hurt….”

With a similarly tattered body, hesitantly standing while swaying from side to side…..was the figure of Sistine looking down on such a Jin.

Her clothes torn to pieces and a large portion of her wounded skin was exposed, as she was now she was just a step shy from being naked ── but despite that Sistine was still standing.

“Haa….! Haa…….! What do you know…..if I put my mind to it…..I can actually do it…..!”

The winner and the loser ── it was clear to see whose who.

Nonetheless, it was a narrow victory. If she didn’t have the layers of magic defense, or if Jin wasn’t so careless…..Sistine would’ve been dead. Even with taking his carelessness into consideration, it was still a gamble if he’d rapid-fire his lightning attack or not as she charged him.

(But…..I did my best with all the cards I held…..this is good enough right? Sensei….)

Sistine muttered her true feelings somewhat proudly.

“Shit! Shit shit shit shit! I can’t move my body….! Me of all people…..Meeeeeee!? Lost to this small fryyyyyyyy!?”

Jin crawled along the ground like a half-crushed cockroach…..

And eventually.

“Chi……I’ll kill you….! You piece of shit cat….”

He said that while letting out a bloodthirsty smile.

“!?”

“Ain’t like it matters, I’ll be back….I’ll just save again heh….Hyaha hahahahaha…..”

(…..Save? ……Be back?)

She didn’t understand the meaning behind his words. But despite not understanding……

(TN: Written using the word for preserving/saving something to disk but read as saved, hence why she didn’t understand it)

“Hey……kill me….fuckin’ kill me already…..!? You’re the damn victor….! Ain’t that the privilege of winning…..!”

Killing another person.

Even if the opponent was an irremediable villain…. doing such a thing……

“──!”

Was something that wasn’t part of who she was.

Fighting leads to such an act…..Sistine broke into a cold sweat and was as stiff as a statute going over that reality time and time again in her head.

“Heh…..naive…..ain’t you naive…..but…..that’s a fatal mistake.”

Suddenly, Jin’s arm which shouldn’t have been able to move anymore, shot up…..

The aim of his fingertip was set towards Sistine.

“If you’d just ‘ve obediently killed me then it’d been your complete victory….!”

“──!?”

Sistine’s body was dominated by the feeling as if she were drowning in icy waters.

“You really think I wasn’t able to move? What a pity…..I’ve had my self-healing ability augmented…… even this much is fine after a bit….!”

“I-Imposs…..ible….”

Reversing her victory, freeing himself from the chains of despair, robbing Sistine of her piece of mind…..

“Die! Piece of shit cat! [Ban─]”

As a deadly flash of lightning grew on Jin’s fingertips ── it was at that time.

*Roar!*

A sudden deep-crimson flame pierced through the sky and enveloped him.

“Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

The blazing flames burned even through his agonizing death cry.

In the blink of an eye ── even Jin’s ashes were beautifully annihilated from this world.

“…..What? Was that……”

While Sistine stood there blinking her eyes…..

“Not much of a finisher are you. ……Well saying that to a child like you, it can’t be helped…..”

A cold, dignified voice resounded in her ears from somewhere.

At the edge of her vision, she could see the beautiful hair of someone, the color of burning flames…..almost as if she could feel it.

“But…well you did your best. …..I’ll praise you for the time being.”

Sistine looked around trying to find the owner of the voice when.

She suddenly felt feeling of violent shakes.

(A-Ah…? I…somethings….wrong…..with….?)

As the strength suddenly fled from Sistine’s body, the world started to turn, and she started to black out.

She couldn’t help but fall to her knees…..

When somebody’s slender arms suddenly caught a hold of her.

“Don’t fret. Your battle is over…..go to sleep now.”

(TN: Battle could be written as combat promotion, but it’s read as battle)

She still had her cold voice, but it kind of felt like a gentle lullaby.

Listening to it till the end ──

As her consciousness was completely buried in the veil of darkness ──

 

This battle of his was if she stood against nature itself.

At last reaching its climax.

“Haa….! Haa….! Haa….!”

On one hand there was Glenn currently covered in wounds and finding it difficult to even stand.

“……….”

And on the other was Reik standing there unharmed, overflowing with his usual overwhelming aura.

It was coming to a point where the winner and loser was about to be decided.

“Magnificent, Glenn = Radars.”

Reik gave his honest praise for Glenn.

“How admirable that by using various trick and wielding various toys, you’re trying to desperately fill the gap between us. But it’s truly unfortunate. …….It seems my strength is still a cut above you.”

“…..What did you say?”

Glenn knit his eyebrows in confusion as Reik declared his death sentence.

“You seemed to have been fighting me as one would a dragon, frantically searching for my [reverse scale]….. but I don’t have such a thing.”

“………!?”

Glenn’s eyes flew wide open after hearing Reik’s words.

“The [reverse scale] is weak point that arises due to the physical makeup of dragons. It has nothing to do with humans. You’ve misread it. I’ve seen through your plan since the beginning and been using it to my advantage. You were merely wasting your precious resources looking for a non-existent weak point.”

But in contrast to what he was previously saying……

“However…..I have the utmost respect for you. You gave me a glimpse into the world I have my eyes on…..”

“……I already knew that.”

The side of Glenn’s lips suddenly raised until it turned into a broad smile.

“……What did you say?”

This time, the one saying that was Reik with narrowed eyes.

“Ha? You don’t have a damn [reverse scale]? I’d already knew that from the start…..I was trying to figure out the origin of your curse…..”

*Kukuku….* Glenn’s shoulders started to shake as he let out a laugh.

“[Project:  Revive Life]…..it’s still almost impossible to believe that’s how you came back…..but that’s how isn’t it? I mean it had to be that ── right?”

“………..”

“The body, the spirit, and the soul……by producing each component separately and then putting them together, one is able to make a perfect copy of a person before they died….. if that’s the case you’d have the same abilities and personality, but you’d essentially be a different person from the Reik I fought last time.”

“……What of it? I’m well aware of that, if you’re trying to fluster me then ──”

“If that’s the case. …..Then where did your [Dragonization] come from?”

Reik glared at Glenn as if his words pricked his heart.

“Isn’t it a bit strange? Your body and soul is freshly made with new materials isn’t it? If your [curse] was bound to those, shouldn’t it have disappeared during your resurrection…..”

“…………”

“But your [Dragonization] still remains…..then the answer is simple….. your [Dragonization] is a curse bound to your spirit…..it’s data added to it. Therefore, this copy of your spirit── it’s inherited the curse of [Dragonization] because it copied the complete astral・code ──”

“……….”

“Did you know? It seems there’s a horrifying monster called an [oni] in the East. However, it seems that it was originally a human. It’s when a human’s spirituality distorts after falling to carnage and their body is changed to a grotesque looking one. Doesn’t that seem pretty similar to your own damn [Dragonization]…..”

“……..What are you trying to say? Discerning the true form of [Dragonization] from the small details ── it’s a praiseworthy act revealing the secret behind the Fohenheim household, but what of it?”

“Well what I’m trying to say is that…..it’s a curse bound to the spirit, then if it’s one that eats away at the spirit ──”

Reik’s eyes flew wide open in surprise at that moment.

Glenn had pulled out [The Fool’s Arcana] ── and thrust it before himself.

He once again activated the original magic [The Fool’s World] ── a magic that suppressed all other magic in the surrounding area.

“There’s a couple different things that this can do…..”

“Pulling out [The Fool’s World] now…..? It couldn’t be you’re ──!?”

“Come. Let’s see which is faster….this’ll be game point.”

Glenn fearlessly declared such a thing ── and a moment later.

“Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

Reik who had already guessed everything, howled as he rushed towards Glenn. Enhanced by the dragon’s natural ability, his body was moving so fast that it blurred.

With his [dragon’s scale sword] in toe that could tear everything asunder.

The tip of the sword slashed through the air at an inhuman speed and headed towards Glenn.

“───!”

Glenn immediately turned to try to dodge it.

In his hand was his [magic revolver, Penetrator].

The muzzle was closing in on Reik ──

A moment later a glint from a sword flashed as it moved in a decapitating crescent arc throughout the air.

And in the same moment the sound of a gunshot exploded throughout the air.

And the next moment Reik and Glenn had crossed each other.

“…………”

“………..”

Silence and stillness dominated the air between them.

They continued to stand back to back from one another with only a few metras between them ──

── Before long.

*Paa!* A large amount of blood sprayed out from Glenn’s left haft, causing him to fall to his knees…..

Alas, it seems that everything had been decided…..anyone whose watching would naturally assume so…..

But at that time.

The [dragon’s scaled sword] made a noise as it spun violently through the air, eventually piercing through the ground as it landed ──

And then blood began to quickly flow out of the corner of Reik’s mouth.

“It’s your victory…..Glenn = Radars.”

Looking carefully…..the left portion of Reik’s chest was hollowed out by a bullet.

Having a body of a dragon which boasted of absolute strength ── but he had his heart pierced by a mere lead ball.

Right there was an impossible reality.

“…….White magic [Mind・Up]……an enchanted bullet that reinforces one’s mental strength…..”

Reik saw through the true identity of the attack as the threads of life slipped through his hands, letting out a breath of admiration.

“Firing that and increasing the strength of my spirit huh……”

“That’s right…..since it’s a curse bound to your spirit, if I strengthen that then it’ll weaken the curse……your renown dragon’s skin would become soft…..it’s a pretty straightforward plan wasn’t it?”

“……What nonsense.”

Glenn might’ve said it was simple, but it certainty wasn’t.

The [Dragonization] was originally an exceptionally powerful curse.

With the impromptu enchantment of [Mind・Up], the curse would’ve only been weakened for a moment ── a fraction of a second. It’d be unthinkable of being able to use that to one’s advantage…..normally that is.

However, Glenn made that possible with his transcendental gunmanship ability.

Triple shot.

Cocking the hammer with his right thumb and firing his first shot, then using his left and the right thumb once more while fanning the hammer and firing two more shots ── an ultra-high speed technique where he’s able to fire off three shots in the blink of an eye.

Perfecting this technique to the extreme, Glenn used the first two bullets to weaken the curse and pierce through Reik, and used the last shot to send the sword that was threatening his life flying ──

Flexible enough thinking to discern his enemy’s true form, the creativity to outwit him, and the skill and courage to actually execute his idea ──

“The only person in this world who could’ve pulled that off was you.”

“Much obliged.”

“I see….you’ve been pretending to aim for the reverse scale this whole time…..but you were actually trying to figure out……figure out how effective that [Mind・Up] enchanted bullet would be against me.”

“……My bad for being so crafty.”

And so.

Reik fell to his knees, vomited blood, and said.

“…….Use the [Eve = Kaizuru chemical bullet] Glenn = Radars…..”

“──!?”

“Imperial Court Mage Court Special Missions Annex, Operative #0 [The Fool]….if you were to speak of him…..there’d be his original magic [The Fool’s World] of course, but there’s also the [Eve = Kaizuru chemical bullet] ….it’s impossible to remove…..and undoubtedly your trump card….”

As soon as Reik said that, Glenn’s expression had immediately became grim.

“*Cough*…..to put it bluntly…..you’re strong Glenn = Radars.”

“Haha…..you’re speaking too highly of a third-rate mage like me.”

“……..I surpassed you in physical ability. I surpassed you in magic capacity. And I also surpassed you in magic ability. There’s not a single aspect where I’m inferior to you as a mage, and there’s not a single aspect where you’re superior to me. However ── despite all that you still beat me.”

“…………”

“What else…. can I do but call this person [strong?”

Glenn…..remained silent.

His face betrayed no emotions, but yet he still seemed somewhat shameful….. such was the complex look he had.

“Use the [Eve = Kaizuru chemical bullet] Glenn = Radars…..put in a serious effort. This might be my end…..but for the subsequent me…..show me even more of the world…..!”

Leaving those words behind….Reik’s knee gave out and he collapsed. Submerged in his own puddle of blood…..his life finally came to an end.

Glenn didn’t move an inch for awhile, almost as if he were a stone cold statute…….

Eventually, talking to no one in particular, he muttered.

“Use the [Eve = Kaizuru chemical bullet] huh……don’t go saying things of your own accord, you piece of shit…..”

It sounded more like self-deprecation than it did chastising Reik.

However he couldn’t spend too much time soaking in such sentimentality. Glenn unsteadily got to his feet, reached into his pocket, and took out the communication device paired with Sistine’s.

“…..Oi White-Cat. ……I’m somehow still breathing.”

But no matter how many times he called out…..

“White-Cat…..?”

…….there was not a single response from Sistine.

“Oi White-Cat. White-Cat are you listening….? White-Cat…..”

And, finally thinking of that possibility ── chills ran down Glenn’s back.

(Why…..I….I thought I was the only one being targeted….!?)

If he was targeted by the enemy.

Then it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to say that Sistine was also being targeted.

Facing such an overwhelming opponent that took so much effort that he couldn’t even catch his breath, Glenn had completed glossed over the fact that such a possibility existed.

“Oi White-Cat! Respond to me!? Respond!? White-Cat! God damn it!”

Wishful thinking was dangerous. Something had happened to Sistine without a doubt. Glenn was convinced of such a thing.

“I knew it…..she shouldn’t have gotten involved! I knew that but….!”

The memory of watching the woman he once loved lose her life right before his eyes forcibly resurfaced in Glenn’s mind. With a worst case premonition in mind, Glenn started to break out into a run towards the central district in a panic.

“Damn it…..I’m begging you….! Please be safe Sistine!”

And…..it was at that time.

“…..Don’t worry Glenn.”

A familiar jarring voice suddenly penetrated Glenn’s ears. But unlike how he’s heard it recently, this time it wasn’t through the communications device.

“Aren’t you just a bit too overprotective…..Sistine will surely overcome that level of a trial…..that’s what [I’ve predicted] at least….”

“What!?”

As his footsteps rung out, a single man came out from a gap between the partially destroyed warehouses.

“But the ending was something [I couldn’t really predict]. Who would’ve thought that she’d have come out. Well thanks to that she ultimately saved me the effort of having to go protect Sistine…..”

And next to the man who was saying whatever he pleased…..

“S-Sensei……”

Was the should’ve been kidnapee ── Rumia standing there with a crying expression.

“…..Thank goodness….you’re really……safe…..”

After seeing Rumia standing there ── Glenn instinctively moved.

“Jaticeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Pulling out a whip that had a far longer reach than his bare body, Glenn snapped it and let it loose towards Jatice.

“Woah there.”

Jatice nimbly jumped back dodging it and landed on a half-demolished warehouse.

“S-Sensei!?”

“Stand back Rumia!”

Glenn got in a position to guard Rumia behind him and warily faced off against Jatice standing in front of him.

“Hahaha isn’t that a suddenly excessive greeting, Glenn…..”

Jatice let out a warped laughter as he trembled with perverted delight.

Glenn was already feeling a sense of disgust.

“Compared to your usual damn hobby of sneaking around in the shadows you’ve made an awfully early appearance this time huh….?”

“That’s right….I originally had no intentions of making contact with you…..after all that exceedingly bothersome woman has eyes all over.”

“….You said….that woman?”

“However….speaking of her, she did something [I couldn’t really predict]……since it was so unexpected of her I thought it might be a good chance. I decided to use this opportunity without any reservations. Well it’s all thanks to her, Glenn. ……Your task is now over.”

“Tch…..I don’t get what you’re saying at all ── but that doesn’t matter!”

Glenn swung his arm in anger.

“You bastard……are you targeting me for some ambiguous  reason once again? Are you aiming at exhausting me by having me do all these strange tasks? …….Is that it? Then let’s settle this once and for all here!”

Jatice is strong. His strength might’ve been different from Celica, Albert, or Reik; but Jatice definitely belonged to the strongest class of mages in the world.

But even he couldn’t brush aside this storm of sparks. Burning with fury, Glenn hardened his resolve.

“….Don’t look down on me Glenn.”

Jatice said that while looking just a bit disheartened.

“Do you seriously think that I, me of all people, would try to tire you out and then launch a cowardly sneak attack? ……..Aahh that saddens me.”

“…..Haa?”

And Jatice’s one person skit unfolded overhead. He eloquently narrated his feelings accompanied by extravagant gestures.

“And in the first place! I wouldn’t dare to enact our conclusion on this worthless, farce of a stage! When we have our showdown it will certainly be in a more appropriate time on a grand stage! Isn’t that right!?”

Isn’t that right? He said, but he couldn’t read the room…..

“I know, I get it Glenn. Your justice and my justice…..which one’s superior, I know you want to see which is evil and which is right. Well I’m of course superior…..but don’t be in such a rush Glenn. It’s not time for that yet……in the meantime, I’ll wholeheartedly prepare the finest stage for our long-awaited final fight…..please wait until then.”

It was evident that Jatice had no interest in fighting Glenn this time.

“If that’s the case what are you aiming at? …….Kidnapping Rumia, making me do your bidding…..what the hell are you scheming…..!?”

“Isn’t it obvious ── the [execution of justice].”

Full of confidence, giving off an opposing air, and puffing out his chest with pride, Jatice responded grandly.

…….As usual, he was a man without reserve.

“Glenn this is the truth. Are you listening? Right now Fejite is on the verge of destruction.”

“….What was that? Verge of destruction…..?”

“Someone has to put a stop to it…..if no one does then this city of Fejite will be erased from the map and all of its inhabitants will die…..right now it’s at a critical juncture.”

Jatice let out a smile towards the astonished Glenn.

“Glenn…..as an [executor of justice] I want to put a stop to this…..kukuku…..won’t you lend me your power?”

It was impossible to predict Jatice’s true motive from his hell-stained eyes.

Got a few things I wanna talk about.
First: When I put a tn note saying written as/read as. Basically what the author does sometimes is use a combination of kanji (the Chinese characters) that isn’t a word, but then writes what word/what pronunciation they want above it. So the author wrote Sistine’s “battle” as combat promotion, but he made a little footnote saying that it’s should be pronounced battle. Most of the time I’ll use the reading and just make a footnote of the writing, but other times I’ll use the writing if it makes more sense/sounds better. Like I think [Tempest Foot] is read as [Storm], but that sounds eh so….eh.
Second: Soul and spirit seem similar, but one philosophical argument that is backed by what is said in the book is the spirit is an eternal component that holds the “data” of a person and connects them to a higher being, while the soul is a physical component that connects the spirit to the body.
Third: Forgot what I was gonna say will edit it later if I remember. I remember, Glenn’s new trump card’s name is subject to change. I have limited context on it from the Japanese wiki, and when the author wrote it he didn’t write how it should be pronounced. It was written with the characters for sphere (玉) and medicine (薬), but the sphere Kanji has an alternate definition of bullet and the medicine Kanji could be considered to have an alternate definition of chemical. So for now I’m going with chemical bullet, who knows it could be considered medicinal bullet, or something totally different. Will let ya know.
Anyways hope y’all enjoyed the chapter, halfway through the book I think.

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Nienna

    Hurray, thank you so much for the new chapter!

  2. Sid

    Thanks a lot for the chapter! this chapter was the best one yet! Keep up the great work!

    1. ProBro

      Yeah, at least since volume 8

  3. Hermit

    Yeeeeeaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!! That’s what I’m talking about. Thanks so much for the translation. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Looking forward to your next chapter. Hope you are doing well also!!

  4. notREDJIVE

    thx for the chpter
    how many chapter does vol 9 have?

    1. Mythical

      I think it was 6 + epilogue, but could be 7 + epi.

      1. Sebcjm

        When will come the chapter 4 of the volume 9?

        Thank you for your work

  5. Black_Zero

    I am Russian.
    Tell me which volume will be final?

    1. Mythical

      I think they’re still releasing.

  6. Kai974

    Thank you so much!

  7. James

    wow what a chapter. Lots of action and twists

  8. solidsnook

    Thanks for el chapo, in curious to know how many people know about Sara in the novels?

    1. Mythical

      I can’t say for sure, but I’d think at least the former/current mage corps members, Celica, Queen, maybe some members of the divine wisdom group. That’s just conjuncture on my part though.

  9. Anjail

    Thanks for the chapter!

    I wonder if they mean that Glenn’s love for Sara was platonic or romantic?

    1. Mythical

      So I’m not a Japanese expert, I still have trouble with nuances between similar words. But there is multiple words for love; in this context they used 愛 (ai) which is the general term for love vs 恋 (koi) which is explicitly used for romantic relations. Then on various forums there’s discussions such as ai is an unconditional love targeted at someone where as koi is a more self-centered love so like “I love you” vs “I fell in love with you”. But I’m pretty sure it’s romantic just from things I’ve read ahead on, haven’t read enough where it outright confirms it but it seems like it.

  10. Lorwus

    Thanks you 😀

  11. Nata Rizky

    Ty for translate 🙂

  12. Molander

    Now 17 volume the last announced. Hi countryman.

  13. Filth

    Thank you very much for your hard work

  14. Rencu93

    Can you write about Glen’s tools (needles, magic bullets, special glove and other stuff)? How he chanting while fighting? (Was showed in anime, not sure that it was correct adaptation). He use for this special magic clothe or accessory? If not why he dressed like this? Waiting for translate of volume 5 is too long (>_<).

    1. Mythical

      So there’s not much to say about the tools, it didn’t go too much in depth about them. As how he can chant and fight? He was in an elite unit and he’s dressed like this cause it’s the mage corps uniform Jatice prepared for him.

  15. Davy

    If anyone can answer my question. At this point in the book, does this mean they have confirmed that Celica Is dead or they think she’s dead by the clue of her burnt clothes, or is she just MIA.

    1. Mythical

      I’m not gonna say anything but just a reminder to please keep the comments spoiler free and only discuss what’s been mentioned so far. Thank you

      1. Davy

        Sorry I didn’t mean to but I was wondering this because this was something that was confusing (for me personally) from the last chapter (something that’s already been mentioned beforehand). I was just wondering because anyone who’s on this chapter I would assume has read the ones before.

        1. Mythical

          Oh no you did nothing wrong, but there are people who either read summaries or know spoilers from father ahead so I don’t want anyone to respond to and say like “Oh she’s still alive and appears in the next books” or “No she’s dead they have her funeral later on.” I think the author intended for the ambiguity that way it’s more of a shock for the readers and the characters.

  16. Davy

    Haha, Yeah that’s what I was thinking. It did seem kind of left at a blank, looking forward to the next chapter. Thanks for your work.

    1. Sid

      imo if she really were dead , they would’ve at least acknowledged it in someway , it just kinda went on without even properly addressing it

  17. Sebcjm

    I love Akashic records.
    I wait impatiently the next.

  18. Sebcjm

    Thank you for this chapter

  19. Kisaragi

    Next chapter please hurry up!!!!

    1. zyncify

      it looks like a 15 day per chapt, you can probably expect it in about a few days, he’s doing it out of his free time so be chill

      1. Mythical

        [Thumb up emoji]

        1. Sebcjm

          When will come the chapter 4 of the volume 9?

          Thank you for your work

          1. Mythical

            It’s been out.

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