Chapter 1 Amendment of the Ritsuryo
(TN: The chapter title is either like way/status/law or what’s listed above. Too long to explain but the Ritsuryo is just a set of laws in ancient Japan based on some Chinese philosophies. Either way idk)
While confronting the demon who seemed to have an endless supply of darkness coating him.
(Tch….but in all actuality….what should I do? How do I fight against that?)
Glenn frantically analyzed the hopeless battle situation.
(What’s left in my arsenal is…..two protection talisman, three needles, one flash stone, one spare cylinder with six normal bullets, and being on the verge of magic exhaustion…..I’ve reached my physical limits too after fighting battle after battle…..)
And then he glanced at the demon who was formerly known as Lazar.
(On the other hand, that bastard…..no matter how I look at it he’s an embodiment of pure strength……)
But his worries were not limited to just that.
(That’s right…..his [Angel’s Shield] is still going strong……that shield’s absolute defense…..thanks to Celica I know how to deal with it but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a nuisance……besides, it’s not just his shield that causes trouble but his spear is pretty dangerous too…..)
Glenn dug up knowledge from his time in the military as he watched the spear-carrying demon.
(That spear is…..is without a doubt the [Holy Sword] belonging to the Church of St. Elizares’ Knight Order. A technique that transforms one’s own magic power into a slashing ray of light and fires it….a ritualistic sword that allows one to use [Force・Saber]…..depending on who it’s wielder is, it can be considered the strongest weapon in the world…..)
If that Lazar was the genuine Lazar of the six heros, then that would be [The Sword Princess’s] beloved spear [The Holy Spear Rokitalia] ── the most famous masterpiece of the holy sword series.
[The Holy Spear Rokitallia] paired with his [Angel’s Shield]. Both were ritualistic tools made by sages of the ancient.
(I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of power that demon could bring out if he infused his magic into them….if I try to face him head on there’s not even a single chance for me to win….!)
Then, what should I do?
(Anyways….first I need Celica’s sword in order to break through the shield….)
Glenn was desperately thinking of how to defeat the demon supported by the strongest shield and spear. When suddenly a metallic crushing sound resounded out through the area.
Looking carefully…..the demon was crushing the [Holy Spear Rokitalia] along with the [Angel’s Shield]. The legendary ritualistic tools were shattered into pieces and their remains scattered with the wind. Glenn stood stunned for a while as he burned the scene of the brilliant debris into his mind……
“….Are you a dumbass.”
And before long he was murmuring in astonishment.
“Breaking some of the highest class equipment in the world…..what do you think you’re doing? …… Are you even sane?”
[Hah, saying such foolish things.]
[What meaning is there in wielding armaments weaker than myself?]
The demon replied as if he were simply stating the sky were blue.
[There is no need for fangs sharpened by such a fool. I am [The Horseback General] Acero = Hierro. I myself am the strongest weapon, the strongest shield in the world.]
And while Glenn stood there breathless and in a daze hearing the demon’s response……
“….You’re just bluffing.”
He eventually snorted his nose. But that was all he could do. Deep down, Glenn knew that the demon’s words held no falsehoods to them. But if he were to admit that ── then he couldn’t help but fall into despair.
Did you know, there’s a story of a [box] that seals all of the despair in the world and one day a certain sinful woman opened that box. The [box] vomited out all of its despair which tormented all of the people across the lands…….but despite all that despair, it’s said that a single hope remained at the bottom of this [box]. But in all actuality, what remained was not hope, but the despair of [knowing everything]. It was because of the fact that it remained in the [box] that it paradoxically became known as [hope]. Precisely because they remain ignorant and oblivious is why people can still grasp onto hope. And that is why Glenn stopped trying to look down into the depths of the [box]…..
“Don’t make light of me you bastard….!”
He kicked off the ground and rushed towards the demon at a tremendous speed. Pouring all of his magic into [Physical・Boost]. Glenn’s figure turned to a haze as his body was strengthened to the point of his bones creaking.
A feint. He suddenly jumped ninety-degrees right in the middle of his charge ──
Glenn held out his revolver as he began to continuously strafe. Six bullets were fired and hit the demon’s limbs with unparalleled accuracy ──
The very next moment the world turned to an incandescence white. At the same time that he fired his last shot Glenn ignited a flash stone. He immediately got behind the demon using that as a distraction and started to recite a spell.
“[O primordial powers・dwelling in my weapon・illuminate your brilliance!]”
Black magic [Weapon・Enchantment] ── a spell to reinforce one’s armaments. Glenn poured his remaining magic power into his right hand, strengthening it to be stronger than steel. His right hand shone radiantly filled to the brim of magic. And then he thrust that hand aiming to pierce through the demon from behind.
(Ha! Turned out to be a mistake to throw away that shield!)
Glenn confirmed it beforehand using his mana-detection ── this demon didn’t have any magic defenses prepared.
With it being like that── he’d pierce through.
Eat shit and die you asshole. As Glenn was thinking such thoughts and when his fingertips cut through the air and contacted the demon’s body ──
A disgusting sound echoed out as Glenn’s knifehand sunk into his flesh. Was how it looked from afar. It was unmistakable.
But despite that ──
“Gu ── Aaaaaa!?”
Glenn was sent flying backwards as if he had been repelled by a force field. Fresh blood sprinkled onto the earth as his shoes skidded across the ground until he returned close to Rumia’s side.
Glenn’s right hand could be seen hanging listlessly, completely crushed. The bones were fractured in a revolting manner, the flesh torn, and blood was pouring out. His hand was practically ripped to shreds while the demon’s body remained unharmed.
“S-Sensei!? Are you okay!?”
Rumia rushed towards Glenn’s side in a panic and started to cast a healing spell on him ── but this wasn’t a wound that could be healed so quickly.
“Dammit, so hard….!? What the hell is that bastard made of…..!?”
He wasn’t one to boast, but a knifehand strengthened by [Weapon・Enchantment] was one of Glenn’s trump cards ── able to even easily pierce through plate armor. For Glenn whose forte was in CQC, the Imperial Army Hand-to-Hand Combat Arts was something he literally knew like the back of his hand. Although he couldn’t bypass Reik’s Dragonization earlier, he still managed to not outright lose to him in CQC.
[What’s wrong? Are you finished already? Glenn = Radars. If you’re already finished then I shall go receive Rumia = Tingel’s life.]
The demon hadn’t even moved a muscle. It just stood there calmly. It’s not even necessary to move to deal with the likes of you ── is what the aura oozing out of him seemed to say.
“It’s fine just stand back! Rumia!”
Glenn walked forward after shaking off Rumia’s feeble attempt at stopping him.
(But what should I do…..? I’m running out of weapons to use….!?)
Glenn hesitated with indecision while trying to endure the hellish pain in his right hand.
“…My bad Glenn. I’m a bit late.”
“Nn, we’ll be fighting from here on out. Escape with Rumia.”
Celica and Re=L.
“Tch, I didn’t expect to lose myself to that extent….!”
“Well, you can leave the rest to us.”
Halley and Baron Zest.
The four who had remained frozen in shock had finally returned to the battle and surrounded the demon. It wasn’t just that.
Three new figures had suddenly appeared from above with a gust of wind.
“Hohoou!? What an interesting fella!?”
The Imperial Court Mage Corps Special Missions Annex Bernard [The Hermit] and Christoph [The Hierophant].
“…Sorry we’re late.”
Albert [The Star], had arrived at the eleventh hour.
“Old man!? Christoph!? Albert!? You guys are here!?”
Albert was as apathetic as ever, but nothing was more reliable than seeing the back of his figure in this situation.
“Everyone here at the Magic Academy! We’re from the Imperial Army…..we’re allies! We understand the situation. It might be sudden but we need to work together!”
“Ohh it’s been too long Glenn-boi and Celica-chan! You guys okay!?”
The Special Missions Annex quickly dispersed and readied themselves to attack. The others began to silently coordinate, thankful for this lucky gust of wind.
(T-The hell…..I thought I was about to be done in but now….)
At that moment Glenn was breathing a sigh of relief. Celica, Re=L, Halley, Zest, Bernard, Christoph, Albert. An overwhelming force had assembled to deal with this one demon before he’d even noticed. There couldn’t be anyone who could possibly defeat this dream lineup. Glenn stopped looking at the bottom of the box. Forcibly ignoring the sense of despair hiding within his chest.
(Win….win….they’ll absolutely win….!)
Glenn was thinking so as he held his breath watching Celica and the others wait for the chance to strike the demon….when.
And with a *whoosh*. The wind frolicked within her silver hair as yet another rushed in front of Glenn.
“W-What in the world is going on!? What’s happening this time!?”
It was none other than Sistine.
It seems that she had noticed the abnormal situation unfolding in the sky above the academy and rushed here with [Tempest Feet], pouring what little magic she recovered into it.
“Yo, White-Cat. Rushing to get front-row seats huh?”
Glenn grinned and let out a smile seeing the overwhelming difference in power.
“Yeah, right now everyone is about to beat the hell out of the mastermind behind this incident.”
“Umm….even though you’re calling it the mastermind, I don’t really get it…..”
Sistine looked troubled seeing the Celica and the others surround the demon and murmured.
“I-Isn’t this….an awfully overpowered line-up…..?”
“Right? Hahaha seeing this makes you feel a bit bad for the other guy.”
Glenn appeared to be in a joking mood as he shrugged his shoulders with a smile on his face.
“….Can they win though?”
Such were Sistine’s anxiety-filled words. Glenn’s excitement was dampened as if someone dumped a bucket of icy water on him.
“Isn’t that…..the [Ship of Flames] in the sky….? It appeared in Loran = Ertoria’s fairy tale [The Magician of Melgalius]…..meaning that the demon everyone is surrounding…..is a Demon General? Isn’t he the same type of being as the Demon General of [The Gleaming Blades] Arle Quin that we encountered at the Taum Observatory that one time?”
Silence. Glenn kept quiet.
“If it’s the [Ship of Flames]…. then that means [The Iron Horseback General] Acero = Hierro is here right?”
Sistine mercilessly peeked into the [box] that Glenn willed so hard to close.
“If that’s the case…..then that means we have no chance of winning!? After all, even the hero of the story, [The Mage of Justice]…..couldn’t beat Acero = Hierro in the end right!?”
Sistine’s frightening words made Glenn finally look down into the depths of the [box].
That’s right ── right now he forcibly made aware of it ── that the only thing left was despair.
“….White-Cat. I want to hear it straight from your mouth…..in the story that Acero = Hierro was in…..his most distinctive ability…..what was it?”
Glenn clenched his remaining left fist.
“That…..I want to believe it’s just a mistake in my memory but….please….tell me…..his ability…..what was it!?”
“U-Uhh…..according to the story Acero = Hierro….his body is….”
The moment that Sistine was about to finish her sentence.
Celica kicked off the ground and rushed forward after finding an opportunity in their glare-off. She closed in on the demon at a god-like speed. She held the [Mithril Sword] ── the most prized weapon wielded by one of the six heros, [The Sword Princess] Eliete. Compared to regular steel, mithril was a special metal that held the property of interfering with all forms of magic. Additionally, Celica possessed Eliete’s, whose hailed as the strongest swordsmen in history, sword technique by using the alternate white magic [Road・Experience].
The strongest sword paired with the strongest sword technique. There’s nothing in the world that she couldn’t cut using these tools. Celica brought her sword down onto the demon’s head as she dashed through the vacuum ──
The very next moment a dry metallic clank reverberated out. Everyone doubted the scene before their eyes.
Celica who passed by the demon as she remained on guard, had noticed it. The posture of her right hand holding the sword…..was strange.
Taking a look down she could see the upper half of the blade is non-existent. It was less than half its original length. The next moment something glimmered as it rotated violently through the air until it finally struck the ground a distance away, as if it were a grave marker.
Needless to say ── it was the tip of the now broken blade.
Celica’s sword undoubtedly struck the demon’s head with unparalleled accuracy. The strongest sword wielded by someone with the strongest technique….should’ve split the demon’s head open. However it was Celica’s sword that broke in two.
“Hmm. At the end of the day an imitated technique is still just a mere imitation.”
The demon sent chills down the befuddled Celica’s back as she said that while staring at her broken weapon.
“There is no soul in my technique. It can’t even reach Eliete’s feet…….this sword is howling.”
A blue projectile rushed towards the demon with a sweeping blow of her sword. A great-sword made by her special high-speed alchemy was cutting through the air horizontally. It should’ve bisected the demon with it’s overwhelming destructive power ──
The great-sword shattered into pieces that scattered in all directions accompanied by the sound of a grand explosion.
And following the impact, Re=L was blown away and tumbled across the ground….the demon on the other hand simply patted his body to get the stray dust off himself.
Everyone was rooted to their spots, stunned by the sight and unable to utter a single word.
It was abnormal. Obviously abnormal.
For example, similar to [The Angel’s Shield’s] absolute defense there could’ve been some magic secret or gimmick to his invincibility….there had to be such signs or hints to it. If they uncovered it’s secret, then they could do something about it…..they were convinced of that. But there was no hidden logic behind the demon’s invincibility.
He was just simply, unreasonably strong. Unreasonably tough…….that’s all there was to it.
“….White-Cat. Acero = Hierro’s ability……what was it?”
Glenn once more asked that of Sistine who had lost her words.
Coming back to her senses, Sistine trembled with fear as she struggled to squeeze her words out.
“According to [The Magician of Melgalius]…..his body…..is made of adamantite.”
There were surprisingly few people who knew of it in detail. The ultimate magic metal created by the magic technology of an ancient civilization. The metal, which holds a luster as deep as darkness, is an indestructible material and seems to be a contradictory substance that has the fluidity of mercury but is still much harder than a dragon’s scales.
According to one theory Mithril, and even Orichalcum, which are considered the strongest of metals in modern times, are just mere by-products in process of creating Adamantite……failed products of the real thing.
However everyone in the magic academia were skeptical and doubted the existence of this metal despite the hints in ancient inscriptions and literature. In all actuality though, no matter how many archaeological sites were explored no such metal was ever found. To begin with, it was unbelievable and defied common sense that a metal stronger than Mithril or Orichalcum even existed.
That’s why Adamantite was nothing more than a long-standing romance that only the researchers and scholars that devoted themselves to archeology discussed…..it was such a mysterious metal.
[It’s just as you said.]
The demon nodded in agreement to Sistine’s words.
[My body is made of the indestructible Adamantite. Even if it were the [Flame of Megiddo]…..it is not possible to destroy this body……would you like to test it out?]
“D-Don’t screw around with us….!”
But it was at that time that Glenn realized it and understood. Immune to even the [Flame of Megiddo]…..he was most likely telling the truth.
“God damn it….what the hell should we do….?”
“We have no choice but to fight.”
Albert rebuked Glenn in response to his feeble complaint.
“I’ll fight him……you do what you can do.”
Glenn’s eyes sharpened as he saw through Albert’s intentions.
“….It’s fine if I leave this to you?”
“That’s right….that’ll be my role for now.”
Depending on his indifference.
“[Seven Swords] ── [Dance!]”
Albert quickly turned towards the demon and recited a spell. Seven flashes of [Lightning・Pierce] were brought forth at the same time and flew from his fingertips at varying trajectories until they all pierced the demon’s chest in one spot.
It’s his special move called the [Seven Star Sword], but ──
[….Is that all?]
Naturally, it couldn’t even leave a scratch on the demon’s body.
[Nothing more than the fangs of a fool. With that level of an attack you ──]
“[O golden beast of thunder・swiftly run through the earth・and dance, dance in the heavens.]”
But Albert paid him no heed and recited the next spell. Alternate black magic [Plasma・Field].
A violent thunderstorm seemed to dance about with the demon at its center. Lights flickered and countless lightning bolts slithered like snakes striking the demon, tormenting him ──
The demon surrendered himself to the flood of lightning as one would in a comfortable shower. And following Albert’s attack ──
Those who had been overcome by the demon’s presence had finally started to make their move. As if they had their anxiety and despair blown away.
“[Fangs and claws of the ice wolf] ── [Collect!]”
Halley activated [Ice・Blizzard] and compressed it until it was a mere bullet of frozen air ──
“[O clear God of Wind・swing thy sword・and dash through the heavens!]”
Sistine recited the words for [Air・Blade] and shot off a huge crescent shaped blade of wind ──
“Damn it….I’ve already reached my limit…….[Get blown away!]”
Celica activated [Giga・Explosion] and spatial energy gathered around the demon until it turned into a flash of light, causing a huge explosion that shook the air.
All of them hit the demon head on. The raging destructive power mercilessly assailed the demon. Ordinarily this would be obviously too much force to kill a single individual. However.
[….Is that all?]
Undamaged. The demon ── was undamaged.
The transcendental power of the combined spells eventually waned and disappeared.
“Then how about this!?”
“[Listen to the chirping of the bird of ill omens・empty thy thoughts・and let thy consciousness turn white!]”
Baron Zest cast the thought destroying attack spell white magic [Mind・Blast] with all of his strength.
*Kii*, a high pitched ringing sound echoed. A mental attack that would drive a run-of-the-mill person mad one hundred times over directly assaulted the demon’s mind ──
“Chris-boy! Re=L-chan! Attack with me will ya!”
Bernard, Christoph, and Re=L moved without missing their window.
First Bernard ran alongside the still demon leaving an afterimage in his wake. A countless number of steel threads extended from both of his hands crossing each other throughout the empty sky. The ultra-fine steel thread was reinforced with magic and made capable of cutting through even thicker pieces of metal.
It glimmered as it caught the glint of light and wrapped around the demon’s body ──
Bernard mercilessly pulled the threads taut. Sharper than a blade, it tightened around his body.
Then Re=L slashed at the devil’s head with an extra-large great-sword that had been reinforced several times over. But despite that, the great-sword merely wrapped around the demon like the letter “く” ──
“Get back Re=L!”
Christoph instantly activated his barrier magic. While Bernard and Re=L were distracting the demon Christoph threw out cordierite stones around the demon forming a textbook-hexagonal array, then he activated the geometric barrier in the blink of an eye.
(TN: No clue what imitsudo road means but the spell is written as high speed barrier construction)
Then as Christoph put both his palms on the ground countless numbers of magic lines appeared and intertwined with one another bringing forth an ultra-dense gravitational field. A moment later the ground began to crack as the air collapsed in on itself.
The dense gravity struck the demon ── creating a crater around him as he sunk.
The great-sword wrapped around him like a “く” couldn’t stand the gravity and the fatigued metal broke into pieces….
The demon was in the center of such a hellish barrier.
[…..Are you finished yet?]
But he still stood upright and walked to the edge of the crater with an air of composure.
“No way…..this gravity field could crush even a dragon…and it didn’t even make him stumble….!?”
Christoph bitterly groaned not believing the situation.
“To even endure the brunt of my full powered [Mind・Blast]……are you really human…..? No, no matter how I look at it you don’t have the slightest shred of humanity in you.”
Baron Zest’s shoulders drooped as a cold sweat started to drip from his forehead.
“Hahaha….this is turning into a more hopeless and hopeless situation ain’t it…..?”
Bernard couldn’t help but laugh as his prized steel threads snapped and hanged limped from his fingertips.
“Kuu…..at any rate we have no choice but to just attack, attack, and just keep on attacking him!?”
Only such a poor plan could be taken……even though he understood that Halley just had to cry out.
All those present mustered as much magic power as they could and poured it into attack spells that they rained incessantly on the demon. The next moment that spot turned into a stormy hell of death and destruction.
Fireballs rushed forward, an absolute zero temp wind raged violently, and bolts of lightning danced about.
Blades of wind danced in ecstasy, explosions burned the atmosphere, acid rain poured down endlessly, and a poisonous fog surged forward.
A meteorite came forth from the sky, countless number of bullets were fired, a thrown great-sword created a whirlwind, showers of arrows made of energy rained down onto him.
And to top it all off, words that invited the soul to its death were whispered and even petrification spells were let loose ──
“[Piece of shit・that’s enough already──]”
And finally, Celica played her trump card.
“[──Drop dead and go to hellllllllllll!]”
The originator of the alternate black magic spell [Extinction・Ray] ── a technique that disintegrates and extinguishes the matter of any object. A desperate ray that once destroyed even the retainers of an evil god.
The overwhelming torrent of light completely encompassed the demon ── the surroundings painted pure white ──
[….I already told you. This body is made of the indestructible Adamantite.]
Nevertheless. Despite all of that.
[Your magic is a mere sham……just “fangs of a fool.”]
The demon was ── completely unscathed.
“…..Are you, serious…..*cough*…..*cough*!?”
Originally Celica had been almost completely weakened, and now that she had far exceeded her limits she was throwing up bloody vomit.
(…..Is even her god-killing spell useless!? …….How!?)
Is he truly immortal? Glenn couldn’t control his vertigo.
[Now then…..it’s boring to merely sit here watching your incompetence as it is….it’s about time for I to get started….]
Everyone dreaded what would happen after hearing such ominous words.
[The soul fusion with the Demon General is incomplete thanks to Glenn = Radar’s interference….and as a consequence magic cannot be wielded by this body yet…..not that it’s necessary for opponents of your caliber.]
With that said the demon slowly brought his hands up as if they were holding knives
His figure suddenly disappeared before their eyes. A whirlwind burst out and a shockwave followed as the demon moved at such a fast speed through the space.
That moment the demon appeared behind Bernard and brought down his knifehand above his head. Sensing that Bernard immediately raised his arms overhead and crossed them trying to defend ──
The demon’s knifehand snapped Bernard’s arms like twigs despite them being ultra-reinforced by magic ── causing his body to crumple and bounce off the ground in a gaudy manner.
Once more he instantly disappeared and reappeared next to Re=L holding her great-sword ──
Re=L used her animalistic-reflexes to try repel his lightning fast attack but ──
The demon’s roundhouse kick pulverized her great-sword and broke Re=L’s ribs and right arm ──
[── And you’re last.]
The demon immediately approached Albert after blowing Re=L away.
“[──Wield thy ferocious indignation・and bring everything to ruin!]”
But Albert had already started to cast a B-class military attack spell once Bernard had been done in…..anticipating this turn of events he started preparing [Plasma・Canon].
As the spell activated an enormous amount of electrical energy began to gather in the palm of his left hand ──
The demon unleashed his right fist and.
Albert forced all of his energy and magic power into his left hand.
── They met each other head on. At the moment of impact the destructive power of the [Plasma・Canon] gathered in the palm of Albert’s hand exploded at a point-blank range.
The world relentlessly flickered. The sound of the crash shook the atmosphere. Flashes of lightning scattered searching for places of refuge.
But despite the overwhelming point-blank bombardment of a B-class military attack spell that could penetrate the walls of a castle rampart from an unseen distance ──
The one who was pushed out of the ring was Albert. His shoes scraped across the ground as he was pushed back tens of metras due to the impact.
[….Oh? Despite being a band of fools your judgement and power has my praise. I never thought you could handle this fist of mine even with me adjusting for your weakness…..but can you do it again?]
Albert clicked his tongue in annoyance. Looking down he saw that his left arm was hanging loosely, a stream of blood trickling down, it was a grotesque sight. His sharp, haw-like gaze was still strong, but he was breaking out in a rare sweat.
(This…..? What the hell is this…?)
Glenn surveyed the dire situation around him.
Halley, Zest, Celica, Christoph, and Sistine were all suffering from mana deficiency. Bernard and Re=L were on the ground coughing up bloody vomit after suffering severe damage. Albert was still barely standing but he was also greatly injured. The worlds most prominent wisemen, the elites of the army….were mere children before the demon.
They were on completely different dimensions. It wasn’t even on the level of winning or losing. Although they were strong, they still lamented their mere existence and strength as a human being.
Acero = Hierro── everything about him was overwhelming.
(….What are we going to do?)
Even Glenn was held prisoner by the sense of despair and was on the verge of collapsing.
“Please stop this already!”
Rumia who seemed to not be able to bear it anymore finally raised her voice out.
“Your targeting me right!? Then please just kill me!”
“W-What are you thinking!?”
Rumia continued her plea as if Glenn and Sistine’s voices were non-existent.
“You’ll be satisfied if I just die right!? Then you can do whatever you like with me! That’s why I’m begging you! Don’t hurt anyone anymore….!”
But despite her desperate cries…..
[Rumia = Tingel. I cannot agree with that desire.]
She couldn’t get through to the demon.
[The reaping of your life is a fixed matter but the purpose of the plan this time is destroying all of Fejite……a sacrifice for the sake of attaining our Great Bhikkhu’s Bodhisattva. That is why your life holds no value in negotiating. I shall kill everyone here….and then bring Fejite to ruin.]
The courageous Rumia finally fell down to her knees. And the demon calmly walked towards such a Rumia. As if he were enacting the promise of his words from earlier.
Glenn screamed the name of his comrade as he rushed forward to confront the demon and protect Rumia.
“….Were you able to get anything on him?”
Albert quickly promptly lined up next to Glenn.
“Sorry, I wasn’t able to think of anything….except that he’s undisputedly invincible.”
“Tch….such a useless person.”
“Shut up alright!? Anyways that aside, can you even still fight!?”
“Then let’s do it! We don’t have a plan but we’re the only ones that can even move now! We have to do it by any means necessary!”
Glenn forcibly clenched his broken right hand into a tight fist and got into a boxing-like stance. Albert established a half-broken fighting stance and started to think of magic that could be used with just his right hand.
“Hmm. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a fight with such non-existent chances of winning.”
“Haa? The hell you on about…it’s your [first time] making a blunder ain’t it?”
Even at the eleventh hour those two were having their usual squabble…desperate. The situation made them overwhelmingly desperate. But they were clinging to what little hope they held in case they could find something that would let them all survive.
As Glenn and Albert were about to fight with everything on the line ──
── That happened.
[Hold it right there. Acero = Yelo.]
A ghost-like figure had suddenly appeared between those two and the demon.
[Wait, you’re an essentially different existence from that Acero = Yelo….shall I call you by your name in the present world? I’m pretty sure that it was….Lazar right?]
[It’s “Nameless”. That is how I go by in the present world.]
A girl with unusual wings on her back ── Nameless squared off against the demon wearing a tired expression.
“…Who is that? Why does she look like Rumia = Tingel?”
“Beats me. But she’s not an enemy.”
Glenn casually responded to the questions spilling out of the confused Albert.
[That aside, we need to talk, Lazar……leave now.]
Nameless matter-of-factly said that to the demon, ignoring Glenn and Albert off on the side.
[It might be because the demon descended into this body…but the current me can now understand who you are….but I shall follow your steed and call you as “Nameless.”]
As the demon prefaced that…..
[Now then, Nameless. Do you mean to order me aside? Ridiculous. Negotiations are done by those of equal standings are they not?]
He released an intimidating aura and sense of bloodlust towards Nameless. But despite that ──
[Don’t underestimate me, boy.]
And….the moment that Nameless responded with her own aura of intimidation.
It felt like ── an overbearing, icy aura was dominating the area. The figure of a girl was unmistakingly standing there but an overflowing shroud of darkness distorted their perception of her existence. At first glance anyone’s primal instinct would tell them that the cute girl standing in front of them was nothing more than a doll cut from darkness around her. The corruption and depravity surrounding her made the demon look like a mere infant in comparison.
[Trying to become a Demon General….using the fake power from that child….but not brave enough to completely quit being human….is what it looks like to me.]
Her distorted voice as if she were cursing the world, pierced their eardrums. Then Nameless, who was as hazy as a drop of blood on a black background, presented her white hand. And an overwhelming golden light was released from her hand dispelling the illusion of darkness ── scorching the eyes of everyone present.
“T-The hell!? What’s going on!?”
Glenn finally shouted after suddenly being released from that darkness that seemed to swallow even ones soul. And before he noticed it a “a shiny, golden key” was floating above Nameless’s palm.
[That’s a [Golden Key]!? Impossible…..!? You still hold that level of power!?]
The “key” that Nameless showed off seemed to shock the demon.
[That’s right. You understand right? It’s not an “imitation key” like the one that you have. There’s only two “real keys” in this world….and this is one of them.]
Nameless announced that, full of scorn and darkness.
[Lazar……it’s nice that you’ve managed to fuse your soul with a Demon General using an “imitation key” but…..the fusion is still incomplete isn’t it? Because Glenn got in the way.]
[I’ve lost my body and the majority of my former strength but…..I still have the power to pierce through you now…..I’m prepared to extinguish my complete existence for this…..]
[Leave now Lazar. When your power is completely ready at that time you can come to kill Rumia. I’m sure that sounds better for you than trying to deal with me now?]
And for a while an oppressive air dominated the area.
[….Very well. I shall quietly step back for now.]
And the demon eventually murmured that.
[[■■■■ ■ ■■■■……]]
He muttered something in an unfamiliar language ── and.
Glenn and the others couldn’t comprehend what they just witnessed. Countless red streaks of light were shot down from the motif engraved on the bottom of the [Ship of Flames] suspended over Fejite’s sky. The red lights surrounded Fejite’s wall at a dreadful speed ──
An enormous crimson wall of light rose from the traced path and rose high towards the heavens.
Glenn could hardly comprehend how the horizon seemed to burst into flames.
“What the hell did you do you bastard!?”
Glenn felt a violently detestable premonition as the he saw the sky dye crimson in all directions, he barked out his question to the demon. But the demon did not respond to him. A thin, column-shaped light shined down from the [Ship of Flames] and enveloped the demon.
[…Farewell foolish people. You should enjoy what little remaining time you hold…..]
The demon wrapped in ray ascended into the sky through the column of light. His figure grew smaller and smaller as he was sucked into the [Ship of Flames] ──
“Damn it, he got away….what the hell is he planning on doing….!?”
[If I were to put it in your words, he affixed a barrier of isolation around the city of Fejite. It’s already too late to escape out of Fejite or to hope for reinforcements.]
Nameless whispered such words.
“Haa!? Around the whole city!?”
Glenn was once again left shocked after witnessing the power of the demon who was unimaginably strong.
[Don’t get into a panic again. Imprison the enemy in a barrier of isolation and burn them to a crisp with the [Flame of Megiddo]…..that was originally the purpose of the [Ship of Flames]. An anti-nation, complete suppression weapon so to speak.]
[In other words, he plans to barricade himself in that ship and burn Rumia along with all of Fejite to ashes as per his original goal….I wonder if I’m really that frightnening? What an idiot….it was just a bluff. I’m just a paper tiger that doesn’t have any power to fight.]
“Tch, wait! Right now you just said [Flame of Megiddo]!? What are you talking about!?”
[It’s annoying explaining every little thing….[Flame of Megiddo] was originally the main battery for that [Ship of Flames]. What you guys were all up in a fuss over was a crappy knock-off that was reproduced using modern day magic. That [Ship of Flames] is the originator of the magic you know as [Flame of Megiddo.]]
“Wh……at…..!? That’s ridiculous….”
[Normally you can’t use it unless you’re on sacred ground, don’t you think that’s quite a sham for a supposed strategic weapon?]
Nameless responded to Glenn annoyed by his uproar.
(Damn it….Nameless is being unclear as ever and her words are so outrageous I can’t even begin to understand it….basically….I see….it’s like that isn’t it….!)
Glenn clenched his teeth as he looked at the crimson scene surrounding the [Ship of Flames].
(The power of a Demon General and the [Ship of Flames]……needless to say if those two are in alignment one could do whatever they wanted…. it’s a move for the [radical faction] that was at death’s door to secure their spot from the [status quo faction]! I couldn’t understand why they wanted to destroy Fejite earlier….but it’s simply cause they want to put an end to it…!)
That was, at first glance, the true intentions of the mysterious Lazar.
(Damn it….it’s hopeless…..it’s over already isn’t it….!)
Glenn was left stunned by the terrifying reality and the unprecedented crisis they were thrown into.
[….Not yet Glenn. This isn’t the end yet.]
Nameless said that as if she were scolding Glenn.
[Here and now, the one shot you got in will come into play. You managed to surpass Lazar’s expectations and dispelled the [Mana Dam]. Thanks to that, the power of Lazar’s Demon General as well as the [Ship of Flames] that siphons off of him is imperfect….]
“What’s your point….?”
[For the time being the [Ship of Flames] hasn’t fired [Flame of Megiddo] yet. That stupidly cautious Lazar is more scared of me than he should be so he’ll take the time to properly assimilate Demon General’s soul until he reaches perfection….and when that time comes he’ll use the [Ship of Flames] [Flame of Megiddo] to destroy Fejite.]
“….Is there time left to do anything!?”
[Hmm……According to my estimation, the time limit is probably noon of the day after tomorrow.]
[In the meantime think Glenn. The Demon General…. how to defeat the [Iron Horseback Commander] Acero = Hierro. I’m sorry to say but that is beyond my knowledge. But….at the very least, “you will be able to defeat Acero = Hierro”, Glenn….”it’d be odd if you couldn’t beat him.”]
The words that came out of Nameless’s mouth….even among her usual incomprehensible words and actions, this might’ve taken the crown among them all.
“….Ha? I can defeat that Demon General? What the heck are you talking about….?”
[Even I don’t understand it. Rather I’m the one whose wanting to know how you can defeat that Acero = Hierro.]
“I don’t get what the hell you’re talking about….knock it off already you fake Rumia.”
Whenever Nameless talked all that came out were one-sidedly cryptic and ambiguous words. Never revealing anything of import.
According to the person herself she wanted them to let it slide on the account of [I can’t divulge that] or [I don’t want to].
[….Didn’t I say it already? This is a trial Glenn. You have to survive the impending calamity….for the future ── and for the past as well.]
Saying that, in the end Nameless turned her back on Glenn and started to walk away.
Glenn, who was too annoyed to see her off, scratched his hair as looked up into the sky and sighed. Honestly speaking, he felt depressed.
It was the worst possible situation. Nothing has been resolved. Lazar was still alive and well and now there was a [Ship of Flames] above them that threatened ruin and destruction. But despite that….
“….F-For the time being….we’re…..saved…..?”
Everyone there had finally reached their physical and mental limits and dropped down to their knees due to the fatigue. As the demon disappeared the thread of tension snapped, and a sense of relaxation temporarily took over the area.
“Sensei….what’s….going to happen to us from here on out….?”
Sistine who had also sunk down to the floor feebly asked that of Glenn.
“…..I don’t know.”
Glenn couldn’t give clever words to Sistine who seemed to be clinging to him for reassurance. Looking next to him…he could even see the heavy fatigue plaguing Albert who was staring into the sky. It was the first time he’d seen Albert steel his soul in such a way.
“Anyways….our spirits and bodies are already all tattered….we should treat everyone’s injuries for the time being….”
Glenn turned on his heels as if to spur on his heavy heart and body….when.
[….Stop fucking around.]
Nameless’s icy words echoed out. Glenn and Sistine turned around to look back. Nameless and Rumia were standing there facing one another. Nameless was approaching Rumia who had her eyes cast downwards, in a quiet rage.
“B-But Nameless-san….if I just did it early….if I was just sacrificed…..”
[Hmmp! You want to protect others by sacrificing yourself….you don’t care what happens as long as it’s for the sake of another….oh what a great Saint-sama as usual!]
What had possibly happened. Nameless was shouting at Rumia, pretty much condemning her. And ──
[But that desire….is it really your true wish? Would you really be satisfied with that?]
Nameless’s words relentlessly gouged out something hidden within Rumia’s depths. Rumia’s expression distorted as if she were enduring some strange pain radiating from her chest.
[I’ve always hated that about you since long ago….I guess that’s it, that’s your── ]
Glenn interjected into their conversation unable to hold back.
“What’s the meaning of this Nameless!? What did Rumia do!?”
[….Nothing at all. I’m just taking my anger out on her.]
As she said that her figure had suddenly started to become transparent and disappear.
[….It’s fine, cool your head already…….I’ll be back sometime later.]
Nameless disappeared in the blink of an eye leaving those words alone.
“….Seriously what is up with her? She….really looks like Rumia on the outside but on the inside she’s the worst….and she never makes any sense.”
As he was grumbling Glenn noticed that Rumia was clearly in a slump. This whole day she must’ve been full of anxiety and fear. Glenn gently patted her shoulder.
“….It’ll be okay, don’t worry.”
“I’ll figure something out one way or another like I always do……didn’t I say that? Even if the world turns against you….I’ll at least always be on your side.”
Glenn forcibly smiled as he said that as if to reassure Rumia.
But on that day ── Rumia’s expression never cleared up.