「――Now then, it’s about time」
In front of the large bridge leading to the cathedral, Hein-san’s voice cuts in, and the daydream disperses.
Because it lasted an instant, even if a fragment of the spectacle remained in my head, I can no longer remember what kind of story it was. But from the feelings that were left over, there’s no mistaking that I can trust Hein-san.
「Ah, ye, yes」
Together with my answer I catch up to Hein-san’s side, and I steal a glance at his side profile.
That beautiful face and the smile that is plastered onto it.
From Hein-san’s magic, I was able to understand a bit of his insides. However, I still can’t understand the true meaning behind that smile. If it was him laughing at his past, then I might barely be able to understand.
And so, we slip into the crowd that’s waiting for the ceremony, and step onto the large bridge.
As we cross the boundary, we’re spotted and the knights on guard come running over.
To match that Hein-san and I construct our magic.
「――Magic《Dimension Gladiator》, Magic《Freeze》」
「――《Wind Breath》,《Wind Draw》」
I deploy my perception magic several meters around the surroundings, and on top of that I mix in freezing magic. It was because of the preparations done in advance that I can activate the new magic at anytime. As a cold begins to seep out of my body, my left over steps freeze over.
Hein-san has wind clad over his body, and innumerable clumps of wind are deployed in the surroundings.
When the knights who came closer see us, the color of their faces change.
One of the ones within them sees Hein-san and calls out.
「H, Hein-sama, just what are you――?」
「Sorry. I’m in a hurry」
In contrast to the knights surprise Hein-san only returned a short answer, a single clumps of wind moves, and the knights body is blown away from the side. The side blow causes the knights body to float in the air, and fall from the bridge.
A splash is heard.
The expressions of the other knights who see that change, and they go to draw their swords from their waste. But, now it’s my turn. Closing the distance between the knights who are drawing their swords, I use all my power to launch one of the knights. In the same way as the knight before, this knight that was launched fell into the river.
It’s then that the knights finally finishing drawing their swords. And so, they attempt to intercept the two sudden enemies who are committing a crime in front of the holy cathedral.
It’s then that the knights finally finishing drawing their swords. And so, they attempt to intercept the two sudden enemies who commited a crime before the holy cathedral.
However, they were too late. The knights had no time to raise their swords.
Hein-san’s clumps of wind go on a rampage, and one after the other, the knights fall into the river. It’s there that I throw any knights who try to escape, these also fell into the river.
I hear a shrill voice at my back. It’s probably a scream from the crowd that saw our actions.
But even then Hein-san remained calm.
「Then, let’s hurry. Please leave the elevated enemies to me. I’ll also prevent any bells or signals」
The knights positioned further on the bridge notice the abnormal events, and like ants, they come flooding in.
Without even having to signal, Hein-san and I ran into that group.
I feel the magic of Hein-san running beside me swell up.
And so, one of Hein-san’s rings cracks, and he fires a magic that he had used once before .
A windstorm is fired from Hein-san’s hand, and a group of knights is blown away. Following after that magic, I run into the hole made by the blown off knights.
Then, I feel Hein-san’s magic swell even further. Hein-san shouts at me.
「Boy, please go ahead!――『Sear Wind』!!」
Another windstorm is fired. The violent wind brushes my cheek, and the knights in front are blown away, and at the end, the lattice gate ahead is smashed apart.
A straight path to the cathedral is opened by the wind.
「I’m going ahead!?」
「Eeh! Listen well, you will save her! It’s fine to leave the back to me!」
Hein-san is fixated on me saving Lastiara. If possible, I wished he threw away that obsession, but the eyes he shouted with are serious, eyes that would not yield no matter what, I nod while urged on by that spirit.
Putting all my strength into my legs, I kick off the ground with enough force to leave a dent and move on the straight path.
En route, various winds passed behind my back, and the knights in front of me are brushed away. The knights on elevated ground are also blown away, and they can be seen falling on the ground.
A terrifying magic that has speed and precision.
I run using that as a tailwind.
The numbers at guard on standby at the gate should be over a hundred, but thanks to Hein-san, everything has been emptied.
By myself, I run straight through the gem laden pavement that lays in between the tall shrubs.
There are no signs of knights chasing behind me. It seems like Hein-san is holding them back.
However, I felt the magic of someone approaching from the right side. From far away, it seems like another group of knights is approaching.
But, that group of knights can’t catch up with my run. There was just that much of a difference in speed and distance.
It’s at the moment I relax, that a single shadow jumps out of the group.
No, to be exact it isn’t a single shadow.
A beast with a person clinging onto its back, and it draws closer in a great speed.
I understood that shadows true identity with《Dimension》.
Its true identity――the half-beast knight Sera Radiant, and the magic sword knight Ragne Kaikuwora.
Two『Celestial Knights』are approaching.
In order to get away from the two pursuers, I raise the speed of my run.
However, the distance is one sidedly closed. If my speed is far from an ordinary person, then the opponents speed is far from an ordinary beast.
And so, moving through the trees to the side of the path, the instant they catch up, I feel Ragne-chan’s magic who rides on the back swell up.
Ragne-chan’s magic suddenly jumps.
Trying to pierce through my body, the blade attacks the trees on the other side.
That is, one of the magic operations she prospers in, the retractable magic sword.
I once took that on as an opponent. Because of that experience I had set up《Dimension》before they drew close, and twisting my body, I was barely able to successfully dodge.
In the span of an instant that magical sword cut down numerous trees, and in the next it drew back. This is my first time seeing that sword cut through something. My vigilance strengthens at the sharpness of that cut. If touched, then a limb can easily be cut off.
After that surprise attack, the two turn to face me. As there’s a difference in speed, I can’t avoid it.
They show up as if to block my path.
Radiant-san in her wolf form, and the short haired knight girl that rides on her back Ragne-chan.
「Eh, umm, please stop, Onii-san from that time!」
Ragne-chan urges for my restraint in a voice with no tension.
However, I had no intention to stop. Without letting my speed drop, I go to pass their side.
「Ah, he, hey!」
In a fluster Ragne-chan constructs her magical sword, and it extends to my legs.
It’s about time I got used to Ragne-chan’s magic and technique.
I avoid the blade, and catch that magical sword between both my hands.
The moment after, using the cold of《Freeze》that accumulated in《Dimension Gladiator》, I pour it into the magical sword in one fell swoop. With the thoroughly kneaded cold of the freezing magic, the magical sword is frozen to the base in an instant.
Naturally, the hand of Ragne-chan that is connected to it freezes.
And so, putting strength into the hands that caught the magical sword―― I raise them up.
Unable to cancel the frozen magical sword, Ragne-chan’s body is drawn along as she begins floating.
And so, like that I fling Ragne-chan in the direction of the thicket.
「Eh, wai, ah, u, uWaAaAAaAh――――!!」
While raising a scream Ragne-chan flutters in the sky, and she falls into some far off thicket.
From the level I’ve seen, something of that degree shouldn’t kill her. Probably……
While a bit of cold sweat runs down over worrying about Ragne-chan’s safety, I try to run past Radiant-san’s side.
Naturally, before I could pass Radiant-san’s fangs and nails come attacking.
Accurately measuring the timing with《Dimension Gladiator》, I dodge with a paper-thin difference, and take out a bag with spices from『Items』and dump it all out.
If she’s a beast just like she looks, then it should be an effective method. It’s highly possible that the fact that they managed to chase after me, is because of the strength of her nose.
「Guu, Gu, GaAAaAAAAAAa――――!!」
With a remarkably loud roar, Radiant-san begins changing from her wolf appearance. I can see her body changing back into a human. In order to remove the spice in her nose, she rubs her nose with human hands.
I shook a bit at Radiant-san’s stark naked figure, but I immediately regain myself and take out my beloved sword from『Items』.
Radiant-san who sees that, turns one hand into a wolves forefoot and howls.
「――u, aAA! Wh, why. Why, are you, are yoOoOOOu――!!」
「Please stay still for a little!」
Radiant-san’s claw cuts through the air, but it’s only my sword that cuts meat.
As if gently brushing them I cut both arms and legs, and with my open left hand I slam Radian-san’s head onto the ground.
Leaving behind the groaning Radiant-san, I immediately restart my sprint towards the cathedral.
I sensed Radiant-san trying to change back into a wolf and chase with《Dimension》. However, because of the violent jolt to her brain, she was in no state to run as she wishes. Even if she does run, because of the four limbs that were cut, it probably won’t be in the same speed as the first time.
With this she’s done for.
In relief, I ran on the path.
And so, exiting the path that lays in between the trees, I come out into an open garden.
A large fountain rests at the center, and various kinds of flower beds are lined up.
It’s there that about ten knights along with a knight that I remember are waiting.
In the prime of his life with streaks of grey hair, the knight Hopes Joker.
Just like that time, Hopes-san meets me with a frivolous smile.
Hopes-san immediately draws his sword, and with that flow he swings his sword horizontally.
And then, the knights behind simultaneously being their arias. Looking closely, each of them are in light equipment, and they hold canes decorated with gems. With that appearance there no need to『Observe』, I can guess that they are knights that lean towards magic.
I raise my speed in order to ignore them and pass by. But of course, Hopes-san stands in the way of my path.
What’s in front of me is a『Celestial Knight』. However, I don’t lessen my running speed.
I have confidence that I can cut down Hope-san as I pass by.
While maintaining my force I jump forward, and swing my sword. To that, just like before, Hopes-san intercepts while retreating.
Those movements are not something that can gain victory over me. What waits before his retreat, is the forceful flash of my blade. It’s certainly becoming a somewhat lengthy clash, but on the board of a game this is what is called a『Checkmate』.
But, that is only if this battle is one-on-one.
Hopes-san’s posture collapses due to his repeated retreats, and just as I was about to land a direct hit, the knights in the rear fire their magic.
All of the water in the fountain is lifted, and it falls with me as the aim.
I make a large jump to the side. Of course, Hopes-san fixed his posture in that opening. And so, with relaxed movements, he moves in front of me, and once again readies his sword.
――It’s obviously meant to buy time.
I ponder. If it’s the current me, then I can freeze all of the water they can handle. The groundwork for that has already finished. That’s just how much power the《Freeze》inside my《Dimension Gladiator》has gathered.
If I think of the fastest way, then that option is fine. However, for the sake of the remaining『Celestial Knights』I haven’t seen, I decide to leave that for later. And it’s not as if the magic of the knights at the rear are restricted to water magic.
Moving my sword to my left hand, I take out a handful of stones that can be thrown from『Items』. And so, aiming at the heads of the knights at the rear, I throw with all my might.
Several of the knights receive the blow on their heads, and they faint. The stones I threw with my strength put into them are already considered deadly weapons. However, there are also knights who don’t faint with a direct hit. It could be that the level of those knights are high, but in the end it’s simply just a stone.
「All units, double formation!」
Seeing my option of long distance attacks, Hopes-san immediately hands instructions to the knights.
The knights swiftly from two ranks, a division of roles where the front line is for defence and the back line is for arias. I was in admiration at those army like movements. And so, I also understood that breaking through wouldn’t be easy.
I throw stones again, but the knights at the front repel them, and none reach the knights at the back.
A cold sweat runs down. It’s not that I’m panicking at the strength of the enemies.
But a cold sweat because I can’t make adjustments.
If it’s simply breaking through then I can use the spare sword in『Items』, and throw it with all my strength. Like that not only the knights at the front, but also the knights at the back will probably be impaled. However, nine out of ten times they will be killed.
With a bit of hesitation, I choose to compromise.
I take out the spare sword from『Items』, and try to aim for a part that won’t instantly kill them when I throw with full strength. Although it’s avoiding a vital spot, it’s still very likely that dead people would come up. However, I’ve already decided in my heart to rescue Lastiara, I can’t afford to hesitate.
But, the minute that Hopes-san saw me pull out a sharp tool from『Items』, it truns into a retreating battle as attacks are released. He must’ve have also though that throwing the edged tool was bad.
At once I go to tear into the back of Hopes-san’s hand, and swing my sword. As the attacks weren’t meant defence defeating Hopes-san was easy. Hopes-san drops his sword, and immediately lets out a loud voice.
「I, I surrender, it’s already impossible! You’ve already resolved yourself, it’s my loss! So please, just don’t throw that sword with that stupid strength!」
Although they are probably hurting, Hopes-san raises both hands and conveys he has no intention to resist.
The knights in the back were marveling at their defeated captain. After a stir, they show their intent to resist until the bitter end.
「We can still keep going, it only starts from here, Captain! This is where we show our true――」
「No no, you aren’t even an opponent. This is to avoid injuries. Even if we had ten groups it’d still be impossible. Hurry up and throw your weapons. If you persists any longer, then dead people will quickly pop up. Aah, how stupidー」
Hopes-san orders the knights to throw away their weapons.
They make a face as if biting into a bitter bug as their weapons fall onto the ground.
「Thank you very much. ――Then」
With a small thanks to Hopes-san, I immediately break into a run.
「Sorry, we took advantage of your conscience. Still, even someone like me was able to buy about twenty seconds. You’d best hurry」
I hear Hopes-san’s voice from behind.
It felt like somewhere in his tone he was encouraging me.
Hopes-san’s personality and his position in Whoseyards, I felt like I came to understand it a little.
I pass by the side of the knights who threw down their weapons, and further increase my haste. In order to respond to Hopes-san’s encouragement, I can’t waste a single second.
Like this, I finished passing through the large center garden.
With this it should take a little over half a minute to get to the cathedral. If I continue like this, I heard that I would encounter a splendid T shaped staircase and reverse T shaped staircase.
Running through the path adorned in gems and flowers, I finally arrive before the staircase.
It’s there that a battalion of over twenty knights were waiting.
At its lead, a knight who is clearly stronger than the rest from their appearance.
Most likely, it’s a『Celestial Knight』. And they appear to specialize in magic, it’s my first encounter with that type of『Celestial Knight』.
A man with long hair tied up into several braids, His age appears to be around forty, and height close to mine.
I go to『Observe』, but stop. Since it’s a first encounter, it’s a standard practice to analyze the enemy’s strength. However, I purposely choose not to do that.
Fortunately the conditions were met.
I have already decided to use a new magic if I were to encounter a『Celestial Knight』who leans towards magic.
Therefore, I spare the time it would take to『Observe』, and construct my magic.
If it’s with my current greatest magic, I have confidence I can suppress the opponent.
「Magic《Di Snow》, Magic《Freeze》, composite――！」
Together with my aria, the area of my perception magic completely wraps around the enemy battalion.
At the same time, the cold of the freezing magic also wraps around the enemy battalion.
The idea is exactly the same as《Di Snow》. The only difference is just the scale.
《Di Snow》is foam shaped dimension magic with cold loaded into it.
But now, the cold is loaded into the dimension magic that takes the shape of the area――！
And so, with me as the center the area that takes the form of a sphere of about fifty meters in diameter, becomes winter.
Winter encroaches the world, and the ability of my freezing magic drastically increases. Of course, the lowering temperature is not this magics only value.
This magics true value, is the obstruction of matter within its range.
I sense the knight ahead who appears to be a『Celestial Knight』try to activate his magic.
In response, I manipulate the cold, and obstruct the magic.
The image is simple.
With my origin being a world with developed science, I interpret the freezing magic as a magic that manipulates molecular kinetic energy.
If the molecular kinetic energy becomes zero, then the object will freeze. Based on that superficial knowledge, I use freezing magic with the image of suppressing the shaking molecules.
In other words, as a magic that suppresses the movement of molecules, by extension it’s a magic that suppresses the magic operation of the enemy. Fortunately, it’s a simple image to make as I’m able to grasp the finer details of the enemy’s magic through dimension magic.
Within the domain of《Di Winter》the magic of the knights’ are suppressed. And so, in order to not let the enemies compose their magic, little by little I shift the formulas.
While the knights feel a slight discomfort at the cold, they fire their magic――But, they look in astonishment at the magic they fired.
Each and every magic that was fired deteriorates. There are even some that misfired.
A fire the size of a match. A ball of water that went nowhere. A shockwave that only slightly shook. Only remnants of the surging magic―― and none of those reached me.
The magic of the captain I thought to be a『Celestial Knight』was the same.
I smile at results that exceeded my expectations.
Like that, taking my sword in one hand in order to repel the weak magics, I slash at the knight Captain that stands in front.
In a panic the knight captain goes to draw his sword.
But《Di Winter》did not permit that. 《Di Winter’s》second effect, obstruction of the enemies movements.
Since it can suppress magic, it’s also possible to suppress the body. However, it’s different from suppressing something as delicate as magic, suppressing the body has its limits. From the point of view of the opponent, the obstruction is only to the degree of causing a bit of discomfort.
――Degree of causing a bit of discomfort.
However, for a person who wields a blade, it is an unfathomable worry.
It’s small, but an opening is made in the movements they have practiced for drawing their swords. For the people who have poured in a persistent effort and etched the technique into their bodies, this magic’s effect is tremendous.
The result, the knight captain has trouble drawing his sword.
Most likely, it took him more than twice the time it usually does to draw his sword.
Before my speed, that is fatal.
At the moment the Captain knight readies his sword, my sword mercilessly swings down.
The cane with the gem is chopped into two from the side, furthermore, it’s shallow but it also cuts into his chest.
When returning the blade, it cuts into the back of the hand holding the sword, and the sword is flung off.
Just as this knight captain looked, he was weak in close combat since he focused on magic. I hit the pit of his stomach with the hilt of my sword, and his legs give out.
If hit with my strength, then the shock should cause the contents of his stomach to come out.
The knight captain falls to the floor as he faints. With this he’s done done for. No, his unit is done for. The knights who lost their Captain are in disarray, and with their formation collapsed scattered attacks come in. But, something of that degree is no threat. While neutralizing the nearby knights, I run up the staircase.
I go up the T shaped staircase, and at it’s cutoff, I go up the reverse T shaped staircase.
What’s left is only a straight staircase. However, the end of that straight staircase is far.
From what I can see it’s a large staircase with close to a hundred steps.
And so, halfway through that large staircase I spot a single knight.
A giant knight with thick jet black armor worn on their body. Because the full face helmet on them, I’m unable to tell their sex or age. Having finished drawing their huge black sword, they stare at me from the gap in the visor.
The fact that the knight is a『Celestial Knight』, is something I instinctively understood.
Because of the repeated battles with the knights, my ability to see into an enemy has been refined.
Standing by themselves before the cathedral’s staircase――That is the greatest proof.
They have the important task of being the last stand. In other words――
Name: Persion Queiga HP421/434 MP105/105 Class: Knight
Strength10.98 Vitality9.72 Dexterity8.55 Agility10.09 Intelligence9.32 Magic6.56 Potential1.56
Innate Skills: None
Acquired Skills: Swordsmanship1.88 Holy Magic1.95
This black knight, Persion Queiga, is the『Celestial Knights’』strongest knight――！
At the end of my racing thoughts, I decide holding back in unnecessary.
The skills and status on『Display』conveyed the black knights robustness to me.
A knight with no petty tricks, and no specialization.
All around high stats and two solid skills. In the games of my world they’d be the image of a holy knight.
I activate the magic《Di Winter》from a distance.
I can’t say this large magic has good fuel consumption, but seeing such a strong enemy for the first time, I don’t have the option to hold back.
In response, the black knight chanted holy magic.
Naturally, I operate the cold in order to obstruct that.
《Growth》. It was the support magic that Radiant-san used in our duel.
I try suppressing it with freezing magic, but it has bad compatibility with support magic that works on the inside.
As long as it comes out of the body, I can interrupt it, but if it’s working on the inside of the body then the level of difficulty jumps up by many times.
The result, I was unable to obstruct it, and the black knight successfully strengthens their body with《Growth》.
And so, at the instant their support magic finished, two swords clash.
I didn’t put any power into my sword. From the information gathered beforehand, I knew that I would lose in terms of strength. Above all, my position is not fit for a contest of strength. The black knight on a higher step, and with me on a lower step, I’d be at an overwhelming disadvantage in a contest of strength.
Therefore, in order to ward off the sword I shift the sword back towards my left side. But, the enemy’s sword does not follow that flow. The opponent didn’t pour in their full strength. Their sword is immediately pulled back, and the opening vanishes.
From this single bout, I was able to perfectly perceive their ability. And I was also able to perceive the fact it is impossible to quickly get away from this situation.
I either have to expend even more magic, or prepare myself for a drawn out battle.
With an immediate decision I choose the option to expend magic. My experience tells me that.
If push comes to shove――I also had the experience of shaving away my max HP in exchange for magic.
With a slight retreat, I construct my magic with the space and time that was made. Because of the deployment of《Di Winter》, the construction of the freezing magic went smoother than ever before.
「――Magic《Di Snow》, Magic《Foam》」
「――Holy Magic《Divine Wave》」
Magic foam and snow fall in the winter domain――but, when they come in contact with the magic shock wave the black knight released, they burst and disappear. The freezing magic disperse, and the magical snow colors the large staircase.
I shudder at the black knights judgement and reaction speed.
If, the black knight moved for my opening when I retreated, I was prepared to counter. However, the black knight chose not to pursue.
Without moving a single step, they discerned my magic with their eyes, and responded by activating their own magic.
And so, on the occasion that I was constructing a different magic, they also saw through the fact that I couldn’t obstruct them with《Di Winter》.
I fully realize the difference in our combat experience.
With no choice I give up on the frontal battle, and since we’re currently separated, I move through their far side. Since the opponent has heavy equipment, I planned to surpass them in speed.
However, the black knight follows without a problem.
From what could be seen in status, I had slight expectations their speed would be faster. But, in reality, seeing that huge lump of iron keeping up with my full power sprint, is unbelievable. With their already high strength, they further strengthened their body, and they now became a terrifying monster. It may also be partly due to the physique they have, but to the black knight those heavy equipments are no shackles.
The well experienced knight choose the best equipment for themselves――And that is this lump of steel.
The black knight running parallel to me swings their black sword. I don’t intercept this with my sword, and doge as it grazes the tip of my nose. As I’m inferior in strength, clashing swords is something I must avoid. However, that choice led to a bad development.
The black sword tears through the air, and it directly hits the staircase with that force.
And so, the stone staircase breaks, and fragments scatter. The black knight in full armor is fine, but for me in cloth equipment, that’s the same as a buckshot.
If a fragment hits my head then an opening would be created. With no other option, I repel the attacking fragments with the sword in my hand. During that time, the black knight’s slashes continue.
A large swing down on the staircase, I dodge that blow.
And once again the staircase is destroyed by the black sword, and smoke rises up.
The black knight stands in the smoke without moving.
They don’t pursue. With a firm resolution they stand protecting the top of the staircase, intent on not letting me pass.
The inside of the visor is dark so I can’t see, but I understand that they are still observing me.
They’re most likely calmly analysing the situation. It’s me who will be in trouble if they continue buying time like this. Although Hein-san is here, I can’t say I have no worries towards my back.
I recalculate the situation. I decided not to hold back with my magic use, but I was holding back. I still didn’t use my real new magic.
After checking the surroundings, I shorten the diameter of《Di Winter’s》domain from a hundred meters to three. And so, I supply that domain with an overabundance of magic.
This is, 《Di Winter’s》ideal form. Not with the opponent at the center, but a short distance, and if it’s a one on one, then this is its ultimate form――
A high density cold pours out of my body, the area under foot freezes over.
I sensed the black knight swallow their breath from inside the visor. They’re probably surprised at the unexpected amount of magic used.
However, this magic is only natural. It should be obvious when looking at my status.
「Magic《Di Over Winter》rRRRRRRR――!!」 (TL: Literal is – Overcrowded Dimension’s Midwinter)
I only strengthened the magic, but in an exaggerated manner I yell the name of a different magic.
And so, putting strength in my feet, I kick the stairs.
It is a speed no different from before. A repetition of what had just happened.
However, the result was not repeated. What changed was not me, but the opponents speed. Anything that enters《Di Over Winter’s》domain, changes into a lower speed as if moving through a midwinter snow. It is a drastic improvement from the uncomfortable feeling caused by《Di Winter》that obstructed movements.
The current black knight, looks like they fell into an optical illusion of a dimension with an off flow of time. This is a magician who manipulates dimensions and cold―― Aikawa Kanami’s true value.
The black sword cuts the air at its lowered speed. In that opening, I jump into the Black Knights chest.
At a moment’s judgement the black knight throws away their black sword, and they try to capture me with both arms. However, I was able to grasp all of that. In this midwinter domain, there is also《Dimension Gladiator》. My close combat perception ability, is no different from before.
And now, everything about the black knights is slow. Too slow.
I sidestep the approaching arms, and force my sword into the gap at the armor joints.
It wasn’t a deep stab. However, it was a stab that would impede movements. Furthermore, I send in cold through the opening aiming to cause frostbite. In addition, the joints of the armor freeze, and it makes them unable to move their limbs.
After seemingly stitching the black knight’s body, what’s left is a lump of frozen armor.
But even then the black knight’s fighting spirit does not wither, they look over here with a grate in their armor.
However, in the end I push the black knight’s back. The black knight’s balance collapses, and it tumbles down the staircase.
While crashing on the staircase, the giant lump of iron tumbles. I look on with sweat dripping down at the black knight that was heavier than I thought.
Th, they shouldn’t die……. Probably.
With this it’s the end. Undoing《Di Over Winter》, I replace its with a wider《Dimension》.
The battle with the black knight took about ten seconds, but the knights on the floor below had already gotten close. But, seeing the disastrous scene of the tumbling black knight, I could see their feet come to a stop. There are voices from below urging for the black knights healing.
After confirming the situation, I run up the stairs.
My feet stagger a bit.
As expected,《Di Over Winter’s》magic consumption goes without saying, but the burden in my brain is also great. For that magic, I have to continuously grasp and calculate the opponent’s movements, and then continue applying the magic with that. Although calculating is my strong point, suppressing a human burns my brain. I affirm that this magic, is meant for one-on-one battles, and for decisive moments.
However, the results were there, and I was able to stay uninjured. As I can’t use recovery magic, other then when I’m escaping while holding Lastiara, it’s important to not get injured.
I continue up the staircase while lightheaded.
It’s there that a flower garden similar to the courtyard of the battle with Hopes-san spreads out. Nevertheless, it’s not as wide as the ones below, and it immediately before the solemn cathedral.
And so, a single man stands in front of that entrance.
From the journey until now, I was able to break through five of what appear to be『Celestial Knights』. Excluding Hein-san, there’s one left.
The seventh『Celestial Knight』. Palinchlon Legacy stands there.
Palinchlon meets me with applause. Together with praise on that face, the corners of his mouth slant upwards.
「Kukuu, this really is interesting. Just perfect, Brother. Welcome, to Whoseyards’ Cathedral」
That smirk is unbearably unpleasant. I also have suspicions that this guy cast magic on Maria. But there’s no proof. Suppressing the gushing fighting spirit, I try talking.
「It annoys me that it went as you expected but, I came to take Lastiara」
Palinchlon snaps his fingers when he hears my words.
And then the cathedral’s doors open by themselves. Furthermore the magic wrapped around the cathedral disperses, I feel some sort of formula undo. Palinchlon begins explaining in a satisfied state.
「Now then, with this the cathedral’s barrier and boundary are cancelled. Well, if it’s Brother then I don’t think there would’ve been a problem, but this is a service. After all, you’re the hero that will take away the Princess」
I don’t stop my steps while listening to the explanation.
With no negligence I pass by Palinchlon’s side, trespass into the cathedral, and progress on the entrance void of people.
Unnaturally, there is no one inside.
「There aren’t any people……」
「They probably think it’s fine with the knights outside the cathedral, and the barrier. Even if there is someone who can they aren’t people you’d want to fight. Staying away is easier」
Canceling the barrier and clearing the people, Palinchlon’s ability and nature are shady, but at the very least I understood that he intended to cooperate.
「And, will you also lend a hand?」
Unlike Hein-san, it doesn’t look like Palinchlon has any attachment to Lastiara. But, his confirmation appeared as if it were a matter of course.
「Of course, I must show my respect to the hero that managed to reach here, I’ll take care of lots of things. The barrier too, I just put it back up. With this we’ll be able to buy time against the ones tailing ?」
They’re thankful words, but I can’t trust them.
While progressing straight through the cathedral’s interior, I maintained my vigilance towards Palinchlon.
「First, check the temple room that the ceremony is being performed in with your perception magic. It’ll probably be cancelled soon, but understanding the situation is necessary. Aah, I’ll watch the rear so don’t worry bout it. The knights that are chasing, they’ll still take some time」
「Still take time? You know how far they are?」
「Probably, the extent of my perception magic is wide. Really, Hein’s amazing. Just by himself, he doesn’t let them pass. For his sake as well, wouldn’t it be better to hurry along?」
Palinchlon conveys Hein-san’s condition to me in a light tone.
I don’t know how trustworth his statement is, but it’s certain that Hein-san will stop them even if he has to put his life on the line. In a hurry I use《Dimension》to grasp the innermost temple of the cathedral.
A space similar to a school gym. It’s interior is close to the temples inside of fairy tales. If I have to point out a difference, then it’d be the gorgeous decorations. At any rate the gems used for decorations in this world are plenty. And in that gorgeous temple there are stone pillars and benches lined up, and what appears to be guests of honour dressed in good clothing sit on them. Within those guests of honour, there are also some that have an out of the ordinary atmosphere.
Where those guests gaze, is Lastiara offering a prayer to a stained glass.
Sitting on a platform by herself, she prays while dressed in a pure white dress with few ornaments. To her side is a man who appears to be a priest, and a woman is on the other. From what Hein-san said, these two must be Fedelt and a woman from the senate
「Where you able to understand the interior?」
「Aah, I did. There seem to be some strong people randomly mixed in……」
「That’s right. That’s what I wished for you to understand. That with each country’s important person, there’s a guard. I’d say go break them, but for just Brother himself, it’d be q-u-i-t-e difficult」
While being playful Palinchlon emphasizes the high difficulty.
「Even then, I have to do it」
「It’s not like I said don’t. But, as part of the intelligent faction, I’d like forcefully kidnapping the Princess to be a last resort. Hein also said it didn’t he? Take down the organizers. If it goes well, then without a fight, you’ll be able to take back Lastiara uninjured. If it’s just some speaking, then I can forcefully direct it?」
Palinchlon had a self-satisfied smile as he spoke.
Usually, I wouldn’t want to obey people who smile like that. But, it’s certain that the interest of Palinchlon and I coincide in rescuing Lastiara.
I decide to hear the details from Palinchlon. If it’s short, then there’s still time.
「And, what do you want from me?」
「Whaat, I just want to stir things up a bit. It’s the same as when I incite people――」
Palinchlon’s smile further deepens, and while walking he begins explaining the important details.
That procedure to rescue Lastiara, was not that bad. Certainly, if it goes well then I’ll be able to take out Lastiara without any fighting.
「―― and that’s that. Do you want to try it out?」
After the explanation ends, we managed to reach the front doors of the temple where the ceremony is being performed.
Palichlon smiles like a kid who will begin a prank.
What an unpleasant guy. Palinchlon’s combat ability is low. If push comes to shove, I decided in my heart to use this guy as a hostage, and I return a smile as I agree.
「Fine. Then let’s try」
We immediately move exactly as planned. First I’ll take off my overcoat, and I’ll put on the robe with expensive looking embroideries that Palinchlon prepared. Furthermore, I properly wipe off my sweat, with my attire arranged,I took the appearance of some random noble.
We immediately move exactly as planned. First I’ll take off my overcoat, and I’ll put on the robe with expensive looking embroideries that Palinchlon prepared. Furthermore, I properly wipe off my sweat, and with my attire arranged, I took on the appearance of some random noble.
At the same time as I finish changing, Palinchlon opens the door with the luxurious pattern.
――Like this, the door of where the『Ceremony』is being performed is finally opened.
Gigigi, an oppressive sound is made as the door is opened, the state on the inside enters my gaze. Obviously, the attention of the priest conducting the ceremony and the guests of honour move to the sudden visitor.
Lastiara on the stage also looks over her, and her eyes open wide.
I check her condition. The first thing I notice is that she looks strangely fatigued. If Dia’s words are correct, then it’s a given since she was supposed to be praying since last night without a wink of sleep.
But, I feel a discomfort other than the fatigue.
――Did it come out?
It looks like what was possessing her had fallen off. That something, I don’t know what exactly it is, but just as we planned, I instinctively felt that the shackles that bound her had been removed.
I remove my eyes from Lastiara, and next I look for Dia.
Looking around, I find Dia standing half up. She immediately tries to move, but I convey to her to wait a little. Dia who sees that sits back down and nods.
It was an exchange that lasted an instant, but it doesn’t seem like there’s anyone who noticed. That’s thanks to the『Celestial Knight』Palinchlon that’s standing in front.
After finishing my exchange with Dia, a man who had grasped the situation stops the ceremony and lets out his voice.
「It’s the middle of the ceremony. Just what happened?」
A man with muddy eyes standing on the platform. Even within the priest his outfit sticks out. From that outfit and behavior, I’m convinced that this man is the person called Fedelt.
In a low voice Fedelt asked what Palinchlon’s business is.
An oppressive voice. It appears that he is very angry at having the ceremony delayed.
In comparison, Palinchlon flippantly answers.
「Weeell, sorry, acting Prime Minister-dono. It’s a bit late, but one who I deemed to be a guest of honour had come, so I thought of guiding him until the inside of the temple」
And so, in order to look at everyone present in the temple, I shift my body.
I give a light greeting.
For now I’ll continue with Palinchlon’s plan. If it fails, then we’ll simply bulldoze our way through and kidnap her with force.
The seeds of surprise had been crushed, but I was at least able to grasp Lastiara’s condition. Next, before taking her, if I’m able to exchange some words with Lastiara, then following Palinchlon’s plan would’ve been worth it.
「All the guest seats are filled. I do not know who that person is. Take him out at once」
「But still, acting Prime Minister-dono. From the circumstances I’ve heard from this boy, I thought maybe he has the qualifications to attend……」
「How talkative. It’s impossible no matter what the circumstances」
The hanging on Palinclon, is shut down by Fedelt.
The atmosphere here is not one to accept an abrupt visitor. The priest and knights by the wall begin moving in order to remove the suspicious person. However, Palinchlon continues his words with no perturbation.
「Still, the reality is that he’s here? He’s a person that all of the『Celestial Knights』let pass, he passed through the cathedral’s barrier uninjured, and he made it all the way here. If this is no guest, then just what could that mean? For someone like me, it’s difficult for me to give appropriate judgement as to if he’s a guest or not, so I accompanied him like this」
I’m amazed at that roundabout tongue. However, there certainly was persuasive power there. The approaching priests and knights as well, they unconsciously slowed their pace.
If it’s said that the『Celestial Knights』at the top permitted passage, then it must be difficult for the subordinate knights to move.
And on top of being uninjured, I stand here with a good outfit. For the knights who have faith in the『Celestial Knights』, Palinchlon’s lie must have tricked them. With the『Celestial Knights』protecting the outside, they couldn’t imagine that an enemy would make it here uninjured.
「You jest……. To being with, entering at this timing is――」
「Oya? Still, it appears that Lastiara-sama recognises this boy. As expected, could it be true, that this boy is Saint Tiara-sama’s fated one?」
「Wh, wh!? Fated one!?!?」
Palinchlon says a big lie with a face as if nothing happened. Fedelt makes a face as if it’s impossible, and the end of his words became rough.
The guests of honour and of course the ones in the surroundings became noisy.
With the words Saint’s fated person, the approaching priests and knights completely stop their steps.
The atmosphere in here leans a bit towards us. Not missing this chance, I talk to Lastiara.
There are dozens of meters to Lastaira. It’s a little far to talk. But that doesn’t mean I speak in a loud voice. I speak while aiming for a calm voice, one that can pass through the whole room.
「…… Hey, Lastiara. There’s something I want to ask. As a friend and as a companion, there’s something I’d like to hear from you」
And so, I emphasize companion.
With a surprised expression, words as if to agree leak out.
It was as if she didn’t understand anything that was occuring, but even then she returns my name.
She appears to be in some confusion. Maybe it’s simply surprise, or maybe it’s the effect of the magic that had vanished from Lastiara, I don’t know which it is.
Fedelt who heard that beside Lastiara was unable to bear it, and he lets out a loud voice.
「F, friend you say, lies! Capture that boy immediately!」
Urged by Fedelt’s voice, while still hesitating the priest and knights in the surroundings begin approaching. What they’re hesitant about is that there were no inconsistencies in Palinchlon’s words, because Lastiara replied with my name.
Palinchlon uses that hesitation. Before the priest or knights can, he draws his sword and places it on my back.
「Un un. If the opponent is the Saint’s fated person, then it’d be difficult for you all to point your swords. It’s fine, leave this to me, as a『Celestial Knight』, I’ll be sure to hold him down from the back」
Shamelessly, he points his sword at what should be the guests he invited himself.
At a glance, it looks like I can’t move against the『Celestial knight』.
With this they have all lost their reason to push themselves to move. More precisely, it was probably too difficult to judge, and they couldn’t find any other way to respond.
「Wh――! You all!」
Fedelt sees that, and rebukes the knights.
I let out my voice as if to cover that. A voice louder than before, words with power and confidence.
「Lastiara, I’m sorry for being unable to answer yesterday. But, if it’s now then I can answer. I’ll show you that I can grant your wish. ――Yes, to everything」
――Will Sieg help me? Someplace far, will you go on a journey with me? Will you make all the knights of the Allied Nations, of the country Whoseyards your enemy? Will you break tomorrow’s ceremony? Even with a big big risk to bear, will you still help me?
――Aah, I’ll show you that I can grant everything.
「Now, I answered. That’s why, Lastiara has to answer my question. Let me here what Lastiara’s『Dream』is」
With the feelings of an actor, with elegance, and no pause, I continued my words.
「M, my dream……?」
Lastiara’s face turns pale when she hears my words. Her expression, is one as if hearing something that shouldn’t be heard, at a timing that it shouldn’t be heard.
Fedelt who confirms that from the side has a flustered face, and he descends the platform on the carpet that connects Lastaira and I.
I don’t miss the small groan from Fedelt. As expected, with the flow that Palinchlon painted, as the organizer it is a great trouble for Fedelt.
While trying to appeal, Fedelt makes his way here.
「――Knights! It’s fine, so captured that boy!!」
In response, a single guest of honour comes out from the benches.
「Please wait, Fedelt-sama. I am interested in the things the boy said. The dream of the one who is to become the Saint. I have a great interest in it. Eeh, great」
It was Dia.
Dia who is dressed in a pure white dress like Lastiara, leaps out onto the center of the carpet, and blocks Fedelt’s path. Her voice was calm, but the magic that is clad around her is abnormal. That terrifying magic pressure pushes down on Fedelt.
「Si, Sith-dono? What are you saying. That is simply an enemy……」
With the participation of an unexpected person, Fedelt’s spirit weakens. All of a sudden, he was pressured by an enormous amount of magic, he seemed to be bewildered.
While being grateful to Dia, I weave my words in a hurry.
Just once. It’s fine as long as I can sway Lastiara just one more time. If it’s now, then the『Artificially Made Lastiara』shouldn’t be there.――I believe that it isn’t there, and I continue my words.
「Lastiara, please remember. Didn’t we make a『Contract』? At the time we became companions, we made a『Contract』. I’ll grant Lastaira’s dream, and in exchange Lastiara will help me return home, we made that『Contract』. Your dream at that time, let me here it one more time! Just that is fine……!!」
In order to pull the words out of Lastiara, I bring up the promise from that time. And she who hears that, swallows her breath as her body stiffens. It’s then, that she remembers.
That night, at the back of the bar――, the time when we spoke of our dreams――
Just a little more…… !
I take a step forward, and little by little, I increase my voice.
「To begin with I don’t have an option. On the『Contract』, I have to grant Lastiara’s dream. Since, you saved me many times in the labyrinth…… 」
To that Lastiara looks on with moist eyes. However, she still did not say a thing.
More, I have to move her emotions even more.
Another step forward, I get closer to Lastiara.
「『I have to become Saint Tiara』is what I heard. I certainly heard it――but!『Becoming Saint Tiara is my dream』is not what I heard! Not once have I heard that――!!」
Within the viewing knights, priests, and guests, step by step I slowly make my way forward.
――Lastiara, please answer.
Even if it’s an answer of a few words, I’ll fight without hesitation.
If I hear those few words, no matter what will change, I swear to save you. That’s why――
「That’s why! Now, answer right here, Lastiara――!! Let me hear your true dream――!!」
Another step forward. Step by step, forward and forward, I approach Lastiara.
Palinchlon warned me to not roughen my voice unless I want to be seen as an enemy.
However, having come here, I can’t keep my voice in check. No, not doing so is correct.
It’s a given. I’m not an enemy. It’s because I’m her companion――!!
「Don’t worry! The『Contract』still didn’t end! If you say that everything here is in the way of your dream, then i will break everything! It’s fine as long as the price for that is returning to my place! Just that is fine! That’s why, say it! Now, here, clearly!! Once more, your dream, shout it out to everyone here――! LastiaraAAAAAAAAA――――――!!!!」
With this I can no longer go back.
Now, I’ve completely become Whoseyards’ enemy.
And so, there is nothing else for me to say. All I can do is wait for Lastiara’s reply.
Lastiara is shaking. She tries to let her voice out of her throat, but the sobs welling up from deep in her throat obstruct it. I know that she is in confusion. But, I want an answer.
Whether those few words are there or not make a big difference.
Or could it be, about the magic we thought would come undone during the ceremony, was that just our misunderstanding?
That the『Artificial』Lastiara is her everything?
「M, my, dream……」
Lastiara answers with a hoarse voice.
While returning my gaze, bit by bit she weaves her words.
「To become a hero……, Saint Lastiara is my dream……――」
She continues her words as if rethinking, the result――
「――No it’s not! That’s not it!! What I long for, is not what I become. The story until I become a hero, that is my true dream! It was my dream!」
――She shakes her head.
Aah, that’s right. I already knew.
There is no way that Lastiara wishes to gain glory in vanity. What makes her eyes shine, is the adventure that leads up to there. That’s why, even in the labyrinth she regards the process more important than the result.
「If I become『Saint Tiara』here, then my story ends…… ! The days spent with Sieg, for my『Dream』to end with only those few days……, I…… !」
While talking about her real dream, her shoulders shake, her eyes become moist, and she faces down,
「I don’t want that――！I absolutely don’t――!!」
In the end she said「Don’t」.
That is everything.
That is Lastiara’s――『The Girl In There’s』everything.
In order to convey her desire, that ordinary girl, shouts with her all.
「More than ending everything as『Saint Tiara』, 『My』story that starts from here is better! I’m fine as『Myself』 ――!!」
That was a denial towards Saint Tiara.
Lastiara’s clear shout, one that everyone could hear. That is without a mistake, the declaration of her will to not undertake this ceremony.
――Aah, thank goodness.
With this I can relax, everything that toyed with Lastiara, I will break in anger.
To Lastiara who weakly looks over here, I answer with a nod.
「Aah! Leave the rest to me, Lastiara! What starts from here isn’t Saint Tiara’s, but your story! Your story, starts now――!!」
Hearing this answer, Lastiara’s face brightens as she answers with a nod.
At that moment, the girl who had always been lost, had finally found her guidepost.
That was the moment her story came alive――