That space was vast…and the angered steps of Byakuya resound far into it. The ceiling is high, and the inside of the tower is hollow in order to use it as a space for laying the ashes of the deceased to rest.
The spiral stairs were running up the inner walls as if leading to the heavens. It is indeed the thought of a Life Temple.
Jean was running up that. Byakuya followed. Each step of the stairs may be wide, but to think that a horse can run without any issues in this kind of narrow space, that’s a Unicorn for you.
There’s no presence of the enemy yet.
I haven’t given up on searching for the enemy. It may not be possible to detect the mana or presence of a Zeruaga…but as if I will just give up because I was told so. I am the man that inherited the eye of Ares.
While making my left eye shine golden, I was desperately trying to gain as much information as possible. Raising my senses.
If I try to pick up a variety of abnormalities, even if I can’t detect the presence of the Zeruaga itself, I should be able to infer it.
Even if it sounds impossible, it would serve as practice to master this magic eye. I will do this. I am not mature enough to accept that I lack in an area where our newbie Jean excels!!
My magic eye mixes with my other senses and it enhances them. Thanks to that, even if I couldn’t feel the pulse or breathing of the Zeruaga…I noticed that these stairs were releasing a mysterious sound and vibration.
“…Are these stairs made of metal?” (Solje)
“Yeah, quite the insight you have there. I am impressed you noticed.” (Loroka)
“There’s magic flowing to it. Is it mythril…? Even if it is, what in the world is this high sound and the vibration that reverberates in the wind?” (Solje)
“…This is not mythril. This is a magic mineral that we created ourselves through alchemy. Phalgionium; it is light like a feather, and if made into a blade, it can cut even iron.” (Loroka)
“I see. The head of your spear is made of this, huh.” (Solje)
“…Yes. If Captain Solje wants, I can make you one next time.” (Loroka)
“That’s a nice offer, but why? Is this also a tradition of yours? The one who notices the intricacies of the Life Temple stairs will get Phalgionium?” (Solje)
“No, I simply want to.” (Loroka)
“…I am popular.” (Solje)
“Yeah, you are one evil gentleman.” (Loroka)
Jean is having a broken heart.
Right, Jean likes Loroka-sensei’s kindness and motherly aura. But don’t go dampening your fighting spirit just because of a broken heart.
The young Jean howls as if to clear those worries from his heart!! And then, began to run slightly faster up the stairs.
Byakuya also increases her speed as if she was provoked by it. Umu, a good Unicorn that hates losing. That’s how a steed running in the battlefield should be!
By the time we reached around halfway of this giant tower…that ‘song’ suddenly began.
“——That metropolis silently dyes red.
Losing pride and power.
Only serving to shape mine dream in silence…”
It is the voice of a young woman.
I remember the words of the old lady that we saved from the ‘statue’. That ‘witch’. That’s how the old lady called her.
Witch, huh…in other words, it is taking the form of a woman.
If the old lady had been in better shape, we could have gathered information from her, but she was extremely depleted.
Haah, challenging an unknown enemy without a plan. If Gandalla were here, he would be reprimanding us, but…sorry, this is in our nature.
In the first place, our current adjutant isn’t in a calm state of mind.
Her home has been destroyed. That’s why, I will do the support.
“——The horned prostrated to me.
Abnormals that speak with animals.
Taking out the blood from their flesh and organs, offering that red life to the frozen city.
That’s mercy, that’s happiness; yet the savages…entered mine dwellings riding a steed.”
“…Don’t sing a song that insults us Diaros!!” (Loroka)
Loroka Sharnel shouted. That’s why I order her.
“Loroka, calm down. Do you understand what I am trying to say here? Don’t get caught in her cheap provocation. You are a proud Diaros. Pierce through your enemy with composure.” (Solje)
“!! Y-Yes! Understood, Captain Solje!!” (Loroka)
That’s how it should be. The calm burning anger is what fits you the most. There’s no wildness to it, but it burns so strongly that it can easily melt iron.
“Byakuya, lower your speed. Jean-kun, the enemy is right by our nose -walk. Control your pulse. If we move calmly, even a Zeruaga is nothing to fear.” (Loroka)
“——Nothing to fear?
The horned girl.
Foolishness she wears.
Unknowing of mine own strength.”
“——Hoh, laughing, Red Hair?”
“Clairvoyance? That’s a God-like power you’ve got there.” (Solje)
I was grinning on the back of Byakuya. She is provoking us, so I am paying her back. She is reacting to everything we do. She is one petty God.
“——What are you…?
You are mixed.
A monster and a human?”
“…There’s a dragon in my left eye. It has the power of a hero that tore the throat of you Zeruagas.” (Solje)
“It is something that happens often in this world since long past. Many of the Invading Gods were subjugated.” (Solje)
“Yeah, and…you will also be one of them.” (Loroka)
“——Don’t say unamusing words like that, you mere paint colors.”
“Acting like an artist? How simplistic. Aren’t you lacking in talent?” (Solje)
“——I see, fools that don’t know their place…
Fine, come. I will remind you what a God is.”
“I am looking forward to that. I am about to snap in anger, so I am a bit excited. I haven’t killed a God yet, you see.” (Solje)
Doesn’t want to have a talk with us anymore? I see, what a shame.
‘The more you talk, the less I like you’, is what a woman in a bar once told me.
When I was silent, I was called a Death Reaper; when I talk, I get this treatment.
“Captain, w-we are about to arrive!!” (Jean)
“Don’t be so nervous. It is the usual work. Find the enemy and kill them. That’s the simple work of us mercenaries. Ain’t that right, Loroka?” (Solje)
“Yeah, calm down, Jean-kun. It isn’t something to be nervous about. The Evil God Slaying that has been performed more than hundreds of times in the past, we will simply be doing that same thing.” (Loroka)
“R-Right! As expected of you two!!” (Jean)
Now then, we arrived at the highest floor of the Life Temple.
A big silk bed was there where the Witch is most likely waiting for us. There was a single woman lying down on her side at that bed.
White hair, white skin…naked? No, I don’t know why, but there’s red paint running across her body. And…there’s wings at her back.
Big wings -colored red.
That Witch was holding a smoking pipe. When she sees us, her lips thinned and she puffs out smoke.
Coincidentally, she also has the same golden eyes as my left eye.
“…You are a Zeruaga, huh. Smaller than I thought.” (Solje)
“……You think you can measure a God’s authority by the size of their bodies?”
“Who knows. This is a first for me after all.” (Solje)
I jump off Byakuya and approach the bed she is lying at.
I direct my dragon longsword at that abnormal winged Witch.
“It is not to my taste to attack you one-sidedly like this. Call your subordinates or whatever and have them fight me.” (Solje)
“Subordinates, huh… You have brought two of yours, that’s not fair~.”
“Yeah, I hate unfairness. It goes against the knight’s code. You can call as many as you want.” (Solje)
“No, I will borrow one of yours.”
“…What are you saying?” (Solje)
“Eh? W-Wait!!” (Jean)
Jean’s agitated voice.
He gets flustered often, but the one just now was slightly different from the usual. I separate my gaze from the Zeruaga which I didn’t want to do, and check Jean.
“What’s the matter?!” (Solje)
“P-Please stop it, Loroka-neesa—gyaaan!!” (Jean)
Jean flies through the air and hits the wall.
And then, a presence clad in bloodlust approaches my head.
I click my tongue.
I jump to the side and then mix another jump to the back. Finally escaping from the range of Loroka’s spear.
Being attacked by a top class spear user, huh.
That was dangerous. I have cold sweat all over.
“…Oi, Loroka.” (Solje)
I glare at my precious subordinate that suddenly attacked Jean and even attacked me.
She is clearly not herself right now.
Her eyes are polluted in red. The blue that reminds me of the sky is not there.
“Hahahaha!! You move quite well like a monkey despite how big you are.”
“You bastard, what did you do to Loroka?” (Solje)
I can already imagine what it is though.
“Brainwashing. How’s my authority? …Quite effective, don’t you think?”
“…A power that can instantly let you control someone?” (Solje)
“Something like that.”
“That’s an impressive power… I see, I understand the reason why you don’t have familiars here.” (Solje)
“Really? I will check your answer and see if it is correct.”
What a carefree God this is.
Damn it, Loroka is aiming at me. Facing against her, I can tell her strength. I thought I already knew it, but when faced with her serious killing intent, it turns into such overwhelming pressure, huh.
Loroka doesn’t let even a slight preliminary movement escape. If I move one millimeter, she would move one millimeter and adjust her posture… There’s seriously no opening.
No wonder Jean couldn’t deal with her.
“What’s the matter? What happened to your answer?”
“…You controlled the Diaros and had them create that shitty object themselves.” (Solje)
That’s why she doesn’t have subordinates. Everyone becomes her pawns.
This damn woman coerced them to do an extreme level of self-mutilation by skewering themselves?
“Yeah, that’s right!! You are intelligent, Red Headed Monkey!!”
“Then, as a reward, how about clearing the curse off my adjutant?” (Solje)
“Can’t go that far for you. Go ahead, kill each other. Between comrades.”
“…Oi, stop it, Loroka.” (Solje)
The red eyed Loroka Sharnel came at me with that fearsome thrusting technique of hers.
I barely manage to evade the thrust filled with killing potential—but I saw the spear spin within my field of vision. The attack was changing in the moment. The angle changed, and the attack that was supposed to be a thrust had transformed into a side sweep.
I use the dragon longsword to block the hit.
That kind of high sound resonated and I felt the weight in my arms. So heavy. That’s our Loroka-sensei—wait?!
A thrust of the spear came at me from below, aiming at my chin.
I somehow managed to evade that by moving my head together with a backstep, but…it is not as if I had my guard down.
Even when I am concentrating at full, I don’t think I will be able to evade the spearmanship of Loroka forever.
I am purposely creating an opening in my back, and yet, that Witch isn’t attacking me. Even though I am aiming for a counter.
Is she just lazy, or is her intuition as a God working here, making her cautious against me? She is still lying in bed. Not a single sign of approaching.
This is a bad state of affairs.
I want to resolve this situation without dealing damage to Loroka-sensei.
Damn it, Jean. How long are you going to be unconscious for? If you were to deal with the Witch here, it would make things faster!
This is strange, it is Jean we are talking about here. A beastkin. Even if it was a hit from Loroka, he should have recovered by now. That Witch must have done something to Jean as well.
The red eyed Loroka was slowly closing the distance.
This is bad…what do I do? Deal enough damage to knock her out without killing her? …Against a master, it is pretty difficult to adjust the strength in such ways.
…I might have to go serious here…
- Chapter 81
The brainwashed Loroka Sharnel doesn’t show mercy even against me!!
Those thrusts raining at me like a downpour, slowly closing my escape routes.
Each attack doesn’t have much weight, but when thinking about the capabilities of the so called Phalgionium, I feel like it could easily pierce the mithril dragon scale armor I have!!
Damn it. Thinking about unnecessary stuff for one second made me unable to evade. It was only a scratch, but it really did pierce my armguard easily and reached the meat below.
“Hahaha!! So one-sided. That’s boring. Come on, kill each other.”
“Saying whatever you want…!” (Solje)
The spear combo of Loroka-sensei?! A three thrust attack with a rising kick that pokes at the opening created. I tried to reduce the distance to stop this, but she made a turn and countered with a sweep.
I was unable to evade that and got hit in the face. The impact of it made my vision shake, and she escapes to a distance where my arms can’t reach.
Even when she is being controlled, she is intelligent. She must have noticed that I was prepared to receive damage in order to close the distance…!
Damn, this is bad. I can’t seem to get closer.
If only I could get closer, I could take away her spear and push her down. Then put her into a hold to incapacitate her…
“What’s the matter? Aren’t you going to do anything?”
“Shut up. As if I can hit Loroka with my dragon longsword.” (Solje)
“Hoh, you love that woman? Are you mating with her every night?”
“Can you not pry into my privacy? I am in the middle of work here, you see.” (Solje)
“Hahaha, interesting. Lovers that shared a bed the night before are killing each other today. I like those kinds of tragedies.”
“That’s cliche.” (Solje)
“Enjoy honestly what’s interesting. The woman you have been skewering every night will now be skewering you instead with her spear. Isn’t that amusing? And if you die, I will release her from the spell. You will be embraced into those big boobs of hers, and she will shed tears for you. Isn’t that a great way to die?”
…Shit, I am being sexually harassed by a God…! Moreover, even though I have done nothing to show I am a pervert, I am still being taken as one.
But this Witch has mistaken my relationship with Loroka-sensei.
Fumu, she can control the heart, but can’t read inside it, huh.
I have obtained a piece of information. Being harassed had a positive from it. Thanks for the good tip!
“Sei! Haaa! Touu!” (Loroka)
Loroka-sensei continued attacking me mercilessly.
I deflect the tip of the spear with my dragon longsword and simply concentrate on escaping with my footwork.
What do I do in order to escape this situation?
Is there a way to release this brainwash?
Right, this shouldn’t be infinite. Cause the brainwash of the old lady was gone. Even if she had been controlled and she skewered herself, she was still released from that deep brainwash.
Then, what are the conditions for release?
I work my brain while escaping from Loroka.
…Will I be able to solve this after a while? …It might be possible. In that case, should I run around the city while being chased by Loroka? But if the others get controlled in that time, the situation would worsen.
Right, she can control several at once. If she goes and controls even Riel and Mia, things would get out of hand.
…But a question comes out then.
There’s Loroka-sensei, Jean, and I.
Why wasn’t it me? In sole terms of appearance, you can tell that the one with the highest combat power is me. If she were to choose someone to control, she should have chosen me. And yet, she didn’t.
In other words, that brainwashing doesn’t work on me?
What does that mean? Are women easier to brainwash? …And what about the Diaros? But it looked like the whole city was controlled…
“…The Crystal Horns.” (Solje)
“Hm? …What are you talking about?”
“I don’t know how you are doing it, but the reason why you brainwashed Loroka was because the Diaros are easier to brainwash.” (Solje)
“You haven’t brainwashed me. Even though I have the strength to slay you.” (Solje)
“You are overestimating yourself.”
“Really? I can test that theory with your body soon. Whether or not this dragon longsword can cut a Zeruaga.” (Solje)
“…Woman, shut that thing up. Its voice is displeasing.”
Loroka-sensei attacks me intensely as ordered.
They are nice movements.
Because of how I am simply defending and evading, she has been getting a few good hits in, but…I can’t attack.
Hurting Loroka? As a man, I can’t do something like that, and…that’s what that pipe woman wishes.
I won’t do what you would enjoy.
“…Wait there, Loroka. I will find a way to release you from her control.” (Solje)
“There’s no means to release my spell.”
“There must be. If not…you would have rampaged in many more cities. The reason why you only rampaged in a city that’s all the way at the ends of the world must be because your powers are limited.” (Solje)
It would have been easier for me if she had just lunged at me for my insulting tone, but even with that, she isn’t moving.
Is not moving the core of her continuous brainwash? It may be possible, but I can’t say for sure. First of all, how did she even manage to brainwash her?
By the time we noticed, she was already an enemy.
When was the trigger? What was it…?
…Fumu, the only action I can think of is that.
“…You brainwashed Loroka with that song.” (Solje)
The Witch doesn’t deny or affirm. That does make me doubt myself, but I don’t think there’s any other possibility.
Loroka-sensei was made to listen to that song, and was angry… Now that I think about it, it was strange for her who is usually always calm and composed.
She is not such an easy woman as to be riled up by such cheap insults.
That anger was also not like her. Her anger burns more silently than that. Well, we are in a special situation where her homeland was attacked, so I thought that maybe that was the reason for her anger, but…
…If that’s not the case, she had been brainwashed then, or was in the process to.
Because she was not in a normal state of mind, an anger unlike her was showing?
Anyways, the song. Was her brain controlled by the information entering her ears? But Jean and I are not being controlled…
I see, a song doesn’t only enter the ears. A song is sound, they are merely vibrations. If it is the vibrations of the air, you can feel it even with the skin.
Loroka has a body part that we don’t.
“Running around all the time!! Boring!! Kill each other and show the red inside you people!!”
“I am thinking here. Can you ladies please not make so much noise?” (Solje)
I block the thrust of Loroka-sensei with my dragon longsword and deflect it. And then, take distance with small steps.
“Tch, running away again. Coward.”
“You are the last person here I want to hear that from, Witch.” (Solje)
…The way of thinking of a Zeruaga really is warped. That’s an invader from the Spirit World for you. Our logic doesn’t apply.
Yeah, the Zeruagas are weirdos in a variety of ways. The ability to manifest powers through controlling the mana inside our bodies, in other words, magic; they don’t use that. If they did, we would be able to detect their presence, too.
Now then, the power of the Witch, controls you with something that’s not mana. My my, that’s quite outrageous.
The Unicorns and the Diaros seem to have their hearts connected, but it isn’t something brought by magic. If that were the case, we would have noticed.
…They are similar -this Witch and the Diaros… Controlling others with a way that’s not magic.
Fumu, is that why she aimed here? Are the Diaros especially susceptible to that song?
Now then, gotta confirm… Byakuya is currently silent and isn’t moving at all.
She is in a strange state. In other words, she is in some way also brainwashed? …Even so, she is not attacking us in a blatant way like Loroka, so her brainwash was light?
…In other words, because she only has one crystal horn, she couldn’t pick up that something that was hidden in the song?
Yup yup, this ain’t looking bad.
“…Hehehe, I am beginning to feel like I can do something about this.” (Solje)
“Even though it has been one-sided? You have also taken a few hits. You are bleeding.”
“There’s no way I can perfectly avoid the attacks of Loroka-sensei while thinking, right?” (Solje)
I was prepared for this much. I can accept any amount of damage done to me. I don’t want to hurt her. She is a precious comrade, a woman, and also…
The main protagonist of this revenge epic…has to be her.
I am not the one killing you. It is the job of Loroka Sharnel. If I were to injure her to the point that it would hinder this objective, no amount of apologies would be enough.
“Well, I have gotten enough of a harvest worth the blood shed, Witch.” (Solje)
“…Hmph, I don’t think there’s much worth in the blood of an idiot though.”
“That’s harsh—! Woah there!” (Solje)
The spear was swung down.
Hoh, what’s the matter? That’s quite the crude attack for Loroka-sensei. This rhythm is not Loroka-sensei’s rhythm. Is the Witch agitated?
You forcefully moved Loroka just now, didn’t you? To attack me, to shut me up. To stop me from thinking anymore.
I swing my dragon longsword to the side, and break the swung down spear of Loroka-sensei. Of course, no wounds on her.
Loroka-sensei quickly moves to take distance.
I could have pushed her down and restrained her in that timing, but…I didn’t. I want to check the movements of the Witch after all -with my magic eye, that is.
“…Pathetic. To have your spear cut. Here, a service from me, I will restore it.” (Loroka)
The winged witch said this and snapped her fingers. She snapped them, huh. She used sound.
When she did, a part of the spear that I broke floated and headed to the partly-broken spear that Loroka-sensei held, sticking to it.
All steps of it, I didn’t feel mana. I see, so this is the authority of a Zeruaga.
“That’s quite something. You can restore matter, huh.” (Solje)
“Kinda. I am a God. An existence far above your plane.”
“While at it, can you fix my armor that’s now filled with holes, God?” (Solje)
“Angered you, huh. But showing off your ability is indeed not good.” (Solje)
“…You shouldn’t be using your abilities willy-nilly. The trick behind it will be seen through, you know?” (Solje)