That’s the only thing I can tell.
Something that’s bad for Tomoe -in other words, bad for me, too.
I went to the top of the outer wall with one jump, and then I created footholds in the sky as I went further up.
With a distance like that of when you are doing a crouching start, I created footholds on my feet, and accurately confirmed the location and state of Tomoe and Ema.
The two of them are injured, and they both don’t seem to be moving a large distance.
The one other close to them is the enemy… Alone?
They managed to injure those two all alone?
I could tell that a part of my heart was cooling down at a high pace despite being agitated just a few moments ago.
It is not a feeling I like, but when I get wary of the opponent, it naturally pops out. It may not be to my liking, but it is also true that I am making use of it in a variety of ways.
Suddenly, I remember that time when I ran off in a hurry…that time at the explosion in Asora where casualties happened.
I already know. I won’t let that happen again.
I carefully hide my magic power and presence.
I create the next foothold and jump off it, closing about half the distance between the place where I feel the presence of those 3.
“For Ema, rather than saying it is an injury, it is more like she is seriously injured. I have to let her go back as soon as possible. Tomoe seems to be pretty beaten up herself which is rare, but the current her has a high recovery speed…” (Makoto)
While I was moving, I was speaking out the information that was coming in from [Sakai].
That’s right, the amount of experience I have is different from that time.
I look at the creepy red lightning that was spreading as if it were trying to cover the whole sky.
I am pretty sure the enemy is the Apostle of the Goddess.
Someone that Rembrandt-san has already asked me to deal with.
An opponent we were planning on facing sometime in this battle.
Depending on the affinity and situation of the encounter, I could understand how Tomoe and Ema were caught off-guard.
“…I see. So the trump card of that Damn Bug’s Apostle is lightning. Leaving aside the meaning of being red for now, we finally know its identity, huh. And so, my first move from now on should be…” (Makoto)
Now that I think about it, I was pondering a lot about that Bug’s identity at first.
The shape of the whole continent and its atmosphere resembles that of Japan, so I was thinking about stuff like Ame-no-Uzume, Benzaiten, Seioubo; oriental legends, anecdotes written down in books, and myths.
After seeing Daikokuten-sama, Susanoo-sama, and Athena-sama, I have narrowed it down to western and greek mythology, but lately I have two candidates.
No matter if Athena-sama is a God of War, I felt like it was strange that she showed up.
That’s why I think it is either Aphrodite or Artemis.
I thought that Damn Bug was one of those two.
I don’t know much about mythology, so I couldn’t narrow it down well, but I finally am beginning to feel confident about it.
“Well, that Apostle-like person is holding a big scythe. Are you the Apostle of Hades or something? Or a farmer? Geez, how misleading. That Damn Bug, you are increasing the reasons why I must not lose.” (Makoto)
Just imagining losing against her in the bow…is unbearable.
While thinking that, I take out my beloved Azusa Bow, and aim at the head of the Apostle… No, at the hand that’s holding the scythe.
Doing that would be tough.
The best first move I should be making with the opportunity that Tomoe has given me should be a decisive one that brings about our victory.
I do the new step of concentration that I practiced before with Hibiki-senpai.
An archery stance that looks defenseless at a glance and is silent and long which feels completely out of place in the battlefield.
If I manage to secure a decent altitude in the sky where there’s no interruptions, I can reduce the demerits by quite a bit.
I slowly connect the space between the Apostle and I, and take in the surroundings.
Properly taking in the factors like the wind and its dryness, the trees standing together, the elements, and the Spirits…and then erase them.
The act of turning every factor into nothing aside from me and the target…the Apostle.
I closed my eyes and I couldn’t see anything with my eyes anymore.
This is a different technique from the one bound in the logic of archery.
It is like erasing everything else and making the result of hitting the target a certainty.
Like erasing the process of it.
I open my eyes.
My senses are telling me that it is done.
The movements of Ema are quite dull.
Tomoe is still more energetic than she looks.
With my concentration maintained, the moment the arrow left my hand, it disappeared.
There’s times when, even when I did all this, it wouldn’t lead to this result.
I don’t know if it is because my concentration wasn’t enough, or because it is not something that I should be thinking in archery logic to begin with.
It is a mystery.
Then, let’s go.
I take a stance with my bow again, and cover myself in mist.
The Aion army is being trampled down by the wasteland mamonos.
The problem is that an Asora Bear is mixed in those.
Ema and I got flustered by this.
Moreover, the big and wild Moon Grizzly seemed to be angered. It was mowing down and tearing apart mamonos and people without discrimination.
An adventurer that came to the Mist Town must have coincidentally managed to capture it, but…Ema and I went to suppress the bear quickly without hesitation. We threw that big body into Asora, and we were about to return to where we were, to the broadcast point of today.
However, a thunderous roar resonated, and I ended up looking above for an instant.
A red lightning was covering the sky, and a powerful impact attacked us.
We somehow managed to return to the broadcast point, but it is true that we were caught off-guard.
When I look at Ema, I could see that she had been injured slightly, but it doesn’t look like there’s a problem-ja.
I judged that it was a bit of a bad situation-ja, but at the time when I thought about moving away…
“Is that skill…teleportation? I have found you. Where did you hide Alpine?”
If she is talking about Alpine, does that mean she is someone with a grudge on Toa?
But that’s not my business.
Kaah, I have finally been infected by Waka’s habit.
“Don’t know.” (Tomoe)
“Is that so.”
Lightning pierced Ema and me at the same time from the sky and the sides.
She must have finished some sort of preparation, or is that the boon of a special equipment?
“Tomoe-sama, barriers are not working at all against this attack. I will keep her in place here, so please return once to prepare a countermeasure!!” (Ema)
The red lightning swallowed Ema like a tornado and was tearing her up as if it were wringing her out.
…This is displeasing.
It is not an illusion or something that was formed from the mix of several elements. She is using lightning as an elemental magic.
That’s light itself.
Its speed isn’t something that can be followed with the eye.
The power differs on the situation, but the current us should be able to endure it.
“My, you are doing well, Pig. You have lasted for around 2 seconds.”
The woman laughed.
Ema has lost consciousness.
She isn’t dead, but she got hit really hard.
Good grief. It is true that it is fearsome magic and I am impressed by it, but getting overconfident ain’t good.
“It is truly a trick worth seeing-ja, but sorry, I am in a hurry.” (Tomoe)
I covered the surroundings in mist, and then made around 10 illusions of Ema and me that have our presences.
First of all, I gotta get Ema back before it gets bad.
If barriers don’t work, there’s the chance that we might get showered with attacks one-sidedly.
If that happens, it won’t even be a battle.
Even so, this woman…
Her eyes are strangely emotionless, or like, slightly similar to the times when Mio is in the zone.
Just what kind of disgrace did she taste under Toa and her group?
I am in a sense one of their teachers, so if it was a mistake from my disciples, it is not like it doesn’t concern me at all.
“I told you I don’t know.” (Tomoe)
“I don’t think there’s a special skill like this just anywhere. I will definitely have you tell me.”
“Fumu, that’s how much you don’t want this magic of yours to be known?” (Tomoe)
“Even if that weakling pig were to die, it is plenty enough if you remain.”
“Impatience distances you from success, you know, Lightning Woman.” (Tomoe)
Ema, I will bring you back to Asora as soon as possible.
It would sadden Waka if something were to happen to you.
I prepare the mist gate in this situation where there’s zero visibility, and carry Ema.
“Bloom, [Manzhushahua].” <Originally means the flower of the sky, the big red flower, one of the four good fortunes in the sky; Source.>
“What-ja to?!” (Tomoe)
The woman chanted what sounded like the name of a spell for the first time.
An equinox flower.
While I was thinking that, all the mist had been dispersed.
It can even erase the gate.
Not only that, the red lightning is piercing everything resembling us regardless if it is an illusion or not one after the other.
This is bad!
As if spreading with her at the center, the red lightning equinox flower bloomed, and each time it did, the lightning was accurately piercing.
With one strike it dispersed the mist, with one strike it erased the illusions, and with one strike it pierced us as if there wasn’t a barrier at all.
This must be what they call bad natured-ja.
By the time the continuous lightning stopped, I didn’t have enough strength to speak anymore.
I was healing Ema and myself in the middle of that.
I don’t know what logic it is running with, but at the very least, every element and barrier we use is like paper to it, and we can’t avoid it.
It is like the magic edition of Waka-ja na.
Thought transmission is being jammed, so it will take a bit of time, but I have to report this.
I use my katana as a cane, and with my head hanging down, I maintain silence as I somehow manage to tell Waka the situation with thought transmission.
Ema is…not dead, but if things come to worst, we might need Shiki.
Now then, what’s left is…to buy time-ja na.
From what I can tell, this woman has an absolute advantage against magic.
She is more cautious against Skills after all.
She also has variations that forcefully go through those Skills to ignore them to a certain extent.
With something like her on their side, even if they were to be cornered to a certain extent, it is still possible to turn the tides around-ja na.
If she is also acting as a tactician, she might have a good head on her as well.
But the fact that she is here must mean that, for good or for bad, Aion is on their limit.
Their helper is making plans, and even has to come out to the frontlines.
You could say it is already the setting sun for them as a major power.
Their helper; the Goddess’s Apostle.
The lightning element being like this was a slight miscalculation-ja na.
Disrupting and exploiting weak points is the tactic I specialize in.
If possible, I would like to fight with the sword, but if I were asked whether I can beat Waka, Mio, Shiki, or Tamaki with only that, I would say no.
It is like having both of my hands tied-ja.
I occasionally use it because it is convenient.
Aah, I am truly glad that I contacted Waka.
If by some strange twist of fate I had to rely on Mio, who knows how much she would tease me about it in the future.
No matter how I think about it, Mio would just munch on everything without caring about anything.
She probably wouldn’t have a hard time.
Even though it is a matter of affinity, I reaaaally don’t like it.
“I know that you haven’t died. Surprise attacks won’t work on me.”
“The very person that did a surprise attack is telling me that. Can’t see anything but an idiot here-ja no.” (Tomoe)
I am not playing dead or anything.
I did compare you to a magic edition Waka, but you are the inferior version of the inferior version of that inferior version-ja.
The fact that, even with all those attacks, my healing is easily keeping up makes it clear who is the superior one.
“The lightning of god is something that must be kept a secret. There’s a need to have everyone who has seen it die. The ones who are hit by the lightning of god are people that must die, and are people that the Goddess has judged as unnecessary to the world. If even an inkling of faith is left in you, you should lower your head down this instant and receive your divine punishment. This is truly deplorable.”
“It is sparking flashily in the sky though. Are you going to be slaughtering the Aion people as well? Are you going to drop that on everyone’s heads as well?” (Tomoe)
“Just seeing it is not a problem. If this will harden Aion’s faith in the Goddess, I would even allow them to pass it down as a miracle. But to the people who tie me and that as the lightning element, I will have them die.”
“…By the way, my name’s Tomoe and I am part of a company that has a store in Tsige and Rotsgard, but I really have no knowledge of you and Alpine. The Apostle of the Goddess is quite the unreasonable being, ain’t it?” (Tomoe)
“There’s no way a dragon wearing the skin of a person and bringing along a queer orc is a pure citizen. I allow the inhyuman to hold religious faith in the Goddess, but they are not equal to hyumans. You can’t even comprehend such basic principles…you mere Superior Dragon that pointlessly stays in the world.”
She has quite the impressive eye to be able to see through the fact that, not only am I a dragon, but a Superior Dragon on our first meeting.
She is saying quite the things there.
I was at a loss for words.
The Goddess and that thing feel for certain that the hyumans who receive their affection are the supreme residents of this world.
The church talks about faith at times to gain benefits, but this one is a special cookie-ja.
Her faith for the Goddess is etched deep in her.
That’s why she doesn’t like the Superior Dragons who were in this world from the very beginning, huh.
It goes both ways-ja no.
I don’t like the Goddess and the Spirits.
“Root, that strange knight, and also Alpine. I was wondering why there wasn’t any contact from Aion for a while, so I checked things out, and this time, it is you and Tsige! You people really are going wild as you please.”
“Root… I see. So you have fought Root already, huh. That damn pervert; how about doing your work properly every now and then, and eliminate a mere Apostle of the Goddess. He is useless, seriously useless.” (Tomoe)
“‘Mere’, you say. That’s quite the word you have used there. With me being in my full armament, even that disrespectful and filthy Superior Dragon wouldn’t be an enemy of mine.”
Her outburst of anger, that is the red lightning, was raging once again in the surroundings, and they pierced and tormented us.
“This may be weird coming from me who got caught off-guard, but you are quite the pitiful one-ja no.” (Tomoe)
“…Alte Barrette; at least remember the name of the person that will be vanguishing you.” (Alte)
“Alte, huh. I will remember it.” (Tomoe)
I return the katana I was using as a cane back to my waist, and sit cross-legged on the ground.
The recovery is able to keep up, but what hurts still hurts.
It is already turning into a pain.
“? That’s quite admirable of you.” (Alte)
“Making it in nick of time. That’s sometimed a trait of heroes in tragedies-ja yo.” (Tomoe)
If she hadn’t come here, she could have lived for a while more.
“? Have you gone crazy from the fear?” (Alte)
“Has the surprise attack gone well?” (Tomoe)
The arrow of Waka pierced the arm of Alte holding her flashy scythe.
It is not like it flew and pierced her, it simply suddenly pierced her.
And then, as if it had been shot powerfully from the horizon, it tore off her arm from elbow and below, and pinned it into the ground.
Of course, the scythe she had in her hand as well.
I understand that feeling, I understand it.
I also didn’t get it at first -tasting the serious fear of death for the first time.
Mist appeared for an instant only, and Waka descended from there.
He is already in stance with his bow.
Alte still couldn’t react to the arrow that had been shot.
She probably hasn’t digested the shock of having her arm taken.
She is certainly blessed with strong magic power and magic, but it looks like her experience in actual battle is shallow.
I thought for sure that arrow would pierce her head, but it deviated a bit and grazed the fancy tiara Alte had equipped there, destroying it.
“The Apostle of the Goddess, right?” (Makoto)
“Seems so.” (Tomoe)
“Sorry for being late, Tomoe. You two can return to Asora now and rest.” (Makoto)
“? But…” (Tomoe)
“It is okay. No matter what this person sees and asks, it won’t be a problem.” (Makoto)
“…As you will.” (Tomoe)
He already has that intention, huh.
Then I have no choice but to nod.
I want to watch if possible, but when he says that to me so clearly… Is it the weakness of love?
“Don’t worry, I will make her pay. She did quite the number on my important person.” (Makoto)
“…Be careful of the lightning. I will be awaiting your return.” (Tomoe)
It is rare to see Waka speak with a strong tone.
‘Don’t speak, just leave it to me’, is what I felt he tacitly expressed there.
He is now able to say hateful things like this at moments like this.
Good grief, I can’t make fun of Mio anymore.
I am also in that same vein.
Thanks to Waka, I could return safely to Asora without any problems with Ema in my arms.