“…Hmph, anyways, you are done for. Give up and come out already. Or could it be that you want to let that catkin die and shut yourself in there?” (Ferdinand)
I don’t want to obey what he says, but there’s no other choice.
Things will end as long as I die…is not what I think, but it seems like it will be difficult to resolve things here without coming out from the barrier.
However, I don’t plan on getting killed without doing anything.
I don’t know what means of communication he has, but I doubt it is with one touch of his finger. There will definitely be an opening.
There’s more than 10 meters of distance between me and the Great Spirit.
My distance between Ferdinand is around 2 meters.
I could close the distance in one go and incapacitate him before he could send the signal to that guy.
There’s a difference in Tiers and also a difference in experience.
I should be able to pull it off.
I always have an extra Barrier Stone to give to Full, so I can just break a Barrier Stone again after incapacitating Ferdinand and before the Great Spirit attacks me.
…If I knew this would happen, I would have given Full a Barrier Stone for her to keep on herself, but there’s no point lamenting that now. It isn’t an item that’s suitable against surprise attacks anyways.
“I will be coming out. But I will have you promise the safety of Grapefull.” (Hikaru)
“Alright. It is not like I want to kill pointlessly. You don’t need to worry about that. I am fine as long as I can kill you. I also have no intentions on doing anything to Rifreya Ashbird or Jeanne Collet. Of course, that’s only if they don’t do anything to us first.” (Ferdinand)
I don’t know if he is telling the truth or lying, but I have no choice but to believe him.
“Wa, Hikaru?! There’s no need to listen to what a person like this says! I will kick his ass! He knew about you and brought a Great Spirit-sama!” (Rifreya)
“Rifreya, Full has been taken hostage… Please endure it.” (Hikaru)
I am honestly happy that Rifreya is getting angry for my sake.
She probably can cut down Ferdinand in one swing.
However, he must have shown up here while fully aware of this.
What he has hidden inside his pocket might be a Barrier Stone.
If it is, he can just break it and he would be able to nullify Rifreya’s attack.
Same story with me attacking him.
Me attacking him would be the very first thing he considers.
There’s no way he would be defenseless to that possibility.
He could use the Barrier Stone at this very moment. That way, he would just have to wait patiently until I came out. As long as Grapefull is taken hostage, this won’t become a waiting game.
It is also impossible for Rifreya to leave and save her.
He would contact his comrade the moment he sees a sign of that.
Full has no combat capability.
I doubt she is on guard inside the city.
She is a frail Lynx to begin with. It should be possible to end her life with just a single knife.
And there’s…no way I would approve of that.
Even if that means I have to choose to forfeit my life.
(…In the end, I couldn’t…apologize to Jeanne.) (Hikaru)
Is she still sleeping at the inn right now?
I feel bad for dragging Rifreya into this as well.
If not for the hostage, I could have chosen the Random Transfer, but he even took that into account, and that’s exactly why he took Grapefull hostage.
—For some mysterious reason, I didn’t feel anger or hatred towards that malice.
After touching an abundance of malice from the messages, I had a feeling this day would eventually come. That’s why Jeanne and I were avoiding the 2nd group Chosen.
We knew that, if they wanted to, we wouldn’t be able to do anything about it after all.
“Fufuhahahahahahaha! Don’t make such a dreadful face in despair, Hikaru Kurose! Right…if you fight the Great Spirit and survive, I won’t kill you. I have no intentions of doing anything to you directly after all.” (Ferdinand)
Ferdinand smiles with his teeth bare.
Great Spirits are like Gods. We have made ‘contracts’ with them to use their powers, so it wouldn’t make sense that we would be able to win against the source of our powers.
A Great Spirit is a being that overflows in power to the point of providing energy to a city.
There’s no way one person alone can do anything about it.
He is saying that because he is aware of this.
—But I have no choice but to bet on that.
At this point, that’s all I can do anyway.
I don’t know if he will keep that promise or not, but I want to at least face my end in defiance.
My chances of surviving are one in a million.
Even so, I don’t want to just be eaten without doing anything.
I want to leave the proof of my defiance.
A proof of defiance towards the God that transferred us to this world.
“Now then, come out already. If you keep wasting time, I am seriously going to kill that Lynx, you know?” (Ferdinand)
I resolved myself.
Rifreya is looking over here, worried.
“Hikaru, I am sure the Great Spirit-sama will understand if you explain it to her. If push comes to shove, I will try to stop it…! Definitely…!” (Rifreya)
“Thanks, Rifreya. It is okay.” (Hikaru)
Even though she should be scared of the Great Spirit too… That gallant display of hers provided me courage.
I will definitely survive this.
Even if not, no matter if it is against a Great Spirit…I am definitely going to get my payback.
I placed a hand on the sword at my waist, and took a step out from the barrier.
The barrier was destroyed the moment I came out.
The next instant…
The Great Water Spirit that should have been 10 meters away, appeared right by the side of Ferdinand.
So natural that it felt as if, instead of calling it moving quickly, it was more as if she reappeared there. That might actually be the case.
I reflexively unsheath my sword and began channeling my mana, but for some reason, the Great Spirit’s Spirit Energy wasn’t directed at me.
She moved her right hand lightly and pointed.
With just that alone, way too dense Spirit Energy wrapped around Ferdinand.
“W-What?! H-Hey! Your target should be him! Why me?! Let me go!” (Ferdinand)
That was pure water spirit energy so massive you could see it with your bare eyes.
It was wrapping around the body of Ferdinand like a snake.
Both arms and legs had been tied up as well, so it seems like he doesn’t even have the freedom to break the Barrier Stone.
It happened in the blink of an eye.
I was taken aback by this and had even lost the timing to attack the Great Spirit.
“Guh! …Gigigi… D-Damn it… You are mistaking your enemy… Let go… Quick… Kill him…” (Ferdinand)
“Kufufufufufufu. Fool. So foolish. An irredeemable fool.”
The Great Spirit laughed.
A laugh as if making clear who is the absolute power in this place.
“Who is…the fool…? Let go…” (Ferdinand)
“Ordering this one? You are quite the haughty one, aren’t you? Did you think you could move this one as you pleased by using the Loved One as bait? It is true that he must be a delicacy. But…dweller of a different world [know your place].”
As if those words served as the trigger, the density of the Spirit Energy coiling around Ferdinand increased explosively.
The Great Water Spirit continued restraining Ferdinand with an air of composure.
Even when she is using such a strong Spirit Ability, she is not showing any signs of being affected.
The way too dense spirit energy swirling inside the Great Spirit isn’t showing any signs of reducing even by a single drop.
That appearance of hers is truly the embodiment of nature.
There’s no doubt it is a God or the world itself taking humanoid shape.
“This one tasting the Loved One…and you trying to hurt one of mine people…are two completely different matters. The people living in this city…everything is mine child.”
That tone of hers as if she were telling this to the gallery around was gentle but clear like the sound of a chime that reached to the ends of the world.
She is different from humans.
That figure of hers made my soul understand faster than my brain that she is an absolute superior being.
The captured Ferdinand had a pale blue face…and couldn’t even talk anymore.
Or maybe, he might even be…
“Kufufufu. I don’t really want to consume something like this when there’s such a wonderful treat in front of me, but it should work just right as an appetizer.”
“Could it be…” (Hikaru)
“It seems like…she plans on eating him…” (Rifreya)
Rifreya explained, slightly surprised, but I am feeling a bit conflicted here.
He is an underhanded person that took a hostage to kill me. There’s no room for pity.
It seems like him declaring that he would kill Grapefull had caused the ire of the Great Spirit. He completely dug his own grave there.
On the other hand, he is the boyfriend of my little sister…well, I don’t know about that one, but at the very least, he is an acquaintance of hers.
How is Celica feeling watching this?
Will she shed tears thinking this shouldn’t have happened?
Would she hate me even more?
While I was thinking that, the Great Water Spirit slowly moved her lips closer to Ferdinand.
I could hear the sound of gulping.
I also couldn’t move as if I had been sewn in place.
Strength…lifeforce was leaving the body of Ferdinand who was already losing consciousness.
It was as if his moisture was being absorbed.
No…it is the being that rules over water. That might actually be the case.
The body of Ferdinand was visibly drying up…and changed into the appearance of a mummy with only bones and skin.
That’s when something strange happened.
The right hand of Ferdinand shone, wrapping around his body, and then, his body returned to one with springiness as if it had been played in rewind.
After going all the way back, the thing at his right hand broke and fell off.
“Ah…I see. The Scapegoat Ring.” (Hikaru)
The miraculous ring that shoulders your death once.
But against the Great Spirit…
“Hooh…a second serving? How generous.”
It simply served to slightly prolong your already assured death.
“Kufu. Kufu. Kufu. I see, I see. As expected of the dwellers of a different world… It is as if the body has not adapted fully to the Chaotic Energy, but because of this, there’s a distinct taste… It could be addicting.”
The Great Spirit finished tasting him once more, undid the snake-like Spirit Energy, and threw away what was once Ferdinand.
A sound like that of driftwood rolling.
That’s by no means a sound that a human should be making when falling.
Even the remains of his body disappeared into powdery particles blown by the wind.
There was no life, not even a body, no nothing at that place.
Only an empty husk after having everything taken away.
He disappeared from this world without even leaving a Spirit Stone.
All of this happened just a few minutes after I came out from the barrier.
And then, the interest of the Great Spirit was directed here.
Those eyes of hers were telling me clearly: ‘You are next’.