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ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO STARTING A LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
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The sight of a white light.
Warm, soft, a light which reassured one’s heart.
To greet the morning with such a serene mood had been too long absent.
Always waking in despair, in neverending everydays that were as nightmares, there had never been a trace of peace.
Gradually coming to firmly believe that for always and always, this darkness would never usher in the morning sun.
Precisely because of this, was perhaps why this this ray was so refreshing.
???: “—Hey, wake up.”
Hearing someone’s voice.
Beyond the white light, someone was calling for her. Guided by that voice like so, led by the hand like so, departing from this darkness.
That white light glimpsed in the distance, finally engulfed her vision completely.
Emilia: “Good morning. No matter how much of a sleepyhead you are, it’s about time to wake up, you know.”
Opening her eyes and gazing over, a shy silver-haired maiden laughed as she spoke such words.
—Those words made Sylphy’s cheeks, become stained with tears.
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Cerulean light flooded the sky, as the enchantment of ice lifted.
The ice that had engulfed the half-demolished church gradually turned to light, and the scattering mana was circled by the micro-spirits and disappeared.
The sight of one unfathomable fantasy being overtaken by another unfathomable fantasy, engraved an agonizing wound in the hearts of the viewers.
Although it wouldn’t be strange to be moved to tears by such a sight, the reason why they cried and wailed, was certainly something greater than that.
From what overtook their lives, a nightmare which had bound the most brilliant and sparkling time of their lives — from that, they had been freed.
Subaru: “Speaking of which, Emilia-tan is pretty amazing.”
Thoughtlessly loosening his lips, Subaru murmured absentmindedly.
In front of his eyes were Emilia, and the bride clinging onto her in tears — the former brides, in a healthy shape.
The number of women in dresses were precisely fifty, with not a single error in counting.
Subaru: “…… When I informed her that his heart and the brides were integrating, I thought there wouldn’t be a way to save the brides without having them die.”
Taking away the lives of the brides, rendering [Lion’s Heart] without a place to be in. Subaru had partly, seriously given up on there being another way to stop that abhorrent man. He had been prepared for victims.
However, unlike Subaru, Emilia had not given up.
It is true that in the fierce and life risking skirmish against Regulus, his thinking had come to a standstill. However, Emilia did not stop thinking.
With the cards she held, and considering what all would be possible for her, she had made her move.
Which is why,
Subaru: “This time, Emilia-tan completely carried us across, huh.”
Emilia: “It’s, not like that.”
Letting out an exhausted sigh, next to the wall, Subaru remarked on his own vanquish. Hearing his relieved exhale, Emilia came back to him. Her white dress was torn, and her silver hair, which overcame the struggle for life and death, was disheveled.
Even still, now after the fight had ended, Emilia looked beautiful.
Inhaling with that in his mind, Subaru jerked his chin.
Subaru: “Those people too, faces full of expressions of dissatisfaction that fail to sufficiently express their gratitude toward Emilia.”
Emilia: “Don’t use me to kid around. And I, am unable to explain some grand ideology to them. Even if only for a brief while… the choice of dying was forced upon them.”
Subaru: “But there isn’t anyone who died. Everyone’s still alive. — This point is more important than anything else.”
This result, was more perfect than anything else.
Having found the answer he was seeking, Subaru felt relieved. Emilia placed her hands on her hips, and raised her voice as she spoke to the Subaru who was still regarding himself too lowly and thus putting himself down.
Emilia: “Wounded all over, forcing yourself even so… if Subaru hadn’t worked so hard, everyone wouldn’t have made it so far. [Lion’s Heart] too, was all thanks to Subaru noticing it.”
Subaru: “Lacking a trump card is the usual thing… That said, all along it’s felt off. But, thank goodness it had been noticed. Freezing the wives, to place them into a death trance.”
Emilia: “I too, was frozen for a bit too long.”
Hehe, Emilia stuck her tongue out with that kind of feeling. Adorable.
Although, for some reason, this didn’t seem like content to be discussed while laughing.
Which was to say, Emilia’s actions and keenness to strike down Regulus, had yielded the greatest effectiveness without unnecessary sacrifice.
Fifty-three lives, of those precious wives’ had been saved.
Emilia: “Though as for whether or not I could do it, I was a bit lacking in confidence.”
Subaru: “But it was done even still. Emilia-tan, worked hard in order to improve your own skill and strength.”
Emilia: “But, that possibility that they would stay frozen like this also existed. To free everyone perfectly like this is what finally allows me to relax.”
And then as if to hide her shy smile, she touched her chest.
Underneath the palm of that hand, was seemingly to confirm that there remained only her pulse and heartbeat.
Emilia: “In addition, if Subaru hadn’t removed Regulus’s heart from my chest, I would have needed to use the same magic on myself. In that case, whether for Sylphy and the others or for myself, I think it’d be waaay worse than melting like this. Because then it could have taken another hundred years.”
Subaru: “That again — isn’t that exaggeration no matter how you look at it?”
Subaru: “So this isn’t exaggeration!? Or worse, isn’t this completely unparalleled extremism!”
Watching the silent bitterly smiling Emilia, Subaru felt a sharp shock.
Due to Regulus’s provocation, Emilia had wanted to stop [Lion’s Heart]’s effect on her. If an eye hadn’t been kept on her, if the situation hadn’t been dealt with right then perhaps Emilia would have been parted from this life. Of course, notions of searching everywhere for a way to melt the ice in order to avoid this still existed.
Subaru: “Something like two sleeping beauties, my pestilent demon truly isn’t ordinary, please give me your forgiveness.”
Although complaining, Subaru’s heart had settled down.
In any case, Emilia had been rescued safe and sound, and the wives had been freed without harm. Although the battle against Regulus had yielded a scale of destruction beyond what one opponent seemed capable of — in summary, their side had sustained more or less no loss.
Even so, Subaru’s flesh carried all kinds of burdens, as well as an unnecessary fate shared with the Witch Cult.
And in addition —
Emilia: “Reinhardt, leaving without even treating his wounds, I wonder if he’ll be okay.”
To Subaru who had been lost in thought, Emilia suddenly spoke thus.
Subaru raised his head, gave a wave with his hand.
Subaru: “It’ll be fine, since that guy, even if he leaves his wounds as is micro-spirits’ll come along and treat them. He himself said so.”
Emilia: “Ah, makes sense. Originally there had been quite the number of micro-spirits here, but as soon as Reinhardt left, everyone went too… Reinhardt, perhaps has the aptitude to potentially be a spirits arts user.”
Subaru: “My niche would be completely killed so that can’t be!”
And as for Reinhardt’s circumstances, even without anything like that, he was strong enough. Although the one who had tossed Regulus to be dealt with by Reinhardt was Subaru himself, Reinhardt’s manner of battle in that final indistinguishable duel, to describe coldly in one phrase.
Could a human, leap with such ease above the clouds. Even if they couldn’t all be classified as human, they were all knights to a candidate of the king’s election.
Subaru: “Emilia-tan, weak though I may be, please don’t cast me away.”
Emilia: “——? I am, especially dependent on Subaru?”
Subaru: “Is that right! That’s right! From now to the future I’ll also work my hardest!”
Emilia: “Apologies, your sudden rush forward of hard work is a bit confusing…”
In any case, best to stop comparing this to that. To do so, would be the same as Regulus who couldn’t act with the peace of mind without using others as a point of reference.
Though he’d always been thought of as a man without qualities to be admired, but unexpectedly treating him as a frame of negative reference worked out just fine.
Emilia: “… Everyone else, are they getting along fine?”
Subaru: “It’s for that reason that Reinhardt was brought along. In all honesty, because everyone else is stronger than me.”
To entrust to one another, or rather for one to rely on the other, the awkward expression known as Faith would be the most suiting.
Despite differing factions, who would one day meet in conflict in the struggle for the throne, Subaru still believed in them. Even with the variance of personalities, abilities, and beliefs.
At least, he’d believe that he wouldn’t lose to those despicable, hopeless guys of the Witch Cult.
Moreover, if anyone failed, if the lives of anyone who mattered — was to say that Subaru needed to consider using, [Return by Death]. The contract with Roswaal, even if it hadn’t existed, as long as there remained any slight chance of salvation, they would certainly be saved.
Pain and suffering were worthy of his hatred indeed.
But tragedies were surely, even more worthy of his disgust.
Unknowing of what the Subaru who was considering death saw, Emilia bent down from beside the sitting Subaru.
Her body rested against his left shoulder, as she gently stroked his lowered head. How itchy. But, it was hard to part with.
Emilia: “Right now, I share the same sentiments as Subaru. Although I’m worried about everyone, my own strength is spent. Even reaching out a hand is impossible. So me too, allow me to pray with Subaru? In hope, that everyone will be safe and sound.”
Emilia: “Certainly there won’t be any problems. Because everyone compared to us, is suuuper strong, suuuper smart, suuuper hard workers.”
In order to reassure Subaru, carefully considering her choice of words was Emilia. Her use of phrasing sounded especially of her, and Subaru too was able to relax.
Faith. To have faith in everyone. And Reinhardt who had already set off.
Immediately upon defeating Regulus, Reinhardt had left to help their compatriots. A battlefield with him present would not be any cause for concern.
Without losing even a single person, welcoming the coming morning. In that case, capturing Subaru’s worry, was only one remaining issue—
Alongside Subaru who looked toward the sky as if in prayer, Emilia as well looked through the ceiling of the demolished church to regard the night sky. As if to prevent Emilia from seeing, Subaru tightly grasped his chest.
—Alongside the moment of Regulus’s death, it had felt as if something formless and black, had slid into his own chest, pulsating.
This must be, the same thing that had happened with Petelgeuse then.
So he would in order keep Emilia from noticing, merely keep quiet.
Pray to the heavens, come to an epiphany, merely keep quiet.
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—Turn back time to just a little before Regulus had been defeated.
When Subaru and the others had left for the control towers, and Otto who had seen them off before leaving in order to recover the [Book of Wisdom], even transpiring about a quarter of an hour after.
That was when Otto and Felt had encountered [Gluttony] and had begun to fight, was when Garfiel and Kurgan had just landed in the canal, was when Wilhelm had unveiled Thearesia’s cloak, was when Julius had frowned upon hearing discourse of hatred that he couldn’t remember, was when the church where a bride had been on her way to being forced into marriage in a farce of a wedding had been half destroyed, was when the canals to the city’s north had suddenly ignited at once — was the instant when the City Hall with only non-combatants left inside were attacked.
???: “Kyaha! Time for this lovely lady’s debut~!”
On the topmost floor of the City Hall that stood five stories tall, a tremendous force shattered walls without any room for resistance.
The tremendous vibration shattered the architecture’s windows, and combined with the damage to the building’s foundations that had happened during the day caused lethal damage. Pristella’s City Hall, a building which had once been the city’s center had in the space of a mere single day turned to the verge of ruin, becoming unsightly to behold.
However, whether or not the curtain would close on only the verge of ruin, was dependent on what would happen here — would be decided based on those results.
???: “Four towers corresponding to four gates. No matter which opens the city would indeed be flooded… to not gamble on the possibility of retaking all the towers wouldn’t do. Even if you rotten meats were unwilling you’d still need to disperse your forces, so using your total forces wouldn’t do either.”
Long-windedly, a voice which was an assault to the ears described the immediate circumstances of the city.
And then, echoing were voices opposite to this.
“Everyone! Be certain to survive, to protect this city!”
“Using our strength, let’s take back this beautiful street!”
“We who stand with justice couldn’t possibly lose!”
“Good is paid with good, and evil is paid with evil. This battle, will be the victory we await—!”
The stern voice of a young man.
The brave voice of a young woman.
A cry of a stern voice from a male soldier which had tangibly seen war, a cry of rational naivete from a young woman cheering everyone on.
In any case, only the innocence of these unrelenting and unashamed wills and proved these unyielding lines of discourse — only, the mouth which discussed this was only a single one.
???: “Why~ is it, this unwillingness to just think the slightest bit~?”
Then from the same mouth which spoke these effective words, as if betraying all the preceding remarks, insulting and taunting, a voice so rooted in malice to speak as if without even conscious malicious intent of smearing them away spoke thus.
And then the owner of the voice, hugged her own petite frame as if seeing something disgusting and began to shake back and forth at the shoulders.
???: “Kyahahahaha! Stopstopsto~p, please don’t do this! Why~ does this lovely lady have no choice but to greet thi~s justice that exudes the same stench~ as soil and sweat? Yo~u rotten meats, are you all gathered together so that your brains can boil beau~tifully?
Raising her voice high, producing a laugh piercing as a clamor.
Without capability of hiding, without intent of hiding malice was this sultry voice, and the source of this voice was a young girl who had yet to blossom into maturity.
Wide round eyes and delicate thin lips, blond hair riding to shoulders and faintly reddened cheeks, as if taking the form of the concept of cuteness, that face appeared inconsistent with the young girl’s luster and fierceness. Clad in pieces of cloth which were practically just lingerie, forget being a woman, for a young maiden whose human body’s characteristics had yet to develop this outfit was far too exposed. Any normal human who saw this would hold a twisting sense of aversion.
The terrifying young girl — or rather, the monster’s purpose lay here.
Witch Cult Sin Archbishop representing Lust, Capella Emerada Lugunica, a monster whose purpose was to ridicule morals and dignity of humanity as exceedingly as possible was present.
Capella: “That you would delusionally believe this lovely lady would be following decorum, and obediently wait in the tower is practically incomprehensible! Kind to the point of allowing you~ to pass these days, is already charity! What is called battle is about not allowing the opponent to do as they like, and then to do~ precisely what they don’t want you to. This kind of principle is understood even by flowers in a greenhouse~, you trash trash trash trash meats.”
In the midst of these coarse words of unbearable ridicule, was the monster that was only cute in appearance that was Capella.
Using fingers to poke at cheeks while twisting her body was this monster, who resumed human form immediately upon successfully infiltrating the city hall and entered a nearby room — meeting Capella there was a cat-eared knight who had been immersed in her abusive words earlier. And the long-haired woman lying on the platform behind him.
Here was the uppermost floor of the hall, the room that the pair of Ferris and Crusch occupied.
Felix: “You are, the Sin Archbishop of [Lust]…!”
Ferris cried out with a voice trembling with rage as he protected the bed while glaring at Capella. Capella tilted her head at the Ferris who glared at her, then looked toward the bed behind him and nodded with an expression of acceptance.
Capella: “Ah~ okayokay, your hatred is understandable. She di~d in fact lose to the blood. From the start it shouldn’t have worked. E~ven though that was believed, actually seeing this failure is disappointing indeed. The most noble Lugunica blood~ mislead me to have just the slightest bit of expectation.”
Felix: “For what purpose would you force something like this on Crusch-sama!? What has to be done to save Crusch-sama! Answer me!”
Toward Capella who sighed with something more like listlessness than disappointment, Ferris’s cute face was dyed red in anger as he screamed. Wielded in his two hands was the soldier’s short sword he’d been carrying until now.
That sword was engraved with ornate decorations and the emblem of a lion, more akin to a first-class ornament of favor than a weapon of combat. Aligning with Ferris’s own immature skills, it lacked the ability to make effective attacks.
Capella: “Is that a toy? An important gift? No matter which, using your frail arms to wave something like thi~s is pretty da~ngerous, little girl… no, hmm?”
Capella who had stuck out her tongue to jeer, cut her words off midway with a sudden frown.
Capella: “Uwah, disgusting. Eh? You~ have a pretty unnatural body. Clearly a man but that body… Something that should have been removed wasn’t so how~ did you become like that. From a glance it’s fundamentally different from a simple change by dressing in womens’ clothing, hasn’t this lovely lady ruined your mood now?”
Not only did she see through Ferris’s gender, Capella showed disgust at the unnaturalness. The monster carefully examined Ferris from top to bottom, looking as if it were unintentional.
Capella: “That manner of dress, is it to seduce other men? In any case, all it’s worth is bringing understanding of the pointlessness~ of humans. Men are all fools, women are all sluts, and humankind altogether is utter trash… is what this lovely lady concluded from her preferences.”
Felix: “How noisy! Stop with the useless… answer my question already! What exactly did you do to Crusch-sama!!”
Capella: “Ah~ truly, how truly annoying.”
Toward Capella who hadn’t yet established dialogue, Ferris was unable to bear the insult and once again let out a roar of rage. Capella who heard this relaxed her shoulders, and after a moment the visage of the young girl dissolved away.
Before the Felix who took a stunned inhale, the young girl’s body began to dissolve and reform.
Short stature elongating as if in a nightmare, bright golden hair beginning to change in color. The tempting sweet face who would provoke in anyone a desire to protect it upon being seen became stern, and the lingerie-like clothing transformed into a blue dress.
Although having heard of it, this process of variation and change was still the first time it had appeared before Ferris. The body which was released conformed not in the slightest to others’ opinions, freely being changed as the architect of this nightmare liked.
And then faced with this scene as if a nightmare, Ferris was frozen with shock.
Felix: “Aa, uu…”
Capella: “—What’s there to be so surprised about?”
Saying so, caressing long green hair was the face that Ferris cherished most.
The figure of Capella who stood before him motionlessly, had become the very appearance of Ferris’s most beloved master. This made Ferris’s face turn stark white, and even the hand holding the short sword had begun to tremble slightly.
Capella: “Look here, the ferocity from earlier has completely vanished. This face, this body, this voice, before your very eyes has become like this now.”
The face of Crusch that he had never seen before laughed, and slowly Capella strode forward.
She reached Ferris’s side, stopping when she reached a distance where she could touch him if she stretched out a hand. As if thinking of something, pointed the short sword Ferris was holding to her own chest.
The tip of the sword rested right at the center of Crusch’s large chest.
Leaning just slightly forward would have it pierce through, was the position it was in.
Capella: “Your despised enemy is right before you. Avenge me. It hurts, it hurts. Even breathing brings me anguish. Eyes unopening. Flowing through my chest isn’t blood. Flowing through my entire body is something that feels like poison. So hurry, avenge me. —She’s saying so, like this you know~.”
Felix: “Huu, huu, huu…!”
Capella: “Plunge the blade in with one breath, stir the wound around as you will and yank it out in one breath as well. Then the heart will be destroyed, the pulse will stop, the blood spurt forth constantly. You can kill her.”
Ferris’s breaths began to grow too rapid, gaze began to wander.
More prized than gold, the life of his master’s enemy was being offered right before his very eyes. Just as she said, like this an attack could truly be effective. Could destroy her heart. Could kill her.
However, precisely because she wore that too familiar face.
Capella: “Stab down, stab down, stab down, stab down, stab down, stab down.”
Capella: “Stab down—!”
Felix: “Uu, aaaa!!”
Commanded as if by malediction, Ferris’s sword short stabbed toward that chest.
The blade pierced that body with ease, reaching between bones to destroy the heart within. With a twist of the keen blade, came the ruthless sound of muscle being severed, and finally along with blood that spurted forth the short sword was yanked out.
Ferris: “Ha, hah.”
Felix trying to avoid being stained by the gushing blood, with uneven breaths backed away. The short sword slipped from his hands to the ground, the floor wetted by the dripping blood.
Capella: “Hah, kah.”
And then, Capella who had been stabbed in the chest knelt on the ground, spitting vast quantities of blood from her mouth.
In appearance she still wore Crusch’s mien, a pained face stained with blood, amber eyes filled with disbelief fixing on Ferris.
Capella: “Hurts, it hurts… Why, why do something like…”
Felix: “It was you, who made me stab down…! Made me, injure Crusch-sama!”
Capella: “So uncomfortable, so very uncomfortable… Too much, unforgivable. Though clearly speaking of things like liking you, loving you… clearly loving each other…”
Felix: “—! Don’t say such ridiculous things! I don’t share that kind of relationship with Crusch-sama!”
Capella: “Ah, is that so? In that case, the interpretation of the script itself was off~”
With a frank expression, Capella used a sleeve to wipe the blood from her face while standing.
She casually brushed the wound on her chest, and the freshly made wound disappeared in an instant. The twisted expression of agony from before disappeared as well, leaving only a sigh.
Capella: “Indeed, playing around is meaningless if it doesn’t start from the ve~ry beginning, it’s something like that. Master and vassal who love each other, forcing one to kill the lovely lady who looks just like the other. And then to unfold the tale of the shaping of a love, was what had been planned on originally… a failure, failure indeed.”
Felix: “Putting on such a farce… just what do you intend. What do you want from us!”
Capella: “Nothing much? There i~sn’t much intent behind it, nor i~s there anything to really ask of you. Watching a husband kill his wife is something to kill time. Asking an adjutant knight to wear women’s clothing, something caused by a preference like that, just think of it that way.”
Felix: “My promise with Crusch-sama, isn’t anything superficial like that!”
Capella: “Putting proclivity and sexuality on the surface like that, this lovely lady finds that a rather frivolous performance you know~.”
Regarding the Ferris who couldn’t help but cry out, Capella tilted her head as she said so. Then Capella raised her right hand, and her external form once again changed drastically.
Her palm becoming like a flower’s giant petal, the tentacles that stretched forth sent Ferri’s body flying, before entangling him as they lifted him up, then tightened their grip as they slammed him against a wall.
Felix: “Kah, huu…”
Capella: “Whether seeing or feeling it’s the same, wha~t a body both so slim and so fragile. If you wa~nt to become a woman so badly, how about this lovely lady lends you a hand? In this lovely lady’s hands it’d only be child’s play. How about being given help for removing it and forming your holes in minutes?”
Felix: “My, body is irrelevant… More importantly, that Crusch-sama is…!”
Capella: “How ridiculous. Something like valuing another over yourself, how about you sto~p audaciously saying sweet nothings. And speaking of which you’re asking about how to recover a body infected by Dragon’s Blood to its original state? Hah, if such a method exists it should rather be said that this lovely lady wo~uld be more eager to know.”
The tentacle continued writhe forcefully, causing Ferris’s delicate extremities to begin bleeding. Widening his eyes in agony, the sound of twisting broken bones echoed throughout the room.
In comparison to the right hand which had taken the form of a carnivorous flower, the raised left hand took the shape of the scythe of a mantis. Maintaining Crusch’s mien, she had become a repulsive monster whose left hand was an insect’s and right hand was a flower’s.
Even so, that face bore no trace of change, all the more horrid for remaining adorned in beauty.
Capella: “Directly turning you into mincemeat would also be also pretty entertaining, and this lovely lady do~esn’t have much time to spare anyway. Before any unrelated others can appear, it wo~uldn’t do to not take care o~f you and your master.”
Felix: “—uu, kuu”
Capella: “That said, you really are some guy foolish beyond limit. Without expecting this lovely lady to show up here, even a strategy for counterattack i~s sluggish. Just what point will it come to before…”
Having said this, Capella’s once delighted face was now tinged with a touch of a frown. As if holding doubts toward what she had just said, she dragged the still gasping Ferris before her.
Capella: “No matter what isn’t this a bit too slow? Even given that this lovely lady infiltrated from above, it’s taking too long for any others to arrive on this upper floor.”
Felix: “… a”
Capella: “You have to be planning something, hurrying up and revealing everything is for your own good you know. O~therwise, your most most treasured Master-sama, will undergo an even uglier transformation…”
Capella’s scythe extending from her left wrist reached toward Crusch who lay on the bed, and Ferris faced in incomparably cruel choice. Serving as a response to this question, was Ferris’s shaking voice that he squeezed out,
Capella: “Ah~? Which way of begging for mercy will you…”
Felix: “You, utterly… useless creature.”
Yellow pupils bearing disgust glared at Capella, a sentence uttered as if spat.
Immediately afterward, the tentacles that bound Ferris began to spout smoke, and the petals discolored and rotted away. Regarding her own right arm that had been corroded away, Capella revealed an expression of surprise.
Capella: “A~rara? Just what happened to this lovely lady’s hand…”
???: “Well, just think of it like scummy personalities ain’t unique to yer side.”
The tentacles rotted away, and Ferris’s body was freed.
Another sound overrode that of Capella who turned her head at this. That was a cute voice with a unique cadence. Capella looked in the direction of the bed that had issued the sound — at this very moment, light flooded the entire room.
A white ray which practically created the effect of instantaneously spiking temperature. This energetic beam burned away at Capella’s face, destroying the entire left half of her face.
Accompanying the carbonizing half of her face was the stench of scorched flesh, and Capella retreated a several steps. Then reaching out a serpentine tongue to caress the surface of that wound, smiled.
Capella: “Standing against the face of an ally without even a trace of leniency hu~h… well, not li~ke this had much of an effect. The presence of someone here is well expected, so n~ot a huge surprise to wind up like this.”
???: “Something like ‘n ally is a misunderstandin’. We’re commercial competitors… nah, it’s more like competitive opponents. Moreover not like we’re livin’ such easy lives that we’d hesitate to attack upon seein’ the face ‘f an opponent like that.”
Capella: “A conditional ally will sooner or later become an enemy. In that case, was especially aiming at the face some deliberate~ preemptive scheme? If truly so, your personality might be a little too twisted too.”
???: “Ah’ve already said, there wasn’t any such confusion of private n’ public affairs. Aimin’ at the head was purely to see, ‘f destroyin’ it would prove fatal, hopin’ so for a moment ‘s all.”
Saying so, the person who clambering from the bed gave the sigh of betrayed expectations.
In place of Crusch, lying on the bed had been Anastasia.
She touched her own wavy hair colored with green dye, responding with a slight smile to Capella who had survived with even half her face burnt off.
Anastasia: “Though Ah’d clearly hoped for it, seems no death happened.”
Capella: “Even~ though you might be different from the type of woman who only smiles upon seeing mo~ney. But something like unhesitatingly scorching half the face of a woman, a personality surpassing a reasonable amount of self-interest, truly a female meat that this lovely lady would take an interest in!”
Anastasia: “Being taken interest in by a person like you, even us here would feel a bit of resistance. Y’ see, us here’s somethin’ beloved is with long fur that feels silky to the touch.”
With formality, Anastasia responded frankly to the monster Capella’s words. With a small cough she approached Ferris who was near the bed, taking his wrist and helping him up.
Watching the teary-eyed Ferris, Anastasia with “isn’t this enough” as a precursor,
Anastasia: “No information’s been gathered at all. At the very least, let’s set Crusch’s affair aside for now.”
Felix: “… I understand. You’ve accompanied me far already, in such a risky gamble.”
Anastasia: “For this situation, us here’s holds a rather large share of the responsibility, so let’s just call it that.”
Even the ability of Ferris who was the leading healer in the kingdom, could do nothing to heal the current Crusch.
To save her, there was no other way aside from finding the reasoning and a solution from the one who had done this to her.
As for what Ferris had prosed, Anastasia could not refuse.
Welcoming each candidate to the city of Pristella had been Anastasia. And then things had hit this point. Due to holding a share of responsibility for the matter, Anastasia was unable to refute Ferris’s plea.
Anastasia: “It’s something like this, call this completely fruitless and yet it still managed to betray expectations.”
Capella: “To be burdened by expectation like so, my deepest apologies~ but these feelings are truly, completely absent. But, there shouldn’t have been any guarantee that I’d show up at all?”
Anastasia: “Wasn’t there an announcement from Natsuki-kun? Seems that, you would have acted upon hearin’ it.”
Sending the main combative force away, leaving the base camp undefended would surely prompt activity from the enemy. In the first place the Witch Cult had no obligation to greet then with integrity. Truly this was just as Capella’s earlier speech had said.
Anastasia: “Natsuki-kun there, grew naive at a critical moment.”
Although in no way was there a possibility of a guarantee, strictly speaking to consider from the nature of the Witch Cult, showing up to attack could only be one of either [Wrath] or [Lust].
So Anastasia had laid a trap, and allowed the City Hall to be attacked. The real Crusch had of course, fled to a nearby shelter with the other injured.
There would of course be no one who would step into this uppermost floor. People still remaining in this building, aside from those on the this topmost floor—.
Capella: “… Hm~ph, he~h. People whose minds move a little too quickly, are just the slightest bit irritating to others. But then, aren’t you underestimating this lovely lady? That cat-ears over there, this little lady over here, nei~ther looks like someone who can hold their own in battle.”
Anastasia: “Bein’ called a little lady is really rather embarassin’. Though we here look like this, seems that I’m technically still a grown adult.”
At Capella’s remarks, Anastasia closed one eye in response.
Capella: “It’s been decided. That cute face of yours lovely face, is all that’ll be when everything below your neck becomes a locust. After turning in to that do try again, to ba~ttle against me using that rude mouth of yours~.”
Anastasia: “How rather horrid… in that case, best to bid farewell for now.”
Anastasia’s refusal, surprised Capella who had been the threatening party.
Anastasia tugged on her still green hair, glanced about the room.
Anastasia: “We here should have mentioned already, we’ve been awaiting you all along — in that case, we couldn’t have been waiting without making any preparations.”
As soon as the sound of her voice fell, Anastasia rapped gently against the floor with her fingers.
Two ringing sounds, as if some kind of signal — immediately afterward, cracks appeared in the floor by Capella’s feet, and the broken body of the young girl plummeted downward.
Capella: “Oh, myyy.”
The bottom of the floor falling away, and appearing in the floor she had plummeted to was a similar opening.
In this manner Capella continued to fall floor by floor, falling the height of four stories in one breath, landing directly into an underground chamber beneath the first floor.
Splat, with such a sound, Capella’s body exploded.
Defenselessly slamming into the ground, the body of the young girl was completely flattened on the cold surface.
Blood gushed forth from her face, and her limbs were folded over and broken with a miserable appearance. But, the body that become a piece of flesh immediately began sluggishly move in hands and feet, and young girl’s body stood in the form of an aqueous amorphous state.
Appearing there was, the figure of a seductive woman.
Clad in extremely revealing clothing, displaying her ample flesh without a trace of shame, the rare sight of black hair was done into a three-stranded braid. Exuding a somewhat dangerous aura, and a beauty that caused restlessness in its wake.
Whether Ferris or Anastasia, both should have no idea who this appearance belonged to. In any case, the two that remained on the fourth floor, shouldn’t be able to see her transformation.
And so, there should have been no one who would react with surprise upon seeing this figure.
Capella: “Aah, aah, reallyreally… i~sn’t this just going to make me so very delighted so very excited. Kyahahahaha!”
With the manner of an agonized death and a manner that couldn’t feel agony, Capella let go her voice. That was a light and delicate sound incongruent with her mutated appearance, echoing throughout the entire underground chamber of the city hall.
In shadows, in air both cold and humid. This was not merely the landscape of a basement, it was part of the numerous waterways distributed throughout the city — part of the management facilities used to maintain these waterways.
From somewhere came the sound of rushing water, and from somewhere else overhead a breeze blew by.
Capella: “Receiving such a warm welcome and whatnot, allowing me to freely change the size of my chest is exciting i~sn’t it. To return and embrace them tight, to have them rectify their upbringing from within this lovely lady’s arms, to have them never love anything aside from this lovely lady…”
???: “Can’t return.”
Cheeks dyed crimson, Capella who was exhilarated to the point of trembling, was barred by someone unknown.
Sounding out was a deep voice, a man’s voice muffled and sulking.
As she heard this voice Capella raised her head, and from the shadows underground emerged a person’s figure.
The expression of Capella who saw him suddenly twisted. The absentminded expression that had been her face until now, immediately contorted to one of loathing, as she glared at her opponent.
Capella: “By this lovely lady’s aesthetic values, the most intolerable are the ones who try to hide their ugliness are~n’t they?”
???: “I see. Rest easy. By my aesthetic values, your feelings can’t be tolerated either.”
Responding to Capella with an apathetic manner, heaving a sigh as if something were weighing him down.
???: “Shouldn’t you have heard from above? Your actions have been seen through by that wicked one on our side. Which is to say… in terms of wickedness, how could you hope to triumph against our princess?”
As he spoke, the heaviness that sat in his voice was still present.
The sword attached behind his side was drawn from its sheath, and sluggish light reflected onto it from the empty space above his head.
Standing there was a man with one arm. Was a shadow clad in a black helmet. Was a singularly dressed strange man.
The stranger facing Capella, pointed over with the single arm holding the Blue Dragon Sword.
Al: “Though I’ve only just greeted you, I’m in a terrible mood today. — Before I die, hurry up and leave the hell away from here. Mollusk.”