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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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ーーThe ruthless skirmish, which had broken out in the Watergate City of Priestella against the Witch Cult was, at last, approaching its finale.
In the east of the city, stood a single church covered in ice, where stabbing pillars of ice, tall enough to make one raise his eyes, had been erected.
In the north of the city, the waterways flared up at once, and the incandescent stone monument roared up and crumbled down.
In the west of the city, a part of the waterway got destroyed, and the water, flowing into the underground, resulted in flooding.
In the core of the city, the nucleus of the city’s faculty, the city hall lost its foundation, and subsequently lost its shape.
The opening up of hostilities caused severe damage in various areas, and etched the menace of the existence known as the Witch Cult in the city. However, there were those who resisted and repelled away the malice, fighting a defensive battle with confined war potential, and tried to fulfill their purpose.
And, amidst the fight for the watergate city, if there was a battlefield to be named where things were not proceeding favourably, which one was it? That could perhaps, be said for this battlefield.
ーーYes. Breaking out unanticipated and unforeseen, was the face-off and battle with the Witch Cult Sin Archbishop representing 『Gluttony』, Ley Batenkaitos.
Ley: “Haha~! That, won’tdowon’tdowon’tdowon’tdowon’tdowon’tdowo~n’tdo~! What went wrong with you, what do you want to do, what are you going to do, what happened to you!?”
This place was commonly known as the 『Waterway Street』, surrounded by slender and convoluted waterways.
In the open plaza of the Waterway Street, was a single petite phantom laughing loudly and jumping about quickly and keenly.
Using his short limbs and waving about his long, dark brown hair was a young boy.
The boy, in his mid-teens, had put on only pieces of rags on his body, such that it would not be strange to confuse him with a vagrant child at sight.
However, it could not be said that it was not difficult to dismiss his outward appearance as just a trait of his, but instead, that impression carried onto his true self as well.
On top of that, the very existence of the loudly laughing boy was heterogeneous, distorted, and abominable.
At a single glance, the sense oppressive pressure his entire body exerting could be understood. It was the fatal insanity calling upon parts of instinct which are chipped off and neglected in normal daily life by humans.
By just that, everyone carefully observed the abnormality of his existence.
He was a blasphemer who trampled upon the human realm, human wishes, and the human society.
He was a Sin Archbishop of the Witch Cult, the great evil who kicked the human heart and humanity itself.
???: “The opponent is just one child! Surround him and don’t let him escape! Bring him down!”
???: “Yeah, it’s just lone brat! Catch him and tear him apa~rt!”
The commanding loud voice overlapped with the infuriating laughter of the youth.
While glaring at the men approaching him, Ley Batenkaitos of 『Gluttony』 stepped ahead and shortened the distance rather lightheartedly, instead of stepping down.
Putting a halt to their words, the white robed men leapt upon Batenkaitos.
Each one of the white robed men were mercenaries of the organisation 『White Dragon’s Scales』 which had been left by Kiritaka. Holding short swords in their hands, they struck 『Gluttony』 with their blades from all directions.
Against the synchronous offensive, which had no disorder in its cooperation, Batenkaitos,
Ley: “There are some frayed spots, that won’t do.”
Sliding into the gap of the “perfectly ordered” attack, he evaded four of the swords with minimal movement.
Positioning his body away and dodging the blades, he slashed one blade down using the dagger tied up to his right arm, and kicking one person’s torso, he broke through the enclosure. In front of him, was standing someone with a huge figure, with his arms crossed.
???: “O-O~h! Such desperation, huh, yo~u!”
He was Felt’s attendant, Gaston.
Having robbed away one of the Sin Archbishop’s daggers using his secret technique, he now, with his physique, dashed towards Batenkaitos and tried to slam into him.
Seeing him, Batenkaitos rounded his eyes, and smiled shortly afterwards. It was a smile befitting his age, however, the sharp canines in his mouth induced uneasiness and anxiety.
Ley: “It seems you’re doing well, uncle. Not so bad!”
Gaston: “I’ve still not reached the age to he called an uncle…… bo~y!?”
Batenkaitos jumped, and his right leg thrust into the side of Gaston’s face, who had come plunging onto him.
Receiving the blow on his cheeks, Gaston flinched, and gave a hateful look to Batenkaitos.
Just like the blow of the dagger, this attack did not pierce through Gaston either. Though the principle was ambiguous, Gaston’s body had been completely killing off the impacts of the attacks.
At the same pace, Gaston stretched his arms, grabbing the continuously moving 『Gluttony』ーー,
Ley: “Palm of the Fist Kingーー”
Keeping his legs raised, Batenkaitos muttered something. His palm came in contact with Gaston’s torso. Compared to a kick, it had no might or velocity, it was a mere action of touching.
However, the moment he lightly pushed in his arm, his body curled and broke down.
Gaston: “Ugh, ghu~e!?”
Kneeling down, Gaston vomited out gastrointestinal fluids.
Walking by the side of the body who had broken down in front of him, Batenkaitos, who had broken through the enclosure, turned back and tilted his neck.
That’s all you’ve got? is what his gesture suggested, and the 『White Dragon’s Scales』 could not hide their severe expression seeing their pride get damaged.
White Dragon’s Scales: “You monster……!”
The word that had leaked out of someone’s mouth, was the clear proof of Batenkaitos’s ability.
The agonizing voice may have had dim jealousy mixed into it, or it was simply misheard.
???: “……We have much lower chances of being able to strike a decisive blow, than what I had earlier conjectured.”
Observing the battlefield, which could not be called a competition even when painted under favourable light, Otto licked his dry lips and desperately rotated his head.
In the face-off with 『Gluttony』, their war potential, which was directly conflicting with the enemy, was in no way dependableーー of course, it was true that all of them were risking their lives, but it was also a fact that it was still lacking.
The 『White Dragon’s Scales』 left by Kiritaka amounted to seven people, the two of Felt and Gaston in her company, Otto was a solitary force, this made for a total of ten people. If someone who had wrapped up their battle on an early note were to join up with them here, then that would make for a great turn of the tables– that would be absolutely ideal, but,
Otto: “I do not trust my luck enough to be expecting such good fortune to shower upon me.”
The life of Otto Suwen, went hand in hand with hardship and unfairness. Otto believed that nothing known as good fortune existed, and the result could be derived only through one’s own hard work, preparation and actions.
For him, good fortune would be having a nuisance Divine Protection and being born into an understanding home, and having his life saved by Subaru, who had killed a Sin Archbishop.
As he believed he already ran out of it, he did not get unnecessarily negative regarding his bad luck.
???: “That Water Dragon brought by nii-chan can’t be used anymore, right?”
Standing beside Otto, who was sunk in his own thoughts, called out Felt who was also watching the same situation.
What her crimson eyes were glaring at, was at the other side of the sword fighting 『Gluttony』 and the othersーー lying abandoned on the stone pavement, with its long neck twitching, was the form of a dying Water Dragon.
The pitiable Water Dragons, who had been summoned by Otto but thrashed away by Batenkaitos, unfortunately, were unlikely to return to the front lines.
Otto: “Sadly, I don’t think they can be pushed any further. These were all of the water dragons I had spoken to before coming here…… I could speak to other water dragons and have them do the same thing but, would you like to use them and escape?”
Felt: “That joke hurt. Just that delusional diva escaping is fine, and our trump card isn’t just one, it’s in two parts. The second one is, well, I’m preparing it.”
Saying that, Felt glanced at the long and slender package her petite body had grasped.
Wrapped in a white cloth, her 『Trump Card』 seemed to be the magic weapon her attendant had brought. She had stated that even Reinhardt could not evade it, but a burdensome mechanism was required for its usage, and until that was fulfilled, it could not be put to use.
Felt: “On top of that, that delusional diva aside, nii-chan or I can’t escape even if tried to. Because it seems that bastard is targeting us.”
Otto: “If I may be honest, that’s the thing I want to be excused from the most.”
Otto dejectedly lowered his shoulders, at the words of Felt, who inhaled with her nose.
But, he was unable to deny her words, because he was able to sense the strength of the warm looks being given to them, even amidst the fierce battling.
Batenkaitos leaked out warm sighs, with moist eyes and blushing cheeks, and frequently turned towards Otto.
Though it was a gaze with the colour suggesting a desire to harvest, but the true meaning behind it was only the lurking appetite of a hungry ferocious beast.
As per the taste of the beast of prey, drops of blood had realized into top-class flesh, was all there was to it. Though it was not honouring in the least, three people here had realized in the aesthetic-appreciating eyes of Batenkaitos.
Otto and Felt, along with a man with an unkempt beard, who was leading the 『White Dragon’s Scales』. Giving orders to his men, he repeatedly clashed with Batenkaitos and quickly returned back to his position here.
The man, with a serious face, jumped out of battle and gave thought to the fight’s circumstance, all while taking swift steps around,
White Dragon’s Scales: “It’s Dynas. It’s thanks to him our young master’s escape was successful.”
Otto: “Being successful in that is Felt-sama’s group’s achievement. On top of that, having Kiritaka-san escape was also to aid us for our victory. With this……”
If Kiritaka, who had escaped from this place, was to move according to Otto’s instructions, a different possibility would rise. Unfortunately, though it was something more like a prayer and had no proof, but in any case, it should not go unfavourably.
Having more ways to win, to reach victory, can never be something negative. Once any of those ways are put to use, what is left is to simply wait for how it turns out.
Seeing Otto, quiet and shaking his head, the manーー Dynas, made an astonished expression, but then changed it. It was the colour of being convinced.
Dynas: “I see, it seems like it’s just as how I had heard. As expected of the internal affairs official of Emilia-sama’s place, who had sent one of the Witch Cult’s higher-ups to its death. It seems I can expect you to have your own dish for this Sin Archbishop to taste as well.”
Otto: “Thank you for such an inflated evaluation. Um, I’m sorry, by the way everyone, do you happen to know what kind of work the internal affairs official is supposed to do? I believe it is somewhat different from what I am doing……?”
Dynas: “Such politeness too, huh. Also, our internal affairs officials are going around visiting shelters and taking care of the victims. Isn’t that kind of work internal affairs officials are supposed to do?”
The damage he had done to the image of internal affairs officials was immense.
In the past one year, he had decided to give up on the post of internal affairs official, but he never came to terms with the changes that will result due to that.
Whose fault was it. Was it perhaps because such situations, like natural disasters, kept repeating? It was Subaru’s fault. Once he returned safe, he would definitely set things straight. That’s what he had decided.
Otto: “Well thenーー”
Let’s put things of post battle for later, and focus on the current situation.
Ahead of Otto’s sight, Batenkaitos repeatedly intermingled with the 『White Dragon’s Scales』 and Gaston, and making clear his extraordinary combat strength, he swept his feet.
However, what was utmost perplexing was him not even trying to swing his right arm’s dagger.
Ley: “Even though such nice adults are all ganging up, you ca~n’t even catch a single brat!? That won’t do, that wouldn’t do, will that do, can that do, that could never do!”
Unraveling his fangs, Batenkaitos dodged the men with just the handling of his feet. His free paced movements, with strikingly swaying movements of the upper body, and the swords eventually cut through the sky.
The movements of his upper and lower body were totally different, as if two separate systems entirely. As that eccentricity reflected in Otto’s eyes, Dynas unintentionally gulped down his threat.
Dynas: “Ah, no…… sorry. His movements are just a bit….. O~h!?”
Felt: “Don’t you get scared with such a huge figure!”
With his mouth shut, Dynas tried to deny the thoughts that were coming up in his mind. Standing behind him, Felt gave a kick to his back.
Dynas turned back, and Felt, who puffed up and reddened her cheeks, raised up her eyes at him.
Felt: “Once you put your hands in pocket, all that’s left to do is to choose what to take and what to leave. If you’ll be chased after either way, then it’s better to just use whatever you got. You get it?”
Dynas: “Why are you using the point of view of a thief?”
Otto tilted his head at Felt’s advice, while Dynas, who was right next to him, shook his head. He initiated his words by saying “I guess so”, and looked back at Felt,
Dynas: “It’s just how miss said. You just have to say whatever comes up in your mind, and find a lead out of it. For the moment, what I feel is just that all this is just odd but……”
Miss, which is how Dynas referred to Felt as, it seemed as if he had not noticed her being a Royal Candidate. But, though he judged the mistake here, Otto decided not to mention it. Subsequently, he carefully listened to Dynas’ words.
Dynas: “That Sin Archbishop…… he may just look like a brat, but his fighting is good, his movements are good, he has too much expertise, frankly. Leaving it to just our physical abilities…… would, again, still not be the correct answer.”
Felt: “ーー? Isn’t that like being born with good fighting skills? Like how Reinhardt was?”
Otto: “I would like to simply give up if he is comparable to Reinhardt-san.”
Felt’s knight, the kingdom’s strongest sword, Reinhardt.
Currently, he had accompanied Subaru and was supposed to have had been clashing against 『Greed』, but his power was something Otto, who was only on the level of being capable of self-defence, had only felt upon his skin.
Just being beside him could make one feel a sense of absolute safety, and amazement at the same time. Kingdom’s strongest was no understatement. In fact, it would not be wrong to call him the world’s strongest.
On the other hand, a strong sense of revulsion and an unnerving feeling boiled up by simply coming in contact with Batenkaitos. It was unlike from what could be sensed by Reinhardt.
Of course, his unnatural fighting strength was unquestionably undeniable.
Dynas : “It’s not like that either. I’ve lived enough, and faced enough battles to say…… that brat’s fighting technique can’t be explained by just talent. His movements are that of someone who’s stacked them up for years and years.”
At Dynas’ words, Otto and Felt glanced at Batenkaitos once again.
At just that moment, Batenkaitos had received a short sword’s attack with his arm. Gripping the wrist of the one holding the sword, Batenkaitos gyrated his body, and turning him upside down, he threw his body to the ground.
Furthermore, as the men commenced their pursuit, 『Gluttony’s』 feet glided on the cobblestone drawing a circle, and freely using his limbs, he destroyed their balance and made them fall.
Unquestionably, that fluent and elegant movement had the power to draw a line between being refreshing and the violent ambience Batenkaitos wore. His undeniable art of having a system of a variety of martial arts, had been cultivated into himself.
The young boy, who looked fourteen, had perfected such techniques which would take years and years to masterーー?
Dynas: “I suppose, someone called a martial arts genius may be able to do this but…… I don’t want to think that such a brat was blessed with that talent.”
Batenkaitos’ mastery was such that Dynas had to say that much. At that moment, Otto realised what the jealousy in the leaked words of one of the white robed men, who were fighting 『Gluttony』, meant. They, who were fighting the battle, had realised this truth before Otto and the rest. That is why, they wereーー.
Otto: “Dagger handling, unarmed fighting skills, perfect martial arts techniques……?”
Saying that, Otto resumed to doubt the reason behind it once again. “Is that even possible?” was the only thought that came up in his mind.
He had heard of people being sent to colosseum at a very young age, and the ones who become swordsmen are taught and trained fighting techniques in the southern empire of Vollachia. If Batenkaitos was to be in such an environment, it may not have had been impossible for him to acquire such skills at this age, but those skills in fighting techniques would again, be different.
The only way for him to learn and cultivate those would be to train under an equally and appropriately apt trainer.
Otto: “To steal it away…… No, to eat it like food?”
Otto had already heard Subaru mention that 『Gluttony』 was an existence who ate the 『Name』 and 『Memories』 of its opponents. The truth is, Otto had the knowledge of the form of a young girl who had both of those eaten, and had gone into a state of not being present in anyone’s memories. Hard to believe, but he surely did not eat something which was visible to the eyes. However, till now, what happens to that which gets eaten, was a thought that did not dawn upon him.
Possibly, 『Gluttony』 had been storing the eaten memories of his opponents and using them.
The techniques of a martial artist who had trained for over ten years, or the fighting skills of a warrior well acquainted with the battlefield, or even emulating the attack of a young girl, who had been by Subaru’s side and supporting himーー.
Otto: “He’s using magic!!”
Ley: “El Huma.”
As the shocking attack commenced, Otto’s shout and Batenkaitos’ chant echoed at the same time.
A sound resonated in the area as the air crystallized, and the icicles subsequently produced, swiftly moving, aimed for the startled 『White Dragon’s Scales』.
However, against the rain of ice, Gaston stood firm, with his arms spread. The giant, with his normal defense, smashed all of the ice that came in contact with him with his body. Against the destruction, the 『White Dragon’s Scales』 dove behind his back, in order to reduce the impairment being inflicted upon them. However, they were still unable to prevent the damage.
Ley: “Onii-san’s judgement was good. It seems it couldn’t become any more of a surprise attack than what we had thought.”
Watching the torment, Batenkaitos, who was behind the magic, raised the edge of his mouth.
Gaston, who had acted as a firm wall, sighed out a hoarse exhale, and the six of the 『White Dragon’s Scales』 behind his back lay injured. With one bleeding heavily, and two crouching, who had been wounded on their legs. The other three could not be described as uninjured either. Their war potential had been halved, and on top of thatーー,
Ley: “You saying this means, could it be that our trick became clear?”
Otto: “……Well, I wonder.”
Ley: “Onii-san, we won’t be fooled. Before suffering in pain, can’t you stop acting like a merchant.”
Responding to Otto, and threatening to make him suffer, Batenkaitos’ form disappeared the next instant.
No, he dashed with his swift natural movements, fast enough to make one think he had disappeared.
His petite frame glided by Gaston, onto the side of the immobile 『White Dragon’s Scales』.
In the blink of an eye, the mobile three flew away from the spot, but the wounded three were unable to flee.
Ley: “Asta. Lookfelt. Hicks.”
Leaking out a whisper, Batenkaitos softly caressed the shoulders of the three.
In front of everyone observing with widened eyes, wondering what he was doing, the bodies of three jumped, once they had been touched by Batenkaitos. And, Batenkaitos turned back, and raised his left hand,
And, he licked his empty left palm. At his action, Otto was immediately swallowed by discomfort.
What had happened, something had unquestionably happened. However, he was unaware of what had happened, and that was not all he was unaware of.
Otto: “The ones who are lying at his feet……. Who are they?”
What Otto’s fingers were pointing at, were the feet of Batenkaitos, who had his lengthy tongue stretched out.
At the feet of the malice which had taken the form of the young boy, lay the figures of three people. Though they were lying there, their identities were unknown. Possibly, based on their clothing, they could be members of the 『White Dragon’s Scales』, but when did they appear, and when did they get defeated?
Ley: “Sad, how sad, so sad, quite sad, pretty sad, because it is sad. Even if our reunion turns only unilateral, we can’t help bu~t want satisfaction!”
Otto: “Dynas-san! Those three are?”
Dynas: “I don’t know! I haven’t even seen them before! Butーー!”
Even if it was told that the ones wearing the same clothes were unknown allies, it was still not convincing. Even so, neither did Dynas’ voice have any deceit, nor did it have any composure. Charging ahead as if flying, he raised the short swords in both of his hands and slashed into Batenkaitos.
Ley: “Stop it, Dynas. It’s an old relationship. Hometown’s purification is one step ahead, so crossing swords with comrades like this is foolish.”
Dynas: “ーー!? You, from where did you, about thatーー!”
Carelessly trampling upon Dynas’ circumstances, Batenkaitos raised the edge of his right dagger. Lightening the blow of the two short swords with his dagger, 『Gluttony』 struck Dynas’ chest with his knees, and at the same pace, he leapt backwards due to the resultant force.
Dynas coughed as he gripped to his chest, but managed to retrieve the collapsed three strangers.
Seeing Dynas in that shape, Batenkaitos let out a sigh.
Ley: “Don’t stubbornly stick to the vessels. What is important is the heart and the inside, no? What lets a person be like that person isn’t the outside, but the inside. We know about your hard work, Dynas. It wasn’t your fault you couldn’t protect Milian and Meili. Your luck was bad.”
Dynas: “Shutupshutupshutupshutu~p! What do you! Know about me! Stop saying things per your own wishes! You rotten demo~n!”
Raising an enraged voice, and forgetting the damage’s pain, Dynas charged at the enemy again. He angled his two short swords and aimed for Batenkaitos’ face, but making a face as if he was acquainted with the attack, Batenkaitos dodged it with ease. At the same pace, Batenkaitos stretched his hand for Dynas’ back.
Gaston: “How long will you go ignoring us”
Felt: “Is what we’re saying, you idiot!”
Gaston aimed directly for Batenkaitos’ slim waist from behind. Batenkaitos’ elbow thrashed into his nose, but Gaston did not fall back because of the hit’s impact.
Furthermore, while Gaston stalled Batenkaitos, Felt jumped in. She crashed her long and slim package which she had gripped in her hands into the susceptible back of his head.
Ley: “Idiot huh, how hurtful. Perhaps we, actually know much more than you do, you know?”
But, Batenkaitos bent forward at Felt’s attack, and then subsequently received it with his right arm’s dagger by raising it. The vigorous strike gave rise to a crushing sound, however, its aim mostly missed, and Felt’s stance came to be unguarded.
Seeing Felt and Dynas could leave together, his hands could also reach Gastonーー so Batenkaitos’ devilish hand, at the same pace, touched the three,
Otto: “I will not let you, though!”
Just when he was about to reach, the cast red hot magic stone reached Batenkaitos’ feet. The moment he saw that, Batenkaitos’ movement stopped, and Felt and Dynas withdrew with urgency.
Felt: “Don’t let go, Gaston!”
Gaston: “I won’t forget this, you wicked girl…..!”
Gaston, standing firm, was unable to escape from Batenkaitos and was caught up in the magic stone’s range. As the magic stone’s glowing intensified, and the next instant, it gave rise to an explosion powerful enough to tear off the stone pavement.
Red and white light illuminated, and Felt rolled away from the explosion to the other side. Otto somehow grabbed her, and then glanced at the explosion’s span.
These magic stones are what Otto constantly carried “just in case”. Ever since the fight with Garfiel in the 『Sanctuary』, he determined it would be better do so for his own safety.
It may be a means painful on his wallet, but its strength was nothing to laugh at.
Otto: “Is your companion alright!?”
Felt: “Hah, don’t underestimate my giant. He’s my armour. He won’t be hurt by a meagre and soft attack. But……”
Just when she said that much, a giant figure emerged out of the smoke. It was Gaston. With his body having taken a sooty colour, he smacked his body making a desperate face.
Gaston: “Gha~a~a~! Hot! Hot! Hot hot! I’ll die!”
Otto: “Even if you may be able to take explosions, I guess you can’t stop your body from warming or cooling.”
Felt sighed, seeing the form of her attendant agonizing in high fever. Though he had bathed in the might of the fire magic stone from close proximity, Gaston’s life did not appear to be in a serious condition.
Confirming that much, Otto turned his eyes back towards to smoke. The black fumes were rising at a reasonably good scale, so there was no way Batenkaitos, who was at its heart, had managed to defend himself. On the other side of the black smoke, was Dynas, knelt down, but he seemed to be safe.
Ley: “Bennett. Calcifs. August.”
A whisper was heard, and all eyes turned away from the hypocentre.
There were visible the forms of three collapsed white clothes, and Batenkaitos in perfectly good health. The youth, once again, raised his left hand’s palm saying “lick”, and inched it closer to his mouth and licked it.
What followed was beyond understanding. Once again, three more unidentified white robed people appeared.
The way he had escaped from the hypocentre, and the unanticipated appearance of three more victims, all of it was beyond comprehension.
Felt: “Shit! What’s with them! From where……. no, when……?”
Standing beside Otto, Felt violently scratched her beautiful blonde hair. She also, once again, was beginning to lose understanding what was the meaning of what she was seeing.
What must be considered urgent, even that was something Felt, right now, did not know. However, Otto understood. This, mysterious state.
Otto: “This is, what it means when the 『Name』 is eatenーー!”
Disappearing from everyone’s memory, and bode only within Subaru and no one else, was a young girl named 『Rem』. That very same phenomenon, was transpiring in front of his eyes right now.
Possibly, the collapsed men, who are supposedly members of 『White Dragon’s Scales』, had gotten their names eaten by Batenkaitos. The result of that, was the disappearance of the memories of them being 『Present』 from the minds of Otto and the others.
That was why, it appeared as if they had appeared suddenly, and they did not know who they were either.
Fright rose within him. Once again, he comprehended the viciousness of the monster in front of his eyes.
If he straddled into the hands of 『Gluttony』 Ley Batenkaitos, in the worse case scenario, if Otto and the others were to face complete annihilation here, all traces of this battle, along with the existing evidences, will all disappear.
Of course, all memories of the resistance put up by them, and the fact that they were here itself as well.
The possibility of oneself disappearing, and the disappearance of all people who would look back upon oneselfーー in other words, isn’t it the greatest fear in this world, far greater than any other fears.
Otto turned pallid. Even though they had not reached the same conclusion, Felt and Dynas’ face complexions were equally bad. He realised how ignorant they had been, and how recklessly they were acting.
It made him believe, that the real choice here was to escape caring for themselves or notーー.
Felt: “Damn it, he pisses me off. Should we try the same way, one more time?”
Otto sighed weakly, while Felt leaked out those words. Without thinking, Otto turned his eyes towards her face.
Felt’s complexion was that of utter stupefaction, in front of the aberrant situation. However, she was not lamenting. As if continuing to strengthen her heart, until she is completely driven into a corner.
Feeling moisture upon his entire body, Otto slapped his cheek.
Just what, was he doing by becoming such a weakling. Even if he went bankrupt, he wouldn’t name it as defeat until he is kicked out of the job. This was the crucial moment, when his future would be determined. There is still hope.
Seeing the form of two, Dynas and Gaston also stood up, making expressions of readiness and determination. And seeing the four stand up with the fighting spirit of steel, Batenkaitos made a satisfied expression,
Ley: “How nice, so nice, very nice, possibly it is nice, isn’t it nice, perhaps it is nice, because it is probably nice! Gluttonous drinking ~tsu! Gluttony ~tsu! You all are worthy of our dinner table! Even if it’s only among the starters, we’ll elevate you to first-class, Gaston. Mo~reover, we’ll pe~rfectly savour Felt and Dynas.”
Clasping his hands, Batenkaitos awarded the three with an unpleasant evaluation. Afterwards, Batenkaitos, with the same look in his eyes, glared towards Otto. Inclining his neck, the blasphemer commenced to give his comments on Otto with the same flow, and contrary to expectations, he made a dissatisfied expression.
Ley: “Seems intelligent, bad at giving up, seemingly mellow onii-san…… but even then, huh.”
Otto: “What are you…… No.”
Saying that much, Otto understood the reason for Batenkaitos’ dissatisfaction.
As if admiring, Batenkaitos had tenderly voiced the names of Felt and the others. His unique trait of eating 『Names』, and the content of his speech made him realise it.
Batenkaitos, could not eat the 『Name』 of an opponent whose 『Name』 he did not know.
Henceforth, 『Gluttony』 could not eat the 『Name』 of Otto, whose name had not been mentioned here even once. His dissatisfaction, was due to that.
Otto: “I have a request for all three of you. Please, absolutely do not call my name.”
If his name is not mentioned, then at the very least, Batenkaitos’ goal will not be achieved.
Or, in fact, the number of casualties at the hands of Batenkaitos till now may have had been his way to try and know his name.
Him allowing Otto and the others such free discussion, may have had been him waiting for them to call each others’ names, and henceforth prepare for his mealーー.
Felt: “My bad, nii-chan.”
Hearing Otto’s remarks once he had reasoned, said Felt with a somewhat apologetic tone.
She made an awkward expression, something which had not been witnessed by anyone in the situation yet.
Felt: “I, don’t know nii-chan’s name in the first place……”
Dynas: “Sorry, not-on-first-list-official-dono. Your position aside, your name has slipped from my mind……”
Otto: “Yes yes, indeed! It’s not as if, I’m particularly close to everyone, and neither am I major personality! God, da~mn it.”
Of course, Gaston too, made an expression suggesting his own ignorance, and shrugged his shoulders.
With relief made of both happiness and sadness, at the very least, his fright of his name being revealed to Batenkaitos had been diminished immensely, with this. That alone was unmistakable.
Ley: “Dynas aside, aren’t you two just covering for onii-san. If that isn’t so then we~ll…… it seems asking it out would become quite a bother.”
Otto: “Giving up for today and falling back, is also something you can do, you know? Come sometime in the future, one day again…… I suppose so. By that time, we can also prepare to give you a warm welcome in Reinhardt-san’s presence.”
Ley: “To turn away in front of a feast, don’t make us do something so outrageous. Until our belly is satisfied, we will we will not go back. That’d make Louis a~ngry.”
Of course, Batenkaitos could not be convinced. The battle could not be terminated.
Felt: “Gaston, absolutely don’t let go next time.”
Gaston: “Just because I don’t get hurt, using me how you like……”
Felt: “I’ll go with you next time, for sure.”
Gaston, who tried to state his discontentment for the order, widened his eyes hearing Felt’s words. He then proceeded to laugh rudely, and roughly rubbed Felt’s head and disheveled her hair.
Gaston: “Stop joking around. If that geezer got to know that I made master push herself, who knows what he’ll do to me.
Felt: “Don’t touch my head. The only one who can do that is grandpa Rom.”
Gaston: “That’s why I’m doing it.”
Felt snorted her nose, with her hair disheveled, and standing next to her was Gaston. Next to him was Dynas wielding his two short swords, and Otto counted the number of magic stones in his sleeves.
Three on his left sleeve, two on his right. They must be used carefully.
Otto: “He touches with his left hand, and then eats is what I think. If you get touched, please think that it’s all over.”
Gaston: “That’s, way too difficult even by just the sound of it, no?”
Dynas: “Even one slash at his any of his vitals with a sword should be enough. If we can do that, then it’s no big deal.”
Felt: “When you say it like that, I agree.”
With Felt’s statement conveying that she was convinced, their preparations were complete.
Courteously, watching their preparations end was Batenkaitos. Seeing his politeness, Otto narrowed his eyes, and the blasphemer subsequently laughed.
Ley: “Isn’t it common mannerism to await the finishing of setting up of the table? Roy of Bizarre Eating aside, we a~re Gourmet. We are particular abou~t meals.”
Saying that, Batenkaitos respectfully gestured and bowed.
That gesture, which seemed to put on airs, also seemed frightfully familiar.
Ley: “Well the~n, once again. Witch Cult Sin Archbishop, Ley Batenkaitos of representing 『Gluttony』.”
Ley: “Isn’t it common mannerism, to return your own name when you are given the same?”
Felt: “After everything we’ve discussed, he’d be an idiot to return his name to you, you bastard.”
Among warriors, it is a commonly obeyed custom, to return your own name when someone gives you their own name.
However, Batenkaitos may have had possibly utilised this method, and till now, gotten out the names of countless people, and proceeded to subsequently eat them.
They had no reason to abide by that custom right now. With that being rejected, 『Gluttony』 laughed,
Ley: “That’s that. ーーWell the~n, let’s eat!”
Signaling his meal, the petite frame leapt ahead, as if flying, and shortened the distance in between. This movement had not been seen before, it was like a strong gale flowing by. Batenkaitos, who had vanquished the offensive and defensive being put up against him till now by mere handling of his feet and dodging, now actually demonstrated his ability to hunt down his opponents.
Otto, a non-combatant, was unable to follow his movement, and respond accordingly.
The other three, however, were different.
Felt: “Don’t think you can win in a race, against me.”
Against Batenkaitos, who was racing like wind, only Felt was able to catch up comfortably. The moment she had lightly kicked the cobblestone and leapt ahead, she showed mobility, as if she was being carried by the wind at once.
Surprised by at least that movement, Batenkaitos’ first slash swept through the air.
At that point, Gaston and Dynas commenced their attack at the same time.
Dynas’ two single edged katanas, and the short sword which Gaston held, both of then clutched onto their respective weapons. Against the attack of the two, the vulnerable Batenkaitos opened his legs wide and dropped his stance.
With his arms on the ground, Batenkaitos’ body whirled with his legs stretched. The spinning kick swept the legs of the two men, and destroyed Dynas’ balance.
Raising his voice, the fourth player, Otto grabbed him.
By coming there, Otto set himself up perfectly for close combat, and without anticipating this turn of events, Batenkaitos raised an astonished call, and successfully managed to wrestle with Otto’s body.
Bind him at this same paceーー the very next moment he thought that, forceful pain assailed upon Otto’s guts. Batenkaitos’ left fist pierced in, and sent Otto’s body rolling.
Otto: “Ghue ~hk, gohogh ~hk!”
Ley: “At the right place, with the menu for your strong flavours and blandness available, the appropriate place for that, we must a~bsolutely find out about it, onii-san. Later, we’ll pro~perly partner you……”
When Batenkaitos blurted that out, the two, whose stances had collapsed, moved.
Dynas carried the tumbling Otto in his arms, and the one protecting the two was Gaston. Batenkaitos tilted his neck at that battle formation, and looked down upon what had come upon his tattered clothes.
ーーAt the point where he had wrestled with Otto, two magic stones were dangling.
Ley: “Well we~ll.”
His movements for absconding were slow.
The very next moment of Batenkaitos noticing the magic stones, the two magic stones exploded immensely.
It was the collegiality of a fire magic stone and a water magic stone.
The red and yellow light, and the blue and white light proliferated, and Batenkaitos’ body was enveloped in the light and a shockwave was released.
Receiving the light from a close distance, Otto also was subjected to harm.
Though Gaston, who was acting as a wall, shielded the majority of it, its impact could still be felt upon Otto’s skin. His skin scorched to the point of freezing, and chilled to the point of burning.
Once the shockwave came to a halt, the second hypocentre was a truly terrible sight to witness. The cobblestone had been torn off, the soil underneath was wide open, and scorched fragments of stone had been scattered across.
Ley: “A~h, that’s so cruel. Our only good dress got spoilt.”
And, once again, Batenkaitos had placed himself at a point away from the hypocentre.
However, it seems this time, at least, he was not undamaged.
The youth’s long hair had suffered the attack heaped upon themselves as an aftermath of the blast, and he had a somewhat sullen voice.
It seems the youth had unmistakably gotten caught up in the hypocentre. He lost the rag that covered his entire body till now, and the skin beneath was now unconcealed.
Blurting that out thoughtlessly and reflexively, was Otto.
Gaston and Dynas were also speechless, grimacing while witnessing the same.
ーーThe newly exposed skin of the young boy, was covered with wounds and scars.
Scars of a whip, scars of hot iron, scars carved by an edged tool, scars inflicted by a rough surface, scars of the skin being gouged out, scars of a beast’s fangs, scars of repeated hits that had turned the skin bluish black, scars of an innumerable amount.
The youth who wore rags, now wearing only a waistcloth, turned around with his wounded body, and seeing Otto and the others grimace at him, he made a displeased face.
Ley: “Forcibly taking away a child’s clothes, and then reacting like that is quite hurtful. Adults like all this, don’t they?”
Otto: “……I don’t know about the adults you are close to, but normally they do not.”
Ley: “Hm~. So, you’ll be all compassionate again. Changing your heart and attitude like this, it’s because of things like that we can’t trust you peo~ple!”
Spreading his arms as if showing his body covered with wounds, Batenkaitos yelled that.
Otto made a wry face at his words, and Dynas made a disgusted expression. Only the two of Felt and Gaston had no alteration in their expressions.
They gazed at the frowning Otto, and sighed.
Felt: “Heyhey, don’t go about thinking strange things. Those things can be anywhere, they’re just not on mine or your body, but can be anywhere.”
Gripping to the package in her hands, confessed Felt. Her eyes did not have even a fraction of compassion. Of course, Otto knew that their opponent was undeserving of that, but it’s not as if he was a Sin Archbishop and insane by birth.
At least, that was the impression Batenkaitos’ body gaveーー.
???: “ーーJust boring imagination will be fruitless, in fact. You’ll end up regretting it, I suppose.”
Out of nowhere, echoed the voice who had not been in the open plaza.
Everyone, including Batenkaitos, raised their heads at the sudden happening.
Everyone’s line of sight turned towards the waterway surrounding this large plaza– and lightly fluttering about midair, was a lone young girl, who then descended and stood.
In a frilled, spread out dress, with beautiful, round eyes and coiled, cream hair. Her clearly stinging attitude had become normal now, as she observed the situation with her large, circular eyes.
And once her eyes met with Otto’s, she sighed suggesting she did not have a choice.
???: “Subaru alone is sufficient for perverted games and sweetness, I suppose. The only one Betty will help is also just Subaru…… This time is a special exception, at maximum, in fact.”
Otto: “Yes yes, my apologies, for making trouble for you like this. But, thank you so much.”
At the young girl’s harsh sounding response, Otto, however, tasted a sense of relief, so much so that he wanted to lie down in exhaustion.
The very existence of the girl was one of Otto’s “ways to win”.
???: “Well then, let’s clean up this fuss, and ask Subaru for a hug, I suppose.”
Saying this with a listless face, raising her hand, was the young girl.
No, the Spirit. That too, a Great Spirit among Spirits.
Natsuki Subaru’s Contract Spirit, Beatriceーー finally entered the battle as backup.