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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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Liliana: “Gah! What a disaster! This fire is way too hot! Way too, way too hot! Seven times hotter than regular fire! Being burnt by this would mean dying with seven times the agony!”
The white wall of flame now stood before me! Since it was a flame that would not burn me if touched, but miraculously appeared to only let off waves of heat, in truth, being able to withstand the pain would mean that it was possible to breach it.
And so, to keep the truth hidden from everyone, too scared to rush forth, I pretended to be someone writhing in agony because of the flames, to convey to everyone surrounding the waterway of the dangers of the flame!
Well, even with everyone’s mental state being a tad insane, it seemed their instinct had left them with the notion that flames were dangerous. So my desperate act was perhaps not of much use, but even so, not performing it was something I couldn’t justify.
Liliana: “It was easy for Priscilla-sama to order me to sing and dance to snatch the peoples’ hearts back but.”
In all honesty, snatching spirits back, rahhhhh! As a mood to sing with, it would completely serve as an obstacle, and it went against the principle of song in the first place.
As a result of frantic singing, to say that something airy would be left within the hearts of those who listened, that something would be natural intent of the heavens. And if they feel something in that intent of the heavens, and gave a tip because of that, the world would be so kind and gentle!
First of all, singing with the attitude of wanting to earn a tip would be an ulterior motive that would make its way into the song. But a song with such a desire contained within was not what I wanted.
And so, couldn’t this plan be said to be a losing battle from the very start?
Liliana: “Thinking back on it, although this life was short-lived, days filled with tumultuousness were experienced. Father and Mother, even though there was resentment when I cast myself into this cruel world at the age of thirteen, after declaring my independence… But now I’m only grateful that I was born so cute. Although I was quite the unfilial daughter, the gratitude and wrath I felt towards the two of you was something integral to my every way… Guhhhh! Ahhhh, hothothot, a neverending summer, huhuhu!”
While speaking of gratitude toward parents and various other whims, I felt a sign that those on the other side of the wall of flame were about to approach, and once more put on an act of overheating. Really hoping the bunch that was unable to read the atmosphere would react appropriately!
Butbut, no matter how realistic my performance was, it would fall through sooner or later. And then if it were exposed, there would be no way to contain Priscilla-sama’s extremely limited temper.
And then, it’d be no good! It’d be over!
Sirius: “Oh my, oh my, do you have the leisure to see? The girl you have expectations of is wearing an expression as if there is no path forward, is she not? I can clearly feel the sorrow and exhaustion plaguing that child’s spirit. Do you not feel sorry for her, weeping and aching?”
Priscilla: “Not in the slightest.”
Without regard to me, who had begun to clutch my head and count down the seconds to the end, in the center of the courtyard surrounded by waterways that had been set alight, an exchange of dialogue between Priscilla-sama and that freak Sirius was in progress.
That said, the dialogue was entirely composed of Priscilla-sama mercilessly turning a deaf ear to Sirius’s modest words! And setting aside Sirius’s manner of speech for now, the figure now rotating the chains of both arms could not be called steady in the slightest.
Air being slashed, atmosphere being sliced, the path of metal chains being swung through the air changed freely! Tumbling, prancing, front, back, left, right, it struck toward Priscilla-sama like a metal snake!
The extending and retracting chain made an ear-piercing level of sound, continuous to the point that it seemed to me that Priscilla-sama had been enclosed in a cage of iron.
The stone steps that took direct hits from the chain exploded mercilessly, were caved in, were scraped, which spoke volumes of the power. If direct contact with the skin were made, the result would be hideousness akin to that caused by a snake’s fangs and tongue! If the recipient were someone whose skin was white and delicate like Priscilla-sama, their cruelty would be even more pronounced!
Butbut, Priscilla-sama in fact ferociously attacked that metal chain——!
Priscilla: “Tumultuous and yet tasteless noise, the heedlessness which is projected indiscriminately, a base weapon from which even a hint of elegance cannot be felt, superficial and yet unseemly idle talk… Such a number of measures that incur my anger were prepared as entertainment. The disrespect you show me is rather admirable.”
Liliana: “Priscilla-sama is awesomeeeeeee!!”
However, Priscilla-sama wore an expression of boredom, waving the Yang Sword to welcome the chains that approached from every direction. But, never mind front, side, top and bottom, how could a blow from somewhere unseen like the back possibly be intercepted?
In addition, perhaps this power was unique to the Yang Sword, but whenever the Yang Sword deflected the chain, the point of contact would be scorched white. That firepower did not seem negligible, and the chain would burn and become gradually shorter and shorter! If this were repeated, for sure, she would run out of chains!
Liliana: “Heheheh——! Priscilla-sama, please be rid of it, rid of it, rid of it——!”
Priscilla: “Regarding that, that is what is known as candid thoughts which forget to cover eyes. Although exposure of that level is presumably difficult for a commoner, it certainly inspires more pleasure than boring, twisted theory. Well, although merely one person in this world would be enough.”
Liliana: “Ehhh~!? Just now, you praised me, that was a praise, right!? To consider that praise would be fine, right!? I’m about to feel happy you know!! Amazing truly amazing. Yay!”
Even if I were to be told that it hadn’t been praise, I’d already felt happy, so it was too late!
Accepting my support, Priscilla-sama also gained more momentum. She continued to advance, ceaselessly burning the chain away. The imposing atmosphere seemed to overwhelm even the Sin Archbishop of Wrath, and I was now entirely just waiting! It was a yam in the oven!
Liliana: “No, wait a second, Priscilla can’t solve this so effortlessly! If that happens, we’re also be offed effortlessly, ehhhhhh~!?”
Priscilla: “Mhm, that is indeed the case. Too fun a time was being had.”
How dangerous! If I hadn’t stopped her just now, she was going to go for it!
As Priscilla-sama had stopped, Sirius, having been overwhelmed, took this chance to leap far backward. Although Priscilla-sama was out of the norm, the opponent that was meeting her match was none other than a Sin Archbishop, perhaps it should be asked whether or not humans were able to move in such a way?
Sirius: “It is rare for someone to be so stubborn in not opening their hearts even though I have spoken so much. For what reason is your soul so tightly closed?”
After gaining some distance, Sirius flickered her gaze to her two arms as she spoke. That chain had already been trimmed short, but as the freak yapped, she rotated her wrists to restore its length. It seemed that many chains were wound firmly on her arms, but whether they were cutting off circulation was unknown.
Sirius: “Everyone’s hearts have openings, some greater, others smaller. To live means to have feelings, no matter the color of the feeling that peeks out from there, they are something every person possesses… Even a feeling you have staunchly bore all along can be understood, as long as it is revealed.”
Sirius: “You too have a soul that can anguish, feelings that disorient, although unwaveringly keeping weaknesses hidden from others is a condition to living strongly… there is only so much that can be reached on one’s lonesome. What one person can achieve on their lonesome has a limit. After becoming one with other people, new peaks can be discovered. In order to allow others to see that place, mutual understanding and shared feelings are necessary.”
Sirius swayed her body, speaking to the silent Priscilla-sama.
The sound of that voice seemed as if it permeated one’s heart. That attitude seemed as if it was from someone truly close. That manner seemed tender as if it dissolved the guards of others. The content of those words seemed as if it enticed others.
Clearly as if a sweet poison that melted slowly, yet even my extremities felt numb.
Sirius: “Could you allow me to help you reach understanding with others? Truly your love is so deep, and loving of the world. Looking forward to be loved. Wanting it. I can understand this. And I hope that others can come to understand this. So that you are kept from spending a lonely night on your lonesome.”
Priscilla: “Truly a shame to rely only on delusion and conjecture and prattle on without embarrassment. If you hold no doubts in your own words, you are precisely what is known as a lunatic.”
Sirius: “Oh my, thank you very much. That is a title commensurate with my husband’s. Those are the delusional words of someone to be reprimanded, who cannot comprehend in the slightest how outstanding that person is, and spits wild words of admiration, envy, jealousy towards that person.”
Priscilla: “Cease speaking. What belongs to me belongs to me alone. Your narrative is the one delusional nonsensical thing here. Even the surface of my enigma cannot be skimmed, by those alike you.”
Priscilla-sama, with self-assurance, rejected that sweet, enticing proposal beyond doubt. However, in terms of self-assurance, Sirius did not lose to her. The freak’s head tilted as if having expected Priscilla-sama’s rejection,
Sirius: “To say that even the surface cannot be skimmed, this is the epitome of stubbornness… is it not? In that case, how does such a significance sound? «Iris and the King of Thorns».”
Sirius: “Or perhaps, «The Rose Knight of Tieros»? «Magrizza’s Guillotine».”
I didn’t understand the significance of Sirius’s words. Nor the intent behind the monster saying such words.
However, it prompted an immediate effect.
Priscilla: “——Better off dead.”
As I thought I’d heard a low murmur, Priscilla-sama’s figure vanished from sight.
As I expressed my confusion, the distance that had once existed between Priscilla-sama and Sirius became zero. Priscilla-sama swung the Yang Sword from above, arc mercilessly tracing towards Sirius’s neck. In an instant, the world slowed to an incredulous extent, and even I was able to see the path that Priscilla-sama’s blade followed.
Just aiming it, Sirius’s slender neck would be caressed and severed.
If that were to happen, my neck, and the necks of everyone nearby would break in the same way.
Could it be, that it was because I understood this, that it seemed to happen so slowly? Say, if a life-threatening danger were to approach, humans would, with great focus, see their perception of the world slowed down, right?
Although if that were the case, in a situation where the celestial scales of my own life were being tilted by others, what could I and the many people around me do about it?
The crimson radiance of the Yang Sword, with imposing manner, sliced through the atmosphere——
Being unable to understand the sight before me, I couldn’t help but let out the voice of a dazed fool.
Having made that noise, my neck was still firmly anchored upon this small body. That was a matter of course. My neck had not been severed. Whether my own, nor Sirius’s.
In substitution, Priscilla-sama’s body, which should have leapt at Sirius, had been flung backward forcefully. Having been intercepted by Sirius’s metal chains head-on, she was hurled backward perilously.
I let out a cry towards that figure, which had obviously not leapt of its own will.
If Priscilla-sama were to be killed, the situation would become an irreparable wreck—— I could hardly even think of such a thing, crying out solely because a sense of disaster dawned. And yet, Priscilla-sama suddenly spun back still in midair, halting her momentum by stabbing the Yang Sword into the cobblestones.
Priscilla: “Cease the racket, the true damage is yet to come.”
In reply to my wail, Priscilla-sama landed, the high-pitched sound of her footwear echoing. However, immediately after that, Priscilla-sama’s necklace began to change. It had originally been a necklace with three green jewels, but one of those had just shattered.
Almost as if it had taken the attack from just before in Priscilla-sama’s stead.
Priscilla: “The retaliation for my necklace shall have a rather tall cost.”
Sirius: “So that’s how it is. Is it that wounds you suffer are transferred onto what is valuable to you? That is truly a manner befitting Pride… Nono, that couldn’t be, that couldn’t possibly be.”
Priscilla: “Deliberately putting forth demeaning speculation is malicious to the extreme, audacity to this this extent cannot be redeemed with even ten thousand deaths. A scorching heat that burns and burns yet never dies out is most fitting for the manner of your death.”
Priscilla-sama’s rage was directed at Sirius, whose attitude had not wavered in the slightest. Rather than to say that the Yang Sword in her hand had increased its radiance, perhaps it should be said that the heat was increasing? Priscilla-sama’s regal attire, to me, appeared as if it swayed under the scorching rays of sunlight.
Though gazing at that, there truly was no way to think that Priscilla-sama was in a disadvantage… but there also was that incomprehensible happening from just now.
Sirius had taunted Priscilla-sama with words I couldn’t understand. Priscilla-sama had seemed to rush forward as if falling for that provocation, and she had been intercepted because of such predictable movement―― But that was not the case.
Rather, in my amateur opinion, in my eyes Priscilla-sama’s movements had appeared to be fast to the point of disappearing from sight, but perhaps to Sirius this was not the case. Although this possibility couldn’t be denied, but that couldn’t have been.
Because when the Yang Sword lashed out, Priscilla-sama’s movements were stopped.
Appearing as if suspended, although such words did convey the general idea, what had happened was on a level different to that, more precisely, it was as if it had been completely frozen.
I didn’t think that it was Priscilla-sama’s intention to freeze in such an unnatural position, nor that it was something humans could consciously do. In that case, that stoppage should have been connected to some kind of incomprehensible ability, but what could it have been?
Sirius: “Please do not rage like that. Although you appear to be constantly raising your temper over something, such a thing will bring exhaustion and will only parch the soul? Something like Wrath, is the tomb of the feeling that should be most shunned in this world. People’s hearts are full of emotion… And so, they should be always filled by ecstasy and joy.”
Liliana: “W-well, even if you think that, the people outside don’t look very happy, d-d-do they?”
Huh!? Just now, could it have been a voice that had been audible!?
That freak Sirius looked directly at me, her eyes visible from a gap in the bandages coiling tightly around her body. Uhyiii, what a disaster, have I kanchou’d myself!?
Sirius: “Indeed, within the hearts of everyone outside, unease and lament reigns. Although this too is something tragic, this is merely the result of human hearts overflowing with tenderness and compassion.”
Liliana: “Wha-what are you saying?”
Sirius: “Once under the influence of my Authority, people become capable of opening their hearts, and resonate with one another. And so, feelings that cannot be put into words can come to light. To be human is to be able to empathize, a precious existence from which feelings can come to be. If the hearts of others are cherished, once sorrow is witnessed, in one’s own heart sorrow will also bloom. And a new sorrow will also sprout in the hearts of those who witness that sorrow. As the cycle repeats, those drops of sorrow will become a pond, become a lake, become a river.”
This person had spoken such outrageous things.
In other words, the more people gathered, the worse it would get, because, with this person around, their emotions would be amplified to the extreme. Such a mechanism could rile up and spread suffering to everyone in the city… And it didn’t just stop at creating unrest.
This person had referred to it as a connection of the heart.
Priscilla: “If this seems a tragedy, then, by all means, take the lead in saving everyone. Choosing not to do so and only voicing laments, is but an irritating noise for the commoners.”
Sirius: “Mhm, I can understand those words. I’m merely being overwhelmed by a one-sided attack by my own helplessness. However, I possess a means to save all those enveloped by sorrow!”
Sirius clapped her palms together, her demeanor like she had just had a wonderful idea.
Although it was doubtful that the freak’s notion of a good idea could make the situation take a turn for the better, neither I nor Priscilla-sama spoke up. Although I didn’t know about Priscilla-sama, rage boiled in my heart.
A feeling that could not be described with words surging within my chest was, was igniting.
Sirius: “A means to offer salvation to all those enveloped in sorrow… is to use delight, use joy to sweep away that sorrow. Which is to say that I, who is to be a conduit for such salvation, must find happiness!”
Sirius: “My, my, my. Within this city, is the husband from whom I have been separated with for quite some time. Confirming my love with my husband, with that person, having it returned. A happily married couple is the emblem of happiness. If my heart is filled to the brim with such joy, all those crying out in lament will be saved. By mutually enjoying happiness, the hearts of everyone will be saved——”
Sirius spoke her discourse, Priscilla-sama wore a completely disinterested expression, and I, who flickered glances at both, was thinking of many things.
I knew that this was the one time I couldn’t escape reality by pretending not to understand. Or rather, it could be said that now I understood. Thoroughly and completely understood, the fact that this freak, Sirius Romanée-Conti, was our enemy.
I raised my head, and gazed across the surrounding waterways engulfed in flame. On the other side of the white-tinted wall of flame were the figures of people who stood in place, without a means to cross the waterway. They had all fallen under the charm of unwanted feelings, having lost their self-awareness.
I could hear the sound of their corpse-like voices.
Much thanks to my peculiar ears; as a bard, I was proud of my voice and hearing. To me, those voices seem to echo endlessly.
——So terrifying, so sad, save me, how painful, how, why, so unpleasant.
I could hear those kinds of voices, of resentment swept up as if in a vortex, of wails drawn out as if for eternity.
Was this result of that so-called empathy, then? Was this the result of that so-called becoming one, then? That so called unity, was it something like this?
Liliana: “I have, to free…”
――Becoming one, and being the same as everything else, had to differ.
Men, women, adults, children, infants, elderly, humans, demi-humans, were all clearly different.
To condense all that together, to blend it all up, and to say “like this, everyone will understand each other and become one”—— such words, were certainly nothing to joke about.
Nothing to joke about!
Priscilla: “There is no necessity for your happiness. Shut that pettily clever talking hole of yours while still able, and die on your lonesome.”
Sirius: “I don’t like that. Do not insist on using the loneliness of disconnect to comfort yourself. If you are one who cannot recognize the form of happiness, taking a look at my happiness and giving it a chance is not so bad, is it? Or perhaps, if you understand the joy of connecting with the one you love, then you have come to understand the joy of being a bride!”
Priscilla: “Unfortunately, I have already walked the aisle seven times. And on each of those, there was nowhere approaching something like happiness. Apply not your paltry standards to me, it is nauseating.”
Sirius: “Seven times… ehh…”
Priscilla-sama treated Sirius’s words as a jest, and brought the Yang Sword down from above. However, Sirius also commenced her own ferocious attack of steel chains. Sparks ignited and scattered, the burnt chains flew away, and the clash caused the figures of the two to be pushed away from the center of the courtyard.
Having been burnt off, that chain. Burning white, that inextinguishable flame. In a state of being unable to give voice, those people wailing in agony.
Within me, slowly it came together. Could it be accomplished?
If the situation that had been imagined was indeed reality, was indeed correct, in that case, it shouldn’t be unachievable.
Sirius: “Even though I have clearly expended so much time on this, only for the sake of reaching the heart of that one person… You have had seven chances, and wasted all of them.”
Priscilla: “Do not pin the blame for your own lack of allure on me. That is the reason as to why that pitiful man who has been imprinted on you, refuses to even meet you——”
Sirius: “I and that person are intimately connected, and thus are deeply in love with one another——!!”
Suddenly, a voice of fury lashed out, one that inspired a jolt of terror.
Immediately after, bisecting the courtyard was a snake of flame which burned red! In the instant that Priscilla-sama blocked the chains that originated from Sirius’s arms, and from there the flames followed the chains, the surging flame swallowing Priscilla-sama’s body.
The snake of flame reared open its maw, consuming Priscilla-sama’s slim body headfirst. Without a means to counter that fiery tactic, Priscilla-sama was swallowed and tossed outside of the courtyard now soaked by flame. Just as she was about to plummet, she suddenly stabilized herself with dignity using her sword. And yet, after being submerged in such flames Priscilla-sama’s body remained completely unhurt.
But with a sound, a jewel from the necklace once again shattered. The two clasps of the necklace came undone simultaneously, landing on the ground with a resounding noise.
Sirius: “Me and that person share a deep love! That just and sincere person just cannot help that he has yet to finish what he began! Misconstruing that person’s sincerity as pure love is just too obscene! Ahhhh! AHHHHHHH! How irritating!”
Priscilla-sama had once again survived at the cost of the necklace, but Sirius’s demeanor towards her had entirely changed. The freak opened her mouth as if baring fangs, spitting ugly words as she violently expressed her temper. And her arms had swept up a vortex of crimson flame.
Sirius: “Why is it that you so inconsiderately shake my heart to this degree!? These violent emotions that shake my heart, Wrath, or in other words, passion! This quaking will give way to heat, burning away the accursed sinners! Is this what you want for yourself as well, you pretentious lonely wench, AHHHHHHHH!”
Priscilla: “With that mouth, with those eyes, such babble… Hk.”
A vortex of flame appeared over Sirius’s head as she raised her arms, immolating herself in that detestable Wrath. What had struck just now were a pair of slim twin which came from her arms. And as those arms crossed, their forms merged into one singular powerful snake.
The arm struck vertically downward, and the enormous snake of flame rushed at Priscilla-sama. Rather than evade it, Priscilla-sama took a stance of meeting the attack.
The Yang Sword was swung from below to above, its tip lodging in the head of the giant snake. With a sound that was not one of chain meeting sword, the flaming snake’s aim had strayed greatly!
However, Priscilla-sama was sent flying by the impact, making it impossible to follow-up!
After Sirius had summoned the snake in a fit of fury, the positions of offense and defense had suddenly reversed. Priscilla-sama had been forced on the defensive, and the metal chains and flames chased her retreating figure.
Why was that? Although it was clear at a glance that Sirius’s abilities couldn’t be underestimated, considering the earlier stages of the fight, I didn’t think that Priscilla-sama was inferior. Earlier in the day, she had said that the Yang Sword had poor consumption, but that what was pressing her like this?
Or could it be, that, perhaps, merely as speculation. That Priscilla-sama was unable to attack——
Liliana: “Is it me!?”
A quick end, not just for me, but for everyone in the vicinity as well. In order to avoid such a result, was this a battle for buying time!? Wait, no, hang on, how could it be, that the arrogant Priscilla-sama, who thought the highest of only herself, would do something like that!?
Priscilla: “You are to prepare your song—— Should a shadow fall across the Yang Sword, I shall, no matter what, sever that abomination’s head. And so, before that happens.”
At that time, something had shook my brain!
Right before the battle had started in earnest, Priscilla-sama had told me.
Before the Yang Sword met its limit, I was to prepare a song. And she had added that if that time were to approach, Sirius’s head would be mercilessly severed, and everyone else along with her.
But that meant that I shouldn’t wait around for the right moment, it had a much deeper meaning than I had thought initially, right?
If so, Priscilla-sama was waiting. Waiting for me to prepare a song.
At the very least, for the time that I took responsibility for those words.
Liliana: “Guhh, guhhhhh! Mmmm! Mmmmmmm!”
How bothersome! That person, so damn bothersome! If there are feelings, just confess to the feelings already! That person absolutely has feelings for me. No, I had been told I was liked, so it had definitely been said before. Ahhh, what a pain, screw this, this was terrifying, was there no other way——!
If the situation was as I suspected, then as she was fighting at a bothersome disadvantage, she must have understood what I was thinking right now. I pointed toward the stone tower that had been ignited by Sirius’s flames.
Priscilla-sama turned her head at the sound of my voice, looked to the place I was pointing towards——
With terrifying expression with terrifying gaze, but despite such a terrifying visage inspiring a feeling of reliability, she smiled.
An expression so wicked which made it difficult to figure out just who the Sin Archbishop was here!
Sirius: “Stop looking away——!!”
Priscilla: “With the likes of you as an opponent, looking away is no distraction. Do not lecture me on my actions.”
Priscilla-sama leapt back, while at the same time parrying an approaching chain with the midsection of her sword. Her body gathered momentum, moving with speed beyond that which one motion would allow, and landed by the burning tower. Priscilla-sama gazed up at the burning tower, and, directing the tip of the Yang Sword at its base, she stabbed.
Priscilla: “Such an unsightly flame. Truly beautiful light shines like this.”
Differences in aesthetic between the lights of flame and such, were incomprehensible to an ordinary person like me.
Although incomprehensible, even a layman’s eye could clearly make out that a decidedly different sort of flame now surrounded the control tower!
The rising, white-tinged flames that now shimmered there were of the same type that surrounded the waterways.
Even though the snakes of flame originating from Sirius’s chains also burned crimson and scorched with bright and staggering heat, the flames emitted from the Yang Sword held a sort of sanctity that gave the impression of being untouchable.
Priscilla: “The stage is prepared—— Ensure that you perform your utmost.”
Liliana: “Right, right! Understood!”
After smothering the flames of the control tower with another layer of flame, Priscilla-sama spoke one sentence. I replied with fervent confidence, rushing over to the control tower.
While watching the situation with an air of being set off by anything that happened, Sirius flickered her gaze towards this scene and extended both her hands in our direction!
Sirius: “What are you doing to the flame I lit as an emblem of my love for that person!?”
Liliana: “I think it’s best you don’t speak of outlandish ridiculous things such as setting an entire building on fire to flirt!”
I said it, I said it, I said it! Wahhhh~ haha!
Rushing towards my back as I spoke while running, I felt that Sirius freak’s chain coming after me in one smooth motion! Burning chains! A heat wave, heat wave!
I knew that before the flame burned me, my head could be sent flying the very instant I was attacked, but heedless of what was behind me, I ran! And the reason was――!
Priscilla: “This is a situation where I shan’t hold back until whatever that one comes up with is witnessed.”
Taking the place of my fleeing self, Priscilla-sama landed where the chain would strike. The Yang Sword sliced downward as if licking, deflecting the entire tongue of flame!
Hearing the intermittent sounds of Priscilla-sama and that freak clashing anew, I finally reached at my destination, the burning stone tower.
Liliana: “Haaa, haaaaa…”
Although the distance covered hadn’t been too long, drawing breath grew laborious, and my body felt fatigued! In all honesty, right now, nothing would feel better than a drink of ice-cold water before collapsing on a bed. Although this was something not meant for a travelling bard, but after spending so long in greenhouse-like surroundings, anything but a soft bed wouldn’t work!
Liliana: “Ahh, really… isn’t this all Kiritaka-san and everyone else’s fault——”
Allowing me to reside in this city, showing me warm hospitality. Whether the Scales of the White Dragon or the citizens of the city, everyone had expressed their love, and the likes of Kiritaka-san with such enthusiasm that even I was taken aback, it was all their fault! Their fault for having me remain in this city, so that my ability to keep on the path of a travelling bard had been weakened!
Well then, just a bit of extra effort here—— recall the ruthless determination of your waist and legs from before!!
Liliana: “Ihhhh, ihhhhhhh!”
Myself prepared, teeth clenched, I held my steady Lyulyre in my arms, and rushed toward the blazing tower! So hot, so hot, so hot, so damn hot——!
Liliana: “——Guh, giiiiii!”
Anticipation of the scorching pain sent a sharp jolt through me.
However, although I felt an overwhelming heat wave, neither my skin, nor my hair, nor the Lyulyre, had been burnt by the scorching flame. The heat of the flame could be clearly felt, nothing had caught on fire.
Much alike the white flames that were rising in the waterways, there was painful heat, but no burning. And because of that, I recognized this flame as the Yang Sword’s bluff.
However, it was different. Different indeed.
The Yang Sword wielded by Priscilla-sama had indeed burnt through the metal chains upon collision. Even though it was clearly the same sword, sometimes it burned through, sometimes it didn’t.
Priscilla-sama’s flame could choose what to burn. Which meant, that it could also choose what not to burn.
So that was why! The white flame enveloping this control tower definitely wouldn’t burn me!
Even though it was hot enough to burn me, agonizing enough to seem fatal, painful enough to make whoever experienced it want to collapse and roll on the ground, it would not burn, it would not injure, it would not be deadly!
Eyeballs melting, tongue withering, hair alight, skin simmering, Lyulyre scorched, bones cracking, flesh burnt, consciousness eroding to nothing, was all an illusion——!
Not hot, so hot, so hot, so hot, not hot, not hot, so hot, craving death, not wanting to die, so hot, not hot, hothothot, even though it was so hooooot——!
Sprinting up the stairs of the control tower, first floor, second floor, just how many floors were there!? Where was the roof!? How far did the fire reach, where had the hands of the fire reached towards, looking left and right yielded only the sight of white fire, sohotsohot, how could such agony be, so hot, heat beyond heat, I——
Right now, I wanted to wail about the intensity of the heat, wanted to shriek until my throat burst.
Absolutely not. If this agony were given voice to, it would ruin my throat in one cry. This throat could absolutely not be spent. These fingers as well. I wanted to scratch, wanted to express the suffering no matter how. But no, absolutely not, if these fingers were damaged, they could not strum a melody.
Whether eyes, or skin, or hair, would be okay; it couldn’t be helped if they melted. But this throat, these fingers, and these ears as well, were not okay, because they were all indispensable for what would come next.
Forcefully ascending the steps, slamming open the incredibly heavy door with a kick, appearing now before me was the night sky—— the wind howling in frenzy, heat continuing to flow from beneath my feet, but there were no more walls. I wobbled along the cobblestone to the edge, where I could look at below.
The wind was blowing, and underneath, a red figure and white figure were waving dangerous objects, with white flames surrounded by a wailing crowd.
Although I was so hot, so hot, I felt as if I would die at any instant.
Right now, I wasn’t completely free from that heat yet, the soles of my feet were still burning, the white flames seemed to intensify when the wind blew, sorrow suddenly rose in my heart, and I wanted to squirm——
Liliana: “Eek, eeep… Alright, this is a once-in-a-lifetime stage!”
Reaching the place I had dashed for, through heat and agony that inspired a craving for death, from here, everything was visible, and could reach everywhere with sound.
I was dying to die, but before I died, there was still something left to do, and so――
Liliana: “Come, come, gather around, everyone far away, make sure you listen! Everyone close by, make sure you watch the dance! For everyone even farther away, I’ll be even louder, so just listen!! Liliana Masquerade, is here to sing and dance and perform for you! So listen well! ——Sky that Transcends the Light of Dawn!!”
——Just gather all those passionate feelings, and spit them all out at once!
 – A more correct translation would be “Magritza”, but given that this is something meaningless as of yet, I am opting for the Light Novel translation of “マグリッツァ”.
 – Kanchou, written “カンチョ―”, is a childish prank that involves putting hands together with index fingers pointing out, then attempting to poke a distracted person’s asshole with them (for more information, see here). Yeah, I’m as exasperated as you are.