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Translated by :
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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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It turned out, that Liliana did not remember the words she had wanted to sing.
Liliana’s bloodline, from the time of her mother, mother’s mother, and even mothers beyond that, was a bloodline which had all along not settled in one place and instead travelled the earth.
The lifeless profession of a bard, would of course inspire irritation. Not remaining in any one place, but along with the winds, along with the hearts’ whims, continuously travelling with only two feet.
Amongst the bards, it seemed that many of them would gather together, band together for performances. However, Liliana was not particularly fond of this nature of banding together. Although not disliking of being with others, their interests were different. There was a palpable difference in sense of music.
Just like her line of mothers, Liliana trod alone onto a journey. However, even amongst this group of bards with such variance in personality, this independence could not be denied to have appeared rather early with her. She had been thirteen when she had left her parents’ nest.
“Hey, little brat! How could you have such an idea! Wouldn’t your parents agreeing with you be enough.”
Although not over a trivial matter, but fleeing without question as a result of the argument was she. Starting from her tens, Liliana had always wanted to live independently. Those were the too heedless opinions of a daughter too deeply submerged in chasing dreams, and her parents and especially mother forcibly kept her.
At around the age of ten, the feelings of the young Liliana were already a tad more mature than those of other girls of her age. That was more or less the result of her father’s performances, her mother’s poems, and the intimate influence of her relatives.
To the young Liliana, the characters appearing in the music her mother sang were dashing. Following how their adventures, struggles, battles, romances, intrigues interacted with her, Liliana was forever unable to bear that her feet could not make their way forward.
— The people that had been come to known through her own songs, could clearly so freely choose their way of living.
To the ten year old Liliana, the heroes that had appeared in the songs were friends. Walking the same path, seeing the same sights, underneath the same sky they raised their heads to see, she too wanted to savor the same taste.
Clinging to such a feeling, in those three years, she could in fact bear it.
Liliana burned up the single-minded passion and single-minded sense of companionship, and from her father stole the skill of performing with a lu-lyre, from her mother stole the sound of that song and several famed songs.
On the eve of turning thirteen, mother had personally given her the traditionally passed down lu-lyre, and after the grand parent-child argument, she sprinted away from her parents’ sides, journeying away from home alone.
Hahahaha! Wait and see, old lady! I’ll be the ruler of bards!…
Completely evading the pursuit of her parents, the her who had become alone made a vow to the night sky.
Liliana Masquerade’s grand adventure, would from now on begin.
Since the age of ten, her parents had deplored Liliana’s recklessness.
Complaining that her skills had yet to mature, that she treated not learning melodies as a joke, occasionally refusing her food afterward.
“Heheheh! A little girl like you thinking she can live independently, is ten years too early! An arrogant child like this, leave it to her to take care of the meat of the rabbits who’ve fallen into the trap!”
“Oh my oh my, you poor thing! How undercooked today’s rabbit meat seems, but it’s still being eaten? A child who doesn’t listen to her parents really is pitiful!”
For better or for worse, parents with a nature of chasing their dreams.
For a pair such as them, how heartrending the departure of their only daughter must be. Surely leading up to the departure, arguments would have been aplenty.
“This lowers the consumption of meals! Three meals a day from now!”
“If Liliana’s gone, we’ll just have another child!”
Surely, there must have been arguments. Surely it was painful. Indeed.
And a parental argument was the last gift she received from them.
If Liliana’s dreams were crushed, to return to her parents, was not what she would do.
In order to cut off a way out for Liliana, they spoke such words.
To weaken at the thought of an escape route, was human nature. As long as there existed a way out, the flames of determination could not burn until the very last.
Especially for a travelling bard, who had no home of their own.
Family and hometown, were typically notions that were merged into one. Reliance on family was a subconsciously overwhelming tendency. The greatest obstacle standing in the way of independence was the act of cutting it off.
Thanks to her youthful recklessness and her parent’s shrewd manipulation, she had defeated such an obstacle.
Liliana, sipping muddied water, munching roots of grass, overwhelmed by starvation and weakness, thought of “returning” … it was as she thought of “this”, that she noticed their consideration.
If her resolve had shattered then, perhaps she would have cast down her lu-lyre. She thanked her parents. To part had been the best way.
Years later, having encountered them in another town, they had yet to settle their differences.
On top of that, held in her parents’ arms was an unfamiliar infant.
Liliana had initially assumed it to be her younger sister, but rather than speak to her parents, she merely stuck out her chest, straightened her back and returned the way she had come.
Years later, if she had achievements more worthy of pride, perhaps a reunion with her parents, could even be one of smiles and happy talks.
However, the her of today was sorely lacking. So for not it should be left at that.
Of course, after this meeting today perhaps she would never encounter her parents again. And there was an even higher chance that she would never be able to introduce herself as an elder sister to the little sister whose name she had yet to learn.
However, this was what Liliana had chosen, a way of life which relied on song.
In coming days, when Liliana had become a world-renowned bard, doubtlessly her parents would irresponsibly comment to everyone who would listen. The first to fall victim would no doubt be her little sister. And thus, to gain another petty ambition was completely natural.
Heheh, what a heart-pounding vision of a future! Which shouldn’t have been too much to ask for…
When Liliana was seventeen, she found her resolve anew.
Liliana who was now twenty-two, had lived independently for nine years – it was a given that it was an atypical life, riddled with tribulation.
Most notably was at the age of thirteen right after she’d begun her journey, when her declaration of intent to be the master of bards, had been trampled upon the following day. If she hadn’t been picked up by passerby merchants, and as a maiden hadn’t needed to negotiate, surely she would actually have pitifully died alone.
It had been a been a group of merchants, travelling across the lands to make their living.
Liliana had been picked up and taken care of, acting as a serving girl. It was a way of travel much safer, much more comfortable, than a true journey alone, as long as there would be meals and a bed.
Reaching cities, Liliana would also take up the lu-lyre, singing at the side of the road for coin. Having left her parents, the first instance of having her performance recognized was unforgettable.
The merchants took care of her for around a year, but when their spokesperson settled in a town, acquiring his own store, the group disbanded. Amongst the scattered merchants, several groups invited Liliana to come along, but solemnly she decline, continuing on alone.
Letting go of a safer and more comfortable journey, renewing herself as a person.
The lukewarm days of the beginning had ended, and Liliana Masquerade’s tale began. This was without question a tale of such vigor.
Afterward, several years of toil were committed. As part of a group of merchants, or a respected house of bards, and forget that she carried a sign with her, the ruthless world had no consideration for a little girl separated from her family of musicians.
It had been then, that she fully understood the consideration had shown before she’d left.
This was when Liliana had realized, there was another great truth of this world.
It was that the world she lived in and the worlds the characters of her beloved stories lived in, were absolutely different, and she was in no way one of their companions.
A beginning was hardly anything so unique.
As always she munched on roots of grass, consumed red fruits that she could not find in the mountains, and on her lonesome suffered the agony of a stomach ache and fever, and on that night, she realized.
The heroes of the thrilling stories she knew shouldn’t have been like this.
Because those tales were done and over with. The everydays where they spat fresh blood, spoke their aspirations, cried out their hopes, and swung their blades were of the distant past.
Liliana tread through their footsteps, wove their tales for others to witness. Only did merely that.
Liliana loved them, but they had never loved Liliana.
Her own thoughts had been completely onesided, and were in fact akin to something which had stumbled into an old dead and lost their way.
— Then, just who was a bard?
“To become the master of bards!”, saying so, Liliana had taken up the mantle of bard for many a year, before finally realizing how useless she was.
For three days and three nights, Liliana’s pains, fever, and vomiting continued without cease.
As she lowered her head, Liliana wondered whether this was a cruel dream or reality.
After the fourth day, Liliana awoke recovered, splashed her face in the stream, drank its water.
The self reflected there, wore a different mien than the self of before.
Wind rustling the foliage, refreshing calls of insects and birds flowed across the stream.
And there she had felt the song, for the first time.
Tears seeping out, Liliana couldn’t help but leap into the stream.
The insects, birds, fish were all startled, their music flowing to the water’s surface, where Liliana’s head emerged, laughing heartily. She cried, laughed, cried out.
Liliana descended the mountain, body caked in dried mud and dirtied water, and stood on the streets.
Everyone found themselves disgusted by the young girl clutching an instrument, wearing a dirtied dress. The storeowner’s expression revealed disgust, and passersby on the streets seemed uneasy as well.
Merely standing like that for a few seconds, would perhaps result in being knocked over by some thoughtless passerby.
However, the Liliana standing upon the streets moved with agility. It wasn’t that she was thinking she’d be knocked over if she didn’t start soon. In this moment, she desired only to sing as soon as she could.
As the lu-lyre was plucked, a handful of people noticed.
A dirty muddy girl, the aged and withered lu-lyre in her hands, the hands that were touching the lu-lyre had become breathtaking.
It was a question how many people had recognized it.
If something were truly happening, surely the people who noticed would have left immediately.
Liliana’s performance began, and in the instant that those graceful charming hands wove music, the footsteps of everyone on the streets paused, as did their breathing.
In an instant, everyone realized there had been some sort of vital shift, awaiting a tremendous wave to sweep through their hearts.
The source of the sound stood upon the street, a dirtied young girl, every gaze focused upon her.
Liliana felt the weight of gazes upon her, and at the same time understood her elevated self. The stage had been prepared, and she dashed on it in one breath.
As applause for her performance reached its zenith, Liliana’s song began.
[Song] flowed from her throat, to the extent of making everyone believe, that the songs they had sung in the past, was of the same substance.
Their own knowledge, thoughts of famous melodies wavered back and forth, piercing.
The pair who had lived for each other, friends who had thought themselves inseparable, with a clear heart watched them rise toward the sky.
— Song was a gift, and to the friends of the past whose tales she sang of, she was nothing at all.
Liliana understood such that her own existence, was one of a bard.
With this foundation of understanding, from hereafter she could continue to sing by herself.
Flaunt, that in this world such exemplary people existed.
With such exemplary people, who she had once thought of as friends, flaunt that they had been amiable.
Certainly there would come a day, when amazing people would be befriended, and to be friends with such amazing people, to proudly do something like this…
— Finishing her song, Liliana shed tears.
The people struck speechless, shed tears just as she did, wiping their noses.
Applause echoing like thunder across the street, Liliana Masquerade became a bard.
Since then, Liliana’s acquaintanceship with music had persisted.
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Atop the burning control lower, Liliana recalled the first time she’d sung, the first time she had sung along, the first time she had sung as a bard.
A feeling similar to the one from then danced in her heart.
What she wanted to sing, wanted to express with words, wanted to voice, was too much. Equally so when in the midst of song. To the point that it could be called an obsession.
Choosing to burn to the end, still burning even now without heed of circumstance.
Perhaps Liliana did not feel the scorching heat, but the consuming heat yet tormented her.
Even now, consuming heat agonized her back, body that had scaled the control tower wreathed in flame continually letting out cries of pain. A pain that drove her to her knees, ached until she wanted to cry out immediately.
However, something like wailing, was just too unseemly.
Before her eyes, was an audience who wanted a song. This throat was not for crying.
The song that emerged, was not one that had been passed down by her mother or family.
A bard’s obligation was an obligation to inherit stories, and perhaps for a bard this was a misstep, but this was the song that Liliana had received, as a gift when she had first come to understand the world.
When the next dawn arrived, the sky would be dyed red.
Chasing off the night, was that morning sky that Liliana loved to see.
The break of day stained red and yellow, bringing a true morning to all.
A sky which surpassed dawn.
No matter what the night held, morning would always dawn.
A blue sky transcending dawn, was the start of a new day.
Right now, mayhem gradually permeated the city, and a great number of people had been overtaken by unease and sorrow, leaving them immobile.
In the midst of a night where neither looking forward nor backward was an option, every single one of them was struggling, struggling, was the reality.
But, Liliana wanted to sing, even so.
Because she wanted to sing, she wanted to sing.
She herself would not survive the agony of holding back her song when she wanted to sing.
And thus, right now was the perfect time to use song to convey what she wanted to.
Liliana loosened the trembling throat that had been carefully tightened and continued to sing.
Fingers moving across the lu-lyre as if in dance, in truth, she sang simultaneously as she danced. Atop the peak of the control tower, wanting everyone surrounding to be able to hear.
And yet how deplorable, that her voice had no way of reaching everyone’s eardrums.
The problem was not merely one of volume. There was an issue of distance. The hearts of her audience were troubled. No matter how hard Liliana tried, the existence of physical and mental barriers was an undeniable reality.
Liliana believed in the power of song.
However, only devotedly spreading melody, could be considered to become a true song.
Spread every which way, just how many people had been overcome by unease and sorrow?
Perhaps there were hundreds, even thousands. Liliana had never had the experience of reaching such a wide audience without the aid of the magical device.
Whether a means of diffusing sound, or a means of spreading such sound simultaneously, a normal person would not be able to find it.
Liliana’s battle was too hopeless, her aspiration too distant.
The Liliana who had once been ten years old, had been considered by her wicked parents to be too reckless.
And right now, was it just as back then, still repeating the same things?
The power of song was real, so was the her transferring it the fake?
At such doubt, her throat faltered helplessly.
At that moment,
“Liliana— lovely songstress. With that singing voice, I want to keep you by side forever.”
A silly man, with silly sophistry, lingered in Liliana’s mind.
An odd man. Doubtlessly strange. Perverted might be more accurate.
Upon hearing Liliana’s song, those who had been touched by malice yet remained.
Liliana remained distant from it all. Something untrue to song, an attempt at wholeheartedness that could not be lent to others. That was the dedication of a bard.
“I fell in love with your beauty. Please stay by my side!”
And so, he was the first to try to become close to her from his heart.
Awareness that Liliana was a bard, was something that came after his declaration of love to her upon seeing her. When she had first performed in front of him, rather than her song, his eyes raked over her face, chest, feet, honestly rather uncomfortably.
However, that wasn’t to say that he didn’t find himself touched by Liliana’s song. And his feelings toward Liliana weren’t covered with a layer of dishonesty.
Showing attraction to her appearing, and understanding of her song, knowing that as a person leaving was impossible.
“The city of Pristella has four large gates. So, within the city are a number of shelters as an emergency measure. This purpose of this magic device is so that citizens will be more aware of their safety on a day to day basis, and in the event of an emergency be prepared.”
“Eh… what’s what for…?”
“Let’s try playing Liliana’s song through that radio. Within this city are many people who have yet to understand your song, this is the perfect chance.”
Song amplified by the magical device, was for Liliana a shortcut.
A song should indeed be sung before an audience. Liliana had grudgingly refused. But, he only laughed heedlessly.
“I want to monopolize your figure. However, your song absolutely cannot become something restrained. Songstress to everyone else, Liliana to me. Is that something that can’t be?”
The weirdo had in fact laughed with such wicked intent. If he wanted to convince her like this, she wanted to snort.
Liliana knew that many love stories of this world had been chronicled.
In those love stories, their hearts swayed, became infatuated with love. He knew her. Knew which words would be charming, which attitudes were exciting…
And thus, Liliana would not be fall lightly for such words.
Perhaps they weren’t sweet, but, but they appreciated the voice of the Songstress.
So exaggerated, that she couldn’t straighten her chest, and say it suited her.
Because he had always been looking forward for Liliana to become the [Songstress].
Because that person had turned her into the songstress of this city.
To communicate, reverberate, tremble, this longing—
No matter how dark the night, so pitch black that seeing forward was impossible.
Even then, morning would still arrive, as always.
More resolute than anyone, believing in it more than anyway to sing for it.
Songstress of the Watergate City of Pristella, Liliana Masquerade.
From that sort of feeling, no pain could be gleaned.
Everything of herself, all began from the wrists that strummed the lu-lyre, feet that danced in synchronicity, throat that sang without rest, immersed only in this feeling.
Singing, singing, singing, Liliana had not noticed.
The lament of those whose spirits had been controlled no longer echoed by her ears.
On the opposite side of the flaming waterways, those who had been sighing in lament gazed upward toward the empty sky.
No, not empty. A sound was audible, from the control tower wreathed in flame.
A miniature figure from the peak, continue to cry out from a great distance.
Eyes that could not leave her. Focus directed completely toward the ears, everyone held their breath to listen in rapt attention.
A song that should not have been heard, was heard clearly by everyone.
This was no miracle, nor was it a simultaneous hallucination. Nor was it the archbishop’s power, indeed there was no shared emotion at all.
A gift Liliana had been granted by the heavens, the true blooming of the [Divine Protection of Telepathy].
A divine protection that had until now been subconscious, only when it reached this moment could it exert the influence it was supposed to. Between her ability as a singer, and the realization of casting everything aside in this hopeless moment to help, she had become a tremendous force, flowing into the city.
Of course, Liliana was unaware of this.
In addition, there was no one there to inform her of what the situation was.
Liliana only sang with all her heart and soul.
Becoming a bard, putting her all into singing, turning everything over to this instant.
Echoing here was the voice of Pristella’s Songstress.
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Priscilla: “—As expected, the arrangement mineself had prepared came to pass.”
Within was a flaming crimson sword, and Priscilla who held that sun laughed out loud.
The song had also reached Priscilla’s ears.
Liliana had taken center stage on the burning control, producing the most brilliant of songs.
Although the flame was under the Yang Blade’s control, the heat emitted by the it was no fake. The heat of the control was at a critical level, and the stone tower would feel scorching. Even at this instant, certainly it was so hot that she would want to leap off.
Even so, from this song that transmitted all of Liliana’s feelings, cries or complaints of pain were practically undetectable.
It wasn’t that the feelings weren’t there. Rather, undiluted pain had attained the purity of song.
What a foolish conclusion. One which only a fool could reach, the height of a fool.
The zenith of a brilliant fool that could yield a result which transcended reason.
Priscilla: “That one’s idiocy is truly fascinating. Foolish is as foolishness. A fool does not deserve a life, but a fool has a unique joy. And even more, she has demonstrated a worth beyond joy. Thus, she deserves mine reward.”
Before allowing Priscilla to finish her soliloquy, from overhead and from the left burning chains pressed close. The snake’s jaw bore a flame, moving directing to target Priscilla’s steps.
Before listening to Priscilla’s narrative, the chain of burning on the head and left was approaching. The iron snake’s chin has a flame, and it is in a straight line toward the Priscilla that stops.
The pinnacle of unsightliness, Priscilla snorted.
Raising the Yang Blade, the crimson blade flashed from a slant.
From above, from the left, simultaneous orbiting of the approaching chains were forcibly severed. The crisp sound seemed to ring twice simultaneously, and the freak growled wickedly at the sparks.
Sirius: “Both you and that girl are so damn annoying! What’s so different about me and her! The methods are different but the core is the same! It just goes to show that it’s reason!”
Sirius shrieked loudly, drawing the burnt off chains close.
Twisting her arms, angrily generating fire, the eyes of the freak whose black cloak swayed violently, pointed directly at Liliana dancing atop the burning control tower.
Liliana’s [Divine Protection of Telepathy] was incredibly powerful, enough that it could affect the freak’s perception.
To the freak who was so perceptive to changes in the emotions of others, the effects of that song radiated without limit.
The citizens had been freed from the [Wrath] that had taken root inside their hearts.
On the other side of the waterways still burning with white flame, within the eyes of the people who stood there were no traces of frenzy. What filled their eyes was not fervor, but the gentle fall of tears.
It was unclear from which emotion the tears stemmed, and the freak was incapable of taking up the formless feeling. Because rather than condensing into one feeling, it kept swaying.
Sirius: “That person, as long as that person is, it can be proven…! Why are you appearing before me to intercept my path! Humans want to pursue, to become one indeed! The world continues on this way! And yet!”
Priscilla: “As is the nature of song, the accompanying feelings vary. Classic songs are charming, and each description of “lovely” differs. Crying out about the noisy feelings, but such a shallow understanding of what is most vital… this is what is referred to as ‘foolish’.”
Sirius: “That’s enough already!!”
Sirius widened her eyes at Priscilla’s merciless speech, and with a howl, her arms folded. The colliding palms rattled the chains, and each arm violently unraveling the curled chains.
Skin on arms peeling, flesh being scraped, acting as if she were in pain, Sirius spread her arms, forcefully swinging the split chains.
The flame revolves around the orbit of the swinging chains, swelling to where the vortex reached the peak of its arc.
The scorching flame became a round disk, burning in the wake of Sirius’s heat.
Priscilla: “Could it be, that the bandages are for such wounds?”
The bandages were for burn wounds. If the reason was as what had just been witnessed, then truly it was mere foolishness.
Faced with this greatest force, this greatest danger, Priscilla’s did not waver.
Two snakes of flame, merged into a their powerful flame.
Priscilla gazed upon the vortex of flame with an expression of listlessness.
Sirius: “The trembling of feelings… consuming emotions, this intensity, this [Wrath]!”
Inspiring disgust, feelings of disgust, turned Sirius’s flames into waves of heat.
The flame spun as it approached.
It had stopped being a metal chain. In the instant that the flame had blossomed, the role of the implements as chains had come to an end.
The chain that done its job vanished in a flash, and only fire flew at Priscilla. A mass of heat as if enveloping the entire world, practically a cloud fallen from the sky, attacks without pause.
Utterly impossible to dodge, the only defense was to be swallowed thus.
As for the flame itself, there was only one option.
Priscilla: “—Should mine decree be the decree of heaven, the light of the Yang Blade will follow as one.”
Faced with the wave of flame pressing close, Priscilla lifted the Yang Blade.
Not as if feeling uncomfortable with the situation, merely raising the blade high.
In the instant of the collision, Sirius spat venomous hatred at Priscilla.
Priscilla did not regard her fury. The only sound that reached her was the song.
The instant when heat wave should have consumed her body, the Yang Blade changed.
Previously, on a sword where all the jewels shone had with light, the shine suddenly vanished. Only crimson light and crimson blade remain in Priscilla’s grip.
It was thus, that the sword without its light met the flame.
Without the radiance of the jewels, the sword became one of ordinary steel — and thus was unable to repel the approaching flame. If there had been an onlooker at the moment, perhaps they would have reported thus.
But the result was the precise opposite.
Priscilla: “— Utterly pointless.”
Priscilla, sweeping the Yang Blade to the side, murmured.
She should have been consumed by the flames and vanished.
And yet, her existence had yet to vanish. Not only that, her body bore no traces of the heat wave’s aftereffects, beautiful and constituted as always.
Waves of fire renowned for their power, were swept away without trace.
Almost as if the only Yang Blade glinting with reclaimed light knew were the flames had gone.
Grip tight on the Yang Blade, Priscilla’s expression shifted.
Where once there had been a confident smile, now cheeks stiffened as she hastened her steps.
Right in her line of sight was Sirius, sprinting quickly.
The freaks violent sprint pulled her far from Priscilla. Clearly having run without checking the result of the flame.
Meaning that from the very start Sirius’s target hadn’t been Priscilla.
Sirius: “Stop with that piercing song—! The [Wrath] I share with that person, don’t arbitrarily deny it—!”
Sirius rushed straight toward the control tower where Liliana sang.
The white flame surrounding the control tower, was a flame which would allow Liliana to be free. When Sirius rushed in, she would surely be burnt by the fire.
Something of this degree, even the freak would understand. Then, the target was,
Priscilla: “Reprobate, forcing mineself to—”
Propelled with momentum, Priscilla’s form tore through the courtyard. Although Sirius was fast indeed, Priscilla was superior.
Sirius’s initial advantage gone to waste, Priscilla swung the Yang Blade at the freak. Even if she had wanted to, the freak no longer had a means to defend. Without the chains on her arms, she had no way to meet Priscilla’s sword.
Priscilla: “Stop, commoner—!”
Sirius: “So annoying, just stop already!!”
Before the Yang Sword could slash at Sirius, Priscilla’s body had stilled in midair. Her entire body frozen as if forcibly fixed in place, Priscilla’s throat was caught by a sudden force.
Sirius lifted her legs, and from the hem of her pants, came the sound of the chain that was so familiar in this battle—.
Rather than the arm, a strike from the chain wrapped around her legs had struck Priscilla and frozen her in her tracks.
An attack after her entire body had been frozen in place, was impossible to defend against.
Accompanying the ferocious attack from the chain several times faster than the one from the arm, Priscilla’s dignified face burst from the front. The sound of steel on flesh rang out, and Priscilla’s bound orange hair came loose, beautiful hair scattering.
Her face was left unmarred. However, her pride had been wounded.
Although the power of the chain had been reduced, Sirius had pulled further away.
During this time, Sirius had approached the control tower, using movements outside natural boundaries to shift her strength and body weight to the chain, and then released strength from her entire body.
The serpent of flame swept the control tower with a violent momentum, and the foundation of stone tower collapsed with a howl. Fragmenting, collapsing, the stone tower’s foundation was consumed by waves of fire, tilting from the impact of the huge flame.
— Liliana was in that stone tower.
In one motion, the stone tower tilted and collapsed.
Priscilla with orange hair scattered across her shoulders, watched the tower collapse with widened eyes.
Sirius’s silhouette was visible. But atop the tilting tower, Liliana’s silhouette was absent.
Liliana’s song continued. Even if the ground collapsed, even if she had been caught up in the destruction.
Liliana fulfilled her duties, continuing to offer the peoples’ hearts comfort.
And so, Priscilla strode toward Sirius without hesitation.
If Liliana’s voice were interrupted, sway over the peoples’ hearts would return to Sirius.
Making a split second decision, the Yang Blade shone, and Priscilla split the ground with one kick.
Sirius: “Merciless egoist! Don’t empathize using such arrogance! You who have no connections with people, are defective, mutual understanding, merging is the natural state of humans!”
Sirius who had destroyed the control tower, was caught in Priscilla’s anger.
The chain jumped, rearing head knocked back. Rushing, the moving flames created a burst, reaching explosively for Priscilla’s body and bounding her backward. A pause, and then continued steps.
Bathed in the heat, Priscilla’s eyes were unwavering.
The same could be said of Sirius’s frenzy. The freak could no longer hear any other voice.
It would end here.
Of the two who mixed like fire and water, there could only be one.
The tilting control tower made a splitting noise, broken stones scattered, smoke curled and flames scattered, and the courtyard became a flaming hellscape.
Those standing at the waterway where the tower had fallen, shrieked with tears in their eyes, as they fled. But not tears of sorrow.
For something else,
For the sound of song.
Sirius: “Love is as one—”
“No. —Tolerantly accepting love allows for differences. For everyone to the same person, feel the same way, share the same feelings, if what is nauseating and disgusting.”
She bent down to sweep aside the chain, leaning to meet the rushing attack.
The distance is shrank, and the sound striking chain rang.
The sound of steel colliding with steel was swallowed by the roar of the collapsing control tower.
Priscilla’s voice reached Sirius’s ears.
Priscilla: “It’s over.”
Sirius: “Did you think I wouldn’t have known better?”
At the moment when Priscilla waved the Yang Blade, Sirius opened his coat.
Around the freak’s waise, were tightly bound chains like her hands and feet, and wrapped around her body by chains was,
A young girl with curled blonde hair.
What Priscilla did not know, was that her name was Tina. Since the beginning of this turmoil, she had been held hostage by Sirius.
Although Subaru had mentioned her during the strategy about [Wrath], this matter had not been remembered by Priscilla.
However, without hesitation Priscilla swung the Yang Blade at the hostage before her.
The Yang Blade did not hesitate in momentum, and slanted toward Tina and toward Sirius’s body. The sword’s blade, renowned for its fearsome heat, soundlessly cut through the protective chains around her body, severed in half.
Sirius: “Oh my oh my?”
Priscilla: “Mind Yang Blade can easily cleave through whatever it so chooses.”
The body of the bound girl was freed. The fallen girl lifted her face, which was stained with tears, meeting the touch of the sword that passed through her body, she could not help but collapse from surprise in the moment.
But the result was, upon the body of the young girl, no cruel wound from a blade could be seen.
Instead, Sirius was attacked and retreated.
The freak looked down at her wound, and slowly shook her while looking back to Priscilla.
Sirius: “This agony… you…”
Priscilla: “What cause is there to speak of your pain? Mineself cares nothing about becoming as one. As long as you die alone, you will always always carry your prattle.”
Priscilla waved the sword again.
With the startling sound and momentum, Sirius’s body convulsed on the cobblestones, spilled fresh blood, was swept toward the waterway, and fell in.
The sound of the water rang, and Priscilla looked at the Yang Blade.
Priscilla: “Is it finally over? It’s too troublesome.”
After she spoke, the collapsing control tower fell apart completely. Most of it became rubble, and the rooftop where Liliana had been, also felt the collapse, becoming rubble.
From the collapsed control tower — of course, no song echoed.
Looking at the pile of rubble, a youthful voice called toward the squinting Priscilla.
Tina. Her expression was still one of disbelief, and Priscilla lowered her head, only to see Tina’s eyes tremble, as tears began to drip down.
Priscilla released a sigh.
The Yang Blade had already disappeared.
As had white flame that lit the waterways, and many people were approaching. A few headed toward the collapsed rubble, searching for the buried songstress, Liliana.
Priscilla: “On a night such as this, are only a group of noisy commoners. What should be a songstress’s debut, has nothing but the vulgarity of commoners. How tiresome.”
At a glance was the same listlessness as always, but some emotion peeked through that listlessness.
Priscilla gazed at the sobbing Tina, then simultaneously at the waterway.
Priscilla: “But, not bad. Have praises.”
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Slowly flowing along with the water.
A sore body, brimming with vitality, how to put it, a body covered in wounds? How can I say it, full of trauma? In other words, it was a feeling of being unable to even move.
Completely out of energy to make any sound, even fingertips were unable to budge.
Luckily, the outfit of a bard exposed much, with very little fabric, so even falling into a wouldn’t spell weightiness from absorbing water, increasing odds of survival.
But for the me of right now who had no energy to swim, just floating along was barely managed.
Well, just floating along like this, sooner or later would mean growing cold, wouldn’t that be quite troublesome!?
A voice from within cried out loudly.
If I were to fall asleep like this. I’d die.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Burning tower, a flame.
Entire body in a state of being baked, at first falling into the waterway had been pleasantly cool, but now it was growing cold… eh, this is bad news.
Speaking of which, the attitude of not escaping, but staying in the collapsing tower to sing until it fell in the water was probably more disastrous…
Because it felt nice. To the point of thinking I’d lived for that moment.
In fact, she had hoped for such a smooth development.
It seemed, that it was over, so as long as Priscilla-sama hadn’t been killed, everything would probably go smoothly. That was nice.
Right, well then.
To be a bard.
To be a bard, wishes that had to be attained, in a sense it could be said, that something that should have been realized had been.
Perhaps the goal of leaving classical songs in history had not been met, but, if everyone who had been there had been saved, to have been part of helping them, would be a nice thing to be brought up as a family dinner… to have left a favorable imprint in peoples’ hearts, in this world, was something small that I had been looking forward to.
By the way, from just now a strange cry has been sounding, probably a signal that I’m still living in this world.
There’s a feeling that absolutely everything is about to feel exhausting…
A voice, that’s the proof of life. Ah, faced with death, how am I managing to be so nonchalant? Although, it feels like it’s about time for it to end.
Although very much had, overall it was a happy life.
Well, thank you for so far — thank you so much!
“Ow! Ow! My head hurts!”
“Aah! What was that just now? Liliana?”
Head feeling as if violently struck, as if having collided with a boat floating on the waterway or something. Yeah, that’s probably what it was.
And coming from that boat, was the familiar voice of a man.
“Liliana! So glad to see you again! But why are you in the waterway? No, we’ll pull back first. Wait for me!”
Even though it was horribly painful, I was so shocked I forgot to cry out.
Ack, speaking of which, it seems Kiritaka-san picked me up.
“Alright, almost… alright, caught!”
Kiritaka-san stretched his heads to the water, pulling my floating form up.
In that moment, ah, his hand touched my best!
But, eh, there’s no strength to be mad with right now. So it’s fine.
Being pulled onto the boat, I still couldn’t move.
Kiritaka: “Your body’s become so cold. Wait for me, Liliana. I’ll use a fire stone. And I’ll wipe you off. The you who I cherish can’t be soaked.”
With a towel, he wiped my hair and face.
His movements were unexpectedly gentle, almost gentlemanly.
Suddenly a sense of relief rushed up.
I released a breath, suddenly sighing.
Liliana: “Kiritaka… what have you been up to?”
Kiritaka: “Me… you mean me? Well, there was a lot, right, in order to retake the city!”
Pushing back that fringe he was proud of, perhaps his teeth were shining.
Since I didn’t have the strength to open my eyes, I couldn’t see it, but it seemed to surface to my mind’s eye.
I couldn’t help but laugh, which seemed to shock Kiritaka.
I want to hear all sorts of Kiritaka-san’s problems, and I have a few things I want to say to you. Right now I’m really sleepy, but I want to tell you.
Liliana: “I’m really sleepy, from now on, I’m going to sleep, I…”
Kiritaka: “Ah, ah, alright. I’ll take you somewhere safe, don’t worry.”
Liliana: “The sleeping me, if you don’t do anything mean… then from now on, we’ll talk afterward…”
No, then maybe I’ll say it first.
But opening eyes, would maybe… no, definitely some embarrassing words would be exchanged, that you be troublesome.
— To be your [Songstress] is wonderful, preparing to say that much is fine.