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Majestic and undaunted, the red-haired great man who had appeared in this place, Reid Astrea.
The unforeseen entrance of the man, his sharp blue eyes lacking any consideration for the other side’s surprise, his very presence caused everyoneーー even『Gluttony』to be at a loss for words.
Reid: “Heyhey, the hell ya spacin’ out for, you all. Is me bein’ here somethin’ so surprisin’ huh. It’s a matter of course, aye?”
And seeing Subaru and the others completely petrified, Reid slammed his left eye covered under his own eyepatch, and struck the sandals he was wearing onto the floor.
A gesture implicitly referring to the entire tower,
Reid: “I wasn’t even able to take a nap cause of all the damn noise happenin’ both outside and inside. It’s so borin’ that there ain’t even drinks here in the first place n’ then this happens, no way I’d tolerate it.”
Subaru: “……That’s completely your own convenience, isn’t it. As you can see we’re busy here in our own way. Don’t make things more complicated.”
Reid: “Hah! Ya said somethin’, young fish? Sorry but yer voice’s so low I couldn’t hear a thin’. Well, even if I could hear it I’d still say I couldn’t hear it.”
Subaru: “Nasty stubborn……”
And what was nasty was not merely his stubbornness, but also his timing.
Too weak to blame him, not enough substance to protest him. Subaru, stumped by the violent and relentless words, realised that he was feeling afraid of Reid and tightened his fists.
His soul, remembered the sense of defeat pertaining to Reid’s existence.
That was not simply because of what all Reid had made him experience back when he used to be filled with suspicion. He had faced his repulsive audacity even in the previous loop.
Subaru’s heart was not supposed to have feared Reid this much back then.
But now, at this moment, why could he feel it peculiarly, unusually severely.
Subaru: “ーーBecause my soul, clearly recognises you as an enemy, huh.”
Reid: “Nice, young fish. Don’t mean to raise yer status from a young fish, but I’ll commend ya for not misunderstandin’ that I ain’t any convenient support.”
Subaru: “Even if you said, rejoice I’m your support, there’s no way it’d be possible to fully accept such words by you.”
Reid: “Hah! Sure said somethin’.”
Unraveling his fangs in ferocity, Reid laughed like a shark whilst Subaru concealed the chills it sent down to his spine.
Reid’s proclamation just now was also a hopeless pronouncement of a certain kind. However, Subaru had never thought of Reid as something like an ally from the beginning.
That had merely been affirmed. ーーHe had not, been mistaken.
And upon the arrival of Subaru and Reid’s exchange at a point where it pausedーー,
Gluttony: “Well sa~y, Reid Astrea.”
Yes, the personage who had promptly returned to his true spirit,『Gluttony』called out Reid’s name.
Right in the centre of the frozen aisleーー the Sin Archbishop of insanity was standing literally in the middle of Subaru and the others and Reid, and upon being glared by that line of sight glinted with vicious emotions, Reid looked towards『Gluttony』and snorted his nose in displeasure.
Reid: “Oh, what is it, midget…… What a filthy midget. What is it, filthy midget-chan.”
Gluttony: “You’re the first generation『Sword Saint』, aren’t you? Then why is that here again, hu~h? According to our memories, you, the trial taker, shouldn’t be able to come down from the upper floor, isn’t that right?”
Ignoring his humiliating nickname and provocative efforts,『Gluttony』fired the question at Reid.
The『Memories』he had spoken of were clearly Subaru’s『Memories』, which was quite infuriating, but Subaru and the others also shared the same question that he had raised.
ーーThe trial taker of the second layer, Reid Astrea’s arrival onto the fourth layer.
This was something Subaru had also witnessed in the previous loop, and had considered it as one of the five obstacles which must be cleared.
The trick behind the phenomenon of him freely walking within the tower was entirely unknown. However, that phenomenon only occured at this stage of the game. ーーShould it be said that he had been able to walk around all this time but simply chose not to, then the issue would be entirely different.
Gluttony: “Whether there’s a peculiar trick behind it, or whether the rules of the tower itself changed. Either way, you doing this is out of calculations, and we have no choice but to rethi~nk the full course in a lot of ways. After having the appetiser is the main dish and then the dessert, that’s standard, you know. Right?”
Reid: “Don’t ramble ’bout such incomprehensible bullshit, filthy midget bloody bastard.”
Reid: “I can’t come do~wn? Brace yer eyes n’ look, you. Ya can understand the stupidity yer talkin’ ’bout by takin’ a look, aye, you. Hey you over there.”
Whilst speaking, Reid pitched forward towards『Gluttony』in displeasure. His form, with his white fangs unraveled and glaring with a single eye was indeed like the natural style of a delinquent.
However, the pressure his self exerted was incomparably more than those of delinquents who gather in front of convenience stores, enough to make one feel threatened for their life by simply its aftermath.
Should it be equated, then what was standing there was a beast which was the mixture of a tiger, a bear, a lion and a dragon all in a single body.
Clad in every possible hint of violence, Reid bared his fangs.
Reid: “Don’t joke ’round, you. I’m doin’ whatever I want to however I want to. No way I’d accept someone’s instructions, you. Don’t be jokin’ ’round, you. First of all, right back at ya, the hell ’bout you. Whose permission did ya take to be makin’ a racket here. Hey, you, you over there, you.”
Gluttony: “A~haha~, how amazi~ng, how unbea~rable, it’s impossible to get talki~ng.”
Turning the holy sword of ice he held in his hand into fragments of ice,『Gluttony』combed up his long bangs.
It seemed even『Gluttony』couldn’t fare well with an opponent who was this difficult to get dialogue across to. Even Emilia, for whom it was no use arguing had hints of struggling, but Reid was multiple levels above Emilia in terms of getting conversation across to.
However,『Gluttony』said “Although” pertaining to the opponent this incompatible and resumed,
Gluttony: “As prey i~t’s the finest quality. Our appetite, as『Gourmet』, is starting to crave binging ~tsu! Eat it away! Chew it up! Lick it all! Attain the flavour! Gluttonous drinking ~tsu! Gluttony ~tsu!”
Roaring, maddening in excitement and ferocity,『Gluttony』positioned his limbs onto the frozen floor and glared at Reid.
Making his lengthy tongue peek through his white canines, as per the command of the aberrant『Appetite』which indulged in the memories of others, impossible to be understood by ordinary men, his saliva drooled and dripped onto the floor.
Ley: “ーーWitch Cult Sin Archbishop representing『Gluttony』, Ley Batenkaitos.”
Whether that statement was boastful or conceited, anyhow,『Gluttony』ーー no, Ley Batenkaitos gave his name, kicked the floor of ice the immediately following instant, and commenced his sprint with the velocity of a fired arrow.
That spectacle was like the hunting ground of a ferocious quadruped, and his dash was wild enough to make one truly hallucinate that as well.
Reid: “Ah, what a pain.”
Focusing on Batenkaitos charging ahead madly, Reid put a single finger in his ear and grumbled as if troubled,
Reid: “Well then, I’m the swordsman, Hauroy Larrier.”
Subaru: “Who even is that!?”
Reid: “The guy who lived beside my house in my hometown.”
Subaru thoughtlessly shouted at that excessively grand alias, to which Reid responded quite indifferently. Afterwards, he pulled his finger out of his ear and looked down onto Batenkaitos immediately before him,
Ley: “ーーLet’s eat ~tsu!!”
Reid: “Puttin’ aside if the frizzlin’ nee-chan said this, but bein’ told that by a dirty midget-chan like you ain’t makin’ me happy.”
Ley: “ーーDzu ~tsu.”
As Batenkaitos advanced in with his large mouth open, his body was intensely shifted horizontally.
That was Reid’s right leg crudely unleashed, its kick captured Batenkaitos’ torso directly horizontally in order to energetically strike him into the wall of the aisle.
Ley: “Ghu, egh…… ~hk.”
Reid: “Don’t make the sound of a chicken bein’ strangled, you. Let me tell ya, a chicken tastes delicious after bein’ strangled, but I ain’t intendin’ to eat you. Don’t care ’bout gluttony or whatever.”
Ley: “Ghi, ah!”
Reid: “Ya came jumpin’ at an adult. Hope yer prepared for a spankin’, yo~u!”
Despite being caught up in the vigour, Batenkaitos retained his senses and gave a short grin, displaying extraordinary endurance. The subsequent instant he positioned his arm upward, intending to bring down the dagger attached to his wrist onto Reid’s leg with fierce strength, which invited Reid to twitch his eyebrows.
Whilst speaking, Reid pushed Batenkaitos’ body onto the wall with his leg, and started running across the frozen aisle with a single leg at an incomprehensible speed.
Of course, having been pushed onto the wall and being slid across the surface of the wall which had the ruggedness of ice here and there, Batenkaitos was in no state to be able to resist. That damage was enormous and destructive.
Ley: “Ghi, ga~a~a~a~a~a~ーー ~tsu!”
Reid: “Heyhey, don’tcha start screamin’ by jus’ this. This way it won’t even be somethin’ to consider. This ain’t even children’s play in my era yet. Brats these days’re not only filthy but also meager aye, hey, hey, hey, yo~u!”
Declaring with displeasure, Reid stopped his feet and turned around halfway through at that spot.
With his leg which had pressed Batenkaitos onto the wall unfastened, the body of the Sin Archbishop slid down. Before that, the left leg he had balanced himself with launched a rotating kick which energetically slammed into Batenkaitos’ side, and his petite frame was lightly blown off.
With unusual vigour, Batenkaitos sprang onto the floor whilst taking a defensive stance. The Sin Archbishop, rotating at a high speed and bleeding, went through the gap between Emilia and Julius and finally tumbled onto the aisle’s interior horizontal to Subaru and Beatrice.
As he lay spread-eagled, fallen on the floor, no longer did he display any of his former strength.
All this was easily enough to kill anyone, but perhaps because of his exceptional awareness of defence, that was possibly not the case here.
Subaru: “That guy, was the formidable enemy who had been overpowering both Emilia-chan and Julius till now, right?”
Beatrice: “……No question in that, in fact. But this one exceeds norms even more, I suppose. That’s why, respectively it can be said that the situation has worsened, in fact.”
Subaru: “The war cards have only changed places, huh.”
Beatrice: “That too, to a worse opponent, I suppose.”
Beatrice, whilst tightly holding Subaru’s hand, was vigilant regarding Reid in front instead of the collapsed, immobile Batenkaitos. The same went for Emilia or Julius as well.
The war situation had already changed from the battle against『Gluttony』to a new warrior.
Even in the midst of thatーー,
Emilia: “Rea~lly, thank you for beating, the Sin Archbishop…… and, can’t we just go ahead and get along like this?”
First, Emilia spoke to Reid in a friendly manner. She offered a proposal for peace befitting of her, however in response Reid shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and stomped on the floor.
Clearing away that proposal with those three gestures of his body, Reid scratched his head.
Reid: “Hah, don’t be sayin’ such demotivatin’ shit, you…… Actually, the hell’s up with ya, you. Yer too frizzlin’, the heck’s happenin’, it ain’t a joke! Aren’tcha fiercely frizzlin’! Why’re ya here in this place, you. The hell ya doin’ in this situation. Don’t be tourin’ ’round this sandy bullshit place, instead let’s go for drinks tonight, you.”
Emilia: “Umm, this is also the second time though……”
Julius: “ーーUnfortunately, she cannot accompany you for your evening drinks. The reason being”
Julius: “A night of peace shall not visit you, an illusion.”
Saying so, as if intercepting the inelegant comment, the sole man who stepped forward with his knight sword preparedーー Julius stood off Reid as if covering for Emilia, and sharpened his gaze by honing it with knightly spirit.
Right before those yellow eyes, Reid changed his expression slightly.
Reid: “……The hell, you. Haven’t ya gotten a bit better aye. Did somethin’ good happen aye. A woman aye. Gotta be a woman, right, you.”
Julius: “I shall not deny that certain events happened which affected my preparedness in many ways, however, I will state that they were not because of involvement with a female. If the embrace of a female can heal a wounded heart, then so can the relentless reprimand of a friend.”
Reid: “Still a bastard who keeps beatin’ ’round the bush, that hasn’t changed eh. The hell do ya wanna say?”
Julius: “In other words, the fact that I am able to hold my sword like this, is thanks to my friendーー!”
An instant after that declaration, Julius tipped up his knight sword with sharp footsteps, painting the tip of his sword with beauty enough to make one doubt their eyes, and fired a strike towards Reid’s neck.
The opponent had not shown any hostility yet, such a thoughtless identification was entirely unneeded.
Upon standing at this spot, Reid’s thoughts were clearer than fire at nightーー his unrestrainable sword spirit could fleetingly even be felt on the skins of the bystanders.
It was inconceivable that one possessing such sword spirit would remain without using his weapons.
ーーReid was motivated. Just like the previous loop, without giving any regard to the surrounding situation either.
Hence, Julius made the preemptive strike without any indecision.
That choice was the optimal solution. It could be affirmed that this precise strike aimed for dampening the calm and composed attitude of Reid here, a necessity to capture this first generation『Sword Saint』.
The problem wasーー,
Reid: “ーーDo ya’ve any idea what it means to be calm n’ composed?”
Reid: “That’s bein’ able to do anythin’ with flexibility regardless of whatever petty tricks’re played, ya idiot, is what it means.”
ーーIt was that Julius’ preemptive strike had been intercepted and stopped by the two chopsticks Reid held in his hand.
Julius: “Kh…… ~hk.”
Reid: “Well, it wasn’t bad, ya know? Had I not been the opponent, ya would’ve probably made the opponent taste at least this one. ーーWell then, let’s go.”
Julius: “Shi ~hk!”
Reid laughed like a shark against Julius, who choked on even his biting words.
At the same pace, Reid gripped to one chopstick in each of his hands and swept away the tip of the sword, as well as at the same time, stomped ahead and launched blows from his chopsticks. The impact firmly struck the front of the knight sword, giving rise to a clear echo.
Two slim sticks far shorter than a sword in terms of length, but by being wielded by the expert known as Reid, turned into a weapon far greater than their size and bashed destruction.
The moment subsequent to the clear echo, the outbreaking shockwaves made Julius’ hair and clothes flutter, and sent cracks in all of the frozen parts of the aisle at once.
ーーLiterally exceeding norms, going against common sense, a lump of abnormality befitting to be named as an error of the world.
Even though Subaru had seen his physical strength several times in the past, seeing the personage himself rendered Subaru speechless.
The negativity of the fact that such a monster existed in this world, and the devilish nature of the latent feelings of the designer who decided to include overcoming this monster as one of the conditions for the tower’s capture, nauseated his chest.
Reid: “ーーAye, I’m actually impressed a bit.”
It was unknown how much of Reid’s full strength had been applied into that blow of the chopsticks.
However, it appeared that even that blow being accepted was out of Reid’s calculations, and he commended Julius’ fighting spirit for warding off the chopsticks’ strike.
Receiving that, Julius squinted his eyes whilst blood seeped out from the edge of his mouth.
Julius: “After all, I must win against you or otherwise our calculations will flunk, you see.”
Reid: “Is it yer intent to win why yer barkin’ ’bout.”
Julius: “I’m sure that must be the case. But, allow me to give you company!”
At that moment, Julius’ sword strike brimmed in light and was wildly received away by Reid with his two chopsticks.
The sword’s momentum got deflected, and Julius’ stance crumbledーー was not the case. Julius, having considered his knight sword being swept away, rotated and connected the second sword blow with no lag whatsoever.
Thus commenced a swords dance, like the flow of refined water with not a single droplet wasteful.
Subaru inhaled, witnessing the swords dance piling up countless offence and defence with his own eyes.
This was at most what Subaru was able to follow with his eyes, yes, only what Subaru had been able to follow his eyes, but this was the proof of Julius Juukulius’ willpower and disciplining seeking to reach the『Sword Saint』, called to be the pinnacle of the sword.
ーーIf Reid’s might of the sword was like blazing flames, then Julius’ swordsmanship was like flowing water.
Speaking in terms of basic compatibility then the water should extinguish the flames, however, the flames here were mighty, so mighty that they could simply evaporate the opposing water and reduce it to nothing.
Perhaps, many swordsmen akin to flowing water had been evaporated away by the blazing flames of Reid’s swordsmanship.
However, at the very least, Julius had no fear of throwing himself in there and getting himself evaporated as he continued launching destructive and unavoidable attacks upon Reid.
Emilia: “Don’t think that your opponent is just, Julius!”
Reid: “Hah ~hk! I ain’t forgettin’, fiercely frizzlin’! Your face’s too good to forget!”
Emilia: “Thank you for the compliment! But, there is only one person who truly remembered!”
Emilia joined in on Reid and Julius’ swords dance wielding a mountain of armaments of ice.
Due to that, Reid turned one of his chopsticks against Julius and the other against Emilia. Whether that could even serve as a counter measure, such banal sense of values were smashed by Reid’s swordsmanship.
Glaciation interrupted the swords dance of blazing flames and flowing water, and the colours of the battlefield altered into further vividness yet again.
The cast of the swords dance had been changed by one, with Reid being the opponent instead of Batenkaitos, and Emilia and Julius’ crude coordination resumedーー no, that also changed.
Perhaps due to the enemy being stronger, but much more likely that the two of them brought together their battling style in this short interval and made amendments, somehow bringing it all together finally, their cooperation turned into actual cooperation.
Beatrice: “Julius, is matching in with Emilia, in fact.”
Subaru: “You get it?”
Beatrice: “There’s also their compatibility on the basis of their personality, I suppose. Emilia showed all her strength clearly, and Julius became capable of moving accordingly, in fact. Probably because of Emilia dropping the need to match in, I suppose.”
Subaru: “What an amazing comment.”
Regardless, since it was going well, it had to have been the correct judgement.
In the end, Emilia did not hold back and did everything at her own pace, and Julius matched in with the easy to comprehend movement of the other, adorning himself being his specialty.
Reid: “Haha~! Good goin’ good goin’, you all! I’m startin’ to have fun too aye!”
Emilia: “Huyah! Siyah! Hayah! Hiyayaya~!”
Joyfully brushing away the two whilst they cordially engaged with each other, Reid laughed loudly. Emilia then let out a shout and launched a mighty attack one would not think could come from that voice, but it failed to become the decisive blow.
A marvelous swords dance, as if an illusion of water, fire and ice intertwining.
The knight sword of steel, the sticks that had seemingly been turned into steel due to the skill and force they were being used with, and the weapons of ice which struck, broke, regenerated and gave rise to high pitched notes.
A sight so beautiful, capable of making one misunderstand that there was truly such a dance being performedーー,
Henceforth, the dissonant existence which wedged itself in obstructively, seared itself into everyone’s minds as foreign to both eyes and ears.
Subaru: “Bastard…… ~hk!”
Wedging himself obstructively and rudely into the space where the three unfolded their offence and defence, was Ley Batenkaitos.
The young boy who was supposed to have eaten Reid’s kick and tumbled into a state of being almost dead. He stood up and rose once again, joining in on the battlefield as if he had not suffered any damage whatsoever.
Batenkaitos swung the daggers fastened to the wrists on both of his hands, alongside combining the battle techniques that made skilful use of his short limbs, he continuously fired fatal attacks onto the three from next to next.
They caught Emilia, Julius and Reid off guard and the three respectively defended against them, troubled and hurriedly. However, their defence against them was imperfect, and some bits of their hair and clothes got sliced off,
Julius: “How stubborn of you to not give up, Sin Archbishop!”
Ley: “Haha~! Shunning us and then having fun, stop doing such nasty things, nii-sama! Always and always having it just to yourself, eh? How unfair, truly!”
Emilia: “Reid! I’m sure you get it! There’s no point even if we fight here! Will you help us, just stay still at the very least please!”
Reid: “What a clueless woman ya’re, fiercely frizzlin’. I’m enjoyin’ myself as things’re, ya know? Even if the great stars fall from the sky, my plans ain’t bendin’!”
The four, whilst waging fierce and heroic blows upon each other, knocked their respective wills onto each other.
This was a spectacle of battle, impossible to be approached readily, impossible to reach a common ground, impossible to be disunited from the odour of blood.
For an outsider it was difficult to judge who was at an advantage, who was at a disadvantage, who was superior, who was inferior.
All what was possible was to hope for their allies’ victory, howeverーー,
And, Beatrice was astonished to see Subaru, who could do nothing but watch and hope, kneel down whilst gripping onto his chest.
Beatrice knelt down, touching Subaru’s shoulder as he breathed hoarsely and looked at his face.
Beatrice: “Subaru, Subaru! What’s wrong, in fact. What happened, I suppose!”
Subaru: “……No, what is, this?”
Against Beatrice’s desperate calls, Subaru tightened his grip onto his chest and repeatedly blinked.
There was no possibility that he had made a mistake, or a move. But even Subaru could not comprehend this. Peculiarly strange, painーー unbelievable heat swelled up in the interior of his chest.
His heart was beating at a rate as if it would explode, he could feel every single drop of blood flowing within his body, an awful and incomprehensible sensation as if an alarm bell was sounding off.
He did not understand. What was happening to his body right now.
This was something that did not happen in any of the loops till now. Some sort of chronic sickness, or even worse, some sort of magical interference had possibly happened.
Rushing across all of the knowledge he possessed in his mind, he went through the worst case possibilities and shook his head.
No. This was perhaps, not something negative. The alarm bell was sounding only because of a problem.
Subaru: “Wah, ah……”
Inhaling deeply, he then exhaled.
Till now, Subaru’s brain had been getting seared by concern for Emilia and Julius who were fighting Batenkaitos and Reid before him.
In terms of the situation, his powerless self could do nothing but stand and watch.
In this situation, what seared Subaru’s brain was the advance of the five obstacles whilst they were busy with thisーー being the two remaining obstacles.
ーーThe five obstacles.
One was the large horde of Witch Beasts which surrounded the tower. One was the Sin Archbishop of『Gluttony』, who would launch an attack on the tower. One was Reid Astrea, who would start freely walking around the tower. ーーIn the current situation, there were three present.
The remaining two were, the titanic scorpion which would wander around the tower with an expression as if it owns the place, and the colossal black shadow which would swallow the tower with fearsome vigour.
Those two must also be dealt with, or the problems falling upon the tower shall not get disposed of.
At the other side of Emilia and Julius’ strenuous efforts, the moment he troubled over dealing with the possibilities seeking the collapse of the tower, his chest pounded with heat and made Subaru kneel down.
His heart continued beating fiercely.
Remaining conscious of his heartbeats, Subaru slowly breathed and closed his eyes.
He thought that he should do what his body felt like doing. Abiding by that, he closed his eyes.
Seeing Subaru’s condition, Beatrice stopped her calls.
Perhaps she possessed no affirmation either. Yet she made that gesture. Subaru was blessed to possess such understanding comrades.
And, into the back of Subaru’s eyeballs, a curious sensation welled up.
ーーThey were faint, fleeting lights levitating against dim darkness.
Faint, warm and blurry lights.
There was one right beside Subaru, and two at slight distance from him. Strangely enough, Subaru comprehended that there were lights behind him without even having to glance backwards.
Behind him, were four lights. One of them was at some distance from the rest, and, and, andーー,
ーーHe realised that one was approaching overhead.
Beatrice: “Hya ~hk!”
For some reason Subaru blindly trusted this sensation and without any hesitation, leapt away from that spot as if jumping at Beatrice.
Hugging the young girl’s light body in his arms, Subaru tumbled onto the floor lacking all falteringーー that instant, he grasped that scorching heat raided the thigh of his right leg, as he gave rise to a wail of anguish.
Subaru: “Gha, gho~o~o~o~o~!”
He instantly realised that the burning sensation was generated from a deep wound. Perhaps in an attempt to turn his eyes away from his wounded leg, Subaru looked at Beatrice whilst hugging her.
And, forcing his eyes to open through the pain and tears, he saw.
Subaru: “I knew, it’d come, this scorpion…… ~hk!”
Subaru threw that up in rage, and what had appeared before him was, this being the second chance meeting with it as well, the titanic scorpionーー the scorpion, possessing a black shell and eyes like red luminous dots had the rest of its legs crawl on the wall as it lorded over Subaru and the others.
In front of the horrifyingly humongous creature, Beatrice widened her eyes. What Beatrice could see in front of her were pincers of the scorpion that had gouged out Subaru’s leg deeply. The scorpion ecstatically upheld Subaru’s flesh in its pincers, dripping a large amount of blood onto the aisle.
ーーHe had been worried, about the obstruction of the titanic scorpion.
The five obstacles he needed to overcome, had all assembled here.
This was bad. This was bad this was bad. This was bad this was bad this was bad. This was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad this was bad.
Comprehending how unfavourable the situation was, Subaru tried searching for a means of survival within his thoughts which were being scorched by ache.
However, nothing dawned upon Subaru as to what could bring about a positive change in the situation.
Batenkaitos was here, Reid was here, even the titanic scorpion had appeared.
Even if Meili and Shaula restrained the horde of Witch Beasts, the other cards had already failed to function well with these turn of events. This, will not do.
This path, will not do. With a further, different way of actionーー,
“ーーSubaru!” “Subaru!” “Subaru!!”
Subaru, gnashing his teeth, was able to hear three voices calling for him strike his eardrums.
Beatrice’s poignant voice, Julius’ tensed voice, Emilia’s pleading voice, Subaru heard them respectively call for him, and.
Batenkaitos, Reid, the titanic scorpion, then moved towards each of them respectively.
As if in order to hinder the actions, the road of Natsuki Subaru, but even earlier than that,
ーーAn impact struck the tower with immense vigour, the entire tower vehemently quaked and a thunderous roar echoed.
With the same pace it made Subaru’s body, lying on floor jump, blew away Emilia and the others who had unfolded offence and defence, crushed even the titanic scorpion’s shell, as the world crumbled.
The small body beside Subaru was hugging him seemingly in order to protect him. Hugging back that soft body, Subaru widened his eyes in the midst of the impact.
『ーーI love you.』
ーーThere present was solely the darkness harbouring blind love, as it tried to swallow Subaru.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
ーーAt that instant everything in the world, white and black, men and women, love and hate, all had been consumed by the quaking impact but solely Natsuki Subaru managed escaping it.
???: “Uhya ~hk!”
A call to him, as if pulling that in, Subaru hugged the owner of that voice.
Within his arms, the body moved about in fluster and panick, looking upwards from the middle of his chest.
Subaru: “Bea, trice……”
Beatrice: “Y-Yes, I suppose! Doing this suddenly is surprising, in fact. Well it’s not as if Betty doesn’t like it, I suppose. But, Betty was just worried that you just returned from the book……. but, seeing Betty’s name being called first is relieving, I suppose.”
Yes, Beatrice whispered whilst remaining in Subaru’s arms. Hearing her words, Subaru looked around himself.
What had happened immediately previously, he had fallen onto the aisle, his leg had also been wounded, and then into that dark, dark shadowーー.
???: “For the moment, if you could clear whether you are still half asleep or not then I believe we could proceed with our codes of action as well, Natsuki-kun.”
That voice struck Subaru, who was astonished to find himself surrounded by the vast amount of books.
Upon looking that had been Echidna, smiling wryly whilst caressing her light purple hair. Behind her was the shelf she leaned on and Meili, who rested her chin on her hands saying “You’re finally u~p”.
Beatrice: “Wah, wah wah! Subaru! Subaru, what happened, in fact! Are you not feeling well after all, I suppose? Can you speak about what you saw in the book?”
Subaru: “Ah, well, hm. I also, need to do that, but……”
Subaru tightly hugged Beatrice’s petite body, and enjoyed her warmth.
And, recognised the reality that he must recognise.
ーーHe had returned. To this moment.
Subaru returned to this moment, having failed to overcome the five obstacles.