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Witnessing the figure of the man before his eyes ridiculously claim himself to be Louis Arneb, Subaru was at a loss for words.
The man’s way of appearing was unforeseen and unnatural, but what was further unexpected was the name he had given for himself.
It was difficult to conceive it as a mere prank, and even when considered as a phenomenon it yet remained gruelling to acceptーー.
Ram: “ーーThey did say something about a form changing Sin Archbishop, it seems that was regarding this. However, the choice of the form taken is rather questionable, did you think you would receive any mercy if you chose this appearance?”
Louis: “Form changing, huh…… A~h, you mean that prattling loudmouth woman? Grouping us with that thing hurts even us. Besides, the principle of that thing and our『Solar Eclipse』is totally different. That is being a copycat, while this is reconstruction.”
Ram: “Copycat, reconstruction……?”
Using that interim mighty body, Louis replied. As he frowned at that answer, hearing Ram mention “another Sin Archbishop” left a bad taste in Subaru’s mouth.
Though it was only to be expected that there would be Sins and Sin Archbishops other than『Gluttony』existing, knowing even one of them stemmed into an immediate dislike for all of them.
Though they were supposed to be form changing, it was intriguing why they had not used that ability till now.
Louis: “That being said, this body, being treated as an unknown person, was actually quite a famous person, you know? Though sadly, nee-sama and the others wouldn’t have any memory of the people eaten by us.”
Ram: “Famous person…… in other words, borrowing the form of an eaten person? Is that so, truly the worst kind of thing to do, totally fits you people who have committed themselves to doing evil. Nauseating.”
Louis: “Wa~h oh, nee-sama geez, your words are so dirty they hurt, you know? If you say that then we, who still have the memories as your younger sister, will feel ashamed……”
And, that was as far as the interim Louis’ conversation went.
The interim Louis flexibly leaned forward, and the blow that came from behindーー he dodged the strike by the hammer of ice. Of course, the attacker wasーー,
Emilia: “Ah, yah!”
Louis: “Huhuhu ~tsu, how merciless, Emilia-sama! Onii-chan may have allowed you to let him get a taste of it, but we won’t allow such an ambush to hit us, you know?”
Emilia: “If it won’t hit then I will just keep attacking till it hits! I don’t even want to ambush you, I just want to strike you down!”
Proclaiming so, Emilia changed the hammer of ice she held in her hands into twin swords of ice and attacked the interim Louis. However, the interim Louis dodged her attack with an extraordinary jump above, and aimed for Emilia’s slender hands from a higher angle,
Louis: “Here ~tsu!”
Her body sharply rotated, Emilia’s frame was thrown off balance. Emilia twisted her body and used her arms in order to prevent herself from falling on her back. However, the interim Louis aimed straight for her face with his toe.
Should it be too late then Emilia’s face, which was the cutest in the world, would get squashed. ーーAt that point,
Ram: “Stop ignoring Ram and fighting all by yourself already.”
Ram, confirming the movement of the opponent who was aiming for Emilia’s face, pointed the wand that she held in her hands towards the face of the interim Louis.
At that moment, an extremely small wind was born, and transforming into a blade, was launched to slice up the opponent’s face.
Louis: “ーーPalm of the Fist King!”
Nullifying Ram’s powerful attack with minimal strength using his palm, the interim Louis avoided the damage and then pounced downwards.
His perforating palm received the blade of wind from below, swallowing the wind in its shockwaves and scattering it away subsequently.
Crushing the wind from his right hand, the interim Louis then tried to grip onto Ram with his free left hand. However, by the time his hand reached Ram had already taken Emilia away with herself out of the opponent’s reach, diving into a downward position outside the battle.
Louis: “You’re do~ing it!”
Ram: “Hah ~hk!”
Clenching her swinging free left hand, the interim Louis applauded Ram’s judgement and strength of action. Shaking his praise away with a ridiculing exhale, Ram then pulled Emilia’s hand towards herself.
Ram: “Emilia-sama, are you unhurt?”
Emilia: “Y-Yes, thank you. It would have been rea~lly painful for me if it wasn’t for Ram saving me. Even so…… did you see that just now?”
Ram: “ーーIt seems, he has clearly gotten stronger.”
Ram nodded, gesturing her knowledge upon Emilia’s response.
And, witnessing the short dialogue between the two, Subaru also held the same opinion as them.
ーーAlthough it was only a short exchange of moves, the interim Louis’ manoeuvres were swift and accurate.
Though it was the opinion of someone inexperienced, these abilities probably exceeded those of Batenkaitos. At the end of that exchange Ram’s attack had been completely crushed, as if reality was messing around with them.
Louis: “The one right now was Palm of the Fist King…… Named by the one who possessed this body and memory,『Fist King』Neiji Rockhardt. Possessing the strongest palm, capable of blasting away anything, a powerful person with no enemies on the Gladiator Island.”
Ram: “……It seems that you are not familiar with revealing your strengths. In the end, you are just trying to show that you are at the disadvantage. Ram will not be fooled and hesitate because of this.”
Louis: “We would not mind that at all, nee-sama! To the point that if you can corner us then we want you to corner us! See, don’t you look back onto the sweet memory of defeat later on?”
Ram: “Who knows. Ram only knows of victory so she doesn’t understand that.”
Louis: “Is that so? That’s just the waste of not knowing the sourness of life.”
The moment he said that, the interim Louis’ figure was scratched out of visibility. It would seemingly be more accurate to say that he literally disappeared rather than just moving swiftly.
Ram widened her eyes at the enemy’s unexpected move. Even she had been unable to grasp the opponent’s position.
There was no way for her to escapeーー,
Emilia: “ーーRam, watch out!”
Saying that, this time it was Emilia who grasped Ram and leapt backwards. Several of Emilia’s beautiful silver hair were too late to escape that attack, as they were caught up in the impact and got slashed off, scattering around in the aisle.
And, the one visible was not a fast warrior, but instead a bald man, as he laughed saying “Haha ~tsu!”.
With a somewhat jumpy appearance and wearing an orange gown, the man smacked his lips at the form of the fleeing Emilia.
Louis: “How nice, so nice, isn’t it nice. Can you dodge the next one?”
At that moment, the form of the famous person disappeared into thin air and that of a different one appeared. This seemed as if it was a payback for the earlier surprise ambush.
From one blind spot to another, a flashing dagger made accurate attacks energetically. Emilia, whilst holding Ram, continued to defend the attacks off as she got completely dominated.
Louis: “Hahaha! You’re doing it, doing it, doing it! How did you see through these secret manoeuvres of『Leaper』Dorkell? It’s truly a mystery!”
Emilia: “That’s obvious! I guessed it!”
Ram: “Of course, that is not all to it, there is also Ram’s support. ーーEmilia-sama!”
Flying into a blind spot, the interim Louis launched an attack.
Although the opponent was someone capable of flying around freely, all whilst maintaining that vicious smile, Ram was able to see where he would appear next. On Ram’s call, Emilia swung her long legs rapidly.
With that, when the bald man appeared next, Emilia’s heel struck his side.
Louis: “Ghu…… ~tsu.”
Emilia thrusted her heel into his face, and struck the opponent down. At that moment, Emilia grabbed one of the pillars of ice erecting from the ground in her hands and launched its sharp, pointed tip towards her fallen opponent.
If the blow were to not be defended away, the strike would penetrate right through his chest and it would make for a truly unpleasant finish. However, unfortunately enough, it was not effective whatsoever.
Louis: “『Carnivorous Beast』Beli Heinelga’s skin cannot be pierced, not even by a Holy Sword, is what they used to say.”
Shattering the pillar of ice with his bare back, was a middle aged man with an enormous beard, smiling ferociously.
Lying down, he aimed for Emilia’s waist with his arm, which was seemingly as tough as a logーー and somehow defending away that attack, Emilia made haste and flew, flew, flew backwards.
Emilia: “Uh! Ah! Uh! Hey, at this pace……!”
Ram: “Emilia-sama, please let go of Ram.”
Emilia: “No! As if I will abandon Ram……ghk.”
Ram: “That is not the case.”
Emilia escaped from the enemy with Ram in her grip, and Ram sealed her lips by gently placing a finger onto them. Ram shook her head looking at Emilia, whose words she had interrupted,
Ram: “It’s about time you let Ram also attack is what it means.”
The moment she said that, she swept away Emilia’s gripped arms, and stood firm directly against the giant. Seeing that, the interim Louis smacked his rock-hard lips, and launched his palm towards the young girl.
Louis: “Huhu ~tsu! Get crushed!”
Ram: “Assuming that is even possible, politely say please be crushed, Ram-sama.”
With that comeback, Ram charged straight towards the approaching palm. If the situation was to be slightly exaggerated, then it could be said that the palm was enormous enough to crush Ram’s entire body.
Recklessly clashing with the palm up front would be the same as clashing with the front of an approaching carーー at the very least, that appeared to be so in Subaru’s eyes.
In response to that, Ram,
Ram: “At this level, you shouldn’t even think you can catch Ram.”
At the moment those fingers were about to reach her, Ram, with her lips relaxed, dodged the attack with minimal movement and launched her elbow onto her opponent’s face.
That fair elbow, with its sharpness resulting from its fragility, came in contact with the opponent’s nose, mercilessly sending shocks through the body of the『Carnivorous Beast』. And, at that moment, Ram’s left hand was visibly coming down to grab his throat.
Ram: “You have continued to blabber nonsense for quite some time, it is getting irritating now. Embrace your misfortune, and choke to death at the hands of Ram here, you despicable thing of a person.”
The interim Louis faced problems, as he tried to pursue the crucial points of the body whilst lacking proper training for doing so. Using that to her advantage, Ram resumed her offensive and this time, pointed the tip of her elegant wand towards him.
And, as its tip became the centre of a beautiful gathering of energy, it subsequently released wind magic, pushing the giant slightly behind.
Subaru intently stared at the sight of the interim Louis splattering blood onto the aisle whilst skilfully rolling.
Till now, he had concentrated on observing the fight so much that he had forgotten to breathe, but the moment Ram stood upon the battlefield, the flow of the fight faced slight alteration.
Of course, though all of it was based on the fact that Ram could not drag on battling for too long,
Subaru: “Ram fighting this much is a miscalculation I’m happy for……”
Beatrice: “That, is not the case, in fact. You cannot rely on just Ram, I suppose.”
Subaru: “ーー? What does that……”
Mean, was what Subaru intended to ask Beatrice, who was in his arms whilst tilting his head. And, before Beatrice could respond to his query the answer itself appeared before him.
Ram’s posture, as she tried to step ahead, broke down. Subaru observed whether she had accidentally slipped, but that was not the case.
Ram’s forehead and neck were flooded with sweat and it was visible that every continuing breath was hurting her.
At that moment, he wondered how much of defence and prolongation of the battle he could actually speak of, taking the unforeseen spectacle before him into account.
Beatrice: “If it is for a short period of time, then Ram’s fighting sense can follow, I suppose. However……”
Subaru: “She has a time limit like that……!? Oh no, Ramーー”
Unaware of such a weakness of hers, he had sent Ram into that dangerous situation. Along with Subaru’s panicking voice, the interim Louis changed into the form of the muscle-rich huge man once again at the same time.
Aiming for the stationary Ram, the enemy moved forward briskly with his palm pointed outwards seeking to make a successful onslaught. If she were to receive a direct hit, it was unknown how much of it Ram would actually be able to take.
Louis: “Shut your mumbling, you are so damn loud for a man.”
Subaru called out desperately, but Ram showed no signs of response.
At that moment, the interim Louis’ blow captured Ram’s face directlyーー,
Emilia: “I know Ram the most, almost as much as I know my own weaknesses. That’s whyーー”
Emilia: “I am fighting alongside Ram!”
Jumping over Ram’s head, with her silver hair fluttering Emilia positioned her knees elegantly. Against the opponent who had his palm pointing towards the front, the tactics Emilia had chosen were very simple.
The move she had chosen was to have an innumerable amount of weapons of ice float in the air, and fire them all towards her opponent at once.
Emilia: “Hi, yaaaaaーー!!”
The interim Louis launched off his body, as he had positioned his empty palm, against the rain of ice.
The interim Louis avoided, dodged, defended away, destroyed, and crossed through the range of the overwhelming storm of ice flawlessly, with nothing managing to even scratch him. That ability was again, that of an expert who had achieved heights in proficiency.
The truth was, the『Fist King』who had been victimised by『Gluttony』was perhaps a true warrior, who had trained with extreme perseverance to gain such prowess. ーーThat power was now being exploited like this.
The power he had trained to achieve and the fame he had received for being such a great warrior,『Gluttony』had stolen everything away from him and continued to mock and ridicule his journey of life.
In fact, it was possible that they had achieved new heights in skill, heights which had not been achieved by this memory originally.
He could not help but despair seeing the form of『Gluttony』, who had defended away all of Emilia’s attacks and blows with ease and was now sighing an exhale of achievement.
Louis: “How nice, this is the best! How do we put it, sort of like, we had completely reconstructed the catalogue specs of this memory but only after we exceeded even that, we felt as if living in this body would be worth it ~tsu! Sort of feels like we made better use of the borrowed soul than its original owner? We’re glad we were able to live it ~tsu!”
Ram: “ーーFor someone who is into such evil deeds, you are quite thoughtful of such things, aren’t you.”
Louis: “Perhaps so! But you see, for us, who are different from normal people, don’t you think it is only natural that what we find happiness in would be different too? Don’t you think so. Perhaps you think so. Possibly you think so ~tsu?”
Ram: “Who knows? Isn’t that so, Emilia-sama?”
Emilia: “No, you’re wrong!”
In response to the words of Ram, who shrugged her shoulders, Emilia responded to the interim vicious-looking manーー no, Louis Arneb, whilst letting go the chunks of ice she held in his palm.
Doing that and upon receiving that question, Emilia then upheld the spears and axes of ice that got erected from the floor,
Emilia: “No matter how different you may be from people, you can still be happy and sad by thinking of the same things! I, for example, was always alone but I enjoyed stacking rocks on river beaches.”
Ram: “……That, as well, feels unique in its own way though.”
Louis: “We see. Indeed indeed, we also have memories of stacking rocks on river beaches, but that’s.”
Louis: “But, we didn’t do it because it was fun. It’s just that there was nothing else to do. There was just no other thing to kill our time with.”
Emilia: “Eh, is that so……?”
Surprised, Emilia made a confused expression, seeing the happiness of her memories get rejected down. And, behind Emilia, who had that reaction, Ram called out “Emilia-sama” with more strength than normal.
Ram: “Please do not get swayed by the enemy. The opponent is a Sin Archbishop…… if they want to demolish our plans, they will use whatever words necessary. Don’t get deceived.”
Emilia: “Is that so? That is so. Yes, I know. I won’t be deceived anymore.”
Louis: “What can we say, we~ll, that was a truly hurtful thing to say. Even though our one and only nee-sama would leave us behind, so we had no choice but to be doing that.”
Ram: “ーーShut up!”
Once again, Ram kicked the frozen floor and launched her body towards Louis, who had repeatedly voiced words which had pierced straight through her heart.
Her body’s condition was not at its best. Well aware of that, Ram charged straight towards the enemy because she knew that she must get her own hands dirty in order to clean up this mess.
Ram’s intimidating roar piercingly struck Louis.
Emilia: “This time I’m with her, so if you want to surrender yourself, this is your chance!”
Louis: “Gratitude for such graciousness, but there’s no need for it!”
Ram: “Enough of your stubbornness!!”
Making a cute expression but using brutal attacks which were not cute in the least, was Emilia. The duo of the enraged Ram and Emilia went in together, however, Louis repulsively kept switching his form and battle style with absolute freedom, controlling the battle’s pace as per his own will.
In this overwhelming duel, there were two things that would surprise the observer.
First, was the flawless, breath-to-breath coordination between Emilia and Ram.
In the previous loop, Emilia’s『Name』had been stolen away, due to which her existence was forgotten and her battle style became unknown to all, thus there was discrepancy between her and Julius, who was unaware of her style of fighting, however, there was not the slightest of that discrepancy in Emilia and Ram’s case, not even the slightest of lag.
Of course, though it does not mean that the adjustments Emilia made were meaningless, what was of utmost relevance here was Ram’s wonderful sense of combat.
Ram: “Haーー ~hk!”
Louis: “Tch~! Truly, what a nuisance you are, nee-sama!”
Just when he was about to counterattack, her wand was pointed towards his nose and narrowly dodging the subsequent piercing blades of wind, Louis pulled out his tongue.
Although what Ram did was not something too substantial, Emilia used such gaps to their advantage by further putting pressure on Louis and halting him from counterattacking.
Although her moves weren’t too showy, it granted her a convenient position to launch attacks without holding back.
The breathtaking cooperation between the duo of Emilia and Ram was all thanks to Ram’s judgement. That was one of the things which surprised Subaru the most.
And, there was something else which was equally surprising. That wasーー,
Louis: “Haha~! How nice, so nice, very nice, perhaps it is nice, surely it is nice, isn’t it nice, maybe it is nice, probably it is nice, as it is probably nice! Gluttonous drinking ~tsu! Gluttony ~tsu! Our mood and feelings are also perhaps gradually pumping up ~tsu!”
Emilia: “Kh ~hk! He’s right, his strength is gradually increasing……!”
Chewing on her own teeth, Emilia launched the twin sword she held in her fist whilst Ram darted a blade of wind aiming for the opponent’s feet. However, Louis, becoming the『Fist King』, crushed Emilia’s twin sword with his palm, becoming the『Leaper』, dodged Ram’s attack, and becoming the『Carnivorous Beast』, rolled his body through the passage of ice.
The shockwave he released impacted Emilia and Ram, pushing them backwards as they let out a screech.
The coordination between Emilia and Ram was undoubtedly highly refined. However, as surprising as it seemed, Louis’ prowess in using and switching memories was even faster.
Possibly, by changing forms Louis was able to perfectly reconstruct those『Memories』, with no limitation whatsoever.
ーー『Solar Eclipse』, that is indeed what Louis had said.
Batenkaitos, before he had lost his bodyーー Louis’ elder brother too, in the previous loop had copied Emilia’s awesome technique called Ice Brand Arts, but its reconstruction was limited to him maintaining his own form. Louis had exceeded that.
Solar eclipse was a phenomenon in which the sun got hidden behind the moon’s shadow, consequently becoming invisible, that was perhaps Louis’ true body being treated as the sun, which got shadowed by the moon, the reconstructed『Names』and『Memories』.
In other words,『Solar Eclipse』could safely be assumed to be an ability to change into the form of that respective eaten『Memories』. ーーConsequent was the Louis before them, using that ability’s advantage.
Subaru: “If there’s『Solar Eclipse』then it’s natural to think that there would be『Lunar Eclipse』existing too, but what kind of power would come by the hiding of the moon…… no, can I even figure it out beforehand?”
What happened oftentimes in such patterns of copying abilities was that the user’s inexperience and lack of proper knowledge to use those abilities resulted in a discrepancy, becoming a cause of defeat.
However, the copying abilities of『Gluttony』, which obviously would include Louis as well, overcome that weakness perfectly by using『The Victim’s Body and Memories』.
It was clear that this was a flawless, perfect copying ability.
Subaru: “This is bad…… if Emilia-chan and the rest get overpowered, the situation will change.”
Tightly grabbing his own chest, Subaru gnashed his teeth at the sense of helplessness which was visible straight in his eyes.
Starting with Emilia and Ram who had engaged in battle against 『Gluttony』, his other comrades had already commenced their own battles at various places in the tower.
Echidna, who had evacuated Rem and Patrasche to『Taygeta』while Meili went to attend to the large hordes of Witch Beasts surrounding the tower. And, considering Julius’ battle was still continuing, the violence had spread to two layers in the tower.
Subaru: “ーーJulius, must be struggling a lot too. On second thought, should the opponent here be Reid after all?”
Beatrice: “ーーSubaru? Just what are you saying? Where are you looking, at what?”
Subaru: “Where are you looking, and what are you saying, huh, Beatrice. That’s……”
Beatrice, within his arms, heard his muttering and looked up, blinking once. Subaru tried to respond to her and clear up her confusion.
Unquestionably, right now, he would be unable to firmly state what he was saying or looking at.
Subaru: “What’s, this? I can sense what everyone is doing and where they are. I can see it?”
Grabbing his chest in a crushing grip, Subaru slowly realisedーー the existence of that incongruous feeling, those blurry, faint dots of light.
They enlightened Subaru regarding the actions of his comrades in the tower. He could also sense Ram and the others, and at that moment Subaru accepted this as if it was something natural, like a third arm by birth.
However, this was nothing like being naturally born with a third arm.
The moment he noticed that, Subaru realised what an unnatural situation he was in and a sense of rejection and unacceptability rose within his own heart for his own thoughts.
However, grinding his molars, he swallowed the thought back in so that he didn’t spit it out.
Right now, if his third arm had developed out of nowhere, then he should rightfully accept it and reject his feelings of rejection for it.
He was able to get a rough grasp on where everyone was, in what situation everyone was in. ーーIn a situation whereby all his comrades had to split up, could there be any power more suitable than this for such a situation.
Subaru: “Momentarily, silently, belong to meーー”
The form of this unnatural power appeared before Natsuki Subaru’s soul, when he did this.
The nature of it reminded him of the『Hall of Memories』, where he had first faced Louis Arneb and the strength that had bloomed within him before he left that place.
He had given it a name as well. Yes, that name wasーー,
Subaru: “ーーCor Leonis.”
The moment he called that name, the presence and control of that power flooded over Natsuki Subaru’s soul.
And, the power, which bore itself with『Lion’s Heart』, rightfully gave the abilityーー no, the authority over itself to Natsuki Subaru. The fruit it bore being,
Subaru: “Nuu, gh…… ~hk!?”
Suddenly, Subaru’s feet experienced a crushing weight coming from his body. The moment she noticed that Beatrice shouted in panic, but he was unable to respond due to his headache.
A sudden headache to the point that was almost seemingly hazardous, strained Subaru’s body. What was even worse was the awful fatigue his body was suffering with, accompanying a tear jerking pain in his bonesーー the combination of pain and exhaustion crushed his entire body, making Subaru kneel down instantly.
Subaru: “Gh, a~h……”
A voice echoed within his mind, questioning what this was.
The overwhelming strain on his body, a combination of pain and fatigue, his body felt heavy, as if poisoned, and he was panting like he was continuing to run after his stamina had exhausted itself.
Rubbing his back, Beatrice screamed in panic at this sudden development. As he felt somewhat eased by the touch of her palm, Subaru turned his eyes towards the situation.
At that moment, Subaru was trying to properly exercise his newly gained Authority,『Cor Leonis』.
ーーNo, it felt as if he were merely continuing to exercise it.
His very condition right now as well, was the result of the usage of『Cor Leonis』. If that was so, then just what meaning did that ability hold?
Subaru’s body felt heavy, stamina was exhausted, and till now he had done nothing that wouldーー.
Yes, Subaru himself could not do anything.
Instead of himーー,
Out of nowhere, a dry voice echoed, as Louis continued to look while his attack slashed through the sky.
Louis, who had taken the form of the『Fist King』, was showing off his violent combat techniques, overpowering Emilia and Ram and just when he raised the fingers of his detestable body.
Louis’ arms were grabbed, and his joints got stabbed. And,
Ram: “Ha~ ~hk!”
Without any hesitation or mercy, Ram kneed his joints, breaking Louis’ right arm. A repulsive sound echoed and the white bones within got broken and became visible, as the fibres of his light pink muscles hung down, and the colour of blood spread through the frozen white passage, a sight painful to even look at.
Louis: “Igh, ya…… ghkhe ~hk!”
Ram: “Too slow!”
Ram’s iron-hard elbow rotated, smashing right into the opponent’s face. With the same pace, Ram clutched the enemy’s hair at the back of his head and smashed him into the wall which Louis somehow stopped, whilst Ram continuing to stab his torso with her right fist.
When Louis’ body, just after the sounds of his ribs cracking echoed, tried to get back onto her, Ram delivered her own kick with an unaccepting expression as the giant’s body rolled at the floor at a fast pace, splattering blood around.
Ram: “……Ram’s body feels lighter?”
Clenching her fists, Ram widened her eyes at the unexpected surprise of her body.
Emilia, who had witnessed the sight of her strength, also commented “Amazing……” at the power she got newly acquainted with.
Beatrice had been concerned about Ram’s fatigue, so her actions right now were completely expected. ーーAnd that was as far as Subaru’s thinking went, before he realised.
Subaru: “This, can’t be…… could it be, that I took Ram’s fatigue?”
Comparing the improvement in Ram’s physical condition and the worsening of Subaru’s, that indeed seemed to be the case.
The truth is, the lights Subaru was able to senseーー there were two in front of him which seemed to stand for Emilia and Ram, and he could sense something flow into himself from there.
If his assumption was right and it indeed projected his comrades, who were all facing challenges, then that was.
Subaru: “ーー『Cor Leonis』means,『Lion’s Heart』.”
The answer to that, lay in Subaru’s knowledge of the stars.
The Authority of『Greed』, which Subaru had unintentionally named『Cor Leonis』.
That is in fact a Latin word which meant『Lion’s Heart』, referring to the star named Regulus, the brightest of the Leo constellation. However, Regulus also meant something else aside from Cor Leonis in Latin, which was『Little King』.
ーー『Lion’s Heart』and『Little King』.
As lions themselves were called the king of all beasts, the alias of『King』was well fitting, it was understandable. But, what did the『Little』 affixed to it mean?
A little, lion king. ーーThe king of, a pride.
What exactly made one deserving the title of king? That wasーー
Subaru: “ーーOne who stands by everyone’s wishes, that is who a king is. That’s why.”
Natsuki Subaru’s ability of『Cor Leonis』shall lighten the burden on the back of his comrades.
So that his comrades can fight without restraints, he shall take all damage for them.
If that was the case, then it was decided what Natsuki Subaru was supposed to do.
Subaru: “If I’m spitting blood, then that means the preparations are all okay.”
Subaru: “My ba~d, I made you worry. My head just hurts a bit, my legs feel strained, my joints ache like all hell, my hands and feet feel like they’ve been victim to some ambush attack, but I’m alright.”
Beatrice: “Ambush attacked!? When, where, I suppose!?”
Subaru: “Probably, when I wasn’t looking at the fight.”
He was unable to clearly explain to Beatrice, whose eyes were filled with concern.
However, the source for the pain in his hands and legs was him hiding the wounds taken by Emilia or Ram, and just like what the worst case scenario would be, both of them had suffered this at the hands of Louis and Batenkaitos.
And, Subaru didn’t mutter a single word about the weight of injuries on his back. For some reason a person like that seemed cool, that’s why.
Subaru: “Just like this……”
If Ram was able to keep these abilities up and keep up with Louis they might manage to actually overcome『Gluttony』, unlike how they had failed last time.
Win against Louis, and hurry to catch up to Julius, who was fighting Reid, or in worst case scenario, face the titanic scorpion and the shadowーー.
Thinking that far, Subaru looked at the existence of the lights within his chest yet again.
One was Julius, who was battling above the layer Subaru and the others were on, and Meili, who was confronting the hordes of Witch Beasts from the balcony. Echidna and the others seemed to have safely evacuated to『Taygeta』, these were the ones whose positions could very well be felt by Subaru.
Subaru: “ーーThis, who’s that?”
At a point distanced away from them all, Subaru could feel the existence of the light coming from the same layer as he was in, in the direction opposite to him.
That was the direction the dignified Reid had first appeared from in the previous loop. Wishing for it to not be Reid, Subaru confirmed the presence of certain confidence within him as he looked on with somewhat of hesitation.
Beatrice: “ーー~hk! Minya!!”
As he shouted from the back of the aisle, Beatrice instantly came to notice the mishap and widened her palm. At that very moment, shining purple crystals were born as the consequence of her chant.
Floating in the air with terrifyingly sharp tips, they were fired like bullets from a gun the subsequent instant. They flew overhead Emilia, Ram and Louis, who were fighting in the aisle, towards further beyond.
And, from there, it collided with an attack which was aiming right for Emilia’s back.
As an excruciating sound of shattering glass echoed, a blinding light broke through and exposed the white corridor to itself. Amidst the sparkles of the shattered ice and crystals, a blinking red light was visible in between darkness.
As soon as he laid his eyes on it, the pain in Subaru’s heart multiplied several times. Once again, the threat repeated itself, further worsening the situation.
However, at this point, the pain in his heart was not because of seeing that dot of red light.
The red dot of light and the faint light Subaru could sense within his chestーー which showed him the position of his comrades, they overlapped.
That could mean, only one thing.
Subaru: “What does, this mean. You……”
Swinging its tail which wielded a long and sharp needle, the black shadow, clad in armour-like black shell over its bodyーー was the form of the titanic scorpion.
However, at this moment, the scorpion’s appearance held a totally different meaning for Subaru.
For the existence which had revealed itself there wasーー,
Subaru: “ーーIs it you, Shaula!!”
Facing a reality he did not want to face, accepting a truth he did not want to accept, Subaru called out in a voice mixed with rage and despair.
Hearing that voice, the scorpion, lacking a mouth to respond with words, lifted up its enormous pincers and clanked them, as if affirming his words.
A clank echoed.