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ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO STARTING A LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
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ーーIt was the scent of rage.
Fragrant, rich, it was the scent of highly pure rage. Prodigiously churning this slender, petite body, he understood that it would uplift it to greater heights.
Ley: “Haha~ ~tsu!”
Facing each other from the upper and lower ends of the spiral staircase, Batenkaitos laughed with sadness and gloom upon Ram’s caustic remark.
The young girl with potent emotions conceived in her light crimson eyes, breathing in the resentment and hatred she directed towards him, Batenkaitos tasted ecstacy.
Should he state without giving much thought to selecting the wording, saying that this one breath was what he was living for wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
Ley: “How nice, so nice, quite nice, very nice, as it’s nice, isn’t it nice. As there normally aren’t any people who’d face us with such an enraged expression, you see~. It sure is a really valuable feeling, isn’t i~t. Do you understand? We wonder if you do understa~nd, the delight which we’re feeling right now!”
Stepping on the ground upon expressing the vivifying emotion, Batenkaitos licked his lips.
Yes, this emotion and encounter, was something Batenkaitos normally couldn’t ever hope for.
The『Memories』and『Names』stolen through the Authority of『Gluttony』got disengaged from the world, and with the exception of Roy and Louis, it became impossible for anyone to even be cognizant of them.
The grief of having lost someone precious, the rage of hiestation, the hollow sense of loss, anything and everything got evanesced entirely, beyond all help.
Ley: “So naturally, that’s a matter of course. That’s why, we’ve never minded it, you see~.”
Whenever he operated as a member of the much-loathed Witch Cult, on copious occasions would he meet humans who directed their hatred towards his affiliation. However, never had there been one who knew of Ley Batenkaitos’ deeds, who harboured hatred for Ley Batenkaitos individually, who aimed to kill Ley Batenkaitos specifically.
That natural divine providence brought forth by the Authority of『Gluttony』, that obvious unwritten law, had been overruled.
ーーWith the emergence of an outsider, who did not sustain the effects of the Authority of『Gluttony』.
Ley: “Natsuki Subaru…… ~tsu!”
Whispering the name of the man Louis had been attached to, Batenkaitos attained a sweet ache in the depths of his slim chest. It was not as if he had taken influence by Louis. He had known about him, even prior to that.
He had been thinking of him, powerfully, profoundly, far earlier than even Louis.
Ley: “ーーNee-sama, will also understand, ri~ght?”
The connection between the origin of this sweet ache in his chest, and the young girl looking down towards him was deep. ーーNo, not merely deep. Two hearts that beat as one, irreplaceable individuals, saying that they were the other halves of each other would be unobjectionable as well.
Thus, she would surely understand. These sweet, fleeting, far too mighty emotions. This sensation, blended with both love and hate, and the ache within the chest longing for release.
That is why, he addressed with half of his mouth open, pouring in that conviction and expectationーー,
Ram: “Ram’s already told you. ーーTo kindly die whilst baying like a pig.”
The subsequent instant, Ram’s first move as she flew down after kicking the staircase, made Ley jump far backwards.
He had narrowly managed to draw his body back, but the fine point of the wand being pointed out was accurately aiming for his right eye. Should he be slow in pulling back his head, it shall ransack his brain through the eyeball.
Ley: “Geez, nee-sama is mercile~ss! Had we eaten this one just now, forget about imitating the bay of a pig, we would’ve died unable to do anything ~tsu!”
Ram: “Ram has reconsidered. If you were made to imitate something below the standard of a pig, then it’ll surely be a real affront for the pig as well.”
Flying through the spiral staircase, his landing was delayed solely due to the difference in the levels of stairs. Whilst apprising her chilling intent to kill, Ram’s furious assault waged a pursuit of fierce vigour towards Batenkaitos.
Whilst gyrating her slim figure, Ram pointed out her wand, fired a kick, drilled in a shot of the elbow. Batenkaitos dodged them entirely through the handling of his body, but things like the hit which had grazed past his ear certainly possessed the vigour that upon a single hit, would certainly lead to loss of faculty of that part of the body.
Ley: “Haha ~tsu! Scary scary! It’s scary though you kno~w!”
Batenkaitos laughed whilst using his body to evade the unhesitating strikes in pursuit of him. That wasn’t flexibility, but exaltation. ーーNo, slight flexibility as well.
Ram’s martial arts were quite something. Lacking all forgiveness, she possessed no faltering in her aim to kill. Yet, Batenkaitos dodged with leisure and ease. The reason for that was quite simple.
Ley: “We already pro~perly know, that nee-sama is more amazing, you see~.”
The multitude of『Memories』terminated and packed together within Batenkaitos. Within them was a passionate one which adored Ram as an elder sister, which yearned for her infinite potential.
The untiring trust and expectation towards Ram which those『Memories』were endowed with, conveyed their contrast with the Ram before his eyes, nearly to a sorrowful extent, to Batenkaitos.
Ley: “ーーNee-sama without her horn, is nothing but a counterfeit which even Rem can substitute for, isn’t that ri~ght.”
Ley: “Ah, did you get angry? Have you gotten angry? If you want to get angry then you can get angry perfectly fine, nee-sama. Now that we think of it, we’ve never even had a proper sisterly quarrel before, you kno~w.”
Batenkaitos set forth the reminiscences as if a belonging of his own. Though Ram’s cheeks stiffened in reaction to his speech and conduct, her attacks did not slacken.
Batenkaitos admiringly thought within his innermost heart, that she was really quite pushing herself. It was famously known that Onis who lost their horns lost their bodily control, though it was unclear how much anguish it entailed. Ram had also been continually tormented due to that penalty.
It was unknown just how many times the thought of wanting to take over her pain had come to mind.
However, alongside that also came another thought. ーーThat oneself wouldn’t be able to endure the anguish she bore.
If the agony of losing the horn depended on the strength that Oni originally possessed, then Ram must have the greatest in that regard, which no other Oni in the world could share.
Thus, commendation to her onrushing form by way of her own determination, through that compelling anguish. And, gratitude to her earnest wolfing stance, with an unruffled facial expression.
With the ripening of the greatest, supreme, premier flavour, to simply whom should he express his delight for being witness to the moment the rich aroma arose, he did not know.
ーーHe hailed gratitude and admiration, toward the miracle of happening across this gourmet delicacy.
Ley: “Truly ~tsu! Nee-sama is so wonderful ~tsu!!”
A murderous dance blended with love and hate unfolded om the spiral staircase. Whilst tasting that to his heart’s content, Batenkaitos blessed Ram’s existence.
And, tilting his body, turning over, stooping down, dodging how the『Memories』craved,
Ley: “Now with a ta da, time for a counterattaーー”
Ram: “How truly noisy.”
Surrounding Ram whilst she pointed out her wand, Batenkaitos aimed for her fair neck. His side which had gotten into her undisputable blind spot, and Ram’s line of sight entangled when she turned around.
At that single moment, feeling intimidated, Batenkaitos interrupted the strike and flew in evasion and escaped. However, the instant after wind grazed past his right cheek, he felt blood starting to drip out.
Tracing his cut cheek with his hand, Batenkaitos inhaled faintly.
It was a wound he wasn’t supposed to sustain. At the very least, the『Memories』present within Batenkaitosーー if he were to abide by the existence who best knew the prodigy Ram, then there didn’t exist a future where he should’ve sustained this wound.
Ram: “Though Ram told you to bay disgracefully, an unsightly opponent’s voice is also rough to hear. Ram doesn’t intend to keep you company any longer, so you’re getting killed.”
Ley: “Nee-sama, this is……”
Ram: “If you had been evaluating Ram relying on the『Memories』, then your evaluation is yet too naive.”
Looking at Batenkaitos after he stained his cheek with blood by his hand, Ram gently brushed her pink hair. With her dreadfully cold sidelong glance towards this side,
Ram: “Were you intending to bring out Ram’s true colours? If that’s the case then that is quite laughable. ーーRam’s potential is infinite. After all”
Ram: “ーーRam is, Rem’s nee-sama.”
A baseless, careless remark, the reason why it echoed with such extraordinary convincibility was because that is how the『Memories』, present within nobody but Batenkaitos, had captured the existence of their elder sister.
Recognising that reality, Batenkaitos erased his smile and distorted his cheeks in annoyance.
Boring. Uninteresting. She doesn’t get it.
Ley: “Both rage and hatred, are spices for enhancing flavours. But, if the taste of the spices is too strong, if it asserts itself too powerfully, then even that platter goes to waste. Guess nee-sama, who doesn’t cook, would be completely clueless about these customs, hu~h?”
Ram: “That’s not true. There’s nothing to hide, Ram’s special dish is steamed potatoes after all.”
The『Memories』which had vivid recollection of that resuscitated, and his stomach growled.
Intentionally ignoring that call of the sense of emptiness and hunger in his stomach, Batenkaitos casted his mood to play around aside.
Ram was still yet to demonstrate the true worth of her strength. In other words, that meant naught but that she hadn’t revealed everything even to the younger sister who was physically quite similar to her.
In other wordsーー,
Ley: “ーーNee-sama, won’t trust even her little sister, talk about the ultimate individualism, isn’t i~t.”
Ram: “……What a superficial way of understanding things. Ram doesn’t know how many human lives you have tasted, but even those people don’t come to mind. Everything aside from Rem is trifle.”
Repudiating Batenkaitos’ outlook on meals, Ram straitened her light crimson eyes.
And, whilst caressing her own slim chest,
Ram: “Kindly exert yourself as much as you can, Barusu.”
Calling out to the young boy not present here, extraordinary determination levitated across her cold expression.
Ram: “Though something like collective destiny, makes one shiver.”
He took a deep inhale, with a cloth covering his mouth protecting him from swallowing the sand.
If he were to be honest then he would’ve preferred to have goggles as well, but that would be a hope too high. Prepared to have grains of sand fly into his eyeballs, he had no choice but simply be careful about his eyes within the vortex of the sandy whirlwind.
Subaru: “Beako! Meili! We’ve gotta pull through!”
Beatrice: “Betty knows, in fact!”
Meili: “Geez, you really don’t know how to treat people~!”
The one traversing through his field of vision blurred by the sand, was a fiendish existence clad in a jet black shell.
Approaching closer, and taking a single attack by its great pincers meant forfeiting life. Taking distance, and should it succeed in its efforts to fire its tail stinger meant forfeiting life. There were multiple other conditions of forfeiting life as well.
In terms of simply conditions of defeat, there existed more than plenty, that is what their situation was presently.
Subaru: “With that being said, that’s what always happens……!”
Natsuki Subaru’s battles were a series of continued tightrope walks.
The reason why he suffocated despite knowing the future through『Return by Death』was because of the abilities he could possess, and the sheer magnitude of the enemies he confronted never allowed him to counterbalance.
Lacking cards to play was his omnipresent scenario. Whilst trusting everyone’s strength, expecting that they’d adapt to the situations’ requirements and fight, Subaru himself struggled hard, a befitting answer to everyone’s expectations of him.
Subaru: “Rather than a fight of my own, this, is a fight of my wonderful comrades!”
Meili: “Is this really the situation to say tha~t!? Geez! Do your best, Hungry Horse King-chan!”
Receiving Subaru’s baloneous yell, Meili, who was racing right next to him, issued orders to the Witch Beastsーー Hungry Horse Kings.
The Witch Beasts akin to centaurs screeched like the cry of a child, and two of them carrying Subaru and Beatrice, and Meili respectively rushed through the sea of sand.
And, the one in pursuit of their backs as they fiercely kicked the sand, was the titanic scorpion as it scratched the sand with its several legs and gave a rise to a cloud of dust, resuming its hounding.
Just as his instinct had told him earlier, should they distance themselves then the tail stinger, should they approach closer then the enormous pincers, shall come for their lives. Whilst keeping a distance neither too close nor too far, they coped with the enemy’s attacks.
Compared to the conditions of defeat he had listed, the sole condition for victory permitted to them was a change at the extremity of stalemate. It referred to Emilia capturing the first layer of the tower, and the rewriting of the cited rules.
As a matter of fact, he hadn’t even confirmed whether that was an actual possibilityーー,
Beatrice: “If that’s not possible, then it’ll be strange to have that included in the tower’s rules in the first place, I suppose.”
Subaru: “Exactly, Beako. Going out of their way and having “you can also destroy the rules” included in the rules means that the rules are premised on the fact that they’ll be destroyed.”
And if that was a possibility, then it was perhaps a reward given to the one who captured the tower. Should that be considered, then it was a right given only to the one who had cleared everything with proper means.
It was an immense relief that Emilia had entirely broken through Reid. Had she not been victorious, then the means to save Shaula perhaps wouldn’t have even grazed past his hands.
Subaru: “Though I’ll never forgive him for sexually harassing Emilia-tan……!”
Though it was a happening infuriating to even look back on, Julius had been charged with retribution when it came to Reid.
Expecting that he shall fully overwhelm that violent man, Subaru caught the enormous sand tower within his field of vision and entrusted himself to the fierce struggle Beatrice and Meili were putting up.
Meili: “Onii-san! It isn’t easy to move around in this spot! I think it’ll be easier for the Witch Beast-chan’s to rampage about in a place further away from the towe~r!?”
Subaru: “Gh……! I get what you’re saying! I get it but, no! I won’t get away from the tower. If I get any further away, then I’ll lose grasp!”
Rejecting Meili’s appeal, Subaru gnashed his molars whilst grabbing his chest.『Cor Leonis’』efficacy resumed, and the locations of his comrades within the tower were still within his sphere of grasp, in the form of fleeting lights. However, he did not know for what possible cause this Authority, with yet far too many uncertain facets, may come undone.
In terms of the Authority’s efficiency, what was the easiest to perceive was indeed distance.
In reality, Subaru did not know the locations of his comrades outside of the Augria Sand Dunes. If that was due to distance, then it was unknown how far he could get away from the tower.
He was afraid of losing the ability to confirm the locations as well as the well-being of his comrades.
However, the greatest issue was not their well-being but losing the ability to shoulder their burden. It was a matter of course that Emilia or Julius had exposed their bodies to grave battles, but what further had an eagle grip on Subaru’s heart was Ram, who was out for vengeance.
Though he was confident that he had deployed his comrades to their respective utmost suitable positions, he had anticipated from the very beginning that even amongst them all, Ram’s fight would become particularly dire. That’s because her opponent was Ley Batenkaitosーー the originator of turning Rem into a『Sleeping Beauty』, and Ram’s own condition.
Ram must be in perfect shape and form, otherwise she shan’t be able to oppose Ley Batenkaitos.
On top of that, he wished for Ram to beat Batenkaitos down to her heart’s content. For that purpose, Subaru was required to shoulder the burden she consistently suffered.
That is precisely whyーー,
Subaru: “I can’t just thoughtlessly get away from the tower! Sorry for being a handicap, but please compromise!”
Meili: “hk! This is, absolutely definitely going to come back to bite you later!”
Rounding her lips upon Subaru’s call, Meili shouted with a red face atop of the Hungry Horse King’s back.
At the same pace, the young girl glared towards the sky and clapped her hands towards the existences circling around in the blue, cloudless sky.
Meili: “Winged Mole-chan’s! It’s show ti~me!”
Receiving the shrill command, the tiny shadows soaring in the sky swooped down towards the sand sea. Seeing they were aiming for the titanic scorpion atop the sand, Subaru instantly shouted “Beako!”
Subaru: “Match in with them!”
Beatrice: “Betty knows, in fact! “Vita”!!”
Presuming Subaru’s aim, Beatrice put up her tiny palm towards the sky.
The chant’s effect was invoked, however, the aim wasn’t towards the titanic scorpion, but towards the Winged Moles which had their eyes set on the titanic scorpion.
In the course of the descending Winged Moles, there was a loop of pale light producedーー the moment the Winged Moles passed through that loop, the small-sized Witch Beasts accelerated, clad in light.
The piercing strike drilled into the outer shell of the titanic scorpion, giving rise to a violent note.
The titanic scorpion, which had been accepting the battlecries of the Winged Moles like gentle breeze until now, stopped its multiple legs upon the direct hit possessing unignorable might.
Meili: “What was that, just now…… Beatrice-chan, what did you do?”
Beatrice: “Made your Witch Beasts heavy right before they collided, I suppose. Their speed or solidity won’t change, but the result changes with a simple increase in weight, in fact.”
Beatrice responded to Meili’s astonishment.
That was the answer to the reason behind the sudden enhancement of the Winged Moles. ーーStrength was a mix of weight and velocity.
Winged Moles navigated underground using their potent horns, the risky assault of the Witch Beasts which flew about in the sky and the underground at will decisively halted the steps of the titanic scorpion with unbelievable destructiveness.
The titanic scorpion’s defensive capability was quite impressive, but it wasn’t able to completely defend an attack it was witnessing for the first time. And, in order to surpass that reflective defence capability, Subaru fully rotated his head.
Subaru: “I feel bad for the Witch Beasts, but it’s a trade-off between life and time. There’s plenty of quantity and varieties of Witch Beasts that can be used, with Beako’s assistance the possibilities are infinite……! This wayーー”
They can succeed, that definite response made Subaru clench his fist and Beatrice’s hair. Beatrice raised her voice in protest, saying “It hurts, I suppose!”. ーーThat was the instant.
With the plan to buy as much time as possible, Subaru spilled out a voice whilst looking up towards the watchtower.
Hearing his vacant voice, Beatrice turned around saying “Subaru?”, but he remained unable to respond.
What was brought to Subaru’s consciousness, was not the visible exterior of the watchtower, but its interiorーー the interior of the tower whereby he could sense fleeting lights at various locations, the reason was the responses of his comrades.
Likely, it appeared each one of them must be engaged in vehement battles, amongst them a single one’s response vanished. ーーThe response of Emilia, who was heading to the top.
That moment, Subaru’s heart throbbed so intensely as if it had come detached.
The reality that Emilia’s response had vanished threw Subaru into a state of chaos. What if, within the couple of moments just now, Emilia had been lostーー,
Subaru: “ーー~hk, Calm down, bloody bastard.”
He halted his vision from blackening through a reprimand of his own.
This was far too early to despair about the reality. He needed to trust『Cor Leonis’』ability more. Though its origin was from the worst kind of a man, but now that it had blossomed, this Authority was an ally.
Based on the responses of『Cor Leonis』until now, it could be assumed that the intensity of the fleeting lights’ warmth and movement conveyed the status of his allies.
When they became violently worked up, the colours or intensity of the lights changed.
Then, did the disappearance of Emilia’s response refer to her『Death』.
Subaru: “If that’s the case, then the rate at which the response disappeared happened way too instantly.”
If it were to be assumed that Emilia encountered an enemy so fearsome it was able to extinguish her existence in a single instant, even if she had fallen into its hands, he couldn’t imagine her being taken out without resistance.
He couldn’t imagine, neither did he want to. He had belief. That’s why, the problem perhaps lied somewhere else.
Rushing up the watchtower, Emilia had headed for the first layer, and something had happened which made her body go out of the range of『Cor Leonis’』influence.
Thus, in but a single instant, Emilia’s response disappeared from Subaru’s perception.
He must believe so, otherwiseーー,
Meili: “Onii-san! This is no time to space ou~t!”
Gnashing his molars and gums, Subaru kept himself in check through pain as the two young ladies called out to him.
Hearing them, Subaru responded with “I know” such that both himself and they could hear it,
Subaru: “I have no idea, whom she may have to confront and where. But I believe, that she will make her way back.”
ーーAt the same time as when Subaru had pronounced words of prayer, far below on the sand.
Though Subaru said that he did not know whom she may have to confront, there was no way that even Subaru’s imagination could’ve predicted the situation Emilia had been placed in.
Abiding by Subaru’s command, Emilia had headed to the first layer in order to rewrite the rules of Pleiades Watchtowerーー what she encountered was a blue, shimmering, gargantuan existence clad in scales.
An existence whose name, nobody was unaware of in this Kingdom of Lugnicaーー no, in the entire world.
If the『Witch of Envy』was regarded as the symbol of fear, then it was the befitting symbol of hope and faith. For this existence had continued to accumulate meritorious deeds of such scale for the world.
The name of that gargantuan and great existenceーー,
Emilia: “ーー『Divine Dragon』Volcanica.”
Ruminating the name it had given for itself, Emilia felt her entire body colden.
Though a strange thing to say, Emilia’s predisposition was entirely detached from nervousness. Though of course she felt her body be heavier when she had to stand in front of people or when she had to talk about something crucial, but upon undertaking practical action she immediately forgot about their effects.
On multiple occasions she had been praised by Subaru or Ram for having that impressive quality.
However, despite possessing that impressive quality, Emilia’s physical movement ceased completely before the『Divine Dragon』.
Such that she felt she couldn’t take even a single breath without the opponent’s permission. To such an extent, the presence of the true dragon was projected, and had its grasp on the world.
Whilst inhaling, Emilia once again glanced at Volcanica’s frame.
Scales with a deep tinge of blue were shimmering like jewels, and every single one of them appeared to have been tempered thoroughly, as if sharper than any treasured sword.
Its forelimbs and hindlimbs were endowed with black claws akin to stone, its face, similar to that of a Ground Dragon, gave the impression of having lived for long, and a pair of golden eyes that had witnessed an unfathomable amount of time. On its head were two enormous horns, white like a noble’s milk.
The『Divine Dragon’s』stature was likely about fifteen or sixteen metres in height. Since it wasn’t standing, had its wings and tail folded, its exact enormity couldn’t be determined. But despite that it was this gargantuan, a matter of course that it couldn’t be fit inside the tower.
It was unquestionable that the first layer had been constructed in an open location because of Volcanica.
Emilia: “……The third layer was the『Sage』, the second layer was Reid, and the first layer is Volcanica.”
Emilia: “Could it be, that all three heroes of the great antiquity, are involved in the tower’s『Trials』?”
Looking back onto the『Trials』until how, Emilia discovered a similitude between them.
『The Three Heroes』ーー they had formerly made efforts in the sealing of the『Witch of Envy』, and were three heroic figures engraved into the history of the Kingdom of Lugnica. Those being Shaula, Reid, and Volcanica.
Furthermore, Shaula had stated that it was actually an achievement of Flugel’s, Reid was incredibly violent and talked crudely, and Volcanica was not a person but a dragon.
But if they were yet connected in this place, thenーー,
Emilia: “To still be friends after so many centuries, that’s rea~lly wonderful.”
Emilia thought it was a very wonderful thing if something like commitment or unity, had tied the three heroic figures together.
On top of that, Volcanica was the existence who had pledged a covenant with the Kingdom of Lugnica, and as a matter of fact, when a black dragon had been rampaging within the Kingdom of Lugnica multiple decades ago, it had been recorded that it possessed extraordinary power.
Emilia, loved those who viewed promises as important.
She believed that upholding promises was a very nice thing. She cherished Subaru and trusted him, but she believed his characteristic of not upholding promises was no good.
What if Beatrice started imitating him.
Neither did Emilia wish to scold Subaru and Beatrice for breaking promises.
Emilia: “Ah, woops. This is no time to be thinking all that…… Um, Volcanica! I came here to take the『Trial』! The『Trial』of the first layer! I’ll tackle it!”
Emilia: “I don’t know how tough a『Trial』it will be…… but, I ask of you to hurry! I must hurry or Subaru and the others will be in trouble. Whatever it may be, bring it on!”
Striking her cheeks with her hands, Emilia reorganized her cowering emotions.
Without even planning so, thinking about Subaru and Beatrice made the root for that. Even if they were to be scolded by Emilia for breaking promises, that was speaking of a distant tomorrow, a distant future.
In order to come face to face with that future, Emilia needed to stand firm here.
The silent『Divine Dragon』was intently watching Emilia with its golden hued eyes.
Speaking without exaggeration, those eyes felt deep enough to absorb her entirely.
It had fought the『Witch of Envy』, and forged the covenant with the Kingdom of Lugnica four hundred years agoーー but, the time this great dragon had lived through appeared to be far greater than those four hundred years.
Those eyes, perhaps close to reaching a thousand years of age, were intently gazing upon the world.
It was unknown in what way would Emilia’s existence be projected, to this『Divine Dragon』.
Emilia: “I, am used to being judged. There are people who hate me because I’m a half elf, or meanies like Echidna…… but, like Subaru, Ram or Beatrice and everyone else, there are also people who have laid their expectations on me.”
Whilst addressing, Emilia touched the crystal on her chest with her fingers.
Her family, who was yet asleep, was the first one to affirm Emilia, who largely looked through rose-coloured glasses like this.
With that family of her’s as the beginning, in this tower were her comrades who had accepted Emilia.
Emilia: “That’s why, I don’t care no matter how you look at me!”
Before the『Divine Dragon』she had been overawed by once, Emilia declared sharply.
Even the existence known as Emilia, who had been crushed by the contrast in presence, whose limbs had been quivering and cowering, who had been overwhelmed by the existence acquainted to eternity, shall no longer lose.
ーーNo matter what, she shan’t lose.
Emilia strengthened her fist and made her amethyst eyes glitter with might.
Whilst being showered with Emilia’s gaze throughout its entire body, Volcanica slowly blinked. Afterwards, Volcanica moved its dragon jaws with grandeurーー,
Volcanica: [ーーThou, who hath reached the top of the tower. Step forth through the first floor, almighty petitioner.]
Volcanica: [ーーI, am Volcanica. In accordance with the ancient covenant, I ask the will of thee who hath reached the summit.]
Emilia, who had packed her breath and put herself on guard for the challenge Volcanica may ask her of, heard the cumbrous words accompanying the dragon breath and tilted her head.
For she had remembrance of these words.
Emilia: “Um, hadn’t you told me about that earlier? That I am the one who arrived at the first layer, and that you are Volcanica…… is that right?”
Emilia: “……Ah! Did I not introduce myself, by chance? I apologize. I am Emilia, just Emilia. Well, there’s many people right now who don’t remember me, so it’ll be a problem if you ask me to prove it, but, I’m Emilia!”
Emilia: “……Still, no good?”
Thinking whether her omitting her introduction had brought its displeasure, she reintroduced herself yet no positive change was born in Volcanica’s response.
Had Subaru been here, he would’ve gone so far and thought that skipping introduction led to the revocation of the right to take the『Trial』of the first layer, but Emilia did not think that way.
Emilia believed that even if a mistake was made, upon apologizing the opponent couldn’t continue being so heartless.
Thus, even at this instant she did not believe her impoliteness had bought Volcanica’s silence.
What Emilia had thought of, was the possibility that Volcanica was not angry. But even if that were to be the case, it might’ve been much worse than simply being angered.
Emilia: “Could it be……”
Gazing back into its golden eyes, Emilia timidly moved forward.
One step, two steps, resuming her walk in a place close to the sky, she shortened the distance between herself and the『Divine Dragon』Volcanica. Emilia inched closer, as it breathed, that too with magnificence.
And, gently stretching her hand forward, she touched the scales of the opponent’s front leg.
The scales she touched were cold like ice, or like steel which had cooled down.
Just how long a duration would one need to remain stagnated, to lose this much heat.
It did not mean biological『Death』. Those who remained stagnated for a long duration, simply lost bodily energy.
Volcanica: [ーーThou, who hath reached the top of the tower. Step forth through the first floor, almighty petitioner.]
Volcanica: [ーーI, am Volcanica. In accordance with the ancient covenant, I ask the will of thee who hath reached the summit.]
Whilst gazing down upon Emilia who was touching its foreleg, Volcanica repeated once again.
Words of reception that had been repeated and stockpiled exactly thrice. They were not with the purpose of condemning the mistake Emilia made with her greeting.
Volcanica’s eyes, which were profoundly staring at Emilia, were reflecting her as if not reflecting her.
Its reason was apparent.
Emilia: “Could it be, you became such an old uncle that you forgot about the『Trial』……?”
Not the『Death』of the body, but the『Death』of the mind had hunted the long-lived dragon.
And for Emilia, who must clear the『Trial』of the first layer, it befell as a challenge beyond the『Trial』of the first layer.
The great library of Pleiades, the trial of the first layer of『Maia』.
The time limit,『The Time For The Survival Of Her Comrades』. Number of challenges,『Unknown』. Number of challengers,『One』.『Content Of The Trial』, unknown.
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