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Translated By :
Art Sources :
- Drawn by Ringo, based off Harusabin’s original sketch.
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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
JAPANESE WEB NOVEL SOURCE
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ーーSlowly, gradually unfastening her shackles step by step, she let her body heat escalate.
She could feel her blood boil, and sense all of the muscles in her petite figure be pressed and strained.
Soft on touch, it was the body of a young girl which seemed even transient and helpless, but the blood flowing within it, the flesh and bones which composed it, belonged to the utmost excelling species in the world.
And even therein, it had been christened as the reincarnation of the『Oni God』ーー,
Ley: “This is what you’re about, nee-sama ~tsu! A~h, how utterly wonderful you are ~tsu! You’re glittering ~tsu! No matter how much effort, Rem couldn’t possibly ever attain you reach you rival you, that is how nee-sama is ~tsu!”
Ram: “Stop spitting around. It is unpleasant. Also, kindly stop comparing Ram with something.”
Ley: “E~h, why so?”
Ram: “Isn’t it obvious. ーーIt is because any title aside from Rem’s nee-sama is unneeded for Ram.”
Declaring with apparent disgust, Ram twisted her frame as her elbow rebuff drilled into the air.
Slashed upon touch, broke bones upon striking, a fearsome technique which pierced even into the insides, this was being performed lacking all frugality, as she fired a chain of strikes utilising all of her limbs.
It wasn’t a move governed by simply physical ability or technique.
Had it been brought forth by pure finesse, then Batenkaitos, who reconstructed all kinds of techniques of the past and the present, of east and west relying on the『Memories』of eaten opponents, could’ve surely dealt with it.
However, Ram’s battle techniques marked a concise difference from that.
Stepping in, the elbow or knee strikes which Ram fired changed their velocity midway through. That was because Ram clad herself in wind magic which she specialised in, and wove truth and myth together in the midst of the battle.
Accelerating or decelerating speed with wind, she derailed Batenkaitos’ cognisance as he counterattacked. In the end, Ram utilised wind and scattered her presence in all directions, and whilst slipping into the opponent’s blind spot with nimble carriage of her body, struck countless fatal blows.
Ley: “Ha~h! How irresistible~!”
Whilst agilely evading those attacks of Ram’s, Batenkaitos acclaimed with a joyful expression.
Whilst bleeding from his cut right cheek, disheveling his unkempt long, dark brown hair,『Gluttony』was enjoying comparing his own ability and his opponent’s.
Ley: “Hot, irresistible spice! Acerbic refinement, a gallant trick! Making joyfulness explode, truly dynamic! Nee-sama is, a feast perfectly suited for our gourmet!”
Flying about the spiral staircase, Batenkaitos laughed whilst shifting each other’s positions.
Making the daggers on both of his arms collide with Ram’s wand, and opening up distance, saliva dripped down from his open mouth.
Ley: “How nice, so nice, quite nice, very nice, as it’s nice, isn’t it nice, as it’s probably nice, certainly it is nice, because it is certainly nice ~tsu! Gluttonous drinking ~tsu! Gluttony ~tsu!”
Ley: “Above all, what’s nice is the scent of that rage. An opponent, who gives us, individually, this much hatred…… we wonder what kind of a gourmet delicacy will we get to have a fill of, upon tasting that atop our tongue e~h!?”
Clasping both of his hands, Batenkaitos shivered about with an incomprehensible premonition of pleasure.
Whilst witnessing that, Ram took a deep inhale and confirmed the condition of her own body.
Ram: “Though far from its original condition……”
Despite not letting it show on her face, in her truest heart Ram had been struck with admiration.
Unlike the fools for whom it was a cliche to baselessly claim that they knew themselves the best, Ram truly had a complete understanding of herself.
Losing the horn of the Oni tribe, Ram’s body, which became『Hornless』, was under the threat of being crushed by an enormous burden on a daily basis. Thus, Ram placed shackles onto her own consciousness.
Normally, when she worked as a servant she did everything with those shackles on.
At times there were situations of emergency, and she had no choice but to utilize magic and do away with the situation. On those instances she unfastened one shackle and allowed herself a bare minimum utilisation of magic.
And, in circumstances which couldn’t be sorted despite that, she unfastened two shackles, and though only in short decisive battles, Ram demonstrated about twenty percent of her original strength.
That was around what she had done when she had faced and fought Garfiel in the『Sanctuary』approximately a year and a half ago.
Ram had confidence, that that was the maximum strength she could bring out as『Hornless』, and her body wouldn’t be able to endure any further and become disabled.
Those shackles, a double-edged sword, right now, had already been unfastened that much by Ram.
At that moment, an unusual vacillation distorted Ram’s innermost heart.
As aforementioned, Ram perfectly understood herself.
For her, this absence of feeling recoil after fighting this much was something which hadn’t happened to her ever since she was truly a child, around ten years of age.
Should the recoil of having fought this much rebound, Ram’s head would ache as if fissuring, she would incessantly bleed from her nose or her eyes, so she must prepare herself for her body being rendered unusable for some duration.
That wasn’t present here. ーーBecause it was flowing into Subaru, whom she had collective destiny with.
Ram: “……If this takes too long, Barusu will die, isn’t it.”
If everything was going by as they had discussed, then about now Subaru must be making efforts in order to deal with the rampaging Shaula, or the advancing hordes of Witch Beasts.
With him was Beatrice, and perhaps Meili. ーーEmilia, who made her memories throb, headed for the upper storeys of the tower, and perhaps was putting up a fierce struggle as a solitary force.
Mysteriously, some part of that positive, silver haired girl made her curious. Without question, she was someone whose hand Ram must’ve held multiple times and guided, before she got her『Name』stolen.
Each and every single one of them, were helpless and unreliable without Ram.
Ram: “Kindly endure with the intent to die, Barusu. ーーRem will cry, otherwise.”
Yes, hurling those inaudible words, Ram unfastened her third shackle, after an interval of ten years.
ーーThat instant, Natsuki Subaru gnashed his teeth due to the recoil of『Cor Leonis』.
As if vomiting blood ーーno, it was indeed the burden of vomiting blood.
For a single instant, he felt one of the fleeting lights within the tower enlarge, and the next moment it assailed down upon Subaru.
Letting out a cough mixed with blood, Subaru’s stance crumbled as Beatrice, who was by his side, supported him.
Unfortunately, what Subaru and Beatrice were currently riding wasn’t Patrasche, whom they had grown accustomed to riding on, but a Witch Beast who took no regard for a living being riding on it, a Hungry Horse King.
He had very few experiences of riding without the『Divine Protection of Wind Evasion』, and since there was no saddle to place one’s buttocks on or a stirrup to have one’s legs supported, a single moment of carelessness would result in being thrown off.
The reason why that hadn’t happened to him so far was because he used his Guiltywhip as reins by wreathing it to the Witch Beast’s upper body, and because Beatrice was restraining his bodyweight through an elaborate magic.
Subaru couldn’t allow himself to let that persistent effort go to waste.
Beatrice: “Did Ram’s recoil reach, I suppose.”
Subaru: “Just as you conjecture, indeed…… sorry, I’ll somehow put up with it…… ~hk.”
Reaffirming his grasp onto the whip, Subaru responded to Beatrice, who had a good sense of judgement.
His rising vomit tasted and scented like rust, and he didn’t have the slightest idea just which part of the body’s burden this was.
His internal organs letting out a creak, or something inside of his body being fractured, perhaps the damage was of that kind.
Regardless, this was the proof that Ram had gotten serious.
Subaru: “If Ram, could clean up the side of『Gluttony』…..”
He wouldn’t say the situation would easen instantly due to that.
First of all, he didn’t even possess confidence whether『Gluttony』being crushed would result in restoration of the『Names』and『Memories』it had stolen. He possessed confidence merely in the fact that Subaru’s burden would be abated.
ーーShould that be, Subaru would be able to concentrate in taking up the inferior physical form of Meili alone.
Meili: “Hah, hah…… ~hk.”
Clinging to the Hungry Horse King’s upper body, Meili was giving commands to the Witch Beasts whilst risking her life.
In order to face off against the titanic scorpion aiming for Subaru whilst fiercely shaking about its pincers and tail stinger, Meili’s risky battling was indispensable.
Insufficient war potential could not be supplemented by material resources, Subaru and the rest pushed themselves and created a stalemate which did not exist.
When Subaru shouted for that purpose, that it was vital to admire Meili like a princess, he was neither playing around nor joking, but was absolutely serious when he made that comment.
At present, though Emilia, Ram and Julius and the others’ strength was absolutely necessary for each respective obstacle amongst the five obstacles aiming for the Pleiades Watchtower, but the one necessary to maintain each of those battlefields was nobody but Meili Portroute.
Thus, already for a while now, Subaru had been taking up the feedback from her Divine Protection which rained upon her.
Meili: “Winged Mole-chan! Courtesan Bear-chan! Together!”
With a shrill voice, Meili pushed the Witch Beasts to their death whilst overlooking the battlefield.
Clapping her hands, clicking her fingers, or sometimes giving orders with her voice, though her way of action depended on the Witch Beasts, her Divine Protection was being used at full throttle for all of them to abide.
Subaru realised that it brought about suitable burden, by feeling as if his own brain was aching, becoming swollen.
The grace brought forth by Otto’s『Divine Protection of Soul Language』or Meili’s『Divine Protection of Magic Manipulation』, felt much more like an expansion of human ability rather than something magical.
Upon expressing it, it seemed like a power in the field of superhuman abilities, instead of magic.
If that was the case, then it was also understandable that its feedback would be far greater compared to other Divine Protections.
In the sense that the Divine Protection’s object wasn’t the surroundings or other people, but it worked only upon oneself.
Subaru: “After all, Divine Protections and Authorities are both a part of an incomprehensible system……”
The Authorities wielded by Sin Archbishops or the『Witches』, and Subaru, by some twist of fate.
Or, the Divine Protections which had a possibility of being bestowed upon those born into this world.
All powers have some way of being put to use, though even Subaru recognised that was truth of a certain kindーー,
Subaru: “It’s because something like that exists……”
He couldn’t stop thinking, that it could give rise to tragedies.
The context behind why the Sin Archbishops and the『Witches』were feared, and their audacious power, was unmistakably greatly concerned with the strength of the Authorities which allowed nobody else to get close.
Even Divine Protections, if things like those didn’t exist then there could’ve been countless who would have lived without their destiny being distorted.
If an example were to be taken, even Meili was a victim to the negative aspect of Divine Protections.
Since she possessed the power to communicate with Witch Beasts by birth, she had been abandoned by her true parents. ーーHe was unaware whether that was true. However, it was a convincing elucidation. Self-evident logic.
At the very least, that was the truth within Meili’s heart.
That is precisely whyーー,
Subaru: “I, really have double standards……”
On one side, he thought he didn’t want to rely on Authorities or Divine Protections, but upon rise of necessity he didn’t think twice before using them. Though it was true that a weak human possessed limited choices, he didn’t want even his heart to coarsen by that.
He was walking down a path which shouldn’t even be a path, he never wanted to forget that fact.
Meili: “Onii-san! Are you concentrati~ng!? If onii-san or Beatrice-chan get done, then that’ll be the end, you kno~w!?”
Subaru: “I know. ーーWhat do you say, Meili. Once everything’s over, wouldn’t you become my daughter?”
Meili: “ーー~hk! Like I said, concentra~te!!”
Meili howled in response to Subaru, who made that enquiry whilst enduring the heaviness of his head.
Neither of them, had any leisure. Should their concentration get decomposed, everything could end in but a moment.
However, but stillーー,
Subaru: “After putting up with this much suffering, it wouldn’t make sense if you won’t think that a happy tomorrow awaits.”
Yes, whilst vomiting blood, that was the thought which came to Natsuki Subaru’s mind.
Whilst resuming the battle on the sand, Meili whispered “Something’s wrong with me” to herself.
Of course, there were plenty of things that could be labelled as something being wrong with her.
The same went for Shaula before her eyes, who had transformed into the titanic scorpion, the same also went for Ram, Julius and the others who were fighting various opponents inside the watchtower, and it was especially the same for Subaru and Beatrice, who were fighting alongside her.
However, the one who had the most of something wrong with oneself, was certainlyーー,
Meili: “Me, isn’t i~t.”
Why was her self becoming like this, Meili herself had no idea about herself.
In fact, Meili believed she had started undertaking action unbefitting of herself from the moment she accompanied Subaru and the others for their journey through the Augria Sand Dunes.
As per the flow, as per the need, regardless whether right or wrong, she had continued to meekly submit to everything that was ordered to her.
Since that was Meili’s secret to success in life, she had intended to do the same here as well.
Meili: “ーーSomething like the『Book of the Dead』, it’s because something like that exists”
Upon hearing it was possible to personally experience the feelings of the dead, Meili was defeated by the inquisitiveness dwelling within her.
Possessing no choice but to unseal her emotions towards Elsa Granhiert which had always been soldering, resultantly, Meili ended up stockpiling blunders utmost unbefitting of herself.
In the end, being taken to task for that, she even ended up being lectured a great deal from Subaru.
Though she did not feel like simply doing away his call with a snicker.
For some reason, she was even made to promise cooperation thereafter.
Though Subaru had even told her, she will always have his back to look up to, she wondered to what extent did he intend to take responsibility for that, and whether he belonged to the type of people who first said rash things then later regretted them.
In the sense of easily being swept away with the flow, many things came to Meili’s mind as well.
However, what differed between Meili and Subaru, was that he didn’t offer mere lip service.
If Subaru said he would do it then he would surely make efforts to do it, and the one who was present at the scene of the promiseーー was it Beatrice. Beatrice shall certainly also try to make him uphold that.
If that was so, she felt as if she was being arbitrarily spoilt, and also that she should help someone, but she hadn’t been told anything like that till now.
Even now, the hordes of Winged Moles flying about and responding to Meili’s hand gestures were being struck down into bits and pieces by the titanic scorpion’s tail stinger.
Normally, the timid Winged Moles would never charge towards an enemy larger than themselves, but even Meili, who was able to walk over that instinct of theirs, couldn’t make them stronger.
Meili: “A~h! They’re done fo~r!”
Swinging about its colossal pincers, the violence of the enraged titanic scorpion killed the Witch Beasts one after the other.
The blood of the slashed, crushed, torn Witch Beasts permeated into the thirstful sand, and the sand which appeared yellow changed its form to a dark red hue.
Grinding her teeth in response to that reality, Meili nimbly turned her eyesight to the environs, probing the presence of the Witch Beasts in the sky, on the sand, or even underground, and tamed all those who could be tamed.
She could not interfere with their quality. What was necessary at this moment were resources, an inexhaustible number of pieces under control.
Meili: “Gee~z, gee~zgee~zgee~z! Because of this, I’m definitely having onii-san listen to whatever I demand later, oka~y!”
With not even the flexibility to wipe off the sweat on her forehead, Meili slammed harsh words towards Subaru, who was restraining the titanic scorpion from a distance neither too close nor too far.
Even for Meili, the back of the Hungry Horse King did not make for a pleasant riding experience. However, in Meili’s case, she had stabbed the mantle enveloping her body through to the Witch Beast’s back with a knife, forcing her body to remain fixed.
It was a Witch Beast under her territory of control. It could accept that level of injury without any problems.
The problem lied not in the Witch Beast, but in the strength of Meili who had been placed into that situation.
First of all, this last moment kind of battling wasn’t Meili’s way of doing things.
Meili’s battle style was that prior preparation meant lifeーー arranging to place the Witch Beasts around within Meili’s territory of control, deploying them in the battleground, and then watching their conjunct assail from distance.
That was precisely what the specialty of the『Witch Beast User』Meili Portroute was.
Of course, directly giving orders in the battlefield enhanced the precision of the Witch Beasts’ offence and defence, but even that was something Meili’s didn’t have to do if it compromised on herself. Because she blundered that choice, Meili had lost against Subaru and the others in battle, and had become a prisoner.
Meili: “Elsa was……”
The reason why she died, was also due to the repetition of such blunders.
Of course, neither would Elsa ever wish for Meili to reproach herself, in fact it was possible she thought nothing of having to die. That is why, she couldn’t help but get anxious.
Just as she did not understand Elsa’s feelings, she did not understand her own feelings too well either.
First of all, though she was taking part in stalling against the titanic scorpion like this, and forcing through buying time in exchange for the lives of the Witch Beasts, Meili had never done things this way even once.
Though young, Meili Portroute was a killer.
Taking someone’s life on the command, order, request of someone was her occupation.
That is why, this was the first time for her.
ーーFighting in order to help, save, someone’s life.
Meili: “This, isn’t my way of doing things, oka~y!”
Subaru’s earlier words, akin to incoherent muttering, were excessively infuriating.
Quite a thing to ask, saying wouldn’t you become my daughter.
With an attitude as if he had no hint of being hated by others, truly provoking.
Even if her direct enemy was Garfiel, it was Subaru who constructed those circumstances. Just as he had indeed constructed the circumstances in this Pleiades Watchtower as per his own freedom as well.
Yes, though she thought of Subaru’s words and deeds in negation, upon taking notice Meili herself had abided by his commands, and was moving like a piece to set up the board just like the other members.
If that was the circumstance constructed by Subaru’s farsightedness, then it was still convincing.
However, no matter what, Subaru did not seem like someone of that calibre. What Subaru possessed was merely desperation, self-assertive expectations, and insane faith as if entrusting his own lifeーー,
Meili: “It feels like, I’ve turned into a stupid fool as we~ll.”
Whilst pronouncing, Meili drew up the Witch Beasts she had grasped in the underground, and made them aim for the titanic scorpion.
Exploding through the sand sea dyed red, what flew out of the underground was a Sand Earthworm, with its large frame trembling about. Twisting its enormous build which was greater than ten metres in size, it heartily collapsed into the titanic scorpion.
Crushed underneath, swallowed by the sand, a magnificent victoryーー there was no way things were going to proceed so smoothly, though.
Blown by the corona’s torrent, the sand earthworm’s thick trunk was scattered away in an instant.
As the sand earthworm fell over with its body divided into two, splattering out bodily fluids with a strange noise, it was smashed with further precision by the successive attack of the tail stinger.
However, that was a smokescreen of blood and flesh utilising the life of the sand earthworm.
ーーThe three Hungry Horse Kings which appeared from underground which the Sand Earthworm had broken through, were the real deal.
With a howl akin to a child’s crying, the flaming half-human half-horses launched a suicide assault towards the titanic scorpion.
Though multiple kinds of Witch Beasts called the Augria Sand Dunes their home, the ones which were the utmost excelling in terms of standalone steam power were these Hungry Horse Kings.
Using the Winged Moles, which were large in numbers but couldn’t make for a decisive blow, or the Courtesan Bears with extremely low endurance, and the Sand Earthworms which tried to crush with their enormous builds altogether as cover, Meili had preserved the real deal.
Drawn by the traces of this battle, the three Hungry Horse Kings which had gathered here.
They fell behind the titanic scorpion in terms of fighting strength, but these were the Witch Beasts which the opponent was utmost vigilant about. That was the indisputable proof of the fact that it sensed the steam power of the Witch Beasts to be a threat.
Meili: “Looks like I’m fine after all.”
One which Meili herself was on, one on which Subaru and Beatrice were seated, and the three Hungry Horse Kings which she had prepared for this strike, the burden of making all of them move at the same time must be befittingly, substantially heavy.
Meili was, however, not experiencing that recoil right now, mysteriously enough.
It was possible that the battle’s enhancement let that happen, and if that was the case then she would like to presume upon that.
She did not think of bringing the enemy down.
However, should she be able to land even a slightly deadly blow, then it would also ease achieving Subaru’s purpose.
ーーIn a certain sense, this may have been the third time the young girl named Meili, who had lived her life going by the flow, had desired to do something by her own will.
The first was when she had wandered around the watchtower at nighttime, seeking salvation through the『Book of the Dead』.
The second was when she had been mentally cornered, and had drawn close Subaru’s back as he stood by the spiral staircase.
And, the third, with the purpose of buying time, seeking a result greater than what was expected of her.
The moment the three Hungry Horse Kings approached the titanic scorpion, a scream accompanied with blood called Meili.
That was, quite literally, Subaru’s voice as he bled by the edge of his mouth.
Meili was puzzled, because it was neither exaltating, nor joyful, nor admirating.
Wondering what was there to be so angry about, when she was doing her job this well.
Wielding lances of spears, the three Hungry Horse Kings viciously leapt upon the titanic scorpion.
No matter how efficiently was it to use its pincers or tail stinger, it would fail to block it was what she expectedーー but she took notice, upon observing the change that occurred on the titanic scorpion’s body.
As if it had been scorched by flames, or as if it had sipped blood just like the sand.
The exterior shell that had been shining dully like blackened steel, changed its colour as if opening its eyes. An instant later, a second later, the jet black colour of the shell, had changed to blood-like red.
ーーIn certain kinds of Witch Beasts, there are those who invoke a transformation called『Offence Hue』.
The transformation causes their behaviour to change with a distinct difference from normal, and they become aggressive with greater ferociousness.
As a transformation easy to grasp, the outward appearance changes in the majority of cases. The inflation of the Hungry Horse Kings’ flames, or countless eyes being yielded throughout the body of the White Whale also corresponded to the same.
And that was something the titanic scorpionーー no, the『Crimson Scorpion』corresponded to as well.
Becoming further aggressive, further destructive, further deleteriousーー,
A white sheen was fired in all directions, making the leaping Hungry Horse Kings vanish in thin air.
At the same time, the aftermath of the wild corona outraged about, as if mowing down the sand sea.
Swallowed by the torrent of exploding light, Meili’s petite figure fluttered midair, a spray of blood accompanying.
ーーEnhancement overflowing with the sensation of boiling blood, she had despised that ever since she was a child.
Omnipotence which seemed as if she could govern all things in this world.
Had the time of her being intoxicated with that hallucination continued, no matter how firm a spirituality she may have been blessed with, time would have unquestionably made her err her path.
She was aware that she surpassed others. However, she did not lay too much trust in that.
She also made mistakes. Simply by possessing a will to not make mistakes, and a stance to correct mistakes.
The reason why she had been able to embrace that will, was also thanks to her not being intoxicated with omnipotence and acting like a fool.
Thanks to her not committing the misunderstanding of believing she was something wonderful by going along with the extravagant praises of her surroundings, and remaining without becoming a yes-man of those who revered stale traditions and old-fashioned mystiques.
And, the reason why she remained without being crushed by such surface reasons, was thanks to whom, she wondered.
She knew, that it was surely thanks to something which couldn’t be remembered, which was missing.
The reason beingーー,
Ram: “ーーAfter all, Ram is not only cute, but also wise.”
Deserting words of her own praises, Ram’s unremitting footing smashed the difference in stair levels of the spiral staircase.
That instant, the peach haired Oni clad in wind swung her arm, crushing the arm of her opponent who tried to accept it. Twisting it in an instant till the wrist, elbow and finally the shoulder, she fractured it.
Ley: “ーーGh ~tsu.”
She shan’t let the grumble of agony reach.
Knocking her fist to the side of the face about to give rise to a bawl, Ram’s fair fingers turned into buckshots.
With countless blows fired onto his entire body, Batenkaitos jumped away whilst vomiting blood. Pursuing him, Ram rode on the wind she had produced below her feet, and leapt extremely high up.
Ley: “Hihi ~tsu.”
As if assaulting Ram, Batenkaitos swung both of his feet around whilst midair.
The following instant, the created distortion of space came in contact with Ram’s shoulder, and slashed her clothes, skin and flesh. A leftover souvenir of a blade invisible in the air, an impudent trap brought forth by wind magic.
Ram: “Something of this levelーー”
Ley: “You’re saying that you will blast it away with wind? Won’t do won’t do, useless useless! As it’s something that’s been fixed in space, you see~! Even nee-sama wouldn’t be able to kick it away, how unfortunate, too ba~d!”
Seeing through her plan beforehand, Batenkaitos, with a bloodstained smile, kicked the air.
Though he was not truly kicking the air, but was using the blades which had slashed Ram as a foothold, walking aeriallyーー using those whose positions were known only by him as footing, he freely flew about the spiral staircase, which heavily made use of the tower.
Even if she weren’t able to capture that within her perception, should she be able to overlap with the field of vision of established humans, she could grasp the hiding spot even with the slightest change in consciousness.
As『Gluttony』tried to escape upwards and upwards into the air by using his traps as footings, Ram overlapped with her opponent’s field of vision and using the same as footing, bolted towards him with conviction.
Ley: “Huh ~tsu! Ahahahahahaha! Seriously, nee-sama? Are you for real!?”
Ram: “What a Barusu-like thing to say. ーーIt’d help if you’d stop this tug of war.”
Batenkaitos was surprised, and having jumped through the air faster than his ascent, Ram looked below towards his creepy face.
And, she mercilessly drived in the bottom of her shoe towards that face, with an opened mouth lined up with sharp fangs.
Ram: “Alright, let’s see how many times you will be able to get a taste of Ram’s shoe until you fall below.”
With his snout crushed, Batenkaitos’ petite frame rolled over midair.
With the vigour of his ascend killed off, this time『Gluttony』was made to fall directly below due to the strength of Ram’s kick at the same pace.
Pursuing him, Ram raised both of her hands towards the heavens, yielding wind her palms and swiftly downwards, towards the falling Batenkaitos’ face, hammered a second kickーー no, the third, the fourth, and continued hammering kicks in.
Mercilessly, Ram’s heel kicked into his nose, his teeth, his chin, his forehead with each shot.
She had found that sneering face, and that mouth which time and again called Ram “Nee-sama” to be unpleasant.
She intended to spoil them both, as their descent yet resumed.
By the wayーー,
Ram: “It’s not Ram’s fault even if you get hit by the traps you laid. You reap what you sow.”
Ley: “Gh! Ghya! Higi~i~i~ ~tsu!”
En route to fall by the kick, the invisible blades he had laid in the empty air cleaved Batenkaitos’ body.
He was bleeding, and it seemed a few of the wounds had gouged his flesh as well, but Ram shall not ignore them.
Ram, did not like to go out of her way and go as far as to make her opponent suffer and agonize.
However, that applied to the cases where her opponent had sympathetic qualities, and if her opponent was a detested enemy of her’s, she shall not falter in making them shriek like a pig.
Ram: “So? Do you regret it?”
Skilfully halting her body in the air, Ram enquired with her legs remaining on the opponent’s face and chest.
With his face polluted by thick blood, Batenkaitos did not respond to the question, but instead raised the daggers on both of his hands overhead.
In that juncture, both of Ram’s hands, used as swords, struck the opponent’s shoulders, coercively dislocating the shoulders’ joints.
Ram: “So? Do you regret it?”
No matter how excellent a technique he wielded, with dislocated shoulders, his arms shan’t swing.
Whilst looking downwards onto the surprised face with eyes widened, Ram once again repeated the same question.
As Batenkaitos gazed at Ram, she tried to search for fright being born in his eyes.
Her motive was to etch in. Fright, anguish, an indefinable sense of defeat. For the purpose of revengeーー no, not something trivial of that kind.
It was for the purpose, of recovering her. The ginormous number of victims, who had been met by the tragedy of『Gluttony』until now. For the purpose of recovering the masses who had gotten their『Name』and『Memories』plundered and the history they had come in contact with, usurped.
If killing was all that was needed, then Ram was capable of doing that even right now.
All she had to do was to have her feet wear a blade of wind and decapitate him with the same toil as when she had kicked his face in. Even if he was a Witch Cultist, renowned for being living foulness, if his neck and body were to be sundered he would effectually die.
With a process of retribution, by one who was from the village of the Oni clan which had been burnt to the ground, onto those who had brought about the village’s destruction.
After all, she was aware that the character of the Witch Cult was merely repugnant, being a horde of weak buffoons.
Thus she questioned, in order to kill his heart prior to his life.
Ram: “So? Do you regret it?”
Ley: “ーー~tsu,『Solar Eclipse』~tsu!”
Upon hearing the question for the third time, faint trepidation got mixed in even amongst the hue of blood.
However, he disappeared right before Ram’s eyes, literally in the blink of an eye.
His disappearance wasn’t at a level of merely being movement at high speeds.
The sensation of the face, the body of her opponent beneath her feet, vanished. However, she immediately got an idea about where Batenkaitos had disappeared to.
As long as she had the opponent’s field of vision pinned down, nobody could escape from Ram.
Following the field of vision visible to her, she pinpointed the location in the spiral staircase where the opponent was. Upon enveloping herself in wind and catching up to that, she discovered the form of a bald old man wearing something akin to a priest’s garb.
That transformation of outward appearance could bewilder and mislead anyone, except for Ram that is.
However, due to the sharing of the field of vision, Ram had conviction that regardless of what form the opponent may have, he was Batenkaitos.
Ram: “It was said that changing form and disguising oneself was『Lust’s』technique, but what other tricks do you possess?”
Ley: “Ah, a~a~a~a~h, shit! Even though there was no intention to use it…… no, even though there was supposed to be none…… ~tsu!”
Ram: “ーー? What are you saying?”
Upon catching up at the spiral staircase, there present was a kneeling old manーー Batenkaitos, as he groaned in agony.
She furrowed her eyebrows upon his attitude, which seemed completely genuine, however, Ram immediately cast aside the resolution of her doubt.
What was momentous, was that the opponent was still alive and breathing, and that his heart had suffered no cracks.
Ram: “ーーCannot take too long.”
Though she murmured that to herself, it had already been greater than a minute since Ram had unfastened her great shackleーー though there was some faint burden saddled onto Ram as well, the majority of it was going to Subaru, is what the situation was.
Though she had told Subaru to make minute adjustments, but just as she had conjectured, he was arbitrarily taking up the entirety of Ram’s burden. He would go to any lengths, in order to act cool.
Something like that, he should’ve done just for the sake of those he loved or Rem.
Ram: “ーー. The situation remains unknown to Ram, but are you finally willing to gulp down this side’s demand? Kindly restore everything you have eaten as『Gluttony』up until now. If you do that”
Ley: “……If you do that, then what aye? Are ya proposing ya’d let us off the hook?”
Ram: “No. If you do that, then Ram shall kill you immediately. Is it not a nice deal? All of your qualities that deserve death, you shall be pardoned by having it merely once.”
Whilst using even an elderly pronoun, Batenkaitos leaked out a similarly elderly laugh.
Observing his conduct, Ram guessed whether this change of formーー that it was perhaps, a necessary procedure in order to use that personage’s ability to its fullest.
Earlier when he had completely disappeared before Ram, that was a technique which should be epitethed as a short-distance spacial leap.
The one who used that must have been the bald old man which Batenkaitos took the form of.
Ram: “But, it is quite strange. If you had this trump card all along, then it wouldn’t have been strange to have used to further earlier. Yet, wonder why you continued to hide it.”
Ram: “……Do have a reason why you do not want to use it or such? Like being dragged along by the vessel.”
Ley: “Good gracious…… truly, never’ve we come across a lady this terrifying…… No~pe. Really, nee-sama, you are scary.”
Upon the conjecture through the enchased possibility, the form of the old man slowly changed into a small stature.
That was the affirmation of Ram’s identification, and also evidence of the fact that the transformation did not make the received wounds disappear at the same time. Batenkaitos was bloodstained, his face was spoiled as well.
Ram: “What about your shoulders?”
Ley: “Relocated them by slamming into the wall. Because it’s something that doesn’t go well if done just once, you see~…… it hurts, a~h, it hurts.”
As if confirming the sensation, Batenkaitos greatly gyrated both of his shoulders which he had relocated and healed. Witnessing that, Ram introspected that instead of dislocating his shoulders, she should have slashed his arms off from his shoulders.
Or if she were to crush the ends of his limbs, then she might perhaps crush all of his absurd tricks as well.
Ley: “Both this and that, forestalling what this side’s supposed to do supposed to achieve, everything everything every~thing…… how amazing, nee-sama. Could it be, nee-sama, aren’t you yourself using an Authority like onii-san?”
Ram: “Truly unthinkable. This is merely Ram’s excellent power of insight. Don’t group it together with Barusu’s incomprehensible instinct. It is unpleasant. Kindly die.”
Ley: “A~hahaha~, bitte~r. But but, is that so is that so, guess that’s so.”
Languidly dropping out his torn tongue from his mouth, filled with fangs, Batenkaitos expressed a bloodstained smile. Widening her eyes in guard upon that ominous gesture, Ram let strength flow into her shoulders.
If he made any unusual movementーー no,
Ram: “Before you do anything, kindly have a taste of this.”
Before he could make any unusual movement, Ram opted to blow away the opponent’s limbs with blades of wind.
There existed ways to halt bleeding. There existed no ways to halt pain, but that questioning would resume until and unless he died. Making that judgement, she struck unhesitating blades of wind.
Ley: “ーーThe bet, is our win!!”
Whilst basking in the blades on wind, the plump, stout man with an unshaved face jumped towards the rear. The blades of wind which should’ve been able to cleave, rather than merely limbs, even his fat trunk regardless how thick his skin was, were unable to bring about anything but a light tinge of red on the stout man’s skin and were swept off.
Ley: “Nee-sama, wonder if you have a teensy bit of misunderstanding. ーーJust to let you know, you aren’t the only one who’s keeping a watch on the opponent, you know?”
As Ram advanced, believing she mustn’t let that giant get away, that voice was slammed onto her.
The subsequent instant, Ram got her throat slashed by one of the leftover souvenir blades, and her proceed was delayed half a step. Batenkaitos slipped into that interval, of merely half a step,
Ley: “This is our hit, fro~m our approach!!”
The form of the old man disappeared with the speed of a blink of an eye, and the intimidating air of the presence which had appeared right behind her intensified. Granting her not even the time to turn backwards, a mighty fist was hammered into Ram’s side, blowing away her slender figure.
Whilst being hurled away, pronouncing “Ga~h”, Ram glanced and observed that the one who had sweeped and sent her flying was a man with a robust physique and a violent auraーー instantaneously switching the forms of three men, the linkage which utilised their special qualities to their fullestーー,
Ram: “Even so, you do not think that a technique once shown will work agaiーー”
Ley: “Don’t think so. Do not think so. Don’t think so, you know. Don’t think so, indeed. Don’t think so, thus. Exactly because don’t think so. Don’t think so as it’s said!”
The form of the hollering Batenkaitos changed into the old man once again, and covered one of his own eyes with his hand.
Experiencing dread and fright upon his movement, Ram stretched her long legs, promptly kicking the wall, testing to take the position in order to agilely spring at the opponent.
However, she could not make it.
Ley: “We are aware. ーーRem’s nee-sama, cannot continue to move in that fashion without any tricks.”
Not Ram’s movement, but Rem’s knowledge had drawn that answer.
Witnessing Ram’s movements, who had transcended the confines of being『Hornless』, Batenkaitos averred that conjecture with resolve, and when Ram returned to the difference in levels in the staircase, he realized that malice.
Ley: “Nee-sama, we don’t really want to compare strengths with nee-sama, you kno~w.”
Yes, the cunning smile vanished as if thawing space.
Temporally instantaneous mobility brought forth by short distance distortion of spaceーー upon that being executed consecutively, withdrawing from the battlefield was a simple, easy matter. Though she hadn’t expected him to respectably fight until death without giving in.
Ram: “Quick to decide escaping. No, rather than thatーー”
If he was aware of Ram’s『Clairvoyance』, then he would not think he would be able to simply levant.
The reason why he took distance whilst knowing that, was because he had realised the time restriction placed onto Ram. And, though vexing, Ram had been made to lose a considerable amount of time.
The burden placed onto Subaru shall exceed a minute in duration.
As quickly as possible, she must discover the whereabouts of Batenkaitos, who had escaped into the tower.
By the time those thoughts dawned upon her, she took notice.
That, that Sin Archbishop, a clod of malice, shall not slip into the tower simply for the purpose of escaping.
He was familiar with what the greatest medium of tormenting Ram, whom he was confronting, would be.
At last, the field of vision of the evil overlapped with Ram’s field of vision, in grasp once again.
Reflected therein was the tail of a black earth dragon, scurrying with the『Sleeping Beauty』atop itself.
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→The “we” and “us” in italics used by Ley indicate usage of different pronouns.
→ – Here, instead of using his usual “僕たち” (bokutachi) or “俺たち” (oretachi), the pronoun used here by Ley is “儂たち” (washitachi), which has never been used by Gluttony. This likely reflects the speech pattern of the person Ley transformed into, along with other speech style changes which I’ve tried to incorporate, possibly hinting towards a mixing of personas.
→ – Here, Ley uses the pronoun “あたしたち” (atashitachi), which may reflect the person whom Ley has transformed into, but it is also a pronoun regularly used by Louis Arneb.
→ – A switch of pronouns midway through, the former “our” is “俺っちたち” (oretchitachi), likely reflecting the new person Ley transformed into, while the second “our” is again “儂たち” (washitachi), likely reflecting the old man.
→ – The pronoun used here is once again “儂たち” (washitachi), so Ley likely changes his pronouns depending on the form he takes, accompanied with the possible mixing of personalities.
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