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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The『Greatest Knight』, to name himself so entailed courage.
He indeed took pride in being called so, extolled so by others.
However, never had there been even a single instance wherein he had labelled himself as the “Utmost” “Finest”.
He possessed the conceit of having lived days of stockpiling unsparing hard work, and diligent devotion to learning.
However, in his incompetent and inexperienced destiny, he was naught but surrounded by unending excelling pioneers, comrades commanding respect, and juniors worthy of admiration.
Though vexing, he considered that to be bliss.
To be acknowledged by someone, ought to be reward for strenuous efforts and diligence.
Much less, in the endeavour to be acknowledged by everyone, the strenuous efforts and diligence must be such devotion that they are regarded as extraordinary, that everybody is amazed by solely those.
ーーHad his self, truly worked hard enough to be worthy of that.
He certainly did possess the conceit of having lived days of stockpiling unsparing hard work, and diligent devotion to learning.
However, did he transcend boundaries? Did he polish and refine oneself every day until he had exhausted all of his strength? Inspired by the strenuous efforts of others, did he pledge further hard work to his ideals?
He shall answer his own question, by himself.
Julius Juukulius, had indeed accomplished that.
Transcending boundaries, polishing and refining oneself until he exhausted all of his strength, with inspiration from the strenuous efforts of others he pledged further hard work to his ideals.
ーーHence, before the existence who stood as the pinnacle of the『Sword』, he held his head high with confidence.
Julius: “ーーI am the『Greatest Knight』, Julius Juukulius. The sword of the kingdom, that shall slash you down.”
Grasping the hem of his mantle, Julius bowed, and ahead of him the『Sword Saint』stood silently.
He closed his other eye, which was not concealed by the eye patch, and did not look at Julius. But, silently bracing his bulky, burly arms, he pondered about something.
However, his pondering did not last for long. By simply their short fellowship until now, it was clear that he was the one to possess the disposition of being utmost unsuited to ponderation.
Reid: “Ah, ah, a~a~a~a~h, aaaaaaaaaaaaahーー bloody hell!!”
With an intense scratch of his head, the『Sword Saint』Reid potently stomped the floor once.
Upon that singular blow, the clear floor of the second layer quaked as if fissuring. Though Echidna, who was watching over the confrontation of the two, drew her body back, Julius stood firm, unwavering.
Witnessing that, Reid clicked his tongue with a “Tch”.
Reid: “Appearances, appearances, appearances…… yeah, appearances aye. You really do be speakin’ shit like my follower. What an insufferable bastard ya’re, you.”
Julius: “Though unfortunately I am not acquainted with him, I must offer my sympathies to the man whom you say is your follower.”
Reid: “Hah? Who the hell said my follower’s a dude. Takin’ bastards ’round ain’t gonna be amusin’ in the first place. The follower I’m talkin’ ’bout’s a woman. She’s got a nice face, but damn’s her reasonin’ annoyin’.”
Julius: “A female…… then, what is the similitude between myself and her which you speak of?”
Reid: “Ah? Don’tcha make me say it ‘gain and ‘gain.”
As wrinkles appeared on his snout, Reid expressed a ferocious smile akin to a shark.
And, unfastening the locked fold of his arms and knocking his cheeks with his hands,
Reid: “Stenchy reasonin’, and havin’ a good face.”
Reid: “Hell, so ya won’t even get irritated. Damn uncute…… well, ‘s fine.”
Snorting his nose in response to Julius’ destitute reaction, Reid magnificently crackled the bones of his neck. Afterwards, through his blue eye, he observed Juliusーー no, not merely Julius, but his environs too.
The quivering fleeting lights seemingly encircling Julius, their brilliance had strengthened compared to what it was earlier.
Above all, this would be his first time making these girls debut before Reid this way.
Julius: “My buds…… no, my lovely maidens, do you perhaps have anything to object regarding them?”
Reid: “Hah, nothin’. Nice women ain’t of any regard to their race. Unfortunately, I ain’t interested in women I can’t sleep with. ーーYou, would’ve grown stronger had ya broken yer shell, ya know?”
Julius: “If you say so, then a path like that certainly may have existed.”
Something like offering advice to juniors, was fickleness unimaginable considering Reid’s personality.
For him to have done so, must be due to Reid’s own moodiness and him deeming Julius’ desperate form, who naught but clung to sword, to be wasteful.
If you are going to cling to the sword anyways, then take a stance paying no heed to appearances. ーーThat had been the attitude and resolve he sought for Julius, and that too had been a realizable path.
Julius: “I, decided to walk this path. Or possibly, instead baring what is my true self, as you say, may make me stronger.”
Julius was aware that should he himself not be powerfully conscious of it, he would naturally become that way.
A sudden instant, a narrow exchange of blows, should a solitary bit of his rind distinguish between life and death, that the face of the true Julius would come out.
However, that spoke of a scenario wherein he would not be powerfully conscious of it. ーーHe shall, no longer waver.
Julius: “Hereby I declare. I shall think through my self as a knight. Furthermore, instead of the path you tried to guide me to, I shall become myself who excels in all fronts.”
Reid: “Huh, the hell kinda reasonin’ makes ya say yer gonna be doin’ that, you.”
Julius: “It is obvious. ーーThe knight I lay my trust in, is the personification of ideals. He is noble, just, and stronger than any other. Then, it is inevitable that I, who name myself as a knight, must be that way as well.”
Even by his own word, a ludicrous reasoning, an illogical line of argument and claims, high-handed arbitrariness a natural subject of ridicule.
However, even if Reid overtly expressed his rage upon hearing that, he simply displayed his sharp fangs and laughed, directing no disgust or disdain whatsoever.
Reid: “Gonna make ya cry.”
Articulating so, Reid tossed aside the chopstick he held, and before Julius, who was gazing in wonder, took a great leap towards the rear and stood back. Subsequently, he steadily extended his hand towards the side.
What his huge palm was gripping to, was the stipulated sword planted into the white layer.
Reid Astrea, originally supposed to have merely lent his existence as the trial taker of the watchtower.
By some twist of fate, he detached the arrangement of the tower through intense self-consciousness, and finally, by overwriting the flesh body of the raiding Sin Archbishop of『Gluttony』, had fulfilled even a psuedo-revival.
In this condition, in this position whereby he did not need to abide by the tower’s『Trial』, only then did Reid draw out the stipulated sword for the first time, abiding by his original role.
Julius: “ーーGain his forgiveness, by hand of the fool who has reached the heavenly sword.”
Reid: “That’s my line ya know…… well, though I totally forgot ’bout it.”
Julius: “I thought so, thus I stated it in your stead. ーーI challenge you.”
Reid: “Like hell I’d give ya forgiveness, ya dunce. Gonna make ya cry ugly.”
Before Julius, who had his knight sword braced in his front, Reid crudely pointed the sword he had drawn out.
No intervals, whatsoever. Assuming a relaxed stance, having reached the extremes, the ultimate swordsmanーー
ーーThe pinnacle of all who wielded the sword, the『Sword Saint』Reid Astrea.
Julius: “And nowーー”
Reid: “However ya’d like.”
Julius: “ーーHere I come!!”
Placing faith in the chivalry shaping oneself, Julius Juukulius tackled the『Sword Saint』with the entirety of his might.
Both his body and heart, felt light.
In a non-figurative sense, that was the might of enhancement enveloping Julius, as he swung the knight sword.
Needless to say, the stability of mind had an immense influence in battle.
Upon consideration, to state Julius had been in an insecure condition ever since he had arrived at this Pleiades Watchtowerーー no, ever since he had gotten his self’s『Name』plundered in the Watergate City, would be unerring.
Of course, Julius admonished and restrained his own self as much as possible, forbidding it from showing on his face.
Self-control anyone would appraise as akin to rationality of steelーー however, it was not something that had been praised.
Furthermore, forbidding the inferior form of his self from showing on his face, the consequence of having deceived his comrades and even his own self, had led to the unsightly defeat of successive, consecutive losses ever since their arrival at this tower.
Julius ought to have placed his trust in others, to begin with.
Losing his presence of mind due to the impact of having the existence of his self forgotten, whilst merely pitying his self who had been broken off from the other person’s world, he failed to notice what he should have placed faith in the utmost.
Were the people whom Julius cherished, whom he trusted in, whom he had pledged his loyalty to, whom he had entrusted his back to, such humans who would simply disregard Julius Juukulius, who had been broken off from their world without their notice.
ーーAbsolutely not, he could assert so.
Hence, what Julius ought to have done had been simply one thing.
Appealing with sincerity, he should have indicated his affection by his volition. ーーThe way he had done so, with his buds.
Julius: “I should have retied the severed bonds. One who is nobody, can become anybody…… for nobody but I myself, am I living witness to that!”
The child of a commoner who was nobody, had become even the utmost attractive and cool knight in this world.
Julius, who had become nobody, was supposed to have become somebody once again.
Julius: “No matter how many chances should I be given, I would surely still be charmed by the seemingly blazing young man that day, perceive ideals on the back of one who stood for the knight, and challenge you, the pinnacle of the『Sword』after allーー!”
Reid: “Blabberin’ ’bout shit, damn cheeky of ya, you!!”
Upon Julius’ decapitating slash, who had his determination set on the tip of his sword, Reid bellowed whilst matching in with the same sword strikes.
As the entirety of his body lay subject to those sword moves and sword might, Julius straitened his yellow hued eyes and felt wonder.
Restarts included, this would be the fourth time he was battling Reid this way.
The first challenge, and the immediately subsequent defeat. This time, with moreover the confinement of the narrowed watchtower’s entirety, and having successfully recontracted with his buds, was the fourth time.
Within all of this, Reid using a weapon aside from chopsticksーー though referring to chopsticks as a weapon had exceeding room for doubt, anyhow, him swinging something aside from chopsticks would be for the first time.
And in these moments, with the pinnacle of the『Sword』, the『Sword Saint』having wholly gripped the sword, he thought.
Julius: “Your sword power hasn’t changed, compared to the time you were using chopsticks……!”
Reid: “Li~ke I jus’ said, damn it. The reason I’m strong ain’t ’cause I swing the sword. The only reason I’m strong, is jus’ ’cause I’m strong.”
Defending against the sword strikes being casually swung down overhead, once his knees creaked, a pursuit aimed for him from directly below. Narrowly tiding over the attack he had borne witness to for the first time, Julius flew towards the rear upon the impact.
Reid trailed that, not by breaking into a pursuit, but by simply taking a few long steps.
Though one would grow to suspect his peculiar gait, there was nothing special about it.
By merely stepping forth upon the thought of catching up with the drawn back opponent, readily inventing and realizing a new form of gait unlike any of its previously existing schools was simply Reid’s ability.
Just as Reid himself had averred it, that was simply a matter of his norm exceeding『Existence』.
Reid: “Do ya wanna cry now?”
Julius: “ーー. No, the feeling of challenging a legend is livening up my chest!”
Not a bluff, Julius responded with truthfulness whilst being impelled.
Yes, that was true. The one before his eyes was Reid Astrea.
By his legends, simply how many times had Julius had gotten his heart throbbing, eyes twinkling, and had admired him, yearned for him.
Meeting that person in reality, though he had been precisely astonished by his personality, his strength had been the very ideals he admired and yearned for.
Henceforth, simply how wasteful had his self been in what he engaged in.
All whilst possessing the opportunity to exchange words, exchange swords, exchange beliefs and conviction with himーー,
Whilst crossing swords with the『Genuine One』, Julius exhaled upon the arrival of an unforeseen thought.
Exceedingly out-of-place, however, the anticipation made his heart throb, truly delightful and piquant.
Reid: “The hell ya smilin’ ’bout?”
Julius: “Nothing, a thought simply dawned on me. ーーOnce I fulfill my objective here and return to the service of my lord, that I shall challenge my friend, Reinhardt.”
Julius pronounced his idea upon Reid’s inquiry.
Never even once had Julius competed against Reinhardt in their sword skills until now. On the contrary, before it was determined that they would be in differing camps in the Royal Election, the idea of vying with each other over anything at all had never occurred to him.
ーーThe regret of never having attempted to gain an equal standing.
That too, had been one of the reasons why Julius served Anastasia, and faced in the Royal Election.
However, even had he not possessed those sentiments, Julius still would have been enchanted by Anastasia’s immense talent, wished to see the same dreams as her, and stood at the same place.
Thus, from the very beginning, never had he been in need of dull excuses or roundabout stances.
From the very beginning, he simply should have taken two wooden swords and headed over to Reinhardt.
Once in the past, Reinhardt and the strongest swordsman of the Vollachia Empire had crossed swords.
That day, when everyone in the parade ground had possessed wild enthusiasm toward the atmosphere of the sword, Julius too felt warmth in his chest.
For that had been, the answerーー.
Reid: “Hah, that’s a name I ain’t ever heard of. Who the hell’s this nobody?”
Julius: “He is your descendant. And, along with being the present day『Sword Saint』, my friend.”
Reid: “Kah! The kid of my kid, jus’ an outsider by that point god damn. I ain’t gonna notice him even if I see him by some roadside.”
Intertwining sword moves and kicking moves, Reid elucidated his irresponsibility whilst snorting his nose.
Finding faint refutation in that dissertation, Julius attempted to open his mouth whilst exchanging swordsーー,
Reid: “I’m startin’ to get fed up of talkin’ ’bout outsiders. You, do ya wanna have a damn chat with me?”
Julius: “ーー. Though I will not deny that, I shall deny.”
Julius: “If only there was the time, I would have liked to exchange words with you, let it be for two days or for three days. However, at present the time for that purpose, regrettably, does not exist. Telling me to make haste, my back is being pushed. Thusーー”
With distance opened in between, Reid lifted his cheeks whilst viewing Julius. In Reid’s blue eye was Julius’ form, augmenting its luminosity.
The swirling six coloured lights intermingled, gently commencing to paint an aurora, a rainbow.
Julius: “ーーAl Clauseria!!”
The radiance of the emitted rainbow, sweeped a conquering white world towards Reid.
Julius himself widened his eyes as well, upon the emitted aurora’s span and might.
As of now, that was maximal spirit arts transformed to a magic of extraordinary scope, with it being treated the same as before now inviting discourtesyーー,
Budsーー no, he shall not refer to those girls, who had verbatim made their occluded gift and talent bloom, as buds.
Those girls, who had achieved growth capable of being perceived as sublime, with beauty, with charm, with heroism, with dignity, vividly, were not buds but maidens.
To monopolize those girls entirely to himself, as all six of them exhibited their respective glamour, may have made him a sinner greater than the Sin Archbishops.
Julius: “Even if you all forget me, I love you all.”
As though to catch up with the emitted aurora, Julius stepped ahead.
The radiance of rainbow clad in six elements, broke through all shields and shattered the target. Hence, before the rainbow-coloured light, the options left for the opponent were merely twoーー to take up the gauntlet, or to evade.
And in accordance with his personality, Reid Astrea shan’t dodge the radiance of rainbow.
Responding to the radiance of rainbow surging forward in front, Reid raised his burly arms and slashed down the sharp edge of the imperial stipulated sword he was gripping to.
With no reliance on special magic or Divine Protections, a『Sword Move』named as pure violenceーー in a sole swing, that was what expunged the maximal magic Julius had fired with all of his might.
However, that too had been factored in by Julius, as he paced ahead.
Vaulting ahead from the rear of the expunged aurora, Julius borrowed the strength of his sword, and his maidens.
Julius: “Ia! Aro!”
Upon that instant, the red and green Spirits responded to the call and unified their strength, the wind formed a whirlpool around the blazing flame, generating a tornado of incandescence at Reid’s feet.
Sensing the coil of the heat wave underneath, Reid nimbly escaped upwards before being scorched.
However, only now did the linkage of the Spirit Knight, of the『Greatest Knight』, commence.
Julius: “Kua! Ik!”
The yellow Spirit yielded a protuberance on the clear floor, propelling Julius’ frame further upward. Simultaneously, the glow of the blue Spirit glaciated the moisture in the air, hindering Reid’s ascent, who had jumped upwards.
Clicking his tongue, Reid inverted his stance through an evidently beyond human deed of stomping the air, and stationed his legs onto the ceiling of ice generated midair, scowling at Julius whilst upside down.
Firm strength poured into Reid’s arm, and an interception aimed for the ascending Juliusーー,
Julius: “In! Ness!”
In the juncture wherein the『Sword Saint’s』counterattack drew near him, the white and black Spirits intermeddled with the world with their respective powers.
The white light bestowed strength upon the entirety of Julius’ build, the black light weakened the might of Julius’ enemy however meagrely. The paltry differentiation born in those moments, was a central figure in the immediately following outcome.
With the ice ceiling turned foothold shattering to fragments, Reid’s hurled form blurred due to his velocity.
The artless stance of the stipulated sword, launched a certain type of a lengthwise and crosswise stab of the ultimate kindーー sensing it not as a menace, Julius held his chest steady and confronted it.
The withstanding truth was that upon the crossing of a sword slash and a sword slash, the stronger side repelled the other.
Thus, Julius opened his eyes. ーーThe eyes which had continually, perpetually watched that which proceeded upwards, proceeded forwards.
Killing the very concept of sound and light, Reid’s flash cleaved space.
He shall affirm. Should it be the stipulated sword or the chopsticks, regardless, come what may in that flash’s path, it shall be slashed down.
For that was, the very manifestation of the notion of the『Sword』.
The『Sword』, is that which is brought forth for the purpose of slashing objects down.
And sword moves, was the term denoting the techniques for slashing objects down with that sword.
Henceforth, the flash which slashed down all of objects in the world, was the culmination, and the long-cherished original desire, of the『Sword』and『Sword Moves』.
Those slashed by it, shan’t forget the truth of having been slashed down for eternity.
Thus, the scar Julius Juukulius sustained beneath his left eye, shall not fade away for eternity.
That was the indemnification for having dodged the『Sword Saint’s』flash, from a distance near enough to graze past.
Renouncing his receiving stance, he perceived through the opponent’s sword with momentary offence and defence.
The slashed fundus of his eye spouted blood. However, he shall not close his eyes. Maintaining his focus on the opponent, he swung his arm.
Reception renounced, he rained a hundred flashes with offenceーー,
Julius: “ーーAl Clarista.”
The greatest ever sword strike of Julius Juukulius painted the colours of a rainbow.
It captured the smile of Reid Astrea, ferocious like that of a sharkーー,
ーーThe eye patch concealing the left eye of the『Sword Saint』, was pierced by the knight’s strike, as it swayed into the air.
The instant he descended upon the clear floor with his toes, he sensed the echo of footsteps to be frightfully blaring.
The moment he became conscious of that, Julius’ heart, in the depths of his chest, having forgotten to beat, commenced movement in panic.
Subsequently turning towards the rear, he gazed at the burly spine facing towards him.
His red long hair jolting, the back stood firm and still.
The great man gripped to the stipulated sword in his right hand, and his left hand was positioned at his face. The spot which that left hand was touching, therein originally was supposed to be an eye patch, but currently it was absent.
The eye patch that concealed the left eye of the『Sword Saint』, at present, had fallen at Julius’ feet.
Julius: “……So it connected, huh.”
His voice quivered, as he looked down upon the eye patch fallen on the clear floor, and the knight sword in his own hand.
Though his whisper sought to affirm the occured happenings, it possessed an excessive lack of connection to reality. To him, this seemed as though a transient dream, that this all would slip away and vanish through his fingers.
Through not the notion of words, the six lights extolled Julius’ established achievement.
The warm flowers named his beloved, sought to fill the void born in Julius’ heart.
And accompanying the commend of his blooming maidensーー,
Hearing the soft voice, Julius turned his gaze towards its direction.
The great man with his spine turned towards him, the maidens transmitting commend, overlooking the battle from a locus disparate from either of them, having called to Julius was a female with light purple hair.
With a face identical to that of his lord, whom he cherished, whom he pledged to dedicate his sword to, the Artificial Spirit who shall live for eternity, with whom he had a relationship of unknowingly mutually wounding each otherーー,
Whether the reason for her solicitude for Julius was because she cherished Anastasia, or due to the functioning of his『Divine Protection of Gathering Spirits』, the answer remained veiled.
However, the being of someone who watched over the resolution of Julius Juukulius eased his heart to such an extent, he thus hauled up his knight sword in gratitude.
Wordlessly, he hoisted his knight sword up towards the heavens.
Remnants embellished with the aurora glistened, the path of the sword verbatim delineated a rainbow.
That was surely, akin to blessings showered upon the knight named Julius Juukuliusーー,
Reid: “ーーHad this been the shitty bloody『Trial』, this would’ve made for your victory.”
Articulating so, the great man steadily stomped on the floor in a tangent.
Once he turned around, no wound lay visible on Reid’s face. What the tip of Julius’ sword had reached, had evidently been merely his eye patch. However, neither was even Reid shameless enough to exaggerate so and say it did not reach him.
Above all, his prior remark had not been his unwillingness to admit defeat, but the truth.
Had this indeed been the continuance of the『Trial』of Pleiades Watchtower’s second layer『Electra』, at the point of having a single blow connect successfully, Julius would have passed it and gained the right to challenge the upper stratum.
However, the battle between Julius and Reid was no longer a question of the tower’s『Trials』.
They were battling in order to settle this between a sole knight and a sole swordsman, a man and a man.
Having lost his eye patch, Reid, with both of his eyes awakened, gripped the stipulated sword with both of his hands.
Clutching the sword’s grip, he braced the sword with the eye at its aim. ーーYes, so braced the『Sword Saint』.
Not for artlessly swinging sticks, but braced the sword in order to slash the enemy down, with certainty.
Reid: “Don’t be complainin’ even if ya vanish to nothin’.”
Julius: “Even if I were to wish to complain, it would be difficult to find a way to do so when I would possess no mouth to complain from.”
Reid: “Hah! Rascal, ain’t even gonna laugh at jokes, god damn. You, what’s yer name ‘gain?”
Julius lifted his eyebrows, upon being enquiried for his name by the legend.
Though he had assuredly named himself on countless instances before him by now, he did not possess recollection of that. However, him not having recollection of that was now insignificant.
For he apprehended that with this question, Reid had indisputably, for the first time, acknowledged Julius.
Julius: “Julius Juukulius. Since it is a name easy to forget, I request of you to remember it.”
Pronouncing a redundant remark he would not have perceived as humour simply a short duration ago, Julius pointed the vanguard of his knight sword towards Reid as well.
And once again, he implored for the aid of the six Spirits, who had naught but laboured for him immediately previously.
Should it be his present self and these girls, then he shall surely reach to farther heights of the rainbow’s aurora.
Al Clauseria and Al Clarista.
Borrowing the might of the six Spirits, the rainbow’s aurora furling the power of the six elements. ーーClauseria, which fired that maximal magic, and Clarista, which made it dwell upon the knight sword.
A secret ritual further beyond, which he had not once succeeded in due to his inexperienceーー,
Julius: “ーーHereby I vanquish.”
In that juncture, an aurora submerged the white space, the bands of rainbow tackled the great man of crimson.
The original rainbow spirit arts devised by Julius Juukulius, a secret amongst its secrets.
Neither launching the light of rainbow furling the six elements, nor making it dwell upon the sword, but cladding oneself in it, and exterminating the opponent by becoming the aurora itself.
Julius: “ーーAl Clanveir.”
That superlative strike of the Spirit Knight, was directly assailed upon by a clear white flash.
From the very beginning until the very end, the transcendent dimension of offence and defence far surpassed the ability of an untrained eye to keep pace with it.
Needless to speak of the colliding sword strikes, but the bewildering interchange of positions and footwork, which side was dominating and which side lay inferior, even that alone could not the pale cerulean eyes capture.
That was, entirely regardless of this flesh body not being her original belonging.
Merely, there present were those who were vying for a matter of life and death within that dimension, and compared to them, the world she lived in simply was an exceedingly lesser dimension, that being withstanding truth.
If the sense of worth and values of living beings reposed in their might as living creatures, then her self was frail pertinent to worthlessness.
Moreover, that was also the evidence of her self having lived for a time equating multiple centuries in indolence, with her back turned towards the path of enhancing, uplifting oneself.
Ever since she first became cognizant of her self, she had the hunch.
That the purpose of the unnatural existence named herself, had been fulfilled the very moment she had taken birth.
If anything, taking birth itself had been her purpose, and the purpose had been fulfilled at that point of occurrence. Henceforth left as is, she purposelessly wandered the world, unable to evade the void of multiple centuries.
She did not mind even if she died. However, she merely possessed no reason to die.
Thus, delaying her demise in inactivity, for much too long, she indulged in sloth.
And during her course of prolongation, she had happened upon the young girl.
Enchanted by the way of the young girl leading a vivid way of life, her glaciated life attained warmth.
The young girl who possessed a diminutive frame and spoke implausible big talk, whom would she turn out to be, or would she be unable to become whomsoever, she yearned to bear witness to that with her own eyes.
And before one could take notice, such intrigue and interest of her’s became insignificantーー,
“ーーI don’t want to lose you, or the children you cherish.”
She was aware, that what was termed as flowing time was kind yet cruel.
Though time healed wounds, it also rendered emotions obsolete.
Having lived for a long, lasting period of time, she newly mused. ーーThat she, did not want to forfeit this to the past.
“Though that too, is an impossible wish.”
Even if she implored for it to stop, time evanesced all without halt.
Lives, bound to possess miniscule and feeble lifetimes, displayed all kinds of changes within their time.
Just as the nameless knight, who had his『Name』plundered, who remained in the memories of no one, proved that he was a singular human named Julius Juukulius.
ーーThe knight clad in the radiance of rainbow, plunged directly into the white light.
Against Julius, who gambled upon and unveiled the secret ritual, Reid Astrea’s actions were terribly simple.
To swing down the sword he had swung up, a deed of sword strikes likely repeated the most in this worldーー it obliquely bisected the world, becoming a light which wrecked all in its path to ruin.
Neither a special magic, nor a special move.
With a mere swing of the sword, the world was scorched with the light. Unintelligible.
Whether Reid Astrea exceeded norms, or if all『Sword Saints』were such.
Though what was certain wasーー,
That she wished to devote her strength, such that the aurora would not be outpushed by the absurd white light.
That was indubitably her genuine motive, however, an act like directly interfering into that battle, prior to being suicidal, would be uncouth and that sin would not bequeath her even the right to complain should even her soul be shattered in repentance.
And, the young girlーー Echidna, was aware that her self could not do anything.
In this place, if there was anything she could do for Julius Juukulius, who had transformed into the aurora.
Her hand on her slim chest, she sensed the existence slumbering in its depths.
The original possessor of this flesh body, the reason why she would not awaken from her deep slumber, in its search Echidna had arrived at this tower of the sand sea. ーーHowever, that had been deceit.
Echidna was already aware of the reason, why she would not wake up.
The girl, who declaimed her greed, who boasted her desire to attain all kinds of everything.
Never letting go of what she had once put in purse come what may, since she utmost loathed having to let go, having to part ways with anything, there was only one sole reason which she could reckon.
“Having ceded the body over to me, and temporarily lying dormant in your Od, you are in a state wherein you won’t receive any interference from the outside world. ーーBecause the Od, is a certain kind of eigen-world.”
And by her own volition, she had secluded herself away in that place.
The reason being obvious. ーーShould she come outside, she would incur the effects. The abhorrent Authority of the Sin Archbishop of『Gluttony』, she would incur its effects.
She would forget what she wished to never forget, relinquish what she wished to never relinquish.
Anastasia Hoshin, would forget Julius Juukulius.
So was her purpose. Howeverーー,
“It seems, everybody who came to this tower are all staunch boneheads. ーーAll of them, appear to be uncute to the point of dying dwelling over losing something.”
In this duration of nearly two months, she had attempted to imitate her way by herself, but now was the right time.
Besides, since she had observed his positives and negatives, his flurrying self as a nameless knight from close vicinity, even if that girl was to forget, she could apprise her.
“Ah, is that so.”
Wielding no purpose, the Artificial Spirit who had fulfilled its duty upon the point of taking birth.
Though she adjudged she wielded solely that unpleasant duty, contrary to expectations, that was not where it came to an end.
The young girl she cherished, the knight she cherished, and acting as the intermediating bridge between the chipped two.
Was that onus not a task of vital significance.
Was that not of such vital significance, that she could smile musing this had been the purpose of her birth.
Echidna: “ーーTo not even see your knight be at his coolest, a deed so wasteful, is it not unbecoming of your miserly self.”
ーーThe white light, hunted the aurora down as though to paint it out.
Furthermore he pressed, with the entirety of his soul, and having borrowed the might of the six Spirits he had reforged his contract with.
He had gambled upon and unveiled a secret amongst secrets, whilst the opponent had merely swung the sword earnestly, solemnly. ーーIndeed, he was utterly astounded by that absurd exceeding of norms.
Simultaneously, since he also possessed the emotions enunciating this is how it must be overflowing within his chest, he found his own self to be irredeemable as well.
With a swing of the sword, the world fissured.
That was, the special move of the『Sword Saint』which transpired when Reinhardt swung the sword as well.
Suddenly, in the midst of a rivalry between a life and a life, Julius contemplated.
Reinhardt and Reid, should they battle each other, simply who would prevail as more powerful.
A legend and a legend, a『Sword Saint』and a『Sword Saint』, in the unattainable battle, who would be declared victorious.
Unfortunately, the opportunity to make certain of that shan’t pay a call.
Julius: “Then I have no choice, but to confirm it with this body of mine.”
The opportunity to exchange swords with Reinhardt van Astrea withal Reid Astrea, befell only upon ones who reached this tower.
Moreover, the possibility existed solely for Julius, and the young girl named Emilia, who had head towards the upper stratum. ーーHe bore no intention to concede that duty to anyone else.
Thus, what remained for him was to simply triumph.
To jostle this white light, and slay Reid Astrea with the radiance of rainbow.
For that purpose, the entirety of his soul, and his sword power, requiring a single step furtherーー,
Should a scintilla of pride and might, dwell upon the tip of the『Greatest Knight’s』swordーー,
A call improbable to reach.
Within impact rendering the passage of time indistinct, however, the time necessary for each convergence of swords was less than a fraction of a second. This was, the offence and defence of this momentary world.
In that space, much less, in the midst of a battle being fought at the risk of life and death, nobody’s voice could possibly reach.
However, the voice certainly swinged Julius.
Perhaps not his eardrums, but it instead had reached something far deeper within, the innermost depths of his chest.
Given he had resolved in his heart to wear the shell named knight, he must respond to it without fail.
That is why, hearing the voice he could not possibly have heard, Julius turned towards the one whom could not possibly have viewed, and exchanged gazes with those pale cerulean eyes.
The luminescence dwelling in those large, spherical eyes, had distinctly changed from what it had been just beforeーー,
“ーーGo get ’em, my knight.”
ーーIn that singular sentence, dwelled the one final push of sword power he required.
Julius: “Ia! Kua! Aro! Ik! In! Ness!”
Requesting for one final push, he called to the Spirits with whom he had become a part of the aurora with.
In order to surmount the white light, beyond which present was the form of the enemy he ought to defeat, directly before him.
In order to make the tip of the sword, reach beyond the white lightーー,
Julius: “O~o~o~o~o~o~o~o~hーー ~hk!!”
Opening his mouth to an extent unbefitting of him, he raised his voice to the extent of vomiting blood.
With an expression possessing the preparedness to die, discarding elegance into the wind, merely ensuring the bones supporting his self did not fracture, with his paramount dedication towards it, Julius stepped forth.
And, receiving the rainbow’s aurora intensifying its brilliance, the ambushing white light too escalated its vigour.
Furthermore, furthermore, strengthening their might, the radiance of rainbow and the white light collided vehementlyーー,
That which seemed as though it would subsist for eternity, was met by an unforeseen fall of curtains.
Dumbfounded, Julius noticed the feeble voice spill from his throat.
The mutual clash of their maximal powers, its abrupt fall of curtains. However, without halting its vigour, his sword, embellished with the aurora, had directly stabbed through the opponent’s vitals.
Reid: “Tch, ah, shit, if this ain’t a borin’ endin’.”
Julius plunged into turmoil, being the one to be blamed for the stab, whilst on the other hand Reid, who had been stabbed, remained calm.
Heedless of the stab in his chest, he did not even express a frown.
Was that a deed of his tenacious force of will, and if not so, was the anomaly which transpired on the flesh body of that great man the cause.
Disparate from the penetration of Julius’ sword, a woundーー no, a crevice had been yielded in the chest of Reid Astrea.
And, that was not confined to merely his chest. His arms and legs, neck and cheeks, throughout profuse sections of his body stretched wounds akin to cracked glass.
Intuitively, Julius comprehended what it was.
Originally inconceivable distortion stood corrected. This was, a phenomenon of that mechanism.
Reid: “Ultimately, it’s ’bout that. The human named me ain’t fittin’ in any vessel other than myself.”
Whilst gazing at the palm of his fissuring self, the insight Reid grumbled was correct.
Captured due to the Authority of『Gluttony』, in the form of pillaging the right of control over that flesh body, Reid Astrea had acquired substanceーー however, the truth that until the bitter end, this body belonged to the Sin Archbishop of『Gluttony』, Roy Alphard, who had become the foundation, shan’t change.
In other words, the receptacle named Roy Alphard was unable to endure the workings of the norm exceeding soul named Reid Astrea.
Its failure materialised in the final phase of the battle against Julius.
Julius: “Then, I’d much rather if you might as well!”
Reid: “Well, if I didn’t get eaten by this guy, I may’ve punctually gone at it till the end. In that case, it would’ve ended at the point you felled the eye patch after all, ya know?”
Reid: “Kahaha. Everythin’ ain’t gonna go the way ya want, for weak folks. Do ya wanna cry now?”
Tossing the stipulated sword aside, Reid mean-spiritedly laughed whilst revealing his teeth.
How come, could he laugh that way. As is, his disappearance now was a future set in stone.
Instead, had he defeated Julius, he may have possibly been able to once again walk his lifeline which had terminated once. Even though he had let that possibility slip through his hands.
Reid: “Are ya a fool, you. Somethin’ like livin’ once ‘gain, who the hell’s gonna do somethin’ that troublesome. First of all, the hell’s gonna happen if I run into me somewhere, aye.”
Julius: “……I’m sorry to say, but you have already passed away due to old age multiple centuries ago. Even if your present self were to walk around, for your former self that would be.”
Reid: “Hah! Then, are ya worshippin’ the mug of my kid’s kid who’s like an outsider or somethin’? Bullshit.”
Treating his own descendants as outsiders, his recent remark seemed to be his true sentiments.
Appearing to earnestly not possess any interest in a second lifeline, Reid crackled the bones of his neck.
Reid: “First of all, the hell’re ya tellin’ me to do after comin’ back to life, hey you. Like, playin’ ’round with the fiercely frizzlin’ who passed by earlier, though the hottie over there’s pretty nice too. Then there’s also that woman with an erotic look……”
Julius: “Oh, so do you truly possess no lingering attachment……?”
Reid: “Nah damn it. Doin’ what I wanna do when I think I wanna do it ‘s my style. You too, would’ve it much easier should ya do that.”
Julius: “……My gratitude for the advice. However, that would instead be much more of a thorny path for me.”
His self, chose to willingly wear the shell.
Deceiving himself, or acting as though a part of his foundation was a separate article, would also be apt labels.
Having realised that choice was befitting of his self, that it aligned with his wishes, even if Julius perceived Reid’s extravagance to be dazzling, he shan’t opt for it.
Hearing that response of Julius’, Reid snorted his nose in annoyance.
Subsequently, the wound on his chestーー the crevices born as a result of transcending bounds, the solitary wound differing from those, he touched with his fingers,
Reid: “You, don’tcha misunderstand ‘kay? Yer sword reachin’ was a fluke. Had this been my body, somethin’ like you wouldn’t even be left able to rub snot onto others.”
Julius: “I would not do such a thing in the first place, though……”
Reid: “Hah! How borin’!”
Spitting out, Reid knocked Julius’ shoulder with the hand he had touched his chest with.
Whilst stiffening his body upon that impact, Julius took in a deep inhale.
Not yet, had he accepted or reacted to everything.
However, he deemed letting these moments free by merely losing his presence of mind upon the occurrences before his eyes and experiencing turmoil, to be far more unendurable.
The crevices dilated, the end was already visible.
Hence, Julius hoisted his own knight sword he had unsheathed, before his visageーー,
Julius: “From the bottom of my heart, I revere your sword power.”
Reid: “I ain’t needin’ a bastard’s admiration. ーーI take my leave with my victory, Julius.”
With his name vocalised in his final pronouncements, Julius gazed in wonder.
However, as per the resolve in his heart to not be flustered, he concealed that astonishment behind a smile, and bowed.
Just as he had confidently named himself, before this legendary being, as the utmost finest knight.
Just as the ideals of Julius Juukulius, were moulded to not bring shame to his admiration.
Julius: “Yes, until the very end. ーーIt is your victory, Reid Astrea.”
Reid: “Hah, now that’s a nice face, damn dejected loser.”
With those words marking the end, the crevices of Reid Astrea dilatedーー,
Unlike their visual impression, the crevices which dilated until the very end, were not accompanied by sound.
Unlike the shattering of glass, the great man of red hair was extirpated like diminishing lightーー in his stead, collapsed onto the clear floor was a young boy of a petite build, with distended cold eyes.
One who ate the『Memories』and『Names』of others and handled them per his will,『Bizarre Eating』and a blasphemer.
The Sin Archbishop of『Gluttony』, Roy Alphard had collapsed, scuppered.
Indistinct whether he was alive or dead,『Gluttony』remained immobile with not a single twitch.
However, identical to Reid, he merely had the deep gash on the left side of his chest, its fatality incontestable.
Ascertaining merely so with his eyes, Julius lowered the knight sword he had hoisted as a demonstration of honour, sheathing it into the scabbard he wielded, and turned backward.
The aurora unfettered, in Julius’ environs were six Spirits with augmented brilliance.
Without the strength of these girls, who had bloomed into maidens from buds, the one to be lying on the clear floor this way surely would have been his self, rather than the opponent.
For that, he must convey his gratitude and appreciation conscientiously.
However, with apologies to those girls, he must defer that demonstration of gratitude.
Steadily, Julius advanced.
Ahead in the direction he was headed, intently watching Julius was a gorgeous, slender, petite female with pale cerulean eyes. Undulating light purple hair, the personage adorned with a white outfit unfitting for the sand dunes.
By her feet, was a white fox, with the pupils of its eyes wavering in suspense.
The form of her, who had always been miming as a scarf, the significance of its presence there.
Once again letting himself be aware of that, Julius closed his eyes.
Julius: “ーーPleased to meet you.”
The statement he had conveyed to the『Sword Saint』as a challenger heretofore, he expressed once again.
But, the sensation deep within his chest in these moments, differed from the enhancement preceding battling.
However, there also existed something, which remained the same.
As though the opening of a new page in a tale of adventure, the adventurous heart of a youth yearning for the knight.
???: “I am.”
Kneeling at that spot, Julius articulated the first words and the other person responded.
His stance remaining lowered, Julius awaited the upcoming words. He reckoned, he could wait for however long a duration.
What felicity this was, to have faith that should he wait, he would assuredly hear her words.
Anastasia: “ーーI am, Anastasia Hoshin.”
Anastasia: “I, want everythin’ in this world…… So, great n’ cool onii-san, what’s yer name?”
With elegance, she smiled, and he could perceive exactly how she must have tilted her head afterwards.
Remaining knelt down and his face lowered and concealed, saying “Ha” Julius took a short inhale, and,
Julius: “I am Julius Juukulius. ーーYour, one and only knight.”
Julius: “You may have forgotten. However, I am one who has devoted the sword to you. One who dedicates the entirety of his strength for you, and aids your will.”
A respectful bow with the knight sword placed on the floor, forbye, Julius at last raised his countenance.
Before him, no matter what gaze should his lord have, he shan’t regret.
It is unbefitting of a knight, to lose his presence of mind, be confounded, face downward.
For the very existence who put up appearances the utmost, and sought to possess a cool and charming air, was whom Julius admired and yearned for.
And looking down upon that Julius, the young girl narrowed her spherical eyes,
Anastasia: “Really? I don’t remember though…… but.”
Anastasia: “At the first glance, I thought. ーーThat I gotta make this onii-san mine.”
At such proximity, were the blazing, sparkling eyes of his eternally craving lord, revealing the intent to not relinquish anything and everything.
To the『Greed』seeking to obtain everything, Julius Juukulius devoted his sword once again.
A sublime play, like the tale of a lord and knight in fictionーー,
The restoration of the plundered bond of『Lord and Retainer』, was realized in the second layer of『Electra』.
That was, the accomplishment of eliminating one of the five obstacles set forth by Natsuki Subaru.
Great library Pleiades, the second『Trial』ーー hereby concludes.