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――The “Giant Eye” Izmail, was a valiant warrior of the Cyclops Tribe and the hope of his clan.
In the center of his valiant face, a large blue eye fixed its gaze clearly on the future without hesitation.
As the name suggested, the Cyclops Tribe was a race which had no more than a single eye. If one took into account the fact that most races were born with a pair of eyes, a single eye could almost never have an advantage in survival.
In that case, was the Cyclops Tribe a pitiful race with an inferior ability to survive?
――Absolutely, that could be denied.
For the Cyclops Tribe, which had only one eyeball, in exchange for their weakness of their survival ability diminishing with the loss of one eye, that single eyeball possessed many peculiarities.
With the basis of an eyesight that could see much further into the distance than other races, and while it varied based on the individual, there were many who could see the concentrations of mana or heat, or those who were abnormally superior at seeing movement.
The Evil Eye Tribe was another race with an eye that possessed peculiarities, but unlike them, who were often born with weak bodies in exchange for their unique abilities, the Cyclops Tribe was also physically strong.
In a sense, the “Eye” was superior to all other abilities in battle.
Needless to say, in day-to-day life, the amount of information obtained from what one could see accounted for the majority of perception, and that became even more obvious on the battlefield where it was more directly tied to survival.
Therefore, the Cyclops Tribe could be called a superior species that was well equipped for producing excellent warriors.
Returning to the topic at hand, let us speak of the “Giant Eye” Izmail.
Having turned twenty-one, Izmail was a fighter who wielded an enormous battleaxe with his well-trained body. As mentioned before, a single blue eye blinked in the center of his face, and had become something which members of the Cyclops Tribe trembled at due to its excellence, and members of other tribes trembled at due to its intimidating air.
For the sense of beauty of the Cyclops Tribe, there were many ratings for the beauty in the shape and size of that eye, as well as its color and radiance, but Izmail’s eye was an exceedingly first class item in each category.
With a beautiful big blue eye, he was expected to follow a different path from the ordinary as soon as he was born, and was nicknamed “Giant Eye” from a young age, and along with the hopes of his clan, he became a boy, he became a young man, and he became a warrior.
Wielding a battleaxe taller than himself, the “Giant Eye” would tremendously mow down the battlefield―― If he was in an era where war raged in the Vollachian Empire, that name would be famous not only in his clan, but throughout the country.
However, the times had not waited for him to grow up, and he complacently plunged into a state of stagnation and relaxation.
Many cursed that bad luck of Izmail’s. However, fate had not abandoned him.
The torchlight of rebellion that had begun in the East, before long it had spread its flames throughout Vollachia, and invoked Izmail, deprived of the opportunity to fight, to the battlefield.
Izmail: [As long as I have a chance to fight――]
Then with this battleaxe, I will achieve results in battle that no one can imitate.
That was Izmail’s pride, and the promised future that everyone in the clan believed in without question. In the Empire, at the peak of military prowess were those known as the Nine Divine Generals, but if the same chance that those people had been blessed with had presented itself, he would astonish all of them.
Therefore, when Izmail the “Giant Eye” shouted that the Emperor must be defeated, not a single member of his tribe dissented, and they also had actively helped search for the black-haired child.
Just as the signs of rebellion had spread throughout the Empire, so too did the existence of the black-haired Crown Prince―― It was not about whether he actually existed or not that was important, but that there was a bill making a justifiable claim.
Simply put, having a black-haired boy was the qualification to join the great uprising that had begun in the Vollachian Empire, and those who failed to see the opportunity undermined the righteous cause they were joining at that point.
Those who quietly observed these circumstances, standing by and watching the competition for supremacy from outside, went against the ways of the Empire.
――The people of the Empire must be strong.
To this day, it was a teaching that had been spread throughout the Empire, even to the people that were unconnected to its capital. Those who could not understand that principle were not qualified to participate in this great uprising, nor were they qualified to live in the Empire afterwards.
When Izmail fulfilled his ambitions, he would uproot all of them and create a more powerful nation.
For that purpose――,
Izmail: [――It is I who shall reign supreme over this Vollachian Empire!]
Pressing the tips of his feet against the base of the colossal stone wall, Izmail’s body ascended to the sky.
A wall that had probably been thought of as insurmountable for the people outside, with the people inside absolutely not allowing any hostility to pass through it whatsoever, easily traveling over that, he planted his feet on the wall.
Seeing Izmail, who had landed atop the rampart, the soldiers there who had drawn their bows were in chaos, and they panicked as they tried to draw the swords at their waists, but they were too slow.
Izmail: [What unsightliness for soldiers of the Empire!]
Gripping the handle of the battleaxe he carried on his back, the muscles in his right arm swelled, then, a flash.
The huge blade that was released swept through the air without a sound, and the upper bodies of the five soldiers in its path were obliterated simultaneously. Having lost everything above the waist, their lower bodies slowly collapsed, a great amount of blood flooded out, and the surrounding soldiers screamed.
His eardrums grasped that those people were filled with intense caution and a meager amount of trepidation,
Rather than warriors that harbored vigilance and nervousness, the ones who succumbed to cowardice were exceedingly disappointing. Izmail blinked his blue eye once, and switched the world he could see.
At that moment, bright colors vanished from the vividly-colorful world and his field of view was filled with dark colors. ――No, not just dark colors. Red, yellow, and blue lights emerged from the darkness. Those were the emotions carried by living things, perceiving them as colors was the special trait of Izmail’s eye.
With the power of his eye, Izmail could catch a glimpse of whether or not the enemy had the will to fight, what kinds of skills they had mastered, and their history as a warrior.
Possessing a field of view of those omitted colors, Izmail chose his enemies.
Izmail: [Disappear you cowards!]
Stepping forward, the battleaxe swung towards the mediocre people who harbored a blue light, with their minds already detached from the battlefield, those who were trying to prioritize self-preservation.
Mowing down the backs turned towards him, denying the legs that tried to run away, smashing the faces of those who tried to beg for their lives, death and blood were spreading atop the wall.
And thus he rampaged, seeing the blue lights increase one after the other, his disappointment intensified.
Izmail: [What the hell is this? This should be the Imperial Capital, the territory at the side of His Excellency the Emperor of the Vollachian Empire!]
Pointing his battleaxe towards the interior side of the rampart, Izmail shouted his fury from atop of the wall.
Out in the distance at the center of the Vollachian Empire, the symbol of a powerful nation that no one had ever been able to defeat, the Crystal Palace, considered the most beautiful castle in the world, could be seen, and Izmail could reach it in less than a few minutes.
He would rush into the Crystal Palace, defeat the soldiers arrayed there, and take the head of the Emperor sitting on the throne.
That was what Izmail wanted. However, that was――,
Izmail: [It’s not such a cheap honor that can be obtained by tyrannizing such cowardly soldiers!]
Feeling betrayed by what he believed in, Izmail’s angry voice sounded like lamentation.
Even so, the diligently forged battleaxe was precisely aiming for the enemy’s life, and with each and every step, life was wiped out, and the disappointment grew more intense within the “Giant Eye”.
Following Izmail as he did so, warriors of the same Cyclops Tribe reached the top of the wall one after another. They, too, used their weapons to drive away fleeing soldiers, knocking them down and taking their lives.
He wanted to be proud of that. He wanted to make it known that the Cyclops Tribe was here.
Izmail: [But, that’s not going to happen if our opponent is you guys…]
???: [W-wait! St-stop…!]
In front of the sorrowful eyes of Izmail, the man he was chasing collapsed.
The man ran away from the warriors and fell in front of the person who was the most dangerous to approach, seeing Izmail with a sneer on his face, and yelped “Aah!” with a quivering voice.
Putting both his hands forward, he scooted back on his buttocks while he grudgingly shook his head at Izmail.
Soldier: [Don’t kill me! I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna die!]
Izmail: [――. Stop it already. Don’t live in such dishonor any longer.]
Soldier: [Ah, aaaaah!]
Izmail: [That’s enough.]
Izmail’s face contorted at the soldier’s attitude, which was so miserable and pathetic. When it was too disgusting to hear any more, he raised the battleaxe up high in his hands.
With a gleam, the blood-soaked blade shined dully, and the soldier’s eyes were stained with despair,
Izmail: [If you’re a warrior, I’ll at least give you a fitting end――]
Soldier: [Y-you’re wrong! I’m not a warrior! I’m not a soldier!]
As he swung his battleaxe down, his arm stopped just before he was about to split the life out of his opponent along with his skull. With a snap, the axe stopped near the skin on his head, and the man exhaled a “Phew” as he slackened.
Though, it was not that he spared that life on a whim. The brief comment from just before, that was what stopped him.
Izmail: [Not a soldier, what do you mean? You’re currently equipped as a soldier.]
Soldier: [They made me wear it! Wearing this, taking a bow and fighting! If I do that…]
Izmail: [If you do that?]
Soldier: [I’d be pardoned! They’d release me, and I could leave the prison…]
He peeked at the desperate man’s face. There was no lie to be found in his pale, cold complexion.
A reasonable amount of trembling would be created in the face of someone who was lying and trying to conspire against you. Izmail’s eye, which did not overlook the subtleties of this case, did not find any deception.
Izmail: [There’s no way.]
Now, taking in what he had just seen, Izmail’s looked around the top of the wall.
Pursued by the Cyclops Tribe who had climbed the wall, the Imperial Soldiers had fallen into disarray atop the wall――All of them had a cowardice that made him want to close his eye, but no matter how much they resisted, it would never be enough.
On the way to attack the Imperial Capital, the soldiers of the garrison with spears still put up a better fight. Izmail was disappointed that the regular soldiers in charge of the defense of the Capital were in such a state.
Were they not regular soldiers, but criminals who had been given equipment?
If so, for what purpose did they――.
After thinking about it, Izmail suddenly realized the answer.
If his thoughts were correct, then right now, the only people on top of the wall were the warriors of the Cyclops Tribe which he led, and the criminals they were doing battle against.
In other words――,
???: [――Burn all at once.]
Suddenly, a quiet voice struck Izmail’s eardrums amidst a sky reverberating with angry shouts and screams.
The volume of the voice, which should not have been audible and the fact that it was heard, made his whole body alert. A rare phenomenon on the battlefield, the kind of thing where power resided in even the voice of a powerful being.
A somewhat idiotic voice seemingly lacking in seriousness reached the ears of the “Giant Eye.”
Widening his large single eye, Izmail looked up at the sky of the Imperial Capital.
Inside the ramparts of the city, protected by solid walls where the buildings were lined up in an orderly manner, there was a brown-skinned woman floating in the sky with her legs having become fire.
With one of her eyes covered by an eyepatch, she turned her blood-red eye toward him, and the woman――,
The moment he saw her, Izmail let out a war cry, and kicking off the ramparts, he soared.
Swinging his large battleaxe, he furiously swooped down on the woman in the sky. It was such a mighty blow that even if it did not hit a vital point, but only grazed a part of the body, it would send a painful blow throughout her entire body.
The cells in his body were screaming that he had to fire a shot with all his might, a shot that was an order of magnitude different from the one he had fired at his cowardly opponent on the wall, and that he could not win without unleashing it.
Without missing, he plunge it into the slender body of the woman floating in the sky――,
Following the woman’s single word, a light filled his vision with white that enveloped Izmail’s world.
Coughing and suffering from a burning sensation all over his body, he sat up.
His throat burned, and when he reached for his throat quickly, his ragged, charred skin and fingers began falling off. Witnessing the damage, he realized that it was a miracle that he had managed to survive.
――No, it was not a miracle.
Right away, he had used his battleaxe as a shield to protect himself from the oncoming flames. Even that was only possible because of the scorching heat that seemed to overwhelm everything and anything in its path.
Only, Izmail understood that he was probably the only one who had barely managed to survive.
When he forced his trembling eyelid open and looked up, he saw the ramparts of the Imperial Capital glowing red hot, and that the warriors of the Cyclops Tribe who had been fighting ruthlessly, as well as the mobilized criminals, had been burnt to nothing all at once.
There was no doubt that most of them were engulfed by the flames without knowing what had even happened. Or perhaps they had understood, and those who were able to react had their suffering prolonged.
Suffering and still being the only one left alive, this death was a cruel one.
And, most cruelly of all.
???: [――What, there are still survivors? You had good luck…no, would it be bad? You sure are a bad guy.]
Amidst the smell of the burning vegetation and human flesh, stepping on ground which had been covered with ash and soot, a single man appeared.
The man that carried an axe on his shoulder tilted his head and looked down at Izmail in the burnt field. Looking into his terrible, cold, parched eyes, Izmail felt an instinct.
Stationing the criminals on the rampart, and burning them together with Izmail and the others who were fighting them, this man was the one responsible for carrying out that brutal strategy.
Izmail: [Y-you… everyone is…]
???: [――? Don’t be ridiculous, I’m not the one who burned them. I couldn’t have done such an outrageous thing. It was done by a monster who could do it. If you’re going to hold a grudge, hold it against them.]
Izmail caught his breath at the tone of the man’s voice, neither mocking nor playful, but as if he sincerely believed that from the bottom of his heart. Then, he quickly switched the vision of his single eye, and concentrated it in order to see through the man.
However, Izmail was then astounded. ――He was blue.
Those who harbored a strong fighting spirit would be red, if they had a strong degree of nervousness and anxiety they would be yellow, and if they turned their back on the battle with panic or fear, they would be blue.
Despite the fact that he had managed to successfully trap and round up Izmail and the others, he was blue.
This man was not even a warrior. Nor was he a coward. He was something far more horrifying.
Izmail: [I cannot let you live――!!]
Indeed, acting in accordance with the appeal of his instincts and the world seen by his single eye, Izmail jumped up.
The flames showered upon him had scorched his internal organs, and his left arm was completely lost to the fire from his shoulder onwards. Due to the wounds he had sustained all over his body, his movements were slow compared to when he was in his best condition. However, even the melted and misshapen battleaxe lying beside him was enough to strike his opponent dead.
With all his might, he swung his battleaxe straight at the man, hearing the creaking of his burnt arm and the cracking of his flesh.
???: [I agree that we can’t keep you alive. Also, this is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but…]
???: [There’s no way that a guy with only one eye could be strong.]
In front of the eye of the charging Izmail, the man threw a small package from his waist. The package opened while mid-air, and spilled out its contents of black powder.
It was a kind of spice, and there was no way for one to avoid it from being used against them as a smoke screen. The right arm gripping his battleaxe could not shake it off, and it was needless to speak of his left arm that was missing, and as a result, his vision was blinded by the black powder.
Letting out a grunt of “guh”, his battleaxe attack was interrupted and he flew backwards.
Although those of the Cyclops Tribe possessed excellent eyesight, his weakness was exploited nicely. However, they should not be underestimated. Targeting the eyes of the Cyclops was a common practice, so there were countermeasures prepared.
The large eyes of the Cyclops Tribe could secrete a large amount of tears in an instant, laced with――.
Izmail had stimulated his tear glands to secrete tears, but he did not open his eyes again.
The next moment, a shell from a Magic Stone Cannon hit Izmail, who had closed his eyes, and completely blasted away that “Giant eye” altogether.
Todd let out a sigh when, before his eyes, the Cyclops Tribe was blown to pieces by cannonballs.
He finished it without having much trouble since he had precisely set a trap for them, but if he had originally tried to have a fair fight, he was not sure if he had a chance to win; that was the kind of expert he was.
Todd: [Insurance is something you gotta have.]
While looking at the corpses of the Cyclops Tribe that had been blown away and the traces of cannonballs that had caved in the surroundings, Todd raised his clenched fist to the sky, communicating to the gunners on the wall that there was no need for a pursuit.
Make the enemy’s vanguard ascend the ramparts, and keep them there using allies whose deaths do not matter. Then, use massive firepower to burn everyone on the opponent’s side to a crisp, it was really a simple strategy.
However, the result was immediate.
Todd: [In most cases, the people with confidence are the first spears to breach enemy lines.]
When it came to battles like this that involved a great number of people, those who volunteered for the role of the vanguard were eager in their desire for glory, or they thoroughly understood the importance of a preemptive attack in war.
For example, no matter who the opponent was, if their thrust went through, it would become troublesome later. In a double sense, it was necessary to stop the vanguard. 
Todd: [Well, we’ve crushed the opponent’s initial charge, but how will they proceed?]
Even if they had defeated the utmost vigorous Cyclops Tribe, there was no shortage of those who would dare to try killing His Excellency the Emperor. It was an exhibition of the belligerent tribes that had assembled from all over the Empire.
In addition to the Cyclops Tribe, he was preparing for a mountain’s worth of people with differences in the number of limbs and eyes, in the size of body parts, in the color of their skin and blood, and in languages, such that it was troublesome to even think about how to deal with them.
Todd: [No matter how many strange tribes the opponent gathers, I don’t think it’s going to have a considerable impact. At any rate…]
As Todd muttered that, Arakiya flew overhead, her whole body clad in a swirling wind.
The charge of the Cyclops Tribe, there should have been attacks at the same time, but to the lot that had missed that opportunity, he felt like attacking. Additionally, at the bastions of the star-shaped ramparts that surrounded the city, at the four places separate to the one Todd’s group was in charge of, the guardians in charge of those places had commenced their attacks.
――Purple thorns rampaged, mowing down the large army of half-man, half-horse Centaur People who were trying to advance.
――The exceedingly huge Flying Winged Blade tore through the sky, and the Weaponkin, who used one part of their body as a weapon, were chewed to pieces.
――The fists of stone golems which sprang up from the ground, struck down the pitiful Winged People who grew wings incapable of flight.
――A group of deviants who had mastered the art of slaughter, massacred the Glow People, who each had a scintillating stone embedded in their foreheads.
Todd: [If the circumstances involve monsters, then our side will have a good match.]
――Becoming one with nature, and reducing the Cyclops Tribe to ashes with bright red flames as if it was the same as just breathing.
Five monsters, equally capable, stood at the bastions of the wall that protected the Imperial Capital of Lupugana. With five monsters at five bastions, did the rebels, who had only spirit and ambition, have a way to surpass this?
Todd: [In any case, if it was me, even if I was asked I would absolutely refuse. Nevertheless…]
There was a plan to keep them from approaching the walls, a plan for how to kill those that did, a plan for those they failed to kill, and a plan to escape.
It would be best if they did not end up all the way at that last plan, but the circumstances in a battle were hard to predict.
In the first place, the fact that the rebels arrived at the Imperial Capital like this, and that this battle had even begun, exceeded what Todd had imagined before the war moved into full-swing.
Todd: [Because of that, even though I’ve returned to the Imperial Capital, I haven’t been able to meet with Katya… Just how long must you get in the way of my meeting with Katya before you are satisfied.]
It was not a discontent which he could say about anyone or towards anyone, and if he had to say it would be towards the world, so while he did that, Todd looked up to the sky thick with the scent of death, and kicked off the ground of the burnt field.
Many more, many more, many, many more people would die.
Just how many more people would have to die for a decisive person to lower their weapons?
Todd: [Enough with this, you war-mongering freaks.]
???: [――Unfortunately, you guys are out of your depth! I shall not let you go any further!!]
In an imposing stance atop the rampart, he spread both arms wide as he caused peristalsis throughout his entire body.
Immediately after, the inside of General Second-Class Kafma Irulux’s body pulsated, and purple thorns were released from those arms with tremendous vigor, flying towards the group of Centaur People fiercely galloping across the farmland――with their upper-halves as human, and their lower-halves possessing horse-like characteristics, the bottoms of their feet were mowed down, their torsos were pierced, and they were sunk into the solid ground.
Evading the thorn attack, the brave men came even closer to the rampart and brandished their spears, throwing them.
The leg strength and vigor of a horse was transmitted to their upper bodies, and the hurled javelins’ power was no less than that of a Magic Stone Cannon. Unlike Magic Stone Cannons which took a huge amount of money to get in sufficient numbers, as long as the Centaur People had spears and some run-up distance, their javelins would exhibit more than enough destructive power.
It was the defensive wall safeguarding the Imperial Capital. Inscribed with the Divine Protection of Earth, it would not collapse under ordinary attacks, but if it was struck by hundreds of spears of that power, some damage could get through.
Kafma: [It was your ill fortune that you happened to choose the bastion I am protecting.]
Declaring so, Kafma spread the arms which had let the thorns loose wide open. In accordance with that movement, the thorns would mow sideways across the battlefield, and deal the warriors of the Centaur People that had tumbled a finishing blow.
However, the javelins and the brave men who threw them evaded the thorns’ pursuit.
Therefore, Kafma invoked not thorns, but a different “insect” that had entered him.
There was a sound of bones creaking with pain, and Kafma’s chest wearing light armor burst open from inside. White ribs opened outwards from inside his body, and they pointed their sharp tips downward while trembling.
The brave men of the Centaur People galloped forth, and at that group was aimed the gap of the ribs exposed from Kafma’s open chest, as they readied themselves for whatever that may happen.
However, even if they readied themselves, there was no use.
――Immediately after, Kafma’s entire body rebounded violently, and the recoil sent his tall figure sliding back. His heels that had been firmly dug in, pared through the rampart, and Kafma looked forward as he endured the tearing pain.
Below him, the line of fire that Kafma’s ribs had aimed at was completely hollowed out, and it swallowed up all the Centaur People who should have been on their way, annihilating them.
Like the thorns, it was a new “insect” suitable for taking on a large number of enemies at once―― He had been nervous that he would once again be in a pupa state during an essential scenario.
Kafma: […But, I made it in time. As long as I am here, you shall not pass by the protection of the Imperial Capital.]
Firmly, he stroked down his torso that had moved the Centaur People aside, and his ribs closed back inside his open chest.
The new “insect” was powerful, but the backlash was just as great. It was a double-edged sword that completely took away the strength of his mind and body, and it should not be fired rapidly.
However, even if he had to reach out to such a menace, there was value in attempting it.
Kafma: [You damn rebels are thoughtlessly trampling on the peace that His Excellency brought about through his ability.]
As a “General”, he had seen the reign of Emperor Vincent Vollachia up close.
As a man of the rare and constantly shunned Insect Cage Tribe, he had lived in the world created by Emperor Vincent Vollachia.
As the person known as Kafma Irulux, he had seen with his own eyes the magnitude of Emperor Vincent Vollachia’s great accomplishments.
For what reason, should a blade be turned to Vincent Vollachia?
How could anyone else rival the supremacy of a man who attempted to change the state of things in the Empire, and who was in fact continuing to change it?
Kafma: [I cannot afford to let the likes of you lot proceed to the front of His Excellency the Emperor.]
???: [――Gee, y’sure got quite th’great resolve, don’t ya? I don’t hate it.]
Evading both the thorns and the white bombardment, a figure kicked off the farmland and leapt up to the rampart. While looking down at his short opponent, Kafma narrowed his slitted eyes.
He was a newcomer, and had enough skill to reach the spot the brave men of the Centaur People had not. ――Simply put, he was a formidable enemy.
From the start, he had not been good at cutting corners. He was also not very good at going easy or playing around.
However, Kafma had determined that this was an opponent with whom he would not have an ounce of leeway.
Kafma: [General Second-Class of the Vollachian Empire, Kafma Irulux.]
Thus introducing himself with that, six transparent wings protruded from Kafma’s back, tearing through the cloak he had worn from the inside. Seeing that preparation for war――No, rather than preparation for war, he accepted that as an introduction.
It was proper for a warrior to give their name when taking on another warrior. Of course, on the battlefield, there were more than a few who did not follow that way of doing things――,
Garfiel: [My amazin’ self’s the “Gorgeous Tiger” Garfiel Tinzel. ――In truth, my amazin’ self was told not give my name, but there are times where I ain’t got a choice.]
With that, the man with a ferocious smile on his face―― Garfiel, brought both of the beautiful gauntlets on his arms together in front of his chest, making a pleasant sound like an instrument would.
Entrusted with guarding the ramparts of the Imperial Capital, Kafma had been prepared to stick it out till the end, no matter how many days it took.
――The crucial bout that had arrived on the first day of the war, the strongest man of the Empire’s Second-Class Generals had not misjudged it.
 – The word for vanguard (先鋒) contains a kanji meaning spear, so the double meaning refers to both the vanguard’s charge, and the metaphorical thrust of a spear.