Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
This an edited Machine Translation, which has been checked by at least one Japanese-English Human Translator for quality using feedback from the machine translators and prooferaders. This may have a quality dip in accuracy, therefore, if you read this chapter you must take into consideration the tradeoffs between speed and quality.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
――Battles unfolded with the Imperial Capital of Lupugana as their stage, and in every single one of those locations, the climax approacheth.
A Dragon, clad in the very clouds themselves, swooped down to the sky where white snow was falling, and vermilion flames scorched the sky into a turbulent cloud. Stone golems were colliding against soldiers donning desperate expressions, a beast’s powerful arms clashed against crafty elder malice clashing against malice riddled with craftiness arisen from age afront a collapsed rampart; the status of the conflict seesawed back and forth unending.
However, at this moment, at this very instant, the greatest focal point of this battlefield laid with the innermost part of the Imperial Capital――the most beautiful castle in the world, known as the Crystal Palace, a white light had been emitted.
Utilized throughout the entire construction of the castle were Magic Crystals―― Mana crystals purer than most Magic Stones. By amplifying the Mana stockpiled therein, the Magic Crystal Cannon was a strategic weapon able to lay devastation upon its target.
To be precise, it was the Crystal Palace’s trump card, the artillery of the highest firepower within the possession of the Vollachian Empire. The ultimate attack, which could quite possibly decide the outcome of a battle with only a single shot, even in this battlefield.
In the first place, only a limited number of people possessed knowledge of the existence of this Magic Crystal Cannon.
It went without saying that Abel, who had been on the seat of the Emperor, and Zikr Osman, to whom the outline of the operation had been conveyed to, would be aware of it. In addition, there was also Priscilla Barielle, whose possible prior awareness of this information would not strike as odd were she to actually possess it, alongside a very limited number of personnel on the side of the rebel army.
Probably, things would be more or less similar on the Imperial Capital’s side, amounting to the fake Emperor Vincent Vollachia, who led the insurrection, and his accomplice, the Prime Minister, Berstetz Fondalfon. Along with Moguro Hagane, who was the Crystal Palace itself―― it was a secret weapon that even the other Divine Generals had not known about.
???: [――The power of the Magic Crystal Cannon is limited to just three uses, but it shall not be used more than once on this battlefield.]
That was Abel’s judgement, and therefore, an awareness Vincent shared as well.
For a variety of reasons, the Magic Crystal Cannon was the trump card of national defense in every sense. The reckless act of using up all its remaining ammo was not something that could be done with the future in mind.
Of course, if Vincent intended to deplete it on this battlefield without any consideration for the future, then that was another matter.
Abel: [You could not possibly engage in such desperate behavior.]
Abel did not especially think about what to call that conviction.
However, conviction was conviction, and without discarding what had budded within him, Abel had prepared the battlefield. Hence, he chose to give rise to the certainty that the Magic Crystal Cannon, which could only be fired once, would fire a fruitless shot.
That expectation had been lured out of them by the “decoys”; Zikr, a valuable asset when it came to warring potential, the high-morale soldiers under his banner, and the other various tribes, had all been put together.
Abel: [――Use the elite as decoys. The enemy shan’t be able to turn a blind eye to them.]
Then, having seen the unfortunate turn of events at the third bastion, the Magic Crystal Cannon was directed to the battlefield protected by Moguro.
The flaw of the Magic Crystal Cannon was that it may cause tremendous damage even to allies, but on Moguro’s battlefield, those worries were unnecessary. Because the stone golems scattered across the battlefield were nothing but forces that had split from the Divine General, and even the titanic Moguro, who had become one with the rampart, was not the Seven’s main body.
Therefore, the expectations of both sides overlapped, and the Magic Crystal Cannon would wipe out one group of rebels upon being fired, however, it would also eliminate the possibility of the rebels being defeated with nothing they could do about it. ――Or so it was to have passed.
That instant, a large number of people on the battlefield bore witness to a black light engulfing the shot of white light.
Just what had brought that about? Where had the tremendous shot disappeared to without doing a sliver of damage? Was that an action belonging to friend or foe?
Countless thoughts zipped past in the emptiness of mind birthed, everyone left dumbfounded as they ceased their movements.
At the rebel command post, Abel was no exception. That had been an incident outside of what he had hypothesized.
He, too, had had his mind enraptured by the unexpected phenomenon, and a brief emptiness was yielded in his thoughts. ――What was different about him was that he recovered faster than anyone else from that state.
Who, how, where, he did not know any of it, but――,
Abel: [――Fire it up, just as planned!]
If one was met with a situation better than expected, there was nothing greater.
In many cases, what was utmost necessary on the battlefield was a quick decision, rather than a correct decision. Then, by updating the decision based on the events that had occurred due to that very choice, it could be transformed into the correct one.
Removing his gaze from the battlefield that the white light had been expected to lay wreck to, Abel gave the order. At that voice of Abel’s, the stiff soldiers of the command post widened their eyes, and lowered their gazes.
To the several gazes which could not conceal their trembling, Abel responded with his own black eyes through his oni mask.
Abel: [Fire it up immediately! Give the order! Any delay shall lead to the death of Zikr Osman!]
Abel: [Hurry, move!]
Soldiers: [Yes sir――!!]
The soldiers around and within the command center were all Zikr’s good subordinates.
Originally, the plan had included Zikr’s life in the equation. It was hypocritical of him to refer to Zikr’s life, however, the soldiers grasped that, quickly beginning to move.
Rather than Abel’s decisiveness, it was the trust that Zikr had built which had allowed for that.
Abel: [You have fulfilled your duty as suicide corps. Nevertheless, do not slacken your hands, Zikr Osman. If you have survived, it means that you still possess a role to fulfill.]
In the distance, at the third bastion of the city walls that protected the Imperial Capital, a clash that would supposedly never have happened, had occurred. A battle headed by Zikr, with the People of Shudraq and many other tribes accompanying him.
The battlefield had become a true contest of strength to see who would be able to break past Moguro and into the Imperial Capital.
Watching the unforeseen hard-fought battle from afar, Abel touched his own oni mask, and muttered.
Abel: [――Inevitably, the role I must play is also close at hand.]
Behind Abel as he muttered that, the soldiers fired a Magic Stone Cannon into the sky as they had been ordered.
That was an indication of the situation having developed, a retaliation against the Imperial Capital’s faction, who had used up their trump card, the Magic Crystal Cannon―― a sign that the rebel army’s side had also played their own trump card.
Beholding the cannon’s light with his eyes, Abel shifted his gaze to the side opposite to the third bastion――,
Abel: [――The one who seems to have entered the board from the west, who are you?]
???: [――That surely cannot be.]
As he cast his eyes toward the distant battlefield from the top level of the Crystal Palace, the aged throat of Berstetz Fondalfon quivered a smidgen.
The Imperial Prime Minister, an individual who was usually unflappable, was bewildered, shaken to an extent such that it had taken the guards by his side by surprise.
Once he sensed the gazes of the soldiers to his side, Berstetz instantly tightened his cheeks.
Displaying any sort of indolence would make light of the Empire. Even if those around him did not believe likewise, as long as he himself did, he would not stand for it. That was the way of the Vollachian Empire.
This was exactly how Berstetz himself envisioned an ideal Vollachia.
Berstetz: [Naturally, since the Imperial Capital is being advanced on, figuring out some sort of countermeasure is a must, but…]
Getting a hold of himself, Berstetz tackled the events that transpired head-on.
What had spilled from his lips was a reflection of the events that had taken place just before―― a reflection on fact that the first blow of the Magic Crystal Cannon, the trump card of the Crystal Palace, had failed to hit its mark.
The existence of the Magic Crystal Cannon was considered to be top secret, known only to very few people in the Empire.
However, since they had to take on the true Emperor, Vincent Vollachia, the secrecy of the Magic Crystal Cannon’s existence was completely meaningless. However, even with its existence known, it was a fact that there was no way to thwart the Magic Crystal Cannon’s extraordinary firepower, the value of its very existence, in the first place.
Therefore, Berstetz had surmised that Vincent would either avoid a decisive battle in the Imperial Capital or not deploy his army in a situation where the Magic Crystal Cannon would be used.
However, Vincent had entered the battlefield; moreover, amidst the battle, he had taken command of the rebels who had gone ahead before him. This way, he began handling the state of affairs. Presumably, pushing expendable fighters all the way into the line of fire of the Magic Crystal Cannon had been a last resort of his.
Then, seeking maximum efficiency, Berstetz had pointed the Magic Crystal Cannon at the third bastion.
Even if Vincent’s plan had been to have them shoot at the area of the battlefield with the highest concentration of rebel troops, as to minimize the overall damage to his allies―― the fact remained that the opponents would still suffer.
Putting down the sacrificial lambs, they would then utilize the power of the Nine Divine Generals to crush the enemy’s plans. ――With this in mind, he had beseeched the other Vincent on the throne for forgiveness.
Vincent: [Once each side’s chicanery is gone, only the sheer difference in troop strength shall remain. ――Do it.]
Seeing that Vincent and he were in agreement, Berstetz had fired the Magic Crystal Cannon.
Once homed in on a target, the burst of enormous destructive power, having been unleashed, would rush into the battlefield in a flash, vaporizing many heroes in the process, supposedly sending them to the great beyond.
Therefore, with victory and defeat decided after the Magic Crystal Cannon had mowed down the rebels, he would give thought on the steps that would follow the redefinition of the battle’s status, however――,
Berstetz: [The damage done by the Magic Crystal Cannon is nonexistent?]
Considering the achievements of the restored Magic Crystal Cannon sealed in the Crystal Palace, it had not occurred to him that Vincent could possibly possess some means of offsetting it.
Keeping cards well-hidden until the last possible moment was indubitably a habit of Vincent’s. Berstetz lamented over the fact he had been completely outwitted, but at the same time, he felt a rush of excitement in his heart.
More than anything else, he thought. ――What a shame it was.
Berstetz: [Your Excellency, I am regretful from the bottom of my heart.]
Since it was the way of the Vollachian Empire to revere the strong, Vincent’s approach to rule the Empire with wits rather than violence as the one at its pinnacle was a combination of boredom and horror.
To possess the political skills to avoid any major war was something that he himself esteemed and, at the same time, shunned. Still, he had no complaints about serving Vincent.
So long as he fulfilled his duties as Emperor and protected the glory of the Vollachian Empire.
Berstetz: [What shall you do upon your return, Your Excellency…?]
What would he do with the Empire after returning to the throne and executing all those who had rebelled against him? Would he leave the Empire as it was before, and once again relinquish his duties as Emperor?
Even the most outstanding Emperor had no right to remain on the throne if he was content with letting that happen.
Berstetz: [――Prepare the Magic Crystal Cannon for the next shot.]
Since the number of charges for the Magic Crystal Cannon was fixed, depleting them was unacceptable.
Nevertheless, if the situation needed to be changed, Berstetz would utilize the plenitude of his jurisdiction. However, if the opponents did possess two trump cards with which to counteract the Magic Crystal Cannon, he could not make the same mistake again.
Until he figured that out, he could not see it through.
Soldier: [――! Prime Minister Berstetz! Look at that!]
Suddenly, one of the soldiers standing by Berstetz raised his voice.
Following the soldier’s gaze, the light of the Magic Stones emanating in the sky far behind the battlefield could be seen―― probably at the place where the rebel main camp had been positioned.
It was some kind of signal.
A terribly unreliable one, as the sky above the battlefield was dyed white and red, but it would be effective enough for anyone waiting for the signal to come.
Berstetz: [A signal…]
Behind his narrowed eyes, Berstetz surmised his opponent’s intentions.
After the Magic Cannon had fired, they would have thought the situation had supposedly changed as well. If so, was that signal an instruction to the soldiers on the front line? However, if the intention was to inform the soldiers fighting on the front lines, that signal was way too unreliable.
Therefore, it was not for informing the soldiers on the front lines――,
But simultaneously, Berstetz gave it careful rumination.
With the majority of the rebels who had gathered from all over the country already wrecking havoc on the battlefield, with that group having already been crushed by the power of the Nine Divine Generals, what kind of forces could function as reinforcements?
Reinforcements were not pieces one would simply withhold.
They ought to be a trump card in the proper sense, deployed to change the war situation in decisive fashion. Of course, they were meaningless lest they packed a sufficient punch.
Just what kind of forces could they possibly be? ――With those thoughts, Berstetz widened his slit-like eyes and turned them to the distant west.
Berstetz: [It cannot be.]
Slowly reflected in Berstetz’s vision as he muttered faintly, were shadows arriving from the western sky—— spread across a vast expanse of those skies, were the supreme rulers of the sky making their calm approach. A flock of flying dragons.
A large number of flying dragons resided in the Vollachian Empire, however, taming a flying dragon required treasured techniques and masterful skills—— and the one who had gathered many of those under their banner was a leading noble, who possessed preeminent power within the Empire.
A High Countess who had refused to participate in the decisive battle for the Imperial Capital, on the grounds of maintaining order within her own territory, the one in command of the Empire’s strongest Flying Dragon Squadron——,
Berstetz: [――High Countess Serena Dracroy, is it?]
Spotting a dragon ship sporting flaming red sails among the Flying Dragon Squadron approaching from beyond the sky, Berstetz understood the threat of the reinforcements that the rebels had prepared.
When it came to controlling flying dragons, his faction also possessed one of the Nine Divine Generals, Madelyn Eschart. In front of said dragonkin, all flying dragons were slaves to her will. ——However, the only exceptions to that were the flying dragons who had forged bonds with a tamer, through the technique of flying dragon taming.
Berstetz: [Even so, it would merely be a struggle for air supremacy. No, if she has summoned the Cloud Dragon, then that presumption must also change.]
Despite the shock of the Magic Crystal Cannon’s nullification, Berstetz had not neglected his grasp of the battlefield.
During the fierce battles that had unfolded at the five bastions, even the colors of the heavens and the earth had experienced erratic changes due to various battlefields. And in one of those battles, the descent of the mighty Dragon had been spotted.
As a dragonkin, Madelyn was able to summon the Dragon which was connected to her ancestors.
Up until now, she had never called the Cloud Dragon Mezoreia to the ground—— her summoning it would change the flow of the battle, drastically.
Of course, the circumstances under which Madelyn would summon Mezoreia were impossible to intuit, meaning it was possible that simply driving her into a corner could suffice.
Berstetz: [Be that as it may, in the case that flying dragons fight each other for air supremacy…]
In both quantity and quality, Berstetz believed that they held the advantage.
The determined decision of High Countess Serena Dracroy to side with the rebels must have been a rage-inducing mistake for the men of Vollachia, yet――,
Thinking this, Berstetz was staring towards the western sky as he realized something.
He had been completely fixated on the slowly approaching Flying Dragon Squadron, but that had not been the sole change that had occurred in the west.
――A closer look to the hills to the west revealed the shape of a group deploying anew.
For a moment, they appeared to be the forces of High Countess Dracroy, but Berstetz quickly changed his mind as it became evident that this was not the case.
The reason for that was simple. The flag that group was hosting.
It sported neither the crest of High Countess Dracroy, that of a flying dragon with a scar on its cheek, nor the national emblem of the Vollachian Empire, the wolf pierced by swords, but an entirely different flag.
Slightly troubled by what was portrayed on it, Berstetz said,
Berstetz: [――Is that, a star?]
???: [Oi bro, what’re ya doin’!? We’re completely late already!?]
???: [Stop with the fussin’ lizard bastard… Schwartz’s in the middle of somethin’…!]
???: [Sure, he’s in the middle of something, but Hiain has a point. What are we going to do? Should we join the ranks of the rebel army like this?]
???: [Wow, do you see that, Boss? The right and left are all over the place, it truly is a great, decisive battle! Where should we go, I can’t stop my chest from throbbing!]
Subaru: [AHHHH, SHUT UP!! Can’t you see that I’m in a very moving scene right now!?]
As a group of familiar voices barged in, making a huge ruckus, Natsuki Subaru rebuked them. He was reminded how dangerously accustomed he had become to being Natsuki Schwartz these days.
Although Natsuki Schwartz was ultimately just an alias, he felt strongly about his real name, the one he ought to be called by, being Natsuki Subaru.
Subaru: [It’s fine to take that as you calling my name, right?]
Louis: [Uau! Uau, uau, uauuu~!]
Subaru: [I get it! I get it already so don’t spill your snot all over me! Yuck!]
So Subaru responded, and with force he pushed away the face of the blonde-haired girl clinging to him―― Louis, as she drenched him in her tears and snot.
But he was unable to shake Louis off with full resolve, since he was also greatly indebted to her for the far too valuable contributions she had amassed.
Subaru had already asked too many things of Louis he could not make amends for.
Although he could exculpate himself for having no other recourse.
Subaru: [If I do that, I don’t deserve to face you. So I’ll do it right.]
As she rested her forehead while clinging on to Subaru’s back, Louis groaned.
Whether that was her way of forgiving him, or whether she was just happy to be reunited with him, Subaru sighed, accepting that she did not seem to harbor any negative feelings.
Not only did he have to apologize to Louis, but he also owed her many thanks.
But the one he was most thankful for――,
Tightly, he hugged her and invoked her name, stroking her ample hair. The one true reason why the owner of such a sheer volume of curly hair and a gorgeous dress, a little girl ill-fitted to the battlefield, was present on it was, no matter how one looked at it, Subaru.
She had certainly done something incredibly reckless, for her to come near to disappearing as she had.
That was why――,
As those lips uttered his name indeed, Subaru breathed a sigh of relief.
His name was truly “Natsuki Subaru”, once again――.
???: [――Excuse me, Schwartz-sama?]
Feeling relieved, Subaru’s shoulders jumped upon hearing an unexpected whisper close to his ear. He turned around by reflex, and present there was a lovely, familiar face―― Tanza’s.
The deergirl clad in a kimono stared at Subaru with her usual expressionless face, while the latter sat on his butt holding Beatrice in his arms, and with Louis clung to his back.
Tanza: [I apologize for interrupting your amusement. But Hiain-sama and the others are correct. We do not have enough time to spare for leisure activities.]
Subaru: [Leisure activities? Isn’t that a bit harsh…]
Tanza: [We do not have enough time to spare for leisure activities.]
Subaru: [Sorrysorry, my bad…! I understand your feelings, Tanza. Yorna-san will probably also be somewhere on this battlefield.]
Rushed by a cold, firm voice, Subaru admitted his wrongdoing, displaying his understanding. Thereupon, Tanza slightly lowered her round eyebrows and muttered, “Yes”.
Tanza, who had ended up accompanying Subaru following a series of events, was a girl who had originally been a servant to Yorna Mishigure, the ruler of the Demon City of Chaosflame.
While suppressing her desire to meet up with Yorna as soon as possible, Tanza had joined Subaru on his journey, and finally, their reunion was close at hand.
Being in such a restless state of mind, it was fairly understandable of her to feel the urge to interrupt Subaru who was getting a head start on his own joyful reunion.
Beatrice: […Subaru, what is the deal with this… this impertinent deergirl?]
Writhing in Subaru’s arms, Beatrice looked up at Tanza, declaring thus in a somewhat dissatisfied voice. Promptly, Tanza gazed towards Beatrice,
Tanza: [My name is Tanza. Due to a series of events, I have been serving as Schwartz-sama’s attendant.]
Beatrice: [Hmph, I understand, in fact. Thank you for your hard work, I suppose. From now on, Betty and the others will take care of Subaru, so you can consider yourself dismissed, in fact.]
Tanza: [You will take care of him? In that state? It appears like you cannot even move properly without Schwartz-sama holding you in his arms…]
Beatrice: [Subaru’s purpose in life is to hold onto Betty, so this is fine, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Waitwaitwaitwait, why are we fighting!? As fellow little girls, shouldn’t you get along!?]
For some reason, a perilous atmosphere had broken out all of a sudden between the two girls; caught in the middle, Subaru’s voice involuntarily cracked.
For Tanza, typically composed as she was, this attitude was both unbefitting and unendearing, but in a good way. Not that Subaru was unaware that he should not tell a young girl how immature she was being.
Subaru: [Tanza, Beatrice, don’t fight, you two. You’re allies, both of you. Come on.]
Tanza: [Beatrice-sama was poking her nose first. Also, Yorna-sama told me to respond in kind to contemptible people who act heedlessly.]
Subaru: [She really told such a Code of Hammurabi-type of thing? I didn’t know that… Then, you should be sorry… Beatrice?] 
Subaru attempted to mediate between them as Beatrice’s round eyes stared at him motionlessly. Enthralled by the characteristic pattern of her pupils, Subaru tilted his neck, asking “What’s wrong?”.
Then, Beatrice’s lips trembled and quivered, and she spoke,
Beatrice: [Just now, you called that girl’s name before Betty’s, in fact. What’s the meaning of this, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Huh? Did I?]
Beatrice: [You did, in fact! How utterly infuriating, I suppose! I won’t stand for this no matter what, in fact!]
Her eyes flaring up in anger, Beatrice grabbed his collar and shook her head back and forth. Upon hearing this unexpected ruling, Subaru also became dizzy.
And then, getting fed up with this back and forth going absolutely nowhere,
???: [――Schwartz, even I, as the official, have limits to my patience. You should be aware of this, correct?]
A baritone, oppressive voice fell upon them; Beatrice screamed even before Subaru. Tracing Beatrice’s baffled gaze, Subaru understood her surprise.
Standing there, in a black overcoat with four folded arms, was a stern-faced Gustav Morello staring down at them.
Being the Governor of the Gladiator Island, his position would normally be that of keeping Subaru and his men captive, yet he now was a collaborator of those who were now brazenly travelling outside of the island―― No, he was a comrade of theirs.
This was not limited to just him. Gathered at that very place was not only the large number of people accompanying Subaru from the Gladiator Island, but also companions who had joined them in the meantime as comrades.
Beatrice: [S-Subaru, this man…]
Subaru: [That’s Gustav-san. He looks scary, but at his core he’s frighteningly diligent. Gustav-san, the one on my back is Louis, and this girl is Beatrice. She’s my…]
Subaru: [Um… I mean, you know, that.]
Stroking Beatrice’s back as she curled up, Subaru was at a loss for words coming up with an explanation for Gustav. Witnessing that, Gustav, Tanza and Beatrice all frowned.
At the numerous stares directed towards him, Subaru awkwardly scratched his head and,
Subaru: […I’ll fill you in on the details later.]
Gustav: [Hey now.]
Beactrice: [Wait, I suppose! Subaru, could it be that not only your appearance, but also your mind has been… slightly…]
Gustav accepted Subaru’s overly sloppy misdirection in his overly serious way of being. But, as Beatrice was about to hit the nail too straight on the head, Subaru covered her mouth.
And then, he whispered to Beatrice’s ear, who was struggling noisily.
Subaru: [Explaining that I’ve shrunken is going to be complicated. So I’m going to keep it to myself for now.]
Beatrice: […Do you really remember Betty, in fact?]
Subaru: [I really do love you, that’s why I have to do this.]
Seeing Beatrice’s questioning look, Subaru replied then squeezed her hand, intertwining the fingers of his small hand with those of Beatrice’s also small hand.
As soon as he did so, Subaru was momentarily assaulted by a dizzying sense of emptiness. But it did not last forever; only the initial pang had been large.
Subaru: [I couldn’t go on living without you. Isn’t that so?]
Beatrice: […Betty gets the feeling you’re quite skilled at pulling the wool over her eyes, I suppose. Besides…]
Beatrice: [——. Subaru, something is off, in fact.]
Warmth flowed from within Subaru to Beatrice as they held each other’s hands in front of one another. Instinctively, Subaru was aware that this was not a bad thing, but rather a reassurance.
His memory of Beatrice had become slightly hazy in some parts, as only some details had become blurry, but he was somewhat optimistic it would all be alright once his body was returned to normal.
In any case, close to Subaru as he viewed the situation in such a positive view, Beatrice furrowed her shapely brow, apparently pondering something.
Subaru: [As adorable as your thinking expression is, what exactly feels off?]
Beatrice: […Subaru, while you were separated from Betty, you had no method of expelling Mana, I suppose. So it’s natural that Mana would pile up, but this amount is…]
Beatrice’s long eyelashes trembled as she tightened her fingers as if to confirm. Before Subaru, whose head was tilted, her lips spilled a voice bereft of sound.
Certainly, she had muttered something of this sort. ——That it was “too much”.
But before the truth of the situation could be ascertained——,
Hiain: [——Ah, bro, bad news! That Cecilus guy went ahead!]
Hiain’s shrill voice rose like a scream, and Subaru hurriedly turned his head. Hiain pointed in the direction his own gaze was being cast, to a battlefield where fierce relentless clashes ensued unending, a cloud of dust raging on towards it without stopping.
It was the evidence of an impatient, unruly boy rushing down the hillside.
Weitz: [What now? Should I bring him back or…?]
Subaru: [No, as much as I appreciate your thoughts, that’d be too much for you, Weitz. To begin with, it’s impossible for anyone to stop Ceci… Flag.]
Idra: [Got you, Schwartz.]
While harboring annoyed thoughts at the distant cloud of dust, Subaru took into consideration the positive aspects of the boy’s rampage, since he knew full well from his journey so far that would be unable to rein him in.
Having regained his composure, Subaru made his next request, and it was Idra who moved keenly. Alongside Weitz, they slowly raised the flag right there.
And this action was followed by a massive number of their comrades in arms surrounding them.
Flag after flag was raised; to those in their environs, the appearance would be that the group upon the hillside was firmly united.
Subaru: [Louis, could you get off my back.]
Louis: [Ahh, uh!]
Subaru: [I’m not going to disappear out of the blue again, I assure you. I’ve made peace with what caused me to get whisked away.]
Subaru persuaded Louis, who was still traumatized by his disappearance and reluctant to leave Subaru’s back. She was still skeptical, but in the end, she left Subaru’s back by her own will.
Still, her reluctance was evident of a certain lack of trust.
Beatrice: [——. Betty has no intention of ever leaving, in fact.]
Subaru: [Yeah, you stay with me. ——Tanza, is everything ready?]
Tanza: [Yes. ——The Pleiades Battalion is ready to go at any time.] 
Behind the bowing Tanza, Subaru smiled to himself as he watched his comrades raise their flags, their weapons, and their fighting spirits.
Their morale was high, their motivation filled to the brim, their objective was in sight. All that was left was to seize it.
Subaru: [Since Ceci probably knows my plan without me telling him each and every detail, that’s just his usual amusement… Well, let’s get started, everyone!]
There was a tremendous response to Subaru’s call, as Beatrice’s breath got caught in her throat.
If one were to hear it for the first time, this would come as a guaranteed surprise. However, Subaru’s ears had already grown accustomed to it, and it was a very important pre-fight ritual.
Beatrice: [Subaru, just what do you intend on doing, I suppose?]
Louis and Beatrice, who had just joined Subaru, looked up at him, not knowing the details of the situation.
Closing a single eye as to meet their gaze, Subaru took a step forward, excitement welling up from deep within his body, which he firmly contained in his slender legs.
And then, he declared.
Subaru: [Isn’t it obvious? ——We’re gonna ruin this stupid war that my shitty father started.]
 – The Code of Hammurabi is one of the longest and best-preserved legal texts from ancient eras. In general, the laws there-in described follow the principle of “an eye for an eye”; underneath Tanza’s statement is present that very same principle. For more information, see here.
 – In Japanese, Pleiades Battalion (プレアデス戦団) is actually a wordplay of Pleiades Star Cluster (プレアデス星団).