Arc 7, Chapter 98 – “The Pleiades Battalion”

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――The Kingdom of Lugunica, the Vollachian Empire, the Holy Kingdom of Gusteko, and the Kararagi City-States.

――Each of the four major countries, commonly referred to as the Four Great Powers, had developed its own culture, which was tailored to its land; most notably, the pro-dragon spirit of the Kingdom of Lugunica and the Spirit Arts faith of the Holy Kingdom of Gusteko. The four major countries had taken different paths, as if by design.

This was true not only in terms of national culture and style, but also in terms of the quality of “warriors”.

In the Vollachian Empire, “magic” had hardly developed at all.

The gate and other prerequisites in their bodies were no different from those of other countries, no matter whether they were across the border or not, but compared to Lugunica and Kararagi, the Empire lagged far behind the others in this area.

The Empire, however, did not take that fact to heart.

Of course, falling behind other countries in any field was not welcome, but the fact that the field of magic was not developed meant that other fields were developed instead.

Compared to the technological prowess of the Kararagi City-States, the Spirit Arts and curse arts of the Holy Kingdom of Gusteko, and the magical disciplines of the Kingdom of Lugunica, the Vollachian Empire excelled in martial arts.

???: [Sometimes it’s faster to just swoop in and hit them than to use magic, right?]

And, while this not Spiritual Arts Users-like statement could be fully affirmed, this was close to the general attitude towards magic in the Vollachian Empire.

Though this was highly misunderstood, and kind of the fact that was not being stipulated as well, the use of mana in the human body was not only limited to casting magic.

A small number of martial arts techniques were based on it, in the same way it was used in Spirit Arts, curse arts, and in the activation of some Meteors.

It was perfectly natural for an elite warrior, especially, to use mana to strengthen his own body.

At times, If one who possessed unnatural physical abilities were compared to ordinary people, the trick was the handling of the mana that circulated within the body――a technique called the Flow Method, which was done consciously.

However――,

???: [Cha-cha-cha-cha!]

With a thump, only one foot touched the ground, and in an instant the distance closed by a dozen meters.

If one were to track the figure from the side, it would seem as if time had been stolen, with its extraordinary body movements, but this was neither an illusion nor an optical illusion.

The anomaly was none other than the blue-haired boy who ran through the battlefield.

Following the explanation given immediately before, the boy’s sprinting, which effortlessly transcended human limitations, must have been the result of the Flow Method. However, beneath the boy’s young age and sharp good looks, there appeared no record of the days spent learning such techniques.

Rarely in the world were there such beings. ――There were those who were born unknowingly exercising the Flow Method, which was even said to be one of the ultimate martial arts, and would leave those who were caught up in the natural law behind.

Running down the hillside in a single breath, the boy plunged into the battlefield in search of the honor of the first spear.

Although――,

Blue-Haired Boy: [If the battle has already begun, the honor of being the first spear is nothing, but let’s not worry about the details!]

He broke into the battlefield from the western lands and gazed at the great army surrounding the star-shaped walls in the distance. The long, slitted eyes of the boy were blazing and wet with excitement that would never be felt in a battlefield where grief and joy alternated.

A being that went into battle without proper footwear, without armor or a helmet, without a cause of any kind――it was a barbaric act that could be seen as hostile by both those inside and outside the walls, those who wanted to protect the current Empire and those who wanted to destroy it.

However――,

Blue-Haired Boy: [The high level of ambition is a point worthy of note. With or without it, the appeal of your speech that flows from your mouth changes. It’s just――]

???: [What!?]

In red gear and crude armor, there were skirmishes between small groups of dozens each who were clearly hostile to each other. A boy interrupted from the side, and a soldier wielding a sword cried out.

An admirably clear tone of voice, a mixture of anger, frustration, excitement, but with a fighting spirit prevailing. It was a clever move that called for caution against an intruder on the battlefield.

Blue-Haired Boy: [――But it’s fatally slow!]

???: [Wh――]

It was correct to shout, but wrong to stop and ask who they were.

It was only right that any being who appeared on the battlefield without revealing his or her allegiance should be assumed to be an enemy. The soldier should not have only alerted his surroundings, but also slashed at the sound of the voice.

Still, the enemy was faster, and if one needed to, they could point to ten or twenty other faults.

Blue-Haired Boy: [Oh, and if what you just said was a line that came out because you didn’t ask my affiliation, but because you had no idea who I was, then I’m sorry for being too lightning-fast, I would say.]

A soldier opening his whitened eyes fell to the ground behind the non-stop babbling boy. As they passed each other, he drove his hand akin to a sharp blade into his neck. He expected to be able to chop his head off, but the blow was not powerful enough.

Shaking and swinging his arms around, he twisted his head as he felt that something was off after all.

Blue-Haired Boy: [It’s so frustrating when you feel like you can do something but you can’t. Not that I have any plans to mix up my ideals and wishes with what’s realistically feasible. Well, if I accidentally let him die, I will sink in Boss’s estimation, so let’s call it a good result!]

Immediately after shaking off his uncertainty so brusquely, the laughing boy’s figure turned into a blur.

A moment later, he avoided a sword strike descending on his position, and the back of the boy’s zori hit the soldier’s face from the side, launching him in the opposite direction. [1] The boy leapt off the soldier as he kicked him, and landed within the group behind following the soldier, striking each of their vital points with a single blow before disengaging――Just to slip right into the next group, cutting off the consciousness of another five or so. It all happened in the blink of an eye.

Both the follow-up and the main objective were a criminal act to bereave the surrounding soldiers of their time.

In other words, the mastery of this boy over his own body was beyond human comprehension and could not be pursued with raw strength――one could call it the ultimate lineage of martial arts developed in the Vollachian Empire.

Of course, it was not so easy for anyone to analyze such a situation on the battlefield, or to swallow the fact that a child of twelve or thirteen years could be capable of such a thing.

Above anything else――,

Blue-Haired Boy: [――Tactless.]

???: [―――]

Blue-Haired Boy: [It’s not tactful to try to undermine the skill and good looks of a star actor during his performance. On stage, nothing more is needed than to be admired, to enthrall and captivate. Of course, if I were to ascend to the stage in the same way, I would have to assert a more flamboyant appearance by means of an opponent… worthy of it.]

The group gasped at the boy frowning down upon his surroundings in the center of the slowly crumbling Imperial Guard.

The soldiers, who should have been clashing weapons and fighting for their lives, on both sides were overwhelmed by the boy’s presence and bereaved not only of their time, but their very lives.

Blue-Haired Boy: [No, the blessing of an actor…]

To bereave others of their lives. The boy got a certain satisfaction from that sensation.

As the boy was savouring this sense of accomplishment, among the numerous defeated soldiers bereft of their time within opposing the Imperial Guard was one poorly armed warrior who opened his mouth and said, “You.”

Soldier: [Where’s this guy from? Is he one of ours?]

Blue-Haired Boy: [Hmm, hmm, hmm, whose side am I on? That’s quite a good question from you. What do you think I am? Friend or foe?]

Soldier: [――――]

The warrior clammed up when his question was returned with another question in such a can’t be bothered manner. The boy’s smile deepened at this, and he shook his head, “No, no.”

Blue-Haired Boy: [I wasn’t teasing you. I just thought about it seriously too. I constantly think about that stuff. I didn’t really listen to the Boss, so I don’t really know who is on my side.]

Soldier: [Huh?]

Blue-Haired Boy: [So for now, I’m just gonna act as the herald of justice for both sides.]

The warrior’s eyes rolled back, then his startled face blurred on the side, and the next moment he was flipped over onto the ground.

The smirking boy’s figure was swept away, and this time he slipped into a group of warriors who had been fighting the Imperial Soldiers he had just defeated, and furiously mowed them down.

As the blue hair danced and the sound of sharp strikes seemingly echoed through the air, the consciousnesses of the warriors were erased without as much as a bitter cry. This violence, was just like a storm――No,

???: [A Blue Thunderbolt…]

Blue-Haired Boy: [Oh, marvellous. That’s exactly the alias I was thinking of calling myself, too.]

The warrior, who spilled a breath snatched in shock, was rendered unconscious by the end of those words.

It was the Vollachian way to respond to both friendly and hostile attitudes with equal violence――Yet, this savagery would probably even make the Emperor of this country raise his eyebrows.

But no one was capable of stopping the boy.

Yet it remained absolutely the correct thing to do according to the Imperial way.

???: [Uh, oh――!]

The warriors responded late to the threat posed by that small whirlwind of a boy.

No longer were there any distinctions between Imperial Soldiers and rebels, but everyone was united in the thought of stopping that boy. It was, in a sense, the scene of a great achievement – stopping a civil war single-handedly, if only in this small space.

However, the steeled resolve of these heroes was not met with a peaceful answer.

Lean back to avoid the blade. Dance backwards to avoid fist strikes. Slip between the legs to avoid axe blows. Dodge arrows, dodge spears, dodge fangs, dodge shields, avoid, avoid, avoid, avoid, duck, duck, duck, duck, evade, evade, evade, evade, dodge, dodge, dodge, dodge――.

???: [Without any weapon…]

Blue-Haired Boy: [Yeah, that is quite a predicament. I would like to embellish my highlight poses by showing off my skills with a weapon rather than with my bare hands, but I don’t want to use something half-baked either. After all, the best only know the best. Ah, look at me sounding like the Boss.]

???: [Bosu…?]

Blue-Haired Boy: [Right. ――He is our, the Pleiades Battalion’s, leader!]

The boy’s smile grew deeper as he boasted, effortlessly dodging the killing intent and hostility being hurled at him. The unfamiliar words uttered by the boy’s mouth filled the warriors with a sense of inexplicable fear.

Any of them should have been willing to risk their own lives in the battle to decide the course of this Empire.

Nevertheless, they did not know the affiliation of the boy toying with them, the limit to his strength, the true meaning of his words and deeds, or anything else.

Even though they did not know what was going on, everything seemed to be going the way the boy wanted it to――.

――The next moment, a tremendous war cry was heard from the direction of the hills in the far distance.

Who could blame the warrior for shuddering with a “Hk――”? The same turmoil and confusion spread to the other warriors as well.

Hence, the smile on the boy’s mouth became larger, not because he mocked the frightened state of the warriors, but due to something more straightforward.

Blue-Haired Boy: [Well, that concludes the first climax, Boss. ――Make sure to finish it off flamboyantly.]

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At this point, it is necessary to mention a very unfortunate fact about “magic.”

This is a different issue from the one described previously, where the Vollachian Empire has developed only physical martial arts and the Flow Method instead of magical techniques.

Among the six distinguished magic attributes in this world, there may be a lack of practitioners of Yin Magic and Yang Magic, but there are other reasons for their neglect beyond them being hard to investigate.

Manipulating temperature, the Fire attribute produces flames and even ice.

Interfering with an organism’s life force, the Water attribute facilitates the healing of wounds and illnesses, saving lives.

Arranging with the environment by interfering with the atmosphere, the Wind attribute can even secure habitable areas from inhospitable regions.

Manipulating the earth’s power, the Earth attribute can fertilize as well as starve out the land.

Compared to each of those attributes with a clear image to indicate their usage, the Yin and Yang attributes are basically thought of as effects that either enhance or hamper the performance of one’s body.

While that is technically a misconception, the fact that such an image has taken hold is a major factor in the lack of progress in the development of the respective Yin and Yang Magic attributes today.

And this might come as a surprise, the one that continually receives a reputation for being especially out of place and useless is the Yang attribute――the power to enhance people’s capabilities.

Knowing the primary effects of Yang Magic, many may be tempted to question its assessment.

However, the more one tries to take advantage of the features of Yang Magic, the bigger and more unavoidable its problems become.

For example, when it comes down to performance on the battlefield, those who enhanced their physical abilities via Yang Magic were utterly defeated by the enemy in most cases.

The reason was simple: they could not handle their own enhanced bodies at all, and were unable to demonstrate their strength whatsoever as if they were in control of someone else’s body.

Enhancing one’s abilities may be summed up as strengthening the five senses, such as eyesight and hearing; enhancing physical abilities, such as arm and leg strength; and strengthening defenses, such as increasing bone and muscle density.

However, warriors always train their own bodies and confront the battlefield with complete grasp of their own skills.

As for those who received Yang Magic, they would discard their normal selves and head to the battlefield in a new body with only enhanced specs. As a result, many of them died without achieving anything.

This problem goes even further as the efficacy of Yang Magic is greatly affected by the skill of the caster themselves, as well as their physical and mental condition that day.

Even if a warrior who has received Yang Magic can adapt to his enhanced body, there is no guarantee that the identical enhancement by the same caster on the very next day will be as effective.

Yang Magic is not expected to improve one’s ability to fight consistently; on the contrary, it is recognized as a flaw that prevents one from satisfactorily demonstrating one’s usual abilities. ――This is the reason why Yang Magic had been neglected.

In the past, the Vollachian Empire also focused its attention on the power of magic, and had an Emperor who looked forward to constructing the most powerful army. The 31st Emperor of the Vollachian Empire, Murkia Vollachia, planned to use Yang Magic to turn a powerful army into an even more powerful one.

Taking into account the aforementioned shortcomings, he enlisted Yang Magic users into his powerful army, trained them so that their enhanced state would become their natural state, and then went into actual battle.

However, the unfolding results had been disastrous: the powerful army became dependent on the enhancement and was defeated before any Yang Magic could be applied, the skills of the essential casters varied, the troops were also assaulted by great numbers as they could not function as troops, and even the Emperor’s life had been in jeopardy.

The war finally ended when Viva the “Dissector,” a close ally of the then-Emperor of Vollachia, defeated the enemy general, but because of this colossal defeat, Murkia Vollachia was engraved into history with his ignominious alias, the “Emperor of the Great Defeat”.

Because of this precedent, the value of Yang Magic, and thus magic as a whole, was devalued in Vollachia, leading to the spread of the idea that mastery of martial arts was the mark of a strong soldier.

This had not changed to this day, and Vincent Vollachia, with all his wisdom, had dismissed the use of Yang Magic in group battles as something that was beyond consideration.

In fact, when a user of Yang Magic can only enhance one target at a time, the operation of an army that requires a plurality of soldiers working in unison becomes a pipe dream.

Therefore, Yin Magic remained as a means of harassment in the sense of inflicting unusual physical effects on the enemy, and magic declined in the Vollachian Empire――even in other countries, Yang Magic was considered a cursed practice that was seldom used except for self-enhancement.

――However, as with everything, there were exceptions. 

???: [Let’s do it, you guys――!!]

With a large inhale, the boy’s voice, yet to have reached its full volume, was raised in the hills off to the distant west of the battlefield.

With the boy in their heart, the warriors who spread out atop the hill――a band of no fewer than several thousand people raised their flag, one after the other, for the sake of expressing the unity and will of the group. 

A symbol of a will to fight that must never subside, one of the large flags was also held aloft beside the boy by a man whose body was covered in tattoos, accompanied by a gray lizardman, and a man with a dull appearance that yet contained a dignified look in his eyes.

Depicted on the hoisted flag, recognizable even from a distance, was an emblem with the shape of a star.

It was not the crest of one’s family nor the crest of the nation, but merely the proof of where their hearts lay; a declaration of war of that kind, and naught else.

The group assembled was a diverse one――without exaggeration, it was composed of many races.

Even within Vollachia, where a gargantuan number of species lived and coexisted, there were few relationships consisting of cooperation across racial boundaries. One of the few exceptions which had been able to function as a city was the Demon City of Chaosflame, and even during the siege of the Imperial Capital, there had been no semblance of cooperation among the rebels.

And yet, this group was different.

One could look at it as if they were merely working together for the sake of the same goal. However, that alone would not be able to gather them under a flag to demonstrate their collective will. 

It was not that they possessed the same goals, rather, they possessed a shared will. 

Hence why this group――Nay, why the Pleiades Battalion, was capable of serving as a trump card.

Spearheading those banners and the comrades he had gathered, a boy of black hair――Natsuki Subaru, exclaimed.

Subaru: [――WE, ARE THE STRONGEST!!]

Pleiades: [STRONGEST! STRONGEST!! STRONGEST――!!!]

A war cry was raised in unison, thundering throughout the sky, as tremendous fighting spirit spread through the battlefield like tongues of flame.

Beatrice, embraced within Subaru’s arms as he yelled, covered her ears, staring in amazement. Likewise, Louis also jumped onto Subaru, though only those two young girls were surprised.

Subaru: [――WE, ARE INVINCIBLE!!]

Pleiades: [INVINCIBLE! INVINCIBLE!! INVINCIBLE――!!!]

Hiain, Weitz, Idra, Gustav, Orson’s group, Old Man Null, Rex, Milzac, Kashew, Moizo, Deeroy, Creegkin, Codroe, Phenmelle, Jawsrough, and Tanza; each one of them roared loudly.

The ground quaked as they stamped their feet upon the soil, the quaking beckoning further quakening, as they roused their fighting spirit.

The recesses of his chest were burning. 

That burning, burning, oh so burning, promising, irresistible something, coursed through the entirety of his body.

Letting that burning, promising, irresistible something ride off his tongue――,

Subaru: [――OHHHHHHHHHHH INEVITABLE FAAAAAAAATE!!]

Pleiades: [BRING IT ON! BRING IT ON!! BRING IT ONNNNNNN――!!!]

The group bellowed in unison, and all of their eyes turned to the fore, to the battlefield at the foot of the hill.

And then――,

Subaru: [――Here we go.]

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The sensation of the sky, the ground, and the world shaking was felt by everyone on the battlefield at that moment.

Among those who could not treat it as somebody else’s problem were those on the western ramparts who would face head-on the flag-bearing groups running down the hillside――in other words, the Imperial Soldiers that had been ordered to defend the fourth bastion, which was closest to them.

???: [But――]

Not giving in to their fighting spirit, Gudda Dialmo, the Imperial General Second-Class “Tiger Hunter,” held his ground.

For a moment, he was overwhelmed by the sudden appearance and high morale of the opposition. However, the Imperial Soldiers, the subordinates of the “Tiger Hunter”, were not so amateur to be overwhelmed by some ammunition.

Above all, the wear and tear on Gudda and his men was almost minimal as far as this battlefield was concerned.

The Imperial Capital had been under tremendous siege, but the harsh attacks made against the other bastions had had almost no effect on this fourth bastion.

This was undoubtedly the achievement of Olbart Dunkelkenn, who reigned as the guardian of the fourth bastion, and could be called a demonstration of the “The Vicious Old Man’s” capabilities.

???: [In the first place, it’s a good idea ta cut off the opponent’s legs before they even make it here. Basic rule of warfare’s ta sever everythin’ ya don’t need ta fight, whether water or weapons.]

“The Vicious Old Man” described the reason why the enemy’s offensive was overwhelmingly weak compared to other bastions with such a cruelty that it sent chills down the spines of the troops imagining the horror of not being on the same side as him.

However, even Olbart had been required to rush to another bastion to fulfil his role of protecting the Imperial Capital in the case that it was about to be overrun.

Therefore, the fourth bastion currently lacked the power of the Nine Divine Generals, the greatest strength of the Empire.

Olbart’s legacy, his trained superhuman Shinobi, needed to deal with the flying dragon squadrons that had appeared from the sky in the same west as the approaching army.

Since they did not have any firearms, the Shinobi’s techniques were their only means of defending themselves against the flying dragon squadrons.

And against the group that was fiercely rushing in――,

Gudda: [――I’ll deal with you with all my soul!]

With these words, Gudda Dialmo stared at the enemy in front of him, carrying the signature armament of the “Tiger Hunter”――two metal clubs each weighing nearly a hundred kilograms.

Gudda’s alias was attributed to the fact that when he was still a General Third-Class, he had decimated a group of tiger men who were tyrannizing the country, and took the head of the enemy general who had killed the General Second-Class that had been in command.

As a result of that heroic fight to the death, the muscular body of the over two meter-tall Gudda was scarred from head to belly with white tiger claw marks, so he came to be known as the “Tiger Hunter” after word of that fierce battle had spread.

Gudda’s will to fight had remained unshaken even as his army was on the verge of collapse after its General had been killed.

So why would he be afraid of being outnumbered with something to bear right behind him?

Gudda: [We’ll take you on!]

With a yell like a cannon firing, Gudda’s huge body kicked off the ground and closed in on the enemy horde.

Following Gudda’s lead, his subordinates, each carrying their weapons of choice, rushed toward the starry flag that was approaching from the west.

Gudda: [――That one.]

As he approached the moment of impact with his own feet, Gudda looked closely at the vanguard of the enemy――a red Galewind Horse that was charging in front of the group, causing the ground to rumble.

What caught his attention was not the man pulling the reins of the Galewind Horse. The man was merely a reinsman――rather, what warranted his attention was the small figure the man riding on the Galewind Horse carried.

It was a black-haired boy holding a girl in his arms and looking straight at them with his dark eyes.

In that moment, the only thought passing through Gudda’s mind was that the boy was neither running ahead nor deviating from his position, but was charging forward as if it were natural for him to be in that position.

A boy with black hair and black eyes, just like the “black-haired crown prince” in the rumor that had been spread since before the start of the war.

Gudda: [――Hk!]

Gudda killed off the thought by biting his teeth and focused on what he had to do.

Taking advantage of a ridiculous rumor, the rebels had prepared a large number of “black-haired crown princes” and foolishly challenged the Imperial Capital to a decisive battle. Therefore, the Generals who had been tasked with defending the Capital――or rather, all the Generals and Soldiers, had made up their minds.

The authenticity of the black-haired child is of no concern. ――There is but one Emperor we ought to look up to.

Gudda: [――To backstab our Emperor Vincent Vollachia, you damned traitors!!]

Dual-wielding his two heavy metal clubs, Gudda roared like a tiger, the symbol he hunted in his name, and approached the boy charging at the front of the pack.

In front of them was a boy riding a red Galewind Horse whom the rebels were following.

Being a General himself, Gudda wanted to crush the enemy’s fighting spirit with a single blow by mowing them all down. The impact of the strike was so tremendous that it blasted weak eardrums.

Gudda’s thick arms also felt a satisfying response, but his eyes widened.

The black-haired boy was supposed to be crushed together with the Galewind Horse, but what the metal clubs caught was neither him nor the Galewind Horse he was riding――,

???: [I have to protect Schwartz, as it is now my main duty.]

With a body larger than his own and four thick, strong arms, he held a large shield in his hand, which he used to directly block the blow――or rather, both blows from Gudda’s metal clubs.

Gudda’s throat choked up at the astonishing sight, even taking into account the physical capabilities of the Multi-Arm Clan.

Slipping into that momentary delay――,

???: [And… it’s my job to beat up Schwartz’s enemies…!]

Gudda: [——Hk!]

His voice, hushed yet courageous, and filled with a strong sense of pride and honor, struck Gudda in the torso, launching his huge body into the sky.

The man who Gudda saw strike him as he let out a “Gah” had tattoos all over his body and wielded a large two-handed hammer.

He was well trained. But with his physique and amateurish movements, how could he have ――No, the correct thing to question was not merely what had happened to his own body.

Rebels: [OOORAAAAHH——!!!]

Gudda, who had taken the lead, was blown away, and the clashes between the rebels and Imperial Soldiers continued afterwards.

Even if Gudda’s head were to be chopped off, he had trained his men well enough not to lose their will to fight. It was precisely because of this pride that they could hardly believe their own eyes.

All at once, before they could even mount a decent resistance, the Imperial Soldiers were utterly crushed and pulverized by the offense of the oncoming rebel horde.

The sight was so shocking that Gudda’s entire body was filled with an indignation greater than the time when he had seen the head of his General crushed to bits right before his eyes――,

Gudda: [――This is absurd.]

And so, the battle-hardened General let out a hoarse breath at an utterly incomprehensible sight.

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――As with everything, there were exceptions.

The exception was the Pleiades Battalion, a threatening group of amateurs that crushed the fierce general, Gudda Dialmo, and the strong warriors he had trained.

They didn’t have any techniques they had trained, nor did they have fine armaments, nor did they even have a firm cause.

All they had was a really, really strong will to unite, and a vow to themselves that they would not back down no matter what.

And that was precisely the kind of thing that made the Pleiades Battalion an extraordinary group of people.

Recall the lengthy lecture on the shortcomings of Yang Magic.

Its use, which depended on the skill of the caster and the number of people, and often disrupted people’s coordination of their various operations, was called foolish as it had earned the former Emperor the stigmatic moniker of “Emperor of the Great Defeat”, and even Vincent Vollachia, who was proclaimed as a wise Emperor, quickly abandoned the idea of using it at the consideration stage.

But what if, hypothetically, something like it was possible?

All of the hundreds, or even thousands, of troops would be given a uniform enhancement of the same effectiveness, and yet all of them would not suffer from the gap between their original fighting ability and the skill level of their strengthened selves.

And, the key would be that there would not be the need to have the same number of Yang Magic users as the number of troops. ――If such dreamlike or miraculous conditions were met, would it not be feasible?

It was a pipe dream that Vincent Vollachia would laugh at and discard if he heard it.

A group of incidental coincidences that would even be said to be possible only in this time of war, in this situation, in this circumstance.

Only those who accepted Natsuki Subaru――or rather, “Natsuki Schwartz”, as the center of themselves, who sincerely thought of him as their friend, and who sincerely believed in him as their companion, would be able to achieve a miracle.

――The strengthening effect of the Yang Magic would be applied to each of the individuals Subaru shared the effect of Cor Leonis with; that was, all of his friends who worked together with him.

The power of the “Little King”, originally intended to share wounds and burdens, would now be exploited to use the power that the king alone could not handle, together with his friends that supported him.

Hence, the Pleiades Battalion――,

Subaru: [――I love you, all of you!!]

The thousands of “non-combatants” who traveled with Natsuki Subaru were transformed into an army of warriors and began to lay waste to every battlefield in this battle for the Imperial Capital.

 

 

[1] – A Zōri is a traditional kind of Japanese footwear, resembling a sandal. More information here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zori

53 thoughts on “Arc 7, Chapter 98 – “The Pleiades Battalion””

  1. Man, I just love the Pleiades Battalion
    Natsuki Subaru, the Changer of Fate, with his private Army and Divine General throwing of the plans of both Vincent and Chisha

  2. “Compared to the technological prowess of the Kararagi City-States, the Spirit Arts and *spells of the Holy Kingdom of Gusteko, and the magical disciplines of the Kingdom of Lugunica, the Vollachian Empire excelled in martial arts.”

    *spells here should be either sorcery or curses from what I understand of Re:zero’s setting.

    I recall old translations regarding curses noted that the word got mistranslated as sorcery before. Then I recalled that Gusteko is notable for their spirit arts and curses. Based on that, I am guessing that curses is a better term for this than spells.

    Also, the source, when google translated, turns up “sorcery” in that spot. So the old translation note might be applicable here, too.

  3. Lmao he’s copying yorna mishigure’s line
    Tnx for the translation (⁠◍⁠•⁠ᴗ⁠•⁠◍⁠)⁠✧⁠*⁠。

      1. That would be horrifying in this case because soul marriages boost increases with the amount of love in one’s heart and then he multiplies that with Yang magic (how did he learn and use Yang magic btw his gates still broken according to Beatrice last chapter)

        1. I believe it is Beatrice casting the yang magic on subaru but in a greater dose than normal so Good Leonis can exploit it.

          1. isn’t beatrice using Yin magic ? dark type like subaru, and not yang magic which should be the ‘light’ sun (?) type of priscilla

        2. I have a hunch that Subaru’s gate isn’t broken anymore, thanks to Olbart’s technique. Think back to how the Shinobi described the infantilization technique, where they literally change the shape of someone’s Gate. Beatrice did not say that Subaru’s gate is still broken by the way, she said “Something’s off” about his Gate and then went on to talk about what she knew about his gate beforehand, that in its broken state Subaru couldn’t expel mana and that it would build up. Then, she says that the thing that is off about his Gate right now is that there’s too much mana there, even with the knowledge that it would build up because he couldn’t expel mana. So this means that something else is going on with his Gate that is unrelated to it being broken. The only thing that happened in the time between when Beatrice last saw Subaru and now however, is what Olbart did to Subaru’s Gate to infantilize him.

          So yeah, my theory is that Olbart reshaped Subaru’s Gate and ‘fixed’ him. As for who is casting the yang magic, it’s probably Beatrice. Either that, or the process of infantilizing Subaru also unlocked yang magic somehow. I for one hope that Subaru’s gate is fixed at the very least, I’ve been really wanting Subaru to be able to do more for himself rather than always sitting on the sidelines watching as others fight. Being able to cast some magic himself or to be able to provide Beatrice with more mana than he could before would be a big help.

          1. Interesting idea about possibility of gate repair by infantilization. I can also imagine the situation where the gate is still broken, and the mana level is too much to be held by one’s body, yet the burden of it is negated by effects of Cor Leonis, possibly, also due to its excess throughout the body – manifesting in the yang buff for the group

          2. Olbart said his technique changed the shape of Subarus od (soul) not gate (mana organ) so it could be that since the two are connected but he did nothing to the gate directly so it’s more than likely still broken

            1. You’re right, went back and read that part in 64 again. They are talking about the Od, not the gate. Hm, I’m hoping we get an answer as to what is going on soon. I’m still holding out on the idea that what ever Olbart did could potentially have fixed Subaru’s gate, perhaps in order to reach Subaru’s Od Olbart had to fix his gate, for example. Another possibility that I like is that Subaru has died so much so recently, but mana is still being stored up in his Od and transferring with him when he dies. So now he has all this mana stored up in his Od, and that’s why Beatrice is saying that he has too much save up, more than he should normally have saved up in this time.

              1. I figured that the excess mana was due to the infantilization. His od was like compressed into a smaller shape but the total quantity wasn’t reduced. It seems like Shotabaru has more than he should because he has a full grown vessels worth of OD in a childs body.

                Or, here’s a tinfoil hat theory. Cor Leonis is able to draw mana from Satella because Shotabaru recognise her as a companion.

        3. see the thing is, when olbart reverted his od, it also reverted all the damage into his gate, which is why he was unaffected by the large amounts of mana as said by Beatrice in the last chapter. due to this, his natural affinity of yang magic, strengthened by beatrice’s spirit arts, and further strengthened by cor leonis, he was able to unleash magic excitation.

          1. I do think one detail that kinda pokes a hole in this theory is that When Al was infantilized, he still had all his scars and missing an arm. So it clearly doesn’t “Revert” them, rather it re-shapes them as they are. So therefore I find it unlikely that his gate has been fixed.. However. That is not to say that Olbart’s ability still hasn’t done something to him in regard to the weirdness with the mana excess. And although I still don’t have any idea of How exactly, I suspect it has something to do with how Olbart’s ability works exactly. Now, we’re a little light on detail of how the man is re-shaping people Od, but one thing in particular about it has started to stick out to me. “Touch”. Olbart has to touch you to be able to do it… Now what other powers do we know about that specifically requires touch to be able to perform? Well of course, [Curses]… now, why or how this is having an effect on the boy. I don’t know. But. As far as I can recall, way back in Arc 2, when Subaru got cursed by all those dogs. They never actually got rid of the curses, did they. They killed the dogs, so they wouldn’t have a way to activate , but they should still be there. Now, my thinking is: what if Olbart’s curse is somehow melding weird with the other old curses? Well, that’s my crack theory anyhow…

            1. Normally this would be fair enough but didn’t olbart put his hand inside Subarus chest in order to shrink/attempt to unshrink him (I remeber it for the first part being that way but can’t remember if he did the second time) so it seems he has to directly touch the od somehow if he did have to do that (which bypasses the curses unless it’s placing a curse directly on the od) if it wasn’t for that it would make sense since Subaru already has all those mana eating curses and (idk if it’s still there) the dragons blood curse thing

  4. Just a heads up: this chapter cannot be accessed directly from chapter 97. Is there a reason why this chapter is not posted in arc 7?

  5. So, a Yang buff is applied to Subaru, and then he uses Cor Leonis to spread it to all his buddies. Am I reading that right?

    Who’s buffing him? None of the people in that group know Yang magic. Only two Yang users that we know of are Priscilla and Petra.

    1. Wouldn’t surprise me if it’s Beatrice. She has already used Yin and Water magic in this series. Since she’s made up of pure mana and isn’t a natural being and therefore doesn’t have one or two specific types of magic she has a soul affinity with. It wouldn’t surprise me if she is capable of all magics like Roswaal and has just as good of a grasp on the magics as him due to spending time reading everything in the Forbidden Library over four centuries. Just a theory though.

    2. I don’t believe there is any yang magic being applied to him, yet, it’s just the end result of Cor Leonis is just what those who use yang magic wished they had. Yang magic being too unstable and therefore useless, only able to be applied to one person at a time and causing unnatural strengthening; meanwhile Subaru has an entire army share and divide the damage towards a single person, they’re practically invincible and what Murkia wish he had.

      That’s how I see it at least, not sure if there is an actual strength buff being applied to everyone, still would like to know how they launched the tiger hunter so far. Maybe strength can be shared with Cor Leonis now or perhaps it even is a shared buff of something like yang magic but whatever the case, almost sounds Cor Leonis got upgraded somehow.

      I’m just left curious as to what it actually is and where Subaru’s large amount of mana is coming from as it sounds like he should have already popped, so maybe even mana can be shared too? Now imagine the buff to Beatrice in that case, Subaru would then have so much magic at his disposal that he’s end up OP.

      1. Yeah it’s not clear whether cor leonis devloped the power to strenghten allies or if he found some guy to use yang Magic on him, or something else, As for the large ammount of mana i believe it’s more likely from his thousands of death, since gate and Od are linked his amount of mana is probably not reset when he dies and accumulated when he was stuck in his deaths loops. Thus the inconsistency from Beatrice point of view

      2. I think what makes the most sense is Beatrice, (who is conveniently on Subaru’s back) is buffing Subaru and Subaru shares said buff with Cor Leonis. This makes sense cuz Cor Leonis shares burdens so it would be way less of a stretch to say it shares buffs instead of it just randomly having a strength buff now, as the writing makes it seem that everyone is stronger than they should be.

  6. YOOOO ITS HERE, NATSUKIIIIII SUBARUUUUU, YEAAAAAAH

    Im still worried about Otto and his running into Todd Fang though

  7. So where is Garfiel fighting? First he crushed the 3rd bastion I think but then he fought olbart. With olbart fighting the dragon’s does that mean Garfiel is defeated? Also why aren’t they going trough the destroyed bastion?

    1. Bro.. They literally just explained this… Garf defeated Kamfa so Olbart left his intact bastion to defend those in need… It didn’t say Olbart was fighting the dragons. His SHINOBI are..

      Subaru JUST ARRIVED in the west, the destroyed wall isn’t in the west. Furthermore said wall is being defended by Olbart..

      Maybe try paying attention?

        1. You expect us to believe you read the last 2 chapters (just came out) 3 weeks ago? All the stuff you couldn’t remember happened in the last 2 chapters except for Olbart fighting Garf which was still referenced/explained in the last 2 chapters as ‘Olbart going to defend where he was needed’… So again… Maybe… Try paying attention?

    1. Soul marriage seems to be stronger and more flexible/permanent(?)..

      Yorna did not know that her people were using it to attack Subaru’s group at that inn before he got whisked off to gladiator island for example.
      Also Soul Marriage is the same technique Priscilla used to keep her boy toy from taking ANY damage when attacked by “the dragon”(kin)… So the strength seems to be extremely varied based on the amount of ‘love’ given to the target.
      Finally it does not seem to be limited by distance/awareness since the deer girl was still getting buffed on gladiator island even when Yorna thought she was dead.

      1. The amount of strength from soul marriage was described as based on the bond of love between the target and user so that makes sense but Subarus for leonis authority is functioning similarly in this case because his version of greed only lets him connect to people he can think of as his friends and he happens to be giving them a power boost somehow through this

      2. Yorna’s Soul Marriage sort of divides her power and damage to her followers. Which is, well, similar to original Cor Leonis. But the new buff Subaru is pulling here is sharing the buff to everybody… probably something that can only be done with an Authority. From the new chapter, it seems like an insanely advanced and almost impossible magic technique beyond even Roswaal or Echidna, but possible to Subaru due to just how broken an Authority is in what it does.

    1. You can also use DeepL for the same thing. There is no difference.

      Also, this is a different “Forbidden Library” than Heretics had. Heretics did heavy editing to the RAW MTL.

      Source: I worked on FL chapters for Heretics.

  8. So my thoughts on this are that subaru himself is applying the Yang magic to his comrades, I think this is the version of Subaru tappei wants, useless alone, strong with his friends, so it’s not unlikely that he is the source of Yang magic here, don’t forget that the last interaction we Subaru in was when he called Satella so he may acquired some buff that he mixed with cor leonis, and that would explain how Gustav was convinced so easily that he is the emperor’s child, because he has YANG magic

    But this all is a speculation so take it with a grain of salt

  9. nice loophole in the authority, at least it make it usefull, because merely transfery stamina/pain was a pretty weak power for a witch factor that used to make his user completly immortal.

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