Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
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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.
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――The word “war cry” was appropriate.
Quite simply, it was just a yell.
An exclamation raised to inspire oneself, one’s allies, and a troop’s morale in the face of a match, contest, or any kind of bout; it provided courage and strength to move forward.
Forming a circle before a fight and raising a battle cry before charging onto the battlefield, a magic ritual for coming together as one―― in this world, this could truly be called “magic”.
???: […Unbelievable, I suppose.]
Beatrice was speechless at the destructive power of the Pleiades Battalion led by Natsuki Subaru; a group of amateurs who furiously charged into the enemy forces, crushing the well-prepared and well-armed Imperial Soldiers.
As the red Galewind Horse moved vigorously, causing the ground to rumble, a dull bearded man named Idra held the reins, as Beatrice and Subaru rode in front of him in an awkward position. The group advancing under this banner were all under the influence of powerful Yang Magic.
The method through which this had been achieved could only have been――,
Beatrice: [――Magical Shroud Excitation.]
Beatrice muttered something about a dream technique that had existed as a term for hundreds of years, yet had never been considered valuable, far from being put to practical use.
Even the Witch Echidna, who systematized all of magic, gave it a provisional name and left it as an ancient “fantasy”―― a technique that could not be reproduced by an individual.
Magical Shroud Excitation was a way of forcibly manifesting a Flow Method, utilizing the mana circulating within the body to strengthen it, and inducing a similar effect despite a different approach to Yang Magic.
Superhuman force was a term sometimes used to describe the breaking of one’s own physical limits when facing a dangerous situation, producing power incomparable with one’s original condition.
That was acknowledged as a real thing in this world.
In a situation of mental or physical urgency, the normally unused gates in the body could be opened, resulting in the same state of being as one who could perform The Flow Method.
Those with superior abilities may have been able to teach themselves how to use The Flow Method through such an experience, but as it stood, further explanation would be omitted as it was beside the main point.
Most important was the fact that Magical Shroud Excitation was a method of forcibly bypassing human limitations, and that it was being used on the entire Pleiades Battalion, which numbered in the several of thousands.
Originally, Echidna had witnessed what could be called Magical Shroud Excitation on the battlefield, being used by a small tribe of warriors who raised a battle cry which had triggered a similar effect.
They continued to raise their voices before, during, and after the battle, as that was their custom on the battlefield.
Their morale-inspiring yells were accompanied by a Yang-Magic-esque effect which raised the power of the tribe as a whole, and as a result, though small in number, they had stood out in battle.
However, even they were unable to resist the numerical disadvantage and disappeared in the war, alongside similar groups having been born and ground down afterwards, leaving no survivors.
A group gathered at random would not produce the effect, overabundant numbers would not produce the effect, and a single competent person would not be able to reproduce the effect. Therefore, Magical Shroud Excitation had died out without ever seeing the light of day.
In modern times, only individuals of exceptional ability mastered the Flow Method, and shouting on the battlefield was something that only boosted courage.
???: [STRONGEST! STRONGEST! STRONGEST――!!!]
What had been shining through all the members of the Pleiades Battalion who were advancing along with Subaru while shouting this, was the radiance of the Magical Shroud Excitation that was thought to have been lost.
It was truly an ideal environment, with strong trust built around Subaru, a force that equaled an army, and no one powerful enough to break the rhythm with incautious Yang Magic.
The effects of the Magical Shroud Excitation that had been triggered were, in Yang Magic terms: enhancement of the five senses, a significant increase in physical capacity, a surge in physical toughness, as well as a bewildering increase in cognitive ability, in addition to reaction time, in what could only be seen as an irregular state of multiple enhancements.
In the face of the Pleiades Battalion, each and every one of whom had literally become a warrior worth a thousand warriors―― the Imperial Soldiers who confronted them without any prior information, were overwhelmed by the momentum, as the battle lines were patently “melted”.
Like ice hit with a hot iron, the formation the enemy had assembled melted from the front, as the group of amateurs made headway through the middle of the enemy line with frightening momentum.
Even more astonishing was that,
Subaru: [――Overwhelm them, but don’t kill them! Make them think they stand no chance in a fight!]
Pleiades: [Got it, Boss!]
Pleiades: [In the same way we were saved by you!]
In a battlefield full of people risking their lives, the leader of the advancing battalion declared that no casualties would occur.
It was an idea that would be laughed off as ridiculous and childish nonsense by anyone familiar with the battlefield, but this group of wet-behind-the-ears amateurs now broke through with destructive force.
Blow after blow struck the body of one Imperial Soldier after the other and blew them away, but what was left behind was not a pile of corpses, but a mountain of physically and mentally incapacitated wounded.
It was no tactical decision to keep the enemy soldiers alive so they would be able to rescue their fallen comrades. Rather, Natsuki Subaru simply did not have the courage to kill people.
Instead of this courage, Subaru harbored a wish that was being granted by this overwhelming force.
Beatrice: [Subaru, how far have you thought this through, in fact!?]
Subaru: [Eh? Oh, sorry everyone is being so loud! But if we are all shouting emphatically “Let’s do this! Let’s do this! Let’s do this!”, it gets us all hyped up!]
Beatrice: [Eh~~? That’s ludicrous, I suppose!]
Coincidentally, Beatrice ended up voicing the shared conclusion of everyone witnessing this bizarre battlefield aloud.
But there was no reason to blame them. It was a completely natural thing to say.
Beatrice immediately understood Subaru’s answer. ――Subaru, and all the people around him, knew nothing about Magical Shroud Excitation so there was no way that they could understand it.
While they simply thought that fighting while shouting wholeheartedly made them stronger, they had actually perfectly recreated and weaponized an impossible theory even a Witch had given up on.
And even Beatrice was completely oblivious to the fact that Natsuki Subaru was the only one in the whole world who could turn this theory into practice with his Authority of The Little King.
Beatrice: [That’s precisely why…]
Beatrice: [That’s precisely why you’re Betty’s partner, in fact!]
In the arms of Natsuki Subaru, who could do what nobody else could, Beatrice affirmed her situation as her depleted mana was resupplied during their long-awaited reunion.
Within the Pleiades Battalion, a group full of amateurs, none of whom did or needed to understand the current situation, Beatrice contemplated on behalf of her partner Subaru.
How could she involve herself in this historical moment that might never be reproduced again?
Beatrice: [If you are intending to take the wind out of the opponent’s sails, I could prevent them from reorganizing, I suppose.]
With a slight movement, Beatrice directed her small palm towards the large number of Imperial Soldiers that had been blown away.
Beatrice took into account Subaru’s wishes, the bloody battles between the warring parties, as well as the Imperial Way which ruled the battlefield, and with that in mind,
Beatrice: [――El Shamak.]
As a member of the Pleiades Battalion, Beatrice wielded her own exceedingly enhanced power.
A black haze descended upon the heads of the Imperial Soldiers defending the Fourth Bastion one after another, robbing them of their thoughts, halting their will to fight, and depriving them of the opportunity to counterattack.
――Within minutes of the Pleiades Battalion joining the battle, the Fourth Bastion, which had thus far suffered minimal damage during the siege of the Imperial City, completely and utterly collapsed.
The onslaught of the Pleiades Battalion’s unbelievable advance instantly reached the ears of Abel in the main camp.
At that point, however, the name of the Pleiades Battalion did not reach him, and they only reported that a group had appeared from the west and clashed with the Imperial Soldiers with tremendous force, collapsing the defensive line.
???: [――Good grief, they showed up just as we were about to play our trump card, and completely stole the spotlight. How exhilarating.]
A gallant voice echoed through the main camp as a beautiful figure leisurely arrived to accept this favorable fact.
It was an imposing-looking woman swinging her wavy hair with a white sword scar. Unbefitting of her noble status, she was dressed in a garb a ruffian would favor; the name of the woman of character stepping into the main camp was Serena Dracroy.
She was one of the most distinguished High Countesses in the Vollachian Empire, and was currently not on the side of the Empire, but instead a rebel against the ruling power――and one of Abel’s original trump cards.
At Serena’s visit, Abel folded his arms as he gazed out at the battlefield beyond.
Abel: [I was under the impression that your reinforcements would be made up of Flying Dragon Squadrons.]
Serena: [Rest assured. I have no intention of changing the fact that the utmost elite of my forces are the Flying Dragon Squadrons. The ones currently captivating the battlefield are an unexpected substitute.]
Abel: [Is it not by your own doing?]
Serena: [I would put them under my wing if they approached me, but unfortunately, it seems like they’re only looking up to one person. They wouldn’t even bat an eye at me.]
As she answered, Serena’s long-legged figure walked next to Abel.
She looked into Abel’s face with her almond-shaped eyes and narrowed her eyes at the face covered by the Oni mask.
Abel: [Surely you cannot work with someone who hides his face from you?]
Serena: [Why would I say something so tiresome? There’s no difference between those who hide their true intentions behind makeup and those who hide their true faces behind masks. If your reason is hiding a scar, I’d say you’re not as bad as I am.]
Abel: [I will not state my reason, but it is not because of a scar. I wear this out of necessity.]
Serena: [I figured you would. I could gather from your words that you don’t do anything unnecessary. And now that we’ve actually exchanged words like this, that impression has deepened even more.]
As Serena ascertained this from Abel, she smiled fiercely with her hands on her hips.
Of course, as he was the Emperor, Abel and Serena were acquainted with each other. The “recognition blocking” effect of the Oni mask could slightly alter such malaises, but it did not change Abel’s evaluation of Serena.
She was a fierce, progressive, and courageous general who was willing to snap at the Emperor when necessary――exactly what her moniker, the Scorching Lady, suggested.
However, if it were not for such a temperament, he would have never counted her as one of the cards in his hand to assist him in this rebellion.
Serena: [Is your assessment that no one else fancies things as I do?]
Abel: [It was necessary to think about how to prepare the grounds to win you over. But the main reason for choosing you was to increase the odds of winning the battle.]
Serena: [When the Imperial Capital only gave the cold shoulder, you appreciated my Flying Dragon Squadron quite a bit.]
Serena shrugged her shoulders and sarcastically remarked this, but despite the content of her words and the expression on her face, her reaction showed that her feelings were stirred up by the fact itself.
The existence of the Flying Dragon Squadron possessed by the High Countess Dracroy was the core reason why the Dracroy territory was revered and respected throughout the Vollachian Empire, where the strong were held in high esteem. In other words, for Serena Dracroy, it was a source of pride that must not be harmed.
Even if someone from the Dracroy territory were to commit an evil act――even if they were to act against the Emperor himself, no doubt would be brought forth against their capabilities.
That was why――,
Abel: [You have accepted the invitation on this occasion. The flying dragons that rule over the skies of the battlefield… those who obey the dragonkin, Madelyn Eschart, force them out of the way, and claim supremacy over the air.]
Serena: [As a matter of fact, your enticing proposal is not the only reason I accepted your invitation… but fulfilling it is also an important role for me at the moment. May you have your wish. ――My Flying Dragon Squadron!]
Serena: [No longer shall those sudden reinforcements be the thorn in my eye that steals the spotlight.]
Having assumed the role expected of her, Serena once again directed Abel’s attention to the western battlefield. Her words guided his gaze again, and his black eyes narrowed behind the Oni mask.
Serena was right; that group had come as an absolute surprise to everyone. ――To be honest, any deviation from the path he had laid out was not welcome, no matter how favorable it might have been to the progress of battle.
Serena: [So that’s the battalion that turned the west of the Imperial City on its head. You have probably heard of them, haven’t you?]
Abel: [I have. However, I was unable to decipher what their purpose was, and judging from the reports of their position, they should not have made it in time for the decisive battle either. Therefore, I did not include their military potential in my estimations.]
Serena: [In that case, they’ve clearly defied your expectations. From what I’ve heard, they’ve been ceaselessly running through day and night to arrive on this battlefield in time.]
Abel: [――. Even though such conduct makes sense in theory, it is completely nonsensical in reality. One can only imagine the amount of running a day to make it in time. And even if they made it in time after all of that, they would have way too many deserters to even put up a fight.]
This might be self-evident, but the more one increased the size of a group, the greater the amount of effort that was required to even get to it to move.
On top of the logistics, supplies, and fighting required to maintain a large army, frenzy ensuing over time and accumulating fatigue, which easily drains the fighting spirit, slowly drives a wedge between the hoisted flag and one’s heart.
Even bringing someone under these conditions to a battlefield was no small feat, let alone waging war on the battlefield with them.
Serena: [So, Oni-Masked Grand General, does this look like a battle of the demoralized to you?]
If Serena asked him this, Abel would have to deny what he saw with his own eyes.
Barely visible in the distance, the fighting of the battalion charging right into enemy lines within a whirled up dust cloud defied all expectations. Even though their war cry could not be fully heard, its aftereffects noticeably reached the main camp.
Only a disillusioned fool in complete denial of reality would point at that scene and feign that the troop’s morale was low.
Serena: [Their leader seemed to be one of the black-haired crown princes who was on everyone’s lips. I thought this whole story about His Excellency Vincent’s illegitimate offspring being scattered across the entire Empire was laughable, but that surprisingly stands out like he could be the real deal.]
Abel: [――. So that is how it is.]
Squinting at the lingering dust cloud in the distance, Abel’s thoughts clicked into place.
Serena tilted her head at Abel’s remark on the story he probably already knew. But, Abel did not respond to her suspicions and simply closed one eye at the arising realization within him.
A group with exceptionally high morale and unity that traversed an inconceivable distance and remained on its feet just to fiercely step into this battlefield――he finally figured out its true nature.
Abel: [――At last, I wondered if you could properly utilize your own power.]
If that was the case, then the unforeseen presence of the invading group from the west would make complete sense. And it would be even more unexpected for the False Emperor sitting on the throne of the Imperial City.
This black-haired crown prince possessed an ability that truly lived up to the rumours――or at least, that person should have been able to put on an appropriate performance.
Abel: [It is unnecessary for our side to make any moves on the western battlefield. However, the third bastion is still the most crucial spot to break open. And I harbor no intention to relent. ――High Countess Dracroy.]
Upon her name being called, Serena nodded her head and said “I know.”
Looking ahead of Abel’s line of sight, she directed her gaze at the fluttering flying dragons dominating the sky.
Serena: [Let’s show His Excellency the Emperor, who appointed that crude and impudent dragonkin, the difference between wild flying dragons and the disciplined Flying Dragon Squadron.]
Yes, while being completely ignorant to the fact that the true Emperor stood right next to her, she undertook this mission with a rough smile on her face.
――Overlooking the entire battlefield from the rear, the main camp allowed them to keep a watchful eye on any anomalies all-around.
Having arrived there as a reinforcement, Serena Dracroy held a grudge against the flying dragons that obeyed one of the Nine Divine Generals, the dragonkin, Madelyn Eschart.
These ferocious flying dragons would never get along with humans without a special secret technique, yet they rampaged here in the battle for the Imperial Capital with their natural ferocity and danger on full display, posing a great threat to people.
Even though Madelyn only explained it roughly, she seemingly made arrangements so that the flying dragons, who could not distinguish between enemies and allies, did not cause damage to the allied Imperial Soldiers and for that reason the casualties were not as indiscriminate as during the attack on the Fortress City of Guaral.
Nevertheless, they swooped down on the rebels to remind them of the threat of claws and fangs revolving in the sky, and the damage from the occasional stone bombardment hitting the ground could hardly be ignored.
However, flying dragons could only make such attacks against warriors who attached more importance to the group rather than the individual, and could not interfere in a battle between beings with overwhelming strength.
The Nine Divine Generals who defended each bastion and the elite of the rebels who clashed head-on with them――there was no way for the dragons to barge into a battle on an entirely higher level.
Mezoreia: [――I, am Mezoreia. In accordance with the voice of mine dear child, I shalt become the wind from the heavenly skies.]
Emilia: [――Icicle Line!!]
Waving both hands, Emilia jumped, redrawing a line of white ice on the world she traced.
Immediately after, a tail cleaved the snowy ground where Emilia was just moments before with tremendous speed, instantly rupturing the ground and evaporating the snow.
The one who did this was a mighty being with a huge body of white scales, clad in clouds flowing in the sky――called by the dragonkin, Madelyn, a threat to the world swooped down upon the surface.
Thinking in the corner of her mind that the Vollachian Empire had a city of exactly the same name if she was not mistaken, Emilia clenched her back teeth avoiding this powerful attack by the skin of her teeth, and took heart.
Along the redrawn Icicle Line, an ice wall noisily rose up from the ground. It was not as high as the walls surrounding the Imperial Capital, but high enough to keep the flying Mezoreia from escaping the battlefield.
Emilia: [I can’t let you go where everyone else is!]
In the midst of a battlefield continuously getting colder――No, rather, getting chilled by her own accord, Emilia exhaled white breath while expressing her determination.
Indeed, when Madelyn called Mezoreia, Emilia was in quite a lot of trouble.
Taking on Madelyn alone was already a Herculean task, but it was obvious that adding Mezoreia to the equation would make things even more troublesome.
But Emilia’s intuition told her that she could not count on anyone to help her.
Emilia: [It would be nice to fight together with someone like Priscilla though…]
It was not Emilia’s forte to fight while attuning to people around her. That was because she had trouble thinking while fighting. That was why she respected people who could think while fighting, and believed she could join forces with such a person.
But even that would be difficult in this fight with Madelyn and Mezoreia.
Emilia: [Because it’s getting more and more cold.]
The ice barrier created by Icicle Line did not only prevent Mezoreia from getting out, but also limited the space in which Emilia could lower the temperature.
This had been a suggestion from Petra, but most ground dragons were vulnerable to cold. If flying dragons and water dragons shared the same roots as ground dragons, they might have similar weaknesses to cold.
In fact, unlike earth dragons, both flying dragons, who fly high up in the skies within cooler temperatures, and water dragons, who swim through cold water, had varying tolerance levels against cold, but this misconception was irrelevant in face of overwhelming cold.
Right now, Emilia brought forth such an extreme that far exceeded that limit.
Emilia: [――This is just like Puck’s Magic Release Period.]
There was a time before Roswaal’s mansion burned down when Puck almost turned it completely to ice because his mana emission was inadvertently delayed, but the current state of the coolness of the battlefield rivaled that instance.
Any normal person would have found their hands numb and unable to hold a weapon, and their body incredibly difficult to move. Even a strong person would be affected by no small amount.
Precisely because Emilia chose this fighting style, she could only fight on her own.
At the very least, this time.
Mezoreia: [――I, am Mezoreia. In accordance with the voice of mine dear child, I shalt become the wind from the heavenly skies.]
The sky was covered with low, thick clouds, and Emilia’s amethyst eyes twinkled as she heard a voice from overhead that sounded so heavy that she wondered if the sky itself had spoken.
There was a declaration of its supernatural presence, and the next moment it unleashed a blow beyond human understanding.
The mere flick of its tail could rip the earth apart, the swing of its claws could split space in two, and its great breath was powerful enough to blow away nearly half a city.
It was unmistakably a Dragon, a legend that Emilia had now encountered twice in just a short period of time.
There was a jerk from its unfurled wings, and the wall of ice Emilia had erected was effortlessly torn apart. Although not quite on the level of iron, she had done her best to harden it. And yet, it was easily broken, and before Emilia could feel any disappointment or surprise, she was hurriedly dodging bullets of ice that came hurtling towards her.
Having been cut and sent flying by its wings, countless chunks of ice, large and small, were raining down as scattered lumps. If one were to carelessly collide with this ice, some as large as one’s head, one would end up completely losing their mobility against this Dragon opponent.
It would be a lethal injury to a diminutive being fighting a mighty Dragon.
Emilia: [Hiyah! Yah! Huff! Yikes!!]
And thus, Emilia avoided the chunks of ice as if she were dancing, sweeping away and enduring with a sword and shield of ice she had created for the ones she could not completely dodge.
The fact that she never broke eye contact with her opponent was due to her recent experience of directly fighting the “Divine Dragon” Volcanica at the Pleiades Watchtower.
The Dragon’s power was so far beyond the imaginations of Emilia and her comrades that even the slightest movement that did not look like an attack could be incredibly dangerous.
Emilia: [When fighting Volcanica, I nearly got blown away by a puff of its nose.]
Remembering that time, she reaffirmed that she was glad that she had been there.
If one did not know how to fight Dragons, one could inadvertently fall down on the first something or other and be doomed. But that was not the only thing Emilia recalled during her fight with Mezoreia.
Following Madelyn’s call, Mezoreia, the “Cloud Dragon,” pushed the sky aside and descended to the battlefield――of course, it was very difficult to contend with the ridiculous way of fighting that was unique to Dragons.
Emilia: [Mezoreia! Please, just listen to me! I don’t want to fight with Madelyn…]
Mezoreia: [――I, am Mezoreia. In accordance with the voice of mine dear child, I shalt become the wind from the heavenly skies.]
Emilia: [Ah, just as I thought…]
Emilia appealed loudly, but brushing those words aside, Mezoreia shook its long whiskers without listening and looked down at the tiny Emilia on the ground with its eyes.
Receiving its gaze head-on, Emilia firmly gritted her teeth, keenly realizing as every nerve in her slender body was filled with energy.
Emilia: [You’re just like Volcanica; you’ve grown too old and have forgotten everything!]
For the second time in her life, she encountered a Dragon, a supernatural being――Mezoreia, the “Cloud Dragon” who ruled the sky, had grown senile, just like the “Divine Dragon” she encountered at the tower.