Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
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He was reminded of an aggravating story.
As he recalled, it was Petra who told it.
Petra: [The Master has a very bad personality. He talks poorly, he pesters me, he seems to enjoy being scolded; and at times it’s weird, but he’s really good at teaching.]
It was Petra’s nature that she was unable to unfairly demean a person because she did not like them, even though she was not willing to admit it.
Was it safe to say that Garfiel and Petra were close in age, and perhaps even friends? He liked Petra’s noble nature; no wonder Frederica was so taken with her.
In terms of loss-prone personalities, Garfiel’s love for Subaru and Otto was probably of the same vein. After all, blood would prove the siblings.
If so, Garfiel had to admit that too.
Roswaal L. Mathers was a love rival, a malcontent in the camp who had plotted unforgivable misdeeds, and a natural enemy that he had never liked for a long time.
Still, Roswaal’s teachings were spot on, and that had kept him alive.
Roswaal: [Garfiel, that’s a shuriken. It is coated with poison. Even if you avoid it, it will explode. What is the right move?]
Garfiel: [You’re a little slow, aren’t ya!]
Howling, Garfiel stomped on the ground, and immediately afterward, the earth rose up to protect them as a shield. The light sound of a shuriken piercing into the wall of earth, followed by the sound of an explosion, scorched the atmosphere.
As Roswaal had correctly read, the damage could not have been avoided if it had been parried with a gauntlet or whatnot.
His sharp fangs creaked at that fact――,
Garfiel: [Who’s next?]
Roswaal: [It’s me.]
With an immediate answer to his question, Garfiel turned to Roswaal behind him.
A moment later, Roswaal used his sai in both hands to knock away a kunai thrown at him. Seeing a shadow flashing above his head, Garfiel unhesitatingly launched his fist into it.
There was a ringing sound, and Garfiel’s fist’s strike was met with a raised sharp kick.
The attack was unleashed by Olbart, who had ceased his skull-shattering attack on Roswaal’s head. The monstrous old man countered Garfiel’s fists with his legs, all while saying,
Olbart: [Damn, this is really becoming a problem for me. Two against one, isn’t that unfair?]
Garfiel: [Don’t try to change the rules now, ya little old man!]
Olbart: [Kakaka-kka! I’m free ta say anything I want.]
Olbart leapt backward, drawing back his foot from the impact of the fist strike and using it as a springboard. For a moment, Garfiel was about to step forward to follow up,
A shuriken, swooping in from next to him, passed right under his nose as he stopped, and tore through the air.
Garfiel let it pass him by and exhaled deeply. Roswaal, right next to Garfiel, changed his expression as he re-gripped his sai.
Garfiel’s lips curved at the sight.
Garfiel: [What’cha smiling at?]
Roswaal: [Nothing, nothing. Well, I was just admiring the remarkable speed of your growth. Even without me saying it, you’ve managed to anticipate the surprise attack just now. You are learning things as you fight.]
Garfiel: [You’re sayin’ that I’m just bein’ sly, aren’t ya? And my amazin’ self ain’t gonna be as shitty as you or that old man.]
Roswaal: [It takes talent to be nefarious, you know. The way I see it, you don’t have the predisposition to be nefarious. You’re about on par with Emily.]
Garfiel: [Of course not! Don’t compare me with her!]
He snapped at Roswaal’s remark, but after he said it out loud, he reflected that it was a reaction that might have been hurtful if Emilia had heard it.
Be that as it may, he thought about Emilia and the other members of the camp who were probably on the battlefield like Garfiel, and thought about who was fighting with them. He took a deep breath as he thought of the Shudraqian women and Heinkel, as well as the safety of Ram, who had joined them.
Olbart: [You’ve got a lotta time on yer hands, don’tcha? Yer people are in a tough spot, aren’t they? I’m sure we got a stronger lineup than ya do.]
Olbart’s words frustrated Garfiel’s attempts to regain his composure and face the situation.
The feeling of having one’s mind read would make one suspicious that, on the battlefield, their intentions could be predicted; it would be an undesirable situation.
But next to the impatient Garfiel, Roswaal shrugged,
Roswaal: [Your opponent wants you to get heated. In your case, that could eliminate any hesitation, but it’s not good to mix impurities into your fervor. In addition…]
Garfiel: [In addition?]
Roswaal: [He’s been quite chatty to begin with, but hasn’t he increased the number of remarks that are trying to deceive us? It seems like the old man is also quite irritated.]
Olbart: [――. You’re a disgustin’ young’un, ain’t’cha?]
As he spoke, the glint in Olbart’s long, brow-covered eyes took on a shine of vexation.
And, after hearing Roswaal’s statement, Garfiel realized an obvious truth―― His opponent was as annoyed by this battle dragging on as he himself was.
Olbart laughed, while being provoked and teased, not because he could afford to, but because he wanted his opponents to believe that he had room to in order to gain the mental upper hand.
Whereas with Garfiel, his feelings could immediately be seen in his face, voice, and fur.
Thus, in this sort of psychological warfare, one’s opponent could win in the blink of an eye by leading one by the nose.
Roswaal: [Even so, when you surpass your opponent’s strength and when he comes to the same playing field as you, you can win. However…]
Garfiel: [I know. If a bastard’s stronger than my amazin’ self and only fights in the ring they’re good at, then no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to see a way to win. But…]
The fact that Garfiel was now fighting in the Vollachian Empire was the result of a rather unfortunate combination of various coincidental events.
But, no matter how the dice were rolled, there was no denying the reality before him.
And, in the years to come, battles comparable to this one in the Empire could befall him endlessly as long as he was with Emilia and Subaru.
That was to say――,
Garfiel: [――I’m done with whining.]
Roswaal: [Mhm, that’s right. That’s good. This is the end of your boyhood.]
Garfiel wrinkled his nose at Roswaal’s histrionics.
For Garfiel, being congratulated or praised for his growth by him was nothing to be happy about. However, he liked the expression “the end of his boyhood.”
From this point onward, Garfiel would continue forward as someone who had matured.
Olbart: [――Dear, oh dear. This is why I hate young’uns. Unlike this old man who has no room ta grow, y’all can be enlightened immediately.]
Olbart signed as he twisted his neck and shook the ankle of the foot that he had off the ground.
However, the Vicious Old Man’s light-hearted derogation contained genuine hostility. ――Yes, hostility. Up to this moment, Olbart had considered Garfiel to be of a lower rank and aimed to eliminate him.
This was a sign that Garfiel was finally recognized as an enemy by him.
Garfiel’s blood was hot with enthusiasm as he earned the right to go toe-to-toe with Olbart.
He breathed in through his nose again, loudly and deeply, and exhaled through his mouth. Then, he became conscious of the blood circulating in his body and his power that could not be seen――.
Suddenly, a clumsy-sounding voice was uttered, disturbing Garfiel’s concentration.
It was uttered by Olbart who was standing in front of him, and for a moment he thought it was a shinobi technique to disturb his composure. However, it was not.
It was Olbart who had created an opening instead.
He was the chieftain of the shinobi. The gap that had arisen was as small as the eye of a needle, but Garfiel could not help but gasp, as he had never shown such laxness before.
What in the world had brought it about――,
???: [――Wait, wait, wait! I reckon it’s unfair to withdraw in the middle like this, I reckon it’s a waste, you’re not reading the mood! I’m sure I’m right on the mark with you being unable to read it better than I can, right!?]
There was a figure running across the battlefield, raising a noisy voice and leaving behind a cloud of dust.
A small boy who gave the impression of being out of place on the battlefield was calling out in a shrill, high-pitched voice from a considerable distance―― However, the speed at which he ran was unusual.
The screaming boy was looking up at the sky, chasing a huge being as it flapped its wings.
Garfiel understood at first glance that it was the Dragon that had landed on another battlefield a distance away from here. He understood that, but this situation where boy and Dragon were playing tag was one he barely understood.
A battlefield where anything could happen, although he had a strong hunch that that was the case――,
Olbart: […Why’s that bastard Ceci so small?]
Garfiel’s eyes narrowed at the incomprehensible sight, but a subdued voice reached his ears.
Olbart, standing on one leg and still yielding an opening akin to the eye of a needle, was distracted by the Dragon and the boy―― or rather, the screaming boy.
Olbart: [Well, Cheshy, yer taking my style, ain’t’cha?]
The old man’s clouded eyes filled with surprise and suspicion, after which they eventually turned clear and were instead filled with anger.
It was an emotional change that had lasted less than ten seconds, yet he had no idea what thought process had brought forth this change in Olbart.
But, if it was one of only a handful of openings that The Vicious Old Man had made in his life, the devious Roswaal was not going to overlook it.
Roswaal: [――You must really be unaware of the situation if you can afford to look away from the current him.]
Thrusting the tip of the sai he was tightly grasping into it, Roswaal stepped into the needle-thin opening which had arisen.
Disturbed by the sudden action, the strike grazed Olbart’s left shoulder as he twisted around. The speeding mass of iron had stricken the old man in the shoulder, causing Olbart to gnash his teeth as his diminutive figure melted into the ground.
It was the technique of swimming through the earth, which he had displayed several times during this battle.
Garfiel: [I know!]
As irritating as Roswaal’s advice was, he could already see the strategy in the making.
After all, Garfiel’s Divine Protection of Earth Spirits was a Divine Protection that drew mana from the ground via the soles of his feet. In other words, it connected him to the earth.
Even if an opponent was under the ground, if he concentrated, tracking their position would be――.
Suddenly, all the hairs on Garfiel’s body stood on end as he was seized by a strange sensation.
He felt a repulsive sensation, as if his neck was being licked by a tongue which felt strangely coarse. That sensation was not coming from Olbart in front of him, but from a much larger, wider area.
In response to the motionless Garfiel, Roswaal raised a query.
Not entirely in response to Olbart’s earlier comment, Garfiel also yielded an opening. An opening that the monstrous old man would surely have exploited.
However, there was no attack. On the contrary――,
Roswaal: [The traces of the old man, they vanished?]
Roswaal muttered, frowning his shapely brow and not relaxing his grip on his sai.
He was right; there were no signs of Olbart that should have been there. Of course, the opponent was a shinobi. He likely knew how to hide his presence to the greatest possible extent.
Yet, that was not the case. Under the ground, Olbart’s presence seemed distant.
He was moving away from Garfiel and Roswaal at breakneck speed, and then――,
Garfiel: [What the hell, ‘s this feelin’…]
Roswaal: [Garfiel, the old man is――]
Garfiel: [It’s strange, disgustin’ even, it’s like “the winds of Aihiya corrupts the water…”]
Roswaal, still wary of Olbart, did not share the sense of danger with Garfiel.
If he could not feel it, then it was probably not mana that was causing the disturbance. It was a huge, tremendous sensation which Garfiel could feel underfoot drawing near.
――It was a feeling that Garfiel, who had the Divine Protection of Earth Spirits, noticed most quickly.
Garfiel: [The soil of the battlefield… No, the earth of Vollachia, is running wild?]
Garfiel could feel the horrifying screams of the vast earth.
Any resentment that the battle had been left unfinished, or the opportunity to break one of the walls had been lost, dissipated before the weight of what stood in their way.
Garfiel: [Roswaal! Fly right now and let everyone know!]
Garfiel, forgetting the pseudonym he was meant to use in the Empire, called out to him; Roswaal did not interject, perhaps out of respect for the urgency of the situation.
Garfiel shouted with a sense of urgency, in spite of his hatred of the other party.
Garfiel: [――All of Vollachia is going to turn against us!]
――Lamia Godwin was one of the daughters of Drizen Vollachia, the Seventy-Sixth Emperor of the Vollachian Empire, who had fought with Vincent Abellux and Prisca Benedict in the Imperial Selection Ceremony and had been a defeated Imperial Princess.
In the Imperial Selection Ceremony, in which brothers and sisters were forced to kill each other until there was only one left, she had formed an alliance with her other brothers to defeat Vincent, who had been seen as the most likely candidate for the Emperor’s throne, and excelled in cornering her opposition through the excellent usage of schemes and traps.
However, her plan had failed to overturn the initial speculation, the alliance collapsed, and in the end, she lost her life in a duel with her mutually hated sister Prisca.
It had been a common story among those who had been involved in the Imperial Selection Ceremony that she would have won the throne given her age and capacity at the time if it had not been for Vincent.
However, a defeat was still a defeat. When faced with an irrefutable reality, Lamia’s body was burned to ashes by the flames of the Yang Sword. This should have also been an irrefutable reality.
But it was――,
Berstetz: [Her Excellency Lamia, but how…]
Berstetz had normally kept his eyes closed and narrow, but they had opened just enough to confirm the gray color of his pupils and reveal his astonishment at the person in front of him.
What Berstetz’s trembling vision beheld was none other than the countenance of his master Lamia Godwin, which was still vivid in his memory, sitting on the throne with the flag fluttering in the wind behind it.
With the exception of the cracked, bloodless white face and the beautiful red eyes that had transformed into an eerie golden glow standing out in the pitch-black darkness.
Lamia: [Berstetz, did you not hear my question? Has Vincent-niisama won the Imperial Selection Ceremony? Prisca? But do not say it was Palladio-niisama of all people? It would be a nightmare if anyone else besides those two competed after I had been defeated.]
Berstetz: [――. His Excellency Vincent Abellux acquired the throne after the defeat of Your Excellency. To the present time, he has continued to reign for nine years.]
Lamia: [However, he has died. Is that the answer to what is lying beneath my feet?]
Intercepting Berstetz’s words, Lamia looked over the prone corpse as she was resting her chin upon her hand. While she was unable to discern the face from her position, she was able to tell the body apart from her other blood siblings.
Technically, Berstetz had surmised that the fallen Vincent was in fact not the real Vincent, but rather Chisha Gold in disguise, though that was besides the point.
Berstetz: [With all due respect, Your Excellency Lamia, but would you lend me an ear?]
Lamia: [What is it, Berstetz? You have been a faithful henchman of mine. If you have any questions, then I shall answer them.]
Berstetz: [For what reason have you returned? If I may add, the throne is reserved for none other than the Emperor of Vollachia to sit upon. ――Your Excellency does not possess that qualification.]
Berstetz uttered this fully aware that it would have been disrespectful and created displeasure for his counterpart.
At one time, he had served and had done everything in his power to raise her as the worthy successor to take the throne of the Vollachian Empire. During that time, he would have been delighted if he had witnessed Lamia sitting on the Imperial Throne like this.
――He felt a boiling, unbearable hatred and anger welling up in the depths of his chest.
Berstetz: [Make a wise decision, Your Excellency. We were defeated.]
With a reverent hand against his chest, Berstetz advised Lamia as he had once done.
When she was still young, but beautiful and intelligent, Lamia had the flexibility to listen to Berstetz’s recommendations, take them seriously, reflect and digest them, and let them guide her to the right answer.
This cunning, poisonous virtue of Lamia――,
Lamia: [You have fallen sick, Berstetz. No matter how much you love and devote yourself to it, this country is never going to repay you.]
As Lamia tilted her neck, she responded with an unchanging expression as if it had been frozen solid, and Berstetz acted immediately in return.
The ring on his finger had glinted mysteriously as he turned his hand on his chest toward Lamia.
It was a Meteor given to Berstetz as a mark of being the Prime Minister.
Berstetz: [Prepare yourself――!]
Berstetz’s will had elicited a response, and from the glowing ring’s jewel, a fireball had been shot out.
Also possessed by Vincent in the name of self-defense, it released its accumulated mana as magic towards the one whom he had once sworn fidelity to―― No, to attack the one in her likeness.
Just like that, the defenseless Lamia on the throne was engulfed by the fireball――,
Lamia: [What a fool. Of all things, you use fire against a member of the Imperial Family of Vollachia.]
The next moment, a dazzling red light illuminated the throne room, and a flame sliced diagonally in both directions. The blast avoided Lamia with its momentum and the throne as well, crashing into the wall where the flag had been lowered, sending up a flaming fireball.
If left unattended, the fire could have spread to the flag and engulfed the entire Crystal Palace in flames. However, Berstetz’s attention was focused on what was in front of the Crystal Palace rather than on its future.
Lamia rose from the throne and held in her hand a glowing treasured sword of crimson.
That unmistakable form belonged to the pride and joy of the Vollachian Empire――,
Berstetz: [――The Yang Sword Vollachia.]
Lamia: [It is only natural for Vollachia’s Imperial Family to have it, yes?]
Berstetz opened his eyes again, and in those eyes, which were about as wide open as a normal person’s dimmed eyes, he saw Lamia leaping toward him, holding the brilliant Yang Sword in her hand.
With a swing, Lamia’s slash came at him. If that dazzling crimson had not been a fake, Berstetz’s existence would have been scorched, and not even ashes would have remained.
He had to move, but he was not able to.
He had not been trained in that way, and, more importantly, he was blinded by the radiance of it all.
The Vollachian Empire was symbolized by the radiance of its Yang Sword.
Lamia: [Good bye, Berste――.]
A flash of light fell on Berstetz, and even he himself understood at that moment that the life of this wicked man, who had pretended to be a loyal subject and had shaken the Empire to its very foundations, was coming to its end.
The great door of the throne room was suddenly smashed open from the outside, and something flew in from the other side with tremendous force. With unimpeded speed, it collided head-on with Lamia, who had been swinging her blade at Berstetz, and blew away the Imperial Princess’s thin body with a “Puh”.
Berstetz, as he felt as if the death in front of him was growing distant, saw that it was a thrown battle-axe that had collided with Lamia. It was one of the weapons that had been placed in the armor that lined the halls of the Crystal Palace in front of the throne room, a gleaming piece with ceremonial decorations.
Even so, the battle-axe had always been well cared for and was ready to be used on the battlefield, since it was the Imperial way not to display weapons that were actually useless.
It intercepted Lamia head-on and blasted her furiously to the back of the throne room.
Berstetz: [Who did…]
Berstetz wondered who had thrown the axe in. He turned around, but before he could confirm who it was, loud footsteps approached him at once.
???: [You bastard, Berstetz Fondalfon! I was against keeping someone like you as Prime Minister the whole time!!]
Berstetz was grabbed by the collar and lifted to his feet by a huge hand, which forced him to face the bearded giant. The giant had a loud voice that matched his large body, and a stern face that looked as if it had been tailor-made especially for him.
His naked upper body was covered with armor of well-trained muscle, and his high spirits had not diminished in the slightest, even though he had been in captivity for more than a month.
Berstetz: [General First-Class Goz Ralfon…]
Goz: [You will be tried in public! Of course, General First-Class Chisha, who planned and carried out this treason, is just as guilty! Regardless of your true intentions, you are guilty of plotting against His Excellency and your own allies!]
Goz: [In the first place! Do not underestimate us officers and our soldiers! No matter how many trials and tribulations we may face, the Great Disaster will be crushed by our combined efforts!]
The giant who had spoken loudly, Goz Ralfon.
He was one of the Nine Divine Generals of the Empire, at the Fifth ranking, who, due to his loyalty and unfortunate timing, had become the second victim, after Vincent, of Berstetz and Chisha’s schemes.
However, as his interference had helped Vincent escape the Imperial Capital, Berstetz could not take it easy on him for the sake of his own objective.
It was the way of the world, and the Imperial way itself, that one side would win and the other would lose when both sides gave their all for their own cause. Therefore, he did not feel even a bit like apologizing for that.
Berstetz: [Why are you here… You were supposed to be chained up in the basement of my mansion.]
Goz: [A brave girl saved my life! She has a strong heart… You were out of luck to have trapped her alongside me! She is a lady the Vollachian Empire should be proud of!]
Berstetz: […I see, it was her.]
Berstetz’s mind flashed to the blue-haired girl he had been holding captive in his mansion.
She was a valuable user of healing magic and, according to Madelyn, was a young girl from the Oni Clan. He had intended to make her a candidate for the Emperor’s consort, both in terms of her abilities and her race.
He had evaluated her as a strong-willed and vibrant woman, but apparently that was still an underestimation.
He intended to not get too hung up on that, though, now that the failure of the plan had become apparent.
However, what was worrisome concerning the truth of the appearance of Goz――,
Berstetz: [General First-Class Goz, have you already heard about the Great Disaster?]
Goz: [I have not heard the details! However, I was told that it would happen at the cost of His Excellency’s life! I have to ask Chisha about that as well… But my priority is His Excellency’s life! You bastard, where are you keeping His Excellency…]
Goz announced his intentions to Berstetz, responding in an unnecessarily loud voice.
Internally, Berstetz had admired, and even resented, the fact that Chisha had kept the Great Disaster completely to himself, even though it had reached even Goz, but that was all he felt.
Halfway through his words, Goz had noticed something, and his eyes widened.
Goz: [Wha, ah…, Hi-His Excellency… His Excellencyyyy!]
With a scream, Goz crumpled to his knees. Berstetz, thrown by the momentum, fell to the floor on his buttocks, but Goz did not care as he clung to the corpse before him, which had collapsed on the red carpet and would never move again.
Goz widened his eyes and tears streamed from them, being sucked into his thick beard. Pressing his large fist hard against the carpet, his tears weighed down his beard.
Goz: [His Excellency…! This Goz Ralfon, was too late…! What folly! What an act of folly! No longer can this folly be atoned for except by death…!]
Berstetz: [G-Goz, General First-Class! Calm down! That man is…]
Goz: [This is no situation to stay calm in! Damn you, Prime Minister Berstetz! Are you satisfied with this!? You have taken the life of His Excellency, and now this very Empire itself――]
Berstetz: [The deceased is General First-Class Chisha!]
Berstetz loudly silenced Goz, who had been furious at the Emperor’s corpse, which had been pierced through the chest.
Goz opened his eyes wide at Berstetz, who had let out a yell, which he rarely uttered, and then he carefully examined the lying corpse.
Goz: [This is General First-Class Chisha…? Ridiculous! If so, then what happened!]
Berstetz: [I do not know the details of the situation. However, I think that the death of General First-Class Chisha in the guise of His Excellency and the unprecedented situation… may have something to do with the Great Disaster.]
Having calmed Goz, who had a flurry of emotions, Berstetz had also organized his own thoughts.
Perhaps his death as Emperor and the rebellion he committed with Berstetz were all part of a plot hatched by Chisha Gold.
And this had not been unrelated to the events of the Great Disaster that had popped up time and again.
If anyone would have known anything about the Great Disaster, it would have been――,
???: [――That is just awful, all of a sudden. I have not been treated like this since I was born and since I died.]
A quiet voice could be heard from the back of the room.
It was Lamia, who was supposed to have been blown away and felled by a blow from a battle-axe thrown wildly by Goz, who had barged in.
Before proceeding, let it be clear that her presence had not been forgotten.
Despite his subsequent boisterous exchange with Goz, Berstetz had not bothered to mention her because the power of that battle-axe had been clearly deadly.
Goz Ralfon was a General who was admired by many other generals and had been second only to Chisha Gold in terms of commanding large armies, but he also had outstanding individual combat skills when compared to Chisha.
If Goz had unleashed an attack with the intention of knocking down his opponent, the body of an ordinary person on the receiving end of such an attack would have been torn apart in one stroke.
However, for Lamia, that was not the case. ――At least, not strictly speaking.
Lamia: [Well, this body… It does not seem to feel any pain, so I guess that is a relief.]
Saying this, Lamia stood up and tilted her head as she slowly joined the right half of her body together―― which had been shattered like pottery.
Not as a joke or metaphor, but in the truest sense of the word. There had been no blood flowing from the wounds, and the crushed parts wriggled and combined together like ice filling out a lake.
It was not just that someone who was supposed to be dead had come back to life and was suddenly moving again.
Goz: [Prime Minister Berstetz, if I am not mistaken, that person is…]
Berstetz: [――. This is Her Excellency Lamia Godwin. She passed away nine years ago during the Imperial Selection Ceremony.]
Goz: [Why is Her Excellency the Imperial Princess, who was supposed to have died in the Imperial Selection Ceremony, doing this!? And I even attacked Her Excellency Lamia!? Do not tell me that His Excellency the Emperor kept his sister alive!?]
Berstetz: [That cannot possibly be the case. His Excellency Vincent Vollachia has no attachment to such sentiments. Considering her strange appearance, it is Her Excellency Lamia who is the problem.]
Having corrected Goz’s reflexive shortsightedness, Berstetz took a close look at Lamia, who was still restoring her body, and arrived at this conclusion.
If possible, he would have liked to prolong the conversation with Lamia to obtain more information.
Berstetz: [It was no one else but me who closed the window for negotiations.]
Lamia: [Yes, it seems so. Even though I was intending to properly talk this out. So, what happened?]
Berstetz: [That is a good question. Mayhaps I was getting desperate, thinking that my allies would betray me as I take on this last great challenge in my life. I am quite surprised by this side of mine.]
Goz: [This is not the time to say that!! Your Excellency Lamia! I am Goz Ralfon, a General First-Class serving His Excellency the Emperor Vincent Vollachia! If you would oblige and let yourself get tied up!]
After Goz had launched a preemptive strike, Lamia would likely turn a deaf ear even after stating her willingness to talk.
As Lamia affirmed this, Goz took a large step towards her. Even with his battle-axe no longer in his hands, his arms were still as thick as logs.
Even with the power of the Yang Sword and the accompanying physical enhancements, Lamia’s ability should not have been sufficient to stop Goz.
Even though Lamia was not supposed to be the type that could not understand the difference in strength between both of them――,
Lamia: [I refuse, doing such a thing. I am not going to have my freedom taken away right after awakening again.]
Goz: [Then, by force…]
Lamia: [――Besides, you know?]
In case she was not willing to listen, Goz was already about to take an even larger step forward.
Lamia’s bewitching golden eyes flickered, and the situation changed. ――As shadows dwelling in the selfsame pitch-dark goldeness arose around her one after the other.
Goz: [What the hell!?]
Goz cried out in horror, and Berstetz also lost his voice as he choked up.
As if shadows had risen from the ground, more eerie-looking figures with the same eyes and cracked skin, which had lost their color like Lamia’s, appeared.
That alone was astonishing, but Berstetz’s and Goz’s shock did not end there.
There was also the fact that they recognized everyone who rose up――,
Lamia: [――I pity you for clinging to an Empire that will end regardless.]
Lamia raised the Yang Sword to the sky as she stated this. In the same manner, more than two dozen figures around her reached for the sky as well as they unsheathed their treasured swords of crimson, since they were all members of the Imperial Family in possession of the qualification that made them incombustible.
――The battle between the Eighth ranking Moguro Hagane and the old and new Ninth ranking Madelyn Eschart and Balleroy Temeglyph continued to rage on beside the Crystal Palace.
The extraordinary battle that unfolded within the immediate vicinity was a clash between a giant humanoid city wall and a cloud-clad Dragon, and the addition of the Empire’s most powerful flying dragon rider made this a fierce battle that would go down in the history of the Empire.
The roar and rumbling of the earth were the very screams of the Vollachian Empire, and the water flowing out of the destroyed reservoirs turned into a muddy stream that flowed into the Imperial Capital.
The Imperial Capital of Lupugana―― or rather, the Sacred Vollachian Empire itself was in the midst of an unprecedented upheaval that foreshadowed its destruction.
And yet, despite these circumstances――,
???: [Are you His Excellency, or perhaps His Excellency? Either way, the Great Disaster has come around! Won’t you fight against the Great Disaster together with me!?]
The Stargazer, with his arms outstretched and a broad smile on his face, not looking at the crumbling streets of the Imperial Capital, was more than out of place; it was like a nightmare, easily trampling on the understanding of ordinary people.
But alas. The one who was confronted with the Stargazer’s eccentric smile was the one who was the least allowed to be ordinary in this Empire.
For a moment, Abel glanced behind the curtain at the miracle that had saved his life.
What had saved Abel from falling from a great height was a cloth stretched across exactly where he had fallen, an improvised cushioning material gathered from the rooms of the Crystal Palace and the surrounding buildings.
The mechanism that saved him was understandable. The question was why it could have been prepared.
One could not prepare like this unless one knew that someone―― no, that Abel was going to fall.
Abel: [How much did you know!]
The moment he reached such a conclusion, Abel’s outstretched hand grabbed the smiling Ubilk by the chest. He pulled him to his feet forcefully, and Ubilk bellowed, “Oh, oh, oh,” and his eyes widened.
Face to face, directly in front of him, Abel relentlessly stared at Ubilk, and,
Abel: [Chisha’s plan… No, that is not it. How far in advance did you know whose death would bring about the Great Disaster? You said that it would be my death that――]
Ubilk: [Yes, I said that. ――Vincent Vollachia’s death will be the beginning of the Great Disaster that will bring ruin to the Empire.]
Abel glared at him from within breathing distance, but Ubilk’s relaxed demeanor did not falter. Perhaps it was not so much composure, but rather it was a different kind of disgusting anticipation or exuberance.
In fact, Ubilk was in high spirits, as if at last the opportunity he had been waiting for had arrived.
Abel: [I am Vincent Vollachia.]
Ubilk: [No, no! Your Excellency! That’s wrong. That’s nooot~ true. I’ll say it out loud; that’s incorrect, Your Excellency.]
Ubilk: [General First-Class Chisha Gold has unquestionably fulfilled the role of Vincent Vollachia. His Excellency himself, of all people, had molded General Chisha Gold to do so.]
It was not for that purpose that he had kept Chisha Gold by his side.
He believed that when the Great Disaster came, he would need someone with the ability to take charge of everything within the Empire to replace the helpless Emperor who could not be there.
Someone who, after Vincent’s death, would cooperate with a worthy successor and save the Empire.
Abel: [Why did you take part in this plan?]
Ubilk: [What’s that?]
Abel: [As a Stargazer, you are only interested in the fulfillment and implementation of your Commandment. Then, if you wanted to ensure that the Great Disaster would happen, you should have used my life. Why did you decide to go along with Chisha’s uncertain plans? It is nonsensical.]
A Stargazer is a commandment’s puppet in human form.
No matter how much they might have pretended to be likable or accommodating, what lay inside was nothing but an obsession with their commandment and a fanatical desire to fulfill it.
His priorities should have been clear. So, why did he side with Chisha’s plan?
Abel: [What was your reason? Answer me.]
Ubilk: [Ummm~, I think you would be offended if I were to say it, Your Excellency.]
Ubilk: [Well, it didn’t really matter to me whether it was His Excellency himself or General First-Class Chisha. It would be good if it happened, and it would be bad if it didn’t. If the Great Disaster didn’t happen even after General First-Class Chisha died in the guise of His Excellency, then I would have to do sooomething~ about His Excellency himself… Do you get what I’m saying?]
Abel: [――. In that case, is this situation what you had hoped for?]
When Ubilk stuck out his tongue in a mischievous manner, Abel quietly gained an understanding. At the same time, he understood that talking to Ubilk any further would be of no use.
Releasing his grip on Ubilk’s collar, Abel slowly turned around. Reflected in his vision through the Oni mask were several figures holding the edge of the cloth that had saved Abel.
None of these faces had ever been seen at the Crystal Palace before, but――,
Abel: [These people, are they also a part of your faction?]
Ubilk: [There aren’t enough of us to call it a faction, though, areee~ there?]
Shrugging his shoulders, Ubilk spun around and spread his arms in front of his accomplices. The crowd of roughly ten-odd people, assembled without regard for their age or gender, were presumably Stargazers just like him.
Even if one were to try and abate them, their numbers would increase. Although, since it was unknown how the pawns of the Observers were selected, he had left them alone despite knowing of their existence.
Ubilk: [As I said, we are moving in accordance with the commandment. What are you going to do, Your Excellency?]
Abel: [What am I――]
Going to do? Abel tried to put his thoughts across his tongue as he pondered such.
However, in the middle of responding to Ubilk, the ground was shaken by a loud impact. Some distance away from Abel and the others, a part of Moguro’s body fell to the ground, making a large sound.
The battle was still raging. However, since it was two against one, Moguro’s disadvantage was undeniable.
Balleroy Temeglyph, a man who should have been dead, together with his beloved dragon, had been resurrected.
The worst possibility one could deduce from this was that it was just not limited to the two of them.
Ubilk: [The turmoil in the Imperial Capital and the crisis in the Empire, events that defy reason are truly a manifestation of the Great Disaster.]
Ubilk cocked his chin to point to the sky as Abel shielded his face from the dust that was scattering down.
The resurrected dead and the Dragon ran amok, foretelling mounting damage that would probably not end there.
Ubilk: [The Witch of the Kingdom, the Night Weeping of the City States, the Collapse of the Holy Kingdom, and the Great Disaster of the Empire… The four disasters that will destroy the world, that time is approaching. Even at this moment.]
Ubilk: [Oh, and Your Excellency, this is just my personal opinion, but…]
Ubilk deliberately clapped his hands as if speaking of something that he had failed to mention. Then, the Stargazer pointed overhead to Moguro’s battle―― No, he was pointing to something else.
Ubilk pointed not to the battle, but to the throne room with a large hole in it in the Crystal Palace, which was being shaken by the shockwaves of the fierce battle.
Ubilk: [Why did I cooperate with General First-Class Chisha’s scheme, waaas~ it? I am sincere in saying that I would have been fine with both, but… I thought that with Your Excellency, the probability would be higher.]
Brazenly laughing, Ubilk lowered the hand that pointed to the Crystal Palace and, in the same motion, pointed it at Abel.
Ubilk: [I prioritize the fulfillment of the commandment. My goal was to start the Great Disaster, and theeen~ to hold back the destruction it would bring. ――I have not wavered in my priority.]
A Stargazer was obsessed with the realization and fulfillment of their commandment, a living puppet enslaved to their goal.
That perception remained the same. And without altering that perception, Ubilk presented the reasons for his actions, the rationale for his choices, and the future that he pursued.
He said that in order to save the Vollachian Empire from the Great Disaster, he would prioritize Abel.
Abel: [――Chisha Gold, you…]
As he was drab himself, what kind of future and expectations did these disguised black eyes, imbued with the color of Vincent Vollachia, paint?
Why did he not understand that words like “hope” and “dreams” were just a silly escape from reality?
An unexpected explosion roared in Abel’s ears as he put his hand to his face and grabbed the cheek of his Oni mask. Ubilk let out a silly voice in response, followed by a heavy sound of something falling beside them.
When Abel looked, something had fallen onto the cloth that had caught him earlier. However, unlike him, the cloth had not been stretched to help, and it did not fulfill its purpose as cushioning material.
???: [You were correct that this cloth would be laid out! Prime Minister Berstetz! Are you alive!]
???: [That took quite a toll on this old body, but somehow… Hm.]
Shaking off the cloth that covered them, a large man with a naked upper body and a white-haired old man, who was carried in his arms, emerged from beneath it.
Both of them looked familiar, and Abel never thought that he would run into them here.
Ubilk: [Oooh~, if that isn’t General First-Class Goz? And Prime Minister Berstetz is also safe.]
Berstetz: [One would think you would have long since absconded, yet you are still here…]
Goz: [You! You are the Stargazer who instructed General First-Class Chisha and Prime Minister Berstetz with all these superfluous things! Because of you, His Excellency… His Excellency is…!!]
As this large man―― Goz Ralfon, who had apparently jumped down from a large hole in the Crystal Palace, said this, he approached Ubilk while carrying Prime Minister Berstetz in his arms.
Now that he knew what Chisha had been attempting to do, he thought that Goz would not have been killed, but how was it that he had appeared here in this state following the events that had taken place?
How much had Berstetz communicated with Chisha?
Goz: [The turmoil in the Imperial Capital and everything else! This is all caused by your schemes! You should die in order to atone!]
Ubilk: [Wait, waaait~ a minute please! I wasn’t even majorly involved, nor did I have anything to do with what happened to General First-Class Goz! Because, you see, from a commandment point of view, Goz isn’t someone to be concerned about…]
Goz: [How dare you, you bastard!]
By once again saying too much, Ubilk increasingly incurred Goz’s wrath. Berstetz writhed painfully, as if Goz had forgotten that he was carrying him.
Moreover, the changes in this situation did not stop there――,
???: [Wow!? The closer I get and see, the more puzzling everything becomes! I ran after the Dragon that ignored me, just to find out that my substitute opponent was a big golem! Sure, it might serve as a decent show, but I don’t think it’s capable of acting as my substitute!]
Just when he heard a yapping, high-pitched voice, the next moment the owner of the voice appeared with a tremendous wind at his back and a cloud of dust.
While he moved on the soles of his zori, he looked up at the sky with his hands forming a brim. A boy with blue hair and kimono arrived uncalled for―― Everyone’s eyes widened at the sight of his raucous demeanor, speech, and conduct, but above all else, because he looked like the mere, shrunk-down version of a familiar figure.
Goz: [C-Cecilus Segmunt――!?]
Cecilus: [Hm? Did you call me just now? Well, I’m quite embarrassed for doing something so grand that my name has spread with lightning speed. To be honest, I thought the best moment would be me cutting down that Dragon, but I hate my degree of stardom!]
Goz: […No doubt, it is General First-Class Cecilus!]
The boy, who was watching the battle between Moguro and the Cloud Dragon, turned around and uttered those words with an unmistakably unique sense of distance.
This was, without a shadow of a doubt, Cecilus Segmunt, the strongest of the Nine Divine Generals and the First who stood at the peak of the Vollachian Empire’s military might, in a childish state.
He was just about this age when Abel first picked up Cecilus as a subordinate and took him under his wing. Since then, his mind aside, his body should have grown up.
Abel: [But you, why are you small… I can only believe that this is the work of Olbart Dunkelkenn; but, if that is the case.]
Then, contradictions with Olbart’s behavior during their meeting at the Demon City of Chaosflame would arise.
Olbart was, someway or another, unaware of the fact that Chisha had been masquerading as the Emperor. But supposing that Olbart was employing the same technique he had utilized on Natsuki Subaru, Medium, and Al, with Cecilus as the target, he could not help but cast doubts on the actions taken.
Why would the Emperor himself have Cecilus infantilized, he wondered.
A logical explanation to it seemed improbable. Cecilus had gone without being corrected for over a decade until now. At this point, nothing could shackle him down.
In other words――,
???: [You’re way too light-footed for a pipsqueak, ain’t’cha? Can’t believe someone’s gettin’ such a large lead on me, I’m really startin’ ta feel my age.]
Immediately after the thought crossed his mind, a petite shinobi―― Olbart Dunkelkenn, made his appearance right there and then. He had supposedly been entrusted with a bastion to defend the Imperial Capital, yet he had abandoned that role, returning to the Crystal Palace.
When it came to the reason as to why had Olbart, the shinobi head honcho, done such a thing,
Cecilus: [Huh, I thought I’d shaken you off, but I actually didn’t? That’s great, old man! Still wanting a stage role even at that age, how admirable! Bravo!]
Olbart: [So loud. At this point, ya forgot stuff altogether, haven’t’cha?]
Cecilus: [Forgot stuff? Well, I got no idea what you’re talking about though.]
Olbart: [Ceci’s small, so if I didn’t do it, it’s gotta have been that arse’s fault, Chesshy’s. Tho’ I like ta steal others’ skills, I don’t like it when they steal mine.]
Cecilus: [Ahahahaha, that’s an amazingly selfish complaint! I don’t dislike it, rather, I quite like it.]
The old man, his lips curved in dissatisfaction, was laughed at by the much younger Cecilus, who was barely taller than him.
The Stargazer, Ubilk, was still being pressed for answers by Goz, while Berstetz had been stolen of his freedom, being carried by Goz’s brawny arms, his mind more focused on whether the consequences of the still-raging battle between Moguro, the Cloud Dragon, and the resuscitated Balleroy were about to befall him.
Abel: […Just, what is this?]
One after the other, people had gathered at this place.
The majority of the Nine Divine Generals of the Vollachian Empire had come to this location, he came to realize.
Had this, too, been instigated by Chisha?
Having been trained to perform all that Vincent Vollachia could as well, just how much had Chisha Gold surpassed the latter’s expectations?
He had given his own life to keep Abel alive, and what was to come after――.
Chesha: [――My apologies, but I am afraid I would not.]
Once upon a time, faced with a query from Vincent Abellux, Chisha Gold had replied thus.
Upon being asked if he was willing to die for Vincent, he had returned the frank answer that he would not.
Then, the one for whom Chisha had laid down his life, was not Vincent Abellux.
Certainly, it had not been for Abel’s sake, nor for Vincent Vollachia’s, either. It had not been for a play on words of the sort, for that which Chisha had laid down his life for was――,
Abel: [――Heed my words! The Great Disaster is nigh! From here on, you shall abide by my command!]
Grinding his molars together, Abel lifted his face, leaped atop the rubble, turned around. Then viewing the entirety of the ensemble present, he thus asserted for all to listen.
Upon Abel’s proclamation, each and all of those in their self-centered doings observed him.
At that moment, with the exception of Ubilk and Berstetz, who were in the know, the eyes of everyone, Divine Generals included, had the utmost doubt flash across their eyes―― Just who in the world is this man?
Taking that in, Abel reached for the Oni mask upon himself, seizing its cheek. His visage had been covered with an object by Chisha, in the latter’s final moments; now removing it, Abel bared his real face.
Abel: [I am your Emperor, Vincent Vollachia. ――The apex, of the Sword Wolves of the Empire.]
31 thoughts on “Arc 7, Chapter 109 – “Sword Wolf of the Empire””
Tappei is COOKING with this Arc. Thanks for the Translation as usual
The arc just keeps getting better and better…
Thanks for the translation!
This arc is so hype!!!
Thanks for the translation!
Cant wait for the next chapter. What did garfield mean when he said the entirety of vollachia was going to turn on them?!. I’m so hyped!
He probably sensed the dead rising from the ground.
well, we already have a city sized golem, now it’s time for an empire sized golem ! not.
So sad, when you caught spoioer about future 🙁
Thanks for translation!
So Chisha copied Olbart’s technique then shrinked Ceci right?
That seems to be Olbart’s opinion and it makes perfect sense. He let Cecilus childishly enjoy the gladiator island in his own little world until the time of the Great Disaster.
So who did infantilize Cecilus?
Apparently it was Chisha Gold..
Those 4 disasters, the Witch of the Kingdom… uh oh.
Yes, the witch of the kingdom…, probably Echidna.
Why would it be Echidna. Basically nobody in Lugunica has even heard of Echidna. This is obviously referring to the witch of Envy, as she’s the one that caused the last big destruction.
Because those are disasters that WILL destroy the world. Lugunica survived the Witch of Envy, and she was sealed. But Echidna is currently free, possibly along with the other witches.
Lugunica survived the Witch of Envy, and yes she was sealed, that doesn’t mean she will remain sealed however. We’ve already seen multiple times that even in her sealed state she can wreak havoc on the world. Echidna’s entire life was spent stopping the Witch of Envy from destroying Lugunica and the world, it doesn’t make sense that she would be the Witch of the Kingdom that would help destroy the world.
Witch of envy and Satella are different person. Satella is inside of Subaru maintaining his witch factor while the witch of envy is in sealed state . If Subaru breaks a taboo like mentioning his witch factor. Od lagna will not allow let it slide to know that Satella is inside of him. Please read more side stories and understand the plot
Now that’s new. Satella and The Witch of Envy are different persons? Where did that come from?
I forgot the exact place it’s mentioned but She has a multiple personality disorder satella is the original personality the witch is a personality that came from her witchfactor that she wasn’t compatable with that’s why volcanica recognized witch of envy and satella as different people in arc 6 while half conscious while satella is in control she’s actually a good person from the info we have about it the witch isn’t though (most people don’t know about the multiple personality disorder thing in the actual world the story is in so they just saw same face and assume same person)
when subaru was in the witch tea party with all the other witch.
I don’t think they are actually different people, I think it’s just a personality disorder like the other anon said. They inhabit the same body. Satella is the person, the Witch of Envy personality was created by being incompatible with the witch factor of Envy. I don’t know where you might have gotten the information that Satella is literally inside of Subaru and the other personality of the witch is the only part that got sealed away. To me, it seems pretty clear that it’s the Envy part that is attacking Subaru when he breaks the taboo. We can see how Satella acts inside the tea party, it’s nothing like how she is outside of the tea party, it’s clearly a different personality. Also, you don’t need to mention all of that while being so snide and arrogant. You could simply state where exactly this information can be found.
“The Night Weeping of the City States”
This is one of the Disasters that Ubilk said. I believed this is from Kararagi. Does this particular Disaster ever mentioned in any of side stories?
I think in Arc 5 there is a brief mention that there issomething imprisoned at the bottom of Priestiella and thats why it is build like a prison. I could be wrong since it is was a long time ago that i read arc 5.
Actually it was said that the city itself was built so to imprison a certain Mabeast that was then flood it there.
yea also pristella has nothing to do with kararagi aside from that 1 japanese influenced inn. these are prolly just pretexts for the next arcs. gusteko kararagi and finally lugunica/witch of envy
there’s a lot of different pawns still at play so it’s interesting to see wtf is gonna happen. pandora, omega, capella, wrath imprisoned, possible archbishop of pride, hoshin.
we can assume omega/echidna will be involved in the gusteko related arc since afaik they went to gusteko
we can also assume that the authority of gluttony/louis will be resolved this arc too
Actually, Pristella was also constructed by Hoshin, the founder of Kararagi. There was even a diplomatique war between Lugunica and Kararagi regarding this city. Reread the inn episode.
Nope, it was created by Hoshin 400 years ago to trap and kill Typhon, the Witch of Pride of that era. What you are referring to is simply one of the theories about why Pristella was created that Emilia said to Subaru. Typhon’s remains were still there untill recently, when Garfiel, Otto, Liliana, Ezzo (from Felt camp), Ricardo and the cat siblings took on Typhon’s Trials (just like Echidna’s in the sanctuary, but with different content). They managed to pass the trials and recovered the remains, but sadly it got flooded off and its current location is unknown. For more info, check out the ‘Pristella Reconstruction Journal’ side story which is available in English at the WCT side story section
Not sure, but the most likely candidate is the most beautiful slayer, the ‘Slasher’ Zarestia, one of the four great spirits. She was a important character in the Sloth If (Rem If) side story. Of course, it’s just a guess, I don’t know anything about the ‘Night Weeping’ part..
The heck is up with Lamia?! I like how everyone behaves around shrunken Cecil
I am just gonna replace every moment Cecil appears in this chapter with that “We just passin by” Sea of Thieves meme in my head.
The Witch of the Kingdom must be related to the vision/prophecy that Echidna shows to Emilia in the last trial of the sanctuary, where iirc the Kingdom of Lugunica is engulfed in fire while the sky is bloody red and also Emilia is shown standing rear view while stained in blood, this might be it because that it’s confirmed that that part does contain some spoiler like how it is also have a foreshadowing of the curse of the dragon blood that Crucsh got because of Lust in Arc 5…