Arc 7, Chapter 109 – “Sword Wolf of the Empire”


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He was reminded of an aggravating affair.

As per his recollections, Petra had been the one talking.

Petra: [The Master has a very bad personality. His speech is shabby, he pesters people, and he seems to enjoy being scolded, which is weird at times, but he is really good at teaching.]

Being unable to unfairly demean a person because she did not like them was Petra’s nature, even though she was not willing to admit it.

Garfiel and Petra were close in age, so was it perhaps safe to say they were 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 proved 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 since long ago.

Still, Roswaal’s teachings were spot on, and that had kept him alive.

Roswaal: [Garfiel, that’s a shuriken. It’s coated with poison. Even if you avoid it, it’ll explode. What is the right move?]

Garfiel: [You’re a tad slow, ain’t’cha!]

Howling, Garfiel stomped on the ground, and immediately afterward, the earth rose up to protect the two of 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 predicted, correctly so, damage could not have been avoided had it been parried with his gauntlets.

His sharp fangs creaked due to that fact――,

Garfiel: [Who’s next?]

Roswaal: [I am.]

With an immediate answer to his question, Garfiel turned to Roswaal behind him.

A moment later, Roswaal used the sai in both his hands to knock away a kunai thrown at him. Seeing a shadow flashing above his head, Garfiel launched his fist in its direction, bereft of hesitation.

There was a ringing sound, and the strike of Garfiel’s fist was met with a kick with the outer part of a foot, delivered mid-flip.

That attack had been 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 really is turnin’ out ta be a problem. Ain’t two against one unfair?]

Garfiel: [Don’t try ‘n change the rules now, old fart!]

Olbart: [Kakakakka! I’m free ta say anythin’ I wanna.]

Drawing back his foot from where it had impacted the fist, and using it as a springboard, Olbart leapt towards the back. For a moment, Garfiel was about to step forward to follow up,

Garfiel: [――――]

A shuriken, swooping in from his side, passed right under his nose as he stopped, slashing through the air.

Letting it sail by, Garfiel 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 smilin’ at?]

Roswaal: [Nothing, nothing. Well, I was just admiring the remarkable speed of your growth. Even without me saying anything, you’ve managed to anticipate the surprise attack just now. You’re learning things as you fight.]

Garfiel: [You’re sayin’ I’m just bein’ sly, ain’t’cha? 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 put me in the same basket as her!]

He snapped at Roswaal’s remark, but after he himself voiced that out loud, he reflected, concluding that  that reaction would have possibly hurt Emilia had she heard it.

Either way, his mind was on Emilia and the other members of the Camp who were probably on the battlefield like Garfiel, and on those who were fighting alongside them. He took a deep breath as he thought of Heinkel and the Shudraqian women, as he thought of Ram’s safety as well, the latter having joined them.

Olbart: [Ya got a lotta time on yer hands, don’t’cha? Yer people are in a tough spot, ain’t they? I’m sure we got a stronger lineup than ya do.]

Garfiel: [――Hk.]

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 their intentions could be predicted on the battlefield, a situation most undesirable.

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 haven’t the number of attempts to deceive us through words increased? Seems like the old man is also getting 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, provoked, teased, not because he could afford to, but because he wanted his opponents to believe that he had room to, so that he would 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 could win in the blink of an eye by leading their opponent by the nose.

Roswaal: [Even so, you can win provided you surpass your opponent’s strength and they play on the same field you do. However…]

Garfiel: [I know. If a bastard stronger than my amazin’ self only fights in the field you’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.

However, what the dice had rolled mattered not; 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 without end, as long as he was with Emilia and Subaru.

That was to say――,

Garfiel: [――Done with whinin’.]

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 Roswaal was nothing to be happy about. However, he liked that expression, “end of 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’s got no room ta grow, y’all can reach enlightenment on a dime.]

As he twisted his neck and shook the ankle of the foot that he had off the ground, Olbart sighed.

However, the Vicious Old Man’s light-hearted derogation contained genuine hostility. ――Yes, hostility. Up till this moment, Olbart had considered Garfiel to be of a lower rank, aiming to eliminate him.

It was proof that Garfiel had finally been recognized as an enemy.

Garfiel: [Finally…]

Garfiel’s blood was red-hot with enthusiasm for earning 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――.

Olbart: [Ahhn?]

Suddenly, a dumb-sounding voice was uttered, disturbing Garfiel’s concentration.

It had been uttered by Olbart standing in front of him; for a moment he believed it to be a shinobi technique to disturb his composure. However, it was not.

Because, that opening had been born in Olbart, rather.

Garfiel: [――――]

He was the head honcho of the shinobi. The opening 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――,

???: [――Waitwaitwait! It’s unfair to withdraw in the middle like this, it’s a waste, you’re not reading the mood! Pretty sure I’m right on the mark on you being even more unable to read the mood than I, aren’t I!?]

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 that he was 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 beyond his comprehension.

A battlefield where anything could happen, although he had a strong hunch on that――,

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.

And then――,

Olbart: [Well, Chesshy, you’ve taken my color, haven’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 him with how he is right now.]

Thrusting the tip of the sai he was tightly grasping, Roswaal stepped into the needle-thin opening which had arisen.

His immediate reaction disturbed, the strike grazed Olbart’s left shoulder as he twisted around. The speeding mass of iron had connected with Olbart’s shoulder, causing the old man 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.


Roswaal: [Garfiel!]

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――.

Garfiel: [――Ah?]

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.

Roswaal: [Garfiel?]

In response to the motionless Garfiel, Roswaal raised a questioning voice.

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 going without relaxing the grip on his sai.

He was correct; signs of Olbart’s presence were supposed to be there, but none were present. 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. Olbart’s presence below ground seemed to be getting distant.

He was moving away from Garfiel and Roswaal at breakneck speed, and then――,

Garfiel: [What the fuck‘s this feelin’…]

Roswaal: [Garfiel, the old man is――]

Garfiel: [It’s strange, disgustin’ even, it’s like “the winds of Aihiya corrupt 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 possessed 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 that 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 ‘n let everyone know!]

Roswaal: [――――]

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.

It was――,

Garfiel: [――All of Vollachia’s gonna turn into enemies!]


――Lamia Godwin was one of the daughters of Drizen Vollachia, the Seventy-Sixth Emperor of the Vollachian Empire, an Imperial Princess defeated and killed in a conflict against Vincent Abellux and Prisca Benedict, in the Imperial Selection Ceremony.

In the Imperial Selection Ceremony, brothers and sisters were forced to kill each other until a single one remained; yet she had formed an alliance with her other siblings to defeat Vincent, who had been viewed as the one most likely to take the Emperor’s throne, as she excelled in cornering her opposition through the excellent usage of schemes and traps.

However, her plan had failed to disprove what had been speculated at the start. The alliance collapsed, and in the end, she had lost her life in a duel with her sister, Prisca, being that there was no love lost between the two.

Among those involved in the Imperial Selection Ceremony, it would often be stated that she would have won the throne given her age and capacity at the time. Had it not been, for Vincent.

However, defeat was still defeat. Upon facing a cold, hard, and irrefutable reality, Lamia’s body was reduced to cinders by the flames of the Yang Sword. That, too, was supposedly a cold, hard, and irrefutable reality.

And yet――,

Berstetz: [Your Excellency Lamia, but how…]

Berstetz would normally keep his eyes closed and narrow, but now they had opened just enough to allow one to ascertain the gray coloration of his pupils, betraying his astonishment towards the person before him.

What Berstetz’s trembling vision beheld was none other than the countenance of his master Lamia Godwin, a countenance still vivid in his memory, but now sitting on the throne with the flag fluttering in the wind to the back.

Excepting, however, the cracked, bloodless white face she now donned, and the beautiful red irises that had transformed into an eerie golden glow standing out amidst pitch-black darkness.

Lamia: [Berstetz, did you not hear my question? Has Vincent-niisama won the Imperial Selection Ceremony? Was it Prisca? It cannot be, was it Palladio-niisama, of all people? It would be nightmarish, were anyone else besides those two to vie for the throne after my defeat.]

Berstetz: [――. His Excellency Vincent Abellux ascended to 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?]

Cutting off Berstetz’s words, Lamia looked over the prone corpse as she rested her chin upon her hand. While unable to discern the face from her position, she was able to tell the body apart from those of 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 beside 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. ――You do not possess that qualification, Your Excellency.]

Berstetz uttered this fully aware that it would have been disrespectful and that it would give rise to displeasure within his conversational partner.

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. Back then, he would have been delighted had he witnessed Lamia sitting on the Imperial Throne in such a manner.

――Welling up in the depths of his chest were boiling, unbearable hatred and anger.

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 will never repay you.]

Tilting her neck, Lamia responded, her expression unchanging as if frozen solid; and Berstetz acted immediately in return.

The ring on his finger had glinted mysteriously once he turned his hand on his chest toward Lamia.

A Meteor it was, 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 shot out.

It was something Vincent too possessed for the sake of self-defense, and it released the Mana accumulated within it as magic, an attack towards the one whom Berstetz had once sworn fidelity to―― No, towards one who bore her likeness.

Just like that, Lamia defenseless on the throne was engulfed by the fireball――,

Lamia: [Fool. Of all things, you employ fire against a member of the Imperial Family of Vollachia.]

The subsequent moment, dazzling red light illuminated the throne room, and the flame was bisected diagonally, going in two different directions. Lamia and the throne avoided the blast, given its momentum, which in turn crashed into the wall upon which the flag had been draped, giving rise to flames.

If left unattended, that conflagration could spread to the flag, then engulf the entire Crystal Palace in flames. However, Berstetz’s attention was focused on what was in front of him, rather than on the Crystal Palace’s future.

Rising from the throne, Lamia held in her hand a glowing treasured sword of crimson.

That unmistakable form was the pride and joy of the Vollachian Empire――,

Berstetz: [――The Yang Sword Vollachia.]

Lamia: [It is only natural for someone of Vollachia’s Imperial Family to possess it, yes?]

Once more Berstetz opened his eyes to a width on par to the width of a normal person’s squinting eyes, and reflected within them was Lamia leaping toward him, holding the brilliant Yang Sword in her hand.

With a swing, Lamia’s slash loomed. Were that dazzling crimson no forgery, Berstetz’s existence would be torched, not even ashes would remain.

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 radiance of the Yang Sword, symbol of the Vollachian Empire――.

Lamia: [Goodbye, Berste――]

A flash of light fell upon Berstetz, and even he himself understood at that moment that his life, 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 arriving at its terminus.

???: [Nuuuuun!!]

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. Its speed unchecked, it flew directly into Lamia, who had been swinging her blade at Berstetz, blowing away the Imperial Princess’s thin body with a “Guh”.

Lamia: [Wha…]

Feeling that his imminent death was growing distant, Berstetz came to see that what had collided with Lamia was a battle-axe which had been thrown. It was one of the weapons held by a set of armor arranged in the hall 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, kept ready to be used on the battlefield, since not displaying weapons that were actually useless was not the imperial way.

And thus, it had stopped Lamia on her tracks from her front, blowing her away towards the back of the throne room with terrific momentum.

Berstetz: [Who did…]

Has thrown that axe, was the doubt Berstetz harbored. He turned around, but before he could confirm who it was, loud footsteps approached him at once,

???: [Traitorous retainer, 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 a bearded giant of a man. The titan was endowed with a loud voice that befitted 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 by an armor of well-trained muscle, and his vigor 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!]

Berstetz: [――――]

Goz: [In the first place! Do not underestimate us officers and our soldiers! No matter how many hardships 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, ranked Fifth. A man who, due to his loyalty and unfortunate timing, had become the second victim of Berstetz and Chisha’s schemes, Vincent being the first.

However, as his interference had aided Vincent in his escape from the Imperial Capital, Berstetz could not be lenient 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 rescued me! She possesses 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, huh.]

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, she was a young girl from the Oni Clan. He had intended to make her a candidate for Empress Consort, both in terms of her abilities and her race.

He had evaluated her as a strong-willed and vibrant woman, but apparently that had still been 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 Goz’s appearance――,

Berstetz: [General First-Class Goz, have you already heard about the Great Disaster?]

Goz: [I have not heard the details! However, I have heard that it would happen at the cost of His Excellency’s life! I must inquire Chisha about that as well… But my priority is His Excellency’s life! Where are you keeping His Excellency, you…]

Responding in an unnecessarily loud voice, Goz announced his intentions to Berstetz.

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, his eyes widening.

And then――,

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―― to the corpse that had collapsed on the red carpet, the corpse that would move nevermore.

From Goz’s widened eyes tears streamed, absorbed by his thick beard. The tears pressing down his beard, he pounded his large fist against the carpet with force,

Goz: [Your 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-General First-Class Goz! Please remain calm! That man is…]

Goz: [This is no situation to remain 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.

Opening his eyes wide towards Berstetz, who had let out a yell seldom heard from him, Goz then carefully examined the lying corpse,

Goz: [This is General First-Class Chisha…? Ridiculous! If so, then what happened!]

Berstetz: [Even 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 this unprecedented situation… may have something to do with the Great Disaster.]

Having calmed Goz and his flurry of emotions, Berstetz had also organized his own thoughts.

Perhaps his death as Emperor and the rebellion he had 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 did know anything about the Great Disaster, it would be――,

???: [――That is just awful, all of a sudden. I have not been treated like this in all my life and in my death.]

Goz: [――――]

A quiet voice could be heard from the back of the room.

Lamia’s voice, who was supposed to have been blown away, felled by a blow from violent throw of a battle-axe performed by Goz barging 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 in that battle-axe had been, without a doubt, deadly.

Goz Ralfon was a General admired by many others in the troops, second only to Chisha Gold in terms of commanding large armies; but he was also possessed of outstanding individual combat skills in comparison with the latter.

Were Goz to unleash an attack with the intention of defeating an opponent, the body of an average man would be maimed in a single hit, if said average man were on the receiving end.

However, for Lamia, that had not been so. ――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 connected the right half of her body together―― which had been shattered like pottery.

No jest nor metaphor in that expression, it had been spoken in its truest sense. There had been no blood flowing from the wounds, the crushed parts wriggled and combined together like ice filling out a lake.

But, things did not end with the fact that someone who was supposed to be dead had come back to life, suddenly reanimated.

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 is 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 prefer prolonging the conversation with Lamia to obtain more information.

Berstetz: [It was no one else but me who closed the window for negotiations.]

Lamia: [Yes, so it seems. Even though I was intending to talk this out in proper fashion. So, what happened?]

Berstetz: [That is a good question. Perhaps 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 physical enhancements that accompanied its wielding, Lamia’s ability should not have been sufficient to stop Goz.

Even though Lamia was not supposed to be the type that was unable to 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?]

Thinking that she was not willing to listen, Goz was already about to take an even larger step forth, and it happened.

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, 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 had risen――,

Lamia: [――I pity you for clinging to an Empire that will end regardless.]

As she stated this, Lamia raised the Yang Sword to the heavens. In the same manner, more than two dozen figures around her all reached for the heavens as well, unsheathing their treasured swords of crimson; all members of the Imperial Family in possession of the qualification that allowed them to not be burnt away.


――The battle between the Eighth, Moguro Hagane, and the previous and current Ninths, Madelyn Eschart and Balleroy Temeglyph, continued raging in the Crystal Palace’s proximity.

The extraordinary battle that unfolded within its immediate vicinity was a clash between gigantic ramparts in the shape of a human and a cloud-clad Dragon; and with the addition of the Empire’s most powerful flying dragon rider, it turned into a fierce battle that would go down in the history of the Empire.

The thunderous roar, the rumbling of the earth were the very screams of the Vollachian Empire, the water streaming out of the destroyed reservoir turning into a wave of mud flowing 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; he was nightmarish, carelessly trampling on the understanding of ordinary people.

But alas. The one  confronted with the Stargazer’s eccentric smile was the one person who had the least permission to be ordinary in this Empire.

Abel: [――――]

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 to the max placed exactly where he had fallen, an improvised cushioning material gathered from the rooms of the Crystal Palace and the surrounding buildings.

He could understand the mechanism that had saved him. The question was, why could it have been prepared?

This sort of preparation would be unfeasible unless one knew that someone―― no, that Abel would fall there.

Abel: [How much did you know!?]

The moment he reached that conclusion, Abel’s outstretched hand grabbed the smiling Ubilk by the chest. He pulled him to his feet forcefully, and Ubilk bellowed an “Owowow”, his eyes widening.

Face-to-face, directly in front of him, sparing no quarter Abel 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: [Yeah, I did say that. ――That Vincent Vollachia’s death would be the beginning of the Great Disaster that will bring ruin to the Empire.]

Abel glared at him from a distance their breaths could be felt, 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: [Vincent Vollachia is I.]

Ubilk: [No, no! Your Excellency! That’s wrong. That’s nooot~ true. I’ll say it out loud; that’s incorrect, Your Excellency.]

Abel: [――――]

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.]

Abel: [I…]

It was not for that purpose that he had kept Chisha Gold by his side.

Upon the Great Disaster’s arrival, he would need someone with the ability to take charge of everything within the Empire to replace the helpless Emperor who would be unable to be present; that was his belief.

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 wished to ensure that the Great Disaster would happen, you should have made use of my life. Why did you decide to go along with Chisha’s uncertain plans? It is nonsensical.]

A Stargazer was a commandment’s puppet in human form.

No matter how much they could possibly have pretended to be likable or accommodating, what lay inside was naught but an obsession with their commandment and a fanatical desire to fulfill it.

His priorities should have been clear. So, why had he sided with Chisha’s plan?

Abel: [What was your reason? Answer me.]

Ubilk: [Ummm~, I think you’d be offended if I were to say it, Your Excellency.]

Abel: [Speak.]

Ubilk: [Well, it doesn’t really matter to me whether it was His Excellency himself or General First-Class Chisha. It’d be good if the Great Disaster happened, and it’d be bad if it didn’t. If it didn’t happen even after General First-Class Chisha died in the guise of His Excellency, then I’d 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?]

With that, Abel quietly gained an understanding, as Ubilk stuck out his tongue in a mischievous manner. At the same time, he comprehended 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 eyes through the oni mask, were several figures holding the edge of the cloth that had saved Abel.

None of their 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 cull them, their numbers would increase. 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’re moving in accordance with the commandment. What are you gonna 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 particularly loud impact. Some distance away from Abel and everyone else, a part of Moguro’s body fell to the ground, making a large sound.

The battle yet raged on. However, since it was two against one, Moguro’s disadvantage was undeniable.

Balleroy Temeglyph, a man who was supposed to be dead, had been resurrected alongside his beloved dragon.

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.]

As Abel shielded his face from the dust sprinkling down, Ubilk cocked his chin to point to the sky.

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. Their time draws near. Even at this very moment.]

Abel: [――――]

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.

He pointed not to the battle, but to the throne room bearing a sizable hole, which laid in the Crystal Palace, the latter being rocked by the shockwaves of the fierce fight.

Ubilk: [Why did I cooperate with General First-Class Chisha’s scheme, waaas~ it? I’m sincere in saying that I would’ve been fine with both, but… I thought that with Your Excellency, our odds would be better.]

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’d bring. ――I haven’t 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 that perception being altered, 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…]

What kind of future, what kind of expectations had these disguised black eyes, imbued with the color of Vincent Vollachia, imbued with his color, painted?

Why had he not understood that words like “hope” and “dreams” were naught more but silly escapism from reality?

Ubilk: [――Oh?]

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.

Upon looking at it, Abel came to see that 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 the toll on this old body, but somehow… Hm.]

Shaking off the cloth that covered them, a large man with his upper body bare and a white-haired old man carried in the former’s arms emerged from under the cloth.

Both of them looked familiar; Abel had never thought that he would run into them here.

Ubilk: [Ohhh~, if that isn’t General First-Class Goz? And Prime Minister Berstetz’s safe, too.]

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 the large man―― Goz Ralfon, who had apparently jumped down from the large hole in the Crystal Palace, so stated, 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?

Just how much had been shared between Berstetz and Chisha? 

Goz: [The turmoil in the Imperial Capital and everything else! It is all caused by your schemes! You should die in order to atone!]

Ubilk: [Wait, waaait~ a minute please! I wasn’t even all that involved in it, nor did I have anything to do with what happened to General First-Class Goz! Because, you see, as far as the commandment’s concerned, Goz isn’t someone to pay much thought about…]

Goz: [How dare you, you bastard!]

By once again running his mouth, Ubilk incurred Goz’s wrath more and more. Berstetz writhed in pain, as if Goz had forgotten that he was carrying the former.

Moreover, the changes in the situation did not end at just that――,

???: [Uwah!? The closer I get and see, the more puzzling everything becomes! I ran after the Dragon that ignored me, only to find out that the one replacing it as my opponent was a big golem! Sure, it might serve as a decent show, but I don’t think it’s capable of acting as a substitute!]

Abel: [――――]

And right after he heard a yapping, high-pitched voice, the owner of said voice made their entrance wrapped in a tremendous wind while a cloud of dust spread behind him.

Gliding on the soles of the zori he wore, he looked up at the sky with his hands forming a brim. A boy who had been uncalled for, sporting blue hair and a kimono, had arrived―― everyone’s eyes widened at the sight of his raucous demeanor, speech, and conduct, but above all else, because he looked like a mere shrunk-down version of a familiar figure.

Goz: [C-Cecilus Segmunt――!?]

Cecilus: [Hmm? Did you call me just now? Well, I’m quite embarrassed for having managed to do 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 just how much of a star I am!]

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, the First, who stood at the peak of the Vollachian Empire’s military might; but his state that of a child.

It had been at about this age when Abel had first picked up Cecilus as a subordinate, taking him under his wing. Since then, his mind aside, his body was supposed to 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, some way or another, unaware of the fact that Chisha had been masquerading as the Emperor. But supposing that Olbart had been 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 for 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 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 brought about 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.]

Abel: [――――]

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.

And finally――,

Abel: [I am your Emperor, Vincent Vollachia. ――The apex, of the Sword Wolves of the Empire.]

37 thoughts on “Arc 7, Chapter 109 – “Sword Wolf of the Empire””

  1. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

          2. 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

              1. 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)

            1. 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.

  2. “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?

    1. 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.

      1. Actually it was said that the city itself was built so to imprison a certain Mabeast that was then flood it there.

        1. 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

          1. 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.

        2. 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

    2. 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

    1. 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.

  4. 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…

    1. No I don’t think so, emilia mentions that she has hated that person since the very beginning, that one is probably related to sirius when its revealed she’s fortuna and emilia doesnt believe they are the same.

      The disaster seems to be some final arc material involving envy.

  5. The Great Disaster is here, and the Witch for Lugunica is no surprise and is bound to be last. But the Collapse of Gusteko and the Night Weeping of Kararagi? The Collapse is interesting, and I’m certainly looking forward to the Night Weeping. That sounds extremely ominous.

    My guess, we’ll be seeing Kararagi next, and Anastasia’s group will have an absolutely massive part to play. We may even finally get side characters from the Sloth What IF introduced into the main story. Plus, it’s kinda being foreshadowed to be next with all of the mentioned movement in the northwest of Vollachia. If anything, I’d be shocked if Gusteko took precedence over Kararagi.

    Also, another thing to mention. Kararagi, like Lugunica, is bound to be one of the countries with the most in-depth history. I say this primarily due to Alec Hoshin being the founder of Kararagi. This country will probably have one of the most significant impacts on the story as a whole.

    As for Gusteko, maybe Crusch’s Camp camp will be major. If they excel in curses and spirit arts as has been mentioned in previous chapters, then in order to remove the curse-like state on her body aside from Subaru taking it in himself (which he is still likely to do), it would make plenty of sense to bring her there.

    Unfortunately, Felt’s Camp likely will only stay in Lugunica. After all, the Reinhard Law still exists, and it can’t be negated so easily, taking only certain circumstances into play for them to request them to temporarily revoke it (such as in the Wrath What IF). That said, considering how Vollachia is playing out with Priscilla’s Camp being primary and Anastasia’s Camp likely to enter the fray in the future, then maybe multiple camps will also take part in the other countries’ respective arcs. After all, Felt really needs some more time to shine.

    1. Very true, Felt’s camp feels like they don’t have much time to shine in the series, especially considering she one of the first characters you meet.

  6. Arc 7 haters seething rn. This’ll prolly come as the hottest take u have seen, but this arc is better than arc 6.

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