Human Translated By:
- Garcar (Section 3.2)
Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
- Cover: Rokaroka
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
――The “Giant Eye” Izmail, was a valiant warrior of the Cyclops Tribe and the hope of his clan.
In the center of his valiant face, a large blue eye fixed its gaze clearly on the future without hesitation. ――Nay, it had once done so.
Now, Izmail’s single eye was as if a golden moon had emerged in an otherwise moonless night; the very manifestation of an evil omen.
In order to bring fame and prestige to his tribe, Izmail resolutely threw down the gauntlet in the battle for the Imperial Capital, entering the battlefield as a rebel aiming to take the head of the Emperor Vincent Vollachia. True to his reputation, he quickly broke through the defenses of the regular army and reached the city walls.
However, that was as far as Izmail’s advance had gone.
The hellfire that had then been unleashed had burned Izmail the Giant down to cinders, alongside all the warriors of the Cyclops Tribe who had followed him. Despite surviving on the border between life and death, he had ultimately lost his life by a follow-up dished by the dagger of an emotionless assassin.
Indeed, he had lost his life. ――That was what ought to have happened.
His body, having been blown to shreds by artillery fire, certainly ought to have died.
Nevertheless, Izmail’s body, hideously burned and blown asunder, had grown new limbs and risen; while carrying his weapon, his battleaxe, on his shoulder, he walked through the Imperial Capital, ravaged by war as it was.
Moving his cold, lifeless body with nothing more than fervently surging emotions of abhorrence and hatred――.
Izmail: [――Where are you, you damned repulsive beast?]
Todd: [Up until now, we’ve only faced small fries, and haven’t come across anyone on the level of someone who used to be a General, but the opponent ahead of us will be more than a match for that. As such, he is quite troublesome.]
Subaru: [When you say General…]
Todd: [There may be exceptions who are evaluated for their military tactics and strategic acumen, but in most cases, it’s their own skill that counts. This guy is one of those… not comparable to a General First-Class, but he definitely has the potential to become a General Second-Class.]
Todd: [If we were to compare by simple ability, he could probably kill all of us by himself.]
With a nonchalant attitude, Todd wrapped up his hopeless report with their annihilation.
Thus pointing out how deadly the formidable zombie that awaited them was to the group, and that the dumb luck that had protected them until now had run out.
Katya: [B-but, you’re a cunning guy, you can figure something out, right? You’ve done so well so far, with the help of these kids.]
Katya said, her voice had risen while her eyes clung to Todd.
The kids she referred to were Subaru and Beatrice, who were crystallizing zombies via magic, and Tanza, who was destroying enemies who had possibly slipped through.
Fortunately, Louis had not had to step in to protect Rem and the rest of the followers so far, and the two main attackers, together with Todd’s good judgment, had paved the way for the team’s success so far.
Todd: [When there is a certain level of parity in strength, brute force can be effective. However, when facing an opponent with a significant power gap, it becomes meaningless. No matter how hard the wind blows, it cannot bring down a castle.]
Flop: [So, you think it’s going to be tough going down this road, Soldier-kun?]
Todd: [Yes. ――I’d say that, but we can’t change our path so easily.]
He nodded halfway through Flop’s words, and then he shook his head. He then turned his head to the path they came from, the Crystal Palace.
Todd: [What’s more, the battle those guys were in has ended. The water will be arriving soon.]
As Todd emotionlessly pointed out, a roar dominated the sky in the far distance.
As they looked in the same direction as him, they saw a huge humanoid figure that clashed with the Dragon near the Crystal Palace; both of its knees had been destroyed, its crumpled body falling to the ground, breaking the castle’s perimeter.
Behind the dense plume of smoke, the white Dragon that had defeated the colossal god unleashed a battle cry.
No creature, zombies included, would be unable to comprehend that the sound that echoed loudly was that of a battle cry, given that scene.
Todd: [If our earlier guess is correct…]
Subaru: [I don’t know if we can make it in time to go back the way we came and find another route.]
Beatrice: [I suppose.]
It was a conclusion that could drive them further and further into a corner, but as they put into words the course of events that they had no choice but to consider, Beatrice, who had joined hands with Subaru, also affirmed Subaru’s thought.
Todd pulled back his chin in response, and Tanza raised her hand modestly with a “Well”,
Tanza: [Then we are at a deadlock, correct? We have a powerful enemy in front of us, but even if we went back, time would not allow it.]
Flop: [Haha, Miss Tanza, that’s a very scary conclusion. It’s true that if we only consider the information we’ve been told then it does feel like a deadlock which is really anxiety-inducing, but I’m sure there are moves left that we can take!]
Tanza: [For example, what?]
Flop: [That’s not for me to know, though! I’m sure someone is here who might, right?]
In response to Flop’s statement, Tanza, who had had difficulty changing her emotions, furrowed her round eyebrows and turned her gaze.
In situations like this, it made Subaru happy and grateful that people thought of him when the topic of someone they could rely on came up. There was pressure too, but it also made him feel like he had to meet their expectations.
Rem: [Can you manage it somehow?]
Indeed, Tanza was not the only one who had high hopes for Subaru.
Rem, who was pushing the wheelchair holding Katya and clutching the handle to the point that her fingers had turned white, asked him this question with shaking pale blue eyes.
Compared to the total trust that Katya, who was just in front of her, had for Todd, it was something as fragile as a sandcastle or thin ice.
Even so, Subaru’s heart was roused.
Having been vigilant towards Todd, who was accompanying them, Subaru was able to pull his attention back to the task at hand and utilize his mind to its fullest.
Todd: [If we don’t decide quickly on whether to go or return, we won’t make it in time.]
While Subaru was brainstorming, Todd had added requirements as if to remind him.
If they went, all they needed was strength. If they were going back, all they needed was luck and time. ――If he assumed he would Return by Death, the latter might have a better chance of success.
Subaru: [No, I can’t say that for certain.]
If he kept repeating Return by Death and eliminated the wrong routes, they might eventually reach another way out by the shortest route, assuming that there was a goal.
If they could not make it in time by whatever route they took, they could not choose the latter option.
On the other hand, if the option to fight was chosen――,
Subaru: [Whether we can fight a strong enemy or not…]
Among the group fleeing with Subaru, only Beatrice with Subaru, Louis, Tanza, and Todd could have been counted as having decent fighting strength, with Idra as a backup.
Of these, Subaru was like a bonus for Beatrice, and wanted to entrust Idra with escorting non-combatants such as Rem and Katya, Flop and the fake Crown Princes.
In effect, there were four people who could serve as combatants―― Beatrice, Louis, Tanza, and Todd. Magnificently, the only people he could trust were young girls, and he did not have the time to laugh it off.
That was what Subaru had just been thinking.
Subaru looked up with his hand on his chin in contemplation and his gaze met with Todd’s, who happened to look in Subaru’s direction at the same moment.
At that instant, lightning flashed in Subaru’s head, and the electrifying feeling of it felt very reliable and bitter.
The reason was――,
Subaru & Todd: [――Let’s beat that zombie.]
――Because Subaru was acutely aware in his soul that they had both intuited their mutual conclusion at the same time and that what it would take to accomplish it would be a combination of strength and wisdom.
――Izmail turned himself around the moment he heard a loud noise, one unlike the others in his environment.
His old, burned body was replaced by a brand-new, cracked one. Izmail, hero of the Cyclops Tribe, took a wide stance and lowered his posture to capture the approach of a large shadow in his single eye.
As Izmail stood in the street, flying parabolically above his head was, as if by some joke, one of the houses that made up the Imperial Capital that had been pulled out of the street in its entirety.
It was forcibly torn from the ground and thrown, spilling pieces all over the ground and walls, scattering like crumbs from a loaf of bread. In reality it was not that cute, and most people would certainly be crushed to death.
Izmail: [――How slow!]
The “Giant Eye” Izmail, was outside the realm of most people.
The flying house was on a trajectory to land in the center of the street, leaving only in front of and behind him as escape routes since the left and right sides were tightly blocked.
But, that they had purposefully provided an escape route, meant he would have to play right into their hands.
Therefore, Izmail did not flee forward or backward, but raised his battle-axe instead.
It was a huge axe that would even be difficult for two strong warriors to lift, but Izmail easily maneuvered it, able to cut through any obstacle with ease.
On this occasion, the same fate befell the thrown house.
At the moment of contact, the blade of the axe slashed directly up from below, entered the front edge of the house, and sliced the large house into two vertical sections with a slash like cutting a large man all the way across from the groin.
The severed house could no longer fulfill its role as a home as the furniture, dishes, and clothing left by the homeowners smashed into the streets, all without dealing any damage to Izmail’s physical body.
immediately after unleashing his spectacular move, a rock came right for Izmail’s face.
Of course, this would not work against the Cyclops Tribe, whose eyesight was unparalleled compared to that of other races. As he tilted his head, dodged the flying projectile, and ducked into the swirling dust left by the house, Izmail squinted his eye.
The “enemy” was in the same direction from which both the house and the stone had been thrown.
――The pupil technique of the Cyclops Tribe allowed Izmail’s view of the world to be switched.
Izmail’s eye, capable of using color to capture the emotions of a target, saw multiple flickers of red coming from the direction of the thrown attack. ――The color of one’s will to fight.
That in itself was desirable, and Izmail’s whole body became filled with strength.
During this siege of the Imperial Capital, or in a battle against bandits or any other race, there was nothing more degrading than fighting those who did not bear the color of a warrior.
Warrior against warrior, fighter against fighter, it was only in such battles that there was value in a contest of skill.
The source of the animosity that drove Izmail’s supposedly-dead body towards those that had defiled the honor of such universal martial art, was great.
Izmail: [It’s a fight――]
Stepping onto the dirt-strewn streets, Izmail’s body advanced toward the enemy.
Stone projectiles, similar to the ones from before, were hurled to intercept him, and then followed a subsequent massive projectile―― a house, describing a parabolic trajectory; although, he did not think it was cowardly or a weak man’s tactic.
Only that it was a fine tactic. That he held respect for, and needed to destroy.
Izmail: [A warrior’s death must come at the hands of a warrior.]
The speed and accuracy of the incoming stones were quite high. Although he responded with a minimal amount of ducking and parrying with his raised battle-axe, it would be inevitable that his bones would be shattered if he were to receive a proper hit.
Needless to say, the massive house that had been thrown into the air was a projectile with such force that it would immediately render its target incapacitated.
Izmail: [Don’t think it’s your exclusive right to send something flying!]
The howling Izmail swung his battle-axe, blowing away the second house-cannonball, and drove the edge of his weapon into the street with such force that it ripped away the ground of the Imperial Capital.
Continuing to rip up the ground, Izmail swung his long leg around and launched a kick that blew it forward like a buckshot. Naturally, he did not expect this to be an effective strike against the enemy across the street.
Izmail: [It’s just a distraction, but…]
Unlike the Cyclops Tribe, other races that did not possess special eyes would be unable to see through a curtain of dust that danced around them.
Within the dust and shattered street debris Izmail hid, which clearly lowered his chance of being hit by the stones being thrown at him, and had a reprieve to advance further.
Izmail: [A big man and a little girl――]
As Izmail peeked through the curtain of smoke, he could clearly see the other side and could make out that there was a man and a girl.
The man took the role of keeping Izmail in check with stones, and the small girl beside him pulled entire houses from the ground and threw them into the air as massive projectiles.
It was a well-coordinated effort, but at the same time, what was disconcerting was the inexperienced way in which they acted.
Izmail, who had honed his skills on the battlefield, understood.
Neither of the two, who had gone on the offensive, were genuine warriors. Nevertheless, they had somehow developed a warrior’s spirit, which Izmail, who was the target of the attack, indeed respected.
Sometimes, the battlefield could transform a non-warrior into a warrior in an instant.
The same thing was happening with that man and the girl.
Voicing his praise, paying them respect, he must kill them, no matter what.
With absolute perfection, with no hesitation whatsoever, without even the slightest of errors, he must thoroughly slaughter them. Eradicating every last part of their lives, he must choke the very life out of them.
He must tear them limb-from-limb, rip off their heads, and drink in the blood of their eviscerated hearts――.
He could feel the fierce craving for death, blood, and lives flaring up within his own mind.
At the same time, as Izmail tore through the third house-cannonball, a shrill noise resounded as the window glass shattered, and he saw himself reflected therein.
Izmail was smiling.
The corners of his mouth contorted as if to applaud the malevolent heat flowing through his cold body, in which no real blood circulated. It was a heinous smile reeking of naught but blood, one that had never once been worn on his face when he was still alive.
Izmail: [Haha, hahaha, HAHAHAHAHA!]
Instead of feeling repugnance at that smile, a vehement exhilaration boiled inside of him, and erupted with the sound of laughter.
As he laughed, and kept laughing, he struck down a lucky shot from the stones that were flying in his direction. Plunging towards the next house-cannonball, he tore through it with his battle-axe as he made his suicide attack.
They continued to hurl things at him while they retreated back, and he leapt towards the two warriors―― No, he leapt towards his prey.
Slamming his battle-axe towards the fifth building, which seemed to be their final resistance, Izmail would try to bless the applause of his boiling “blood” with real blood, and――,
???: [――As expected, only having one eyeball really confines your vision, doesn’t it?]
The house flew in a parabolic arc, and, tearing down its front door with his axe, he would propagate that destructive power, and cause the entirety of the bending building materials to burst like a bubble.
Just before that could happen, somebody’s ridicule struck Izmail’s eardrums.
――No, no no no no no, absolutely not.
That was not the ridicule of just “somebody”.
For Izmail, that voice was the utmost abhorrent, a symbol of malevolence, a target of detestation.
His raised morale from just before had vanished, and a chilly bloodlust dominated Izmail’s entire body.
The one seen by Izmail’s widened, black-stained, golden eye was a single orange-haired Imperial Soldier, lying flat on the floor of the destroyed house――.
――Undoubtedly, he was the sworn enemy who had brought about Izmail’s Death.
That instant, twisting his body in a burst of rage, Izmail’s battle-axe changed its trajectory.
It changed from a vertical axe strike which would have split the house right in half, to a slanted trajectory in an instant, and was about to strike down upon the prone Imperial Soldier――,
Just before he could drive all his might into his sworn enemy, the Imperial Soldier suddenly vanished from Izmail’s field of view, as the latter rode the motivation of his own war cry.
It was not something of this dimension, like moving at an intense speed.
Quite literally, he had vanished.
The next moment, Izmail’s thoughts were completely painted over by black and white.
The hatred that had burst out towards his sworn enemy had lost its destination, and his mind was dominated by the blankness caused by such a strange phenomenon. But, just before that moment, Izmail’s “Giant Eye” had perceived a discrepancy.
It had perceived a young girl of long, golden hair, clung to the leather belt of his prone sworn enemy’s detestable form.
The reason for that, and the intent behind it, were unclear. However, he did not think that information was irrelevant.
Even though they had come across each other only for a short time, there was no way that the Imperial Soldier would thoughtlessly carry unnecessary things; such was the negative trust that stole Izmail’s thoughts away.
A piercing impact bore through Izmail’s left shoulder, and he released a cry of pain.
What had pierced through the walls of the house whose destruction had been interrupted, coming to strike Izmail no matter if it had been aimed precisely or merely a lucky shot, was a stone fired at a high speed.
He thought his bones would break if struck by that, and in accordance with that belief, that force caused Izmail’s left shoulder to violently explode, and as a result, Izmail’s body began to scream―― But that did not come to pass.
Izmail’s body had lost the color of blood, and cracks had formed in several places on his skin. When the stone struck him, a terribly short sound rang out, and it shattered.
It was just as if Izmail himself was the same as the window glass of the destroyed houses.
For a moment, as his left arm shattered, Izmail’s thoughts came to a standstill.
However, while surprised, the absence of the pain he had expected prevented his thoughts from being shredded to pieces. Consequently, he was able to be at ease without overlooking the next change.
Izmail: [My arm…]
His arm, shattered at the shoulder and fallen to the floor of the inclined house, regenerated through inexplicable movements as if time was turning back; cracks were filled, shattered fragments returned, and it was restored.
In less than two seconds, it was as if the shattering had never even happened.
He promptly switched the battle-axe from his right hand to his freshly repaired left hand, and with the intention of ascertaining the feel of it, Izmail fired off an axe strike, this time blasting the half-destroyed house-cannonball.
Destroying the building constructed with a mix of stone and wood, Izmail bathed in the debris as he broke through to the outside―― Then, he reached out his right hand towards the approaching sense of hostility.
He caught a flying fist-sized stone head-on with his right hand wide open.
If he were to go without avoiding the impact, the bones in his right hand would obviously be painfully demolished. But Izmail’s body deviated from how a human body would be broken, instead breaking down like inorganic matter.
Then, it had been restored to its original state with a regenerative ability more powerful than a human body’s ability to heal.
Izmail: [This is… this is the true nature of this body…!]
Unconsciously averting his attention from the unnatural situation in which he had been placed, Izmail moved with a burning hatred.
Granted to him via an incomprehensible resurrection, this repulsive body distanced Izmail from the concepts of blood, pain, and even that which was indispensable to life, the very concept of Death.
In that case――,
Exhaling, Izmail saw below him the sight he desired.
The man and young girl who had been resolutely attacking Izmail for some time now, the one standing right behind them was his cowardly sworn enemy who had vanished just before his attacks could reach him.
With an unknown technique, the moment he vanished from Izmail’s eye, he had appeared behind those two, and the warriors joined forces with the coward.
At that moment, his admiration for the warriors from just before reversed, and transformed into a thick hatred.
Izmail: [All of you, pay for this mockery of war with your lives――!]
Kicking off the fragments of the house that had been blown away, Izmail’s body flew like an arrow.
As his body headed straight towards the villains, the young girl decided that there was not enough time to get to the next house, and so she began throwing stones like the bearded man standing next to her.
Izmail: [――It’s no use, no use, IT’S NO USE!]
Without wielding his battle-axe to hit them away, the stones caught Izmail at high speed; however, neither could they stop Izmail’s actions, nor could they discourage his heart.
Even if a part of him were to be struck by a stone and shattered, it would be instantly restored, and he would suffer no damage.
With a new body that had relinquished the true feeling of life, Izmail attempted to attain the true feeling of life from others by bathing in their blood, and so, towards the stiffened faces of his enemies――,
Trying to reach his hand out, he became aware of something.
The bearded man, the young girl in a kimono, the Imperial Soldier whom he had decided was his hated archenemy, none of their expressions had died.
The bearded man and girl appeared red, while his sworn enemy appeared blue once again; it happened at the moment he ascertained those colors.
――Izmail sensed the arrival of a presence behind him as he leapt toward his enemies.
Izmail’s warrior instincts sounded an alarm, and he spun around in mid-air to look up at the presence.
With his “Giant Eye” opened wide, reflected in his golden eye was a person who had somehow managed to get behind him in an instant―― No, it was not just one person. There were three figures.
A young boy with black hair, and held in his arms was a young girl in a dress.
And, the young blonde girl, who should have just been by his sworn enemy, was clinging to the boy’s back.
All three were small; however, burning with bright-red fighting spirits, they raised their hands.
At the murmured incantation, Izmail’s warrior instincts immediately tried to react by kicking off the debris.
However, restraining those instincts, Izmail stretched his arm in order to swing his battle-axe. Without dodging the attack of his enemies, without stopping it, he would bask in it as he performed his counterattack.
An attack that would have been impossible with his former body, was now a possible slashing attack that could slaughter his enemies, and――,
An amethyst glow was fired, and Izmail dared to catch it as it flew straight towards him.
He, who had planned to start his counterattack with that, had not even realized it.
――He had not realized that the hero of the Cyclops Tribe, the “Giant Eye” Izmail, would have never made such a foolish choice.