Human Translated By:
- Garcar (Parts 2.4, 2.5)
Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
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——The Fortified City of Garkla was a great city listed among the top five of the Vollachian Empire.
The neighboring countries that were the Kingdom of Lugunica and the Kararagi City-States, Garkla essentially resided alongside the national border of these two countries; with a large mountain at its back, and numerous robust forts lining the insides of its defensive walls, the city had become an important location of mighty defenses.
However, the legend of the city extolled for such sturdiness came crumbling down by hand of the Witch Cult’s Sin Archbishop of Greed, who had assailed Garkla by his lonesome over a decade prior.
The damage to the Fortified City included the death of several thousands in the standing army, the death of the one who was considered to be the strongest warrior in the Vollachian Empire, Kurgan, the Eight-Arms, and finally, the annihilation of several forts, leaving it as one of the worst losses in the history of the Empire.
Since then, a deep scar had been carved into the Fortified City; coming to the present day, the restoration of the city and recovery of its functions had not been complete, and the international tension between countries remained high——.
???: [And, that was the Kingdom’s understanding of the Fortified City’s state of affaaairs~.]
In the deepest part of the city, a large fortress had been carved out in the mountainside of the adjacent Mount Gildray. Roswaal stood by the window of the conference room, smiling as he looked over the cityscape.
The city had plenty of shelters that were amply stocked and sufficiently spacious, which now accommodated the soldiers and refugees who had barely escaped the Imperial Capital with their lives, finally allowing them to welcome the sensation of relief.
Below, several forts erected during this lifetime were used to realize that scene, but not even a single one of those buildings were under construction.
Roswaal: [This is quite different from what I had heard… Even within the Empire, the only rumor about the Fortified City was that it was in the miiiddle~ of reconstruction.]
Let alone citizens of other countries, the true state of affairs in the Fortified City was not even well known to Imperial citizens.
If any country had taken action on the information that the Fortified City was incomplete, it would have been greeted by the perfect structure imposed by the Empire.
As expected, the Empire utilized its own scandal for the sake of war; he was more impressed than he was initially surprised.
???: [If even the famous first-ranked Magician of the Kingdom was not aware, then it seems that our information control has functioned quite well.]
Roswaal: [You wouldn’t leave such visible and audible weaknesses lying around, would you? Goooodness~, I taaake~ my hat off to the Empire’s meticulousness.]
With this tone of admiration, Roswaal turned around as he shrugged his shoulders. In front of him, standing there was a gray-haired old man—— The Imperial Prime Minister, Berstetz Fondalfon.
During the attack on the coupled dragon carriages, he was a person who had assisted in breaking the deadlock of that strenuous fight.
At one point, he was ejected from the coupled dragon carriages and his survival had been in danger, but just by a hair’s breadth, he was rescued by Frederica who had been chasing the dragon carriage, allowing them to rejoin forces in the Fortified City.
Nevertheless, under those circumstances, it was not an unscathed return.
Roswaal: [How are you feeling? The degree of your buuurns~ were quite extensive.]
Berstetz: [Much gratitude for your concern. Fortunately, thanks to the power of that healer girl, I have escaped death. My arms and legs are just a little impaired, but… I suppose this is already too much good fortune for myself.]
Roswaal: [——. I see.]
As Berstetz said this, he struck his cane using one of his hands, limping along with his right leg.
No matter how great the effectiveness of healing magic, it would take a miracle to create results far beyond the upper limits of an individual’s resilience.
Unfortunately, Berstetz’s miracle seemed to have ended when he narrowly escaped death. But then again, the old man appeared to consider even this event to be far too miraculous.
In any case——,
???: [It is fortuitous that we were able to enter the Fortified City with minimal human casualties and without losing any significant war potential. It is regrettable that the Prime Minister’s leg is impaired, but we couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome.]
Stating this, having entered the conference room together with Roswaal, was Serena.
She sat at one of the seats of the round table in the middle of the room, and while tracing the scar on her face with her finger, she pulled out the chair beside her for Berstetz.
Towards this unbefitting consideration of hers, Berstetz bowed, and then took his seat.
Berstetz: [The words of High Countess Dracroy are lacking manners, but her gestures are considerate… I am at a loss for how to perceive you.]
Serena: [Don’t think too hard about it. Both are parts of me. If this fortress were to crumble, I’d be running around propping up the withered Prime Minister and expressing my honest opinions regarding the effort without hesitation.]
Berstetz: [I see. This is quite challenging to comprehend.]
That frankness added a layer of complexity to Serena’s charm, but Berstetz’s attitude also gave the impression of having peeled away a veneer.
The attack of the flock of undead flying dragons led by the Poison Princess. In addition, the appearance of the Three-Headed Valgren, whom Halibel, the Admirer, had personally put a halt on, was honestly the worst turn of events.
However, one could say that, including Berstetz’s survival, it all was a miraculous settlement for the battle array.
Nevertheless, there were still some controversial aspects regarding how that miracle had unfolded.
Berstetz: [By the way, are you certain about this? That Her Excellency Lamia can no longer be resurrected?]
Roswaal noticed a strange trace of warmth in Berstetz’s question as he took his place at the round table. However, unlike Serena, he refrained from making tactless inquiries.
Instead, Roswaal just simply stroked his chin,
Roswaal: [It seems that the other party has found a way to breaaak~ the technique that combines the Sacrament of the Immortal King with Restoration Magic. Princess Lamia Godwin has been cut off from her means of resurrection through that method… No, in this case…]
Serena: [Has been saved, perhaps, is a tad bit too arrogant of a way to say it.]
Serena pointed out the part that was hesitated upon without any mercy.
Regarding that point, neither did Roswaal himself have a clear answer. He could not gauge whether or not a life resurrected as an undead would welcome its own existence.
If he was to give his own personal opinion, he would not necessarily condemn the resurrection of life itself as evil. However, the state of being resurrected as an undead——,
Berstetz: [——Saved. Or perhaps, “liberated” may be a more appropriate way to put it.]
Serena: [Oh? It’s quite surprising to hear you say that, Prime Minister.]
Raising an eyebrow at Berstetz’s words, Serena murmured inquisitively. With her gaze fixed upon him, Berstetz, with both of his hands on the handle of his staff, let out a deep breath.
Berstetz: [I do not believe that Her Excellency Lamia would have approved of such a state of affairs. Her Excellency must have been aware of her own defeat… That was an unwelcome opportunity.]
Serena: [In that case, you mean to say that she would have preferred to have been vanquished? Considering that, the fact that she attacked us in such numbers still doesn’t quite add up.]
Berstetz: […Even so, I believe Her Excellency had different intentions.]
Berstetz, with his thread-like eyes cast down, held an unhidden desire in his heavy murmurs.
Roswaal had a sense that he understood Berstetz’s emotions. Unfortunately, Serena, her palms propping up her chin, did not seem to have grasped the same sentiment at all.
In any case, this was a significant part of the discussion.
Roswaal: [The enemy is formidable, and the situation is in turmoil. It’s a precarious situation that requires us all to unite. This isn’t the time for us to have internal cooonflict~. Isn’t that so, Subaru-kun.]
???: […I know that without you having to point it out.]
With a wry smile, Roswaal called out to the entrance of the conference room.
A black-haired boy, who had just opened the door and peeked his face in, answered with a bitter look on his face.
Subaru: [I wasn’t able to talk more because it was an emergency, but I’d like to share the information again. This girl Spica, formerly known as Louis, was originally a Sin Archbishop of the Witch Cult.]
At the very beginning of the discussion in the conference room of the large fortress, Subaru openly revealed the true identity of Spica, who was standing next to him.
The side that was already aware of the situation from the start on the coupled dragon carriages accepted the confession quietly, of course. On the other hand, the reaction from those of the Empire, who did not know about it, was as one would expect.
Dumbfoundedness and astonishment came first, followed by a reaction whose nature would remain the same whether the confession was the truth or a joke―― That was to say, it was rage.
Goz: [What, what are you saying! A Sin Archbishop!? Impossible! You say this thoughtless remark knowing that this is the Fortified City!? The city that was once felled by a Sin Archbishop!!]
Indeed, it was Goz Ralfon who yelled even louder than usual.
Goz, who had made great contributions to the defense of the coupled dragon carriages, and had hurriedly joined the meeting after receiving treatment for his wounds, his cry was probably the consensus of those who were hearing the situation for the first time.
However, this was neither a joke nor a game.
Subaru: [I’ve also heard about how that piece of shit Regulus went on a rampage in this town. I don’t know if it’s any consolation, but we took care of that bastard, so forget about him for now.]
Goz: [I care not about that abhorrent villain! What matters are the sins carried by that cursed title of Sin Archbishop! Do you understand!?]
Subaru: [――I know.]
Goz’s voice was so loud that it created an illusion of a wind that made one feel as if they were about to be blown away. But, Subaru did not take a single step back from Goz’s angry bellow and instead answered him head-on.
Even Goz widened his eyes with a “Mph” as he heard the direct response from the child Subaru.
Berstetz: [May I?]
Just when Goz’s momentum had stalled, it was Berstetz who raised his hand instead. As the Imperial Prime Minister looked upon Subaru and Spica beside him with his thread-like eyes,
Berstetz: [The fact that you went through the trouble of confiding this to us is a sign that you consider her presence and skills to be necessary for further discussions. In other words, you believe that she has something to do with liberating Her Excellency Lamia from the yoke of the undead?]
Subaru: [Yeah, that’s right. It’s helpful that you spoke up so quickly. As expected, I’d be in trouble if Berstetz-san died on his own.]
Berstetz had inferred the general situation from the flow of the discussion, and while nodding his head in affirmation, Subaru unintentionally said such a thing.
During the battle of the coupled dragon carriages, Berstetz had faced Lamia alone, and he even risked his life removing her and her additional bodies from the Divine Protection of Wind Evasion. Nonetheless, his actions were completely of his own judgment, and almost cost him his life.
Subaru: [Please, don’t let even the smart people be infected by the Empire’s customs. There’s nothing great about accomplishing something at the cost of your life.]
Berstetz: [It seems there are differing opinions on that, but… at the very least, I do not think there is much to be gained in exchange for my life. I will admit that.]
Berstetz spoke while compromising where he had to, and remaining stubborn where he could not.
Subaru thought in a similar way, so it seemed likely that they would remain on parallel paths when it came to the value of life. But then again, Subaru had no intention of letting them die in the line of duty nobly.
Serena: [So? Since you affirmed the Prime Minister’s question, there’s no doubt that the Sin Archbishop girl is immediately effective against the undead. But, what in the world did she do?]
Subaru: [It’s hard to give a specific explanation about that, but…]
Serena rested her chin in her hands atop the round table and prioritized her curiosity over her hostility toward Spica. She asked the obvious question, and Subaru glanced over at Spica.
Receiving his gaze, the girl blinked her blue eyes, and as her hand was lifted by the one holding it,
Subaru: [With the Authority of Gluttony, Spica can eat the special powers of anyone whose name she knows… is what I think. With that, she can nullify the technique of the unlimitedly reviving zombies.]
Anastasia: [What sorta weightless explanation is that? If ya don’t tell me more clearly, I’ll be left feelin’ uneasy ‘n not the least bit relieved y’know?]
Subaru: [Look, even I’d like to give a more convincing and concrete explanation!]
Anastasia, who was supposed to be his ally, mercilessly shot Subaru in the back after he made such a vague statement.
But naturally, it was logical to shoot, and the contents of the shot were fatally unavoidable. On the other hand, it was also true that Subaru could not explain it in any other way.
Beatrice: [In any case, Subaru’s aim was right on target, in fact. With that girl’s Authority, that troublesome zombie princess fled, I suppose. Her retreat wasn’t a lie or a bluff, in fact.]
Julius: [I am in agreement with Beatrice-sama. And, the Pruning Corps who held their ground in order to help buy time for their master’s retreat… it is hard to believe that all of their valiant efforts were the product of some compromise.]
Anastasia: [The two of ya are givin’ emotional answers. But that’s just circumstantial evidence… ‘n if ya ain’t sure of its effectiveness, ya’d know it’s too dangerous of a drug to use, right?]
Subaru: [That’s… of course, I think I get it.]
Even with Beatrice and Julius’s support, the validity of Anastasia’s points remained unassailable.
The correctness of her argument was made clear by the reaction of the Imperial side, which needed to be persuaded anew. The Empire ought to be protected, but it also must be said that whether burdening themselves with a Sin Archbishop for that purpose was worth the risk involved or not, was a difficult decision to make.
That which the Stargazer Ubilk had spoken of, the two lights to oppose the Great Disaster―― the survival of one of them was hopeless, and Spica was the only one who could be relied upon.
Subaru’s realization of Spica’s potential came after Beatrice and Roswaal’s exhaustive investigation concerning the onslaught of zombies, which turned out to be utilizing the Sacrament of the Immortal King and Restoration Magic.
Using the Authority of Gluttony to interfere with the souls of the zombies―― As mentioned before, the exact result that would be yielded upon Spica’s Authority being exercised, was not known.
But, as for Lamia Godwin, the target of Spica’s Authority, her Name was not forgotten by Subaru and his group, nor her half-brother, Abel.
And upon her departure, Lamia showed no signs of having amnesia. Therefore, her Memories had not been eaten either. ――So, just what had Spica eaten?
In this current situation, there was no other choice but to put forward all kinds of wild theories such as their fates, causalities, roles, or the abnormal conditions that were cast upon them at the time.
Of course, Anastasia’s point that this all was lacking in persuasion was understandable.
Emilia: [But, this girl might be able to stop the other “zombees“ too, right? I think that’s reaaally important.]
Then, while Subaru struggled with that, Emilia, seated at the round table, raised her eyebrows and spoke up. Anastasia narrowed her pale turquoise eyes at Emilia’s remark.
Anastasia: [I ain’t sayin’ that I don’t understand Emilia-san’s feelings. I’m also fed up with all this clamorous Great Disaster stuff, ‘n I likewise wanna jump on the winnin’ strategy. Even so, usin’ the power of a Sin Archbishop’s just…]
Emilia: [Mm-mm, that’s not what I meant. Of course, it’s true, but… I want to do something about the fact that people who have died are being turned into “zombees“.]
Subaru: [You want to do something about the zombies?]
Emilia: [I don’t know how to put it, but… I reaaally hate that people who are no longer here are being turned into “zombees“ and manipulated like that. Abel for instance, I’m sure he didn’t want to meet his sister like that. And, the same goes for Medium-chan.]
Emilia’s eyes, framed by long lashes, were downcast, and she touched on the absent Medium.
Her absence was in larger part due to her current condition rather than her being excluded from the conference. ――The final undead she had encountered aboard the coupled dragon carriages was the cause.
Receiving Spica’s Star Eating, Lamia had lost her ability to multiply and was about to be destroyed. Obeying her call, the undead flying dragon along with the undead flying dragon rider who commanded it had recovered her.
It seemed as though that person had had a relationship with the siblings Flop and Medium during their lifetime.
Shocked by the fact that someone close to her had turned into an undead, Medium, now that the crisis was over, was holed up in a room in the fort, and refused to show her face.
It was an event that forced the always bright and positive Medium to become like that.
Subaru, too, felt pain in his heart, but he had not been concerned about her in the same way that Emilia was. That was why, even after all this time, Subaru was surprised by Emilia’s comment.
He was so focused on the threat of the zombies that he could not even stop to think about the grief that they were causing.
Otto: […Emilia-sama may have a slightly different view, but there is no doubt that those zombies are troublesome things. To begin with, the form they have been resurrected in is unnatural. Though to say that they are completely flawless would be far too convenient.]
While Subaru was feeling ashamed after hearing Emilia’s opinion, it was Otto who interrupted her.
After observing the situation for a while, he looked up at the ceiling, leaning his back against the wall of the fort,
Otto: [The zombies are likely not merely resurrected beings. Until now, a great number of… though one part of that was many of that one woman showing up, ignoring that, we have seen many zombies. I do not believe that all of them had a grudge against His Excellency the Emperor during their lifetimes. Naturally.]
Subaru: [Yeah, naturally indeed.]
Beatrice: [No matter how you look at it, such a thing would naturally be impossible, I suppose.]
At Otto’s interjected doubts and advocacy, a forceful sense of trust compelled Subaru and Beatrice to nod.
No matter how much Abel might have seemed to others to be a callous and cold-blooded Emperor, there was no doubt that he was not only hated, but respected as well.
Subaru had witnessed and heard about this unbelievable fact during his travels throughout the Empire.
In other words――,
Otto: [We should assume that the aggressive sentiment toward His Excellency Vincent and the Vollachian Empire was implanted or amplified in the process of being resurrected as zombies.]
Julius: [Brainwashing, is it… I think that is a valid point.]
Beatrice: […I heard something from the soldiers fighting at the rear, in fact. It seems that there have been cases where when a soldier who was fighting with them died, that same soldier would immediately turn into a zombie and attack them, I suppose.]
Julius: [Those who were fighting as allies until just previously, attack as soon as they turn into zombies, hm? It appears that Otto-dono’s assessment is certain.]
Otto: [――. Indeed.]
Having expressed his opinion regarding the zombies, Otto gave a curt response to Julius’s affirmation. Subaru furrowed his brows at that distant response, but Julius and Anastasia did not seem to bother and accepted it as a given.
Roswaal: [About Otto-kun’s opinion, it is something I have discussed with the Prime Minister and Countess Dracroy just before you all arrived. According to that… don’t make such an unpleasant face.]
Serena: [Postponing the delving into the details of Roswaal’s relationship with the Internal Affairs Minister, the Prime Minister also held a similar opinion. Isn’t that right?]
With the subject from Roswaal and Serena taking a stab at his interest, Berstetz nodded. He kept his hands resting on his staff, and as he surveyed the participants of the meeting with thread-like eyes that were difficult to read,
Berstetz: [Considering Her Excellency Lamia’s character, she would not wish for a second life. Much less, would she ever do something akin to planning to overturn the death of her first life.]
Subaru: [So as expected, they were brainwashed into attacking us in such extremely high spirits, right?]
Berstetz: [I suppose we ought to consider it as such… Of course, it is also possible that they were revived without any resistance, and deliberately cut no corners to test whether the current Empire is worth preserving.]
Goz: [In that case, the Vollachian Imperial Family…!]
Beatrice: [I’d like you to drop that fervor right now, in fact…]
While prefacing that he would not have made that judgment under normal circumstances, Berstetz was strangely proud that he could not deny the possibility of making strange judgments even if some aspects of normalcy remained.
In any case, it appeared that the consensus was that the zombies’ thoughts were not normal.
Subaru: [The zombies who’ve come back to life will be hostile to us no matter what. In that sense, just like Emilia-tan said, we need to stop the enemy zombie attack as soon as possible. For that purpose, Spica’s power is necessary. In practical terms, I don’t think this can be conceded.]
Otto: [But with that many zombies? You want to take the time to eat them all up one by one? If we are speaking in practical terms, I do not think that can be ignored either.]
Subaru: [If it’s necessary, then I’ll do it. Just munching on the yummy bits and discarding the rest, that’s not the kind of resolve I grabbed this girl’s hand with.]
In more than just a figurative sense, Subaru tightly clutched Spica’s hand, and declared to Otto.
Receiving Subaru’s gaze, Otto turned to look at Spica as if peering into her heart. It was a gaze filled with unrelenting suspicion, and Spica, facing him while clutching Subaru’s hand back,
With such vigor, she growled as if to assert that she had made up her mind to tread this thorny path.
Hearing Spica’s response, Otto exhaled through his nose, and,
Otto: [I will say this now, but there is no use in persuading me. After all, I do not have the authoritative power to decide whether to incorporate her into the plan or not.]
Subaru: [Even if you don’t have an authoritative voice in the meetings, your presence is significant among us. At least, how am I supposed to persuade anyone else if I can’t even persuade the people in my own party?]
Otto: [Is that so? If that is the case then I suppose I ought to have been a bit tougher in my assessment.]
Although Otto shrugged his shoulders and let out a “good grief,” it seemed that he had no intention of retracting his previous statement.
Perhaps, from his perspective during the battle of the coupled dragon carriages, when Spica used her Star Eating against Lamia, he was probably prepared to draw the same line.
It was just that Subaru did not like leaving this unfinished without ever confirming that.
Anastasia: [Seeeems~ like y’all’ve settled down, but I still ain’t adequately convinced, y’know?]
Subaru: [Ugh… On the contrary, Anastasia-san, what would it take to convince you?]
With the consensus of his companions in place, Anastasia, who had the judgment of a semi-companion, stood in the way.
Within this Empire, she at least was in the same boat as the bitter-faced Subaru, and putting her finger on her lips at his question,
Anastasia: [If I’m bein’ honest, I’d like ya to think ‘bout that on yer own as well, but it’s lots better than just poutin’ ‘n groanin’ without givin’ a response. ――First of all, ascertainin’ what that girl is capable of, ‘n if possible verifyin’ the subsequent impact it has.]
Subaru: [What she’s capable of, and the subsequent impact…]
Emilia: [By what she’s capable of, you mean that she can stop the “zombees” from getting up again, right? But as for what happens afterwards…]
Anastasia: [Both Natsuki-kun ‘n Emilia-san should know just how horrible the Authority of Gluttony is.]
At Anastasia’s soft remark, Subaru held his breath, and Emilia widened her eyes.
That was, though an obvious matter, something that could not be left unmentioned.
The Authority of Gluttony; victims that it had brought about were present throughout the world.
In the conference room alone there was Emilia and Julius, and Rem was also present inside the fort. ――Well, in the sense that everybody else also suffered the impacts, everyone could be said to be a victim of Gluttony.
Since they were intentionally making use of that Authority, it was natural to assess the risks.
Beatrice: […So far, nobody has forgotten about the girl who multiplied herself, I suppose.]
Anastasia: [That’s right. But, ain’t nobody thinks that she didn’t eat nothin’. It may not be the Name or Memories, but once whatever she ate accumulates, what’ll happen to the girl?]
Anastasia: [Like Natuski-kun admirably suspected, what if she ends up goin’ back to bein’ the girl she once was?]
Anastasia’s probing was merciless, and Subaru had no choice but to hold his tongue.
All he could do was pray with a baseless, purely emotional belief. Belief in the girl who had been granted the new name of Spica, and chose a different way of life from Louis Arneb.
Belief, in a way, that this Authority, which could be said to have been with the child since birth, would be guided in a way in which many people would deem it as just.
Julius: [Anastasia-sama, it can be said that there is no way to ascertain that. Of course, I believe we ought not to be lacking in vigilance, but…]
Anastasia: [I can’t give ya proof that I ain’t schemin’ a business plan that I ain’t got either. So that, I at least want the certainty of a reward for goin’ down a dangerous path.]
Julius: [So, I take it as you want the definition of the results from employing Miss Spica’s Authority?]
Julius touched the scar under his left eye, and Anastasia nodded with a quick “Yep.”
Then, as she gazed over both Subaru and Spica,
Anastasia: [There ain’t no merchants who’d go to a negotiation with treasure of unknown value. At least, without knowin’ how it’ll be useful, yer sales pitch’ll be irrelevant.]
Julius: [Without a doubt.]
Since Lamia’s attack had ceased, it was probably safe to assume that she had been crushed.
However, the only other evidence was the oracle of the Stargazer Ubilk, whose existence, words, and conduct were all dubious. Since those concerns had no way of being resolved, Anastasia was in fact more than willing to compromise.
At the very least, if they could not satisfy everyone with just the fact that Spica’s Star Eating was certainly effective on the zombies――.
???: [――Unfortunately, we do not have time to spare for such an inspection.]
The low voice that barged in there rudely stirred the inferior air around Subaru.
Everyone’s gazes were instantly directed to the black-haired lean figure that had appeared in the entrance of the conference room―― Though he should have been the leading figure of the conference, Abel had arrived late.
Accompanied by Flop and, for some reason, Jamal, he calmly proceeded without halting his step and imposingly sat on an empty seat at the round table.
Vincent: [What? Your face is befuddled.]
Subaru: [I was just surprised at how overly imposing you’re acting for being late. We already started talking earlier; what were you doing?]
Vincent: [There was something I urgently needed to verify. That was the largest part of the reason why we hastened towards the Fortified City. ――To ascertain the meaning of the words left behind by that enormous fool.]
As Abel responded with no shame, Subaru hesitated to question him further.
That was because Subaru could imagine that the “enormous fool” he spoke of was likely the retainer who had deceived Abel, and then allowed him to live.
But on the other hand, the reason for hastening to this Fortified City caught his attention.
Emilia: [Um, that thing Abel heard, that’s the reason why we rushed over to this town?]
Vincent: [Of course, though it is also a fact that this was the most suitable location to receive refugees.]
Anastasia: [Can ya tell us without usin’ any sluggish bloat? Whatd’ya mean when ya said we ain’t got time earlier?]
Both Emilia and Anastasia directed their questions towards Abel.
Those same questions were harbored by everybody present in the conference room. Receiving those gazes questioning the meaning of his statement, Abel shut a single eye, and tapped the round table with his finger.
A firm sound rang out, and the attention of Subaru and everybody else concentrated on his hand, whether they wanted to or not.
Vincent: [I shall put it plainly. That which I wished to ascertain in this Fortified City, was the unchanging Sanctum… confirmation of the location and status of the Empire’s Great Spirit enrolled among the extraordinary Four Greats, the Stone.]
Subaru: [Great Spirit among the Four Greats… you mean the Four Great Spirits?]
With the sudden appearance of unexpected information, Subaru blinked his eyes many times.
In regards to the Four Great Spirits, he had heard about them when he first came to this other world, and learned more about their existence when he contracted with Beatrice and became a Spiritual Arts User.
Spirits amongst the most powerful Spirits in this world―― Though, the moment he associated with that blundering gray-colored cat who was one of them, he became dubious of their credibility.
Julius: [Then, have you discovered the whereabouts of one of the Four Greats, the one that is in the Empire, the Stone, Muspel!]
Subaru: [I-is that really something so surprising?]
Julius: [Of course. The Slasher of the City-States, the Sacred Beast of the Holy Kingdom, in each nation they are the respective targets of unwavering faith and reverence. The Stone, too, is a being that hides similar power.]
Anastasia: [If ya can secure cooperative ties with a Great Spirit of the Four Greats, that’d be a matter of great importance for the state… It’d be a much bigger deal than that darn lie ‘bout the Fortified City bein’ in the midst of reconstruction.]
As Julius and Anastasia informed him of the importance in succession, Subaru could not do anything but dart his eyes around in honest astonishment.
But, since nobody stepped in to correct them, and since Emilia and Beatrice were making proud expressions for some reason, there was no doubt that their perception was correct.
The problem was――,
Julius: [If you rushed to the Fortified City to confirm the location and state of that Stone, does that mean the Great Spirit is in this land? Certainly, borrowing that power will be a major backing, but…]
Confronting enemies that arose inexhaustibly, Spica’s Star Eating alone was not enough.
Of course, until Star Eating could be detonated, it was best for them to have as much fighting strength as possible to fend off the zombie onslaught. Or, in the same way that Puck could specialize in area attacks better than the current Emilia, the promising power of the Stone could as well.
Flop: [Regrettably, that’s not how things work. Does everybody remember just before when His Excellency the Emperor-kun said we don’t have time?]
With a slow shake of his head, Flop restrained those positive thoughts of Subaru’s.
He, who always maintained a bright positive attitude like Medium, now had a strained expression, and uttered those words in a serious manner.
For some reason, having accompanied Abel, he appeared to be the same as the Emperor. If that was Flop’s expression after learning of the conclusion a little earlier than Subaru and the rest――,
Vincent: [You cannot expect the assistance of the Stone. If anything, the existence of the Stone is being put to use by the opponent… by the Great Disaster.]
Subaru: [What, do you mean? The Great Spirit――]
Vincent: [Is in the palm of the enemy’s hand. Likely, in order for the Great Disaster to inexhaustibly give rise to the undead from the grave, it is utilizing that extraordinary amount of mana. Henceforth, they continue to appear in perpetuity.]
Eyes widened at the horrible report, Subaru looked in disbelief at Abel as the latter still proceeded to continue. But, Subaru did not possess the ability to deter his words.
In the midst of the strained air of the conference room, Abel continued without halt.
Vincent: [I expressed it as “in perpetuity”, but that is not accurate. No matter how much mana is in the Stone’s possession, it will eventually run out. When that happens, the vast lands of the Empire will meet their demise. ――After all, the Sanctum protected by the Stone, the power sustaining the vast lands of Vollachia will be forfeit, and there will be no escaping collapse.]
――Announcing the true nature of the Great Disaster destroying the Empire, it truly was bad news.