Human Translated By:
- Negimiso (Parts 1.6)
Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
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――A blitzkrieg operation to prevent the destruction of the Vollachian Empire caused by the Great Disaster.
Now that it was clear that a head-on confrontation with the ever-reviving army of the undead was a risk that would only hasten their demise, a swift-strike settlement was required.
Since they could not afford to pit large armies against each other in a decisive battle between the living and the dead, it was natural that they would choose to send a small number of elite troops for a mission to assault the enemy lines.
If there was a problem, it was going to be about――,
Subaru: [――Who will be raiding the enemy’s base of operations?]
Arms crossed, Subaru surveyed the scene while sitting on the floor in the middle of the room.
Inside a room in the Fortified City of Garkla’s great fortress, a spacious one perfect for a large group of people to assemble, Subaru’s allies, excluding those affiliated with the Empire, were gathered together.
Those who had missed the earlier meeting because they had been treating the wounded were present as well―― Ram and Garfiel, Petra and Frederica, and not to mention, Rem.
Of course, Anastasia and Julius were also there, as they were not affiliated with the Empire――,
Subaru: [I’m glad Halibel-san is also back safe and sound.]
Halibel: [Aw, it’s kind of ya to worry ’bout me. Well, lil’ Ana’s real tough on me, so I’m honestly glad you’re appreciatin’ my efforts like that.]
Halibel, with his back against the wall and a kiseru in his mouth, smiled as he replied to Subaru’s words of encouragement.
The City-States’ strongest wolf person had confronted the black dragon that appeared before the undead attacked during the battle on the coupled dragon carriages―― he was credited with the victory of keeping the dragon zombie at bay.
Thanks to him keeping the dragon zombie from getting near the dragon carriages, the damage was kept to a minimum. He was an extraordinary shinobi, as evidenced by the fact that he had single-handedly slain a Dragon.
And at Halibel’s comment, however, Anastasia looked dissatisfied by his teasing.
Anastasia: [What’re ya on ’bout? If ya put it like that, it makes it sound like I’m a heartless employer. Didn’t I tell ya that you’d be paid properly for yer work?]
Halibel: [See, that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. She’s become an un-cute child, tryin’ to settle everythin’ by lookin’ at gains ‘n losses… Ricardo’s permissive parentin’ policy made her a wily one, don’t’cha think?]
Halibel: [Yeah, yeah, I’ll take my loss.]
The exchange of Kararagi dialect between the two was settled with a lighthearted call from Anastasia.
Although they had known each other for a long time, the ease with which they communicated was reminiscent of an older man and a little girl who were relatives. Anastasia was petite and had a baby face, but her personality was the opposite of childlike, so it was unusual to get this impression from her.
Regardless of Subaru’s impression, Halibel, who had lost in the argument with Anastasia, said, “Well, that’s how it is” to get the conversation back on track.
Halibel: [I’ve found out through fightin’ with ’em that the zombies in Vollachia are a lil’ different in how they work from the zombies in Kararagi. They’re probably a terrible match for me.]
Subaru: [The zombies are different between Vollachia and Kararagi? What do you mean? Don’t tell me there’s another cause for a zombie panic arising at this stage?]
Halibel: [Nah, there’s no way. The impression I’m gettin’ is… the zombies in the Empire are tougher. I heard that the kid who set this up is causin’ mischief to the Empire’s Great Spirit, so maybe it’s a distance thing.]
Halibel revealed his opinions as he bobbed the kiseru up and down between his teeth.
The subtle difference in nuance was not clear to Subaru, who was not familiar with the undead in Kararagi. However, since someone as competent as Halibel had felt it, there must have been a difference.
He did not want to think that zombies were truly being used for separate reasons at the same time, though.
Julius: [I get the impression that this is more a matter of being complete than of distance.]
Anastasia: [What’cha mean by that, Julius?]
Julius: [Since Halibel has described them as tough, it must be true that the zombies that have appeared in the Empire are superior in terms of ability. However, the zombies in the City-States have emerged at an earlier period. So, what we can infer from this is…]
Ram: [That Kararagi’s zombies were for practice, and Vollachia’s zombies are for the actual operation. Is that what Knight Julius is trying to say?]
Ram asked this of Julius, who, when questioned by Anastasia, had expanded upon his reasoning while touching the scar under his left eye. He straightened his back at Ram’s words, then tucked his chin in with a, “Yes,”
Julius: [If my current thoughts are correct, that would explain Halibel’s impression. In addition, Halibel, may I ask why you believe that you are not a good match for the zombies of the Empire?]
Halibel: [I didn’t see it myself, but I heard that the number of zombies in the dragon carriage were multiplyin’? That black Dragon did the same thing. Ya see, the sellin’ point of my attacks is the fact that it’s a curse of death that makes it over for ya when it hits, so I ain’t compatible at all with an opponent who don’t end even after they kick the bucket.]
Halibel: [Huh? What’s with the silence?]
Subaru: [No, I was just surprised when you casually said your selling point is a killing curse.]
Subaru could not believe his ears when Halibel revealed his hand so easily. However, Halibel seemed to nod his head in agreement with Subaru’s point with a, “Yeah,”
Halibel: [It ain’t like anything will happen even if ya know. ‘N even if ya knew, not many people would get by without takin’ a single hit from me, right?]
Subaru: [Yeaaah, you might seem humble, but you’re not. Same with Reinhard and Ceci, I feel like the strongest people of each country have that in common…]
Subaru was deeply impressed by Halibel’s confident, imposing statement.
Needless to say, Cecilus, the manifestation of approval addiction, and Reinhard, who embodied humility and sincerity as if they were the very clothes he wore, had absolute confidence in their own abilities.
In fact, if someone who was as strong as they were said “I’m nothing special”, it would not be very persuasive. It would be much more impressive if they said they were proud of that fact.
In any case——,
Emilia: [I know that Halibel-san isn’t that good at fighting those “zombees”… but, what should we do about that? Who should be it to storm the Imperial Capital?]
Anastasia: [Tho’ Halibel ain’t talkin’ like the strongest in Kararagi, I can still guarantee his abilities. I’m thinkin’ he should be in the assault team so he won’t get spoiled.]
Halibel: [Well, I ain’t gonna cry ‘n make a fuss sayin’ that I don’t like it tho’, right?]
Halibel gave a wry smile to Anastasia, who was harsh even without any arguing.
In reality, even if his special assassin curse did not work on the zombies, Halibel’s ability to single-handedly confront the black dragon was undeniable. While considering that it was a certainty that he should be a part of the assault team, Subaru wanted to cut to the chase and, with a “May I say something?”, raised his hand.
Subaru: [First things first, I’m joining the assault team.]
Indeed, before anyone else came forward, Subaru asserted his position.
All eyes gathered on Subaru, who had nominated himself, and a momentary pause was created.
Taking advantage of this void, Subaru seized the opportunity to explain why he should be a part of the mission.
Subaru: [First, it should be clear to everyone that Spica’s Authority has the power to nullify their specialty… the resurrection of the zombies. However, currently, it’s necessary for me to accompany her as her guardian so she can use it. If Halibel-san has such a hard time dealing with the resurrecting enemies, then Spica is absolutely essential for the assault.]
During the attack on the coupled dragon carriages, Spica had made a significant contribution to the defeat of the formidable foe, the Poison Princess, Lamia Godwin.
If she could fully wield the Authority of Gluttony, she could cut off the endless Escape by Death of the resurrecting undead. In terms of defeating Sphinx, there seemed to be no better strategy than utilizing Spica.
Subaru: [Both Spica and I have irreplaceable roles… So inevitably, Beako will also have to come with me to the Imperial Capital.]
Beatrice: [That’s what was wished for, in fact. Betty doesn’t want to be separated from Subaru anymore, I suppose.]
Subaru: [I’m sorry, thanks for your help.]
Seating herself comfortably beside Subaru after he had raised his hand, Beatrice firmly grasped his raised hand in hers, signifying her agreement to accompany the assault team.
Feeling reassured by his partner’s response, Subaru glanced at Spica, the crucial part of the operation―― and Rem, whom she was holding onto.
Spica, clinging onto Rem’s waist as she hugged her, and Rem, supporting her shoulder, received Subaru’s gaze.
Rem: […Why are you looking at me with such anxious eyes?]
Subaru: [Well, I’ll be bringing Spica into danger again, and if that makes Rem dislike me, it’ll make my heart shatter…]
Rem: [――. Besides, it’s not like you can’t seek comfort from Emilia-san, right?]
Upon hearing Subaru’s timid response, Rem averted her gaze discontentedly, muttering under her breath.
While Subaru struggled to fully grasp the meaning behind her words, Ram, standing beside her, narrowed her light-crimson eyes and said, “Rem”,
Ram: [What are you going to do? Rip Barusu into pieces?]
Subaru: [Don’t suddenly say something so disturbing, nee–sama!]
Ram: [Just kidding. If you were to tear him to pieces now, he’d just come back to life, wouldn’t he? A Barusu increasing atop corpses… A real nightmare. Disgusting.]
Subaru: [Don’t kill me without permission and then find it disgusting when I’m multiplied!]
At Ram’s Ram-like remarks, Rem smirked as she shook her head. Then, she thanked her sister with a “Thank you very much”,
Rem: [I really appreciate your concern, nee-sama. However, as nee-sama rightly said, no matter what we do now, he will just come back to life, so let’s set that aside for the moment. More importantly…]
Rem: [Spica-chan, do you think you can work hard with that person?]
Rem, with her smirk fading away, looked down at Spica who was clinging to her and asked. Spica widened her blue eyes at the inquiry, quickly adopting a resolute expression.
Being questioned about her role and what she should do, the girl, recognizing her duty, repeatedly nodding her head,
And so, she nodded with such vigor.
Taking that as a voiceless affirmation, Rem made a mixed expression of bitterness and desolation. In order to express her true feelings, her voice trembled as she continued.
Rem: [If that’s true, then I also want to come with you… But, if the current me were to follow you, I understand that I’ll only be a burden. But…]
Emilia: [——Then, you don’t need to worry, Rem.]
Rem’s earnest plea was interrupted by a reassuring voice.
Unconsciously, Rem let out an “Eh?”, and her pale blue eyes widened as she was told this by Emilia, who thumped her own chest.
Her beautiful amethyst eyes were filled with determination as she nodded to Rem.
Emilia: [About that child, and the others who are going together with Subaru, I also reaaally understand your worries. So, I’ll protect them so that they’ll be safe no matter what!]
Rem: [Emilia, san…]
Emilia: [Leave it to me. I’m a reaaally strong person.]
Flexing her biceps, Emilia smiled at Rem.
At the words of the overly reliable Emilia, the bewildered Rem became speechless, and her eyes began to wander around.
Otto: [No, no, no! What are you saying, Emilia-sama! Emilia-sama, you cannot go, and there is no way that I could approve of something like that!]
Emilia: [Eh!? Why not!?]
Otto: [What do you mean “why not”, do you need someone to explain it to you!?]
Emilia opened her eyes full of surprise, but it was Otto who was even more surprised at her.
Otto, who had seemed to be constantly frowning since joining forces with the Empire, finally revealed his typical flustered face—— that, would be a laughable way of putting it.
In actuality, Otto’s opinion this time was far more appropriate than that of Emilia’s.
Otto: [No matter how much you may want to go, this is a mission to march into the most dangerous part of the Empire, right? I absolutely cannot send Emilia-sama out there.]
Garfiel: [Hol’ up there, Ottobro. If ya wanna talk about dangerous places, why didn’t’cha just say that when we first entered Vollachia?]
Otto: [That may be hard to deny, but this is a matter concerning the magnitude of the danger. Natuski-san is right, the Imperial Capital is the enemy’s core… their stronghold, the protection of a village with no strategic value cannot have a similar sturdiness. Without a doubt, the Imperial Capital is the most dangerous place.]
Garfiel: [Well, I guess ya got a good point.]
After having his legitimate question rebuked by a sound argument, Garfiel retracted his opinion.
Driven by this momentum, Otto turned his gaze towards Subaru and Beatrice,
Otto: [Truthfully speaking, I am also opposed to Natsuki-san and the others going. This is an Imperial problem, so it is absurd to risk our lives for the sake of a foreign country.]
Subaru: [What an honest guy. But, I’ve said it several times…]
Otto: [I understand. You want to say that whether it be the Kingdom or Empire, it matters not where it happens. Since the Witch’s aim reaches Lugunica, that is also my opinion. If she were to appear near my home town, however, then I would much rather that the Empire become a wasteland.]
Subaru: [You’re not hiding your blatantly strong kinship anymore, are you?]
Otto usually had a serious face, but weighing the advantages and disadvantages of getting involved in the Vollachian Empire’s affairs seemed to not balance out in his mind. That was why he was constantly in disagreement.
But, just as Otto had understood, for Subaru, this was not a matter of which land was being affected.
Even Subaru disliked the Vollachian Empire, but there were people that he had grown to love in this Empire which he despised. For their sake, he wanted to do everything he could for them.
And it was for that reason that——,
Subaru: [——Not just Spica, but I also need to go to the Imperial Capital.]
Subaru’s rush to volunteer for this was, of course, to ensure that Spica’s Authority was fully realized by traveling with her as her guardian.
However, his biggest reason for going to this largest battlefield, the Imperial Capital, was—— as would be expected from that place, to overturn the inevitable Death which someone might face, to paint over the tapestry of fate.
To garner the support of all of the gladiators from the Gladiator Island, Subaru had gone through a lot of trouble.
But, it was well worth it. Were there to be a promised reward, Subaru would not hesitate to take it.
Betty: [Betty also doesn’t want Subaru doing anything dangerous, in fact.]
And there, Beatrice, who had spoken on Subaru’s behalf, towards Otto, who looked at both Subaru and herself, began to express her thoughts.
With that characteristic pattern in Beatrice’s blue eyes, while making contact with Otto’s eyes that looked towards her,
Beatrice: [But, the strength of that girl will be useful in dismantling the Sacrament of the Immortal King, I suppose. And, in the unlikely event that we need to seal Sphinx, Betty’s strength will be needed, in fact.]
Subaru: [Seal, huh?]
Beatrice: [If Spica’s Authority does not work, there will be no choice but to use a method that will seal her moves and stop her rampage, I suppose. If she commits suicide in order to escape, it will be the start of a never-ending chase, in fact. In order to prevent that, it will be time for Betty’s magic to come into play, I suppose.]
With one hand holding onto Subaru’s, Beatrice stuck out her other free hand.
As he looked at the round hands of the young girl, Subaru’s mind was filled with a scene as Beatrice spoke about the “Seal”―― the successful capture of the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, Roy Alphard, at the Pleiades Watchtower.
Roy’s entire body was hardened like wax by Yin Magic, and he was restrained in a state where he could not move or even think.
Subaru: [That’s right, the Witch of Envy was captured under the same seal…]
Betty: [That’s right, in fact. It’s the reliable and proven Witch seal, I suppose. If sealing Sphinx is essential to controlling this situation, sorry about you and Petra, but Betty and Subaru are indispensable, in fact.]
With Beatrice covering for him from a magical standpoint, Subaru sneaked a glance at Otto, as well as at Petra, who was standing with Frederica, opposite to him.
Petra, who had grown more reliable and promising in the time since he last saw her, was understandably unwilling to let Subaru return to the Imperial Capital in his shrunken state.
However, she was smart enough to understand the validity of Beatrice’s opinion, that if the undead army was not stopped here, the damage would increase exponentially.
For the sake of that, she sighed reluctantly, and then,
Petra: [Of course, it would turn out like this.]
Petra: [Just like Rem-san, I’m not in a position to come along… At least it’ll be a huge help that Beatrice-chan will go as a chaperone.]
Subaru’s heart ached for the overly understanding girl, whose anxiety was caused by none other than himself. Beatrice nodded her head in assurance of Petra’s trust.
Beatrice: [How Petra feels is certainly understandable, I suppose. As long as Betty is around, she won’t allow harm near Subaru, in fact.]
Petra: [Yup, thank you, Beatrice-chan.]
Emilia: [That’s right. Beatrice being with Subaru makes me happy and relieved. But, I would feel more at ease if the two of them and I were together…]
Following the beautiful friendship between Beatrice and Petra, Emilia tried to stubbornly impose her opinion in a not-at-all-successful way, and was shot down by Otto’s steely gaze.
However, as mentioned before, Subaru also believed that Otto’s opinion was correct on this matter.
Subaru wanted to grant Emilia whatever she wished if he could, but granting this wish would take Emilia straight into the most dangerous place in the Empire.
On the other hand, Garfiel had a point.
In the first place, there was no doubt that the Empire was dangerous when they had arrived, and even if she were to remain in Garkla, her personal safety would not be guaranteed.
In that sense, the ideal situation would be to keep everyone Subaru knew close to himself――.
Roswaal: [――I am in favor of adding Emilia-sama to the group that is going into the Imperial Caaapital~.]
But then, unexpectedly, an opinion arose that was one hundred eighty degrees different from the one that had come before.
Frederica was so startled by that opinion that she could not believe her ears as she raised her voice with a look of disbelief on her face. But, while it was only Frederica who had voiced it first, most of the people present could not hide their surprise at that opinion―― Roswaal’s statement.
Amidst the surprise that reigned, it was Anastasia who recovered relatively quickly. Frowning as she stroked her fox scarf,
Anastasia: [That’s a surprisin’ opinion. Surely, I woulda thought that y’all were unanimously against it, except for Emilia-san.]
Roswaal: [Being that Emilia-sama is the representative of the camp, it’s a pity that her opinion isn’t being listened to… Well, juuust~ kidding. I didn’t mean to be a prankster and gooo~ against the grain, either.]
Otto: […Allow us to hear it.]
Roswaal shrugged his shoulders, and Otto urged him onward with his emotionless voice and expression.
Both Subaru and the person being supported, Emilia, waited with bated breath for Roswaal’s thoughts. Roswaal, under the scrutiny of those around him, closed an eye, leaving only the yellow one open,
Roswaal: [It’s not difficult. In this alliance with the Empire, Emilia-sama’s ability is a powerful asset for us to propose. If it were Anastasia-sama who were to tell her to go ahead, we would all stop her, but Emilia-sama is nooot~ like that. In fact, we all approved of Emilia-sama’s involvement in the war before the zombies even showed up.]
Emilia: [Yeah, true! You know, I fought Madelyn and Mezoreia that time, too, and I made it back without a hitch!]
Otto: [This situation is different from that. What is required is a surprise attack by a small number of elites, and Emilia-sama’s over-the-top… bold fighting style is not suited for that.]
Roswaal: [She has more than enough to make up for that. And if Emilia-sama is there, even if the operation fails, then rebuilding can be incorporated into the operation. She could freeze half of the city, wouldn’t you agree?]
This was an outrageous statement by Roswaal, who held up one finger, but it was not surprisingly over the top.
Emilia’s abilities as a unit was hard to replace, she had a ridiculous amount of mana that she could provide on her own, and super long-range skills that she could make full use of.
In short, Emilia could turn the battlefield into a snowy landscape all by herself and run around in the extreme cold, all while being cute and energetic. In order to make ideal use of her overwhelming fighting ability, Subaru had devised Ice Brand Arts, which was also recognized by Roswaal.
In fact, there was no doubt that Emilia was one of the camp’s strongest fighting assets.
After having thoroughly participated in the events surrounding the Pleiades Watchtower and the decisive battle at the Imperial Capital, it was not a convincing argument to keep Emilia out of harm’s way.
In addition, Roswaal had a conviction only he could possess.
Roswaal: [Subaru-kun would be more motivated if Emilia-sama were with him, riiight~?]
Subaru could not help but bite his lip when Roswaal gave such a clearly malevolent smile.
It was obvious that the tacked-on remark was making fun of Subaru’s Authority―― Return by Death, which only Roswaal knew about.
Roswaal had no idea that Death was the trigger for Subaru to go back in time, but he knew that Subaru had such a secret trick up his sleeve.
For Emilia’s sake, there was also the certainty that he would not let this trick go to waste.
Roswaal’s calculations were correct.
Subaru would use Return by Death if something happened to anyone, but if Emilia were to come along, Subaru’s eagerness and desperation would be everything that Roswaal wanted and more.
However, only people like Roswaal could be persuaded by such circumstances.
Frederica: [Master, I, like Otto-sama, am against Emilia-sama going.]
Despite this, the opposition was not swayed by hearing Roswaal’s viewpoint.
Even Frederica, who was among the members of the camp who tended to side with Roswaal, was opposed to Emilia joining the team, emphasizing the dangers of the situation.
Frederica: [Of course, I am aware that Emilia-sama is stronger than Otto-sama and I will ever be, but still, she is way too important――]
Roswaal: [――So I will accompany them. Is that right to saaay~?]
Unable to find an agreement after all, Frederica’s eyes widened upon hearing this refutation.
Roswaal made a brief but unmistakable declaration as he waved both of his lifted hands for all to see,
Roswaal: [I will accompany Emilia-sama and the rest of the team to the Imperial Caaapital~. Fortunately, now that I no longer have to hide my true identity, I’ll be able to show off my skills, both great and small.]
Emilia: [Huh, Roswaal is coming? Umm, are you coming with us?]
Roswaal: [Are you surprised?]
Emilia: [Well, I always had the impression that you were always just relaxing in your mansion, Roswaal.]
Roswaal gave a wry smile at Emilia’s genuinely astonished reaction.
Although “relaxed” was a rather Emilia-like expression, Roswaal was usually not there to solve problems since he was often the cause of them, and because he was an unreliable ally to begin with.
However, it would make no sense for Roswaal to betray their trust under these circumstances.
Considering that there was no possibility of Roswaal plotting some dark scheme within the Empire, in a sense, they could trust Roswaal here much more than they could in the Kingdom.
Subaru: [It makes you wonder what kind of ally is more trustworthy in another country…]
Upon hearing that Roswaal would be accompanying them, it seemed to Subaru that the proposal had nothing but merits, except for the rather disgusted look on Beatrice’s face.
If one was talking about the strongest members of the camp, Roswaal was undeniably one of them.
Otto: [I, also――]
For a moment, Otto suddenly started to say something.
Yet, the words he was about to say were interrupted by grinding teeth, so Otto took a deep breath, and exhaled,
Otto: [Garfiel! Please accompany Natsuki-san and the rest!]
Garfiel: [――. Ya sure ’bout that? On top of the Three Knights goin’, all the strong ones are gonna be there.]
Otto: [Since we made it this far, it would be folly to put in half the effort. In that respect, I do not like the fact that it is in the hands of the Margrave.]
Roswaal: [Otto-kun is always thinking too much of me, iiisn’t~ he?]
Roswaal put on a relaxed smile and Otto put his hand on his forehead. Garfiel, seeing his brother’s distress, gnashed his fangs and put his fists together in front of his chest.
With a dry thud, Garfiel stomped the floor with gusto,
Garfiel: [Aight, then. I’ll be takin’ Otto-bro’s worries, Petra’s worries, and also Sis’s worries all together with my amazin’ self.]
Ram: [Garf, Ram’s worries are missing.]
Garfiel: [I don’t wanna bring your concern for Roswaal with me!]
Ram: [Idiot. There’s no need to worry about Roswaal-sama. Ram is worried for you.]
Although Garfiel had made his choice readily and determinedly, the singular jab he received from Ram had caused his momentum to shrivel up with a “Rawr…”
After displaying her sinful tendency to lead Garfiel on, Ram then glanced at Roswaal, who had volunteered to be a part of the invading force,
Ram: [Please, to your heart’s content. Kindly put on a show for the Empire with your powers.]
Roswaal: [Sure thing. The Empire has too little respect for magic, after aaall~.]
In response to his smile, Ram lifted the skirt of her traveling outfit to perform a curtsy.
Staring at the interaction in which a certain amount of trust, neither excessive nor insufficient, had been exchanged, Emilia blinked her eyes, having been left behind by the flow of the conversation.
Emilia: [Erm, so, Roswaal and Garfiel are coming with us, and I’m also going to invade the Imperial Capital with Subaru’s group… Is that right?]
Subaru: [Yeah, that should be alright. We put together the strongest team, just as Otto said.]
They would be bringing along Emilia, Garfiel, and Roswaal, the three most powerful people within the Emilia Camp, so it could be said that they would be performing at their highest potential as an allied faction.
Subaru was worried about the prospect that the trio of him, Beatrice, and Spica would become a burden to them.
Subaru: [And then Halibel-san also joins the team, huh. All that’s left is――]
Just as Subaru was about to declare the team as one undoubtedly made up of their strongest members, he turned around upon hearing someone calling for him.
The one who had called for him was a man who had not been included among the names that were mentioned. Moreover, if only the strongest were to be gathered, then he was unmistakably someone that Subaru wanted in such a team.
However, the man in his traditional Japanese clothing, with his handsome face, had made an affirmation with a look of dignity in his eyes.
Julius: [I will stay by Anastasia-sama’s side. Drawing the enemy’s eyes towards the Fortified City will assist your break-in, will it not?]
Julius: [Of course, those whom His Excellency the Emperor places his trust in will bear the responsibility of defending the city, but I plan to be of assistance as well. Most of all…]
There, he―― Julius cut off his words for a moment, and cast a glance at Anastasia, who was beside him.
In order to search for the missing Subaru and company, Anastasia had pushed herself to come running all the way to Vollachia. Along with Subaru’s feelings of gratitude towards her, it was necessary for her to return safely without question.
Therefore, Julius made an unequivocal statement.
Julius: [I am Anastasia-sama’s one and only Knight, after all.]
Subaru silently took in a breath at those self-assured words, cloudless and invigorated to the point that it was spectacular.
It was because Subaru understood. That was a statement Julius had made to indicate where he stood, and at the same time, it was to light a fire under Subaru, who was also in the same position as him.
――A shove in the back to protect Emilia, just as Julius would protect Anastasia.
Subaru: [I’m telling you, just because you stay here doesn’t mean you can take it easy. If you let your guard down, you’re gonna get humbled like you did with Reid.]
Julius: [How daunting. Even now, I tremble in fear whenever I gaze at the wound on my face in the mirror.]
Subaru: [The hell are you saying!]
Laughing off Julius’s banter in that manner, Subaru practically jumped to his feet on the spot.
Like that, he surveyed the entire group with his eyes, and went on to reconfirm.
Subaru: [Me, Beako, and Spica are going. Emilia-tan, Garfiel, and Roswaal will be there, and Halibel-san’s also gonna be a member of the team, too.]
Emilia: [Mhm, let’s do our best. Since Ram’s group and Anastasia-san’s group are staying behind, please be very careful of the “zombees”.]
Anastasia: [Y’all are the ones breakin’ into the core of the castle, so I’m gonna lose face if ya told me that. But, dependin’ on how much we can be flashy with attractin’ our customers, the difficulty of yer mission will change. It’s our time to shine, ain’t it?]
As if her merchant’s spirit had been stirred, Anastasia responded with an evil grin.
Feeling reassured by that, Subaru clenched his fists at the imminent battle that would be decisive for the Empire.
No matter what, they would dedicate their best effort to prevent the Great Disaster.
For that reason, they had to hurry towards the Imperial Capital.
If he were to be asked why, it was because――,
Subaru: [――If Ceci, any time now, carelessly decided to slay a thousand, or even ten thousand people at where he was left behind, and the Great Spirit’s mana runs out and the Empire gets destroyed because of it… That’s gonna be absolutely terrible.]
In that case, it would be impossible to tell whether it was Subaru’s fault for taking Cecilus along with him, or a price the Empire had to pay for leaving that guy unattended up until now.