Arc 8, Chapter 53 – “The Magical Sharpshooter”

“Der Freischütz”

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Translated By:

  • Garcar

Proofread By:

  • Cirdan Lunae

Art Sources:

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――Roswaal L. Mathers was the premier magician in the Kingdom, and in the world.

If one were to inquire about this to said person, he would mix in a fearless smile and a certain confidence, and affirm the notion with the condition that “For the present day, I guess that’s the caaase~”.

As Roswaal would note that it was the case in the current era, there would be no chagrin harbored in his expression. Instead, what would dwell within his heterochromatic eyes, would be a deep love and a feeling of loneliness which would appear to be yearning for something.

When he spoke of matters regarding magic, that was the ephemeral longing that would never disappear from inside of Roswaal, of which none were aware, save for Ram and Beatrice; even he himself was not aware of it.

Based on that, Roswaal’s position as the current greatest magician would not waver.

Declaring that to Medium O’Connell as she challenged the decisive battle, he soared through the sky with her in his arms, and confronted the Magical Sharpshooter who had ascended to high altitudes far in the distance―― considering that Roswaal had confidence and pride in his own magic, he estimated the chances of victory here to be low.

Roswaal: [――――]

Having infiltrated the skies of the Imperial Capital from the southwest of the city, Roswaal’s vision beheld the sight of the sky above the northernmost Crystal Palace being dyed a bright red, and many explosions of flame bloomed. Roswaal was the one who had sent in that fiery rain, but it was a pair of flying dragon and rider, flying up from the palace, that had transformed it into flaming explosions―― or so it seemed.

The reason for the phrasing of “seemed” was because Roswaal’s eyes were incapable of locking on to a target moving at rapid speeds from a position several kilometers away.

That was not an issue of Roswaal’s eyesight. It was simply a matter of the human eye being unable to do so.

However, Medium and the opposing Magical Sharpshooter were both overcoming that limitation through the power of a Divine Protection and through some sort of other technique respectively, and had visually identified each other.

As proof of that――,

Medium: [――Uu, kyaan!]

Together with an adorable war cry, Medium swung her barbarian sword while being carried in his arms.

She was flying in a state where she was completely depending on another. By no means could her balance have been good, but Medium’s barbarian sword still caught the approaching bullet of light, and with a sound akin to a splash of water, she cut it down.

Stuck by the impact, and feeling the severed light bullet pass behind them and dissipate to mana, Roswaal could not help but shudder at the speed and precision of that attack.

――That was a magical technique designed to kill, perfected to an unbelievable extent at the very height of expertise.

He could surmise that the fired light bullet was a kind of Yang Magic, but it was of a different lineage to that of Jiwald, which fired a heated ray of light; the technique of shooting such a bullet of light could not be classified into any category, and was an original creation.

He could not say anything for certain after only a brief moment of combat, but it likely involved preparing light in a similar form and nature to the icicles that Emilia would shoot out, and then piercing the opponent’s vitals. One thing that ought to have been noted was how instead of a bullet of ice or earth, which retained a physical form, it was being done with light.

By ensuring that physical bullets would not remain in the wound, it would be difficult for an opponent to discern the true nature of the attack, and furthermore, the area around the wound would be scorched by the light, easily causing a serious wound to be sustained.

Roswaal: [Superb magic.]

Roswaal praised it as an attack undoubtedly worthy of being called Magical Bullets.

If his opponent had devised this by himself, then he should have the talents to become a first-class magician. But then again, at this point, the person in question likely would not desire such prestige. From the viewpoint of an Imperial, he had already received the highest possible evaluation by being a Divine General.

Not to mention that it was difficult to imagine someone who was not living, but rather dead, to be wishing for such glory.

Roswaal: [To begin with, even during his lifetime, he was not a person who clung to fame or prestiiige~. I’ve heard about that from those who were close to him, and from the one who had witnessed his final moments.]

For information about the Magical Sharpshooter―― Balleroy Temeglyph, there was an unexpectedly large number of people who had known him during his lifetime, so Roswaal’s ears had gained more chances than he had initially been hoping for to learn about him.

However, what he had heard from the O’Connell siblings was largely testimonials regarding his personality, and Serena had choked up with feelings of guilt that were uncharacteristic of her. So, Roswaal had been unable to obtain the tactical information he had desired from them, but―― there had been an unforeseen competitor.

That was――,

Roswaal: [――I would have never thought that Julius-kun was the talented individual who had defeated this Divine General.]

Taking care so that Medium, who was boosting her concentration within his arms, would not hear, Roswaal organized his thoughts as he recalled Julius, who had looked as if he was worrying himself with thought.

As Anastasia’s one and only Knight, he possessed a strong sense of duty, so he had supported his Lord all the way to the Vollachian Empire. The Finest of Knights had brought quite the valuable information regarding the formidable enemy whom Roswaal and Medium were challenging together.

――From the start, regardless of whether the battlefield was to be the Imperial Capital or the Fortified City, it was established that Roswaal would be the matchup for Balleroy Temeglyph.

That it was because Roswaal was an old acquaintance of Serena Dracroy, and that he had been entrusted with the duty of performing the last rites over Balleroy, whom she had looked after since he was a child, was not the case.

Roswaal also had emotions, but he always eliminated decisions that were based on emotion.

Naturally, the decision to have Roswaal be Balleroy’s opponent was a strategic one.

It might be a little late to bring this up, but the Vollachian Empire and the Kingdom of Lugunica had been enemies for a long time.

There were treacherous relations between all of the Four Great Countries, but the fact that they all mutually recognized which among those relations required the most vigilance could not be altered.

Therefore, for the interval that the Kingdom was holding its Royal Selection, it was a remarkable historical achievement that it had signed a non-aggression treaty with the Empire, but that did not mean that the chilly relationship between the two countries had warmed up.

To make a long story short, the Kingdom of Lugunica had persisted with its vigilance of the potential enemy that was the Vollachian Empire, and it was always refining its countermeasures against the primary force that was the Nine Divine Generals, and the lookout force that was the flying dragon squadron.

Within those strategy meetings, it had been decided. ――The Kingdom’s magic regiment would oppose the Empire’s flying dragon squadron, and its apex, Roswaal, would clash with the most powerful flying dragon rider.

Roswaal: [Be that as it may, I had never thought that I would be facing off against targets requiring such caution like the Vicious Old Man and the Magical Sharpshooter within the Empiiire~.]

When the counter-Empire discussions were being held, those two individuals were recognized as the greatest threats.

Of course, when it came to individual military assets, the Blue Lightning and the Spirit Eater were the big two, but concerning them, the Kingdom also had a Sword Saint who would not lose out.

But, when it came to war, the presence of leadership was vital.

The best way to end a war would be to end the lives of the enemy’s leaders. ――And for that, what was feared more than the First and the Second, was the Vicious Old Man and the Magical Sharpshooter.

Ergo, Roswaal had also surmised the techniques and capabilities of the Magical Sharpshooter from rumors.

Roswaal had heard that in the end, he had risen up in rebellion and had lost his life without them ever having the chance to face off against each other, so his simulations had ended up becoming meaningless, but by some hapless twist of fate, this situation had been brought to fruition.

And then, upon ascertaining the skills of the real, not imagined, Balleroy Temeglyph, the strongest magician in the world, Roswaal, was convinced.

Roswaal: [――As expected, I caaan’t~ win this on my own.]

That was not in jest or sarcasm, nor was it that he had lost his nerve; Roswaal merely recognized that as the plain truth.

This was not a matter of his magic being inferior to military techniques, but that there was a difference in the playing field.

First of all, there was a difference in their mobility.

Able to use flying magic, Roswaal was one of the world’s leading individuals who was capable of solo flight, but his speed and maneuverability could not match that of flying dragons, experts in the field. If one were to challenge Balleroy head-on in an air battle, the best they would be able to do would be to get thrown off by his speed, and get shot down while being tossed about by his three-dimensional movements.

Secondly, there was a difference in the precision and objective of their respective methods of attack.

The Magical Bullets, mastered by Balleroy, were undoubtedly something that had been trained for the purpose of killing others, and it would be acceptable to say that their power and accuracy had been perfected.

In order to become a magician that his Teacher would not be ashamed of, Roswaal aimed to master every possible magic, but he was still far-off from the deep mysteries of magic, and even if his diversity overwhelmingly surpassed that of Balleroy, he could declare that he had nothing on the same level as this enemy who specialized in the field of killing a target.

And thirdly, there was a difference in their combat conditions.

It was a vexing matter, but that was the greatest obstacle in this matchup.

If one were to think about it, they would likely come to this conclusion, but if it was possible to do battle from a distant location and one-sidedly attack the opponent, it would be impossible to lose. That was naturally Roswaal’s fighting style, and fighting from the greatest range that was possible for himself could be said to be the fundamental tactic for certain victory as a magician.

The problem was that even with his greatest attack range, it would still be a situation in which his opponent would have the upper hand.

Naturally, his opponent would thus not permit the one-sided attacks he had come to use until now. In order to avoid that situation, he would need to close to distance so as to not lose out in range, and then in the situation where the range advantage had been eliminated, he would need to turn it into a contest of their individual abilities.

But, the combat conditions imposed upon Roswaal would not allow for that prerequisite.

Subaru: [To be honest, having our allies taken out one by one from far away would be the most troubling thing. In order to not let the opponent perform that kind of rapid fire on us, do something to suppress him!]

For their assault on the Imperial Capital, when dividing up the members of the “Rescue from Destruction Squad”, that was the duty Subaru had entrusted to Roswaal.

In truth, that had been a logical decision. Disregarding Halibel and Olbart, Roswaal did not intend to claim that he was the most powerful asset, but there was no doubt that he was the one who possessed the greatest range.

Emilia was also on the right track, but she lacked precision in her attacks, and she had no method of ascending to the sky where their opponent made their battlefield. It was a matter of course that this would be up to Roswaal.

As a result, in order to prevent the other allies from being targeted, Roswaal was forced to attack from a distance that was overwhelmingly favorable for his opponent, declaring war while attracting his opponent’s attention to himself.

Roswaal: [As I had feared, even at this distance the opponent’s attacks are delivered with precision. I’ve attracted his attention, but… I’ll have to close the distance from here. This act really could result in my deaaath~.]

The three aforementioned disadvantages should suffice to show just how troublesome that would be.

Against such a formidable enemy, he would have no choice but to fight with tactics and at a distance where the opponent would triumph. Furthermore, recognizing the difference in strength between them, Roswaal was convinced that his opponent was above him.

But, there was neither lamentation nor despair dwelling within his heterochromatic eyes.

That was because――,

Medium: [Diyahh!]

Immediately after he thought he had seen a flash, the sound of water splashing and an impact jolted both Roswaal and Medium.

That was proof that Medium had succeeded in defending against the impact of the second bullet. While admiring Medium’s skill in managing such a feat, Roswaal deepened his smile.

The reason for that smile was――,

Roswaal: [Medium-kun, does it seem feasible?]

Medium: [Yeah! We can do it! It’s like Ros-chin said… it seems like Ballebro is only aiming for my arms and shoulders!]

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Balleroy: [Tsk――]

Witnessing the second bullet he had fired being cut down by the barbarian sword in the magnified vision of his left eye, Balleroy bit down on his molars at the improvement in skill of the girl he recognized, and at the viciousness of his opponent’s objective.

Within the scope he had created by bending light, he could grasp for certain that Medium, with her face brimming with motivation, and the man flying in the sky while carrying her, were gradually getting closer.

Their aim was obvious, it was a standard tactic in warfare to close the distance on an opponent who specialized in long-distance attacks.

The surprise attack of the flaming spheres from above the clouds, once that had failed, they had immediately shifted gears―― that was not the case.

If there was anybody who thought that such a bland attack would hit before being noticed, there was truly something wrong with them. The intention of that attack was for it to be taken down. Though he understood that, it was an attack that he had no choice but to shoot down.

Since his opponent had fired the opening attack of this battle like that, he would commence an ultra-long-range battle in his own overwhelming favor―― upon seeing Medium, Balleroy’s fighting spirit was paralyzed.

The reason why they had let the surprise attack be defended against, and had commenced with a battle in which he was the one with the advantageous range, was because their strategy built on the fact that Balleroy would have to choose whom to shoot with his Magical Bullets.

Balleroy: [Medi…!!]

The first and second shots, Medium had defended against both of the Magical Bullets that Balleroy had fired.

She had always been that way. When Medium was feeling down, she could be overpowered by even the unathletic Flop, and yet when she was filled with motivation, she would become an obstreperously rambunctious kid.

Neither Flop nor Miles could do anything about it, and despite being her favorite, Balleroy also had difficulty in dealing with her. Serena was not one to rebuke, so Medium’s liveliness knew no bounds.

Be that as it may, he had never expected for her to be able to deflect his Magical Bullets.

Carillon: [――Kiryararahhh!]

Balleroy: [――. I gotcha, Carillon.]

As Balleroy clenched his teeth, his beloved dragon flapped its wings and neighed in appeal to him.

Through the art of flying dragon taming, Balleroy and Carillon were tied to each other’s existences through their souls―― through the merging of Od with Od. Subjugating the innately ferocious flying dragons through that process, was the secretive technique of flying dragon taming.

Given that relationship, any wavering in Balleroy’s thoughts and feelings was directly transmitted to Carillon. The inverse also held true, so Balleroy had also sensed Carillon’s thoughts.

He understood. Medium’s skill was not the only reason why the Magical Bullets had been defended against.

Balleroy had laid eyes upon the figure of someone who was essentially a younger sister to him making such an earnest expression, and that had been the reason why he had not shot through her with the ruthlessness of a warrior.

Balleroy: [Her limbs…]

If he could just shoot one of them off, Medium would certainly withdraw from the warfront.

The magician whom she was accompanying would also judge that there would be no benefit in flying with her if she were to suffer a serious injury. If possible, it would be better for it to be an arm instead of a leg. If it was an arm, there would be less difficulty in her life hereafter than there would be if it was a leg.

It would be best if he caused Medium to withdraw with a wound, shot down the magician, and then requested Sphinx to spare her life. If he did so, his anguish would disappear.

Anguish. Would. Disappear.

Balleroy: [――Let’s go get ‘em.]

With the face of an undead that had lost all complexion, there was a definite fighting spirit dwelling within Balleroy’s golden eyes.

It was not the expression of hesitating to attack Medium, which he had worn until a moment earlier, but rather that of finding the consensus between his disposition and his objective, and bringing it to fruition; it was the expression of the Magical Sharpshooter.

Balleroy: [――――]

While harboring a fighting spirit within his golden irises, the heat from Balleroy’s body completely subsided.

Closing his right eye, concentrating all of his attention into the scope with his left eye, he got up on his knees upon the back of his beloved dragon, fixed his spear in place, and created a sharply pointed bullet of light at its tip.

Balleroy was an unorthodox magician, and he had not refined anything except this one technique.

A single one of these shots consumed very little mana, and since it maximized the effect with a minimal number of required processes, it had a good affinity with his nature. ――To settle things reliably, it was the embodiment of that approach.

Balleroy: [――――]

While Balleroy was concentrating in that manner, Carillon similarly boosted its own concentration.

The moment he peered through his scope, and carefully observed the conduct of his target, he would have to neglect maintaining vigilance over the rest of his surroundings, so in Balleroy’s stead when he did so, Carillon would maintain a field of vision over their environs.

His beloved dragon, who kept a lookout over their surroundings with the eyesight and instinctive alertness of a flying dragon, was absolutely indispensable to Balleroy as he established this tactic.

Balleroy: [If you’re looking to throw down against me, then you’re gonna hafta close the distance. But, did ya really think I’d letcha do that so easily while knowing that?]

He was surprised that something like flying magic existed, but the speed of their approach could not possibly be compared to that of a flying dragon rider. If he fell back by the same amount that his opponent was approaching, the distance between them would not close.

Of course, since there was a limit to how much he could fall back, the method of maintaining distance was not just falling back, but also making full use of maneuvering and elevation. But, that was not a problem.

There existed no boundaries in the vast sky. Hence, the battle technique of the Magical Sharpshooter had been established.

Balleroy: [――Hit.]

Weaving a word with lips devoid of moisture, the tip of his spear suddenly shone with an intense brightness.

The moment the Magical Bullet was fired, there was no recoil or emotion whatsoever on Balleroy’s part. There was only a quick flash of light, and the result brought about the sniping in less than a second.

Within his vision magnified by the scope, Medium had defended against the third Magical Bullet with her barbarian sword.

Her movements suggested that she had realized that Balleroy was aiming for her limbs. Whether that was her natural intuition, or advice whispered into her ear by the magician behind her, was unclear.

While admiring that as quite the impressive feat, Balleroy spilled out a long breath,

Balleroy: [――Hit, hit, hit, hit, hit.]

With that, he consecutively fired from the fourth shot to the eighth shot in a single breath.

Balleroy: [――――]

Balleroy’s Magical Bullets had no recoil. Therefore, there was no impediment to shooting in rapid succession.

If there was a limitation, it would be the speed at which the bullets of light were created to be fired, but Balleroy had poured all of his talents for magic into mastering this Magical Bullet attack.

Five shots per second, light bullets that were fired at the same accuracy without the slightest bit of deviation―― that was the basis for Balleroy Temeglyph being called the Magical Sharpshooter, and the reason he had attained the position of General First-Class.

Balleroy: [Hit, hit, hit, hit, hit.]

Fiercely swinging the barbarian swords in both of her hands, Medium frantically continued to repel the Magical Bullets.

That in itself was worthy of praise, but Balleroy’s remaining strength had not decreased in the slightest. The time that had passed was ten seconds at most, and if they continued for another ten or twenty seconds, Medium would definitely use up all of her strength.

If Balleroy indifferently approached that moment while firing his Magical Bullets――,

Balleroy: [――――]

For a moment, suspicion was yielded in the composed Balleroy’s thoughts.

All the while, he still continued creating bullets of light and engaging in a ceaseless chain of sniper fire via his Magical Bullets, but it was this very situation that Balleroy harbored suspicion about.

Bringing Medium along with him for the surprise attack, this was the opponent who had imposed a considerable limitation on Balleroy’s Magical Bullets.

Naturally, it was an enemy who had thrown down the gauntlet with the intention of facing Balleroy, so would they really implement such a half-hearted strategy like letting him break through simply by persisting with his signature move?

He could not help but find it strange and peculiar. That was, this very situation in which he could fully display his true nature.

Indeed, it happened right after Balleroy had finished contemplating.

Carillon: [――Kiryararahhh!]

In Balleroy’s stead as he looked through his scope, Carillon gave a loud neigh as it kept vigilance over their surroundings.

While flying at high speeds through the sky above the Crystal Palace, his beloved dragon who had been maintaining a constant distance with the opponent made an appeal, and Balleroy turned his attention to the cause of Carillon’s neigh.

From even higher than Balleroy and Carillon, who were high in the skies above, something was falling towards them.

Balleroy: [――Hk, you’re really giving it to us, ain’t’cha!]

As Balleroy grit his teeth and howled, what pierced the thick clouds and fell towards them, was a threat even more direct than the balls of flame that had targeted the Crystal Palace earlier.

――An enormous mass of ice, akin to the size of a small mountain, ferociously hurtled down from the sky towards the Imperial Capital.

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Julius: [Fighting against Balleroy-dono in a location with no cover will prove to be fatal. After all, he is the greatest flying dragon rider of the Empire… an astounding master of his craft, with range in every conceivable direction.]

Following the advice that Julius had provided whilst he bore a grave look on his face, the aerial battle that Roswaal had been challenged to was the poorest choice of battlefield against the Empire’s finest flying dragon rider.

After all, there was nothing in the sky that could serve as cover. Forwards, backwards, left, and right went without saying, but his opponent was even able to guarantee range on the vertical plane, allowing for every direction in three dimensions; altogether, it was the worst possible environment.

It was normal for a warrior to prepare the most disadvantageous situation for their opponent, so if one were to go out of their way to meet their opponent’s conditions, and choose to fight with a disadvantageous situation for themself, then they would merely be an insane person.

So then, although there was nothing that could have been done regarding the conditions, would that make Roswaal an insane deviant who chose to allow his opponent to fight on a battlefield on which they excelled, at a range at which they triumphed, and with tactics which were their forte?

――Certainly, that was not the case.

Roswaal would not say that he was normal, but he understood that he was not one to burn with a longing for victory, nor was he one to eccentrically enjoy the disadvantages of a war situation.

He recognized his own abnormalities, but those abnormalities were not things he displayed in combat.

Therefore, Roswaal had not done anything so foolish as facing a battlefield on which he had no chance of winning.

Medium: [Ha! Ha! Haaaah!!]

Within Roswaal’s arms, Medium panted as steam rose from her body.

The high level of heat being transmitted into his palms was proof that the performance of her body was rising in response to her fighting spirit. At the same time, it was also proof that she had surpassed her limits several times in just ten seconds.

The dreadful rapid-fire ability of the Magical Bullets, even if it was clear that they were flying towards her in a manner that would avert a fatal wound, he was deeply impressed that Medium had successfully repelled fifty of the approaching bullets.

But, they did not have another ten seconds. Hence, Roswaal progressed the battle to the next stage.

――Breaking through the clouds that hung over the Imperial Capital, an enormous mass of ice was plummeting from the heavens towards the city’s surface.

A mass of ice so mighty that one could have easily mistaken it for a mountain, Roswaal was naturally the one who had made it fall. However, if he produced a block of ice of that size, no matter how much pride Roswaal had as being the world’s greatest magician, he would barely have any mana remaining after the fact.

Therefore, he had gotten Emilia, who possessed excessive amounts of mana, to create the block of ice.

Roswaal: [She still had so much energy after creating something to that extent. Truly, it is an absurd notion.]

Having performed a marvel equivalent to creating an iceberg, Emilia calmly followed Subaru’s orders and confronted a different battlefield. As reliable as that was, when he considered the possibility that he might have to confront her adversarially one day, it gave him quite the headache.

However, in this moment, he would depend on that reliability, and would proceed with the stratagem of bringing down the iceberg.

It had been uncertain if all of Roswaal’s mana could be used to produce such an enormous iceberg, but it would not have been too much if he were to simply maintain that which Emilia had created, and keep it afloat.

He had been keeping it on standby since the balls of flame had been brought down, and now, in this moment, he released it from its yoke.

Roswaal: [――――]

The attack had the same mass as if a mountain was falling from the sky, but its aim was not to flatten Balleroy from overhead as he flew around in the air. It would be a briefer story if such a thing could be done, but it would likely not be very difficult for Balleroy to escape from the area of damage that the iceberg would inflict.

Hence, the reason for bringing the iceberg down was not to attack Balleroy. ――It was to serve as an obstacle.

Roswaal: [If there’s no cover, then I had better create some.]

Right after he muttered this, Roswaal narrowed his eyes, and then cracks immediately began to form throughout the entirety of the iceberg.

That moment, a high-pitched noise pierced the sky, just as if glass that filled the air had all shattered at once, and the subsequent phenomenon that occurred might have even appeared as if the sky was crumbling.

The iceberg shattered, and as fragments scattered about, chunks of ice chaotically fell towards the ground.

Though the phrasing of shattered had been used, they were fragments of a mountain. Each individual fragment was around the size of a building or a dragon carriage, so it was identical to an avalanche of icebergs tumbling down from the sky.

It was a sight akin to taking a box filled with small pebbles and sand, and turning it upside down over a flowerbed――,

Roswaal: [This, is the true ability of a magician.]

If one could engage in a one-sided attack from a distance at which they excelled, it would be impossible to lose.

That such was the fundamental tactic for certain victory for a magician, had been mentioned earlier. Therefore, Roswaal preferred a fighting style that conformed to that fundamental, and thus he put it into practice.

In order to perform one-sided attacks, it was crucial to reduce the opponent’s “options”.

A proficiency at a certain range, was nothing more than an easily decipherable indicator to help in doing so. By reducing his opponent’s “options”, he could pull the situation towards one that was advantageous for himself.

That, was the fighting style of the world’s strongest magician, Roswaal.

Medium: [Teryaaah!!]

A light passed through the incessant rain of shards and chunks of ice, and Medium cut down the Magical Bullet that had approached.

Medium had been ordered to not be phased no matter what happened, but he was as grateful as he could have been that she was moving in accordance with that order. The Magical Sharpshooter should have also been adequately astounded, but it was commendable that he had magnificently shifted back to attacking right away.

However, his rapid-fire capability and mobility had been reduced beyond compare.

And, above all else――,

Roswaal: [If you’re the kind of person I’ve heard you were, you won’t target me directly with your Magical Bullets. ――After all, if I were to fall from this altitude, there would be no way of saving Medium-kun.]

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Making an extraordinary war situation into a reality, was an enemy akin to the devil.

Faced with a magician who used Medium as a shield in order to prevent his tactics, Balleroy recognized his opponent as such by means of a clear enmity.

In the Vollachian Empire, so-called magicians were exceedingly valuable.

That was because fundamentally and ethnically, a propensity to be unskilled in handling magic had been passed down, so ultimately the principles of the Imperial people did not align with magic.

At the roots of the Imperial people, there was a reverence towards the strong, and that could also be expressed as an adoration for the talents and skills of outstanding warriors. An ideal warrior of the Vollachian Empire would wield their own weapon and overcome their opponent in an exchange of blows, and battles that did not take such a form were shunned.

There were deep-rooted preconceptions and biases regarding other types of fighting styles, and though it had improved under Vincent’s reign, it would still take some time for such things to completely disappear.

The fighting style of Balleroy, known as the Magical Sharpshooter, and the killing methods of the Vicious Old Man, Olbart, the shinobi head honcho, did not have much fame within other countries, contrary to the vigilance other nations had of them.

Though, since Balleroy and Olbart did not fight for the sake of fame, neither of them really cared.

Because he had possessed such rationale, Balleroy, unlike other Imperial people, did not particularly detest magicians. ――He wished to overturn that evaluation from when he had been alive.

Balleroy: [I don’t like your way of doing things one bit, Mister Magician――!]

He admired their skill of using absolutely everything at their disposal to produce their own battlefield, but with their poisonous fangs pointed towards him, going as far as facing him with a member of his own family of all things, fury surged within him.

He truly wished to shoot through that person’s head and heart, but――,

Balleroy: [Carillon――!]

Carillon: [――Kiryararahhh!]

Spurring on his beloved dragon with a pat on the back, the flying dragon picked up speed with a flap of its wings as it neighed.

As Balleroy and Carillon danced through the dark sky, soaring through the hailstorm of unbelievable scale, they focused on conquering the labyrinth of ice that had suddenly been created, attempting to break through.

In the past, there had been instances where people had tried to avoid Balleroy’s Magical Bullets by escaping to a forest, dense with trees, or by hiding away in a sturdy fortress.

When those had happened, Balleroy had cleared the trees with a rapid fire of Magical Bullets to secure a line of sight, and in the second case, he had identified where the opponent was hiding, and then shot a Magical Bullet through the wall to kill the enemy.

But, he had never once attempted to conquer a method as absurd as this until now.

And thus, naturally, he had never once overturned a strategy as absurd as this, either.

Balleroy: [So that means if I get past this, it’ll be my win, ain’t that right?]

While evading the fragments of the shattered iceberg, which would quite likely be able to end one’s life with just a mere graze, Balleroy imagined the figures of Medium and the magician who had set this up.

Aside from those two, there were no others who had ascended to the Imperial Capital’s sky. That was to say, the cards that would be played in the aerial battle against Balleroy, consisted entirely of those two.

It seemed like Serena had not sent out her Flying Dragon Squadron, her pride and joy, to face Balleroy.

Balleroy: [As I’d expect, the High Countess is fully aware.]

Even in aerial combat that utilized flying dragons, there existed a clear hierarchy.

For example, wild flying dragons without a partner would never be able to contend with flying dragons that had a flying dragon rider. A single outstanding pair of flying dragon and rider could exterminate a flock of one hundred flying dragons.

And thus, if a flying dragon rider were to clash with another flying dragon rider, the superior party would always be victorious. With no relation to the advantage or disadvantage of numbers, the side with the superior flying dragon rider would win.

If there existed no flying dragon riders more capable than Balleroy, then no matter how many flying dragon squadrons were sent in, the only possible outcome would be for mountains of the corpses of valuable flying dragons and their riders alike to pile up.

That was how valuable a superior flying dragon rider was; they were outstanding personnel.

That was why Balleroy did not detest Serena. Her act of authorizing Miles to go on a secret mission to the Kingdom of Lugunica, had been necessary. ――Nothing could have been done about it.

Balleroy: [Even so, I’m gonna――]

As he grit his teeth, the latter half of his mutter was something that even Balleroy himself had been unable to hear.

That was because underneath Balleroy and Carillon, shards of the shattered iceberg crashed into the Imperial Capital one after the other, and a thunderous sound reverberated as a tremendous amount of dust began to rise; the shards destroyed the cityscape, altering its very form.

The miserable amount of damage to the Imperial Capital that had been brought about by magic, the havoc which ought to have been called the Magic Disaster, continued.

It was a city that he had protected during his lifetime, and had grown accustomed to seeing. It was not as if he did not have reservations about it being destroyed, but Balleroy’s attention was more so focused on his enemy rather than the city that was falling into ruin.

Balleroy: [――――]

Amidst the shattered ice that was fluttering down like dust, there was an illusory sight caused by the light being diffused, and he became able to more clearly see the figure of Medium, who ought to have been further beyond.

However, there was still distance between them. Having brought down an iceberg from above the clouds, and producing damage that heavily demolished the cityscape of the Imperial Capital, the distance they had gained was a negligible amount.

Balleroy: [Hit, hit, hit.]

In order to force back the distance they had gained, Balleroy shortened the amount of time it took for his fired Magical Bullets to reach their target.

And thus, Medium would need an accordingly instantaneous reaction speed. Just how many more shots would the exhausted Medium be able to obstruct?

Even if Balleroy were to reduce his mobility, restricting his line and angle of fire, he would still have the advantage.

That was to say, the next move was coming.

Balleroy: [――? The same bundles of flame from earlier… no.]

There were signs of a change above the clouds, and knocking away an ice shard with his spear, clearing the line of fire with a bullet of light, Balleroy looked up, furrowing his brow.

Hurtling through the large hole in the thick clouds that had been created by the mountain of ice, were numerous flaming spheres and icebergs; though they were not as huge as the mountain of ice from earlier, they were still quite enormous. At the sight of those plummeting down, Balleroy thought that their purpose might have been to add to the obstacles in the sky―― he then perceived his opponent’s true intention.

They were falling down somewhere largely off the mark from the position in which Balleroy and Carillon were―― they were drawing a trajectory headed for a direct hit to the Crystal Palace.

Balleroy: [What the hell d’ya think you’re doing, deviant――!!!]

He was witnessing ice and flame in descent without him as their aim; however, Balleroy shouted as if it was an attack directed towards none other than himself.

They would not bring any direct damage to Balleroy. Instead, they would relentlessly crush Madelyn’s body, which remained in the palace, and the rest of the people residing within its walls.

He could not afford to let that happen. ――He could not afford to let Sphinx die.

Balleroy: [OHHHHHHH――!!!]

Spreading its wings and making a sharp turn, Carillon made a sudden brake in a position where no chunks of ice would hit. Raising his body as if being flicked off of that very back, Balleroy pointed his spearhead towards the sky above the Crystal Palace, and fired his Magical Bullets.

Since the rate of production of five shots per second would not be able to stop the attack, in this moment, he surpassed a limit that he had never surpassed in his lifetime, and a barrage of Balleroy’s Magical Bullets covered the sky.

The rampaging bullets of light completely shot down the descending flaming spheres and chunks of ice, and he had successfully protected the Crystal Palace from the large-scale damage which would have caused it to come crumbling down.

But at this moment, it was a self-evident truth that Balleroy’s opponent would aim at him while his back was turned――.

Balleroy: [――Hit.]

Hence, while Balleroy was aiming his spearhead at the objects falling towards the Crystal Palace, he aimed the back of his spear at the enemy drawing near, and responded by firing Magical Bullets both forwards and backwards at the same time.

Balleroy: [――――]

He had fired only one Magical Bullet to his rear, but that had been enough.

With his back turned, Balleroy had made it seem like he was presenting an opening, and a flame of magic had been directly approaching him―― pierced head-on by the Magical Bullet, it too exploded mid-air.

The light bullet that had pierced the opponent’s magic continued in its trajectory, heading right for Medium and the magician who had thought that they had taken advantage of an opening, only to be met by a barbarian sword.

Balleroy: [Medi, I’m a man who was once a Divine General.]

When it came to the art of warfare, he would not fall behind his younger sister, regardless of her overflowing motivation.

In order to take her by surprise, the Magical Bullet which Balleroy had fired backwards was a little bit larger than the bullets of light he had fired up until now, and thus its power excelled.

Medium: [――Uwah!]

With a sound of water splashing, both barbarian swords were ripped from Medium’s hands.

Having immediately noticed something different instinctually, it was magnificent that she had intercepted it with two swords instead of one. Though he had intended to blow off everything beneath her left elbow with that shot, it was thanks to that reaction that she had kept both her arms.

However, the outcome would still be the same, now that she had lost her means of defense. With the next shot, he would blow off that arm of hers and put an end to this.

Balleroy: [Hit.]

His spearhead flickered in tandem with his determination, and he finished dealing with the ice and flame that were about to flatten the Crystal Palace.

Then, he immediately ascended with Carillon, and while reopening the distance that had previously been closed, he would create a Magical Bullet that would force Medium to withdraw――,

Balleroy: [Wha…]

――That instant, as if to fully obstruct Balleroy’s field of view, the brilliance of a rainbow blanketed the sky.

△▼△▼△▼△

――In order to defeat Balleroy Temeglyph, Julius’s advice had truly been useful.

It was advice from a person who had already defeated him once.

Not even Subaru could have provided information quite this useful. After all, Subaru was not a warrior, and he tended to give rather vague suggestions when it came to fighting styles.

In any case――,

Julius: [In my fight against Balleroy-dono, I managed to defeat him. Of course, it was not a victory I could have attained without Ferris’s assistance… Why a personage of Balleroy-dono’s caliber had participated in such a rebellion, and had aimed for the venerable life of His Excellency Vincent, even in the future the reason for that will remain…]

Roswaal: [You saw his Book of the Dead, diiidn’t~ you? Truly a hapless coincidence. Julius-kun, if possible, I’d like you to go over what you saw in great detail…]

Julius: [――Margrave Mathers, the only information I shall be reporting is that of Balleroy-dono’s fighting style, and the manner in which I fought against him. I want you to understand that the things I had witnessed without his permission, the feelings that Balleroy-dono had harbored, are things I shall never disclose for the rest of my life.]

Identifying Julius’s attitude, whilst he spoke with a serious expression, as an action that served the interests of the enemy, Roswaal had some methods at his disposal of prying into the information that had been gained from the Book of the Dead. But, Roswaal did not choose to do so, and opted to listen to the only information Julius had decided to report.

Even he himself found that choice surprising.

By nature, if Roswaal had the means of obtaining information from someone, he would deem it acceptable to gain all of the knowledge he could and formulate a plan, and then use it to confront a battle.

And yet, why had he sympathized with Julius’s emotions, and respected his intentions?

He had no definite answer concerning the reason for his change of heart, but―― that mattered not.

Even if he did not know everything about Balleroy Temeglyph, Julius had given a valuable answer. From Roswaal’s perspective, that alone had been sufficient.

Roswaal: [The fact that it was Julius-kun who killed you, is a fact indeed. ――I wonder, do you not even remember the reason behind your own death, Balleroy Temeglyph-kun?]

Through the Authority of Gluttony, Julius’s Name had been eaten.

As a result, the people around Julius, save for the exemption of Subaru, had all forgotten about him. Roswaal was no exception, and it was likely that the deceased were no exception either.

Even Balleroy, who had been felled by the hand of none other than Julius, did not remember what it was that had caused his death.

In other words――,

Roswaal: [――With the same method that caused you to die the first time, I will kill you.]

It was truly a hapless coincidence, and a miraculous happenstance.

This was what Julius had employed to kill Balleroy, and it was a chance of seizing victory that could only be grasped because Julius’s Name had been eaten.

It would be presumptuous of him to even try to imagine the anguish of Julius and Balleroy, who were directly involved, but as an outsider, Roswaal was truly grateful for that happenstance from the bottom of his heart.

――The expansion of the rainbow barrier blocked the path of Balleroy and his flying dragon as they tried to ascend.

A barrier brought about by an aurora, he had heard that such magic had been the decisive blow in Julius’s defeat of Balleroy.

It was an original magic that had been devised by Julius and his Spirits, and reproducing it required an abnormally large amount of mana consumption, even for Roswaal.

Roswaal was capable of using several types of magic at the same time, but utilizing all six types simultaneously was an act devoid of sanity.

While hearing the sound of his own gate screaming from within him, Roswaal still recreated Julius’s victory condition in order to raise his own chances of winning.

The objective of this was not to be some sort of ridicule or harassment, rather it was a strategic choice.

Of course, if his goal had simply been to block Balleroy’s escape path, Roswaal could have accomplished the same thing by making use of the flames and wind in which he was proficient. But, the magic he was accustomed to using would have been detected as dangerous with a single glance.

It was necessary to employ magic that Balleroy would be seeing for the very first time, robbing him of his discernment, even if for only a moment.

Therefore, surmising that this aurora of rainbow was also a part of what he had forgotten due to the Authority of Gluttony, Roswaal purposely brought this situation to its final phase with the resolve to shoulder the burden.

Medium: [――Hk.]

As Medium grit her teeth, though both of her barbarian swords had been ripped out of her hands, she still maintained her fighting spirit and clenched her fists.

One or two shots of the Magical Bullets perhaps could have been blocked by sacrificing both of her hands, but he had no intention of engaging in a fight that demanded such a high price.

In the sense that the opponent had been robbed of his options, Medium had already done more than enough work.

On the way to the Imperial Capital, Medium had voiced gratitude towards Subaru, and then Subaru had also conveyed his own gratitude to Medium, but Roswaal felt the exact same way.

Subaru: [What are you talking about, Medium-san? If we’re giving thanks, then I’m the one who should be grateful to you. Thinking about what things would be like if I hadn’t met Medium-san and Flop-san back there, it makes me shudder.]

The way Subaru had put on a bashful performance had made Roswaal want to applaud him.

Certainly, without the assistance of the O’Connell siblings, this assault would not have been successful.

Roswaal: [But――]

Thwarted by the rainbow, they would begin to fall.

Since that was the conclusion that approached the pinnacle of flying dragon riders within the Empire, Roswaal narrowed his eyes――,

Roswaal: [――――]

――That instant, an impact pierced him diagonally from behind, and his consciousness was greatly rocked.

△▼△▼△▼△

The moment the rainbow light stretched out before him, chills ran down Balleroy’s entire body.

Despite being an undead body, it was ironic that the fighting intuition known as survival instincts continued to work away.

Following the appeals of those dead survival instincts, Balleroy faced the barrier that had been created by the aurora, and fired the “hidden bullet” which had been quite literally kept hidden, which became the foundation for overcoming this obstacle.

――As Roswaal had guessed, Balleroy could not remember the cause of his own death.

Why had he ended up losing his life? Even though he could remember the commotion that had served as its impetus, as well as his incentive and reason for participating, the cause of his death was the only thing that remained a blur.

If possible, he thought that it would have been better if he had forgotten things other than the reason behind his death.

But, if he were to forget those things, he would definitely no longer remain himself.

In any case, Balleroy could not recall the moment of his death.

However, upon hearing accounts from the other undead, excluding the people who had died without understanding what was going on, he could not find anybody else who had forgotten the details that had led up to their death.

Because of that, Balleroy thought. He thought about why he had died, about why he could not think of an answer.

And, he had thought about how he must have died, considering as many options as possible.

The possibility that his affiliation with the rebellion had been exposed, and someone like Cecilus had lopped off his head, or his fellow Generals of the First-Class like Groovy and Moguro had purged him.

But, he had his reasons for carrying out that rebellion. ――Thinking that it might have been related to the people who had come from the Kingdom of Lugunica, he had pondered what sort of battle it might have been.

――The method of being defeated by having his path obstructed mid-flight, was the final candidate that he had considered.

Balleroy had arrived at that idea after the battle of the coupled dragon carriages, where he had retrieved the body of Lamia Godwin, and had identified the presence of Flop and Medium.

Back then, when Balleroy had fired a Magical Bullet to restrain the enemy, he had witnessed somebody inside the coupled dragon carriage defend against it by putting up a barrier of rainbow. ――It was after he had seen that rainbow.

He could not be sure. But, he had felt that it was a troublesome technique.

That was why, no matter what sort of corner he was forced into, he had kept it in mind to prepare one spare Magical Bullet, such that he could instantaneously fire it at any moment.

That had been useful in tearing through this rainbow barrier.

Carillon: [――Kiryararahhh!]

Carillon roared as it pierced through the rainbow, and while sustaining wounds over its entire body, they escaped the enclosure.

Maximizing the advantages of having become an undead flying dragon, his beloved dragon flew in a path towards survival as its painful wounds began to regenerate; grateful for that, Balleroy charged his spear with a Magical Bullet, and as he readied it diagonally,

Balleroy: [Hit.]

The bullet that had been fired flew straight in a direction that was off the mark from the enemy. However, in the line of fire of the bullet of light was some falling debris from the chunks of ice, and the light bullet slid diagonally across the surface of the ice.

With that momentum, the light bullet bounced around the surrounding debris, bouncing around, bouncing around―― then, it pierced the back of the enemy who had unleashed the rainbow upon him.

Having been born, having died, he had succeeded in the ricocheting of light for the first time.

Having quite literally flown over the boundary of death, Balleroy had evolved his magical technique even further.

――Unfortunately for Roswaal, by attempting to select magic that was supposed to have been seen for the first time by Balleroy in order to delay his response, he had actually allowed for an instinctive reaction to the rainbow he was seeing for the second time.

???: [Ros-chin――!!]

Struck by a ricochet from an unexpected angle, the magician’s flight had been hindered, and a scream called out for him.

From within the arms of the magician, Medium had been unable to do anything about an attack from a position she could not defend, and that scream sounded from her grievous voice.

If he had aimed directly for the magician and shot them down, they would have fallen from quite a high elevation, and there was the danger that he would not have been able to save Medium.

That had resulted in Balleroy being restricted to only targeting Medium, but the descent of the iceberg and the attack on the Crystal Palace had actually backfired on his opponent.

Balleroy: [At this distance, I can catch ya before ya fall.]

The long-distance battle of several kilometers between the southwest and northernmost point of the Imperial Capital had lost that distance in the midst of battle; it was now a distance such that he would be able to catch Medium before his opponent crashed into the ground.

Balleroy patted Carillon’s neck, and slipping past the chunks of ice, it faced its wings in that direction in order to retrieve Medium.

While preparing himself to endure all the verbal abuse that Medium would throw at him――,

Medium: [Ros-chin?]

Suddenly, the audible voice was one of innocence, completely dissimilar to the shriek from just before.

If something were to be said, then it had been a tone bereft of what was characteristic for Medium, but the strangeness of hearing that in the midst of this battle, and the subsequent development, stole Balleroy’s attention.

Balleroy: [Wha…]

An undead with black eyeballs and golden irises looming within; with those eyes opened wide, Balleroy was left speechless.

Within Balleroy’s vision, Medium parted from the arms of the magician who had been flying in the sky, and began to fall towards the ground below―― no, she was not falling. She had been thrown.

Vigor having been applied to Medium’s body, she had been thrown towards the surface with utmost strength.

With a speed much faster than a free fall, she plummeted towards the ground. If he did not move to catch her right away, he would not make it in time.

Right after he had thought that, Balleroy understood what that devil was thinking.

Balleroy: [――――]

The moment before he chose to fly to Medium, Balleroy’s gaze crossed with the magician’s.

At a distance where he could finally see his opponent’s face clearly, even without the scope, it was a man with an exceedingly aggravating face.

His back having been struck, while blood spilled from his mouth, the opponent was still smiling.

Shooting a Magical Bullet at that smile, he immediately soared towards Medium. He would not let things go in accordance with his opponent’s intentions――,

Carillon: [――Kiryararahhh!]

At that moment, Carillon’s neigh pulled Balleroy’s attention towards Medium.

Having been thrown away, Medium was plummeting towards the ground. The speed at which she fell was high, but it was likely that Balleroy and Carillon would be able to reach her in time. ――No, it would have been likely.

What awaited Medium at the end of her fall, were spikes of ice from the wreckage of the shattered ice chunks.

Balleroy: [――――]

He hallucinated the vision of Medium’s body being torn to shreds by the blades of ice.

From his opponent’s perspective, Medium should have been an ally. His reasoning cried out that such an obvious fact would not serve as insurance before an opponent like this.

This opponent was a magician. A magician who would make full use of absolutely everything at his disposal as his own property――.

Balleroy: [――――]

He had only a moment to think, and the result would appear immediately afterwards.

There was a single Magical Bullet stored in Balleroy’s spearhead, and he only had one chance to make his decision. That was, whether he would shoot this Magical Bullet at the magician, or at the ice spikes.

――Balleroy hated the deaths of his own people more than anything else.

Balleroy: [――Ain’t that right, Big Bro Miles?]

Carillon: [――Kiryararahhh!]

As he whispered in appeal, his beloved dragon neighed as if to express its approval.

That instant, the fired Magical Bullet flew straight, thoroughly destroying the ice spikes that were threatening to pierce the falling Medium.

And then――,

Roswaal: [――The cause of your defeat, was that you wavered when it came to what was most important.]

Together with the unfeeling voice of the man, a Magical Bullet fired by his opponent pierced Balleroy’s chest, along with the wing of his beloved dragon, bringing this battle of sky to its conclusion.

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

In German folklore, the figure of the Freischütz is a marksman who, by a contract with the devil, has obtained a certain number of bullets destined to hit without fail whatever object he wishes. As the legend is usually told, six of the magic bullets are thus subservient to the marksman’s will, but the seventh is at the absolute disposal of the devil himself.

 

34 thoughts on “Arc 8, Chapter 53 – “The Magical Sharpshooter””

  1. This chapter is the best fight scene ever written. How long did Tappei cooked, to create such a fiendish devil, capable of such dirty tactics, that is exactly what you would expect of Roswaal? God damn.

  2. Damn, this fight is by far one of the most insane fights of all. Whenever this gets animated in S4, the animators are going to have a damn field day.

    Emilia just casually making the glacier that sunk the Titanic several fold because Subaru asked her to. If it was anyone other than Subaru asking, they’d be thinking the person asking her to do this had lost their damn mind. Their creativity to overcoming these people is nuts.

    Balleroy’s skills are incredible. Honestly, he deserved a higher rank than Ninth. He should be Fifth at minimum (I consider Chisha’s mind as more dangerous). He’s not just putting present day snipers to shame, but he’s dangerous enough for Roswaal to say he’d lose (and nearly prove it), not to mention what he did to Cecilus in one of Al’s failed loops. He’s definitely the absolute perfect example of why a ranged fighter should be the most feared, especially with that ricochet.

        1. Probably because neither Eugard nor Balleroy have been confirmed to have vanished yet. Temporarily defeated, maybe, but not gone just yet. The main issue still needs to be handled. Roswaal and Halibel are currently stopgaps

  3. Incredible chapter, seriously incredible. Thanks so much to the translation team for making all this possible. I and so many others seriously appreciate the work you put in to get these out. Thank you.

  4. so roswald could be out of mana if he had made that ice himself ? i’m pretty sure during one sanctuary arc failed loop he bragged to subaru that him being out of mana ‘such a thing is impossible to begin with’

      1. maybe you should too … because i was right …. chapter 67.

        [Subaru: R-Roswaal! If you stop…… unless… you’re out of mana……]

        [Roswaal: No~~ no, it’s no such thing? Since, in a sense, my mana is inexhau~~stible. It wouldn’t run out so easily. ……What has run out is my reason to live]

        so unless ‘inexhaustible’ is really cheap in their world, roswald was either talking shit, or was retconned.

        1. He even said “in a sense”. Of course, everyone has their limits, and creating a whole ice mountain is kinda more than anyone expects of anyone (except Emilia). Roswaal means that he can’t be out of mana just because of his weather spell or whatever he uses in his life or battles. No one has even considered creating such a big iceberg to be a practical battle move – until now.

  5. Balleroy: [I don’t like your way of doing things one bit, Mister Magician――!]

    The general opinion of every Re:zero character. Even Vollachia’s and Lugunica’s side both think the same xD !

  6. Interesting that Roswaal is thinking about how Emilia may one day be his adversary. Seems he is still driven by his ultimate goal, and the details of how it plays out… we got a hint here.

  7. An amazing chapter, and exactly what I expected of Roswaal in a fight like this. He is the kind of person who will use everything he can to win. In this case that means bringing Medium along as a shield, having Emilia assist with setting the stage (as despite his massive reserves of mana – Emilia is beyond him in that sense), obstructing vision, using Julius’ method to try to kill him, and even when that failed Roswaal knew he could create an opening by risking the life of Medium. Roswaal was at a huge disadvantage in an aerial fight like this, but managed to win by his wit and determination.

    1. I really like that Tappei doesn’t restrict himself to only write about the same things. Each arc just has it’s own focus, I’m sure when you look at the full Light novel once it’s funished it won’t feel like “oh now it’s a battle novel”

  8. Roswaal did it again !! I waited like 3-4 arcs to see my 2nd fav clown ever (Hisoka is 1st) shining, and I am plenty satisfied !!

    No joke that was some HxH/JJK lvl choreography here ! One of the best fights (if not the friggin best) of the series !
    Balleroy is absolutely cracked and while I didn’t read yet the story where Julius killed him, I’m pretty sure he got high-extreme diffed in both cases, and clearly deserved more than the 9th seat of the Generals !!

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