Arc 8, Chapter 67 – “The Cards in One’s Hand”

△▼△▼△▼△

Human Translated By:

  • Garcar (Section 1)

Machine Translated By:

  • Beloved
  • DatShazam
  • Goldkills

Proofread By:

  • Cirdan Lunae
  • Shadow

Japanese to English Checking By:

  • vinicaian

Art Sources

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

――Taking in the Stone, Muspel, Arakiya had ended up placing her life or death on the same scales as the survival of the Vollachian Empire.

As Priscilla had said, the combination of the Soul Marriage Technique and the Dream Sword Masayume had brought about a situation quite capable of greatly derailing Sphinx’s plan.

Sphinx’s two objectives in becoming the bearer of the Great Disaster, and flooding the Vollachian Empire with the dead―― one of them, that of reproducing the soul of the Witch of Greed, had succeeded. The rest was only a matter of time until this soul became acclimated to the vessel, and the existence of Sphinx herself was painted over by her creator.

Thus, before that was fulfilled and Sphinx fully disappeared, her remaining objective―― let it be deliberately asserted as revenge. She would enact her revenge on Priscilla Barielle.

For that purpose, she intended to make the best use of the cards remaining in her hand.

However――,

Sphinx: [――The Magic Crystal Cannon has been stopped, hm?]

Witnessing the series of continuously occurring miscalculations, Sphinx silently muttered to herself.

Reflected on the surface of the floating water mirrors, were those who were taking action in various places throughout the Imperial Capital of Lupugana, individuals capable of holding back the ruination of the Vollachian Empire.

What drew the attention of Sphinx, who had transformed into a form identical to that of the Witch of Greed, above all else, were the boy and the Spirit who had prevented the attack from the Magic Crystal Cannon, the trump card of the Crystal Palace.

That Spirit, taking the form of a girl, had also successfully countered the Magic Crystal Cannon with the same method before Sphinx had commanded the dead in the form of the Great Disaster, and began conducting a full-scale offensive against the Empire. But, by Sphinx’s judgment, that was supposed to be a sacrificial technique that threatened the disappearance of the Spirit herself.

To carry out that same thing in merely two or three days and survive unscathed did not make rational sense. 

The factor that had defied reason, was the boy who was likely contracted with the Spirit in his embrace.

Sphinx: [So it is you again?]

The inexplicable boy who, while allying himself with the Vollachian Emperor, had thwarted the stratagems of the incomplete Witch, Sphinx, before she had replicated the Witch of Greed.

In truth, if she had been unable to grasp the final fragment to recreate her soul in the eleventh hour, Sphinx’s days of hard work exceeding three hundred years would have been put to an end by them.

And, that threat persisted even now, with her having reached the Witch of Greed.

Sphinx: [――The Yang Sword Vollachia, and the Authority of Gluttony.]

Even if she had succeeded in her long-cherished desire to recreate the Witch of Greed, for Sphinx, who was as of yet, still dead, the fact that those two were her fatal weak points remained unchanged.

Therefore, while producing several beings sharing the same soul as herself, Sphinx would take care to not draw near to the owner of the Yang Sword, or that Spiritual Arts User boy.

On top of that――,

Sphinx: [With all of the cards in my hand, I shall emerge victorious.]

Priscilla: [――――]

At Sphinx’s mutter, Priscilla’s expression across the water mirror changed.

A slight smile had emerged on her face. ――In that smile, there was no displeasure or discomfort; in order to distort it with at least a fragment of sorrow, Sphinx would throw everything she had at it.

△▼△▼△▼△

A void had appeared in the distant sky, and swallowed the flame that would have spelled the destruction of the Vollachian Empire.

Cutting into the trajectory of the Magic Crystal Cannon, Natsuki Subaru had achieved his goal. That meant that The Admirer, Halibel, Spica, and Beatrice had each also carried out their respective roles.

???: [It is a great service. ――However.]

While acknowledging their achievement, the forefront of Emperor Vincent’s thoughts harbored a sense of unease.

The neutralizing of the Magic Crystal Cannon, the Empire’s decisive weapon, over and over again in this manner, was problematic.

――In any nation, a force of deterrence that would dissuade other countries from invading was a constant requirement.

Whether it be the military that could rival its neighbors, the exceptionally strong whom no one could compare to, or the powerful weapon capable of overturning any predicament―― if any of these factors had been missing, the present prosperity of the Empire would not have come to be.

The weight of that undeniable history was being eroded to naught but a trace by the Great Disaster that stemmed from the insurrection.

Vincent: [In that sense, you all have already destroyed the law of iron and blood that protected the order of the Empire.]

While clenching his teeth to bite back his shame, Vincent brandished the Yang Sword.

Before Vincent’s eyes, leaping over the flame of the treasured sword that had been drawn in a horizontal line, undead of a kind that differed from those until this point could be seen rushing towards him.

Just what was different about them? That was simple. ――Vincent could not recognize them.

Vincent: [That detestable Witch, had she managed to learn of it prior to her demise?]

In the garden before the Crystal Palace, which had turned into a battlefield, appearing one after the other before Vincent as he held the frontline, were all undead who had likely carved their names into the history of the Vollachian Empire in ancient times. 

Vincent could match the faces and names of all the Imperial Soldiers of his time; however, he was unable to determine the identities of the undead resurrected from the past, with whom he had no direct acquaintance.

Based on his intuition, thus far, among the dead called forth by the Great Disaster, the proportion of those from recent times had been overwhelmingly high. In the most extreme cases, those that perished while fighting the undead had been instantly resurrected as an undead. ――This would be speculation, but perhaps those souls also possessed an aspect of freshness.

Or it could simply be that the further back in time one went, the more difficult it became to resurrect the dead, or a greater cost was required.

Therefore, the majority of the resurrected corpses were from recent times, and thus, Subaru and his companion’s Star Eating in combination with Vincent’s memories was highly effective, but――,

Vincent: [To these ones that might not be applicable.]

Even if there were other conditions imposed on resurrection, be they large or small, the best way to prevent Star Eating was to prepare undead who did not correspond to Vincent’s memories. 

It seemed the Witch had come to understand this before her soul was consumed by the flames.

In other words, there remained no means to defeat the unknown ancient warriors that stood in the way except Vincent’s Yang Sword. ――No, if it were just the Yang Sword, then there was another besides Vincent’s own.

Vincent: [――Priscilla.]

Yes, calling the name of his younger sister, whose whereabouts remained unknown after the evacuation, Vincent resumed his battle with the attacking undead.

His foolish younger sister, formerly named Prisca Benedict, presently went by the name of Priscilla Barielle.

Upon confirming the fact that, after leaving the Empire, she had changed her name and become one of the Royal Selection candidates for the Kingdom of Lugunica, Vincent had nearly fainted. But it was bearable.

Her reason for rushing to the aid of her homeland was not something endearing like being concerned for Vincent or the Empire. Rather, it was to silence the one who owned the blades of the assassins that had been sent to her. 

But then, the presumed reckless soul had already gone ahead and lost his life.

Vincent: [Chisha.]

Chisha, the one who, deceiving even Vincent, had resolved to defy the world’s fate of the Great Disaster, was among the few who knew that Prisca had survived as Priscilla.

Chisha, who knew of her fierce temperament from her time as Prisca, intending for her to be alongside Vincent who must ward off the Great Disaster, was likely to take drastic measures to bring her over.

Beneath that white expressionless visage, he may even have thought about how the matters of the Imperial Crown needed be handled post-war――, 

Chisha: [The fact that it was necessary to go to such lengths, I am forced to revise my opinion of your Excellency.]

At the echo of Chisha, the embodiment of disrespect and disloyalty to the Emperor, he clicked his tongue. 

Setting aside his annoyance at these all-too-surreal visions of him, Vincent kept Chisha’s parting gift――the conclusion regarding how Priscilla should be dealt with, as his own responsibility. 

Presently, Priscilla’s life was safe, as confirmed by Sphinx’s attempt to bring Vincent to her. That much was good enough for now.

As for the need to increase in numbers the Yang Sword, it would be fulfilled when Vincent became more accustomed to being the apex of the land of the Sword Wolf. ――The moment this thought crossed his mind.

???: [――Thy valiant striving is magnificent. As thy predecessor, I doth swell with pride.]

A deep, sonorous voice struck Vincent’s eardrums amidst the clash of swords.

Simultaneously, his field of vision was diagonally bisected by a sword flash so transcendent that Vincent, who had witnessed the swordsmanship of many a warrior, would deem it preeminent. 

That flash, it swept across the warriors of old who had dared to wound Vincent’s noble presence; and being unable to evade, their bodies―― no, their souls were ignited.

In other words, it had been a strike from the Yang Sword.

Vincent: [――――]

A moment ago, he had concluded that he could not desire for a reinforcement who wielded the crimson treasured sword.

Hence, Vincent’s eyes widened slightly at the arrival of this unlikely aid, and upon stealing a glance at the profile of the person standing back-to-back with him, his breath was caught.

It was a familiar visage. ――That appearance, he had seen in paintings of old.

Vincent: [――The Emperor of the Briar?]

???: [The crown of the Emperor hath been duly bequeathed unto the succeeding generation, and now, it doth rest upon thee. For mineself to lay claim to the title “Emperor of the Briar” would be folly. ――I am Eugard Vollachia.]

Vincent: [――――]

Eugard: [Hmm. Thou appearst both sagacious and well-favored. In retrospect, never have I beheld the faces of mine children and descendants in proximity. Were it feasible, mineself would liketh to exchange many words, and fain to gaze upon thy face for long.]

While the person continued to speak―― the undead who had called himself Eugard Vollachia, Vincent remained silent.

That tranquil aura he exuded, with eyes that held the light of reason and skin that had the color of life, distinguished him from the countless undead encountered thus far. Why was there not the hostility towards the living that characterized the undead, or the signs of being deprived of free will?

Eugard: [Mine love for Mine Star, is why.]

Vincent: [What?]

Eugard: [Didst thou not seeketh an answer to wherefore mineself acts thus, or was I mistaken?]

For a moment, Vincent attempted to discern the true meaning behind those words, but he quickly gave up.

He had to reconsider. For if Eugard Vollachia was indeed the same personage as described in the old tale of Iris and the King of Thorns, then to doubt his words, although incomprehensible, would be foolish.

Therefore――,

Vincent: [The reigning Vollachian Emperor, Vincent Vollachia.]

Eugard: [Understood. Then, let us march. ――O child of mine own children.]

Thus was Eugard’s response to Vincent’s introduction, and the two Emperors stood side by side.

An impossibility due to the law of iron and blood of the Vollachian Empire, where the rite of succession to the Imperial Throne, the Imperial Selection Ceremony, took place upon death, these were two fellow Sword Wolves mounting a united front.

△▼△▼△▼△

――The fierce battle to decide the fate of the world continued within the Imperial Capital of Lupugana.

The battle at each bastion between the transcendent beings came to a close one by one, both the living and the dead performing to their utmost, some failing, while others proceeded forth.

As if to mock the efforts of all involved, two disasters attempted to bring it all to naught―― the starlight, crashing through the sky, that was struck down by a swordsman who would not relinquish his dream, and the flare of destruction, created by sacrificing the lives of countless Spirits, that was stopped by a boy who resisted fate along with his friends who supported him.

The prevention of both disasters had been the result of each person using all of the power that they possessed.

However, it was not the starlight being severed, or the fire of destruction being extinguished, that contributed the most to the war situation for the living.

It was a man who alone arrived to prevent the next step of the Great Disaster that no one else could have realized or reached, for even if they had――,

???: [――Good grief, y’all are makin’ old people work too much.]

The Vicious Old Man, Olbart Dunkelkenn, leapt with his small frame as he complained grumpily.

The low-leaping, ground-crawling movements of the Shinobi chieftain, the monstrous old man, aimed for the undead sorcerer guarding the blood-red magic circle that was painted at the end of the passage.

The sorcerer turned their palm toward Olbart, and then black filth, flowing from the walls and floor around him, formed chains that roared out to bind the limbs of the approaching monstrous old man――,

Olbart: [I’ve been doin’ this for ninety years y’know?]

Faster than the chains could reach him, Olbart swiftly swung his right arm―― the arm missing from below the elbow, and threw a kunai from within its supposedly empty sleeve.

It pierced between the eyebrows of the sorcerer, who was wary of his approach, at lightning speed, and slammed them into the magic circle on the wall. Immediately after, Olbart struck with his left palm, and pierced through the sorcerer and the magic circle.

His martial arts, which had been honed for as long as he could remember, shattered the sorcerer and the magic circle to pieces.

He was under strict orders to not kill any more undead than necessary, but this soul-tampered abnormality and opponents like the sorcerer he had just seen were exceptions to that command.

The sorcerers that guarded the magic circle which distorted the space within the castle, he had taken care of about ten of them――,

Olbart: [――. So it’s finally done.]

Olbart muttered so, sensing the change in the air on his dry, old skin.

Glaring at the inside the Crystal Palace with both his eyes, obscured by abundant eyebrows, a strange atmosphere pervaded within the place―― he could see that the anomaly that had transformed the familiar structure of the castle into a strange, magical place had been lifted.

Doors that should have been connected were not, and the window through which he had entered did not allow him to reach the desired location; it was unclear whether it was an illusionary technique or a magic that twisted space itself, but in any case――,

Olbart: [For now, my work here is… oy, oy, this is bad, isn’t it?]

Finding himself in a problem right after solving another, Olbart hushed his voice at this sudden change of events.

As soon as the distortion in space had been fixed, the next anomaly that occured in the Crystal Palace was easy to understand. ――The entire castle was being charged with intense Mana waves. The Magic Crystal Cannon had been activated.

Olbart: [Drat, Moguro, hang in there a lil’ bit longer.]

At the vibrations of the Magic Crystal Cannon activating, Olbart complained to the core of the Crystal Palace, Moguro Hagane―― the Steelman, known as the Crystal Palace Meteor itself.

Until now, the commendable Moguro had been obeying Vincent’s instructions, attempting to prevent the Great Disaster from using the Magic Crystal Cannon, but it appeared that they had broken through.

It was dreadful that the Magic Crystal Cannon had been seized as the opponent’s weapon.

Olbart: [If they’re targetin’ Garkla, we’re gonna be deep in shit.]

The Fortified City, which had attracted hordes of the dead and was supposed to be a siege for the survival of the Empire, needed to keep its strong defensive walls preserved for the battle. If the Magic Crystal Cannon were to blow it down, the situation would shift dramatically and the city would be destroyed.

And, that would be the same as the Vollachian Empire suffering irreversible damage.

Even if Olbart and the others were able to destroy the mastermind behind the Great Disaster, the loss of the personnel currently within the Fortified City would make the rebuild impossible―― And that, would spell the end of the Vollachian Empire.

――Olbart Dunkelkenn had an ambition.

As the chieftain of the Shinobi, who were expected to operate in the shadows of history, he intended to leave his grand mark on the history of the Empire and to destroy the very foundation of the way of being a Shinobi, to which he had devoted his life.

For that reason, the allure of flashy outbursts, such as a quick rebellion against the Emperor or his assassination, had often been tempting. However, the Great Disaster had made those plans null, and with the feeling that he missed the opportunity window for betrayal undeniably present, here that chance made itself clear again.

If the Magic Crystal Cannon were to be used in a manner that would determine the victory of the Great Disaster, then Olbart would fulfill his ambitions not as an Imperial General, but rather as a Shinobi.

Whatever Great Disaster had in store, he would stately rush to Vincent’s side, snatch victory from him, and fulfill his own personal ambitions.

Therefore――,

Olbart: [――Even though this was supposed to be my final betrayal.]

The distortion of space having been resolved, Olbart ran up the castle and arrived at the turret of the Magic Crystal Cannon. There, he watched as the glare of destruction was engulfed by a large void in the sky, his white eyebrows fluttering in the aftermath of the Magic Crystal Cannon, which had been fired by the narrowest of margins.

If the Magic Crystal Cannon had determined the destruction of the Empire, Olbart could have betrayed the Empire without any regrets.

But, that did not happen.

Olbart: [Kakakakka! That lil’ brat not only did it in the Demon City, he’s gone and done it here too! I swear, young people these days don’t have a shred of respect for us old folks!]

Olbart laughed heartily at the sight of the two distant figures in the sky: the black-haired boy and the little Spirit girl.

This was the second time, Chaosflame included, that Olbart’s calculations were undone by the boy. But, he did not feel any anger or hatred for what he had done to him.

As one would age, it would become easier to give up on many things―― but this was not the reason. Olbart was not one who gave up easily. So, he was not giving up. He was just admitting defeat.

Olbart: [If they’re able ta outperform me, then that’s that.]

Having lived for nearly one hundred years, there had been countless dreams that Olbart had not been able to achieve. Of course, there were many that had come true by force. That was the way of things.

Thus, Olbart was able to let go of his long-cherished desire to leave his name in history by assassinating the Emperor in a fit of desperation, as far as the Empire is concerned an act of violence comparable to that of the wolfman who had killed the titular Iris in “Iris and the King of Thorns”.

Then, having let go of his long-cherished desire and having prepared his barren left hand for a karate chop――,

Olbart: [――Then, you’ll come along with me in my dream of bein’ the next hero ta save the country, won’t ya?]

???: [――――]

A white-haired woman stood right next to the turret before the slightly-smiling Olbart.

At the top of the Crystal Palace, on the turret of the Magic Crystal Cannon that had just finished discharging the fire of destruction, a sweltering torrent of Mana blew around, stirring one’s senses as it did so.

At the center of it was the keystone of the Crystal Palace with its magic crystals of various sizes, the base on which the Magic Core, the heart of the Magic Crystal Cannon, was installed; the woman in white smiled at him as she placed her hand upon the pedestal.

And then――,

???: [It is undesirable for you to be here. ――Elimination: Required.]

???: [It is futile, Olbart. Your opponent, Witch.]

A black wind began to swirl around the smiling woman―― the Witch, and the Magic Core itself spoke in Moguro’s voice, as if to alert him to it.

Olbart, chuckling at the obvious warning from the Steelman, 

Olbart: [I know that without bein’ told. ――Even at my age, I’m not senile.]

Kicking the floor, The Vicious Old Man ended his dream―― and, delayed the demise of the Empire that would have occurred in that moment.

△▼△▼△▼△

Subaru: [Like I’d ever let you! ――Bring it on, oh inevitable fate!!]

While embracing and being embraced Beatrice’s Al Shamak sent away one of the Magic Crystal Cannon’s shots.

Tightly, Subaru felt the power to do so being drawn out of him, but he had an unfounded confidence that he could sustain Beatrice’s recklessness.

――No, now that he had succeeded, he could reiterate it as a well-founded conviction.

Subaru: [Maybe, it’s the power of the bond!]

Subaru’s Cor Leonis, which could take on and distribute burdens, had remained connected to all of the members of the Pleiades Battalion, who were located far away from him.

It not only enhanced the strength of everyone as a unit, but it also lent a shoulder to anyone who might have been falling behind, pushing them along and distributing the vitality needed to run together.

This power represented the realization of “One for all, all for one”.

It was quite probable, perhaps even likely, that a massive burden had been suddenly placed upon everyone fighting in the Fortified City at this very moment, but he wanted to believe it would be all right.

Either way――,

Beatrice: [It was very important that we prevented that from happening, I suppose!]

Subaru: [Ah! I thought for sure they were going after Garkla…]

Subaru watched the void in the sky close and responded to Beatrice, who raised her voice.

Subaru and the others, determined to stop the Magic Crystal Cannon, rushed into its line of fire, but they had thought that the cannon was aimed at the Fortified City.

The biggest fear was that the Fortified City, where the battle of the century was currently being fought, would have received an irrevocable shot rather than the Imperial Capital receiving a blow at a single location.

However, when they had actually prevented it, the Magic Crystal Cannon had been aimed at the south side of the Imperial Capital.

Subaru: [There’s no way they’d carry out a meaningless attack. They definitely had a plan.]

Beatrice: [――. That troublesome one to the south, they went after Garfiel, didn’t they, in fact?]

Subaru: [Sure, our Garfiel is like a little brother who isn’t embarrassed to go anywhere, but…]

At the first bastion, the southernmost point of the Imperial Capital, the Cloud Dragon Mezoreia was stationed to protect the widest area, and Garfiel alone was entrusted with defeating it.

Frankly speaking, rather than just reckless, it was more so unreasonable, absurd and thoughtless, yet it was a big role that could not have been entrusted to anyone other than Garfiel. Considering its importance, it was not impossible that the other party was targeting Garfiel.

Subaru: [Who fired the shot in the first place? Now that we’ve taken down Sphinx, who’s the next one in charge?]

Beatrice: […It’s doubtful that it’s a reanimated Emperor of Vollachia or someone of the like, I suppose.]

Subaru: [Please don’t give me any more reasons for not wanting to help the Empire at this point…!]

Just when it seemed that Sphinx, the leader of the Great Disaster, had been defeated, he did not want the previous Emperors of Vollachia to rise up to become the final boss, disappointed by the failures of the modern Empire.

First, if that pattern would be allowed to continue, it would be impossible to know just how many Emperors would need to be defeated.

Beatrice: [But, it seemed like they had a clear aim in the way they were assembling that attack just now, in fact. That’s why…]

Subaru: [――Beako!]

Subaru sounded a sharp call as Beatrice stared at the ground, her twin drills flapping in the wind of free fall.

He cupped Beatrice’s cheeks between his hands, making her look up in the direction he wanted her to see. As their gazes converged, they were met by the reflection of a huge, majestic figure flying fiercely through the sky―― a three-headed Dragon.

The Blight Dragon, which had attacked them in the coupled dragon carriage, and had once been felled by Halibel, had been revived and was approaching Subaru and Beatrice, who had counteracted the Magic Crystal Cannon.

Subaru: [Crap, this is bad, we can’t move!]

Beatrice: [――! Here comes its breath, I suppose!]

With clear hostility, the three heads of the Blight Dragon turned toward Subaru and Beatrice.

In contrast, Subaru and Beatrice, who were embracing in the air while in free fall, were quite a distance away from their dependable companions, Spica and Halibel.

Beatrice: [Releasing Murak, in fact!]

Subaru: [And Invisible Providence is next!]

As the Blight Dragon’s breath became a black ray of heat, Subaru and Beatrice worked in perfect coordination―― Murak’s effect of negating gravity was canceled on Subaru, and as his fall speed which had been like that of leaves dancing in the air gained momentum, all of this was accelerated further by throwing themselves downwards with Invisible Providence.

With that, Subaru and Beatrice forcibly escaped the line of fire of the Blight Dragon’s breath. ――However, they had only escaped the first one.

There were signs of the remaining two heads preparing to release the same breath――, 

Subaru: [――Hk.]

In his head, he desperately searched for a card that could be used, that made sense, and would work right now.

As Subaru’s thoughts began to spin at high speed, and his whole body was dominated by the hot sensation of being on fire, he quickly bit his molars and pulled Beatrice tightly to him.

And then, as he was about to verbalize his thoughts.

???: [――Oh deeear~, unlike me, you guys can’t fly freely, so I’d rather you not surprise me liiike that~.]

Then, Subaru and Beatrice were snatched away at the sound of a voice filled with exasperation and amusement.

The Blight Dragon’s breath became two black rays of heat that swept across the sky of Imperial Capital, but Subaru and Beatrice were not in its line of fire. They were being held up by long, slender arms.

It was――,

Subaru: [Roswaal! Nice timing! You saved us!]

Beatrice: [This is humiliating, I suppose! Holding Betty like this is unacceptable, in fact!]

Roswaal: [Well, well, that’s quite an extreme difference in reaaactions~.]

Roswaal, the flying magician, smirked at the reactions coming from his left and right, from Subaru and Beatrice. 

He put his arms around the waists of Subaru and Beatrice, holding them at his sides as he soared freely through the air, toying with the Blight Dragon―― the “three-headed” Valgren, with its wings flapping in the air,

Roswaal: [Well done for stopping the Magic Crystal Cannon. What’s the situaaation~?]

Subaru: [Sphinx has been defeated! Maybe the cause of the zombies is in the Crystal Palace! We don’t know what the Magic Crystal Cannon was aiming at just now!]

Roswaal: [Sphinx? That’s both a blessing and a disappointment, but…]

Beatrice: [――? Is that a concern or a complaint, I suppose?]

Beatrice was unsparing when it came to Roswaal’s words and actions, but Roswaal’s expression turned slightly grim as he narrowed his differently colored eyes.

Roswaal’s makeup-less face bore an expression that was far more ghastly than usual, and the possible reason for such made Subaru cautious.

As it was, Roswaal continued as if he were speaking to himself rather than to Subaru and Beatrice.

Roswaal: [Beginning with the interruption of the decisive battle for the Imperial Capital, our opponents have carefully hindered us. The same goes for the shot from the Magic Crystal Cannon… is that everything? Truly?]

Thus he spoke.

△▼△▼△▼△

――Vincent and Eugard, two Emperors of Vollachia who normally would not be able to entrust their backs to each other, were performing sword dances, and the crimson swords flashed with flames that raged like a storm.

Tanza: [Amazing…]

Tanza muttered in amazement at the sight, which was like an illusion that burned her eyes.

Eugard, having sensed the signs of battle from the direction of the Crystal Palace, went ahead, and by the time Tanza, holding hands with Yorna, caught up with him, the two Emperors were already fighting together.

The undead whose souls were being set ablaze by the brilliance of the Yang Sword were all very skilled, and there had not been much difference between them and the undead Rowan.

But the howling winds of the crimson swords kept them at bay, as they were overwhelmed by the coordinated efforts of Eugard and Vincent, who exchanged neither words nor glances.

Yorna: […This is the first time I’ve ever seen His Excellency wielding a sword with someone that way.]

Suddenly, Yorna, who was staring at the same scene as Tanza, remarked.

Tanza could not comprehend the complexity of the emotions contained therein. ――The shaking eyes and trembling voice, all of which were created by years of not being able to do more than lean on Tanza.

Obviously, she did not know the details of the situation.

However, Yorna was in love with Eugard, who came back from a long time ago, and she knew that there was more to it than simple longevity.

Tanza’s unfamiliarity with these bonds gave space to a sense of relational hierarchy between she and Eugard in her mind.

Yorna: [I love both you, Tanza, and His Excellency. Both of you are very dear to me, and I love you both in my heart, just in different ways.]

Tanza: [Ah…]

The anxiety that creeped into Tanza’s heart was seen through by Yorna, which made her want to bury her face.

But Tanza relied on the feeling of the hand in her hand, and with the reason why she was standing here in her heart, she ceased wailing in self-pity.

She had to keep her face up.

That was what Tanza had in common with all the amazing people she had ever met.

Tanza: [――Hk.]

Gritting her teeth, Tanza’s nerves were on edge.

She was entrusted with protecting Yorna, who was not in good shape, or perhaps emotionally traumatized from the battle with the dreadful Rowan. She could not rely on Eugard, who was fighting, or even on Emilia, who had separated from her on her way here.

So, as long as Tanza was not able to join Eugard and Vincent in their battle, all she could do was to be the first to notice anything unusual in their surroundings――.

Tanza: [――Yorna-sama! Look!]

Her vigilance paid off.

Tanza’s round eyes widened, and she pointed to the Crystal Palace’s top level with the hand not held by Yorna’s. Looking at the same thing as Tanza, Yorna stared up with her almond-shaped eyes.

Their gazes fell on the half-spherical tower near the top of the Crystal Palace―― Tanza did not know, but it was the tower where the Magic Crystal Cannon, the trump card of the Crystal Palace, was located.

The tower glowed from within, and then, in a violent explosion, the walls were blown away. Tanza blinked as the tower was destroyed, scattering pieces of the castle in a spectacular manner.

Then, a small shadow appeared out of the thick plume of smoke――,

Yorna: [Old Man Olbart?]

Yorna’s voice, somewhat taken aback, was evidence of her surprise at what she saw.

Slowly, Olbart emerged from the broken wall, but rather than his usual aloof and detached self, blood stained his tattered garb.

Just then, Olbart noticed Tanza and the other living people below him――,

Olbart: [Yer Excellency! Things ain’t lookin’ good at this rate! The Witch’s tricks ain’t over yet!]

And as such, his voice, tainted by desperation, screamed as if to push an impression very much not like himself.

△▼△▼△▼△

And so, at the same time that Olbart shouted in his blood-stained garb―― Emilia stood, reflecting on the fact that she had taken an unplanned action with her intuition as the basis.

It was a big decision to go against the wishes of Subaru and Abel, both of whom had worked very hard to think through the best course of action, and to act separately from Tanza, Yorna, and the others.

Emilia: [If my uneasiness turned out to be just a misunderstanding, I thought I’d hurry back to Tanza-chan and the others, but…]

Following a slight unease and a change in the air, a misapprehension that seemed to wash over her, Emilia ran not to the Crystal Palace but further north.

And there she found someone she was not supposed to have met.

If someone were to merely be somewhere, then no matter who they were, assuming that they were committing wrongdoings would usually be unacceptable. But this other person was a bit of an exception.

After all――,

Emilia: [You reaaally surprised me. ――Why are you here, Echidna?]

At Emilia’s prompt, the white-haired Witch turned to look.

She spoke with only the slightest hint of surprise at her well-formed appearance.

Witch: [I believe I am the one who ought to be surprised. ――Witch of Envy.]

So she declared. 

31 thoughts on “Arc 8, Chapter 67 – “The Cards in One’s Hand””

    1. Lo más plausible es porque Emilia se parece bastante a Satella, me imagino que por eso la reconoció así.

  1. Witch of envy? Is it because of Emilia’s identical features to the witch or maybe something else fvck I wanna know more

    1. Probably just because she’s identical since sphinx has echidna’s memories I doubt sphinx has kept up with the news of the royal election in the kingdom

  2. Cliffhanger is crazy. I’ve been waiting for Roswaal to see Sphinx for like 10 Chapters now tho

    1. They were the first to fight eachother way back when the 5 dragon carts were destroyed. Or do you mean echidna version specifically? In which case poor ros he cant betray suberu without dying. So he cant join her.

  3. I really want to say I’m grateful to everyone who translated these chapters. Thanks vinicaian, Cirdan, Lunae Shadow, Garcar, Beloved, DatShazam and Goldkills. Glad we have such a goated fanbase , I caught up just yesterday and new chapter out today is crazy.

  4. like a good chapter with the best girl Emilia, she’s not in the photo, like a trash chapter with Rem, it’s all there!

  5. I am very grateful to the translators and other people who are involved in this work, you are all super!!! I have just one question for art designers, remove the Rem icon from your monitors! I don’t mind that you shove Rem’s image in wherever you can, but at least don’t forget about Emilia and the chapters where she plays an important role! After all, if Emilia ends up burning out, then all of Re-Zero will die! BUT I see that not everyone understands this!!!

  6. One sec was the weakness of Cor Leonis distance. Where he could not sense Ram and Emilia on top of the tower now he can do it over like 50km in the worst case. Imply that he has gotten incredibly more proficient at it or massively more greedy. The latter would explain why he stopped looping so far back in the first place because of a shift in his personalty.

    1. It might also be that during the events in the Tower his companions weren’t fully accepting the power. Remember that while guys like the Pleiades Batallion seem to have unshakeable confidence in Subaru, and even Garfiel seems to have reached a similar level of trust, people like Ram seem to not be able to accept Subaru as easily, or at least they always have some lingering doubts about his capacities, even with Emilia it might be a case where their worry overpowers their trust in him. Plus, during the fight there they all realized Subaru had lost his memories which might have shaked their trust even more. So while it’s possible that Subaru himself is now able to use that authority better, it seems like the bond of trust between him and those receiving the blessing being stronger than back then also influences it’s overall buff. Another thing to consider is the sheer volume of people being linked, if the ability allows all the ones linked by it to share their burdens and strength then the fact that it’s being used on so many people at once might’ve exponentially increased its power. Whatever the case Cor Leonis is definitely the ultimate support ability.

  7. even if it is nice i do not think she kept the same clothing otherwise she would be recognizable as sphinx immediately

  8. Since Sphinx is an existence with (fragmented) memories from 400 years ago, and likely isn’t aware of the Royal Selection as she’s been doing her own thing, this makes complete sense. They are copy pastes of each other after all.

    Wants to be the Witch of Greed, yet isn’t even updated with the times… unless?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *