|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2187 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 837 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
“Eh…? What do you mean, Miss Eris?”
“Did you say danger?!”
“Glis, don’t get overexcited!”
“It’s just a possibility, but… only the two of you should come with me. The rest, please wait here outside the gate.”
Upon Eris’ instructions, the trio began their walk through the garden, heading toward the main building. As they approached the location where the Star Princess unit was stationed, the reason behind Eris’ warning became evident to both Inglis and Rafinha.
“…! Is that the scent of blood…?!”
“You’re right… Wh-, what happened? Is Leone safe?!”
“That’s what we’re about to find out.”
The three neared the main entrance, with its doors slightly open, inviting anyone to look inside. Inglis, taking the lead, placed her hands on the door handles.
“I’m opening it!”
She gave a brief alert before pushing the doors wide open. Immediately, the sight of a spacious hall with a prominent staircase at the far end greeted them. Yet, their focus was drawn elsewhere. Multiple figures lay scattered across the floor, bleeding profusely, their uniforms identifying them as Knights.
“What on earth happened here?!”
The strong metallic scent of blood had somewhat prepared them for a gruesome sight. To be precise, their gravest fear had been finding Leone in such a state, so in that sense, this was a slightly less distressing revelation. Nevertheless, the scene was alarming and raised serious concerns about Leone’s whereabouts and well-being.
“Oh no… Are they… okay?”
Rafinha seemed about to rush forward to assess the Knights’ condition.
“Hold on, Rani!”
Inglis swiftly grabbed her arm.
“But if any of them are still breathing, we need to help them right away…!”
“It’s clear enough. We can tell whether they’re alive or not.”
“Eh…? So, it’s too late for them?”
Rafinha’s expression turned somber, concluding they had all passed away. However, Inglis gently shook her head and responded,
“Not exactly. Just watch.”
Inglis extended her index finger, aiming at one of the Knights.
“Enough playing dead. Wake up!”
She fired a beam of light at him, intending to catch him off guard. But just before it reached him—
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The man suddenly leaped up, letting out a fierce roar and effortlessly dodging the Ether Pierce. Despite seemingly severe leg injuries and copious bleeding, he moved with astonishing agility.
His appearance was also off; wide, manic eyes shone, and his teeth, particularly his canines, were unusually sharp, resembling deadly blades.
“WHA…?! What’s going on?!”
As Rafinha exclaimed in astonishment, the man recklessly lunged at Inglis. His movements were unnaturally agile, completely devoid of any self-preservation.
“He’s so quick…!”
Even Eris expressed her shock at his swiftness. But—
His attack was effortlessly halted by Inglis, who caught his blade between her two fingers. Despite his best efforts to free the weapon using his extraordinary strength, it remained firmly in her grasp.
“Interesting… his strength is remarkable, and his movements, not quite human.”
A broad smile stretched across Inglis’ face. She relished the challenge this opponent presented. She thought to herself how entertaining it would be if there were several more just like him.
“It’s not a Magic Stone Beast, and it’s not utilizing an Artifact either… What is this creature?”
Eris appeared just as puzzled.
“Doesn’t resemble a Rune Eater either… Glis, what are we dealing with? What’s going on with these people?”
“Yes. Think zombies, vampires – entities of that sort.”
“Really?! But those are just characters from fairy tales!”
“Yet, here they are in the flesh. Dragons were once believed to be mere myths too, but you’ve encountered one, haven’t you?”
“This world is full of mysteries.”
That said, this wasn’t some mysterious phenomenon like dragons; it was a result of human intervention. A product of magic. Forbidden magic of this kind was familiar to her from the time of King Inglis.
While King Inglis had promoted the use of magic among his people, he had firmly believed that any magic that transformed humans into such undead beings was grossly inhumane. Such practices were strictly banned and deemed heretical. Despite the power these spells held, the king felt they offered nothing of value to future generations. It was uncertain how much time had passed since that era, but now Inglis was faced with the consequences of such forbidden magic once more. Whether this was a result of an Artifact or the magic of the Highlanders remained to be seen.
“…this is truly tragic.”
She sighed softly. Banning such practices was a decision made for humanity’s benefit.
Yet, history had a cruel way of circling back. Efforts from Inglis’ past life were now being contradicted. It was a poignant reminder that she should focus on personal joy rather than chase after grand ideals or causes that might fade with time. She should live as Inglis Eux, aiming for a life without regrets, one where her last moments would be met with a contented smile, confident in the knowledge that she lived fully and did all she could.
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