|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3250 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1534 words|
Normally, when the spellcaster was defeated, the spell they activated would crumble and, in this case, Inglis and the others would be returned back to the theatre. However, there wasn’t a hint that the subspace was collapsing. Which meant…
「……How surprising. Artifacts and similar powers are supposed to be sealed within this ‘Magic Sealing Cage’……My current body, built with the technology of the Highland, is unaffected by the cage, so it is supposed to be the best means of defense as it is the most deadly trap! And yet, you broke through it so easily! ……I see, Lord Abel lied to me?!」
Ian’s voice echoed from some place far away.
I knew it! I don’t know what his trick is, but he’s still up and well.
「In his honor, let me tell you something; It does work.」
Well, keeping the honor of a deadman wouldn’t mean anything, though. He never had much of it, to begin with.
「Then why?! Are you that much of a monster that you punched through and shatter steel with your own hand, is that it? I can’t imagine such strength coming from such a dainty, beautiful figure like yours…」
「I’m not saying that I can’t, but… the point here is that there are things that even Highlanders are unaware of. They are not all-knowing and all-mighty.」
Although, they might as well look like they do from the perspective of Midlanders.
「And one more thing, Lord Abel has regretfully passed away. This deal that he promised you of may have been in vain, you know?」
「Yes, I have heard the rumors when I arrived here, but the plan is still ongoing! Don’t tell me, are you the one who killed……?!」
「As if! There is no way I will ever do something like that!」
Inglis declared a bit forcefully.
It wasn’t that she couldn’t, she just didn’t see the reason to. Whilst his nature was left with too much to desire, Inglis liked him a lot. He was short-tempered and quick to resort to violence, perhaps due to his bloated self-esteem, and was willing to fight her hand-to-hand regardless of their societal standings.
His strength was a real deal, and, for Inglis, it was something she was very grateful of being introduced to. That was why, after kicking him so far out of sight, she wanted to at least save his life.
It would be all too wasteful to kill him. She wanted to fight him again, as much as she could, after she refined her skills and honed her strengths. And, yet, by the hands of Black Mask, he was… it was nothing short of a regrettable and unfortunate accident.
「……Either way, you are a danger. Who is to say you won’t become a threat for Alucard if I leave you be!」
「I think you are overestimating me…」
Inglis had no intention to do something so troublesome unless it’s for power. She wouldn’t put an effort to make the world a better place. And, conversely speaking, even if a country or two were demolished, she had no intention to fight their war.
「However, I welcome you to come and fight me with all your might. I wish to settle this ASAP and get to Rani.」
「「「「「Your composure ends now!」」」」」
That voice came from all around her. It sounded like a chorus, layered in and onto itself.
And then, Ian showed up! Just like the voices, he showed up from all four directions.
Ian, so many of the exact looking Ian, showed up again, and again, and again, and again——
He numbered twenty to thirty Ian.
「Wha……?! What is this!」
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Even Inglis was taken by surprise. Was this also part of the Highland tech? If so, this should mean that the Highland was capable of indefinitely producing soldiers as long as they had the materials.
「Th-, there’s so many?! A-Am I seeing a nightmare?!」
「Highland’s Secret Ritual of Human Soul Imitation! Each one of me may be weaker than you, but together, we are strong! This is the power Lord Abel has given me!」
「I see……what a nice hobby he has.」
「B-But, Ian……if you did this, if you’ve gone and did this, you’ll no longer know who is the real you anymore!」
「Pullum’s right, Ian! No one will know which one is the real you! That is basically you killing your own self! Is this what you wanted?!」
Lahti and Pullum laid bare their revolt at the sight of the huge number of Ian. Their expressions were distorted in pity.
Whilst seeing this unfold, Inglis thought to herself out loud.
「But, maybe I want it too, one or two more of me……」
I’m sure we will understand each other so well and spend our fulfilling, repeating days fighting as good rivals to each other. Since we will be evenly matched, I’ll be the best training partner I’ll ever have. And that, undoubtedly, will become the shortest way to reach the highest level in the limited human lifespan that I have.
Although, I don’t want to be in the same situation as Ian, where I would be duplicated and used at the behest of my own superior’s biddings. But still, I think it’s not a bad idea to create another one of me by my own will. In fact, I want to do it.
If I go to Alucard, will I see the facility that made Ian the way he is? I want to take a look at it at least once.
「What the f̲u̲c̲k̲ are you saying, Inglis?!」
It seemed that Lahti overheard her.
「Eh? But, you see, if I had another one of me, I would be my own best training partner, right? Not to mention, in the end, strength is basically the multiplication of the quality, the time spent, as well as the talent of someone you trained with, so don’t you think having someone just as strong as I am would make me stronger with the highest efficiency?」
「Hell if I know! We are seriously talking about Human Dignity here! No, enough, just don’t break the conversation, okay!」
He sure said things Rafinha would. This must mean Lahti himself was also a good, virtuous young man with a strong sense of justice.
「Lahti, Pullum. I am of the same standing as Miss Inglis. It doesn’t bother me, and I am happy with it! Although, indeed, nobody else wanted to have their very own existence imitated, and I was the only one who volunteered……」
「That’s obvious! That is plain creepy! Why would you?!」
「I wanted power! Much like Lahti, I was a Runeless. When my hometown was attacked by Magic Stone Beasts, I was so powerless I couldn’t do anything……But, not now, now I’m different! I have to make sure there will be no more tragedies like what happened to my family and the people of my territory! As long as I’ve received the power to protect our most beloved Alucard, so what! I don’t need my body! I don’t even need Human Dignity! I don’t care if I am no longer me!」
Ian made his impassioned speech. Lahti could no longer look at him straight and threw his face away.
「Ian! But, but if you do that, then!」
「I-, I’m so sorry Ian……We couldn’t be there for you when you needed us the most!」
Pullum was shaking to her core, her eyes welled with tears.
「……He is exactly like how you said, Lahti.」
「Y-, yeah……You’re right, though he’s overdoing it……」
Lahti had said that, with Ian’s character, he would have stayed behind to help rebuild the city if his territory had been leveled and his country’s capital badly damaged. What he did now was a part of it, working himself for his country and his people. Perhaps, this was the maximum form of his servitude.
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Although, from others’ standpoint, this was the worst that he could have done, as he was plotting to assassinate a King of a country. When two ideals and versions of justice collided, war took place.
「That is why I volunteered to be part of Lord Abel’s experiment. I was also given the special power to manipulate ‘Magic Sealing Cage,’ so that I can hide many of my duplicates in it!」
Which meant that Ian was the only one in his group who could use it. However, in any case…
「Now, Miss Inglis……! The fight is just starting! Right now, for sure, I will……!」
「No, thank you. I have to hurry to where Rani is.」
Even if she defeated all the Ians she could see here, there might be some more. In the meantime, time was ticking away. She couldn’t waste even a second.
Which meant she had to destroy the subspace to get out of it. Most probably, the destruction would flood outside, bringing about devastation to the theatre.
That was why she didn’t want to resort to that, but the time called for it. Inglis raised her hand to the sky, palm facing up, as Ether began to converge on it.
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