|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2455 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1031 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
Leone stuck the sword into the ground in front of her, expanding its blade to be long and thick. It completely covered her body, serving as a shield to protect Pullum, Luwin, and herself. A defensive maneuver through the use of her Gift.
Light bullets continuously rained on the blade of the sword, but each impact wasn’t too much to bear. They could push through still. If they held out like this, they could buy time for Rafinha and the others to return. Leone judged that this wasn’t a disadvantageous tactic.
Perhaps catching up to what she thought, Ian’s voice came from quite close.
「Are you trying to stall for time? Why don’t I show you that it is useless then!」
By using her sword as a huge shield, Leone had a harder time seeing Ian’s figure. He had stopped firing and was closing the distance to them at once from a blind spot.
「!!! But, in close combat…!」
「That’s not what it is!」
The moment Ian said so smugly, Leone’s vision field switched instantly. From the silver surrounding of the make-shift village to the pitch-black nothingness of space. This was…
Leone’s black greatsword Artifact also had the Gift to create a subspace. That was why she was familiar with one. She understood the situation she was in immediately. However, there was one difference between the subspace that Leone could manipulate with her Gift and this one. In this pitch-black space, sparkling yellowish-green light particles were drifting around.
She remembered this. Precisely because of that, a chill ran down her spine. These particles had the effect of disabling Artifacts.
Leone had experienced this before during the skirmishes with Myynti, the previous Special Envoy before Theodore. This means that Artifacts would not function at all. Even Leone’s greatsword became nothing more than an ordinary sword.
「Wh-, what is this……!?」
Worse still, Pullum, and Luwin, who was trying to give her first aid, were both involved. Even if Rafinha came back, she wouldn’t be able to find Pullum and treat her right away.
「It’s the power of a Highlander! In this place, the power of our Artifacts will be sealed, rendering them useless!」
「Wh-, what did you say?! A-, are we going to be okay?!」
「I don’t know!」
This was bad. This was a really bad situation. If Leone couldn’t defeat Ian without relying on the power of her Artifact, then both Pullum and Luwin couldn’t be saved.
If I knew that Ian was going to use this, I should have gone for the kill without thinking about defense or stalling for time! But, it’s far too late for regret.
「But, I won’t give up! Not to something like this……!」
Leone faced Ian, her sword at the ready. With the Gift disabled, the sword became heavier than usual. But not impossible to swing. And swing it she would. Physical attacks wouldn’t work if what she was facing was a Magic Stone Beast, but Ian was not a Magic Stone Beast.
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If Leone gave up now, not only her fate but also Pullum’s and Luwin’s would end as well. She wouldn’t let that happen. Not to mention, Leone herself had her own reason not to meet her end here.
She must defeat her brother Leon for betraying the country with her own hands and clear the name the Olpha household had been saddled with. That was why she trained so hard. She couldn’t die without fulfilling her goal.
If she managed to somehow persevere, perhaps Inglis would notice the existence of this subspace and come to their rescue. Leone just had to believe in that and fight!
Leone slashed, and Ian evaded it with a wide leap.
If they were anywhere else, she would immediately extend her blade forward to thrust, but that couldn’t be done here. She had to close the distance with her own feet to follow up. In order to do so, Leone also dashed up, but Ian immediately moved to seize the opportunity.
「How unsightly! You’re powerless in this 『Mana Sealing Cage』! This is the same attack as before! Can you receive this like you did before?!」
Ian stuck out his right hand and shot out light bullets again.
Leone didn’t intercept the bullets with her sword as she did before. Instead, she twisted her body around to evade the light bullets. She did it as close as possible to minimize the gap afterward.
Now that her positioning has changed, Pullum and Luwin were no longer behind Leone, it was safe to avoid them. She would be at a clear disadvantage if she tried to reproduce the same swordplay as before now that her Artifact was sealed.
Leone was then showered again by more light bullets, which she quickly dodged by moving left and right. She moved without stopping, careful not to let any stray bullets hit Pullum or Luwin.
「I see… be passionate and calm at the same time!」
Be calm and look at the whole situation at once, then think of the most optimal movement before executing it.
She quickly recalled that Inglis once told her that she needed that aspect in her fighting style. Inglis trained on her own every day without a break, and Leone sometimes trained along with her… one time, she told her that. Inglis said that it was Leone’s habit to brace too much and try too hard to not lose whenever she was at a disadvantage.
Perseverance is good, but it can also narrow one’s vision, so it seemed.
If someone as outstandingly skilled as Inglis said so, then it must be true. At first, Leone was tempted to brace the light bullets with her body. It was only when Inglis’ words crossed her mind that she reconsidered and chose to evade.
As Leone continued to run around dodging the projectiles, Ian clicked his tongue.
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「You think you can wait until your friends come to save you if you keep running around like that?!」
With a snap, Ian’s palm stopped firing. And then, he turned towards Pullum and Luwin.