|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2269 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 956 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
「…This is it. Stop resisting.」
Spoke Weinsel calmly.
「No need to blame yourselves. You fought well! if I didn’t have all these Artifacts at hand, I might be the one who’s in your position. While they were given to me by that garbage of a woman, I suppose I should be grateful for what they are!」
「Now, put down your Artifact and surrender. It’s your Artifact’s Gift that made this place, right? Put it down, will you?!」
Leone stayed silent, refusing to speak. Her gaze kept glancing toward Liselotte who was lying on the ground. If Liselotte woke up now and attacked Weinsel from the flanks…
「I see, you’re waiting for your friend to wake up… but I won’t just obediently wait for your convenience! There!」
Weinsel put strength into his lance. The surface of his lance was enveloped in the lightning of its Gift, buzzing with electricity.
「…This is the end for you. Give up and surrender!」
Leone remained silent, mouth tied in a straight line. She waited for Liselotte, up till the very last second. She would believe her…
「You’re stubborn! Not that I blame you for it.」
Weinsel sighed, and right then… Leone saw the figure of someone running into him from his flanks.
It wasn’t Liselotte; she hadn’t regained her consciousness. But, whoever it was, their movements were extraordinarily agile.
Leone couldn’t make out their face through the hood they wore, they weren’t dressed like Luwin and his Knights, so she wondered if they were one of the refugees who helped in the operation.
「—Who is it?!」
Weinsel also noticed that person and turned his attention to them. At the same time, the figure jumped up, kicking the ground… and the hood slipped off, exposing his face.
「Big brother Leon?!」
Wasn’t he returning to Charalia with Inglis and the others, when did he get here?!
The last time Leone saw him, he was hiding amongst the refugees, and he must’ve done the same to partake in this operation. Leone was so focused on her own battle she was completely unaware of him.
「Sorry ‘bout that! I just can’t stand seeing my own lil’ sis getting done in!」
「Special Grade Rune?! No matter!」
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Leon banged his iron gauntlet Artifact together, while Weinsel thrust his lance between Leon’s hands to prevent him from doing it.
Their weapons clashed, or how Leone assumed would have happened, but it didn’t. Weinsel’s lance pierced through Leon’s iron gauntlet, and then…
Leon gave a toothy grin, and his very being burst into flames.
Caught in a burst of light, Weinsel was thrown off and fell from his flaming horse. It completely caught him off guard.
「Nngh… a trap!」
Looking abjectly, Weinsel stood up.
That was the same explosion that occurred when the lightning beasts produced by Leon’s favored iron gauntlet Artifacts popped. This time, however, it was Leon himself who burst into flames.
Leone was also dumbfounded. One second she thought Leon jumped in to save her, the next second Leon was hit and exploded.
「Mimicry… see? Not lightning beasts, but lightning mimics! Well, you can say that it’s just a new model. Gotta show some progress, don’t I? Not that I’m the one who made it, though.」
While saying so, Leon appeared and stood next to Leone. Leon’s previous iron gauntlet Artifact was destroyed in the battle against the juvenile Prisma that Ripple summoned. The Artifact he now wore was a new Artifact that replaced it. It was prepared for Leon.
「Big brother! Why are you here?」
Upon Leone’s question, Leon scratched the back of his head, looking guilty.
「Nn. I got Rafinha scolding me, telling me to turn back… But, I don’t know how I could face you, so I just slipped in. That said, I just couldn’t let this slide either… sorry, but I just gotta butt in there.」
「—I’m sorry, it’s because I’m lacking strength…」
「Don’t beat yourself over it. He said it himself, didn’t he? You fought well!! You’re positively stronger than you were before. Failure that I am, as your big brother, I’m happy to see your progress.」
Just as Leone was about to cling to her brother, Leon stopped her.
「Whoops! If I were you, I wouldn’t touch me!」
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From that, Leone guessed. So, this is also a mimic?
「Rather, you better wake up your friend ASAP. Don’t you feel sorry for her sleeping on the ground?」
「Y-, yes! I’ll do that!」
Leone ran up to Liselotte and lifted her in her arms.
「Liselotte! Liselotte!! Are you okay?! Wake up!」
「Nn… Ah?! H-, how is the fight?! Forgive me, I was…!」
Liselotte vigorously got up and looked around.
「H-, huh…?! Is he not your—?! A-, and, so many of him?!」
Liselotte rubbed her eyes and looked again, and it wasn’t her eyes that had trouble seeing. Before she knew it, nearly a dozen Leon figures had appeared and were surrounding Weinsel.
「That’s the Gift of big brother’s new Artifact! Can you believe it, he once again pretended to be a refugee and infiltrated our ranks!」
「Fufu… You sure seem happy, Leone.」
「Do-, do I—?」
「But, does this sit alright with you? This means you need not be obstinate anymore, doesn’t it?」
「D-, don’t call it obstinate!」
「But he did save us, didn’t he? Why don’t we just be happy for his dependable rescue? We should reflect on our inadequacies still, however.」
「Right, that we should…!」
Leone nodded at Liselotte’s words. In their line of sight, Weinsel confronted the many Leons.