|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1046 words|
I confirmed that the Evil Dragon was dead for sure once I descended to the ground. Though if it had still been alive after being chopped into six pieces, I’d have had no choice but to run.
As for Kufar, who controlled said Evil Dragon, he lay on the ground with everything below his chest gone.
It seems he took the brunt of the shockwave from my last attack.
I did think that he could’ve just run away, but then again, if he didn’t control the Evil Dragon, he’d also end up facing its wrath. And in case of a battle, he had to control it with all his strength and couldn’t run away.
In other words, this result was but a natural outcome.
Two-thirds of Kufar-Ifrit’s body was gone, but he was still alive. Well, he was a Slime at the core, so he wouldn’t die instantly even with this much.
At any rate, I had things to ask him.
I canceled my Evil Dragon form and returned to a human – Nicole’s – appearance.
My clothes were blown off during the transformation, so I was in a shameful nude appearance, but I found my nearly-broken gauntlets and equipped them at least.
“Now, let’s have a talk.”
“Ghh…At this stage what is there to talk about…”
“You did something to Berith, right?”
“Ha-hahaha! That is…far too late! Do you think… I would just tell you?!”
“If you do, I’ll at least put you out of your misery.”
I wasn’t sure if he felt pain, but leaving him on the verge of death would break his mind before anything.
Well, his mind might already be broken.
“I don’t care! Stand and watch as…Berith…is…ruined…”
“What, not confident enough?”
“…Fine then. I planned my trap on the six hundredth floor. It would take… months to climb up. And a month…to reach it…from above…you can’t…possibly…reach it…”
Ifrit’s upper half started to crumble.
In his crumbling chest, there was a purple orb the size of the tip of a thumb. That cracked orb started to crumble away like sand along with the body.
“Strugle as…you want…and des…pair… Re…id… there’s… no…thing… you… can… do…”
Along with those words, his core turned to sand and crumbled away, and scattered with the wind.
We fought over and over, and I drove him back each time, yet he still returned to stand before me.
“Alright dammit… I’ll admit it. You really were my rival. You lacked power and relied on traps and schemes, just like me.”
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Now that he was dead, I couldn’t help but acknowledge that tenacity of his.
There was still his final trick. If it was in Berith, I had to go and stop it.
“Reid are you alive?!”
Two silhouettes were running toward me in the distance. They were Cortina and Finia.
“Why are the two of you here?!”
“I mean, a second Evil Dragon appeared. I thought it’d be too much for you alo— wait, why are you naked?!”
“As if you could’ve done anything. It’s literally like offering a cat’s paw!1 Also just ignore my appearance, will you?!”
“Oh we’re being punny now, huh?!”
“Also that Evil Dragon was me using Polymorph. I knew its body well, after all.”
Hearing my words, Cortina clapped her hands.
“Oh right, we did butcher it.”
“Yeah, and thanks to that I knew everything about its body.”
“Saying that with that appearance sounds kinda erotic.”
I guess I had it coming when I was acting smug while standing naked. I was happy at Finia’s consideration for putting a cape over me. I was… but it wasn’t reaching my lower half, you know?
“T-This…makes me even more excited somehow.”
“Finia, give me my change of clothes.”
We started fighting in succession before we got to Stollar by carriage, so she still had the luggage on her back with some change of clothes.
“What about Gadius?”
“I let him return to Maria. At this rate, the village might get attacked again.”
“True. That b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲ Kufar really summoned a lot of them. I don’t even wanna imagine the number of sacrifices he used.”
“So what do we do after this? What happens to the Devils once their summoner dies?”
“How would I know… is what I’d like to say, but it seems that the Twin-Bladed Devils weren’t controlled by him from the start. It could be that they’d just continue wreaking havoc as is. More importantly, that b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲ did something to the World Tree.”
“The World Tree?!”
It was the headquarters of the World Tree Religion, as well as Maria’s hometown and Ashella’s home.
Cortina was shocked to hear that place was targeted, while Finia lost her words.
“I’m not sure what kind of trap it is, but it apparently has enough effect to destroy Berith. They might have not noticed it, so we have to head there right away.”
My gauntlet belt was torn apart, but the equipment mechanism itself wasn’t destroyed.
I was glad that I could still use them.
“I’ll first teleport to Berith and gather information.”
“I’m coming with you.”
“I told you I won’t be running alone again, didn’t I? I won’t let you have Gadius tear me away again.”
“I mean… we don’t know what kind of danger—”
“I’m aware of that.”
“I will be coming with you too!”
“Not you too Finia?!”
“I don’t want to just stand and watch. I will fight with you too.”
To think a child that clung to me while trembling would stand by my side. I felt a surge of complex emotions at her words.
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“Alright. But you two will absolutely have to listen to my instructions.”
“As long as it’s not run away, that’s fine with me.”
I sighed back as I saw their resolved expressions. Then I held hands with them and invoked the Teleport spell.
- This is a joke referring to a japanese saying that goes, “I’d even borrow a cat’s paws,” which is something you use when you have so much stuff on your shoulders that you’d accept any kind of help you can get, even from a cat (which won’t do much). Here Cortina is an actual catgirl, so he’s making a pun.