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≪38≫ – Embrace

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Author: Kisasaki Suzume Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Deximus-Maximus

The sound of crashing waves echoed around. Lucella suddenly noticed that the lava island had grown larger. No, that wasn’t it. It wasn’t that the island had swollen; rather, the water level had dropped.

Despite the entire area being submerged, the water level was decreasing, revealing the ground beneath the water’s surface. It was because of the giant aquatic dragon. Its massive legs were sucking up the surrounding water, creating swirling currents. Variants in the water were being sucked in and crushed by the flow.

Lucella sensed that it wasn’t just water or flesh being gathered but the dragon aura, concentrated through the Variants.

A massive watery mass in the shape of a dragon, towering up to the sky, extended its forelimbs toward the center of the storm, towards Efrain, merged with the “Wisdom Eye Vortex.”


Suddenly, a murderous gust of wind struck, almost blowing Lucella away. The moment the giant aquatic dragon touched Efrain, energy erupted as if an explosion had occurred.

Lucella and the others were unharmed because Kafal had set up a protective formation. If they had been hit directly, neither Lucella nor Kafal would have come out unscathed. The other four would have surely perished.

The aquatic dragon approached Efrain even closer, finally enveloping him in its embrace. Though Efrain was tiny compared to the dragon, it gently enveloped him with both of its forelimbs.

Then, waves of power surged continuously. It seemed as though Efrain had become an endlessly exploding bomb. The force shook the lava island, causing the steel trees to creak.

The aquatic dragon trembled too, blowing away but returning to its original form. Yet, the giant dragon continued to embrace Efrain.

“This is bad,” Kafal murmured, gazing up at the storm. “It seems like it’s attempting to embrace, but it’s really just a clash of forces,” she continued.
“……Do you think it’ll break?” Lucella asked.
“The vessel, definitely. Maybe even the core of the Regalia,” Kafal analyzed, gritting her teeth.

Lucella felt her veins freeze at the thought.

“Hey, explain it to me in a way I can understand!”
“Regalia might break! If that happens… this entire area will be blown away, turning into Caldera Lake!”
“What!?” Wein exclaimed in a shocked voice.
“The complete destruction of a Regalia… though rare in history, has always resulted in extensive damage over a wide area. Defense won’t do much against it.”

If Regalia was destroyed, everyone here would likely die, including Lucella, Kafal, and of course, Efrain. And with the loss of its Regalia, the kingdom of Setulev would likely fall into ruin.

Destroying a Regalia by conventional means was impossible. Only a dragon or another Regalia could do it.

However… this mana land was created by the out-of-control Regalia of Maltgartz, the “Endless Abyss Gate.” It turned the power of heaven and earth into dragon aura, gathering it into Variants, and further consolidating it into one.

It should be possible to break it. Lucella analyzed it from her knowledge, while Kafal analyzed it with the perception of a dragon.

“What are we supposed to do then?!”
“We have to stop both…”
“There’s no way were can!”

Yes, it was impossible. Their strategy from the beginning was to accumulate dragon aura here, using the mana land created by the “Endless Abyss Gate” as a shield, and confront the “Wisdom Eye Vortex.”

There was no preparation to calm down the power equivalent to two Regalia. It was impossible from the start.

So, could they escape? Not even that was possible. They were right in the heart of the area controlled by the rampaging “Wisdom Eye Vortex.” There was virtually no chance of leaving the lava island, having gathered power, and surviving by cutting through the storm.

“I heard it…” Amidst the howling wind, someone muttered softly. “…So, that’s what it was…” It was Monica. She was drenched in the storm, yet still, she looked up at the sky, at the Regalia amidst the lightning.

“Take me there, Lucella.”

Lucella couldn’t believe her ears. She thought Monica must have lost her mind, but Monica seemed dead serious, her expression filled with anger.

“Lend me the ring… I have a few words to say to that idiot.”

Lucella and Monica were on Kafal’s back. Monica, specifically, was securely tied to Kafal’s mane, much like a baby strapped to its mother’s back with a carrier.

“Are you really going?” Viola asked, looking up at Kafal’s back from the ground, her voice filled with concern.
“Can you really… stop that and return?”
“Who knows?” Monica shrugged in response to the futile question. “I don’t know. But if I’m going to die anyway, might as well die without any regrets, right?”

Monica remained calm. In reality, Monica hadn’t found a silver arrow to solve the situation in one shot. She was just going to give it a shot because she couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. Monica had accepted the possibility of failure, along with its consequences.

Still, Lucella decided to bet on Monica. It was just a hunch. A feeling that Monica’s thoughts were hitting on something significant. That was all. Lucella had no better plan. So, Monica’s idea seemed worth betting on.

“…I’ll do my best,” Lucella said to Viola, determination in her voice. She couldn’t guarantee the future, but she wouldn’t give up until the end.

Viola nodded without saying a word.

“If I fail to protect you, I’m sorry.” Lucella addressed Monica, adding more knots to Kafal’s mane as she spoke.

Monica seemed to sigh.

“You’re already thinking about failure before even trying, aren’t you?”
“Adventurers are always on the brink of death, so they should prepare for the possibility of failure. It’s not about giving up; it’s about being prepared.”
“Cheeky. Aren’t you just a manager?”
“I’m qualified as an adventurer too!”
“…Even if it doesn’t work out, don’t apologize. Just being able to die with someone… would make me…… happy,” Monica said in Dragonian, using Giselle’s ring that she borrowed from Lucella.

Suddenly being confronted with such raw emotions, Lucella faltered.

Monica, who always seemed to hide and mask her own feelings, had just bared them all. She wasn’t alone anymore. For Monica, that was everything. It was enough to fulfill her. She truly found happiness in being with someone, even in death.

“…It’s okay. Let’s all live and return together,” Lucella hummed back in reply.

That’s right. She didn’t want Monica to think of herself as small or insignificant. For Lucella, it was nothing more than finally seeing a ray of light piercing through the darkness.

“We’re going,” Kafal announced, spreading her wings.

A hot wind blew fiercely. Her wings were enveloped in flames, several times larger than her usual wingspan.


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