|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3067 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1425 words|
The final battle was just a few days away, so Kagura did not want to do anything that would stand out too much and did not set the greenery on fire. Instead, she made the trees and bushes move like they had a life of their own, absorbing the three monsters that wandered inside.
A few minutes later, only the monsters’ skeletons remained, and the greenery returned to the ground from which it sprouted. Seeing Kagura’s skills had not gotten rusty, Mira just muttered 「Whatever.」
Only Sero was left to demonstrate his skills. He gingerly stepped forward, saying 「It’s my turn then」 with a forced smile, before elegantly unsheathing his sword and lowering his stance.
He was looking at a group of monkey-like monsters, their bodies covered in stone, that had climbed up one of the nearby hills. They were the strongest type of enemies around that location, known as armored monkeys. A large monster at least two meters tall, the strongest of which could reach even four meters.
When the group of armored monkeys noticed Mira’s group, they all began howling loudly with enmity. Their howling was no threat or warning, instead an instinctive reaction before charging at their prey.
They ran and leaped from rock to rock, not minding the stability of their footholds as they quickly moved towards Mira’s group. Then Sero’s body seemed to twitch slightly, and one of the armored monkeys began screaming loudly, a large wound appearing on its chest with blood spewing forth.
Sero appeared at its side, his sword bathed in blood.
He had an impressive speed, both Mira and Kagura nodding in praise. Meanwhile the armored monkey seemed to pay little attention to its wound as it swung an arm towards Sero while howling aggressively.
But Sero had already moved away from that spot, and the monkey’s arm hit nothing. After that the other monkeys began crying one after another. They all had wounds on their chests. But none of the injuries were fatal, so they held back the pain as they glared at Sero with annoyance.
He stood in the middle of the monster group, all their aggression focused on him. All the armored monkeys still howled loudly, the fight not over yet, but Sero calmly shook the blood off his sword and slowly walked back to where Mira and Kagura stood, as if he had nothing left to do.
The largest armored monkey tried to follow him, swinging its arm against Sero who had turned away, but before it could reach him, the blood coming out from all the monkeys’ wounds increased dramatically and they all died instantly.
「Well, what do you think? I’m confident I won’t be a hindrance though.」
He said with a humble smile, carefully looking at her two partners.
「It’s more than enough.」
「Yup, I wouldn’t ask for more. I’m happy we have you with us.」
The warrior class had a skill known as Manifestation, produced by focusing one’s fighting spirit and that could take a variety of forms. Sero combined that with Fighting Arts, which were developed by pretty much all warriors independently, which could produce many varied results. That also made it difficult to evaluate the efficiency or result of the combinations, but Sero’s was clearly some of the best swordsmanship in existence. Mira and Kagura could see that as well, so they praised him.
「I’m glad to hear that coming from you two. I won’t betray your expectations.」
He had spent many years honing his swordsmanship. He had reached the point where he had no one to compare himself with, so he was genuinely happy hearing those words coming from two wisemen, who everyone knew were the strongest in their respective roles.
With that, they all verified they lacked no power for the fight, so they spent the rest of the day getting accustomed to the use of their Anti-Demon Silver weapons.
At noon the next day, as they carefully prepared everything for the mission, Piisuke relayed a message from Sasori’s group. According to her, they had found a Melville warehouse containing a large amount of weapons that used black mist stones, and that they had managed to arrange a compulsory investigation of the establishment to gather evidence.
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Thanks to the Eabates Trading Corporation, they had managed to get the cross-border legislator from the Three Gods Church on their side. That legislator was instituted by Alispharius, one of the Three Gods’ Countries, and was something akin to an international police investigator that ensured religious principles were maintained throughout the entire continent.
Their current agreement was that the moment the final battle started, Sasori and Hebi would go with the legislator to inspect Melville’s warehouse. That way they would stop Melville from destroying any ties to Chimera if they were informed of the attack, and would not give Chimera any time to prepare for an attack if they heard of the inspection. The Melville Trading Corporation had its days counted, pretty much.
「Just in case make sure you can move at a moment’s notice before the arranged date though. Also, inform us if you notice any abnormal movements there.」
With those last orders from Kagura, the report was over.
「Well, no matter what happens, at least that corporation should go down.」
There was nothing set in stone yet, so it could be dangerous to get too confident, but Kagura trusted Sasori and Hebi’s skills, so she was convinced things would go well.
Later that day, at night, there was a report from Arlon in the separate platoon. The news was somewhat depressing on their side. They had visited the target location for reconnaissance, and the town that supposedly housed Chimera Clauzen’s control room looked like just a regular town.
All the inhabitants that Jamal claimed were guarding the workshop all acted and lived like regular townsfolk. They tilled the fields, grew crops, and sold them at fair prices.
But with the preconception that they were all guarding something important, their routines and attitude did resemble those of a jailer making rounds. On top of that, Fricca said she felt an unnaturally strong presence of spirits in the area, and she felt it being stronger underground in a certain spot. Arlon had tried to find out more about the town, but they were all more careful than he had expected, so there was nothing else they could learn there.
「I looked inside the town and in the surroundings for him, but he’s either hiding really well, or he’s still not here. I couldn’t find him.」
Arlon spoke of their next issue, the Sky Denizen. They had not been able to make contact with him yet. So they had no way of knowing at what time and from where he would attack. They did not even know if he would actually show up, so it was hard to rely on him as a distraction.
So in the end they decided to be ready to move out at any moment, and to follow the plan even if he did not show up in the end.
The next calls came from the leaders of the Fifty Bells’ main forces and the main base follow-up platoon, Kongou and Mizar. They were traveling quickly with the help of spirits, but they were hundreds of men, so it would take them at least half a day more to arrive.
Though as long as they arrived at the same time as the attack began or earlier, things would work out. Then Kagura took into account the location of Arlon’s group, the location of the building housing the entrance to the main base, the irregularity of the Sky Denizen, and the details of the town, to make amends to the strategy and update everyone on the changes.
Once she was done making the calls, she took out a green ribbon and stared at it in her hand. It was a gift from the wind spirit Reesha, who had consoled her when she first realized this world had turned into reality and was despairing as to what to do.
「It’ll all end soon… so soon…」
She grasped the ribbon as she seemed to pray, then wiped her tears away and looked up at the starry sky. Kagura slowly closed her eyes, the distant stars were extremely beautiful, but they were nothing compared to the sky she had seen together with Reesha that night.