Chapter 136: Grado Schedar (Part 2)

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Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3710 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1646 words
Editor(s): Fire

Zele lifted his foot in a theatrical manner, exaggerating his enunciation as he placed the tip of his black sword on the broken blade, before applying pressure and shattering the fragment like a piece of glass.

「Huh, it’s more fragile than I thought. I guess it was just a replica.」

He shuffled the shards with his foot, mixing them into the dust on the ground while he gently swung his black sword around, showing it off.

「You b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲!」

Grado’s yell was filled with heart-rending anger, and he struck the barrier with an arrow again. But even with the power granted by the taboo spell, his attacks were nowhere nearly as powerful as those of the Spirit Heirloom Sword.

「Man, you really don’t learn, do you? Though well, I guess it’s almost time for the spell to run out…」

It was no easy task to overcome a barrier strengthened with spiritual power. Only the forbidden Control Hallowing spell, and the Spirit Heirloom Sword together had been able to make an opening. So a mere crossbow bolt should not be strong enough. Grado focused on repeating the same action, crossing his mental and physical limits, striking the same spot time and time again, until the barrier began to waver.

And almost miraculously, the arrow pierced into the barrier. But it could not reach Zele, the barrier recovered quickly and seemed to clamp around its tip, trying to push it out.

「You might be using a taboo spell, but to break my barrier without the Heirloom Sword… that’s quite commendable. But that’s all you’ll get to do.」

The mana circulating through Grado’s body had begun to dwindle. Zele could see that happening from inside his barrier, so he began teasing the worn down arrowtip with his fingers, chuckling to himself. The spell was coming to an end.

But it was not quite time yet.

「Aahhhhh!」

Grado shouted vigorously, churning out every little bit of mana he could muster to force his body to move. He twisted his upper body, raising the sword he still held onto and pressed the broken end onto the arrow’s notch.

It was literally a last ditch effort. There was a sound like that of a powerful blast, and the arrow was shot like a bullet into the barrier.

「Damn, another close one. I really shouldn’t get cocky until the very end.」

It was a hairbreadth escape. Zele instantly twisted his body, successfully avoiding the arrow’s path.

The projectile hit the barrier behind Zele losing most of its momentum and falling still to the ground. Confirming it was no longer moving Zele turned to Grado watchfully, who was starting to lose strength and fall to the ground with ragged breaths. It looked like the spell had worn off, and he no longer possessed the strength to continue fighting. But Zele knew his brother well, so he kept the barrier up while watching every little movement Grado made.

「You aren’t approaching, huh…」

Saying that, Grado slowly stood back up. At some point he had taken out a dagger, which he stored in his pocket before taking out a silver pocket watch engraved with the holy symbol of the sun.

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Seeing it, Zele looked slightly unnerved. He was fully aware of what that silver pocket watch was. Not wasting a moment, Zele reached into his back and took out a mana replenishing potion, which he quickly gulped down and reinforced his barrier.

「Argent Stigmata… What are you thinking, using that at this point of the fight? You’ve already experienced how powerful my barrier is. What help is an exorcism catalyst now? Which is inferior to forbidden spells…」

Even the strongest and advanced exorcist spells could not break a barrier strengthened with the power of spirits. Or at least that was Zele’s belief. But he was fully aware that anything Grado did always had some sort of meaning, so he held his black sword ready while carefully watching his surroundings.

「Zele, your powerful barriers have always been like a crutch for you, and you never put enough effort into learning about other spells.」

Grado placed the pocket watch on the barrier, as if slightly pushing it into it, his eyes focused on Zele. That prompted Zele to smirk yet again.

「You’re mistaken, my brother. I’ve read all books related to exorcism magic, studied them. I had a hunch we would one day confront each other like this. I know all spells you can cast with that specific catalyst, for example, and I know none of them can break this barrier.」

Grado’s talent for exorcist magic was as strong as Zele’s inferiority complex. Barriers were the only area in which Zele was superior. The taboo spell had already exhausted Grado’s body, so Zele was already certain of his victory. His study of exorcism magic gave him an unwavering confidence.

「No, I don’t need to break it anymore.」

When Zele heard that, an uncomfortable cold chill ran down his spine.

Had he missed something? Was there something he had overlooked, an exorcist spell that could overturn the situation? Trying to think of all the possibilities, Zele gasped and looked at Grado again.

All Grado desired was Zele’s death, his eyes marred by a dark madness. He was safe inside the barrier, but the murderous intent he felt made him recoil. And then he noticed it.

「Woah!」

He tripped on something, falling down onto his rear. Something rolled from under his feet, the crossbow bolt. Thick and short, he had lost his footing when stepping on it.

「Dammit!」

He had high ground, yet he was scared, and fell down in an unsightly manner. Zele stood back up, angered by that shameful display, and kicked the arrow as he glared back at Grado.

Emotion seemed to drain from Grado’s face, as his voice became calm and slow.

‘Accept this abhorrent name, guide the lost sinner unto the blessed lands beyond’

Zele’s body stiffened, he recognized that chant. That spell required no holy symbol, it was a high level exorcist spell that used scattered holy water as a catalyst. The silver pocket watch was only for show, misdirection to conceal Grado’s true plan. Realizing all that, Zele somehow managed to force himself to remain calm. Even with different catalysts, the available spells would not be able to destroy the barrier. He was still confident about that.

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‘Existence is endless dread; life, a chain tying us to the ground. Flames of conviction, consume these sins, release them up to the skies high above.’

But Grado did not seem to care about that, slowly driving Zele impatient, making him look around in desperation.

「Don’t tell me…」

He finally understood, Grado had already given him a hint, saying there was no need to destroy the barrier. There was something foreign already inside. Zele’s desperation turned into terror, while Grado’s face remained solemn.

‘Thou shalt know repentance through the flames!’
Exorcist Holy Rule: Eternal Blue Incineration

Magic power amassed into mana, and the spell activated. The crossbow bolt rolling at Zele’s feet instantly burst into flames, the holy water contained inside being turned into a blue blaze. The compact barrier was filled with blue flames, cries like the souls of hell coming from inside.

The flames had nowhere to go, enclosed by the barrier, so they just formed a whirlpool that grew brighter by the second. But that did not last for long, the barrier was dispelled, and a sudden gust quickly blew the flames away, dispersing them. The holy water serving as catalyst was sent away too.

「I didn’t… account for that…」

The wind Magic Ware lost its power and fell apart, and Zele fell onto his knees while groaning in pain. His body was ravaged with burns, his robe and the spirit arms attached to him halfway turned into ashes.

「Oh, you’re still alive.」

Grado’s body was also in a dire state, the effects of the taboo spell leaving him in a half-dead state. But the temerarious glint of his eyes remained, focused on Zele. Without uttering a word, he unsheathed his dagger again and dragged himself towards Zele to deal the final blow. His earlier swiftness and agility was completely gone, but to Zele, gravely wounded, every one of Grado’s steps were a countdown to his death.

「Da..mn…」

One of Zele’s hands could still move, so he carried it into his pocket, taking out a healing potion he had hidden there. But his wounds were so severe the potion could not heal him fully, and it was only enough to let him stand up again. Zele forced his aching body to move, going to the burnt down bag from which a round bundle had fallen out, the size of a human head.

「I didn’t want to use this… but against Grado… maybe it’s not that bad…」

He reached for the bundle, picking it up as his lips twisted into a wicked smile.

「Let me show you… the power of our love!」

Saying that, Zele unraveled the bundle, exposing its content. The moment Grado saw it, he yelled loudly.

「Damn you Zeleeee!」

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His voice thundered, filled with more anger than ever before. There was a transparent container inside the bundle. But the issue was its content. Grado was very familiar with it… the head of the person he loved.

Blinded with rage, all Grado could think of was Zele’s death, forcing his wounded legs to move and lunge him forward.

「Heehyahaha. It’s over now, brother.」

Grado cackled madly in response, taking out a silver tube from his belt and throwing it inside the round container with a broad grin. It instantly burst into flames, an explosion lighting the night sky, while a thunderous roar shook the ground all around them.



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