|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3300 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1495 words|
Following the other two, the man in black robes stared intently at Mira. He was the same head she had met in the Ancient Circular Gate.
「Really, she’s the one..?」
「Huh… I actually thought you just came up with some b̲u̲l̲l̲s̲h̲i̲t̲ to cover your mistakes, but I guess she’s real. Either way, you did fail that time.」
The heads’ eyes focused on Mira. One of them looked at her with contempt, remembering a past encounter, but overall they were more careful, having heard the robed man.
「I knew I recognized that voice from somewhere. I believe your name was uhh… Gra…Gre…Gregorius?」
He had been fully covered in armor the first time they fought, so Mira had never seen his face, but she somewhat recognized his voice. His name stayed like a faint figment in her memory, but his face was exposed now, so she could look directly at him and confirm that he was indeed the blacksmith Gregor’s son, Gregorius.
「I cast away that name, long ago. Now I’m just one of three nameless heads. Nothing more, nothing less.」 Declaring that, Gregorius glanced at Mira, then looked at Sero. 「I also know the other one, the red haired guy. He’s Sero, Écarlate Carillon’s leader. You should be careful with him too.」
「That guild of volunteers, right? I see, I see.」
「So it was thanks to them that they got all the way here. Quite a commendable feat.」
Écarlate Carillon was a guild built on the desire to help those in need. They had contributed to many causes throughout the continent, and they were well known everywhere. Their leader also became famous that way. Hearing Gregorius identify Sero, the other two heads nodded with thin smiles. They knew a lot of his skills, thanks to his fame. Sero was a far easier opponent to fight, compared to Mira who had only fought against them once.
「You’re famous, huh.」
「It’s not flattering when they are the ones who know about me.」
The other two heads’ reaction revealed their actual thoughts. Mira responded to it, and Sero had a sour smile. Sometimes this would happen when fighting certain people.
「Focus, you two. I know how you feel, but you have that baleful girl with silver hair and the leader of a big guild. Who knows what they’ll do together.」
Even with most of Sero’s tricks revealed, they could not lower their guard. Gregorius urged them to be careful, his eyes dancing between Mira and Sero.
「You’ve really gotten rather cautious after your failure.」
「True, I’ve noticed that as well. Such behavior doesn’t suit you.」
Strong enough to warrant such confidence, the other two heads looked at each other and then turned back to examine their opponents.
「You’ll understand once the fight starts. But we have to make sure we win… it’s time to use the Chimera.」
「Ohh? It’s already time to use that?」
Gregorius sounded determined, and hearing him, the man in heavy armor replied with excitement.
「Yes, and we have the perfect match for its first battle too.」
「Do you think they will approve of it though?」
「They have to. Either way, this place is no longer secret, so we can’t just hide anymore.」
The words had barely escaped his mouth when Gregorius and the heavy armored man turned around and ran away. Kagura threw a charm after them almost reflexively, and Mira also sent a Shockwave.
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But the younger head, with reddish brown hair, stepped in and blocked both their attacks.
「Gotta admit, that packed quite a punch. But as long as I’m here, none of you’ll get through.」 He examined the marks left on his shield, then smirked looking at Mira’s group.
「I’ll hold them here! You two get everything ready!」
「Just hold them for eight minutes, feel free to retreat after that!」
The two had already vanished past the stairs, out of range of Mira’s group. But they no longer paid attention to them, focusing on the one enemy in front of them instead.
His eyes were focused on Mira and the two others, slowly stepping back as he muttered to himself. 「That level of strength won’t be enough to get through though.」
Then his feet reached a pressure plate on the ground. That caused massive walls of rock to rise around them almost instantly.
「Huh? The defense systems still work?」
The solid walls reached up to the ceiling, closing any gaps for Mira’s group to advance. The place had essentially turned into a deadend, Kagura looked at the man’s feet.
「I guess manually operated ones still move.」
「Exactly. The defense sensors and alarms might be dead, but it’s not like they won’t move at all.」
The man with reddish brown hair humored them with a response as he reached for some of the rubble at his feet, which he threw to a spot behind Mira. Now the path behind them began to close too, cutting away any escape. They could no longer move forward or retreat.
「Now that that’s taken care of, you can’t run away even if you want. And I don’t know if you’ve realized, but I’m armed with a tremendous amount of spiritual power. I won’t claim it’s enough to take down the baleful girl with silver hair and the leader of a guild, but it should prove to be plenty to stop you for eight minutes. It would be nice if I get to take your lives though.」
In a rather self-important manner, he took out a bottle filled with a slightly luminous liquid and drank all of it. A moment later, a large amount of mana surged from his body. That was a spiritual power steroid.
As he felt the power coursing through his body, he unsheathed his sword with exaggerated motions.
But before he could finish, there was an ear piercing sound, and his body was sent flying against the rock wall, caving it in. He looked completely miserable, all his spirit weapons and armor turned into mere scrap iron, and his shield shattered to pieces.
「Shut it already!」
Everyone was thinking that, but the one to act on it first was Kagura. It was irritating enough hearing Chimera Clauzen’s head act like a hero staying back for his friends, but by the time he started talking about defeating Mira and the others, Kagura’s impatience had reached its limit.
Thanks to the steroid, he had managed to avoid an instant death. But he was in no shape to counterattack right away, sliding off the wall and falling flat onto the ground. But they were not done yet. Mira went up to the wall, and blew it to pieces merely by touching it. The man with reddish brown hair was left speechless watching that unfold in front of him.
「Well, this isn’t nearly enough to stop us for eight minutes it seems. Say, do you even know who you’re against here, kid?」
Looking at him, Mira activated her Magic Eyes and corroded the man’s consciousness.
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The man saw his own reflection in her golden eyes, like he was trapped in the baleful shadow of the moon, and began trembling in fear as he tried to speak. He had not a single clue that he had just belittled the nine wisemen, who stood atop all spellcasters. Merely wearing high level equipment could never put him in equal footing.
And before he could learn any of that, he felt his body going numb, and before he could utter a single plea for his life, his consciousness faded into darkness.
「Well, we didn’t kill him, yet he’s not exactly alive anymore, we struck the perfect balance.」
He was at death’s door, but he was not going to die yet. Sero quickly began wrapping his severely injured body in Arresting Cloth, which Mira watched as she muttered that.
「I’d never hear the end of it from the church if I hit him harder. Also Alioth said that such a high ranking member could easily name many involved parties, or something like that.」
The priority was to find everyone involved, rather than letting Kagura exact her vengeance. Then the next step was to use all the evidence gathered to promulgate new laws to protect spirits, that was the Fifty Bells’ true objective.
It would still take more time, but this was a valuable first step.
「That’s really commendable for both of you. I also have a dream of my own, but I’m still far away from accomplishing it.」
Lending a hand to anyone in need. Sero had founded Écarlate Carillon with that objective in mind. Watching Mira and Kagura in action he experienced what kind of people the nine wisemen were, his eyes looking with jealousy at their relaxed attitude. Whatever their personal opinion might be, they were truly incredible beings in the eyes of others.