|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3421 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1460 words|
They were amidst a battle so the greetings were brief, and Mira quickly gave orders to the seven sisters. In short, she wanted them to command over parts of her army and take out their enemies.
The Valkyrie Sisters had learned commanding tactics during Danbulf’s life. As a result of that experience, they could take over the battlefield independently, which worked perfectly for Mira’s summoned army.
「Orders received, master. We sisters vow to bring forth a victory in this battlefield.」
After a reverence, the seven sisters spread through the battlefield, dividing the Dark Knights into seven units. The war against the thousands of Stalwart Dolls resumed after that.
「It hasn’t changed much, but their skill is still a sight to behold.」
It was an obvious and expected result, but after the Valkyrie Sisters took control over the army, they moved in a far more cohesive and meticulous way than when Mira alone commanded it, showing its true potential.
Mira at the helm, seven commanders under her, and a thousand knights. That was the true shape of her army.
They pushed against the dolls, and when they noticed a spirit bomb activate, the Valkyrie Sisters would kick it away, just like Mira ordered. Under their command, the army seemed to perform like highly trained knights, shaving away at Gregorius’ lines.
「Let’s leave them to battle it out, and we can have our own fight, shall we?」
Understanding her master’s intent, Alfina’s unit cut a path through the Stalwart Dolls between Mira and Gregorius. Mira then ran along it, while addressing Gregorius directly.
「You have a fully autonomous army but you still challenge me directly? What a crazy girl.」
Gregorius’ army still outnumbered Mira’s. But the Valkyrie Sisters’ influence was so overpowering that anyone could tell they had the upper hand.
「I like these odds though, I’ll take you up on that offer.」
Saying that, Gregorius ordered the Stalwart Dolls behind him to step away, and silently readied his black staff.
「I just want to settle things from last time. I still can’t accept that outcome.」
Mira referenced their first encounter in the Ancient Circular Gate, somehow that was still eating at her conscience.
「What, sending me off without the Spirit King’s power and with less than half my equipment wasn’t enough?」
That fight had been Gregorius’ defeat, no matter how one looked at it. He had failed at his mission, and lost most of his equipment when escaping. But seeing Mira resent him for that outcome made him half baffled, half angered. Mira glared back at him, a devilish smile on her lip as she swung her white long staff.
「A fight is only over when one side falls, and the other remains standing. There’s no way around that fact.」
「That’s a rather pretentious way of thinking for someone who looks like you. Can’t say I hate it though.」
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After that exchange, Mira and Gregorius moved at the same time. A wall of stone quickly rose from the ground between the two, Gregorius’ necromancer spell Stone Wall. But he was late, as Mira had already ran past that spot with Ground Shrink. Mira appeared in front of him in the blink of an eye. But a second Stone Wall covered Gregorius from her.
Noticing something, Mira instinctively leapt high into the air. The first Stone Wall passed below her and crashed against the second at a high speed.
「So you can dodge this.」
Gregorius muttered as he glanced at her, activating more spells and raising multiple Stone Walls. Mira kept herself in the air with Sky Stride, closely observing what happened, trying to understand if it was a new skill that allowed Stone Walls to move like that, or if there was a different mechanism behind it.
Gregorius pointed his staff at her, and the Stone Walls begin levitating, before flying towards Mira at a high speed.
「Ohh, now that’s an impressive sight!」
Mira’s body was still that of a frail young girl. If she took a direct hit, it would cause considerable damage. But she was still one of the Nine Wisemen, the most powerful spellcasters. She predicted the travel paths of all Stone Walls, and knocked them down with her long white staff. If they tried to surround her and crush her in the center, she protected herself with partially summoned Holy Knight shields, before shattering the rest with Dark Knight swords and sage arts.
「I can’t believe she has so much mobility in mid-air…」
Gregorius was astonished seeing her move like that, timing her spells perfectly, and her enormous power when she went on the offensive.
「Okay, that was all only possible thanks to your staff, yes? I believe I read something about that in the documents, something about a property to control mana.」
Mira landed together with the remains of the Stone Walls, her eyes focused on Gregorius’ black staff. Gregorius was unable to hide his reaction.
Colling mana. That was a property of Black Mist Stones described in the documents provided by the alchemist Johann. The actual process was to take an object given form with mana, and control it at will. In other words, any spell cast, either by allies or enemies, could be manipulated that way. That essentially rendered spellcasters useless, as any spell used could be turned against them.
But there were a handful of exceptions, namely summons and onmyoji shikigamis.
Summoners used mana to incarnate spirits, or to open gates for a summon to step through. While mana was involved in the process, the summons themselves were spirits, making it impossible for them to be controlled, and the gates were a complex mana phenomenon, which also made it hard to be disrupted. Summons were essentially living beings, so mana control did not work on them. Shikigamis were similar to summons, each having their own volition and existence.
「How do you know that property?」
「It should be obvious. An expert told us.」
Gregorius seemed annoyed as he asked that, and Mira replied with a grin.
「…I see. I don’t know when and where you contacted him, but that alchemist’s actions were connected to you after all. And you were the ones attacking that test site too.」
As one of the top Heads, Gregorius had knowledge of most happenings. Including how Johann had been taken to a more secure location, but had still gotten rescued.
A test site. That was his term for the place where Johann was kept. A place where weapons made of Black Mist Stones were tested and developed.
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「Don’t think you can fight against it so easily even knowing its secret though!」
Gregorius shouted and activated more spells, summoning ten golems at once. Mira watched that, simply uttering an impressed 「Ohh.」
Summoning multiple golems at once was an advanced skill. Five would place him as a high ranking spellcaster, and only the top spellcasters in the silver towers could get to ten.
「What a waste of potential.」
Even without the help of spirit arms, Gregorius could have become an elite necromancer. Though the most important factor was whether he wanted to use his talent for the betterment of the world. But seeing the murkiness in Gregorius’ eyes, she lamented his choice.
The golems, around two meters tall, looked exceedingly sturdy. Their legs and arms were short, but their bodies looked like large rocks, probably designed mostly to protect. But they were used offensively.
With a swing of Gregorius’ staff, a golem floated into the air, before being shot like a cannonball. The entire room shook moments later. On top of its large mass, the golem also moved at high speed. A direct hit against the Holy Knight that protected Mira caused it to break its posture.
「Smash her apart!」
But Gregorius’ attack was not over yet. Four more golems were sent flying towards Mira, then without missing a beat he focused his mana and activated his next necromancer spell.
Burial Skill: Red Eruption
The golems that flew towards the Holy Knight turned red hot, their torso spewing lava soon after. Each hit was like a volcano erupting violently, with a thunderous explosion followed by large splashes of molten stone all around the Holy Knight. The heat was so high the Holy Knight was unable to recover, its body melting and sinking into the lava.
That sight was like seeing the gates of hell opened onto the room. Anyone that touched that place would have no escape, forced into their demise. The Holy Knight was annihilated without mercy. But the other person who had been there before, Mira, was gone.
「Darn, where did she go?!」