|Author: Tensei Mikami
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 2269 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1073 words
The battlefield underwent rapid mutations. Filled with newfound hope, the soldiers of Ulbdor raised their battle cry and leaped back into the ongoing fight. Their determination to engage in the fight blazed brightly, a stark contrast to some time ago.
Outside, tens of thousands of demons lay in wait, but the gate’s narrowness prevented them from surging in like an avalanche.
Led by Seletina, the four individuals managed to reclaim the frontline, which had initially been pushed back. Of notable importance was the fact that Lichter, on his own, bravely confronted the giant spider.
Despite sustaining significant injuries, Woodback, accompanied by a sturdy escort, staggered resolutely toward the gateway.
Seletina howled as she cut through the vanguard. Executing a single swift and sweeping motion, she dispatched five small spiders with a single swing, leaving an afterglow in her wake.
However, that solitary swing failed to satiate her. Tapping nimbly on the cobblestones with her leather boots, Seletina gracefully danced her way into the midst of the swarm of small spiders.
Elyutinias traced a flawless arc through the air, dispelling all the threats that encircled her. With Seletina as the center, a blossom of fresh blood unfurled.
Entrusting himself to Seletina’s melodious voice and the resounding song of Elyutinias, Woodback advanced with unwavering determination. No maelstrom of flames descended upon him, leaving him unscathed.
Although Woodback’s steps felt burdensome, an unfamiliar sense of security enveloped him. He pressed on undauntedly, taking one step after another.
Steadily, he progressed, until he found himself standing before the gate.
Spontaneously, the Empire’s soldiers erupted into cheers and exuberant shouts, their jubilation resonating in Woodback’s ears. Despite his blindness, he realized he was right at the gate.
Both arms, grander than the trunk of a large tree, extended naturally as if guided by an unseen force. A chilling, hard sensation coursed through his untamed fingers. Woodback couldn’t mistake the gate’s feeling.
All that was left was for him to close it.
The Gigantian bellowed, summoning strength from every fiber of his being, blood spewing from his numerous wounds. His vocal cords, thicker than a man’s waist, quivered intensely, and Woodback’s spirit resonated loudly throughout the battlefield.
The gate proved weightier and sturdier than anticipated. Despite being among the mightiest of the Gigantians, the massive stone gate groaned and moved all but slightly. Yet, it was moving.
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The colossal gate undeniably yelled as it sought to seal off the path leading to Ulbdor. As Woodback pressed his hands against the gate, a fresh surge of cheers erupted from behind him.
“DO IT! CLOSE IT!”
The cheers, brimming with the excitement of numerous men, unfortunately did not reach Woodback. The sound of those cheers was overwhelming for him.
Clenching his back teeth, all of the scarcely remaining blood surged to his head as sweat burst from every pore of his body. Woodback roared, channeling every ounce of strength into his arms.
The closing door emitted a gurgling sound, raising a curtain of dust in its tracks. Originally, it should have only been able to close with the power of several Mages.
“Remarkable. So that’s the might of a Gigantian…”
“Agree. What tremendous strength.”
Even the typically stoic twins, lurking in the shadows, couldn’t maintain their usual poker-faced demeanor beneath their veiled expressions. It was disconcerting to witness the stone gate’s impervious magic circle crack and warp under the sheer strength of Woodback’s arms.
Despite being wounded, Woodback the Crag’s power remained untainted.
He exerted such force that his skull seemed like it would crack, his muscles tore under the pressure, and he held the stone gate in place with overwhelming dominance.
Yet, this was the only place where the tide of Demons could pass through. Defending here was crucial. And the arduous battle continued endlessly.
Kill after kill, with carnage left in their wake, the decaying little spiders lurked just behind their comrades. No matter how splendid Seletina’s swordsmanship or unyielding her fighting spirit, she could not withstand the overwhelming numerical odds.
After all, Seletina had her limitations, limitations that were more visible than anyone else’s. Her frail constitution couldn’t endure the brutal combat. Her lungs were spent, her remaining strength drained, leaving her fatigued and wanting to give up.
Seletina, by nature, possessed a fragile disposition, acutely aware of the burdens she bore. This truth became evident when she crossed blades with Gil. The swordsman she’d met in Buildua.
It reminded her once more when Caper stepped in to protect her from the Middle Rank Demon during their journey to her debut. And once again during her battle with the Defiler of Pride and Wisdom. And finally when she’d cleared the Demons in front of Leverence’s gates alongside Lichter.
The weight of Seletina’s shackles bore down painfully upon her.
This outcome was a consequence of her wholehearted engagement, of her unwavering commitment to the challenges she faced. Seletina, having fought countless battles to the point of breaking, ended up drained on every occasion.
Thus, this time too, she encountered her limitations.
The journey from Leverence to Ulbdor had been an unceasing one, marked by sleeplessness. Given Seletina’s less-than-ideal state, she wouldn’t be able to sustain this non-stop defense for an extended duration. Seletina herself knew it.
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Yet, it was light. Her steps, her sword, even her expression, they were all light. There was no hint of stagnation or cloudiness, and the sweat that poured from her seemed perpetually refreshing.
The situation held no urgency, but rather carried an inherent sense of contentment. The afterglow that Elyutinias emitted was clearer and more visually pleasing than ever before.
A peculiar sense of power enveloped Seletina. She now had the confidence to face hundreds, even thousands, or tens of thousands of adversaries. The confidence that she could reach the utmost heights.
Seletina radiated a brilliance, enough to momentarily stagger even Lichter. A hint of amusement found its way into Seletina’s heart. A sensation she couldn’t ignore.
Certainly, now wasn’t the time to feel amused or even relaxed. Nevertheless, it wasn’t hard to fathom how much the reality of her body moving as she desired meant to her, having borne the weight of her shackles for so long.
Perhaps, if I continue blossoming like this then I might just reach it.
These contemplations flickered through Seletina’s thoughts.
I might just reach Orthus’s level.
Unbeknownst to Seletina, the Snake Rose crest on her neck was glowing faintly1.