|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
Without any sign of being affected by the sabre-snapping, Ciel muttered so. We still have a spare sword, but it seems like she isn’t planning on using it.
Hearing what she said, I immediately changed my song.
I know what Ciel wants to do. She intends on freezing this area—through the use of Siorah Elicinary, Stage of Frost—to restrict the golden wolf’s movements.
After tapping her toes on the ground twice, she then spun around.
Her outstretched fingers left behind a seamless path while her robe gently danced in the air.
In mere seconds, the area around us is now frozen over.
With the distance between the Ciel and the golden wolf, the monster’s underfoot should be frozen within 1 to 2 more seconds.
Considering the scale of this sorcery—though it’s not exactly sorcery—this activation speed is amazing. And this was only made possible through the synergy between the Dance Princess and Song Princess.
However, the golden wolf can move much faster than that.
With only a single leap, the monster would be able to reach Ciel without coming in contact with the ground. And with that, there’s also no possibility for it to slip on the already frozen ground.
That’s why we won’t be able to make it in time.
Before I could even feel the looming presence of death, ice captured the golden wolf’s hindleg.
Since it was just about to leap, the ice covering its leg was then forcefully peeled off, causing it to miss its landing and tumble to the ground a fair distance from us.
It immediately got up, but raised its right hind leg above the ground as if to protect it. From the fact that it’s stained in deep red, the monster clearly got injured.
Moreover, it landed on top of the Stage of Frost, right onto Ciel’s territory.
And with it being on stage, Ciel can now perform however she likes.
Gliding on top of the ice like a figure skater, she leisurely circled around the golden wolf as if it were a musical.
She clapped, touched the monster’s fur, and poked on its nose. With each succeeding action, the golden wolf gradually froze into an ice sculpture.
It’s a chillingly beautiful yet dreadful sight.
As her dance ended, Ciel approached the ice sculpture.
I decided to stop singing as well, and began to examine the golden wolf.
While there were some curious things that happened during the battle earlier, it shouldn’t be necessary to talk about that right now.
On closer inspection, there’s visible stitches on the golden wolf here and there.
While there’s no doubt that it’s core components are that of a wolf’s, its fur seems to be something that was sewed on, and judging from its size, there are probably other things added on to it.
I can imagine it being a chimera of some sorts.
And considering these stitches, the battle just earlier makes more sense now, to some extent.
Sensing a sudden surge of magic power, I took control of Ciel’s body practically by force and jumped backwards.
The next instant, I was blown off to the end of the stage by a strong force and a sharp pain ran through my right arm.
As I ignored the pain and began singing, I understood what just happened.
The golden wolf escaped from the ice and is currently glaring at us. And by the fact that the attack bypassed my barrier, it seemed to have used its claws.
I never thought that even freezing it wouldn’t be enough to defeat it. Though, as to be expected, the golden wolf didn’t survive unscatched. It’s bleeding all over, and it’s staggering on its feet.
Still, it took out Ciel’s right arm, so we’re equal—
—Actually, not quite so.
First of all, the golden wolf has clearly sustained more damage. It can’t move as nimbly as it did before. Ciel might be able to outrun it and escape now.
Second, because we were blown away, there’s distance between us now. This increases the time it takes for the golden wolf to reach us and gives Ciel the leisure to dance.
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Third, Ciel’s arm is still attached.
After all that we’ve been through, Ciel and I aren’t so weak to bawl over an arm injury of this level.
I’m even fine enough to think about how that time when Ciel’s stomach got cut open was more painful than this.
Besides, Song Princess can recover injuries.
It can heal even deep cuts, and the speed of healing is by no means normal. Still, I have no idea what would happen in the case of severed limbs, so I am grateful that it’s still intact.
Ciel’s arm has already begun healing.
Similarly, Ciel has already finished her preparations.
As she kept her rhythm with her heel, she planted small seeds of ice.
All that’s left is for the perfect timing.
Just for Ciel to snap her fingers the moment the golden wolf opened its mouth.
The planted seeds bloomed into frost roses.
Some of the frost roses, which are practically indistinguishable from the real thing barring their color, blossomed from inside the golden wolf and tore its organs to shreds.
「It’s not symmetrical, is it?」
These roses were intended to spread out to the sides symmetrically. Since a part of them blossomed from inside the golden wolf, it naturally turned out asymmetrical just as Ciel said.
I know that a Dance Princess should put great importance on appearance and display, but I can’t help finding this a bit out of place.
With this, the monster should be defeated now; but just when I thought so, I felt something from the golden wolf flow into me.
As for what, it’s that magic power-like thing from the claws.
I can’t escape from it even if I wanted to, but it doesn’t feel unpleasant at all.
Having absolutely no idea on what’s happening nor what we should do, Ciel and I were left with no words.
And as we continued silently staring at the golden wolf, a tiny person suddenly entered Ciel’s field of vision.
Ciel reflexively shifted her gaze towards it.
This tiny person had green hair, green eyes, wore a green dress, and seemingly glew with a faint green light. From head to toe, it was just a bit larger than Ciel’s head.
This tiny person that appeared to be a girl was floating in the air and staring at Ciel’s hair, approximately at where the hairpin is.
And while Ciel’s surprised gaze was set on this girl, the girl seemingly noticed as she then looked at us.
Our eyes met.
Her wondrously green eyes were like jewels, and I could feel no ill will from her innocent expression.
Just as she watched Ciel with great curiosity, she suddenly moved slowly from side to side.
Ciel’s gaze followed her movements.
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The girl’s face then burst with joy.
And Ciel followed suit, saying 「Adorable.」 with a smile.
While I was watching over this quite heartwarming situation, I couldn’t help but notice various other things as I can see from a bird’s-eye view.
For example, the fact that there are various other tiny people colored blue, red, and more drifting afloat in the air.
Or that there are not only human-like, but also lizard-like and bird-like ones among them.
Or that there’s a lady that’s larger than the green girl in front of Ciel, being roughly more than half of Ciel’s height, watching over us with a tender smile.
Or that these beings are coming in and out of Ciel’s hairpin. It seems like they can’t be touched.
I can’t feel any magic power from them at all, or rather, the magic power they hold has the exact same wavelength as the magic power drifting around in the environment.
The green girl playfully jumped around Ciel, and as Ciel’s line of sight opened up, she was once again surprised by what she saw.
While I feel sorry for disturbing them as they’re having fun, I called for Ciel in order to move on from our current situation.
『Ciel, are you alright?』
『Ain! Ain! Somehow there’s a lot of these adorable things here! Right here!』
『Do they not scare you?』
『That’s right. I wonder why? I don’t get any bad feelings from them at all.
What are they?』
『I want to verify that as well, so would you mind if I borrow your body for a while?』
『Sure, feel free.』
Ciel couldn’t even think of an answer to what they are, so she’s in pretty high spirits.
Though, even without that, it’s fairly obvious to see her excitement.
Still, I just thought that Ciel would normally at least have formulated her own assumptions about them.
As I borrowed Ciel’s body, the green girl who was jumping around looked at me with eyes wide open in surprise before fawning on me.
It wasn’t just her, the others also showed a different reaction compared to when it was Ciel as well.
While they are adorable and I would like to indulge them, I unfortunately can’t touch them, so I can’t really do much of that indulging.
Ciel’s refreshingly pouty 『Aren’t you quite popular.』 is also making me want to give more attention to her, but first I need to complete my objective.
Among these beings, the lady seemed to be the most knowledgeable. Upon a closer inspection, her hair has flowers in bloom and she has wooden horn-like protrusions on her head.
Her clothes are white and pale green, and seems similar to some sort of loose fitting indigenous attire.
While she’s as pretty as Ciel, she leaves a more affectionate impression.
「Pleased to meet you. Can you hear my voice?」
I approached the tree-horn lady—tree lady for short—and first verified if we can communicate with each other.
This is because although the green girl seemed to be giggling before, I couldn’t hear any giggling coming from her at all.
While we can see them, we can’t touch nor hear them.
I can’t rule out the possibility of them being unable to hear us as well. Though, I do think that the chance for that is quite low.
The tree lady moved her lips, but she seemed to have noticed that I couldn’t hear her as she shook her head once before nodding.
I guess she means that we’ve already met so it shouldn’t be 「Pleased to meet you」 and that she can hear my voice.
Then perhaps it’s not that they just suddenly appeared now, but it’s that they were there to begin with and we could only see them now.
「I’m sorry to be rude, but may I ask a few questions? I don’t quite understand what’s happening.」
Affirmative. To begin with, I’ll ask about their true identity.
「Am I right to assume that you all are spirits?」
This one’s an affirmative as well. This is honestly the only answer I could come up with, so I would have been in trouble if she denied it.
I knew spirits existed only as information. Or rather, I only knew that 『Spirit Channeler』 type Jobs existed. Though, the explanation I’ve read said 「They channel the power of spirits to use magic.」 and only that, so I don’t know what kind of beings spirits are.
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From the information I can pull out of my past life knowledge and taking into account the current situation, they should be beings that preside over nature. I can just ask for confirmation in this regard.
After all, from the smiling tree lady’s response earlier, she seemed like she’d gladly answer.
With that said, I asked a lot of different things. I know it’s honestly impolite, but she still answered without any hesitation.
It appears that one of the reasons why we were suddenly able to see them was because we defeated the golden wolf. However, the relationship between defeating the golden wolf and gaining the ability to see spirits is a mystery.
The tree lady seems to know the answer, but is having a hard time answering with only a yes or no.
Spirits come in various types and seem to regulate nature. One example is that the more there are earth and plant spirits in a place, the greater their harvest will be. Incidentally, the tree lady is a forest spirit.
Spirits use magic power to regulate themselves and if they use too much, at worst, they can vanish. Their magic power recovers naturally, but there are places where they can recover more efficiently.
One of those places seems to be Ciel’s hairpin. It was originally some sort of mysterious plant, but the forest spirit was the one that turned it into a hairpin. She’s been with us for a surprisingly long time.
While it drains magic power, she doesn’t have any intention to hurt us, she says.
And finally, she recognizes Ainsel’s existence. I’ve already had a hunch since she reacted to my words and chose my magic power to drain from, but she might be the first individual to recognize me as Ainsel.
From the spirit’s perspective, Ciel is a friend and I’m something like a parent, it seems. Why though?
She wants us to keep wearing the hairpin if possible, and so we’ll be leaving it on our hair just like always.
The spirit seems like someone Ciel could open her heart to after all, and she does seem to have affection for us. Most importantly, she’s not human and promised to help if we’re in danger.
As I finished asking my questions, I finally remembered the golden wolf. Yup, it’s definitely dead now.
Hiya~! The dance with the golden wolf has ended and, for some reason, our princesses now have new friends?
As usual, it’s really nice to see Ciel’s Battle Mage Dancer battle style. The small detail about how Ciel still needs to keep some form of rhythm to “cast magic” with the Dance Princess is really nice to be honest. And the part where Ciel was a bit irritated from how the roses didn’t bloom symmetrically as planned, lol. Now in this chapter, we got to see another one of Ciel’s stages, the Stage of Frost. It’s possibly a lot more brutal than the Stage of Water, and at this point I think a Stage of Fire would probably be the most sanitized and clean if it is ever used, lol. While it’ll likely scorch the area, it’ll probably leave less blood and mess compared to the previous two. If it exists anyway.
Also, Ciel being cute is, as one would expect, absolutely cute, lol. We got new friends~! While the magic power-like energy is still a mystery, as well as how long the forest spirit has been with them, we at least know what the transparent flower is, or rather what it’s function is. Basically a magic power hotspot for spirits, lol.
Also also, I tried something new with the attack names. The thing with Japanese is that they have “Ruby characters” that show it’s pronunciation. That’s why in really chuuni webnovels or Fate lore in general, they’d have a reading that’s different from kanji (Ex. “Sword of Promised Victory” being read as “Excalibur”). The reason for this is pretty simple logically speaking, kanji are pretty useful in painting pictures of what something is supposed to be, and it’s more obvious in RPG Skill system type stories. The kanji would like “Rising Dragon Waterfall Reverse Mario Kart Slash” or something but that only works for kanji because each kanji only take a syllable to pronounce. A direct translation would be a mouthful, so most of the times the writer will use Ruby Characters to show the intended reading as well (Ex. “Beast-Style Travel Method” being simply read as “Beast Step”). So yeah, what I wanted to say is: Is it better this way (the Ruby on the text main and the kanji translation in the references), or would you prefer the old open-close parenthesis?
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!