The Borderline between Life and Death
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Just like the day before, the monsters did not ambush during the evening hours, and the front line quietly greeted in the morning of the third day. Due to the fierce battle, some of the troops were unable to fight because of the injuries that couldn’t be healed with treatment magic. On the contrary, they were able to retain the same level of fighting power as the first day due to the reinforcements and supplies by their home country, Sandor.
However, they didn’t know when the emergence of the monsters would stop. The more days passed by, the larger and more exceptional monsters appeared. Today, there was something like a moving mountain showing up.
“A moving mountain, is that Gigateint? It seems larger than the one I saw before.” (Beast King)
“Is that the monster? I have seen its name in the document I read, but the real thing is more than I expected.” (Sirius)
The Giganteint spoken by the Beast King was a monster that inhabited the Demonic Continent. If it could be represented with something, it was closed to the animal called camel in the previous life. The overall shape was similar, but the details were different from camels.
First, there were six legs, the neck was abnormally thick. There were also long feelers around the nose that resembled a whip. And the obvious feature would be the size of the body. It was proud of the size which surpassed the monsters that we had seen so far. It was likely to reach the top of the wall where we stood only by its height. The expression that the mountain was moving wasn’t an exaggeration, and the sense of distance became strange when looking at it like this. However, since it was too far to attack or even to intercept it, the Beast King explained about the monster in the meantime.
“It looks big, but it’s a relatively mild-mannered monster. If you don’t attack it unnecessarily, it won’t attack you.” (Beast King)
“I heard that it only inhabits the Demonic Continent, but why is there that information? I’ve heard there are very few people entering the Demonic Continent.” (Sirius)
“It’s extremely rare, but it may come across the ocean from the Demonic Continent. It’s also said that it has fled on a whim or from other monsters.” (Beast King)
Indeed, with that huge body, it was likely to be able to walk in the bottom of the sea, especially in the shallow area. I felt like I could just leave it alone if it was a mild-mannered monster, but there was a case that it recognized the wall as an obstacle. Basically, we had to deal with it as soon as they showed up.
In other words, it should be easy since this wasn’t their first time facing the monster, but whether people could stay alive or not was another story. Since the two of them could be seen in the distance this time, the tension and uneasiness seemed to be running in the whole unit.
“It’s just big, and they’re carrying monsters on its back. They’re going to stick to the wall, and hit it directly here.” (Beast King)
“We have to take it down before that happens. But, I’m not sure if I can stop it with my [Tempest] when it comes to such a huge body…” (Emilia)
There were so-called siege towers that were built in high position of the frontline base. Were they using it to encounter the Gigatient?
Anyhow, that monster needed to be dealt with before it approached here. Then, by Cayenne’s order, I could see the movement of Julia and her unit from the main gate. Yesterday, we had nothing but supplies to protect the main gate, but today we had horses with mobility, and the troops were divided into two large units.
“Everyone, listen well! From now on, we will be a single spear! A spear that will take all the enemies in front of us!” (Julia)
It was an assault unit consisted of Julia and the imperial guards, which enabled by the high mobility horses. Julia, who rode a fine horse with its own armor, spoke loudly to the soldiers behind her.
“Show your pride as a brave Sandor soldier and as one who fights with me. Now, let’s kill those monsters with your body!” (Julia)
“““We will accompany you everywhere!””” (Soldiers)
Julia and her unit were in charge of attacking the monsters and destroyed the Gigatient. At the previous day’s campaign meeting, Cayenne proposed an assault force, anticipating the possibility of a bigger monster appearing, and Julia immediately volunteer for that role.
Some of them said that it was too dangerous for the princess to jump into the place of her death, but her determination was solid, and she insisted that there was no suitable person other than herself, including the meaning of improving morale. Even though they disagreed, Julia’s role was granted and that was because everyone trusted her ability. With the exception of Reus and Keith, Julia was the most likely person to be able to storm into a horde of demons and return safely. Of course, we… Hokuto and I had a means of doing large-scale attack, were also asked to help.
[Sirius-dono, Hokuto-dono, I would like you to concentrate on the sky. Please only change your target when the monsters on the ground have approached us.] (Cayenne)
Since I was told that I would have to be prepared in case the strategy didn’t work, I nodded to agree. In short, we were the insurance.
When Julia, who was supposed to lead the assault unit, Shouted and raised the morale of the units. Then, Reus, who had received my instruction, called on to Julia on horseback.
“Julia, take this with you.” (Reus)
“Wha-what’s this!? To receive a gift from my future partner at times like this is something I don’t prefer..” (Julia)
“That’s not my gift. Aniki made this, and he asked me to give it to you.” (Reus)
“This is not from you…?” (Julia)
“Don’t feel sad. Listen, this pendant is…” (Reus)
The magic stone attached to the pendant handed over by Reus was engraved with a magic formation with several functions. It was something prepared in a hurry for Julia’s, and it had been modified to pick up the surrounding sound and delivered it to me so that I could understand the situation on the front line. Since I didn’t want her to see this as an eavesdropping, I asked Reus to explain it in advance. Julia was only depressed by the fact that it wasn’t a present from Reus, but she didn’t seem to object it especially.
“I see. The information on the front line is important, and if this can help Sirius-dono, I will take it. It would have been great if it’s from you though…” (Julia)
“Aah, I know. I got it. I’ll do something once this situation over, so cheer up.” (Reus)
“Really!? I wonder how long it has been since I’ve had so much fun with a gift.” (Julia)
The motivation seemed to have gone up obviously to the promise from Reus. Julia, who had been a brave maiden of war, showed a lovely smile suited her age, so Reus advised her with a bitter smile.
“It’s fine to look forward to it, but don’t be careless, and retreat if it’s too much.” (Reus)
“Of course. I’m not going to overdo it because I’m taking care of everyone’s life. Reus, you should be the one to be careful, you know?” (Julia)
By the way, Reus also wanted to be in the assault unit, but in this situation, units were divided. Therefore, he was in the other unit since it was difficult to protect the main gate.
“There are also Keith and Albert. We’ll handle this place where you will return.” (Reus)
“Hmm! But, there’s one mistake there. The place where I should return now is next to you and Marina. There’s no point to return if you’re not there, so I hope you’re safe and waiting for me to come back.” (Julia)
Albert and Keith, who stood nearby, looked at the two of them with mixed expressions.
“Hmm, they are like a husband and a wife on their way to war…” (Albert)
“But the scene looks the other way around, isn’t it?” (Keith)
It was a scene where Reus was looking up at Julia who was on horseback. They weren’t wrong, and I could understand them. Well, since they didn’t really mind, no one said anything. And as the soldiers were ready, Julia, who was at the head of the unit, held up her sword and issued the order.
“Never stop, and chase after my back only! Let’s go!” (Julia)
The distance to the monsters was still far away, but Julia and her unit were charging before the formation of the other side took place. In order to make things easier, they went out of the range before the arrow and magic from allies pouring down.
First of all, they seemed to be aiming at the Gigatient on the left wing. While changing direction, Julia and others kept moving, and they accelerated at once when approaching the monsters at the front. They were charging into the flock without hesitation.
“They’re amazing. Although they’re mowing down the monsters, there seems no slowdown.” (Emilia)
“It’s proof that not only Julia but also the whole unit is capable. Now, it seems that we’re about to start attacking, but I wonder if it will work out over there…” (Sirius)
Regardless of uneasiness, the assault unit continued to break through the group of monsters, and they were approaching the Gigatient without a single person dropped out.
It would take time and effort to kill the monster of that size, but fortunately there was no monster around the Gigatient. Perhaps, it was because the movement was large due to its big body, the monsters were likely to take the distance to avoid being caught. The Gigatient noticed the approaching enemies. It tried to intercept with its feelers. However, Julia and her unit moved to the left Gigatient and got out of the range.
Julia, who avoided the foot of the monster that could crush her, gave orders while aiming for three legs.
[Disperse and aim for the foot! Don’t be trampled!] (Julia)
As the voice reached me through the manastone, Julia and her unit ran through and attacked the Gigatient’s feet. With spears and swords that struck one after another, and Julia’s sword, which cuts through the flesh deeply, the three left feet that were no longer able to support her weight collapsed, and the Gigatient’s posture dropped greatly. Without missing the opportunity, Julia leaped from the horse, and ran up the body of the monster with a dash, and pointed her sword at its back.
[This monster can’t move any further. Jump off quickly from your horse or choose to be cut by me!] (Julia)
The monsters approached to get rid of Julia, but the sharpness of sword swings didn’t back down even with the unstableness of monster’s back. Soon, all the monsters were cut down in order to secure its back. Julia confirmed that some of the assault unit troops used robes and getting on it one after another. In the meantime, she ran to the Gigantient’s neck and stopped her feet when she reached its head.
[It would be fast if I drop your head, but is it difficult for me now? However, next is…] (Julia)
Even with her abilities, it seemed to be difficult to cut off its next which was several times thicker than her sword. It was good if the neck could be cut with a single swing. I also thought that it would be possible if she swung many times, but since she couldn’t finish it with a single swing, the neck shook violently. This was taking longer than expected. Julia personally restrained herself from cutting it, so she called one of the young men who had followed her.
[What’s the matter, Ian? Is your weapon still heavy?] (Julia)
[I can already treat it like a limb of mine. You’re the only one who can treat it lightly, Julia-sama.] (Ian)
The young man called Ian was a soldier with sturdy full-body armor and a huge hammer. He was slightly older than me, but he was the deputy captain of the heavy unit in Julia’s imperial guards. She had previously explained that he had a promising future. As Ian replied with a light tone, he arrived at the head of the Gigatient with several comrades even though they had lost the balance several times.
[Sorry for the wait. Get ready now!] (Ian)
[I’m counting on you. Don’t rush. Just take care of it properly.] (Julia)
When Ian and his team reported to Julia, they prepared a large pile made of steel. The steel pile was longer than Reus’ greatsword. It seemed to be a custom-made product with a sharper tip. Indeed… Cayenne’s plan was to get onto the Gigantient, and hit the critical point directly with that iron stake.
Anyhow, the monster couldn’t be easily done with advanced magic. Such a plan was made because of its huge body and it could hardly struck by weapons. It was a very dangerous plan that required appropriate strength and skills, but if it were Julia and her imperial guards, they were judged to be capable enough and that was why the plan was put into practice.
As one of his companions pointed the tip of the iron stake toward its head, a number of people began to feel uncomfortable, and the long feeler of the Gigatian grew to Ian.
[Stay there! Just be quite a little bit more!] (Julia)
However, Julia, who was standing nearby, swung her sword, protecting Ian by slicing the feelers. At the same time, some flying monsters reacted and attacked, but Julia was also dealing with it all. Since, Ian and his comrades believed that Julia would protect them, they concentrated on their work without looking around.
[The vital point is here. Alright, do it!] (Shane)
[I’ve been waiting. Oryaa!] (Ian)
The steel pile was stabbed shallowly on the head of the Gigatient, and then, Ian swung down the hammer with all his might. The steel pile that had been accurately stuck in the center, easily penetrating its flesh. The pile probably went through the bones and reached the brain as the Gigatient’s body shook for a moment, and it crumbled down to the ground while leaning forward. The soldiers at the frontline base who were watching the scene, cheered. The morale that seemed to fall with the appearance of the Gigatient had risen up again.
“Well done. With this momentum, Sirius-sama’s and Hokuto-san’s assistance shouldn’t be needed.” (Emilia)
“Julia, is she alright? I don’t think she’s going to be crushed on the head, but if she falls along the way…” (Marina)
The one who stood by Emilia, Marina looked worried, but then, she let out a breath of relief when she saw Julia walking on the ground. Apparently, they jumped off when the monster fell to the ground. But, there was one more Gigantient there. Without returning to the main gate, Julia immediately joined her comrades, and went to the right Gigatient.
“Well, there’s no time to watch this leisurely. We should start as well.” (Sirius)
“Understood. Shall we go, Marina?” (Emilia)
Since the archers set at the frontline base were starting to get ready, we, who mainly focused on the flying monsters, were starting to fight. Then, as Julia and her unit approached the right side Gigantient, we started the assault all at once.
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After that, Julia succeeded in defeating the right Gigatient just like before. They ran around the battlefield for a bit and disturbed the entire group of monsters before returning to the main gate. Although there were some casualties, most of the units returned safely. They had defeated their entire target, the Gigatient, so the plan was definitely a success. The assault unit that had done enough was taking a small break, but after all, Julia alone returned to the front line and shook her sword with Keith.
“She is overdoing it. She just returned. She dislikes staying behind, isn’t it?” (Ian)
“Unlike Ian and others, she isn’t tired just by swinging sword. Don’t worry.” (Reus)
Julia was replaced by Reus who then confirmed their condition. On the other hand, Julia seemed to have enough stamina to slice monster one after another in front of the main gate. The monsters relentlessly attacked the wall. The area which was being pushed gradually began to appear.
“Damn it, I’m running out of arrows! Somebody, please bring more!” (??)
“This unit is out of mana. We will withdraw at once!” (??)
“The enemy’s annihilation rate is slowing down! Rotate with the troops at the rear!” (??)
Other than the quality of the entire monsters had improved, these people were running out of stamina because of intense battles every day. Even if they could sleep at night, there were very few of them who could sleep enough due to the anxiety and tension. In addition, mental fatigue had also accumulated.
Although Julia’s achievements helped maintaining the morale, there was a decline in judgment because of fatigue such as they were late to notice the remaining number of arrows and the surrounding situation. As a result of the accumulation of such carelessness, there were units that allowed monsters that climbed the walls and flying monsters to approach.
“Don’t panic! They’re coming closer mean the time when we can fully display our strength. Let’s make them regret by jumping into this place!” (Beast King)
“If stones are useless, do it with hot water! Get them off from the wall!” (??)
“This chanting is about to end! Be careful not to get caught!” (??)
Nevertheless, with the quick instructions from the Beast King and the captain of each unit, we could manage it with the help of others. When seeing the whole situation… could this be a situation of fifty-fifty? I thought that this was normal as it went well until now. While helping the unit in danger, I kept dropping the flying monsters. Then a question came up while watching the movement of the monsters.
“…Is it only this much?” (Sirius)
No matter how much we defeated them, the monsters appeared endlessly. When I calmly thought about this, if we kept on fighting like this, the soldiers would become sluggish within a few days, and the frontline base would be abandoned. But… wasn’t it strangely overstretched?
Certainly, a huge monster called Gigatient appeared today. That increased the level of enemy might. If the situation was orchestrated by the enemy, wouldn’t it feel like he would soon get bored and wanted to make some changes? The other side was a commander who made monsters to form a formation. As I shot magic while thinking that there was some other plan… ‘that’ appeared.
[I’m a messenger from the frontline base! Julia-sama, please prepare for the assault again!] (??)
Cayenne, who was always calm, gave an order in a hurry. On the far horizon where monsters appeared, the Gigatients showed again. But what I was concerned wasn’t there were three of them. In addition to that, there was a figure on the back of the Gigatient.
“Well, the person himself comes directly this time,huh…” (Sirius)
After confirming by enhancing my vision to the limit, that figure was Lambda himself who seemed to be the culprit of this time. He had a peaceful smile that didn’t seem to suit for this battlefield while he was on the back of the swaying monsters. That created an odd atmosphere.
I was curious that Luka and Hilgan weren’t there, but finally, a clear goal appeared. It was also an opportunity to turn the tide of the battle. Julia noticed the existence of Gigatient and Lambda who approached before long. Then, she spoke as the head of the reassembled assault unit while pointing her sword toward Lambda.
[You have the courage to appear before us. Do you have that much leeway?] (Julia)
[Well, I wonder about that. I just came to see you all, but it seems you look better than expected.] (Lambda)
Even if the distance between the two was far, the conversation was fine with the magic [Echo]. Lambda spoke provocatively, and Julia returned it with an invincible smile.
[Sorry but, it is as what you’re seeing. If you want, I’ll show it to you when you get closer.] (Julia)
[Hehe, alright. Shall I take a closer look at it?] (Lambda)
It was unclear whether Lambda showed up because of that, but at least, he didn’t seem to run away. Of course, there was also a possibility of a trap. Either way, the Gigatients must be defeated if possible. If possible, they had to capture Lambda to obtain information, but they couldn’t do it without attacking him. Since Reus and Cayenne told Julia to be careful, she assembled her unit again and dove into a horde of monsters.
Julia looked as if she was provoked, but her movement was calm as she jumped out to the side. She didn’t attack the center Gigatient that Lambda rode. First off, they were attacking the other two Gigatients. As the left Gigantient was defeated, they immediately went to the right one. The central Gigatient, that had been approaching the frontline base, changed direction to aim at Julia probably because of Lambda’s order. At this rate, her unit would likely to face two monsters at the same time. So, she told them as she tried to confirm the incoming monster.
[That movement… is it targeting us? Listen, I will earn time by attacking Lambda! I leave the others to you all!] (Julia)
[It’s dangerous if you go alone! Please take a few with you.] (Ian)
[Hmm, in that case, you three, follow me.] (Julia)
Julia chose Ian and other two as escorts. They separated from the unit heading to the right Gigatient, and charged to the center Gigatient. The four of them broke through a group of monsters without problem. After cutting the foot several times to slow down the monster’s movement, Julia ran through the crotch of the Gigantient Lambda rode.
— Julia —
“It’s been a long time since we’ve met each other like this.” (Julia)
“Indeed. I’ve known your strength, but I’m surprised since you’re more tenacious than I expected.” (Lambda)
“It’s not just my power. It’s the power of my country and companions.” (Julia)
I was able to reach here because of everyone. The frontline base would have been pushed if one of them was missing. However, since Lambda’s appearance might be able to change the tides of battle, it was good to force my way through the monsters and came to the Gigatient’s back, the escorts including Ian were late, so it would be a fight between me and Lambda.
It was obvious that Ian, who had brought a lot of equipment, to be late, but as a swordsman, I wanted to fight Lambda just like this, but the fight should be thorough. I tried to strike a conversation with Lambda as I waited for Ian.
“Lambda, I know that you want to get revenge because your family got killed. However, the culprits were the people who set you up, so there’s no need to hate the whole country. Father told me that he was willing to offer those prisoners if you want. Stop the fight. So, will you give a place to negotiate?” (Julia)
“You are the same as Sanger, and you don’t know anything. I’m not doing this for revenge. I just can’t allow the country called Sandor to exist. Stop this meaningless negotiation.” (Lambda)
I had already expected this. Negotiation seemed to be pointless. He didn’t have the idea to get revenge with all of his power, but I couldn’t forgive what he had done. ‘Let’s make up my mind.’
Then, as Ian and others had arrived at the same time as Lambda’s words ended, I had declared this again with my sword.
“If that’s the case, there’s no other way. As a princess of Sandor, and as a swordsman who protects her country, I will stop you here.” (Julia)
“That ambition is admirable, but is it alright to do it alone?” (Lambda)
“Didn’t I tell you? There are a lot of people I can count on. At least, it’s worth it even if there’s a possibility that you’re controlling these monsters.” (Julia)
“Ooh… Do you think so? That’s a bit harsh. I hope you won’t regret later that this is a reckless charge.” (Lambda)
He raised his arms together with those harsh words, but there were many opportunities to attack. In order to penetrate the distance and attacked, I leaped into his range in one breath and cut his right arm. Then, I cut off his left arm in return. When the brother-in-law cut his hands, he was healed. So, if he had arms, I could cut it without hesitation.
Of course, I would aim for his neck, but there was something I really wanted to ask this man. At the same time as I finished swinging my sword, I decided to take a distance and observed the situation.
“As expected, you’re quick. But, shouldn’t you aim the head first?” (Lambda)
“I have something to ask before I cut your head. First off, did you embed manastones that detonate the monsters?” (Julia)
“You’re right. To be exact, it’s a plan that Luca thought about. It takes a bit of effort, but isn’t fine to make good use of the monsters that you wanted to get rid of?” (Lambda)
“It seems like there are more reasons to kill you. Let me hear one more thing before that. Is there a way to stop these monsters?” (Julia)
“I have no reason to teach you. Aah, well maybe be the monsters may return if I die? Well, when I got back, I don’t think the monsters will stop attacking you though.” (Lambda)
“…I understand. I will consider everything after killing you.” (Julia)
I didn’t know how serious it was, but there must be some measures since he was acting leisurely. This time, I had to make sure that I killed him. Then, Ian lined up to protect me and the spearman, Shane. And after confirming the state of the magician, Dyna, who excelled in flame magic, I kept looking for the right opportunity.
“Julia-sama. If he doesn’t have both arms, his attack will be limited. Should we attack at once?” (Dyna)
“No, don’t think of him the same way we do. Even if he doesn’t have arms, he must have some measures… arms?” (Julia)
That was strange. Wasn’t there a lot of blood flowing when I cut his arm? The color of the blood was light red. I felt that it was different from the blood we shed…
“Dyna, remove his robe!” (Julia)
“Yes! Severing with a wind blade… [Air Slash].” (Dyna)
Although her aptitude was fire, if it was wind, she could cast magic up to intermediate level. In that way, the robe that covered Lambda’s whole body was torn, and his body was exposed. Then, I confirmed his body… it wasn’t very human. The whole body, except the head, was vines of planes that were intertwined in the form of a person.
“…Not only the mind, but the body became a monster?” (Julia)
“I would like you to call this evolution, not a monster. This is a figure that goes beyond the limit of the vessel called human.” (Lambda)
‘He called this… evolution?’
It was true that living in a situation like that could be called evolution, but there was no way to familiarity come to the appearance that threw something important as a human. Ian and others also felt the same. They couldn’t hide the disgust.
Did he felt good about our reaction? He happily continued speaking with his mouth distorted into a crescent moon.
“Let me tell you one more thing. Plants have a strong life force, and even the root is broken, it may grow when it’s buried in the ground. To put it simply, if you intentionally break it and grow, you can grow the same plant.” (Lambda)
“Same plant? Same… don’t tell me you bastard…?” (Julia)
“Yes, it’s as what Julia-sama imagined. The me here is Lambda, but not Lambda.” (Lambda)
In other words, the one before us wasn’t the Lambda that was with us? But, it was close to the real thing… No good, the brother-in-law and Cayenne could much better. I couldn’t understand well anyway.
“And my aim is… you, Julia-sama. Things will be interesting if you, the pillar of your people, disappear.” (Lambda)
“Wha!? Get down!” (Julia)
When I tried to greatly leap from the spot as I had a bad feeling from his disturbing words, countless tentacles dyed in green came out from my feet. I used my sword to slice the approaching tentacles as it was, but the true nature of these tentacles was similar to the vine of a plant. Since the feet of the fake Lambda were sinking as to take root on the back of the Gigatient, it seemed these tentacles were extended from there.
“Aah, my bad. Is it still difficult at this level?” (Lambda)
“You’re a parasite that lives in a monster. As a mercy for them, let’s cut it right away.” (Julia)
I didn’t understand well, but that didn’t change my plan from killing him. I whispered to Ian and others while cutting the approaching tentacles.
“…How about that?” (Julia)
“I will finish chanting soon, but when considering the range of the magic, whether it reaches him or not is…” (Dyna)
“It’s good enough. I will match accordingly. So, just unleash the magic as soon as the chanting is over.” (Julia)
I ended the discussion quickly. When Dyna activated the advanced flame magic, several pillars of flame were born and the surrounding tentacles were roughly burned out. Then, I ran forward while avoiding the pillars of fire. New tentacles popped out, but since Ian and Shane were the ones to stop most of it, I was able to drive in without losing momentum. While cutting the tentacles from the front, I leaped into his chest, and cut off his head as I run to the side of the fake Lambda.
“Good! Let’s go and take care of this Gigatient…” (Julia)
“It’s not over yet.” (Lambda)
Although I had severe his head, why I could still hear his voice? When I turned around in a hurry, I noticed that the head of the fake Lambda which separated from the body, was laughing. So, I instinctively swung my sword at his head. But, the moment that man’s body that remained next to the head entered the corner of view, the feeling of hesitation appeared at the tip of the sword.
“No way, you…!” (Julia)
“With this body, the drawback is that it takes a bit of time to activate it. Now, how much the time of this has been delayed?” (Lambda)
The vine on the chest came out. There was a manastone used for suicide that I’d seen many times on the battlefield. Moreover, it was bigger than the one used on the monster. It was understandable even if it was unpleasant, but it was unpleasant to get involved. However, this was an opportunity if I considered the opposite. The fake Lambda would self-destruct if left alone, so we just needed to leave this place before the manastone exploded.
“Retreat! Get away from here.” (Julia)
“That’s an obvious choice. But knowing your personality, will you retreat from here?” (Lambda)
He was talking about something, but I didn’t have time for this jerk. I started to run while thinking that it would become a difficult situation where it was hard to get out, but I had to look at Ian and others first.
“What’s with this sudden movement!?” (Ian)
“Everyone, come here quickly! Kyaah!?” (Dyna)
“That’s one after another! He’s not dead!” (Shane)
When I turned around, I found that Ian and others were entwined with false Lambda’s tentacles. Still, Shane and Dyna had succeeded in cutting the tentacles with spears and magic, but Ian, who was closest to me, was in a bad situation. That was because his weapon was a hammer. It wasn’t suitable for cutting tentacles. Although he was trying to cut it with a spare knife, dealing with tentacles that came one after another with an unfamiliar weapon didn’t go well.
“Ahahaha! How is it? You can’t escape, right? You can’t sacrifice your subordinates because you’re a noble and proud person!” (Lambda)
“Damn… it. Julia-sama! Please escape without worrying about me!” (Ian)
I didn’t like to be told by others, but it was true that I couldn’t deny his words.
I approached him without thinking twice, cutting the tentacles that restrained him. Then, I sent him flying to Dyna and Shane who just got out from the tentacles.
“Go ahead! His aim is me.” (Julia)
“There is no way we can leave you, Julia-sama!” (Ian)
“It’s fine, just go! Prepare to get down!” (Julia)
While new tentacles appeared to separate us, Ian and others began to descend from the monsters back with a regretful expression. They probably understood that they were getting in the way as I yelled at them seriously.
I was sorry for making them lose all hope of protecting me, but I had to put it in the opposite way in front of a bad guy. Rather than Shane, Ian was good at defense, and Dyna had less mana because of the earlier magic. If I brought a swordsman, it might be different, but I was the one who chose Ian in the first place. I couldn’t get my subordinates involved because of my failure. While doing so, my retreat was completely blocked by countless tentacles. I couldn’t break through, but I didn’t think that it was the time for the manastone to explode. In that case…
“I’m amazed since you’re considering until this far. Does the royal have the duty to to leave their bloodline at the expense of their people?
“I understand the logic, but I don’t want to act indifferent.” (Julia)
I just needed to cut the manastone and fake Lambda before that! However, I was blocked by tentacles. The distance between us was a mere few steps, but it was hard to kill him in one breath. I had no spare time to think. At the moment I held my sword and thought that I had no choice but to put my life on the line, something had passed right next to me. The manastone which seemed to be activated at any moment was broken.
“…Did he hit it even in this distance? Goodness, the biggest miscalculation is that he visited this country.” (Lambda)
“He? Could it be Sirius-dono!?” (Julia)
Reus proudly boasted that Sirius-dono’s magic could hit enemy wherever they were, but could he really hit until here? Although he should be busy with flying monsters, I didn’t expect that she could cover me. How thankful I was to him. No, I would have to thank him later. Without losing this opportunity, I should cut his head and body, and stab him.
“However, it’s still too early.” (Lambda)
How much preparation he had done? How far ahead was this guy looking ahead? As I ran forward while slashing the tentacles, I saw the body of him with a hole remained in the chest. However, manastones came out from his limbs. There were seven of them. It was even hard to me to cut six times in one breath.
“Don’t be afraid! The sword will not respond to a weak mind!” (Julia)
There was Strongest Sword’s technique called [Shattering Strike] that could cut eight monsters at the same time. The number was one less than that. It wasn’t an impossible number!
My body screamed since it was shook beyond the limit. The sword that I swung out while my knees were going to collapse… succeeded in cutting and crushing all seven mana stones.
“Well done. In the end, how about this?” (Lambda)
What I saw was the fake Lambda’s head that had turned out to be a lump of plan with human skin peeled off, and a manastone spewed out from his mouth. The manastone was activated than my reaction. The flame and the shock waves hit me…
“…Aah, kuh!?” (Julia)
I was confused, but I seemed to be alive. I didn’t know how I survived that explosion. I would think about it later. My eyes were hazy. I couldn’t hear the sounds around me, but from the sensation of the skin being cut by the wind, I could see that I was falling from the back of the Gigatient.
I would say that the strategy of killing him was successful, but it wasn’t over yet. It wouldn’t be a real success unless I was alive. I was still… holding my sword, and there was a bit of power and mana left in me.
The rest was whether or not I could land safely on the ground. With this height and the momentum of falling, it would be dangerous even if I put a defensive posture. To begin with, I didn’t know the distance to the ground. But, I didn’t have to be impatient. If the eyes and ears weren’t reliable, I only needed to believe my intuition and experience. I predicted the distance to the ground with the presence of monsters, and then, I shook my sword just before I crashed into the ground.
“Break… Thrust!” (Julia)
This was the technique that I heard from the person who boasted ‘Single Strike Ultimate Destruction Sword Style’… Break Thrust. Although I succeeded in killing the momentum of falling by swinging the sword, and releasing the shock wave at the same time, it seemed to have been completely impossible as I was struck to the ground. Even so… I managed to survive. I couldn’t breathe well because I hit my back, but if I could join with everyone…
“Haa… goodness, it’s you guys… isn’t it?” (Julia)
This incoming crisis didn’t allow me to rest yet. A nearby Orc shook down a club, aiming at me who had fallen into the center of the monsters, but then, I sliced its leg while rolling around. I got up with that momentum. When I stood on my knees and held my sword, my eyes and ears were back to normal. It turned out that I was completely isolated. But, there was still hope.
“…Take out… the spear…” (Shane)
“…Geh! Shield… if that’s it… it can be prevented!” (Ian)
“…It’s Julia-sama!” (Dyna)
With the surroundings groan of the monsters, I could barely hear my unit coming for help. I hoped I could hold on until the relief came, but it was hard to even hold the sword.
Nevertheless… I still had to come back alive. As a swordsman, as a woman, I promised to go back to the two who believed me. However, the mind didn’t sway the monsters. At the time when I was trying to wield my sword to the monsters attacking from all directions without mercy, he appeared before me, blowing monsters at the same time.
“Get out of the way! Dorasyaa!” (Reus)
Why was he here? I entrusted the main gate to him, and yet, he clearly answered me. Why did he come to help me? And he was alone and deep into the enemy camp. With the confusion running all over my head, Reus, who jumped in, swung his sword like a tornado, cutting away the surrounding monsters one after another. After securing my safety, he looked back at me with a regretful expression that didn’t suit him.
“Sorry, I’m late for coming to help.” (Reus)
“Aah… even if you’re late, it’s more than enough.” (Julia)
“But, I really wanted to help before you fell. However, I can’t do it like Marina.” (Reus)
Reus looked a bit disappointed, but there was no need for him to apologize. After all, I was the one who fell into the enemy’s scheme. I was sorry for making so many people worried.
“What happened to the main gate?” (Julia)
“You don’t have to worry because Albert and Keith are working hard.” (Reus)
“…Is that so?” (Julia)
It was hard to say thanks. Perhaps, I couldn’t overlook his behavior as a commander. This was because it wasn’t easy to forgive selfish behavior when everyone was working collectively. I couldn’t conceal my emotion because I was exhausted, so the dissatisfaction might have appeared on the face. Reus tilted his head when he saw me.
“Hmm? Was it bad that I came here?” (Reus)
“Th-that’s not it. I asked you to protect the main gate, but I am angry at myself because you leave that place for me.” (Julia)
“There’s no place that can hold me back. Since I’m your subordinate, I’ll go where you go, right?” (Reus)
“…That’s certainly true. Sorry for showing you this miserable appearance.” (Julia)
I came to hate myself because I couldn’t swing sword alongside them, and I was being protected. While I felt that, Reus kept protected me by swinging his sword. Then, he spoke to me with a slightly serious tone.
“Haven’t you fought at the front line for these three days? From now on, I’ll take charge, so don’t hold the sword until you’re completely healed, alright.” (Reus)
“What!? If it’s this much, I can return immediately if I rest a bit after having the treatment…” (Julia)
“Hey, I know you have some kind of responsibility, but can you leave it to me a bit more? It’s early to say this, but married couples share the fun and hardship together. Aniki and Reese-ane said that, you know.” (Reus)
Really… although I had declared that I wanted to be with Reus, I didn’t expect that we were going to be a married couple. Reus was a partner that I wanted to cuddle with, so I had to remember that I could spoil myself.
“…I understand. I want you to encourage everyone instead of me. Sorry for saying this late, but thank you for saving me.” (Julia)
“Ouh! It’s fine, but say that to Aniki later, alright. He protected you from that explosion.” (Reus)
“He did?” (Julia)
When I looked at my body that should had been damaged by the explosion, only the chest part of the armor was noticeably damaged. This was where I put brother-in-law’s pendant which was given before the assault. I realized now that there was nothing left there.
“The shock wave was offset by the power unleashed by the manastone… something like that. Please ask Aniki for the details. Just wait for a bit because your companion will come soon.” (Reus)
There seemed to be no time for me to be depressed. I couldn’t thank my brother-in-law and all the troops who were trying to save me with this depressed face. When I noticed, my heart had become much better. Meanwhile, the assault unit broke through the group of monsters. They kept running in a circle around me to protect me from all directions.
“Defense unit, hurry!” (??)
“Make a wall! Become a meat wall to protect Julia-sama!” (??)
“Don’t let even a goblin to pass here!” (??)
Among the assault unit, I could see Ian and others. They were letting out a breath of relief. Was it because they were able to join me after separating from me? While everyone was holding down the monsters desperately, the captain of the imperial guard came to me. He was on his knees with tears streaming down his face.
“I’m glad… I’m glad that you’re safe!” (??)
“Aah. I’ve shown you all a shameful sight, but I was saved because of everyone’s help. I’m grateful.” (Julia)
“You don’t have to say that! We will protect you, so leave the rest to us.” (??)
“Yes. But… I don’t think I can do that.” (Julia)
When I looked up to the noise, there was a single Gigatient approaching here. I asked them and they told me the other Gigatient was disposed by the assault unit. So that monster was the one whom the fake Lambda was riding. Even if its back was hit by the explosion, it was still alive. This had exceeded my expectation. But, Reus was here. I thought that we should entrust it to the brother-in-law and Hokuto-dono. Perhaps, I should leave half of the unit to them. But then, Reus held his sword on the shoulder, and said it while watching the monster.
“Julia. Take everyone back. I’m going to kill that.” (Reus)
“Wa-wait. In that case, take some from my unit…” (Julia)
“It’s fine, I can do it alone. If possible, it’s fine to look at me while you retreat. I learned this from Lior-jiichan. I’ll show you the true ‘Single Strike Ultimate Destruction Sword Style’.” (Reus)
Without waiting for my reply, Reus began to run. He rushed toward the Gigatient from the front. Normally, somebody would yell, but I couldn’t say anything, and I could only saw him off. I was curious, but I supposed I should believe in him and retreated.
The formation was rearranged by my order. While trying to start moving with the captain, Reus approached the Gigatient. Instead of avoiding the feeler, he used it as a foothold and leaped high. He jumped over the head of the monster with that momentum, and arrived at the front of the thick neck connecting to its body. Then, he shouted.
“Single Strike… Ultimate Destruction!” (Rues)
As I was wondering whether Reus’ sword was shining, it was swung down. The neck of the Gigatient, which was several times longer than his sword, was cut off with a single swing. Was that the true ‘Single Strike Ultimate Destruction Sword Style’? It was so powerful. Wasn’t it a beautiful sword style? It made me trembled thinking that sword was the place I should aim. Even though I was in this state, I couldn’t help but wanting to swing my sword.
“Someday… I also will…” (Julia)
However, it might be because the tension had disappeared due to Reus’ manly appearance with his sword, I lost consciousness there.
Extra/Bonus – The last blow…
The time when Ian and others were standing on the head of the Gigatient to unleash the last blow…
[The vital point is… here. Alright, let’s do this!] (Shane)
[Thank you for waiting. Oryaaa!] (Ian)
*Slash* ← The sound of stabbing *in slow motion*
“…Somehow, this feels like a scene where you can play music.” (Emilia)
“It’s not a stone, but the opponent is huge, you know?” (Sirius)
“How do you know that!?” (Marina)
- I’m not sure what parody in the Extra/Bonus part, and I’m also not sure whether the last conversation is between Emilia, Sirius and Marina since there is no indication for that or anything.
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