Chapter 6: The Complicating Forecast
On this dark night, in sea of trees, the luxuriant vegetation of which made it appear to be a habitat for monsters—
‘They’ pressed forward, continuously, ceaselessly, like a tsunami trying to swallow everything in its path—
The barrier of rotten meat closed in on the man from all sides.
Under the commands of the spell, the deceased outstretched their hands and rushed towards the man, as if drag him into their ranks.
However, in the face of this overwhelming pressure—
“<Oh golden beast of lightning · Tread upon this Earth · Dance amongst these skies>”
The man indifferently chanted the three stage spell in the runic tongue.
In the next moment, lines of magic light creeped across the ground, forming a pentagram with the man at the center.
Countless orbs of contained lightning swirled around the man. The storm of lightning bolts roared as if to split the sky and crush the earth.
The intense lights dyed the surroundings a blinding white.
The deceased that touched either the orbs or the bolt were blasted apart and reduced to vapors—
Though, It was then that—
The man’s surroundings warped into a whirlpool of frigid air. The branches of the trees began to screech.
While observing the situation from a nearby treetop, Elenora had begun chanting the spell for the black magic [Ice · Blizzard].
However, the man she was fighting — Albert seemed as though he already seen through her plans. He stared at Elenora with his two sharp eyes and pointed at her with his left hand.
In the next moment, a stream of lightning came bursting forth.
The straight line of lightning illuminated the dark skies as it flew towards Elenora.
–Gah-!? Delayed activation!?
Delayed-Activation. It was a high-level technique that allowed its user to chant a spell in advance and activate it later with whenever they desired.
In the face of Albert’s delayed-activation of the spell [Lightning · Pierce], Elenora was forced to cancel her [Ice · Blizzard] spell and jump from her treetop—
The ray of lightning passed through the space she had been in the next instant.
Having just narrowly escaped death, Elenora was overcome by relief.
Albert, not caring that the bolt from his left hand had missed his mark, turned his body and raised his right hand towards Elenora’s falling figure—
–Double cast on top of that-!?
Double cast. It was a high-level technique that allowed its user to activate a spell twice with only a single chant.
Elenora clicked her tongue as she kicked off a nearby branch to change the trajectory of her fall.
Another bolt of lightning harmlessly flew by Elenora.
“Impressive skills, I must say…”
Elenora twisted her body and landed on the floor like a cat.
She immediate broke into a sprint away from Albert.
It appeared as though she had realized that she was no match for Albert as she tried to make some distance.
“—Hmph.” Translated by yuNS
Albert, not planning on allowing her escape, chased after her.
He ran at a parallel trajectory, chasing after her whilst staying within a certain distance.
Two gusts blew through the nighttime sea of trees.
Swish Swish Swish Swish. In the darkness came sounds of undergrowth being stepped upon.
The two traversed the trees like a rabid stream—
“…Heh.” @ www. crimsonmagic .me
Certain of her victory, Elenora’s lips twisted into a smile.
Necromancy [Dead · Reign].
A magic trap, composed of a set of lines that marked a boundary, had already been setup in advance in the location Albert was heading towards.
Those lines marked the boundary between life and death, the present realm and the underworld.
Any life that crossed this line without permission would quickly cease to live after crossing this line.
“Yes… Keep chasing… Keep chasing… Yes… After me…”
The distance between Albert and the boundary of death was now 20 meters—
However, what followed made Elenora’s eyes burst open in surprise.
Albert stopped without any indication whatsoever, just before the boundary of death—
“<Bellow oh flame lion>–”
He chanted the one-verse spell, the black magic [Blaze · Burst].
…He foresaw this too. What a wicked fellow…
The scorching ball of heat energy soared through the air and closed in on Elenora, who could only smile bitterly at the turn of events.
She could feel the incredible, fatal heat on her skin—
I enchanted my body with the elemental resistance spell — the black magic [Tri · Resist] beforehand… While it may not be dependable in such a situation, I should’ve survive through its effects…Then—
Elenora purposely opted not to use a counter spell—
“<Come forth, king of red beasts>-!”
Elenora chanted a spell, releasing a fireball that collided head-on with the oncoming one.
The clash between the fireballs in the skies resulted in a great explosion.
The world was dyed in the burning orange of dawn. The berserk flames caused a fiery tempest, consuming Albert and Elenora and eradicating all of its surroundings—
“…Tch. <Oh barrier of light>”
Albert reacted immediately with a counter spell. A honeycomb patterned semicircular magic barrier surrounded him, protecting him from the ravaging flames.
Now, you’re open—!
On the other hand, Elenora showed a gruesome smile as she let herself be scorched by flames, opting to chant another spell.
“<Come>––<Alas · Come>––<Come>”
As her voice, akin to drunken singing, echoed through the surroundings—
“<Respond · To the call of the spirits of the night>––<Respond>––<Respond>––>”
A door opened from nothingness. Out from it came a wave of miasma as countless shadows rushed out, each bearing the revolting scent of death.
Endless animated corpses were summoned at an incredible rate around Albert.
The great number of deceased which had not been there a moment ago quickly formed a gapless wall around him.
“<His Flesh and Blood · Shalt be thy amusement · Shalt be thy enrichment>––<Hurry · Hurry · For the time to feast is nigh>–!”
Under the command of Elenora’s spell, the wall of rotten flesh slowly closed in on Albert—
It was an incredible pressure that threatened to crush him to death.
Normally, this would’ve been checkmate.
Despite Albert’s ability to use not only 1-verse chants, but also delayed-activation to stock spells and double cast to use them twice, there was no way to deal with such a number all at once.
In a battle, absolute strength came from overwhelming numbers.
…Normally, that is.
“<Oh golden beast of lightning · Tread upon this Earth · Dance amongst these skies>”
Albert calmly recited thee three-verse chant as if there was nothing peculiar happening around him.
It was unusual for Albert to use a three-verse chant, given that he could use nearly every assault spell with a mere one-verse chant.
The spell was completed just barely before the deceased reached him.
Despite the numbers pressing onward, Albert retained his composure, his cold expression showing no signs of wavering. The sharp fangs were mere centimeters away from his eyes, but he didn’t even blink.
Then, in the next moment—
The space erupted with light. The veil of darkness was cast away as lightning danced around him.
A swarm of lightning orbs swirled around him like a tornado.
The swarm of deceased around Albert was mercilessly cut down we the roar of the rampaging thunder.
The one-sided massacre would make one feel even sympathetic for the reanimated deceased.
“I see… So you had such a trick up your sleeve…”
Elenora seemed to feel as though she was witnessing a nightmare, as she watched her precious servants be wiped out as if they had never been there to begin with.
“Oh dear, such a joke is tough to smile at…”
The spell used by Albert to fend off Elenora’s army was the black magic [Plasma · Field]. This B-class military magic indiscriminately annihilated everything in the user’s immediate surroundings, and was a grade above the C-class lightning-type military magic, [Lightning · Pierce].
Military magic was divided into 3 classes, A, B, and C.
A-class military magic, consisting of grand spells of strategic use, carried force equivalent to a cataclysm. However, they were not spells that could be wielded by a single individual, and required a number of magicians chanting together through a ritual to be used.
Thus, B and C-grade spells were employed in actual magic combat.
By common standards, chanting C-grade spells in one verse would be considered to be an incredible feat. Anyone who could complete a B-grade spell, regardless of the number of verses, would be considered an elite battlemage.
However, B-grade spells typically required seven verses. It was typically used in coordination with one’s allies.
Although B-grade military magic were far beyond their C-grade counterparts in terms of power, in a 1-on-1 magic battle, it would take too long to complete, leaving it’s user exposed for the duration of the chant. Thus, it was often generally accepted that B-grade military magic had few uses in live combat.
Could cast B-grade military magic with a mere three-verses.
A three-verse chant was considered the longest chant acceptable for a 1-on-1 magic battle scenario.
Although the black magic [Plasma · Field] was rarely considered due to how difficult it was to use in combination with one’s allies, if its chant could be cut down to three-verses, making viable in a solo-scenario, it would be a different story altogether.
In the end, Elenora could only watch as her precious servant were reduced to ashes.
“…What a powerful fellow.”
Elenora was forced to admit.
“Imperial Court Magicians, Special Operation Section Executor Number 17, Albert of ‘The Star’… Your strength exceeds my expectations…”
Albert had never once sought out contraptions that would allow for different methods, which countless magicians strongly preferred… Be it catalysts that allowed for the use of special spells or tools that allowed one to blindside their opponent.
He utilized his enormous reserves of magic power resulting from his relentless training through his perfect control and incredible precision. He chanted quickly and accurately. His unparalleled ability to read the situation allowed him to choose the appropriate spell… That was all it was.
The reason for his might was simply genuine strength; for that reason, it was inviolable. The way he defined strength was akin to the definitions written in the textbooks of orthodox magicians. Through this battle, Elenora, however much she detested it, had come to realize that Albert title of ‘The Imperial Army’s Foremost Sniper’ was nothing more than a byproduct of his overly perfect control of magic.
From amongst the burning trees, the flaming earth, and the bursts of thunder.
From the center of the whirlpool of sparks and the source of the heat wave.
“Already out of entertainment?”
It was as if a demon of the battlefield was marching from hell.
With the rising flames as his backdrop, Albert leisurely walked towards Elenora.
Albert’s gaze, which looked as though it would pierce through his targets, appeared even sharper amidst the quivering heat haze and the shadow of the flames.
There was not a single wound nor any trace of blood on him. His breathing was stable and his outfit remained unstained.
“‘Since the opponent is a sniper, he will surrender once I bring the battle into close quarters’… Perhaps that’s what you had thought? …I feel as though I have been underestimated.”
“…You jest, this was just…”
Elenora laughed and forced a smile.
She hadn’t underestimated him in that regard.
Nor had she ever been so careless as to let her guard down.
To ascertain Albert’s demise, Elenora had prepared a scrupulous plan, with minute preparations for each step, without negligence for every detail.
The initial conditions had all been in Elenora’s favor.
However, Albert’s display had simply overwhelmed her. That was all there was to say.
“…that you were fiercer and stronger than even in my wildest imagination… Hehe…. I can feel my body burning from the inside out. Oh, the agony… I feel like I would break at any moment…”
Elenora showed an ominous smile as her charming body writhed in pain—
“…You’re also a monster.”
Albert declared flatly as he stared coldly at Elenora, whose body drifted with bewitching charm.
“Your outstanding regenerative abilities don’t appear to come from a healing spell or any kind of magic medicine that amplifies your body’s regeneration. It is something else, something far more freakish—”
As Albert pointed that out, Elenora went silent. The darkness shrouding her body seemed to grow denser.
Aligning with Albert’s statement, Elenora’s body, which had been engulfed in a hellfire just moments earlier, was completely healed in the duration of their short conversation.
Not to mention, this hadn’t been the first time. Be it now or during their confrontation in Fejiti, Albert had struck Elenora countless times with military assault spells, which should have fatally wounded her many times over.
Just moments earlier, Albert had even engaged in close ranged combat, where he had triggered an explosion of magic power as soon as his fist connected, blowing off Elenora’s head in the process. His judgment was benign of conceit and his methods should have been more than enough. Had it been a normal opponent, the battle would have ended long ago.
However, no matter how great a wound was dealt to Elenora, she neither bled nor died. Any injuries dealt would release a black mist and disappear in moments.
…That isn’t all there is to this woman’s body either.
Albert quickly glanced at his surroundings.
It was truly a hellish sight.
Of the several tens of deceased that had been summoned by Elenora, some were set aflame, some were charred to a crisp, and some were crushed into pieces. All of them were rendered powerless one way or another. The scattered body parts of the deceased whose souls had yet to be released rattled noisily against the earth.
Combined with the incorrigible scent of smoke and rotten flesh, it was as though the area was an incarnation of hell itself.
This scenery was scattered amongst many areas of the sea of trees.
Just how many deceased servants did Elenora have in store? And why was it that all of the deceased were female? Not to mention, the number of deceased that Elenora had summoned was already far beyond the realm of common soul summoning arts. What was the logic behind her technique that was used to call upon such an astounding amount of servants?
Her immortally and her ability to summon and endless amount of deceased. I have no choice but to solve this mystery.
Of course, Albert still had several aces up his sleeve.
However, the same applied to Elenora.
It would appear that this woman is on a different level from the heretics that I’ve dealt with until now.
Albert was well ahead in terms of raw combat power and it wasn’t uncommon for him to battle heretical magicians with combat abilities above Elenora’s… But he had judged that Elenora was hiding something far more terrifying.
“…Let us continue this warm reception, shall we…?”
Elenora softly laughed with dizzy, bewitching craze.
He arms hung powerlessly from her shoulders and her eyes that were exposed in the gaps of her hair looked as though it was staring out of the abyss. She seemed like a horribly broken puppet.
Then, out of nowhere came a tide of deceased – all female – who quickly surrounded Elenora like slaves obeying their queen.
“Enough talk. Show me what you can really do.”
Albert coldly stated.
“You aren’t the sort of woman that can only send her servants to be crushed.”
“Oh my… Have I been seen through already…?”
Elenora appeared to be taken aback for a brief moment. She showed a ghastly smile, clearly enjoying the situation.
“My apologies… I would have certainly loved to go all out with a wonderfully strong partner like you… But I would prefer if you too can show what you are capable of… Is that right, Albert-sama? Hehehe…”
Elenora’s fascinated expression was met with a cold reception as always.
“…What are you trying at?”
“Fu, Fu, Ufufu… Wouldn’t you say that a woman who holds secrets… is far more charming?”
Elenora laughed again.
Regardless of the time and situation, she seemed to always be able to find it in herself to laugh; with a deathly alluring smile from which one could feel a boundless gloom.
An unknown man who appeared to be affiliated with the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society had approached Riel.
Albert had planned to deal with him, but he had been intercepted by Elenora.
It was clear that Elenora had revealed herself in order to stall Albert.
Thus, Albert had planned to blitz her down, but due to Elenora’s mysterious immortality, he was simply losing precious time.
Without diverting his attention from Elenora, Albert began to reconsider the situation.
Once it was revealed that Elenora was associated with the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society, the imperial government had desperately investigated every remaining trace of Elenora. Through that, they had discovered that held a high rank in the society’s inner circle – the Adeptus Order.
Given her rank, Elenora was undoubtedly knowledgeable in regards to the situation and the inner workings of the organization. To the imperial government, which was on the verge of a meltdown from the stalemate caused by the inner dispute on how to best deal with the current situation, it was priceless information that they would use whatever means to obtain.
If Albert could capture Elenora, the empire would gain the upper hand in their conflict against the organization.
Albert’s instincts were telling him that Elenora was incredibly dangerous.
That Elenora was not someone that they could deal with at the present. That there was something more to her body that they did not know.
That although her information would be valuable to the empire, this was someone that the empire had to avoid.
Thus, Albert made a decision.
I will finish her here and now.
In that moment, Albert’s body seemed to fill with chilling, murderous intent.
I can’t think of her as a human… She’s a monster — I’ll deal with her as if she’s a first class menace. 
Albert raised his left hand, pointing his index finger at Elenora.
Perhaps feeling the incredible murderous intent from Albert, Elenora broke into a dash. A sense of nervousness seemed to fill her ever-present smile.
As Albert prepared to use a spell that was on a different level from the ones he had used until now—
He saw it.
In the image projected in his left eye by the activated farsight magic.
He couldn’t look away in the midst a battle, so he hadn’t paid any attention to it until now.
In order to keep track of Riel, who had escaped, he had cast farsight magic at the wharf of the former developmental area along the northeastern coastline. From that, he witnessed Riel impale Glen.
Glen was thrown from the Riel’s sword… Moments later, he was devoured by the tides.
“Tch… How unsightly.” Albert said with a frustrated click of the tongue.
Elenora too, seemed to have grasped the situation through some other means.
“…Oh dear, what a shame. It appears as though the high tide has come.” 
The unsettling atmosphere immediately dispersed.
Elenora’s appearance shifted to that of a refined lady.
Then, in the next moment, she chanted a spell.
Elenora’s immediate surroundings burst into flames, obscuring Albert’s field of vision.
It was the black magic [Quick · Ignition]. In the present situation, it was the spell that could be activated with the shortest possible chant to use for the purposes of emergency escape, although it was a C-grade military magic that was more often used for offense.
Even Albert wasn’t fast enough to chant a counter spell against an opponent that had taken advantage of the brief opening to chant and activate what was theoretically the shortest spell—
As expected, by the time the flames receded, Elenora was nowhere to be found.
At the same time, it seems the necromancy had been lifted. The remaining deceased collapsed on the floor, turned to dust, and returned to the earth.
Her retreat had been magnificent. Although she was an enemy, her execution had been worthy of praise.
“…So I had played into her hands, huh.” Albert cursed.
He then quietly chanted a spell and waved his left hand.
The surrounding blaze was then extinguished like a candle being blown out.
The nighttime sea of tree returned to its usual deafening silence and complete darkness.
“But, I still have things to settle…”
Albert cut off the turbulent emotions swirling in his chest as he calmly and coldly assessed the current situation.
I didn’t know what the mysterious man had said to Riel, who had blindsided Glen, but I spotted her charging towards the town in a straight line.
Riel’s betrayal was clear as day. Her cutting down Glen is proof enough.
In that case, it’s evident that Riel’s target was Lumia. Based on the difference in distance and Riel’s speed, I wouldn’t make it there even if I headed there now.
Lumia falling into Riel’s hands is all but guaranteed.
Albert calmly concluded.
Then, what should my next goal be?
Albert recalled that Elenora had stated that they wanted Lumia alive if possible. On the basis they had gone as far as to use their hidden weapon, they were largely unlikely to take any action that would kill Lumia in the near future.
“This is all I can do for now…”
Having decided on his plan of action, Albert broke off into a gale-like sprint.
To be continued…
 Based on how Albert phrases this as a type rather than a singular unit, ‘Menace’ seems to be a category for monsters.
 The phrase Elenora uses, ‘tidal hour’ (潮時), which I translated to ‘high tide’, can take several different meanings. The first is the literal tidal hour, referring to Glen getting swallowed up by the waves. The second is that the ‘situation has turned favorable’, something like ‘the tides have turned’. The third is that there is a favorable opportunity, referring to her chance to escape Albert.