Hello all! As part of a readability and consistency review, parts of previous releases of Akashic will be re-translated over time. Currently the review is on Akashic Volume 1, Chapter 1.
Also, as some of you may have noticed, the title used from the series hereon will be Akashic Records of the Bastard Magic Instructor (instead of …Magical Instructor). It sounds less cool in my opinion, but it’s more correct translation-wise.
Also, if anyone is going to Anime Expo in Los Angeles next week, see here.
Finally, enjoy the chapter!
Chapter 4: Nostalgic Comrades-in-Arms
The heavy silence yielded an inexplicable pressure.
The surrounding emptiness disconnected them from the outside world. Despite being a part of the games earlier, the tumultuous cheers and commentation suddenly felt so distant.
At a corner of the academy where no one could be seen other than Glen, Lumia, and the guards that surrounded them—.
“I-… I… planned to assassinate her Majesty…? Execution…?”
Lumia’s shoulders trembled in shock.
“We have all the evidence we need, criminal scum. There is no chance of a pardon nor any need for explanation. Surrender now and be cut down by my blade.”
Said the captain to the trembling girl.
<TL Note: The chapter calls the ‘captain’, ‘soldier who appeared to be the captain’ throughout, but is shortened to ‘captain’ in this translation>
The drawn sword gleamed with sinister light and murderous intent.
This wasn’t a joke, not even in the slightest.
“I recommend that you do not resist. If you plead guilty to your crime and accept the punishment, I will allow you to have a painless death. I will guarantee that I will put an end to your life as quickly as I can.”
Lumia began to drip with cold sweat. She lowered her head speechlessly, her face pale from shock and fear.
The captain then spoke to Glen, who had moved to shield Lumia.
“And you, that girl is a criminal. If you insist on trying to protect her, then I am left no choice but to punish you for the crime of treason against the Empire. Now, hand that girl over.”
“… If this is a joke, then it’s of bad taste.”
Glen rose his voice to adamantly bite back at the soldiers and stared them down.
“Lumia is trying to assassinate the Empress? Don’t make me laugh. If you’re serious, show me some proof would you?”
“We have no obligation to disclose evidence to outsiders. This is a highly political problem that common citizens like you needn’t know about.
Faced with the soldier’s oppressive attitude, Glen grew exasperated, and snapped back.
“Don’t screw with me! You’re saying that you’re going to punish her without a trial or warrant!? What sense does that make!? Since when did the Empire reduce themselves to a group of savage barbarians? How about I read you the imperial charter from the beginning you stupid retards!”
“Insolent peasant, you are the one who needs to read it. Her Majesty the Empress is the highest authority of the nation. Her words are above the law, and are of utmost priority.”
“Huh-!? For your knowledge, I don’t intend to start debate with you about how law works!”
“Hmpf, the same goes for me. I don’t know what kind of dirty place you come from, but if you plan on continue to defend this felon, then I shall hand down my punishment on both you and the criminal.
“… The hell? Have you gone nuts or something?”
“In any case, your rude manner of speech against myself, a loyal subject of her Majesty the Empress, is no different from insulting her Majesty. I believe I’ve made a more than fair case for Lèse-majesté?”
“Stop screwing with me you shit…!”
As the scene gradually heated up and both refused to back down, the atmosphere became progressively more hostile.
The first person that attempted to calm the situation was Lumia.
“Please wait, sensei!”
Having made her decision, Lumia shouted out.
“…I will do as you say.”
Said Lumia firmly, as she clasped her trembling hands before her chest.
“…Huh? O-, Oi…”
Glen fretfully and perplexedly turned his head towards Lumia.
“I’m afraid that this is the Empress’ Grudge. Thinking back, I embarrassed her with my disrespectful conduct. I will atone for that with my life, so I hope you can show some mercy. Sensei is… He is unrelated to any of this!”
“You idiot! What are you sa—
Glen cried out in rage, but…
“You can’t, sensei.”
His protests were silenced by Lumia, who had taken the initiative.
“If you keep trying to cover me, you’ll become involved in my troubles as well…”
“No! You know that it’s not true! How can the stupid stuff he’s saying be true!? There has to be a misunderstanding! Isn’t that right!? So why are you you accepting it… DAMNIT!”
Glen raised a fist into a fighting stance.
Recognizing that he intended to obstruct them, the guards instantly turned towards Glen.
“D-, Don’t do this sensei! Please stop!”
“Sensei…? Oho? So you’re a magic instructor at this academy? Hmpf, your resistance is futile, instructor. Do you think you can fight all five of us at once? We’re all battle-experts you know?”
“Huh? So what? We won’t know unless we’ve try right? So what are you guys waiting for? Scared?”
Glen ran his mouth and taunted the guards. In the next moment, the five brandished silver blades rung as they cut through the air.
By the time Glen realized it, the five swords that flew faster than the eye could follow were pressed against his neck and throat in all directions.
Glen reflexively suppressed his voice.
The coordinated move of the five soldiers was certainly well practiced, if not perfect. If the distance between them and Glen was a bit farther, or if it had been a one-on-one, then it would’ve been a different story altogether, but their synchronized timing of their strikes had left no room to even attempt to dodge.
“A bluff won’t work. Just what can a magician do at this distance? Besides, we’re all equipped with magic-resistant armor. Against us, the tri-elemental assault and mind corruption spells you magicians like so much won’t work. That said, do you still want to fight? You alone against five elites?”
Glen clicked his tongue in frustration.
There’s nothing I can do at this distance and situation. Even if I’m prepared to die for this, I can take down one or two of them, but then the rest would skewer me alive.
Then I wouldn’t be able to save Lumia.
“And it’s not just the five of us you know? We have split ourselves into groups to order to search for this girl, so our total forces amount to far more than this. Even if you manage to break through now, what would you do then?”
“Back down now, magician. This is my final warning.”
Sweating, Glen glanced at the guard’s surroundings him as if to look for an opening.
“Please sensei… It’s fine now, it’s fine now, so please… If you keep doing this, even you will…”
As Lumia tearily pleaded, Glen finally came to a halt.
The fists that were so eager moments ago now hung powerlessly at his side, as if representing his crestfallen will.
Seeing that he no longer intended to resist, the soldiers slowly withdrew their swords from Glen.
“You don’t need to apologize.”
To Glen who was now haggard and stricken, Lumia showed a firm smile.
“…I guess this is goodbye.”
“This happened so fast it doesn’t seem real.”
“Please take care of Sisti.”
“…Let me just say this.”
“Hey sensei… Actually, I l—“
“This is important.”
Glen raised his head towards Lumia, and with a sincere expression, he said.
“…At the very least, close your eyes when the time comes. If you do that… then there won’t be anything to be afraid of.”
In the next moment—
A soldier struck the back of Glen’s head with the hilt of his sword.
Glen fell to his knees, and fell to the floor, where he remained silent and still.
“Ahhh-!? Sensei! W-, What are you—”
“Rest assured, he is only unconscious. It would be troublesome if a magician were to resist.”
As Lumia clung onto the fallen Glen, one of the soldiers grabbed ahold of Lumia’s arm.
“Now more importantly, criminal, come here! Hurry it up!”
The other soldiers pointed their swords at Lumia as she was taken away.
“Alright, this is fine! Now stand still!”
Lumia was brought under a tree, where her hands were then tied behind her back. With swords pressing against her neck from every direction, it was impossible to move an inch.
Then, the captain, who appeared to be the one who would carry out the sentence, raised his sword into a stand in from of Lumia.
“Relax your body, and don’t move. If you make any sudden movements, it will only extend your suffering.”
For a while, Lumia stared at the point of the blade with a distant, hollow gaze.
She took a deep breath of air, and adhering to Glen’s parting words, gently shut her eyes.
Lumia Tinzel had long been prepared for this day—
Originally, I should have died three years ago. If my existence were to be made public, it would cause chaos both inside and outside the country. In order to protect this country, I was meant to be killed without anyone knowing.
This wasn’t anything special. Between the battles for the succession of the throne, the conflicts between the several factions involved with royalty, and the sacrifices to be made for the sake of empowering the nation; there have been a countless numbers of times where members of royalty were killed for different purposes. I had been merely one of those many.
Yet, I’m still alive.
Alicia had taken pity on me, and forced a path where I would continue living. I surely had no choice but to accept my death, but I’m still alive here and now. I have truly been lucky.
Thus, Lumia came to the realization that the reason she lived to this day was nothing but pure and simple luck.
‘A day like this would eventually come’… She would often think.
Although she had been reduced to a mere commoner, Lumia’s existence within the Alzano Empire itself was an unstable bomb waiting to blow. As the Empress whose duty was to support the nation, her mother would someday be forced to come to the decision to deal with her… So she always carried that resolution in her heart.
The sudden announcement of her execution, was probably… just another scenario through which her final moments would be carried out.
That’s why even Lumia herself felt that she was unexpectedly calm when the inevitable moment had actually arrived.
Yet, despite that—
…It’s scary, isn’t it?
I’ve been prepared for this, but in the end, the thought of dying still scares me. I can’t stop shaking, my heartbeat won’t slow, my chest hurts, I can’t breathe, I can’t even think straight—
More than that, there’s Sisti who treated me like a real sister, her parents who treated me like their real daughter, the classmates that I get along with, and… – Glen. It’s sad that I have no choice but to say goodbye to everyone like this.
‘Someone save me’, she thought. ‘I don’t want to die’.
She wanted to curl into a ball and weep.
In the end… I still don’t want to die…
I want sensei to teach me many things. I want him to remember… how he saved my life three years ago. I still want to do so much, see so much, and talk about so many things with Sisti.
And finally, just once more, with my mother, I—
…Ahah, that’s right…
She had finally realized it.
Finally… I want to meet her one more time…
She could feel the tears trickling down her cheeks.
Glen was right. I already knew what I really wanted since the beginning.
If only I had been a bit more honest to myself… Why was I being so obstinate back then…?
However, it was all too late. Too late… for anything.
Tears rolled from the corners of her eye and down her cheek—
Translated by yuNS @ w w w.nicholass127.sg-host.com
Then came a flash—
And with it, an explosion-like sound echoed above her head.
In exchange for the burning pain that would mark her death, Lumia’s ears were struck with a ear-wrenching shriek.
Out of surprise, Lumia inadvertently opened her eyes.
“U-, AHHH…-!? My eyes, my eyes—!”
“Ugh… I-, I can’t see… I can’t see anything…-!”
All Lumia saw were soldiers who had dropped their weapons on the floor with their hands pushed up against their eyes as they cried out in pain.
What? Lumia blinked her eyes and—
“See? It was good that you closed your eyes right?”
With a thankful expression on his face, Glen, who had gotten up at some point, ran up to Lumia.
“Geez, that hurt… knocking me on the head all sudden like that. Well, it didn’t work in the end cause he thought I was just a normal magician. My forte is actually close-combat, so a hit like that won’t do me in.”
Then, he glanced at the soldiers who panickedly clasped their eyes.
“Also, against enemies that direct spell attacks don’t work on, you can use this sorta method to deal with them.”
“S-, Sensei… W-, What exactly…”
As Lumia was unable to comprehend the turn of events, Glen proudly replied.
“I used the spell [Flash · Light], and let it burst on top of your head.”
The black magic [Flash · Light]. It was a elementary self-defense spell that released an intense flash of light to blind the opponent’s eyes. Of course, it didn’t contain any lethal force, but—
“If you use it right, it’s actually pretty strong… and heave-ho-!”
Glen struck the necks of the guards around him with hand-chops and knocked them out one after another.
“Y-, You bastard-! To use such an underhanded method…!”
The captain who was the last man standing picked up his fallen sword and put up a stance. However, since his vision wasn’t restored, his body swayed to one side.
“Pfft! ‘I’m covered in magic resistant equipment so tri-elemental assault and mind pollution spells won’t work’, you said? Puhahaha, you idiot! Do you think those are the only weapons that magicians have!? Did you swallow the army’s textbook or something!? Your actual combat experience is seriously lacking.”
“Guh, damn you. You should know that an insult to us, is an insult to the Em— Gah, ugh…!?”
Before he could finish, Glen threw his right fist straight at the center of the soldier’s nose.
“I’m not gonna wait and listen idiot. By the time you finish you’ll probably have your vision back…”
Glen looked down disgustedly at the guard that face-planted on the floor with a plop.
“Now then, let me release you from those, Lumia.”
Glen took out a small folding knife and cut the ropes that bound Lumia’s hands.
“S-, Sensei… what did you do… You attacked the royal guards… Just why did you…?”
After being freed, Lumia stood silent in shock for a brief moment. However, after grasping the severity of the situation, befuddled voice.
“Wellllll—, erm, how should I say this? My tongue kinda slipped, then my hands slipped as well! Whatever should I do?”
“’Whatever should I do?’… Did you not think this through!? At this rate you’ll be charged with treason as well, sensei!”
“Ah, mm, erm… I guess that’s pretty bad.”
Despite his tone, the discomfort on Glen’s expression was obvious. His forehead trickled with cold sweat.
Seeing that expression of his, one could tell that he hadn’t put much consideration beforehand.
“Please run sensei! If someone sees you here—”
“It’s fine. I’m sure there are some people who are willing to talk amongst the royal guards. Let’s find him first…”
“Found them—! Over here—!”
Suddenly, the angry voice from a third party rang through the area.
Looking in the direction, Glen saw a new group of soldiers heading towards them.
“L-, Look! Our allies were killed!”
“Damn you, nefarious criminal scum! I swear to put you down with my blade!”
“I shall clear the regrets of my comrades who have fallen in their duty!*
In their vigor and misunderstanding, the soldiers exuded high levels of malice. At this point, it seemed like there was no longer any room for negotiation.
As the soldiers quickly approached and drew their blade, Glen’s expression of discomfort seemed to pale.
“You guys, did you moms not teach you that you should let people finish what they have to say?”
“W-, What should we do sensei!? At this rate, you will—”
“There’s no time for ‘should’, we just gotta roll with it—”
Glen picked up Lumia into a princess carry and dashed towards the fences that surrounded the academy.
“<Logic of the three realms · The rules of balance · The disc of law shall hence sink leftward>-!”
Chanting the three-stage spell, Glen took a running jump.
Then, with power that human legs could not possibly achieve, the two flew through the air.
The black magic [Gravity · Control]. By using the spell to weaken the effects of gravity, their bodies became as light as feathers.
Lumia and Glen, who carried the former, leaped clear of the fence and outside the academy.
Cancelling the spell and landing on the ground, Glen made a mad dash towards the town.
“T-, They got away-!?”
“After them! Don’t let those rebels escape—!”
The voices shouted after Glen, but he had no time .
“Ah, come on already damnit! Why is it just one thing after another today!? I said I friggin’ hate workinggggg—! WOOOOO! Hurray for shut-in life—!”
Amidst a spectacle where a raging torrent of men relentlessly pursued him, Glen’s grievous and heart-spoken cries echoed far and away.
In this deadly game of tag, Glen seemed to have found his first victory by using the terrain to his advantage. Reaching a certain deserted back-alley, Glen confirmed that he had finally lost his pursuers, and set Lumia down.
“Hah, hah… Geez, this has become a real pain in the ass…”
Glen leaned his back against the alley wall, and gasped for air whilst wiping his sweat.
“Now then, what are we gonna do about this…”
As Glen caught his breath and considered the options, Lumia asked.
Lumia’s expression didn’t betray her bitter feelings regarding the sudden turn of events.
She was probably deeply regretting getting Glen involved.
“Do you understand that if this goes on, you will…”
“No, I mean, if I leave you alone White Cat’s gonna give me a hell of a scolding. Her lectures hurts my damn mind so I would rather not honestly.”
Despite the situation, Glen was still joking around; even Lumia of all people felt irritated by this.
“This isn’t the time to joke around! If you don’t think seriously about this, you’ll be killed for treason against the nation you know!? Sensei!”
“Mhm, that would be pretty bad wouldn’t it… I wonder if I’ll be let off the hook if I use my past accomplishments as a bargaining chip… Would that work…? Probably not I guess…? Hmm….”
Despite the severity of their situation, Glen attitude was the same as always. His impudence and shamelessness seemed to know no bounds; one could say that his attitude was actually refreshing.
It was to the point where it made her feel stupid for treating the situation so seriously. Lumia could only release a long sigh.
“Hey sensei. I only have one question, so please answer to this honestly.”
Asked Lumia. It was as if she had given up on trying to change Glen’s mind.
“Why did you save me? Right now, you’ve been put in a really dangerous position you know? It wouldn’t be strange if you were killed. Why did you go so far for my sake…?”
Depending on his reason, there might be some room to plead mercy for extenuating circumstances.
So Lumia hoped above all else that Glen would be able to answer her honestly—
“Ah-, who knows? Maybe I’ve fallen in love with you or something? You know, it’s the kind of stupid thing where a man will go to the ends of the earth for the woman he loves or something like that? Doesn’t that happen a lot throughout history? So anyway, you get it now? If you get it then shush. I have a lot of things to think about.”
“Sensei, please answer seriously!”
Towards Glen, who failed to treat it seriously to the point where he made it seem like it was someone else’s problem, Lumia raised her voice in agitation.
Glen glanced towards Lumia, whose shoulders slightly trembled in reigned anger as she looked straight into his eyes with a heavy expression. Then, he scratched his head awkwardly and murmured with a subdued voice.
“…It’s cause I promised.”
Lumia pressed onward, unable to understand Glen’s answer.
“No, it’s nothin’”
Although he shrugged it off, Glen had surely said that ‘he promised’.
‘What kind of promise was it?’ ‘Who did you promise?’ Lumia wanted to continue, but Glen placed a hand on her head and patted her, as if to stop her from continuing.
“Well, don’t worry about it. I didn’t do it on a whim, so it only seems like I’m being reckless… Well, even if it wasn’t on a whim, that might’ve still been reckless of me…”
“It’ll be alright. The Empress… No, your mother would never do something like punish you without so much as a trial. For an execution order to suddenly be given… There has to be something going on behind the scenes. Trust me.”
‘Why was he so sure?’ Lumia couldn’t quite understand Glen’s confidence.
“Our victory condition is pretty simple. As long as we’re able to avoid the guards and reach the Empress, we win. Once we meet her, she’ll be able to resolve the misunderstanding.”
‘Why was he able to say it so definitively?’ Lumia still couldn’t understand.
However, blind to Lumia’s doubts, Glen continued to brainstorm.
“The problem is how we’ll get to her, but…”
The Empress was currently in the magic academy in northern Fejiti. As of now, Glen and Lumia were currently in the west area. Surely, by now, the royal guards would have placed all the town gates under lockdown, and began a sweep of the entire town. Not to mention, it was a given that there would also be guards stationed around the Empress for her protection as well.
Even if they ran back, it was practically impossible to get an audience with her.
“…Huh? Are we donezo?”
Now that he thought about it calmly, Glen couldn’t help but break into a cold sweat when faced with the inevitable tightrope that he would have no choice but to walk.
“Wait, there’s no need for us to go meet her directly now is there!”
Whilst wincing about his own stupidity, Glen took a half-gemstone out of his pocket.
“Sensei, what’s that?”
“It’s a magic tool used for long distance communication. If you split a gemstone into two pieces and imbue it with magic, sound can pass from one stone to the other and be used as a means of communication. The other piece is with Serika, so if I use it I should be able to talk with her.”
Of course, Serika had been the one to make it. Given Glen’s skill it wasn’t possible for him to make such a high-level magic tool.
“Well anyway, Serika should be with the Empress at the V.I.P. stands right now. If we talk to the empress through Serika, we should be able to put an end to the royal guard’s rampage.”
Glen hurriedly chanted the spell to activate the communication magic tool.
The sound of metallic resonance rung from the gemstone.
Serika answered from the gemstone.
“Ah Serika! Al-right alright, you actually answered the first time around! I was wondering what the heck I was gonna do if you didn’t like that other time a while ago!”
For some reason, Serika remained silent. It was probably out of a distaste for the other person’s manner of speech.
“…Serika? Well, whatever. Hey, so I need some help right now. Actually, I’ve been mercilessly dragged into a kinda troublesome incident, and—”
Before Glen could continue—
“I can’t do anything.”
The immediate reply came in the form of a blunt refusal, the intent behind which could not be read.
“Oi, wait, I haven’t even said anyth—“
“Sorry. I can’t say anything, Glen.”
“Hah? What’s your deal? Hey quit the bullshit you idiot! I’m being serious h—”
Losing his patience as one would expect, Glen began to rapidly rattle his complaints.
“I’ll say this one more time alright Glen? I can’t do anything, and I can’t say anything either.”
Glen finally noticed that there was something strange about Serika’s current circumstances.
At the very least, it appeared that this sequence of events wasn’t an open-and-shut case; contrary to his expectations.
“…Hey Serika, just answer what you can. Do you know what kind of situation I’m in?”
“…I know the gist of it.”
“And you can’t do anything about it?”
“Is the empress with you?”
“What happened? Why are the royal guards running amok?”
The question was met with silence.
“Why did the Empress ostensibly put down the imperial order to ‘Kill Lumia’?”
This question too, was met with silence.
It seems like this is part of what she ‘can’t say’.
What kind of situation is this? What the heck is happening? Serika is the leading seventh-rank magician of the continent. What happened to restrict Serika to this extent?
Damnit, I don’t get it at all… What the hell is this…?
Glen showed a bitter expression as he pressed a hand to his head in distress.
“Let me tell you one thing Glen. You’re the only one.”
“You’re the only one who can break through this situation. Yes, you’re the only one.”
“What do you mean by that exactly…?”
“Think through what I mean Glen, and do whatever you can to come before the Empress. If you can get here I can do something about the guards… It’ll be risky to keep talking, so I’m cutting the connection.”
Leaving behind nothing but ambiguous words, Serika cut the connection on her side.
Regardless of how many times I cast the spell and activate the gemstone, it doesn’t seem like Serika will reply.
“I just don’t get it… Even if you tell me to come… how the heck am I supposed to get all the way to the Empress on my own… Damnit!”
Each and every one of the royal guards carried armed might and technical prowess, but since their primary duty was to act bodyguards, they were lacking in real combat experience. Also, the magic that they used were limited to military assault and healing spells. With Glen’s wealth of experience in the past as an Imperial Court Magician and the extensive amount of spells that he knew, as long as he devoted himself to running away, he would probably manage somehow.
However, trying to invade an area was a different matter altogether.
With the difference in numbers, there was a despairingly large difference in combat potential.
Not to mention, the bodyguard that would be positioned closest to the Empress was probably the royal guard commander Zeros. In the God-Reverence War forty years ago, he had fought evenly against the general of the Holy Elizareth Church’s Knights of the Chapel, the ‘Sword Saint’ Johannes, and was indisputably a mighty veteran. His abilities couldn’t be compared to his peers.
No matter how I think about it this is beyond what I can do. I need allies… if I at least had one or two allies—
As Glen hit the wall in frustration, it was then that—
He felt a chill down his spine. It was a deathly chill that felt as though a blade of ice had been run across his back.
This all too familiar sensation made Glen reflexively turn towards its source.
On the room of a building stood a boy-girl duo. The duo were undoubtedly looking straight down towards Glen.
Glen recognized the distinct clothing and figures of the two.
The two, who had risen from the depths of his sea of memories, were—
“Riel!? And Albert too!? Why are you— No way, could it be that the Imperial Court Magicians were also mobilized!?”
The moment Glen noticed their presence—
Riel kicked off the roof like a bullet and ran down the walls the nearby buildings.
The moment she touched the ground, she began saying something and pressed her hands against the floor.
Then, sparks of lightning burst from the ground, in mere moments a cross shaped claymore came forth from Riel’s hands. In exchange, the stone paving beneath her arms disappeared.
Riel, who had made a steel claymore from the stone pavement, readied the blade on her shoulder, and charged towards Glen—
“Tch! Your specialty alchemy combination of [Phenotype Transformation] and [Elemental Rearrangement] for high speed weapon synthesis already!? And it’s friggin’ fast!”
As usual, there was no time to be surprised by their skill.
There was no doubt about this; as of now, Riel and Albert – Glen’s former comrades – were enemies. Like the royal guards, they had come to hunt them down.
A despairing sense of fretfulness seemed to burn at Glen. He never thought that of all people, they would—
“Stop damnit! If you don’t stop then I’m gonna have to take you down!”
However, Riel, unfazed by Glen’s threat, and continued to rush forward.
The space between them was closing in an instant—
“—<Oh frost wolf of silver · With a cloak of blizzard · Burst forth>-!”
Glen completed the three-stage chant without hesitation.
In the next moment, a swirl of frost gathered in the palm of Glen’s outstretched left hand. The resulting blizzard became a frozen tempest that caused the temperature to rapidly decline.
The overwhelming frost caused the moisture in the air to freeze into abundant amount of ice shards, which flooded towards Riel.
The black magic [Ice · Blizzard] was a military grade assault spell. If one were to be struck by the blizzard without any magical safeguards, their blood would freeze in an instant, and their heart would be stopped. Furthermore, the impact of the countless number of ice shards would cause the frozen body to shatter into small pieces.
Normally, one would come to a halt before the blizzard. Magicians whom were experienced in combat would immediate raise a magical safeguard and retreat away from its area of effect. Either way, they would stop.
Despite this, Riel did not. Ignoring the tempest and unafraid of the shards of ice that struck her, she raised her arms to protect her eyes and continued to madly rush forward.
“Are you a friggin’ pig or something—!?”
The blizzard’s low temperatures were resisted using the black magic [Tri · Resist], but there was no way for Riel to defend against physical attacks from the ice shards that flew towards her. For her to be able to push through was nothing but a testament to her unusual tenacity, which one would not be able to gauge from her appearance and idiocy.
“Lumia-! Get down-!”
Clicking his tongue, Glen threw away the robe that hung on his shoulders, and began to chant another spell.
What he casted was the black magic [Weapon · Enchant], which imbued his fists with magic power. Engaging that girl in close combat barehanded would simply be asking to die—
As Glen finished the chant, Riel, who dashed forth like a gale, had reached striking distance. In nearly the same instant, she raised her claymore above her head.
Then, she swung her sword downwards.
The resulting strike was like a flash of lightning.
It was a decisive, straightforward, rough, yet elegant strike.
Glen crossed his fists above his head to meet the severe blow.
Just where did Riel find such brute strength in her small arms?
The moment Glen received the strike, overwhelming shockwaves that seemed like they would crush his body burst from the clash, and the pavement beneath his feet was crushed.
Throwing up blood, Glen resisted the strike with all his strength so that he would not be crushed.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment, Glen!”
Riel pulled her sword back and swung it down again. The claymore, which should’ve been considerably heavy, was swung around like a willow branch, and flashed towards Glen twice, thrice, and again without a moment’s rest.
The thunderous blast of each swing was accompanied by the sound of the air being torn.
Glen ducked left, right, and back to narrowly avoid the steel tempest. Sparks would fly whenever he parried the blade with the back of his hands, which shone with magical energy. However, the force of the unstoppable impact would crash into his body, and the tremendous force behind the blade would cause a gale to violently blow in all directions, tormenting his protesting body.
With a lion-like roar, Riel continued to swing again and again.
The aftershock of each strike would gash the walls, pulverize the pavement, and send the resulting wreckage flying through the air. In the brief engagement the alleyway had already been reduced to a hellish landscape.
Riel’s visage of unadulterated force and violence was akin to a tornado.
“Guh—!? H-, Hey wait-! Riel! Can you just listen to me for a bit-!?”
“There’s no point! Kill!”
No matter what Glen said, all he would get in reply were vicious strikes.
Shit… Shit…! Albert is behind her—!
On a faraway rooftop, the young man gazed up the situation with eyes that were sharp like a hawk, patiently waiting for his chance to strike. The mere sight of the man pushed Glen’s uneasiness to its limit.
Albert was a master at magic sniping. Even in the midst chaotic battle, he would be able to avoid hitting his allies and snipe his enemies with unparalleled accuracy. It could be called a superhuman feat. Furthermore, he was capable of ‘Double · Cast’, a high level magic technique which allowed one to activate a magic twice with a single chant.
Shit, my original magic [The Fool’s World] doesn’t work against these guys—!
Executor #17 of the Imperial Court Magicians Special Forces, ‘The Star’, Albert.
From the same unit, Executor #7, ‘The Chariot’, Riel.
The genius magician who could snipe from outside the effect radius of [The Fool’s World], Albert.
The genius magic swordsman which rendered [The Fool’s World] meaningless with her mastery of close combat, Riel.
When Glen had been known as Executor #0, ‘The Fool’, during his time with the Imperial Court Magicians, they were the most reliable comrades he could ask for— At the same time, however, they were also the worst enemies he could possibly face.
“How is it Glen!? This is the power of my magic!”
“Can you even call that magic!?”
Glen shouted as he rolled to the side to dodge a sweeping slash which destroyed the wall behind him.
“Of course it’s magic! I used alchemy to make this sword!”
Pushing her body to her limits, Riel flew towards Glen and brought down her claymore in an exaggerated overhand strike.
The claymore barely missed Glen, who had managed to jump away, and demolished the stone pavement where he was a moment ago, blasting away fragments and leaving a crater in its wake.
“And I shall firmly reject your explanation!”
Despite the seemingly playful rebuttal, Glen had no room to play around.
At the corner of the vision, he could see Albert pointing his finger towards him.
Impossible. Dodging Albert’s ‘Double Cast’ sniping whilst fighting Riel at the same time was far within the range of impossibility. It was simply beyond the scope of a human’s capabilities.
Furthermore, Riel, who pursued Glen like a hunting dog, showed not even the slightest trace of fatigue.
He was completely out of options.
Damnit, sorry Lumia—!
Slipping past the tempest of destruction, Glen helplessly clenched his teeth—
At the same time, Albert released the black magic [Lightning · Pierce] from the time of his finger—
The supersonic beam of lightning shot through the air in a straight line in Glen’s direction—
With no way to dodge, Glen prepared himself for the worst—
The black magic [Lightning · Pierce] struck the back of Riel’s head.
Riel quickly fell to the floor, and where her body began to twitch and spasm.
The seemingly endless chorus of destruction quickly came to a halt. It was almost as if it had all been a joke.
As Glen stood shocked, Albert who jumped from the roof lightly landed on the floor.
“It’s been a while, Glen.”
The calm and condescending tone of voice behind his former comrade’s greeting made Glen feel a little perplexed.
“Let’s go somewhere else. Follow me.”
Albert, dragging Riel behind him, walked deeper down the alley.
Unable to understand the situation, Glen and Lumia exchanged a glance and obediently nodded.
“You stupid idiot! What the heck were you thinking!?”
Glen’s shout reverberated from deep within an alleyway at the western area of Fejiti.
“You wanted to settle a score from all the way back when I was still in active duty!? Think about time and circumstance a little idiot! Musclebrain! Thanks to you I almost friggin’ died!”
The force behind the [Lightning · Pierce] that had struck Riel had been substantially controlled, and her natural tenacity had also lightened the impact. She had already recovered by now, and her emotional state returned to its usual meager state. That said, she seemed to be a little dispirited.
“S-, Sensei… Who are they?”
Lumia stayed a little further away, and looked uneasily at Riel and Albert.
“Ah, these guys are my comrades from back when I was still in the army. We can trust them, so rest easy… or at least I think we can. After what happened just now…”
“Yep. Using military assault magic in the middle of town… That was careless of you Albert. I mean look, even that girl is scared of—“
“It’s your fault isn’t it? Your fault!”
Glen clawed Riel’s head in his hands, and violently shook her back and forth.
“…Geez, you haven’t changed in the least… hah…”
Ignoring Riel, who maintained her sleepy-looking expressionlessness whilst dizzily shaking back and forth like a metronome, Glen released a long sigh.
“…Can we get back on topic? As it stands, the current situation is rather grave.”
“S-, Sorry, keep going.”
Despite reuniting with Glen after a long time, Albert’s attitude was still rather cold. Due to this, Glen replied in an uneasy manner.
“From the information that I’ve gathered with my farsight magic, Her Majesty the Empress is currently being detained by the Royal guard. The royal guard are moving independently to eliminate that girl – Miss Lumia – over there.”
“Yeah I get that. Those guys got an order that the Empress would never ever give. So, what’s her situation right now?”
“The Empress is currently at the V.I.P. stands. However, all the core elites of the royal guards are stationed around her perfectly, so there aren’t any openings to exploit. From the looks of it, the Empress is unable to move elsewhere either. Anyone who gets remotely close will be met with hostility… so it would rather difficult to break through.”
“What about Serika? You know, the former #21.”
“She is currently next to the Empress, however, she doesn’t appear to be planning anything.”
“I just don’t get it. Given Serika, there’s no way she wouldn’t be able to protect the Empress and break through the encirclement… Anyway, do you get why the royal guard are targeting Lumia?”
“I don’t know the details. However, if what you said is true, that Miss Lumia is the rumored ‘Abandoned Princess’… Then let’s say that the royal guard heard about this. To protect the royal family’s honor, they would run rampant out of loyalty, and eliminate her… I suppose that is a possibility.”
“But aren’t they going a little too far? There’s a saying that says ‘the truth is bound to leak eventually’, so let’s assume they somehow got ahold of this confidential information. Even then, they don’t have to do this while the Empress is still here, and there isn’t a solid reason to do this right now. I just don’t get why the royal guards are going so far as to commit Lèse-majesté themselves to get this done.”
“You make a fair point. If the royal guards needed to do this, it would’ve been better to do this in secret.”
As the two thought about the truth behind the incident, Glen showed a gloomy expression, whilst Albert maintained his calm indifference.
When the two seemed to reach a standstill in their thoughts, Riel suddenly butted in.
“That’s enough. There are things that you wouldn’t understand no matter how much you think about it.”
“…No, wouldn’t it be better if you used your head a little more?”
“That’s why I thought of a plan to break through this situation. If you’re here, Glen, we can pull off a slightly more advanced strategy.”
“Oh? Let’s hear it then.”
“First, I will charge in from the front. Then, Glen will charge in from the front. After that, Albert will charge in from the front. Everything should be fine that way… What do you think?”
“Can you stop thinking with your muscles already!?”
Glen, who was shocked and astonished, clutched Riel’s head from both sides, and grinded his palms against her head like a turning screw.
“Do you understand the hardships I’m going through now that you’re gone, Glen?”
The words that Albert said in a matter-of-fact tone seemed to bite at Glen.
“…Mhm, sorry. I’m really sorry.”
“Now is not the time to listen to why you left us without saying anything, nor is it the time to ask you to come back, however… I will have you explain it all to us someday. It is something you must see through to the end.”
Towards this, Glen, in rare circumstance, nodded obediently.
“And then, you will settle the score with me someday. It is something you must see through to the end.”
“No way in hell!”
Towards Riel, who refused to give up, Glen rebutted in a fed-up manner.
“Right. I don’t want to settle the score someday either. Then, how about right now—”
“Why do you see it like that!? Give me a break already! Hiiii!? S-, Stay away!”
Riel readied the giant sword, and drew closer with an expressionless stare.
Glen sweat like a waterfall as he fearfully shifted backwards.
“Anyway, why are you so fixated with fighting me!?”
“In a duel between magicians, the loser must heed a request from the winner… I heard.”
“Ah, so there was a molding tradition like that!? And what about it!?”
Hearing Glen’s desperate and somewhat resigned question, Riel was at a loss of words for a brief moment.
“…It’s because… more than anything … I want you to come back… Glen.”
Although she didn’t usually show emotion, for the brief moment where mutters were nearly drowned out, there was a slightly sorrowful undertone behind her voice… or so it seemed.
“…Tch, you idiot. If I die ‘cause of that then aren’t you just putting the cart before the horse…?”
“Glen won’t die so easily.”
“Are you serious…”
Lumia, who silently observed the situation thus far, let a chuckle slip.
“Albert-san and Riel-san… right? Hehe, they’re both good people aren’t they?”
“Huh? Good people? These guys? You’ve got to be kidding me…”
At this point, Glen couldn’t help but sigh.
“Well anyway, if we can directly meet the Empress, we should be able to break through this situation. For one reason or another, I have to get to where the Empress is.”
“Why is that, Glen?”
“Who knows? That’s what Serika said anyway. What she said was not really music to the ears, but she wouldn’t say that without a good reason. There has to be a reason why I must get to the Empress. Since the situation gonna turn worse if we sit around doing nothing, why don’t we give this a try?”
“Can we trust her?”
“Well at the very least, I know I can trust her.”
“…Alright. If you say so, then I will put my trust in her too.”
Albert silently closed his eyes and nodded.
“To get you two to the Empress… what should we do?”
“Hmm, I wonder—”
Glen thought about it for a brief moment… and returned a certain suggestion to Albert and Riel.
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