Chapter 365: Defense Link
“Queen Melty, hurry and evacuate!”
“I am the Queen here! I cannot flee from the battlefield.”
The enemy’s forces had pushed all the way to Melty, who was giving orders in the rear.
Including Itsuki, and the other Heroes, even Firo is being hard pressed by the advancing armies.
In a situation like that, Melty rushed to the field herself, and started offering support fire.
One of the soldiers protecting her was cut down.
They’re at a complete numerical disadvantage.
If you think about it normally, they’ve been pushed to a state where their defeat is all but assured.
The reincarnators attacks are reaching back far enough to damage Melty, the commander.
A weapon wraps around Melty, and drags her off. She lets out a small voice at the event.
But even the Reincarnator holding it hesitates when it comes to killing a small girl like her. He opens his mouth.
“Is this the enemy commander? She’s just a child, isn’t she?”
“Hey take her in, I’ll let her into my Harem.”
Firo starts her assault to save her friend from the men who were saying things she didn’t understand.
Her Vassal, the Claw, lets off a soft light.
Yes, while Firo is like that, she’s the Hero of the Claw, and Melty’s best friend.
There’s no way she’ll lose against any normal enemy.
“Don’t get in the way, bird!”
“Move! Mel-chan!” (Firo)
But the Reincarnator halts her advance.
While Firo’s gotten stronger as the Hero of the claw, her enemy also holds a vassal, and has received a strange power from the Goddess.
「Spiral Claw Ten」!
Ever since the Goddess Descended, the Reincarnators have been imbued with powerful support magic.
Because of that, they can be considered stronger than the Heroes.
Or else there’s no way Firo and the others would be driven to a corner so easily.
The powerful attack Firo unleashed was dodged by the man.
“That was dangerous, bird.”
Female Knight presses Musou Kassei to the limit, and starts slashing at him.
But with his unnaturally high support effects, it’s hard to contest with the reincarnated soul.
“It seems this she’s pretty important, this girl.”
“I mean, we were told it was alright if all we did was capture her, right?”
“She’s a bishojo, so I’ll have her fall for my charms.”
“W-who would fall for someone like you!?” (Melty)
“This is the last time you’ll be able to say that. You’ll soon realize my true appeal.”
“Melty! Get your hands off of my daughter!” (Trash)
Trash yells out.
But if he were to fire a skill, Melty would be hit too.
“What a Foolish King…. My planning was so many levels over yours, was it not?”
“What the hell are you saying!? You merely used your numerical advantage! And whenever anything bad happened, you relied on that woman!” (Melty)
Displeased with Melty’s response, the Reincarnator began to glare at her.
At the same time, Melty chanted magic.
「Dreifach Aqua Slash」!’
A blade of water slices him point blank.
It inflicted a light cut on his face, before coming to a stop.
“So you’ll lash out at me? Never mind, it doesn’t seem you’re worthy of my charms. Die! For world peace!”
The Reincarnator’s scythe swings down towards Melty…
Melty clenches her eyes closed.
“For me to appear at a time like this, there must be something wrong with me.”
With perfect timing, I protect Melty in a heroic fashion.
I stop the Scythe with one hand, and hide Melty under my mantle with the other.
Just like that day… It was the same scene as when I protected her from the Three Hero Church Knights trying to kill her.
“So you were aiming for that timing?”
As he guessed the situation, Ren lifted his sword, and pointed it at the other Reincarnator.
Well, it’s not strange for him to think that by looking at that display.
“No, I really did arrive at the nick of time.” (Naofumi)
It’s an emotional reunion.
In Manga and Games, this would be where she would cry tears of Joy and cling to me, but…
『I who has understood the origin of power command…』
“Why are you firing magic at me without giving me a chance to speak!?” (Naofumi)
“So she’s finally revived Naofumi to torment us! Damn you Goddess!”
Ah… yeah, it seems quite a bit has happened.
So much that the Four Holy Weapons’ Manual wasn’t able to contain it all.
But why are they firing magic the second they see my face?
“Mel-chan! Fake Master, release Mel-chan!” (Firo)
Even Firo is glaring at me.
She even released a skill.
「Screw Claw Ten」!
I hold my hand out front, and stop Firo’s kick.
Why do I have to take both of these girls on at the same time?
Even Female Knight’s giving me the evil eye.
My risen tension’s been crashed all at once.
Wel, I also feel that I was getting a bit ahead of myself having gained a new power, so maybe this is for the best.
“Well, I know you won’t believe me, but the Spirits allowed the Four Heroes to escape to their original worlds. And like this, I’ve now returned.” (Naofumi)
“That’s a lie! The Naofumi I know can’t stop Firo-chan’s kick!” (Melty)
“I wasn’t that weak!” (Naofumi)
If it was a Firo-Class attack, I think the past me could have stopped it.
… Right? I could have stopped it, right?
“Now then… For now, I was able to get in easier than I thought.” (Naofumi)
I ignore Melty’s magic, and turn to the Reincarnator.
This is… I don’t think I’ll have to show any of my trumpcards here.
From what I can see, it looks like Trash has mastered Revelation Class magic.
I can tell from the supports cast on Firo.
Itsuki is… fighting on the front lines, it seems.
Fohl is quite close by.
He’s evenly fighting back right now.
I activate the Shield, and look for a skill I can use.
As long as the world allows it, all skills that the Shield can use in the world have been unlocked!
… No, I can’t really say that. Just how long is this list?
Well, if it’s just to the extent of the skills a normal Hero can learn, I can use them. That’s a bit of the power I have.
「Defense Link EX」!
I hold out the Shield, and call out a Skill Name.
This is the first time I’m using this one.
It’s the first time I’m learning a skill directly from the Shield, but there’s no way I can’t use it.
The Skill Defense Link was just as it sounds.
Its effect was… all attacks those I consider allies take are treated as attacks directed at me. I can shoulder all the damage.
EX is… a Hero’s limit.
There are some levels above, but so the Goddess won’t notice, I’ll stop at this.
A barrier-like membrane is deployed around a large area, as I activate the skill to protect my comrades.
With half-hearted defense, the skill is suicide.
Of course, the current me can take this with ease.
Protect everyone. That’s my role.
Never again will attacks reach my comrades behind me.
The radius is about 20 meters. If I raise the output further, I feel the bitch will notice it.
I don’t really have a reason to hold back, but I don’t know what will happen, so I’ll do it in moderation.
Now’s not the time for me to get serious yet.
If they run after realizing they can’t beat me, that would be terrible.
I’ll wait for Raphtalia and the others to get here before I really start exerting myself.
“Don’t dodge, just cut at them.” (Naofumi)
“Wha—Are you telling me to die!?” (Ren)
“I used a power to make it alright. Just go do it!” (Naofumi)
The sound of metal hitting metal echoes all over my body.
I mean, I’m taking the damage of all those around me at once, so it’s to be expected.
The surrounding solders find themselves dumbfound after feeling no damage while being cut.
Seeing that, Ren timidly drops his defense as he struck his sword at the reincarnators.
“You’re not dodging? Are you an idiot?”
“Take this! 「Variable Messiah」!”
I’ll bet the Reincarnator intended to cleave Ren in half in that single swing.
He was smiling, but as he saw Ren standing intact, his expression warped.
And Ren’s sword starts glittering brilliantly. It becomes giant, and he starts swinging it downward on the enemy.
Oh, that’s quite a flashy skill.
Ren definitely didn’t know that one before.
Oh right. Ren did say he went to another world once.
It’s probably a Sword Skill he acquired at that time.
Does he hold anything else you can only find in another world?
No, I don’t really need them, but I’ll bet the others do.
“Uuu… I feel like I shouldn’t be alive, Naofumi.” (Ren)
“But you’re fine, right?” (Naofumi)
If you move your body along with the blade, and dodge by a manner of millimeters, you can eliminate all unnecessary movements, but that sort of style doesn’t suit me.
If the enemies can’t do any damage in the first place, you can just ignore their attacks without dodging.
That means, by nature, they can now attack faster than anybody else.
Well, it’s not really a strategy to be praised, though.
“Even so, it’s not something I’d like to use often. I’m scared for when the time comes where it seems natural.” (Ren)
“If you show such leisure before the enemy, you’ll die!”
The Reincarnator tries to act cool as he attacks Ren from behind.
“Leisure? I’d like to call it trust, you know.” (Ren)
Holding his sword behind him, Ren lightly parries the reincarnator’s attacks before slashing him.
“Oh my… you’ve gotten better.” (Naofumi)
His movements are sharper.
On the contrary, his basic abilities have risen a few levels.
It’s like a fight between an amateur and a novice, he’s showing a complete difference in power. Something like that.
It appears that his claims to be stronger were no lie.
“By the way… Melty, Firo. I’d like it if you stopped already.” (Naofumi)
For a while now, Melty and Firo have been unleashing a stream of coordinated magic attacks and skills ayt me.
‘You must be in pain, being controlled by the enemy. Don’t worry, I’ll give you peace.’
‘Master, Firo will get over your death. Firo will try harder, so you can sleep now.’ It’s like they’re saying those sorts of words of parting.
I thought I had made quite a dramatic entrance, but I’m being treated like a Zombie.
“I keep telling you I’m not Dead!” (Naofumi)
“I’ll reveal your true form!” (Melty)
“Yeah, Master is…” (Firo)
“Just quit it already!” (Naofumi)
“… This is a tragedy brought about by the trust they placed in you, and the Goddess’s underhanded tactics.”
Ren starts muttering with an amazed expression.
Please stop. My body doesn’t hurt, but my heart can’t take it anymore.
And as if he just noticed her, Ren started waving his hand at Female Knight, and calling her name.
“Who are you!?” (Female Knight)
Ah, Ren looks really hurt.
He reunited with the person he liked after two years, but this is the outcome.
“It’s me! Ren. Please believe me!” (Ren)
“the Ren I knew was a childish youth. He definitely wasn’t someone like you! If you plan on deceiving me, try putting a little more effort into it!” (Female Knight)
Should I just use some power to revert him after all?
But if I do that before their eyes, they’ll definitely recognize me as an enemy.
“Trash! Just figure it out already!” (Naofumi)
Since I had been standing still without showing any resistance for a while, it seems Trash figured something out.
“Melty, that Iwatani-dono doesn’t show signs of being an enemy. I think it’s alright if we trust him a bit.” (Trash)
“Father… but…” (Melty)
“I understand your sentiment, but after he’s done this much for us, we have no option but to rely on him in this battle.” (Trash)
It’s finally reached a stage where I can talk.
“Now then, Trash. I’ve a little bit of information about the situation up until I was able to get here. Fighting the Queen is definitely unpleasant, but will refraining from doing so make your wife happy?” (Naofumi)
My words turn Trash’s expression bitter.
He’s been through some pain, but I won’t let this reach a bad ending.
I’ll definitely save Melty and Firo… Everyone.
“You don’t have to give an answer yet. But in this war, just how much of Melromark will become victims? Will that delight the Queen?” (Naofumi)
“… Iwatani-dono’s words are correct. Everyone! Follow Iwatani-dono’s lead! Melty, follow my orders, and take command.” (Trash)
“Y-yes father! … It’s not like I trust you or anything, Naofumi.” (Melty)
She let loose some Tsundere-esque lines, that girl.
Similarly, Firo seems to have grieving over my death, so she’s still half in doubt about me.
“I know.” (Naofumi)
For the love of god, when I get back, I’m treated like a zombie.
That Goddess sure likes picking a fight.