… A room of memory.
That gray round table room had become like an arena.
The violently clashing blades of silver had taken on shapes as if to reflect their wielders’ hearts.
The shape of LYLE’s sword was orderly, and practical. But Lyle’s large sword was thorny, as if it were made from the scales of a dragon’s head, and looked as if it had an open mouth ready to swallow something down.
LYLE held his sword aloft, and let the blades meet. The First Generation Head’s Weapon, that large sword of silver’s characteristics… it was truly violence and destruction.
And with all the Mana it sucked in, it weighed a heavy burden on its wielder. Lyle had yet to master the use of that weapon.
(Seeking simply because you lack. So you desire it from your heart… are you supposed to be some forever-hungry monster?)
LYLE felt the current Lyle was dangerous. Upon learning he was empty, and with his memories known as LYLE before his eyes, he was trying to recover them by all means.
(We’re already different people though.)
But LYLE didn’t want to return the memories to Lyle. Regaining those memories held the same meaning as the self up to now ceasing to exist.
If Lyle’s memory returned, they would both disappear, and a new【Lyle】 would be born. A complete Lyle carrying on both their memories.
(That was the answer the Jewel desired. But… that’s no good at all. If it isn’t the current Lyle, then even if he beats Celes, there won’t be any meaning. The continent will merely be transferred from the rule of the monster called Celes to the monster called Lyle.)
Regaining it all was the same as releasing a new beast on the field.
So LYLE came to quite a simple conclusion.
— Dissapear without giving Lyle the memories –
That was the result LYLE sought.
Seeing Lyle swing his sword so desperately, LYLE took his stance, and turned the slashes aside. On that blow heavier than the previous one, his mouth curved in delight.
『What’s up? If that’s all you’ve got, you’ll never get those memories however long you try!』
“Stop looking down on me like that, mr. high and mighty!”
To Lyle who’d lost everything it was only natural he would want to regain the memories of his family. But if he did, he would recall all of their kindness. When it came to killing his parents and Celes… would Lyle be able to withstand it?
Their swords met again, emitting sparks and blue light as the lit the gray round table room.
Various effects on their bodies from their Skills…
At that moment, LYLE had brought out all of Lyle’s ability. No, he had dragged it out. He had dragged out power surpassing his limit, and LYLE had prepared a stage for him to use it all.
(Right, that’s how it should be. This is all I can do… Lyle!)
Both landing on the ground, they held up their weapons. From the impacts and shockwaves, their clothes were in tatters.
LYLE confirmed the Mana was accustoming itself to Lyle’s body, and channeled his own into his sword.
As a bluff…
『Look, with this, I’ll do the honor of erasing you. If I do, I’ll finally be free from this Jewel. I’ll finally be out on the surface!!』
Raising a laugh tinged with madness, he used the Walt Family way and riled Lyle. As LYLE predicted, Lyle took the same action with his sword.
He was a little too honest with himself, thought LYLE.
『Copying me again? How about learning some individuality?』
“Oh shut it!”
Each sword changed shape again, LYLE’s orderly one silhouetted mainly of straight lines, and Lyle’s ominous monster head. Stepping in, they both initiated attacks to pierce through their foes.
The ground carved out where they kicked off, and smoke clouds rose.
『That’s how it should be.』
As LYLE said that, he tilted his sword’s tip a bit to the right…
As both sides clashed, the swords stuck in deep.
My left arm was blown off, while LYLE’s small body was pierced into, as he spit up blood. His sword disappeared, and as his body collapsed, it showed no signs of regeneration.
“At the end, why did you…”
I tried erasing my sword, but he grasped its blade with both hands so I couldn’t pull it out.
『… If someone’s going to disappear, it has to be me, right? I couldn’t stop Celes. I couldn’t save my parents. So what good would come of someone like that reviving so late in the game? The one who endured the hardships was you, Lyle. You held through. You did a good job. Lyle… you’re much stronger than me.』
When I let go of the sword, he fell forward. I caught him, the silver sword still stuck into his body without going out, it seemed to be destroying it from within.
“Oy, I still have things I need to ask you! What about the memories!?”
『Do you really need something like that? Well, can’t someone disappearing at least take that much as a parting gift? I’m going to fade away, and my existence really will be wiped out. You’re fine just as you are.』
I couldn’t understand what he was saying. I kept trying to erase the silver sword, but it wouldn’t listen me. Gripped by LYLE, it looked as if he was trying to destroy himself.
“What did you want to do! After riling me so much!”
『… I already said it. I want you to save them. When I told you to save my family, you understood what I meant. So I’m already satisfied with that. I couldn’t accept what the Jewel was thinking. So I chose this path. In the first place, if you get your memory ba… Geh!』
LYLE spat up blood. I was about to tell him not to talk, but he held up his right hand to stop me, and manifested a blue gem from its palm.
『Lookie, it’s your second one.』
Last time, I’d received one from Septem-san. And LYLE was trying to give me my second.
When I accepted it, once more, it was absorbed into my body, and disappeared.
『There are three. Collect all three. If you do, your third Skill will awaken. It’s really special, and it may be unfair, but you’ll definitely need it… ahah, looks like that’s it for me.』
There, LYLE forced himself to his feet, and stabilizing himself, he waved his hand at me. While blood was pouring out of his mouth, he made a smile.
“Why did you…”
『Byebye, brother of mine. It was fun. I’m sure if I had a little brother, it would be like this… yep, Celes was cute, but little brothers sure are nice. And the answer is simple.』
I was being driven out of the room. My body was being forcibly removed from the premise.
『I’m your big brother. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think of me that way, I just want to put on a show for my brother who’s going to do his best. And Lyle, you already…』
The moment he faded from sight, I was sure he said it.
『… Lyle, you already have a family, don’t you?』
… The gray round table room.
Appearing in it was Milleia, a gun gripped in her hand.
Before LYLE on the brink of fading, she pointed the muzzle.
『… The Jewel’s will was for Lyle to regain his memories. You’d go as far as to defy it…』
LYLE looked down at his crumbling body, and smiled.
『All’s well as long as he wins in the end. It’s that train of thought that makes it a failure. The goddess should really get her shit together and learn already. There’s no such thing as perfection. It’s true Lyle’s no good alone. I’m sure he can’t beat Celes alone. And what of it? That’s exactly why Lyle will beat Celes. That’s exactly why he won’t be alone.』
Milleia kept the gunpoint aimed on him.
『Gain the cooperation of others to grasp victory. Truly, it would be hard for Lyle once he achieved power that caught up to hers. But at this rate, his prospects of victory are…』
LYLE pressed the barrel to his forehead. As if telling her to aim properly.
『Isn’t that precisely why its fine? He’ll win as a human. Goddess, monster, you all won’t stop flapping your lips over that mess. As long as you don’t let a human win, it’ll never end.』
His feet shattering like glass, LYLE fell forward, his arms destroyed as well, leaving him with only a torso and head.
The silver sword disappeared, and Milleia tucked her gun away.
She gently lifted him up. To the end, LYLE was smiling.
『Any words you want to leave? It can be to anyone.』
On Milleia’s words, LYLE tried opening his mouth, but shook his head.
『Too late for my family. Tell Lyle he sure is a troublesome sod, and the ancestors that I’m leaving him to them. That sound alright?』
Milleia nodded. LYLE gave an intrigued laugh.
『Also, about the princess troubling Lyle, I have a proposal. Won’t you come on board? It’s sure to be interesting.』
Milleia looked a little fed up, but the inclined her ear to his suggestion.
『What is it? What sort of resolution?』
『It’s easy. If it were me…』
Once she’d heard LYLE’s proposal, and broke into a smile, LYLE had completely crumbled and faded away…
The next day.
I asserted that I wanted to use the audience chamber again.
The troubled king and queen. And the authorities looked at my face so early in the morning, and were already grumbling complaints.
I really was hated.
His majesty reluctantly opened his mouth.
“It’s troublesome for you to request an audience two days in a row, you know? We’ve had to greatly change today’s schedule, and those in the castle are frantically running around to correct it. Good grief, this is why people of the Walt house are…”
There, the Third spoke in a voice lower than usual.
『Now, Lyle… use my Skill. It’s alright, the first stage is enough. Rip open the old wounds on his heart, and rub salt into them. 』
The Fifth was also on board.
『If this guy was just a bit better at containing his feelings, it wouldn’t have come to this. How awful.』
The Seventh was quieter than yesterday.
『… Now, have him remember the terror of the Walt House.』
The authorities once taken as prisoners of war. And the once-upon-a-crown-prince exposed to such shame. What we were doing was simple. Quite simple indeed.
“I am truly grateful that you answered to my request today.”
In regards to my smile and thanks, I received some unsavory looks from around. But my Skill… the Third’s 【Mind】 showed them a certain scene.
Diagonally behind me… the Seventh was visible. Who chased around his majesty and the leaders, they should’ve been able to see the big bad behind their trauma. And the trauma the Seventh caused had made a nice gap in their hearts to take advantage of.
The Seventh that was a simple illusion opened his mouth.
『Leaning back in your throne before my grandson, that crybaby whelp really has grown remarkably. It seems someone has to chase him about again.』
Starting with the king, the traumatized authorities opened their eyes wide, and suddenly twitched, their breathing beginning to go out of order.
“What seems to be the matter, your majesty? Ah, that’s right. I was thinking to tell you about a matter I couldn’t bring up yesterday.”
The Seventh behind me spoke the words the Seventh in the Jewel had thought up.
『I see… Why don’t you return the favor of how lenient I was on your ransoms? So your tears of joy were really just for show, huh? So be it.』
The Seventh spoke, and I actualized it. The phantom Seventh went on.
『You were crying tears of joy with how little I let you go for, but it does seem the words you spoke of how you’d never forget that debt was a lie. Now about the land of Faunbeux father and I cut off. Hmm, why don’t I have my grandson cut away the rest of it. Along with your heads, of course.』
Leaning forward, his majesty had begun to sweat. He was shaking as he looked at the empty space behind me.
Around, seeing the shaking ministers, those oblivious began to cry out. For all their eyes were fixed diagonally behind me.
“Your majesty, what has happened? Are you feeling ill? Someone, suspend this audience…”
The queen worried for him, and tried to close the meeting, but the king himself.
“W-wait! Keep it going. Continue!”
He was blatantly staring behind me in fear. I smiled.
“Is that so. That’s nice. It was an important talk, so I really did want you to hear it out.”
The Seventh behind me glared around.
『It’s a request of my grandson. You’ll hear it out, won’t you? If you don’t want to be chased down as you were, you’d best listen carefully.』
There were a number of nodding old men around. The untraumatized authorities were unable to understand what was going on, and could only look on the scene.
I turned to the king.
“It is joyous the day the Walt House and Faunbeux join arms, and forgive and forget the wrongs of the past. How about it, won’t you offer a princess to me?”
There, the untraumatized queen and ministers.
“What insolence! And who said we’d forgive and forget!? The blood of Faunbeux royalty isn’t so cheap! Especially not to a Walt like you!”
“Your highness, permission to slay him on the spot please!”
“Who in the hell said we’d forgotten our hatred towards the Walt House!?”
An agitated audience chamber. But half were silent. Of course they were. For the Seventh looking at them was speaking.
『Oh, you’ll fight? That sounds fun. Let’s see, let’s find out who here’s gotten strong. And have piece of mind, my grandson is stronger than me. Is one on one alright? Or would you prefer a war? Now decide. How will he chase you until you burst into tears again?』
As the Seventh sent a belligerent smile, the king and his men looked on the verge of tears.
And his majesty proclaimed loudly, while the other traumatized ones hopped onto the ship.
“S-splendid! The day a period graces our long years of strife! I-I think it’s a splendid idea. A-a daughter, was it? We shall imme- immediately start… talks on who’s best suited.”
“A wonderful proposal!”
“Truly an auspicious occasion! It will surely be a wondrous day for Faunbeux!”
Their eyes were swimming. Dripping with sweat, they were in clear dismay. I’m sure they were recalling what carved their traumas. Their bodies were shaking.
The queen turned her eyes to such men of authority.
“W-what are you saying… have you forgotten!? Just what sort of hardships the Walt House has forced us to taste!? And you still call yourselves nobles of Faunbeux!? The one before our eyes is a man of the Walt House!”
But my next words knocked her to silence.
“Your majesty, and dear queen.”
He bit his tongue, but no one cautioned him. They didn’t have such leisure.
“I’m thankful that you’ll hear out my wishes. Carrying on, I would like to nominate Princess Lianne.”
Hearing that, the room went silent.
Everyone had been looking for some poor sap to push Lianne on, and it seems they had much to think about.
… Right, that was the final resolution LYLE had come out with. But in what was to come… I couldn’t say it was really any good for Lianne countermeasures.
I was nervous over whether LYLE’s plan was any good or not.