The True One
… At the head of Cartaff’s army’s charge towards the dead was the form of the Fourth.
“Centralle stands right before us. Now then, I can’t let my wife do all the work. When I’ve gotten my hands on weapons like these, I’ve at least got to try them out.”
Holding a dagger in each hand, at his back, with their blades pointed out, the extra daggers moved to trace a circle. As the Fourth lightly tossed the daggers in his hands upwards, he reaffirmed his grasp on the timing they took to fall.
His form disappeared from the spot, and in the next instant, the army of the dead began to fall, be cut up, pierced, blown away one by one. Multiple daggers were pierced into the heads of the fallen.
With a path presumably made by the Fourth formed in an instant, his army and the legions of Cartaffs entered formation to tread down it in their march.
The Fourth’s wife.
“Hey, give an order already.”
“I-I know. Forward March!”
Urged on, Ludmilla launched her army of over a hundred thousand down the path the Fourth had carved out. The ones stationed at the very front lines were the Fourth’s army.
Avoiding a swipe from a skeletal soldier, the Fourth used the minimum necessary movements to cut them down one after the next.
His movements were truly light.
The Fourth’s wife watched his movements as she held up her right hand, and snapped her fingers. In a space a ways away from the Fourth, two magic circles appeared in the sky, raining fire magic down.
“Look, we’re closing in on Centralle. You’ll set up an encampment, won’t you? Get to it!”
Standing to Ludmilla’s side, the Fourth’s wife gave out orders. Ludmilla wasn’t accustomed to this set up, and she couldn’t help but hate the feeling she was being watched and tested.
“Don’t talk back! Do you think you can become a Walt House woman like that?”
On the manifestation of her nagging mother-in-law, Ludmilla was irritated. But on top of the woman boasting true ability, this wasn’t the place to squabble.
On top of understanding all that, the Fourth’s wife continued her petty nagging, enjoying it in her own way.
“Even so, as expected of Max. He really is reliable.”
On the front-most line, cutting down one undead after the next, at times he would disappear, and the surrounding enemies were blown away. The Fourth’s wife gave her impression upon seeing him in battle…
… Lyle’s main camp. In a place stationed to the side, the former Bahnseimian officials who were only there to gain the ‘fact they were there,’ held weapons in their hands as they fought skeletal soldiers.
But without even trying to reach past the stockades, they were ready to flee at any moment.
They had gripped swords in their lives, and at least had the fundamentals down. But their bodies had slackened with their long years spent at the desk, and working only under threats, they weren’t quite up to form.
Milleia looked over them, breathing out a sigh.
“Hah… they really are useless.”
As she discharged the guns in her hands, the bullets pierced through the enemy’s weak points… cleanly blowing their heads away.
To Milleia who could tell what part was weakest, such a task was no trouble at all. While she had left the stockades and found herself surrounded by foes, she continued defeating them one after the next.
Throwing down her fired gun, she cut apart the enemy that came close with the bayonet attached to its barrel. She was wearing a dress, and her skirt lightly floated with her. It was almost as if she was dancing.
At times she would kick the skeletons in their skulls.
“I wonder how I can make them work harder.”
As she said that, she sent a glance to her grandson Ralph on the inner side of the stockades. But while Ralph did hold a weapon, he was only a little more decent than the others.
Even if he was strong over a desk and at meeting, at laying the groundwork, you couldn’t call him proficient in direct combat.
And At that moment, Miranda and Shannon, who’d been receiving healing behind the stockades came out.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. We’re ready anytime.”
Riding the feral cat-shaped golem Miranda produced, Shannon also straightened her back as she called out to Milleia.
Milleia smiled as she blew away the head of an enemy soldier with her gun. The bullet went through, and pierced through the head of a second one behind it.
“Oh, you could rest a while more, you know? But it seems you’re motivated, and that’s a delight… while you’re at it, why don’t you get a good look at the abilities of the ones who tried to use you?”
Milleia glared around. Miranda looked at Ralph and the others.
A heroine like Milleia had married into the Circry House, and Miranda carried on her blood. Shannon carried down her demon eyes.
The ones who inherited her blood most strongly was definitely those two. Miranda produced threads from both her hands. Those strings made with her Mana wove around one another as they wrapped the golem Shannon rode.
As Miranda muttered that, the golem gradually grew in size. As it took on the form of an armored warrior with the head of a lion, Miranda hopped onto its shoulder. Its degree of perfection was even higher than the golem she had used when she fought against Novem.
The wires she produced created a framework, and by passing them through the dirt, its movements had become smoother. What’s more, it allowed her to make it even larger.
It was a form she could only complete with Shannon’s support on reading the finer flow of Mana. Shannon was properly helping out as well.
As the manufactured golem let out a roar, arms sprung out from its back. Various weapons were held by the arms it grew from tis back.
“Oh, how wonderful. Looks like you know what it takes to be a Walt Woman. You have to at least be able to do this much.”
Milleia- who said it as if it was a matter of fact- hopped onto the beastly warrior as well. ‘It’s nice to see the scenery from above,’ or so she said, but to the demon eye holder Milleia, there was no way she should be able to see the actual scenery.
As Miranda was about to open her mouth.
“Yes I can see. I mean, I’m receiving the support of the Jewel. Yep, it’s quite a fresh feeling. Well, the sight of Centralle, the city I lived for so many years, falling to ruin is… oh my, I’m not actually sad at all.”
While she looked a tad sorrowful at the start, even when looking over the ruins of Centralle, Milleia seemed fine. More than that.
“Now trample it down. Full speed ahead!”
As she watched Milleia enjoying herself, Shannon spoke.
“… The Walt House is crazy.”
Miranda seemed to share her opinion. Looking down on the battlefield of magic and Skill bombardments, she nodded.
“That’s right. They’re much stronger than any of us. No wonder Novem was lost for words. Well… it seems they’re going to help Lyle out, so we should do our part as well. If we quit while we’re ahead, we’ll never achieve victory.”
If they fell here, Lyle would carry a wound for the rest of his life, and Novem would come out the victor, harem-wise. Miranda was wary of it.
“We’ve got to properly settle things.”
To Miranda as she said that with a straight face, Milleia seemed exhilarated.
“Very nice, Miranda. You’ve the makings of a Walt in you yet!”
Shannon looked at their father, watching them from the ground. He had his mouth open with a blank expression on his face.
“… As I thought, that’s the normal reaction. The Walt House is strange. I’m getting the feeling it’s definitely impossible for me.”
To Shannon, Milleia.
“Don’t fret! Everyone says that, but they get used to it in no time!”
She received some information she wasn’t very happy to hear…
Confirming some flashy battle was breaking out on the ground, I cut at Agrissa.
While I was definitely inflicting damage, it was lacking in anything decisive.
Novem was being sucked into Agrissa, and her head was still exposed outside, but therein lay the problem. That was definitely her weak point, but she was covering it with Novem.
That was plainly malicious. This woman definitely has a terrible personality.
“Agrissa, you… have a terrible personality.”
As I said that, Eva cried out as she clung to Porter.
“You finally realized it!? Of course it’s going to be terrible!”
As I shuffled to change my position with the Valkyries, I appeared right above Porter, and made my landing.
“You can’t judge a book by its cover. Maybe, just maybe… at a considerably low probability, I thought perhaps she was actually a great person deep down. Though I treasure Novem more, so whether she be good or not, I’d cut her down.”
As I said that, Aria appeared over Porter’s left hand, out of breath.
“Y-you… cut it out already. While we’ve wounded her, I don’t have the slightest feeling we can win.”
Agrissa’s wounds instantly regenerated. She directed both her hands towards us, manifesting over a few thousand balls of light. They were all masses of high-density Mana.
“You incessant flies, I’ll end you with this.”
One of Agrissa’s eyes was open a little wider than the other, a blue vein beginning to surface on her forehead.
“Apparently you develop wrinkles easier when you’re angry.”
When I gave her an honest warning, Agrissa grew even angrier.
“If you think you can handle this many, then just try it! … And regret that last remark you directed at me!”
The few thousand lights coming at us. Sure enough, this wasn’t a blind spot I could warp us into.
“Then I’ll just swap out with you… Shuffle.”
Agrissa took on the few thousand attacks she made herself. As I thought, she protected her chest portion where Novem lay. Attacks continued to rain down on her, enveloping her in explosions and smoke.
I was a little relieved.
“So it’s there after all. That’s good. If it was her lower parts or rear, I thought it wouldn’t make for the right picturesque scene. Really, if that was her weak point, I’d have been troubled. I’d have no choice but to send Aria to attack.”
“I wouldn’t want to either!”
As a man, it would make me look indecent. If Aria did it, I thought it would barely stay in the safe zone, but she seemed extremely reluctant.
“There’s no helping it. Then if it came to it, I’d…”
Clara let out a relatively serious voice.
“Please stray from that topic, Lyle-san!”
She said, so I could only close my mouth. Well, if I was the one doing it, no matter how obscene it was, I’m sure it would transcend to the realm of fine art, so it would work out.
More than that, am I not already fine art myself? Even if I exposed my bare form, the perfect work of art that wouldn’t be seen in indecent eyes. Right, if I’m living, breathing art, then…
“Come back! Get out of the land of delusions and come back to us, Lyle!”
Hearing Aria’s voice, I stopped the train of thought.
“Alright, when I found my empire, I’ll adorn my capital with bronze statues of my naked form. I’m sure it’ll be spectacular! Ahahaha…”
As I raised a grand laugh, I heard an ominous voice. It was Agrissa.
She had been wrapped in explosions, and once the smoke had cleared, she looked as pitiful as I’d expected. There were even portions I could see the bone through her flesh.
A deep wrinkle was carved into her forehead, as her body instantly repaired. As I thought, she was firing attacks she knew she could survive herself.
“Hah, good grief… looks like I’ve no choice but to use my trump card.”
“Trump card, or whatever, just do something quickly! It’s cold! Really cold!”
I couldn’t’ tell if Eva was shaking from her fear of heights or the cold. I looked over at Novem.
Her head hung limp, and everything below her collarbone had been taken into Agrissa.
“Well, what we’re doing in simple. I mean, waking the sleeping beauty is always the job of the prince on his white horse. Well, I’m a future emperor, so there’s a subtle difference there.”
I’m not a price or an imperial prince. But since my very existence is special, there shouldn’t be a problem. I mean I think I’m a much rarer find than any prince or imperial. An eventual emperor… what a premium ring it does hold.
“The premium sense of being future emperor is nothing to scoff at.”
As I said that, Monica floating next to Porter.
“… Premium, is it? That could also just mean an additional fee, but as expected of our damn chicken.”
“Right, my very existence is special, and a title like emperor is nothing more than an added bonus! That’s how it is, so I’ll be off to wake my sleeping princess… rather, my sleeping lover.”
“… Just do whatever you want.”
I could hear Clara’s fed-up voice. I’m sure she was jealous. I’ll follow up with her later. I’m a man who never forgets to follow through.
But my Skill that connected us with a deep kiss…
As I thought, I’m a man who’s got it. As a chosen one, I’m different after all.
As I thought that, I kicked off Porter, and soared through the air, extending a hand to Monica. Monica grasped my hand, and set off right for Novem.
“I wanted a monopoly on the sleeping princess trope. It was my first precious memory.”
To Monica’s complaints, Agrissa turned both her hands, in an attempt to launch an attack. I laughed.
“It’s the most effective method. I’ll link with Novem, and call back her consciousness.”
“Oh, so you’ve actually thought this through. I was sure you just wanted the kiss.”
Naturally, it’s a conclusion I came to considering both points.
Agrissa shot off a few balls of magic, and we proceeded through them. Monica dodged, and when she couldn’t, she’d spread her wings, firing off beams to shoot them down.
With all her sudden movements, Monica carried me as she soared. Rises and nose-dives, even spins thrown in, it was truly a blast.
Seeing through Agrissa’s irritation, I plainly warped some of her own attacks to hit her. The Valkyries were also peppering her with blasts, and I’m sure her annoyance was rising to a peak.
“Hey, what’s wrong? I’m over here… Agrissa-chan.”
When I teased her, perhaps she had finally reached the end of her patience, as horn-like things protruded out from all over her body.
“That’s enough! Not even dust shall remain… dissapear!”
As a giant mass of mana manifested, she fired it towards us. It size was enough to swallow me, Monica, and even Porter and the Valkyries behind us. On that attack fired off towards the sky, we were swallowed whole.
“When you’re away from your comrades, you can’t use your Warp so freely…”
From the airspace above Agrissa, I had Monica release me so I could approach.
“Real sorry. That over there’s an illusion. When you’re the one who made Skills, you still fell for that one? How cute, Agrissa-chan.”
I continued to fall, coming before Agrissa’s eyes. As I saw my form reflected in her massive pupils, I swung my Katana in a horizontal line. A line of red ran across them as I cut her eyes through, blood and a muddy substance spurting out.
Agrissa covered her face with both hands.
As she writhed in pain, I made a landing near Novem, extending a hand to her chin. Lifting up her face, I put her in a position easy to kiss, and went right on to lock our lips. It was the moment I line was formed between us.
“… Novem, you’re…”
Novem slowly opened her eyes. Her violet irises gave off a faint light. And as she looked at me, she smiled.
“As expected of Lyle-sama. To corner Agrissa… Septem so far. You really are the gentleman I thought you were.”
It was a gentle voice.
But through the line that connected us, I swallowed my breath at the information that flowed in.
As I leapt away from Novem, I landed on Monica’s back in midair. Right after, Novem who’d opened her eyes, slowly took a deep breath.
Eva clinging to Porter turned to me.
“Hey! Why didn’t you save her!?”
I issued orders to Clara.
“Clara, use Porter’s arms! Aria and Eva, let the Valkyries carry you!!”
The Valkyries grabbed Eva and Aria, removing them from Porter, while Porter extended its two large arms towards Agrissa.
While Agrissa covered her eyes, Novem took a deep breath.
“How long did you intent to play around? Flustered by something so insignificant… this is why you guys were no good.”
As novem narrowed her eyes, Agrissa suddenly moved.
“M-my body is…”
Porter’s extended hand grabbed onto Agrissa’s arm. And with her contained, I cried out to Clara.
Clara used the weapons furnished on Porter’s two arms. Those arms detaching from the main body, the Valkyries pulled the torso portion back.
Novem looked over the scene and laughed.
“You’ve stuffed a lot of things into it. Whenever you fiddled around with Porter, you always seemed to be having such fun, and it was fun for me to watch. How pleasant.”
In the next instant, Porter fired the stakes furnished in its arms. The gunpowder stuffed inside them ignited, blowing Agrissa’s arms off.
Agrissa tried to open her mouth to scream, but from her body, a mask-like protrusion came out to seal up her mouth.
As Agrissa squirmed, Novem slowly raised out her buried body as if getting out of a bath, exposing her naked form as she stood. Her hand was clasped around a magic tool.
As Agrissa wriggled in pain at the loss of her arms, Novem stabbed her staff Magic Tool into her body.
Aria looked upon the scene.
“What’s this, could it be Novem got captured because she could…”
I turned to Aria and everyone around.
“That’s not it. Novem… purposely got caught by Agrissa. From the start, she planned to end Agrissa at the cost of herself.”
She planned to open her eyes and restrain Agrissa for us. And under our concentrated fire, they would disappear together.
By doing so, Novem thought… that I would grow stronger. Not in power. By overcoming her death, my psych would strengthen… and that would lead me down the path to become a splendid emperor.
“… Since she couldn’t win through Agrissa, Novem changed her objective.”
Her hair tie removed, her long hair was released to flow in the wind. Novem responded to my words.
“Yes. You went beyond my imagination. Lyle-sama, you’re always like that. You always betray my expectations. And that was always delightful. Unlike the weak who discarded their bodies and fled to their dreams. As a true human, worthy to rule this earth. My plan has… at this moment, been completed. My only regret is that I won’t be able to watch over you for times to come.”
Letting go of the staff stabbed into Agrissa, Novem locked her hands in front of her chest. It looked almost as if she was praying.
“Ah, how wonderful. Octō, my plan was a success. I even managed to bring an end to the traitor Septem… Nihil, Ūnus, Duo, Trēs, Quattuor, Quīnque, Sex… I gathered all the seven goddess’ descendants under Lyle-sama. Lyle-sama, you are worthy to be the ruler of this planet. All that’s left is for me to personally ascertain your ability. It’s alright… I’ll hold back. However, I won’t stop until you bring about my death. By killing me, Lyle-sama will finally be completed.”
Novem’s eyes… were serious. They were corrupt beyond reason. Dammit! Why does it have to be at a time like this.
Aria and the others looked at my mortified face.
“Lyle, to think Novem was…”
“What? Oh right, she was saying something. Honestly, I don’t care about the contents. Because I love Novem too. I’m prepared to accept her. While she’s a bit out there, she’s always welcome! Well, you see the problem is…”
It was my own problem.
“… It seems time’s up. I wanted to convey my love some more, but our time has run out.”
Aria and the others tilted their heads. And Clara.
“You mean the effective use time of your Skill…”
“No. That ones’s still fine… you see, my tension’s kinda dropping over here. To be honest, I’m finding it hard to believe we were able to stand our own against Agrissa to such an extent. Could it be I’m actually something amazing?”
A sensation as if I was rapidly cooling down, I could gradually feel my face heat up. Looking back on my current self with a level head, I was beginning to feel embarrassed.
“… It’s no good. I want to forget it all. Thank the goddess we’re up so high. If it was on the ground, there’s no way I could look the others in the eyes… Aaah!! Dammittt!!”
I remembered. I ended up remembering.
I… was still connected to everyone through line.
As well as everyone I’d called forth… right, with the ancestors as well.