The Walt House is Number One
The katanas in my hands sparkled.
The blue light created shockwave tails to my strikes, and when they hit against Novem’s scythe, they glistened with blue sparks. We both increased our speed, and as her desperation had grown slightly from before, I could see panic… and anger grace Novem’s face.
As she took a horizontal swipe, I passed underneath, crossing my blades over, and pulling them from inside to out. I rolled across the ground to pass her by, and instantly stood to reset my stance.
Making a smile, I exchanged a bluff.
“Hasn’t your speed fallen from before? And this is just my personal opinion, but… I’d prefer your skirt a little shorter.”
Right now, she was wearing a skirt that reached her ankles. As she turned to face me, the skirt did lightly spread out. But it was too long to show any of the good parts. At the just-barely mark, it quietly drifted down.
“… Why don’t you ask that of the other women to become your wives?”
I took a step in.
“Sorry, I’ve already prepared a seat for you. But worry not… even if you haven’t fallen for me, I’ll make you fall in no time!”
Remember. Remember. I need to remember how I was in my high tensions. Remember that sensation I had when I thought I could do anything!
My heart continued whispering to me. If I showed the slightest weakness, I would fall apart. At the very least, the very least, the very least, I needed to continue on. So that my voice would reach Novem.
Not some evil god. Not some goddess. Novem… in order to reach her!
I parried her blow with the short sword, piercing through her heart with the katana. She didn’t spurt any blood. Seeing that, Novem’s expression warped.
“You can’t be so selfish forever!”
“Poppycock! All the Walt House’s generations… they’ve all been selfish!”
Stepping in further, I entered her bosom so she couldn’t reach me with her scythe, this time stabbing my short sword into her.
“They entered pioneering brigades so their first love would look their way!”
As I forced my impaled blades through her sides, Novem parted.
“They couldn’t be honest, rebelling against their parents to the end!”
I approached Novem to prevent her from taking distance, using an illusion to avoid an attack from her scythe. Perhaps she was considerably flustered, as she looked straight at the projection.
“They punched the king because they got pissed off…”
Lining up the two katanas, I took a horizontal swipe at her
“… They worked hard in internal affairs because they loved money!”
As Novem held up her left hand, I tossed my katana and short sword in opposite directions. When she fired off magic, I first collected the short sword and cut at her. When that was blocked, I instantly warped to the katana, collected it, and cut at her again.
It was shallow, but I managed to graze her flank.
“They doted on animals over their children!”
And following on with that motion, I unleashed some consecutive swipes. Holding both swords in a backhand grip, I spun, kicking the scythe out of the way, cutting again and again. I didn’t care how shallow they were, I focused on nothing but cutting at her.
“They ran out of the house because they hated their parents!”
Novem grit her teeth. I produced four illusions and cut at her from all sides. Warping above her, I continued to spin as I lowered the blade.
“Even if they knew it would be impossible, they tried to prove how amazing the gun was!”
To be blunt… our house was a selfish one.
Novem looked at me as she directed her left hand. From it, a number of small balls of fire. A few thousand, tens of thousands were fired off.
Parting as I sliced through and avoided her rounds…
“Again, just like that, you continue to speak of nothing but their bad points…”
“… And just like that, you continue beautifying them and ignoring their bad points! When you only looked at whatever you wanted to see, don’t try calling yourself a mother!”
My katana’s picked up the wind, blowing away the flames. The fireballs swept up raised explosions as they landed on the ground. As Novem raised her left hand up, she let off an electric discharge. Looking at the discharge that gradually grew, I stuck the short sword into the ground and attacked.
As the lightning she let out gathered at the short sword, I passed her by as I cut with all my might.
Instantly turning and cutting her back, Novem brandished her scythe, so I warped towards the short sword. Retrieving it and gripping both blades in my hands, I took a deep breath.
Novem also breathed with her shoulders and hung her head. Her hair was a mess, from the gaps in her sweat-stuck locks, I could see her violet eyes scowling my way.
“… But I! … even so, I! … for the sake of the future!”
I sucked in a lot of air, and yelled. I yelled from my heart.
“Who cares about ruin and whatever mess happened in the past!? I… I… rather than some distant future to come, today, and tomorrow… I’m much more scared of the bloodshed my wives will bring!”
Something happened in the past.
That’s why Novem and the others were born. I know that.
But if you’ll let me have my say… if you’ll let us have our say…
“The distant past and distant future are irrelevant! If you ignore the all-important present, then past and future are meaningless, goddammit! To me, at this very moment… are you happy right now? Can you stick out your chest and say you’re living the dream? The current you… what are you thinking right now!?”
Not the Novem who thinks of the future.
Or the Novem bound by the past.
I wanted to know the feelings of the current Novem Forxuz.
Novem took a stance with her scythe.
“Again… and again… just shut up! My feelings are… no one… as if anyone could understand! No one understands! I know no one will understand! It’s because no one understands, that I…!!”
She shed a single tear. Seeing that, I laughed. She was starting to chip. The evil god and goddess chipping away, Novem’s natural feelings were coming to the surface.
“Look right there, I’ve peeled off the mask! That’s right, give me more! Expose yourself more! Expose it all before me! And when you do… I’ll accept it all for you!”
As I directed the points of my swords, Novem took a large step towards me. The rubble where she stood was blown away, and she approached me at a high velocity.
“Like hell anyone could accept it!”
I instantly swung my katana, the blade passing through her as her body went by.
… Protected by hard scales, before the metallic land dragon, Aria was breathing hard.
Her red hair in disorder, sweat was dripping down from her body. The spear she gripped was also in tatters. Before the Land Dragon protected by sturdy scales, Aria was mismatched.
“Good grief… when I want to go help Lyle out. I really am lacking in power.”
Did she want to cry or to laugh?
Aria didn’t know her own feelings. Clara held up her staff and directed a strong light at the beast. While its sight was lost, Eva fired an arrow.
While the arrow that stuck in between its scales exploded, the Land Dragon didn’t even flinch.
From the sky, Monica and the Valkyries hit it with their attacks, but the most they could do was seal off its movements. Novem had selected the perfect monster to buy time.
In the sky, Monica clicked her tongue.
She rained a few hundred lines of light down on the Land Dragon, but the dragon curled up into a ball and endured it. While its surface would turn red from the heat, it would instantly cool and return to its original hue.
Aria got her breathing in order, regaining a firm grip on her shaft. In her left hand, she gripped her red gem.
“How many more times… no, I’ll attack with all my might however many times it takes.”
Even now, her body was screaming out. From an excess use of Skills, her burden was becoming too great to carry. The burden from consecutive use in a short space of time was weighing in heavily on her.
Stepping in with her feet was an annoyance.
As she was in such a state, a hand touched her back. The feeling of four right hands… alongside a red light, a gentle voice enveloped her.
『Do your best.』
『Show them the power of the Lockwarde House.』
『… We’ve all seen how hard you’ve worked.』
And at the end, a voice that reminded her of her own.
『That man’s descendant and my own were able to meet. I’m sure this is fate. So Aria, we will lend you power… the power to take one more step forward.』
As the red gem’s glimmer strengthened, the fatigue was blown away from Aria’s body. And an explosive burst of strength broke out from within.
A red light impregnated the spear in her hands. Just a little more… a little further.
But the Land Dragon before Aria’s eyes sensed the danger, and attacked. It intended to crush Aria with the highest priority.
Eva’s arrows came at the dragon’s eyes, and hit dead on. But perhaps the Land Dragon felt an even greater danger from Aria, as it continued its charge.
Even with Monica and the others attacking from the sky, it wouldn’t falter at all. Laser-weapon-centric Monica called out.
“Live rounds would be more effective!”
Clara looked around, and looked towards Porter’s debris-buried loading tray.
The loading tray portion blasted off the rubble and made a sudden departure. As it rammed into the dragon’s flank, the Land Dragon trampled over it with its large forelimbs.
There, attacked to its round, pillar of a head, Porter’s two eyes that were supposed to be mere ornaments started to glow.
Raising its face, the magic ore embedded in its chest let off a strong light. Raising a wind, and just like that, Porter’s upper half attacked the Land Dragon. Forcing it to retreat, it went and instigated an explosion. The grand explosion scattered rubble, and made all present feel the shock wave. Once that had passed, Clara was left dumbfounded.
“No… I never gave such an instruction…”
Monica from above.
“I didn’t program such functionality… did it go haywire? I guess that what I get for forcing on so many modifications.”
From the smoke, the worn-out land dragon took a step forward. And dragging its body behind, a second.
Opening its mouth, the dragon spat up blood. But even so, it advanced.
Aria opened her eyes wide. In her violet pupils dwelled a red light, and she felt as if her back was being supported up.
『… Show them all. And never hang your head. You’re a splendid daughter of the Lockwarde House.』
As a red light enveloped her, rubble flew from the land she kicked off from. The girl rose into the air, and even the sky. The Land Dragon was unable to keep up with Aria’s speed, only raising its face to the sky in an attempt to follow her.
There a single line of red light.
The Land Dragon was cleanly bisected, slowly splitting into halves.
And standing rom the split portion was Aria. Her spear leaned against her shoulder, while clad in a red light, she spoke to all.
“Let’s go. I won’t be able to calm down until I knock a good one into that idiot Novem.”
At the end of Aria’s eyes were the forms of Novem and Lyle.
Monica swooped down over the ground, collecting up Porter’s distorted head. Clara raced over to Monica’s midst.
Eva called out to the two.
“I’ll be going ahead.”
So together with Aria, they headed for Lyle. The Valkyries followed behind them as well. But everyone lent a gaze to Porter.
Monica clutched its head tight.
“… I can’t just write it off as a haywire machine. You were also our splendid comrade, Porter…”
Clara offered a silent prayer to her partner who’d accompanied her so long…
… Before what was once Centralle’s front gate, the Eighth Generation Head of the Walt House, Maizel Walt led his army, scattering skeletal soldiers as he entered the city.
The Eighth watched the fighting in the middle of Centralle.
“We’re too late. But it isn’t over yet.”
To his side, his wife Claire nodded.
“Yes, it has yet to end. We must give a proper apology to Lyle.”
Much of the enemy forces had been concentrated at the front, so Maizel’s unit was the last. Around was a beastly warrior, and the figure of Maksim in his armor of sand.
The beast warrior surpassed the ramparts in a long stride ahd hurried ahead. On its shoulders were Miranda and Shannon, and Milleia.
Milleia looked at the multiple battles going on in the distance as she spoke to Miranda.
“We’re heading for the golden dragon.”
Shannon looked up at Milleia.
“Eh? What about Lyle?”
Milleia lightly shrugged her shoulders.
“Let’s give him a little time. It looks like Lyle has his own battles too. More importantly, there’s someone I want to give a good whooping to. Shannon… you’ll help me, won’t you?”
To Milleia’s smile that wouldn’t take no or an answer, Shannon nodded a number of times.
Miranda inspected the gold dragon’s beaten form.
“But it looks like it’s going to end over there too.”
There, Milleia spoke.
“That’s precisely why. I want to get in their way a bit.”
Milleia gave a grin…
… While there were legions fighting the Legend Dragon, it was generally the seven ancestors conducting most of the attacks.
The First swung his giant sword about.
“You coward! Coming out so late in the game!”
Extending his invisible sword, the Third laughed as he inflicted a deep wound on the dragon.
“Now then, what could you be talking about? Man~, if things go this way, then I’ll be the one landing the finishing blow, won’t I? Golly, that sure would stand out. You think that would make me the strongest of the heads of history? Well, I’m the one who stayed in the Jewel to the end, so it’s only natural!”
As the Legend Dragon opened its mouth, the Third shortened his sword, before extending it to deeply pierce through its throat.
Having Faunbeux’s previous king step down, the Sixth who had finally returned to dragonslaying cried out in horror. At the Legend Dragon.
“E-endure it! You’ve still got fight in you left, Legend Dragon! Shatter that cowardly blade of his!”
The Fifth looked at the Third.
“That bastard’s plainly strong. If it’s just swordplay, he’s quite high up there. Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to give a guy like that a weapon like that!?”
The Second readied his bow.
“It’s because you always sneak around the important matters!!”
The Fourth seemed vexed.
“B-but wasting any more time would be…”
The Seventh tried to aim his gunpoint at the Third.
“Unhand me, Zell! I’ll shoot him down here!”
“You can’t, Brod-sama!”
As the Third retracted his sword in midair, he gave his body a spin. And with a bit of centrifugal force, the sword he sent through its neck moved to cleanly lop it off.
“Ahahaha, my bad! … What!?”
But an impact run against his blade part-way, and the Third’s balance broken, the Legend Dragon nailed to the ground got to live a little longer.
Looking down on the Third was a beastly golem. On its shoulder was Milleia, who was handing a one-shot musket to Shannon. What’s more, she was smiling.
“That woman!! She still holds a grudge for me teasing her!”
On that, even the gentle Third flew into a rage at his attempt at the dragon-slayer title impeded. There, the Sixth looked at Milleia.
From the Sixth’s point of view, it looked as if Shannon had fired the gun.
“So she missed. But good work! Milleia, you made it in time!”
Looking at the Sixth, Milleia smiled and waved. But when she looked at the third, she directed an uncouth grin.
Silently opening her mouth, she conveyed a message of, ‘How. About. That.’ To the Third.
The Legend Dragon opened its large mouth, wringing out its final spurt of strength. Soaring high above it, a single heroine… the First’s wife held her glaive in both hands, putting all her power into a single blow to sever its head.
And landing on the ground, she impaled her polearm into it.
“Good grief, just how long did you plan to take!? I’m already done over there, so let’s have some grub. And I’m going to go call that young’un who’s still fighting over there, so you all follow along. Make sure you properly cut up the dragon! Make sure to drain it too.”
Around, the barbarian-looking men all responded at once.
They all lowered their heads. With all the achievements nabbed away, the ancestors reluctantly followed behind the First.
“Grandma, I’m coming too!”
“Okay, stay close to your grandmother. Good grief, how long are they going to be flirting like that? I’m going to work them hard in preparing this banquet. While I’m at it, I’ll tease them too.”
“Yay! As I thought, my grandma is amazing!”
“You’d bet it. Otherwise, there’s no way I could be a Walt House wife… look, be careful where you walk. There’s lots of rubble around.”
Rather than lots of rubble, they were on a mountain built of it.
The First’s wife and Dewey held hands. Harsh as her mouth was, her expression was gentle.
And continuing on with the First’s wife who proclaimed Lyle was flirting around, the ancestors and their wives followed behind.
The First lowered his shoulders.
“What’s with this. She could have at least let me have the last blow this time.”
The Second put his hand on his shoulder.
“Hey, let’s go. Once we get Lyle, we’re having a banquet.”
The First locked shoulders with him.
“Banquet has a nice ring to it! Let’s have a grand feast of dragon meat! … But I still can’t think it’ll taste any good.”
Father and son laughed together.
And looking upon their form, the Third walked with the Fourth and the Fifth.
“My plan was ruined.”
“That one made me draw back. Please reflect on your actions.”
“Even for me, that was too much. Repent.”
The Third’s, Fourth’s and Fifth’s wives walked behind them. They didn’t jump into their husband’s conversations. The Fourth’s wife alone carried loads of pretty scales under her arms, appraising their worth.
The Sixth and Seventh cowered at the wives following behind.
“Why am I the only one with this grating air…”
“You reap what you sow. When it’s hell even with one, it’s your fault for marrying three.”
There, Zenoire closed her fan with a snap. With a gentle smile on her face, she intimidated the Seventh.
“Just kidding! I’m happy that I married the best wife in the world!”
The Sixth looked at the Seventh and laughed. And Milleia who descended the beast warrior met up with him.
“Brother, let my accompany you.”
“Oh sure, come along! I’m sure you’re curious about Lyle and Novem too.”
There, in a beaten-up state, the previous king of Faunbeux raced over to him.
“Damn old man! What do you mean my granddaughter’s your great grandson’s mistress!?”
The Sixth fled with a smile, and Milleia followed behind. So too the past king of Faunbeux. The Seventh sighed as he looked over the three.
“… Good grief, they sure are lively.”
… Ludmilla and the others were left behind.
Elza looked around quite troubled. Those around had started to dissect the Legend Dragon.
“Oy, how are we supposed to dissect it?”
“I think you’re supposed to eat it from the innards.”
“Bring some ale. Ale! By the barrel! There has to be some somewhere. If the armies were here, there’s surely some around.”
Gracia was also troubled over what to do. There, Miranda undid her golem and landed on the ground.
Shannon turned to everyone.
“What are you doing? Let’s get going already. If we don’t get this over with, the banquet can’t begin, she said.”
On her friend Shannon’s words, Elza walked off.
“T-that’s right. I don’t know if a banquet is the right thing to do, but… well, we can’t just abandon Lyle and the others.”
Gracia spoke, intermingled with a sigh.
“Goddess, when I’ve come so far, I might as well tag along to the end. Throw anything you got at me!”
Miranda made a tired and reluctant face. While sweeping her hair behind her ear, she started walking.
“If there’s any more of this, I’d really like some slack. And if we don’t make a few things clear, I’ll be irritated. I’ve got so smack Novem around a bit too.”
Ludmilla held her sheathed longsword in her left hand as she looked at the group heading forwards…
“… They’re way too out there, that Walt House. Rather than strongest… they’re plain absurd.”