Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut:Volume 13 Episode 3
Episode 3 – The Other Lord
Three days before Lux and Aeril started conquering Avalon, in the Academy.
While the main force of Syvalles sallied out in addition to the provocation of the Lords using Shadows gaining strength, the Academy was filled with sorrowful silence.
「I have braced myself, but I didn’t think that it would be this much.」
「Yes. But, perhaps this is natural.」
Inside the Academy grounds, in an underground room of the fourth Drag-Ride hangar.
Airi and Noct were making preparations for traveling there.
「After all, Nii-san, Lisha-sama, and the others have all left. The Triad is working hard to consolidate the remaining students but──」
「Yes. Both Sharis and Tillfur are doing their best. However, Airi──are you really going to the abandoned capital too?」
Airi immediately replied with a nod at Noct’s calm question.
The abandoned capital of the Marcafal Kingdom, Guernica.
Airi would also head to the old castle that was keeping Avalon underground it.
Airi normally accompanied Lisha and the others to carry out Syvalles’s information gathering role, but as expected, this time she was stopped from going by the headmaster Relie.
It was only natural. It would be too dangerous where even the Triad wouldn’t have any leeway to protect Airi.
Far from being any help, there was high likelihood that she would serve as Lux’s Achilles’ heel.
No matter how worried she was about Lux, it would be pointless if she definitely would become a hindrance.
But, other than her feeling, Airi had another different belief of her own. She decided to accompany the Triad and head to rescue Lux.
「Soffice wanted my existence──the bloodline of Arcadia to liberate the Ruin. Similarly like that, there is a possibility that my blood will be useful in the capture of Avalon. Now that Nii-san……the Seven Dragon Paladins has fallen into the enemy’s hand, with me heading towards there for the capture of Avalon, the calculation of the Lords might get derailed. And then──」
She conveyed her words exactly like she had just told Relie a bit before this to Noct beside her.
In order to show her own resolve towards the girl who was earnestly worrying about her who was her best friend.
「If the Lords realize my existence is nearby Avalon, they will surely perceive me as a hindrance. In other words, I can serve as bait.」
The usual calm expression of Noct who heard that crumbled and showed her shock.
There was no positive proof of that, but it might be effective.
Perhaps it might divert the enemy’s attention and become a key to making an opening to capture Avalon and take back Lux. But,
「Can you agree with my thinking, Noct?」
「……No. Even without that, the place we will be going to is already worthy to be regarded as extremely dangerous. It’s different from everything until now, the enemy is the Lords and high class Abyss. There won’t be any leeway there to protect others.」
Noct told that fact and looked down.
That gesture looked like she was ashamed of her lack of strength, that she couldn’t promise to protect Airi.
「I received permission from Relie-san. She said that she cannot allow me if thinking of Onii-san’s sake, but even the headmaster has a weak point.」
Airi showed a vaguely mischievous smile and continued.
「There is no way Relie-san can stop my proposal. She herself risked her life for the sake of her little sister──for Philuffy-san, that she would even betray the New Kingdom to try and save her. There is no way someone who understands the importance of family by that much won’t be able to understand my feelings.
「Please don’t stop me. After all, my inability to fight as a Drag-Knight is incomparable with the powerlessness that Noct is feeling.」
Noct who heard that lost her words.
Strictly speaking, Noct who was a member of Syvalles and Airi who was a civil official had different roles.
That was why, Noct could also point out that in the first place it was strange for Airi to think about such thing.
But, for Airi, the point was whether she could become strength for her big brother or not right now.
Because she had been saved by Lux until now and received a place to belong from him that she couldn’t forgive herself for being unable to do anything.
Noct could understand her feeling as her best friend.
「I’m, disqualified as a servant. I have to consider the will of other people as I’m someone serving the Baltshift house.」
「I’m sorry that I give you nothing but trouble. But, I’m thankful.」
「Yes. That’s right isn’t it?」
Noct responded to Airi’s wry smile with a rare smile of her own.
「I have also become really used to Airi’s selfishness. But, there is no one else who can keep up with you other than me. That’s why, I’ll accompany you just like usual, with my life on the line.」
「Thank you very much, Noct.」
Airi gently took Noct’s hand and expressed her thanks filled with a flood of emotions.
She was greatly worried of Airi’s safety, and on top of that she accepted her from her heart.
「──Good grief, have you two finished talking?」
「We also finished preparing y’knoow!」
At that time, the remaining Triad, Sharis and Tillfur arrived at the underground room with small footsteps.
It seemed they were right outside the door, but they read the atmosphere and waited quietly.
「Will the headmaster be alright? If all of us go away──」
「It seems the big shots of the Four Great Nobles are helping out with various things. The New Kingdom also has their hands full, but this place is also quite an important location after all.」
Because this place also doubled as a defense point against the Ruin, Garden, as expected it seemed there was a need to make the security heavier than usual.
Instead of Balzeride, the person who would be the next head of the Kreutzer house, called Dig Kreutzer, seemed to take command of the guards. (TN: Don’t know if this is really a different person from Sieg Kreutzer that was mentioned in vol 12 or the author changed the name)
「I feel uneasy towards that house somehow though. But it can’t be helped because this is an emergency situation.」
「Yeah, even my father who is the military’s deputy commander has his hands full protecting the royal capital right now. Also──」
Tillfur folded her hands behind her head while sighing.
Sharis nodded in agreement to her statement, and then she lifted her face.
Right after that, *uiiin* a particular mechanical sound could be heard from the adjacent room.
The Ruin’s device that was brought here from the solitary island where Yoruka was sleeping──the hibernation pod that could also be used for healing was making sounds there.
「According to the description in the ancient document that missy Airi deciphered, it should be finished around this time if I remember it right.」
「Let’s go meet her. We need to──」
「There is no need for that.」
Airi said that, but before she could exit the room, the door of the room opened first.
The one who appeared was a girl with beautiful black hair and limbs that were supple like a beast──Kirihime Yoruka.
「Because my consciousness had returned slightly before the treatment was finished.」
After treating Philuffy and Rosa Granhide, the hibernation pod that was finally empty had nearly ran out of energy, so the time necessary for healing got longer.
In order to quickly heal the wound from her deadly battle against Singlen that made her unable to fight , Yoruka was entered into the pod after the previous battle.
「Then, let’s rush to Aruji-sama’s side right away. If there is a high possibility we can save him only by us risking our life, then it’s something cheap.」
Yoruka declared that along with a carefree smile.
Airi and the Triad looked at each other’s faces, then they let out an exasperated sigh.
In front of this Empire’s Assassin Blade, it felt like their resolve just now seemed stupid.
「Let’s see. If missy Yoruka is with us then it will be like an army of a thousand is accompanying us. Depending on your condition though, perhaps you won’t be able to go with us or you may need to have a rest for several days──」
「There is no need for that. Where could my Sword Device be?」
「It’s right here. More importantly please wear clothes. We, who are looking, are the ones that are embarrassed……」
Airi sighed while handing over the Sword Device of Yato no Kami.
But, she was unable to look straight at Yoruka’s nakedness and she averted her eyes with blushing cheeks.
「Well, what should I say, what a nice body eeeh……. Your skin is also pretty, like this perhaps Lux-chi won’t stand a chance ain’t he? Aaa……!」
After Tillfur muttered somewhat despondently, Sharis also nodded with a conflicted expression.
「Yeah, this is a bit troubling. Not just her skill as a Drag-Knight, I cannot imagine winning at all even in that aspect──」
「Yes. It will be fine Sharis. I believe you will put up a good fight if it is just breasts, that is my opinion, who has been watching you for many years.」
「I, is that so? Wait, don’t compare my naked body with her as you please!」
Sharis slightly showed an expression of expectation, but she then got flustered.
Yoruka who was watching the exchange of the three changed into the pilot suit handed to her while speaking with a serious face.
「There is no problem. There would be nothing better than having as many concubines as possible for Aruji-sama. In my eyes, the three of you are qualified enough to be candidates.」
「Tha, that’s──is, that so?」
「Yes. Do you mean, even me?」
Yoruka’s explosive statement that was dropped suddenly shocked Tillfur, flustered Sharis, and at the end Noct was bashful even with her face staying calm.
At that time when a really complicated silence was filling the place, a voice resounded inside the underground room.
「Wai-, everyone, please stop joking around! What are you all thinking when the situation is like this!?」
Airi rebuked. The Triad smiled wryly while apologizing while Yoruka was tilting her head without any comprehension at all why she was scolded.
The conversation that smashed apart the tension until now caused Airi’s shoulders to drop in exhaustion.
She was exasperated of them from the bottom of her heart.
But, at the same time she also felt happy somehow.
For being able to be together with trusted comrades like this.
To be able to talk like normal, and laugh with each other before the battle.
(It’s really, happiness. Something like this)
Exactly because she was in the same position of criminal like Lux, that she strongly thought that.
And then, that she could stay with not just the Triad, but also with Yoruka was thanks to Lux.
Yoruka seemed to wonder about Airi who was silent like that and she suddenly peered into her face.
「Are you all right Airi-san? Among royalties, marriage between blood relatives isn’t that unusual so──」
「What kind of consideration is that!?」
Airi responded with a bright red face at Yoruka’s whisper.
Surely Lux also felt like this towards her usually.
「Ahahaha. Then, seeing that our mood has also loosened up, let’s go already. We are taking him back──our important comrade.」
The Triad’s leader Sharis concluded the talk and then everyone outfitted themselves.
Because their stamina would be consumed considerably through the travel, they would ask other members of Syvalles to transport them until the border and then enter into the Marcafal Kingdom.
It had been two days since Lisha and the others had departed, before Airi and the others left the New Kingdom.
On the other hand, at the Marcafal Kingdom, the abandoned capital Guernica at present.
The entrance of the old castle’s first floor.
Lux and Aeril eliminated the swarm of the Abyss taking position in the reception hall and searched for the route to the stairs that continued to the underground.
At a glance, it seemed to be an old castle that was only big, but the complicated structure made it really troublesome.
The two of them had already crushed more than ten of the Abyss by cooperating with each other, but they still couldn’t let their guard down.
They didn’t get caught by traps thanks to the information that Aeril had, but it seemed that they would come out into an unconfirmed area ahead of here.
「Fuu, should we rest for a bit? If I remember right, there should be a safe zone around here.」
Three days after Airi and the others departed from the Academy, Lux and Aeril were capturing Avalon just as instructed.
If they could break through the surface level floor and opened the gate to the deepest part, they would be able to infiltrate into the deep level floor where the important locations were lined up.
It seemed the gate was hidden inside a complicated underground maze, so first they had to search for it.
It seemed Hayes was attacking the fortress of the world alliance like usual, while Magialca’s aide Lolotte and Singlen’s aide Zweigbergk, with the White Ridge Knight Order under his command, were facing her.
Hayes was taking command of the Abyss in order to stop their advance, while in the meantime Aeril and Lux were opening the path to Avalon.
The first imperial princess Listelka was monitoring both sides from the airborne ship called Heaven Palace while giving orders.
The guard of Listelka herself was Fugil.
The one taking care of Listelka’s daily necessities and conveyed information to Hayes and Aeril was the maid Mishis.
The remaining members of the Seven Dragon Paladins were moved into the chapel inside the old castle’s grounds.
Other than Lux, they were all treated simply as hostages. It seemed the remnants of Dragon Marauder that had lost their leaders were ordered to watch over them.
「About now, the situation should be like that. The faction of us, the Lords is currently──」
Aeril said that while lightly picking up the sandwich she brought here.
A few hours had already passed since they started to have a rest inside a small room that was a safe zone where the Abyss wouldn’t attack them.
Because sometimes Aeril was also using a horn flute, they weren’t particularly troubled in battle, but because there were also Abyss that didn’t possess hearing senses and the like, they couldn’t let their guard down.
「Can I ask a question? About Avalon──」
「Please. I’ll answer if it’s something within the tolerable scope.」
A question suddenly crossed Lux’s mind.
After receiving Aeril’s permission, he spoke it out.
「Why is even the original owners of the Ruins, the Lords, also attacked by the Abyss like this? The matter of the Ruins are also like that, isn’t it strange?」
「As I thought, you think so.」
Aeril who heard that answered with a troubled smile.
「If it’s only the defense function to repel intruders from the outside being active, at the very least we shouldn’t be attacked like this.」
Aeril sat down on a chair inside the dilapidated room while looking up to the ceiling with a sigh.
「I think that most likely, it was like that from the very beginning. Surely the Abyss at first were made and then used in order to annihilate our opponents. But one day, someone overwrote their directives. In the end, they became something that would attack anyone without discrimination.」
「……That’s, could it be the fault of my ancestors?」
The family of the Arcadia Empire that was once nothing more than a weak and small country.
They then ruled over the world, but when they had no more enemies, domination and disparity were born among themselves.
The commoners who were suffering from the tyranny, oppression, and unjust exploitation rebelled against the privileged class, the Lords, and caused a revolution.
The ancestors of Lux and Airi who caused that were called the 『family of traitors』.
From all the information until now, that was the conjecture Lux made about the beginning of the Arcadia Empire that was destroyed five years ago.
That was why Hayes hated Lux who was a descendant of the family of traitors.
「Perhaps. Hayes is especially under that impression, but personally I cannot say anything for sure. Because, even if, for example, they reached Avalon and rewrote the system, then shouldn’t they set it so that only their bloodline would be safe?」
Lux also agreed with Aeril’s thinking.
However, if that was the case then there was a strange mystery remaining.
There was an existence who transformed the original nature of the Abyss at the beginning and changed them into measures to prevent intrusion into the Ruins.
Who could that be?
With what kind of objective did they do that? It was unknown.
「But, I have a bit of a suspicion. Perhaps, that defense system of the Ruins is──」
At that moment when Aeril was talking with a serious face, a sound suddenly came into their hearing.
It was a reverberation of dark evil omen that was containing killing intent.
It was a strange noise that was clearly different from the sound of the Abyss in the area.
「This presence──don’t tell me, Sacred Eclipse has revived!?」
Seeing Aeril’s tense expression, Lux also spontaneously held his breath.
Sacred Eclipse was the greatest and strongest Ragnarok that could resurrect many times.
It had been defeated several times, but each time it was resurrected with new strength endowed onto it.
If it reappeared here──in Avalon, there was a high chance they would encounter it.
But, when they stopped making noises and focused their ears, this time they could hear a different sound.
A systematic sound of machine──the driving sound of a Drag-Ride.
It seemed that the remaining forces of Dragon Marauder that lost their leaders had joined under Listelka’s banner, but it was impossible for them to come until here without an order. In other words,
The room’s door was smashed faster than Lux could stand ready in response to Aeril’s voice and the 『answer』 appeared.
A violet wire chain with a pointy tip that was like a stake.
It was the special armament of Philuffy’s Divine Drag-Ride Typhon, Pile Anchor.
They unsheathed their Sword Devices reflexively, but they didn’t make it in time.
Lux’s body was entwined by that wire and he was pulled in the blink of an eye.
Outside the room, Philuffy wearing Typhon was there as expected.
「Lu-chan. Got you.」
「That’s splendid, Philuffy.」
The voice of the girl who always looked absentminded and followed her own pace.
Furthermore the dignified voice that came from her side caused Lux’s eyes to open wide.
The one who was together with Philuffy was Celistia wearing Lindwurm.
The two suddenly showed a gentle smile, perhaps because they felt relaxed with this reunion.
「Philuffy! Celis-senpai! How are you two──!?」
Lux reflexively raised his voice and asked.
「Because, Lu-chan’s smell was there.」
His childhood friend said that as though it was only natural.
「Lisha and Krulcifer are luring away Hayes’s army for us. Thanks to that an opening to infiltrate into here was created.」
Celis spoke of the sequence of events until now with orderly chronology.
The arrival of Lisha and the others should be the day before yesterday at the earliest, but it seemed they greatly changed the battle situation in this short time.
At the very least, they managed to slip through the defense line of the old castle’s surroundings and went into a hot pursuit until this corridor in one go. Their ability that allowed such thing wasn’t just for show.
Or perhaps, the girls’ strong will to take back Lux no matter what was what allowed them to do that.
In any case, from the result it could be said that Listelka’s wariness that considered Lisha and the others, who were still at large, to be her greatest obstacle was correct.
Listelka’s miscalculation was just one.
The girls who should be just disposable pieces that she made use of to capture numerous Ruins until now had slipped through many deathly situations together with Lux──their strength had grown surpassing her imagination.
「Philuffy! You take Lux and retreat. I will hold back the pursuer.」
「Wait both of you! If I leave this place──」
The restriction of the Wedge would shock him with electricity if he got too far away from this old castle, and above all else──the situation was bad right now.
He was in the middle of complying with his contract with Aeril of helping her to obtain Avalon.
「──My bad but, I’ll have you two return him back you know?」
Aeril’s clear voice cut through the cold air flowing in the corridor and reached Lux and co.
The moment they went on guard reflexively, a flash tore up the air and attacked towards Philuffy.
「……I won’t let you.」
Philuffy deployed her barrier in full power and blocked the flash that was drawing a straight line toward her.
But, the power that was focused into one point like a needle pierced the barrier. The tip of the beam twined around the right elbow of Typhon’s armored arm.
「……? What, are you doing?」
Philuffy was slightly in confusion while her expression was staying blank.
The answer immediately became clear.
That beam of light twining around the elbow slid straight to the side, and Typhon’s armored arm moved to the outside.
Right after Typhon’s posture of carrying Lux was broken, the twining beam of light came off and snatched away Lux with a speed that the eye couldn’t follow.
Aeril’s movement that was excessively skilled like a superhuman feat stunned the two who witnessed it for the first time as expected.
Even Lux himself honestly didn’t understand what happened.
He completely thought that it was a type of light beam, but it seemed that it was a whip that was conducting energy.
It was a weapon that was similar to Wire Tail, but its power, accuracy, and range were in a different dimension.
「So that’s the true Divine Drag-Ride that you have. Coral──no, the Holy Arcadia Empire’s second imperial princess, Aeril Vi Arcadia.」
Lux spontaneously looked behind him after hearing Celis’s statement.
There was a figure there that wasn’t wearing an EX Wyvern anymore, but an armor with a sharp and sublime form.
It was colored with two colors of black and light green. The top of its shoulders that were modeled after serpent heads indicated its offensive attribute.
The whip special armament that the right hand was holding was tinged with faint yellow-green light. It was dangling to rest on the corridor’s floor.
「Evil dragon Zahhak. That is the name of the Divine Drag-Ride I’m riding.」
Celis who saw that showed a vigilant expression on her face.
In a battle between fellow Divine Drag-Rides, the one who understood the ability of the opponent’s Divine Raiment would have a big advantage.
After all, no matter how strong someone was, they would be weak against an unknown technique.
But, Celis’s hesitation lasted less than a second.
Lindwurm’s armor shined and a territory of light with the radius of several dozen ml appeared with Celis at the center.
With Lindwurm’s Divine Raiment, it could move instantly within that area of light.
It was a powerful ability without equal that could completely rule over distance in a battle.
Thus, it would be really advantageous in defense and offense just by having it activated.
Furthermore, it also widened the array of Celis’s tactics, like Double Attack, where she would throw a Dagger or the like and then use Divine Gate to approach the enemy at the right timing and executed a simultaneous attack.
「Then, show it to me. Your strength and resolve──」
Celis readied her Dagger to execute exactly that technique.
Beside her, Philuffy was looking for an opening to take Lux back. Aeril moved right in that instant.
「──My bad but, right now I cannot return him back to you two.」
Aeril declared with a serious face that was slightly colored with emptiness, and then she blew the horn flute she was covertly carrying.
Abyss wouldn’t enter into the safe zone, but they could still come into this corridor.
Because there were still Abyss remaining inside the old castle, it was an effective tactic.
Celis who saw that moved to prevent the use of the horn flute.
She threw her Dagger while activating the instant movement Divine Raiment at the same time and flew through space.
At the same time she moved to Aeril’s back and stabbed her huge lance──but,
Celis’s beautiful jade eyes opened wide in surprise.
A huge wall appeared before her eyes when she noticed and her full power thrust was blocked.
「Is this, Zahhak’s Divine Raiment!? Creating material──no, it’s teleportation!?」
That voice of Celis could be heard through the stone wall that existed behind Lux.
In addition, the Abyss──several Gargoyles and Chimeras passed through the ventilation and attacked Philuffy consecutively.
No matter how much resistance training she accumulated against the horn flute, the Abyss residing in Philuffy’s body would still react.
「Phi-chan! Wait, right now I──」
Lux who saw that moved his hand towards the handle of his sword device to perform high-speed summoning for Bahamut, but Aeril stopped him from assisting.
「I’m sorry but, you cannot help her. We have a different objective.」
Aeril’s tone seemed ruthless.
However Lux sensed her intention under that mask.
「That Wedge will discharge electricity if you go against an order, but I don’t want to do that. If you don’t want them to get hurt then──」
The objective of Lux and Aeril right now was, in the end, to open the route towards Avalon.
First they had to descend to the surface level floor and opened the portalteleport device that directly connected to the old castle.
Celis and Philuffy were surrounded by the Abyss, but if it was those two then they should be able to escape from this predicament.
On the contrary, if Aeril gave order to Lux, he would be forced to fight the two of them, so he could only think it as fortunate that he could avoid that.
(Phi-chan, Celis-senpai. Please be safe──)
Lux prayed inside his heart while he followed behind Aeril who flew using Zahhak.
「Let’s head to the surface level floor like this and search for the portal that is connected to the old castle. Opening the gate to the deep level floor at the deepest part will be after that.」
The corridor at the first floor of the old castle that appeared like a dead-end.
A lever appeared when the wall was strongly pushed and Aeril pulled it.
When the wall in front of her shifted to the side, a new huge metallic door appeared at the other side too.
「This is, I have seen it several times in other Ruins──」
「Yes. The authority of the Key’s Supervisor is needed, but Mishis already opened this one a long time ago. Everyone can enter here if they know the place.」
However, because the Abyss would be redeployed immediately, it was hard to pass through here.
Therefore they were clearing up the path to here until now.
「Even so, Zahhak’s user is actually Aeril……」
「Lux-kun, you know about it?」
「Yes. When I fought Rosa’s subordinate in the Campus Festival, you secretly helped us right? So you had watched over me all that time since then, right?」
The face of Aeril who replied so was still tense.
But, different from just now when she fought against Celis and Philuffy, he could faintly feel an irritated hesitation from her.
「By the way, Zahhak’s Divine Raiment is Wicked Wisdom of Double HeadBrain Hack. It has an ability that can interfere with the mind of the surrounding humans, and erase specific memories and perception.」
She explained her Divine Raiment that she had no time to explain until now.
In other words, before this Celis thought that a wall suddenly appeared because her memory that it had existed from the start behind Aeril had been erased.
It didn’t have pure destructive power, but it was a Divine Raiment that seemed like it would have various applications.
For the time being they entered into a room that seemed to be a safe zone and took a breather.
「Let’s continue after resting for a bit. It’s fortunate that this entrance didn’t get exposed to those girls. At this rate, the path to Avalon──」
「……That’s not permitted.」
An aloof presence and clear voice suddenly came from above.
Celis and Lindwurm appeared together with the territory of light that spread before their eyes.
「Space teleportation using Divine Gate……!? But, how did this place get──」
「It’s me, you know?」
Aeril took a stance with her whip type special armament Dragon Edge Light WhipBreath Whip. Immediately after that a thunderous sound struck from above like thunder.
The thick ceiling that was made from stone burst and scattered. The dust whirled at the same time with the impact.
「This is──Typhon’s Biting Flare!?」
Typhon’s special armament sent energy directly into the object or living thing that it grasped, which then made them explode.
The ceiling was destroyed by that and Philuffy descended from the upper floor.
「I even used my Divine Raiment to give them the slip, but they artfully let me guide them here huh. I got tricked.」
Aeril quickly took distance along with Lux. A bead of sweat trickled down from her forehead.
Celis who was isolated used instant teleportation with Lindwurm’s Divine Raiment and linked up with Philuffy.
They quickly annihilated the Abyss, then they pinpointed the location of Lux and Aeril with Philuffy’s superhuman hearing.
Right after Celis descended using Divine Gate, Philuffy also followed──that was how it went.
Thanks to that the location of the hidden door became completely exposed.
「That’s not true. It’s the fact that we completely fell into your trick. It was just, we desperately gave pursuit even then.」
「I won’t, hand over Lu-chan.」
The entrance to the underground labyrinth was completely open.
The two groups faced each other once more in front of Avalon.
「It seems you are putting Lux under your control using that strange collar. Please wait. I will destroy it immediately.」
「……My bad but, I cannot let you do that. I too have something that I must do no matter what.」
Against Celis who was emitting an extraordinary pressure, Aeril also responded with unyielding will.
Celis had grasped Lux’s situation and awaited for a chance to attack, while Philuffy also similarly closed the distance little by little.
Right now Lux was in a position where he had to obey Aeril due to the Wedge and the contract he formed with her, but it wouldn’t be easy to stop the serious Celis and Philuffy.
Normally, they were reassuring allies, but he once more realized how terrifying they were as enemies.
(Besides──it will be bad either way if we fought here.)
Lux’s Wedge would discharge deathly electricity just from receiving a strong impact. And because it stuck tightly on his neck, it also couldn’t be removed using Divine Gate.
Therefore no matter how he struggled here, he was unable to return to the world alliance’s camp.
And yet Celis and Philuffy too surely wouldn’t back down after coming this far.
(If we clash here, Aeril won’t be able to fulfill her objective, Celis-senpai and Phi-chan will also get exhausted. No──in the worst case, it’s possible that someone will even get seriously injured or die.)
Lux who thought that in a few moments immediately called out to the girls.
「Celis-senpai! Phi-chan! I’m fine, so withdraw from here! My collar cannot be removed anyway, and I also cannot leave from the old castle! At this rate I’ll be forced to fight you two!」
The expression of Celis and Philuffy who heard that shook slightly.
But, Lux misjudged their determination.
「Understood. Then, it’s decided. We will defeat the owner who controls it.」
「Yes. Until then Lu-chan just stay quietly.」
It was the worst reaction, but it was understandable.
The two didn’t know about the deal that Aeril proposed to Lux, but even though those were Lux’s words, there was no way they would follow such suggestion.
Naturally they would try to defeat Aeril who was controlling the Wedge.
『──It seems you are in trouble, my beloved little sister, Aeril.』
Suddenly a graceful voice came from somewhere, and the four people in that place held their breath.
「Listelka-neesama!? How are──!?」
『It’s from the old castle to the Heaven Palace in the sky. After all I’m the shrine maiden of oracle who can interfere with Avalon’s system. If there is a Ruin’s monitoring system inside the room, I can grasp your movement to a certain degree. Though I only stayed quiet until now.』
The true intention of Listelka calling out was unknown, but it was a terrifying fact.
If he talked about Aeril’s plan to convince Celis and Philuffy, everything would be over for them.
Most likely Aeril didn’t say anything to Celis and Philuffy because she was cautious of that.
「And──, what should I do now?」
When Aeril asked to guess at Listelka’s true intention, her elder sister immediately gave instruction back.
『It’s simple. Ignore them and advance forward. I trust you Aeril. Because of that, I want you to carry out your work properly.』
「But, these two aren’t that easy of an opponent that we can just pass through──」
『It’s fine. You can rest assured. I sent her just now, our protector for a thousand years──the empire’s strongest Drag-Knight.』
The moment Aeril heard that voice resounding loudly, a shudder ran through her face.
She quickly swung her special armament, Breath Whip and the whip of light ran freely to every direction.
Celis and Philuffy put themselves on guard against that. Using that opening, Aeril pulled Lux’s hand and descended to the underground.
Towards outside the room where Listelka’s monitoring didn’t reach──
「Wai-, what are you doing Aeril!?」
「This is bad! We have to shake them off and make them give up on you! No──let’s search for the portal that connects to the old castle and lead them there! If not, they won’t be able to escape anymore for sure!」
The expression of Aeril who was talking fast was filled with more urgency than anything until now.
「What……do you mean?」
「It’s also unexpected for me. I don’t know if it’s only Nee-san’s whim or it’s a trap in order to kill Celis-san and the others, but this is bad. It’s bad that she is coming here!」
「Escaping is not permitted! I’ll have you return Lux back!」
Celis’s presence came from behind, flying after Aeril.
Although the passage was quiet wide, it was impossible to fly in full speed inside this complicated maze, even so Celis used Divine Gate a lot while passing through wall to pursue after Lux and Aeril.
「Lux-kun, too, quickly look for it! Most likely the portal to the old castle is being camouflaged as some kind of structure!」
Lux was overwhelmed by that urgent sign and nodded.
He quickly defeated the Abyss standing in their way while paying attention to the pursuit of Celis and Philuffy.
Because he was wearing his Wyvern right now, he was uneasy about his firepower, even so he was able to fight quite a bit.
Aeril swung her whip to make an opening in the Abyss’s guard while Lux finished them off in a flash.
Like that they were advancing deeper, before they suddenly ran into a strange hall.
「This place, what is──!?」
It was a large space with high ceiling that was illuminated with bluish white light.
There were countless transparent capsules along the wall that were jostled along with strange vibrations.
「This is one of the Abyss plants. It’s continually producing the Abyss that protect the old castle’s surroundings and Avalon. Although, there are several that are something like this and this is only one of them──」
Lux came to an understanding from Aeril’s explanation.
Now that she mentioned it he remembered seeing a similar facility in the Ark.
This place wasn’t as large in scale like there, but in exchange there was a wide space where there was nothing.
「This room isn’t our destination, but perhaps there is a portal to return to the old castle here. Let’s investigate it just in case. There might be Abyss lurking, so be careful──」
Lux nodded briskly and searched around the place that was dimly lit.
He slowly stepped firmly with his Drag-Ride’s legs on the strange space where countless capsules were standing like pillars.
Perhaps Celis and Philuffy also bumped into the Abyss, because there wasn’t any sign of them catching up soon.
For the time being the situation turned calm, so Lux asked about the matter from before.
『Aeril. About just now, is it okay for me to ask?』
Lux didn’t stop moving to investigate while asking a question through the Dragon Voice.
It was a large room, so to avoid Listelka from intercepting the communication, Lux used Dragon Voice to ask even though Aeril was right nearby.
Then Aeril quickly replied through Dragon Voice too.
『I was also careless. I didn’t meet with Listelka-neesan that often but, come to think of it I once heard about something. She once said that it’s possible for her to use the Ruin’s function just for a bit in a room of this surface level floor. And that got carried out to the old castle and she said she is trying to make use of it……』
『It’s the manufacturing machine, for Divine Drag-Rides.』
Hearing that caused Lux to spontaneously lose his words.
『Originally the same Divine Drag-Ride cannot be created in great number, because it has been determined like that by Avalon. But──it’s a different matter if a Divine Drag-Ride got completely destroyed. Although it will take a lot of time and labor, but even lost Divine Drag-Rides can be recreated.』
『And, how is that related with the communication just now?』
『The greatest fighting strength of us Lords is completely resurrected. Mishis almost never moves because she is shouldering the mission of being Listelka-neesama’s guard constantly. And then, it’s also because she is a trump card. However, right now the requirements where it’s fine to use her are in place. The restoration of the Divine Drag-Ride for her is finished.』
Lux was tilting his head in puzzlement hearing her voice from the Dragon Voice while continuing to search inside the Abyss plant slightly far away.
Even during that time he was searching for the portal to return to the old castle, but his movement suddenly stopped.
「Come to think of it……what’s going on? Why is it not even a single Abyss attacking us even though we are inside the Abyss plant?」
It was a strange out of place feeling that Lux had kept feeling since they entered this room.
Even if the Abyss created here would head outside, it was strange that there wasn’t even one Abyss inside a space this large.
Did Listelka interfere with the system of Avalon and cleared the Abyss beforehand for them, or else.
When Lux was thinking that, a sudden strange smell made him frown.
At a corner deep inside that wasn’t clearly visible until now──, a bluish white light was drowned out by a blackish sea of blood there.
That sight that Lux noticed after some delay caused him to turn speechless.
More than ten──no, at the very least, dozens of the Abyss of many varieties were rotting there in pieces.
One Abyss got its head split open, one other had its core pierced, one got bisected.
The spurt of blood splashed the surrounding capsules and blocked the light.
And then, what surprised Lux the most wasn’t that a single girl accomplished that alone, but how he didn’t notice that she was there.
She was erasing her presence, slipped into the darkness, and waited for the time when the enemy approached.
If Lux was actually the girl’s target, then his head would have flown already by now.
「Mishis V Xfer……!」
Lux who noticed her existence reflexively raised his voice.
The silent maid who guarded the Lords with a will of steel.
Her hair was blue like Krulcifer. Right now she was wearing a pilot suit instead of a maid uniform.
Blood of the Abyss was scattered at the surroundings, but not a single speck of blood could be seen on her and the Drag-Ride she was wearing.
「Also, that Drag-Ride──」
The thick armor of ultramarine color she was wearing.
Lux gazed in wonderment at that familiar form.
「Yes, it’s the Divine Drag-Ride Azi Dahaka. It was once destroyed by you, but with the liberation of all the Ruins, it could finally be recreated.」
Hayes who was acting as an arms dealer lent a Divine Drag-Ride to Balzeride. It seemed that Drag-Ride was originally Mishis’s.
Since then, Mishis who was the Lord’s trump card had never acted. So the reason was because she was waiting until Azi Dahaka could be recreated at full power.
But, for the girl to take action like this…….
「Both of you, please move away. The enemy is coming.」
Mishis muttered that. The side of her face had several geometrical patterns surfacing with faint radiance.
The special mode that was only usable for Key’s Supervisors like Krulcifer or Soffice, with their Drag-Ride aptitude that was of the highest class. But it should also put a lot of burden on the body, and yet Mishis used it right from the start.
She slowly took a stance with her Halberd and glared quietly to the plant’s entrance.
Right after that, several anchors flew out with twisting path from that darkness.
「Typhon’s Pile Anchor──so the vanguard is Philuffy Aingram.」
Mishis wasn’t agitated even against a surprise attack from long range.
She dodged the tip of the wire chain that approached like a bullet and then charged forward with her Halberd raised.
「So the wire’s aim isn’t me, but the structure behind?」
Mishis spoke dispassionately. Just as she predicted, the Pile Anchor dug into the capsule behind Mishis and then it got pulled back in high speed.
Mishis who was in between had her back exposed to the surprise attack of a capsule that was pulled from behind but──
「One is attacking from the front and back, then that means the other one will attack at a different timing──or will it be from above, right, or left?」
Celis who appeared exactly at that timing above Mishis using Divine Gate frowned in vigilance.
Even though this was the first time Mishis watched the cooperation of Celis and Philuffy, she instantly saw through their tactic.
「How are you going to defend after knowing that?」
But, even so Celis didn’t hesitate and lunged to diagonally below with Lightning Lance from the air.
From Mishis’s view point, it was a thrust to below from the air in front of her.
Several Pile Anchors were fired from the front to behind her, and from there an object was pulled to attack her back.
So to speak, it was a pincer attack from front and back.
Furthermore several wires were passing right beside Mishis’s armor. They became obstacles that prevented her to move to left, right, up, or down.
It was a splendid tactic that synchronized the Divine Raiments of the two.
When the sure kill pincer attack that astonished even Lux was going to land, at that time──
「Unfortunately, you two made a mistake.」
Mishis muttered. The right armored arm that was holding her weapon was swung with all her strength. First her Halberd stabbed the capsule approaching her from behind.
At the same time, Celis’s Lance thrust from the front was blocked by Azi Dahaka’s full power barrier.
It was just for a moment, but the lance thrust that was unleashed from midair was stopped. In that interval the Halberd that had a capsule skewered on it was swung down vertically from behind.
In other words, the skewered capsule was struck down to the lance at the front and the thrust was repelled.
Within that moment that lasted less than an instant, a precise offense and defense that was like a superhuman feat was exchanged.
「She blocked that cooperation attack in that situation──」
Even Lux thought that it was a coordination attack that seemed impossible to dodge without using Bahamut’s Divine Raiment.
Mishis cut her way through with the shortest and best action without even a twitch of her eyebrow.
「That’s not it! Those two are in danger……!」
But, Aeril beside him gritted her teeth with a voice tone that was lowered extremely low.
Lux was perplexed in incomprehension of what she meant, but when his gaze returned to the battle of Celis and Philuffy, that question was immediately cleared.
At the same time Zahhak gripped its Breath Whip and stretched the whip’s tip to outside the door.
「Then, it’s over with this. ──Thousand SorceryAvesta」
Right after Mishis repelled Celis’s Lance with her Halberd, Azi Dahaka’s armor shined dazzlingly and its Divine Raiment was activated.
Azi Dahaka’s Divine Raiment, Avesta, was an atrocious ability that would absorb the energy of other Drag-Rides, furthermore it would also steal their Divine Raiment.
Celis wasn’t present in the fight against Balzeride. She had only heard of the story from Lux and the others.
Thus, when an average Drag-Knight would immediately retreat to avoid having their Drag-Ride stolen, Celis instead chose the opposite option.
The moment her Lance was parried by the Halberd from above to below, she quickly rotated her Lance once with that momentum──and took a stance once more. This time she didn’t stab her Lance directly, but fired electricity from that tip.
The electric attack of Lightning Lance could be fired until medium distance.
Furthermore the electric attack was impossible to block even by a barrier. On top of that, against Mishis who was in Full Connect with her Drag-Ride, the damage would be amplified instead.
While it was just after their sure kill coordination got blocked, Celis immediately executed the best option in a flash. It was possible thanks to Celis’s extremely polished tactical thinking──『Maneuver Tactic Book』. (TN: Embarrassingly, I forgot the name that I used for it last time this was mentioned, if anyone can remind me what it was? Tehe)
On the other hand, Philuffy whose attack was avoided was also taking the stance of further attack.
Typhon skated like a bullet. It approached Mishis in a stance where its right arm was pulled back.
Its left hand was focusing energy of Biting Burst with the intention to blow up the enemy right when the hand grasped.
It was a certain death checkmate once more by the two.
Right after the lightning of Lightning Flash reached, Azi Dahaka’s armor rocked back.
「……They did it!」
Lux reflexively raised his voice, but beside him Aeril’s lips trembled.
Lux was perplexed in incomprehension. But then, that sight entered his eyes.
「This is──what happened!?」
「The attack, from the front……?」
The armor part that was directly hit by lightning hit Lindwurm directly like a buckshot. Next Tyhpon’s sight was also blinded.
In addition shockwaves of lapis lazuli color also surged from there which hit Celis and Philuffy respectively.
Although it didn’t give considerable damage, their movements were definitely halted from attacking further.
In a glance, it was similar to Break Purge where a part of the armor was taken off voluntarily, but something was different.
「It’s Azi Dahaka’s special armament……Crawling Out ImpurityReflector. When the armor receives an attack, it will automatically fire shockwaves and armor shells in counterattack to the enemy and the surroundings. The movement of the two was sealed by that……!」
There were two cannons mounted on both its shoulders, the Jaw of Double-HeadDevil’s Glow, and after it there was one more special armament.
It seemed Balzeride didn’t use it because he was inexperienced, but due to that special armament, it automatically counterattacked and stopped the attacks of the two.
「You made the best judgment, splendid. But you two have unknowingly violated the greatest prohibition. It’s hopeless for Drag-Knights to fight me.」
「-……!? This is, this Divine Raiment──」
「Strength, is leaving, ku……」
Celis and Philuffy weren’t even touched by Mishis’s Azi Dahaka.
They were wary of having their Divine Raiment getting stolen and took a distance of several ml away.
But regardless of that, their Drag-Ride’s energy was stolen with terrifying speed.
Also, before the two could put up countermeasures, Mishis moved.
Azi Dahaka swung its Halberd with the fastest driving force, striking the head of Celis’s Lindwurm.
Celis barely defended using her Lance, but at that moment, the light territory of Divine Gate that was deployed at the surrounding area was erased.
「Great reaction speed. But, it’s tragic. In front I who possess the nickname of Anti Drag-Knight──Divine Gate.」
Right after Mishis stole the Divine Raiment from Celis’s Lindwurm, she activated it without delay and Azi Dahaka moved instantly.
The appearance location was right behind Philuffy. At that instant when Mishis used her Halberd to mow down, Philuffy’s back spinning kick exploded into action.
Philuffy’s instinct could even predict the appearance location of Celis’s Divine Gate when they fought in the mock battle at the past. Her counterattack hit.
Mishis was blown away until the wall of the plant while she stared at her own hand with a serious face.
「I feel nothing but admiration. A human that isn’t even a Lord or a Key’s Supervisor is able to heighten their strength until this far──it’s unfortunate that I have to kill the two of you even then.」
Even though she received a kicking counterattack, she blocked it firmly with her left hand.
No, it wasn’t just a guard.
It wasn’t defending, but stealing.
The Divine Raiment of Philuffy’s Typhon──
Lux held his breath with a taken aback look. At that time, a jet black wave was unleashed from Azi Dahaka’s armor.
It was a Divine Raiment of neutralization that was mighty without equal, neutralizing the Divine Raiment of everyone other than oneself, while at the same time downing the output of the Drag-Rides in the surroundings.
The first effect didn’t work because the Divine Raiment of the two had been stolen, but because they got hit by that while in the middle of energy absorption from Avesta, their movement was almost completely sealed.
No matter how much exceptional combat strength Celis and Philuffy boasted, they were powerless if the Drag-Ride itself didn’t work.
Thus, the two were completely shut out by the ability of Drag-Ride killer that the current Mishis possessed.
She bowed appropriately for a maid, and right after that the armored arm that was holding the Halberd was swung.
The Halberd was accurately striking toward the shoulder where the Force Core that was the moving power of a Drag-Ride was located.
With that the Drag-Rides of the two were suspended and their armors were dispelled.
Celis and Philuffy who used up their strength staggered and fell prostrated on the plant’s cold floor.
The two powerful fighters who were equal even against the Seven Dragon Paladins were defeated in the blink of an eye.
「This is, the Lords’ strongest fighting force……!」
Lux who witnessed that could only gasp in amazement.
The strength of Mishis who was wearing Azi Dahaka might be equal against Yoruka──no, against Singlen at full power.
(Rather than that, this is bad……)
Right now while Lux was pretending to be in the position of siding with the Lords, there was no way he could save Celis and Philuffy.
But, if he didn’t challenge Mishis here, Celis and Philuffy would be killed.
He had to somehow stop only that from happening no matter what.
Even if his secret agreement with Aeril would come to nothing and he had to die by the electric shock of the Wedge.
Even if, like that, the two of them couldn’t be saved in the end──he absolutely couldn’t overlook this without doing anything.
The instant Lux resolved himself like that, he strongly grasped Bahamut’s Sword Device.
Even if Aeril stopped him once more, he was resolved to shake her off with all his might──but,
Just before Lux moved, Aeril raised her voice.
Mishis stopped her arm in response to her master’s voice, and turned her emotionless face towards her.
「What could it be, your highness Aeril? They are the last threat standing in my lord’s way. We also have enough hostages. I judge that we should deal with them here──」
『Yes──that’s right. I only recognized Lux to be your servant. No matter how tolerant you are towards other people, I won’t allow you to act too far.』
When Mishis looked up to the plant’s ceiling, Listelka’s voice immediately descended.
As expected, she was linked with Avalon’s system and monitored this place even now.
Most likely Listelka considered this reaction of Aeril when she sent Mishis here.
She wasn’t thinking so far that Aeril would abandon her own mission and join hands with Lux and the others, but, at the very least, she suspected that Aeril might be merciful to Lux’s comrades.
Listelka was manufacturing this situation to measure Aeril’s true intention, how she would act as a Lord right now.
But, Aeril silently shook her head and rejected Listelka’s words.
「Of course I understand that. What I’m going to say is another matter. If it’s Listelka-neesama, then surely you have noticed it already.」
『……? This reaction, don’t tell me──』
The moment Listelka murmured so, the whole room of the Abyss plant shook intensely.
Lux was taken aback and held his breath. At that moment, the center of the floor broke apart and flame overflowed out.
Several fire arrows that flew from there grazed Aeril’s side and blood spurted out.
Lux immediately called out to her while glaring at the appearing enemy.
A petite girl wearing a tidy dress──no, it was a pitch black presence that contained bottomless evil omen.
As long as Avalon wasn’t stopped, the last Ragnarok, Sacred Eclipse would resurrect no matter how many times. Now it appeared in this place.
Regarding this, even the Lords were unable to control it at the current stage.
This was one of the reasons why Listelka was mostly staying in the airborne ship──Heaven Palace without descending to the old castle.
(But, this situation is excessively bad!)
It was nice that Mishis’s attention was diverted, but Sacred Eclipse would attack them without discrimination, but he also couldn’t leave from this place while leaving behind the collapsed Celis and Philuffy.
「Mishis! Buy us time while we escape! We will search for the portal to return to the old castle right now!」
When Aeril said that, Mishis readied her Halberd and confronted Sacred Eclipse.
On the other hand Lux was going to move to rescue Celis and Philuffy, but Aeril stopped him from the side.
「Lux-kun, don’t do anything!」
He thought that she was telling him to abandon them, but right after that, the sound of slicing wind came from the plant’s door.
Two Drag-Knights appeared from there, Lizsharte and Krulcifer.
The moment he saw the two of them wearing Tiamat and Fafnir respectively, Lux raised his voice spontaneously.
「What kind of situation is this!?」
Lisha who entered the room frowned when she saw the inside of the plant that was turned into chaos.
On the other hand, Krulcifer calmly looked at the situation.
The choker of Wedge on Lux’s neck. How he was standing beside Aeril. The trace of battle by Celis and Philuffy.
And then, the figure of Mishis who was wearing Azi Dahaka, the Divine Drag-Ride that she once fought by fate.
In addition, the figure of Sacred Eclipse that Mishis was confronting──
「It seems, it’s a situation that is not so simple. But, I can imagine it more or less.」
「It doesn’t matter! We’ve got to collect those two quickly and take Lux back──」
「Please listen to me calmly. Most likely we are unable to rescue Lux-kun right now. The best action for us to take is to take Celis-senpai and Philuffy and retreat from here. Get out from this surface level floor and escape from the old castle.」
「Don’t be stupid! If we let go of this chance, Lux will……──!?」
Lisha was about to talk emotionally, but she faltered seeing Krulcifer’s serious gaze.
For her, she also wanted to save Lux more than anyone just like Lisha.
But, the girl who was always calm and collected had cold sweat flowing from her forehead while biting her lips. Lisha guessed the severity of the situation from seeing Krulcifer’s tense state.
That this situation was containing danger that surpassed their imagination.
Not to mention making a miss, even just making a slightly worse choice would checkmate them into the 『worst case』.
「……Got it. Looks like I let the blood rush to my head slightly. Lux will need to wait for a bit more.」
「Yes, it will only be for a bit. We will take him without fail.」
After responding shortly like that, the two exploded into action.
Krulcifer picked up Celis, while Lisha carried Philuffy. Without pause the two of them escaped at full speed.
「Don’t pay attention to them! We have to achieve our own objective!」
Lux nodded shortly and followed Aeril’s instruction.
(Lisha-sama, Krulcifer-san……. Philuffy, Celis-senpai──)
The girls came here by risking their lives to save him. But right now he parted from them with a flood of emotions within him.
The Sacred Eclipse that was letting out a shuddering scream, and Mishis’s Azi Dahaka that was facing it.
With the reverberation of their intense battle sound behind, Lux and Aeril headed even deeper into the surface floor level.
The presences of his dear classmates held him back, even so, he acted to fight against reality.
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