Shinmai Maou no Keiyakusha:Volume 3 Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Everything for this Moment
Toujou Basara having opened his eyes, was on top of a huge bed.
Trying to raise his body from his state, Basara noticed the handcuffs fitted on his both hands. Both his hands were restrained over his head and chained together in the bed board. Then, as his mind waked up completely, Basara recalled what happened before he lost consciousness.
“Oh yeah… I…to Takigawa”
Still, there was no place in his body that hurt, and there are no serious injuries and bleeding either.
…I was taken easy.
Having thought that fact, Basara tried moving his head, and looked at the surroundings where he was again.
The wall the floor, and the ceiling, everything was made of stone excluding the door. It was a closed room with no windows and only a door. There are no other kinds of furniture and all other furnishings except for the bed that Basara was lying into. However, the place was not too shabby for an isolation cell either. The interior was needlessly large for a prison, and the bed that he slept that has a canopy engraved seemed luxurious with the decorative details engraved on it. Knitting his eyebrows in the strange place, Basara in order to confirm his own whereabouts, tried to locate the position of his partner bound with the master-servant contract ——at that moment,
As the location of Mio which he was not able to detect was felt until a while ago, Basara looked at the door entrance in high alert. On the contrary, Yuki’s presence can no longer be felt. Toujou Basara is now convinced.
This is the place where Mio was kept, the hideout of Zolgear.
——Therefore, Basara tried making an action immediately. At first he confirmed whether there is any means of taking off his handcuffs and a chain restricting his body, and if impossible, looked for anything useful in his surroundings to unlock his restraints. However, nothing is found at the place other than the bed, after all.
Then Basara noticed something inside the pocket of the jacket of his uniform.
So he raise his body to a near headstand utilizing his abdominal muscles carefully, and a cellphone slipped out of the jacket and came out before long.
Catching it with his mouth, Basara bending his throat somehow, manage to succeed and had carried the mobile phone to his hand by bending his wrist in desperation, and confirmed its condition right away.
There are no problems with the battery and it seems fine. However,
“I knew it, it’s out of range after all…”
The mobile phone of Basara has a special chip included in case of emergency as similar to Jin. Though it can communicate even from the demon world, this place where he could feel Mio’s whereabouts seemed to be an exception. This pace seemed to be covered with a special barrier, as expected.
However, Basara went through his mail, and when he had finished typing the situation that has turned out so far, somehow, he addressed and send it to Yuki. When the moment becomes available to communicate, the message could be sent swiftly. As Basara sighed in grief, footsteps were heard from outside the room. Panicking, he pushed the mobile phone between the pillow and the head board, then the door is opened with a “clank".
Basara immediately closed his eyes, and made his pulse and breathing that shook calm, pretended to be unconscious and peeked at the other party’s attitude. Then when the other party approached Basara slowly,
It’s actions were the least what Basara had expected. As he came to check the presence, the being went onto his bed and came above Basara’s waist.
“I know that you’re awake… Please open your eyes, Basara-san”
To the calm voice that seemed familiar, Basara reacted immediately.
As he opened his eyes, a young girl in her succubus form was before him.
Upon calling that name, Maria showed a bittersweet smile, and then
“Surely, I didn’t expect Basara-san to be brought here so quickly… Well, thanks to that we are able to spend time for just the two of us alone, and for that I am grateful.” As she said that, she put her hand on Basara’s jacket and began opening the buttons of his shirt.
“You, what are you doing?...”
“The continuation of what we had left when we had entered the girls’ locker room.”
Maria declared as if it’s a natural thing, unbuttoning all of what is in his shirt.
“There isn’t anything you can do anymore Basara-san, now that you have been captured already. Therefore, you should enjoy the moment at least for the last. Basara-san’s thing, I will make it feel good entirely.”
Maria revealed a flirtatious smile, and as her tongue crept through the nape of Basara, a small hand extended to the area of his waist and went to unfasten his belt.
“Stop Maria, you mustn’t do everything that Zolgear orders you to do―――”
Basara cried out.
“Do you really think that he will really spare your family from being hostage?”
At that moment,
Maria stopped all of a sudden. Therefore Basara continued talking.
“Do you really know that you are doing? Even you did it this way, your family won’t be saved. You are just being used to obtain Mio. Now that that guy have obtained that her —— you will be of no longer use to him, and it will be a matter of time that you will be taken care of!” Basara told, with his voice cracked.
“Certainly, the other party is a high ranking demon. It is no wonder to give up one person in order to save your family. — But you have us. There is no need giving up alone.”
Right. It is too early to give up.
"Those guys’ aim is Mio. First of all, let's rescue her. Once we come and get her, the probability of you and the hostage getting killed will be far lower than now.”
Though the present situation is that she might have been threatened to kill the hostages so she obeyed Zolgear’s orders, and with the current situation where Mio has been captured, not only Mio but Maria and her family’s lives are in danger.
“That’s why ——"
He tried to say more, but no more words came from Basara’s mouth. In front, Maria’s eyes stared at him as cold as ice that it completely took his words. With a voice sounding with irritation,
“Haven’t you hear what I have said? Basara-san can’t do anything anymore. Zolgear is not a naïve opponent whom you can win desperately. If it’s possible with such cheap tactics like that, I won’t be deceiving Basara-san, and have already talked about my circumstances and borrowed your power.”
“Even so,… as for you, your family won’t be saved even if you follow d him either.”
“As for that, I knew that without you telling me, Basara-san. But I as of now cannot do anything but this ——his command, is to dominate Basara-san’s mind.”
You have been in agony all alone, suffering for a long time. Maria knew how powerful and terrible Zolgear is, as he’s willing to try any means in order to achieve his purpose. Suffering and despair continued to pile up so high that brushing them away is impossible.
Basara has still not given up. At the end of summer vacation, I, Mio and Maria ——
I decided that I will protect our new family. However, in reality, I couldn’t protect Maria.
——Certainly, Maria might have deceived Basara.
However, the times he had spent with he had spent with her, Toujou Basara thought that it was not. The daily lives that she have spent with him, the smile and the tears that Maria had expressed through the crises that they came through, all of it contained truth. Maria was always beside him, giving a smile, as they went through all of crises that came. If so, Basara must help Maria this time. He doesn’t want to lose something important to him anymore the second time. And one of those important to him—— Naruse Maria, he doesn’t want to lose like the previous Basara. So,
“I don’t want to hurt you. Please stop the useless resistance and behave yourself”
“My bad…but that’s impossible.”
To Maria’s quiet voice, Basara declared woth words of rejection.
“…although stories can control my heart… My mind cannot be manipulated by your magic. Maria, like what you have said, will you please stop the useless resistance?”
“…certainly, it is impossible for me as of now. But, if I cannot control Basara’s mind, I will show you that I can do it no matter what it takes” Yes.
“I will now reveal ――my trump card”
At the same time, a complex three-dimensional pattern of magic circle was developed before the body of Maria. And, having appeared from the magic circle,
A pale pink shimmering key appeared from nothingness. It turned its tip slowly towards Maria. Following its extension, was the keyhole mounted on the chest of Maria's clothes. To the that keyhole, the key inserted itself slowly, and
In the depths of Maria chest who groaned a wet voice with an erotic face, it turned automatically.
And then, a sound of a lock opening was heard.
With a sudden twitch, Maria’s whole body bent backward, and wrapped in a rosy light.
The dim room was illuminated by Maria’s dazzling light.
Basara cannot help but be amazed by the phenomenon happening before his eyes.
——And just as when the light settled down for a short while, sitting on top of him, was the young Maria no longer. She transformed into an adult, beautiful succubus.
With proportions surpassing Mio, and height more slender than Yuki, her sex appeal and atmosphere that became a little more mature surpassed that of the two high school students. Although a little inferior compared to the school nurse Hasegawa, she is still an outstanding beauty nonetheless, and before the stupefied Basara, Maria leaked a “Yes” in reflex, showing an amorous smile.
“Come, Basara-san. The power of the baptism of the succubus —— please savor it to your heart’s delight”
As she said so, his eyes were focused on Maria’s who is sitting astride his body. That moment,
In the consciousness of Toujou Basara, everything was consumed in an instant.
The spirit of the central nervous system that is called the origin of existence has overloaded. (!)
It was a mechanism that did Maria’s transformation. To unlock her limiter she used a magic key made up of spirit particles, and raised her abilities to a higher level that her appearance changed. This is the last trump card of Maria who was the only one left of Mio’s bodyguards.
There is a time limit in this transformation. Furthermore when she had transformed once she need a considerable period to be able to transform again, and the usage is difficult too.
Maria never transformed herself since the time when Mio’s foster parents are killed, where she had used it to escape along with Mio from the hands of the demon Zolgear. Perhaps being the case as long as she doesn’t do any rash behavior and consumes excessive power, she could be able to perform in this state within two hours.
Basara’s eyes lost its focus, and when Maria confirmed that he had lost the strength of his whole body,
“Now then, Basara-san… you may do me whatever you like.”
Saying with a captivating smile, the handcuffs restraining Basara were removed. Then,
With hollow eyes, Basara laid his hands on the bra top of the bondage suit that Maria had been wearing, and forcibly slipped it upward in one go. Maria’s bountiful chest bounced as it was revealed up to the tip, and her body was pushed down adversely by Basara who raised himself slowly.
“Nn…fufu, Basara is truly a brute one after all”
Maria revealed a smile. What Maria have done to Basara, is a mind manipulation that amplifies their instinct as a man. Moving freely and acting on his instincts, he is now in a state that earnestly desires for a woman. While Basara pushed her down, he caressed the chest of Maria with his hand and mouth, and the other hand made its way on her back and had begun to rub Maria’s butt from her panties.
Making a ‘chup’ sound, Basara separated his mouth from the chest of Maria, a saliva remained was stretched out like a silk thread in between them lewdly. Without giving time to catch her breath, Maria’s other breast was sucked this time. His hollow eyes gave somewhat a cold expression.
As Maria twisted her body in response to the sweet pleasure that welled up inside her, Basara put up his knee in between her thighs and pried her legs open. Therefore Maria clamped both of her legs to the waist of Basara, and held his head who is still holding her chest. Basara then stuffed his mouth and sucked her breasts up to the very tip to his heart’s content. In the terrific pleasure that arose immediately,
A ‘chup’ sound was made, as Basara released his mouth from the chest of Maria, and saliva poured like a thread lewdly. Without giving time to catch her breath, Maria’s other breast was sucked this time.
“Basara-san… Ahh, Basara-saaaan…”
Forcibly letting loose Basara’s instinct, Maria’s consciousness is melting away.
——Zest told her that she was skillful in enticing a man. However, the bold behavior that she always do to Basara, although she had brought Mio and Yuki to surrender and give themselves to pleasure, Maria actually doesn’t have any tolerance to pleasure at all. By the fact that she is born in a succubus race, her knowledge of that kind is abundant —— unfortunately, because she was still very young, she had never experienced a tremendous pleasure coming from a genuine article. And now that Maria had transformed into an adult, the arousing feeling rose dramatically than normal.
“…If only I knew that we will do it like this, then I should have did it to Basara earlier on the past.”
Saying as she embraced Basara, at the same moment, tears were spilt in her eyes.
If so —— doing the deed in this form, this moment would not become the first and last time with Basara.
When she had met Basara, she could already do nothing but to follow Zolgear. She couldn’t do anything but keep on deceiving Mio and Basara ――― in other words, for Maria to be able to build a relationship was impossible from the start.
“Come Basara-san… please mess me up with all your affections”
Finally, Maria gave Basara a definite order. Unleashing his instinct from his mind control,
even when she knew that her first experience as a woman will be a rough and violent one —— in truth, she will carve a wound in the heart of the gentle Basara that will never disappear.
Cherishing the love of his partner who was done by dirtying her own hands with her sin —— completely dominating the spirit of Basara, making him fall, she united with him. (!)
“I’m sorry Basara-san. But don’t worry, because you aren’t alone… I also, had become as sinful as you.”
Basaara strongly grasped both of her shoulders, pushing Maria against the bed. Maria didn’t resist. Becoming silent, she only waited be ruined by Basara. However,
Basara didn’t do anything. His body began to shake, making painful screams.
“No way… He even got my baptism directly”
Maria opened her eyes wide in surprise. Basara is trying to escape from her mind control in Maria’s transformed state. Making a stream of blood flowing from his mouth by biting his lips firmly, Basara
His eyes regained its sanity. From here he gave a strong hug, and
“You said… that I may really do as I like”
He told her.
“I can help you —— from this situation that torments you, I’ll save you by all means”
With words with such power, he embraced her with gentleness. With her heart almost swept unintentionally, Maria still shook off Basara’s hand violently and jumped back from the bed above. As she took distance from him, her clothes that are about to come off when she laid down with him were restored to normal, however, she stared at Basara with cold eyes. Basara then got off the bed slowly, and from his arms ——materialized the demonic sword Brynhild. As she saw it,
“So you want to take this by force then… Fine, I don’t really dislike forceful ways either”
Maria showed a sinister laugh, however, Basara responded with a movement in silence.
Brynhild’s tip pointed was not pointed to Maria, but it stabbed on a stone pavement. With a clang, Brynhild that was pierced got stuck to the floor.
“…What’s this all about? Don’t tell me that you think you can win against me without a weapon?”
Maria asked in suspicion, but Basara shook his head,
“I’m not thinking that I am able to win without using any weapons, even in the slightest I don’t intend to do such a thing.”
“I didn’t come here to defeat you, I came to rescue you—— therefore weapons are not necessary for that”
Basara stared at her with eyes of trust, but Maria laughed with a coldhearted feeling,
“…Basara-san is too gentle. Even in this state, you still worry about me at the bottom of your heart. However, having come this far, I cannot give up my family’s life.”
“Let me give you a single advice, Basara-san… Certainly, in terms of fighting power, Basara-san stronger than me. However, I in my current form right now as your opponent, if you show some composure―――you’ll die you know?”
As she said so――― Maria released her own power.
Maria’s whole body suddenly emitted an aura of energy beyond her limits. With the level pof pressure rivaling that of Mio’s Demon king predecessor’s power running wildly, her last advice was done to Basara.
Basara clenched his theeth, and endured the pressure that hit him. And the next moment,
From Maria’s viewpoint, Basara’s figure suddenly disappeared.
——if I have no way to persuade her if she doesn’t want to hear me, then I will force her to hear what I say. Perhaps restricting himself from injuring Maria, he still intended to persuade her.
Being a speed type, if Basara put in his seriousness with his speed, usually Maria could hardly catch up to chase himself by her own eyes. However,
Maria avoided Basara who is going to catch her by one step aside.
“I will say this again——Basara-san, there is nothing that you can do now.”
As soon as she told so, Maria’s right fist landed to Basara with quite an impact.
Zest that stayed in the hall to watch Mio, was watching the situation through the crystal ball.
To the figure of the beautiful succubus whom he moved his body in Godspeed, his body was blown off without mercy.
“…I see. So that’s why”
Zest now understood. That the time Zolgear is about to kidnap Mio, to rescue her Maria had transformed herself into that adult form, succeeding their escape, from what she have heard. Her boost in fighting power is certainly tremendous after that. If that’s the case, then the story that she was able to escape from the hands of Zolgear is plausible.
Having Maria play with Basara, perhaps he should have avoided it. After this, Basara will be of help for the deprivation of Mio, as Zolgear wanted his banishing technique after all. (!)
Maria understands too, that if she didn't stop this behavior, she may end up killing him.
…this may go a little bit too far.
She thought that the mental domination is an easy task for a succubus, but unexpectedly it had become very emotional over there. Basara tried to commit himself personally, and the frustration of inability to grasp the limit of his kindness revealed something ――― Apparently, Maria also had special feelings toward Basara. For Basara to rescue her who have betrayed him and Mio, if it was her that act would have forsaken him. Meanwhile,
In the video, Basara who got blown off, was hanging on the stone wall like being crucified. Still not parting with his consciousness, he tried to get down to the floor again. Even after receiving a strong blow from Maria, his eyes didn't lose power even though suffering from a serious injury of bone fractures.
Maria on the other hand, is having an agonized expression that she seemed to burst into tears at any moment —— Still, in order to save her family, she took a stance for a second attack, in order to Basara to give himself up personally. In that scene,
Zest lowered her vision. It’s because he didn't avoid Maria’s attack.
And at the same time Basara was blown off in the video, the entire building vibrated with a roar. The phenomenon vividly showed the tremendous power of the attack Maria had shot.
And then ———— Basara was crucified against the wall again, but this time he lost his consciousness.
Basara right now, suppressed Maria’s attack on purpose, and chose to receive it from the front.
——just now a counter was received. The reason for that is the boost of power of Maria was not yet ascertained. No matter how Maria’s fighting power rose, with Basara’s speed, it is not impossible to evade. Even if it is impossible to avoid it completely, even avoiding a direct hit can be able to reduce the damage. Not having done it daringly,
…He also gave priority to her feelings as well.
He persuaded Maria at any cost, and intended to save her somehow or other. Even in this situation, Maria is still hoping in her heart for Basara to save her, but she cannot accept those words and thoughts anymore. Therefore, Basara chose to clash with her from the front.
He himself didn't attack at all, determined to help her yearning heart.
Thus, Basara must continue receiving her attacks even if he regains his consciousness, until Maria is satisfied.
His spirit maybe noble, but those feelings will destroy himself when time comes, and in the worst case scenario he may even lose his life. Then if I have Maria restrict him with chains again and call her back at once, will that make them calm for a little while? The moment when she considered it,
Suddenly, a presence appeared in her rear, resulting to Zest jumping a big distance away to the side.
And at the same time― from where Zest stood a while ago countless air blades ran through.
It might be due to the quick drawing of a sword through the thin air. So,
Flapping her wings and Zest and circling rapidly in mid-air, Zest looked back at the direction were the air blades came to. Then―there was a girl standing there alone. One of the members of the hero clan who is living together with Mio and Basara, Nonaka Yuki. With her spirit sword on one hand, she had already changed to her combat attire.
“How the hell did yu get inside…?”
Zest asked, turning around. The entire mansion is covered with Zolgear’s magical barrier. It’s impossible to detect and even if breached by the hero clan, it will be noticed immediately.
However, Zest became aware of the abnormal situation.
“His Excellency’s magical barrier has disappeared… Don’t tell me?”
Stabbing Brynhildr on the floor, Basara clearly shown his intentions of not wanting to fight Maria, but also surprisingly,
“To disable the magical detection barrier covering this mansion, he chose to lock himself up from the inside ― then activating that banishing technique to nullify it!”
As she exclaimed the true aim of Basara,
“You underestimated Basara ―― that is your big mistake”
Facing her as she shoot, Yuki moved instantly.
Displaying a long jump as she suddenly approached, she cut down the distance in mid-air, as she threw consecutive sword slashes from the spirit sword. It was a killer attack that eliminated any useless movement. This was seen in the fight at the city the other day, but still seeing it was quite a prodigy. However,
“You have great skills… But, this degree doesn’t pose a threat”
To Yuki’s continuous attacks, Zest created protection barriers with the same number, and with her sharp fingernail for offence, it went and intersected their trajectories here and there.
To sustain the attack made by Yuki spirit sword at once was impossible, but the force of her attacks however was deflected to the floor. Still, Yuki which barely fixed her stance. As made a landing with her foot, Zest unleashed her magic this time.
At the same time, from the magic formation created by Zest, launched countless amount of spears of obsidian.
To intercept the innumerable black blades that poured down, Yuki backed a step and her sword sparked. Moreover, the sword attack that Yuki shot momentarily was specialized in defense other than attack. When the spirit sword swung at high speeds, a pentagram was cut in midair, and Zest’s protection barrier was repelled and it dispersed. Rather than a linear normal slash, she hit with such dexterous skill. However,
…It’s not a problem.
In midair, Zest calmly judged her and her opponent’s ability and made a decision. Though there was a chance to be defeated if she were to let her guard down, as long as she keep her guard up, she’s safe. If the opponent produced a power on par with the materialized spirit 'ByakkoWhite Tiger' it might get slightly difficult. However, no one in the Hero clan should be able to demonstrate their maximum power of their spirit sword in this kind of magical barrier that surrounded this building.
Though Zolgear’s magical barrier was dispelled by the banishing technique of Basara, this mansion is in the space that is closer to the demon realm than in the human world. It is almost impossible to acquire the divine protection of the spirits of nature.
In contrast to that, the power of the Demon clan like them is increased.
Therefore, Zest judged the situation as not really a problem.
A huge lightning sphere suddenly flew diagonally under her, and she was forced to evade by a steep margin.
Zest thought it was a new kind of surprise attack for an instant, but that proved she was mistaken.
Mio regained her consciousness before she came aware, and looked her with eyes full of regained fighting spirit. She is already in this state where she could free herself from being chained to the wall, but that is only but a mere physical restraint. Now that the magical barrier of Zolgear has disappeared, it couldn’t seal Mio’s powers anymore until a while ago. Concentration of mind is necessary for magic, and not motion. And she’s in a state to be able to use that plenty of magic.
In addition to that, for her to make an attack that requires only a blink of time to evade, Yuki made an opening for Mio to approach Zest. And as Yuki brandished her spirit sword, Kiiin, a shrill metallic sound was heard.
The chains that were restraining Naruse Mio was cut off.
As for Mio which was made to sleep by Maria’s magic to be awakened, Yuki appeared shortly after.
In the shower room of the school, the fact that the success reinforcement of the master-servant contract with Basara may had contributed to this. By improving their fighting power at that time, her tolerance to magic has gone up too.
Mio, as Yuki cut off from the chains and setting her free, while confirming the condition of her wrist,
“… I never expected myself to be rescued by you. Though it’s kind of vexing, but thanks.”
The instant when she spoke words of gratitude as she saw Yuki,
“Though it doesn't really matter, after we got into safety, please tell me more about it”
Said Yuki in her usual calm tone, “ah that” Mio shrugged her shoulders. And,
“and? I don’t believe that you came in all alone. Where’s Basara?”
“Probably helping Maria right now —— According to Basara, she seemed to have someone that was taken hostage.” As Mio heard that,
“…I see. I knew it, Maria was made to follow them by force.”
After observing the circumstances of the young succubus, she lowered her eyes and turned around. When Maria tried to make her sleep, Mio got the feeling that something is very wrong.
If it’s the truth, if she were to deceive her with malicious intent,
… You shouldn’t have looked at me with such eyes.
There is no turning back anymore, the eyes of Maria when she put Mio into sleep was very sad and painful. Not that Mio was really sure, but was that expression the very words that you told me yourself? (!)
However, you pretended to have betrayed us, and you forced yourself to behave coldheartedly.
Having thought what Maria had gone through, Mio clenched her fists. Then, while staring at Zest in mid-air, she released a crimson aura and declared:
“Doing such things, should really deserve to be rewarded, that child’s duty” (!)
—— After the kidnapping of Mio, Basara ordered Nonaka Yuki to remain on standby.
As he was about to enter the enemy base by any means, he wanted her to remain as backup for later.
The people who entered into a master-servant contract were able to know the positions of their partner. Thus, she knew at once when Basara arrived at the enemy base immediately. And because Mio has entered the same magical barrier, she couldn’t find Basara’s location temporarily. Though she went to the exact location when Basara’s presence had disappeared, the enemy base could not be found. Therefore, Yuki continued waiting for Basara’s presence to be felt patiently. And as Basara eliminated the magical barrier using Dimensionless Execution/Banishing Shift, Yuki was able to pinpoint the position of Zolgear’s mansion. Furthermore, a mail was received from Yuki’s mobile phone form Basara at the same time, telling Mio and Maria’s circumstances, and then she slipped into the base according to the orders written by Basara.
The orders that Yuki received from Basara is, to take rescuing Mio as the first priority.
So right now ——Yuki who faced Zest together with Mio, have remembered something over again.
……it was a good thing that I entered a master-servant contract with Basara.
For this reason, she had tracked down Basara whereabouts and was able to reach this place. Well, was it because their affinity is great, or she was just too obstinate not to lose to Mio? At the moment the master-servant contract was made, Yuki’s fighting power had boosted to another level.
…I’m thankful for that.
She can even match Zest that might be on the level of Special Class A relative to her ability, who should be able to kill her in a blink of an eye.
However, it is still undeniable that they are still at disadvantage. Even though the situation is two-versus-one, they were only a makeshift team. Their combination is questionable, and also, Zest’s ability was equal of the Spirit Lance 【White TigerByakko】or even more than that.
Of course, their condition and situation are different from back then. The partner who was Maria becomes Mio, and there are no more hesitations left of Yuki right now unlike when she fought Takashi. And above all, Mio and Yuki had deepened further their relationships for the master-servant contract with Basara from that time, so their fighting power has been improved.
Even that the barrier has been neutralized, the divine protecton of 【Sakuya】is weaker, and she can only materialize its power to half of its capacity than when they had faced 【White TigerByakko】.
In this situation, fighting head-to-head with Zest was a reckless feat.
If——supposing that they faced each other if she were still in the Hero Clan, Yuki would choose to withdraw immediately.
And after gathering her comrades and increasing their war potential enough, she would have challenged Zest again.
She does not belong to the Heroes anymore, but a simple girl called Nonaka Yuki right now. If Basara is still there fighting, then she have no rights to back down. And most of all, if she retreated and if Zolgear who is more powerful than Zest were to join the fray, they would be more outnumbered than before.
Fortunately, Zolgear seemed to be away right now. And even the difference in abilities between Zest and them is great even if the situation is 2:1, there is still a possibility to create an opening.
…Mio is here.
Since he wanted the power of Wilbert, the other side cannot do anything to harm Mio. Though it I saddening that she is being taken hostage as an advantage, in order to win in this situation when they are being overpowered by the enemy, glossing over was unnecessary.
Since they don’t know when Zolgear will return, they ended up with the quickest possible solution.
Though it is difficult to do it with an opponent with a large gap in abilities, Mio cannot be injured badly by the other side, but there is also a handicap on her, and that is she cannot escape. If the fighting still continued, it will earn time for Zolgear to return, and that would be a very big disadvantage. However,
“There is no use thinking it thoroughly. Let’s go, Yuki”
Mio said, thinking up the same conclusion as she did. Therefore,
“Yes—— Well then, I’m going first”
She said so, and Nonaka Yuki sped quickly towards Zest. At the same time,
Zest expanded several magic formations and—— immediately after, the stone pavement broke with a roaring sound, and an innumerable conically-shaped spears assaulted Yuki. As the sharp tips approach her, Yuki inclined her stance from before, jumped low and accelerated. Avoiding those spear tips from the floor, she leaped further from the side, cutting distance to Zest, and with her spirit sword [Sakuya], took her first hit.
It was a diagonal slash from the shoulder. On the other hand, Zest evaded by jumping to her rear. She jumped in midair to avoid it, and because Yuki eliminated her barrier, she is now defenseless against Mio’s magic. If she remained in that place, and faced them with her nails and barriers, Yuki would intercept her attacks with her sword combos from the opposite side as well, after all it would be harder for Mio to deal with her spell if she stopped. Therefore, Zest choosing to evade to the rear was not a mistake. However —— Yuki is a skill type, an all-around fencer/furigana multisaber who can handle all short distance combat and that is no tale. Zest which flew to the rear,
Gasped as she saw it. Yuki’s sword flashes that she evaded, produced blades of air by cutting through it, and forward—— she made a hit. Zest casted a magical barrier at once and prevented it, but Yuki ran ahead and chased her, she swinging out Sakuya and multiple combinations of the air blades blasted one after the other. Trying to bind Zest on the spot,
Yuki suddenly jumped to the left by intuition —— at the same time, her hari at the right side of her temples was brushed, and something invisible passed her.
…What was that just now…!?
Yuki was taken aback. It was probably earth-type magic. In Basara’s message, there was a “maiden” keyword that appeared regarding Zest as the accomplice. In the twelve signs of the Zodiac, 【The VirginVirgo】 was related to the earth element. Judging by the magic that she released a while ago, this should have a relation with the ability of Zest, no doubt of it. However,
… I couldn't see it at all.
Was it just a stone that flew at a high speed perhaps? If its hardness is boosted with magic, that speed and power would exceed ordinary firearms by far. Disregarding to avoid these things would be impossible.
Stopping her pursuit by jumping aside, her stance broken, she expressed a bitter face,
“Is that all you can do….?”
Zest declared with cold eyes, holding her hands aloft—— and in an instant,
“——— then, let me know what you can do”
Completing her magic spell, Mio wrapped Zest with roaring crimson flames in an instant. And then,
“No time to idle, Yuki!”
Mio who reprimanded her just now began reciting her next magic. Therefore,
Yuki also moved immediately. She’s right. She is an opponent who can be defeated by this degree.
“Please【Sakuya】 —— please give me a little more strength”
While running towards the blazing flame pillar, Yuki called her beloved sword in her hand.
And when she returned 【Sakuya】and enhanced its spiritual power, she unleashed a quick draw of her sword towards Zest surrounded by flames. With a shrill sound, the flames are cut horizontally into two equal parts.
In response to Mio’s warning, Yuki jumped back from that spot, and a huge lightning balls poured one after the other. With the sounds of electrical discharges, roaring lightning strikes echoed the stone floor.
“——I did it?!”
“——No, it didn’t”
To Mio who momentarily shouted with joy, Yuki exclaimed with a rigid expression. There was no resistance when she cut through the flame. When she looked back at once, Zest was already standing in a distant location, already chanting her spell.
An invisibility stone was released all together toward Yuki. She on the other hand gave up on evading and responded by slashing out on the surface. With a sword attack on the barrier, though Zest’s magic stone had flown away,
To a power more than she imagined, Sakuya which received the attack flew away from Yuki’s hand.
Damn it, I’m too late.
“――This is the end”
Zest declared, unleashing all the magic for the finishing blow.
The moment the magic stone was unleashed, Zest tended to end the battle.
With this, Mio will be the one remaining. Though she can’t kill her even if it was an accident, with their difference in abilities, she may disarm her without the girl getting injured.
For this, she waited for the right moment to strike Yuki with an obsidian bullet.
However, the barriers were deployed ahead of Yuki and kept her from Zest’s magic.
It goes without saying whose act it is. Therefore Zest looked at that place silently.
Though their difference in skills is obvious, Naruse Mio still didn’t lose even a single drop of her fighting spirit.
…Keeping her from getting injured, is more troublesome than I thought…
She knew that the girl had raised her power levels through the reinforcement of the master-servant contract with Basara, and it also seemed that their bonds with each other had strengthened considerably. This growth of her heart gave her fighting power a different intensity. It is like the saying that strong feelings for a person is a power that can make things possible.
The stronger the feelings are, the easier the heart becomes shaken. And, Basara, who is the support of the hearts of Mio and Yuki are in their hands now. Therefore,
“… how disappointing, Naruse Mio.”
Zest told to Mio.
“Even if falling into the hands of the enemy, cornered with no way to escape… Still, Toujou Basara whom you all loved dearly is right now, tried not to help you but Maria instead. What kind of master is that? Instead of helping those who treat him of importance, he gave priority to the one that betrayed him.”
To these words, Mio fell silent. This is because what Zest spoke was clearly the truth. There is no use to overreact to an unnecessary provocation. If she were to be shaken from trusting Basara even a little, this slight distrust leads to hesitation, and will become a critical chance in the fight. So,
“… Oh well. Well, the truth is, I don’t feel very well.”
Standing alone, Mio said while looking down.
“But it can’t be helped. Our relationship is just beginning, but I still know what kind of guy Basara is. Maria and I had got close to him and deceived him, but even after that, Basara still forgave us, protected us, and risked his life for us.”
“Let me tell you something. I don’t really mind even if Basara were to abandon me or anything, or putting me off or something. Surely, Maria will be there when that guy woke up. But that guy came not only to rescue me, but also Maria. You’ve taken hostages right? Thus we tend to save them from cowards like you. Therefore, we are try to help that girl right now.”
“A very good explanation… Do you really think you can do it?”
“That’s what I thought. To begin with, Maria‘s eyes are full of suffering, so even if she abandoned us and went somewhere else, I won’t be happy at all. Besides, Basara is trying to save me, too.” And also,
“Hey Yuki… did you came for me on your own will?”
“Don’t kid with me. It cannot be helped, Basara said it.”
To Yuki who refused quickly, Mio smiled in a whim.
“That’s too bad.  Our bonds wouldn't be swayed by some weak provocation like this —— Different from you and Zolgear.”
“…What do you mean by that?”
Zest narrowed her eyes all of a sudden.
“A while ago, I saw you talking to Zolgear. I don’t know what particular circumstances you have, but it seemed that that man before seemed to be overly cautious of you…”
While doing so, Mio placed her hand on the crest on her chest with a smile.
“It’s enviable, right?... The relationship between Basara and I”
“...a wonderful self-admiration you have.”
Zest replied with a thin smile, and shot the following words unto Mio—— for certain, those words could cause her to be shaken as it is.
However… Considering all that, after withnessing your friend Sakaki Chika and Toujou Basara in a lovers’ scene, haven’t you been shaken greatly?
“… That is…!”
Mio’s face flew red with a rage immediately, and it replaced the calm composure that she had a while ago. Zest didn’t miss that chance. She recited the spell she secretly performed, and the floor beneath Mio’s feet was transformed into restraints. If she were to neutralize Mio, Yuki alone would be an easy task for her. Therefore, she tried to do so, however——
A roar shook the whole building in an unexpected timing.
Together with a surprise, Zest is already convinced. No doubt… that just now was a single blow that Maria hit. She had hit Basara again.
…Fool, What on earth are you doing…
Zest grew impatient.
I knew I should have called Maria back earlier at all. And since Zolgear wants him, I cannot lose Basara.
Impatience and hesitation swelled inside Zest in a spur of a moment.
“————should I concern myself in the provocation of this person?”
As she put away her thoughts, Mio was already before her sight.
“if that’s the case ———— then eat this!”
The moment she told so, a torrent of raging lightning ran through Zest’s whole body.
Standing at the scene in utter amazement, was a young girl right beneath one’s eyes.
With the power she herself released, Maria was the one who gave three powerful hits to the young man who tried to stop her.
——As she released her inner spirit power and having gone on a rampage as of now, she was currently on a level of an S – Class in terms of fighting power, though temporary. Still, because she was ordered not to kill Basara from Zest, a single blow which she threw first right before his eyes, was only a warning shot that indicated that she was serious. However, Basara stood up, and tried to approach Maria again— — thus, two critical hits were shot the next time, causing his consciousness to fly away.
Basara screamed as it jarred through his flesh, and Maria was sure that she heard his bones breaking. And then, Basara was blown off, losing his consciousness. With this, while staring at the unmoving Basara, Maria thought that this is the end.
Basara’s resistance——together with his relationship with her, that Maria thought those were completely over.
—— However. Basara stood up slowly while swaying.
It was unbelievable. Of course, If Maria seriously drives her fist in to Basara right now, His body will be torn apart, but it was as if the two attacks with all her might earlier were meaningless.
Still the power was comparable to a degree of being hit by a truck. He shouldn’t be able to move right now if that was the case. But Basara stood up and started approaching Maria again.
To such appearance, Maria struck him while shouting. Not a single word has been said, just pure screams of emotions she wanted to entrust. Basara who received Maria’s fist is blown off three times——then thrown into the stone-paved walls so hard it made a crater, rolled then fell on the floor. And then,
Maria right now, is standing dumbfounded. It’s not because she had injured Basara more than assumed. She had applied more damage to him this time, so it should be impossible for him to move now—— but still, in front of Maria’s eyes, a body has begun to move.
It was the right hand of Basara. Basara’s fingers moved as if patting the floor grasped, and had put strength to become a fist.
Maria raised her voice in shock. The whole body of Basara which caught her three powerful attacks was tattered and bled.
There is no need to say that he’s finished. There is nothing he can do right now. But still —— Toujou Basara tried to stand up.
"Still trying to stand from that… do you really want to die Basara-san?"
Maria cried unintentionally. If Basara stands up, she herself won’t be able to do anything but attack him again. However, Basara is already at his limit. Basara may die this time if she made another attack to him. She definitely wanted to avoid that.
If she were to kill Basara here, he won’t understand what she will be suffering for till now.
"…such reason, that’s not it…"
However, Basara’s left hand which was on the ground supported his body from being down and he got up slowly.
And then, as he took a grip to his right knee by his right hand, strength returned to the lower half of Basara’s body.
With a groan, Basara stood up at last. And then,
"But…… It can’t be helped I guess? Because there are times when you hate something more than dying……"
With Maria who had transformed herself into an adult form with the same height as his, Basara stared at her,
"You…… continued suffering all this time, thinking that you can’t seek help anymore……"
To Basara’s words, Maria held her breath.
The thing that is supporting Basara today, was Maria’s wish.
——Maria after all, want to save her family that is being held hostage.
Since she betrayed these people, she offered all of herself to the enemy in order to spare them at least.
However, While trying to save her family from being held hostage, it can’t be helped that Maria deep down in her heart wanted also to be saved. Not only Maria, but also her family―― besides saving Mio, her train of thoughts is really different from Basara’s which is really trying to fulfill it.
…… There’s no such thing…
As Maria bit her lips, Basara started advancing with a step,
His face grimaced and suddenly, he staggered in pain, and knelt on one knee to the floor.
Seeming wanting to rush up to aid him in at once, Maria endured it desperately.
— The situation in this room is probably being monitored by Zest. If she helped Basara, it’s possible that her family being held hostage might be killed.
Meanwhile, the young man before his eyes stood up and has begun to walk to her again.
Of all the injuries that he had received, it was better for Basara to not be able to move, but still he approached Maria step by step. And then ––– Basara reached under Maria at last.
This person here is clearly over persistent. And yet, he faced Maria who cannot do anything but to be flustered like this,
"––– Because I want to help. You, Mio and also your family. I want to help you by all means"
"Please ––– I’m begging you, don’t give yourself up like this"
As he said so, Basara started hugging her in silence.
Thus, Maria moved at once.
With her right fist filled with her own feelings that she could never hand over, she drove it in to the chest of Toujou Basara. A single blow with all her might. It was a direct hit. Even Basara won’t be able to stand a chance ––– this should be enough.
Even after receiving her fist, Basara didn’t collapse.
Maria was serious. She absolutely didn’t hold back her power.
But still –––– even with all of Maria’s power right now put out with all her might, Basara’s chest was only beaten to a slight degree.
Maria, who turned around as if enduring to cry, suddenly embraced Basara’s shoulders.
“It’s impossible…… As a kind younger sister, I can’t possibly hit my big brother”
She said. Even though she exceeded her power for long. In reality, Maria didn’t want to actually injure Basara, and won’t really be able to win against him who is trying to save her. So,
“Up until now, they made you suffer alone for a long time, I’m sorry —— so leave it all to your big brother.”
To those warm words,
The tears which are held to its limits, ran down at the end of Maria’s eyes.
At that moment –––– all her feelings that were bottled up back then, overflowed and flooded out at once.
So Maria right now, wasn’t able to held back all her tears and emotions.
She cried. In Basara’s arms, while raising a loud voice like a child.
With a crying face –––– was a younger sister hugging her beloved big brother while shedding tears.
After being hit by Mio’s lightning magic, Zest was unable to fight anymore.
Restraining her with a rope specialized for demons, Nonaka Yuki tied up Zest.
The reason for not finishing her off was for them to acquire Zolgear’s weakness. While he’s away, Mio was entrusted to her to this degree. Perhaps, Zest might be the most important subordinate of Zolgear. If that’s the case, then it should be not strange for her to know Zolgear’s secrets. Or so they thought,
No matter how Yuki and Mio ask from her, there was no answer coming from Zest at all. According to Mio, Zest had a poor connections with Zolgear. Therefore, there may be a possibility that she was also forced to follow him like Maria, so thinking that maybe there’s a chance that she might be able to cooperate with them,
“Apparently… More than making her cooperate with us, it is even harder to make her confess.”
Yuki told to Mio while sighing in disappointment.
“Then it is dangerous to keep her alive any longer. We should eliminate her.”
They can’t let their guard down even if she is bound by a rope that seals off magic power. The risk of counterattack is not zero, and if Zolgear returned, they will have no chances of winning this time.
“…Well, it certainly is impossible to convince this person no matter what we say”
However, as for Mio.
“I wonder what Basara will do in this case… Even having found out the identities of Maria and me, that guy still accepted us. Maybe he can make this person have a change of heart”
In Mio’s proposal, Yuki fell silent. Zest was a challenge for even both of them, so this is a great opportunity to kill her. Even if Basara joined them, winning a head-on battle with a high ranking demon like Zolgear will be tough. If that happens, Basara will even risk his own existence.
“I understand… I must go to where Basara and Maria is as soon as possible.”
Though it has been a little while ago, the sounds of impacts and roars have already settled down, but there was a possibility that the battle still continued. If Maria were told that Zest has been defeated, this may help Basara in trying to persuade her who has her family taken hostage. However, if they left Zest here, this would give her a chance to escape while they weren’t looking, and it is still dangerous to watch her alone, given her ability. With Zest having restricted here, the best option will be to go to the other side with three people. Yuki and Mio who had matched opinions nodded to each other, but at the moment that they started to move,
All of a sudden, Yuki and Mio got perplexed at the same time, because they couldn’t move their bodies. Even that they can pull out their voices, their breathing didn’t follow. Over there,
“––––Hou? It seems that you have been going wild when I was away.”
a voice was heard smiling from above. Barely raising her face to look up, Yuki saw a figure of a demon at her first sight.
Mio nearby called his name filled with hatred.
“Oh… my mental restraints were of the same power a while ago, but now you can talk through it?”
Zolgear said seeming to enjoy that, and went in front of Yuki and Mio. At that moment,
Nonaka Yuki inhaled involuntarily. This wasn’t the first time for her in confronting a high ranking demon. However,
… No way, just a little more and we’d…
Yuki realized her naïve calculations. The aura that Zolgear clad in his body was far beyond her imagination. As she clenched her teeth in her unmoving state,
“The existence of friends after all was reassuring to see…isn’t it?”
Zolgear noticed Yuki’s existence, and suddenly a creeping stare was turned to her,
“Heh… This also. I saw it in the video so I knew, but seeing it in person, what a wonderful material we got here. And it seemed that it took these two people to apparently defeat that Zest somehow.”
“Together with Naruse Mio, I will make you mine… with a supreme pleasure even that boy called Toujou Basara will never give.”
“…Who would in the likes of you?”
“What dear… You and Naruse Mio, will soon wish to come for me.”
Yuki endured the sensation severely, and shakes her shoulder to Zolgear.
“By the way… are you alright, Zest?”
He said so, and stood in front of Zest next to Yuki.
“…Your Highness, I’m very sorry.”
When Zest knelt on the floor while restrained by the rope and lowered her head in sorrow,
“I don’t mind it… thanks to Toujou Basara in addition, I’ve got a new toy in my hands.”
Zest said in a gentle voice, and looked up to her master who’s worried about her.
–––but towards Zest, Zolgear casually brandished his arm in a flash.
A shockwave was generated and enfolded Zest, flinging her against the wall behind with a roar.
After throwing Zest through the stone-paved walls with quite an impact and falling down to the floor,
"… Zolgear, -sama…?"
Tattered, she looked up and saw Zolgear. Thereupon,
"Oh, sorry… are you all right?"
Zolgear apologized with a smile ––– not to Zest, but to Yuki who was also caught up by the shockwave that hit Zest aside.
"Though you will become mine later on, the number of wounds have increased too much. But you don't have to worry. I will heal you properly later ––– your whole body up to the very last corner"
"No… Your Highness, I"
As Zest spat out giving a bitter expression by reflex,
"Rather––– Zest, didn't you envy these girls that much you bastard? And that young man who is their master too."
As what Mio had said, she had thought of her own feelings and little desires which were locked away for long. (!)
As Zest stiffened once her thoughts that she slightly held was seen through,
"Your thoughts, it has always been carried to me ––– Haven’t you forgotten whose hands you were created from?"
And then, Zolgear.
"Useless. A subordinate who had lost her loyalty is no longer anything but a thrash ––– Die"
Bitterly saying so, the master who created Zest spun a certain curse against her.
Zest’s breath was held involuntarily. It was an incantation to kill Zest immediately.
At once, Zest was wrapped in purple light, but it’s not on the state to be shocked anymore.
She had never experienced even a single affection unlike the other subordinates so far.
Still, Zest worked hard to serve her master for a long time. even she's born as a woman, she never had a chance to serve him primarily as a woman, even if it is the sole purpose in life.
––– Yet, Zest right now, was cast away directly, and will be killed by her very own master.
However, Zest couldn't resist at all. She couldn't fight against the brutality and the unreasonableness of her master who turned his back on her. For Zest who is a magical life-form, the existence of her creator is absolute to this degree.
And as the purple glow that surrounded Zest amplified, the curse of instant death began to invoke ––– in an instant.
A gust of wind ran next to her ––––– and at the same time.
With a shrill sound, the light from the curse that wrapped Zest had disappeared.
How on earth did that happen? ––––– Zest was in blank amazement, and then she saw.
Grasping a demon sword which became the armor of his right hand, a young man was running towards Zolgear. It was Toujou Basara.
Toujou Basara rushed into the hall without hesitation.
Mio and Yuki were safe. There was a male demon which seemed to be Zolgear.
And Zolgear was trying to get rid of Zest who was his very own subordinate.
Basara who finished confirming the situation in an instant, materialized Brynhildr while running in full speed, plunging himself between Zolgear and Zest in a flash,
Wielded Brynhildr with both hands, and activated【Abysmal ExecutionBanishing Shift】. While having high pitched shrills at the same time, the curse that was going to kill Zest vanished. And then,
While hearing Mio and Yuki’s voice of surprise at the same time,
Basara without flinching even a bit from the high ranking demon Zolgear tried to stab him with Brynhildr.
With a high ranking demon as his opponent, Toujou Basara wasn't conceited to slip in without petty tricks. Aiming for a killer blow by a diagonal slash downward, he targeted the shoulder of Zolgear. But as the high speed slash leaving trails of white was about to get sunk towards Zolgear’s left shoulder,
At the last moment, it was blocked by a black sword that Zolgear created in his right hand.
"Hmph… not losing your calm in these situations, even connecting a feint is not bad."
But, Zolgear then smiled,
"The speed is fine, but with a feint of that level is unfortunately useless against me."
Basara grimaced, then as he cut the distance by jumping back from his previous position,
"However, to be able to nullify the curse of the instant death, I don’t understand the theory, but that’s a wonderful one."
Zolgear turned his eyes of great interest.
"And it also seems to be able to erase even my magical barrier… according to the report, the technique can only be executed as a counter, but it seems that it can also handle many applications and extend limits up to this degree."
Basara which was directed by his thin smile, poised Brynhildr silently in reply.
The speculations that Zolgear spoke of were correct.
––––【Abysmal ExecutionBanishing Shift】is only possible to execute as a counter for the opponent’s attack. However, even with such handicap, enlarging the domain defined by the 【Attack】gave the move a new degree of versatility.
He made to be able to draw out 【Abysmal ExecutionBanishing Shift】against the barrier of Zolgear a while ago from the inside, because it considered the isolation to the outside world as if【it had received an attack from the barrier】.
"Still, even you have succeeded in persuading Maria, coming alone in such a worn-out state… with the power of that fellow right now, your chances of defeating me had just become slim."
"… You have taken someone important from Maria"
Finally, Toujou Basara opened his mouth.
"As I face you, I recall all sorts of things, being shook up by a threat and being thrown into confusion. It’s too high risk for you to fight that guy right now."
Though Maria said that she wanted to fight together with him, Basara didn't allow her. Realizing her feelings, although he’s grateful, Maria had suffered Zolgear's blackmails for a long time. Plus, having a spiritual advantage, it would be easy for her to be manipulated. Even if she could transform to boost her power, if it cannot be unleashed, it is useless. In fact Maria won’t be able to kill Basara even though she had her family being taken hostage. The girl called Maria has a gentle heart. However, that gentleness is why Zolgear has the advantage. That’s the reason why Basara set Maria aside.
"I see. It appears that the head seems to be around in its own way."
Zolgear put up a larger smile.
"But I don’t understand… To go that far and help Zest who is your enemy, what are you scheming? Saving a dying person who is your enemy, have your chivalrous spirit gone mad"
"… Unfortunately, I don’t have such noble beliefs."
Basara said casually. To make it clear, Basara moved his sight to Zest who was looking at him in utter amazement,
"Well, she could be similar to Maria, who is made to follow you by force, too. If that’s the case, then she isn't our enemy. That is enough reason to help her."
"What a sweet thing… unlike your half-hearted plays from Naruse Mio and that girl over there, my and Zest’s contract are absolute. Similar to just now, a command to die is also included. If I give a command some other time, won’t you reconsider it again if she bares her fangs at you?"
"At that time, Yuki and Mio will hold her in check again."
Seeing her being bound up, Perhaps, while Basara is holding off against Maria, Mio and Yuki fought her and won. It’s the opponent who Takigawa referred troublesome. Zolgear is not a sham to a degree but a man befitting of considerable caliber, and though there is no guarantee that Mio and the others can win in a head-on fight, if she’s restricted with the rope, there won’t be a problem. However,
"–––– I’m sorry to say this, but that’s impossible."
Zolgear sneered in ridicule.
“Unfortunately, those two aren't in a condition to move right now… Well, that’s because I have bound them up already."
"Be careful Basara…… that guy uses some kind of odd magic!"
Mio shouted, Yuki next to her also shown affirmation in her bitter expression.
"It’s futile –––– no one can avoid my mental restraints"
And then, Zolgear's sharp gaze pierced through the whole body of Toujou Basara in an instant.
Upon seeing Zolgear’s gaze, Basara was stuck in a pose while setting up Brynhildr.
"––––? Thi, this is……"
While in the midst of confusion, Basara tried to struggle to slip out from the bondage.
"What happened to your power a while ago? It’s kind of disappointing if you can't move at this degree."
Zolgear's mental bondage is neither an art nor magic. It is pure will similar to a mere hostility and killing intent transformed to disable an opponent. The intensity of the effect is directly proportional to the ability of the user.
"I heard that you’re the son of that Jin Toujou, and really look forward to it but… did he really threw away the title of being the strongest hero for the sake of such a son? I don’t know if it was a father's sentiment, but for a fool who was once called the war god to have stooped so low…"
Mocking at him full of scorn, he faced Basara who was at loss for words.
"Don't worry. Though I have no particular interests to keep such a man who is on the level of an insect alive with mental bondage, you with a rare ability is an exemption. I'm going to analyze those powers and make you mine, as well as Wilbert's power sleeping in Naruse Mio, too."
Zolgear walked a few steps in a slow pace,
"But first –––– how about showing me what's inside your head?"
As he said so, he stretched out his left hand towards Basara's forehead–––– then at that moment,
"––––?" Zolgear jumped back in reflex, and the spot he was a while ago was mowed down by Brynhildr at the same time. As Zolgear landed on the floor lightly,
"Hou… You escaped from by mental bondage by force? Looks like you aren't really a burden to your father"
Zolgear grinned, while Basara looked down.
"You can say whatever you want to me… well as you see, I'm not that great"
However, with eyes filled with intense fury, Basara raised his head.
"But my father –––– Toujou Jin, I'll never ever forgive anyone who insults him… ever!"
Basara raised his sword and rushed unto Zolgear with no hesitation. Then,
"Is that so? Then, prove it to me right now."
Zolgear showed a coldhearted smile.
"–––– Bear this in your mind. Insects will still give birth to insects"
While saying so–––he charged in front of Basara.
The truth is ––– Toujou Basara's ability was not on the level capable of freeing from Zolgear's mental bondage. But Basara was able to escape from Zolgear's rule as he applied his experiences in handling high ranking demons on the same level.
Five years ago, a Hero has been possessed by an evil spirit that drove the 【Village】into destruction. Mio had Wilbert's power ran wild last month. And then, Maria who had runaway transformed herself from her spirit form just a while ago.
Both of them have powers of S- and S class. Those are relative for Basara in fighting against the mental bondage Zolgear had cast.
–––But, the thing that moved Basara wasn't his experience.
It's the feeling that is burning up inside him.
His beloved younger sisters–––Mio and Maria were continuously being hurt by this man and continued tormenting their hearts. Added to that, Jin, his father whom he respected more than anyone ––– was insulted right in front of him.
Facing Zolgear, Toujou Basara changed his anger burning up his body into sheer power. He dashed three steps forward, accelerating even further from Zolgear's sword with proper timing, and leaped from the front. In an instant, he got into the back of Zolgear, and drawn out a horizontal killing blow. However,
Zolgear caught his attack by the black sword from his hand with a grin.
High pitched sounds of clashing metal resounded–––––– however, Basara had readied his own body for the next action even before the sounds were heard. Sliding on the stone-paved floor, Basara sprinted as he lowered his body, reducing his distance from Zolgear immediately.
Basara connected a series of high speed attacks. Performing quick footwork at point-blank range consistently, he tried to stab different times in succession.
"I have said this already –––––– your speed isn’t bad. It is in a considerable level for human beings"
Zolgear praised, however he easily continued to parry Basara’s sword attacks at ease.
"Perhaps among the hero clan, no person can match your speed. That speed can pretty much overwhelm an opponent I say."
"These attacks that gave priority to speed has a nice look, but it's easy to read as it concentrates only to blind spots and taking your opponent off guard. These cheap and childish sword tricks can only be used against opponents of the same level"
With weapons reverberating constantly, Zolgear who keeps on receiving attacks,
“Aren't you taught by your father on how to use a sword? –––––– You are to use it this way”
In just a mere pause, he had cut through the openings between the sword attacks of Basara, swinging his black sword all the way to the bottom. Basara who received it with Brynhildr at once,
Was thrown up right away from the heavy sword attack. Then, kicking the floor at once, Zolgear approached him,
Basara who broke his stance forcibly swung Brynhild.
"To wave your sword in desperation like that ––– how unsightly"
As Zolgear drove with his jet black sword easily, Brynhildr was warded off without making any sound.
Not even making a sound of clashing metals, Basara stared in blank surprise.
"––Does this surprise you that much?"
Zolgear gave a scornful laugh and declared at a distance as he approached Basara.
"Don’t tell me… You haven’t understand the difference of our abilities yet?"
At the same time, Basara received a heavy blow to the back. He received a blow from the hilt of Zolgear's sword.
The impact reached his lungs, Basara was deprived of his concept of breathing and fell on the floor.
His feet made a landing barely. As he was about to fall down, he thrust his knee on the floor with irregular breathing.
Then, Zolgear’s sword was wrapped in dim light.
"Let me have you taste the flames of hell––––"
As Zolgear said so, dark flames were released as he swung his jet-black blade. He approached at once while burning down the whole atmosphere from an empty space.
Basara countered with 【Abysmal ExecutionBanishing Shift】at once–––––however it wasn't enough, as it was barely repelled. Then, when the remains of the black flame Basara countered reached the floor, it created a simultaneous chain of explosions.
Basara wa blown off by the impact and was flung to the floor about ten meters away from that spot.
Yuki cried out loud–––that voice barely joined Basara’s consciousness altogether.
Basara stood up in desperation. He couldn't afford to fall down now.
He has a precious family that he needs to protect. He couldn't afford to lose those important to him.
He couldn't allow his precious sisters and his childhood friend to be stolen from him––––Therefore,
Wiping the blood in his lips by the back of his hand, Toujou Basara faced in front. Zolgear who already landed from the air to the floor was looking at him in anticipation.
"That’s a good one… to be able to scatter my flames even from a bad angle. That technique sure is wonderful."
"When I have gotten Wilbert’s power ––––The new king of the underworld will be me."
"…I won’t let you do such thing!"
I won’t let this man do as he wanted!
Speaking words of rejection, Basara charged in front again.
It was a fight that they could never afford to lose. And yet,
Toujou Basara’s impatience and frustration intensified. In terms of speed, he is superior. Attack speed, movement speed, reaction speed––––in every aspect he is better than Zolgear.
––still, not a single cut was made by his sword.
Zolgear kept on dodging the attacks that Basara gave and easily dealt it with ease. He passed through all his attacks, read his feints, and handled his speed with composure.
There was an overwhelming difference in abilities that his speed alone is insufficient to reach.
Moreover –––as Maria had said, Zolgear can also use countless powerful magic besides sword fighting.
The black flame a while ago is magic. He applied magical power to the blade and shot it through. Even though he’s messing around with sword plays, if he used magic, it will be over. However,
"Even so, I cannot lose here…!"
As an elder brother, as a childhood friend, and as a son–––Toujou Basara wanted to protect them.
The man before his eyes is trying to deprive him of his important ones and taint them.
He cannot forgive such a thing.
Even in overwhelming disadvantage, the situation is still better. Zolgear is cautious of 【Abysmal ExecutionBanishing Shift】 that was made to save Zest. In addition, to acquire Basara’s ability, he’s trying to choose the best option to capture him alive. The way things really are, there is a faint hope among the hopeless difference in their abilities–––Therefore,
…Please, hold on…!
As Basara persuaded his own body, he changed his fighting style.
This style is contrary to the speed types that avoid useless movements. Using it in the battle against Takashi who excel in wielding the Spirit Lance【White TigerByakko】, it makes an opponent incapable of reading your moves by giving away too much useless movements and recklessly charging ahead at full speed, a way of fighting that is almost similar to a reckless rampage. However,
…A little is all I need…
If he were able to drive Zolgear into a corner, even by a slight chance, then it’s possible to defeat this guy. So,
Putting his body into the domain of hyper-speed, Toujou Basara began charging at Zolgear.
To Zolgear who seemed to be delighted as he saw, Basara drove a continuous attack that combined both irregularity and eccentricity. On the other hand, as Zolgear dealt with the combo of attacks that Basara gave,
"So a non-strategic suicide attack eh …? Your way of resistance pleases me to the end."
Still smiling with composure, he cut off Basara’s attacks.
––––But, from here on, Basara accelerated. Afterimages are slowly appearing, series of attacks are connected, and began to surpass Zolgear’s defenses that he took pride of. And then,
Tearing apart his robe along with his scream, Basara apparently caught Zolgear.
Starting from his shoulders a small rip ran around Zolgear’s battle clothes.
…I can make it…!
Even his consciousness was about to dim the moment the sword reached, Basara had found light.
"Impressive… Even though I had ground you to this extent, you still managed to lay a blow on me."
Zolgear smiled in admiration,
"––––Now then, How about this?"
The moment he said that–––– Zolgear's figure disappeared as if it was swallowed by the void.
Basara was caught in a surprise. Zolgear's presence, let alone his terrifying aura of magical power has completely vanished.
With a severe expression, Basara set up Brynhildr and focused his eyes at his surroundings.
The moment he felt a presence, it was too late.
Basara's neck is grasped by an invisible hand, and his body was lifted to the air. And then,
"You can make use of the speed you are proud of to disappear from the eyes of your opponent, yet you can't do anything when the other party disappeared from your view? How disappointing… "
A voice full of ridicule was heard from the thin air before his eyes. While grabbing his neck so hard that it might broke anytime,
Toujou Basara swung Brynhildr with great force to the space in front of his eyes.
However, his body was thrown, his back hitting the floor forcibly. With a roar, a crater appeared on the stone-paved floor behind Basara.
Raising his voice in agony from the impact, acute pain ran all over his body. Still, he rolled to his left with haste. At the same time,
An invisible blade pierced the floor from where the right shoulder of Basara had been.
"Hahaha, You avoided that well, that's good, but not so."
As Basara rolled sideways, he kicked the floor and stabbed towards the place of origin of the voice.
He aimed at his feet. If the opponent is superior at stealth, one way to defeat it is by disabling his movement. However, when Brynhildr drew a horizontal slash, Basara only cut through thin air.
On the contrary, he received a blow coming from his right that seemed from a sword hilt.
He received an impact from his torso, stumbling back by a step or two. Almost fainted in agony from the hit in his trunk earlier, Basara clenched his teeth in rejection and still tried to stand up. However,
"Have your fast legs that you're proud of stopped working? If so, then behave and fall down. It will be much easier"
At that moment he said that with a grin, Basara lowered his head in pain.
Receiving a blow from the back of his head, his body pitched forward.
––––But, this was enough for Toujou Basara to fall unconscious.
In addition to that, before engaging with Zolgear, Basara had already taken so much damage in order to persuade Takigawa and Maria. Even a blink would make Basara’s eyelids be closed for eternity.
However–––Basara who fell sideways, had his eyes almost shut, and then he saw. The two girls who shouted on top of their voices towards him.
Mio and Yuki.
Basara couldn't hear what the two are saying. As if all of the sounds were gone from the world. Probably because the damage he received was too much, his sense of hearing was temporary paralyzed. However,
Mio and Yuki desperately called out something. Towards Basara, they shouted on the top of their lungs.
Toujou Basara couldn’t hear it. He couldn't hear even a tiny bit of voice from the two. But,
When the two finally stopped their words, they looked at his face that seemed like they are about to cry.
Clenching his teeth, Basara stood up.
It's because he remembered. The reason why he is fighting, the reason why he must not lose here.
The sense that was born first was his acute pain. The pain lead Basara to regain his five senses again.
"So you can still stand huh… Coming up to this point, is no longer bravery, but plain stupidity."
With a happy tune, Zolgear suddenly appeared before him at once.
Basara fixated his eyes on him in silence. Then,
"You’ve got good eyes. Eyes full of willful thoughts of your unwillingness to hand yourselves over–––then, I shall trample those thoughts for you."
Zolgear expressed a cruel smile.
"I will show those eyes of yours the true meaning of despair…"
In a second, Zolgear vanished again. However, Toujou Basara didn't move.
Basara closed his eyes, and the concentration of all his other nerves have been raised to the maximum.
In his present condition, being able to swing his sword this time maybe his last.
––I must not miss this time.
Aiming for a single blow, Toujou Basara prepared his stance.
Slipping out excess force from his whole body, he arrived into a speed reaching like an act of god.
Zolgear’s figure and his presence cannot be felt. Being able to completely erase his own existence, perhaps, it is a skill that crosses dimensions or something. But still, there is only one chance to catch Zolgear. And that is,
…the exact timing Zolgear attacks me…
It was to aim at him in a flash. Zolgear’s attacks couldn’t be avoided until now. However, Basara didn’t think about evasion anymore. If the other party uses an ability to cross dimensions, It is impossible to avoid it no matter how he moves. Then one should not choose evasion, but a flash counter ahead as an option. Suddenly––––To the tremor in the atmosphere that was felt behind,
Toujou Basara twist his body faster with a spinal reflex, and paid all out in his single blow.
The horizontal killing slash caught the invisible Zolgear from thin air.
As Brynhildr’s slash was driven in––––Toujou Basara gave a positive response.
At that moment–––he became dumbfounded.
Brynhildr surely hit the torso of Zolgear.
However, it didn't reach. The spot was protected by a protective barrier by a very small gap.
––––just a few millimeters more.
If he could only set their distance to zero, Basara might have been victorious from here. However, the distance that is only from zero to several millimeters, seemed to be a cruel distance between zero and infinity.
“That's right–––I really wanted to see those eyes.”
The moment his dark smile is heard, Toujou Basara was flung against the wall at his rear.
With just a glance of Zolgear, Basara was crashed on the wall and fell on his back. –––but, he couldn't stand up. A sword attack of Zolgear threw Basara off behind, completely separating his consciousness from his body––––––which was only natural. However,
Being bound by mental bondage, Mio cried out Basara’s name. Then,
Basara moved with a slight groan. Even though the armor in his right hand crumbled, he didn't let go of Brynhildr.
"Having this much vitality to move for an insect…I’m impressed by your willpower."
Grinning, Zolgear began walking slowly towards Basara.
A cold voice was heard behind Zolgear.
It's not Mio. It is not Yuki. And no––––It wasn't Zest either.
––––Then who is it?
Zolgear understood. Then he smiled.
The one talking at his back is none other than…
"I knew you would come… the boy is only a decoy, and the real thing is you, right Maria?"
Still smiling, Zolgear turned his back and faced Maria with composure.
On the other hand, Maria was also in a calm and composed state, and said:
"…You’re wrong. In fact, Basara didn't want me to come."
"I’m not the type to wait while others are fighting––––and it’s also because Mio-sama and I aren't fated to be yours in the first place."
She told so, and glanced at Mio from her distance.
"You…are Maria, right…?"
A voice of surprise was leaked at her figure, which transformed herself into her mature form. Being silent because of the guilt after deceiving them, she glanced at Mio and Yuki apologetically but only for an instant.
"––––Hou. I knew it, that figure of yours is truly beautiful."
At that instant, Zolgear gazed back towards her.
As soon as she saw Zolgear's creeping glance that seemed to lick her all over, Maria jumped back in panic.
"Though I don't usually have even a little bit of desire towards young people, you right now made me quite excited. But even if I order you to transform yourself several times after coming to follow me, that would be impossible because it is a one-time use technique……or was that a lie as expected?"
"……I would rather die than become your partner at night"
Maria spat out in disdain.
"I really cannot understand a habit of a wild succubus having a sense of virtue… then, you who kept on feigning ignorance, with your family's life on the line, why is it that you are in your transformed state right now?"
Zolgear shook his shoulders feeling happy.
"Do you want to become a woman at least, because you failed making the boy deprave you ––––Or, you think transforming yourself and keeping your original form would allow you to escape the guilt from your betrayal?"
"I don’t have any more rights to expect such a thing. I had appeared to stop Basara from acting recklessly."
"My purpose coming here in this appearance––––was to kill you."
She declared in an icy tone.
"Me, killed…? Surely, you are able to fight me on face to face, but not this time."
As if gauging her ability, Zolgear spoke.
"However, a considerable amount of time has passed after you transformed. In that condition, you can only last for a few minutes. In such a short time, you intend to kill me who is even more powerful that you?"
"We won't be able to find it if we won’t try"
"No, I already knew. You cannot kill me… have you forgotten?"
Saying so, Zolgear snapped his fingers.
Then–––––on the screen at the wall to the right, a video footage of a prison was projected. There, a member of her family was reflected.
Maria held her breath instinctively, then her face turned bitter.
"Now then, I will let you choose… Naruse Mio and that girl over there to become mine, betraying your master together with the Moderates faction that was supposed to save you, or see your family die?"
As he said so, Zolgear revealed a vulgar smile.
He has taken the hostage in some unknown remote place. It was a hopeless situation. However,
"…I refuse all of them."
Maria, enduring her heart to succumb in desperation glared at Zolgear.
It's because of what Basara had said to her. Because he will save her by all means, Maria shouldn't give up either.
And–––––thanks to Basara, a ray of light remained in this desperate situation. That is,
"I will defeat you here, and look for my family afterwards. For sure, that woman over there know their whereabouts."
Not taking a move yet, Maria took a glance at Zest. She was told as useless and has just been ordered to die, so there's no reason for her to follow Zolgear's orders anymore. Even if Maria asked, it may be impossible, but if Basara who saved her life asked, it is. Then,
"After defeating me huh? …unfortunately, that's impossible."
From those words, Zolgear couldn't help but laugh.
"How can you declare that sort of thing so casually? As for the limit your appearance will last, it is only a little more time–––with me as of now, one serious hit would kill you."
To that, Maria got into a pose, lowered her waist lightly, and broke into a run.
"Nay… Even if you are in that state for a long time, I say that it’s impossible for you to save your family after defeating me."
The moment Zolgear said those words ––––The video footage on the wall suddenly changed.
Maria was dumbfounded for a moment. Having projected onto the wall, was the prison covered with blood. And the figure of her family that was reflected a while ago can't be found anywhere.
Zolgear with a heartfelt expression said:
"The moment I snapped my fingers a while ago, was not to start the projection the video footage. It was the motion key to activate the super-electromagnetic radiation device of the jail where your family was. The video footage a while ago, is the result of what had just become." He said in disappointment.
"But you should be grateful. Though I exposed a horrible way of dying, there is no time to suffer. After all––––––the body exploded in an instant."
He said so as he continued projecting the video footage at this moment.
Particles of innumerable purple lightning has risen in the surface of the jail, engulfing Maria's family in a state of panic, then swell like a balloon in surprising swiftness, and exploded–––––into a thousand fragments of flesh and blood.
In Naruse Mio's line of sight, Maria leaked a trembling voice of aghast.
Losing all her willpower, both of her knees slowly got down on the floor, rose colored particles wrapped Maria, and the next moment, her body returned to that of the original young girl.
Feeling the despair of witnessing her family’s death, the last power that remained in Maria was lost. If it was the usual Mio, she would rush up to Maria and support her. It doesn't matter even if she had been deceived. If her loved one has gotten hostage and was threatened, it couldn't be helped. –––––But the present Mio wasn't able to rush up to Maria.
Mio's eyes were also nailed down to the video footage that has been showed to Maria. The death of Maria's family resembled the way her foster father is killed while confronting Zolgear for the sake of Mio's safety.
The memory of that day was inevitably revived.
In Mio's mind, the scene when her adoptive parents were killed flashed back clearly.
As Mio's feelings burst out, red waves that swelled up inside her went loose.
Upon witnessing the power of Wilbert running wildly inside Mio, Zolgear exclaimed. A deep red wave extended around her, making the atmosphere rumble intensely.
And then––––the waves produced a gravity storm and focused on a single point, seeming to swallow everything within its grasp. With a shrill sound, the bright red waves Mio produced was dispersed.
At the same time, vast magic circles appeared along the walls, the floor and the ceiling.
"––––––all appeared according to my calculations"
Zolgear who succeeded in completely confining Mio's power, said so and laughed in a grand manner.
––––––For the power gravity magic of Wilbert that sleeps inside Mio,
Zolgear performed elaborate preparations to obtain it. Collected information are poured into his mansion.
Zest examined the numerical values in Mio’s battle against Lars in the park the other day, prepared the magic field, and finished the adjustments.
The switch to make Mio’s power run wild was also predicted to this extent, too. The important thing is to make her experience a similar scene when her parents are killed like in the video footage, and that should do it.
The video footage some time ago could be replayed, and if anything, a human being and a devil will do as a sacrifice. If it works and the power runs wild again, awakening its full power will be in no time.
––––The only difficult part is, deploying the anti-magic field consumes a large amount of magic power. This time Zolgear’s magic power was used, but it is as what you expect of the power of the strongest demon king. Though Zolgear was confident in his amount of magic power, it has made to consume most of his just by having suppressed it once.
Zolgear suddenly smiled.
This time, he can use the absorbed magic power that was suppressed from the current rampage to the device for the next one. It only has to repeat the rampage and absorption afterward.
"The goal to obtain the power of Wilbert was within my sight…"
Zolgear examined over again. After the rampage, Naruse Mio’s stood still with hollow eyes.
Probably it was impossible for her to retain consciousness after releasing all that magical power inside her body.
However––––in spite of such state, Mio was beautiful.
"Well then––––shall I show you much more?"
Thoroughly satisfying her beauty, Zolgear stretched out his right hand to tear apart Mio’s clothes.
But the hand disappeared.
"––––––Guaaaaa! My hand, my hand! –––"
As he pulled back his right hand while grimacing in pain, his right arm was already gone up to his shoulder.
––––and then, Zolgear finally noticed.
At Mio, who is standing still––––the surrounding atmosphere was shaking.
"…This is… no way!"
Zolgear, who unleased the power of Wilbert inside Mio, understood why it was alive while being in the center of the gravity storm. As if he cannot believe what is happening, he cried:
"Was the gravity waves that didn't let through created a space distortion? Did it create a barrier of high temperature in the surroundings……!?" (!)
Probably, this is the original power of Naruse Mio.
Sleeping in the shadow of Wilbert, was Mio's true nature that cannot be warped by any existence.
And then, the moment he thought so, Zolgear held his breath in shock. The cause–––Naruse Mio, turned her hollow eyes onto him.
The time has come.
Despite of the powerful force running wildly around her whole body, Naruse Mio was calm and composed.
Naruse Mio, while staring at the man in front of her eyes, longed for this day to come.
––––One day, her parents were suddenly killed. She was told that she was not a human but a demon. She kept on convincing herself that it was a lie, but the truth was thrust to her–––almost crushing her to despair and uneasiness, but still, she was able to make it somehow. To avenge the enemy who murdered her adoptive parents––––this man in front of her eyes, was her earnest desire.
She was confident her wish will finally be fulfilled at last.
If it's her present self–––obliterating the enemy in front of her would be no effort at all. Therefore,
Seeing her enemy frightened, she raised her hands in a quick motion.
No problem. I can erase him completely without a trace. Because I––––I have lived for this sake. I will defeat the enemy of my parents right now.
Thus, intending to eradicate everything, Mio created waves to erase him whole.
"I cannot allow this, Mio."
This time––––––a soft voice was heard, completely restraining her actions.
While dragging his injured legs, a dull, heavy pain reached his sides.
Still, Toujou Basara called out to Mio’s back that was before his eyes.
"Stop… You mustn’t kill him."
Without looking back, a question came. It was a low, dark voice that is far from the usually bright Mio. This face of hers wasn’t seen by Basara. But, he was sure––––––she had that expression that he would never allow her, this present Mio to do it. And then,
"This guy is father and mother’s enemy… This guy, he killed them in front of me."
To Mio who is still not looking back, Basara returned a bitter nod.
"I have lived to take my revenge to this bastard, to kill this bastard!"
"Yeah, I know…"
That’s why, Mio:
"If you understand......Why did you say "don’t kill" ?"
To that cold voice, Zolgear's whole body shook in fear. Yuki and Zest held their breaths, too. Powerful and intimidating. In addition to Wilbert's power, Mio's potential has also let loose, a pressure suitable to be called a demon king's level.
However–––––Toujou Basara still told her. With a firm and strong voice,
"But I––––this revenge of yours, I didn't wish for your future to be bound up by this."
These words, which Basara had said, was a wish that he held from the bottom of his heart.
––––––The enemies of her parents were defeated. Being released from the suffering, she should have a peace of mind.
Being obtained her long cherished wish, it should provide her a sense of fulfillment.
But, if Mio intended to take revenge on her parents’ enemies, it will all end here. Other than the fact that her parents were killed, nothing will be left other than the fact that she killed the enemy.
Of course, a big regret will remain in Mio if she doesn't kill Zolgear here.
That regret of hers will be healed by Basara, Maria and Yuki whom were close to her.
But if not, she won't be able to erase the fact that she had done. Before, Toujou Basara let his ability run wild once, his past where he erased the bodies of his companions couldn't be the same anymore. If Mio were to kill Zolgear here, this truth will never be overturned.
If Mio were to kill her own feelings and gave priority to complete her mission above all––––––if she acquired training of the Hero Clan, he might not stop her.
–––––––But, Mio is not so.
In reality, she's not straightforward, but is actually gentle. She's acting brave and all, but the truth is she isn't strong. Even that she had inherited the Demon King's predecessor’s power, even that she could use strong magic,
Toujou Basara is sure–––––Naruse Mio is still a normal girl.
For that reason, Basara wanted to protect her.
From everything who will hurt her. Therefore–––––if Mio is going to hurt herself,
He will protect her even from her own self.
Therefore, Toujou Basara said again. He intended to repeat this no matter how many times.
"Mio, if you kill him–––––you will only achieve a sense of liberation from revenge for a moment, followed by eternal despair. The life of this guy… you don’t need to carry it in your back and suffer this burden."
"Because I will protect you…from the hatred of losing your parents, from the regret of overlooking this fellow, I will protect you from all of them, even to those that seemed to be impossible. I’ll spend every day being near with you from now on…I will lighten it little by little."
In a soft voice, but filled with strong emotions he wanted to convey, He told to the girl whom he cherished so much.
Then, from Basara's words, from a long silence Mio gave,
"…Then, give me an order."
She said, turning around and looked back towards him.
And cried out.
"Primarily under the contract, I who am your subordinate, "Don’t kill him", "Give it up", give me an order to do so. Then I, to Basara–––––to Onii-chan, I will follow."
She squeezed out those words in a tragic but brave voice. However, Basara refused to remain silent.
"…No way. If you are saved by that then I will order you as much as I need to. However, we cannot return to being a brother and sister anymore if we did that. It will be impossible for us to return back to being a family."
I hate that.
"Right now I am not a hero. And, if this is a mission, these flashy words cannot protect you anymore." However,
"But as a family, as a big brother, as a man–––––I will protect you."
With those words that contain what he truly desire, Toujou Basara hugged Naruse Mio.
"I’m sorry for being unreliable……but still, let me protect you."
As he touched Mio, the people around them held their breath at once. This is because they have witnessed Zolgear vaporized his arm in a similar way in front of their own eyes.
But––––Toujou Basara informed his own body that there is no need to worry. The barrier of high temperature surrounding Mio didn't exist anymore. When she turned around with a face that seemed to cry anytime, Mio had already calmed the rampaging of her power. Later on––––––by the words that persuaded her, he waited for the opportunity.
––––––Then, Mio was hugged into the arms of Basara, and before long, began quivering her shoulders.
It grew louder and louder. Before she knew, the cries overflowed.
With her parents murdered, it revealed her real nature and a wailing girl who was trapped in her own despair of cruel reality and revenge was born. The sorrow of Naruse Mio, those feelings that she couldn’t stop, formed tears and overflowed. As such, Mio, her precious family––––––Toujou Basara kept silent, and continued hugging her.
The backslash of her power running wild has seemed to hit.
Mio fainted into the arms of Basara after a short while, as Yuki observed. At the same time,
The figure of Zolgear who had crouched on the floor dissolved into thin air. He used this chance and escaped in an instant. Nonaka Yuki reacted immediately.
"–––––I won’t let you escape!"
She tried to pursue him at once, but,
"There is no need for that, Yuki…"
Basara that held Mio gave words of restraint. However, Yuki didn’t understand.
"Why…… that guy hurt Basara and everyone. Besides, he is also obsessed with you two. As soon as he have healed his injury, he will surely come back again. Plus, that man, to Maria–––––."
However, the moment Basara gave words of relief,
"––––––Maria" A voice sounded like a child called a name, and Maria was the first to respond.
Everyone followed where the voice came from, then the young succubus came up running to the entrance. With overwhelming surprise filled her heart for a moment, Maria jumped onto the succubus that was even smaller than her.
Feeling the warmth of her family whom she have thought would have died, Maria was stunned by that fact.
"–––didn't I say that I’m going to save you?"
"There is someone who lent his power to us. Before Zolgear tried to kill this child, he was able to save her somehow. The one that have died was only a dummy to be precise."
For Maria who doesn't believe in miracles,
"Yes. For that I’m alright…… Thank you, Maria"
With a reliable warmth surrounding her arm, it came to tell her that the miracle is real. With a soft voice,
"Until now, they have made you suffer for a long time. For that, I’m very sorry……"
From those calm words, her small head was raised, and with a trembling body and a shaking voice, Maria which is deeply moved, said
It was a deep heartfelt reunion. Still, there is a word that couldn't be avoided.
Yuki knitted her eyebrows in reflex.
Then, the smiling young succubus beside her is…
"Oh my, I apologize for the slow introduction. I am Maria’s mother, Shera. I’m grateful for you helping my daughter."
"Ha, Well… that is……it's our pleasure"
With a slightly perplexed look, Basara also bowed, although he gave a hand to help her out, he doesn't seem to know about it and the fact truly shocked him.
Also, Yuki wanted to hear the circumstances including the matters of the 'Collaborator' that Basara said.
"Well……I’ll tell the details later."
That idea was renewed from Basara's words. Well, there is certainly one thing that they should be doing right now. That is,
"First of all, let’s find a way out of this place. Zolgear may have a device or something in this mansion."
From his words, Yuki and the others who were in the place nodded. Then, Basara,
"––––Zest, you’re going to come with us, too."
Unlike Zolgear who ran away, she was prepared to accept what kind of treatment they will do to her, they told to the beautiful demon who have remained quiet till now.
"Though there are a lot of stories I want to hear… we'll discuss about what you will do from now on."
Then, in front of Yuki's eyes,
"…Got it. I will abide your orders, Toujou Basara."
With an obedient nod, Zest said so.
"This life whom you, an enemy, saved–––––––Please decide what will be the use of me"
Something dark crossed the space of a bedroom that night.
The moment Mio fainted, Zolgear succeeded escaping before Basara's eyes.
"How dare she, to my arm…"
As the pain of losing his right arm gradually became severe, Zolgear spitted out words of grudge.
"I – I won’t forgive you… I will never forgive you. I'll destroy you together with this mansion. As soon as this wound is restored and my magic power recovers, I will give you despair more panful than death…"
Zolgear cursed with a voice shaking with anger. As darkness entered his eyes once again, he leaped from the midst of his bedroom basked in moonlight.
However, he received a direct hit of an explosive flame magic and was blown off outside the bedroom he just entered. The explosion greatly ripped off his right flank.
"……Gah, Guuh… Wha……?"
As Zolgear who rolled to the round looked up, a shadow suddenly emerged from the darkness.
And then―――as the shadow made a single step, the moonlight illuminates it, revealing its face. That is,
"La – Lars…?!"
Zolgear spoke in aghast.
"Well, well, well. It’s been a long time, Marquis Zolgear. Oh my, what happened to you?"
Lars floated a cold smile and looks down in a calm manner.
"Why is a gentleman like you…groveling like an insect to the ground?"
"I can’t seem to find that prideful hand of yours that made countless women cry. Are you possibly thinking that your arm dropped in the dark and came looking for it? Oh dear, so that’s why you’re in a panic right now. Sadly, your arm has completely disintegrated right? I think it’s pointless even to look for it anywhere."
He had known the entire situation all along. Saying in a tone tinged with ridicule,
"You bastard…… so you’re alive all along"
Zolgear glared with hatred while suppressing the wound on his flank with his left hand.
"Wha? Such thing, you don’t really get it? You’re really stupid are you?"
Lars shrugged his shoulders.
"…this whole incident. In exchange with Naruse Mio, it was your objective to slip Toujou Basara in my residence from the very start. And you, to give an opportunity, to that succubus…"
"Yes. Because you know that you are being suspected by me, I have intended to provoke your Excellency's subordinate from the beginning of negotiations, burning my "doll" to make it clear that I have been silenced completely."
"Thanks to this, she didn't keep an eye to this place, and it was very easy to move. After that, I began investigating the whereabouts where Maria's family is captured”
"Why so surprised? You’re one of the famous high ranking demons in Hell, besides, you're currently on house arrest. Now that I don't know who may notice my presence, it's not an option to take the risk to do something unnecessary. Also the Moderates are still continuing their search, but it shouldn't be kept in your main mansion. If I am found by Maria and be discovered, all will be wasted."
"To be able to act when something happened, I considered to put the magic near the degree where I can control it like a remote. If you put it too far away, it will only cause uneasiness. So if you aimed to focus on looking, it will hit a jackpot. To tell you the truth, I was already ahead and located the place. Thanks to the snap of his Excellency's finger, I have found and saved the hostage with ease."
"……you, you bastard, what are you sa-…no. What the hell are you up to?"
He noticed the possibility that the man in front of his eyes might be a spy of the Moderates. Looking at the circumstances that is happening in front of him right now, is not considered wrong. However――in locating the whereabouts of the hostages, why did he remain silent to Maria and her fellow companions? If it was for the existing Demon King faction, it won’t do any profit for the Moderates. Unable to see Lars' real intention,
"Nay… My plan intended to go a little more cautiously. After calling me via phone call, by a little rough method of camaraderie as a proof to confirm our friendship, dealings have been proposed in the middle of the fight."
"Yes. For the information regarding the whereabouts of Naruse Mio, we wished to help the family of Maria who is kept hostage. As a substitute ―― for me, I said that I don't mind the reward. Because I'll achieve it no matter what. That's all."
"I accepted the condition. Therefore, I'm now here before you, your Excellency."
While looking down upon this, Lars seemed to be happy.
"Wha-what are you saying……?"
The fact that Lars had dealings with Basara, was the fact that Zolgear was unable to believe.
"――the predecessor His majesty Wilbert, As for choosing the foster parents whom he may leave his daughter with to be brought up to the human world, these two people were especially kind among his subordinates."
Lars lowered his eyes and began to talk.
"Perhaps, you bastard wouldn't even know the names of the people you've killed. They were never of the highest ranks, but they are existences which are loved dearly by many of their fellow brethren."
"Above all――those two raised an orphanage that continued accepting children who had lost their relatives during the Great War, and were yearned like an older brother and an older sister, especially fellows like me."
"――You son of a!? Don’t tell me――"
Zolgear was at loss for words. To the man who stands before his eyes, he felt something darker than hatred in him.
Then――what on earth did Toujou Basara exchanged with from his negotiation with Lars?
――When Basara was fighting against him, it seemed that there were some delaying tactics and decoys involved. Basara was a decoy to lure Zolgear, and Maria was his aim all along.
After all Basara had instructed her to "come with me".
Then, who is the one that Basara was waiting for? If it doesn't become unexpected development that Maria comes to him, who will stand behind Zolgear? As he thought of this, he has no choice but to be in shock, as Lars tells the purpose that he has kept on holding secretly till now.
Against the rays of moonlight, a frozen smile is revealed.
"That’s right Zolgear. The conditions that I took out――is to kill you by this hand."
Translator's Notes and References
- maiden here was 『処女』(shoujo) which also means virgin
- she ironically said that (お生憎さまだ)
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