Zero no Tsukaima:Volume15 Chapter9
Chapter 9: The Exit of the Labyrinth
When Joseph released the "fire jewel" from his hands, wrecking the fleet named under his brother's name without mercy, there was not a single expression of emotion.
He merely muttered "The construction of that fleet, how much did it cost?"
"The dual-use fleet, began construction ten years ago for the purpose of resisting the Albion fleet. Accordingly, within five years, it spent half of the country's income for its construction." Myoznitnirn replied calmly.
"Such a valuable item turned to ashes in minutes. How disappointing"
"You.... are you sad?"
"Hardly. Compared to this, letting the toy boat my father bought for me sink in the pond was more saddening. Speaking of which, I already lost track of how many times Charles won. Not a single win here though."
Her body restricted of freedom by the stone statue, Henrietta painfully interrupted "A fleet of that size..... how many..... how many do you think it carried? Ten thousand, no, at least a couple times more. You turn so many people, into ashes in a blink of an eye, yet you compare this to a toy sinking in a pond..... even the devil will seem more compassionate in front of you"
"What do you understand? How would you possibly know how I feel? Bathed in victory, blessed by everyone, wearing a crown, how could you possibly understand me?" Joseph kicked Henrietta with hatred. Witnessing the tragedy in front of her, Henrietta's heart finally broke. The remaining strand of "hope" in her heart was snapped. Dragged into her flow of emotions, Henrietta finally cried.
"Feel sad? You... are heartbroken aren't you? How admiring" Joseph grabbed Henrietta's face, and lifted it, facing each other. "Give me your sadness. Give it to me. If you can do it, I will do anything you want. Everything. This kingdom, this world, anything"
"God.... please stop this man. For the sake of our next generations, before this world is destroyed, before everything is turned into ashes....."
"Then I guess God himself should also witness what the world would look like in ashes" Joseph took the last "jewel of fire" handed from Myoznitnirn. This one was twice the size of the last one. Lovingly, Joseph stroked the "jewel". The bright "fire" in the transparent container gave a brilliant shine, illuminating Joseph's palm.
If this was delivered to the ground.....all lands in its radius, 10 miles and above, will be charred black. Whether it's grass or tree, human or animal.... all life on land will be burnt to nothing, ashes to ashes.
Including his army sworn loyal to him, and his brother's only child, his niece Charlotte.
"Will I cry" Asking multiple times himself, the question sounded again in his mind.
"This time, will I cry?"
When the world is roasted.... what if he still won't cry... what would he do next?
He was confused himself. The literally world of nothing. Tears, emptiness, sadness, nothing. Only "zero".
Needless the reminder from Henrietta, he was clear himself. This is not what he wanted to see.
Looking at the weeping Henrietta, Joseph thought The only one who can stop me.... will be Charles
If he reconciles me.... yields to me.... I wouldn't have been so desperate
However, even to God, this is not possible. After all, Charles is not alive anymore.
Joseph understood. He really understood that even when the world was turned into ashes, he still be unable to cry.
Still, a sense of hope remains.
He could not find any other way.
What was pushing Joseph to deliver despair to the world, was actually hope itself. Although it was a dim colored hope, it kept pushing Joseph forward, supporting his body.
Joseph began chanting the "void" spell again.
Since this time the "jewel" was of a larger size, its container would be even stronger. If the "explosion" was not powerful enough, no damage would be left.
Right this moment.
The vessel began wobbling. Joseph looked in the far distant.
A wind dragon scaled in blue, leading a couple of pegasi was speeding this way. One of the paladins on a pegasus seemed to be chanting wind magic.
To protect her master's spells from being interrupted, Myoznitnirn released a few stone statues. Controlled by Myoznitnirn, powered up to the maximum, the stone statues dashed towards the welcomed gate-crashers.
At various places, stone statues and paladins began to commence their aerial battles.
"Jo-Joseph my lord...." Joseph was about to continue chanting.... in that instant, he was flung backwards by the explosion in front of his eyes, the recoil slamming him to the other edge of the ship.
The jewel of fire rolled from his hand onto the deck. The explosion also pushed the stone statue holding down Henrietta away. Suddenly regaining freedom, Henrietta spotted the rolling jewel and caught it in her mouth urgently.
Looking around, she saw Louise riding on the wind dragon. Seems like this explosion was the effects of Louise's spell. Thank you, everyone. Thanking everyone in her mind, Henrietta leapt off the side of the ship.
"Your Majesty!" Seeing Henrietta jump off, Louise cried out. Driving away the stone statues around them, Slipheed descended rapidly. Just as she was about to catch her.... a speeding statue came out of nowhere, snatching the Queen away.
Sharp claws pried open the jewel clamped tightly by Henrietta's mouth. As if determining her as useless afterwards, it threw her away uncaringly.
Slipheed freefell again, finally fetching her body.
"Are you hurt?" With little time to celebrate their reunion, Louise asked urgently. Sitting on the back of Slipheed, Henrietta yelled with a pale face, "Ignore me! The stone! Hurry!"
Louise nodded, quickly chanting her spell again.
It was the "explosion" spell. Because she had used it just now, she was unable to target larger enemies. This was her limit. During the "crusade", Louise had already used her magic too many times.
Yet still she fought for focus, chanting the spells of "void". Unfortunately.... her chant could not be finished in time, releasing only a fraction of its maximum power.
A few stone statues the paladins had failed to suppress began attacking Louise and the rest.
"Ah!" In response to Henrietta and Louise's cries, Saito pulled the trigger of his AK at the stone statues. Using three-point bursts, it easily burst the heads of the statues, but bullets quickly ran out. It was the last clip.
In midair, swords have barely any use. Saito gritted his teeth.
To protect her side, Louise was forced to use "explosion". The small scaled explosion rippled around Slipheed, sending the statues flying.
"Quickly! Louise! Hurry and stop that insane man! If... if we don't make it, everything will turn into ashes!" Henrietta shouted.
"I'll go. Slipheed, get to the ship!"
Slipheed acknowledged with a cry.
Louise stared at the small vessel. What was going on? With this small ship, carrying only two people, bring down the entire dual use fleet? The Romalia and Gallia armies, reaching a hundred and fifty thousand lives, were about to face the same fate as the dual use fleet.
The Founder's magic.
The incomparable power of the Founder.
When combined with the destructiveness of "void".....
Facing this new threat, Louise began to feel fear.
In these cases.... only her familiar can be trusted.
On the decks, Joseph can be seen chanting. Protecting him was more than a dozen statues controlled by Myoznitnirn.
For the first time in her life, she caught a glimpse of Joseph at such a close distance.
Having the same colored hair as Tabitha.... a slender but fit body. Handsome looking, it was as if a male beauty carefully carved.
From the mouth of his came the chants of the spell.
Ironically, hearing his chant gave an immense boost in Saito's bravery. Natural instincts in Saito's body found it irritating.
If he were to finish his chant...
Recollecting the jewel just now, Saito felt as if his spine was stabbed with an ice pick. Leaping off Slipheed's body, Saito landed onto the deck. Already, Myoznitnirn's stone statues were in front of him.
With horns like antlers on goats, strong developed muscles, bat wings, this statue looked like nothing but bad news. Saito found it just as bad looking as Joseph himself.
It was him who made this jewel! Anger shook his soul.
The runes on his left hands glowed. Facing the incoming statue, Saito delivered a slash, cutting its body in half.
With the blade swinging, one by one statue rolled down the deck, heads, body parts, so on.
Whoever it is, no sword master could match up to the speed of Saito's slash.
Reaching his boiling point, no one can stop Saito. One after another statues tumble down. A dozen or more statues, completely annihilated in a mere 15 seconds.
"Looks like you are out of weapons" Holding Derflinger, Saito cautiously pressed towards Myoznitnirn.
Despite seemingly in trouble, Myoznitnirn's smile was not a bit shaken.
"What!" Next moment, Saito was subjected to a horrifying sight.
The already cut in half statues crawled near their bodies and reattached themselves like clay dolls, standing up again.
Standing next to Joseph, Myoznitnirn's mouth turned into a dazzling smile.
"These statues aren't just any statues. They are all enhanced with the power of water. Though their power can hardly match a Golomonta's, they are close to immortal. How many times you dice them, it will only be a waste of time."
Again, the statues assaulted.
Even after defeated, they will revive again. There's no end to it. Saito began turning defensive.
"What's wrong? Without your weird 'gun', you can't even manage a fight like this? How pitiful!" Just as Myoznitnirn was chuckling.... a quite more muffled gun sounded.
Since when, Saito had been holding a handgun on his left hand, giving Myoznitnirn a shot. This was another item from the basement of Romalia.
Not only did Saito bring his AK, he also hid a small handgun. His change into a defensive posture was only to let Myoznitnirn's guard down.
Hit in the shoulder, Myoznitnirn knelt down.
Losing the control of Myoznitnirn, the statues around him collapsed to the deck like puppets cut from their strings.
Although the statues combatting the paladins in midair are on automation, since the ones on the deck are specially modified versions, without Myoznitnirn's support, they are rendered immobile. With a tired voice, Saito said "That's right... without a gun like this, I can't fight at all. Tell me, what makes you any different? Myoznitnirn"
Ignoring the moaning Myoznitnirn, Saito walked towards Joseph. Avoiding battles, at the bell tower at the back of the deck, Joseph was continuing his chant.
Stopping suddenly, he turned towards Saito. "How are you doing, Gandálfr"
"Toss the stone away or I'll open fire" Holding the handgun, Saito warned.
This man had certainly caused a lot of trouble in his life.
.....Incredibly, he could not bring himself to hate him. Logically, in his head, all the burning anger seemed to be directed at this man.
This man had forced, to him, to Tabitha, to the people of Halkenia, all sorts of paths already.
Tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands human lives had already died in his hands. The number of lives ruined by this man is still piling up.....
What kind of disgusting face would he have?
What kind of shameless attitude would he use with him?
Though long psychologically prepared for this....
Yet, all that could be seen on this man's face, was a sense of loneliness. Facing this hatred foe finally, Saito was confused.
The mad ruler shaking the stability of Halkenia again and again....
Was this pathetic, pitiable person?
"How young. What's your age?" Asked of his age kindly. Saito unconsciously replied "Seventeen.... no, eighteen"
"You are honest to the degree where your eyes are shining. Although a different in looks, you are just like Charles."
"Throw away the stone!"
Of course, Joseph didn't take notice of him. All he did, was muttered, as if reminiscing something. "I was once just like you. I believed in my own justice, thinking I could solve all problems.... when I become just like everyone else, all my cowardice will disappear. Intellect, logic... what are these? I believed these are all things that will only confuse you."
Saito aimed at Joseph's hand. Joseph did not bother to continue his chant, but rather, continued "But, these were only my dreams. As I aged, they sank like residue. Dreams came to me, telling me to choose with my own hands, staining me with void. This is just like a labyrinth. I am still yet to completely this labyrinth, I know...."
Saito pulled the trigger. The bullet sped towards Joseph, but that instant, Joseph disappeared.
"That toy, however many times you use, will never be my opponent" came Joseph's voice from behind.
Instinctively, Saito spun around and sliced thin air with Derflinger. Joseph had disappeared again.
This time, Joseph moved to the stern of the ship.
Saito remembered, a line from Castlemont's letter.....
"Joseph.... transport instantly from his bedroom to the courtyard"
Because he was too concentrated in fighting, he had completely forgotten. Saito cursed his own clumsiness.
"This spell is called 'accelerate'. Also part of void. Why did God give this spell to me? How ironic. Sounds as if he's 'rushing' me himself."
Saito chased after Joseph, shooting with bullets, slashing with his sword. But every time, Joseph evaded with 'acceleration'. Attacks are all rendered useless. Facing an opponent exceeding speed a human is capable of, even Gandálfr is not his opponent.
Gradually, Saito's breathing became heavier and heavier.
"Looks bad.... partner. How unfortunate. Our opponent has a troublesome spell." Derflinger grumbled.
It remembered, the "body split" spell used in the battle of 瓦路德.
That spell was capable of splitting the body into multiple clones. A pretty handy spell, because even if there were more opponents, they would all be in the range of his weapon's attack range.
On the other hand.... Joseph's spell is different. If capable of teleporting, "weapons" are hardly useful.
"Very interesting, young man. It was nice meeting you, but I have my work to do. It's time it ended." Joseph drew out his dagger. The dagger glowed with a glamorous gleam, sending shivers down Saito's spine. Claimed as the master of all weapons, feeling fear towards a simple dagger.
Able to defeat strong spells and magical instruments, yet so helpless against such a dagger.
"Speed". Crushed by the lack of this ability, it was the cause of Gandálfr's powerlessness.
Although capable of many times the reflexes of an average person through Gandálfr's power, he is still unable to stop the dagger. Despite knowing very well, Saito shut his eyes.
"Oh, about give up? Well, is more swift"
"Whoa, partner? How are you going to fight with your eyes closed?"
"In my world, there's something called the 'third eye'! Come at me, Joseph! I'll see through your actions with my third eye!" Saito raised himself to the utmost sensitivity. Prepared for the single "instant" the will come....
"Fascinating. Then if you will allow me"
Joseph's breath neared.
Aiming at that point, Saito slashed out...
The feel of the hard, sharp blade going deep into his stomach.... Saito was forced to open his eyes.
"What an incredible eye" came Joseph's voice from the left. On the side of Saito's stomach, held Joseph's dagger tightly. The slash Saito delivered with closed eyes didn't even touch Joseph's shirt. Easily, Joseph stabbed Saito from the side.
The pain from the dull sword leaked all his energy from his body. However, Saito forced a smile. Even one short second was more than enough.
What he was counting on, was not his third eye by lashing out in the unknown, but the single second when stabbed, in broad daylight.
"Caught you" With this, he grabbed Joseph's hand.
Third eye or not, it was all a fallacy. If you can't catch something with both eyes open, how would it be possible to catch with both of them closed. Besides, that kind of thing, Saito never had it to begin with. Whichever situation it is, it should be done with wide open eyes, analyzed logically, with hopes for success.
Using Derflinger in his right hand, Saito stabbed Joseph on his left..... But, Joseph's expressions were just as calm.
Saito's body was in paralysis, right that moment.
It's all over!
Like poisoned, arms failing from an indescribable loss of power, Derflinger dropped from his right hand. The other released Joseph weakly. Saito bended his knees, dropping to the deck.
The miscalculated paralysis and pain from his failure spread in his mouth....
Blocked by flocks of statues, whether it's the wind dragon or Paladins, none of them will be able to stop Joseph's chant.
Joseph raised his wand.
Below scurrying franticly, was a hundred and fifty thousand army..... a hundred and fifty humans. Imagine them, their looks when turned to ashes. The look when all is burnt, all is returned to ashes.....
...... but he was not moved.
Not at all.
He eyed the fallen teenager with disorienting breathing patterns out of his eye.
Even when stabbed in the stomach, even when the toxins have spread all over his body, the furious flames never disappeared from his eyes.
The teenager bit his lips.
It seemed like he was regretting being unable to stop Joseph.
Walking near Saito, Joseph stepped on the dagger, piercing it further into Saito's abdomen.
"Ah...." The pains were too unbearable to cry out anymore.
"Do you wish you could do better?"
"Yes.... I wish I could do better. I was unable to stop countless people from being murdered...." With tearless weeps, Saito said while frowning.
"How does it feel? Maybe you could have won just now, but there is only the taste despair. You are unable to protect what you were supposed to protect, and die in despair"
Saito pushed his paralyzed body to its limit, crawling inch by inch, reaching his hand towards the handgun dropped on the floor. Joseph kicked it to the other end of the deck.
"What a kid, still trying to make a move on me. Shining eyes believing everything you do is right. How admiring. Charles, I.... what am I doing. Why, why did I turn into this. If we can return to the past.... I'd love to. If we can return to those times, I'd really want to start over again."
"It's too late.... I can never find my way out of this labyrinth."
Joseph finished his spell. Right the moment he was about to throw the "fire jewel" off board..... the "ruby ring of Earth" emitted dazzling light.
From the tea-colored ring, "memories" flowed into Joseph's mind.
Suddenly, Joseph was thrown into the dream world.
Something seems off.... is this a dream?
Well, anyway, what was in front of him, was the Palace of Versailles, a room inside Grand Troyes.
"Isn't this father's office?"
Yes, it was exactly father's office. From the looks of the furniture, it seems that father have just died recently.
"What's this? What kind of joke is this?"
He was about to use "explosion", turning all the army below, everything into ashes.....
Then, why did he come here?
Well, there's no need to hurry. This place is full of memories. Just as he was wondering why he would possess these feelings, came someone's footsteps. Joseph hid immediately behind the drapes, following his instinct that he won't be discovered here.
Seeing the person appear, Joseph widened his eyes. That person was...... Charles. The own brother he killed.
Joseph talked to himself, dumbfounded. The instant he saw the other, the question of why would he be here is already long gone.
What's Charles doing, running to father's office? Moreover, him wearing a hazy expression. Never ever seeing this expression from Charles, Joseph seemed slightly shocked.
Charles did not seem to discover the Joseph hiding behind the drapes. Violently pulling on the desk's drawer, all the things in the drawer piled on the floor.
His father's ruby, stamp, documents, all spread across the floor. Kneeling on top of them, Charles began choking softly.
He was weeping.
Why? Why would he weep? Joseph felt a sudden urge to jump out and ask him. But.... the answer was soon given, from Charles's mouth itself.
".....Why? Why isn't it me?"
What did you say?
"Father, why am I not King? This is too weird, my magic is dozen times stronger than that of brother's, even your subjects support me. But.....why? Why! I don't get it!" Charles picked up a ring. It was the legendary treasury passed on through generations of Gallian Kings..... the ruby of Earth. Joseph quickly looked at his hand. The same ruby was emitting light off his finger.
This....what's going on?
At this moment.....a voice rang in his head.
"Joseph your highness"
This voice, Joseph has heard of it before.
"Pope? Vittorio? It's you! This is some sort of trick from you!"
"You are by all means mistaken. This is no trick. This is exactly what happened. I'm merely guiding that piece of memory out"
"This is my void spell"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"This is 'record'. All strong memories stored in objects.... I should say, thoughts, will be displayed clearly in your mind. This show is exactly the memory from the ruby of Earth from your hands"
"How foolish. If you wanted to stop me, you could have killed me"
"Your soul will never be saved then"
"You're saying this is the actual events that happened? Impossible!"
"If this is.... If you are a void user just like me, then you should understand whether this is true or not. Is this an illusion created by magic? Or did this really happen?"
Joseph focused his mind. So that's why..... this was most certainly true. All the vision in front of him, were events that happened in the past. Without words, Joseph understood by feel.
A riot started to stir in Joseph's heart.
Did this really happen?
Then.... the Charles in front of him, is the "real" Charles?
This Charles was not concerned about his surroundings, pressing the ring with both hands against his chest, crying once more again. Seeing this scene, for a moment Joseph had completely forgotten the existence of the Pope himself.
Joseph was mesmerized by the Charles in front of him.....
"Father, did you know, how much effort I put, just to prove myself better than brother. How much hard work I put into places people could never see. All for today, all for today!"
Joseph understood. This..... was an event that happened right before their father died. That day, father called the both of them to his bed, and told them "the next king shall be Joseph". Immediately afterwards, Charles smiled, not a slightest bit concerned, and told Joseph "If brother can become King, that would be the greatest thing ever. I love my brother so much. I will always support you. Let's make this country even more beautiful together"
Back then, towards his words, Joseph held no suspicion at all. He truly believed it was Charles's thoughts. His pure small self was completely corrupted by the events that happened afterwards, triggering intense anger in his smaller self, finally leading to murdering Charles personally.
To hide his jealousy, Charles resisted disobedience.....
Tears poured in Joseph's eyes. Before he knew it, he had already stepped forward.
Charles's face was twisted in shock, then panicked.
"No.... no, I'm just organizing father's things when I accidentally....."
"There's no need to say anymore" Joseph hugged his younger brother's shoulders, using his most gentle voice.
Knowing that he had been completely seen through, it finally twisted Charles's straight face into a one raining tears.
"I'm sorry, I could not accept it. No matter what, I won't accept it. Why am I not king? Father why, why was I not chosen king? I really don't understand. How much effort I gave, neither brother nor fathers knows right. I did so much......"
"I know, I know. Therefore, don't cry, Charles. I also think, no matter how it is, the one most suitable for King are you. It's because your magic is so much more powerful than that of mine"
"That's why, I give you my throne. Father's words, only you and me know. It's nothing important. You will be the king, I will you your advisor, assisting you. How's that? Charles, this is good, no?" Joseph reassured Charles slowly.
"Brother, I'm sorry. I am a hopeless person. I was the one who disturbed our retainer. I secretly bribed royal subjects. Brothers never did anything like this..... I...."
"Shhhh. It's alright. I'm just like you. This is more than enough for me. It's alright, don't say anymore" Saying this from the bottom of his heart, Joseph felt immediately relieved. After a couple minutes of contemplation, he discovered that this was joy.
"Together, let's make Gallia a better place. Charles, let's make the world more beautiful" Tears running across his cheek, Joseph said once more "Together, let's make Gallia a better place" "Together, let's make this world more beautiful" "Together, we can do it" "Charles" "Charles"
From Joseph's palm, the 'jewel of fire' silently rolled away. Kneeling down on the ground, Joseph covered his face with both hands.
"Charles..... we were really the most foolish brothers possible on this world"
Realizing he was crying, Joseph smiled.
"What, am I not crying? Hahaahaa..... all the hatred finally found their exit, it's so simple, so ironic" Tears seemed as hot as fire.... layer by layer it unwrapped Joseph's heart.
When Tabitha finally got past the Paladins, arriving with a flying spell, all had already finished.
On the small vessel, there Joseph was, sitting on the decks, surrounded by Paladins. Next to him, she found the bandaged Saito, draining her face of color.
Louise looked worriedly at Saito. Only after Henrietta healed his wounds with water magic did Tabitha let go of her breath.
Paladins surrounding Joseph confirmed Tabitha's identity and made way. With a rigid expression, Tabitha walked to her hated uncle.
Lying there...., was as if a new Joseph, with the devil within driven away. Carrying on his face, was deep satisfaction.
"Is it Charlotte?" Joseph asked softly, lifting his head.
"That looks very good on you, I trust Charles must also be happily in heaven." Sighed Joseph when he saw Tabitha dressed in royal clothing. Tabitha was held back. What in the world happened to her uncle?
It was as if it's another person, his radiant expression. Joseph took off his crown, and put it down near Tabitha's foot.
"For a long time, I have given you enough trouble. I really am sorry. Although this is hardly enough... please accept it. This was your father's to begin with. And... your mother, in the church of Versailles is an elf. You should have met him before. Before I came, I gave that guy one last order, to brew an antidote. This way your mother should be able to return normal."
"I won't say. This is about your father's reputation. But it's over. It's all over. I have no more desire to see hell. All's left, is for you to relief me of my misery. That'll be all." Joseph laughed. Afterwards, in front of Tabitha, Joseph stretched out his neck.
"Take this head of mine. Only then will everything really end."
Tabitha didn't really understand the cause of the change in her uncle. But... like he said, "It’s all over". Regardless of what happened, Joseph's aims were satisfied.
Anyhow, this is the head of the sworn enemy who murdered her father... the one she had wanted to cut off so badly, was right in front of her eyes. This is an undeniable fact.
"Say, what, exactly happened?"
But Joseph wouldn't say, only waiting with a stretched out neck.
Tabitha's shook her head. With a cold furious yell forced from her throat, "What, exactly happened!"
Paladins hurried Tabitha. "Please, hurry..."
Tabitha raised her wand. Paladins all took a step backwards. With a cold face, Tabitha began chanting.
But... her spell was stopped halfway.
She found herself staring back at Saito, who had been looking at her all along.
"Not in front of this person, don't want to kill" This kind of thought echoed in her mind. Shaking her head, Louise told Tabitha "Tabitha... please. Put your wand down. Revenge won't solve anything."
Silently observing all along, Agnes also interrupted. "...She's got a point. You are about to become the Queen of Gallia. There's no need to dirty your hands. This man, you should trial him with law. Otherwise, you'll always be dragged behind by an endless chain."
The paladins glared at both of them, scolding. "We don't need you to poke your noses in these matters. There's no end to trouble if you don't put an end to it."
"What are you talking about! Do you want Tabitha to become a cold murderer? How is that any different from this man! Killing people with your own hands for your own goals..."
A rather old Paladin stepped forward. "Ladies of Tristain, this is different. Charlotte, her Highness, is here to rule the future country. Therefore she must cut all loose ends."
"That's just sophistry!"
The Paladins began quibbling with Louise.
"All of you shut up!"
Quiet until now, Saito's voice interrupted this fight. All of the people looked at Saito in unison.
"Tabitha is not seeking revenge for the followers of God, or the people who've died! I... although I'm not sure myself, but isn't revenge a personal matter? You are only doing it because of your own feelings, don't yo? This has nothing to do at all, whether she will become Joseph the second or is it her future rule over this country." After finishing, Saito limped forward on the deck. Henrietta hurriedly came forth to assist him. Although the water magic have already cleansed most of the toxins, there were still a little left in his body, making his wound hurt.
The whole audience held their breath. Saito let go of Henrietta's hand, wobbling slowly towards Tabitha and told her honestly in the eyes. "Do it, if you really want to, then do however you like."
Louise immediately complained towards Saito. "What kind of nonsense are you talking about!"
Painfully, Saito stood up straight. "Please stop it. This is Tabitha's private matters. Whether she eventually chooses for revenge or to give up, it should all be decided by Tabitha. Perhaps her father will not be happy in heaven, perhaps she will dirty her hands. Perhaps she will get nothing out of revenge, but all of this is Tabitha's choice, not ours." Saito made it out clearly.
"Make your decision, Tabitha. Whichever it is, I will always respect your choice."
Tabitha slowly raised her staff... chanting her spell. An ice spear conjured before the staff, but did not move a tiny little bit. Her hand was frozen, motionless.
Perhaps she really is having her revenge, but unless she herself is the executor...
Seeing Tabitha put down her staff, Saito let go of his breath.
In the end... the one who put a full stop to this was, Myoznitnirn. When no one was noticed her, she quietly jumped from the corner of the deck, picking up the dagger on the floor, suddenly stabbing into Joseph's chest.
Fresh blood spilled from Joseph's mouth; Henrietta screamed. The nearest paladin tried to grab her, but Myoznitnirn held out the "jewel of fire".
"Don't move. I am the familiar of void. I am the Myoznitnirn who can control all Magical Items. I can make this 'jewel of fire' explode"
"C-calm down..." A paladin trembled, but Myoznitnirn paid no attention. She pressed close to Joseph's bloody lips, finally kissing on it.
After the lips overlapping for a while... Myoznitnirn retreated. From her mouth painted with Joseph's blood, Myoznitnirn's voice could be heard. "The two of us kissing, it's the first time since our 'contract'. Joseph my lord... why didn't you look at me at all even until the end? Why didn't you care about me? I am only a normal woman, all I want is this..."
Joseph did not reply. With a pleased face, his breathing stopped.
Never looking away Joseph's face, Myoznitnirn announced: "Get out of here. Let us be together."
Scared to death, all the paladins leapt on their pegasi with little encouragement. Saito and the others also rode on top of Slipheed.
Tabitha stared a while at the void master and familiar.
Saito seemed to want to say something to Tabitha, but was stopped by Louise.
Next, Tabitha turned around, leaping onto Slipheed herself. No one made any noise.
Slipheed fled from the ship.
In the distant sky, Saito spotted a white wind dragon. It's Julio's Azuro. On its back, Pope Vittorio's long white hat could be seen. Saito frowned.
The person who changed Joseph's mind was that guy's magic.
With only a single spell, he changed Joseph's mind.
What a fearsome person. Joseph and Myoznitnirn's vessel ascended rapidly. When they were finally a dot... it was suddenly consumed by a gigantic explosion and flames, and was no more.
Tabitha stared at that ball of flames, watching it die out.
Before she knew it, tears had already squeezed out of her eyes.
"Father." In her mind, Tabitha told her father "It's all over, father. He's dead."
Tabitha knew, that between her father and Joseph, was something she had no right to interfere with. That should be, the cause of Joseph's love and hatred to her father.
And it's scarred very deeply.
The reason Joseph murdered her father... was because of something unavoidable. She may not ever understand it for the rest of her life, and there is probably no way to know either...
Despite so, she does not plan to forgive Joseph. Even when she knew why, she wouldn't stop seeking revenge.
Yet, tears kept pouring. Why? Probably another reason that cannot be understood for the rest of her life either.
"I, will never forget this fireball." Looking at the crown in her hands, realizing no one could put a stop to her endless tears.
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