“It’s a face I have seen somewhere before.” (Origa)
Striking the temporal region of a demon, whose neck had been cut by her wind blades, Origa tore off their head and sent it flying.
In close proximity she discovered Balzephon who’s bashing the head of a demon he had grabbed into the stone paving while clumsily swinging his sword with full power as he fights against demons just like her.
Apparently at the same time as Balzephon and Origa confirm each other by sight, a certain amount of tension travels between them.
“If I recall, you were the plaza’s decoration? Is it fine for you to have a falling out with your friends at a place like this?” (Origa)
Dodging the attack of a demon, who thrust his spear at her, by stepping sideways, she counters so strongly with the hilt of her iron-ribbed fan that the demon’s forehead caves in. The demon, who fainted, is being stepped on by his allies and will likely lose his life sooner or later.
Unlike Hifumi, Origa’s priority objective isn’t killing, and although she’s not shy to kill her enemies, it’s no more than a means. A means for the sake of her own objective. Her current goal is to create a situation where Hifumi can be sealed. And on top of that, being as close to Hifumi as possible at the moment of the sealing.
“It looks like you can fight rather well for a decoration. I can’t shut my eyes to unnecessary hindrances getting in the way when it should be a commemoration for Hifumi-sama and me. I shall get rid of you first.” (Origa)
Origa happened to watch the moment when Balzephon transformed into a monster due to the magic tool, and she repelled him once already, but probably because it was a trivial matter to her, she had totally forgotten about it.
“Hifumi-sama’s aim…the reality of the demons trying to attack, no, having attacked the castle while bringing along grotesque-looking monsters has been accomplished. You’re not needed any longer.” (Origa)
She kicks away a fallen demon, making another male demon soldier deliberately step on his comrade. The man, who pitched forward after losing his balance in combination of getting surprised due to treading upon his ally, had his nape grasped by Origa and was pulled down. Next the back of his head that was covered by a steel helmet was struck by her folded fan.
Without even confirming the blood that spreads on the stone paving, Origa approaches Balzephon.
Balzephon pushed a nearby demon soldier with a kick towards the approaching Origa, and thrust out his sword in order to pierce her alongside the demon.
However, he only got feedback from one body.
“I guess you do possess a certain degree of intelligence. It seems to be limited, though.” (Origa)
Her voice comes from right next to Balzephon. Judging that he doesn’t have the time to pull back his sword, Balzephon lets go of it and releases a backhand blow to mow her down.
But, that attack fruitlessly cuts through empty space.
“A presence that allows one to sense someone consists of the air flow, smell, sound and the pressure of life…” (Origa)
This time her voice comes from behind.
Changing his voice into a scream of irritation, Balzephon picked up the sword of a demon that was lying at his feet and swung it right away.
However, Origa is no longer there.
“If you can search for the faint hints, you won’t be misled by obvious lures… As expected, I guess it’s too difficult for an ordinary man.” (Origa)
This time he can hear her voice right next to his ear. Balzephon immediately tries to seize the enemy by moving his eyeball, but there’s no one there.
At that moment he notices, reflected at the edge of his sight; the male demon who’s still standing while a sword grows out of his back. The man has died. There’s no mistake in that. But, why is he standing?
“If it had been Hifumi-sama, he would have immediately perceived that I haven’t moved from here… No, before I could even mislead him with a voice transmitted through wind magic, he would have bisected me alongside this corpse.” (Origa)
Once Origa flings away the corpse she had propped up with her fan, she unfolds it to clear away the blood, and conceals her face that reflected her sneering.
“Now I remember. You are that hybrid, that fake. You possess power and speed, but all of has been given to you. Even the body you’re using right now is borrowed, isn’t it?” (Origa)
She folds the fan with a metallic click.
“You have too many shortages to serve as opponent for Hifumi-sama. I will get rid of you here, after all.” (Origa)
Origa steps forward. She’s casting magic, but the attack is performed with her fan.
Balzephon, who intends to intercept her by swinging his sword, gives up on trying to wedge the sword between as their distance shrunk very quickly, choosing to block the fan attack by sacrificing his arm and slash the sword towards Origa’s head.
“It appears you’re capable of making decisions on the spot. But, that’s all.” (Origa)
The sword cuts air.
The fan swung by Origa didn’t aim at Balzephon’s body, but the arm holding the sword, and made its trajectory go amiss.
Her real attack was magic.
Suddenly Balzephon’s head is wrapped up by a large amount of water. The water, which had been created by magic, ignores gravity due to the mana provided by Origa, and doesn’t stop clinging to the front of his face.
The aim is not suffocation. Origa didn’t consider if Balzephon, who can survive by just being a head, needs to breathe. What she considered is a method known to only a few people who possess full knowledge of the magic tool and potion effects that caused Balzephon to transform.
Stabbing with the fan, she gouges out Balzephon’s neck, causing his head to be torn off Bashim’s torso.
The water persistently clung to the head that fell to the ground. The amount of water visible on the surface decreasing is owed to it having permeated inside the head through the openings such as nose, mouth, and eyes.
“The trait of immortality possessed by the reinforced soldiers and giant soldiers has to be greatly accounted to the magic potion that entered the “blood flow.” I’m aware of it since I experimented with it in various ways.” (Origa)
“That’s why,” she cuts Balzephon’s head that’s rolling around on the stone paving apart with wind magic.
The scattered blood has been diluted by water and spreads on the ground.
“If you dilute and scatter it, it won’t be able to show any significant effect either. It’s a scene that I observed many times.” (Origa)
Balzephon’s eyes and tongue, which moved even while having been divided, gradually lose their strength once the color of the flowing blood thinned out. Before long they completely ceased moving once they only exposed a washed-out flesh color.
“Any time soon now…I guess?” (Origa)
She casually looks around her. The plaza’s entrance area has been barricaded with handcarts and doors, seemingly carried in from somewhere, and was completely manned by Fokalore’s soldiers under Alyssa’s command.
The number of demons has decreased. They still have big number if looking at the whole plaza, but the speed of their losses is faster than that the humans. The main reasons being Hifumi and Balzephon, who died moments ago.
Seeing as she possesses the gate magic, the demons’ main target lies in the direction of the royal palace with the demon ruler and Orsongrande’s main force being situated there. The demons are either in a melee combat with the knight order and the people surrounding Hifumi now, or some foolish ones among them, who haven’t realized that there’s no reason for them to break through towards the city, are shot to death by Fokalore’s soldiers.
And the knights, or in other words the knight forces led by Midas and the royal knight forces led by Vaiya, have fallen into a state of jostling with each other while continuing their battle against the demons.
Origa, who calmly observed the deployment of the combat forces, discovered the person among them who shone brightly in her eyes.
Even now turning a single demon soldier into a skewer while continuing a melee combat as if not knowing enemy and ally, he calmly swings his katana with a smile on his lips.
The stage was set.
Origa, who started to run towards Hifumi, who is facing a tiger beastboy who apparently barged into the battle, as if performing light dance steps, sends a sharp gaze towards the balcony for just an instant, and heads towards her beloved while smiling all over her face again.
Her hand grasping the iron-ribbed fan, her face staring at him, and her chest that remembers the sensation when she was held in his arms; her entire body is on fire.
“I’m coming to you right now!” (Origa)
Origa, who mowed down two demon soldiers with one swing of her fan, heads towards Hifumi using the shortest distance.
“Midas-san! This is His Majesty’s order! Why are you standing in our way!?” (Vaiya)
“No matter what order it might be, it’s strange to attack one’s own countryman! Aren’t our swords wielded for the sake of protection!?” (Midas)
“Stop with the pretty words!”
Vaiya repelled Midas’ sword, but gritted his teeth in vexation as he didn’t manage to send the sword flying. Since he has no intention to kill Midas, he has to go easy on him, but with Midas’ ability being higher than expected and his way of fighting being closer to that of adventurers than that of knights, Vaiya himself had a hard time.
At present the strategy of suppressing Hifumi while using the demons as pretext was in the process of falling apart. The pressure had increased because the demons were focusing on the royal castle and because Midas’ knights in the direction of the city had created a defense line to protect Hifumi.
The sight of fellow knights crossing swords while ignoring the demons was unfolding all around.
“What an unsightly state! It’s ridiculous to hinder the success of the strategy as knight, isn’t it!?” (Vaiya)
“I’m telling you that the strategy itself poses the problem here!” (Midas)
Receiving Midas’ front kick to his armored abdomen, Vaiya stumbled back. Even so he doesn’t lower his sword.
Once he returns his look, which got blurred for an instant, to Midas, he was in the midst of fighting a demon who had cut in-between them.
“What we should do right now is to repel the demons, right!?” (Midas)
As the demon soldier slashed at him more and more, Midas stopped the blows by supporting his sword with both hands.
Vaiya cut open the back of that demon.
“The demon that has attacked just now is…” (Vaiya)
As he’s about to say, “a sacrificial pawn,” Vaiya holds his tongue.
If the surrounding demons were to hear that, this situation would become even more chaotic. The enraged demons’ offensive would press even stronger towards the castle, wouldn’t it?
“Anyway, in order to make Hifumi-dono’s sealing a success, we must restrain his movements a bit!” (Vaiya)
“Sealing, you say!?” (Midas)
The two, who rallied their swords for three rounds, took some distance to catch their breaths.
“What do you mean by that? Does Imeraria-sama intend to seal him!?” (Midas)
“It’s as you’ve heard. We are going to detain Hifumi-dono’s movements somewhere on this plaza, lock him up in a barrier, and seal him. We’re using the demons’ attack in order to meet the first condition.” (Vaiya)
Upon Vaiya’s explanation, Midas was surprised to the extent of becoming speechless.
Forgetting that there are enemies around and in front of him, he flings off his helmet and looks up to the balcony.
The queen’s expression as she looks down on the battleground from there couldn’t be seen in the shadows, but she didn’t seem agitated.
“What have you been thinking…?” (Midas)
To Midas Imeraria’s decision was unacceptable. He believes to logically understand that he should obey orders as a knight, but his heart doesn’t follow on that. The image of Imeraria within him was that of a girl who runs about for the sake of building a good country even while piling up on errors and who earnestly considers the well-being of her people.
To Midas it was unexpected and unbelievable that she would decide to dispose of someone.
An impact as if having been slashed travels across Midas’ back who was looking up at Imeraria in a daze.
His back having apparently been cut was something Midas noticed at the point when his face was hit by the sensation of stone. In a strangely calm manner he considered whether his armored had been pierced or whether he had been hit by an ax.
He can hear the scream of what seems to be a demon, and Vaiya’s battle roar.
“Midas-san, please keep it together!” (Vaiya)
Midas opened his mouth upon Vaiya’s appeal. However, he’s unable to form any words. Only groaning escaped through his slightly opened mouth as if leaking air.
“Please stay with us!”
As he heard the footsteps of his subordinates that rushed over, Midas fainted while wanting to yell at them, “Don’t get all flustered up in such a disgraceful manner!”
“You guys, go and carry Midas-san to the castle. If it’s an injury at this level, Advisor Puuse should be able to heal it.” (Vaiya)
“She’s on the balcony,” Vaiya ordered the knights surrounding Midas.
However, they don’t move immediately, and only glare at Vaiya.
“…If you have any complaints, I will listen to them later. Rather than that, quickly take Midas-san away! Do you intend to lose your captain by pointlessly wasting your time here!?” (Vaiya)
He cuts apart a demon that had closed in as if venting his anger.
The knights, who looked at each other and nodded, lifted up Midas in his armor with three people, and started to run towards the castle.
“Cover the knights who are sending back their wounded captain! Create a path for them!” (Vaiya)
Hearing his order, several knights surround the group around Midas who’s being transported.
“…I also know what you wanted to say. But, let’s consider it as her having grown up as a queen.” (Vaiya)
Vaiya knows that the more someone knows the Imeraria from before, the less eager and the more bewildered they are by this time’s strategy. The prime minister also holds the standpoint of regarding Hifumi as dangerous, but he’s perplexed by Imeraria’s way of handling this matter.
“They are all kind people. I think that this is a fine country. I feel proud of it.” (Vaiya)
That’s exactly the reason why Vaiya intended to cooperate with Imeraria’s objective while putting his life on the line. It’s because Vaiya believes, That’s what’s expected of a knight!
“I will charge the plaza’s center! Cover me!” (Vaiya)
His subordinates showed unrest for just an instant, but at once they lined up left and right of him, and forced back the demons in order in order to open a path.
On the other side of the demons, who were pushing with their numbers, he discovered Origa heading towards Hifumi while kicking an enemy, but he only could see her for a moment.
Vaiya swings his words in order to not fall behind. The attacks from the demons hit his armor and wounded his arms, but he cannot afford to stop.
Once Origa makes her move, Imeraria’s plan will be put in operation. In order for that plan to definitely succeed, for the sake of confirming its success from nearby, Vaiya advances.