Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Volume 10 Chapter 4
Episode 4 - The Steel Witch
「Ki, kill! One hostage is enough! Attack him with the intent to ki──guah!?」
An officer of Heiburg military who was managing the gathered force let out his voice. But right at that instant, a great sword cut up his shoulder.
The Force Core there that was the vital part of Drag-Ride was smashed. The commander immediately fell on the ground.
The commander other than Rosa was finished off at the very beginning. The remaining troop became agitated.
Lux didn't miss that opening and swung his great sword, instantly cutting down two Drag-Knighs who were around Philuffy.
Their shoulder armor was smashed up and the Blade in their hand danced in the air.
「Fi, fire-! Stop him on his track using a barrage of Breath Gun!」
「No wait!? That guy's surrounding──!?」
Around Lux who was driving Bahamut, the weapons of the defeated enemies──multiple Daggers and Blades were floating.
The moment Heiburg troops were perplexed, those weapons were fired to all direction with speed like bullet.
The special armament that was loaded inside Bahamut.
Normally it was a weak ability that could only do things like forming force field to change the trajectory of things or pulling closer things toward the user's hand, but the Over Limit strengthened the ability until a level that boasted strength which could throw objects with high speed.
Heiburg troops that became the side that was suppressed with a barrage instead broke their formation. Lux charged using that opening.
「Hmmph. Over Limit eeeh……. It seems that it's quite something but──I wondeer, how long you will be able to keep up that output?」
On the other hand, while the extermination of her subordinates number was gathering speed, Rosa was forming the tactic for after this.
Rosa had also obtained about the information of Over Limit itself.
It was a double-edged sword that realized the multiplication of Drag-Ride's output by several times by taking off the limiter that was usually restricting the output of the Drag-Ride to avoid burden to the user.
In that case, it was convenient if Lux was spending strength to defeat her subordinates.
That full power wouldn't continue for long.
The normal option to take here was to wait until the opponent ran out of breath and his Drag-Ride got dispelled from that, but she had to implement the best plan for that to happen.
『──Informing all troops. Bring down Lux Arcadia. Don't be scared, the guy's strength won't last long.』
Rosa gave her subordinates instruction once more through Dragon Voice. At the same time, she herself also deployed bait.
She used the Twelve Vice that manipulated unmanned Drag-Rides together with illusion ability of Sin Phantom, producing unmanned drones that acted as her body doubles.
She made her doubles to assault the back of Lux who was crushing his enemies using overwhelming firepower──but, at that instant the drone was cut apart into pieces.
Quick Shot──more than ten consecutive slashes using the application of time acceleration from Bahamut's Divine Raiment.
The Drag-Ride's four limbs, back wings, head part, and then even its Force Core, the drone was destroyed to the limit until it was impossible to regenerate using its own strength.
「So its weak point is seen through already eeh……」
Expression vanished for the first time from the face of Rosa who saw that. Faint anxiety and graveness tinged her voice.
Gorynych's Divine Raiment, Tartaros Frame, it was an ability to disassemble Drag-Ride and rearranged them.
In other words, even if a Drag-Ride was destroyed, this Divine Raiment possessed the feature to reconstruct it to a certain degree.
But, if even the Force Core that functioned to power up the Drag-Ride was also destroyed, the Drag-Ride wouldn't be able to receive order and it became impossible to reconstruct and repair it in the middle of battle.
「──However, I wonder how long that strength can continue?」
But, even though she was standing at disadvantage, Rosa was composed.
In the state of Over Limit, a Drag-Ride's function would be reinforced drastically in all respects, but the backlash from that was also great.
Although the compression strengthening of Reload on Fire was also ascended until more than ten times, if Lux used it consecutively his limit would arrive soon.
No, if he used his Divine Raiment two more times, he would surely self-destruct immediately.
That prediction was correct, but mistaken.
「Ru, RUUUuUUUUNN! THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN WIN AGAINST A MONSTER LIKE THIS!」
「WE ARE GOING TO GET KILLED, RETREAT! RETREAT!」
The battle force of fifty Drag-Rides was reduced to half in less than ten-odd seconds. Even Rosa's double was carved apart into pieces.
The remaining Drag-Knight troops who witnessed that result began to run away like baby spiders scattering away.
For a moment Rosa was dumbfounded, not comprehending what had happened.
But, she immediately showed a wicked expression and scolded her subordinates.
「Looks like my education is insufficient eeh. Running away in front of the enemy is a sin heavier than capital crime you know? If it's now I'll still be──」
「Who cares! We are going to get killed before that!」
「It's impossible already, even you aren't a match for him see!? I'll escape until outside the country!」
Even so her subordinates didn't stop and continued to escape. Seeing that, Rosa was shaking in agitation.
Seeing the good chance, the Triad landed down on the central plaza and Sharis called out in panic.
「Lux-kun! Sorry we are late! We will take care of missy Philuffy and missy Stefa. You go defeat Lady Rosa! I'll go take a look at missy Calensia's situation, after that we will reinforce you!」
「Yes. Please leave this side to us.」
「Lux-chi, be careful!」
Next Noct and TIllfur quickly rushed in. Noct lifted up Philuffy while Tillfur carried Stefa. They then retreated from that place.
Lux shortly replied, at the same time he skated Bahamut in the air and slashed at Rosa.
Quick Draw──the attack cut off the shoulder of the arm that was holding the Scythe and instantly destroyed the Force Core there.
If it was with the super output of Over Limit, even though it was a slash that was specialized for speed, it still could cut through the thick barrier and armor.
But, the figure of the pilot Rosa vanished at the same time when she was cut like it was only natural.
It was an unmanned drone created by Sin Phantom that worked as Rosa's body double but──the remaining drones were eight.
Lux was reducing the number with certainty and cornering his opponent.
「──Those useless, dimwitted subordinates. It seems that the fear I gave those bunches were too lukewarm.」
「You're mistaken, Lady Rosa.」
Lux was destroying even more of Rosa's double that was attacking him while correcting her.
His voice was cold and monotone.
Pierced by that eye glint that consisted from only hostility that was condensed and sharpened to the extreme, Rosa's voice shook slightly.
「I wondeer, what do you mean?」
「It's because you are ruling over them with only fear. Human can be made to obey easily if one use fear──but at the same time, if just one prerequisite is collapsing, the strength of that authority will also crumble.」
「────That scene of destruction with your full power, you are saying you did that intentionally?」
In exchange of an answer, Lux smashed another drone that was rode by Rosa's double once more.
Just now, Lux displayed an overwhelming difference in firepower without showing any opening that could be taken advantage of.
Even though there was still the troops' ruler, Rosa was still waiting in reserve, why did Lux unleashed his full power when he was merely facing subordinates and body doubles?
He intentionally made the great strength from Over Limit to be in full display before their eyes and unnerved the enemies' fighting spirit.
Even though if all of them bought time then they might be able to make Lux's stamina ran out, by showing them the difference in power that was too great, the subordinates were cornered to escape.
「Yeah. And then it's over──I won't forgive you anymore.」
When Lux continued to cut down the sixth drones, he declared coldly.
But, Rosa who should be cornered even further grinned fearlessly.
「Is that soo? Then it can't be helped. I'll also stop trying to capture you alive.」
The veil of rain and wind that was hitting the body inside the darkness.
When it weakened for a moment, he could see Rosa's figure that was wrapped inside a giant armor.
Over there, existed a strange shape that was completely different from until just now.
「So you made your comrades into bait and formed that.」
A giant dragon walking on two legs, with a size that might be ten times larger than normal Drag-Ride.
That form used the real Gorynych as the base where its whole armor was strengthened.
Not to mention the chest part, the two legs, two arms, the propulsion device, all them of were increasing in thickness due to the combination.
Gorynych's special armament──the unmanned drones of the Twelve Vice should have been destroyed until a state where it was impossible to regenerate, that was why no matter how Gorynych's main frame combined with the Twelve Vice, this size didn't match the calculation.
In other words──.
「Thaat's right. My Tartaros Frame can disassemble even the armor of general purpose Drag-Ride and reconstruct it into my own armor. Those useless subordinates, at the very least they should become nourishment for me, don't you think sooo?」
Rosa who recovered her composure grinned and looked down on Lux.
She summoned her subordinates here wasn't just for attacking from all direction and to exhaust Lux.
It was for her trump card where in the end she would incorporate the leftover armors and strengthened herself like this.
「Tartaros Frame – Devil Machia Mode. I'll fight and let you die a noble death fitting for a hero. Of course, after you die──, you will be treated as traitor thoough!」
Immediately after that, several wheels that came out from Gorynych's armored legs rotated with terrific power──and accelerated.
That giant armor that had increased in volume by more than ten times kicked out to the front and charged with an explosive speed.
Lux swung Bahamut's Chaos Brand with full power in the stance of facing it head on.
He slashed with a counter to cut Gorynych's fist that was like a huge rock, but when his sword hit, a shockwave with terrible impact pushed him at the same time and Lux was blown backward.
「How fooliiish. Only idiot will put on air like a hero.」
On the other hand, Rosa wasn't shaken at all. She attacked further with all out bombing using the Cannons that were installed on her whole armor.
Lux dodged the storm of countless flashes that were flying around while taking distance in order to rally himself.
The power output of Gorynych that had entered Devil Machia Mode was almost equal with Over Limit.
But, Lux was one-sidedly pushed back was the influence of the weight difference that was more than ten times over.
Especially because Gorynych was a land battle type, when they hit each other directly while stopping in place, the difference in stability between both sides was remarkable.
But, even after understanding that he was at disadvantage, there was no way Lux could relax his offense here.
Lux changed his trajectory once more and skated in the air──he swung down his great sword while putting his weight on it.
But, it was deflected without difficulty by the thick armor and multiple barriers.
Even though they were both using Drag-Ride with high power output, there was a clear difference in their reserve energy. Lux realized Rosa's trick.
「This too──is within your calculation since the start?」
Rosa wasn't as exhausted as Lux surely because in the middle she received support from her subordinates' Drakes.
The special equipment type Drake could transfer one's own energy to the other party.
In other words, right after the reinforcement came, Rosa received strength of several people portion from them.
On the other hand, Lux's body that had been worked too hard until now was nearing its limit.
Surely he would run out of strength and his armor dispelled in less than two minutes because he couldn't endure the burden.
If that happened, everything would be over.
Whether it was the new kingdom after Babel was conquered, and also Philuffy who was lethally wounded, and also the Triad who came here.
「It's unfortunate buut──it seems this is as far as you go. As I thought good cannot triumph against evil. No matter how much you try to stand against me with the correct path, this is your limit. You don't have both the sense and ability to dirty your hand with evil. You are just spouting the nonsense of the loser and the weawk.」
Rosa continued as though making a proclamation within the strong rain hitting their body.
On the other hand Lux wielded his great sword and earnestly searched for the clue to breakthrough this situation.
But, no matter from which direction he attacked, he couldn't break that tough barrier and armor.
「At that time it was also raining like this I thiink. When I killed father──」
Rosa murmured as though talking to herself. It was unclear whether she did that because she intended to act composed, or that her emotion was highly strung.
「With the death of the Dark Marketeer Hayes, the military commander also lost his standing. It was the long-awaited chance for Granhide family to take over the military, so I too had to work hard, riiight……」
「You, killed him?」
Lux asked with a stifled voice.
Rosa's mouths loosened in ecstasy and talked in nostalgia.
「It was fuun. When that man who swaggered as a great noble and tried to discipline me was shedding blood in unsightly state and then stopped breathing──. Of course, the crime was treated as the work of a thief who sneaked inside. With that I was convinced. In the end no one can notice the truth. Even if they stay alive, the likes of sheep will only get preyed on. Those who can skillfully use evil is the strongest.」
Rosa also moved into offense, as though she was drunk into her own creed.
The huge arm that pulverized the stone paving with one attack was striking toward Bahamut.
Lux neutralized the punch with a counter, but a fierce impact exploded in reaction.
「With this strength I will start by stealing Babel and the new kingdom. I'll also subdue the Seven Dragon Paladins. After arriving at Avalon, I will stand on even further height with the power there. Not just the current tiny Heiburg, I will put everything in this world under my rule!」
All the Cannon muzzles protruding out from Gorynych's whole frame were tinged with light and they fired consecutively.
Lux barely dodged by using his Blade as shield. He glared at Rosa.
「Like that, you intend to rile over someone with fear again? In order to do that, you intend to hurt those who stand in your way!? The same like that era of the empire that I lived at──」
Rosa only laughed even against Lux's objection that was filled with intimidation.
「Sayonaraa, you sore loser who pretend to be a hero. Nothing can be changed with your belief. You cannot protect anything. Accept your defeat and die.」
Rosa grinned with a belittling look.
The moment Lux saw that, the inner part of Lux's eyes was tinged with heat as though it got burned.
『No matter how much resolve you tried have, you believe that 「country」 and 「people」 are something precious. That was why you could speak of a pipe dream like keeping these bunches alive and making a place of dialogue.』
Those were the words of Lux's elder brother──Fugil who massacred the imperial family and the nobility, betraying Lux who was trying to save even the people of the old empire as many as possible and made a place to talk with each other.
Those words were replayed at the back of his mind, which turned into a violent emotion that burned his heart.
That's right──there is no other choice but to do it.
(She is the same like his majesty the emperor and Hayes──an evil beyond salvation that has to be killed. I can only kill her here!)
Lux resolved his will, at the same time he deduced the best plan with his remaining stamina.
Even after he was using Over Limit, this Rosa was a formidable enemy.
But, no matter how strong of an existence it was, he was learning the way to break the opposition.
When the armor of Bahamut that was already starting to creak was distorting even more conspicuously, he moved.
「A rampage──, is it? That's finee. I'll scatter apart that flower petals faster than you can ruin yourself disgracefully!」
Rosa flashed a wicked smile and pulled back the fist of the Devil Machia Mode. She unleashed an attack that was like a battering ram.
Matching his timing with that, Lux also unleashed the power he stored.
Body control operation and mind control operation, the command to suppress and the command to unleash.
By executing two kinds of simultaneous control operation that ran counter to each other, it suppressed the starting point of the attack and gathered strength until the limit.
One of Lux's hidden techniques that produced destructive power more than ten time the normal directly hit Gorynych's Devil Machia Mode.
With the fist of the enemy that came into contact as the starting point, the might of his attack was transmitted in chain toward the armored arm's wrist, elbow, and then shoulder. That armor that bundled more than ten Drag-Rides together cracked and burst open.
「Impossible, don't tell me──!?」
Rosa's both eyes snapped open in shock and she trembled.
The table was turned in one move.
If there was someone who watched this battle, they would imagine the scene that would unfold next, but immediately after that──.
The Steel Witch grinned as though everything went as she planned.
The Devil Machia Mode that should be pulverized into pieces with one attack.
But, the chain of destruction didn't reach until the very armor of Gorynych's main frame. It was still unharmed.
And then, the armor part that should be broken just now was getting reconstructed once more.
「You intentionally disassembled the armor ahead to disperse the impact──is that what you did?」
「You can feel proud. This Devil Machia Mode is tuned to destruct its outer shell automatically when it received a fatal impact to a certain degree. If the attack's power is dispersed to the many armors covering it, the force that Gorynych's main body receive will drop sharply.」
It was an attack of full power from Lux's Over Limit and his hidden technique of Drag-Ride control.
Rosa even dealt against a special move that she should have seen for the first time and cornered Lux.
Rosa treated evil as right and she was convinced of that as the proof of ability, but she had also investigated thoroughly his strength as Drag-Knight.
Therefore, in the exchange of tactic just now, she should be the one who came out ahead slightly──but.
「-……!? What is this? My body──cannot move!?」
「Reload on Fire──the moment you disassembled your own armor, I put the compression strengthening of time on Gorynych.」
Reload on fire compressed the phenomenon of five seconds ahead which caused the strength to decrease sharply until a fragment of the original, and then that strength was unleashed in the next five seconds.
The Divine Raiment that was strengthened by Over Limit caused the amplitude of the strengthening to be increased until more than ten times, causing the strength to swell up abnormally.
Rosa was also being vigilant against that, but she didn't think that the Divine Raiment would be applied to hers rather to Lux himself.
The time of Gorynych's whole body including Rosa was decelerated. The disassembled armor didn't return back to normal.
Lux didn't overlook that opening when the armor was disconnected and slashed.
After applying full power Reload on Fire at Rosa and her movement stopped, Lux's Blade struck from above her barrier. A hundred of consecutive attacks without a single moment of pause that came from the application of stacking up two kind of control operation repeatedly were driving into Gorynych's armor.
「Hahh! No matter how many times you piled up such light slashes, you won't be able to break my Divine Drag-Ride!」
Currently no matter how many times Gorynych was hit by Lux's attacks, its barrier wasn't reduced.
But, Rosa didn't notice that she was already checkmated.
「It's over already for you, Lady Rosa.」
Lux indifferently told the fearlessly grinning Rosa.
One of three hidden techniques, End Action was finished in just four seconds. Lux hovered in the air while breathing hard.
「Your Drag-Ride isn't receiving damage I because of Reload on Fire's effect that sharply decreased the flow of time.」
In other words, the impact of a hundred consecutive attacks until now that was concentrated onto just a single point, all of that attack power would flood in all at once.
Rosa noticed that fact and her expression distorted in despair. The effect of Reload on Fire arrived at the five seconds of the later half.
Rosa was sent flying along with Gorynych backward. She vanished from Lux's sight in a speed that human eye couldn't follow.
At the same time, the parts of more than ten Drag-Rides that were severed from Tartaros Frame's control were all scattered around on her trajectory.
「Haa, haa……, guh……aaa!」
Bahamut in Over Limit state was dispelled. Lux was standing still for a while on that spot.
The muscle joints of his whole body immediately felt pained. He was feeling fever as though his whole body was burned.
The cold rain robbed his very little remaining stamina. A temptation to just faint like this assaulted him.
But, Lux pulled out the Sword Device of Wyvern and used it to stab his thigh. He awakened his consciousness with pain.
Rosa's combat potential should have been neutralized already with an almost certainty, but she mustn't be allowed to get away from here.
He more or less calculated the direction where he sent Rosa flying. He aimed at the first place──the military practice ground beside the underground market.
He mustn't collapse yet until he caught up and restrained her.
Lux coughed heavily. When his hand pressed on his mouth, blood got stuck on his palm. It made him felt an intense exhaustion.
It was a paper thin victory.
The multiple layers of piled up evil tactics that made use of every method effectively.
And it didn't stop there, she had also accumulated diligent training that surpassed the common sense as Drag-Knight.
It was just as rumored and similar like the other Seven Dragon Paladins, Rosa boasted a true strength that was worthy for the name of Steel Witch and wicked cunning that made it possible for her to grasp Heiburg within her palm.
If Lux didn't use Over Limit within his muddy memory, he would be the one defeated without a doubt.
(How did I, become able to use Over Limit again? No, actually, from where did I know about the method to release Over Limit?)
If he knew the method, then why? Why did he become unable to remember it?
Lux harbored even more doubt, but he shook his head and erase the feeling.
「Right now isn't the time……! If I don't, defeat, Lady Rosa……cough-!」
He took deep breath many times, but his breathing wouldn't calm down.
Also, he couldn't even summon Wyvern right now.
「If I don't defeat Rosa, if she get away from here, everything──. Philuffy, Stefa-san, the people of this country too, everyone will──」
When Lux was about to fall on that spot, an arm of a Drag-Ride firmly caught him.
Lux was taken aback and held his breath. In front of him, there was a familiar girl.
Under the heavy rain, a girl with peculiar braided hairstyle was riding a Drag-Ride.
But, he had seen that androgynous looks before.
A pain ran behind Lux's eyes sharply, his field of vision was obstructed by a sandstorm.
The obstruction vanished instantly. When his consciousness became clear, Lux realized who was the boy before him.
The one who supported the collapsing Lux while wearing EX Wyvern was Coral.
「I'm sorry I'm late, Lux-kun. I was in communication with everyone of the Triad through Dragon Voice, they are all safe. Philuffy-san too, it looks like she is heavily injured, but her life isn't in danger I was told.」
His breathing was weak and frail, even so Lux made a relieved smile.
「I received special mission from Vanheim Principality and came here to chase after Vine of Dragon Marauder in the underground market, but he got away. I caught them in the act, so I could send evidence to the world alliance. But right now your condition is the concern. We should also retreat for the moment.」
「Not, yet. If we don't finish off Lady Rosas, this country will──」
「It's better to not force yourself. You cannot use Drag-Ride anymore. If I let you die here, I won't have any face to meet your comrades.」
「I'm fine, that's why we have to pursue Lady Rosa here──. If it's just Wyvern, I'll be able to use it after resting for a bit more.」
「……I get it.」
Coral sighed. Even so he obeyed Lux's instruction.
He lifted Lux with his EX Wyvern. Then he faced the enemy's stronghold that was already crumbling.
He flew toward the military practice ground where Rosa Granhide appeared to get blown away to.
「Gefuh, gopuh……. Ue」
On the other hand, Rosa who got the flow of her time sharply decreased by Reload on Fire and then struck by concentrated slashes from End Action onto one spot during that time, she crashed into the practice ground just as Lux predicted. She vomited out a lot of blood and writhed on the ground.
Fortunately because the direction she was sent flying at was a forest, the trees became cushion and she avoided the fate of instant death, but not just the armor of her Divine Drag-Ride, even her limbs and ribcage were broken. She was on the verge of death.
「……Why, how? This, shouldn't happen……. For me who carry out evil to the extreme to be defeated, such, thing──」
Rosa twisted her body with gasping breath while her blood soaked body was trembling.
The rainy night reminded Rosa of her past.
In the night of that rainy day, the military man who was torturing her died.
The King of Vices killed him.
Everything should be over with that.
At that time she should have stood──in the side of the ruler.
And yet, how did she lose? No,
「It's still, noot over yet……. If I can escape from here, it'll be, my wiiin……」
Rosa murmured to encourage herself and stood up.
She touched the Sword Device of a general purpose Drag-Ride that she covertly carried and started walking toward a military facility with staggering steps.
But, something had already broken.
Her expression, was becoming an expression that she had never shown until now. Even now it looked like she would break out crying.
「It's around here I think? It looks like Rosa's Gorynych was dispelled here.」
Lux and Coral pursued Rosa and returned inside the practice ground in Heiburg military's ground. They were looking at the broken trees of the forest while following behind the footprints.
「Thank you Coral. If it's from here, I can go alone.」
Even though he was wounded all over his body, it seemed Lux's breathing was calming down. He unsheathed the Sword Device of Wyvern once more and equipped Drag-Ride on his body.
「Don't force yourself Lux-kun! If you like, you can also entrust the matter of Lady Rosa to me──」
「No, that's no good. If I don't settle it with her with my own hand……」
Lux stepped inside the darkness with an expression that was afflicted with fever.
It was hard to understand because of the rain and the armor fragments of Gorynych that were scattered around, but some trace of blood could be seen.
Rosa too was also at a dying state without doubt.
But, she might have enough stamina remaining to escape.
If Noct came to here, she would be able to check the reaction of living thing around with her Drake's probing device but──.
「Be careful Lux-kun! ──There is someone nearby!」
When Coral informed him with a stifled voice, Lux stopped his feet and be on his guard.
But, it seemed it wasn't Rosa, but half of Heiburg soldiers who escaped from the battle before this.
It appeared they were also at their limit already too. They weren't wearing Drag-Ride.
When they noticed Lux and Coral, they threw away their swords and prostrated.
「Ple, please spare us! We too had no other choice but to obey Lady Rosa. We are putting down our Sword Device like this so──」
「I get it. Coral, please take care of them. I'm still searching for her so──」
「It's fine but, will you be alright by yourself? I just confirmed from the Dragon Voice, everyone of the Triad will come soon you know?」
「Yes. I still, can go on.」
Lux slowly flew forward, following the bloody footprints until behind a large rock.
「Throw away your weapon and surrender. If you do that I won't take away your life here.」
Perhaps Rosa wasn't behind the rock, no reply came.
Lux readied his Scale Blade. It was at that moment he felt a presence behind him.
A hoarse voice burst. At the same time, Rosa clad in Drake struck with her Blade.
But, that trick wouldn't work for the second time.
Although Lux was exhausted, as expected he had predicted the ambush.
「As I thought, you are going to do something like this.」
Lux performed a counter of Critical Hit using the Scale Blade. The Blade of the Drake was smashed.
Rosa who saw that backed away while her body was trembling fiercely.
Perhaps her arm and leg were respectively broken, her body was tilting to the side.
From how she was covering the area around her stomach, it hinted that her ribs were also broken.
「Why, why doesn't it work……! Even though it shouldn't be like this……just whyyy!」
Her eyes were moist with tears of despair, even so she threw a Dagger toward Lux.
When Lux calmly used his Blade as a shield, Rosa used that chance to vanish her figure.
It was the basic ability of special equipment type Drake, the camouflage ability.
However, in her dying state, she wasn't able to use it properly.
Lux slashed at a spot where the air was distorted, breaking the waist part of the armor.
Rosa's armor was dispelled at the same time with her reappearance. She broke into a run deeper toward the forest with her flesh body.
「This is your lose, Rosa. Surrender obediently and accept the judgment of the law. Atone for your sins until now.」
「Why, why why why why……. Even though evil is absolute, even though I shouldn't have lost, even though I was told that I would win, why──!」
Rosa hugged her shoulders with an expression of heartbreak while shivering. Even so she didn't let go of her Sword Device.
In the middle of running her foot got caught in quagmire and she stumbled. Her whole body was soppy with blood and mud while at the end she fell on her butt and looked up to Lux's Wyvern.
She was at an open spot that was surrounded by trees. There Rosa was finally unable to move anymore.
「Please, help meee……. Forgive meee……! I, don't want to dieee……! I don't want what's mine to get taken away by someone else anymoree……!」
Rosa leaked out tears down her cheeks that were soaked with blood while pleading.
Even that might be trap.
Lux couldn't let his guard down until the end.
「Are you planning to trick someone again by acting like that? Or perhaps──」
Was she planning to buy time? When Lux was about to say that, footsteps could be heard approaching from the surrounding.
For a moment Lux was anxious thinking if enemy reinforcement was coming, but it seemed he was mistaken.
Common soldiers whose armors had been dispelled already were heading here while leading Coral.
「They had thrown away their weapon and surrendered just now. Lady Rosa, I want you too to be restrained quietly.」
Coral tried to persuade Rosa with a calm tone, but in contrast when Rosa noticed him, she called out to her subordinates.
「Qu, quickly save me here! If you guys defeat them──! If you let me get away then a reward──」
「Shut up you bitch-!」
Rosa immediately shrieked. Her face was snapped backward.
One of the soldier threw a rock that hit her forehead.
「Tha, that's right! Be quiet you trash! You villain!」
「We are getting treated like this! Everything is your fault!」
「How dare you threatened us all until now! How dare you, how dare you──」
Heiburg soldiers who numbered more than twenty started hurling abuse at Rosa with that as the trigger.
They threw rocks, stepped on her broken limbs, ripped her remaining pilot suit, punched her face.
It seemed they were keeping a lot of grudge, or perhaps they were doing this only to protect their own position.
Even though the girl was crying and screaming, the soldier's collective behavior didn't stop and increased in intensity instead.
「NOOOOO-……! PLEASE FORGIVE MEEEE-! I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY I'M SORRY! STOP IT ALREADYYYY! SAVE MEEEE-!」
The girl who had already lost her strength and became powerless was showered with insult and violence by the men.
That wretched sight that was just too painful to look at caused Lux to grimace unconsciously.
──It was her just deserts.
This was the payment for how she ruled this country harshly with strength and fear and carried out immoral actions.
Lux had no duty to stop them.
Besides even though she was weak right now, if she recovered her strength, she would undoubtedly stand up again as follower of atrocity.
At that time, he wouldn't know if he would be able to outwit Rosa again.
But even so, Lux reached out his hand reflexively trying to stop the beating. It was at that timing he heard Calensia's voice through Dragon Voice.
『I beg you Lux-san──please kill her with your hand.』
Calensia's voice was tinged with urgency.
Lux was bewildered by her words and he stiffened.
『My family is also taken hostage by her. Everyone is suffering by her tyranny. I beg you. Please save us.』
『However, such thing……I』
Even so Lux was showing hesitation, but Calensia whispered.
『Please Lux-san. Right now I still cannot go there. If she is imprisoned, surely she will escape and take revenge. I know that what I'm asking is unreasonable. But, please. I'm begging you, in order to save this country.』
Lux was listening to Calensia's pleading while gripping his Wyvern's Blade tightly.
『As a king, you tried to save not only the people of this country, but even the rotten imperial family and nobles too. That's why, you couldn't see through me, the evil that was going to steal from you and got outwitted.』
The words of Fugil that he said to Lux when the old empire was destroyed was replayed once more inside Lux's head.
(That's right. There is no way──I can do the same mistake like that time again.)
The imperial family that was treated as the symbol of evil and also their retainers, if possible Lux also wanted to save them. He tried to save them.
However he was betrayed by his eldest brother Fugil and failed. Fugil thrust his own naivety before him.
Even now he couldn't see the answer, what was the most right. However──.
「Please, kill this woman!」
「It's impossible for the people of our country! Anyone here will hesitate from fear of the Servants' revenge! Please kill her in our place!」
「If only this woman is killed, the King of Vices will also disappear! Peace will return into this country!」
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill kill, kill.
The boos of the soldiers that sounded like a chorus strengthened. Lux's world distorted and crumbled.
Having those gazes that were filled with expectation directed at him, Lux stood before Rosa with Blade in hand.
「Lux-kun……you must not hurt this girl more than this! There are still things that we have to ask her!」
Coral who standing beside him stopped him like that, but Lux quietly lifted up the Blade.
「No, that's no good. After using Over Limit, I won't be able to move anymore once I run out of strength. If Lady Rosa escape during that time, I won't be able to protect everyone.」
This wasn't just about Lux.
Philuffy and also the Triad who were here too, then everyone in the new kingdom too would get exposed to danger.
「Someone has to do this. I have to do this. There is no, other choice. If this girl won't stop no matter what, then, there is no choice──but this.」
Lux erased his feeling and stared at Rosa coldly.
And then he quietly lifted up his Blade, brandishing it toward the girl whose pupils were opened in fear.
「Please……save me! Don't kill meee! It shouldn't be like thiiiss……. I had no choice, but to do this……! I'll do anything! I'm begging you, that's why……!」
「──Then, I too have no choice but doing this. In order to stop you, this can't be helped.」
Lux told her with a blunt tone.
But, right after that Lux's heart throbbed violently, he was caught in the sensation as though his blood flow was flowing in reverse.
In the era of the old empire, in the same rainy day like this, the figure of himself yelling for help in front of the coach that fell down the cliff was overlapping with the figure of Rosa right now.
Even though he was asking for help to save his heavily injured mother, what came back were only jeers and thrown stones.
Lux and his family who were the farthest from the throne succession right weren't involved with the despotic administration of the old empire.
And then Lux and his family were banished from the imperial court at that time too was because his grandfather tried to remonstrate the emperor in order to save the people, but──, the people didn't know anything about such circumstance.
They were only directing all the resentment they had piled up until then to Lux and his family who were weak imperial family members who were abandoned by the emperor.
Nausea and dizziness assaulted Lux simultaneously. He felt like he was going crazy.
But, the voices of Heiburg's soldiers who were oppressed until now wouldn't stop ringing.
And then, Calensia too was also sending a heartfelt plea『Kill her』 through the Dragon Voice.
While Coral was watching over Lux with an uneasy look, Lux was going to swing down the Blade unthinkingly, it was then──.
「You, must not, Lu-chan……」
A warm hand softly touched the leg of Lux who was wearing pilot suit.
A dear and gentle voice caressed his ear. Lux instantly came back to his senses.
'Kill, kill', inside that hellish world where the chorus of Heiburg soldiers who were wishing for Rosa's death penalty, only Philuffy tried to stop Lux by embracing him.
Philuffy who was slashed by Rosa and should be grievously injured was rushing to Lux's side once again under the heavy rain with her body still wrapped in bandage.
「Wait for us missy Philuffy! Running with that injury is──!?」
The members of Triad starting with Sharis were coming from behind wearing their respective Drag-Rides.
The abnormal atmosphere until now was dispersed with that. Only the quiet sound of rain was hitting the eardrum.
「If it's my body I'm all right. That's why, Lu-chan, you mustn't kill.」
Philuffy's voice that was absentminded and at her own pace like usual.
Just from hearing that, tension left Lux's body.
His boiling killing intent and rage toward Rosa vanished, only the scene of this place entered his eyes.
And then Lux told the Triad.
「……Please take care of her, Lady Rosa's apprehending. Also, about everyone's──」
Midway, the armor covering his body was dispelled and strength left Lux's body.
He had already passed his limit a long time ago.
After this, surely he wouldn't be able to move by his own strength for a while.
Lux listened to the anxious voices of the Triad while getting gently embraced within someone's arms.
It was a gentle and warm sensation that felt somewhat nostalgic.
Lux was feeling the warmth of his childhood friend Philuffy on his back while losing consciousness.
Lux lost consciousness. He got a fever due to the extreme exhaustion from the Over Limit's backlash.
A day passed since then. It was the time when his consciousness finally returned.
「Lu-chan. You are okay?」
「Yes. I'm getting better bit by bit……I think I can go back to the new kingdom tomorrow……」
Although he tried to act strong, his body was still heavy and couldn't move.
Lux was tasting a delusion as though his whole body was deeply buried within clay.
It felt like his body became one with the bed. He couldn't move as though his body was plastered onto the bed.
The underground market was closed after that commotion. Rosa who was captured was arranged to be handed over to Calensia and the Resistance to be judged.
Heiburg military's main force was still conquering the first Ruin Babel at Triport in the new kingdom.
In order to make the military retreat, it was necessary to thrust this case before Heiburg military and made them recognize the crime.
Therefore, right now they were searching for the record of Rosa's transaction with Dragon Marauder behind the scene and carrying out the procedure to appeal to the world alliance.
『My apologies Lux-san. I want you to wait for a bit more about the matter of Rosa until Heiburg's complication is settled.』
The afternoon of the next day, Calensia showed herself at the inn where Lux, Philuffy, and then the Triad were staying. She said that looking like it was very hard for her to say.
If they appealed with this fact to the world alliance before Rosa's sin was formally judged, the Lords who wished for the annihilation of the traitor would interfere and the chance for Heiburg to clean up itself would be lost.
At present because the majority of the military members staying in the capital were also those who were threatened by Rosa, they had rebelled and joined the Resistance's side.
In order to treat the many injured people, reorganized the organization, and ambushed Rosa's subordinates the Servants, Calensia wished for more time.
At that time, Lux feared Rosa's counterattack and thought that there was no choice but to kill her, but right now she was completely restrained and there was no risk of that.
And then──Lux who sympathized with Calensia's intention decided to return to the new kingdom for the moment.
From what he heard from the Triad, the capture of Babel by Heiburg military was progressing well. They had reached until the tenth floor just the other day.
Including the highest floor, there were three floors remaining.
The pace of the capture was really high, but it wasn't because Heiburg military's ability to investigate the Ruin was exceptionally excellent.
It seemed that the moment powerful Abyss came out, they would use horn flute to let the Abyss get outside the Ruin through the nearby transfer device.
Thus, the extermination of Abyss was in reality being mostly done by the force of new kingdom staying there. That was to say Lisha, Celis, Krulcifer, Yoruka, and the subordinates of Lord Dist.
Because the new kingdom couldn't accompany the investigation, there was no proof Heiburg was using horn flute, but from the high frequency of Abyss's appearance outside, there was almost no doubt about it. Lisha and others were glowering at Heiburg military.
The gate that existed in the middle of the Ruin, at sixth floor seemed to be opened by Krulcifer because of Heiburg's request.
It was annoying to cooperate with them despite the possibility of the harm it would bring to the new kingdom, but in the first place the world would perish if the Ruin wasn't liberated, so she couldn't refuse.
After hearing that story, Lux said to the Triad that he wanted them to go back to the new kingdom to convey the situation here, but they refused.
They chose to constantly stand on guard around Lux while he was sleeping in the inn.
「If we take our eyes off from Lux-chi here, you are going to cross the goal line at once with Philuffy. If that happen, we won't have any face to meet everyone else.」
「Hahaha, well, she is hiding her embarrassment like this but, I'm also worried about you. Just because it's a difficult situation in the new kingdom, there is no way we can leave you alone here while you are seriously injured with only the injured missy Philuffy to take care of you.」
「Yes. I judged that we should carry out the best action depending on the situation.」
Tillfur, Sharis, and Noct each said that and stayed here for him.
Philuffy's injury also wasn't shallow, but the Abyss's strength seemed to quicken her recovery. She was completely healed within a few days.
After that she diligently nursed Lux.
「Lu-chan. I made lunch. Open your mouth, aahn」
Philuffy made a vegetable soup that was different from the inn's meal and brought it to Lux.
Philuffy usually would made nothing but sweets, but it seemed she was teached by the inn's owner to make the soup.
After also eating a soft bread that was soaked into the soup, his feeling calmed down just for a bit.
When the meal was over, Philuffy wiped Lux's body for him using hot water and towel.
But, Lux who was sitting up on the bed was still making a cloudy expression.
Suddenly such words spilled out from Lux whose eyes were hollow.
Lux was unable to move all this time wasn't just because of his physical exhaustion.
Since that day when he cornered Rosa and almost killed her, Lux's heart stayed cold as though he was dead.
「I wonder, why was I unable to finish off Rosa……」
Philuffy didn't answer Lux's question.
After stopping her hand's movement slightly, she wiped Lux's body again while slowly changing his bandage with slow hand movement.
「There was no other choice than that. If I killed her, everyone in Heiburg would be saved, and yet……. Even though I understand that she won't reform or anything, and yet──」
And yet, he was unable to finish her off.
He was unable to answer the expectation of his surrounding.
『I think from the view point of other country, it must looks like that she is a really bad existence. But……I cannot believe that.』
The words of Stefa who told him that she was worried about Rosa.
Even those words were blown away from his mind when Philuffy was slashed from behind.
But the moment he cornered Rosa until the very end, Lux's heart was shaken.
Even if that begging for her life was just her acting to trick him.
Even if it was her getting her just desserts when the surrounding directed their hatred at her.
The Rosa at that moment overlapped with the image of himself when he was a child.
Just like when Lux was pleading tearfully, asking for help for his mother who met an accident and was in the verge of death.
「I couldn't kill her……. In the end, perhaps I am just like what Fugil-niisan said. I don't have the resolve to destroy evil for the sake of performing justice. I'm, unable to do anything, I cannot go anywhere. Something like achieving my ideal, from the start that's──」
『Someone who wasn't loved by anyone will try to be loved by anyone.』
Perhaps he was just how Fugil expressed him like that, he was only fighting simply so that someone would recognize him, and that he had no true resolve.
(Then──I cannot continue anymore as Seven Dragon Paladins like this.)
Lux was about to speak out that feeling into words, it was then.
A faint sweet scent enveloped Lux suddenly.
Philuffy was hugging Lux from behind while he was sitting up in order to have bandage wrapped on his body.
Lux had his voice stolen from him just from that action.
The sound of the clock's hand was carving into the stopped time.
「……You're wrong, Lu-chan.」
Philuffy whispered into his ears gently, with a soft tone as though to persuade a child.
A tranquil smile was tugged on the lips of the girl who was reflected on the mirror inside the room.
「Lu-chan, isn't mistaken at all. That's why, don't worry.」
Those words soaked into his chest, pushing out the emotion that he was suppressing.
Tears slowly overflowed from his eyes, as though they were squeezed out.
Was unable to grant everyone's wish.
He was unable to cut Heiburg's darkness called Rosa with this hand.
He was unable to persist in his justice even if he had to dirty his hand.
Just like five years ago, when he was abandoned by Fugil when he tried to save even the members of the old empire and failed.
「You see Lu-chan, what you want is not to beat someone who is the bad guy you know?」
Philuffy tightly hugged the shoulders of Lux that were trembling from the stirring in his chest and she told him her thought.
「Lu-chan, you are just unable to overlook it, when there is someone troubled in front of you. That's why──it's fine like this. Abandoning someone else who can be saved, for the sake of someone, it's fine even if you don't do that.」
Instantly, strength left Lux's body. Drops of tears were spilling down from his eyes.
At that time, everyone told him to kill.
The soldiers of Heiburg who feared retaliation, and also Calensia, they wanted Lux to finish off Rosa.
But at that time, the fight was settled and Rosa was in a state that was unable to fight.
「That's why, don't force yourself. Don't hurt yourself. It will be fine, because I will protect Lu-chan, no matter what.」
Her warmth enveloped the worn and beaten up Lux.
And then, Philuffy kept embracing him tightly until the beating of his heart calmed down.
That painful day when he was worn out and beaten up, helpless to do anything.
This hug was just like the one she gave Lux that time, when he was standing still in front of the grave of his mother.