It’s necessary to draw magic squares by circulating magical power into spell crestswith specific movements for magic warriors to use magic.
In particular, when Dominas who had applied a large number of magic crests onto their bodies used magic, the displays of elegant movements with their whole bodies were likened to dances dedicated to Redountra.
The dances of those maidens, whose white soft skins were exposed and bodies were entwined with vivid magic crests, were considered to be very sacred and were accompanied by certain seductiveness as well.
However, men mustn’t touch them since Dominas are God’s possessions—wives of “Lord of Redemption”.
(TN: Kanji for Dominas means God’s priestess/shrine maiden.)
It was a few hours until dawn when Dimitar had returned to Dante’s mansion. Even in Buruan’s downtown, it was a time when the shops of any places had their signboards taken down and its citizens were asleep. Needless to say, it wasn’t strange if the area around the town’s outskirts was enveloped in complete darkness and silence.
Nevertheless, that place was like a night-less city.
Dazzling lights leaked out from all of the mansion’s windows and noises of people could be heard. Evidently, it seemed that several people were awake and moving around.
「…They turned on the lights rather flashily and considerably」
Sitting on the wall and observing the mansion’s situation, Dimitar stifled a wry smile that he had unconsciously leaked out, stroked his neck and sighed.
「What shall we do?」
Using Bettina as a stool, Valeria climbed the wall and asked in a low voice.
「Like–I–said! What shall we do after this!」
「Is it alright for me to decide? Rather, don’t you have any ideas?」
「So there’s none then?」
「T, there is! Um…s, secretly link up with Karin first—」
「Haa!? Then why did you purposely ask me?」
「That’s true. I was a fool to have asked you. Sorry」
Dimitar gave a superficial apology that was completely devoid of sincerity and stood up on the wall.
「…If Rudbeck-geika is captured by Dante, it might be impossible for us to link up secretly from the start」
「Isn’t there a possibility where Karin wasn’t captured?」
「…Let’s say that you attacked the enemies and are about to get caught, how’ll you prevent that?」
「Eh? With magic—」
「It’s unlikely for the mansion to come out unscathed when a Dominas uses her magic and rages」
「Since that didn’t happen, it’s likely that abstracted, tall and lanky Hiera Glaphicos made a blunder and got caught. Although she should disregard that as a Dominas, even Rudbeck-geika might not be able to act carelessly in a situation where her cousin is taken as a hostage」
「I won’t hold back even if you’re made a hostage though」
When he suddenly looked at Valeria, she had a face that seemingly want to say 「I’ve said it!」. Being able to become conceited from this much meant, in a certain sense, that this girl would be a very happy person.
Dimitar shrugged his shoulders and,
「It’s a wise decision…Ma, I doubt that you’ll be able to win against an opponent that can make me a hostage though」
Dimitar immediately crushed Valeria’s conceited expression with a grimace, undid Jagieruka’s clasp and looked back to his rear.
「Oi, Gacha Pink」
「You’ll be on standby here」
Bettina who was at the bottom of the wall raised an unsatisfied voice.
「—I was made to wait in the dark forest the whole time just now too desuyou?」
「The “gacha gacha” noisy you aren’t suitable for a delicate mission…Don’t make me say it so many times」
(TN: Well, that clears up how Gacha Pink comes about.)
「Aren’t Dimi-san the one with no delicacy~?」
「You’re noisy. As for criticising an adult, at least do it after you’ve become able to control your urge to urinate」
「It can’t be. That’s more difficult than winning against a wolf with bare hands desuyou」
「Don’t say an exaggerated thing…Anyway, you’ll be on standby here; plunge in when it becomes noisy inside」
「What shall I do if that doesn’t happen desuu?」
「It will. For sure」
「If by chance that doesn’t happen—」
「You’re noisy. I’ll definitely make it noisy so be quiet and wait」
Dimitar interrupted the obstinate armoured girl’s words and jumped down towards the inner side of the wall.
「Hey…what’re you planning to do!?」
Valeria hurriedly chased after Dimitar, lowered her voice just in case and asked.
「Although we discovered some evidences, we don’t know the whereabouts of the crucial Nereida. If so, we can only ask Dante」
「You can say that but…you intend to enter from the front?」
「The other party is expecting our return after capturing Rudbeck-geika. If so, it’s futile even if we try to take them by surprise and rescue the hostages」
「Then what shall we do?」
「I’ve been made to do completely roundabout things until now. At least for the conclusion, I want to go directly from the front」
「Want to go…isn’t that like going there to get caught!? Supposedly, they had taken Karin as hostage!」
「You’re right…When the time comes, Dante may prioritise his ambitions over Rudbeck-geika. If he used Her Eminence as a shield, even I can’t interfere」
Dimitar had calculated that even if Karin was captured, if it was Dante who was a relative, he wouldn’t behave so roughly. But, Dimitar also knew that it might not be an absolute thing. Ultimately, Karin might have only been treated politely when compared to Dimitar or Valeria. If necessary, Dante would undoubtedly use Karin and Petra as shields.
「You’re going despite knowing that?」
「Yeah…That’s why you don’t have to come」
Dimitar took away the shield and knife that Valeria was holding, and jerked his chin towards the wall.
「…Wait together with Gacha Pink」
「I’m not waiting!」
Valeria grasped Dimitar’s hand and spoke.
「—I can’t be quiet when my friends are caught right!? Besides, for me to entrust it to you only and standby at a safe place…that’s impossible!」
「I don’t know what you’re thinking well, but I somehow know your thoughts」
「…Do you or do you not know, which is it?」
「Shut up! Though it’s exasperating, you trying to do something itself mean that there’s a prospect of victory isn’t there? There is right?」
It was troublesome to explain everything so Dimitar tried to face away and ignore her, but Valeria specially took a roundabout path to his front, and continued in a preaching tone.
「—Since it’s D, Di…Richternach-kyou who always say proud things to one person or another, you won’t move without having a prospect of victory right? Not to mention, even Karin and Petra are involved in this situation」
「…The thing called prospect of victory doesn’t exist」
「But you’re thinking that it’s not like nothing can be done aren’t you? You think that you can break the impasses, and that’s why you’re trying to enter from the front」
「…So what if I’m?」
「If that’s the case, I should go too right?」
「From my standpoint, it’s not a good plan to expose you to dangers」
「It’s the opposite, opposite!」
Valeria took back the shield and hit Dimitar’s chest with her small fist.
「—If it becomes well-known that I watched from a safe place while I sent my subordinate Hiera Glaphicos to a dangerous mission, it’d stain my reputation! I want to pile up achievements favourably, you too right?」
「…You’ve a way with words」
「But that’s how it is in reality right? Besides, is there some good reason for you to assertively leave me behind?」
If he had to say whether there was a reason or not, it wasn’t like there was one in particular. Naturally, it was best not to take Valeria along so as not to endanger her, but Dante might strengthened his vigilance if he didn’t see Valeria’s figure. That being the case, showing up all together might make Dante relax his guard.
「—It’s fine to follow, but don’t move on your own accord okay?」
「Shouldn’t I be the one to instruct such things rather than you?」
Valeria leaked out a complaint while hitting his chest again.
「Do you not understand? This isn’t an instruction but a “suggestion”. If you’re a capable superior, you’d have accepted it meekly. A narrow-minded superior wouldn’t accept it」
「You’re using that way of speaking again」
Although Valeria pouted, she started walking alongside Dimitar. It might mean that she agreed with Dimitar’s words for the time being. Though there was no guarantee that she’d abide by his instructions when it really became a critical moment—in any case, Valeria had a previous offence in Seriba (meaning that she did just that in Seriba)—she wouldn’t act so rashly since Karin’s life depended on it.
Dimitar gave the girl, who snorted roughly in secret and walked with big strides, a fleeting look and brushed his nape quietly.
Valeria, who personally pulled open the foyer’s door and entered the mansion, saw each direction that greeted them and instinctively gasped.
The hall where servants stood side-by-side in a row on the first day that she came here was crowded with soldiers shouldering spears tonight. They had put on those wonderful breastplates that Valeria had found just now in Dante’s detached residence.
And now, sitting in a row from the large main staircase to the second floor corridor were the young nobles that had praised Valeria on the night of the party. At the centre, needless to say, was Dante Valiente.
After intimidating the surrounding soldiers with a silent look, Valeria looked up at Dante.
「Welcome once again—should I’ve said that, Valeria-jou?」
The smile of Dante who was touching his forelock was extremely brazen. She didn’t think very much of it before, but as a matter of fact, she couldn’t help feeling that it was unpleasant after she knew that he was an enemy.
The door closed immediately, and Valeria who was completely surrounded with Dimitar as a set opened her mouth after taking a deep breath softly.
「—Where’re Karin and Petra?」
「Those’re the first words you say in this situation?」
Dante stopped his finger that was twining his forelock and smiled wryly. A deep crease was etched on Valeria’s forehead with a “biki!”, and she tried to raise her voice, but her toes were lightly stepped on and she swallowed her words at once.
When she looked fleetingly to her side, Dimitar was grinning. Even though they were the same grinning expressions, Dimitar’s smile was still more preferable than the current Dante’s.
Dimitar placed one hand on his sword’s scabbard and spoke to Dante with a loud voice.
「—What’re you saying? It’s natural for Costacurta-geika to be concerned about Rudbeck-geika’s location」
「I’ve heard that the likes of Hiera Glaphicos are audacious…」
「I’d humbled myself if the other party is the Prime Minister of a country, but if he’s a criminal, then that’d be unnecessary」
「A criminal you say?」
Dante shrugged his shoulders exaggeratedly.
「—Should you guys who arbitrarily sneaked into my detached residence be saying that? I had known from the start what all of you are doing」
「If that’s the case, then say so. If you had, we might have saved troublesome labour and time」
Dimitar clicked his tongue slightly, held up the shield that Valeria was carrying, and showed it to Dante.
「—You had Nereida Kirugiakos made this right? In addition, we also discovered swords, spears and breastplates. Preparing such things in massive quantity, what exactly are you planning to do? Conquering the continent?」
「…Ma, in any case, that’s out of question with such inferior imitations. If those kinds of things can captured the whole world, our Amaddo would have unified the world a long time ago」
「Shut up—I’m telling you to shut up!」
At that moment, the expression of Dante who was smiling faintly until now changed completely. Was he infuriated? Dante clenched his fist, hit the corridor’s handrail, and pointed at Valeria.
「What do you Amaddo’s people understand!? You won’t know the humiliation and pain of our Biranoba that had continuously been being made light of so far!」
「I don’t understand it well, but do you wish for us to know? If that’s the case, you should have just said so. As expected, even the magic-advanced Amaddo doesn’t has mind-reading magic…In short, you want us to sympathise with you?」
Without a moment’s delay, Dimitar jeered at Dante. Naturally, Valeria didn’t feel like sympathising with him in the least, but as for Dante, it seemed as if his already frayed nerves were rubbed the wrong way with a file. Dimitar’s wicked tongue was truly merciless.
Dante struck the handrail once more.
「Your pretentious statement doesn’t matter! More than that, where did you move Nereida to!?」
「How much have you heard about us from that woman!?」
Valeria frowned and looked up at Dimitar.
If they took Dante’s words at face-value, then Nereida was certainly under his supervision, but was no longer around now. To make matters worse, it appeared that Dante was under the impression that Nereida’s disappearance was Valeria’s doing.
The seemingly puzzled Dimitar exchanged looks with Valeria, and when he exaggeratedly shrugged his shoulders before long,
「…There’s no way we know where that woman is right? To have kept these self-righteous and ignorant young masters that are like you company, aren’t you tired?」
「Watch your words, Hiera Glaphicos. —I must have that woman work much more. I’ll eventually persuade the king, and organise a heavy infantry group by means of magic engineering for the sake of having the superpowers recognise Biranoba’s strength」
「…That’s a splendid pipe dream」
Dimitar twisted his lips and sneered. He lightly bent over and whispered into Valeria’s ear.
「…It seems like Nereida really isn’t here. It looked like she escaped」
「Seems to be so」
They realised that Nereida wasn’t here already. Although they don’t know when she had disappeared, they could only coerce and get such minor information out of Dante.
Valeria gave a small cough with a “kohon”, and conversely pointed at Dante.
「—Anyway! Bring out Karin and Petra! If you release the pair safely, I’ll show you kindness. You’re this country’s Deputy Prime Minister, and to say the least, Karin’s relative—」
「Kindness? You’ll, to me? —Amaddo will show kindness to me?」
Dante told a young man who was nearby something while giggling.
「—Do you not understand your position, Costacurta-geika? This should be the scene where you beg me for kindness right? After all, you’ve committed espionage in our country. Even if Biranoba and Amaddo are first-class friendly nations, it’s by no means a permissible matter」
「You want to say espionage?」
Dimitar snorted with a “fun” and pondered.
「If this matter is proclaimed to the world, the reputations of you and Karin who are Dominas will sink to the ground. Furthermore, the authority of Amaddo that had made its Dominas act like spies might be forfeited」
「…And, what of it?」
「It means that the room for negotiation is created there」
Dante took off his dark red vestment completely, and patted the hilt of an excessively ornamented sword that was hanging on his waist.
There, the previous young noble brought Karin and Petra along, and returned.
A rope was tied around Karin from the top of her dress. What was she thinking as she stared fixedly at Dante almost expressionlessly? On the other hand, as if disregarding this place’s tension, Petra gave a bitter smile that seemed awkward, and apologised energetically.
「I’m sorry, Valeria. I messed up just a little and got caught. That’s why Karin isn’t in the wrong, really. It’s my mistake~」
「I know that, so be quiet for a moment!」
Her rhythm had gone completely astray when she let Petra talked. Valeria silenced her older friend, faced towards Dante and shouted.
「Release the pair quickly!」
「I can’t do that. I’ve said that they’re negotiation’s materials right?」
「You want to get ransom from Amaddo?」
「Unfortunately, I’m not that in need of money」
「Then what is it!?」
「What I demand from Amaddo is the right to retain a Dominas」
「…As I thought, it’s that huh?」
Dimitar muttered with a “bosori”. It seemed that this young man had predicted Dante’s aim and was somehow peeved.
「The present Amaddo possesses 3 Dominas which the former 12 countries ought to have 1 each. Compared to that, it has been a long time since our country lost a Dominas. Our status in the prestigious “Holy Alliance” has also now become a semi-signatory. —I cannot be satisfied with that in any way」
While saying so, his passion which was hard to contain became a fire-like brilliance and flickered in Dante’s pair of eyes. Perhaps this intelligent young man had felt humiliation, which was hard to bear, at the current position that his country was placed in since a long time ago.
「—Anyway, setting aside your feeling of frustration」
Dimitar spoke while stroking his head.
「It’s shameless to take the pair, including our important Dominas, as hostages for the sake of carrying out that dearest wish. You can advocate whatever you want, but what you’re doing is simply kidnapping」
「What’re you saying? Karin was carrying out espionage—」
「Both of them are your relatives」
Dimitar interrupted Dante’s words and smiled brazenly.
「…The two of them were just wandering about in their relative’s mansion. They weren’t carrying out espionage. —Or so our country’s statesman-sensei would claimed if it’s him」
「Aren’t you the same too!? You sneaked into Valiente House’s detached residence and stole the things there!」
「Although you said steal—」
Contrary to the excited Dante, Dimitar was indifferent to the end and didn’t change his seemingly controlled tone. As a result, the composition of a calm and composed Dimitar and a cornered Dante was portrayed clearly.
「…Certainly, we found a large number of research results and documents that are related to magic engineering in your detached residence. Apart from imitations like this shield, there were numerous documents that corresponded to Amaddo’s military secrets. Why were they in your—Biranoba’s Deputy Prime Minister’s detached residence? Though Nereida Kirugiakos is someone who did research related to highly classified information in our country, you sheltered and let her continued her research there while knowing that? This’s a serious problem」
Dimitar smirked and continued.
「…Can you give a justifiable explanation in regards to this? Not just to us, but also Biranoba’s king. Are you able to throw out your chest and give a convincing explanation?」
「A pointless sophism—」
Grasping his sword’s hilt tightly, Dante’s eyes twitched.
「This talk of which side is justified is inconsequential! Right now, it’s about which side is standing dominantly in reality! Bear that in mind, Hiera Glaphicos!」
As if in response to the master’s shout, the spears of the soldiers who were surrounding Valeria and Dimitar formed a small circle. The sour look of that Salomon Pajor also blended into that unnoticed.
「…Is it fine to not think this through?」
「…Whether it’s justified or not; is it alright to not think about such matter?」
Pulling out the magic knife that Valeria had found in the detached residence, Dimitar repeated while holding up his fingertip and shaking it with a “fura fura”.
「Then this talk is simple. —In short, it’s fine if we make it such that the winning side puts the fault on the losing side」
Dimitar pointed the knife’s tip towards Dante, and unsheathed the sword at his waist with his right hand. Salomon, who was expressionless and maintaining his standing-at-attention posture until now, saw that and opened his eyes wide.
「Just a minute—」
Valeria pulled Dimitar’s sleeve.
「What’re you planning to do!? Even though Karin and Petra are caught!」
Based on Dimitar’s character, it might be absolutely impossible for him to capitulate helplessly to a man like Dante, but Karin was currently a hostage, thus he couldn’t be rash. In the first place, it was none other than Dimitar who predicted that Dante might harm even Karin when needed.
Nonetheless, Dimitar shook off the hand of Valeria who tried to restrain him, and muttered with a faint smile.
「Rudbeck-geika has quite a good style」
Valeria couldn’t comprehend the meaning of the words that Dimitar had abruptly let out.
「It’s not to your extent, but maa, it sticks out where it should sticks out and curves in where it should curves in. —But after all is said and done, she has nice legs」
「…What’re you saying?」
「Those’re dangerous legs」
Valeria stared at him in amazement with a “ha!”, and looked up at Karin
「…I’m sorry, Dante」
At that moment, the captured Karin who was beside Dante spoke for the first time.
「It seems like I’ve overestimated you a little. I’m truly sorry, Dante」
Dante narrowed his eyes and slowly looked down on Karin.
「…What’re you saying, Karin?」
「Setting aside the past, you’re after all a person of Biranoba that is currently still a magic-undeveloped country」
In the eyes of Karin who had turned towards Dante, there was a colour similar to sympathising with him.
「…If this’s Amaddo, you shouldn’t think that it’ll be fine to just bind a captured magic warrior with rope. To have not pay heed to such matters, you don’t have the qualification to establish a magic country…I’m sorry to have said this bluntly, Dante」
The long hem of Karin’s dress shook greatly with a “fuwari”.
「Certainly—I’d erase her magic crests if I’m in your position; otherwise, I’d put her to sleep with medicine or something. It’s because you’re a person of a magic-undeveloped country that you didn’t even think to that extent」
Immediately after Dimita had sneered coldly, a chilly tempest that violently shook the entire hall welled up suddenly.
In the middle of the unseasonal north wind was the right leg of the captured Karin Rudbeck. A bluish-white magic crest emerged distinctly on her leg which flickered beneath the hem of her dress that was fluttering in the gust.
When Dante reflexively tried to protect his face from the grains of small ice that were mixed into the wind, the consciousness of Salomon who was worried about him almost strayed away from Valeria simultaneously.
「That’s why I said that she has nice legs right?」
Dimitar squinted in the strong wind that was stirring up the hall, and threw the knife that he was holding over his shoulder. The knife that was clad in magical flame became a long, straight and deep crimson arrow, tore through the circle of soldiers who flustered by the unexpected situation, and pierced the display window.
「A pink raging bull will plunge in if she notices that…Let’s go, Your Eminence-sama」
Dimitar’s hand struck Valeria’s bottom.
「Ko, ko…Aaa, I, I’ll retort afterwards! Definitely!」
Valeria swallowed down her anger towards Dimitar, and revealed her right hand. The sharp blade of “Tornado (Furigana: Razor)” flew straight to the middle of the strong wind, and cut the ropes that were binding Karin and Petra.
「Don’t escape! Karin—the place where you ought to be is here you know!?」
While being protected by Salomon, Dante nevertheless faced Karin and stretched out his hand.
Removing the remains of the rope and throwing it away, Karin softly held down her hair that was fluttering in the wind.
Even the unseasonal gust which Karin had created might not be able to keep them confused like so for a long time. In fact, Salomon who was deemed to be the strongest had moved from the position of protecting Dante, and was already squaring off against Karin. The other soldiers were also setting up their spears and attacking in succession as though to obstruct Dimitar and Karin from linking up.
「By the way」
Brandishing Jagieruka with a “burun”, Dimitar inquired.
「—Assuming that Rudbeck-geika and you are about equal, what’s the extent of Rudbeck-kyou’s magical ability?」
「That’s, although they were the same Dominas candidates, since she dropped out midway—」
「She falls behind by several levels huh…Then it’s better to evacuate her」
Karin and Petra, who ought to be captured and were standing side-by-side awhile ago, were currently separated. Although Karin who was squaring off against Dante was still fine, no matter how one looked at Petra, she was screaming and was being chased about. It was likely that she’d be caught again before long.
There, a pink mass smashed down the foyer’s door and barged in.
The soldiers were flashily blown off together with their screams. While the place was briefly frozen by surprise, the pink armoured girl who emitted a vivid lustre took out a retractable battle axe from the back of her hips.
「Fushu~…according to your summon, Bettina Albiol now intrudes at the scene desuu!」
「You noticed it well」
When Dimitar lightly kicked the solar plexus of the soldier in front of him and made him fall forward, Dimitar stepped on the opponent’s head that had lowered to a just right height, and jumped at once.
Landing on the corridor’s handrail, he casually kicked about the young nobles whose eyes were wide opened in surprise. This was a tough world; he didn’t know about those insignificant soldiers, but as expected, when it came to these nobles, he shouldn’t kill them thoughtlessly if he considered the future troubles.
Dimitar rudely trod on the young men, who had spouted nosebleeds and collapsed, and stretched his hand out to Petra.
「A~n! I was frightened~」
「Is that so?…You’re a boisterous woman」
Dimitar once again casually swung Petra, who was on the verge of tears and was trying to cling onto him, and called out to Bettina that was downstairs.
「Gacha Pink! You protect her! Rather, escape as it is!」
「Eh!? W, why?」
「It’s a hindrance when a woman who can’t be a fighting power is hanging around! I can’t move to the best of my ability!」
Saying so, Dimitar threw Petra.
Valeria who was engaging the regular soldiers with Bettina noticed the falling Petra and raised a shrill voice.
「Bet…c, catch her, Bettina!」
「Ha, hai ha~i!」
Bettina extended the battle axe, greatly rotated it once with a “gurun”, and swept away the surrounding enemies. She then went directly below Petra immediately and caught her body.
「Oi, Gacha Pink!」
Dimitar, who had followed Petra and returned to the hall on the first floor, jerked his chin towards the foyer’s door that Bettina had destroyed.
「B, but, is that fine?」
「I told you to go!」
「I mean, isn’t there a lot of enemies! Even I want to help desuu~!」
「If you want to help, then disappear right now」
Dimitar placed Petra who was being carried in Bettina’s arms on the head of her armour, and kicked the little girl’s bottom.
「—It’s dangerous for us if you rampage like this in a confined space. Setting me aside, if you make a mistake and Her Eminences get caught up in it, it won’t end with you and Chief Engineer being sacked you know?」
「Abababababa…I, I won’t do such a thing!」
「Then get out quickly! You’re a hindrance!」
「Ri, Richternach-kyou! Karin is—」
「Don’t worry about us…We’ll link up shortly. After cleaning up these guys here, we’ll follow you」
「I won’t let you…!」
A mass accompanied by a thirst for blood descended in front of Dimitar who was about to face the staircase again.
Salomon Pajor brandished a gigantic axe and jumped down on the spot where Dimitar had instantly backed away. The axe that he was holding was even more brutal than the one that Bettina had used; moreover, this man wasn’t enhanced by magic, and was wielding it with natural physical strength. Dimtar couldn’t help but say that he was a formidable master.
Dimitar narrowed his eyes and spoke in a low voice.
「…Rudbeck-kyou. Lucius ought to be arriving soon. Please escape from this place with Gacha Pink and join up with Lucius」
「…Understood. Please take care of Karin」
「Alright, we’re going, Bettina-chan!」
Petra’s magic separated the soldiers into two, and a pink armour dashed through the path that was created there. There were soldiers who tried to pursue the pair hurriedly, but they were stopped by Salomon’s throaty voice.
「There’s no need to chase them!」
Salomon aimed the battle axe that he had raised highly at Dimitar, swung it down, and commanded the soldiers.
「It’s fine as long as we seize the Dominas! Consolidate the defence and block up the escape routes!」
「…I don’t intend to escape though」
Dimitar, who had evaded the thick and solid blade by a hair’s breath, caught Valeria in the corner of his vision, and subsequently searched for Karin’s figure. However, Karin who should have been in the corridor until a while ago wasn’t anywhere, and Dante had also disappeared before he knew it. Both of them might have moved towards the inner part of the mansion.
It didn’t seem like he had the leisure to spend too much time and fight.
Karin tore off the dress that had a large rip due to her magic to suitableness, and cut it short. She then ran after Dante, and went towards the mansion’s interior.
At times, there were soldiers who came chasing from behind every now and then, but she incapacitated each of them with one blow while looking over her shoulder. Magic crests were engraved onto those spears and swords, and it seemed that magic could be used as it was, but nevertheless, it couldn’t be helped but said to be reckless to try to oppose a Dominas with magic.
Perhaps it was considerably distanced from the entrance hall, the noise of battle became very far away. However, that might be convenient for her to settle things with Dante.
Discarding her long gloves, Karin opened the door and left it as it was. She quietly peered into Dante’s study and opened her mouth.
「…Where’re you, Dante?」
「It’s regrettable…very regrettable, Karin—」
Karin heard Dante’s voice from somewhere and headed further inside.
“Jyarin…” a stiff sound like metals rubbing together could be heard. Karin had a hunch that it was the sound of a sword being pulled out from the scabbard. She recalled that there was a dull shining metal scabbard adorned with gems and mother-of-pearl on the waist of Dante who had ran inside some time ago.
「I wanted you to help me realise my dream…and that conversation which I had with you was in fact, my sincere feelings」
「I see…if it’s a joke, I can still laugh and shrug it off but…I’m sorry. You’re serious aren’t you?」
「—That habit of yours wasn’t fixed in the end」
Dante’s laughter could be heard from the large hall that became the party venue a few days ago. Karin believed that he was waiting there.
Karin untied the shawl on her shoulder and wrapped it around her waist. The exposure was suppressed unlike her Dominas’s ceremonial clothes, but unless her magic crests were exposed as much as possible, she couldn’t use magic efficiently.
「However, you don’t really think that I’m bad right?」
Dante spoke in the deserted hall.
「Although you’ve the habit of immediately apologising with an “I’m sorry”, you don’t really think that I’m bad. —You were originally a very proud and arrogant child, so you weren’t a person who’d willingly apologise to others at all. Hence, your Haha-ue disciplined you from childhood to express and apologise at every opportunity」
「Therefore—you don’t really think badly of me even now. Even though you’re trying to crush my dream, you don’t think that I’m bad even the slightest」
「I don’t want to destroy your dream in particular…However, it’s just that my dream won’t come true without Amaddo」
「Then I’ve no choice but to be forceful…」
A large round shield that Dante didn’t have until a while ago shone in his left hand. A complex magic crest emerged faintly on its surface.
「—It’s said that a Dominas’s magical power can repel even a heavy knight…but how about you? Have you actually give and take lives?」
Dante waved his mantle and swung the sword that he was holding once.
Karin avoided the flame arrow that flew from its tip, twisted her body gracefully, and raised her right hand overhead. A bluish-white line ran from near her low-cut décolleté to her right fingertip. An enormous magical power was condensed and ran through in one go.
A stone of ice which gave the impression of an icicle flew from the fingertip that Karin had directed at Dante.
However, just before that stone came into contact with the shield that Dante had held aloft, it fragmented and disappeared.
「Does Amaddo has things like this I wonder?」
The face of a triumphant Dante appeared from the back of the shield.
「…That woman is definitely a genius」
「The person using it may not necessary be a genius though」
「Shall we try and see, Karin? —Will you get tired out and become unable to stand up first, or will this shield be smashed up first?」
「If that’s what you wish for」
Karin nodded slightly.
「…Perhaps I’ll listen to your wish, since I think this’s the end」
「We’re the “Patriotism Magic Corps”; people who greatly admire Dante-sama’s chivalry and work for that herald…we won’t allow you that are like the superpowers’ pet dogs to hinder that progress—」
Dimitar evaded the blow of Salomon who was throwing hatred, and greatly leaped to the rear.
「…You’ve become talkative all of the sudden, Ossan」
「Can you decrease the number of words you speak a little too?」
Valeria took up a position where she became back to back with Dimitar, and said so with a low voice; though she might not have the room for those words. When looking at her shoulders heaving up and down slightly, it seemed like she had been accumulating fatigue gradually.
On the contrary, it didn’t seem like the number of soldiers who were encircling their surrounding had reduced very much. Needless to say, a considerable number of them were injured in the fight against Dimitar and Valeria, but above all else, the height of their fighting spirits was troublesome. They didn’t lose their fighting spirits with a few wounds, and would face Dimitar and Valeria until they couldn’t move.
Dimitar didn’t especially hesitate in a fight against such people that could be called fanatics. However, that might not be the case for Valeria who wasn’t accustomed to injuring people. Her kindness was unsuitable to corner people to that extent.
Dimitar understood that he should take on the necessary role of a villain in such times.
Noticing that Valeria was looking fleetingly upstairs, Dimitar muttered.
「…Do you remember this mansion’s structure?」
「In your case, rather than not remembering it, you didn’t check it?」
「What’s it, being sarcastic at this late hour?」
「I want to say it insistently but I don’t have such free time」
There was only one more staircase that went up to the second floor from the first floor in this mansion’s main building. A small staircase used primarily by the servants existed in the opposite side of the mansion, but to reach that staircase without going via this stair hall, it was necessary to go outside the mansion once, and take a large roundabout path.
「This place is already enough with me alone. You’ll go act as Rudbeck-geika’s support」
Dimitar stabbed Jagieruka into the floor, grasped both of Valeria’s hands, and swung greatly.
Dimitar, who had rotated thrice in high speed, faced the second floor, and thrown Valeria with that momentum, promptly pulled out Jagieruka.
Salomon who had reacted quickly tried to run up the staircase and chase after Valeria.
「There’s no need to get worked up over a young female opponent right?」
Dimitar gripped Jagieruka with both hands and did a full swing. The magical power that dwelt in its blade became a red flame and blew upwards, swallowing Salomon who had promptly held up his battle axe and stood ready.
The back of Salomon who had stopped the huge fireball crashed into the staircase. His large build was buried halfway into it, and the scattered flames began to lick the staircase.
Valeria, who landed on her bottom and patted her hips, clung to the handrail and stood up.
「It’s fine, so go quickly!…If possible, it’d be helpful if you can set fire to that side」
「Rudbeck-geika needs assistance right?…It’s fine, so go」
Valeria nodded slightly with a “kokun”, scattered big lumps of flames at her feet, turned on her heels, and started running towards the mansion’s interior.
Salomon, who had rose up while breaking the staircase, saw Valeria disappeared at the other side of the fire, and a deep crease was etched between his brows.
「When thinking of your master’s position」
Sighing lightly, Dimitar stroked the scruff of his neck.
「—Isn’t it better to do something about the bonbons that’re collapsed over there first?」
It seemed like Salomon wanted his subordinates to pursue Valeria, but in the end, he couldn’t help but prioritised the rescue of the unconscious nobles’ sons. Whether Dante’s aspiration would bear fruit or fall apart here, Dante’s position would get worse to that extent if the nobles’ children, who were his collaborators, were burnt to death.
While the soldiers were carrying the young nobles out from the hall, the fire that had increased in force was licking the staircase to the utmost. As long as this fire wasn’t extinguished, it was difficult to head towards the mansion’s interior via its side, not to mention going up to the second floor.
With this, only Valeria could cut into the fight between Karin and Dante for the time being.
Afterwards, if Dimitar disposed the enemies remaining here, the match would be almost settled.
The soldiers, whose hands had become empty, set up their spears and approached the back of Dimitar. Seeing faint lights gathering at their spearheads, Salomon hurled a rebuking voice.
「Stop it! Do you intend to intensify the force of the fire further!?」
「What imperfect secret weapons huh. Or are they too much for amateurs to handle?」
Dimitar raised his lips coldly. Although they gave themselves an exaggerated name like “Patriotism Magic Corps”, with the magic crests that were engraved onto the spears and swords that they were holding, only magic to the degree of shooting basic flame arrows repetitively could be used. If gathered in a moderate number, they might produce a fixed war results in the battlefield, but using them in the current situation was akin to pouring oil on the fire. It was also because Dimitar had judged that they wouldn’t be able to utilise their precious armaments sufficiently if it was here, that he had thought of entering the mansion and fight.
「—Don’t interfere—prioritise carrying out the casualties and extinguishing the fire! Leave it to me to be this kozou’s opponent!」
Salomon, who had brushed off the sparks and re-gripped the gigantic axe, stared at Dimitar, and gradually shortened the distance between them. It was according to Dimitar’s plan that the coming and going of the second floor and mansion’s interior was prevented by the fire, but from another point of view, it could also be said that the space to move around was reduced due to it. For Salomon whose blows had weight to them despite his slow movement, restricting Dimitar’s fine movements should work advantageously for him.
Salomon also had the confidence that he absolutely wouldn’t lose to Dimitar if it was a one-on-one.
「You seem pretty composed, then please answer a question of mine」
Rotating his neck lightly, Dimitar spoke.
「—Do you not have a relative or something in Seriba?」
「Seriba? Which countryside is that?」
「A plump middle-aged man…iya, it’s a trivial story. Please forget it」
「Foolish…is it a practical joke?!」
The gigantic axe descended head-on. Dimitar withdrew right behind, made an opening, and immediately tried to step towards Salomon’s chest, but with an instantaneous judgement, he changed the leap that he was about to do previously to a big side step.
Salomon’s axe, which was swung down and appeared to be sinking into the floor, stopped exactly just before that, changed its vector suddenly, and came up just like a spear. If Dimitar had tried to close the distance with Salomon, he might have received the current raising stab in the front.
「A kozou with a good intuition…I’ve a high opinion of you now…」
Salomon, who had showed that he trod strongly to break the floor tiles into pieces, momentarily looked at Dimitar that had jumped horizontally, and smiled thinly.
「—However! Can you endure beyond this point with your intuition only!?」
Salomon who had wrapped his whole body in metal armour trod with a speed exceeding Dimitar’s expectation. He attacked Dimitar where just a moment of delayed reaction would become a fatal chance. When Dimitar had put his strength into his abs in preparation for the shock, his body had already floated lightly off the floor by about 10 cm and blown off backwards.
When Salomon had already closed the gap even more, he greatly brandished the battle axe horizontally. If Dimitar stepped in while receiving that blow which drew a straight line, his body would simply become round slices.
Dimitar grasped Jagieruka that he had recovered in a backhand grip with both hands, and stabbed it into the floor.
There, the massive axe’s blade flew. Jagieruka’s blade clashed against Salomon’s axe, and sparks scattered.
When he stopped the blow of the axe, Dimitar pushed his right hand against Salomon’s chest at once.
Salomon, who had retreated greatly, held down his chest from above the armour and anguished. Though just for an instant, the flame created by Dimitar scorched Salomon’s armour, and its heat had burnt his skin.
「…When fighting against a magic warrior, one mustn’t carelessly wear things like metal armour…seems like you guys don’t have such know-how too」
Dimitar pulled out Jagieruka and laughed.
The movement of Salomon from just now was obviously accelerated by some sort of magic. It was likely that a magic crest for that purpose was fitted into Salomon’s armour. It seemed that he was using an armament which was one rank above his subordinate soldiers’.
However, it wasn’t perfect either. If it could utilise magic of a level like those used in the Seal Chivalric Order, Salomon’s tackle would be heavier, and might have incapacitated Dimitar with one blow.
For it to have ended with that degree (where Dimitar wasn’t incapacitated in one blow), it meant that Salomon’s comprehension and proficiency regarding magic were to that extent after all. Even if the magic crest which had to be carved on the flesh originally was substituted with a tool, if the person using it wasn’t skilled in magic, its real worth couldn’t be demonstrated.
「…It’s done this way」
Drawing a sign lightly on Jagieruka’s tip, magical power passed through his magic crests. Dimitar’s whole body was filled with new power and his movements accelerated.
「…It’s unfortunate, but nothing can be done with willpower only」
Dimitar closed in on Salomon who had a surprised expression, and violently collided against him using his shoulder’s tip, as though to repay what was done to him a while ago.
「In the case of Amaddo, even the nobles’ foolish sons who don’t possess a fragment of policy can do a feat like this. In short, they’re different from you guys based on the first starting point. Whether Dante is a patriot or whatever, this difference can’t be simply filled」
In reality, there were hardly any young men who were as skilful as Dimitar in this kind of magic in the Seal Chivalric Order, but that bluff was enough to give Salomon even more shock.
Dimitar aimed a strike from a direct overhead position at Salomon whose balance was destroyed. Despite that, Salomon whose back was on fire put up his battle axe and caught Jagieruka’s blade.
However, the battle axe’s handle easily became two equal parts.
Jagieruka’s blade ran through from the top to the bottom without change, and deeply split apart Salomon’s armour.
「…Biranoba’s weapons and armours sure are brittle huh」
Dimitar spoke cruelly to Salomon whose eyes were wide open and knees were shaking.
「…Not only magic, even its simple military technology can’t catch up to Amaddo, so this might be expected. In the first place, such facts could be understood if you think just a little, and yet why’re you convinced that you can win against me?」
Both arms of Salomon stretched towards Dimitar’s neck.
「You followed the wrong master」
Dimitar evaded Salomon’s arms just before his windpipe was grabbed and crushed, and thrust the tip of Jagieruka into the armour’s crack.
「…If you’re an ex-mercenary who can freely choose who to serve, then that’s your responsibility. Don’t think badly of me」
Salomon’s death cry was coloured by a deep crimson flame.
Dimitar kicked Salomon’s chest lightly, extracted Jagieruka and snorted. Salomon whose armour’s inside had torrents of flames poured into it staggered with a “nota nota”, fell face-up shortly and didn’t move.
Witnessing Salomon’s final moment, the soldiers who had lent their shoulders to their comrades and were trying escape from this sea of fire, let out sorrowful groans.
Dimitar returned Jagieruka to its scabbard, and spoke to those soldiers.
「…There’s no need for the underlings to get dragged into their superior’s world and die right? Discard your weapons and armours and escape quickly. The military police will begin to move tomorrow. If you still stay as Dante’s private soldiers, you’ll be implicated and thrown into prison」
It wasn’t clear whether Dimitar’s consideration got through to the soldiers. He didn’t plan to talk in detail beyond that, and had no intention of checking if the soldiers nodded. Dimitar stopped his breathing with a puff, executed an approach run and flew towards the wall of fire.
Karin and Petra’s grandmother was from the Valiente House.
Assuming so, one might be able to say that the Valiente House was originally a family lineage that produced numerous people with magic abilities. In fact, Dante who was the heir of the Valiente House skilfully mastered the sword and shield created via engineering, and fought above equal footing against Karin.
It meant that he had magic talent by nature. If Dante had been born in Amaddo, he’d have developed his talent as an excellent magic warrior without depending on such tools; otherwise, there was no doubt that he’d establish his position in the Seal Chivalric Order.
「—If I’ve this Gabirondo and Begiristain, even I can overwhelm a Dominas」
Swinging the sword once, Dante spoke triumphantly. For each of them (Dante’s actions) to be unnaturally theatrical, it might have been a habit from childhood. Specifically, Karin didn’t dislike it, but she was amazed a lot.
Karin brushed the hem of her dress lightly and stood up.
So far, all of the magic that Karin had unleashed was offset by the shock wave created from the shield that Dante was holding. On the contrary, Karin had been receiving minor wounds here and there.
「…You ought to understand by now. You cannot win against me」
Karin slowly shook her head at those words of Dante.
「You still don’t understand. You cannot win against a Dominas」
「Yareyare…how far do I’ve to go for you to admit your defeat?」
「As long as there’s faith towards Redountra, a Dominas will not be defeated」
「I should give praise to that faith, but—」
Dante suddenly faltered and frowned.
「…Was the mansion set on fire?」
A burning smell drifted from somewhere. Perhaps Valeria had done it flashily.
Dante spat out in displeasure.
「Doing an unnecessary thing…it seems like the explanation towards His Majesty will become even more troublesome again」
「That’s to say…as expected, this time’s matter is all your own judgement? The government and army don’t know anything…」
「If they were more capable, I could have rely on them a little more but—」
「That arrogance will destroy you」
Karin put up her left hand overhead and swung once. “Tornado” dashed through the empty space and severed the chains that suspended the chandelier.
Dante held the shield over his head while and jumping sideways to avoid it. The candles’ flames spread onto the carpet near Dante who had escaped from being crushed to death.
Karin raised a strong wind and fiercely stirred it up even more.
「Although you should also have memories of this place—it’s regrettable」
When he brandished Gabirondo while jumping back, the cold air which was mixed with the small ice grains (from Karin’s previous attacks) spread like ripples to creep on the floor.
The flames that collided with the cold air changed into hot steam, and coloured the hall white. When Karin instinctively faced away and retreated, an ice arrow penetrated the white veil and flew towards her bosom.
Karin, whose arm was suddenly pulled and fell over on that spot, quickly changed her line of sight.
Valeria, who was directly besides her and was bleeding from her shoulder’s tip, sank down to the floor. Although Karin didn’t understand what happened well, she was only certain that Valeria had protected her and suffered a wound.
「Good grief, even though you acted shrewdly on one thing or another, in the end, your finish is naive isn’t it?…That’s because you lack experience」
Valeria endured the pain and smiled bitterly. Karin reflexively counterattacked with an indifferent mutter.
「To be able to say it so proudly, you’re also inexperienced aren’t you?」
「…Why didn’t you say “I’m sorry” at such times?」
She could do it as much as she liked if it was an insubstantial apology. To apologise voluntarily, behave modestly and avoid discord with others were Karin’s secrets of success in life. In fact, even if she believed that she wasn’t in the wrong, she’d apologise first. Her pride wasn’t hurt since it was just a superficial apology, and if she could avoid trouble by just bowing her head, then it was a cheap thing.
On the contrary, words of apology didn’t come out when she really believed that she was at fault. Karin wasn’t used to saying such heavy words.
「…Ma, it’s fine though. At any rate, I wasn’t demanding an apology from you since the beginning!」
Valeria, who had applied strength and stood up, held down her left shoulder and shut up.
Karin looked at Valeria with a sidelong glance and checked the damage on her friend. Numerous small wounds ran from Valeria’s left shoulder to her upper arm. They weren’t serious physical damage, but it couldn’t be helped but to say that her war potential was greatly lowered. Although they were just trifling wounds, if they harmed her magic crests, she wouldn’t be able to use her magic smoothly like usual.
And that very same thing could be said to Karin.
Is this called actual combat?—Karin quietly arranged her breathing, and coldly focused on the status quo where she presumably couldn’t rely fully on her strength.
The magic crests which were engraved onto the frail skin must be exposed to use magic freely, but if that skin was wounded, then magic couldn’t be used. Karin now realised the madness where Dominas, who were called magic warriors and carried such dilemma, had to versus an opponent by uniting during this time.
But in contrast, she didn’t think of wanting to escape from here. Nonetheless, Valeria who should have experienced the rigorousness of an actual combat more than Karin by a step, stood up without losing her smile.
Hence, it was impossible for only Karin to abandon this fight. Not to mention, the one before their eyes was Karin’s childhood friend.
「…I won’t compromise to the end, who’d play with you (Dante)?」
(TN: Karin’s serious mode unlocked.)
「You said something, Karin?」
Karin sighed slightly, and when she wiped the blood on both arms with the shawl wrapped around her waist, she held Valeria back and made her withdraw.
「You treat your own injuries. —I’ll handle Dante」
「Just a min…!」
「If I compromise, I thought that he’d notice my miss eventually…but he didn’t notice it after all」
「Your miss? What’re you saying?」
Dante narrowed his eyes quizzically.
「It’d be great if you look at reality, Karin. In reality, the injured one is you—all of you only. I don’t have a single scratch」
「Indeed…However, the cause of that is my naivety. The wounds that Valeria and I bear were all due to my naivety; it wasn’t because you’re strong. Not to mention, it’s absolutely impossible for you to be stronger than a Dominas」
She looked at Valeria fleetingly. Karin didn’t have any more words for her in particular, but perhaps Valeria had discerned something with just that, she nodded slightly and withdrew slowly to the rear.
「It’s a very simple story if you think about it, and you didn’t notice it」
Arranging her breathing, Karin gathered her consciousness in both hands. A bluish-white light ran from her cleavage via her shoulder towards the tip of her white arm. As a result of her magic crests being damaged here and there, it took more time than usual, but Karin who was called a Dominas didn’t falter.
「I won’t let you!」
Swinging Gabirondo, Dante seized the initiative and shot flame arrows.
「…Indeed, very simple」
A scorching heat and cold air dwelt in Karin’s right and left hands respectively. It was an impossible feat for many magic warriors to manipulate several magic crests simultaneously. Karin who had pulled it off extremely easily released two magic arrows at almost the same time.
「…Even if you’re somehow able to have magic crests on borrowed items, the one to use them in the end is you」
Both flame arrows clashed from directly opposite and disappeared, but Karin’s ice arrow flew towards Dante without change.
The shield which Dante held up negated the ice arrow with a unique explosive sound that shook the air.
However, Karin didn’t stop both her arms during that time. Her left and right hands were immediately loaded with new ice arrows again, and she l