Chapter 4, Part 1

Chapter 4 – The Children’s Resolve Will Sometimes Exceed the Adults’ Expectations


Nodoka was trembling under her blanket, while gripping her Slimphone and sitting on top of her bed that was in a corner of her room.

She could hear the intermittent sounds of clashing coming from outside, but she was so scared that she was not even able to get out of her bed, let alone go outside to check.

“Mom, hurry up…!!”

Nodoka whispered in a teary voice while gripping her inoperative Slimphone.

However, the only reply she got was a powerful impact that rocked the whole house.

“Kyaa!?”

A person was slammed into the veranda outside Nodoka’s room, and the railings were greatly deformed.

The person slammed into the veranda was Diana, who bore wounds all over her body, and the impact was so powerful that it wouldn’t have been surprising if it had torn off the veranda completely and punched a hole in the wall.

“Uuh… I w-wont let you lay a finger of Nodoka…!”

An impact like that would normally shatter all the bones in a person’s body and definitely kill them, but Diana still stood up.

“D-Diana-san…!”

Nodoka timidly called out in the direction of the window that was already broken.

“I’m sorry… It’s quite tough, looks like it will take awhile to deal with it…”

Even so, Diana smiled at Nodoka to reassure her, while her face was covered in blood.

“I definitely won’t let them lay a finger on you, Nodoka! Haaaaah!”

After psyching herself up, Diana once again jumped out of the broken window that she had come flying through.

“Hah!”

At the thunderous sound caused by Diana’s superhuman leap, Nodoka once again crouched down.

“Just… Just what is going on!”

Nodoka had not directly seen the battle between Diana and the Shii the day before yesterday, but according to what she had heard from her brother, Diana didn’t seem to have too much trouble against the Shii. However, this time, Diana was being overwhelmed by numbers.
She had been a little on edge while she was at school, but in the end, nothing had happened and the school day ended as usual. She had occasionally wondered if Diana had come to check up on her, but she didn’t see her anywhere, and when she called her house phone, Diana picked up while sounding a little tired and she could hear the sound of the television in the background.

Later, she had sent a message to her mother informing her that there were no problems, and ordered pizza after getting her mother’s permission. She then spent a slightly awkward evening with Diana who definitely looked listless compared to how she was in the morning.

She watched shows on TV that she would not usually watch, and explained what was going on to Diana even though she had not really asked for an explanation, and somehow managed to pass the time until nine o’clock.

“Well, I’ll go up to my room now. You know how to use the bath, right?”

“Yes, Madoka showed me how to use it last night. Good night.”

Nodoka went upstairs to her room as she had to prepare for tomorrow and take care of some other personal things. Just as she closed her room door and let out a sigh, Diana came running up the stairs at a tremendous speed.

“Contact Madoka!”

Diana rushed into her room with almost enough force to destroy the door, yelled that at Nodoka, and pushed her onto the bed.

Nodoka was surprised by Diana’s sudden violent behaviour, but the next instant…

“Woah!”

Her window glass shattered violently, and at the same time, the spot where Nodoka had just been standing blew up forcefully with a roar.

“Guh!”

Diana protected her head from the flying glass and wood splinters, but her arms were mercilessly injured by the shrapnel.

“Diana-san!?”

Nodoka let out a scream, but in the next second, Diana was holding Castor and Pollux in her hands, and a blade of light appeared from each.

“Stay away from the window! Put your blanket over your head for protection! Contact Madoka!”

After shouting that, Diana took a huge leap and flew out of the window.
After that, Diana fought for a long time against enemies that Nodoka couldn’t even see, for what felt like one or two hours. However, Diana just got more injured as time went on, and it didn’t look like the fight was going to end anytime soon.

“Oh come on, why won’t it work…!”

Nodoka’s Slimphone was heartlessly showing a ‘No Signal’ message, and even ROPE, which was supposed to work over the internet, just kept trying to connect and it didn’t look like it was going to work. Nodoka was curled up in fear, and she didn’t think of trying to use her house phone.

Even if she had thought of it, she would have to go past the window in her room to go downstairs, and the thought of another explosion kept her from moving. At that moment…

“Wha-!”

Amidst the encompassing darkness, light brighter than anything she had ever seen flashed outside, and seared Nodoka’s vision.

“L-Lightning…?”

It looked like a flash of lightning that occurs just before a peal of thunder.

She wasn’t particularly afraid of lightning as a weather phenomenon, but the light outside was was so intense that it threw everything in her room into stark relief, and it was certainly not natural.

“W-What was that… !!”

She saw the flash of light another three times through her window, and suddenly, the sounds of Diana fighting outside abruptly stopped.

“……No way.”

Nodoka didn’t even have the time to regain her wits.

A black, humanoid figure that looked like an incarnation of darkness descended upon the veranda.

In its ‘hands’, it held Diana, who was not moving, still holding her weapons with limp fingers.

Diana had lost.

However, before Nodoka could register this fact, her eyes were drawn to the face of the otherworld monster, the Shii. It’s head looked like an even blacker darkness was etched into an already dark surface, but it certainly had human features. It was a man who was about the same age as her father. He did not look like a Japanese person.

So this is what a Shii, a human who turned into a monster, looked like.

The places where the eyes should be, and the place where the mouth should be, were ominous, and different from the surrounding darkness. Was this light? Or was it flame?

The figure looked at Nodoka with anger and scorn, as flames flickered within its eyes and mouth. A voice issued from its mouth. Or was even that a hallucination caused by fear?

“N-Nodoka… run away…”

Nodoka was frozen in place, unable to move so much as a finger, just like a prey animal that is being glared at by a predator.
So this is what true fear was.

A primal fear that is built into all organisms.

A fear that threatens to wipe out all thought.

The aspect of death.

That instant in which you know you’re going to die for certain.

The interior of the house that was bound by darkness… no, from Nodoka’s perspective, she could only think that all the lights had been extinguished, was suddenly illuminated by a different light, and a red light completely different from the light emanating from the Shii’s eyes appeared behind it.

“Don’t you dare lay a finger on my daughteeeeeer!!”

Tears flowed out from Nodoka’s eyes after hearing that familiar voice.

The flames disappeared from the Shii’s face as though it was surprised, and the instant it turned around, it was enveloped in flames as bright as the sun that looked like it would reduce anything to char.

“Nodoka! Are you okay!?”

“Mom!!”

Her mother’s form slowly came into view from behind the pillar of flame that was encompassing the Shii. In her hand, she held Diana who was still lying limp after her ordeal with the Shii.

“Diana-san! Is she okay!?”

“Her wounds aren’t as bad as they appear… if anything, I’m worried about the state of her mind. Yasuo!”

Nodoka finally noticed the presence of her brother, who had entered her room normally through the door.

“Take care of Diana-chan.”

“Woah! Understood… but you really shouldn’t be throwing people. Ouch.”

Her brother looked just like he always did after coming back from school, except for the dust that covered him from head to toe.

Yasuo managed to catch Diana while making complaints to his mother, but because he was not in the right position to catch her, the unexpected weight of a person threatened to make him fall over.

“Hey, don’t drop her.”

While Madoka was rebuking Yasuo, the pillar of flame that surrounded the Shii was blown away in an instant. Madoka put herself between the Shii and the others, and glared bitterly at the Shii that had blasted away her flames.

“I guess he’s made of stronger stuff than the one that attacked earlier. A flame of just this level isn’t enough to even put a scratch on him.”

The Shii that looked like a human male stood there, looking like it had not taken any damage from the flames at all.

“…Hideo… Hideo…”

“This is… the voice of the Shii.”

The voice that seemed like it originated from the depths of Hell felt like it ran through their very bones and scraped against their nerves. Along with fear, Nodoka felt like she was about to throw up, but after hearing that voice, Diana, who was being supported by Yasuo, opened her eyes a little.

“…Madoka… That Shii is…”

“I know. You did well to protect Nodoka and hold out for so long.”

“…I’m sorry… I’m sorry…!”

Diana was crying. Was this because she felt powerless at being unable to protect Nodoka?

No, that wasn’t the case.

“It’s okay. You weren’t able to tell us because you were worried about how Hideo and I would react, right? There’s no way I could ever mistake this person for someone else, though, no matter how much time passes. Seeing him again like this was a shock, it’s bad for my heart.”

Madoka glared at the Shii that was once again surrounded by dark flames, while grinding her teeth.

“Seriously, what do you think you’re doing? Hideo and I… and even Erize would never forgive you for making your cute daughter cry like this.”

However, the words that were uttered by Madoka were tinged with an undeniable sense of grief.

“Alex… To think that someone as powerful as you would end up in such a state…”

Madoka Sugiura, the woman who was hailed as the “Rainbow Sage” after the end of their journey fighting against Demon King Kaul, said that while looking at the Shii who had once been a man known as the “Swordmaster”, Alexei Krone, and the husband of her dear friend Erijina.

There were no two people within the Resteria Kingdom’s Knights who were on as bad terms as Alexei Krone and Erijina Radagast.

Alexei led the sword and spear units within the Knights, while Erijina led the magicians. The two of them were always at odds, using various strategies to improve the position of their own units even by a little.

Such politics were common in all countries at the time, but having to face the armies of Demon King Kaul without resolving their internal disputes caused Resteria to face repeated failure. Even then, the chasm between the soldiers and the magicians was so deep that neither side showed any intention of burying the hatchet.

It was the arrival of the hero, Hideo, and the magician, Madoka, that caused a change in the situation.

The two of them always fought to protect the most number of people that they could, instead of trying to win glory in battle. That was obvious, since neither of them had any sort of political standing in the country called Resteria, but after watching them fight, both Alexei and Erijina were forced to acknowledge just how foolishly they had been fighting until then.

In the end, both Erijina and Alexei joined Hideo’s party as guides and guards, but their bickering never ceased. However, even then, Madoka could tell that the two of them were irresistibly drawn to each other in spite of their constant fighting.

The two of them never stopped their bickering, even during their travels, but their relationship was one of friendly rivalry; Alexei combined magic with his swordsmanship and created the military art of magical swordsmanship, and Erijina gained the knowledge of weapons that would later become the basis for the creation of Techno Weapons.

After the final battle had ended, in front of Hideo and Madoka who were preparing to return to Japan, Alexei, squirming self-consciously with his burly body and blushing to the tips of his fingers, finally asked Erijina to marry him. Hideo, who was a thick-headed youth, had been greatly surprised.

Madoka was convinced that the two of them would definitely make a great couple, and in fact, when their daughter came looking for Hideo after thirty years, Madoka had to restrain herself from flying back to that strange land immediately and giving her congratulations to her dear friends.

“And yet, why did you turn into something like that, leaving Erize and Diana-chan behind!?”

“…Hideo…”

“There’s no way that someone as strong as you would lose to a mere monster. Just what happened!?”

However, the Shii that bore Alexei’s features did not answer her questions.

“…Hideo…”

“Hideo is not here! The only people here are my children, and your daughter!”

“…Hideo.”

“Alexei Krone!”

Madoka’s fierce, yet sad shout caused the air to tremble.

“I cannot allow an existence that bears your features to sin any further… If you refuse to leave, then I, Sugiura Madoka, will be your opponent!”

“…Mado…ka?”

“Yes! I’ve been called by all kinds of embarrassing names since back in the day, but I’m still the ‘Rainbow Sage’! Do you still remember, even after turning into a Shii!? In that case…”

Madoka formed seals with her hands in front of her chest at a high speed.

“I’ll make you remember the power of my fire magic!”

The Rainbow Sage, Madoka, raised her hands that were surrounded by flames above her head while anger and sadness were reflected in her eyes. In that instant, particles of light began to gather around her body.

“…My name is Madoka! The person who will shine light down on the darkness of the land!”

The structure of the chant that Madoka shouted was the same as that of the chant that their father had uttered on that fateful day in the living room, when he summoned the Holy Sword Liutberga.

“Inferno, rush forth! Dawnlight, illuminate! Gather the scorching fire that breaks apart the icy souls! Holy staff of fire, Marlowe!! Answer my call and take form!!”

Along with her dignified chant, Madoka’s appearance made the dark atmosphere waver. And in the next moment…

““……””

“Ah… this is the true appearance of the Rainbow Sage…”

The siblings, Yasuo and Nodoka could only stand there agape at this unexpected situation, and Diana, who was still being held by Yasuo, let out some words while sounding like she was ecstatic.

That couldn’t be helped.

Along with a flash of light, their mother had transformed into a Magical Lady.

It would be unreasonable to ask the siblings to say something in this situation.

After their father had shown them his Holy Sword that he had used in his youth, and their mother had told them that she had once fought beside him, they should have expected this.

However, even after all the knowledge they had gained about the other world, and steeling their resolve, the visual impact of the scene before them far exceeded the level of their father’s Holy Sword and Diana’s Magitech weaponry.

Their mother held a staff that gave off a mysterious light… they could still accept this because they knew that she had been a powerful magician in the other world.

However, she was one year younger than Hideo. A forty seven year old woman, no matter how much of a living legend she was, it was unforgivable for her to wear a dress that exposed her shoulders and part of her bare legs under a miniskirt.

Specifically, her upper arms and the area around her collarbone were quite difficult to look at. Also, her bare legs.

““……””

The son who was in high school, and the daughter who was in middle school, somehow restrained themselves, but even so, the Magical Lady looked at them and,

“The two of you are not getting your allowance this month!”

She made such a ruthless statement.

““But we didn’t even say anything!””

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It was a parent-child discussion that was odd on several levels, but basically, it showed that Madoka didn’t care much for her own appearance, and she was also perfectly aware of how she must appear to her son and daughter.

“In any case! Alex! You’re going to to take responsibility for matters having come to such a state!”

Their mother desperately waved her staff, and a small flame issued from the tip.

It was a tiny flame that looked almost like a snowflake, and it gave off such a delicate, beautiful light that Yasuo, Nodoka, and the Shii didn’t even feel threatened by it. However…

“Please close your eyes!!”

Yasuo and Nodoka instinctively shielded their eyes at Diana’s shout.

“Woah!?”

“Kyaa!?”

Yasuo and Nodoka let out an unintentional shout as their bodies were assaulted by a shock wave and heat from a rapidly expanding explosion, and even Diana had to struggle to withstand the explosion while hanging on to Yasuo.

After the flash of the explosion, they confirmed that the surroundings had once again returned to darkness and raised their heads, only to find that that the Shii was nowhere to be seen.

“Alex! Prepare yourself!”

Instead, they saw their mother, who looked like a flaming comet, fly off into the sky that had lost all color.

“I-Incredible.”

“Y-Yeah.”

In the middle of this indescribable situation, the brother and sister were truly on the same wavelength.

“T-That’s right! Diana-san, are you okay!?”

Nodoka regained her wits and rushed to Diana who was being held by her brother. Yasuo set Diana down on the floor while still looking at the figure of his mother who was flying in the sky like a strange comet.

Diana’s Magitech equipment was broken in places, and parts of her body that were visible were burned so badly that it was hard to look at. Yasuo couldn’t tell the difference between Castor and Pollux, but even he could tell that one of them was obviously broken and could no longer be used as a weapon.

These were the signs of a frighteningly fierce battle.

“Diana, are you okay?”

“…Please forgive me. My strength…was not enough…”

“That’s not true. Nodoka looks like she doesn’t have a single scratch on her. Thank you for protecting her so desperately.”

“…Was I…really desperate?”

A single teardrop fell from Diana’s eyes.

“My blade became dull. I was not able to fire my magic. That’s because… I mean…”

Yasuo, who was no longer in the confused state that he was in until yesterday, immediately understood what she was trying to say.

“Your dad is really strong, isn’t he?”

Alexei Krone. The name that his mother had shouted out was the name of Diana’s father, and also the name of his mother and father’s dear friend.

“I wasn’t able to fight…. My father… I wasn’t able to seriously attack the Shii that has my father’s appearance. Due to that… Hideo’s house is… and I put Nodoka in danger… I’m so sorry.”

“Your father’s appearance? Diana-san, do you mean…”

“That’s right, Nodoka. The Shii that Madoka is currently fighting against in order to protect us is…”

Diana’s voice dissolved into weeping.
It happened a year after the first sighting of a Shii was reported.

Resteria, who viewed this escalating issue as a serious threat, reached out to the neighboring small kingdoms and put together a large force for the purpose of investigating the former Grand Duchy of Torjesso. The force was led by Diana’s father, General Alexei Krone. This was also Diana’s first field assignment.

Magitech Knights from noble families were usually assigned officer posts near the headquarters where they were in relatively little danger, so that they could work with veterans and slowly build up their experience. As General Alexei’s only daughter, Diana too was given a role as a surveying officer assigned to the base camp, and was not included in the combat division.

However, Resteria’s Magitech Knights didn’t know anything about what kind of creatures the Shii were, so they structured their forces in the same way that they had during the fight with Demon King Kaul. They used the same strategies, such as sending out scouts to discover the locations of groups of monsters, and protected their camp against a surprise attack from the monsters.

If they were fighting demons, or even other humans, that would have been more than enough.

However, just like the Demon King’s stronghold in the previous war, the Shii just appeared from beneath the ground one day. They popped up in various locations inside the base camp itself, like the shoots of some demonic plant breaking through the soil.

Faced with the darkness that rose up from the very ground and took human form, even the world’s strongest Magitech Knights from Resteria who had displayed unrivalled strength during the fight against Demon King Kaul’s forces, collapsed.

Against the investigation force that numbered three thousand people, it was said that there were only three hundred Shii. In spite of having overwhelming odds in terms of numbers, the investigation force from Resteria lost nearly one-third of their numbers.

However, the biggest blow to Resteria, the world, and especially Diana and Erijina, was the news that the person who was once the Hero’s companion, the ‘Swordmaster’ Alexei Krone, was killed in battle. Despite the fact that he was fighting against unknown opponents, nobody expected that General Alexei, who had survived the fierce battle against Demon King Kaul along with the Hero, would come to a humiliating end like having his heart ripped out of his body.

Amidst the confusion of having their base camp assaulted from within, Diana followed the orders of her captain and did her best to perform her role in battle, but it was taking everything they had just to carry out an orderly retreat and so Diana didn’t feel like she contributed anything at all. Even worse, while she stood amidst confusion in the bloodstained battlefield, the last thing she had expected was that the person she respected more than anyone in the world, her father, would be taken in battle.

“We took my father’s body back to our country where we had a grand state funeral and he was praised as one of the saviors of the world. A special exception was made for him and he was interred in the burial vault that only royalty is allowed to enter. In spite of that…. In spite of that, that Shii is-!!”

It was a tragedy, but Alexei was still put to rest by following the formal procedures of interring the dead. In spite of that, the Shii that appeared before Yasuo and the others had the appearance of Alexei Krone.

At that moment, Yasuo realized something that caused him to widen his eyes in surprise.

“I’m a full-fledged Magitech Knight! So there’s… nothing to be worried about!”

At that time when the front door of the Kenzaki house had been demolished, Yasuo still held a great deal of mistrust towards Diana. In spite of that, why had she said that there was nothing to worry about because she was full-fledged? Perhaps those words had not been directed at Yasuo, but at her father instead?

“Eh!?”

At that time, outside the window, a large fireball flashed in the sky.

Now was not the time to be thinking of old memories. Their mother was still fighting against that Shii.

Yasuo looked at Diana’s side and left shoulder that had been burned by the Shii.

“Was it your father’s weapon that did it?”

“It was the ‘Regulus’ of lightning. Unlike Castor and Pollux that are mass-produced models, it’s a special model that was made by my mother. When he received the Techno Weapon that my mother had hand-crafted for him, he was as excited as a child and studied desperately to master the lightning and wind magic… no, sorcery, that Hideo specialized in… That’s right, Madoka probably doesn’t know that my father is using a Techno Weapon!”

The instant Diana said that, a large number of lightning flashes and explosions went off in the sky outside the window, and the sky was full of light, as if they were at a fireworks show.

“It looks like she’s working hard.”

In spite of the situation, Yasuo gave a bitter smile.

“I’m sorry to say this when you’re injured both mentally and physically, but we don’t have time to sit here chatting. Can you stand?”

“…Yasuo, you’re not a kind person, are you?”

Diana pouted a little.

“I’m sorry. The only things I can do are running to a certain Magitech Knight when I’m in danger, and when the situation calls for it, I carry the luggage.”

“If the situation calls for it, I will decline. It appears that I was too heavy for you to carry, Yasuo.”

“Well, I’m sorry for being so weak.”

“Fufu…”

Diana smiled and wiped away the tears that were at the corner of her eyes.

“Are you ready to go?”

Diana nodded slightly to Yasuo’s question and stood up more steadily than expected.

“Let’s get out of here. It looks like Diana’s father is not the only enemy.”

“Eh!? What do you mean!?”

As Nodoka once again wailed in fear, Yasuo explained that a large area around the house had been enclosed in a black, cubic barrier.

“A black, cubic barrier?”

“Yeah. Is there any magic in Ante Lande that can cause such an effect?”

“The most likely cause would be some kind of barrier technique, but the only thing I sensed was the approach of my father… the signal emitted by my father’s Techno Weapon. I didn’t sense any magic or sorcery of such a large scale…”

If even Diana didn’t know what caused it, then it was pointless for Yasuo to think about it, but,

“After breaking through it forcefully, Mom said that it felt different from a usual barrier as well.”

Yasuo didn’t know how to react when his mother described this situation that was the latest in a chain of such bizarre occurrences, in a tone that one would normally use to say that they didn’t like the stock used to prepare the miso soup. However, the fact was that even his mother had never experienced anything like this before.

“The interior of the barrier is… how can I put this? It looks like it’s dead. It’s like a monotone, or as if the color has vanished. What’s more, there are no people around and no sounds to be heard. In spite of that, only the area immediately around our house is this lively, so we can conclude that it was definitely done by someone aiming for us… or rather, aiming for the Hero, Hideo.”

“…I’ve never heard of a technique like that.”

After hearing Yasuo’s explanation, Diana shook her head and said that in a fearful tone.

“A barrier is just a physical wall that is created using magic. A barrier can prevent people from moving from one side of it to the other, but a technique that can alter the space or twist the existence of objects inside it is…”

“Ah, so that’s why my mother was on guard. Was it the Shii that held this kind of power, or perhaps…”

“There’s someone else?”

Yasuo nodded at Diana’s answer.

“However, that person is not trying to get to me or any of us as of now. Depending on how you look at it, they’re also not causing any trouble for the neighbors. So right now, we should just think about how to escape from this person’s field.”

“Y-Yes. I understand.”

Diana nodded at Yasuo’s concise explanation.

“Well then, let’s go. I entered through the main entrance when I came here, and it looks like there’s nothing dangerous on the ground floor. Well, if a Shii does show up, the two of us can’t do anything about it, so Diana, I’m sorry, but please lead the way.”

“H-Hey, Onii-chan, what are you saying? Diana-san is injured, you know!?”

Nodoka was against the idea of sending an injured person into battle, but,

“Well, what other choice do we have? Even if both her arms and legs were broken, Diana would probably still be stronger than me.”

Yasuo rejected Nodoka’s complaint.

“Besides, frankly speaking, this incident occurred because the Resteria Kingdom or whatever failed to appreciate the scope of the situation properly. If the situation is resolved safely, I’m going to have Diana go back and give her report, along with a formal complaint from us.”

“…Yasuo?”

“You can go back and tell them that, if they’re expecting my father to save your world, they need to assign an appropriate budget towards protecting the peace in Japan as well. For the time being, they need to increase the number of Magitech Knights sent here for our protection. It’s a matter of life and death for the entire human race, so you should at least be able to do this much, right?”

“……”

It looked like Diana was being pushed back by Yasuo’s irrational argument, but she immediately recovered and blurted out,

“Yasuo, you’re really not a kind person, are you?”

“After all the trouble you’ve caused for us, asking for this much is normal.”

Yasuo broadly grinned while saying that.

“However, you don’t need to worry. Once this situation is safely resolved and Dad comes back, I’ll present a solution to our problem that Diana, Nodoka, Mom, Dad, I, and everyone else will be able to accept, and make you regret your previous statement.”

“…Onii-chan, what happened to you?”

Nodoka was not able to hide her surprise at how much her brother had changed since yesterday, no, in just half a day.

“Don’t look at me like that. I’m more aware of it than anyone else.”

He had refused to believe. He avoided eye contact. He had run away.

Just what was he running away from?

“Yasuo.”

Diana, the wounded Magitech Knight, smiled as if she was overjoyed.

“You called me by my name for the first time. That alone is enough to make me very happy.”

When it was time to do something, he would do it to his best ability.

Doing one’s best was just a matter of being in the correct state of mind. Even if you didn’t have the strength to fight, or magical abilities, it was one of the several things that you could still do.

“It’s also the first time I’ve called a girl by her first name.”

Even so, he was unable to look at Diana directly because of her beauty, and he couldn’t do anything about the fact that he was too bashful to look her in the eye.

“……”

However, he immediately noticed Nodoka’s glare that seemed to say “Now’s not the time to be flirting, think about what kind of situation we’re in”, so he hurriedly cleared his throat.

“Ah, actually, Mom and I were attacked by a Shii on the way here. Mom said that she killed it, but I didn’t actually see her do it. Just how do you defeat a Shii?”

The very instant Yasuo said that, a pillar of black flame suddenly rose up behind Nodoka.

At a speed that even Yasuo, who saw it first, couldn’t hope to match, the wounded Diana aimed her remaining Techno Weapon and pulled the trigger.

“Gogaaaaaa!”

Along with the scream of the Shii, a large hole appeared in the wall of Nodoka’s room, and they could also hear the sounds of all sorts of things breaking in Yasuo’s room on the other side.

After once again witnessing the power of Techno Weapons, Yasuo and Nodoka stood dumbfounded, while Diana’s face had an expression like she was thinking, “Now, I’ve done it.”

“…In this way, Shii can be defeated using Techno Weapons or the power of sorcery.”

From the way in which she was immediately able to say that in the next moment, perhaps she just had a stubborn personality.

From Yasuo’s point of view, he expected that a shockwave of that magnitude coming from that direction would cause several things in his room to be destroyed beyond repair, and was nearly overcome by an urge to go check the condition of his room.

“However, the real trouble starts now. This is still just a theory, but if you leave an incapacitated Shii alone, it will eventually disappear as if it is being sucked into the ground. However, there have been a few reports in the past that Shii that were thought to have been defeated, had been seen again.”

“S-So they were resurrected?”

“We were unable to discount the possibility. And then, when the number of such accounts started to increase, we decided to take appropriate measures against Shii that were defeated… Ahem.”

After explaining the horrifying nature of the monsters, Diana gave a small cough, took a small breath, and,

“Oh, wide sky, please welcome him.”

She began to sing in a thin voice.

“A song…?”

“This song… is it the one from that time?”

“Oh, wide ocean, please welcome him. Oh, wide land, please welcome him.”

Even though he had only heard the melody once before, Yasuo still remembered it perfectly.

“Oh, loved people, please welcome him. May the one who has gone return again someday. May he return, so he may start his journey anew.”

A song he had never heard before, sung in a language he didn’t understand.

As the words fell from Diana’s lips, there was a change in the body of the Shii that was lying prone on the ground.

The black flames that surrounded its body even after it had fallen seemed to vanish all at once, and the body slowly began to crumble.

“Oh, wide universe, please welcome him. Oh, wide universe, please welcome him.”

Each time the simple melody and phrase were repeated, the black shadow lost some of its structure, and then,

“Oh, loved one, may you never lose your way on your journey into the universe.”

As soon as the song ended, the black monster from another world turned into particles that couldn’t be described as ash or soot, and disappeared into thin air without a sound.

“You said that this song was a requiem, right?”

When Yasuo asked her that, Diana gave a small nod.

“So if the Shii are dead creatures, you just need to give them a proper send-off? It seems like a simple idea, but it kind of makes sense.”

Diana had said that most of the Magitech Knights sang this requiem as a prayer.

Perhaps they had several reasons for doing that, such as increasing the power of the prayer, using it as a ward against misfortune, or grieving for those poor souls who had turned into Shii.

“Right now, this sad prayer is being sung throughout Resteria. Just how many times do we have to repeat something so sad…”

While grieving for the Shii whose name she didn’t even know, Diana was surely thinking about her father who turned into a Shii and was fighting outside, and must have been fighting down an urge to scream. However, neither Yasuo nor Nodoka had the courage to try guess how she felt, and they were unable to even touch her trembling fist.

“Well, then…”

However, the sounds of fierce impacts and the bursts of fire magic were still continuing outside.

“For starters, let’s get out of here. We need to at least get out of this strange space.”

“Yes… you’re right.”

“……”

Diana and Nodoka both gave small nods.

The three of them glanced at the spot where the Shii had lain until just a few moments ago, and then made their way across the room that had been turned into a horrible state.

12 thoughts on “Chapter 4, Part 1

  1. Thanks for the chapter
    And once again the author really give me blow, well the story some how become soft tragedy now well at last not full blown tragedy (yet?)

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  2. Thank you for the chapter! Samn, the author isn’t pulling any punches. He certainly didn’t spare Diana the pain. The fact that they had to fight her dad was depressing. I chuckled at the picture , although I do need some bleach. Yasuo is finally manning up, but I have a feeling that he could master that requiem, and sing it to destroy the Shii. Anyways, as always, this is one great novel.

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