The Forsaken Hero — Chapter 28

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He Who Revived From Death

『死より甦りし者』

Part 6

 

◆Tamaki Yui’s Point of View◆

 

This is bad, this is very, very bad.

Shuri was killed; a stab through the chest. Even now I just want to dash out and go to her.

But I have to stay calm. If I’m defeated, it really will all be over.

I’d originally been planning to cooperate with Shuri to get this done. I’d bring Leadred’s chains to Shuri and the three of us would break them together.

However, Shuri wound up being defeated. There’s no way I could break the chains binding Leadred with my strength alone.

She was getting colder and colder. Breathing must have been getting difficult for her, too. The reason she’s still alive is probably only because of how strong she is.

In other words, right now, everything’s resting on my shoulders.

“Ahahahaha! You must be mortified by your situation, girl. As a precaution, I imbued a technique into this room’s crystals to revive me when I lose consciousness. Though thanks to that, the crystals are all out of mana!”

Fantra lifted up his foot and smashed it down on Shuri’s head.

“Oh, did that hurt? What you did hurt me, hacking my body into pieces.”

He mashed her head against the ground.

Not yet! I have to buy some time. If I let my anger control me it’ll be the end for all of us.

I clenched my fist strong enough to break my nails.

“You moving that fast was thoroughly unexpected. After I kill this hero here, I believe I will make you my slave… Now then.”

He corrupt eyes moved to land on me.

“Open.”

I looked over my status. My remaining mana… thirteen hundred eighty.

There’s only one way I can think up that has the possibility of beating him. Until I get the chance to go through with it, I’ll have to focus on avoiding him with all I have.

Shuri earned me about six minutes with what she did. I’ll have to double that to make it out of this.

I’ll attract his attention until then!

“Girl, what you did a little while ago surprised me.”

“What?”

I maintained a bravado so that he wouldn’t realize how scared I was.

Hiding my true feelings was a specialty of mine. This whole time, I’ve just lived as my surroundings told me to—be a good girl.

I lie to myself!

“I’d originally thought that the hero loved this girl here, but for him to actually prefer you…”

“You’re misunderstanding something here… he likes her too. As well as me. So much that he can’t choose either of us!”

I was desperate. Anything was fine. Compared to my life, anything would be a cheap price.

“I heard you talking earlier, you said there was someone you love so much it’s driving you mad? Her name was… Messiah, right? How did you display your love to her?”

The basics of conversation. Steer the topic to something the other person is interested in.

He was so envious of Katsuragi that his personality did a one-eighty flip, he’ll definitely bite onto it!

“Hmph. You’re wanting to prolong how long you have before your death?”

Why is he so calm at a time like this!?

“Th-That’s not my intention at all. I was just purely interested.”

“Don’t lie to me. I can hear it in your voice. You can’t hide it.”

Geh… I was at a loss for words. Fantra began to speak in pride.

“I assume that you had meant for me to grow angry, yes? Unfortunately, I have already defeated the hero. The person who took away Messiah’s love is no more. Now, she will shower me with her unending love! Oh, my goddess!”

… Exaggeratedly, he took a praying pose similar to a nun.

“Which is why there’s no point in you attempting to resist. Your struggles are in vain, girl. Give up.”

“… No, I—”

“I told you to give up.”

He threw his ice blade at my feet. I could tell from his tone that he meant that his next attack would be lethal.

“Leadred can’t move. The slave girl is dead, and that hero is trapped in my ice, unable to die.”

Fantra snapped his fingers three times in a row.

Another ice blade appeared in his right hand with ice shields and tiny, gravel-like spheres circling him as though to shield him.

“Even being driven into a corner, you, the weakest among all four of your group, are but a trifling matter to deal with.”

Fantra took a step forward, followed by another as he shortened the distance between us. I retreated accordingly.

“… Now, I wonder how many minutes you’ll survive?”

His line signaled the start of our first.

“Hm. I believe I’ll begin with this.”

Saying that, all of the ice spheres floating about him shot toward me, showering me like hail.

Triple Guard!”

I produced three layers of ice to act as stairs going upward. Just as I dashed up them at top speed, the ground where I had just been was scraped as though bullets had ricocheted off of it.

“As powerful as ever…!”

“Come now! Are you sure you can take your eyes off me!?”

“Shut up already, I know!”

He shot another wave of that same ice. I tried jumping down this time to avoid it, but he wouldn’t allow me to get off so easily.

“Hah!”

Fantra was coming to make this a close range fight.

I had no way to move my body midair like Katsuragi or the others could.

So I had no choice but to take him head on.

Freezing Lance!”

With a spear made of the same material as his sword, I managed to deflect his attack.

“So you’ve resolved yourself to use ice-type magic against me!”

Pushed back by the deflection, Fantra’s body landed after spinning around once in the air. Keeping my motion going to turn away from him, I put my all into running.

“… Alright then. You’ll die either way. Let’s continue this game of tag.”

Fantra created and fired off more of his ice. I used my triple ice shield to deflect them, knocking as many of the leftovers away with my spear. Even so, I couldn’t stop being hit by some of them.

Freeze!”

I aimed at the floor underneath Fantra, freezing it to have him slip. However, let alone running, he was just walking on it unimpeded in the least.

“Come now, this is child’s play.”

Fantra deliberately sent his heel into the ice, breaking it. Seeing that, I smiled.

What I did just now was a trap to camouflage something else. Its true purpose was to freeze Shuri’s wounds.

Shuri wasn’t dead, she had just fainted due to the aftereffects of Demonslayer. She had collapsed after his attack hit her, so conveniently for me, he interpreted that as her dying.

It would be bad if her wound was left frozen like that for a long time, but there’s no problem if it’s just for now.

I’ll be able to settle this if I can just last a little bit longer.

Shuri is able to use recovery magic, so there’s a chance she’ll be able to close her wound if she uses all of her mana on it.

After making certain that her wound was closed with ice, I gathered my attention onto Fantra so that her wouldn’t find out about her emergency treatment.

I stopped running.

“Hoh? Our game of tag is at its end so soon?”

“Yes. I can defeat you now.”

“Heh… what an amusing jest. Sure, give it a go. I’ll even wait for you to invoke your magic.”

“How kind of you. As I am oh-so-weak, I’ll accept your offer.”

I raised my hands and began reciting the incantation.

“O’ spirits of ice, become the three shields that will protect me. Triple Guard.”

The three shields were deployed close to one another in front of my palms.

“You still intend to do something by defending? Those shields will do nothing to stop my attacks.”

“I wonder about that? By all means, give it your best shot. Or perhaps you, the person lauded as the strongest ice-type mage, is scared?”

“I won’t fall for your blatant provocations, girl.”

“Oh, too bad. How about this then? Triple Guard.”

I invoked three more shields to form and apply themselves to the front of the three already there.

Triple Guard, Triple Guard, Triple Guard!!”

I’d prepared fifteen shields in total.

I’d already reached the limits of my mana.

I’m feeling dizzy, but I can’t lose here!

I pulled my hands back until they reached my chest.

“—I’ll show you that shields aren’t only for defense.”

I thrust my palms straight out.

The fifteen overlapped ice layers struck Fantra all at once, pressing him into the wall.

“Guh…! But if that’s all you have… Freeze Gun!”

Fantra shot an ice bullet at the wall of ice. However, it only managed to break through two layers.

“What!?”

Fantra let out a startled cry.

Our back and forth up till here was a precautionary measure. I deliberately gave him such easy to understand provocations, going so far as to recite the magic’s incantation on purpose so that he would know its rank.

I also predicted that Fantra would one-up my magic by attempting to overcome it with a similarly magic similarly in the soul rank.

A bout between magics of the same class would be won by whoever had more mana. That was an unchangeable fact of this world.

However, this guy didn’t know of the existence of my special ability, Frost Witch.

“Gooooo!”

The surging ice walls pressed Fantra further into the wall. It kept pushing him further and further in until stopping.

“Oooof!”

Similarly to me, Fantra was pushing back with a magic of his one. One a rank higher, Multi Blockade.

“Kuh…!”

“Haaah…!”

Our magics pressed against each other, the ice layers and walls not moving an inch. The first one of us to use up their strength… was me.

“Aaaah!”

He turned the tides on me. Throwing me into the other wall, I powerlessly collapsed.

However, I was overflowing with satisfaction. I’d managed to successfully reach my targeted time.

I played my role well.

“I’ll let you know that that was a good plan you put together. I actually had to struggle.”

Fantra walked over to Katsuragi, who was still trapped in the ice.

“Although you and this girl have so many things to you to praise, this man was a letdown. Either way, becoming the demons’ hero would have been impossible for him.”

“Is that so? He does have a few good points too, you know. For example, not knowing when to give up.”

“Saying that in this situation feels somewhat empty…”

Fantra tapped on the ice holding Katsuragi. He did it as though he’d already won.

“I wouldn’t mind leaving him like this… but I should reward you all for your efforts, no? Allow me to kill him before your very eyes. Freezing Lance.”

Fantra hoisted his spear, aiming to toward Katsuragi.

“Eh…? What are you doing? You do know that he’ll revive if you kill him, right?”

“Oh yes, I am quite aware. I also know that there is a period he stays unconscious.”

“S-Stop! Don’t kill him! You don’t have to do that to him anymore! Don’t hurt him!”

Hearing me let out a grief-filled scream, Fantra smiled pleasantly.

“Good! That expression, it’s so invigorating! Now that I’ve seen that… I have to kill him!!”

Fantra’s spear stabbed straight toward Katsuragi’s head—

“Wha…?”

—but before it landed, its tip was held in place.

What?

It was a hand.

Who’s?

Only one person could.

It was stopped by a hand that thrust itself out from inside the ice.

“H-How!? How did you break my ice!?”

Fantra stood there, trembling.

It could be said that there was no helping it.

Because the hand was from the boy who he had trapped until just then.

The crack spread from the area his hand breached like glass. The sound of ice’s breaking was like a countdown.

Then, it entirely crumbled.

“Ah… ah… …!”

His spear pulled forward, the shocked Fantra staggered forward a step, nearly falling.

The newly resurrected youth gripped his face, squeezing tightly.

Bloodlust seeped from his body, unable to be contained.

“—Yo, Fantra. I came back from hell to kill you personally.”

Saying that, Katsuragi Daichi smiled devilishly.

 

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