As I was running and dodging through the crowd of people, Dina jumped in from the side of the road.
She was supposed to have been teleporting together with Libra, but by the looks of it, the arrangement of equipment was done.
However, I could not find the all-important Libra, thus I decided to match my running speed with Dina to ask her about it.
“Dina, that was quite fast. What happened to Libra?”
“The moment we returned, Libra-sama flew somewhere. It seems she detected Jupiter’s presence.”
That was what I thought and nodded as I heard that.
Jupiter was the one pulling the strings behind this whole incident, and he unveiled it all at once.
What was unfortunate for him was that Libra came back.
In any event, if Libra went to take care of that side, there’s no need for me to worry about it.
What I needed to do this time, was to do something about Aries, and the 12 Heavenly Stars that he went to try and punch.
“Where is Aries-sama?”
“He flew away without even listening to me when I tried to stop him. It looks like the 12 Stars is involved in this incident one way or another.”
Dina and I leapt up and climbed on top of a house.
And we repeatedly leapt to move, trying to find Aries.
“It also depends on the enemy, but one-on-one fights between the 12 Heavenly Stars is dangerous. I have to go out and stop them.”
“Understood. I will keep you company.”
The two of us jumped around here and there, trying to find Aries.
Good grief, I was not very good at this kind of investigation.
Speaking of convenience, at a times like this, I was envious of the Beastkin.
Jupiter was running away.
Sprinting around the complexly laid out city, he ran into a back alley to try and avoid Libra from finding him.
As narrow and small as possible, to a location which would be as hard to find as possible.
But as if to get to the location before he managed to get there, Libra destroyed the houses in the way from the air and descended onto the ground before him.
And without even a moment of delay, she started firing! Few hundred, few thousands of bullets stormed past the downtown, clamouring with the sound of thunder.
Continuing to run away, he stormed into the house at the side.
Above all else, I needed to hide somewhere!
Hide and regain my composure.
Running while being out of breath, he put his hands on the cabinet.
However, right afterwards, Libra stormed in by breaking through the wall and shattering the cabinets into pieces.
He was about to release wind magic out of reflex, however, Libra moved faster than he could react and lifted her left arm.
Right that instance, Jupiter lost the sensation of his arm from his elbow onwards, followed by his arm dropping down to the floor.
A single ray of light.
Jupiter’s attack was completely predicted and countered by Libra, resulting in Jupiter’s arm getting cut off.
“Warning. Your attack power has decreased by 39% with this. Currently, the probability of you winning is –“
Jupiter ran as his blood was dripping out of his arm.
It’s hopeless, fighting is hopeless. I can’t win against that.
The world we live in is completely different. We’re completely in a different league.
That’s……. That’s a monster!
But he had confidence in speed. He had confidence in maneuverability.
All he had to do was to run away. Run away and attempt to recover himself.
He had no reason to go up against a monstrous, murderous doll like that. In any event, what was important was to run away.
He jumped out of a house and then jumped into another house.
However, it was as if she was making a statement that she was waiting for him, Libra was waiting at the entrance of the house gracefully and even gave him a bow.
“Warning. The probability of you making a successful escape is…..”
And he ran again.
He sped through the downtown, pushing past and scattered a crowd of rioters that he himself made happen, then stormed into yet another house.
He sped through the corridor, into the living room.
What was awaiting him at the living room was Libra who was leisurely sitting down and waiting for him.
“Warning, currently, the probability of making a successful escape has already dropped below 1%. I strongly recommend that you surren…..”
He ran, he turned, he jumped, he pushed the crowd of people, and he stormed into a house he saw.
The previous time, he managed to escape by doing this.
He used the city that was built like a maze, and he successfully managed to lose her.
That’s why he would be fine, that was what he told himself.
He used wind magic to block the sound from escaping into the surrounding so that not even a single breath could be heard.
He violently shook his shoulder up and down, ripping his cloth and wrapped it around his shoulder.
Recovery item…. No use, he did not bring any.
He prioritised making himself lighter, therefore he left all the items behind.
He put his back on the wall, and he looked out the window with caution.
….. There! He saw that doll walking outside!
Go! Go away! Don’t look in this direction!
Libra checked around the area, however, she eventually left the area.
It’s fine, I haven’t been noticed. There was no indication that she noticed me.
His heart was beating so loudly it almost seemed annoying, and he was sweating profusely.
1 second…. There was no movement.
2 seconds…. The inside of the house still remained silent.
3 seconds…. Still no change as before.
He instinctively let out a sigh of relief and lowered his caution.
—that instance, a wall behind Jupiter’s back broke and 2 arms grew out of it, subsequently wrapping around his neck.
“I would like to advise you, using wind magic to remove the sound from your surrounding is meaningless.
In this noisy city, if there is any location that is unnaturally silent, it has the opposite effect of letting me know that is the position you are at.”
A voice without a shred of emotion creepily quivered his eardrums, and the strength behind the arms increased.
He was foaming at the mouth, and Jupiter’s head was filled with fear and dismay.
I’m, going to be killed…. I’m going to be killed now……!
He made a decision at the spur of the moment.
He gathered his wind magic and blew at his own body, forcibly managing to get away from Libra’s evil grasp.
Of course, it was not as if Libra’s strength was lowered.
As the skin around his neck was stripped away, he was running whilst haemorrhaging all over.
Sticking on the palms of Libra was the skin from his neck that was peeled away. However, without a slightest bit of agitation or confusion, she was looking at Jupiter’s direction with a cold and indifferent sight.
Jupiter looked up towards a mechanical doll with the eyes of a small animal that had lost all hostility, then sprang up onto his feet and started running.
However, Libra did not immediately make chase but with a ‘kyui’, moved her neck a little.
Subsequently, with a pace that could be called slow or sluggish, she started following him without expression.
“Haaaaaaa……… Haaaaa…… Haa…!”
Jupiter, who had yet again gotten into another building sat down onto the floor and prayed wholeheartedly that he would not be found by her.
As he could not even erase the sound with the wind, he covered his mouth with his hands and frantically tried to keep the noise down.
He had not once prayed to the Goddess until now.
However, this time alone, he prayed. He would even offer his faith and belief.
I plead wholeheartedly, Goddess-sama, please let me get away from that.
Please don’t bring that doll in front of me!
His teeth were rattling, and he could not stop the cold swear.
Aaa, what is this? I can’t stop shaking.
How pitiful…. Is this the sight, the figure of the man who was feared as one of the 7 Luminaries?
What a laughingstock…. A real monster that should be feared existed elsewhere.
We are just a bunch of punks who got carried away and acted cocky during the monster’s absence.
Being made aware of such a thing, the man moved slowly like a baby without making a sound towards a mirror on the wall.
Wall is no good. Don’t put my back on the wall. Arms might come out of them again.
Maybe this time my neck will be snapped before I can run away.
Looking outside the window is also dangerous. She might be there.
I need a mirror. I have to constantly monitor my behind using the mirror’s reflection.
That was what he had judged, and in truth, he was not wrong.
It could be said that it was the ideal strategy that he could take at the time if he had carefully considered every factor.
However, if one had to pick out one mistake that Jupiter made, it was that “from the very beginning, there is no correct answer” that he could make.
He looked at the mirror, and his body froze.
The doll was standing in the reflection of the mirror!
Already inside the building, and standing right behind him!!
Libra did not make any noise, she just moved her lips.
From that movement, Jupiter’s fear grew larger.
From the movement of the lips, he had learnt what she wanted to convey.
“I. Won’t. Let. You. Escape.”
Without caring that he was going to be injured, he jumped through the window, dropping down and rolling outside.
He had no time to care about pain. He had no leisure to be able to stop and rest.
Ever since he was born, he had never been this terrified.
What was that thing? Why was she able to determine his location so precisely!?
That inorganic doll was scary beyond anything else!
As if broken, every time they met, the same thing was repeated. However, one part of it decreased without fail, and that was the probability of him making a successful escape.
For the same sentence to be repeated mechanically and endlessly whilst being chased, it was terrifying.
He was being chased to the end of the world.
As if something like fatigue was irrelevant to her, he was being driven into the corner.
Even though he was running out of breath.
He went in front of a water fountain.
Libra appeared from inside the water with the machine gun.
He hid amongst the crowd of people.
When he felt that he was tapped on the shoulder, it turned out to be Libra.
He went to the gathering location of the idiots within the white town and hid in the pre-arranged underground escape route.
Libra was already inside and was on standby.
He threw away his pride and jumped into a public rubbish bin to hide.
But mere three seconds later, the whole bin was flipped upside down by Libra.
He got inside a wooden box that he found nearby and hid.
A few seconds later, the box was lifted up, and he saw Libra’s eyes peeking into him.
Wherever he went, she was there.
Wherever he ran, she chased him!
He was not able to escape from the doll’s field of vision.
If he turned around a corner of a road, she was already waiting for him there!
The amount of time he could stay out of her field of vision didn’t last for ten seconds!
“AAAAAaaaaaaaaAAAAAaaaAAAA, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!”
Jupiter was screaming as he flew up.
Most probably, from the day he was born to this day, he did not fly whilst giving his 110%.
He could not care less that his body was screaming from the burden that it could not withstand.
He also did not mind that his face was becoming distorted from the friction caused by the wind pressure.
Controlled by the fear, Jupiter just flew in a straight line.
And he jumped into the forest that was his safe hiding spot until the previous day –.
“—I was waiting for you. You have arrived here 5 seconds faster than predicted.
Recalculating target speed, measurement error has been corrected.”
That moment, Jupiter’s heart was completely gripped and governed by fear.
It’s impossible, I’ve now understood. This thing is…. I can’t escape from this tracking murder doll.
Among the legends pertaining to the 12 Heavenly Stars, one told of the account in relation to the “Scales”.
At the time he saw it, he did not believe it.
He thought that even if it was true, if it was him, he could successfully escape from it.
But now, he was convinced. He understood.
The legend stated.
Once you were targeted by Libra of the “Scales” – even if you ran to the deepest part of hell, she would definitely chase you.
“Warning. I strongly recommend you cease resisting and surrender.
In this situation, where there is no object in this vicinity beside you, I am able to fire the skill [Brachium] before you are able to run away.”
“…….U, A, AaAaaAA…….”
“The probability of you winning is 0%. I repeat. I strongly recommend that you surrender.”
His legs shook.
He had no sensation of his limbs.
He knew. He knew of the skill, the existence of the slaughter weapon by the name [Brachium].
A terrifying ultimate final weapon that could completely slaughter and erase anyone and anything below certain strength without mercy once fired.
A weapon that could even be called a signature move of Libra of the Scales.
In front of that skill, all tricks and defences became meaningless, a skill that would completely obliterate anything in an instant.
“If you do not surrender within 10 seconds, Brachium will be activated and fired.
Alternatively, should you make an attempt to run or show hostility, it will similarly be activated and fired.”
“W, a …. E!?”
“Commencing countdown…. 10…. 9…. 8…”
“Wa, wait! Please wait!”
“7…. 6…. 5….”
Libra continued the countdown without emotion.
There was no room for will, sympathy or personal feeling to stop.
Just like a machine, just like a robot.
Just counting down the 10 seconds timer to perform the execution.
Jupiter was full of regret.
He should have fought whilst he was still in the city.
If he had done so, he at least had a minuscule chance of winning.
But he ran and had gotten tired, the consequence of which, he had put himself in a position where Brachium could be fired without worry.
Of course, there was no way for Jupiter to realise that Libra would still have fired brachium within the city without a second thought if required. Nor could he remain level-headed enough to assess the fact that the countdown was merely a bluff.
Now that it had come to this point, he no longer had any option. Even before he could run, even before he could resist, Brachium would be fired.
And once fired, resisting was not possible. He would die with without mistake.
That was what ran through his head, he had convinced himself that he was already checkmated.
“Pl, please. Hey, please wait.”
“Eve, Even a little is fine….”
“I’m begging you…. Be, I’m begging you….”
“I, I get it! I’ll surrender! I’ll submit!
So please don’t fireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
“–….. Target’s loss of will to fight determined. Terminating the activation of Brachium.”
In front of an inorganic terror itself, Jupiter’s heart was completely broken.
Whether it be his pride or self-confidence, he had completely yielded them to the fear known of this emotionless doll.
His whole body was drenched in sweat, his heart was palpitating extremely fast, and his teeth were rattling against each other.
Due to the terror and despair, the area between his legs was stained, and even his almost non-existent vanity had completely disappeared.
At that same moment, Libra had stopped her countdown.
The outcome of the battle was clearly determined.
Going back to the capital city even whilst knowing that he was targeted by the doll.
That was Jupiter’s greatest mistake.
“You were here after all, Aigokeros.”
At the park they had met the other day.
There, two of the 12 Stars had again confronted each other.
However, the outlook of the situation and the pressure released by the two could not be compared to when they had previously met.
Because of their conviction and loyalty towards Ruphas, they were more than prepared to remove their obstacle even if it was going to cost them their lives.
Aries was trying to stop Aigokeros, who was trying to take action contrary to Ruphas’s wishes.
Aigokeros was trying to kill one of the Heroes for Ruphas even if it had meant going against Ruphas’s wishes, and to do so, he had to take Aries down.
The two that could be said to be the most similar amongst the 12 Stars held onto their belief and conviction, and for the second time met under unfortunate circumstances.
“It was you that drove the people of this country into Madness right? That’s not something Ruphas-sama wishes…. Stop it right now.”
“Those words…. It seems you really are intending to stop me.”
The ominous aura that Aigokeros adorned became a shade darker and thicker.
Opposing that, Aries wrapped himself in a rainbow-coloured flames.
“You think you can win? Huh, [Ram]?”
“Even I’m not the same as 200 years ago, [Goat].”
Aries’s surrounding got affected by [Mesarthim] and warped like a mirage.
The water in the park’s fountain was evaporated away and the ground was grilled.
Aigokeros’s surrounding was warped and tainted dark.
The trees withered and the insects which were flying in the vicinity were all annihilated.
“Are you really going to do it?”
“If you stop, this whole fight can be avoided.”
Aigokeros stuck his hands out.
At the same time, Aries moved his body from his position, followed right afterwards by a black shockwave running through his original position.
Gorging into the ground and shattering all the building in the way, the shockwave still did not show any sign of stopping, eventually disappeared out of the city itself.
Aries leapt up and fired a kick that was enveloped in flames.
The simple act of Aigokeros guarding against that created a giant crater in the ground, turning the park into a wasteland.
However, Aigokeros himself was not affected at all and made a countering attack back at Aries.
A small frame was blown away.
After smashing through many buildings, Aries spun mid-air and landed back down as if nothing had happened.
Chasing after that, Aigokeros flew up and slammed down a black shockwave from the sky.
Against that, however, Aries held his hand like a sword and blew the shockwave away with one hand.
The shockwave that was blown away to the day after tomorrow was flying high up into the sky, eventually disappearing away after scattering all the cloud that was in its path.
Aries flew and slammed his fist at Aigokeros who instinctively crossed his arm to block the attack.
The surrounding air shook as if an earthquake had occurred in the air with the two as the epicentre, blowing Aigokeros away like he was a cannonball.
Passing through the city, passing through the mountain, and kept flying through the air to a distant place.
However, it was also Aries who stopped it.
Aries ran ahead of Aigokeros, who was being blown away, and this time kicked him straight up, sending Aigokeros high into the air.
And he jumped. Again going ahead and around Aigokeros.
Locking both his arms in a grapple, he performed a double sledgehammer!
Slamming into Aigokeros’s head with all his might, sending him back down to the ground.
Without a moment of rest, Aries generated flames and continuously fired.
The rainbow-coloured flame balls dug into the ground one after another, hitting Aigokeros and burning him countless times.
However, it seemed that barely any damage got through with something like this.
Tearing through the smokes, many brilliant lights ran through, targeting Aries.
A high-level Moon attribute arcane magic, Luna Shooter.
A magical ray with high accuracy and high destructive power that ran straight.
A high-level Moon attribute arcane magic, Luna Blast.
A black bullet magic that simultaneously locked onto 3 bodies and homed in.
An extremely high-level Moon attribute arcane magic Lunatic Rain.
An area of effect skill that turned all moonlight into a rain of light and annihilated all enemies in the vicinity.
Even outside of those three, many Moon attribute high-level and upper-level arcane magic were continuously fired like it was raining.
However, by blowing flames out from both of his hands, Aries was able to move freely in the air and was able to dodge through all the magic that was sent at him.
Left and right, up and down.
Remaining calm to the hectic and ever-changing vision, he flew in and out of even the tiniest gap between the magic.
While charging, his form distorted.
The young boy’s small frame was enveloped in a giant sheep-shaped flame and accelerated.
In an instant, he transformed into a monster who was wrapped in a rainbow-coloured flame, and his body slammed right into Aigokeros with all that he had.
If Ruphas saw this scene, she would have said: “That is not how you use that skill” as a tsukkomi.
At the very least, in the “game” that she knew of, there was no way for the skill to be used like this.
Aigokeros was forcibly blown away, and as one would expect, he made a low groan.
Nevertheless, he was also one of the 12 Stars. While he was being blown away, he held his hand up towards Aries and released his ultimate skill.
One giant and conspicuous black shockwave ran in a straight line towards Aries, swallowing him whole.
Both sides were directly hit by each other’s ultimate skills, raising black and rainbow-coloured pillars climbing up into the sky.
Silence lasted for a few seconds.
Breaking that silence was Aigokeros standing up.
Following that, Aries showed himself by coming out of the smokes with his clothing in tatters and revealing his exposed shoulders.
Both sides had suffered damage. However, it was not a type of injury where it would become a hindrance for the fight to continue on.
“…. You’re strong as expected, Aigokeros. Even after 200 years, your arcane magic power hasn’t gone down, huh.”
“You too, Aries. You’ve gotten considerably better at what you do.”
Both laughed at each other as if to acknowledge the other party.
However, this was a battlefield, what was in front of them was an enemy.
They had to stand by their wills and their convictions. The two pillars of the 12 Stars again looked and ran at the ‘enemy’.
It’s no good! C a n ‘ t s h o w b a c k t o a n e n e m y m i d f i g h t! It’s no good! Can’tshowbacktoanenemymidfight! It’s no good! C a n ‘ t s h o w b a c k t o a n e n e m y m i d f i g h t! It’s no good! Can’tshowbacktoanenemymidfight! It’s no good! C a
Bang（∩´；ω；）Bang Bang Bang Bang ng
n ’ t s h o w b a c k t o a n e n e m y m i d f i g h t! It’s no good! Can’tshowbacktoanenemymidfight! It’s no good! C a n ‘ t s h o w b a c
(Author Note end) Not lazy translation. The author uses 3 levels of formality. 12 Stars (casual), 12 Heavenly Stars (normal), The Supreme [Roadway] 12 Heavenly Stars (formal)  Originally wrote it as “A single ray of light. (by TL) and A flash of the blade. (by ED) – “光刃一閃。” Words are Light, Blade, One, Flash – Taking suggestions.  ED: 無機質な恐怖… not quite sure what the author is trying to say here. Neither “inanimate fear” nor “inorganic fear” is making much sense. TLN: Honestly, I’m also not sure. If I had to take a guess, it’s probably an error in a draft (since for readers that don’t realise it, JP webnovels are mostly drafts before light novels are “published officially”). I am inclined to say something like “In front of a fear given off by an inanimate object” or “fictional fear” in a way that it was all in his head without the actual threat, etc. I’ll leave it up to the readers.
Update – currently using inorganic terror as suggested by Dainpdf (thank you for the suggestion) Tsukkomi