Eveam: 「At that time, destroying the bridge was our immediate priority . Thus, I was able to make preparations in advance . Moreover, as the enemy didn’t think that I would try to destroy the bridge, they simply stood there, dumbfounded . 」
Previously, in order to make the bridge collapse, Eveam used an enormous amount of magic power and a large quantity of blood in order to construct the ultimate magic . However, it appeared to be something that required a lot of preparation before use .
The magic at that time could only be used for the first time due to Eveam and Aquinas’ magic being synchronized . It could be said that they had practiced quite a bit for that purpose .
For the most part, it appeared that they would be capable of synchronizing better than the previous time . Yet, even so, it would still take time and, above all, the current situation was not one where the enemy would silently watch over them as they performed the ritual required for the utilisation of such a magic .
As soon as Eveam appeared, she would be, without question, the first one to be targeted . What’s more, she would be on the receiving end of a focused attack . Although not absolutely certain, one would be unable to cast a spell that requires such intensive concentration . They would definitely be interrupted .
Hiiro: 「Certainly, they aren’t such idiots as to repeat their previous mistakes . 」
Eveam: 「Aa(1) . Besides, the magic used at that time requires me to construct formulas before hand . 」
Hiiro: 「Nn?(2) What do you mean by that?」
Eveam: 「What I’m trying to say is, the day before you want to use the spell, there is a need to assemble the formula and carve it onto the body as a crest . 」
In actuality, last time, on her very own belly, the magic formula, aka the so-called magic circle, had been drawn onto it . Moreover, once the magic circle has been drawn, one cannot use any other magic until the large magic has been casted . A large amount of magic is needed to even draw the circle .
The ‘prior preparations’ she was referring to was exactly that . Additionally, that magic circle required a total of three days to draw .
Eveam: 「Furthermore, if I were to use it, I would be rendered useless for a while . That’s because I’d become bedridden . In the current situation, I cannot afford to fall . 」
Eveam: 「Moreover, there is a significant distance between us and the bridge . Right now, I am unable to leave the castle for long periods of time . That is something that also holds true for the 《Cruel》 here, but」
Eveam spoke while directing her line of sight towards Aquinas and the others .
Hiiro: 「I see . If there are such circumstances, it seems that you can’t afford to use such magic at a moment’s notice . In addition, if we head to the bridge, it would undoubtedly turn into a fight and might create casualties, huh?」
Eveam: 「Exactly . It goes without saying that there are many advantages to be gained from destroying the bridge . Of course, I genuinely do not wish to destroy it, but now that it’s come to this, we are left with no other choice . 」
A sad, fleeting expression surfaced .
Eveam: 「However, due to the present situation, it has proven quite difficult to direct the necessary forces towards destroying the bridge . The enemy must have strengthened their defences in order to prevent the bridge from being broken . If we were to collide with them, it would turn into a battle of considerable magnitude . 」
To the opposition, it was their lifeline . In order to not allow this chance to slip by them, they would most likely guard it desperately .
In all honesty, ambushing the incoming enemy was not a difficult task . This was because, if they took the rear posts, as long as the ability difference between them and their enemy was not too overwhelming, they would be able to continue to maintain their defence .
However, this time, it was the reverse . If they were trying to destroy the bridge, the subject of the opposition’s protection, then they would require a considerable amount of military might . Furthermore, a fight would undoubtedly result, bringing about further casualties .
Eveam: 「That’s why, even though I think that Hiiro’s judgement of destroying the bridge is correct, it is difficult to execute such a plan . 」
Eveam shook her head side to side in an exhausted manner .
Hiiro: 「Then it’s fine if someone just goes alone, right?」
As Hiiro had issued such words in a natural manner, Eveam was caught off guard as her gaping mouth hardened .
Hiiro: 「Why are you spacing out? Were you listening to me?」
As Eveam didn’t return an answer to Hiiro’s words for quite a while, he scowled in displeasure . Eveam, who had suddenly returned to reality upon hearing those words-
Eveam: 「Eh, n-no, Hiiro? A-alone, you say……w-what do you mean by that? ……alone?」
The word ‘alone’ had most likely caught her attention as she had repeated it twice .
Hiiro: 「Aa, you don’t want to lose your war potential . If you say that you don’t want to dilute your defensive forces, wouldn’t it be fine if one were to go alone?」
Eveam: 「………ah, no, un(3), that’s right . It’s as Hiiro says, if we only sent one person, then it would not become an inconvenience . However, I should have also said earlier that the 《Cruel》 cannot move, yes?」
Hiiro: 「Since I’ve heard you say that a little while ago, I’m already aware of that . I didn’t say that we should mobilise these guys, you know?」
Eveam: 「Eh? …………y-you don’t mean?」
Eveam’s eyes blinked rapidly as she looked towards Hiiro .
Hiiro: 「If I go, then there won’t be any problems, right?」
As the atmosphere in that location grew silent, only Liliyn’s sigh could once again be heard .
As something chilly fell onto his cheeks, he suddenly opened his eyes as he realised his sudden predicament . Although he was asleep until now, even though it could not be confirmed whether he was fully awake or not, as he was unable to determine where he was, he wore a blank expression as he surveyed his surroundings .
And as he finally remembered what had happened to him, light dwelled in his eyes as he began to restlessly shift his line of sight about, as if he were looking for something .
As Chika was sleeping next to him in a similar manner, Taishi called out Chika’s name . Taishi then placed a hand on her cheek and became relieved as he could still feel warmth emanating from them, even if slightly cold .
Taishi: 「Thank god……Chika . 」
Although she had yet to awaken, Taishi felt comfort due to the fact that it appeared that she had not yet passed away . Following this, Taishi once again checked his surroundings .
This place appeared to look like a limestone cave . If one were to look up, one could confirm several groups of rocks that resembled needles . In addition, water was dripping from said sharp rocks .
It appeared that Taishi had been roused from his sleep due to said droplets landing onto his cheek . The falling water had most likely been caused by the moisture in the air condensing due to the cold, or so Taishi had thought .
The reason for this was because the chill within the cave’s interior was quite dominating . For the time being, they had been given blankets, yet, even though they had wrapped their bodies with the blanket, it was still cold .
In this situation, Chika’s safety was Taishi’s salvation . If he was alone in this situation, he might have gone mad .
???: 「You’ve finally woken up, huh su?(4)」
At that moment, a voice could be heard coming from within the darkness . As he winced at the sudden voice, Taishi’s body stiffened as he turned around and squinted towards the darkness .
*peta peta*(5) The sound of someone walking could be heard . Following this, a shadow shaped as a person began to surface from the darkness .
???: 「To think that we’d be reunited in a place like this, it’s real surprising, huh Hero-kun(6)? 」
Taishi’s eyes opened wide . Of course, that was to be expected . The reason for this was because the one before him was somebody that Taishi was familiar with .
Taishi: 「……f-from that time……the painter?」
Taishi had remembered . He was certain that he had met this individual at the 【Victorias】 palace, during the time when they attended the Birth Festival of King Rudolf and the first princess Lilith .
Accepting Lilith’s explanation that he was a famous painter of sorts, Taishi had exchanged words with him . If he were to express his thoughts of him, although Taishi thought that he was an unusual individual, as he felt that he possessed the atmosphere of a good person, Taishi remembered that he had a favourable impression of him .
Taishi: 「I-It was……Nazaar, right? . 」
Taishi was unable to comprehend why Nazaar was in such a place, nor why he had his hands restrained by handcuffs .
Nazaar: 「Oo~(7), it looks like you remember me su . 」
Nazaar’s eyes narrowed happily as they peeked out from his annoying, unkempt hair that covered half of his face .
Taishi: 「W-Why are you…?」
Obviously, Taishi was not aware of why he was here . Moreover, even though he was handcuffed and trapped in here, it was a fact that Nazaar had, like himself, been captured .
Yet, Taishi could feel a eeriness from this entity . Without thinking, Taishi stood up, as if he were trying to protect Chika . Looking at such a Taishi, Nazaar, in a humbled, yet troubled manner-
Nazaar: 「It’s alright su . I don’t really have any intention of doing anything to you guys su」
Taishi: 「……I don’t believe you . 」
Nazaar: 「Well, that’s to be expected su . In that case, I won’t move from here so I’d appreciate it if you were to calm down su」
As he expressed his intention of not moving, Nazaar dropped his waist down onto that spot . Although it wasn’t clear as to whether Taishi had believed him or not, while not diverting his gaze, Taishi sat down in a similar manner .
Nazaar: 「First things first, I guess I should perform a self introduction su . 」
Taishi: 「Self Introduction? Aren’t you Nazaar?」
Nazaar: 「Nn~ That’s just an alias su」
Taishi: 「Ha? Alias? Eh, why?」
Taishi couldn’t comprehend the meaning behind why the famous painter was claiming that his name was merely an alias .
Taishi: 「Ah, I see . An ‘Art Name’(8) or something like that, right?」
Taishi thought that it was something similar to a Mangaka’s pen name or the net world’s handle name .
Nazaar: 「Nn~ I guess so su…if an artist were to make such a claim, then that would be correct, without a doubt . However, because of this situation, allow me to once again introduce myself with my real name su . 」
Taishi: 「O-oo . 」
Teckil: 「I’m called Teckil Shizaa su . Even though I look like this, I hold the position of the Cruel’s 《Rank 3》 su . 」