Chapter 5 – Connecting Feelings
2nd day of the Quest.
Even if something happened the previous night, the morning would come. Even if he didn’t want to meet, as long the request was in process he had to meet them face to face.
Hence the atmosphere within the carriage was frankly the worst.
The person Hayate couldn’t forgive was Sylvana and that was actually appearing in his attitude in reality.
On the other hand he had less anger towards Victoria. Without knowing what to from now onwards after something like that happened, a strange atmosphere was flowing among them.
「Hayate-kun, did something happen?」
「But, it seems, somewhat……」
Aria and Kiruru also worried about him, but he couldn’t do anything but deceive them.
Sherry also seemed to want to speak something, but she remained silent all the time. That was also way of worry towards him.
Soon enough the carriage arrived at the destination and same as yesterday, it went away after leaving Hayate and others.
「We will investigate the valley via different route than yesterday. The goal is to discover those Chimeras nest」
The Chimera were those regenerative Demonic Beasts which had an appearance of various animals mixed into one. It was possible that they were residing somewhere within this valley while making a nest.
Normally, the Demonic Beasts attack people indiscriminately as soon as they are born, but in rare cases, some attack humans in a planned manner while making a place as their base point. Most of the Demonic Beasts that act as latter had high intelligence.
「Let’s move out」
They had planned to investigate the caves and dens made due to the slope of mountains. According to Sylvana, this place had many caves reaching way down in the ground. The probability of nests being there was high.
For starters, Hayate and others looked around dens with comparatively shallow bottom.
「Do the Demonic Beasts even make nests? According to the impressions I got from stories tend to say that they attack humans based on their instincts」
Whilst confirming each and every den, Hayate asked Aria.
「That depends. There sure are Demonic Beasts that attack humans purely based on their instincts. Taking the numerous witness reports this time into consideration, there’s no doubt that those Chimeras had been using this mountain as their base point over a long period of time. But of course the appearances reported are too different for concluding the Demonic Beasts as the same species」
「Certainly they all had high regenerative ability, but just based on appearances they didn’t seem similar」
The Demonic Beasts were living things having an unidentified and mysterious source of origin, but there had been no precedential report of a species of Demonic Beasts having differences per individual.
There was one more point of worry, Aria spoke……
「There is a city at a distance easily covered by walking, there is also an mountain road for convenience, but there has been no reports of any casualties appearing due to it and that is weird……but I feel some sort of strange aim……although I don’t understand it clearly」
Having meagre information, even her words became ambiguous.
Naturally, Aria had reported about her doubt to Slyvana……however, it had been decided to continue on with the investigation of the Demonic Beast.
That is probably because of me……
There was no doubt that this was only because of ulterior motives of Verde Family for stopping Hayate in the mansion to the last date of Quest, and attacking at the best chance.
Though after the incident from yesterday, it would now be difficult for Victoria to seduce Hayate anymore. At least in the assertiveness of her will. In that case the person he needed to guard against the most would be Sylvana.
Even by peeking at her face, she was having her ever sour look, that made others not know what she was thinking……and it made him perplexed in response.
But well she is at the seat of head family, then the「decision of family」would mean the decision of Sylvana……then did she order Victoria to do things like this?
He thought that he would never be able to forgive that.
「We will investigate this cave next」
The group having finished the investigation of shallow dens in the surroundings, finally stepped into a slightly deep cave, as per Sylvana’s command.
「It’s unexpectedly bright?」
「Looks like plants emitting light are growing en masse here」
Looking after being told, there were faintly glowing things sticking on the walls and ceiling of the cave. Apparently thanks to those things the light source of guaranteed.
Relying on the light, he looked around in the cave that seemed like a natural cave rather than one created artificially. Hence there was no path that could be called a path, rather there was a rugged ground path made from rain water scraping off the ground. Hence they could only walk on that.
「So there are differences in levels. Sherry, your hand」
「Aria and Aria too」
「Thank you very much」
Hayate descended below first and lend his hands to three girls.
Sylvana also did the same as him, but the act of sisters seemed awkward.
Like that they kept on walking nearly an hour within the cave.
From the footprints left on the moss present within the cave it could be surmised some beast had come and gone from here, but it couldn’t be concluded if it was of Chimera.
「We will take a rest for a while here」
Hayate and others stopped walking on Sylvana’s command, and gave relief to their legs by sitting down.
「Pretty wide, this place. Almost like auditorium of the Academy」
「You’re right. It almost seems like one will die if going down that hole」
In the dead centre of the open space Sherry pointed, there sure was a pretty big hole. He peeked inside it, but it was too dark inside for being able to see anything. It was pretty deep, it seems.
That moment Hayate discovered Victoria sitting alone in the corner of that open space.
「……Sorry, Sherry. I’m going to Victoria’s place」
「Hmm. Are you worrying that much about Victoria-san?」
「Ah! no, it don’t mean in some different sense……」
Hayate mumbled as if finding correct words.
Worrying about Victoria here could probably be meddlesome. Rather he was being targeted by Verde Family, he should actually be increasing the distance from here in that case.
How the heck can I leave Victoria in that state.
The sensation seeming like a rising urge from the bottom on heart inadvertently moved Hayate’s legs to face towards Victoria. He couldn’t control that.
He racked his brain for finding a way to get the unexplainable sensation into words……but abruptly, Sherry heaved a sigh.
「Well fine. Go now」
「Is it fine?」
She wasn’t informed correctly, but still she was able to sense that something occurred between Hayate and those sisters. So why was she still allowing him to go to them?
「If I stopped you from going right now, it will be the same as me rejecting the you I fell in love」
Once before, there was time when Hayate had saved Sherry while being stimulated by the exactly same sensation he was feeling right now.
「It’s fine. This is the weakness of falling in love」
The line was embarrassing enough to make him blush, even though he was the listener.
Hayate rushed towards Victoria, for talking it out with her and also for escaping from embarrassment.
He sat beside her without minding it.
The silence continued for a while, but soon enough Victoria broke it first.
「……What do you want?」
She asked curtly.
Hayate hesitated, wanting to get on main point after talking with roundabout topics; however, he decided to go straightforward here.
「Why did you accept that absurd order?」
「That……is the decision of family after all」
「But the Victoria I know would definitely turn that down? She would start swinging the whip with a deep red face」
「Just what sort of character am I inside your mind!?」
Seeing Hayate talking with exaggerated gestures, Victoria unintentionally raised her voice.
She seemed surprised soon enough and returned her vision down……and started talking intermittently.
「I don’t want to disappoint Onee-sama」
「Yea……Onee-sama is the one truly fit for the name of Verde Family. She is strong, full of wisdom, harsh on herself, and never runs away from the responsibilities she is shouldering. She had been in the Chivalric Order of country before she became the family head, she had defeated numerous Demonic Beasts, sometimes even saved various people by putting her life on line. Compared to her I am…….」
No one knew the popular and honour student called Victoria had such a complex within her.
It alone represented how big of an existence Sylvana was to her.
「No matter how much I work hard, I can’t win in anything against Onee-sama. ……That’s why I thought to become strong at least. Becoming strong, I wanted to conquer the『Walpurgis Night』that even Onee-sama wasn’t able to do」
「……You wanted win against your sister?」
「That is wrong──」
Rejecting Hayate’s words, Victoria showed a smile seeming too sad.
「──I wanted to see Onee-sama’s face right from front, boldly. I wanted to puff up my chest saying I was her sister……Onee-sama is my idol after all」
Victoria looked up at the ceiling of the cave.
「But, from Onee-sama’s point of view, I’m just a worthless existence」
「……Something like that is」
「If it was impossible, do you think she would order me to do something like this……?」
「I thought if seeing the ability in the examination before, she would probably take down the decision, but it didn’t happen」
She didn’t wanted to disappoint her sister, wanted to accomplish her sister’s order……however, being ordered something like that, she was feeling deeply, truly deeply hurt……holding these two conflicting emotions, Victoria had been doing her work till now.
He finally grasped the reason behind her strange actions recently.
As expected he wasn’t able to forgive Sylvana.
Was this an act she should’ve done to her little sister, Victoria, who idolizes her so much?
Hayate stood up. He wanted to speak out to Sylvana for stopping her from forcing Victoria, but── at that moment.
This chill is!
Hayate shifted his focus towards the deep part of the cave at once.
There weren’t many plants casting light, hence it was dark.
From inside that darkness, Chimer appeared in great quantities.
「All hands, assemble!」
Although he thought badly of Sylvana, she was still the leader of this team currently. He also had to protect Sherry, so abiding by her command, he gathered in a single place with others.
「! They’re big than the ones from before!」
The opponents were Chimera with an appearance of big bird and monkey with thorny arms.
The beak of the Chimeras opened not in the shape of「一」but in four side like「十」, inside it the sharp fangs were lined in rows. The Chimera of monkey had faces on the face side and tail side, it looked all the more grotesque.
Just how much of a haphazard existence are Demonic Beasts! Are they seriously from the same species? Holy shit, they’re scary!
It felt like he lost his appetite just by looking at them.
But……leaving aside their grotesque appearance, as an enemy, they weren’t too big of a deal to Hayate and Sylvana.
「Magika Aqua Javelin」
Their attacks terminated the Chimera with certainty, leaving no space to regenerate from.
The bothering point would be the numbers of enemies. No matter how many they killed, new ones kept on appearing from inside the cave.
「Kuh! This place was their nest, eh!」
「To get the right place so fast, we’re truly lucky and unlucky」
Sherry replied with light words to shouting Hayate.
They couldn’t be said to have the superiority, but they sure weren’t inferior. After all, Hayate held a『Seele』, while Sylvana had the experience of appearing in the『Brynhildr Cup』.
They couldn’t see the end of this wave, but if they kept on defeating them all, they would surely stop coming at some point……
Suddenly Hayate’s ears heard a strange noise completely different than that of fighting.
Thinking what it was, Hayate tried to looked out to find the identity of that strange sound.
At that time.
The monkey Chimeras were swinging their hands and smashing the ground of cave.
That was already digging rather than smashing, and the strange sound was of the stone being scraped off.
At that point Hayate realized that they all had been facing their back towards the big hole located right in the middle of the open space.
If the ground they were standing on were to break──
──Hayate and Sylvana acted at once after realizing the aim of the Chimeras.
But, the enemies were a second faster. *kaboom*!! The foothold crumbled.
Maybe as a blessing in disguise, Kiruru and Aria barely escaped the range of collapse.
The people dragged below were Hayate and Sherry, and Victoria and Sylvana.
Need to save Sherry……!
Hayate forcibly grabbed Sherry’s hand and threw her towards Kiruru and Aria.
Similarly, Sylvana thrust away Victoria to the ground that didn’t crumble.
Two were saved, two lost their chances of escape.
Hayate kept on falling towards the bottom of the hole along with collapsing ground while hearing the voice of Sherry and Victoria that seemed to becoming more distant.
「You awake, huh」
Being called out suddenly like that, Hayate’s consciousness woke up suddenly. He rose his lying body up from the ground and saw Sylvana sitting right by his side.
「This place is?」
「The bottom of the hole」
In the surrounding of speaking Sylvana was the Undine along with a white torch like thing created by her Servant. It was probably the ability or magic of the Servant. Relying on this light he looked above but, everything was engulfed in darkness that the roof couldn’t be seen.
「……How did we survive from a fall that high?」
「I saved us by creating a water cushion」
Been told that he realized the fact his clothes were quite wet. As a just-in-case he checked his body’s condition, but no disorder could be found. The『Laevateinn』was also in his hand, he was quite thankful about that.
「I will ask just to be sure but do you have any skill for ascending all the way up?」
「No……what about you, can’t you be just using any magic, for example《Fliegen Voge》?」
「Unfortunately I have a bad luck with magic」
Apparently she truly tended to ignore basic magic used by Hexenritter.
「……So no other way than to search a way up, eh」
Hayate stood up as he sighed.
「Yeah. I’m also worried about Victoria. Let’s hurry」
He didn’t quite like being together with her, but with the situation being as it was, he had no other choice but to walk as per order.
The bottom of hole had no illuminating plants so it was pretty dark, the path also was divided in couple of branches to boot. They checked the wind and other things flowing from other sides and moved on while carefully choosing their paths.
After walking quite the time in silence……unexpectedly Sylvana tried to talk to Hayate first.
「Even so, after being this much away from Hexenritter, your『Wand』doesn’t seem to disappear」
「The Hexenritter and Servant are connected by a line and doing exchange of magical energy. Being far apart the supply of magical energy starts lagging, and eventually『Wand』is gone」
「Hmm, that’s news to me」
Hayate and Sherry were not connected by a line in the first place. The『Seele』could be taken out by overlapping the two Contract Marks and establishing a special line, so maybe the normal limitations of distance placed on Hexenritter and Servant wouldn’t work on this special thing? He didn’t know the reason, but for now he was quite thankful to the fact he could use『Laevateinn』even while being away from Sherry.
The『Seele』is in good health means Sherry is also fine.
The hilt of sword he gripped seemed to give him a sense of relief.
Though, it was a matter of fact that he wanted to meet up with them as fast as possible.
「Forget about this sword and make haste」
「Yeah. I’m worried about Victoria also」
Soon enough Hayate found a path moving upwards and the two started walking on it.
Probably subconsciously Sylvana had been muttering her little sister’s name while ascending the slope.
So even she worries about her little sister although giving her that sort of order……
She always had a sour look which made him feel that she had low emotions in that field too……
He already had an personal image about Sylvana created in his mind, but would some contradictions appear after this long?
That time, Sylvana walking in front raised a groan while curling up her back. While holding her left shoulder her face distorted in pain.
「Hey, you fine?」
「……Don’t worry. It was injured just a little bit before」
Before meant……the time of fall in hole?
That time Hayate was without injuries thanks to Sylvana. Hence he was clearly thinking that she would’ve also protected herself fine……
「Anyhow, let’s make haste. If something happens to Victoria while we are stopping here……」
Sylvana tried to hurry up without paying heed to the pain. That line perfectly and clearly transmitted her serious feeling of worrying about Victoria’s safety.
「Wait a bit」
Hayate walked to her front and offered his back.
「I will carry you from now, hop on it」
Sylvana gave her body weight to Hayate quite easily.
In doing so, he felt the feeling of her breasts being crushed on his back, but he endured raising a voice with all of his self-control.
Holding『Laevateinn』in backhand and carrying Sylvana on his back he started his ascent. Thanks to the supply of power via『Seele』he was easily able to take care the weight of one person on his back.
However because they were too close and his impressions had changed, the silence started to feel gloomy. No, this could also mean he wanted to ask her something.
「Hey……Why did you order something like that to Victoria?」
「?What do you mean something like that?」
「I mean about that cruel order of making child with me」
「That is the decision of family」
Though he couldn’t see the expressions of Sylvana on his back, only a flat voice replied back.
He started to feel differently about her, but hearing that ever same tone he was again enraged.
「And I mean, why the fuck you can give out an order like that? You’re Victoria’s elder sister? As an elder sister, you can surely speak calmly for ordering your little sister to make a child with a man she doesn’t even love」
「What are saying. Of course I’m not calm」
「Oh I see…………wait, wut?」
Right……what’d she say? She’s「not」calm?
「Hey, what’d you mean not calm?」
「? It means as it is meant to. I obviously don’t think of wanting to give my cute little sister to a suspicious and mysterious man like you」
Her voice was same as before, but thanks to it Hayate was confused in a different sense from before.
「T-Then why did you order her like that?」
「Don’t make me say the same thing again and again. That was the decision of family」
Hayate carefully investigated Sylvana’s words for a while.
「……By the way, that decision of family, 『whose』 decision is it specifically?」
「The final say is obviously mine as a family head. But originally it is made by a voting by the blood relatives in a parliament system」
In short in Verde Family there was a blood relatives meeting, there Sylvana was in the seat of speaker while still holding the right to say, but that didn’t mean she could decided things by ignoring the opinions of other relatives, supposedly.
「The discussion in that conference was something like this, anticipating other families taking move Verde Family wanted to take your blood. There Victoria was allocated first, if there were no problem then I will make child with you, or so it should go」
Hearing those ridiculous contents Hayate nearly lost his will to even speak, but because he was now able to understand more of this family head on his back that he opened his mouth.
「But, isn’t the final right to say with Sylvana? Then wouldn’t it be fine to just reject something like that. After all, not only Victoria, but probably you also don’t want to, with me……」
「My personal feelings are trifle. I’m the family head of Verde Family. I have the responsibility to protect the fate of all the people connected with Verde Family, the subordinates from Chivalric Order, people from family and even mother and father」
Sylvana declared clearly.
Hayate recalled Victoria telling him that Sylvana was not a person who ran away from her responsibilities.
When she was in the Chivalric Order she didn’t run away from the responsibility of protecting the masses, and currently as the family head she didn’t run away from the responsibility of protecting Verde Family. That was probably what Sylvana was.
But……in the she said as mutter.
「……But if Victoria said she hated the decision of family, I would’ve persuaded the people from family and would’ve never forced my little sister to something like that. However, my little sister also being a person from Verde Family declared to be used for the best wishes of family. In that case, there was nothing I could do」
Those were the small true feeling peeking out from her obstinate expression.
Hearing her talk, Hayate felt the entire block that was misaligned to get in right places.
Thinking back she even Victoria when she was about to fall, even now she is worrying about her……does she like her little sister?
But as the responsibility as the family head, she had no choice by to prioritize family’s profits before her personal feelings.
「I will ask just to be sure, but why were you『assisting』Victoria in my room yesterday?」
「I did that because she said she didn’t had confidence to seduce you」
Victoria probably tried to say it was impossible in a roundabout way, but looks like Sylvana is dense enough to not understand that……
But putting the talk together, apparently Sylvana truly had no intentions of forcing Victoria to make a child. It was all the way just Victoria『accepting』the decision of family while she assisted as the family head.
Then why did Victoria accept an ridiculous order like that? As it seemed her elder sister, the family head herself would’ve stopped her if Victoria hated it, then why……
There Hayate raised up an「?」above his head.
「Hey……before you said that you would’ve stopped her if she hated it then……did you actually told her about that when you were telling her about the decision of family or whatever?」
「? I did ask what she would do after telling her about the decision given out in the conference」
Hayate screamed and finally understood everything.
She hadn’t told her the important part, so it was only obvious for Victoria to be depressed!
Before she said the decision of family was concluded in the conference, but she had also said that she had the final right to say. As the family head she didn’t raise an objection due to honouring the profits of family, but she didn’t tell this thing to Victoria. Judging from how she looked depressed, that was the only answer.
Most probably Victoria might be having a misunderstanding of「decision of family equals to decision given approval by Sylvana」.
That was why she took on that unreasonable order under the pretext of “not betraying her elder sister’s anticipations”
From that strange obstinacy to being inflexible to things she hates, that does seem similar to Sherry, but……Sylvana is just too bad a talker! She didn’t even damn speak any important parts she should’ve!
Moreover in Sherry’s case she would concluding herself as ugly, but at least she never kills her personal feelings. If not she would’ve never stepped foot inside Diaspell Royal Academy while pursuing her dream. On the other hand, Sylvana honours her responsibilities, and had been killing too much of her personal feelings. The roots of the two were same, but they were still bipolar.
There couldn’t be an competition between them for finding who was better, this time it just happened to Sylvana’s personality going in the bad way.
Victoria accepted the order for not disappointing her elder sister while not knowing Sylvana’s true feelings, while the elders sister being an elder sister had been under the impression that her little sister accepted the order as an person from Verde Family trying to give her all to complete the responsibilities, thanks to that and the result of ignoring the sings of refusal from Victoria, the situation came to this――although the feelings of these two sisters had been overlapping by all rights.
「Sylvana. Talk it out with Victoria after we meet up」
「What to talk about?」
「Many things, obviously! Like you didn’t want to order that or how much do you like Victoria, and everything else!」
「However, as the family head I……」
「Like I give a damn shit about that!」
Hayate shouted out as much as he could and rushed up his ascent.
「Didn’t you say before that you had no choice but to act accordingly for the favour of family because you’re the family head, right!? Then go dish out your true feelings on your little sister, but as an elder sister yourself! You’re sisters, that much will be forgiven!」
There was no reply, but he didn’t care about it at all. For the time being he truly wanted to let Sylvana and Victoria meet up.
Hayate dashed within the cave at full speed in spite of carrying her.
「──! That light!」
Discovering a light obviously different from that of those plants―probably a light from magic―, Hayate hastened towards it.
Escaping the narrow path, there Hayate――
「……What is this?」
――Discovered a mysterious structure.
That thing erected between the ditch created by drilling the wall of cave, seemed to have unified with the bare rock and was bringing about a queer eeriness.
Moreover some sort of bad smell came from the entrance of that building.
What the heck is that? Why is a building here……?
The whole body was inside the wall so he couldn’t see clearly, but from what he could see, it seemed to be big as a three-storey building. It also depended on the depth, so just how much big of a building was that?
And……who constructed such a building in this place? When? For what purpose?
Regarding this building that could be called lump of mysteriousness, Hayate’s wariness swelled up.
「Put me down」
Sylvana probably also felt the same as him that she descended from his back and stood on her legs.
The two kept on increasing their wariness towards the mysterious building while holding onto their weapons, but――the next moment, something like that was blown away from their minds. After all, from behind their backs they heard the voices they super wanted to hear.
Sherry and Victoria.
The two Hayate and Sylvana had been searching desperately ran towards them with a speed never seen before and they leapt into the chest of their particular partners.
「Hayate……isn’t it bad, for a manservant to make his master worry」
Hayate apologized while holding her with his two hands.
Victoria embracing Sylvana was continuously repeating her name. Sylvana gently patted the head of her little sister.
There Hayate realized something clinging at his waist from the back, and he turned around.
「Isn’t it Kiruru」
Kiruru tightly clung on his waist, as if saying to never let him go. He had apparently made her worry too. The other friend, Aria, also came by his side.
「Hayate-kun, it’s good you’re fine」
「It is good you’re all fine. ……but how did you escape the crowd of Chimeras?」
「Kiruru and Kuro burned them to cinders with lightning attack, while Sherry-kun made them into ice sculptures, well we made it somehow. Oh well as usual I wasn’t of much help, hahaha」
「Don’t put on airs」
After softening down the atmosphere, she looked towards the building buried inside the wall.
「Even what is that building?」
「Who knows? We also came here just now, so haven’t investigated it」
「I see. Sylvana-san」
Aria left Hayate temporarily and looked towards Sylvana.
「What should we do now? Miria remembers the route all the way here, so if you want to return to surface we can reach there even now」
Would the investigation continue or not, Aria asked that to Sylvana.
Sylvana thought for a bit……
「You’re right. That building does worry me a bit, but as you can see I’m injured. We back up today with just this」
And gave out her decision.
The investigation was going to be carried over from tomorrow.
For today they were already calling it a day, and the surroundings seem to have a relaxed atmosphere flowing.
Not only the encounter with Demonic Beasts, but they also got separated during it, so they were all thinking of returning back before something unusual things happens again.
He didn’t know if this building had any relation with Demonic Beasts, but if this was nest of Demonic Beasts then the quest was completed. The next time they would just need to examine this building.
Hayate turned around nonchalantly and looked up at the building,
And a person’s figure seemed to passed by the window……?
The nervousness that had relaxed with the reunion again swelled up within Hayate and,
────The building burst open.
It didn’t explode to be precise, rather it was severely destroyed from the inside.
While the crushing sounds of building reverberated, for a second Sylvana’s desperate voice could be heard.
And from inside the building came out a giant three-headed beast.
A lion, an eagle and a red-eyed monkey. They all raised up voices that were ear-splitting and noisy while looking down on Hayate and others with killing intent in their eyes. As an extra bonus, the small-sized Chimeras that Hayate and others had been fighting with since yesterday also came out due to the collapse.
Are these the bosses of those mixed beasts!?
Reaching here they encountered something truly ridiculous. In addition to this……
「Onee-sama!? Onee-sama, please wake up!!」
Protecting Victoria from the debris flying down, Sylvana hit her head and fainted with blood flowing from her forehead.
「Hayate-kun! If that boss rampaged and the cave sunk in, we will all be buried alive! Hurry up and escape! Miara, the route!」
「Go it! I will be the rear guard! Sherry you with Victoria!」
「Yea. Victoria-san, let’s go. Come on stand up」
「I know……about that! Lindis!」
「Kuro will carry Sylvana-san!」
Hayate and others dashed away to escape from the cave that had already started to crumble down.
As expected the navigation of Miria was perfect and the group having Aria run at front with her Servant were all able to safely get out from the cave.
But however, the next moment.
With a roaring sound the surrounding area around the cave burst open and the three-headed Demonic Beast from the underground appeared along with the crowd of small-sized Chimeras.
They surely escaped before being buried alive, but what to do from now on!?
Sylvana was still not awake. If she hadn’t fainted……no even before taking on that debris she was already injured due to protecting Hayate.
This situation is my responsibility……so I will do something about it!
If they asked help from Verde Family, the Chivalric Order subordinates of Sylvana would surely lend their help, but if they ran away to ask for help right now the Chimeras would surely attack the city. It would be great disaster if that happened.
The image of the hustle and bustle of port city Puerto and the face of apple-selling Saya passed by in his mind……
I won’t let them become prey to these Demonic Beasts!
「Victoria and Kiruru take care of the small sized Chimeras! Aria will cover you two! Just aggro them even if you can’t defeat them all! I will take care of that big head!」
「Hayate-san! It’s reckless!」
「Although reckless I can’t possibly let this shitheads get out of this valley! Sherry, were going!」
Shaking off Kiruru restraints, Hayate brandished the『Laevateinn』while protecting Sherry behind his back. It was hard to understand within the cave, but seeing clearly like this, he was able to understand the greatness of the opponent. The three heads were lined up at a place high above the trees in the surroundings.
But it doesn’t match with Cyclops at all!
He had defeated that giant──that incident supported Hayate’s heart and the existence of everyone behind him sent power within the hand grabbing the hilt of sword.
Hayate aimed at the right forelimb of the big-sized Chimera with his long range fire attack. Answering to his strong will the『Laevateinn』burned red hot and turned the right forelimb of the enemy into cinders.
The eagle head of the Chimera spat out something. Frankly speaking it was a「thorns」. However it was big enough that it won’t end up with just prickling if that thing hit.
Hayate spread out the flames above his head in a spiral, so as to form a shield. A majority of the thorns were burned to nothing, but there were some which reached till Hayate and Sherry while passing through the flames. One of those grazed his cheek, but he intercepted all others with his flame sword and the superior kinetic vision.
「Sherry! Make me fly!」
Responding to Hayate’s voice, Sherry immediately started chanting the spell of《Fliegen Voge》.
Thanks to the magic of Sherry, Hayate was fired from the ground at the speed of a bullet. Piercing through the layer of flame that had completed its work as a shield and distraction, Hayate neared the nose tip of the eagle-head that had just now closed its mouth.
『Laevateinn』lopped off the eagle-head of the Chimera! However, the enemy had more than one head.
The lion-head and monkey-head bared their fangs from both sides.
Responding to Hayate’s voice Sherry cancelled the《Fliegen Voge》. 《Fliegen Voge》could only be controlled by the user itself, so if it remained like that it would’ve obstructed the freedom of Hayate.
Hayate gained the freedom in mid-air and made fire gush out from the tip of『Laevateinn』.
Hayate gained the propulsive force from the momentum of fire and rotated vertically, resulting in the bisection of upper jaw of nearing lion-head. Landing in between the fangs of lower jaw that had now lost its biting power, he jumped above to evade the bite from monkey-head.
The monkey-head having lost its target ended up biting and destroying the remains of lion-head.
What!? The eagle-head is already regenerating from the cut-section!?
The regeneration of small-sized Chimera was already abnormal, but this big-sized Chimera was already regenerating the bones and flesh from the cut-section.
If this became an drawn-out battle, everyone would be in danger……!
「I will end it with this!」
Hayate held the hilt of『Laevateinn』with both hand and pointed the blade downwards.
The sensation of cutting through flesh was transmitted to his hands and the very long blade of『Laevateinn』was embedded into the parietal of monkey-head.
The red hot blade sent the flames into the interior of big-sized Chimera.
To each and every corner.
To each and every corner’s corner.
Abiding to Hayate’s strong will, the red hot flames grilled, filled, and made the enemy’s body burst into flames.
Due to the scream-like shout of Hayate, the flames filling the body of Demonic Beast swelled up at once and exploded that big frame. The meat lumps left also got burnt from the remaining live coals left and everything vanished before falling onto the ground.
Killing the big-sized Chimera, Hayate landed on the ground and with the same force slew down remaining small-sized Chimeras.
After reducing the last one into ashes, Hayate tried to control his disordered breathing. Kiruru looked at him wiping off his sweat with a worried gaze.
「You’re too reckless, Hayate-san. Defeating that many alone……」
「No, Kiruru and Victoria had reduced a lot of them, so I’m still fine」
「……Is that true?」
Not only Kiruru, but also Victoria asked him worriedly.
I’m fine──Hayate tried to reply that.
A sound so familiar──that no one wanted to hear was once again heard. The sound of the three heads.
And not just one but several of different sorts……
Hayate raised his head while feeling an bad feeling that was more than half near certainty.
The big-sized Chimera that he had just defeated──of lion, eagle and monkey──along with some others Demonic Beasts he had never seen were currently spread out in the surrounding.
Other than the big-sized Chimeras, several cries of small-sized Chimeras could also be heard from here and there.
……Now that I think about it, this area had numerous caves around.
In other words……it was like this.
It wasn’t that Hayate and others luckily happened to find the nest in the first cave they entered among the several caves, but……every cave was the nest of Chimeras.
The boss-figure Chimera of every cave──at least one of those mixed large animals existed in each cave and currently they all had appeared outside while leading their own communities made up of small-sized Chimeras.
「These are too many……」
The sound of Aria gulping could be heard.
He had exhausted quite the amount of stamina to just eradicate a single Chimaera. Hayate wasn’t all that injured thanks to『Seele』, but the same wasn’t for others. (TN: Yeah, Chimaera is another way to speak Chimera, but the author suddenly changed it for differentiating between small-sized shits and big-sized big shits, oops, shots)
He had to give out the decision right now.
「Sherry, Victoria, Kiruru, Aria……take Sylvana and run back to city at once. There get her treated and come back along with the Chivalric Order. Also convey the citizens of Puerto to evacuate」
「……What about Hayate-san?」
Kiruru was pleading with her gaze while asking.
For an answer to not come back──that was what she wanted.
「I will stall them by remaining here」
This time everyone gulped and their breathing stopped for a second.
「I have stall them enough to gain enough time for evacuation and the preparations for Chivalric Order to sortie to complete. Only I can do this currently」
Chimera was still fine, but only Hayate could head-front clash against Chimaeras. If he didn’t do it then let alone Hayate and others, but even neighbouring cities would perish. There was no doubt that they had no other choices than this.
「No way……! Then I will also fight!」
「I will also remain here!」
The two still objected, not agreeing to his words.
Hayate though in a hurry for a way to persuade them, but……
「We would hindrances, right?」
Before that, Sherry spoke the truth to everyone as if throwing the reality at them. Including herself.
「Scharlachrot-san. What did you say just now?」
「Just as I said. If we remain here, Hayate wouldn’t be able to concentrate in fight. Not only that, he will have to protect us and wouldn’t be able to fight properly」
「That is just you! I am……!」
「Hayate might die due to that obstinacy」
Victoria held her tongue to the merciless words from Sherry.
On the other hand, Kiruru was also protesting.
「……Is Sherry-san fine with this? If we break apart from Hayate-san right now, then……」
Hayate wouldn’t be able to survive, she probably wanted to say that.
However Sherry, firmly, puffed up her chest.
「It’s fine. My manservant is strong, he wouldn’t die on us without any notice to his master……am I right?」
「That alone is enough」
Sherry crossed her arms below her chest and nodded slightly.
──Everyone noticed the crossed arms were very slightly shivering, but no one pointed it out.
She had good mind, and for the part she couldn’t fight, she could at least calmly and clearly analyse the situation. That’s why she must’ve understood that Hayate remaining here to stall them would be the best choice.
Henceforth, for unifying the opinions of people here, she might’ve taken initiative as the contractor and informed the truth to everyone──while killing her own feelings.
At the time of parting Sherry neared her lips to Hayate’s ear.
「If……you come back alive, I will give my most important thing」
「……I will definitely come back alive」
The two exchanged promises──and turned on their backs at the same time.
Sherry towards the outside of valley for escaping.
Hayate towards the inside of valley for fighting.
──And for surviving together.
Victoria was working as the rear guard of the group planning to escape from the valley. With her『Tailworm』it was possible to cover everyone from behind.
The front guard was the navigator Aria. Kiruru was running parallel to her.
Following after were Black Dog and upon its back was her sister Sylvana……in still unconscious state. Thinking the reason for that was Sylvana protecting Victoria, she couldn’t help but feel pain in heart.
And right behind them──in short just in front of Victoria was Sherry, who parted from Hayate right now and was currently dashing forward with the《Fliegen Voge》magic.
Sherry almost looked back many times, but somehow restraining from doing that action, she was earnestly looking forward continuously.
Just how much of willpower would be needed to bear that much?
Even Victoria, a person estranged from male and having misunderstandings about them, was able to guess that Sherry and Hayate were quite intimate. She had felt that to the extent of hating it during the time she teamed up with them for tag-team examinations.
At first, Victoria hated the person called Sherry Scharlachrot.
The daughter of the treacherous Scharlachrot Family, a girl not familiar within the class……and also had made Victoria embarrassed. Rather, there were no existing reasons to not hate her.
Just……it did bother her.
Victoria had many friends, but as expected in the eye of those friends was the attitude of「looking at the second daughter of Verde Family」, that was an undeniable fact. Even so they were her friends, they were important……however Sherry was different.
She didn’t even mind the name of Verde for even a second.
She thought that it was because her family name had already fallen down, henceforth she could act brazenly……however it was different.
The time everyone lay down after getting hit by the great magic of Cyclops, though Victoria wasn’t able to move her body she had her consciousness retained. That time she had heard the talk between Sherry and Hayate. Had seen her actions. She had seen her try to let Hayate escape and face against that one-eyed demon solely.
At that time she was brazen as ever──she was really imposing.
Although injured she stood up for others……that back of hers, for just a second, overlapped with that of her ideal sister, Sylvana.
And that man──Hayate Mitsurugi.
The man who had embarrassed her, similarly like Sherry. The man who let her taste the defeat for the first time. The hateful and conceited man. The strong man. ……The man who saved her from the attack from Cyclops.
The feelings she had towards Hayate were complicated. Every time she thought about his face her heat would be disturbed, and she even felt like her chest throbbed stupidly fast.
Not knowing what sort of attitude to take, she had clashed with those feelings a number of times.
But sooner or later, as time passed by, the complicatedly entangled feelings would untangle, and Victoria would know the true identity of the feelings towards Hayate──
──But before that, that sort of order was handed down by the family.
Among the things there are some that take time to be ordered and disentangled. However, even before Victoria was able to acquire the time required for that her path had already been decided.
If she wasn’t thinking anything about Hayate, that would’ve been just a order at most.
Conversely if regarding Hayate……for example, truly for example……she had some sort of affection sprouting, that order would’ve been like godsend.
Well, concerning my personality, I would’ve immediately refused it with obstinacy.
But that was a talk of assumptions. In truth, Victoria had no idea at all regarding that things residing in her chest……she had seduce Hayate while her position was ambiguous as ever.
Or she thought that if she was able to demonstrate her ability in the examination, Sylvana would reconsider「to not use and throw Victoria by using this plan which could end up as anything」and might turn the plan into scrap……however even after the examinations were over the order wasn’t taken back.
For Victoria, Sylvana was an existence always too far.
The talent as a Hexenritter and even the disposition as a family head were all remarkably different between the two, and before she knew it, every time she stood in front she would unintentionally wither back.
She liked her, she was her ideal, but that was why she couldn’t bring herself too close to her.
Even more, the elder sister was always silent and imperturbable, so it wasn’t easy task to read her from the outside.
Even the attitude of that elder sister was strikingly different from her whose emotions burst out almost every time in large drops, hence she had been living till this day without trying to peek into her true intentions and she never had the thought of exposing those true intentions.
That……was how it was.
At the time of parting with Hayate before, she recalled the conversation with him.
『When your elder sister wakes up, then earnestly talk with her even if just a little』
『Yeah. Hear about what Sylvana thinks about you, Victoria. Then……as a little sister get pampered from your elder sister. You’re sister so don’t hold back, tell that to your elder sister too』
She had no idea as to why Hayate had told her such a thing.
But, he was alone with Sylvana before meeting up with others. They might’ve talked out something during that time. About the true intentions that even Victoria had never heard about.
At that moment, from the left side of the group appeared a giant Chimera with two dog heads.
It was not as big as those three-headed ones, but was not small like small-sized Chimeras. They lay somewhere in the between. Its heads were not big enough to stand out even in forest like that of Chimaeras so Hayate didn’t notice its existence.
However, it was probably more powerful than small-sized ones……!
Kiruru, acting as the vanguard, was the first to react.
She changed into lightning with the help of『Volcanic Gauntlet』and hit her fist on the snout of one head of medium-sized Chimera. Using the speed from that punch she tossed about the opponent and succeeded in stalling the enemy.
「Lindis! I leave Aria-san and Onee-sama to you!」
Victoria’s Servant, Lindworm, raised its sickle-shaped neck and along with the Black Dog of Kiruru it got to guarding Aria and Sylvana.
It was needed to completely destroy the body for defeating the Chimera, so a blow attack weapon like whip was the worst choice in this case, so it was only Kiruru guarding the two.
At that moment Sherry dashed over to her.
「Scharlachrot-san! You’re not going to fight so step back!」
「Victoria-san, can you handle it even if it hurts a little?」
Ignoring her voice, Sherry asked in a serious tone.
「……Do you have any idea?」
「Then do it quickly! I won’t falter with just a little amount of pain!」
「As expected, a great reply」
Without saying anything Sherry grabbed the handle of『Tailworm』of Victoria and started chanting.
「O that who protects the cold mausoleum, by thy freezing arms, grant thy restraints of avidya to the captured ones── 《Náströnd》」
That magic was the same one which had stopped the feet of Led and Fortena during the tag-team examination.
The ground-installation magic, used as a trap──was currently bestowed to Victoria’s whip.
What would happen with this?
「Use that whip to tie up that double-headed Chimera!」
Victoria grimaced from the feeling of her palms freezing, whilst bearing that she swung the『Tailworm』towards the Chimera. But just as Sherry commanded, the whip was swung for『beating』but『tying』up the opponent using the length of the whip.
The『Tailworm』could extend without limits, so no matter how big the body of opponent would be, the whip could always bind it up.
In the blink of an eye Victoria’s『Wand』bound the body of medium-sized Chimera── and from every point of contact, the《Náströnd》started freezing the body.
Soon enough the heads of the double-headed Chimera also froze and it movements stopped.
Victoria heaved a sigh of relief and temporarily revert back the『Wand』to magic particles. The frozen hands were released by Sherry in the same as during the tag-team examination.
This was a point where they could take a breather, but as they had no time they couldn’t stopping here. They had reach the Verde Family as soon as possible and bring Chivalric Order back to save Hayate.
「Then, everyone let’s hurry……」
They again tried to move forward──at that time a *crack* a sound of something breaking resounded.
They turned towards the Demonic Beast they all had frozen just now.
The double-headed Chimera broke through the ice covering its body and raised an war cry.
No way……it actually broke apart that thick ice from the interior.
The enemy attacked at this time.
Evading the bite attack of enemy at a hair’s breadth, Victoria tumbled on the ground.
If it was Onee-sama, a enemy like this will be……!
That though passed through in Victoria’s mind.
That doubt made her concentration to her feet loose──and her legs were caught up in depressed ground area.
Double-headed Chimera didn’t let go of the chance.
The Demonic Beast brandished the forelimb with sharp claws growing out, and tried to cut open the fallen Victoria.
And……At that time──
「……Are you alright, Victoria?」
Forcing between Victoria and Demonic Beast while stopping the claws with the spear was Sylvana.
「Onee-sama! Don’t force yourself! Even before the debris hit your head」
「Don’t worry. The place it hit was a little bad nothing else」
「No, if it hit some bad place then even more you don’t have to force……」
「It’s for protecting my precious little sister. Something like this, isn’t a problem at all」
Sylvana declared at once while interrupting the voice of Victoria worrying about her.
Victoria showed an expression of taken aback to the words of her elder sister that had no back and front.
It was the first time that her elder sister had spoken so straightforwardly.
Sylvana flicked off the claws of Demonic Beast.
「Victoria. Stop its movements once more, I will deliver the last blow」
「Eh……Yea! Understood! Scharlachrot-san, come here!」
Sherry reacted immediately to Victoria’s voice.
She again started chanting the《Náströnd》.
Till the time magic was completed, Sylvana and others were stalling back the double-headed Chimera.
「Let me freeze you again!」
Due to Victoria and Sherry’s combination, the medium-sized Chimera was again arrested by the whip and its body transformed into an ice sculpture.
However, that ice prison was being broken from the interior because of the physical strength of Demonic Beast.
But, even if for a little amount of time, the Demonic Beast surely had its movements stopped.
In that chance Sylvana held the『Diomare Trident』horizontally and started chanting.
「Offering thee Heavenly God, O the one laying in seas, running in skies, reside in my sharp tip, to transform in a rising dragon──Magika」
The Magika that require aria to be chanted took more time to be deployed than normal Magika, in turn it also held enormous power.
The water from the atmosphere started collecting at the spearhead. It grew at tremendous momentum and soon enough represented two water dragons.
While raising a roar the two dragons rotated as if entangling with each other and bared their fangs at the double-headed Chimera.
The opponent opened its mouth for resisting, but before that it was engulfed in the raging stream of Tidal Tempest and it vanished without even being able to howl last time.
And, after the water dragon passed away, there was nothing left there.
Victoria ran towards Sylvana who was forcing her wobbly legs to stand and lend her shoulder.
「Are you fine……?」
「Mm. No problem. It’s good if Victoria is fine」
「No, worry about yourself first, I come later!」
While worrying about her elder sister seriously, Victorira wasn’t able to bear in the happiness overflowing in her chest.
Onee-sama thinks this much about me……!
Maybe it was just as Hayate had said.
While idealizing her elder sister, she felt inferior and small to her, and praised her too much out of her own accord and had never tried to learn what she thought within her heart.
Not being able to read her expression because she was silent was, after all, a talk about exterior appearance. Wanting to know the thing other was thinking by just seeing the face colour of other person was……just because the person was afraid getting hurt by knowing inside of the other person.
If she really wanted to know what her elder sister thought about her, then she should’ve gone down the expressions, more inside……she should’ve heard about it directly from Sylvana’s mouth.
Let’s talk with elder sister after returning back. What she thought about me. And what I thought about elder sister. Just as he said, earnestly……
For that they needed to finish this situation first.
「Then everyone, we will return quickly this time! Scharlachrot-san, too……?」
Victoria’s movements all stopped when she tried to speak out to Sherry who was standing stock still at a little farther place.
That was because the person she was trying to speak out had her eyes opened wide and was staring something far away.
She was staring in the direction they had come here running from──in other words, the place they left Hayate at. Till now Sherry had tried to not look towards that side. No one knew if after defeating the Demonic Beast her will wavered, or she coincidentally saw there while fighting the Demonic Beast.
But no matter what she had now turned towards the direction of Hayate.
Following after her Victoria also looked there.
「What……is that, thing……」
──She saw the despair.
Leaving the petrified Victoria and others, Sherry ran back the road they had come from.
The time rewinds back a little.
After letting Sherry and others escape, Hayate was fighting continuously for not letting the several tens of large animals and several hundreds of animals get out of the valley.
「Heave……Ho! ……ugh……! O Flame!」
Swinging the flame sword he mowed down the Chimeras trying to gather together.
He already didn’t remember how many Chimeras he had kill till now. They have an astounding regenerative power in the first place. Whenever he mowed numerous of them in one strike, one or two were always left out. That was why he didn’t knew if the Chimera he defeated was a new one or one he failed to kill before.
But even if he had that worry, the Chimeras were in the end just small fries.
The problematic ones were the boss-figure of theses Chimeras, those Chimaeras.
He couldn’t destroy the Chimaera easily as they had regenerative abilities and body far surpassing Chimeras.
But they weren’t enemies that he wouldn’t be able to defeat with『Laevateinn』. For some reason the Chimera and Chimaera weren’t using magic while being Demonic Beasts. Maybe they were that sort of species or they didn’t use──otherwise weren’t able to use──the magic for some reason unknown to him……that was the only good news in this worst situation.
Well, it still remains the worst, though.
He could defeat things he could……even easily in a one-to-one battle.
Of course the Chimaeras with higher threat were at the top priority to be defeated. However whenever he tried to deal the final blow, always the Chimeras interrupted to save their boss.
He then deals with the crowding Chimeras in some seconds, but the Chimaera already recovered within that less time.
Protecting Sherry and others along with citizens of city──that goal had increased his concentration power to the utmost ability, but,
With number of enemies and their regenerative powers as his opponent, his limits were nearing.
Using『Laevateinn』he lopped off three heads of Chimaeras.
Losing their heads, although slightly, the movements dulled. Aiming for that chance, he stabbed the blade that red hot to the extent that it seemed like it would met, and using that heat, he turned the Chimaeras to ash.
The problem with this method was that the lopped off head, if let as it was, would start regenerating from there, but……if that point was paid attention then this was quite a valid method.
Hayate didn’t remember the number of Chimeras he had defeated, but he sure did remember the number of Chimaeras he had defeated.
This makes……15 in total.
Hayate counted the war results quickly in his heart and plunged into the crowd of Chimeras and charged towards the Chimaera on the other side of the wall.
──At that time Hayate had not recognized at all that the war results of defeating innumerable Chimeras and 15 Chimaeras in this short amount of time was anything but normal. It was to the point that it even left behind the war results brought out by the whole Chivalric Order that investigated about the Regenerative Demonic Beasts, the Chivalric Order under direct control of strongest war potential of Kingdom, The Queen.
Without knowing that at all, Hayate fought against the enemies.
And the time when the defeated number of Chimaeras surpassed 20th──a change occurred.
The next Chimaera which Hayate took as his target suddenly started retreating.
Naturally, he pursued after it, but the Chimeras hindered him even more desperately than before.
Soon after another cry rang out.
The remaining Chimaeras.
Raised war cry.
Suddenly the grand chorus of nightmare suddenly stopped.
Finished dealing with the crowded Chimeras, Hayate raised his vision thinking what happened, at that time──
Thick, muddy, gooey,
Suddenly, the bodies of Chimaeras started melting and the lumps of meat of everyone started mixing with each other.
For a moment he didn’t understand what was happening……but the moment he did, a shiver ran down his spine. And……despair was born.
Seven very loud voices resounded from the bottom of ground.
Half cow half horse.
Seven heads were atop seven long necks. The design seemed like a child’s prank who just kept on adding the strong-looking ones in one body.
「This shit is bigger than Cyclops……」
Not only that, this seemed double of Cyclops. He felt dizziness just by looking at it.
But the overexploited flame sword was burning bright red and even his hand holding the hilt was burned. The severe pain from the burn brought Hayate back to reality.
「……Bring it on!」
Hayate drew the『Laevateinn』backwards to the limits of his body.
The image in his brain was of the same──attack that killed Cyclops.
Returning the enemy in front, completely, without leaving behind any ash, back to null.
Answering the will of its owner the flame sword burned red hot and scorched the air.
Drawing out his whole power he could currently, Hayate fired the power with the intention of cutting even the horizon the sky.
The whole sword blade of『Laevateinn』gushed with flames, in air red and black smoke were making half moons.
The total length of flame sword fired towards the seven heads was, easily 10 times more than the time he slaughtered Cyclops.
This was the strongest attack he could dish out currently.
That one attack scattered away the seven heads and half of its big body in a second, as if cutting through the space.
Moreover the flames of sure death spread out from the cut section and turned the remaining flesh in red.
Having dished out everything he stabbed the『Laevateinn』in the ground and got on his knees while panting hard.
「I……don’t have anything left in me……anymore」
Even the blade of『Laevateinn』that was always shining red seemed to be flickering right now……if not for this sword then Hayate wouldn’t even be able to stand right now.
A shadow again covered him from above his head.
He couldn’t even let out a voice now.
Even so he gathered his willpower and looked above……and the figure of seven heads regenerated from the flames appeared in his eyes.
Unconsciously a dry laugh leaked from his throat.
Till now he had been defeating Chimaeras by creating chances while defeating the Chimeras with sheer strength. If he lost focus for even a second he would be done in, if he made a move miss it would give the opponent time to regenerate and the situation would be back to start……it hadn’t been even an hour, but fighting that stretched fight in which every second seemed like several hours……this was the result he reached in the end, eh?
His heart almost broke.
Now the power need to oppose the seven heads was not left at all, not even a fragment of it.
He mustered strength to let out a voice and called out the name of that beloved girl.
But maybe fatigue and despair were very strong that he wasn’t able to make out her image perfectly in his mind, as if a haze had been put on her face.
Not only that, the white haze eroded his vision gradually……as if it was trying to remove him from the world.
Maybe dying was a feeling like this.
Of course if possible Hayate didn’t want to die.
But he was probably determined about this to happen somewhere in his heart. Even if the seven heads didn’t appear, he had to deal with that many Chimaeras and Chimeras. It was obvious that he would’ve reached his limits at some point.
Agh, damn it……I wasn’t able to protect the promise.
That was his regret. He wanted to protect the promise.
He wanted to meet.
He wanted to meet……Sherry once again.
Hayate was closing his eyes slowly, but that voice forcibly brought back his consciousness.
Hayate turned around while still on his knees.
And, understood that the voice just now wasn’t some auditory hallucination.
「You’re alive, right!? It’s good……!」
Sherry dashed towards him while raising a voice of relief, but the honed heart of Hayate from fighting was stirred up terribly.
She wasn’t nearing him alone──but even the distance between her and the seven heads was being reduced.
The seven heads raged.
Even without looking at it, Hayate knew that the seven pair of Demonic Beasts’ eyes were aiming at him and Sherry.
This was just like reproduction of that fight with Cyclops.
However, at that time it was Hayate that ran towards Sherry, but this time the cast were swapped……as an extra bonus he didn’t had any power left to save her.
He couldn’t do anything now to stop her. He could understand if he, at that time, was like that. He and her, this time in this moment, go to each other no matter what.
Even if death was awaiting them──
──As if that could be accepted!!──
──That second, Hayate’s consciousness flew away to somewhere not here.
Before he knew it, Hayate was in a white space.
That feeling was truly as if the landscape all changed within an instant, if to say then it was similar to how he was summoned to Diaspell Royal Academy by Sherry.
When, how, why he was here, he didn’t knew the answer to all those.
Before he knew it, Hayate was here.
「! Sherry! Sherry!?」
Without a doubt this was an abnormal situation, but more than himself he was more worried about Sherry who had disappeared in front of him,
Looking over at the surroundings, he earnestly kept on calling her name.
And suddenly he noticed that in this pure white space, a single man was standing.
He didn’t knew when, why and how that man appeared here.
Noticing more he realized that the man was looking at him.
Unexpectedly the man called out to him friendly.
But that voice was near yet far, the sense of distance and the existence of man were something that Hayate wasn’t able to perceive clearly.
Let alone that even the expression on the face was not clear as if it was in the darkness.
「Hey! Where is this? How do I return back!?」
The identity of the man was something that was not worth to make him worry about.
Hayate asked the most important thing to him.
There was sound saying「don’t answer and you die」within his words, but……the man was smiling as if looking at an idiot.
「What will you after returning? The current you will definitely die」
「I don’t care even a bit! I will……」
「She will also die」
Hayate’s thoughts stopped processing as if his head was hit with a *whonk*.
Even if Hayate returned back there, he wouldn’t be able to save Sherry…….that was all too much self-explanatory, a reality that couldn’t be overturned.
「Damn it! What to do……!」
「What do you want to do?」
The man asked.
He didn’t know why he felt like that.
But he felt a sort of strange familiarity with that man. Thinking back this white space was also the same. A mysterious nostalgia blew through his heart.
However……that was only for an instant.
「I want power」
Hayate replied to the man’s question.
「I want power. I want power enough to protect Sherry right now」
「……What a modest kid. Weilding a world-slaying sword, you wish for something that small」
「It ain’t small」
Hayate objected the sigh of man.
「She is a woman more important to me than the world」
「……Pftt, Hahahahahaha! You’re quite the interesting kid! Greatly different than me! But……that’s fine! You’ve already gained something more important than the world! That is good! That truly is good!」
The man laughed loudly.
As if agreeing to that great laughter, the Contract Mark on his right hand started glowing suddenly.
The colour of flames completely filled the white world.
「The first step has been opened」
From the other side of the now-red-world, the voice of man reached him.
「Hey wait! Who are you!?」
「You will know sooner or later……if you regain your memories」
The man said profound words and continued.
「Let me warn you about one thing」
「The『Seele』answers to your heart. If that woman is the source of your heart then don’t make stupid plans of letting that woman away from you. Always keep her beside you. Don’t ever leave her」
‘That woman’ was of course Sherry.
That time he remained behind to let her escape──was that a stupid plan?
「Don’t ever forget that, well yeah──」
The man’s voice rang out one last time.
「──If you want power to protect that girl then I will give no matter how much you want」
The awakening was also abrupt.
The scene reflecting in his eyes was the one he saw right before being flown to that white space. Sherry was en route to reach him, while the seven heads was releasing bloodlust from behind!
Pulling out『Laevateinn』that had become his cane replacement, Hayate rotated around.
The seven heads were deploying different attacks.
The lion-head was breathing out a Flame Breath.
The monkey-head was firing ten thousands of fangs like a bullet.
The eagle-head scattered red venom that seemed like blood.
The dragon head let out arrows of lightning.
The goat-head let out a breath that decomposed the earth within a second.
The wolf-head was releasing a extremely cold blizzard.
The half cow half horse was letting out a dissonant shout that could break a person’s mind by just hearing it.
Those all attacks that could kill ten thousands of people were released while aiming at Hayate and Sherry.
An overkill attack aimed at just two people.
「──It ain’t enough」
The sword in Hayate’s hand was world-slaying sword.
It saying overkill, then it was Hayate’s win.
After all he was going to use a sword skill of that sword which could slay even the world on a single life-from like seven heads which was nothing more than some Demonic Beast. The small fries in the surroundings didn’t even come close to its edge.
The『Laevateinn』held above his head surged with a pillar of flame.
An updraft completely incomparable to the time he had once negated the magic of Cyclops; and a scorching storm blew violently in the bottom of valley.
An flaming updraft turned away the tornado, so to speak this feat of strength had already left the realm of little tricks and using this overwhelming power all the attacks of seven heads were negated.
Those heaven-reaching flames had surpassed the reason of world──and glowed in dusk colour.
That was just like heaven sundering longsword.
「──Hell Flame Destruction(The beheading sword of Heaven and Earth world destroying conflagration)!!」(TN: The second is what is written in Kanji, the first one is what is spoken. I am using it for reasons, otherwise I never use both)
The flame longsword swung down from heaven engulfed the giant body of seven heads.
There was not even the process of burning to nothing. At the point it was swung down, no, at the point when Hayate judged it to be beheaded, the fate of seven heads was exhausted and it burned away.
The shockwaves from swinging the Hell Flame Destruction blasted away the Chimeras before him.
Speaking precisely, ¾ of trees surrounding the valley had turned into ash or charcoal……speaking more precisely, a section of mountain was completely gone without a trace.
Did I……do too much, even Hayate couldn’t help but think.
But, he was not much regretful about that. Rather he wasn’t regretful at all.
At that time the seven heads was aiming at the life of this girl who had just jumped into his embrace.
If that sword beheading great criminals wasn’t Hayate’s『Laevateinn』then he would keep on swinging it without any hesitation.
Large numbers of Chimeras and Chimaeras originated, and the seven heads also appeared, but all were killed by a single team of master and servant──Like that, the Seven Heads Case that could’ve repeated tragedy like that of Schalrachrot territory was closed.