Chapter 28: Island of Messenger (part ten)

Ohoho~ this is my favorite chapter of this mini-arc! I hope you like this chapter too! Next chapter is the last chapter for this mini-arc.

TL: clover

ED: clover, eristol


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“Ufufu~ well then, see you later. Auguste, please apologize properly, okay~?”

 

Devil-san and Goldberry who jumped on her shoulder winked casually.

Somehow, they are in a perfect sync.

While I was stunned, the pair of a person and a dragon disappeared behind the door.

She is truly an elusive person.

 

When I felt a little awkward, I heard the steps of Auguste.

As expected he seems to be uncomfortable.

 

“Greetings, Angel-sama.”

“I’m sorry. You are angry after all.”

“Yes, I am a little bit angry.”

 

Auguste smiled as if troubled, and took one step closer.

Without thinking, I took a step backward.

He turned his eyes away from me with a smile on his face.

Although his smile got deeper, at the same time I felt like he became more depressed.

 

“Yeah, but, that may be the right decision. The boy called ‘Angel’ never existed……besides, you wouldn’t want to come into contact with a strange person like me.”

“Why would you think so?”

“If you get along with me, Erica-ojousan, you will get surrounded by bad rumors.”

 

Auguste said so with a smile that had no hesitation on his face.

The lack of dark shadow of depression in his expression only made it clearer to me that he was deeply sad.

With a smiling poker face, the Foolish Prince who covered his heart with a massive wall seems to have been completed by this point.

 

“I’m sorry. Thank you. It’s only one day and I already messed it up, but still I had a lot of fun today thanks to you.”

“Then, why were you like that?”

“If you know about myself, you will not treat me in the same easy-going manner as before. In addition……”

“In addition?”

“An angel cannot become an angel if his identity is exposed. That’s the rule.”

 

Auguste attached his index finger to his lips and smiled with a face like a mischievous child.

Only at that moment, I felt that the Angel-san who I met in the cathedral came back.

But Auguste soon turned on his heel, so the Angel-san disappeared beyond his lonely back.

 

“Do you want to be an angel, Prince Auguste?”

“I can be either an angel or a devil as long as I can fly in the sky.”

 

He looked up at the night sky.

I can’t see his expression, but surely he is smiling as if he is really craving for it.

Even though he is sad and there is no tear coming out, I can sense his longing.

 

“Do you want to fly in the sky?”

“I want to fly.”

 

A surprisingly strong voice responded.

He stretched out his trembling hands to the far away sky that he couldn’t reach.

 

“I want to fly. I really want to fly. If I can fly in the sky……as long as I can fly in the sky, everything will be restored and everything will go well.”

“Auguste-sama……”

“Oh……it’s a story that has nothing to do with you, Erica-jousan.”

 

Looking back to me, Auguste became the alabaster statue prince who had fixed the mask of a deep smile on his face.

 

“Although I am on the ground, my heart belongs to the sky as a dragon knight of the South. I am damaged as a dragon knight, but I am the same as other dragon knights who yearn for the sky.”

 

With a slight pain in the chest, I was convinced.

This person, Auguste, would give everything to fly.

His craving will finally make him reach out for the contract beast by means of black magic.

 

But even if he makes a contract, if he fuses with the beast, only destruction will be waiting for him.

Even if he knows that he would completely lose his ability to ride a dragon by the beast’s runaway six years in the future, he definitely would not stop.

 

“The story has diverted. Well, that is why. I apologize for keeping you here.”

“It’s alright……”

 

He became unapproachable.

It would be difficult to break through the thick wall of his heart.

 

At that time, unexpectedly, the sound of a string instrument could be heard.

It was even louder than the Ignitia’s music in the hall.

It was not the contemporary tune which was mixed with Hafan and Aurelia’s songs, but somehow it was a foreign sound.

It was probably an arrangement that was still a prototype.

I could hear a random humming that was mixed with the calming string instrument solo.

 

“This voice, Devil-san?”

“That woman……that meddling woman……”

“Uwah, that person, she can play instruments……she’s very deft.”

“Aah, it’s because that person – Palug – can do anything.”

 

Auguste, who forgot to put on a smile, made a bitter face.

That was a somewhat strange conversation, but now his face looks much more natural.

 

“Aah, I can’t do this. I messed up. I was trying to make a clean break……”

“Auguste-sama?”

“Sorry. Erica. I cannot give up on you. As expected, I want to stay together with you.”

“That……”

 

Auguste took my hands and looked into my eyes.

He looks uneasy.

 

“I understand. As a comrade with few friends, let’s get along well.”

“‘Comrade with few friends’, you mean……”

“Oh? Auguste-sama, Devil-san – I’m sorry, it’s Palug-san, right? Do you have any friend besides her?”

“……Goldberry.”

“What about human friends?”

“I understand. I give up. Yes, I have few friends.”

 

Auguste raised his hands with an expression as if he swallowed a bitter pill.

 

“Well, if we become friends, then the number of friends is 1.5 at a stroke.”

“Wow, that’s a rough magic number……but, is it really okay?”

“Huh? You don’t want to? That’s unfortunate. Then I will pray for you to make a more suitable friend, Auguste-sama.”

“No, no, I do not dislike it at all. I would like to ask you to become my friend from the bottom of my heart.”

 

He laughed hard and grabbed my hand.

 

Even though he is in a similar situation as me, it would be much better than the friendless condition.

I know how difficult it is to be isolated.

 

When the rumors that I ‘slept with all the club members’ in my previous life spread, I remembered that I couldn’t even laugh.

No, far from laughing, I couldn’t even get angry.

 

My childhood friend who attended another school couldn’t bear it and got angry instead of me ‘They are the lowest. Even being the lowest should have a limit!

 

“But, Erica, so you also have a few friends, huh?”

“Yes. But, is that a problem? To only have a few close friends.”

“Nope, no problem. I agree with that idea.”

 

Auguste who was narrowing his eyes as he laughed looked very innocent.

I really want to be a friend who can help Auguste at the time of emergency.

 

As I was thinking so, the tune of the string instrument became somewhat hurried.

I could hear the singing sound of Goldberry as well.

 

“That woman, is she watching from somewhere?”

“There is only starlight, I really don’t understand.”

“In other words, I mean something like this……”

 

When Auguste straightened his shoulders, he changed the way he was holding my hand and kneeled before me.

 

“Lady Erica. Would you please dance with me?”

“Yes. It would be my pleasure.”

“I’m sorry. That woman, she really likes to meddle unnecessarily.”

“Ahaha.”

 

With Auguste’s lead, we started to dance.

Dancing under the starlight, just the two of us.

Only the devil and the dragon as spectators.

However, Auguste seemed to be more lively than the banquet hall, which was full of people.

 

“You seem to be having fun, even though we have only started dancing.”

“Oops, you caught me. Actually, when you were dancing with that Hafan’s mage, Erica, I was envious.”

“You saw that?”

“Yeah. I saw. Along with your dangerous steps which were likely to step on the foot of your partner.”

“Ahaha. How embarrassing……”

 

Auguste danced with a happy expression.

His movements are light, and his steps are certain.

Surely, he practiced with Palug or the Queen.

 

“I was envious. I also wanted to dance with you. It’s amazingly fun now. Ah~ how nice it is to speak honestly.”

“I agree. Telling a lie makes you feel tired.”

“Right~ Every day is completely exhausting. Let’s be an honest man only in front of you.”

“For example?”

“I want to fly. I want to fly. I want to fly. I want to fly. I want to fly.”

 

Unlike the monologue that seemed to be painful a little while ago, he shouted his heartfelt wish.

This man really wants to fly in the sky.

 

“Also, I like you.”

“Eh, I will be troubled if you suddenly say that.”

“Eh, but I’d like to be friends.”

 

Oops, I was surprised.

I thought, ‘What is this man saying suddenly?

 

But, I wonder why a person who wants to fly so much like him can’t fly.

 

“By the way, why can’t you fly, Auguste-sama?”

“Oh……”

 

Auguste was speechless for a moment.

I feel a bit insensitive, no, I have said considerably insensitive things.

 

“Such a thing, maybe it is my first time hearing that told to my face directly. Wow~ It’s fresh~”

“Uh, was it rude?”

“No, it was refreshing. I was treated very cautiously all the time.”

“Wow, then I was terribly insensitive, huh.”

“I guess I might like that kind of insensitive person.”

“Uu.”

 

This time I was the one who was speechless.

Ah, it was insensitive after all.

Let’s be careful next time not to hurt others.

 

As I was thinking such a thing, Auguste began to say something else abruptly.

 

“The sleeping princesses will not wake up.”

 

He said a somewhat poetic expression, but what does he mean?

 

“Out of my three dragons, except for the eldest sister Goldberry, none have hatched from their eggs.”

“Have you tried kissing them?”

“No, I have tried to at least kiss them a lot. But they do not wake up.”

“You did it?”

 

A prince kissing an egg, huh?

It feels kind of surreal?

Ah, but it might paint a surprising picture.

Because everything beautiful people do will be forgiven, how hateful.

 

“The royal aristocrats of Ignitia are given a dragon egg when they are born. Only after they hatch the egg, raise the dragon and ride it that they can be called an adult.”

“Don’t you have Goldberry?”

“That girl is a small dragon for self-defense. She’s not going to grow bigger. Her two younger step-sisters should be larger.”

“I see.”

“I have decided their names. Red dragon Briar, white dragon Blumbell. I’m sure they will grow up into beautiful women.”

 

Somehow, Auguste said that with an expression similar to Eduard-oniisama when he is boasting about me.

This might be a different type of siscon……

 

“Perhaps, you cannot ride on the dragon because of that?”

“That’s correct. As a royalty, this is an unusual situation. I don’t know why my eggs will not hatch……So, at the very least I want to be able to ride on a general purpose dragon.”

“Is it difficult?”

“It is. Nobles raise dedicated dragons from eggs. I was also told that I can wait until Briar and Blumbell hatch.”

“But you cannot wait?”

“I can’t.”

 

Auguste put his hands around my waist, lifted me and turned me around.

I was slightly surprised.

But, he is a dragon knight apprentice after all, he has trained himself.

I understood well about the stability of his legs while we were dancing together like this.

 

“I asked the guys in the magic academy where they study the dragons’ ecology. My father and my grandfather also flew in the sky at the age of seven.”

“But, Auguste-sama, you are already ten years old.”

“I do not want to be a genius rider like my father. I just don’t want people to think that the child of a genius is incompetent.”

 

Just as we finished doing a turn, the song ended.

We just stared at each other with our hands still connected.

 

“And more than that, I want to protect my mother’s honor. I want to prove that the blood of the royal family is flowing within me by riding a dragon.”

“Auguste-sama……”

 

Behind him, the stars were reflected in the mirror-like sea, I didn’t know whether the stars I saw were on the sky or in the sea.

I thought it was beautiful.

But—

 

“Siscon and mothercon, it is a rather deep problem.”

“Sis……what?”

“Oops……”

 

Dangerous, I carelessly ran my mouth off.

 

“Just now, did you say something rude? Was it only my imagination? Can you stare into my eyes properly and say it again?”

“Nothing. It was really nothing. Ah– Auguste-sama, you’re really beautiful, huh~”

 

Just in time, the grinning Palug-san turned up brimming with the intention to tease us.

Only during this time, the self-proclaimed devil looked like an angel.


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35 thoughts on “Chapter 28: Island of Messenger (part ten)

  1. Awah!! August was way cooler than I expected him to be. And devil-san too! So swiftly snatching the princess away! Can’t wait for the next chapter!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. So it’s like that… when I was reading ahead with google translate Auguste seem to say something like ‘I was envious of you dancing with the Harvan Wizard that I would have stepped on all his toes’ or something like that. Hahaha

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree. Auguste is so smooth and natural he’s already on the ‘close friend I could share secrets to’ stage with Erica while our poor awkward genius wizard is still struggling on the ‘one-sided rival’ and ‘brother of my friend’ stage

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I like that they actually talked to each other. Communication~ and also, friend get!
    I’m still quite unsure what Devil-san’s role is…. like, who is she, really?

    Like

  5. I hope his eggs (lol) didn’t become sunny side up…
    Anyway, I have a feeling this arc about Auguste is longer than Klaus’s…

    Like

        1. Well, you’re right. But, I think that he is not smitten (yet). It’s just a case of being possessive as she is his first friend and Auguste just very honest and smooth about it lol. He is supposedly will be the playboy type in the ‘otome game’.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. This is going to be a long ass fanfic from Klaus and Anns pov… I haven’t checked it properly lol so … here it is lol
    Warning Big ass wall of text incoming… as always this is filled with our amazing translator samas work… so I blame them for this lengthy fanfic ho ho ho jk…

    Klaus Pov

    When Ann attacked allowing our escape and saving us all, I felt a niggling resentment, tch… Ann! I am thankful this was planned and I recognize your ability, but really… did you have to show me up like that!… so petty I know, but… my one chance to be cool was snatched! But thanks to you Ann, we are one step closer to taking that bastard down… (you had blocked off many attacks now you retard! that was awesome dumbass!)

    I couldn’t help but needle Ann with complaints… aah I’m so petty … petty… I don’t care! hmmph! arrrgh so irritated… When that stupid monster revealed itself I was momentarily pleased… I would again have my chance to vanquish that foul creature once more! sighing inwardly, I couldn’t believe I still wanted to be cool in front of Erica… she could’ve died back there… I am reflecting Ann this poor example of an Onii sama is sorry… let’s just get out of here!

    “That guy, he can move already!? Both of you, hurry up!”

    As we ran into a narrow passage we finally found some relief, Zaratan was simply too big to fit, but our brief respite was disturbed by its arm reaching in the claws scratching and tearing its way towards us

    “Uwah!?”

    Those menacing claws swiped at us, narrowly missing Erica… my stomach dropped

    “Erica, the back! Advance to the back!”

    “Erica-sama, quickly go to the place where the monster’s arm wouldn’t reach!”

    Both of us were Anxious as we pulled Erica closer to us… those claws slashed at her, leaving gauging marks in the floor and walls… I pushed them both behind me as we backed away.

    Pulling back those deadly claws he peered at us with one eye, you could feel the rage and hate as he glared at us, look all you want fool we will be far from here and you!

    『…Grudge…grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudge, grudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudgegrudge——-

    The cowardly Aurelia……Those damn kids who are standing by Aurelia……

    Both are absolutely unforgivable.

    I will slowly torture you to death until you indeed begging for death……』

    Suddenly we felt the whole room shake Zaratan was pounding and tearing at the walls, his frenzied attacks showed us that mere walls won’t hinder him, as he crashed through.

    “Hii!?”

    “Kyaaa!?”

    “L-let’s go! Talk later! Now let’s just escape somehow!”

    We ran, our hearts and minds only focused on fleeing before that monstrous beast, I would look at Erica, sometimes she would hesitate, as though looking at us and then Zaratan, as though contemplating staying behind… I shivered, I honestly believed she would do it as well, I felt tears prick the back of my eyes, grabbing her hand tightly, I dragged her with me…

    I don’t know why Erica has such a death wish, its not like she wants to die, I could see that clearly, but if one of us was in danger, she readily puts herself in harms way, its as though she thinks it will be alright if it saves someone, stop being such a sacrificial lamb! I won’t let that happen!

    Gritting my teeth, One day, I don’t care how long it takes, I will grow strong enough to protect you from any dangers, so please… please Erica… don’t throw your life away so carelessly, there are many who l..love you and would hurt if you were gone. (Oooh that was very manly brat… very manly indeed).

    With our battle, the mystery surrounding Zaratan became clearer, I could see how his abilities worked, Father had taught me never to underestimate monsters, they could be very cunning, they weren’t all stupid beasts that would fall for the same tricks, that was very true of Zaratan.

    I had a growing respect for the Alchemists of Aurelia, they were able to seal him, Erica’s ancestors gave me a clue with how to deal with Zaratan. I also had another countermeasure if we were unable to get away and had to fight him once more.

    I had learned high-level spells, but due to my age I was denied using them, in short, my body had not matured enough to produce enough magical power to use it, however, there were cases of children that had the potential, it required emotional instability, children are volatile, immature, and not able to control their emotions easily, so knowledge of high-level spells was not taught to them, however, a simple tantrum was not enough to awaken that ability, it would take something extreme for that emotional energy to achieve that potential.

    However I was not an ordinary child, I hungered for knowledge, for me there was no greater pursuit, with this, I might be able to draw it out and use it against Zaratan… but it was far too risky, I no longer wanted to be the hero, I simply wanted us safe and away from this awful place. I will fight only if we have to.

    After running for a while, the distant sounds of Zaratan destroying walls could no longer be heard, I was feeling more confident that we would finally be able to leave this infernal place! But there were several other concerns that needed careful consideration… we could not blindly use pass wall in this environment, there were too many unknown factors, we were also far below the labyrinth, in reality, we might need to go back to the cathedral and levitate through the opening caused by the collapse… so frustrating, how much more difficult would this be if those monsters still lived? I was thankful for this short respite to gather my thoughts.

    We paused, resting momentarily, we were all exhausted, I know they wanted to get out of here, but we couldn’t, not yet. I listened to their labored breathing finally settle…

    “In short, we had to earn more time.”

    Despite cursing Edward I was ultimately grateful for his forethought, had he not prepared such convenient tools I would be at a loss in how to escape this place, however, the tools we had were a double-edged sword, one that might end up killing us, with Zaratan in constant pursuit, I had to figure out a way to delay him long enough to find our way out of here safely.

    “When a big monster is your opponent, in many cases you couldn’t escape because of its legs’ length and strength. No matter how stupid they seem to be, you cannot underestimate them.”

    We needed a long enough distraction to keep him busy…

    “He certainly was rushing at an extremely high speed, that’s why we hurriedly created some distance from him…”

    Which is why we need that delay, at this rate he will catch up to us and when that happens we would have no alternative but to use levitate and pass wall into the unknown.

    “Oh, yeah. It’s dangerous to face that monster in a place where there is no shielding even if we have some distance.”

    There is also the possibility that he will climb up after us, we needed that gap to provide us a secure pathway to escape… I looked at Erica and Ann, these 2 people were precious to me… I would do anything to keep them from harm… so Erica… if there is anyone who will be a sacrifice it is me not you… I will make sure you and Ann are safe even if it costs me my life…

    “That speed was unexpected since he was in the state where he lost one of his legs, Klaus-sama.”

    Indeed Erica… Zaratan is formidable, I wanted to shake myself, foolish child, still so much growing to do, the me that entered the Labyrinth vs the me now seem so different (not enough difference brat!)

    “But, why did you let Ann-sama attack……you told me not to attack him.”

    She looked irritated, which was to be expected, she also thought to use attacks to distract them from us, my plan was ineffective as were her initial attacks, I had hoped, no I was confident, that my plan would not fail… I was wrong…

    Ann Pov

    Despite our current situation, I had been taking in all of the events as though from the perspective of an observer, I often did this to those sly vixens after my Onii samas affections, I didn’t simply use random attacks to chase them off, no, each one was planned with intent to exploit their weaknesses, Erica was yet another victim to crushed, however that did not happen, rather, it was I who was ensnared by her…

    I noticed my admiration had grown considerably, yet I couldn’t help feeling that something about her was off… Why would she care about us enough to come down here? she even prepared everything like it was planned, what incentive did she have in continuing? she had a death curse, no one would blame her if she turned back, and yet, without reason, she pushed forward with Onii sama… why? It drove me crazy! my scalp itched, what was her motivation? you could tell she did not want to be here, her face while impassive at times seemed distracted by her thoughts, though she appeared fearless, it only took a moment to hold her hand to feel her trembling…

    Why does she act so brave? remembering how She called out to Zaratan, the way she looked death in the face without complaint… why? you are just as scared as I am, yet you still push yourself… shouldnt you be angry at us? you are here suffering because of our recklessness… I looked back at the past me, I felt ashamed… I was really selfish… even cruel at times…

    “That couldn’t be helped.” I spoke softly “Because Erica-sama, concentrating magical powers is my special quality.”

    “Ann can release a magic of higher power than ordinary mages against the amount of magical power used.”

    I was rather proud of that, yet my attack changed nothing in the end, it only angered that creature… I was feeling rather subdued.

    “It takes time to do so, and I’m not good at wide area magic.”

    It was difficult to wait and hide, listening to that thing say twisted things, its grudge gnawing away at it, it’s not like I couldn’t empathize, but what did we have to do with it? those that had done it to you are long dead, they are who you should vent your anger at not us!

    “Because she is also good at precision manipulation, she’s perfect for range attacks.”

    “I see……You’re amazing even though you’re still very young, Ann-sama.”

    Erica praised me, It felt good, even though I’m still terrified, Erica’s smile did amazing things, I felt strangely shy… I caught Onii samas glare… seriously? are you jealous! tsk… but it was true, I felt good…

    We spoke at length about various attacks but none of it really mattered, that monster was ridiculously powerful, how could we overcome that? I doubt I would be able to do that sneak attack again, being forced into an open battle was not ideal, I could only feel helpless…

    “That’s right……There are things I’m concerned about. Both of you had seen it too, right? The ability of that monster.”

    “Yes, Onii-sama.”

    I was growing more anxious as time wore on… we had to avoid a battle with that thing, we couldn’t possibly win… I didn’t want to think

    “Eh? What ability, Klaus-sama, Ann-sama?”

    She tilted her head, I watched Onii sama twitch… aah, she looks adorable with that questioning expression. Being the object of that stare Onii sama chest puffed out… sigh…

    “You didn’t use the Glam Sight, huh. That said, the effect time of Glam Sight that I used from the wand was short.”

    “Yes, during the battle I didn’t have time to redo the Wand of Glam Sight.”

    “Do you know that magic didn’t work on that monster?”

    “Yes, I can deduce that much.”

    Onii sama had an expression of “as expected Erica” he was obviously pleased she was so observant, considering her lack of magical awareness…

    “When the magic was erased, it seemed that his ability in controlling space slightly came into play. Since then I was suspicious, but when that monster blew fire, that suspicion turned into certainty when I saw that the Fire Bolt’s creator was Edward Aurelia.”

    “Is it a monster that absorbs and reflects magic……?”

    “Aah. I guess that’s the case.”

    She looked concerned, her expression thoughtful, she would often do that, Onii samas eyes were glued to her whenever Erica was being introspective… Onii sama, my lovable idiot Onii sama had the time to have this kind of expression? sighing I looked away… how troubling, it looked … creepy… Onii sama! stop it!

    “Why was Ann-sama’s Scorching Ray not reflected?”

    Onii sama had a smile on his face, it’s obvious he loves talking to Erica because he gets to show off how knowledgeable and smart he is, I knew how much he loved being praised, he’s even got his head up in the air like he’s some kind of wise sage…I can just see what he’s thinking… “I’m smart arent I Erica? look how easily I figured out his abilities” he looked quite proud of himself… sigh… youre lucky to have me Baka Nii sama… who else would put up with that personality of yours..

    “Probably because it isn’t an ability that activated automatically. He responds to attack manually by absorbing and reflecting, so it was probably an effective surprise attack.”

    “But Klaus-sama. So why did you postpone in using the Pass Wall?”

    Erica just praise him so we can get on with it! tsk… now he’s thinking “Ah! you asked a good question, Erica! yes yes… ”

    “The moment we touch that monster in the Pass Wall state, we may burn up and die.”

    W..wait.. what? I instinctively clutched Onii sama, what the heck did you say?

    “Eh……!?”

    “That monster has absorbed one more Fire Bolt. In other words, there is a possibility that flames are burning inside of him.”

    The image of being cooked inside that thing made me shudder, let’s go Onii sama! enough reflection! I was getting impatient my fear making me restless, drawing this out with unnecessary explanations was aggravating! let’s go!! now!!

    “What should we do, Klaus-sama?”

    I was very confused about everything, I couldn’t understand why we just don’t use pass wall now, why must we confront that thing? I was getting more unsettled the longer they spoke… Notice my irritation Onii sama!

    “I will put up a Protective Circle and prevent contact with the monster. Meanwhile, Ann, you will cast the Pass Wall on everyone.”

    “……What about me?”

    “Only mages can use the Harvan’s scrolls.”

    “I’m sorry, Ann-sama, Klaus-sama……”

    Oi, stop being so shamefaced… Looking at Onii sama he seemed confused and shocked… Eh? could it be that she doesn’t realize how much help shes been? I had been thinking for a while now, but she seems too invested for this to be simply a matter of kindheartedness… what is it Erica… what are you hiding?

    I became more curious… It’s not like you were the reason we are down here… or are you? what an unsettling thought… I put aside my growing admiration, and started to look at Erica objectively… just what is going on?

    “N-no! Erica-sama doesn’t need to apologize.”

    Klaus POV

    Why the heck is she so apologetic! these are items you and your brother provided! it’s us that are thankful! please stop hanging your head! how am I meant to look at your beautiful face if you do that! (no denial anymore huh :P)

    “First, let’s find a small room of reasonable size or a corridor that leads to dead end. Because it’s impossible to protect an entire area against that monster.”

    “But Onii-sama, if that monster approached us after turning back into his liquid form, doesn’t that mean he could attack us from anywhere?”

    Ann Pov

    Its true though, when I imagine that black sea we saw earlier, having that come in and start drowning us in that is frightening! I don’t want to choke on that thing! Aahh horrific images were spewing out of me, I was about to vomit…

    “No, he seems to need a space of a certain size to create the outer shell. If I cast a Protective Circle that specialized to the opposing body throughout the room, he wouldn’t be able to enter the room from the cracks between the stones.”

    Klaus Pov

    Erica now looked disturbed, as if I were describing a horror story, seriously did you miss the guy that’s been tearing out walls to get at us? Aah, that’s right… she was unsettled because of ghosts! I remembered her little face looking around furtively, it was so adorable! aargh, I’m going to die! (Is this the Erica effect? turns guys into bakas… no… hes always been a baka…)

    I glanced at Ann who had a disgusted look on her face… w… what the heck! something told me it wasn’t from the image of Zaratan oozing through the cracks at us…

    “Anyway, why is it so detailed, have you grasped the power of Zaratan, Klaus-sama?”

    “Huh? Onii-sama, you don’t understand that much from the Glam Sight?”

    Ann Pov

    Yeah, how did you figure out so much? I thought your eyes were to busy being glued to Erica… seriously Onii sama if she were a plate of food you would be licking it clean… gross…

    “Oh, in fact, I tried to seal a part of that monster.”

    “Klaus-sama, when did you get such things……”

    “Onii-sama……”

    You dummy!!! omg… you dared scoop up that damn thing! what if it crawls out and jumps us! YOU IDIOT ONII SAMA! dont give me its sealed rubbish! it was sealed before too!!

    “It was when Ann blew off the monster’s leg. The content of that monster has a composition similar to a wraith. I thought that the seal magic that works for a wraith would be effective.”

    If your not Oogling Erica you’re doing other unnecessary things! what are you doing! we need to get out of here! stop collecting souvenirs!

    “You have that much free time, huh, Onii-sama……”

    Klaus Pov

    Why are they looking at me like I’m disgusting! this is for research purposes to find out how we can deal with Karatan! Arent I brave to have done this? tch… they don’t appreciate the brilliance of my mind obviously!

    “The shell of that monster seems to have been made by transforming the carcasses of the monsters that fell from the eighth layer. Seal didn’t work on the outer shell.”

    “That’s why it’s only when he was in his liquid state that you can seal him in the bottle, huh.”

    Seems overly simplistic to me, but it’s getting him in that liquid form and into that vial that’s the hard part, how would we be able to do such an impossible thing, but isn’t it amazing that a simple glass bottle is able to contain that thing?… I mean he just destroyed those walls, yet something so fragile could do it with a simple sealing magic spell… astonishing, especially considering his size and power, really these Alchemists were rather brilliant.. I’m not jealous… I’m not!

    “That’s right. If we plan to seal him again, we need to destroy all of the outer shells once and for all. This information must be conveyed to the people of Aurelia.”

    It seemed the responsible thing to do, after all, Erica you released it… alright it’s my fault, not hers… arrghh! what will they punish me with when we escape from here?… think about escaping first then worry about that later… thoughts of Edward getting his pound of flesh circled around my head, but fortunately, that was banished just by looking at Erica… shes like a talisman against that Wretched man!

    Ann Pov

    I glared at Onii sama with sharp eyes. You know I’ve been rather curious since we escaped from that thing… why was following us so easily?… I mean this is a maze right, we might be far from the Labyrinth above, but the confusing rooms continue down here as well… so why is that thing able to follow us without hesitation?… I eyed that gross black liquid, curling my lips in disgust…

    “Hey, Onii-sama. What do you think about the reason why that monster could track us since forever?”

    “Ah, that is……”

    My lips set in a firm line, IDIOT ONII SAMA!!!! it’s probably tracking this damn slimy part that Baka brought with us!

    “Onii-sama! Please hold it firmly! If it cracks it will be a catastrophe!”

    Oh, you thought you were so clever did you Onii sama?.. so smart I can just imagine it…”I’m so great, I managed to collect this goop, for no reason at all!” hmph!

    “Erica…what should I do?”

    “Why did you ask me! Please don’t pass it to me because it’s impossible!”

    I watched Erica try to evade Onii sama who was practically shoving that cursed object at her… Onii sama some hero you are! Is Erica suppose to fix that for you! show some responsibility… I looked away feeling ashamed… IDIOT ONII SAMA!!

    I felt so sorry for Erica… Imagine being given that… what the heck is going through that brain of yours Onii sama! did it leak out somewhere along the way!! gah!… I couldn’t look at him… seriously… are you really my Onii sama!! I dub you Baka Nii sama!

    I watched Erica use the wand to set up an elaborate bait to lure that thing, it was fascinating watching an alchemist do their thing, as always Baka Nii sama was glued to everything Erica did… Is she a puppet show Onii sama? are you going to pay admission fees just to watch her so adoringly?… sigh…

    I felt conficted and so confused, first I am suspicious of Erica, and yet can’t help liking her, then there is my Onii sama who is obviously in love and being a complete idiot… I began to wonder what I felt was so admirable in him… this journey down here sure was eye opening… is he even aware of how he looks at her? or is he clueless?… sigh…

    This plan of Erica did 2 things, it got rid of that cursed item, and lured that thing away from us, she was certainly resourceful and quick thinking, no wonder she shows up Baka Nii sama so often…

    “With this, if we move on to another passage, we will earn more time.”

    “As expected your craftiness function well, Erica. Your mind and your face are equal.”

    Did I just hear him say that? do you even think when you speak Baka Nii sama? did my corruption of Onii samas personality go too far? I am reflecting! please, I will do anything to get rid of this personality of his! arrgh so shameful! I wanted to bury Onii sama in another hole so he can reflect…

    I looked up at Erica… I sucked in my breath as I saw that deadpanned expression… I know you were meaning well by saying what you did Onii sama… but there are always different ways of interpreting what you said! cant you speak in ways that didn’t leave any misunderstanding?! … again I looked away, my head and neck was getting a workout… sigh… Erica, please forgive Baka Nii sama… I might have encouraged this kind of stupidity without thinking… I am reflecting… forgive me Onii sama…

    “Oh my, I’m sorry that my mind and my face are bad.”

    Klaus Pov

    W…wait… that’s not… w.. why would you think that! h..hey… don’t misunderstand!

    “N-no, it’s different Erica, what I mean was……”

    Even Ann was looking at me like I was a cockroach… why!

    “Onii-sama, Erica-sama, there is no meaning in earning time if we don’t get out of here quickly.”

    Don’t interrupt me Ann! I need to explain myself!! I felt a boot kick my butt… I lurched forward and glared at Ann! My dignity as an older brother is being tested here! what are you doing!

    “Even so, Onii-sama, Erica-sama, the sense of direction has become ambiguous.”

    This damned Labyrinth still poses a number of problems for us, while Erica is blind to the magical affects surrounding us, it does offer convenient protection from its effects, however we were very vulnerable… for some reason I think this damned Maze was intended to deter Harvan Mages… because what would be the purpose of putting this in for Alchemists?… (as if… you really think the world revolves around your lot don’t ya… lol)

    “It can be said even if there is little to no magical power consumption of the guidepost Cantrip, there is still the magical power trap in this layer. So yeah, I can’t use it frequently.”

    This was getting harder as time wore on, I didn’t want to think about what would happen if we were facing Zaratan under these conditions… (then use pass wall and levitate and gtfo!! I really couldn’t understand why they didn’t just do that… I didn’t see any purpose for wandering down there….)

    “I am worried that we will go around and return to the monster. What should we do in that case, Klaus-sama?”

    Going around in circles was a definite possibility, I wanted to avoid that, but there was a risk…

    “……It’s alright. The passage is narrow. If that monster was approaching, you can tell by the sound of his claws digging the wall.”

    With your ingenious lure, I was confident that my mistake was, in fact, a silver lining. (no it wasnt baka…)

    “Before the monster came to us, he is supposed to go towards the bottle first. We are safe until the Alarm rings, Erica-sama.”

    Ann was also reassured, now take back that disrespectful expression you gave earlier! I’m still your Onii sama! make sure you remember that Ann!

    I jumped a little when I heard the gears turning, it was such an unusually familiar sound that I had forgotten about it completely, in fact, I had not heard it turn at all, not since we unleashed Zaratan… how curious…

    “This is the sound of the mechanical labyrinth, isn’t it? I thought it was that monster.”

    I was strangely unnerved hearing that sound, why was it silent for so long…

    “Ah.”

    “That said, the mechanical labyrinth has not changed as usually, it would, Erica-sama.”

    At the end of the corridor was a simple iron door, opening it I looked through… surprise and horror greeted me…

    “Wait! It’s bad here……Erica, Ann, get out of this room quick–”

    Zaratan barred our way, I looked up helpless… no… after all this damn time we ended up where we started… this vile damn labyrinth! Are we doomed? how… I won’t… I won’t give up! not now no!

    『I am tired of waiting, humans.』

    “What! No way, this must be a coincidence!”

    『It is not a coincidence, I am the one who brought you here.

    I used the mechanism of the changing labyrinth.

    This is the place where my body was. I understand the construction most intimately.』

    So the ones lured was us… observed like rats in a maze… is that what we were? my resolve began to waver…

    “Onii-sama, what about the scroll of Scorching Ray?”

    “I don’t have another one. Before that, that monster would reflect whatever other magic we use.”

    What can we do? my brain was going round in circles… would Zaratan toy with is? will he prolong this? I can only hope… give us time to think of a way to defeat you… gloat… be arrogant… anything so long as it gives us more time…

    “Then, what should we do…”

    “I don’t know, we have come this far”

    Regardless we need to move… I felt my heart sink… I have never been tested to this extreme… I want to be confident and say I will triumph… a sense of dread overwhelmed me…

    “Ann, Erica! His assault is dangerous! Disperse and hide in the shadow!”

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    1. Ann Pov
      I don’t need to be told twice Onii sama! we spread out running in different directions while Onii sama charged at that thing… w…wait… don’t go their fool! run away as well! I couldn’t go there and yank him away, he would brush me off and then chase me away… seriously… why did we come down here!!
      My stomach dropped as I saw Onii sama being toss around like a rag doll, rage and fear stormed uselessly inside me… I cant do anything… worse than useless… I was so frustrated, tears were pricking my eyes… I shook myself… what use are tears! don’t give him any further burdens, just stay put let him do what he can… if we have to join each other in death so be it… Onii sama!! be strong!
      『I also got tired of playing with brats like you.
      Well, how should I kill you?
      Hey, Golden Madness!?
      That’s right, daughter of Aurelia.
      First of all, let’s kill people other than you, in front of you, for you.』
      “What did you say!?”
      Erica stood up and glared at Zaratan… there she goes being heroic again, don’t burden Onii sama! just keep out of the way Erica… that thing wants to goad you…
      『Fu, ha, ha, ha, ha, haaa……wonderful.
      Your pain is my bliss!
      Now, I will season your soul with deep despair and loneliness!
      Your soul and your tempting flesh and blood offering, dedicate them to me!』
      Erica just stared at him, listening to his incessant babbling…
      『First of all, the smallest, most innocent and the strongest among you.
      Who gave me the deepest wound—
      Your hope, I will cut it off!』
      It was then that I realized, I was his target, the impact of the pillar exploding sent me tumbling to the floor, quickly I grabbed my staff… I will not be easy prey for you scum! I was shaking so badly I could barely hold it, but I prepared myself to at least fight… I was scared yet strangely calm… is this what you felt Erica?… aah… I still have things I want to do… I watched Onii sama racing towards me, you won’t make it Onii sama… avenge me!
      “Come, Monster! The one you’re really scared of is not Ann but me, right? If you want to kill my sister, fight me first!”
      Onii sama looked dreadful, desperation doesn’t suit you, be strong and capable like before… show me the Onii sama I love… Tears pricked the back of my eyes… I won’t cry! I refuse! I won’t!
      That thing cared not for my Onii samas taunts, his evil gaze fell upon me, he wants us all to suffer, this I can tell… I hurt him badly… I glared back at him, my last act of defiance… I spit on you Coward… you hunt for small children, such a huge beast fighting such tiny prey… pathetic!! When Onii sama defeats you… I will greet you in the spirit world and laugh!!! I don’t know where that courage came from, perhaps Onii samas foolishness infected me…
      『Kuhahahahahaha! I can feel it, little girl!
      The smell of your noble and strong soul!
      Your soul seems to be great next to the daughter of Aurelia’s!』
      Klaus Pov
      I watched in Horror as black tendrils of death drifted towards Ann… and I was powerless to stop it… my heart stopped beating… no. No!!… I was frozen with fear… move dammit!! move!!… a dreadful sinking feeling… losing hope… my emotions in turmoil… MOVE!! save her!!!
      “Stop it—–!!”
      Is that the best you can do? say stop? Useless… worthless… SAVE HER! Move!! and yet… I couldn’t, I stood there helplessly looking as Zaratan unleashed his magic…
      “Kya!”
      I did not notice Erica… who silently stood watching… I did not see her take out her wand and use it, what I did see… was Ann disappear and Erica appear in her place, the raging emotions within was replaced with relief then shock, then dread, then fear… then last of all… Anger… I watched Eric turn towards us… her expression one of deep relief, there was no fear, no regret, just acceptance…
      W..wait… what happened? my emotions kept surging in and out, growing more powerful as this dragged on, I watched that evil spell caress Erica so gently, her eyes closing as she fell backward… No… NO!. NO!!! my mind was screaming.
      STOP!!
      Time slowed down, a magic rune appeared, a moving circle turning in a regular precise beat layered over Zaratan and Erica… with my words all within stopped moving. My eyes only saw that wretched beast and My Erica, her lifeless body held in place by my awakened power… too late…. too late!! Tears fell freely, Erica… I did not care about anything only that beautiful girl lying so still… all I could feel was pure rage and overwhelming grief…
      UNFORGIVABLE!!!
      You!…. I will crush you…
      UNFORGIVABLE… I WILL KILL YOU….
      The rage fueling my power unleashed, gathering all the spell cards left, I formed a massive fist far larger than before… with each attack my anger reignited.
      Cold deep hatred poured out with each attack, I was a seething mass of anguish and pain… every time I saw Erica floating her golden hair shining brightly, my heart lurched with unimaginable pain… YOU …. YOU DID THIS!! I WILL MAKE YOU SUFFER!!!
      UNFORGIVABLE!!!
      Ann Pov
      When I thought my end was assured I watched in horrified fascination as those black tendrils of death came towards me, I wished my family a long life, and not to be sad that I am gone, please live happily… but please… don’t forget me… suddenly my view shifted… in front of me was Onii sama, not that wretched thing… w..what happened? looking around I saw Erica where I once was, facing that dreadful magic, w… why? Erica why??
      I could not help but feel great sorrow in my heart… my earlier suspicions vanished, why Erica? At that moment I felt a sharp pain in my chest looking at Erica Aurelia final moments, that beautiful girl… I felt tears fall freely, watching her bravely accept her fate… no… please… Onii sama! I looked up and was shocked…
      Onii sama?… the magical energy surging out from him was incredible… I couldn’t believe it… my skin tingled as though excited… goosebumps and fine hairs raised all along my skin as I felt him cast powerful magic…
      I watched him move in slow motion towards that thing… his eyes filled with deep pain and sorrow, looking at Erica the pain deepened, my heart twisted…
      Onii sama…
      Soon that expression was replaced by icy cold fury and hatred… It shocked me to my core… Onii sama!!… I watched in awe as he froze time, Such a high-level spell! how? Onii sama… what did you do?
      I watched mesmerized a surge of confidence flowing through me. Destroy him Onii sama! beat the hell out of that evil beast… pride and anguish fought over my emotions…
      『Br, ……brat……., yo, you……, bastard……, wh……what did……』
      “Shut up.” Hatred in those words was laced with pure rage.
      Onii sama… tears fell as I sat transfixed, watching as he transformed, his blue eyes turning grey looking so cold and distant… he stared at that thing like he was some insignificant bug… Onii sama… I could feel his pain, I wanted to support him, but all I could do was watch and bear witness.
      “……How dare you.”
      I stood up looking on without fear, I was witnessing the birth of a powerful mage, my Onii sama… I wrapped my arms tightly around me, I was sure that this was Zaratans end…
      “How dare you.”
      Those words echoed in my own heart… as tears flowed without restraint…
      Klaus Pov
      I raised my arm and struck, endlessly delivering blow upon blow, the pain in my heart unending… Erica…
      UNFORGIVABLE!!
      Rage surged through me, my emotions drifted in and out, between Sadness and anger… I could not find any relief, I continued smashing into Zaratan, Hate… Hate… I HATE YOU!!
      “How dare you.”
      YOU TOOK MY ERICA AWAY!!
      Rage sent cold surges around my body, my face stiffening in response…
      YOU TRIED TO KILL MY SISTER!!
      I will make you regret, feel more pain, suffer… This pain in my chest… is crushing…
      Give her back to me! bring her back!…
      The only heat I felt was from my eyes filled with tears…
      “How dare you.”
      Give her back!! the pain… Give her back to me!! please… I felt my emotions choke within, I wanted to collapse and hold her… but cold rage held me in place…
      UNFORGIVABLE!!
      I Swung my arm pouring every ounce of power I had fueled by hatred and anger… Crush.
      Do you feel that beast? is it painful? not enough… not nearly enough!! it is incomparable to my pain!!
      Swinging my arm…. Crush.
      Why didn’t you take me instead!? Coward… wretched Coward!!
      Swinging my arm…. Crush.
      Her only crime was following me here!!! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE HER FROM ME!!!! NONE!!! the burning sensation in my eyes would not stop…
      Swinging my arm. Crush.
      Rage at her? what did she do? YOU BASTARD!!!
      Swinging my arm… Crush…
      Hate her ancestors who are long dead! feel my hatred! feel my loathing…
      Swinging my arm… Crush…
      I despise you! may you suffer for eternity!! I will never give you rest from pain! Death is too good for you!!
      I raised my staff overhead and assumed a stance.
      This pain will not stop… Erica…
      “How dare you……, how dare you, killed……my friend……?”
      With the end of my staff, I struck the stone floor.
      Countless spell cards that formed the Protective Circle leap upon Zaratan all at once. My magic surged around him crushing and suppressing any ability he had to transform, the spell cards constricting him within… now a puddle of black liquid, my fury and hatred flowing
      “I will never forgive you.”
      You hated being sealed? I condemn you to that fate again Monster! but this time… there will be no little girl unwittingly allowing your escape!!! suffer…. suffer you bastard! and remember it was I, Klaus Harvan, who put you there!
      I took out an empty potion bottle and cast a spell as if singing.
      The ancient monster, which was imprisoned with the spell cards, was sucked into the small bottle.
      I did not want to look at her… nor did I want to release the spell… my heart ached terribly… I fell to my knees… I turned to her… my heart in pieces… the rage paled compared to this acute despair… sadness and pain…
      Trembling I reached out to her still form…
      “……Erica, I, ……you.”
      Once the sealing of the monster was done. Time moved once more…
      I reacted too late as I watched Erica fall to the ground with a loud thump then an “Uu” sound could be heard…
      “Uu……,”
      Erica was laying there rubbing her waist… I was shocked and dumbfounded… g… ghost!! w..wait will I have to seal her as well? I was in denial that she was alive and breathing… my thoughts erratic and confused. (baka…)
      “It huuuuurts~~~~!!”
      While she groaned miserably, images of undead creatures crawling on the ground came to me… un…undead!!
      I flinched, trembling, then slowly turned looking at Erica… with a dazed expression…
      “Eh……?”
      She was laying there with a gentle smile waving at me… w…wait… what?
      I was so confused, my heart was beating rapidly… w…why do I feel so angry… You… Erica!! why didn’t you say something!! … do you know how much I suffered!! my god!! you!!!
      ** I spent many hours trying to get my SR up from Overwatch competitive… the rage I felt… argh… so this took a while to do 😛 Im thankful I have a chest infection to allow time for me to indulge hehe

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That was swell. I have no regrets! The spacing issue might make my eyes bleed a bit, but I’m not the slightest bit sorry for having trudged through it just to be able to read that.

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        1. I read all your comments lol thank you 😀 as for the spacing… I have no idea why it does not do that, when I post lengthy povs this happens I try to correct it but I can’t edit in this 😦 no idea why either lol

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  7. Im finding it hard to connect with Auguste… its not that I dont like him, I do hes very endearing, but he has a personality that is difficult to imagine… Baka is very easy… hes an open book… but Auguste hides a lot, it makes it difficult to understand him… so I hope in upcoming chapters we get more involved with Auguste. Klaus has to much impact… hes like an Orange ball against a black background hes hard to miss… he overshadows everything else…

    Keep it coming Auguste… show us what youve got… so far you are quite the charmer… not a social retard like Klaus, and you seem to be filled with mysteries that need unraveling… I need more of his character to shine… otherwise, that dork Klaus will make it hard to see anyone else as a rival… or ML

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. I’m on the same position as you are. Klaus is so awkward and clumsy that he telegraphs all his movements (well, except to Erica, the unlucky, self-sabotaging dumbass that he is). But it makes it easier to root for him. Auguste, though? He’s not registering much yet.

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