More explanation about Palug and her motivation. Also, you will love this chapter~
ED: clover, eristol
Giant Tirnanog’s starsteel-coated claws struck Palug who had shown her identity as a monstro.
Too much thunderous roar, I shut my eyes unintentionally.
When I opened my eyes cautiously, there was a sight that made me doubt my eyes.
Despite the fact that he was several times bigger than her, Palug blocked the claws of Tirnanog with one hand.
I was deceived by her figure, but she really is a monstro.
『Oh, you do not seem to be the underling of the King of Serpents.
—You are a man-made fake dragon. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t be able to counter me.』
『Fake!? Insolence!! I……I, I cannot tolerate any more than that!』
Tirnanog repeated his attack in his rage.
Palug parried the claws away when they were a hair’s breadth away, warding off that attack rather easily.
She did everything with minimum movements.
Tirnanog gradually appeared irritated, on the other hand the expression of Palug was still full of composure.
(King of Serpents……wait, that was the name of the monstro that came out in the story of the contract beast that Auguste was talking about.)
Taking the momentary gap, Palug turned to counterattack.
Palug’s claws slipped through Tirnanog’s defense and slashed his shoulder.
It was a very quick attack, faster than my eyes could follow.
The armor of the attacked shoulder glowed red as if it was exposed to high temperature and had scars in the form of claws.
The spell engraved on the armor immediately started and the wound was closed with the magical power of the Philosopher’s Stone.
I am glad that it can be automatically repaired if it is only damaged lightly.
She was aiming at the same place where the armor was destroyed.
Even so, she has to have a dreadful attack power to be able to damage the starsteel armor with her bare hands.
『You said I was insolent, but you are much more insolent, Fake Black Dragon. If you are an animal-like beast, then you must submit yourself to someone who is stronger than you.』
『Ridiculous! If it is the providence to submit yourself to the stronger one, then you will show your belly and roll over, you monstro cat woman!』
Tirnanog made a sweeping motion with his armor-covered long tail.
Palug lightly jumped over it.
However, it seems that was exactly Tirnanog’s aim.
Despite his crumbling posture due to the tail sweep, Tirnanog launched an attack with his claws.
It was just like bending the joints of his arms in the opposite direction.
It was a blow that can also be said to be expected from the monstro Zaratan who can change his body to amorphous liquid.
Nevertheless, it was impossible for Palug to evade the unexpected surprise attack in the air.
Tirnanog’s nails pierced Palug’s belly—or so it looked like, but it seems that she moved so the nails missed her body.
Palug dug her nails deeply into the starsteel that was covering Tirnanog’s arm and instead turned his hand into a steel bar like a gymnast.
The armored arm was twisted and the unpleasant sounds of metal being bent echoed.
Tirnanog’s legs left the floor.
The situation had reversed, Palug was standing on the ground, while the body of Tirnanog was lifted and was floating in the air.
No matter how much she tries to twist the joints, she can’t damage Tirnanog’s inside.
Tirnanog is able to freely change his body between the solid and liquid form.
However, some time lag is required for the starsteel armor to change its shape.
Utilizing the slight time lag, it seems that Palug twisted the armor joints, not Tirnanog, and sealed his movement.
Palug knocked Tirnanog to the floor as he was.
『Well then, please repent. I will let you go this time, strange young serpent.』
『Gaaaaah! Who are you to tell me that!』
Tirnanog pulled out his liquefied forearm from his brachium, kicked the floor with his remaining three limbs and retreated.
The armor which remained in the arms of Palug became light particles after a few seconds, then converged and united again on Tirnanog’s forearm.
The battle between the two monstro were in a different scale.
I stood frozen as I was captivated by it, but I finally returned to my senses as the escaping Tirnanog appeared before me.
『Guuh……this is regrettable, but with my power right now, I cannot win against that woman……』
“What should I do? Escape at once?”
『No. If you cannot win with your strength alone, you can win with other things. Even if you have a trump card……no, you have brought something, right?』
“I got it.”
I took out my trump card from the wand-holder and gave it to Tirnanog.
It was the wand of Disintegration.
The head was a regular dodecahedron magnetite, and the shaft material was the axle of the water wheel that had been used for more than ten years.
What was used as the core material was space-compressed twenty liters of aqua regia.
The surface of the wand was inscribed with seventeen ancient characters which were now indecipherable.
Tirnanog opened the armor around his jaw and swallowed the wand.
Magical energy absorbed from the wand circulated through the amplification mechanism laid out in his body.
A black ray accompanied by a black spark resembling electricity emitted from the mouth of Tirnanog.
Since it was amplified in his body, it became a very condensed beam like a dragon’s breath.
Even the divine beast with overwhelming speed seems to have been unable to avoid the beam and Palug was hit by the black beam directly.
Palug who was struck by the Disintegration light beam became a distorted phantom image of semitransparent seven colors.
It seemed like the flickering images of a broken television, it was a strange phenomenon.
However, it only lasted for a moment and Palug quickly restored herself.
No matter what kind of monstro the opponent is, the Disintegration light beam always destroys every matter and turns them into fine particles with no exception.
Even though that is how it was supposed to be, Palug was standing there intact.
『Oh my, what a dangerous magic. I’m glad that the beam didn’t hit the precious Prince.』
『You bastard……how did you……!?』
『Do not misunderstand. I got disintegrated properly. I just converged and restored myself instantly.』
Palug who was checking the movement of her body by rotating her shoulders, was smiling with a sneer.
While humming a random tune, she gradually approached Tirnanog.
『It was a good attack. I would’ve been annihilated if I made a mistake. But, I guess your biggest mistake was thinking that I was a matter.』
『If you are not a matter, then what are you!』
『As you can see—』
I could only see Palug taking a step forward.
In the next moment, the speed of Palug exceeded my perceptual ability and disappeared, leaving behind afterimages on my retina.
The only indication that she had moved was the red flash of light marking her trajectory as she passed through.
『—heat, and light』
Strong light emitted from Palug and I covered my eyes slightly.
When I looked again, there was Tirnanog who was divided into six pieces lying down there.
More precisely, what was there was an armor which had been blown and destroyed into six pieces, and Tirnanog who had become liquid and couldn’t keep his shape.
The starsteel armor that was supposed to be durable was torn apart and the cut-off sections were red hot with heat as if melting.
Tirnanog’s main body seemed to be barely alive, and the black liquid was wriggling as to avoid the heated metal parts.
His body struck the heat directly, black smokes were rising along with the smell of burning meat.
『Guuuuuhh!? This is bad……for me to get such damages……』
“Are you alright!? Don’t die!”
『Ah, do not worry……I won’t die……but, I cannot fight anymore……let me sleep, for a while……』
Tirnanog retreated into my bag as a liquid which had lost the shape of a dragon.
A considerable part of him seems to have been burned down by Palug, and it appears that only a small part of the black liquid can move.
He is heavy, but not heavy enough for me to be unable to carry him.
It is good that even with my battle bag alone, it is a reasonably light weight structure.
After saying those words, Tirnanog became quiet.
Waving the wand of Glam Sight quickly, I could see that the built-in spell was still running.
To my relief, he was still alive.
I wanted to think that he was just becoming dormant to recover himself.
Picking up my bag, facing the exit in front of me, I saw a mass of magical structure that I had never seen before swaying and complexly intertwined.
In the overlapped normal vision, the figure of the female beast appeared.
『I will not let you escape. The nuisance has been removed with great pains, and now there’s only you and me.』
It is over.
With eyes that looked like the color of gold melting inside of a furnace, Palug laughed.
What should I do?
How can I escape from a monstrous opponent who even beat Tirnanog in speed.
Suddenly, I noticed a string of characters I had seen in a part of a scripture included on the thing surrounding Palug.
It looked like characters from the Ancient Romulus era.
Because there were only few opportunities to see the characters of Ancient Romulus, naturally it is a language that I can’t read yet.
I wonder when I saw it.
Was it from the scripture in one of the exhibit of the cathedral, or was it—
(Aah! It’s a part of the inscription carved in the obelisk!)
In my head, suddenly many pieces of information became connected by a single thread.
The contract beast had supremacy over the serpents.
The guardian angel of the Founder King gave him the power to manipulate the dragons.
An angel who had the head of a lion drawn on the only God’s mural painting.
An angel holding a medicine bottle.
The contract beast saved people by eating the disease.
The lynx who ate the demon of ill-health became a charm.
The divine beast possesses nails that emit heat.
The sword of fire that was held by the angel.
Her body was not a matter, it was made of heat and light.
In my previous life, what did they tell me the angels were made of?
This is exactly the opposite from the legend of Zaratan.
Originally, she was a monstro called Palug.
However, as she was called by multiple names, along the way people remembered her as a separate monstro.
“You are not a devil, that was what that child……Tirnanog said.”
『Hmm. Then if I am not a devil, what am I?』
“Palug-san, are you the angel who gave the Founder King the capability to control the dragons?”
Palug placed her golden hair-covered forelimb on her chest, looked up to the Heaven with an ecstatic smile.
Her shoulders trembled and soon her smile was replaced with laughter.
I am impressed, Erica-ojouchan.
In just a few short years, two people have already uncovered my true identity.
Moreover, one of them is a woman of a different ethnicity who is not even a royalty of Ignitia.
I have lived for thousands of years, but this is my first time.』
Suddenly, Palug ceased her laughter and bowed with an elegant gesture.
『That’s right, alchemist Erica Aurelia.
I am the First Messenger of the only Supreme God.
One who was born from the left eye of the thousand-armed Sun that is illuminating the world.
The name that God bestowed upon me was Pestilence.
The name that was bestowed upon me by my King, the Founder King Guillaume Ignitia of the First Generation, was Cath Palug.
I am the Messenger.
I am the One who wields the Sword of Fire.
I am the One who removes the disease and controls the serpents.
I am the One who protects young children and hear people’s wishes……or I was.』
As if there was a shimmer of hot air rising up, my field of vision became distorted for a moment.
From the left eye of Palug, thick liquid like droplets of blood were falling down her cheek like tears.
The light emitted from the pattern of eyes carved on the wall changed from white to red, and as if to be in sync with the left eye of Palug, strange red liquid flowed out.
Before I noticed, the temperature of the room rose so much that my body became sweaty.
Despite this, I felt fear that made chills run down my spine this whole time.
『I have lost my former power. It is no more than a residue left.
I used too much power slaughtering the giants, slaughtering the vampires, and granting the wishes of the wise person and the kind-hearted person.
I have lost so much power in order to battle the King of Serpents, to consume many diseases, and to save the people I loved.
For God, for people, I have done my utmost.』
If her words are true, is she saying that she will perish as an angel?
Then, she is probably trying to give the astonishing miracle to Auguste with the knowledge of her own destruction.
My instinct warned me to keep myself away from this self-destructing angel.
But I couldn’t move my foot.
『And yet, I was forgotten from the memory of the people.
No one remembers me any longer.
No one will pray to me anymore.
The source of our angelic power is human’s faith.
If we lose it, we cannot replenish our diminishing power.
I thought that I would gradually disappear just like that.
After one or two more times someone’s wishes come true……otherwise, in just ten years or so, I will be unable to maintain my existence and will disappear.
I intended to accept that destruction—』
Palug cut off her words and stared at the unconscious Auguste.
It was an expression which was filled with compassion but still felt heartrending.
『But there was someone who found this me who had been forgotten……someone who needed me.
It was this child.
That’s right, Auguste gave me the meaning to exist again.
He made me, who was as good as dead, feel alive again.
That’s why, I will not hesitate to dedicate this body and mind, I am not confused.』
Her words closely resembled Auguste’s words.
It was a persistent dedication.
Even if they devote themselves to the sacrifice, they wish for someone else’s happiness.
Even though it is only destruction which awaits them both.
“But then, after all, Auguste-sama’s wish will not come true in the end. Perhaps, you don’t have enough power left to make Auguste-sama’s wish come true?”
『Yes, that is correct. Even if I burn all my being in addition to the power of the soul gained from Auguste’s blood, at most it can only hold for six years……no, four and a half years, I guess.』
The period during which her existence can be maintained is shorter than that of the original.
Maybe, that is because of her battle with Tirnanog.
I wonder if there was any meaning in that battle that was only further reducing the life of a little child.
“Palug-san, let’s stop. If this continues, both of you would only be unhappy. Wouldn’t it be fine to give up the contract and spend your remaining time with Auguste-sama?”
『Yes, that’s right……I always wanted to do so, if possible. But, Erica-ojouchan, I have already decided. I will use all my remaining power for this child. I will try to grant my precious prince’s wish.』
『Because, the sacrifice to gain power comes closer nonchalantly without knowing anything. There is no need for me to prepare myself for extinction.』
For Palug, Auguste must be very important.
I have been thinking for some other solution, but I couldn’t think of anything.
Wait a moment, I think I heard something weird at the end.
『Now, I wonder who. Isn’t it the daughter of an alchemist who is smart, pretty, and exceptionally kind?』
Palug opened her mouth halfway and raised the corner of her mouth.
The smile of a beast, with her fangs exposed.
The more my blood drained from my face, the more I felt numbness at my fingertips,
I felt my temperature drop due to tension and fear.
My too-insensitive-sixth sense was ringing the warning bell at this time to the utmost.
I wonder why I didn’t notice.
It is not about uncovering Palug’s identity, her thoughts, or that kind of thing.
She is a starving beast searching for power before she is a secretly dying guardian who wants to give power to the prince, an angel who watches the country, and so on.
It is a death flag.
There is a tremendously stubborn death flag that couldn’t be broken even with the power of the monstro Zaratan.
『Oh, poor you. Trembling like that.
It’s alright. I will not extinguish your existence.
Your blood and soul will be transformed into power to fulfill the wish, but you will give me your body.
I will live your life with your body.
How wonderful. Erica Aurelia’s body will be married to Auguste.』
The angel spoke words that were unfit for an angel.
It was too shocking and the contents didn’t enter the brain properly.
The only thing I could tell was that Palug’s plan for the future was impossible for me.
Palug came closer slowly.
I pulled out the wand of Hold from the wand-holder around my waist and waved it with Palug in mind.
The invisible Curse of Petrification, which is a diluted extract from cockatrice, was shot leaving behind a small magical light on the head of the wand.
But Palug’s feet didn’t stop.
Only for a moment, I saw her body flicker like something from an anime battle.
A simple wand attack won’t hit her for sure.
Even if I use invisible attacks or light speed attacks, they will be avoided before they can hit her based on the direction of the wand or my line of sight.
『Erica Aurelia. You came to save Auguste, didn’t you? Then, nothing is difficult. You only have to help me at the same time.』
Palug smiled bewitchingly and said so while showing off her red nails.
Every time she got closer, I felt that the temperature of the surroundings rose.
I gave a fleeting glance at the exit.
If I can arrive at that point, I can block her access by the wand of Stone Wall or wand of Barbed Wire that create physical barriers.
Of course, since this is Palug, any barriers would be destroyed in an instant.
But, what if there are countless physical barriers rather than only one or two?
In order to exercise the power of destruction, Palug has to cut down her own life.
Thinking about the remaining charges of the wands, it will be a fifty-fifty chance, but if I can set up a large amount of obstacles to lose the pursuit, I might be able to run away.
There are two problems in this strategy.
First, my bag is heavier than usual with Tirnanog inside it.
Another one is Auguste who is unconscious in the opposite side of the exit.
Considering the heavy bag, the distance of only 10 meters to the exit feels endlessly far.
But if I run away using the shortest route, I will have to give up on Auguste.
Nonetheless, it is impossible to think about escaping with the bag containing Tirnanog, or carrying Auguste who is on the other side of Palug.
Even if I abandon these two in the first place, it doesn’t necessarily mean I can run away.
『At the very least, I will end you so that you will not suffer. Goodbye, Erica-ojouchan.』
Palug slowly swung her right hand down.
I could see a condensed flame being emitted from those claws.
This is the light that defeated Tirnanog—is this the identity of the Sword of Flame drawn on the mural?
Something silver flew from behind me just before the tip of the flame touched me.
That flying thing collided with Palug’s arm while flying with irregular movements.
There was a loud sound as if heavy metals were clashing with each other.
Her arm was repelled, and the flow of the magical power forming the flame was scattered.
Palug quickly produced short flame nails on her left hand and slashed the object away.
The piece of paper which had a magic circle on it got slashed into two, burned out in a moment, turned into ash and then scattered.
That was, perhaps the eastern……Hafan’s spellcard?
As Palug flew back to Auguste, thousands of spellcards surrounded me as if defending me.
I have seen this spell before.
It is the Protective Circle used by Hafan’s mages.
And, I only know one person who is good at this magic and tends to use the Protective Circle which is supposed to be a defense for attacking.
“I will be troubled if you kill this girl without permission. If you want to kill Erica, do it after defeating me.”
A dialogue which somewhat felt like something a rival character would say echoed.
It was Klaus Hafan, the mage of the East, who appeared along with the voice.
Just in case, why light is not a matter—> source because I can’t explain it.
Wand of Stone Wall: A wand to make a nonmagical wall of solid stone springs into existence at a point you choose within range. (source)
Wand of Barbed Wire: A wand to make barbed wire, probably this is the reference.
Okay, if you reach this chapter and is complaining about how Erica always has to be saved, she will have her own skills on ch 60-ish, so stay until then!