And now we will see Erica’s cleverness once again.
ED: xtostos, eristol
The four of us ran in parallel along the road next to the river on our horses and headed toward Nibelheim’s Castle of Light.
When we crossed over the drawbridge, the pillars of flames that had been blowing upwards from around the opposite shore of the workshop came to an end.
As we arrived at the Castle of Light, the castle was noisy.
Several employees were panicking.
“What is it! Is there something going on here too?”
“Harold-sama! Suddenly a man dyed in blood appeared in the courtyard.”
“What did you say!?”
“Apparently, he seems to be a student from Lindis, but it’s quite a serious injury, he’s unconscious.”
Blood drained from my face upon hearing the words ‘serious injury’ and ‘unconscious’.
While listening to the young servant, we were taken to the courtyard.
Currently, there are neither the Earl Nibelheim nor the Countess, so the one in charge in the courtyard is the steward who is in his prime.
In the middle of the courtyard, the figure of a student who was receiving first aid was lying.
Even though it wasn’t raining, there was a damp feeling on the lawn around him.
The dense smell of blood and the smell of burnt meat.
I rushed to the person without thinking and knelt beside him without being concerned about getting the blood on me.
Skin burned extensively from his left cheek to his left shoulder and some fragments were stuck in his flank.
On the familiar uniform, the mark of crested ibis had melted from the high temperature.
That person’s face, which was covered with painful burns, belonged to someone I knew well.
“It’s the student who I met yesterday! How did something like this happen!?”
Actorius-sensei’s eyes opened slightly, he moved his lips, it looked like he was trying to say ‘Erica-sama’.
When I took his hand, he squeezed out his voice faintly.
“……tion……failure……has activated. ……city’s people……in danger……”
After saying some words, Actorius-sensei’s strength faded out.
His hand fell to the ground limply.
Actorius-sensei didn’t quiver even a bit just like a dead body.
“He’s fine, he’s still breathing. It seems he fainted because of blood loss. Leave him to the healers.”
The steward said so after confirming Actorius-sensei’s pulse to calm me as I lost my composure.
While bringing along the servants who were carrying the stretcher, the healer came over.
We had no choice but to just watch Actorius-sensei being carried away.
“Even if we’re worried, it’s unfortunate, but we’re only able to watch over him quietly.”
Harold pulled my hem and said so apologetically.
Suddenly, I noticed there were fallen glasses at my feet.
It probably fell off when he was being carried away.
The lens of the glasses were cracked and had blood on them.
I thought I had to pick it up, but I couldn’t move my body.
『Erica, the magic of that ruins probably hasn’t stopped yet.
I feel that the signs of the strange magical power in the sky will grow dramatically compared to the previous one.』
I managed to recover from shock the due to Tirnanog’s whisper.
This is not the time to be confused or weak.
I have to get a hold of myself.
By the way, what was Actorius-sensei trying to say just now?
Cancellation or demolition1 of something has failed and some dangerous magic has activated.
We are to recommend evacuation for the people of Knot Reed.
Considering the situation of the magical power Tirnanog sensed in the sky, did I get his intentions right?
I have to tell everyone what Actorius-sensei was going to say on his behalf since he can’t move.
“Sensei seems to have told me that we need to evacuate.
The dangerous magic is still running in that ruins and there can be a second or third outbreak.
Moreover, there will be large-scale damage to the city.”
I looked at Tirnanog, Auguste and Harold in order.
Harold who understood this disturbing situation widened his eyes and Auguste furrowed his brows.
『Then we should examine that ruin. If the scale of the act remains ambiguous, we wouldn’t be able to move to evacuate.』
“But, we can’t get any closer to those ruins anymore, right!?
Ah, no, wait a second……if it is from our tower, we may be able to see them too!”
“Yes, please show us the way, Harold.”
We went with Harold and rushed up the staircase.
Breathing was becoming difficult as I kept running, I tasted something like blood in my mouth.
But I don’t have the time to rest now.
At last, we reached the top of the tower and looked around with heavy breathing.
I saw the sun leaning to the west, sinking across the horizon.
The sky gradually painted a gradation from deep indigo to orange and the clouds were dyed in a peach color.
I could see the city engraved with complicated patterns of the canals when I lowered my sight to the ground.
“The ruins are there, so I guess the smoke is coming up from there.”
“Wait a minute……yeah, the fire hasn’t spread. It seems that it’s almost extinguished.”
Auguste stared at the direction pointed by Harold.
Perhaps he synchronized his senses with a dragon and observed it from many angles.
Even though the damage on the surface part has subsided, the danger isn’t necessarily limited to the visible parts.
While I was controlling my breath, I also used the Wand of Glam Sight for Harold and Auguste.
“Eh, wha……what is this……!”
Looking at the sight revealed by Glam Sight, Harold screamed unexpectedly.
I heard someone inhaling sharply on reflex.
I saw a few small flames floating above Knot Reed.
When I concentrated my eyesight, it looked like magical characters were drawn in the sky with the red flames.
Characters made of the red flames increased one after another like a series of kimono sashes, forming multiple layers of magic circles.
According to Glam Sight, the huge magical structures seem to be still in the launching preparation stage.
Floating in the sky above Knot Reed, they are not something of this world yet, the flames of fantasy.
The illustration of the collection of stories I bought came to my mind.
A bright red sword floating in the indigo sky.
However, what floated before me didn’t seem to have the same size as something like a sword.
In the light purple sky, sixteen huge red towers were floating upside-down.
Unscrupulously, I saw those things which were floating upside-down in the night sky as Tokyo Towers.
In the sky, which was gradually dyed from purple to indigo, the Cursed Sword of Fire shining crimson was about to manifest.
“This isn’t just some trivial incident. What’s going to happen now?”
“It’s the Cursed Sword of Fire……”
Harold’s dispirited voice answered Auguste’s question.
In spite of myself, I looked back to Harold.
Harold’s dark green eyes told us that he was stained with terror.
“It’s a legend conveyed in this place……about the calamity that fell on the north-western land, the Cursed Sword of Fire.
Long ago, because the northern prince wanted this land, the western royal brother imposed the Heavens’ Hell Fire over this land to protect it.
The royal brother didn’t obediently back down, even when he was warned that the Hell Fire would destroy both enemies and allies.
‘If it can’t become mine then it should be destroyed’, and the greedy prince decapitated the royal brother’s neck.
As a result, there is a story that burning lava poured down and burned the North-west in mere few minutes.”
It is a different legend from the one I read in the book.
It is the legend Harold heard from his father and mother.
“That calamity had destroyed all of this land.”
Everyone was silenced by Harold’s words.
Even though a disaster was about to take place in the near future, I was stunned without being able to do anything.
What should I do?
What can I do?
If nothing can be done right now, what will happen to the city?
The pillar of flames that were blowing up could be seen from the window.
Burned skin and eyeglasses painted with blood came to my mind.
The more I thought about it, the faster my heart beat.
What about my father?
What about Palug?
About Earl Nibelheim and Gilbert?
About the people in the city?
Even though all of them are beneath that magic?
As I kept thinking about it, nothing but bad things came to my mind, and I steadily became more and more stressed.
Not only me, but everyone who are here imagined that the world before us will be burned to ashes after this.
It was Auguste who broke the silence.
“But even so……after confirming the evacuation place, we should recommend evacuation. Even if we don’t know whether we will make it in time or not.”
『If we can investigate the location of the magic invocations and secure an evacuation place inside the city, there will be some lives saved, however……』
“But, how can we figure out exactly the places where this kind of large-scale magic appeared at……?”
“There is one ancient dragon on the highest altitude of this land right now. Let’s check the current situation with her vision.”
“You……you can do something like that……?”
Harold had an expression which showed that he didn’t understand yet.
Certainly, it won’t be obvious unless one experiences it.
“……Auguste-sama, can I also join you?”
“Aa, that way I will also be saved. Regarding magic, it is better to have your viewpoint.”
As he said so, Auguste grasped my hands.
Thereupon, a prompt sensation of sharing was carried out and visual sharing with the dragon far beyond started.
In the blink of an eye, I was looking at the city of Knot Reed, with a view from the top of the sky.
It was a beautiful twilight of the city of canals.
“Most people haven’t noticed the magic spreading in the sky, huh?”
“Yes, I don’t think they have noticed.”
Through the eyes of the dragon, although it is not to the extent of Glam Sight, magic information do come to mind, so we will confirm the location of the sixteen Cursed Swords of Fire in Knot Reed.
Above two aircraft carriers, a ship building workshop area, a large town warehouse, the garrison of King of Ignitia.
Central part of the canal rings, Town of All Kinds of Goods, Water Palace, cathedral, the guild hall, the King’s vacation home, and then the church attached to the treatment center.
The rest are probably the places and buildings which are considered important areas.
They are on such detestable positions, that they are likely to directly hit the plaza altogether which is a possible shelter place.
“The trouble here is that there is no way to run in the main urban areas. If we jump into the canal, will we be able to manage somehow?”
“No, that kind of fire created by magic cannot be extinguished with just water.”
A certain person was reflected in my sight.
On the new aircraft carrier, I found the Duke of Aurelia, Ernst—my father.
“Duke Aurelia was supposed to be observing the fitting-out of the new aircraft carrier from early afternoon today. Perhaps, that’s why he is there.”
A stern gaze was being directed at the sky.
Father seems to have noticed this incident quickly.
I became flustered when I realized the possibility of Palug, who had turned into me, being around father.
I made a quick confirmation around the deck, but I couldn’t find her.
Perhaps, she was already evacuated by father?
I returned my eyes to my father.
He had just used a wand, green light was gathering in his eyes and I inhaled.
It was Glam Sight.
It was followed up by another wand.
I don’t know the details of the wand.
He raised his wand solemnly and released a magic towards the Cursed Sword of Fire deployed above the old aircraft carrier.
It expanded and formed several times so that the white light was able to restrain the red Cursed Sword of Fire.
It was Dispel Magic.
The huge magical structure glowed more intensely.
The thing that looked like an upside-down crimson tower instantly collapsed and materialized and at the same time, melted down.
So it is useless even when one dismantles the magic?
Huge mass of red lava drops rained down on the old aircraft carrier.
The old aircraft carrier which was directly hit by the lava gradually sunk as its hatch became full of holes.
But unexpectedly, the sea surface around the old aircraft carrier was frozen.
Perhaps father used a wand to freeze it.
The damage to the old aircraft carrier seems to have come to an end.
Father gave directions to the people around him and took charge of the evacuation and rescue.
After seeing up to this point, I was struck by a sensation resembling severe eye strain.
I felt the limits of the visual sharing and let go of Auguste’s hands.
“What’s been going on since a while ago……?”
Harold asked with an anxious expression.
“Otou-sama interfered with the Cursed Sword of Fire by using a dismantling magic, but it was useless.”
“……means we’re out of options, I fear.”
“Why!? Magic that cannot be demolished is weird, right!?”
『If one interferes with that magic to dismantle it, then whatever magic it may be, it will probably materialize on the spot and collapse upon itself.
All of cause and effect, as well as space, will be twisted towards that end.
It will be almost impossible to stop its manifestation in this world.』
Hearing Tirnanog’s explanation, Harold was at a loss for words.
Auguste had a bitter expression and looked down.
If those weapons can’t be stopped from appearing in this world, what will happen to the people under those swords?
What will happen to those in Knot Reed city?
Even with only a little imaginative power, it is easy to tell; lots of deaths.
With empty eyes, Harold said:
“Everything was supposed to go well from now on, everything should have started from today.”
His father was trying to keep hope in that city.
It was supposed to be the day of complete reversal, from the predicament of ruin to a revival from hopeless situation, with a single move.
Gilbert who remained a coward despite being well experienced in the ways of the world, finally got to go and see his father.
It was supposed to be the day when the two who cares about each other but had a discord for a long time, finally reconcile and have a long talk.
Is it alright to let it be as it is?
No, it is not.
I felt myself boiling up with rage from the depths of my heart at this irrational situation.
It is the first time in my life that I became this mad, including my previous one.
I absolutely detested the fact that the people who were finally going to be happy, were getting trampled over this easily.
And then, my head started getting cold enough to freeze.
Inside my freezing cranial room, my thoughts were strangely clear.
It was very similar to a revolving lantern2.
I closed my eyes and traced back the river of my memories to its depths.
Sixteen upside-down towers of flames covering Knot Reed.
The city of canal rings observed from the sky.
Magical light built by Harold’s hands.
A golem that was crushed into pieces with countless bullets shot out from a wand.
Seven rainbows standing up from the Rainbow Strap.
The gray ocean of Aurelia.
The clear sky and waters of Ignitia.
Petals that were scattering down.
The sky where hundreds of dragons were flying about and dancing.
The beast of the Sun showing a glowing claw.
The falling prince and the afterglow of Feather Falling which looked like fluttering white feathers.
The grotesque Sun depicted in the ancient mural painting.
Running through the star crystal ruins using Levitation and Pass Wall.
Silver magic that stopped time.
Arms of countless deaths extending from the black beast.
Mechanical labyrinth and moonlight signs.
The sweet taste of brother’s chocolate.
Dizziness and mirror.
Myriads of phantom beasts drawn in plenty of books.
The stars that disappeared in the blink of an eye.
The singing voice of my mother while napping.
My memories shattered like shards and continued to rain down from overhead.
I picked up what I need at that moment from among them.
I created a solution by combining those elements along with the clattering sounds.
I opened my eyes slowly.
Along with the determination to not let this world be destroyed.
“Say, everyone, I wonder if you will listen to me. I would like to ask for your cooperation right now.”
Harold who was dispirited, Auguste who had a mystified expression and Tirnanog directed their line of sights at me.
And I was smiling at them with the brightest smile possible.
1 So Actorius-sensei only said ‘解’ for his first word. This could be either ‘解除’ (cancellation) or ‘解体’ (demolition) which both contained the kanji 解.
2 A similar expression to the one in ch 16, ‘like a lantern light’. It is referring to the various vision appearing in mind when someone is about to die.
From the hints given in this chapter, what do you think will Erica do to solve this predicament? I will give another hint: Gilbert’s lecture.