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Chapter 458

Descent

 

The 24th of the Dark month.

The Alsace fortress in the late afternoon was quiet again today. Especially in the guest rooms, which were set up to accommodate the Nobility and high-ranking clergy.

Sariel was having a slightly late lunch there.

“How about this, this is a vintage wine that I recently ordered from Helvetia…”

On the other side of the room sat the young officer who was in charge of the command here. He was the nephew of Count Bergunt, and was speaking to Sariel with a cheerful smile on his well-rounded face that embodied his Noble lineage.

Sariel quietly listened to the story of how rare and delicious the blood-red wine on the pure white tablecloth table was, and how much it was worth.

Although Sariel rarely responded to the conversation, he seemed to be truly enjoying it. It made one wonder if he has a special proclivity to enjoy talking with dolls.

Anyway, as the base commander, he was supposed to finish his lunch without a hitch while faithfully carrying out his duty of welcoming the Seventh Apostle Sariel.

“… The war has come to an end.”

Sariel, who had been sipping the wine in question, looked up and said.

“What are you talking about?” Before the youth question could ask, she quietly left her seat. She put down her glass and placed her knife and fork in the manner she has learned. But she seemed to be in a hurry.

“The Crusaders have been defeated by Spada. Send reinforcement and be ready to receive wounded soldiers.”

“Oh, but before that, where are you going, Your Excellency, Sariel?

The question reached Sariel’s small back just as she was about to put her hand on the door and leave. Without looking back, she answered.

“I’ll head to the soldiers’ aid first.”

Before he could say another word, Sariel left the guest room.

She had already grasped the inner workings of the Alsace fortress after having lived here for one month. There was no way she could get lost.

And so, with no one to blame, Sariel went out without a care in the world. The weather was clear. The sky was a clear blue.

Once she passed through the main gate, she found a magic circle that had been prepared for just such a situation. Yes, it was the same magic circle that she had begun to draw as soon as we arrived, confusing the young officers and other soldiers of the fortress who had come out to welcome her at that time.

Since it was drawn a month ago, it was buried in fresh snow due to the blizzard, and she ended up having to rewrite it again.

At first glance, the magic circle drawn on the snow was very difficult to find, unlike the earthen ground. However, if Sariel stood nearby and wanted to activate it, the magic effect hidden in it will immediately become apparent.

First of all, the phenomenon of luminescence, common to the activation of the magic circle takes effect. Like rats quickly running through the snow, a pale blue light began to run in all directions.

In a blink of an eye, what appeared on the pure white ground was a large rectangle, or rather a long, aisle-like formation. It was two meters wide and twenty meters long.

Sariel stood at the edge of the corridor-like magic circle and faced forward as if she were about to walk through it. As I looked up, I saw the majestic mountains of Galahad. The passageway was pointing in the direction of the Galahad fortress.

When I looked at the mountains, I felt it again. I could feel the surge of magic power generated by countless people, and their souls disappearing in battle. As an Apostle, my supreme senses con tell me the general movements of my fellow Crusaders at this distance.

They are now being chased. They are showing their backs and running away altogether.

Such a move could only mean defeat. I came here just because I feared something like this might happen. The moment has finally arrived.

“Liberate the Armament Scriptures–”

I hold out my hand and golden light showing the use of Dimension Magic unique to the Apostles [Ark of the Covenant] started concentrating at my palms.

What emerged from the bright light was a pure white coffin that looked as if it has been plastered over.

[――Holy Cross Spear]

The time I spoke, a rugged spear was in my hand. The pure white coffin that housed an Apostle’s special weapon shattered emitting white light, handed the Armament Scripture to its owner, me in a perfect state filled with magical power.

With this, preparations for battle are complete. The pure white clothes that I always wear is fine. There are only a handful of clothes in the Sinclair Republic that can provide better protection than this, at least those woven from the synthetic fibers of the Sinclair family.

Sariel, who was ready to go, finally took her first step into the magic circle.

“[ وأتطلع للعدو ] (Target Spotted)”

Like a quiet requiem, Sariel started humming a chant. There were no enemies around, so she could chant as many verses as she wanted, as slowly as she wanted. There was no point in using the abbreviated form and no need to.

“[ أبدأ حساب البالستية ] (Start Ballistic Calculation)”

Her steps were light. She walked noiselessly on the light and snow emitted by the magic circle.

“[ وسوف أقوم بتعديل عدد من البيئة ] (Environmental Value Correction)”

She walked about five meters down the passage of light, and there her movements changed. She smoothly turned the spear in her right hand once. She switched it to her left hand and assumed the posture of carrying it. All the while, her feet continued to move without stopping.

“[ وسوف تعديله مرة أخرى الباليستية ](Ballistic Recalibration).”

When she was almost halfway through the magic circle, her quiet steps turned into a quick gallop.

With her spear raised, she began to run, as if she were a javelin thrower – in fact, Sariel was moving to throw her spear into the sky.

“[ إعداد الغايات النار ] (Ready For Launch)”

At last, Sariel was about to complete the path of the magic circle. As if in inverse proportion to the distance to the goal, a white light flickered on the crossed tips of the spear she held up. The blade, shining with a pale white light, emitted a dazzling light that almost blinded her.

But behind the shining light, Sariel had a perfect view of the enemy she was about to shoot.

There was no hesitation in the way she released the spear. Her slender shoulders moved powerfully, like a bow drawn to throw a spear of light. And with a silver-white aura that fluttered like a torrent.

This is where the original martial art created by Sariel was completed. The name of this ultra-long-range spear-throwing technique, which bears the character “God” along with the character for “special attack,” is…

“―[Flying God Spear]”

The divine spear was released from Sariel’s hand, turning into a white shining meteor.

An eardrum-shattering roar hit the Alsace fortress. A sonic boom occurred and quickly spread like a transparent ripple.

Fortunately, only the castle wall and the spreading snowfield were struck by the ripple. Instantly, the blizzard similar to the one of the day before was recreated. The snow rolled up by the shock wave became a white storm.

“–[Impact confirmed]”

Sariel muttered quietly as the storm subsided to a white mist.

Beyond the haze of snow smoke, she and the crater spreading around her appeared. She was there standing quietly. Even the soft fresh snow on the surface and the thick layer of icy snow underneath had been blown away, revealing the earthen ground without waiting for spring.

In the next moment, however, the earth was filled with sacred white light. A new circular magic circle unfolded there.

“[تحقق إحداثيات الفضاء ] (Checking Spatial Co-ordinates)”

The chanting required to activate this effect was only one verse.

This is one of the functions built into the Armament Scripture [Holy Cross Spear] from the beginning, which allows for such quick activation.

The highest grade weapon, the Armament Scriptures, has several magical effects hidden within it.

For example, when you throw this spear on the battlefield, the [Summon] technique will immediately return it to your hand.

For example, the opposite–

“―[Reverse Summon]”

Calling the owner to the spear is also possible.

Then, Sariel was swallowed by the dazzling pillar of light emitted by the magic circle and disappeared.

 

The burst of white light subsided.

“…Are you alive?”

“Somehow.”

As soon as Nero and Safi confirmed each other’s safety, the defensive magic that had protected them crumbled away like tattered sand.

On one side was Nero’s pale gray rock shield created by the Earth Magic [White Granite]. The fact that it had collapsed like a giant tombstone showed the destructive might of the burst of light.

The other was Safi’s advanced defensive dark magic [Abyss Giant Shield]. The dark shield, with its all-consuming dark hue, also disappeared fragilely.

“What, what happened …?”

The shock was so great that even Charlotte stopped clinging to Nero’s arm. She opened her golden eyes and looked at her surroundings.

The first thing the three of them saw when their vision cleared was the headless corpse, or rather, the wreckage, of a giant.

The Taurus, which had passed them just moments ago and was about to launch a ruthless pursuit at the fleeing crusaders, stood still and unmoving. The steel covering its entire body turned white as if it had all turned to ash, and just like their own defensive magic, it was crumbling from various places. Because of its huge size, it looked like an ancient tower dropping rubble because of an earthquake.

Although the overall shape of the body was still intact, it was clear that it had already sustained serious damage that had rendered it incapable of action.

Seeing that only the head, with its shining red-eye, had disappeared cleanly, it was probably the hypocenter of the attack.

“And that’s a hell of a lot of magic …, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, other than us, everyone who was close is dead.”

A more careful observation of our surroundings would have revealed that we were standing inside a large crater in the snowfield. In some places, such as the center where the Taurus stood, the thick layer of snow had completely peeled away, exposing the reddish-brown earth that stretched across the area.

The huge explosion of light caused a slight change in the terrain. Anyone who was in the range of the attack and didn’t have the strength of a Rank 5 adventurer was sure to die. No matter how strong Nero and the others were if they were any closer to the hypocenter, it would have been difficult for them to survive.

Within a hundred-meter radius of the crater, the only things standing were the wreckage of the Taurus and the three of us. I don’t really want to think about where the adventurers who had filled the place just before disappeared to.

I noticed that the battlefield, which had been filled with the mayhem of mortal combat, had become eerily quiet. This huge white explosion was shining so brightly that it attracted the attention of everyone standing on the battlefield.

Therefore, everyone saw it. No one missed it.

With the blink of soft white light, a figure appeared from the void.

“Who the hell is …?”

A pillar of white light pierced the sky as if it were pouring down from the heavens. The remains of the Taurus still stood majestically, even in death and on the place where its head was supposed to be…

A girl flew down from there.

She emerged from the light, her hair, skin, and clothes, which fluttered like feathers, were all white. The silvery-white aura that seemed to envelop her entire body was divine in every way.

Everyone’s breath was taken away. She was a mysterious figure.

The little white girl, who was being gazed at by tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people, did not seem to be in the least bit self-conscious, and naturally pulled out the spear that was stuck near her foot.

The tip of the raised spear shone in the sunlight. I saw a large white cross of light.

“Crusaders, our Lord does not want any more sacrifices.”

It was a small voice. It was muffled, so muffled that it could have been lost in the breeze.

However, the sound of that beautiful, yet somewhat cold and inorganic girl’s voice certainly reached my ears.

Is this what it is like to hear the voice of God? It was a voice that made him feel this way deeply, but then Nero realized. He understood the meaning of the words that were spoken. At the same time, he also understood who she was.

“All troops, Retreat. I, the Seventh Apostle Sariel, will take charge.”

The girl who introduced herself as Sariel was, without a doubt, an enemy.

 

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