The light at the end of the tunnel is the oncoming… dragon?
The Last Two Options ⑥
Author’s comments: Wrath’s (Kyouya’s) point of view
The Divine Words were heard. Apparently, Taboo is being installed into all the humans in this world.
「Yeesh… Argh…. Okay…」
Ariel-san mutters that sounding perplexed, or maybe sullen. The reincarnators were in the middle of a discussion, and while the timing for when to push our way in was our choice, it’s now no longer a situation in which a discussion is possible. The reincarnators are now in a miserable situation – crouched down while clutching their heads or already fainted.
And then, on the opposite side of Ariel-san to me, Sophia-san is writhing around on the floor clutching her head. Not in the least bit refined. Humans are said to show their true colours when trapped. In which case, this figure of Sophia-san writhing around is… no, let’s not say any more.
Even Merazofis-san, who would normally run over to the suffering Sophia-san immediately, is slumped against the wall with his hand to his head. Felmina-san can’t be seen anywhere. Maybe she’s hiding because she doesn’t want her suffering form to be seen. Anyway, it seems that the only two people here who are fine are myself and Ariel-san, who already had Taboo at the maximum level.
Talking of Ariel-san, she’s just standing still with a blank expression. That expression feels like it perfectly suits the phrase “fed up”. First she’d become significantly weakened due to the battle with Potimas, then forcing her body to move, she came all this way here enthusiastically only to face this disaster scene. It can’t be helped that she has such an expression. It’s like, she can’t endure it any longer…
However, I can’t just ignore the situation.
「I guess my subordinates and Shiro-san’s are useless huh.」
Felmina-san has vanished for a start, and Shiro-san’s subordinates are probably wiped out. In the first place there’s hardly any people who have Taboo at the maximum level. Unless you do something really major it’s a difficult enough skill to simply acquire, so bringing it all the way to the maximum level can’t be done with ordinary means. Since even Sophia-san and Merazofis-san do not have Taboo at maximum, probably the only ones left in this elf village who are okay are Ariel-san and I alone. Also, there’s no way I can ask a weakened Ariel-san to take care of everyone. In other words, I guess it means that I have to take care of all these people by myself……
「I’ll just have to do it.」
Shun got Taboo to maximum during the battle with the elves, so if I consider that he was unconscious the whole time until the battle was over, then that probably means that everyone will be bedridden for about a day. There’s no way I can just leave them lying on the floor for a start, so at a minimum I’ll have to carry them to their beds.
「Ariel-san, please return. I’ll do something about this.」
「Ah, yeah, indeed. But before that – Ael!」
Ariel-san yells out at empty air. The next moment, a girl in maid clothes appeared near to the door. It seems that the girl is a member of Ariel-san’s family. It seems that while she was ordered to assassinate the pope of the Divine Word Religion, she failed in the end. She was able to escape from danger as Ariel-san summoned her and she was evacuated here. Her maid clothes are burnt in places, which seems to have been done by an ancient fire dragon that was guarding the pope.
「Ael, assist Wrath-kun.」
Nodding silently, Ael-san obeys Ariel-san’s orders. To be frank, that’s a big help. I was thinking that it sure was going to be a horrible amount of work dealing with this disaster by myself.
Ael-san nods, still mute. The reason why she is okay is obviously not because she already had Taboo at maximum, but because she doesn’t fit the definition of “humanity”. She is part of Ariel-san’s family, produced by Ariel-san using the Spawning skill, a monster known as a Puppet Taratekt. Her appearance is like that of a human girl, but is actually a doll underneath. Her true body is a small spider monster, and apparently she manipulates that human-like doll from the inside using threads. Once I thought about that, I had a sudden realisation.
It’s possible for monsters to still be on the move during this time.
Perhaps it’s the case that within the two factions, the only two who can move normally are their respective heads – just Ariel-san and the pope. Because they’re almost the only two people with Taboo at maximum. The only others would be exceptions like me. Indeed, I am an exception. I don’t know if oni people like me are included in the human category or not in the end, but either way I can move like this because I had Taboo at maximum. But also, there will be exceptions in the pope’s faction! Exceptions like the ancient dragons who repulsed Ael-san! If it’s the case that they know about Ariel-san becoming weakened, with both factions having been paralised, would they overlook this perfect opportunity?
「Ariel-san, wait up!」
I called out to stop Ariel-san after she had turned to leave. Then, I explained my recent thoughts to her.
「…It’s certainly possible.」
「Yes. Therefore, please don’t get separated too far from me after all.」
Right now, the only ones with combat ability here are just Ael-san and myself. Sophia-san kept writhing in pain and eventually struck her head on a corner of the door and then writhed in pain even more before losing consciousness. Merazofis-san has also fallen unconscious while leaning against the wall. All the reincarnators are unconscious.
「I don’t imagine that there would be an immediate attack, so for now let’s take those who collapsed and…」
As I was about to finish by saying to carry them to their beds, I felt the presence of something coming closer at high speed. The presence is coming straight from the north in a straight line towards our location. Fast. Scarily fast!
「It seems that our fear was warranted.」
With that speed, it can’t be a normal dragon. At the very least, the speed is above that of mine without Wrath activated!
「Ariel-san, stay back. Ael-san, please take care of Ariel-san.」
Saying so I rush out. If I fight someone this strong, I can’t imagine that the surroundings would be left unscathed. Since everyone is sleeping here, I must begin the fight as far away as possible. Initially, I was afraid of the worst case scenario that they could just ignore me and plunge on towards where Ariel-san is, but instead they stopped in front of me.
『Oi, oi, oi! This isn’t what I heard! Why’s there a dangerous looking guy here who’s all lively!?』
『As if I would know. Either way, kill him and there’s no problem.』
One is a large dragon looking like a Pteranodon. The other is a smaller dragon, with a lithe body like a leopard though with wings growing from it. The strength I feel from both of them is far from ordinary.
『I guess that’s true!』
『Right? Go me – I’m so smart!』
Though their brains seem rather… Well, their physical strength should be the real deal at least.
I stand with two swords at the ready. This battle seems likely to be far harder than nursing those who had collapsed.
That expression feels like it perfectly suits the phrase “fed up” – the literal meaning here is that Ariel’s expression perfectly suits the スンッ (“sun”) onomatopoeia. This doesn’t really translate but refers to a coldhearted and detached attitude, though possibly being concerned on the inside.