Section 8: Sorrow
When I turned around, Linzflare-san was standing up.
Her open, empty gaze was fixed on Sanz Wanz’s fallen body.
≪Stop! Not yet!≫
Linzflare-san’s two sisters stood in front of her, jumping up and down while wildly waving their arms to try and get her to stop.
However their elder sister ignored their pleas and did her best to try and approach the dead dragon.
≪You must rest≫
The injuries caused by Sanz Wanz had yet to heal with her left arm still being broken off.
Yet with her right arm, Linzflare-san brushed away Mippo and Moppo and stepped forward.
[Iris]: “R-Rose-san!? This……”
[Rose]: “I-I do not know! She should not be able to move yet……”
[???]: “Kuku…….Kukukukuku………. Why is everyone besides me acting so confused? …….So fascinating”
[Saluena]: “That voice……Sanz Wanz. So you still live?”
Saluena drew up her sword, ready to bring it down on Sanz Wanz’s decapitated head. However the dragon’s cheerful words made her hold.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Strike me down, and that spirit will perish as well. Are you fine with that?”
[Litzreich]: “…..What do you mean?”
Litzreich raised up her fist as well. However just like Saluena, she stayed her hand in response to what Sanz Wanz was saying.
[Sanz Wanz]: “……Kukuku, it’s simple. I had that spirit build my body. Perhaps Oshunel’s brainwashing is weakening as she failed to use all her energy in doing it…….however, it is clear to see between her will and her duty, which is superior.”
[Saluena]: “……So, you are responsible for this after all.”
After taking a sideways glance towards Linzflare-san’s injured body, a tinge of anger emerged in Saluena’s voice.
She then readied her blade to plunge it into Sanz Wanz’s body again.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Fufufu…..it would be wise to stop. Do you wish to save that spirit? But if you destroy my body, that spirit will inevitably attempt to save me. To fix my body once again, kukuku, she will literally sacrifice her own body to see it done!!”
The area above Sanz Wanz’s neck where Toslin had cut through began rapidly regenerating.
[Ashel]: “Oh no!! Iris! Cut the connection between Sanz Wanz and that spirit!!”
[Iris]: “!? Y-Yes!!”
I jumped at Ashel-sama’s words and raised my hand. Then with the Irma La Area techinque——I tried cutting off the magical connection between Sanz Wanz and Linzflare-san by using the Probe Spear.
[Lapris]: “……Oi……it’s no good!! The magical connection is too thick……it won’t break!!”
Lapris cried out, able to clearly see the magic power in the air.
[Iris]: “Such a…….”
[Lapris]: “Give it everything you’ve got! The spirit……she’s in danger. Her mana…….it’s all being drained away!!”
I know. I…..want to help too. After coming all this way, I am going to make sure Mippo and Moppo get their sister back!!
Digging my feet into the ground, I gave it everything I had and released as much mana as I could in one go.
I pictured the scene in my mind. A powerful spear forged from my mana capable of cutting the magical binding that is chaining down Linzflare-san.
[Lapris]: “….I-It’s no good……”
But Lapris shook her head.
Linzflare-san collapsed directly in front of Mippo and Moppo.
Her remaining arm fell apart, her legs broke at the knees, and finally…….her body was reduced to sand, scattering across the cold, hard floor.
Me, Rose-san, and everyone else.
Nobody said anything…….No, I couldn’t.
I couldn’t believe what I had seen with my own eyes, so I just kept absentmindedly stare at the pile of sand that was once Linzflare-san.
Meanwhile Mippo and Moppo ran right up to it. Particles of sand were being blown away from the breeze coming out of a broken window, and I watched on through gushing tears, useless, at the backs of the two sisters as they desperately tried scraping the sand up in their arms.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Kukuku……..Fuwahahahahahaha!!”
What disrupted that moment of silence was an eerie and unpleasant laugh that reverberated around us like a stone mortar rubbing against itself.
It was Sanz Wanz. After absorbing all the mana of a great spirit, it had come back even bigger than before……a four-winged……giant stone white dragon.
[Sanz Wanz]: “My my, how intoxicating. I should have done this from the beginning. Alas, the great Sanz Wanz was almost extinguished by a pack of insignificant rodents.”
*Whoosh!* Sanz Wanz stretched out its wings and flapped them forward.
A strong wind blew out, completely blowing away all the sand Mippo and Moppo had gathered together.
[Litzreich]: “You bastard……how rotten can one person be!?”
Litzreich raged and struck out against Sanz Wanz’s body.
[Saluena]: “This kind of garbage didn’t exist a thousand years ago.”
[Ashel]: “Your revolting misdeeds will not go unpunished!!”
At the same time, Saluena and Toslin made their moves with Ashel-sama following close behind.
[Toslin]: “Everyone, aim for the wings first!!”
They came from all sides, making simultaneous strikes.
But Litzreich’s fist, which had been able to smash apart the dragon’s scales, and Saluena’s sword, which had been able to slice through its tail, uselessly bounced off.
The same thing happened to Toslin and Ashel-sama’s swords as well. Sanz Wanz had regrown its scales, and their blades were unable to leave the tiniest scratch.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Kukuku…..this body was crafted with the very life of a great spirit as a source…..it won’t be so broken easily. And when supplemented by my own power……”
[Toslin]: “――!? Oh no!! Iris, avoid it!!”
[Saluena]: “It’s useless Rosa!!”
Sanz Wanz turned its head upwards, and a low rumble began sounding from the back of its throat.
It was clear that Sanz Wanz was about to release another breath attack, and with its new body being twice as large as its last one, it could be guessed what was about to come.
The larger the mouth, the larger the breath attack and the larger the destructive power behind those flames. Even if I were to layer together all twenty of Unicorn’s barriers together, I wouldn’t be able to stop it.
[Rose]: “Goddess Illya!! Bestow upon me……your great blessing!!”
Rose-san moved in front of me, slamming down a large shield that was taller than I was into the floor.
The steel end split through the stone floor and stood as a sturdy wall for us.
Rose-san shouted back at me, but shortly thereafter, Sanz Wanz spat out an oversized breath.
The blue magma that was capable of melting rocks instantly made the shield grow a red hot color.
[Rose]: “Ku, Guaaaaaaah!!”
Rose-san’s arm was burning. Yet she refused to move from that spot, instead going so far as to press her entire body forward to support the shield and resist the torrent of the breath attack.
[Iris]: “R-Rose-san…….Stop Rose-san!!”
An unpleasant memory floated in my mind.
Back in Relton village, Rose-san was injured trying to save me from a dragon attack back then too.
*Crack, CraCrack CraCrack!!*
At that time, a thick stone wall rose up in front of Rose-san’s shield. At some point without me noticing, Mippo and Moppo had climbed up on Rose-san’s shoulders.
Despite having a dragon’s breath attack aimed straight at me, I was able to survive without a single injury thanks to Rose-san and the gnome sisters. But Rose-san was bleeding and had suffered severe burns all along her left arm.
[Iris]: “T-Thank you both!! Rose-san, are you okay!?”
[Rose]: “Guh……. I-I will……be okay……. A burn like this can be healed quick enough…….”
Mippo and Moppo jumped down from Rose-san’s shoulders after she crouched down to take a look at her arm. They then raised their stone boards towards us.
[Iris]: “Huh……why are you thanking us? You’re the ones who saved…….”
[Iris]: “H-Hold on……? You two……what are you talking about? This isn’t the time to……”
Mippo and Moppo suddenly began to run. Straight for Sanz Wanz.
The stone wall they crafted to stop the breath attack broke apart, and the fragments wrapped themselves around their bodies.
Then in the blink of the eye, two golems like the ones we encountered on the 35th floor had been formed.
[Iris]: “A-Ah……stop, don’t!! Wait, no, if you go that way……..STOP!!”
Someone, anyone……please stop them.
However, regardless of what the two spirits may ordinarily look like, nobody could easily stop them when they’re wearing those two massive golems.
[Toslin]: “What are you two doing!? Wait a minute!!”
The gnome golems continued moving towards Sanz Wanz, ignoring Toslin’s calls to stop after jumping over her back.
Their arms grew and expanded like a pair of giant hammers. Spinning around in midair, they used centrifugal force to strike at Sanz Wanz with all their strength.
[Sanz Wanz]: “You are in the way”
But no matter how big they made their arms, Sanz Wanz’s was bigger.
*Whoosh!!* A horrendous noise you would never describe as the roar of the wind filled the audience chamber.
Sanz Wanz’s arm tore through the air, and with a single strike, it ripped apart bits and pieces of the gnome golems and stripped off the armor.
[Sanz Wanz]: “You are not qualified to stand on this stage”
Mippo and Moppo were tossed out of their golems. And then, a bright blue light leaked from Sanz Wanz’s mouth.
[Lapris]: “Oi Carol! Do something!”
Lapris shouted towards Carol……
[Carol]: “You don’t need to tell me!”
but there was no way Carol would be able to make it in time.
[Carol]: “……it’s already too late……”
Because, they had already been swallowed by the terrifying blue glow of the magma.
A large hole had formed in the stone floor.
Inside the hole was a pool of magma which had turned from a bright blue to a glowing red as it cooled off.
During the Illyarian War, the three sister were forcibly brought here and used by Oshunel.
And then, they had to spend the next thousand years out of their minds and trapped in darkness.
The seal broke though……and they could finally be together again, as sisters…..
[Sanz Wanz]: “……..Hm?”
They never turned back, always thinking about how to save their sister.
[Iris]: “Unacceptable. I refuse……to accept this!”
[Sanz Wanz]: “This is a stage only a select few may walk. A venerable place where that silent fiend and my lord Oshunel did battle to decide what path the world traveled.”
Sanz Wanz’s voice trembled with joy as its expression distorted and curved upwards. A perfect representation for its twisted personality.
[Sanz Wanz]: “…Redheaded girl. You are powerless. You are not qualified to stand on this stage either. If you do not wish to share the same fate as those bugs, I suggest you……”
I spared a moment to look over Rose-san’s burnt arm.
But I just as quickly turned my gaze forward again.
And I shouted,
[Iris]: “Protect me!!”
I threw out my right arm.
For the sorrowful sisters who disappeared before my eyes.