Section 9: What Dwells Within the Grimoire……..
[Sanz Wanz]: “Unforgivable? Fufu, what makes you say that? Have you not been watching? If so, what do you plan on doing about it?”
Sanz Wanz’s eyes focused on me as its body towered above.
Right now I am opposing a dragon whose name is etched in myth as a legendary beast that fought against the hero Ranroot a thousand years ago.
To be honest, I’m scared. My legs want to shake and buckle underneath me every time it glares at me. But, I can’t allow myself to be frightened.
There’s something I have to do here and now. And to do that, I……I won’t be scared away!
I already failed Linzflare-san when I couldn’t cut the connection between her and Sanz Wanz. I won’t fail again!!
[Iris]: “I now release the bonds on this world!!”
I shouted out while focusing my mana in my right arm. I reached out, gathering the particles of magic in the air while allowing the words of my spell to rise up from the depths of my mind.
[Iris]: “On behalf of the Goddess Illya, Iris Calvafon provides thou with binding shackles…….”
[Sanz Wanz]: “The Goddess……Illya? What do you intend, invoking that name here?”
My mind is being drawn in as if I am staring into a pool of water at night. The deep dark color of Sanz Wanz’s eyes narrow as it glares down on me.
Those steely eyes were probing me, but I continued my aria without minding it.
Particles of light were materializing in the air and gathering around my hand.
Each particle bent and folded in on itself, morphing into pieces paper with words and characters scrawled across the surface.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Impossible……is that, a book? A grimoire? There should be only one who can exercise the Nameless though……”
Sanz Wanz’s thoughts restlessly tumbled out of its mouth.
My ears just barely caught hold of a strange word before my mind sank into the grimoire’s abyss.
[Sanz Wanz]: “You, who are you!? Why do you have that grimoire!?”
[Lapris]: “Of course she’s got one!! This girl is Iris! She’s the master of grimoires!!”
Lapris popped out of my hair and answered for me. And so the huge Sanz Wanz fixated his gaze on the small woman.
[Sanz Wanz]: “…….I see. Then that unicorn……fairy, I assumed it was your servant…….”
[Lapris]: “Hah? Unicorn is my servant, but I’m not the one who calls her out.”
Sanz Wanz’s face distorted into a warped grimace the more Lapris spoke.
[Sanz Wanz]: “The architect of this abominable world drawn by the Goddess Illya…… Administrator of Reason…… Impossible, there’s no way it could exist in this era!!”
Sanz Wanz’s eyes popped open.
[Sanz Wanz]: “You……must be erased!! Immediately, no matter the cost!!”
And so it charged forward, looking to use its massive stone body to crush me where I stand.
[Saluena]: “Rosa, can you fight?”
[Rose]: “Yes, of course Onee-sama!!”
Asked by Saluena, Rose-san nodded.
That breath attack had severely burned Rose-san’s arm, but thanks to her healing miracle, she had already managed to recover.
[Saluena]: “Your orders are to protect our princess”
[Rose]: “At your will. Allow me to show you a strength in battle worthy of a warrior priestess!!”
Rose-san mounted Goldmund, held up her shield, and tightened her grip around her mace.
She bravely charged forward, rushing into the dragon’s bosom just as she had done in Relton.
[Rose]: “Goddess Illya!! Bestow upon me your grand power!!”
And then a second later, my ear met the sound of two hard objects colliding against each other.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Wha-!?”
The shield Rose-san held aloft had met Sanz Wanz’s body head-on and stopped its advance. The tikarodeka etched on the metal was shining a brilliant white.
Just like in the church, when the fifty warrior priestesses joined the Goddess Knights.
*Rumble*…….Soon the outcome of their clash became apparent. Sanz Wanz’s body trembled and faltered back.
[Sanz Wanz]: “I was outpushed……even as I am……”
Rose-san wouldn’t let that opportunity pass her by, using the forward momentum of her charge to brandish her mace.
*Crack!*, a loud crunch echoed outwards as the mace sank deep into the front of the dragon’s thick leg.
Goldmund then swung around with Rose-san still on his back and kicked the area Rose-san had just hit with his hind legs.
*Bagoon!!* The sound of something akin to a battering ram slamming against a city gate came out as Sanz Wanz’s leg shattered in the face of Goldmund’s hooves.
Sanz Wanz spared a second to look over his now shattered limb before moving his glare on Rose-san.
[Sanz Wanz]: “…….So. You have a bit of skill in your arm. But such a tiny wound can be repaired in but an instant. You hyurians really are no better than cattle. Capable of nothing else besides scurrying across the dirt like the insects you are. Not worthy to be my enemy.”
The crushed arm reconstituted itself in an instant, looking no different than it had a moment before. After confirming that, Sanz Wanz came to the conclusion that Rose-san was no real threat and swiped at her with his tail as if it were swatting away a fly.
*Whoosh!!* There was a violent din as the tail cut through the wind and careened towards Rose-san.
The image of the incident with the dragon’s tail in Relton crossed my mind for an instant, but I let it pass to keep focusing on my right hand.
Once again, the air in the room trembled as two solid objects clashed against each other.
Goldmund crushed the stone floor beneath him and dug his hooves into the ground while Rose-san readied her thick shield to catch Sanz Wanz’s tail. The stone rubbed against the metal, creating sparks as they scraped across. But, the shield stood strong. The light of the engraved tikarodeka shone even brighter, giving an awe-inspiring moment for any who were watching.
[Rose]: “How does it feel to know you are unable to crush those wriggling insects?”
[Sanz Wanz]: “…….this little…….”
Sanz Wanz pulled back its lips, showing off rows of sharp teeth as it sneered down on Rose-san.
[Carol]: “Agitating isn’t it? Well…..I know how that feels!!”
A voice ran in from the left to the right.
And then a second later, sparks broke out all along Sanz Wanz’s face.
[Carol]: “Tch…….I suppose it’s natural it would cover its eyes after the number of times I’ve tried blinding it?”
Carol clicked her tongue and grumbled before disappearing again.
[Toslin]: “That’s good!! Keep aiming for the eyes even if it can block you!! Keep its focus on you!! And then……”
[Litzreich]: “We’ll crush it underneath!!”
Toslin brandished her sword while darting through Sanz Wanz’s legs. Meanwhile Litzreich swung her hammer-like fists down from the other side.
There was a dull sound as pieces of debris and rubble fell to the ground.
[Toslin]: “Hohoh!! The wings are tough, but otherwise it’s body is nothing special!!”
[Litzreich]: “Um, it’s tough enough.”
[Ashel]: “Then I will assist Carotayle-san”
Ashel-sama spun through the air, making her way up towards Sanz Wanz’s face.
She then drew her sword and shoved it into Sanz Wanz’s nose before dragging it up along its face and slicing through the eye. Once again the dragon lost half of its sight.
[Saluena]: “Where is your reverse scale? Is it still here even now that your body is made from stone?”
Saluena’s voice sounded much colder than usual.
[Saluena]: “If you survive even after having your head removed, I must put a little more thought into where I cut.”
Saluena lightly stepped forward like she was doing a dance and ran up just like Ashel-sama.
And then as if it were a matter of course, she took her sword and pushed it in Sanz Wanz’s neck.
*Gchk!……..Greeeeeeeeeek!* A terrible screech like nails on a chalkboard was drawn out as Saluena’s sword slowly slid between the dragon’s scales and dug into its body.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Gyaaaaaa!?”
[Saluena]: “…….Hmph. A much different reaction than what we’ve seen before.”
A small smirk came across Saluena’s face even as the chill in her voice grew colder.
And a small shiver ran up my spine when she looked back at me.
But I wasn’t scared. I have never felt scared of her.
She is someone I trust wholeheartedly, and the fact that she is swinging her sword for my sake is something that makes my chest well up with joy.
Her sword technique that has earned her the title of Dark Violet Knight is already something beyond human.
The sword in her hand should be an ordinary iron blade, yet it has dealt out more pain and instilled more fear in Sanz Wanz than anyone else.
The time our eyes met was very short, and she immediately turned her back to me again and pointed her sword towards Sanz Wanz.
(Thank you Saluena. Thank you, everyone……)
Offering my gratitude inside my heart as the particles of light gathered in front of me finally solidified into pieces of paper, completing my book.
[Lapris]: “Oi Iris……are you okay?”
Lapris looked at me with a rare worried look.
She’s probably asking because I haven’t stopped crying this entire time.
[Iris]: “Yeah, I’m okay. Thank you for worrying Lapris.”
I took my new grimoire in hand while answering. The book’s cover was an earthen color. No, it was as if it were really crafted from the soil. It had a rough texture and tufts of green moss were growing here and there.
When I traced the cover with my finger, small bulges rose up in response to my touch.
It was the name of the grimoire.
――Or more accurately, the name of the spirits who dwelled inside.