Section 12: Encore Dance
*Clop*……Goldmund’s hooves trampled over the fragments of Sanz Wanz’s body broken off from the cannon bombardment and used them as a springboard to leap forward.
[Sanz Wanz]: “……idiots…… Fools. I…..am Sanz Wanz!! The unrivaled Pterosaur who once shook the world!!”
In desperation Sanz Wanz lashed out with pieces of its own broken body and fired off several large rock projectiles our way. However not a single one of them managed to get past Unicorn’s defensive barrier.
[Rose]: “Something like that……is useless against me…..”
Rose-san flew towards the left arm while Saluena moved to the right, each of them bringing their weapons down like a lightning bolt.
Rose-san’s thorny mace sank into Sanz Wanz’s left arm,
and cracks running all the way up and down the arm spread out, shattering the sturdy scales to pieces.
Next to us, Saluena’s sword had cut clean through the right arm.
The cut surface was as flat and smooth as a mirror, giving me a nice reflection of my own face for the second I was passing it by.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Guh!?”
With both his front legs taken simultaneously, Sanz Wanz’s body inevitably lurched forward.
Our second wave, Litzreich and Ashel-sama, took the chance to strike.
Litzreich was standing on the stone horse’s back, hanging on to Ashel-sama’s shoulders while she steered the horse through the settled rubble.
[Litzreich]: “I know your head is not a vital area, but I will crush it all the same.”
[Ashel]: “Indeed. The breath attack could still prove to be trouble if we do not seal it away.”
Litzreich’s magic shell had already transformed to its bright blue hue sometime I wasn’t looking.
It shone beautifully under the sun’s rays like a crystal clear sky in the middle of summer.
[Litzreich]: “You dare to hang your head before me!? It is as if you are begging me to strike you!!”
Litzreich kicked off the back of her horse.
She soared through the air, kicking off shards of falling broken rubble from the crumbling arms to maneuver herself in front of Sanz Wanz’s face.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Tch, Guah!!”
But Sanz Wanz wasn’t just going to watch. It tried opening its huge mouth in an attempt to blow Litzreich away with a breath attack.
But Litzreich didn’t falter.
Litzreich drew back her fist and threw all her weight into striking between Sanz Wanz’s brow.
[Litzreich]: “The forehead is hard, but……”
[Ashel]: “Awe-inspiring knight of wind who overlooks the world.”
[Litzreich]: “Once cracked, even a diamond is easily shattered.”
Ashel-sama appeared from behind and thrust her sword in the exact place Litzreich had just hit.
[Ashel]: “Penetrate my foes upon your proud spear!!”
And rather than her arm, she cast her spell from the end of her sword.
The sword itself dug into the cracks Litzreich’s strike had caused before an explosion of wind caused Sanz Wanz’s head to shatter apart.
The wind spread outwards from the explosion, spraying clouds of dust and bits of debris all around the surrounding area.
[Ashel]: “I shall leave the rest to you!!”
Ashel-sama rode the wind and flew backwards.
Carol and Toslin had been entrusted with the rear, and with Ashel-sama pulling back, they pulled up.
[Litzreich]: “It’s all you!! And I mean you Toslin!!”
[Toslin]: “Oi! How come you’re acting all carefree while I’m seriously about ready to cry!!”
[Carol]: “But won’t this thing keep healing itself if we leave it alone? If we have to kill it once and for all, it’ll have to be you Toslin.”
Carol was mimicking Litzreich, hanging on to Toslin’s back while Toslin steered the horse.
And at the moment, Carol, Toslin, and Litzreich were all looking at the sword Toslin now carried into battle.
[Toslin]: “……are you sure? Because the price for that stone is coming out of the party treasury okay!? Even if it doesn’t work, we’re going to split the cost!!”
[Carol]: “Yeah yeah. I got it, so let’s hurry up and beat this thing. I’m getting hungry.”
[Toslin]: “Damn it!! Sanz Wanz…… If it wasn’t for you, I never would’ve had to…… I will definitely, absolutely never forgive youuuuuuuu!!”
Toslin was screaming with tears rolling down her face.
There were bits and pieces of what she was saying that I couldn’t pick up, but her deep hatred for Sanz Wanz was clear enough.
[Carol]: “Then fight your hardest. I’ll back you up.”
Carol leaned over Toslin’s shoulder and kissed her on the cheek.
[Toslin]: “…….you’ve been spending too much time with that Litzreich.”
[Carol]: “There’s a chance you’d lose your head if I didn’t do this, so there’s nothing for it.”
And immediately after Carol kissed Toslin, the sword began to shine.
To be more precise, an intricate pattern was born on the flat of the blade that made the metal glow a bright red.
[Toslin]: “Get some distance”
[Carol]: “Yep yep”
Carol jumped off the horses back and saw Toslin off.
Toslin leaned forward on her horse, picking up the pace and charging straight for Sanz Wanz’s defenseless figure.
The longsword glowed as bright as day…..just like when it was swung to defeat the dragon that had attacked Relton.
[Toslin]: “Here it comes!! An attack that costs 5 million cronells……have a taste of the great Toslin’s ace in the hooooooooole!!”
While still straddling the horse, Toslin set the sword at her hip.
Time felt as if it had slowed down as all of us watched her every movement……..
And then with a scream…….she swung her sword.
The blade looked like little more than a beam of light at this point, waving in the air as the horse ran past Sanz Wanz’s massive body.
Rose-san unconsciously covered her mouth with her hand at the sight while Saluena raised a finger to her chin.
The blade carved into Sanz Wanz’s body with ease, leaving a red hot streak through the stone after the blade had long since passed through.
[Litzreich]: “The blade is now capable of utilizing a different power depending on the gem inserted in the pommel. I had a ruby inserted beforehand granting it the power of fire.”
The area of rock touched by Toslin’s sword had melted away into lava.
The energy from the blade extended far longer than what the blade could reach. Far enough that Sanz Wanz’s body had effectively been cut in half. Moreover, the area around the cut was oozing over and collecting on the ground like a stick of butter cut with a warm knife.
And with half its body now gone, Sanz Wanz…….
[Sanz Wanz]: “Hihi…….HIHIHIHIHIHIHI!!”
unleashed a shrill fit of laughter reminiscent of a clanging bell.
……Like a marker resting on top of a tomb, two of Sanz Wanz’s wings were raised high above the rest of its body.
……Even with most of its body cut, crushed, or otherwise obliterated, that part alone shone with a beautiful luster under the sun completely devoid of any nick or scratch.
[Sanz Wanz]: “HIHIHIHIHYAHYAHYAHYAHYA!!”
[Carol]: “God, what’s with this thing…….how is it still alive? Why can’t you just die already.”
Carol groaned with a frown.
[Toslin]: “Please don’t tell me I just spent 5 million cronells for nothing.”
[Sanz Wanz]: “……worry not, I shall soon rot away and disappear.”
The remaining two wings slowly began flapping up and down.
Thereupon, it steadily floated off the ground.
[Sanz Wanz]: “I have been waiting for a moment such as this. The moment I could abandon this burdensome body, raise my perfect wings, and once again soar through the air!!”
The wings’ flapping quickened.
Chunks of the stone body untouched by Toslin’s sword began melting away like the rest, but what came from underneath was the figure of an untouched Sanz Wanz.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Since the beginning I have held no interest in you lot. The sole thought that has dominated my mind all this while was how I would once again take to the heavens with these wings.”
[Litzreich]: “It preserved only the wings and constructed a new body out of its soul……? It spiritualized itself……such a thing was possible?”
[Sanz Wanz]: “It is still up above, is it not? Those human dwellings. After a thousand years, surely there are plenty of people there living free of strife?”
[Sanz Wanz]: “I wonder……how many do you think I could kill before I disappear? Fufufufu, I’m looking forward to finding out.”
Sanz Wanz’s spiritual form lifted in the air and soared up above before any of us could react.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Now, open a path!!”
At Sanz Wanz’s word, a black vortex opened in the clouds. It was as if a crack had formed in the area’s stained glass sky, and after the crack had expanded to a large enough size, Sanz Wanz squeezed through like a rat into its hole.
[Lapris]: “Wha-……What was that!? What did that guy just do!?”
[Linzflare]: “This whole underground dungeon was built by me.”
Linzflare-san’s apologetic gaze was focused on the sky above just like ours were.
[Linzflare]: “And now my power is flowing through Sanz Wanz’s being.”
[Litzreich]: “In other words, Sanz Wanz has acquired the ability to alter the dungeon’s structure as well now? That fellow has been keeping one hand tied behind its back this whole time so we wouldn’t realize…..an abominable enemy.”
With no way for any of us to fly ourselves, we could only watch as the dragon flew away.
[Carol]: “So it’s just going to fly up……why though?”
[Toslin]: “This is still the bottom floor of the dungeon. So if it keeps flying upwards through the floors like this, it’ll eventually wind up…….”
[Ashel]: “Right in the middle of the city”
[Iris]: “――!! Unicorn!!”
I jumped off Goldmund’s back and began to run.
Unicorn was at my side in a matter of seconds, immediately kneeling down to make it easier for me to get on her back.
[Lapris]: “Oi Iris, what do you think you’re doing!?”
Lapris hurriedly flew after me and wrapped her arms around Unicorn’s horn.
[Iris]: “What……I’m leaving. To beat Sanz Wanz”
It’s the royal capital. They’ll have knights, soldiers, and adventurers at the ready. But even if it is in its death throes, it is still the legendary Sanz Wanz. If anything, it is precisely because it is about to die that the danger here is all the more serious.
[Lapris]: “What are you going to do? Even with the transfer magic circle, you’ll never make it back in time going the way we came!”
[Iris]: “I know. That’s why I will take the same path Sanz Wanz took.”
[Toslin]: “Hold on a second. I don’t know what you’re planning, but you aren’t telling me you are thinking about running off on your own? Don’t you remember what you promised us Iris?”
[Iris]: “I remember. I will never run ahead by myself. So……”
There’s only enough room for one other person to ride on Unicorn’s back.
I’ll have to nominate one of them.
[Iris]: “…….Rose-san. I have a request. Would you entrust your life to me, no questions asked?”
There’s not enough time to explain everything I’m thinking. While we’re here talking, Sanz Wanz is getting closer and closer to the capital.
[Rose]: “An encore dance. I would be honored to be your partner.”
Rose-san didn’t hesitate to climb up Unicorn’s back and take a seat behind me.
[Iris]: “Saluena. Please don’t be upset because I didn’t pick you.”
[Saluena]: “Is that how I look?”
[Iris]: “I’ll definitely make it up to you later.”
I grabbed hold of Unicorn’s mane.
[Saluena]: “Mm, I’ll be waiting.”
I turned my gaze upwards while receiving Saluena’s happy voice on my back.
[Lapris]: “Oi, really though…..what are you planning?”
[Iris]: “Unicorn, please”
I brought my face close and spoke softly into Unicorn’s ear.
[Iris]: “Run…..through the air”