Section 19: Capitol Defense – Flowers Blooming on the Battlefield
[Lapris]: “Hoh, you say some good things sometimes curly hair. But you haven’t joined the knights yet, so don’t get ahead of yourself.”
[Grides]: “Silence!! Even if you are a fairy sent by the Goddess, I will forgive nobody who would dare make fun of me!!”
[Lapris]: “Nothing of the sort. I’m honestly praising you here. Right Iris?”
[Iris]: “Yeah. Just like Grides said, we’re going to beat you here Sanz Wanz. I personally cannot forgive you.”
Killing Linzflare-san right in front of Mippo and Moppo before directly killing the two sisters as well. I can’t forgive them, no matter who they are.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Kukuku…..this will be my second time hearing those words. The first was when I crushed those pathetic insects underground. They were enthusiastic at the time as well…..but forget a battle, this is simply a game of my……”
[Iris]: “What are you talking about? Whether it’s a battle or a game, we’re going to win. Absolutely.”
When I interrupted their words, Sanz Wanz’s stone eyes that gave off a jet-black light narrowed.
[Sanz Wanz]: “……then, you will all learn the truth of the matter, once I’ve turned all of you to charcoal. You will see once and for all the difference between you and I!!”
Sanz Wanz yanked out the leg that had deeply sunk into the ground and this time tried directly trampling me.
[Iris]: “Rose-san, if you could?”
[Rose]: “Yes, leave it to me.”
A reliable voice sounded back to my question. I entrusted my life to Rose-san without any hesitation. I then took a deep breath to calm the agitation in my heart that had grown from seeing Phoenix hurt.
[Rose]: “Oh Goddess, hear my prayer. Oh Goddess, protect my friend!!”
Rose-san’s dignified tone cut through the intermittent pouring rain.
[Rose]: “Holy white flower!! Virtue and authority at our backs, guard against those who spurn your teachings!!”
A black shadow covered my head. Even if I were to try and sprint away now, it would be too late. I will be trampled under Sanz Wanz’s foot and die.
[Rose]: “I pray for this miracle now! Stalwart seal!!”
But that would never come to pass. Because, I have Rose-san to protect me.
A white light shone from the shield in Rose-san’s hand. The terrifying black and red the sunset had dyed the city was repainted in a flash.
*Kiiin!!* And with a sound similar to the chime of a bell, a radiant barrier bloomed around her like a blossoming flower.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Another clever trick!!”
Now, just as it had stood against all the collapsing rubble of a broken castle…..Rose-san’s shield stood against Sanz Wanz’s stomping foot.
[Sanz Wanz]: “But in the end, it is still just the pointless struggle of a child…..”
The ground shook as Sanz Wanz’s long tail wrapped around and came at us from the side.
[Sanz Wanz]: “No matter how strong the shield, it’s pointless if it doesn’t guard what you need it to!!”
The tail drew an arc and wrapped around the shield. The spear-like pointed tip managed to completely avoid the shield like this and thrust itself towards me.
[Rose]: “…..yes, that much is true.”
But Rose-san remained calm. The reason for that became apparent a second later.
[Ruruka]: “I pray for this miracle now! Stalwart seal!!”
Ruruka-sama, who was standing by near me, thrust out her shield. And then performed the same miracle Rose-san had done a moment before.
[Sanz Wanz]: “——!?”
*GaKiiiin!!* The sharp tail collided with the shield one second, and it was repelled back the next.
Sanz Wanz’s grinding fangs embodied its growing murderous intent. It made neither squeak nor moan, but its frustration was apparent enough inside the gleam of its eyes.
[Rose]: “All who stand before you now are able to offer their prayers to the Goddess Illya who you so hate. No matter who you target, our shields will not break.”
Two large flowers were now giving off a tranquil and transparent light. Seeing that both of them could stand up to Sanz Wanz’s giant body, I addressed my fifty knights.
[Iris]: “With me, my knights. I have one final request. Block off Sanz Wanz’s movements.”
[Luotung]: “Everyone, did you hear?”
[Lanselva]: “Ha, of course”
[Rose]: “If that is our princess’s wish, we shall see it through to completion even if it costs us our lives!!”
Luotung-sama and Lanselva-sama spoke up first with Rose-san enthusiastically answering their words.
[Rose]: “Leave it to us, Iris-san. Besides, if you did not summon them, they would surely feel lonely after. You know how she can be.”
With my simple request, Rose-san correctly understood was I was trying to do.
And so she turned back and ordered the knights.
[Rose]: “Siege formation!!”
Lanselva-sama and the other knights moved quickly under Rose-san’s command, switching their formation.
The fifty Goddess Knights encircled Sanz Wanz and began their prayers to the Goddess all together.
[Knights]: “”Oh Goddess, hear my prayer. Oh Goddess, protect my friend!!””
[Sanz Wanz]: “Noisy insects….. Enough…..be crushed and disappear!!”
Sanz Wanz tried trampling the some of the surrounding knights.
[Knights]: “”Holy white flower!! Virtue and authority at our backs, guard against those who spurn your teachings!!””
It was as simple as lifting one of its feet, and stomping down.
Sanz Wanz’s limbs had grown so big their weight alone made them devastating weapons.
One of its arms was coming against three knights, including Luotung-sama.
[Knights]: “”I pray for this miracle now! Stalwart seal!!””
But their shields carry a strength far greater than some lump of stone. They bloom in place, rejecting all forms of aggression.
*GaKiiin!!* *Brtch…..* A loud drag roared over the rain as stone rubbed against the hardened light. Sparks snapped in the air, mixing together with white particles that scattered about like pollen……but that was it.
The flowers did not buckle.
Fifty of such flowers formed around Sanz Wanz, erecting a continuous transparent barrier. Movement would now be difficult, just as I wished.
*Boom,* *KaBoom!* Cannon fire from Linzflare-san’s ramparts shot through the sky and exploded against Sanz Wanz’s head and shoulders.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Gu……ga…..how far will you worms go to get in my way!!”
[Rose]: “….to the ends of the world. As long as I catch it in my eye, I will never allow you to do what you want.”
Rose-san replied with a cold voice and an even colder expression.
As if to back up her words, the miracles cast by the fifty Goddess Knights kept Sanz Wanz isolated in the middle of a large flower garden.
But our opponent was still that Sanz Wanz, a legend whose name had been carved into history.
Albeit only a little, the continuous strikes from its bloated arms were still gradually beginning to push away the barriers of the blooming sacred flowers.
Unicorn and the gnome sisters.
Phoenix. The Goddess Knights.
In one day, I had opened every grimoire I hold on my fingers.
If on top of that, I were to draw the power of the ring on my left ring ringer…..the ring finger designated as a sanctuary, my time would be limited to a single moment.
A gigantic opponent. Hard scales even Phoenix’s claws could not scratch. A dragon that has abandoned its chance to fly through the air.
I am certain that person’s sword will be able to cut through. However whether or not she can end the battle completely depends on how many uncertain elements I can remove beforehand.
[Rose]: “Push forward!!”
The sacred flower engraved on the knights’ shields shone brightly. At Rose-san’s command, each knight pushed towards Sanz Wanz in unison.
One more step, a little further. With that singular thought in their minds, they step forward with the determination to use themselves as stepping stones and ensure that person’s strike is delivered.
[Grides]: “O wild progenitor of life. That what comes forth from you!?”
Turning my head around, Grides had her torn spellbook in hand and had begun to cast magic.
[Lapris]: “Curly hair!? Are you okay to be using magic!?”
[Grides]: “That’s why I said my name is Grides!! You are too rude!!”
Grides’s chant was for fire magic. It was that spell that wraps the target in a pillar of fire and and thoroughly incinerates them.
[Grides]: “If I don’t use it here, I won’t know what I ever learned for. Or why I ever became a witch in the first place!!”
The air around us churned and fluctuated as the temperature slowly began to rise.
[Grides]: “Cross the far off seas to where humans dwell and grant us our small desire!! I have but one desire. The restoration of all things. Rebirth from death……”
A spell so dangerous Odette-sensei had warned her against using it during our duel. She was showing no hesitation in using it now and continued gathering magic power inside her body.
[Grides]: “One to nothing. Thus, endless oblivion!!”
And once the gathered magic power reached its peak, Grides threw out her right fist. A huge pillar of fire exploded upwards in junction with her movements and swallowed half of the stone dragon’s body.
*BWoooooooosh!* Our surroundings were died a bright red under the magic’s light. Our elongated shadows flickered and danced in time with the movement of the flames.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Fufufufu, you truly believe magic of this level can do anything to me as I am now?”
However while the flames of Grides’s magic engulfed a good portion of Sanz Wanz’s body, none of it had any effect.
[Lapris]: “No, it didn’t do nothing!!”
[Grides]: “Shut up!! We can’t know that until I’ve pushed it to the limit!! Those who push their limits beyond their ordinary potential……only those kinds of people deserve to call themselves witches!!”
Grides began gathering even more magic power.
Her rain soaked body was soon wrapped in a pale red glow. The fist she pointed towards Sanz Wanz’s body especially blazed like burning charcoal.
[Grides]: “Not yet, not yet…..my limits are still far ahead!! More, more……my magic power…..is surging forth!!”
Grides squeezed out her voice from the bottom of her stomach as she continued pouring out magic power.
The density of the flame pillar continued to increase as the color shifted from red to yellow.
[Sanz Wanz]: “Fufufufu……push your limits, but after it all, you are still merely human. Even supposing you were to reach that far, what do you think you would be able to accomplish?”
Even with the increased flames, Sanz Wanz wasn’t even baring its teeth.
It had already begun ignoring them completely in fact, striking out with its arms and legs once more in an effort to clear a path through the knights’ shields.
[Lapris]: “Iris!? What are you doing!? You can’t beat it just by staring at it you know!?”
[Iris]: “……I know!”
I know, but…..I only have one chance to use my trump card and defeat Sanz Wanz.
And so, I wait.
Believing in Rose-san and everyone else, believing that the best moment will soon come, I wait.
[???]: “Only those who push their limits beyond their potential may call themselves witches? Well said! Well, I am the one who originally said those words though!!”
In that moment, a voice rose up from the city’s fifth wall on the other side of Sanz Wanz. It came in clear as a bell despite the patter of the rain.
[???]: “…..You have been happily doing whatever you wanted while I was away haven’t you!! You lizard bastard!!”
[Lapris]: “Oh, there! Over there!!”
At the end of Lapris’s small finger, I could just make out a calm and steady figure standing at the very top of the fifth wall. And on that wall that had managed to withstand Sanz Wanz’s wave of destruction was…..
Yes, the leader of the Shirayuri Knights……Yuhanna Rostinell stood proud with her subordinate knights at her back.