“Nee-chan!?” Yousuke said.
A scream that sounded like silk being torn drew the attention of the younger Senba, but with the use of skills sealed, he only had access to the normal zoom function, which is why the only thing that he was able to see was the blood-stained figure of his older sister embracing herself; hence, he couldn’t at all be faulted for thinking that his beloved sister had been fatally wounded.
“No, you idiot! Don’t look away!” Ryou said.
With his attention taken by his sister, Yousuke was left completely defenseless.
He had even forgotten about their situation, about Ryou, and about their two enemies.
“Amateur,” the enemy soldier said.
“Gah!?” Yousuke said.
He keeled over when something hit him from behind.
Unable to even break his fall, the enemy soldier stepped on him.
An anguished voice left his lips, but he could neither control his bits nor take out his weapon.
But even if he could, his attention was already being completely dominated by something else.
“Nee-chan! Hey, can you hear me!? Answer me, Nee-chan!! Answer me!”
He desperately raised his voice and called out to her, but she didn’t respond.
Yousuke panicked at that, and continued to call out to her, but doing so completely ignored the man that was stepping on him.
“Well, aren’t we leisurely, hmm, you stupid brat!”
The man took that as him looking down on him, and so put more power behind his step, burying Yousuke even deeper into the land.
“Guaa!?!? *cough, ahh, nee, chan… just, wait… I’ll go, there, now, guu.”
“You damned twerp! You like looking down on me so much, huh! Don’t get over your head!”
“I’d throw those words right back at you! Move that dirty feet, you bastard!” Ryou raised his great sword.
It didn’t matter whether he hit him or not, whether the enemy disappeared or not, either way, Yousuke would be freed.
That’s what he was aiming for, but for some reason, he stopped.
“What!? Damn it, let me go, Yoshihisa!!”
Because of Yousuke, Ryou too became too preoccupied and let his guard down, so he didn’t notice the shikionis approaching.
With them holding him and his great sword, there was no way for him to move.
“Ha, in the end, you were nothing but a bunch of optimistic brats───Crush him.”
“What are you— ah, gahhhhhhhh!?!?”
Giant arms extend from the devil faces, and then they gripped him and pushed him together to squash him.
In the face of their herculean strength accompanied by spiritual power, the exoskeleton was no different from a piece of cloth.
Unable to use his spiritual power quick enough to defend, the resulting pain was so great that his consciousness seemed as though it could flicker out any time.
Letting out that anguished shriek was all that he could do.
“Tch, is your sister that important? In that case, you should get a good look of your sister being crushed.”
Because Yousuke continued to cry for his sister despite everything, the man opened a screen, and showed him everything. When Yousuke understood what had happened, he became speechless.
“Tell me. How does it feel… To see your beloved sister become a murderer?”
The soldiers approached the girl that screamed from her inability to accept reality. So light were there steps that it seemed as though they were about to skip, and then they took a good look at her.
“You sure let out some cute screams, don’t you? Was it that much of a shock, hmm, Ms. Sheltered Princess?”
All the soldier did was to laugh and look at her sarcastically, and yet she shrunk back.
The soldier sardonically laughed at that, and pushed her blood-stained body.
“Hmph! Someone who can be scared by something so trivial has no right to wear our pride!”
Although there was anger in his words, he didn’t put that much power behind that push.
Despite that she easily fell on her backside because she had already lost the will to fight.
“Didn’t you know? The battlefield is a place where people kill others and others kill them. To think that you didn’t even know that absolute rule, and yet you actually dared point your blade at us.”
“You killed just four men, and yet here you are trembling pathetically. If you haven’t resolved yourself to kill, then you shouldn’t have entered the battlefield. This isn’t a game, you worm!”
With a pitying and scornful gaze, the soldier sent a kick, and the older Senba was sent tumbling.
But she neither defended nor fought back, she just trembled.
“You said you could at least be a nuisance, did you? Don’t make me laugh. A lower life form such as yourself should just meekly tremble in a corner like that and submit to us!”
The man kicked her, and then grabbed her by the hair and lifted her up.
Not a hint of that spirit she showed earlier was left.
Her fearful eyes reflected the man, but she couldn’t even resist.
“Pathetic,” the man snorted. “Listen well, coward. Since the dawn of its history, Garesto has always been at war. And our past heroes have piled up their corpses, so that the rest may live on.”
“It’s not a place for you peace-addled Earthlings with neither resolve nor conviction to enter. The interaction be damned, you have no right to visit our home with such festive attitudes! Is that clear?” The man slammed her face into the ground, and then kicked her away.
This time, she didn’t even scream. The men smiled at that, and then they set their sights onto their next target.
“Hey, let’s teach those kids who ran away what a real battlefield is like too. If we take out a few, they’ll surely cry and apologize.”
“Ha ha, you bet. Earthlings should just become our slaves.”
The men laughed among themselves like that without any sense of urgency, but…
When one of them tried to raise his legs, it felt strangely heavy, so he looked down, only to see a fearful shackle.
“Eek! Ah, no, no!”
The girl’s body was still trembling, but her arms were firmly clasped onto the man’s leg.
“Hey, hey, what the heck is this? Didn’t you understand a thing I told you, huh!? You just need to do what we tell you to!”
He had cursed her, swung their fists, and kicked her.
The enemy was just a child undeserving of the battlefield.
So he believed that the matter would end with that.
“No, no, no, no, no!”
But she continued to yell like a spoiled brat.
Tears poured out from her eyes, but even then she refused to let go.
Her body shook, her mind was a mess, her heart was broken, and yet even then…
Even as she cried, she clenched her teeth.
If she didn’t do anything here, something even more important would break.
That back that had been burned into her eyes since that day was telling her that.
The fear she felt when she saw that and the wish that she resolved herself for afterwards… She put strength into her arms to surpass all of that.
“Enough is enough!”
“I don’t care! I don’t care! I’m going to protect them! This time I have to protect them! I can’t let that happen again! I can’t!!”
Otherwise, who would protect… That painfully foolish man that was fundamentally and fatally mistaken?
“I don’t understand a thing you’re saying. Have you gone crazy? How sad,” the soldier said.
“This is such a pain. Let’s hurry up and cut a limb or two,” another soldier said.
“Yeah. Be glad, you stupid brat. Thanks to Garesto’s medical facilities, they can still be reattached,” the soldier agreed.
As the men laughed and they pulled out a blade, someone angrily yelled and screamed from a distance.
The girl herself trembled in fear, but she refused to release her arm.
The sword would surely descend without hesitation, and again a pained voice desperately cried for them to stop.
But the voice did not have power, and so the blade would surely cut off the girl’s arms, and yet…
『So you enjoy drivel, do you?』
────The crescent moon smiled, the darkness ran ────
The man’s arm was twisted into an impossible direction.
By the time he’d noticed it, it was dangling from his elbow.
It took him a moment to process what he was seeing. Why? How? Who? It hurts!
A myriad of emotions exploded within his mouth, but then the floating pommel of the sword smacked him.
『Shut up. Don’t moan. It’s just a broken elbow.』
No, the sword was not floating.
It had been taken from his hand by the human-shaped black mist that was holding the girl.
Regardless, that smack had broken his front teeth and stained his mouth with blood, while he tottered.
Before anyone knew it, the black mist that had taken the girl away from them was standing between them.
“Ah, gah… Mah heeth, hu, ha, heck are hyu!?”
The man yelled angrily upon losing his teeth, but the condescending look the black mist gave him almost made him regret doing so.
『I said. Shut up.』
The only part that could be seen on the black mist was the white mask, but the eyes peeking from it were chilling.
Just one glance from those eyes was enough to make a chill crawl up the man’s back and his legs to start trembling.
From an outsider’s perspective, the man had been silenced with a glare.
After the man shut up pathetically, the mask looked around it as though it had lost interest.
For a moment, the sudden appearance of the eerie intruder brought silence to the battlefield.
『I did hear about it, but you fake soldiers really do like to do as you please, don’t you? And yet you dare call yourselves warriors staking their lives to protect your people?───』
Said the black mist angrily.
At that moment, someone’s head happened to roll into its legs, but without hesitation, the black mist stomped on it and crushed it, not a damn gvien about the scattering fragments.
In the face of that deep, black, dark glint, the fake soldiers cowered.
And then as though to pass judgment upon them, three words resounded.
That thundering voice weighed heavily upon them as is dominated the area.
It was curious if anyone was aware, but regardless, it was in that moment that someone’s 10-minute count hit zero.