By the time the flash of light had faded, the entire hall looked nothing like it did earlier.
The many tables were blown away along with the many luxurious dishes on them. The splendid furnishings that welcomed the invited guests were shattered beyond recognition. The enormous chandelier that adorned the ceiling and illuminated the dance was now on the ground, shattered. The polished walls and floor were riddled with cracks. And perhaps because the guests had surrounded that creature, they were scattered throughout the hall and were thrown on the floor as though they had been blown away. However, there were only thirteen people present.
“Ka ka, well done. As expected of the current number one mage of the world. To think that you would teleport everyone in that moment.”
The culprit quickly picked up on the traces of Lilisha’s spell and arrogantly praised her skills, but anyone could tell that there was mockery mixed in with his words.
The princess, who was sitting next to the wall and was being protected by Kite, glared at him.
“It’s an honor to receive your praise… Would you be satisfied if I said that? You fake dullahan!”
The face in the
The creature hadn’t moved at all, and while the Collar of Mana Sealing and the magic shackles have all been blown away. It was evident that the creature was far from unscathed.
The head that should have been above his neck was gone, and instead it could be found in his arms laughing.
“And here I was thinking I’d get a scream or two from you, but you’re surprisingly gutsy.”
The princess didn’t let it show, but that actually ticked her off. If she were to be frightened by something on this level, how could she ever keep up with Shinichi’s training? Besides, something on this level was cute compared to Shinichi’s terrifying training.
However, there was no reason for her to say that out loud, so she just kept quiet and checked her surroundings while keeping an eye out for the creature.
The maids had also been scattered about on the ground. They had erected barriers to buy time until Lilisha’s teleportation magic could be activated, but as a consequence, they were left almost defenseless when their barriers were breached.
“I can’t believe he’s still fine after I cut off his neck. He’s not even bleeding… So creepy…”
Lilisha clenched her fists while Kite covered for her.
A glance at the table knife he used to lop off the ‘boy’s’ head would show that there wasn’t a drop of blood on it either.
The sensation when he cut him was odd, so he’d already suspected that this boy might have a strange body.
“I didn’t think a hero would be able to cut me so resolutely. I mean, I do look like a child, after all, yet you actually lopped my head off without hesitation. Nerves like that… That’s already on the level of a monster, you know? Didn’t you even suspect that this body might have been an actual child that I was merely manipulating?”
“Unfortunately for you, I’ve already been taught how to distinguish that. Besides, as someone who has friend that’s ‘beyond a monster’, being a monster is perfectly fine!”
The enemy tried to disturb his mind, but he ignored it and just threw his knife at him.
Of course, his target was none other than the head in the child’s arms.
The silver blade shot out like a streak of lightning, but the headless boy’s legs suddenly struck the floor, and in the next moment, the floor rose up and transformed into a round shield to block his attack.
“Magic Alchemy with a single action!?”
The princess exclaimed in surprise, but no one paid her attention as the Silverganth blade easily tore through the shield.
However, the collision still diverted it from its correct trajectory, and it passed right by its intended mark as it buried itself into the wall.
“You didn’t even care to dodge the attack to your neck yet here you are so eager to defend your head. Your head must be your weakness then.”
The princess said with a smug and cold smile just like a certain someone as she revealed the boy’s weakness with a tone that suggested this what they were going for in the first place.
If cutting the head didn’t work, then they ought crush the head. Or at least… That was the dangerous teaching taught to them by none other than Shinichi.
But of course, that was meant to be for situations when they’re fighting monsters or monster beasts.
“D-Damn you! I was going easy on you because I took you for children!”
The boy realized that he had fallen into their trap and confirmed their suspicions, so for the first time, he revealed his true nature, and his eyes glowed ominously. Then as if in response, the shield that had formed from the floor transformed into a gun barrel, from within which swirled magical flames as it targeted Lilisha and Kite.
But Kite just snorted and silently beckoned him to try and shoot.
He was full of confidence and seemed to be saying that he would crush his attack with his clenched fists.
“…Fine. I wanted to get you intact, but taking out one arm should be fine—!?”
But before the boy could continue what he was about to say, he gasped, for he suddenly noticed the shadow that covered him. Silver blades were fast approaching.
Claws of lightning, spears of flame, winds of arrows… All sorts of weapons sought to pierce him through without hesitation.
It was a simultaneous attack from the maids that were supposed to have been down for the count. A coordinated attack meant to take advantage of that moment when his attention was focused on Kite and the princess.
“You insolent fools— Guoo!!”
It was at this moment that it finally dawned on him. All that probing and provocation were meant to set up this moment. The boy cursed, but he couldn’t even finish saying it before he was forced to protect himself. He abandoned his gun barrel and it immediately collapsed, then using both of his hands, he formed a shield-like barrier to block the magic, while he used his legs to create a wall to block the silver blades. But that meant…
“You forgot your head!”
With nothing to hold onto it, the detached head rolled down onto his feet, vulnerable, but fortunately or unfortunately, it did not roll away from him because it got caught in the cracks on the floor. He was currently being attacked simultaneously by the eleven maids from every direction. It was practically impossible to perfectly defend against that in a split-second response. Furthermore, he could only create a thin wall, so it wasn’t even enough to defend against their attacks.
With a swing of her halberd, Stella tore through the wall erected, then while the boy was unable to move because he was being forced to defend himself, she smashed with her halberd, which was essentially both axe and spear, to crush the head of the headless body.
“Everyone get back!”
The head was split in two, but it continued to speak despite being sent flying into the air.
The princess yelled.
The maids were closing in on the enemy with their blades, but at the sound of the princess’ voice, they immediately backed off.
In the next moment, a pillar of fire appeared and engulfed the enemy.
The collapsed headless body and the severed head were instantly turned to ashes by the swirling flames.
“Lop off the head, crush it, and if the enemy still lives, erase everything altogether.”
Kite nodded in satisfaction as he recounted Shinichi’s teachings.
It should be emphasized that Shinichi had taught that to them to fight monsters and monster beasts, but they have long stopped recognizing the boy before them as a human.
“Yes, and if the enemy is still fine after all of that, that could only mean that the concept of a physical body does not apply to them.”
After Lilisha dispelled the pillar of fire that she summoned herself, she got rid of the ashes left in the aftermath and continued talking while surveying their surroundings with the others.
Then she said.
“───Come out and show yourself. We’re not so careless as to think it’s over after just that and let our guard down.”
“…Tch, what an annoying girl. I can’t believe you noticed that…”
An irritated voice resounded from the place where the enemy should have died, then a blue gel-like substance crawled out of the crack in the floor and assumed a humanoid form.
In the next moment, it returned to that child-like appearance that crashed the party, only this time, he wore an openly displeased expression.