Just three words, but they poured rain over the alchemist’s parade and spat over what little pride he held.
Whether it was with his eyes, or with his nose, or with his voice, the hero laughed at him. That was not a bluff nor a provocation but a sincere statement.
After all, Shinichi had done him in much harder and was much scarier than the alchemist could ever hope to be.
That was an opponent against whom no technique or power or strategy could prove effective, one who persistently made him face truths he did not wish to face.
Compared to that, what was the violence of a mere thug?
It was just three words, but to the alchemist, those three words were o different from a denial of his life’s work.
Whether it was to his product or to him himself was irrelevant. The alchemist felt humiliated, and he blanked out in fury.
Before he knew it, he’d kicked Kite into a distant wall, but by then, something assaulted his entire body, and his rage dissipated.
Countless blades had pierced through his mass of bulging muscles.
The alchemist couldn’t even regret not severing his pain receptors before his entire body crumbled under the excruciating pain that tormented him.
As experienced as he may be, that was not a pain that an academic could endure; hence, the alchemist cried out in pain and fell.
“I see…I let my… Guard down, a little.”
“It would be problematic… If you forgot about us.”
“If we can take you by surprise… A little pain is nothing.”
The maids mocked him as they leaned on him and repeatedly beat him with their weapons.
They spoke in pauses, showing that they were forcing themselves to move, but their eyes reflected their unwavering resolve.
“D-Damn you, damn you all!! I’m not done yet! —What!?”
The alchemist immediately cut off his sense of pain, but he still couldn’t stand, for a weight great greater than the weight of the maids.
“Fu fu, what’s… The matter?”
“Why, is it, so heavy!?”
“How could, you… Tell a woman… That she’s heavy…”
“I see, you lack, manners…”
The alchemist turned his head in confusion, and there he realized that the maids restraining him had a lot of extra equipment.
They had heavy weapons bound to them with ropes, and they even bound themselves to each other, forming what was basically a net of human bodies with the weapons as weights. The blades that pierced him were tangled too like fishhooks, so it was difficult to get rid of the maids.
“Guu, how long do you lowly dolls intend to defy me!? Don’t you realize that all of this is meaningless no matter how many times you try!!?”
“Fu fu, what’s… The matter?”
“There’s still… No telling… Whether it’s… Meaningless or not… Right?”
But his exasperation was only met with mockery and that infuriated him even more.
He knew that they were provoking him, but even he had his limits.
“Enough! How long do you intend to make a fool out of me!!?”
Despite being crushed from above, the alchemist yelled angrily in that manner, and in the next moment, blood scattered.
A twisted and massive array of needles had appeared on his back, giving rise to sounds of agonizing cries amidst the spewing of blood.
It was only for a moment, but he turned a part of his body back into a gelatinous state and formed sharp protrusions that mercilessly tore through the maids.
“Haa haa haa… I don’t care even if your organs get damaged! There’s eleven of you anyway. Even if some parts are missing, there’ll be plenty of spares…”
It was curious if it was because of his anger or because of the maids’ unexpected display of resistance that the alchemist said that, but the only response he got in return was the anguished voice of the maids, and…
“─────Well done, all of you.”
The words of praise painfully uttered by their eldest sister.
Standing several meters away was none other than Stella, the head maid, who faced the alchemist head on with a pair of amber eyes full of resolve. With her favored silverganth halberd in one hand, purple electricity sparked around her while enveloped in silver radiance.
She knew full well that her precious sisters were deeply injured, and yet…
No, it was precisely because of that.
“As expected of my beloved sisters whom I hold in esteem.”
There would be no point to all off this if the alchemist just turned into a gel again and fled.
That’s why they provoked the alchemist to act, and her sisters sacrificed themselves to play the bait and buy time. They obviously had no time to discuss all of that, but even without verbal communication, their thoughts were connected.
That’s why her sisters could all smile that bloodstained smile in response to her praise.
“Silver Wings? Impossible! There’s no way you could have mastered that already! That’s the secret technique of silverganth equipment! Above all, in that state… Impossible, it’s impossible, impossible I tell you!!!”
The alchemist was shocked as he realized what that magical silver radiance enveloping her was.
Silverganth was a material that owed its fame to its durability, sharpness, and its advantages regarding mana.
The secret technique Stella was using now was a technique that took advantage of all of that.
If one could successfully infuse mana into a weapon forged from silverganth, its sharpness would rise by dozens of times.
It was a material that could cut and deflect mana, yet that very same material possessed such a contradictory effect.
Just being able to learn such a skill was by no means easy, and yet here she was using it despite her terrible state.
All of the knowledge that the alchemist had was screaming at him at the impossibility of such a feat.
“It was because that man said something strange again and likened it to riding a bicycle… Well, I’m sure that won’t make any sense to you either… Hurry up and let my sisters go!”
They had no choice, but they had a goal and a plan.
Stella knew that physical destruction was irrelevant to the alchemist, but that didn’t matter.
Just the thought of allowing such a man touch her sisters any more disgusted her.
As she held her halberd covered in silver light in reverse, she threw it at the alchemist’s hulking body, then it grew wings and started flapping as though it held a life of its own.
It was precisely because the secret technique behind silverganth weapons could produce this effect that the technique came to be called Silver Wings.
“Why! Why do you insist on this meaningless resistance—!?!?”
The alchemist argued, but the silver wings ignored him and just destroyed him entirely.
With nothing left to support the maids, they scattered and fell, but fortunately, or perhaps by intention, the needles that had pierced them remained on them, so their wounds did not bleed.
All of the destructive power of the Silver Wings had been concentrated into the alchemist, but as though it hadn’t been sated, it continued along its trajectory and broke through the wall behind.
“Haa, haa… Ah, gu.”
As Stella watched the whole thing unfold, she dropped to one knee and gasped for air. Her body still refused to listen to her, but it wasn’t completely unresponsive. Unfortunately, the simplest of movements required dozens of times more effort, and using a high level technique like Silver Wings not only required a ton of effort but also the right timing. Given the circumstances, however, there was no choice but to use it.
“──────What’s with that satisfied look on your face?”
Distracted by her exhaustion, she only noticed the alchemist’s presence when he was about to strike.
She managed to leap back in an instant and avoid a fatal blow, but deep wounds appeared on her right arm and left leg, and unable to maintain her balance, she fell to the ground upon landing.
Her expression twisted from the pain and her blunder, and as she stood herself up with just her left arm, she looked at the doll.
This time it was a life-sized armor doll, and it swung down with its sword.