But that couldn’t be helped, for in the next moment, a chill ran up their back.
The tone behind Shinichi’s words suddenly changed, resembling that night half a month ago.
“Pathetic───────You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Those words were said quietly by a face void of smiles, and those words cast judgment upon the alchemist like the blade of judgment descending.
The words didn’t seem to be logically connected with the words that came before, yet the sudden change in the atmosphere and the pressure emanating from the boys’ two eyes offered no room for rebuttal.
“Enough. It’s not worth it anymore. I was planning on playing along with your plan to buy time, but…”
“Buy time? What are you talking about?”
“Like I said, enough is enough. Hurry up and come out already!”
As Shinichi said that, he swung his arms.
Everyone was seeing through mana, however, and they could all see that he’d stretched out his mana arms, and the rubble formed by the shockwaves during combat were all blown away.
Behind was that child-like face they’d all seen too much of tonight, albeit twisted in shock.
“Y-You! Not only did you get rid of the rubble, you dispelled the illusion too!?”
“You wanted to make us think that that display of yours earlier was your trump card, but in truth, it was merely a distraction so that you could prepare the real thing. It’s not a bad plan, but you really ought to consider the difference in power between you and your opponent. Because I knew from the start,” Shinichi smiled peerlessly.
Johann was sure he’d fooled him well, but it turns out, he’s been dancing on the palm of his hands this whole time.
That child-like face turned beet red and glared at him.
“Stop getting angry and take out your trump card already. I’ll be nice and wait.”
“! How dare you look down on me!!”
The boy was obviously provoking him, but the alchemist blew off his top nonetheless.
Seeing that, Shinichi sighed with exasperation and a face that looked like he was dealing with a chore.
“It’s one thing to think that you’d fooled me, but it seems you still don’t understand that the existence standing before you is an irrational power against whom all talent, all anger, all wisdom are futile.”
Shinichi shrugged his shoulders in an intentionally exaggerated manner and shook his head.
Shinichi spoke as though it was a matter-of-fact that he wouldn’t be able to win against him no matter what.
He even seemed to say it out of the goodness of his heart and pompously continued.
“But do struggle to your heart’s content, human. In the end, there is no better medicine to know one’s place than to realize the futility of your actions.”
Words and pity one would expect from an existence far above, yet those words were uttered by a boy in his teens.
Johann had already lost count by this point, but once again, he turned beet red and blew off his top.
“Don’t be conceited, brat! You ought to know! But that power you hold isn’t absolute!”
The mana groaned as the alchemist yelled back in anger, then the air cracked and a magic formation appeared.
Five magic formations carved themselves all around him.
They were the sort of magic formation meant for summoning, and no one here was unlearned enough to miss that. Then as though the sound of someone gulping was a signal, what appeared next were cylindrical transparent cases.
They were each just big enough to fit a baby inside. One appeared from each magic formation, and inside every one of those could be seen a medicinal liquid of suspicious color.
A lump of meat wrinkled all over was inside.
“Shin, is that!?”
But the surprise lasted only for a moment before the princess realized the significance of that and Shinichi nodded.
But true to his declaration, Shinichi merely looked at Johann as if urging him to hurry.
Perhaps Johann saw an opportunity in that despite his frustrations and despite clicking his tongue, but he called back the body that had been fighting with Shinichi.
“So the reason you were taking so much time is because you couldn’t create a body better than that here?”
The boy seemed to come to an understanding all on his own, but his mutterings only served to infuriate Johann.
After all, while that body may have been his best work, it struggled to beat Shinichi even though he was heavily wounded.
Hence, to everyone else, it sounded as though he was saying, ‘is that the best you can do?’
“Would it kill you to shut up, boy!? Just watch, I’ll make you pay for messing around! Go!”
The alchemist commanded with a yell, and the cases containing a brain each fused with Johann’s youthful body. They seemed to disassemble themselves and melt into his arms, his legs, and his chest.
Then Johann’s childlike face also unraveled itself as he willingly deconstructed his own body, then melded his head with the new body and became one with it.
It was curious to what in regards Shinichi sounded so impressed about, but Shinichi let out a breath of admiration.
After everything had transferred over to the youthful body, the eyes opened, and from it could be gleamed the will of a human being.
That was all Johann did, yet the air already seemed to distort.
The princess knew she couldn’t win against the youthful body when it fought, but she didn’t think she couldn’t fight it at all.
Now, however, she got chills.
There was no need to pull out the Status Card, the difference in specs could be felt.
Had Shinichi been standing in front of them, the weakened girls would have likely fainted just from the pressure of the mana emitting from that body.
“Fu, fu fu, fu ha ha! It’s a success! Behold, Boy! This is the result of your arrogance! Now, I have the power to surpass all powers!”
The alchemist seemed to like their reaction, and he laughed with great zeal, but…
“…Waiting for the villain to power-up is always such a boring affair. It leaves me idle.”
As expected, Shinichi just looked at him with half-closed eyes and made that remark as bored as ever.
But while Johann’s face twisted at first, that quickly turned into a smile, and he vanished.
In the next moment, he appeared right in front of Shinichi and sent a high kick toward his head.
The air blew up, and the resulting impact sent the boy flying.
It was only after everything had occurred that the girls were even able to scream.
It had just been that fast.
Shinichi vanished into the giant hole that Stella’s Silver Wings had opened.
“Oh, as expected.”
Johann said in admiration out of his own work, and Lilisha glared at him, but a familiar back appeared before them once more.
Eyes darted to and fro between where Shinichi stood now and where the giant hole was, but Shinichi really was standing before them. It was as though he had never been sent flying.
However, Johann just smiled with a knowing face.
“You defended with your left arm and allowed yourself to be taken by the impact, then with the application of teleportation magic immediately returned. As expected of Skill S, but…”
For no reason whatsoever, Shinichi’s left arm suddenly went limp and dropped on its own, as though only that arm had lost will.
Blood dripped from the fingertips of that arm into the ground.
Yes. There was no mistaking it. In that one exchange, by that one attack, Shinichi’s left arm had been destroyed.