In the first place, what kind of existence even is an Evil God?
Falandia would describe it like this:
──A god that fell from the divine realm up high to annihilate humanity──
It remained to be seen how much of that was true, but one thing for sure was that the evil god was in a place far below where gods such as he ought to be.
That which was not permitted to be there.
That which could not remain in the heavens.
That which lost its rightful appearance and power as a god.
That which surrendered its own existence to wickedness because of its hatred for humanity.
If so, then surely…
‘That’, which was its former self, could only be its own nemesis.
It was as though the voice was a song in itself. Just the sound of it was enough to enliven the atmosphere and lift one’s spirits. Despite there being no accompaniment, no backing band, or background music, it carried with it a warmth that could comfort and encourage. There was a good bit of distance from her, so the singing couldn’t entirely reach them, only a faint melody no different from a hum, and yet…
So this was what it meant to be captivated. Despite knowing that they were still in the middle of a battle, Myuhi couldn’t resist being drawn to that singing voice. Myuhi knew about Monica’s singing despite her unfamiliarity with the entertainment world. She possessed a singing voice that could turn any head. Her fans would always say that the real thing was better than the recordings.
But Myuhi didn’t expect that it could actually captivate her even in the middle of a battlefield. She was about to attack just a moment ago, but the sound of Monica’s voice had completely stupefied her. It wasn’t just her too. The whole room had gone quiet. So quiet – in fact – that it was as if time had come to a standstill. The only sound that could be heard was Monica’s singing. But the reason was not the same for everyone.
For a moment later, small explosions resonated in chains, and sparks sputtered here and there as metal fragments shot out into the air.
Myuhi initially suspected this to be a mere accident or some kind of self-destruct function to maintain secrecy over their organization’s technology, but the scale was too small and sporadic.
While such phenomena revolved mostly around the apostle armaments and the tanks, it felt more as if all of their systems couldn’t endure the intense load. Strangely, the timing of these small explosions seemed to coincide with something else.
『Huh? Are they reacting to her song!? 』
It was such a foolish sentiment, yet the Apostle Armaments belatedly tumbled about in the room according to the song, sputtering and exploding in harmony. It was as if the cacophony of explosions was chasing after the acapella of the songstress to give rise to a discordant harmony.
“Venommm! I thought you killed the girl!?”
Myuhi had been stunned by that scene that seemed anything but coincidental. And it took Six’s angry bellows from his malfunctioning exoskeleton to rouse her awake. As Six crawled out of his exoskeleton, his lips stained in his own blood, he glared at Venom as if to find fault with him.
“But it’s true! I used the apostle armament on her! The screen says there’s no life left too! Ah! Don’t tell me you two did something!”
“Tch, so that’s why they came out at the perfect timing!”
They were glaring at none other than the Mask and Crimson. Though the question how remained, they nonetheless knew that these two had somehow neutralized their Apostle Armaments. They also appeared as soon as Six entered the fray.
If so, then they must have been aiming for them from the start or had received a mission from Monica to protect her. Their faces were awash with astonishment, indignation, and anguish as they racked their heads, trying to figure out how the information was leaked and how to respond.
But as much of a mess as their faces were right now, their expressions would likely be an even bigger mess if they found out that all of this happened coincidentally. Myuhi took advantage of the fact that their faces couldn’t be seen and chose to keep quiet. It was curious, however, if that was something she did tactically or merely to annoy the enemy.
But the reason the Mask was quiet was different. And when a voice finally leaked out of the Mask, the sound that came out was deflated and incomprehensible, the black garment that covered him swaying casually as he collapsed into the floor with a loud thud.
It was hard to tell the position of the Mask, but he seemed to collapse face first, so Myuhi approached him and crouched down, while making sure to keep her spear pointed at the enemy. She continued to call out to the Mask, but it was to no avail.
『Uu, guu! Ah, ah… This song!?!? 』
Then an anguished scream resounded from the Mask despite him barely moving. But then again, was he really not moving, or was it simply that his movements couldn’t be perceived? Or perhaps, he couldn’t move?
The Mask was unpredictable as an enemy, but he was difficult to understand as an ally too.
『Hey! Get a hold of yourself! What!? 』
Myuhi gave her best guess and shook where the Mask’s shoulders most likely were, only to feel a peculiar sensation through her gauntlets. The exoskeleton could accurately convey the sensation of touch to its wearer, so this wasn’t anything strange, but something was wrong.
For a “red” different from the color of her own crimson had stained her gauntlets. It was his. As realization dawned on her, for a moment, Myuhi couldn’t breathe. Masquerade had been wounded.
『…But how? 』
That wasn’t a question of “when” or “by what,” as the answer to that was readily apparent. Something had been impaled into that black mist. Perhaps, one of the fragments of the weapons scattered around had unluckily lodged itself in his shoulders The issue—or rather, the unbelievable part—was that something as trivial as the fragment from a weapon, which have been easily deflected until now, had actually managed to impale him when he collapsed.
───That’s why, from time to time, when he lets his guard down, he would step on something sharp in his own room, bleed, and roll about in pain. Really, he can be quite clumsy. Well, that’s endearing in its own way────
Her thoughts flashed back to the words of that woman with that hateful smile, and without intending to, Myuhi found herself retorting internally, “Which part of this is supposed to be endearing!?”
This was the worst. Was the pain so great that he could not maintain his strength, or did he lose it altogether? Whichever it was, this was a fatal problem for someone who was so innately weak.
『Tsk! Clench your teeth! I’m gonna pull it out! 』
『Guu, I can… Hear it… The voice of… Heaven!』
Myuhi cleaned the area around her with a skill and extracted the fragments from the Mask, then put them away. It would be fatal if the enemy were to get something as full of information as his blood.
In this precarious situation, where even a stray bullet could kill the Mask, she made sure to apply defensive skills as well. Fortunately, the bleeding seemed to have stopped, but the wound was obscured by the black mist, so it was impossible to assess his condition.
He seemed conscious, but it was doubtful if he could hear her. The Mask continued to groan, but he was completely unresponsive to her when she extracted the fragments. Instead, he seemed to react to something else altogether.
“…So that’s how it is. Good! Very good!”
Six, whom Myuhi paid the most of attention to, began to clap with an understanding expression. They seemed just as perplexed as her by the Mask’s sudden collapse, but now, Six appeared relieved – perhaps because the biggest threat to him couldn’t move anymore – and he wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth as he casually stood up with a relaxed motion.
“To think that the famous Masquerade’s weakness would turn out to be the same as ours.”