Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Vol 10 Chapter 2
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Chapter 2 – Heiburg’s Darkness – Part 1 The smell of salty sea breeze and quiet sound of waves were filling inside the room. 「N, nn……fua」 Lisha was waking up while yawning. There a beautiful scenery was unfolding. Blue sea and a harbor made from stone entered the eyes from the window of the small and clean bedroom. The signboard of Triport, a port city in the western territory of new kingdom could be seen from there. Because it was a city of commerce, it wasn’t a city where one could enjoy swimming in the sea, but it was quite interesting in its own way that the sea and ships were nearby. It was also fun thinking of Drag-Ride for crossing sea or diving into it, and there was romance in ship crossing sea. For Lisha whose hobby was to fiddle with Drag-Ride, this too was a scenery that invited her interest considerably, but──, 「Something like patrolling is boring. Hearing the lecture of Instructor Raigree in the Academy is still better.」 She changed into her pilot suit even while complaining and put on a robe above it. She opened the door and exited the government building, then she walked toward the opposite side of the port. At the east of the city, there was a base that was surrounded by stone rampart, the soldiers greeted her while she was heading there. 「Good morning, your highness princess Lizsharte!」 「Morning. No need to greet so stiffly like that. It just makes me tired.」 Lisha brightly exchanged light talk while advancing deeper into the base briskly. At present, there were two forces that were present in this place that was a defensive base from the first Ruin──Babel. The first one was the force of Drag-Knight possessed by Dist Ralgris, the feudal lord of the western territory. The other one was the main force of Heiburg military that obtained the investigation right of Ruin for a month. A female general of the blooming age called Gutefelica took command of the army and progressed the conquering of Babel every day. Inside the Babel that was composed from thirteen floors in total, there was no conquer method other than climbing up from the first floor. Although the Ruin was discovered in quite the early stage at the new kingdom, the conquering itself was stopping until the second floor. The first floor was abnormally spacious. Because almost all Drag-Rides had been carried out from the warehouses that existed in dozens of place there, and the appearance rate of Abyss was also increasing from the second floor, the risk of conquering further didn’t match the possible gain. 「Good morning Lizsharte. Did you sleep well yesterday?」 When Lisha climbed to the lighthouse where the Babel could be observed, a girl with the same outfit like her was standing by on the highest floor. The daughter of one of the four great nobles and the third year student who was the strongest in the Academy──Celistia Ralgris. Lisha greeted back while sitting down beside her. 「I’ve got a good room prepared for me, but the sleeping comfort is the worst. I cannot sleep from feeling uneasy about the Heiburg bunches in this city.」 「I can sympathize. Its not just the fear against the threat of Abyss, the air is also tense from the uneasiness Heiburg’s soldiers are bringing. We won’t last for a month like this.」 「In fact, they also cannot spend that much time I conquering the Ruin.」 If the prediction from the Lord’s imperial princess Listelka was correct, it would be about five more months until the danger of world destruction by Sacred Eclipse. Considering that there were still five Ruins that hadn’t been liberated, they didn’t even have the leeway to spend one month per Ruin. Thus the world alliance leaders proposed that they should split their battle force into two and assaulted two Ruins simultaneously, but in reality they were indecisive. The Seven Dragon Paladins of Ymir Theocracy, Mel still hadn’t recovered completely. And above all else, since then Dragon Marauder was completely in hiding. If they got attacked from the back by Dragon Marauder after they gave their all in conquering the Ruins──thinking that caused the countries to become unable to make drastic move. When also considering the possibility that they wouldn’t be able to oppose Ragnarok’s appearance and their country got destroyed, it was natural to consider to first take the wait-and-see approach at other country’s attempt. In a sense it could be called as the natural conclusion when thinking that they would be unable to concentrate their force in case all five Ragnarok got away simultaneously, but──. 「This is troubling. When thinking about dealing with the Abysses that appear from Babel, we cannot leave from this place.」 It was already five days since Heiburg started conquering Babel. Although at least there was an agreement that their exploration would be from dawn until sunset, there were countless transfer devices set up inside Babel to get outside the Ruin. It was nice that there were a lot of escape routes, but even Abyss would get invited by that and went outside. Those escaping enemies would fly to Triport, so Lisha and Celis were posted here to defense against those. 「Around ten Abysses came to Triport for the whole day yesterday. If there isn’t at least one Divine Drag-Ride user here, the battle line won’t hold with just father’s force.」 「You’re right.」 Lisha nodded and gazed at the townscape from the lighthouse. Her gaze caught the sight of Rosa Granhide, the supreme commander of Heiburg’s force this time. 「It looks like that woman is really here huh. Though I don’t know why she is walking around the city like that.」 「It’s certainly strange. At the first day she only went to greet the city mayor, then she only looked around the city, leaving the conquer of Babel to her subordinate──」 Even if Heiburg planned to preserve their battle force until the shortest route inside Babel was confirmed, it was suspicious that Rosa’s aide, Calensia didn’t show up. Because, in any case if they couldn’t arrive until the floor where the Ragnarok was at, sending out powerful Drag-Knight in the early stage would make the conquering progress faster. 「Either way, this time we cannot enter the Ruin. In a few more days, Krulcifer and that ero woman will come to relieve us from the defense role. Until then we can only accomplish our duty.」 「Come to think of it, recently it seems like you have a good relationship with Yoruka. I am still unable to interact well with her, so I’m envious.」 Celis suddenly said such thing. It was about the former assassin girl who possessed an alias as Empire’s Assassin Dagger, a problem child who couldn’t blend in into the Academy at all. Lisha’s cheeks blushed and she got flustered when Celis pointed that out. 「Tha, that’s not true at all-!? I’m meddling with that woman because she cannot just be left alone, it’s not what you think──or rather, what about you yourself!? Even though it was you who got taught to do that absurd thing in the campus festival’s punishment game!」 This time it was Celis’s turn to become red faced from Lisha’s objection. She waved her hands around while making excuse about that time in panic. 「Tha, that was just me getting tricked by her! That’s, if I knew that kissing is fine with just touching the lips lightly, such thing wouldn’t──」 「Well fine……. More importantly, I’m also worried about Lux.」 「You’re right. The high level Drag-Knights of Heiburg are all coming to conquer Babel, but it’s still somewhat worrying that he is infiltrating enemy territory.」 In case there was really backroom deal happening there, the situation might even developed into battle there. Even Celis and Lisha knew that the division commanders of the Dragon Marauder were powerful enemies from their confrontation against Drakkhen. 「There is that but, that damned headmaster. She tried to make Lux and that airhead girl to get hitched with each other using all kind of reason──and of all things, it became a honeymoon!」 Lisha’s face reddened with a dissatisfied expression. This time in order to avoid confusion, all members of Syvalles received explanation before Lux departed, but it was still fresh in her memory how everyone except Philuffy and Yoruka were bewildered. 「It can’t be helped. After all there is no doubt that she is the one qualified for the mission this time based on the circumstance.」 「But still──」 When Lisha said that stubbornly, 「You promise not to say that. Haa……even so, I also wanted to accompany him in a role as his guard or subordinate. If it’s me who am Syvalles’s captain, then there won’t be any violation of the norm even if I’m together with Lux.」 「…………」 Lisha was staring suspiciously from the side at Celis’s face that looked somewhat sorrowful. 「Hah……. N, no, personally I’m not feeling envious toward Philuffy, till the end it’s only because of my duty as an aide──」 「Honestly I’m still doubtful about your statement just now but, well fine. After all surely it’s a good thing that you can reveal your true self like that.」 Thinking back, Celis being 『man-hater』 and also her personality that was stricter than necessary weren’t the real Celis. With Lux’s influence that undid her obstinate feeling, Celis was gradually getting able to show her true self even to people like Lisha and others who were close to her like this. 「It’s mysterious. Even though we are separated, thanks to him we can be connected like this.」 Seeing Celis’s relieved smile, Lisha also nodded in satisfaction. At that moment, they could hear the bell sound that informed the attack of Abyss. The signal of the bell came five times. The sign meant that five Abysses appeared from Babel and they were heading here. 「Then, how about we test this so called power of unity right away?」 Lisha smiled boastfully and stood up. Celis stood beside her and unsheathed her Sword Device. Even though they were burdened with the heavy responsibility of defending against large quantity of Abysses that were just a stone throw away from them, it was as though the willpower inside their eyes wasn’t affected at all. 「Come back quickly okay, my knight!」 Lisha wore her Divine Drag-Ride Tiamat while pouring her wish into it. In this conquering, the number of Abyss that got outside from Babel just for today reached until thirty. The long battle that threatened the new kingdom was starting even today. – Part 2 On the other hand, at Helmhide, the capital of Heiburg Republic. Lux and Philuffy who had obtained the tickets to enter the underground market were planning to wait quietly until the market was opened a week later. But, Lux who got involved with a girl called Stefa Hersmice, a former military cadet, accepted the unexpected request from her. The request was──she wished to meet her older cousin, the girl who was the aide of Heiburg’s Seven Dragon Paladins, Calensia Hersmice who she hadn’t met for three years. 「Lu-chan. We are leaving soon?」 「Yes. I want to try looking for her before the underground market is opened as expected.」 Lux was holding a beautiful hair clip inside his hand. It was something that Stefa entrusted to him just a few hours ago. – After waking up, Lux and Philuffy had breakfast and headed toward Stefa’s house first. It was a plain house that was located in a corner of a residential district for middle class citizens. She was living alone with her father. Because her father who was a carpenter headed to his workplace early in the morning, there was no one but her in the house when it was before noon. 「I’m sorry to make you wait. Rudy-san and……, his wife Phianel-san is it? I’m grateful that the two of you will listen to my request.」 Of course Lux’s didn’t make a firm promise about his cooperation with her to make her able to meet with Calensia, it would be only something that he did in the side until the underground market was opened, even so the girl said her thanks happily. 「And, about the story’s continuation──do you have any idea about Calensia-san’s tendency?」 To reunite her with her cousin who she hadn’t met for three years, they had to have some knowledge about her location before they could do anything. Then Stefa frowned uneasily, and her voice’s tone lowered by a notch. 「Err, while the two of you are coming here, you weren’t seen by the guards right?」 Lux guessed what was in her mind from her vigilant state. It was likely that she was going to talk about a matter that was related to military secret. 「We were careful just to be in the safe side but, please don’t force yourself. Right now we cannot guarantee your safety.」 Even Lux couldn’t carry that much responsibility. Thus he said that trying to stop her, but the girl before him shook her head. 「No, please let me say it. I cannot just make a wish while staying alone by myself in safey──」 After hesitating slightly, Stefa opened her mouth determinedly. 「Even though I was just a military cadet Drag-Knight, at that time I was placed in a special class. On that occasion, I was entrusted with being guard in the underground market several times as preparation for the future. Calensia was certainly with me at that time.」 Stefa finally began to talk about the military’s secret information. There were a lot of illegal things circulated within the underground market. Rare Drag-Ride parts and weapons, they were sold and purchased with a lot of tax applied to them. In other words, the military wasn’t just guarding the underground market, there was no doubt that they were taking part actively in it. 「If Calensia is still doing the same duty, there are several places that she will stop by. If you can meet her, I want you to tell her the circumstance and show her this.」 Stefa said that and took off the hair clip that she was wearing, which she presented toward Lux. It was a beautiful accessory with blue gems scattered on it. 「This is, a present from her to me for my birthday. Please. Will you ask Calnesia for me? About what is going on in this country, and what happened to Rosa?」 「I understand. I will do as much as I can.」 Lux told Stefa that and parted from her. Then he started to move together with Philuffy. And then now──Lux and Philuffy marched toward a pleasure quarter that was at the outskirt of the city with precious metal for business discussion at hand. There wasn’t only bar there, but also places like brothel, gambling den, every kind of places that were smeared heavily with desires──in a glance it was a suspicious area that looked lawless. 「There was also this kind of place in the old empire though.」 In reality this was the first time Lux went to this kind of place. He felt a bit bewildered. 「As I thought, wouldn’t it be better if I investigate this place alo──?」 「I’m, Lu-chan’s bodyguard, you know?」 Lux unconsciously muttered that because he was uneasy to drag Philuffy into here, but after she told him that he could only respect her choice. Because thanks to the body strengthening from the Abyss’s influence and the martial art that Magialca taught her, she possessed combat potential that could easily defeat a large man. In this situation it would be something indispensable. However, the innocent look and the air of wealth the two of them had appeared to mark them as tasty prey for the lot here. They didn’t know how many times they were called out before they could arrive at their destination. Like that, they arrived at the bar that was their target. When they entered inside the bar that looked really dubious with pink colored lighting illuminating the place, the female bar owner suddenly approached them. 「My, boy. Is this your first time in this street? If you are with your woman then go back home quickly. You must not make your cute wife cry.」 The black haired woman with beautiful light makeup suddenly scolded Lux. 「No, that’s not it──, you are the guide correct?」 Lux presented to her a letter. Then the woman’s eyes blinked and she quickly followed the written letters with her gaze. 「We are looking for Calensia-san, have you happened to see her around here?」 「……Come for a bit inside, it will be bad to stand here.」 The female owner pulled Lux’s hand and led Lux and Philuffy inside the bar’s parlor. A questionable alcohol was brought out for the drink, but he couldn’t get himself to reach his hand to it. This female bar owner seemed to be a friend of Stefa’s deceased mother. Perhaps because of that she knew well about Stefa who had come at this area as military cadet. 「I see, you became acquainted with Stefa and she asked you to inquire about Calensia──but, just stop it you two. I don’t know what your relationship with that girl is, but it’s too dangerous for you to do this because of good will. By this time, it’s already too risky to say out their name loudly. Not just Rosa’s name, even Calensia’s name is the same.」 「What, do you mean?」 The woman sighed deeply against Lux’s question that he asked with a doubtful expression. 「I cannot say it out loud, but it’s true that the goods of the military and Ruin that will be sold in the underground market were safeguarded in the warehouse nearby. However that was only until a short while ago. Right now Heiburg’s military has became even more dreadful.」 「Is it because of the existence of the Dark Marketer Hayes and the King of Vices?」 The public order of Heiburg had worsened far more than before and the controlling power of the military was strengthened to a large degree. Those who were defiant and spoke out were executed, and every place was placed under the control of the military. The treatment for prisoner from other country that was captured and couldn’t be brought to the open and kidnapped citizen was also like that. It seemed woman was made to work as prostitute, and man was treated like slave to work in physical labor. The country was taking initiative in working evil deed, where the inconvenient things were camouflaged from other countries as the work of the rowdy people here. At present, this was that kind of place. 「Such, thing──」 ‘Is impossible’──Lux was about to say that, but he couldn’t deny it. Five years ago, what Arcadia Empire did was nearly the same like here. Lux himself who was trying to change the empire had witnessed such thing whether he liked it or not. 「That’s why, our guys here are also really fearful. ──After all military people are in the experiment site deeper in this place. Right now is especially not good. Those guys, they are even starting something terrifying.」 「Experiment……, is it?」 「Yeah.」 The woman nodded with a voice that sounded like she was repressing something. 「Furthermore these few days, that Calensia who you are looking for is also coming and going there. I don’t know the reason. Surely she is ordered by Rosa but, either way──there is no way what she is told to do is something decent.」 By the way, the female bar owner wasn’t acquainted with Calensia until a few years ago. After that, she noticed that Calensia was Stefa’s relative and talked to her a few times, but it seemed that Calensia herself told the woman to not tell Stefa about herself. ‘Fuu’, the woman let out a long sigh and gulped the alcohol. 「Now you understand? Whether you two are somewhat bad merchants or good people who listened to Stefa’s request──you must not get involved with the darkness of this Heiburg. If you get it then go home, while you two are still safe.」 That seemed to be the conclusion of this woman who was living in this dangerous place. Certainly, it might be just as she said. If Lux was just a mere young traveling merchant, there was no way he should poke his nose at this kind of dangerous matter. He had already obtained the ticket for the underground market, so perhaps it would be more sound to bet for the chance there. But, even after understanding that, Lux was still harboring a frustrated feeling. Because in that skill exhibition battle, Calensia might had suffered some kind of irrationality due to being blamed of her failure where she got outsmarted by Lux. 「Then, please allow us to wait for Calensia-san for a while here. Please notify us if she is passing nearby.」 「Are you sane? Even if by some chance you can meet Calensia, it’s not something that you will be able to do anything about.」 「Perhaps that is so. But, I should be able to convey Stefa’s feeling to her. I should be able to fulfill the promise by doing that. That’s why──」 That was half truth and half lie. The lie was at the part where Lux was a young master of a mercantile house who came here for honeymoon. If it was with Lux and Philuffy’s skill, there was a way to help Calensia here. Lux made that request with such thinking but──, 「It’s troubling. I cannot take any responsibility you know?」 When the troubled looking woman stared at Philuffy who was staying quiet with a dreamy expression, 「No problem. I’ll leave it, to Lu-chan.」 「Is it fine?」 「It’s fine. I’m, strong.」 「…………」 Perhaps the woman folded before Philuffy’s strong will, she responded to the persuasion even while feeling exasperated. 「I get it. I’ll tell you two if I find Calensia, so you can stay inside this bar until then. If you two are walking around this area looking like that, it will be really conspicuous.」 Certainly Lux was also aware of that. If they couldn’t meet with Calensia here, it would be troublesome if Lux’s identity was exposed in the worst chance. And so, Lux and Philuffy judged that they should hide themselves in this bar for a while. But──the moment they sighed in relieve, they received an unexpected suggestion from the female bar owner. 「Then, I’ll have you two work for a bit. This room is also used for work after all, surely you two will feel bad to stay here for free.」 「Wai-, please wait a second!? Both of us are──」 「It’s fine, it’s fine, I won’t let you two accompany strange guest so don’t worry.」 It was now the turn of Lux who should have determined himself to get flustered. And then, a few minutes later──. Inside the bar that was illuminated by suspicious light, Lux and Philuffy each changed clothes and worked awkwardly. Philuffy was wearing clothes with white and black as the base colors. She was receiving and welcoming customer silently. It was a simple outfit with the area around her shoulders was abruptly exposed, but coupled with her natural appearance and the impressive presence of her breasts, she was emitting a charm that would entrance anyone if they were a man. If the little sister lover Relie saw her now, she would be happy, but in this place Lux was worried. (This can’t be helped in order to secure that person’s cooperation, but if something happen, I have to protect Phi-chan──) Lux was fretting inside his heart, even so Philuffy herself wasn’t perturbed. Her appearance wearing a hair band that resembled rabbit ears caused the male customers to continuously called out to her to accompany them drinking, but Philuffy indifferently avoided the advance of the drunkards. She expressionlessly warded off *pechi* the hands reaching out to touch her and also smoothly ignored the obscene words. 「That girl, perhaps she unexpectedly has talent. Though it’s a bit of problem how she is staring at the customer’s food cravingly like that──」 And so on, the female bar owner was also giving Philuffy high praise. On the other hand, Lux who changed into waiter appearance was also receiving a lot of designation from the female customers and he was greatly busy. 「But, you are also doing fine. You look pretty used with this. It’s to the degree that I cannot imagine you as a young master of a mercantile house you know? Won’t you consider living here?」 「A, ahaha……」 It was the result of his experience living the lives of chores for five years, but honestly it didn’t really make him happy knowing that. (What’s this, it feels like this kind of work is the same no matter where you are.) Lux smiled wryly while putting in order the work before him. Like that time passed quickly. 「──Thanks for your hard work, it’s fine if you two rest for a while.」 Two hours later. They took a break in the parlor by the bar owner’s consideration. They started this work to fill the time while waiting for Calensia, but the two of them got used to it more than expected. 「Next it will be great if we luckily can meet with Calensia-san though──」 After Lux who was leaning tiredly on the sofa muttered that, Philuffy who was also sitting beside him turned her gaze to him. 「If Lu-chan could meet her, what are you planning to do?」 「I want at least to hear the story from her. Also, if possible──I want to help her too. Of course, I have to prioritize the new kingdom, so it will depend on the situation.」 「I see.」 Philuffy didn’t agree or disagree with him. She gulped down the water-like thing the bar owner prepared for them and then looked around inside the room. 「But, this place, it’s similar somehow isn’t it?」 「I, guess.」 Lux guessed what Philuffy meant by her question and nodded. A stifling atmosphere that resembled the old empire in the past was ruling over the very city itself. If, five years ago Lux didn’t plan the coup d’etat, would he and Philuffy be able to live normally? And then──. 「Hye, Phi-chan. About what I did.」 Lux also took a glass into his hand while he suddenly thought. If he wasn’t betrayed by Fugil in that day of revolution, would the imperial family and military officers of the old empire survived? Or perhaps it would be just as Fugil pointed out, Lux would be betrayed by the imperial family and then killed, and everything would be treated as something that never happened? He couldn’t deny that him trying to save the enemy too as much as possible was a naïve ideal. But, Lux was casted away when he was a child in the era of Arcadia Empire. When he was banished from the imperial court and the coach his mother was riding on met an accident, the oppressed people condemned Lux. Actually his fate was the result of his grandfather trying to save the people, but they directed the brunt of their anger to him just because he was an imperial family member, and he couldn’t resist them. He had no authority at all as the youngest brother of the imperial family and couldn’t make any move. He thought that it couldn’t be helped even if he was condemned about that matter. Even so, as much as possible Lux didn’t want to consider anyone as evil and judged them as guilty just because they were at the enemy’s side. 「Buhah!? Wait, isn’t this alcohol!? Just what is that person giving us!?」 When he drank the content of the glass while getting absorbed into a deep feeling, the inside of his throat flared hotly. He was surprised for a moment, but thinking back carefully, right now Lux and Philuffy were disguising themselves as adult. He became uneasy and looked at his side. There he saw Philuffy’s face that had already looked drowsy and intoxicated. Her cheeks were slightly tinged with redness, and her breathing was getting somewhat rough. Somehow, when he saw such Philuffy when it was only the two of them alone inside a room, coupled with the exposure rate of her outfit, it caused Lux’s heart to beat fast. 「It’s, all right.」 「Eh……?」 For a moment, Lux thought she meant that she wasn’t drunk, but she took Lux’s hand for some reason and she pulled him toward her chest. Lux’s face became heated from getting embraced by Philuffy from the front. 「Wai-!? Phi-chan! What are you doing!?」 「Because, I’ll be together with Lu-chan forever.」 「That’s the setting of our disguise, right now we come to this bar for──」 She was completely drunk. (This is bad! At this rate, this will be a hindrance for the mission right now.) Thinking that, he tried to separate from Philuffy somehow, but he couldn’t resist the soft elasticity and sweet scent that displayed their definite presence. It was bad that Lux had also drank the alcohol just now. If it stayed like this, Lux’s rationality would be melted away. 「Lu-chan, isn’t mistaken. I was happy, to be saved.」 When he was thinking that, she gently whispered into his ear. The voice that was warm like sunny spot shook Lux’s heart slightly. 「Munya munya. Zzz……」 「Wait, please don’t sleep while still hugging me!? The bar owner will return soon──」 Lux who returned to his senses squirmed within Philuffy’s embrace in panic, it was at that timing. *Gashan!* The sound of glass breaking could be heard and a tense atmosphere flowed in. Lux immediately separated from Philuffy and peeked at the state inside the bar from within the parlor. 「There are only discourteous bunches here as usual. I told you to remember my face right? After all, I was promoted into ServantsSix Punishers who worked directly for Rosa-sama, you get iitt.」 It was a man with unkempt and bristled up black hair, sitting down heavily on the sofa. He was thin with only skin and bones, with purple shade formed under his eyes, even so his eyes had abnormally fierce glint. 「You two, keep hiding like that. A troublesome guy has come. He is one of the Servants, the unit that is directly under Rosa’s control. His name is the 『Cutting Punishment』 Brandish.」 「……-!?」 The bar owner visited them once and said that, which caused Lux to hold his breath. According to the information from Triad, Rosa and the Servants should be still occupied by Babel’s conquering, but could it be one of them stayed behind to manage the underground market? The emaciated man who was called Brandish emptied his glass in one gulp and glared intensely at the bar’s staffs. His disdaining gaze was appraising everyone while looking down on them at the same time. His expression, rather than looking unpleasant, it was more like his own conceit was surfacing on his face. 「And, which one is it? The rumored cute newcomer. I heard it while walking on the street just now yeah? Bring her out.」 Tension ran through the bar with the man’s sentence. It appeared that anyone who caught the eye of this man wouldn’t meet with a decent fate. 「You have sharp ears. But, if it’s that girl she already went home for today. She is only helping out here specially for this day. That’s why──muguh!?」 The moment the bar owner acted to soothe down the man, Brandish’s hand reached out and grasped her throat. 「Don’t make a mistake madam. I’ll get her out immediately──that’s what you should say right? Don’t you dare to look down on Rosa-sama. Especially at this time, anyone who is probing at the warehouse ahead from here, they must be assassin from other country or those Resistance bunches.」 The action of Lux and Philuffy was seen through. This man was obviously coming here to investigate the two of them. Most likely there were also several spies who were mixed up with the people in this area. It wasn’t something unexpected, but this turned out to be something bad before they could participate in the crucial underground market. 「Munya……. Lu-chan.」 As expected Philuffy felt the omen of danger this time, she woke up while still drunk. 「Wait Phi-chan. You mustn’t come outside! If that guy and his subordinates remembered our face, it will be bad.」 But, Lux held her back with his hand and waited for a chance calmly. Perhaps they could manage somehow if they fought while hiding their face, or perhaps if he only used Wyvern that was difficult to be investigated. The enemy was one of the Servants, but if he took him by surprise then somehow──. 「Can’t you be a bit calmer? Doing this kind of method won’t be anything good for Heiburg Republic……」 Then, while Lux was thinking so, a voice came from beside the man. From the gap of the door, he could see a girl with young appearance whose body was wrapped in military uniform. Her hairstyle that exposed her forehead and intellectual glasses left an impression. She was an aide of Seven Dragon Paladins, Calensia. It appeared that this situation was unexpected for her. She ran her gaze through the bar with a somewhat long face. Lux had never imagined that he would find her here along with the enemy. This was a predicament where Lux and Philuffy’s true identity might get found out by the enemy before the underground market opened. But, at the same time it was also a chance of the life’s time. 「Aaa!? You think you can say anything to me when your position is just as Rosa-sama’s lowly servant-! Should I take away this bar’s people as traitors?」 But, Brandish was enraged by Calensia’s warning and thrust away her shoulder. The moment everyone’s attention was diverted by that, Lux kicked on the floor and rushed out quickly. Victory went to the one who made the first move. He didn’t summon his Drag-Ride and slashed directly with unsheathed Sword Device. Other than Calensia, there was only one other man who seemed to be from military who followed Brandish. If he could just take Brandish who was the leader as hostage, that would be the end. Lux predicted that and went to suppress the emaciated man, but──. 「……Fuhaa!」 When he almost reached, the man with alias of Cutting Punishment reacted and pushed the man beside him toward Lux. 「……-!?」 Lux immediately pulled back his sword, collided on the man that was pushed on him and he fell on his back. (This is bad, at this rate──!) At that instant when Lux was at a lost about how he should move, Brandish pulled out his Sword Device, twirled his wrist, and thrust the tip below. (Don’t tell me──!?) Feeling of disbelief crossed Lux’s mind and he twisted his body. Right after that, the Sword Device’s blade was stabbed toward Lux along with Brandish’s follower lying on top of him. Lux barely dodged, but the blade stabbed through the subordinate’s torso and went further through the wooden floor. 「UGYAAAAH!」 The subordinate’s shriek resounded and the bar’s staffs and customers gulped. The man who was the direct subordinate of Rosa casually stabbed his own subordinate to death. 「This is why a former prisoner is useless as underling, he cannot even hold down the enemy. Calensia! You deal with this guy. I’ll search for the other hiding woman this guy brought! Get it!?」 While Lux was fixing his posture, Brandish smoothly pulled out his Sword Device that stabbed on his subordinate. Like that he then ran toward the parlor where Philuffy was at. 「Wait-!」 「Got you──」 Right after Lux reflexively tried to chase after the man, the emaciated man swiftly turned around and slashed. Lux barely blocked it with his Sword Device, but the skin of his chest was cut and blood oozed out. 「Aren’t you quite calm? Even though I thought you got caught by the lie. Kehahahaha!」 Lux’s expression tensed by Brandish’s provocation. There was no way he could let a dangerous man like this went free. He was in a disadvantageous situation, but he had to defeat him no matter what. 「You want to cross sword with this me, interesting! Calen! You help out too!」 He gave instruction to Calensia who was flustered beside him, but the girl shook her head. 「Stop with the joke. You think that it won’t become a problem when you are rampaging like this?」 「You are the one who know best that it won’t be any problem right? Someone like you whose whole family is taken hostage by Rosa-sama huuh?」 「Kuh!」 Calensia’s groan made Lux guessed her situation. As he thought, she was only being used. The one he should defeat in this place was only Brandish alone. But, contrary to Lux’s expectation, Calensia quickly leaped out in front of Lux. She let out her Sword Device from its sheath as though to say that she would be his opponent now. 「If I let you fight, you will kill the two of them. Don’t interfere.」 「Hoou. Nice dedication you got there. Then, I’ll be so kind to concede the achievement to the aide-sama here.」 Brandish made a thin smile and unexpectedly he went outside obediently. Calensia who confronted Lux one-on-one slowly lowered down her Sword Device, showing her intention to call off the fight. 「You, what are──!?」 When Lux asked, Calensia lowered her tone by two notches and whispered. 「For now it’s that kind of thing. I don’t know who you are, but leave from this place quickly. I’ll somehow let the other girl who seems to be here too to also escape, that’s why……」 「Aren’t you obeying Lady Rosa?」 「Ple, please don’t say anything unnecessary! More importantly, if you don’t hurry and escape from here……」 「──Aah, that’s right, it’s too late already yeah.」 *Gachiin!* The unique sound of metal clashing came from outside. The sound that signed of Drag-Ride moving──preparing to fire its Cannon let Lux who was inside the bar to instantly guess what was going on. Calensia also came to a realization in surprise and quickly got down on the floor. 「Everyone get down! A bombing is coming-!」 Right after Lux yelled in warning, an impact that whipped out his five senses pierced the bar. He was struck by the thunderous roar that made his eardrums felt like they were going to burst. Shockwave exploded and covered everyone’s scream. Inside the flow of time where his consciousness was getting farther, Lux was worried about Philuffy’s safety. (──He is insane! To blow away the whole bar like that!) That man was easily backing down not because he was listening to Calensia. He backed away to make Calensia as bait while he bombed the whole bar. He knew that the military of Heiburg Republic was rotten, but this far surpassed his imagination. The military’s Drag-Knight who possessed absolute authority carried out inhuman act mercilessly to make example. This man intentionally accomplished evil deed in order to display violence and terror. 「Kukukukukuku, I held back so you are alive right? Though it will be more painful to stay alive. I’ll let your body taste a lot of the price of covering up for outsiders──gugah!?」 At that moment when the man was grinning thinly while feeling elated of his success, a Blade that thrust out from beside a wreckage pierced the armor of the EX Wyrm he was wearing. It didn’t result in considerable damage, but Brandish leaped back and glared at Lux in surprise. 「What the hell are you bastard……. Since when you summoned your Drag-Ride?」 「I don’t need to answer you!」 The fact was, it wasn’t anything special. After all, it wasn’t like Lux was hiding while summoning his Drag-Ride. It was the Drag-Ride summoning without chanting as well as high-speed connection that were Celis’s forte. Thanks to him accompanying her in her training, it was useful to escape this predicament. He could only believe that Philuffy had heard his voice and she had gotten down. Either way, there was no other option for him than defeating this man now. 「You think you can win? The likes of you who is merely using general purpose Drag-Rideee!」 Brandish lowered his Cannon, in exchange he lifted up a long great sword. It had a strange shape with miniscule blades attached along the edge like a saw. Most likely it was a type of a rare armament. Originally Lux should be vigilant and observed the situation. But, (I cannot spend much time. I’ll decide this with one attack!) Lux gathered strength by exhaling, then he skated in a straight line using his Wyvern. If he had the Scale Blade that was made by Lisha, he could destroy the opponent’s weapon. In order to make Critical Hit that was a type of counterattack a success, it was necessary for him to see through the preliminary motion of the opponent’s attack, Brandish’s sudden slash was simple and met Lux’s attack. 「You think you can block this──you idiot!」 Brandish grinned widely. In that moment, Lux’s Blade that was covered with barrier was repelled hard to the back. 「Wha-!?」 Looking closer──the rare weapon the enemy held was tinged with intensely undulating light. The miniscule blades running along the edge in high speed. Lux’s Blade was repelled by that powerful movement energy and his Critical Hit’s timing was disturbed. 「Hyahahaa! You are lucky that my ──《Chain SawVibration Blade》 didn’t break your weapon. But this is the end! I’ll hack you into pieces you damn braatttt!」 With the returning slash, he attacked once more at Lux whose balance was broken. ──But, even with his balance crumbling from getting his attack repelled, Lux moved for counterattack. 「Howling Roar!」 The energy that was concentrated on the armor’s head was unleashed in spiral shape from one point. At the same time, Lux readied his own blade before his eyes. The blade struck while being pushed from behind by the shockwave. 「Gu, ooh……!?」 Simultaneously, the enemy’s Chain Saw also cut apart the Wyvern’s barrier and smashed the shoulder armor. Despite the attack’s might had been decreased considerably, its terrific power was transmitted until Lux’s body and sharp pain spread through his whole body. 「U, AAAH!?」 An impact where his tendon, his bone, his muscle, and even his blood were carved ran through his body. After Lux was sent flying back, his Wyvern’s armor was dispelled. (……I underestimated him! To think this weapon is this powerful!) The Blade that was specialized for cutting by vibrating its blade in super high speed, the Chain Saw. It appeared the alias Cutting Punishment the enemy had wasn’t just a decoration. Most likely if he mistook his timing slightly, Lux would be bisected into two. 「U, gu……!」 His lung hemorrhaged. The pain of being struck down from high altitude and his whole body hitting the ground caused numbness that made him unable to get up. (Stand! At this rate it won’t be just me, even Phi-chan and everyone else would──!) Lux gritted his teeth and tried to wring out his remaining strength, but his body wouldn’t listen to what he said. *Garari* The sound of the rubbles of the destroyed bar being moved out of the way could be heard. The moment Lux was gasping in despair──, Philuffy was standing in front of him. 「You okay, Lu-chan?」 「Phi, chan……」 It seemed she dodged the Cannon’s bombing properly. His childhood friend didn’t look injured. On the contrary she gently helped Lux stood up and she patted Lux’s body all over. Just from that intense pain ran through Lux’s body. 「Your bones aren’t broken, your internal organs are also safe. But, looks like your muscle is injured, that’s why, don’t move.」 「Ra, ther than that, the, enemy……!? What about Brandish!?」 Lux tried to drag his unmoving body to stand up, but Philuffy’s hand gently stopped him. 「It’s fine. It seems, he already fainted.」 Just as Philuffy said, Lux could barely see the figure of a man with his armor dispelled falling prostrated on the ground. 「I see, that’s good……」 ‘Fuu’, Lux sighed and relaxed his body. He won by a hair’s breadth. Thinking that he couldn’t allow for more victims to appear, he moved to decide the battle quickly while still not knowing the enemy’s scope of power. It was a blunder that was unlike Lux. If the opponent also didn’t underestimate Lux because he didn’t know his true identity, it was unknown how the battle would end. 「I’ll carry you, to a doctor’s place.」 Philuffy lightly carried up Lux and when she was going to walk away like that──. 「Please wait! You two, just who in the world you are!?」 The voice of Calensia who was laying down inside the rubbles stopped the two of them. 「I’m grateful that you stopped Brandish’s rampage. But, there is no way I can allow the two of you to escape like──……-!?」 Here, it appeared that she recalled Lux’s face. Her eyes could be seen snapping wide open behind her glasses. 「You are……no, you two, could it be──」 Lux immediately took out Stefa’s hair clip from his breast pocket and held it out. The girl stared at that in bewilderment. In order to remind the girl who stiffened as though she couldn’t immediately recall the hair clip, Lux told her the meaning of it. 「Do you remember this hair clip? It’s something entrusted to me from your cousin, Stefa.」 「Stefa……was? That girl, why……」 After whispering in a daze, Calensia tightened her expression in resolve. 「I understand. I’ll listen to what you have to say. I’ll deal with what happened here secretly, so can you tell me the place where we can meet?」 Lux nodded, then he designated a certain tea house in Heiburg that he remembered from the other day and they arranged the time when they would meet. In order to convey Stefa’s feeling and heard the circumstance regarding the odd problem of Heiburg. After they parted from each other for the moment in that place, Calensia ran to put the commotion in order, while Lux was being led away by Philuffy and escaped from there. It was tense when they escaped while hiding in the back alley where there was no sign of people, but an unexpected supporter came. 「──This is surprising. You two weren’t at the inn, so I was searching.」 Midway, they encountered Noct who came for information exchange, and she hid them using Drake’s camouflage ability. Noct checked that there was no Abyss or other Drag-Ride around, then she brought the two of them until a safe area. After receiving first-aid treatment from a doctor──they immediately went to meet Calensia. – Part 3 「Please forgive my rudeness before this, Lux-san. My thanks for stopping a violence that was perpetrated by a person of our Heiburg Republic.」 Calensia who arrived at the tea house that was slightly far away first bowed her head quietly and apologized. It appeared that the tea house was originally designed to be a quiet place, there was no other customer inside. It seemed that Brandish of Cutting Punishment was arrested due to violation of military regulation. He would be imprisoned until the return of the general. In any case he got his arms and legs broken, so he couldn’t move anyway. 「Please don’t worry about it. After all right now we are also people who are infiltrating and hiding in Heiburg. More importantly, can you remember about her? Your cousin──」 Calensia affirmed about that point without hesitation. 「Yes. It’s about Stefa isn’t it……. Thinking back now, it has been a few years since I met her the last time. No, I’m scared to meet her. If she know about the change of her friend Rosa, how would she react……. When I imagined that, I became unable to meet her.」 「What is happening in Heiburg right now? What is Lady Rosa trying to do?」 Calensia looked down, her intelligent expression was clouded. And then the tone of her voice lowered a notch more and she directed a gaze that looked pleading at Lux. 「You two Drag-Knights of new kingdom──furthermore it’s Lux-san who is a member of Seven Dragon Paladins, are coming here while hiding your identity, so you surely already have an idea. It’s about the transaction in the underground market, right?」 Lux confirmed it wordlessly. Then Calensia let out a sigh of resignation and then she took in a deep breath. 「Then, I will talk. Just what in the world is happening right now inside this Heiburg Republic──」 Like that, the girl began to tell a long story. – More than ten years ago. The military of Heiburg Republic received damage from a skirmish against Arcadia Empire, and the backlash from that was strengthened. Especially since the arm dealer Hayes began to get involved with Heiburg military, the momentum of military expansion was accelerated. Right now the entry into the Ruin Gigas was forbidden, but at that time the production facility inside it was operated in full capacity. A large amount of Drag-Rides were manufactured within a few years. The existence of Drag-Ride was greatly related with the national power, including in the section of industry and commerce. Drag-Ride was something indispensible. Because the production of that essential Drag-Ride was controlled by Hayes and the military, the meaning of a republic system already became gone. The military expansion didn’t slow down any, and in less than a few years a military regime was established. 「What do you think happened after that? Of course, Heiburg sheltered the rebel army of Old Empire Arcadia and Hayes attempted to destroy your country. The reason for that was──」 Calensia suddenly cut off her words and asked Lux like that. The Ruin of this country, Gigas was completely controlled. A few months ago, they thought that perhaps Hayes was harboring some kind of fixation toward Lux and Airi, the imperial family of the old empire, but now they could also read her other motive. 「Could she be──trying to put all the other Ruins under her control too?」 Perhaps it was an accident or perhaps there was some other thing at work, the new kingdom that possessed the largest territory had three Ruins existing in it. If the new kingdom was conquered and ruled, it would be easy to conquer the other remaining three Ruins too. The point was, although her path was different, there was a possibility that third imperial princessHayes was also aiming to reach Avalon. 「At this present time this is nothing more than a mere guess, but after she obtained new kingdom in her hand, what did she intend to do I wonder?」 Here Calensia muttered as though she was talking to herself. Hayes who climbed up to the position as Heiburg’s strategist in a short time planned to conquer the Ruins of other countries too after that. But, different from new kingdom where she had a connection of fate with, she was unable to easily make a move to the Ruins of other countries too. If she forcefully invaded the other countries, all the remaining countries would unite and oppose her. If that happened, putting aside whether she would be able to prevail or not, it would surely become troublesome. 「Then, don’t tell me, the true identity of Dragon Marauder is──」 「Yes. I believe that they are groundwork prepared by the strategist Hayes and the male military commander of that time conspiring with each other.」 If Heiburg was unable to move its military in the open, they would make use of mercenary Drag-Knights and invaded the Ruins of other countries. Lux already had a hunch that the backer of the mercenary group that was so skilled like that wouldn’t be anyone small. He could accept that there was such manipulation behind the Dragon Marauder. 「Then, even now Heiburg is controlling and manipulating that Dragon Marauder?」 「No. In my opinion, that’s not the case.」 Lux’s question that stepped into the heart of the matter was responded by Calensia with a shake of her head. 「Since Hayes died in battle, the Dragon Marauder put some distance from Heiburg, because they thought that after the plan to take over the new kingdom was crushed, and the movement of Gigas was also stopped, at that rate Heiburg Republic would only get weaker.」 Dragon Marauder that had already gathered considerable battle force considered that their business with Heiburg had been settled and so they abandoned Heiburg, then they aimed to reach Avalon by their own hand. There was no profit to be made even if they stayed on board a sinking ship made from mud. That was how it was. Hayes who became strategist and conspired with the male military commander vanished. The rebel army of the old empire was also destroyed, and the mercenary Dragon Marauder was also breaking away. Like that, the populace would try to rise in opposition seeing the government was weakening. There, a new powerful person──Rosa Granhide who was affiliated with the military was selected from among many people. Although she had overwhelming power as Drag-Knight, she had a problematic personality. However there was no other existence who could become a new pillar to recover Heiburg that was in the process of weakening. And then, for some reason the commanding officer of the military abruptly died from sickness after that and got buried. In the first place the man was reigning as a foolish ruler, so there was nobody who lamented his death, but then Rosa was snugly placed as the replacement of that person. A new rule of military regiment by an up-and-coming powerful person. But just when such rule was going to start, the Lords swooped down and proposed to hold a talk with all the countries. It seemed that was how it was if the chronology until the present situation was talked concisely. 「Then, you are saying that there won’t be a transaction with Dragon Marauder anymore in the shadow of the underground market this time?」 If that was the case, the Lux’s mission would lose its meaning. If he didn’t catch the enemy’s transaction in the act, he would be unable to proof who was the traitor. In other words the conquering of Babel in the new kingdom also couldn’t be stopped. If that was the case, what Lux could do was only to return to Triport in new kingdom’s west territory and defeated the Abysses appearing around Babel but──. 「No──there will be one last transaction. At the day the next underground market is opened, there will be one more negotiation with the Dragon Marauder.」 Calensia said that with a nervous look. That was to say, it was a clear proof of her betrayal as the aide of Heiburg’s Seven Dragon Paladins. 「Behind the scene of the underground market, Dragon Marauder will offer treasure of Ruin to Heiburg, in exchange they will receive Drag-Ride and dozens of troops. That is the arrangement. All of the troops will be former slaves, they won’t be traced even if they move to other country. That should be the last transaction of this time.」 「…………」 There was only one chance to catch the enemy’s transaction in the act. However if he could grasp this chance, not only he could save the new kingdom, he would also be able to grasp some clue about Dragon Marauder. The combat force that could participate in the mission this time was Lux and Philuffy, and if they were lucky the Triad would also be present to participate at that time. Because Rosa and her Servants were conquering Babel in Triport, there was no doubt that their side would be in advantage if the situation continued like that. 「If you two can just attend the banquet in the underground market, at that day I will take you two to the crime scene. As the exchange material, Heiburg will receive the secret medicine──Elixir that currently is only handled by Dragon Marauder. If at that time you can catch them in the act and arrest them under the name of Seven Dragon Paladins, that will be splendid.」 At this kind of time, the post of Seven Dragon Paladins that was affiliated with world alliance would work in their advantage. Originally it should be difficult to interfere with other country, but now it was possible using the pretext of exterminating Dragon Marauder. 「However, is it alright? Calensia-san will──」 Lux wasn’t relieved by that plan. He asked Calensia once more. 「Yes. Hearing that Stefa is worrying about me, helps me to resolve myself. My family is taken hostage by Lady Rosa and I had no other choice than to obey her. But──if Lux-san will cooperate with me, I might be able to destroy her stronghold. I don’t want to see her rampaging in my homeland even more than this.」 「……I understand. Then, please help us at that day five days from now. I too am planning to act as carefully as possible, but if something happen please don’t hesitate to consult me.」 「Thank you……very much. Lux-san.」 Calensia nodded with a powerless smile and she stood up. She told Lux that she had no face to meet Stefa, so she wanted him to stay quiet about her to Stefa. 「Let’s go back too, Phi-chan.」 「Yes……」 Philuffy who was observing the talk progression without saying a single word lent her shoulder to Lux and helped him stood. Lux and Philuffy would stand by inside the inn until five days later when the underground market was opened.
Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Vol 10 Chapter 2
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Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Vol 10 Chapter 2 summary
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