Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Volume 15 Prologue

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Prologue - Unceasingly Resounding Reverberation

A rumble of the ground that was sounded like groans was reverberating in the sky above the old castle.

The abandoned capital Guernica in the Marcafal Kingdom.

The burned down rampart and the heaps of broken rubble.

In that place where white smoke was rising up from the remains of the flames of war, two factions were confronting each other.

Many warriors shed their blood on this land in the dispute for the right to obtain the legacy of the Lords, Avalon.

And then now, the last remaining forces were going to clash.

On one side was the Seven Dragon Paladins who were affiliated with the world alliance, led by Magialca Zen Vanfrick.

The orange haired girl who was clad with the Divine Drag-Ride Jormundgandr was directing a bold gaze towards the enemy even in this appalling battlefield.

She was showing a unique battle stance through the particular shape of her Drag-Ride that possessed seven arms while speaking out.

「Avalon will activate in ten more minutes and then the reorganization of the world or something will begin, that was what you said right, Fugil──self-proclaimed hero?」

Fugil who was wearing Bahamut 200 ml ahead of Magialca didn't say anything.

There was no change to his composed smile. His grey pupils were staring at the surroundings.

The two corpses lying under his feet were the Lord Listelka, who should be the legitimate successor of Avalon, and the Key's Supervisor Mis.h.i.+s.

The man who should be the one to woke them up from their sleep inside the hibernation pod on the Ark and guided them until this far, betrayed and killed his master at this final stage.

「……Everyone, be, careful」

Lux who was lying down far at the rear recovered his consciousness and stared at that scene distantly.

He squeezed out a hoa.r.s.e voice and spoke out to the comrades who would challenge the decisive battle from here on.

But, his voice naturally didn't reach.

Even so, he exerted his strength to reach out his hand and stand up.

Lux who once fought Fugil and witnessed a glimpse of his true strength understood, why Fugil preferred to use Bahamut.

How this man was standing in an unreachable height as a Drag-Knight.

And also how merciless he was in eliminating those who obstructed his mission.

『──A hero opposes fate and wishes for salvation. A hero is the ally of the weak.』

Five years ago. The man who was Lux's big brother, Fugil said those words to him.

Lux understood the true meaning of those words.

No──just now, he scooped out the meaning from the depths of his completely forgotten memory.

However, he already had no spare strength to convey that.

「I have also investigated about you for a bit since some time ago, but in the end my information network didn't get anything. I have the interest but no time. I'll listen to your story while all of us are toying with you.」

Magialca's eyes silently narrowed and her lips curved wickedly.

Aeril and the Seven Dragon Paladins shrunk their encirclement in response to her words.

「──Here I come-!」

The sullen looking blonde young man wearing the Divine Drag-Ride Cuelebre, Greifer Nest, flew forward with a yell.

He brandished his special armament, the jointed sword Tail Blade and swung it with an arcing trajectory.

At the same time he activated his Divine Raiment Photon Dive. In his invincible state, he advanced without fear of the Quick Shot that could come from Fugil's Bahamut.

But, Fugil didn't activate Bahamut's Reload on Fire and deflected Greifer's attack with his greatsword.

Fugil parried the tip of the Tail Blade while he himself was moving to Greifer's left side.

He changed the way he held his special armament Chaos Brand and slashed at Cuelebre's back wings.

But, that slash was easily deflected and Fugil along with Bahamut got sent flying backward.

「……Hah! That's pointless! As long as Photon Dive is activated, any attack to me is pointless from the start!」

Cuelebre, that was enveloped in phosph.o.r.escence, diffused the impact to the surroundings so it wouldn't receive any attack.

Also, Greifer had a spare time of several more seconds until that Divine Raiment stopped working.

「……Reload on Fire」

But, the instant Greifer was going to pursue, Fugil's Bahamut was enveloped with crimson light.

Right after Greifer saw that, a shudder that made his hair stand on ends went through his body.

Greifer immediately changed the trajectory of his flying and took a distance of several dozen ml.

Mel Gizalut who saw that raised an exasperated voice.

「Why are you getting cold feet like that. Your Divine Raiment can still continue right? Or perhaps you are unable to have faith in our support?」

「It's astonis.h.i.+ng to see such actions from a man whose principle is to make reckless challenges, you knoow.」

Rosa further made fun of Greifer. Soffice was going to continue after her, but then she shut her mouth.

She noticed that Greifer was trickling a lot of sweat even though he hadn't received any actual attack.

「Was there something? Greifer?」

「Who knows, I don't get it at all. It was just my instinct, no──I finally got it after thinking for a bit. Why I took distance from that guy.」

After several seconds, Greifer verbalized the feeling of unease that welled up from inside himself.

「It was precisely five seconds before. The timing when that guy activated Reload on Fire matched the remaining time when the effect of my Photon Dive would run out.」

The compression strengthening of Bahamut's Divine Raiment drastically decreased the energy and phenomenon in the first five seconds, and then doubled them in the next five seconds.

For example in the case that it was time that was accelerated, the user would be able to move with double the speed in the next five seconds.

「Greifer's Photon Dive that gives him invincibility would be turned off just at the right timing when Fugil will become able to move at high speed. You got alerted by that perfect timing and stopped from pursuing too deep, is that right?」

「Yeah……」

Greifer consented to Aeril's question without hesitation.

The remaining Seven Dragon Paladins understood the situation from the two's conversation and held their breath.

Fugil pretended to be unbalanced to lure Greifer so he would be able to finish him off.

Photon Dive's activation period should be different for each individual, but Fugil saw through it perfectly and formed a scheme to unleash Quick Shot from Reload on Fire. They strengthened their vigilance once more after realizing that.

Greifer nodded in agreement to what Aeril pointed out, but actually he was half mistaken.

If it was Greifer who was called as the Covetous Wolf with his belligerent and rash personality, he would surely keep charging when catching a glimpse of just that much danger.

What made the alarm bell in his brain ring out wasn't his logic but his own instinct.

The expression of Fugil at that time.

He was putting on a faint smile that wasn't filled with any emotion, but sheer killing intent was conveyed through it.

And that killing intent wasn't a hostility toward humans, but a presence that was like an act of snapping a twig.

Greifer's talent that excelled in pa.s.sing through the point between life and death just barely and surviving enabled him to narrowly escape a deathly trap.

「As expected from someone who had received Sacred Eclipse's salvation. But, don't think that you will be able to keep getting away from death like that.」

「……? Just what are you saying huh, you b.a.s.t.a.r.d. If you are going to sleep-talk then do it in a jail or in h.e.l.l.」

Fugil who was floating at some distance away suddenly spoke out.

Greifer responded to the conversation while being completely on guard in order to wait until the effect of the activated Reload on Fire ran out.

「I'm saying that you are able to use Drag-Rides like that because of the Elixir that Sacred Eclipse administered to you. Perhaps you don't remember but, that's the truth.」

A forbidding look emerged on Aeril's expression after hearing that.

She once heard the story from a drunk Greifer when she was falsifying her ident.i.ty and appearance as Coral.

Greifer didn't have apt.i.tude for Drag-Rides and he couldn't operate them, but he forced himself and continued to train until he almost died. At that time he encountered a mysterious girl and he became able to use Drag-Rides.

「Don't tell me, you are saying it was Sacred Eclipse's deed? For what……」

「──It's salvation.」

Fugil instantly answered Aeril's question.

His expression was gentle and peaceful.

The shadow of the abyss that enveloped the look in his eyes froze the backs of everyone present chillingly.

「She wished to save. The pitiful people who were abandoned by everyone, the pure people who were captured by a cruel fate. The people who staked everything on goodness with determination. The people who fought with the wish to save their important someone, the people who sought help. She prayed and wished, that she wanted to reach out her hand to them.」

「Arshalia Rei Arcadia. She had mixed parentage from the Arcadia family and the Xfer──if she has to be described using cheap words, then she was a genius researcher. She who obtained the imperial throne saved me who was considered as the imperial family's enemy at that time, and made me her guard. In order to bring the insurrection inside the empire to a close and guide it to peace. And then, in order to bring about the true salvation to the world after that, she planned the use of Avalon. It was an event of the past that was more than a thousand years ago.」

「……What are you saying I wondeer? If you are buying time with an irrelevant story of the past, can you do it later?」

Rosa scoffed even while feeling bewildered.

She skated with Gorynych in order to launch an attack once more now that Bahamut's Divine Raiment had gone over the time limit.

But, Fugil didn't even twitch regardless of the approach from behind.

「You mean, that Arshalia. The person who became the model of Avalon's Automaton, and Sacred Eclipse……」

Fugil responded to Aeril's statement with a derisive laughter.

At the same time, Gorynych's Cannon that entered the bombardment range spouted fire along with a thunderous roar.

──*DOoNN!*

An explosive sound that struck the eardrums.

The torrent of undulating energy closed in to Bahamut's back wings in a straight line.

Fugil held Chaos Brand on his back while still facing to the front and took a defensive stance.

Soffice who was instantly approaching right from beside Fugil quickly activated Vritra's Divine Raiment.

「……Mahapurana!」

The target wasn't Fugil himself, but the energy of the cannon that Gorynych fired.

Furthermore it wasn't to make it move to avoid the defending Chaos Brand, the beam of light had its trajectory manipulated to disperse like a shower.

The attack power of the attack decreased, but in exchange the dodging difficulty jumped up.

The plan was to first make Fugil unbalanced for the time being, and in that timing Aeril, Mel, and Magialca would deal additional attacks──but,

「──Fuh」

Fugil smiled faintly. At that instant, his figure vanished.

Everyone lost sight of their attack target and put up their guard to the surroundings. At that time Magialca's angry yell came.

「Everyone fall back! I'll cover everyone's back!」

The seven huge arms of the Divine Drag-Ride Jormundgandr stretched out simultaneously and covered the back of Greifer and the others who were in the surroundings. The remaining two mechanical arms were placed behind Magialca herself and in front of her.

「Ouroboros's special armament, Zero One……. It's a power to vanish the target within its range and then freely manifest it back like before, but if my prediction is correct, that's not all there is to it.」

Cold sweat was trickling from Magialca's forehead while she murmured.

It was the ability's strong point that it could also send Fugil himself to a s.p.a.ce that they couldn't interfere with, but that in itself wasn't that much of a threat.

The problem was the aftermath of that.

「Don't tell me, even in that condition that guy himself can──!」

The instant Aeril murmured that, Bahamut materialized in front of her while s.h.i.+ning red.

At the same time Jormundgandr's armored arm and Zahhak that Aeril wore reacted.

The special armament Breath Whip that was swung with a speed that was like a flash, and the giant fist that moved through the shortest route with the fastest speed.

But, both of them couldn't catch up with the accelerated Bahamut.

Fugil who rematerialized nearby using Zero One charged towards Aeril with a slash.

(I won't make it……! He got me!)

The moment Aeril resolved herself like that in her heart, Greifer and Cuelebre forcefully cut in and became a s.h.i.+eld.

After the attack was blocked by Photon Dive's invincibility, Fugil glided backwards and took distance.

He escaped from danger faster than the remaining Seven Dragon Paladins could counterattack.

Aeril who was rescued from getting brought down in a flash breathed out in relief and Magialca also relaxed her expression.

「──Fuu. That was a violation of order but you did well, Greifer. It's amazing that you are able to predict how that guy would aim at Aeril in this timing.」

「You saved me there. Thank you Greifer.」

Aeril also continued like that after Magialca. Greifer responded with his usual sullen expression.

「What, it was just my instinct telling me, that if that guy might actually be able to still move even in the state when his figure vanished from this world, he might use that to erase the opening from Bahamut's Reload on Fire.」

The weakened state from Reload on Fire's compression strengthening.

If Fugil used Ouroboros's Zero One to escape into a s.p.a.ce where it was impossible to interfere with him during the first five seconds where he was defenseless, it would become a terrifying combination.

He would be able to accomplish strengthen his acceleration or destructive power by several times over without risk to trample the opponent one-sidedly.

「I thought he would surely come out at exactly five seconds later. The same just like that time with me. This is the payback for before, yeah?」

The period of five seconds where the weakened state of the compression strengthening was in effect.

Just like how Fugil predicted the timing when the Photon Dive would run out before this, this time it was Greifer who predicted Fugil's thinking.

「And why did you think it would be me who get targeted first?」

「……Not really, it was only because you were nearby. Just a coincidence.」

「You are the same like usual aren't you.」

Aeril smiled wryly while sending her gaze to the enemy in the front once more.

However, it would be troublesome from here on.

Although this time she was able to luckily escape danger because of Greifer's quick wit, there was no guarantee that the next time would also go well.

Perhaps there was no other way to defend against such attack other than activating invincibility like Greifer's Photon Dive ahead of time.

Everyone there comprehended the situation and strengthened their vigilance once more. It was then,

「I see. As expected you are really strong huh, hero-dono.」

Magialca held Fugil in check with words along with a fearless grin.

「You complement the weak point Bahamut has with Ouroboros's special armament. I can understand why it's your favorite despite you being able to operate all Drag-Rides.」

Fugil stayed silent in response.

He kept putting on an unchanging dignified smile while hovering still in the air.

「But, it doesn't look like your secret stops there. You are using two special armaments through that Sword Device on your waist. Even though Ouroboros's main body isn't here, is such feat possible?」

「That's, certainly it's as you say.」

Soffice too seemed to have something in her mind as a Key's Supervisor. She said short words emotionlessly.

Next Aeril also nodded in agreement.

「Certainly……. If he is able to use not only Bahamut that is created from Infinity, but even the other special armament freely then──」

A doubt was created thinking from the Drag-Ride's fundamental principle.

When the Drag-Ride wasn't materialized, its function couldn't be used fully.

「Buut, the main body of that Ouroboros something isn't anwyere. Is it really big or really small, or perhaps──」

「What if, we actually can see it already?」

Aeril's words interrupted Rosa's muttering. Everyone there gasped in surprise hearing that.

Right after that, Magialca let out a faint smile and spoke out her conclusion of the true ident.i.ty of the out of place feeling they felt.

「It seems even I was being led around by the nose. We could see it already from some time ago. The transforming Drag-Ride Ouroboros that you have, is actually the true shape of Avalon.」

「──What?」

Greifer raised his voice spontaneously hearing that statement, but Fugil's smile stayed unchanging.

But, Aeril who heard that felt convinced in her heart.

Even the mechanism of Infinity that enabled the user to use every kind of Divine Drag-Ride's Divine Raiment could be understood if Ouroboros was Avalon itself.

「And then, Ouroboros is most likely endowed with the functions of flying type, land battle type, and also special equipment type too, right? If that thing was made to record all the battles until now and manage that information, then even doing something like calculating the maximum continuation time of Greifer's Divine Raiment would be a piece of cake.」

「In essence, the enemy is able to receive support from Avalon?」

Soffice added with an expressionless look, but the content of her sentence was something terrifying.

The shape of Ouroboros itself couldn't be seen until now, but a fragment of it had already appeared.

They had to directly fight the bottomless ability of Avalon.

「Let's just say, that you are half correct.」

After a short pause, Fugil responded as though giving the opponent a reward.

「Avalon is half the body of the Zero Ruin, Ouroboros. The same like when using Over Limit, it's nothing more than a strengthening part. But, what can you do after knowing that?」

「That's really shameless of you to say that after hiding that fact until now. It seems you are the only one who fully controls that function and has acted completely as you pleased throughout history huh?」

Magialca declared with a confident smile as though she was convinced of something.

Then, Fugil who was floating still in the air silently relaxed his stance and lowered the tip of his Chaos Brand.

「Acting as I pleased is it? It's strange to be told that by you who, has subdued many others using money and authority.」

「What's with that wording, are you jealous of me who rose up in the world using legitimate means?」

Fugil scoffed at Magialca who was making a mocking smile.

「You see, I don't want to kill you all, Seven Dragon Paladins.」

The expressions of the Seven Dragon Paladins, including Aeril showed slight nervousness and doubt.

That was an advice to surrender that was spoken out really naturally.

「To speak honestly, all of you are really something. You all are not merely talented, you have also struggled through the many trials that visited you throughout your life.」

Greifer Nest was raised in the slums after his family's house fell into ruin.

He had no talent as a Drag-Knight, and yet, regardless of that he overturned that destiny with desperate effort and force of will.

Mel Gizalut suffered misfortune when her whole family was taken away by the Abyss when she was very young. Even so she stood up after that and climbed to the top as the youngest Drag-Knight.

Even Rosa, Soffice, and also Aeril had opposed their cruel and hapless fate without giving up to persist in their own conviction.

「All of you have the qualifications. The qualifications to lead the many immature people as their model, as a legend. The qualifications to make a new choice in the world after this, or perhaps──」

Those words were indifferently formed from a gentle smile.

There was no light in the eyes of such Fugil.

「Or perhaps, as the vessel to be the next king. The existence that I'm longing for might appear. I'm holding hope for that. That's why don't struggle anymore. You don't really need the information of this Avalon. Make a new choice in the world where you have forgotten everything.」

Fugil's seriousness could be glimpsed from his unhesitating tone.

He told them to withdraw without doing anything. That he wouldn't do anything bad to them if they did so. But,

「……Forgetting everything, huh. I don't know what you were doing but, I have heard about your true ident.i.ty in general from Aeril. You are telling us to walk a life of dancing on the palm of your hand. Are you telling us to also ignore Sacred Eclipse without knowing what you are going to make it do? What do you all think, my compatriots!? Will you obey that guy!?」

Magialca deliberately made a loud voice and asked her comrades around her.

She didn't use Dragon Voice because she meant to start a fire under them, but answers that surpa.s.sed her imagination came back.

「──Don't speak out such jokes. My misfortune and also my happiness, they are all something that I obtained myself. Please don't make it as though all of that was your doing with that know-it-all face, hero-san.」

The girl who was clad with the transformable Drag-Ride, Ddraig Gwiber, Mel Gizalut took the support from her comrades into consideration and prepared for the activation of her Dual s.h.i.+ft.

The Divine Raiment that could freely manipulate temperature could easily pull off refraction of air to make the enemy miscalculate distance, cause gust, inflicting damage or worsening a Drag-Ride's control using heat and low temperature, or even changing the terrain.

Her talent enabled her to choose the optimum strategy depending on the situation and launch a great variety of attacks.

She concentrated on looking for a chance to attack Fugil with the techniques that she had polished until now.

「I have had enough already of only doing as I am told by someone else. Althouugh, I'll welcome it if it's an order from Lux-sama.」

The red haired Rosa Granhide who was clad in the Divine Drag-Ride Gorynych approached from behind and awaited for an opening.

Her specialty was misdirection, using the ability of Tartaros Frame to rearrange her Drag-Ride and even transforming the shape to make counterfeits.

And then Rosa herself also specialized in fighting deceitfully to trick the enemy.

「Buut, I have no more intention to falsify my own true feelings.」

The path of running away in order to avert her eyes from weakness had been severed.

In order to repay the debt to Lux who saved her, she had no hesitation or fear.

「I too──won't recognize it. Entrusting something to someone means trusting that person. Lux gave his trust to me. He reached out his hand to me even though it hurt him. Not like you.」

The brown skinned Key's Supervisor Soffice muttered so. And then, beside her Aeril also tightly gripped her special armament Breath Whip.

「I am a Lord. I'll seek about how this world should be in a manner that I thought up myself.」

Aeril who lost her sisters yelled while wearing Zahhak.

Beside her Greifer also made his usual sullen expression.

「I don't have any great causes like this bunch. But there is just one thing that I get. Don't look down on humans too much okay, hero-sama?」

Everyone thrust away the words of gentle persuasion and took fighting stances.

Right after that, Magialca snapped her fingers with a fearless smile.

「That's how it is. ──You're prepared aren't you, hero-dono!」

Those words acted as the trigger and the world's strongest Drag-Knights moved simultaneously.

The battle in order to stop Sacred Eclipse and save the world from destruction.

Their full strength that was filled with their pride and determination was liberated through the Drag-Rides and the curtain of battle was opened.

The man who was standing in front of Avalon's control room──in front of the light that was rising up from the central flapped the wings of the jet black Drag-Ride he wore, and swung up the tip of his great sword.

「Everyone──I want you to lend me your ears for a bit while fighting.」

Aeril nervously conveyed her words that were amplified by Dragon Voice to everyone.

「I will tell you what I know, about the true function that is hidden in Avalon.」

      

Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Volume 15 Prologue

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Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut Volume 15 Prologue summary

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