Continues on from: Opening
Continues on to: Line.Maximum vs Life.Maximum Dragon King (Idiot) and Dragon Emperor (Idiot)
Line.5 Field Break
After being transported to the field, we followed Ravel’s instructions and began to take action. First, I entered Pseudo-Dragon Deification mode and fired off a cannon blast in three directions, leaving behind three large marks on the vast field—.
After using Infinity Blaster — the scene before my eyes had turned into a completely barren landscape! All of the forests, rivers and plains that had originally been in front of my muzzles had completely disappeared, leaving behind only a wasteland with no shelter. …Even though it was my own technique, I felt that the move was rather nefarious. However, after my cannon blast, no retirement announcements were made, indicating that my blow had not caused any actual damage to the Sitri team. However, if everything went as Ravel planned, it would impose serious limitations on them. While everyone followed Ravel’s instructions and made their individual preparations, Elmenhilde concentrated on using one of her Vampire techniques in a corner. Her red eyes glowed as she quietly mumbled,
“…The bats are in position now.”
“I understand. Thank you, Elmenhilde-sama. Nakiri-san, how about your side?”
On another side, Nakiri appeared to be meditating while he weaved a sign with his hands, and a magic circle expanded outward from him. With his eyes still closed, Nakiri replied,
“…I’ve already linked with all of the talismans dropped by the bats. In short, I’ll be alerted to anyone who passes through the field area that Hyoudou-senpai bored out. Well, anyone in the air is outside of my jurisdiction though.”
Ravel looked at the map as she said,
“Elmenhilde-sama’s bats will continue to monitor the sky. Nakiri-san, how much longer will it take for you to locate enemies across the entire field?”
“…This field is quite vast. It may take five to six hours.”
“Please do it in five hours then.”
“Okay okay, I got it. I should also mention that the Grim Reaper is outside of my scope. I can’t tell if she’s walking or floating.”
“That’s fine. Elmenhilde-sama’s bats and other measures can deal with it.”
Ravel calmly executed the combat plan. And then, she looked toward the north.
“Bina-sama, how is the situation on your side?”
[I have just arrived at the space above the centre of the field.]
Bina-shi’s voice was heard through our transceivers. Bina-shi had already moved away and was now on standby in the sky above the centre of the field.
“Then, please continue to follow the combat plan.”
Like that, Ravel was constantly in control of everyone’s status. Since it was possible that our offensive sub-team would have to move out at any time, each of its members relaxed in their own respective manner as they waited on standby for that moment. But…after Ravel was transported here and confirmed the map, she gave herself some time to think before informing us of the battle plan. She had started off with a rather shocking statement.
[We won’t compete with Sona-senpai on a tactical level?]
I had retorted after listening to what Ravel said. Indeed, the first thing she had said was “We will not compete against Sona-sama’s through tactics”. She then said,
[Yes, I know how diverse the plans and countermeasures prepared by Sona-sama are. I believe that she will adopt an approach of steadily cutting down our combat power. Since they cannot match us in power, they can only rely on guerrilla tactics such as hit-and-run. I do not believe that we can win against Sona-sama on a tactical level. That being the case, I’ve decided to completely overthrow all tactical foundation from the beginning.]
This was the combat plan that Ravel had come up with after arriving on the field:
First of all, I would use Dragon Deification to open fire on the field in three directions. The purpose of that was to completely obliterate all trees and rivers in those directions.
Ravel took out the map which had been marked with a grid that corresponded to a chessboard. She circled our base location, and then drew three lines — one straight to the north, and the other two angled away. Thus, shapes resembling four right-angled triangles appeared on the map. Ravel pointed to the two right-angled triangles in the northern central sector.
[Since our opponents have evaded the cannon blast that we just fired toward the northern side, it means that they must be lurking in one of the two areas beside it. Therefore, this line — the region wiped out by Infinity Blaster will act as a boundary line. Elmenhilde-sama’s bats which have been reinforced by Rossweisse-saama’s magic will be positioned along that line.]
Indeed, since there had been no retirement announcements following my cannon blast, it meant that the Sitri team had to be located in one of the two right-angled triangles, either in the northeast or northwest…. Ravel continued,
[A large number of bats will be responsible for surveillance from above. If our opponent attempts to cross the boundary line and leave the central triangle, then we can detect their position. If they don’t cross the boundary, and instead come directly towards us while remaining within that triangular area, then we can simply be ready to intercept them.]
[If the bats are attacked…that will make it sufficiently easier for us to locate their positions…]
And since Rossweisse-san had strengthened the bats with magic, a considerable amount of power would be necessary to destroy them, thus it would be difficult for them to launch a sneak attack on the bats. Ravel glanced at Nakiri.
[Are there talismans which can be used by the bats to expand the range of Nakiri-san’s technique?]
[It’s possible, but for what?]
In response to Nakiri’s question, Ravel traced her finger across the three sides of the boundary line that I had carved out as she said,
[Please use these three lines to discern our opponent’s movements on the ground.]
Perhaps having gleamed what Ravel’s true intentions were, Nakiri rubbed his chin as he affirmed,
[—So Karnstein is responsible for surveillance from the sky, while I’m responsible for monitoring the ground. You want me to use these three lines to detect signs of activity in the area huh. And then, you also want me to put up a barrier, right?]
Ravel nodded to express her agreement with Nakiri.
[Yes. Nakiri-san, please use your technique to link those three lines. The ultimate goal is to enclose the two triangular regions in the centre, thereby sealing off our opponents’ movements.]
…It was essentially a dragnet! Moreover, my initial attack had been used to modify the terrain to transform the field into one that fit our combat plan! Ravel then said,
[In the meantime, please rest and try not to move too much, Ise-sama. As soon as the power of Dragon Deification has recovered to some extent, you’ll fire a second blast directly into the area where the Sitri team is located. It’s precisely because of the one-day-long ruleset that we’re able to implement this strategy.]
Indeed, since we had a whole day, it was possible for me to recover to some extent. With that in mind, it made sense to release my initial barrage as soon as the game began. Ravel said,
[—Our opponents have probably realised this, so they are likely to launch an attack on us before the time limit counts down. If that’s the case, then there are various ways in which we can respond. And one more thing—]
Ravel pointed up at the sky.
[I would like to ask Bina-sama to stand by at the centre of the three-line boundary in the sky — this will provide us with aerial superiority and the ability to shoot our opponents down at any moment.]
Everyone held their breath as they listened quietly to Ravel’s combat plan. It was a plan that focused on reducing the options available to our opponent, and kept us in control. Ravel put the map away and looked at everyone’s faces as she avowed,
[Since our opponents are specialists in using their techniques to counter power, we’ll use our power to obliterate their techniques — no, we’ll blow all of their tactics away entirely.]
Sona-san had probably constructed a variety of tactics and traps in her mind when she analysed the map. However, Ravel chose not to confront her in a battle of wit because she knew that she would inevitably fall behind Sona-san in a battle of tactics. Therefore, she decided to destroy the entire field before we even crossed paths in order to decimate their options. —The way that she formulated such tactics and strategies was markedly different from Rias. After listening to Ravel’s strategy, even Nakiri felt somewhat terrified.
[Ooh — this is pretty chilling.]
So I unleashed Infinity Blaster and we sent out the bats…we carried everything out smoothly in accordance to Ravel’s combat plan. The instructions that Ravel had given to everyone prior to today were noticeably effective. Most likely because of the special training that she had undergone to control her bats, Elmenhilde was now able to send out a large number of bats across an equally large area…but, the expression on her face seemed to indicate that it was quite a strain on her. Nakiri was meditating and concentrating on his technique…going by the earlier explanation, it would take approximately five hours to completely synchronise his mind with the central triangular area, notwithstanding the three boundary lines…. Whilst meditating, Nakiri shot a glance at me. Since it was going to be a long battle, he probably wanted a companion to chat with. So I said to him,
“Your ability sure is convenient, Nakiri. Just by being in contact with the earth, you can tell where the opponent is like sonar, right?”
“Yeah, the stronger they are, the easier it is for me to sense them through the veins of the earth. If they’re close enough, I can even garner information such as the sound of their footsteps to some extent. Their footsteps reveal their current status. I can also tell if they’re drilling into the ground. However, I don’t think our opponents will go that far to cross the boundary.”
…Ravel had probably taken all of that into consideration, which was why she asked Nakiri to monitor the ground (and underground) huh. Nakiri said,
“Among the previous successors of [Ouryuu], there were some who could absorb the life force of distant targets through the earth’s veins.”
“…That’s pretty scary.”
On the other hand, it was the ability to absorb the energy of distant targets, and thereby defeat them. While the two of us conversed with each other, Xenovia beckoned to me. I walked over and asked, “What’s up?”, and Xenovia glanced at Ravel as she asked me
“Ise, I want to ask you something. If this match was between Master Rias and Former President Sona — if we were fighting as part of Master Rias’ team, do you think the initial situation would’ve been like this?”
So that’s what she wanted to ask…. After taking a moment to think about it, I answered,
“If it was up to Rias, then she would compete directly against Sona-san with tactics. After all, having grown up together, they understand each other extremely well.”
“To think that your Dragon Deification form’s cannon blast could actually be used in such a manner…I really don’t understand how Ravel perceives our power.”
Rather than using the firepower of Dragon Deification to attack, it was used to seal off our opponents’ movements. Neither Rias nor I would have thought of that. We only would have considered it as a last resort, to use it as a finishing move. Ravel had also given instructions to Rossweisse-san. This time, Rossweisse was a [Pawn], and her [Rook] position had been substituted by Nakiri.
“Rossweisse-sama, please intrude into our opponent’s territory once there is a timely opportunity. After promoting to [Queen], you’ll be able to use the enhanced characteristics of the [Bishop] and [Rook] to continually adapt — and position yourself to support your comrades and attack our opponents.”
“Yes, I understand.”
She intended for Rossweisse-san to promote to a [Queen] in order to improve her overall abilities.
Over the next few hours, both our team and the Sitri team maintained a potent silence—.
Around four hours had passed. A change had occurred within the field. As the ones who were responsible for monitoring our opponents’ movements, both Elmenhilde and Nakiri spoke in sequence.
“—There are several people on the eastern side crossing the central boundary into the western side.”
“I can also sense their presence and footsteps — it’s Nimura. There’s also…”
“I can also see Hanakai Momo-san and Yura Tsubasa-san.”
—Elmenhilde and Nakiri respectively reported. …In that case, Sona-san’s location, and that of her team was in the triangular area on the east side. As for their motive in moving to the western side…. I looked at the map, and what drew my attention was a certain point on the west side — a recovery point.
If they head to the recovery point, then they can heal any injuries…is someone injured? Or do they want to capture and occupy that spot?
As for Ravel — she pensively gazed out into the field as she ruminated in thought.
“…Our opponents probably have some idea of how long it will take for Nakiri-san’s technique to reach their location. After all, Shinra Tsubaki-sama of the Five Principal Clans is there, and they also have numerous team members who are well-versed in Japanese techniques. Having said that, are they really on the move just to capture the recovery point…?”
Ravel delved into silent thought for a while…and then looked up at the sky again, focusing on Bina-shi’s movements…. She then directed her gaze towards me, Irina, and Rossweisse-san.
“It’s probably a decoy or a trap set by our opponents. Since that’s the case, we should remain vigilant, and head out to investigate the situation. Ise-sama, Irina-sama, Rossweisse-sama — would the three of you please head over to Nimura-san’s location to take a look?”
Ah, we’re finally on the move now. Ravel issued further instructions.
“Ise-sama, it’s unlikely that you’ll get hurt, but please be careful. Of course, you cannot use partial Dragon Deification either. Irina-sama…please immediately use ‘that technique’. Rossweisse-sama, you are responsible for supporting both of them.”
Ravel also said to Xenovia and Bova,
“Bova-san, please carry Xenovia-sama and fly over the area where our opponents may be lurking. Report back as soon as you discern their movements from the air.”
Although it was still an approximation, I hadn’t expected that we would be able to detect the location of our opponents like this…. If I was alone, I wouldn’t have been able to think of a way to come in contact with them even if I had a map. The field had been transformed into one that was advantageous to us—. While thinking about how reliable Ravel was as my manager, servant and tactician, I departed from my location to go in search of our opponent’s team members.
Irina, Rossweisse-san and I held up a map as we cross-checked the information that we had received from Elmenhilde and Nakiri while also reporting back to Ravel. At the same time, we advanced northwest — toward a forest near C5 in terms of a chess grid. Ravel mentioned that Kusaka-san’s masks could be flying around nearby, and advised us to be careful….
“Even if there are masks, it should be impossible for them to escape the surveillance of Elmenhilde and Nakiri, right?” —When I asked that, the answer that I received was that it was possible for Nimura-san and the others to have brought some along when they crossed the boundary line. …Just like always, my manager didn’t neglect to think of even the most intricate details. Ravel believed that they had undergone a significant amount of training in regards to secrecy through their experience in dealing with terrorists.
…Although Ravel was not a member of [DxD], she had paid close attention to the Sitri peerage…. According to Ravel’s predictions, it was likely that the Sitri team were moving to the recovery point that was ahead of us. Naturally, our opponents had their own motives in moving to that location. Since the Sitri team had no inherent means of restoration, a recovery point was vital to them. While it was possible that they wanted to pre-emptively capture it, there was also a possibility that it could be used as a trap to spring an ambush on us. …Either way, Ravel had conveyed that she wanted to ‘deal with’ the recovery point.
In the forest, we reached a somewhat wider open space. —We had arrived at a location with a pond. Having vaguely detected someone’s presence, Irina looked toward the pond. Standing by the pond were — Nimura-san and Yura. And another person — Hanakai-san should also have come over to this side…but perhaps she had gone off to do something on her own, or was hiding in wait for an opportunity to present itself. Since there was something suspicious about the absence of Hanakai-san, I conveyed this to Irina and Rossweisse-san with a quick glance to confirm it with them. Nimura-san folded her arms in front of her chest and openly said
“I didn’t expect that the ones to come here would be Irina-senpai, Hyoudou-senpai and Rossweisse-chan. This is certainly above our expectations!”
She spoke with a vivacious tone. Even in the midst of a match, she was still as bubbly as usual. She then asked,
“Didn’t you guys consider that this could be a trap?”
Without trying to hide anything, I clearly retorted,
“—My manager said that even if this is a trap, she hopes that we’ll completely obliterate it.”
As she listened to me, Nimura-san fearlessly lifted the edges of her mouth to form a smile.
“Ravel-chan…she really doesn’t act like a girl our age — oh ceebs.”
Ceebs…so she meant something like ‘I can’t be bothered to think more about it’. In my opinion, of the supernatural beings who attend Kuoh Academy, Nimura-san is the one who acts the most like an ordinary high school girl.
Irina spread her Angel wings, and held Hauteclere in her hand as she pointed its tip at Nimura-san and Yura.
“Umm…this is emo, but let’s fight!”
…You don’t have to try and keep up with her high school girl casual speak, Irina.
Whilst letting out a sigh, Yura quietly manifested her Artificial Sacred Gear shield. Twinkle Aegis was a shield that could produce various defensive abilities as a result of the pact with a fairy that resided in it. It could also be thrown outward like a yo-yo.
Nimura-san had an Artificial Sacred Gear which took the form of armour on her legs. Procellarum Phantom was an Artificial Sacred Gear which could dramatically increase its user’s speed and combat strength.
I also quickly released my Balance Breaker and equipped my crimson armour. Rossweisse-san created a magic circle and prepared for battle.
—At that moment, Nimura’s aura began to swell, and then erupted with a burst at once!
As she shouted that, the form of the Artificial Sacred Gear armour on her legs changed! The shape of her armour became more ornate, and it extended to the upper half of her body as well. Armour appeared over her waist, her chest, and her arms. Nimura-san proudly made a peace sign as she declared,
“This is my Counter Balance, [Hyper Procellarum Phantom]! A ‘hyper’ has been added to the front!”
She was rather elated about it…the aura of the new Student Council is definitely a change from last year! While I mulled over such thoughts, the battle began. I left Yura and her shield to Rossweisse-san and Irina to deal with while I took on Nimura-san.
Perhaps as a result of her Counter Balance, Nimura-san’s speed had increased even further than before, and her instantaneous speed exceeded even that of my True [Queen] form! Breathlessly and silently, she vanished from my sight and began to move around me with such speed that it was difficult to even focus on her presence. It was impossible to see her with the naked eye, and that was something which reminded me of Kiba…but since I was already used to fighting such opponents, I allowed the aura around my body to swirl — and then I unleashed it as a wide-ranged attack at once! Since I couldn’t see her anyway, I decided to go with an attack that didn’t require precision! I didn’t think my Dragon Shots would land a hit, so I switched to attacks which affected a wide area instead! She seemed to grasp my intentions, so she pulled away and escaped to an area outside my range. I didn’t miss that chance to instantly pursue her!
From her perspective, it would have seemed as though she had just escaped a wide-ranged attack, only for me to instantly get close to her. In a contest of linear movement, I was certain that my speed wouldn’t lose to Nimura-san’s. I enveloped my right hand in aura, and thrust it at Nimura-san! However, my fist swiped through air — all of the trees close to Nimura-san’s original location were inexorably crushed by the force.
Having already circled around behind me, Nimura-san launched a kick toward my back! It was a good kick…but it wasn’t enough to cause me any significant damage. I immediately spun around and threw another punch! My punch went ‘zoon!’ as it rocketed through the air. The shockwave from it blew a large hole through the great tree that stood a fair distance away. Seeing this, Nimura-san couldn’t help but reveal a wry smile.
“…It feels like I’m fighting against the last boss! And the kind that has several power-ups!”
I took it as compliment of my abilities…. And then, Nimura-san issued a challenge to me.
“—Please use Dress Break. I want you to know that it won’t work on me.”
…I hadn’t expected such a provocative challenge!
“That’s interesting! There’s no girl who can resist my technique!”
I decided to take her up on that challenge! Following that, I heightened the power of my perverted desires, concentrated solely on stripping Nimura-san bare, and chased my opponent in a high-speed battle with even more vigour than before! When Nimura-san instantly circled around behind me, I also demonstrated my prowess by circling behind her instead!
“When you switch on your pervert powers, the difference in your movements is like night and day!”
Although I was a little surprised, it also made me feel happy. Kuh! It looks like she’s only acting so carefree because she’s confident that I won’t catch her!
I cut out all unnecessary movements in order to attain a speed that was truly invisible to the naked eye. Eventually, I was able to completely follow Nimura-san’s movements, and found an opening during which I touched her shoulder! I immediately expanded my delusions, and released my aura!
“—Here we go, Dress Break!”
I snapped my fingers and attempted to activate my technique!
—However, Nimura-san’s eyes lit up as she declared
“I’ve been waiting for this!”
Nimura-san expelled a vast amount of aura from the armour on her legs as she began to initiate a roundhouse kick. Since there was some distance between us, I was puzzled as to why she began a roundhouse kick there as it would simply pass through the air — but there was an audible ‘snap’ and the sound of something bursting open. After a moment, a high-pitched shriek resounded from elsewhere.
I turned around — and noticed that Irina’s clothes had been torn to shreds and she was naked! Ah, although I often saw it, her angelic figure still seemed perfect to me, and I could never tire of it at all! This also prompted the announcer to yell,
<<Ooh—! This situation…it appears as though Irina-senshu’s clothing has been destroyed by Hyoudou-senshu’s technique? Due to the nature of the game, there should be many children watching, so when viewer-unfriendly situations occur in a match, image processing is immediately carried out to ensure privacy. To our live audience and television audience members, I thank you for your understanding!>>
Ah, so even though the announcer had yelled out with a loud voice, the video stream was immediately processed, so it wasn’t the same as what we saw. Well, since there are children watching, you can’t let them see the image of a bare chest out in the open! To all of the fathers in the Underworld, please rest assured — I will look in your stead!
More importantly, Nimura-san stopped my Dress Break! I had definitely set Nimura-san as the target to satisfy the conditions for activation, but the instant I released the technique, Irina’s clothing was torn off! Nimura-san proudly said,
“Fufufu! Right now, I can even kick away Hyoudou-senpai’s lecherous techniques!”
On the other hand, Irina also protested to me.
“Hey, Darling! Why are you destroying my clothes!? Don’t you care if other people see your future wife’s naked body!?”
I do care, but everyone here aside from me is female, so please just let me off the hook this time! …But, my invincible and unequalled Dress Break actually failed! No, it didn’t fail. Irina’s clothing was indeed shredded apart. In other words…since my technique couldn’t possibly fail, it was deflected instead. I had seen the Balance Breaker of Nimura-san’s Artificial Sacred Gear in other matches, its Counter Balance…but I didn’t think it was capable of deflecting moves and techniques…no, it would be better to describe it as kicking such things away. The ability of Nimura-san’s Counter Balance should be to directly rebound various moves and techniques, or perhaps change their trajectory. After speculating about it, I changed my mind and declared to Nimura-san,
“Nonetheless, it would be a real blow to my reputation if I gave up now! I’m going to keep going until I get you!”
After hearing my words, the look of surprise on Nimura-san’s face was so profound that even her eyes popped out from their sockets.
“Seriously!? Your perversion really knows no ends!”
I ignored her and charged forth at high-speed in an attempt to touch Nimura-san again!
Even though she occasionally kicked me, a kick of that extent was totally ineffective against me in such an aroused state!
Once again, I successfully touched Nimura-san! I immediately snapped my fingers.
Nimura-san used her legs to kick my technique away once more. After a moment, this time—
Aahhh, this time Rossweisse-san’s Valkyrie outfit (Sekiryuutei of Blazing Truth version) got blown awaayyyy! After Irina, Rossweisse-san’s clothes were torn apart! Her stunning proportions were as perfect as always! Thank you!
Even Rossweisse-san got angry! Their opponent, Yura, also scratched her head as she revealed a conflicted expression. I apologised to Rossweisse-san,
“S-Sorry! It’s just that…I feel like I’ll lose if I give up at a time like this!”
“She’s just reflecting your move! Don’t be tempted by your emotions!”
Rossweisse-san snapped back at me…. But, her ability to reflect was enough of a shock to me!
I should be saying, ‘I see, so my Dress Break can still be resisted using such a method’…. As a task for the future, I want to improve it further.
“It’s not over! I’m not done yet!”
I reinvigorated myself and allowed my perverted delusions to run wild as I made a stance in front of Nimura-san. Nimura-san was in awe.
“You still want to continue!? Rather than describe you as persistent, I would say that you’re actually enjoying this situation!”
Alright, let’s continue. Just as that thought entered my mind, a voice was transmitted through the transceiver on my ear.
…It seems like we have to move on to the next stage.
“Third time’s the charm — I really want to say that, but it seems the situation has changed.”
Nimura made a puzzled look…. I pointed up at the sky as I explained,
“It seems like you guys were planning something around the recovery point…but our tactician is pretty certain that we ‘don’t need’ that place. So—”
Just as I said that, a powerful flash illuminated the sky and something flew over. In an instant — and with a ‘boooooom!’, an impact powerful enough to cause tremors in the earth radiated across to us.
Both Nimura-san and Yura cast their eyes toward the direction of the recovery point. I said,
“—We’ve destroyed it. That was the work of one of our comrades who was on standby up in the sky.”
The earlier impact was caused by Bina-shi — a super-powerful demonic energy blast that Grayfia-san sent from above. As someone known to be Maou-class, a single attack was all it took for her to demolish the recovery point. However, since we didn’t hear any retirement announcements, it meant that Hanakai-san wasn’t over there. The expressions on Nimura-san and Yura’s faces instantly changed.
“I know! Let’s retreat for now!”
The two of them entered retreat mode!
—! They’re trying to flee! But I’m not going to make it that easy!
Rossweisse-san also seemed to feel the same way, so she called out to Irina,
“—Irina, now is the time!”
Upon hearing this, Irina quickly extended her hand out and traced a circle with her finger — she created a ring of light.
“That’s right! Here we go! Rings!”
Irina hurled two rings of light at Nimura-san and Yura as they attempted to flee. Both of them tried to dodge — but the homing rings accurately changed course and landed on Nimura-san and Yura. The aim was not to hurt them, rather—. The rings went around Nimura-san and Yura’s necks.
“—! What is this on our necks…there’s a ring of light?”
Nimura-san reached up with her hand in an attempt to touch the ring around her neck — but Yura stopped her.
“Don’t touch it, Ruruko! It’s light. You’ll only burn your hands if you touch it. Let’s retreat for now just like this.”
With the rings of light around their necks, Nimura-san and Yura retreated. After the battle ended, we rested for a while. I asked Irina about the rings,
“Irina, how long does it take for those rings to activate?”
“…If I only want to tighten them, then that’s already possible. But if they’re going to be used for ‘that purpose’ then it’ll take an hour or so based on our current situation.”
…So it’ll take more time in order to use ‘that move’ huh.
“I’ll report back to Ravel first and tell her that we put rings on Nimura-san and Yura.”
After giving Ravel an update on the situation, I returned to our base along with Irina and Rossweisse-san—.
After the skirmish concluded, we (Irina and Rossweisse-san had already gotten dressed in their spare clothes) returned to our base. I asked Ravel,
“What do you think Nimura-san and the others were doing there?”
“They might have had a plan to use the recovery point for some kind of tactic, but since it’s been destroyed now, I think that’s ruined a few plans for them…though of course, if us destroying the recovery point was included in their plan, there’s nothing we can do.”
Hmm…there’s no way of knowing the truth since we already destroyed the recovery point. Ravel said,
“I think our opponents already anticipated the destruction of the recovery point, but in the possibility that it wasn’t destroyed, they decided to make various preparations whilst also using Nimura-san and Yura-sama as bait. I’m curious as to how the main force of their team will move.”
Nimura-san and the others were bait. They had probably planned for us to investigate in order to satiate our curiosity while the main force of their team carried out their actual goals. Ravel stopped our opponents from gaining an upper hand with surveillance from both the land and the air…. The design of Ravel’s combat plan was to ensure that all possibilities for our opponents were cut off and destroyed until nothing was left. Everything went according to her phrase ‘obliterate’.
Our opponents hadn’t moved for a while. In order to decide on our next course of action, we planned to consider the remaining time and hold another strategy meeting. However, at that moment—.
“—There’s a movement.”
“Wait, this is…”
Elmenhilde and Nakiri both reported to us that there had been some kind of reaction at the boundary. In the direction where Nakiri detected something — he stared into the distance ahead, and then revealed an indescribable, solemn expression. And at that time, in the distant sky ahead appeared black flames reminiscent of a dragon.
“Those are…black flames.”
Xenovia murmured as she gazed at the black flames which had risen up into the air. It looked as though the black flames had been released upwards from the centre of the field. —The centre. A place that had been reduced to wasteland by my cannon blast. Nakiri said to me,
—Saji. …So that’s where he is.
Ravel narrowed her eyes and said,
“…I know that this indicates that Saji-sama is there, but why would he deliberately do something like that to expose his position…”
Once again, black flames soared up into the sky. I already knew what it meant. I could understand.
…It’s a calling. Saji’s calling for me. —He’s saying that he’s waiting for me in the centre.
After all, we had just recently seen the match between Sairaorg-san and Cao Cao. It was easier to understand than any other way. As a passionate fervour surged through my chest, I said to myself,
“…Yeah, I understand. Both you and I are idiots, and hopelessly so.”
I announced to Ravel,
“Ravel, I’m heading out.”
I pointed to the centre.
“—Saji is waiting for me there.”
It was an invitation from that guy. An invitation to a one-on-one battle—. Since he had gone to such lengths, it was unlikely that any of his team members would carelessly interfere. Ravel muttered,
“It might be a trap…but it would be insensitive for me to say that, wouldn’t it?”
“A trap huh. It might be. But, that guy is alone. He’s waiting for me there on his own — so I have to go.”
Bova inserted himself between us and told Ravel,
“Tactician-dono, this is a duel between dragons — there will be no intervention. If my lord does not accept Vrtitra-dono’s challenge, then he will carry that shame for the rest of his life. That absolutely cannot be allowed to happen!”
After listening to Bova’s heated speech about the Dragon species, Ravel simply sighed and raised no further complaints.
“…I understand. I won’t send anyone for support. But, please promise me one thing.”
“—You must win.”
“Yeah, leave it to me.”
After saying that, I left everyone else to my comrades.
…It should be foolish to do something like this. The most important member of the team, its [King], has accepted an invitation like this to go to the frontlines. Ravel has managed to organise the entire battle in a favourable manner, yet this decision of mine could make all of that for naught. But, is there any other way? I don’t have an option…! Saji’s waiting for me to appear in the centre. Knowing that, is there truly anyone who believes I have the choice to decline!? …We’re hopeless idiots. Both me and that guy. So let’s have a foolish decisive battle. What do you say, Saji—.
(All 2 of 2 parts) (26/3)