Chapter 10 – The Battle of Hévin-LeCoultre ~Roar~
The demon Uriel had finally absorbed the entirety of the magic ship Claíomh Solais — organic and inorganic matter was chaotically fused together to form a supersized living body. Gaps in the partially broken sections of the ship as well as weaponry installed on the deck exposed a complexly intertwined network of tentacles. Its form was abstract and absurd. The sight of it was something that instilled fear. It was as if the concept of hell had been made a reality and then wrapped around the ship’s hull. If it had to be given a name, then perhaps it would be ‘Demon Ship Uriel’.
“It really is chaotic…”
While Ash rode atop Eco’s head, he looked back down at the demon ship that had begun to move, feeling dismayed by its presence. Perhaps the silver lining in all of this was that the ship’s hull was covered by a thin film of tremendous magical energy that kept the ship illuminated at all times. As such, it was fortunate that the possibility of the demon ship escaping with the cover of night was low. If a dangerous monster such as this was allowed to slip away, it would inevitably bring disaster upon the various parts of the continent.
The Demon Ship Uriel unleashed a mad roar. It appeared that the function of the magical sound amplifier had also integrated with the demon’s body. Ash widened his eyes in astonishment upon realising the irregularity that had appeared on the upper section of Demon Ship Uriel’s hull. Organic tissue had fused with the ship’s guns, transforming them into brand new weapons. Alien-like barrels took shape one after another. For whatever reason, the muzzles of all of the cannons were aimed at the ground.
—Boom! Badoon! Booooooommm!
Red, blue, green…a myriad of colourful magic shells were fired consecutively. The target of the cannons were the city streets of the Royal Capital Arkham. In the blink of an eye, it had transformed the city streets into a hellish scene as people were suddenly awoken from their sleep by the air strike. Even Ash could clearly feel the panic and distress of the people on the ground from his aerial position high above them.
“The Royal Capital Arkham has been…!”
The streets of Arkham which had originally been kept under the shroud of a quiet night quickly burst into flames, and great infernos became visible everywhere.
“Stop! Do you understand what you’re doing!?”
Even so, the Demon Ship Uriel refused to halt its crazed assault. It didn’t seem to pay any heed to Ash’s words.
“Eco, we’re going to stop that guy!”
Ash sailed through the sky with Eco, blocking the path in front of the Demon Ship Uriel. The bow of the demon ship immediately began to metamorphose, revealing a new type of cannon. Was that the main gun? What Ash laid eyes on was an irregular cannon that was the merger of a barrel and tentacles, resulting in a massive extra-terrestrial cannon that exceeded human imagination.
The Demon Ship Uriel blindly fired the main gun.
Eco instantly read Ash’s mind and deployed a shield of defensive magic.
Streaks of light violently flashed as the magic bullet landed a direct hit on the shield that had been constructed with defensive magic.
The sound of an explosion rang out, followed by an echoing rumble. The resultant shockwave pulsed through the atmosphere. Ash was almost swept away by fierce gusts of wind, and it took immense effort just to maintain stable footing.
The Demon Ship Uriel let out another snarl as Ash and Eco recovered from the situation. There were numerous significant changes that had taken place upon its wicked hull.
“Hey…is that for real?”
Ash was shocked and dumbfounded. Every single one of the tentacles that protruded from the ship’s surface were just as thick as the tail of a Maestro. Moreover, there weren’t just ten or twenty of them. A rough estimate based on visual inspection placed their number at around a hundred or so.
Upon witnessing the overwhelming scene, Eco uttered a cowardly whimper. Eco was attacked by the tentacles of a Necromancia shortly after she was born, and that might’ve left her with a traumatic experience when it came to tentacles.
“Don’t be afraid, Eco. You’re the Holy Dragon Emperor right now, and even a crying child will settle down when they hear your name. I’m right by your side as well.”
To help defuse Eco’s fear, Ash offered tender words of encouragement.
Eco growled as if to say ‘Of course!’ in response. This also reaffirmed to Ash that Eco was still Eco, even if her appearance had become that of a dragon.
Ash looked at the tentacles that could strike at any moment and surround them like a net as he envisioned the shape of his Ark Weapon.
“O all-conquering steel that slashes through all, the holy sword destined for the knight of all knights—”
A tremendous amount of magical energy manifested into a structure, and a solid sensation was transmitted to his hands. The <Seikoku> that covered Ash’s body heated up and reacted strongly, as if welcoming the manifestation of the holy sword.
As he declared its name, Ash swung down with the holy sword. A beam of light with the holy attribute hit the Demon Ship Uriel.
Ash instinctively raised a cheer, but immediately noticed that something was off about the situation. Although the holy sword had indeed wiped out the majority of tentacles that were on the ship’s surface, the ship itself was unharmed.
“How is that possible!?”
Just as Ash stared at it in astonishment, new tentacles emerged one after another to completely cover the bare ship’s surface once more. At that moment, a mass of tentacles pierced through the cold night sky, targeting Eco’s large body.
Her forelimbs, hindlimbs, wings, tail…the tentacles that encroached toyed with Eco’s defenceless body.
The vicious tentacles also swarmed towards Ash. A knight and their Pal shared a common thread of life. If Ash were to lose his life, then Eco would also lose hers because they were connected through Astral Flow—
“As if I’ll let you!”
Ash swung his sword left and right, cutting off the assailing tentacles one after the other.
“What’s the meaning of this, Navi!? Why doesn’t Excalibur have any effect!?”
After Ash shouted aloud, Navi responded by projecting her voice in his mind.
[Pluto’s aura is too strong, and it’s offsetting the power of Excalibur. It appears that Princess Cassandra embedded an extremely pure Pluto in Uriel’s body. The ability to produce such pure Pluto…I can’t think of anyone capable of it aside from the Dark Dragon King.]
Navi explained. It was also indirect proof that the thing residing in Cassandra truly was the Dark Dragon King Mordred.
At that moment, a lovely voice resounded from a magical amplifier…
A dazzling beam of light streaked through the night sky, exploding at the flank of the Demon Ship Uriel.
As the Demon Ship Uriel screeched in pain, the ship lost balance and began to lean sideways. Ash and Eco used this opportunity to escape from the grasp of the tentacles. Ash glanced back to find that the ancient magical ship Escavaron was approaching.
[Are you okay, Ash?]
Mirabel asked from the ship. Ash was so tense that he forgot to offer any words of gratitude, instead shouting,
“Please retreat immediately, Princess Mirabel! You cannot allow Escavaron to continue approaching such danger!”
[…I am no longer a princess.]
However, Mirabel simply offered a cold reply.
“Geez, now isn’t the time for arguing! Fine, Mirabel-san!?”
[Yes, what is it?]
“Please leave this airspace immediately! The demon Uriel and Claíomh Solais have merged together! If you’re not careful, the Escavaron might even be taken down!”
Ash shouted in reply as he glanced sideways to assess the situation with the Demon Ship Uriel. Although the Demon Ship had taken a direct hit from the Escavaron’s main gun, its appearance remained the same. No, although the main gun had indeed been activated, its current firepower was far from its full capability because Ash was not sitting in the captain’s seat. Ash recalled an explanation that Mirabel had once given in the ship. As the <Avalon Knight Dragner>, it was necessary for Ash to sit in the captain’s seat, otherwise the Escavaron would be unable to utilise its full potential. One by one — tentacles slowly appeared from the damaged section of the Demon Ship Uriel. It appeared that the Demon Ship had already begun to repair itself. It had also deployed a defensive magic barrier in front of itself, in preparation for the Escavaron’s second wave of attack. That cautious attitude was very much in line with Uriel’s personality.
[…I understand. We’ll continue to monitor Uriel while we—]
In that instant, Mirabel’s voice was interrupted as a shockwave impacted the Escavaron.
Bearing witness to the unbelievable scene, Ash was rendered speechless. In the blink of an eye, the Demon Ship Uriel had used high-speed movement to ram the stern of the Escavaron. From Ash’s point of view, the Demon Ship Uriel seemed to have closed that distance instantaneously.
“It actually has the ability to move that enormous mass instantaneously…!”
While Ash remained stunned, the Demon Ship Uriel commenced its next wave of assault. While the sharp end of its bow was ploughed into the Escavaron’s stern, an endless mass of tentacles poured out from it. The Escavaron’s exterior was gradually surrounded by a net of tentacles. The squeaks and whines of the Escavaron’s structural stress could be heard as a result of the pressure exerted on it. Just as Ash had worried, the Demon Ship Uriel intended to absorb the Escavaron as well. Once invaded by the tentacles, it would be extremely difficult to escape.
“Eco, how is your body holding up?”
Upon hearing Ash’s question, Eco growled in a low tone. She had been caught off guard earlier, but it seemed that a spark had been lit in her motivation to face Uriel.
“Good! Let’s pull Uriel off from the back of the Escavaron!”
Following Ash’s order, Eco spread her silver wings and zoomed towards the aerial location of the Escavaron.
[—Ash, be careful! It’s about to attack!]
A warning came to Ash’s mind from Navi. Ash also quickly realised — magic turrets had gradually appeared all over the Demon Ship Uriel. The turrets began to simultaneously release rays of light. Countless rays of light pierced through the night sky, locking onto Eco’s giant body as she approached. Although there was a surreal beauty to them, Eco would surely fall if she took a direct hit—
Eco promptly turned around in response to Ash’s command, and an astonishing lateral force pushed against Ash’s body during the manoeuvre. It felt as though his body weight had instantly become several times heavier. Although under the protection of his Ark, he still struggled to cling onto Eco’s body. However — the terrifying beams of light changed direction, desperately chasing after Eco’s tail.
“They’re homing in on us!?”
Ash couldn’t help but complain to himself. If this went on, it would only result in Eco being pushed further and further from the Demon Ship Uriel. While Ash and Eco were concerned with keeping themselves safe, Uriel used that opportunity to continue his encirclement and integration of the Escavaron with his tentacles. In the corner of his eye, Ash confirmed that almost half of the Escavaron’s exterior was already covered by tentacles.
“We have to hurry back to rescue everyone…!”
The moment that Ash tightened his grip on Excalibur, everything in his field of vision suddenly turned to white.
Eco couldn’t help but cry out in agony upon being hit by a projectile. Ash quickly surveyed Eco’s body with his eyes. Smoke drifted off from her left hind leg. Although there didn’t seem to be any blood loss, it had definitely been burned. The cause of the smoke likely arose from the burning of her left hind leg’s fur.
“Are you okay? Eco! Uwahhh—!”
Perhaps the excessive pain caused her to lose control momentarily — Eco moaned in pain as she spiralled down.
—The Escavaron’s cockpit.
Mirabel sat in the captain’s seat, while Anya manned the controls and Celes sat at one of the communication terminals. Sitting neatly at another of the communication terminals was Oscar, who had become nothing more than a living doll. Although she was conscious, her eyes remained lifeless and not a trace of willpower could be felt from her.
At that moment, the door to the cockpit was abruptly pushed open as Eunice’s voice surged through. Out of old habit, Eunice still addressed Mirabel as ‘Princess-sama’ in that instance. It was only when Eunice made a mistake that Mirabel did not seem to voice a correction. Eunice supported Rebecca on her shoulder.
“Sorry. Princess Mirabel…no, Mirabel-san.”
Rebecca’s expression looked terribly haggard and even walking appeared to be strenuous for her. Bandages completely wrapped around her naked upper body. If not for Uriel’s attack, it would’ve been possible to use the medical device <Iunones> at full capacity, but the situation at hand didn’t allow her to rest and heal without worry.
“I’m sorry…Princess-sama. Some tentacles have already invaded the infirmary’s ventilation passages. All I could do was bring Rebecca-sama here…”
“It can’t be helped. I should actually thank you for bringing Rebecca here.”
After offering praise for Eunice’s efforts, Mirabel pondered for a moment in silence. Although Max, Lucca, Raymond and Jessica had formed a defensive line on the deck with their Pals, it was likely a difficult task for just four knights to fend off the vast number of tentacles. On the other hand, Eco had just been struck and fell from a high altitude. In the worst case, she might have fallen at the centre of the Royal Capital Arkham. Ever since they had been shot down, not a word had been heard from Ash and Eco.
The most unbelievable fact was that the demon Uriel had merged to become one with the Claíomh Solais. Moreover, it seemed that Uriel wanted to take over the Escavaron as well. If that really was his objective, then where would the tentacles move towards as their top priority target? Uriel’s will was controlling the tentacles. By observation, it didn’t seem as though the tentacles were blindly thrashing about like wild beasts. In fact, when they discovered Rebecca and Eunice in the infirmary, they should’ve immediately attacked them without mercy. By deduction, was the target of the tentacles truly the engine room where the magical core was located? After all, the magical core was the power source for the entire magical ship.
“Anya, are there any abnormalities in the figures for the magical core?”
“Nothing abnormal so far!”
Returning to the helmsman’s position, Anya quickly inspected the gauges and meters on the panel and answered with a sonorous tone.
“In that case…Uriel’s first target…could it be—!”
The instant that Mirabel stood up from her seat, the door behind them was forcefully busted open. An intricate entanglement of tentacles that moved as a single entity occupied the space where the door originally sat. Its dark purple appearance glistened due to a layer of slime as it slowly invaded the cockpit.
“Is it planning to take over the cockpit’s primary control systems first…?”
Mirabel murmured as beads of cold sweat continually formed on her brow.
“If that’s the case, we’ll just have to hang on until the very end! After going through all that trouble to rescue Oscar, we’re not going to be killed in a place like this!”
Celes picked up the door that had been shorn off its hinges and rushed towards the doorway with it.
Celes forcefully pushed the door back into the frame that was filled with tentacles. The tentacles that were sandwiched between the door and the frame began to spasm in apparent pain.
“I’ll help you too! Eunice-san, please take the helm for me!”
After taking off from the control seat, Anya worked with Celes to support the door while Eunice immediately traded places into the helm. However, a number of slender tentacles began to invade the room once again from the tiny gaps between the door and its frame.
Rebecca activated an Oracle to keep them out of danger. Although she was bruised all over, she still had a Bright Dragon Crystal in her hand. The tentacles that constantly tried to invade via the doorway and its gaps were frozen solid by advanced frost magic, completely sealing them off.
“Phew. We’ve held them off for now.”
Celes breathed a sigh of relief as she muttered to herself.
“But, if this goes on, it’ll only be a matter of time…”
As expected, the door that had been frozen solid was pushed down. As powdered ice splashed into the air, an astounding number of tentacles charged into the cockpit from the doorway.
“Damn it. So we are going to die here…”
Although Celes always had a strong expression, her face finally revealed a look of despair.
Anya didn’t utter a single word either as she stood in front of Mirabel, intending to use her own body as a shield.
Even Mirabel fell into despair — is this as far as we go? Rather than face the assault of these monstrous tentacles, wouldn’t it be less painful to die on my own terms?
—Ash, are you okay…?
These feelings are so hard to describe. Even though I’m about to die, why is it that the last person I’m thinking of is Ash—?
The tentacles surged forth like an unstoppable wave. Mirabel closed her eyes as her entire body stiffened. Her four limbs were ensnared by tentacles, her clothing was stripped off, and her entire body was swallowed up — the moment that she felt as though death would be a better ending than staying alive, Mirabel felt that something was wrong.
A deathly silence that numbed everyone’s senses descended upon the cockpit. Mirabel trembled as she slowly opened her eyes to take a peek — all of the tentacles had stopped, frozen and motionless as if time had ground to a halt. Moreover, the tentacles that were once so energetic slowly began to disappear—
[W-What is this…!? There’s something…something is inside my body…this unpleasant energy…what is it…!?]
The demon Uriel suddenly groaned in pain.
After Mirabel murmured so to herself, she found that Celes and Anya were also dumbstruck. Rebecca and Eunice also seemed full of doubt.
“What we can be certain of is that some kind of abnormality has occurred to Uriel’s body.”
Mirabel rested her chin on her fingers as she pondered in thought. Soon, she came up with a certain postulation. Because the demon Uriel was overcome by his desires, he merged with the magical ship Claíomh Solais without thought or hesitation. However, in the Claíomh Solais’ engine room—
“…I see, so that’s how it is.”
Having come to a sudden realisation, Mirabel wanted to explain the situation to everyone else who had given up hope. After all, if they wanted to stop the demon Uriel, the only great opportunity that they had was now—
“Everyone, get back to your posts! This ship will be free from Uriel’s entanglement!”
—Going back in time slightly.
After being hit in her hind leg, Eco continued to spiral and fall like a meteorite. Looking down, it appeared that they would soon crash into the pointy spires of Arkham Castle—
Ash knelt down on one knee and concentrated his whole mind on his connection with Eco.
After Eco unleashed a roar that seemed to resonate with feelings of excitement, she halted the rotation of her body. She spread her wings wide to combat the opposing force of the wind and gravity. After narrowly avoiding the spires of Arkham Castle, Eco managed to maintain altitude as she flew towards the outside of the city walls.
At last, Eco made an emergency landing on the Hévin-LeCoultre Plains. Eco’s enormous body created a large crater in the plains. The distance to the city walls was only a mere twenty metres. One of the silver linings in this was that she didn’t fall into the city of Arkham — but in the next instant, a flash of dazzling light filled the night sky. The scene of thousands of beams of light pouring down from the sky looked like a rain shower of light, but this was not the time for them to be fascinated by the scenery. The Demon Ship Uriel’s onslaught still showed no sign of stopping.
“Eco! Can you still go on!?”
—Who do you think I am!?
If one had to translate Eco’s growl, that was probably close to what it meant. Eco’s wings shaped the wind as she darted off in a straight line, carrying Ash away from the Royal Capital Arkham with her at a speed that he had never experienced before. Just before the shower of light was about to bombard the surface, it suddenly changed direction and began to chase after Eco.
“More! Go even faster!”
Eco’s entire body emitted an astounding amount of magical energy. A fraction of that magical energy streamed off behind her, cutting into the Hévin-LeCoultre Plains and kicking up a storm of dust.
Eco’s enormous body responded to Ash’s shout and immediately took off into the air. The dense cloud of dust that was kicked up acted as a smokescreen, causing the homing beams of light to momentarily lose track of their target. Thus, all of the beams fired into the plains and exploded. Ash and Eco borrowed the strong winds caused by the explosion to climb up into the night sky at a frightening speed as they flew straight towards the Escavaron.
“We can see it!”
Ash gazed into the night as he spotted the immobile Escavaron and the Demon Ship Uriel that chased after its stern. The next instant — the Escavaron’s magical engine made a low-pitched hum as it began to operate and quickly accelerate. The Escavaron which had been affixed to a point in the air began to drag the Demon Ship Uriel along with it.
“That’s odd. What’s wrong with Uriel? The Escavaron is already trying to break free, but he doesn’t seem to be resisting at all…”
Ash frowned as he pondered the cause. Eco also looked up at the Escavaron and Uriel with confusion but continued her approach anyway. The Escavaron gradually continued to increase its speed and then rolled. The hull that had been pushing ahead with speed suddenly turned sideways. Driven by the hull, the stern generated a large centrifugal force which caused a sudden change in direction. The tentacles which had been tightly holding onto the Escavaron were torn apart in an instant. The Demon Ship Uriel was hurled into the night sky like a stone thrown by a catapult.
Uriel’s cry echoed through the sky as his whole body was covered in broken tentacles, and he drifted further and further away from the Escavaron’s airspace.
“Mirabel-san! What on earth happened!?”
Ash shouted towards the Escavaron. If he was lucky, perhaps his voice would get picked up by the main system and transmitted across to the cockpit. After a few seconds of silence — Ash’s expectations were met as Mirabel replied to him through the magic amplifier.
[Ash! I’m glad you’re safe…!]
Mirabel’s voice was fuelled by emotion, completely unlike her usual calm self.
[By my speculation, I’m afraid…it’s likely that Uriel has completely integrated himself with the magic ship Claíomh Solais, so even the ship’s power source — the Millennium has also been absorbed into his body.]
“The Claíomh Solais’ Millennium…”
[Indeed. I’ve heard that the Claíomh Solais’ Millennium belongs to the holy attribute. To draw an analogy, it would be like a slow-acting poison spreading through Uriel’s entire body. Go, Ash! If you’re going to defeat the demon Uriel, now’s the time. This is a unique opportunity!]
“Just a minute, Mirabel-san.”
Ash calmly replied,
“It’s too dangerous to attack Uriel in a place like this. The area right below us is the city of Arkham. With the holy sword Excalibur, it’s not really a problem to strike Uriel down, but I can’t cleanly erase even the remnants of the Claíomh Solais…”
[Don’t worry about that, Ash. You’ve got the most powerful Pal, Eco, to support you.]
“What do you mean by that?”
[The breath of Avalon’s Holy Dragon Emperor, also known as <Sacred Breath> boasts overwhelming firepower — that is how it was recorded in an ancient manuscript that I once read.]
[Yes, as long as Eco fully utilises her power, even the demon Uriel who has merged with the Claíomh Solais is bound to be vulnerable.]
Although this plan of attack was sloppy by Mirabel’s standards, it meant that the current situation called for urgency and did not allow for any far-sighted planning. After all, it was impossible to rule out the possibility that Uriel would find a way to suppress the influence of the Millennium. That was why Mirabel was correct — this moment in which Uriel was tormented by the holy attribute of the Millennium was the perfect opportunity to counterattack. Even though Ash also understood this, there was still a freckle of hesitation in Ash’s mind.
“No matter how wicked that guy is, he’s still Oscar’s brother. If possible, I’d want to arrest him rather than kill him…”
Ash clenched his fists. He also knew that it was an unrealistic ideal. However, the method of using Eco’s overwhelming firepower to erase Uriel from the world was something that Ash couldn’t bring himself to do. Regardless of the ideal possibility, upon giving it calm thought, a key point was that there was information on Cassandra which could only be obtained from Uriel himself. Thus, erasing him right now was not the smartest solution — perhaps coming to understand the thoughts that circulated in Ash’s mind, Mirabel then said,
[Listen closely, Ash. If Uriel still has a trace of conscience left…perhaps the <Sacred Breath> will avoid Uriel’s actual body.]
“What do you mean?”
[Exactly what I said. <Sacred Breath> is not an absolute weapon that burns everything indiscriminately. <Sacred Breath> will not burn anyone with a conscience to ashes.]
“Although I don’t fully understand…Eco, can you do it?”
Eco slowly lifted her neck and let out a groan through her nose as if she wasn’t fully pleased about something.
—This is all we can do right now!
Ash couldn’t help by reveal a wry smile as he somehow sensed that was what she tried to express.
“Alright! It’s up to you, Eco!”
With a valiant roar, Eco condensed her magical energy to its limit. Her silvery fur began to stand on end, and strong winds began to howl around them. A faint glow emanated from Eco’s body, softly enveloping Ash within it. The <Seikoku> that spanned Ash’s entire body began to feel warm, shimmering brightly all of a sudden. This was a unique and vital opportunity. They couldn’t afford to miss…! With the determination that one hit would decide it all, Ash declared,
Eco used her full power — and let loose <Sacred Breath>!
With his entire field of vision dyed a pure white, Ash reflexively closed his eyes. The white flames that Eco spewed forth turned into dense light that shot straight up towards the sky. And then, they hit the centre of the Demon Ship Uriel.
The demon ship was then enveloped in purifying flames. A gust of wind that felt sharp enough to cut through skin kicked up and raced about, as if to disintegrate the night with its scorching heat.
Ash used all the strength in him to hold onto Eco’s body. The aftermath of the fire was intense enough to blow him away if he became careless for even a moment. Even with Eco’s enormous body, she was almost blown out of the air by the tremendous force of the wind. Not far away, the Escavaron also rocked about unsteadily. Just staying adrift in the air was probably a difficult task for it.
[Guahh…I won’t forgive you, Avalon Knight…guahhhhh…!]
The demon Uriel’s screams echoed and mingled with the deafening explosions. Even though he had attained extraordinary power with Pluto, that would become fragile when exposed to such immense heat. After a while, the heat waves dissipated, and their vision gradually cleared up again. Ash was filled with confidence. Scorched by such powerful flames, the Demon Ship Uriel must’ve been eliminated without a trace, just as Mirabel predicted, becoming mere particles of dust—
“That can’t be…!”
Looking up at the sky, Ash was so shocked that no other words could escape from his mouth. The biological body of the demon Uriel had indeed been destroyed. However, even after being burned by fire, the Claíomh Solais’ bridge remained intact. The volume of that wreckage alone was enough to match a three-storey fortress. As one would expect, the wreckage of that bridge began its free fall descent. If that large wreckage was allowed to fall into the city centre, the consequences would be unimaginable.
“Navi, why is this happening? Why wasn’t <Sacred Breath> effective!?”
[Eco’s attack was undoubtedly at her full power. It’s just that the demon Uriel’s defences exceeded our expectations…and that’s all.]
“That guy is way too ridiculous…”
[Putting that problem aside for now, I suggest that you return to the Escavaron as soon as possible. In another ten seconds or so, Eco will revert to her human form and your Ark will also be lifted.]
Ash then realised that something was amiss. It was no wonder that he felt as though Eco was eerily quiet — it was because she had exhausted her magical energy. Her body was gradually shrinking.
“Come on, Eco! Let’s return to the Escavaron…!”
Just barely taking notice of Ash’s encouragement, Eco began to fly. After resting her head on the Escavaron’s deck to let Ash down, her strength was completely drained. Eco’s enormous body was instantly shrouded in light, and — she reverted to a naked girl who lay in Ash’s arms. Just as Navi predicted, Ash’s Ark also turned into particles of light which drifted into the air and silently disappeared. On the other hand, Max, Raymond, Lucca and Jessica were all lying on the Escavaron’s deck as well. They had more or less been lightly injured. The six dragons Cú Chulainn, Tristan, Arianrhod, Gawain, Brigid and Rhiannon were also similarly injured and paralysed on the deck.
“Damn it! There’s nothing else we can do!”
Ash murmured, but then suddenly recalled one thing.
“That’s it, Mirabel-san! We can use the Escavaron’s main gun—”
[That won’t work, Ash. In order to fire it a second time, we have to wait fifteen minutes. Moreover, if you’re not sitting in the captain’s seat, we won’t be able to utilise its full firepower…]
Mirabel communicated with Ash through the sound device that was installed on the deck.
“Kuh! Does this mean that we can only sit and watch as the innocent citizens of Arkham become the victims of our war against Uriel? How could this happen…”
Just when Ash slammed his fist against the deck, resenting the situation—
“This is a destructive weapon that can turn the entire continent into ashes.”
From somewhere, words that seemed to form a chant resounded.
“And so I vow to that I will only wield this extraordinary power to protect the people that I love.”
In bewilderment, Ash looked up and around the night sky.
“That voice…could it be!?”
An Ark Dragonar darted across the sky at high speed, as if they were intending to block the falling wreckage.
“That can’t be possible though…!”
Ash stared into the night sky with widened eyes. After the knight entered the bottom section of the bridge, they disappeared from Ash’s view.
“I swear this as the Fourth Princess of the Knight Country, Silvia Lautreamont!”
Even so, the knight’s oath resounded powerfully throughout the sky.
“Appear, the power to destroy evil! The Dragonar Gun bestowed to me by the great Maestro Lancelot—”
Overwhelming magical energy overflowed and filled the cold night sky.
“Its name is Arondight!”
Magical energy dyed a shade of icy blue rapidly expanded, shining brightly like a star.
Ash couldn’t help but cry out in that moment.
Silvia howled as she exerted all her energy into a point-blank attack. Ash’s vision was once again smothered by pure white. Moreover, an ear-splitting explosion followed soon after it, so deafening that his hearing even blanked out momentarily.
That night, a vast number of meteorites appeared in the skies above the Royal Capital Arkham. In the city centre that had turned into a hellish landscape as a result of the massive explosion of Demon Ship Uriel above it, it was heard that many citizens stopped in their tracks, fascinated by the sudden appearance of falling meteorites. Fortunately, the small objects that fell scattered across the city, or the fragments of the magic ship to be precise — caused no harm to the citizens. And when Silvia returned to the Escavaron, another person was carried along on Lancelot’s back.
However, that person’s appearance was a mess with tatters of clothing stuck to their body, they truly were a pitiful sight. Moreover, they were completely unconscious — despite all of that, it was still clear that this person was indeed Third Prince Uriel. Eco’s <Sacred Breath> seemed to have been effective given that the Pluto which had been implanted in his forehead by Cassandra was completely gone.
“The End of The War ~A.S.B.1365.12~” is closed.
(All 4 of 4 parts) (1/7/20)
Continues on to Epilogue