Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 38: Dragon-san and Those You Want to Protect
There was a WHOLE lot of things that I wanted to say about that stupid dragon Ten right beside me, but first, let us resolve the situation we have at hand.
Realizing the threat and the severity of the situation, I revert back into my original dragon form.
Fortunately enough, since this space was brimming with magic, it shouldn’t be too hard to cast any high level spells, as well as casting the barriers that would protect us from ‘Eclipse’s’ destructive influence.
「Become the raging fire of creation that protect me from ruin!」
The spell creates a cloud of smoldering fire right in front of me and lunches itself at the fog dragon.
It was a new and original spell that I came up with in order to fight ‘Eclipse’, so it should be quite effective against that dragon.
…… At least that’s what I thought. For when the white dragon saw the cloud of fire coming right at him, there was a sign of magic being activated and the space right in front of it distorted.
As a result, my cloud of flames disappears without a trace.
Soon after that, the white dragon resumes its chase, its fog body slithering just like that of a snake.
It was somehow reassuring that it wasn’t going to attack us right off the bat, but it was also disturbing that it managed to erase my spell without a problem.
For a moment out there I thought it got obliterated just like every other victim of ‘Eclipse’, but something felt strange here.
It looked as though the flames vanished before they even managed to make contact wit the dragon.
This time around the rampaging dragon focused on chasing down Ten, but when she dodged its fangs and disappeared somewhere, it went straight after me again.
It seems that it had no sense of self and its surroundings, going after the first thing that acted hostile towards it.
No, it would be beyond scary it that would be the case.
「Hueeeh, it’s dangerous, it’s freaking dangerous!」
While I mutter that to myself, I can hear Ten reappearing right next to me.
「What the hell!? It made the magic disappear!」
「It looks that way to me. The time around it must be distorted as well, that is why the magic disappears before it can reach it. That me for you!」
「Could you spare me the self-praises for now!?」
「I get it! I get it already!」
I screamed at her again and Ten reflected on her action, but at the same time I could feel a message coming to me.
It was coming from Nectar. I thought it should be impossible with Taisha being in a whole different dimension, but thanks to the dense magic around here the connection must have become successful.
“We’re in trouble here! The reports are flooding in that the Innocent Chaos has been spotted appearing all over the country!”
「What did you just say!?」
I shout loud, and Ten becomes restless seeing my expression.
When I quickly told her what was going on, I swear I could see all colors drain from her face.
“The Innocent Chaos appears outside of Taisha as well!?”
“Yeah, that’s right. Although they appear mostly around the forbidden zones and Taisha’s branch offices. Currently, Shrine Maidens and Guardians are doing their best together with the demons to stop them.”
“……!! Can you patch me through to every Shrine Maiden in the field right now!? There’s something I must say to all of them! Twenty eight and still raising? Is the strength of the gates insufficient!? You must aid them in strengthening them at all cost!”
Ten told all of that to Nectar in a fit of panic, and when the scope of the narrative was widened, she spoke to her every follower in Towa.
“My children, can all of you hear me? The seal upon the ‘Eclipse’ has been loosened. I repeat, the seal upon ‘Eclipse’ has been loosened! Taisha is no longer safe. Proceed to the main gate and evacuate immediately!”
Since I was also connected to this conversation, I could hear countless replies coming fro mthe Shrine Maidens all over.
However, the fog dragon noticed that as well.
It flies high into the air, readying its fog for another devastating attack.
「Become the shield that protects me from the dangers of the world!」
I managed to erect a barrier in time, one that prevented the fog’s devastating effects.
「Ten-san, how strong is your resistance to ‘Eclipse’s’ effect!!?」
」About the same as for other demons!」
In other words, prolonged contact with the fog was sure to make her disappear.
I could already see a sea of mist clouding my vision, and so I decided to fly higher to avoid it.
All around me, I could hear the squeaking noises coming from another spaces.
Thinking that the ‘Eclipse’ somehow managed to affect other spaces as well, I could see Ten shedding her dragon form and becoming human again.
While she shounted like that, her clothes began to glow and something strange was erected all over Taisha.
Looking behind me, the fog dragon was nowhere to be found. However, fear was still holding a firm grasp over my heart.
「Where is that damn dragon!?」
I just temporarily sealed it off with a wall. There’s a completely different space between us and it, but if enough fog is accumulated, it will eventually break through. Before that happens, we must evacuate everyone!」
On that we could both agree.
While still feeling a little bit anxious, I came down to the Shrine Maiden that began to gather around on the square in front of the main gate.
The Shrine Maidens were quick on their actions.
They gathered quickly in the square, had no unnecessary luggage on them and there was peace and order among them.
Even when they were approached by an unfamiliar dragon, they weren’t panicking. They only seemed to be surprised just a little bit.
When I saw Kyle in the crowd I approached him, but then I saw that Mikoto and Makoto were arguing about something.
No, I get a feeling that it was more of a one-sided discussion really, looking at how Makoto shook her head silently at Mikoto, whose fur was all standing up in a fit of anger.
I changed back into my human form, and at that time Mikoto let out a hopeless scream.
「Why!? Why do you insist on staying here, Onee-chan!? Why can’t you evacuate like anybody else!?」
「You know that I just cannot do that.」
After telling Mikoto that in an apologetic tone, Makoto saw Kyle and I and bowed down to us.
Her expression was so calm and composed that it seemed almost out of this world, as she lets out a small sigh.
I give Kyle a look, and he told me softly.
「Aru went on ahead. Nectar should be already taking care of him. However, our little Mikoto is currently having a hard time with her sister.」
「Wait, just a moment!」
Together with Kyle we went towards the sisters. It seems that Makoto didn’t wanted to leave here, as long as there were still people who needed help.
I was glad that Aru was away in a safe place, but then I also remembered the reason why Makoto was so adamant on staying here.
As we approached them, Makoto turned towards Ten and asked:
「Ten. Please tell me our current situation.」
「First of all, the seal has been loosened, and the ‘Eclipse’ that’s been stored there took over my shape. For the moment, I managed to contain it in another dimension. With that, the balance of magic was distorted, which resulted in creation of many black and white youmas. Like that, we cannot possibly hope to seal it all away.」
「That means you need to form a new seal from scratch.」
「…… Yeah. That’s right.」
Said Ten while smiling bitterly and Makoto placed her hands on top of her chest.
「If that’s the case, then please use my body. Let us make a new pillar right here and right now.」
According to their words, the atmosphere between them was warm and welcoming, just like it should be between a pair of old friends.
Guess that means they were done with saying their goodbyes.
However, Mikoto wouldn’t have it as she didn’t say her last word.
Mikoto rushed to Makoto’s side, her face looking as though she was about to cry.
「Why!? Why are you like that!? Onee-chan! Why do you accept your fate just like that!? If you accept to go through with it, Onee-chan, you’re going to……」
Mikoto was still trying to persuade Makoto, but deep down inside I believe she already knew what kind of fate the world had in store for her sister.
Makoto opened her eyes just a little bit, and you could see an incredible love emanating from those eyes. But then, she narrowed them again.
「I am the Head Shrine Maiden. And the Head Shrine Maiden’s duty is to accept Ten and help her at all cost if need be. Unless I do that, the whole of Towa is going to die.」
I may have not known her for all that long, however, even I was surprised just how easily she accepted her role in restoring the seal. She must have really trusted Ten deeply.
Just then, several screen-like objects appeared in the air and started to project some sort of images.
Those were the images of Towa, currently being ravaged by monsters created out of the white fog.
Those were all live footages. I couldn’t believe that it was all far worse than the situation we had at Melias.
While Mikoto was looking at the images in shock, Ten said to her:
「Just from this alone, you can probably tell that the situation is not good right now. We simply lack the manpower to keep up with the pace at which the white youmas are appearing. That is why we need to rebuild the seal again. You’re a Shrine Maiden as well, you must know that.」
Mikoto was speechless, and Makoto smiled softly at her.
「If my sacrifice can help to maintain the peace in Towa and make it possible for you to be safe, that’s more than enough for me. That’s just how important you are to me.」
When she said that, Mikoto’s ears clapped down.
Seemingly having her understand, Makoto let out a sight filled with sadness, but also with relief.
Seeing that Mikoto was about to cry, Makoto went closer to her and tried to hug her tightly.
But before she could put her arms around her, Mikoto took a step back.
Wearing a Shrine Maiden uniform, she truly looked just like a child right now.
「…… No, I don’t want that.」
Mikoto stares into her redden eyes.
Tears began to drip down Mikoto’s cheeks as she shook her head just like a small child, crying uncontrollably.
「I don’t want a peace that was brought by my sister having to sacrifice herself!」
That outburst of emotions must have taken Makoto completely by surprise.
Yes, that’s right. That’s not something you could convince someone to in just a moment or two.
Surely, most people of Towa would understand that reasoning and feel happy that they were going to be saved from an imminent doom.
However, it was a completely different story when it comes to family members. Peace and safety can never fill up the void that is created when one of your beloved ones is here no more.
For the first time, Makoto’s expression shifted.
How much tears she needed to shed to steel her resolve like that? How much she had to suffer and how much trouble did it cause for her?
「Isn’t there, some other way? Something, anything at all……」
While Mikoto was crying her eyes out and weeping, a huge figure appeared right behind her.
「Well said indeed, young Miss Amagi.」
It was none other than Mikado-san, without his Emperor headwear and in his clothes all in tatters.