Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 40: The Spirit’s Heart Is Confused
The spirit called Belga watched in silence through the window as the monster created from the white fog drifts from outside of the forest.
This space here is a special space that her friend Palette created using her magical paintbrush.
Pallet made sure that one of the doors in this place were connected to the land of Towa, and through the different windows you could easily gaze into other dimensions as well.
Belga didn’t know why she was here.
Lute once told her that even though her body may be no more, her abilities were still of use to him, and for Belga that was more than enough.
Still, for Belga it was strange to be able to function even though her life already ended. She would walk around the mansion with Bastard, look at the paintings Palette has made and on rare occasions she would even talk with Lute.
Her days were filled with calmness and happiness.
However, there was this one time when Belga asked Lute what her exact purpose was.
Belga was a spirit using a magical gun, and apparently her sole purpose was to defeat a certain someone.
Together with Bastard and Palette, they were destroying lots of monsters, and every time they did a good job Lute would pat her head and praise her, which made her feel extremely happy.
She realized that it was precisely because it was Lute who praised her that she was this happy.
“What are you thinking about?”
Hearing a deep and noble voice speaking to her, Belga rose her face only to see Bastard approaching her. He looked like a true noble, a physique truly suited for his voice.
Palette was busy with painting her paintings as always, and Lute was currently up to his own devices.
Because other two were often busy, it was Bastard with who Belga talked the most in here, and it was always making her feel kind of relived to do so.
As always, he had that huge sword of his hanging from his back, and his eyes were filled with intelligence when he looked at her.
Feeling the pressure of those eyes of his, Belga looks down and fails to answer.
Even so, Bastard looked out the window, gazing on the same sight that Belga was seeing.
「Do you want to help the people out there?」
As Bastard saw right through her intentions, Belga’s shoulders shuddered, but she still shook her head.
「Lute decided to not intervene outside, because outside is filled with our enemies. There’s no way to help them now.」
「Enemy……? Ahh, you mean the monsters we encountered in the dungeon?」
Even though Bastard did not answer her, Belga realized that she said too much and her cheeks started burning as a result.
Seeing the hordes of monsters marching through the land…… Belga was feeling restless and uneasy for some reason.
It was only natural to feel that way. Because thanks to Lute, Belga knew exactly what was going on.
However, once she saw the monsters that they encountered in the dungeon that one time, her restlessness grew to even bigger heights.
She didn’t know this feeling. She shouldn’t know this feeling.
And yet, she was somehow filled with anticipation.
It was impossible for her to hold that feeling back.
Because these monsters were the enemies, and they enemy must be destroyed.
Lute himself told her that this was the exact reason what her gun was for. This is the way it should be.
But since she was unable to go outside and fulfill her purpose, Belga could only sit around and try to endure this feeling that was squeezing her chest so much that she thought it might crush her.
As she heard the familiar voice, Belga raised her face again only to see a young man with fair hair with a lute hanging on his back.
「Lute! Welcome back!」
Just because she saw Lute right now, her mind felt lighter and that tightness in her heart subsided a little bit.
Belga went to greet Lute, but came to a halt once she realized that the expression on his face was rather complex.
「Is it bothering you?」
Lute gazed at Belga, and even though he didn’t seem angry, Belga’s shoulders shuddered uncontrollably.
Lute then gazed through the same window as them, and for a moment out there, a pained expression danced on his face.
「I told you that you were awakened as a spirit in order to help me realize my dreams, right?」
Hearing that Belga nods her head, as it was exactly the reason why she was here in the first place.
She nodded again, as if to confirm that fact to herself.
「But other than that, you are basically free to do as you see fit……」
As he raised his face and looked at her, Belga felt confused. Lute was neither laughing nor was he angry.
「Would you like Palette to draw something for you before you go? Just please don’t forget your key. Without it you won’t be able to go back, and that could be a problem.」
After he said that, Lute turned away and was already leaving the room.
He didn’t forbade her from going out there.
She didn’t know anyone else. Lute was the only one to who she sworn her gun to.
She didn’t know. She just didn’t know anymore.
She couldn’t get that voice out of her head.
Before she even noticed, she was already opening the window that was in front of her.
After confirming that Belga jumped out of the window and was no longer here, Lute mumbled to himself.
「Because I only erased your memory.」
He had no right to stop her. It was the only thing he could to silence that burning sense of regret inside of his conscience.
「You are surprisingly sentimental.」
Lute raised his head and saw Bastard, a huge spirit with an even larger sword hanging from his back.
「Does that make you resent me?」
「I feel as though there may have been some things that were chaining me down deep inside of my memory. But now, when I managed to forget them all, I feel as though I finally found my inner peace.」
「…… I see.」
「My sword is yours to command. So use me however you see fit.」
For some reason Lute felt irritated by that statement and couldn’t bring himself to look at Bastard.
「As soon as this affair is over, I’ll be ready to move out. But I’m not so sure about the girl. It seems that she still retains some sort of connection with her past.」
That’s right. It needed to be stopped.
After all, attachments from your previous life were nothing more but a distraction.
After being awakened by Lute as a spirit, Belga was molded into being a perfect vessel for fighting the ‘Eclipse’.
Being able to attack them from distance, she was much more suited for fighting against them than demons who needed to get up close and personal with them.
The place to which Belga jumped was Taisha’s branch office, one that was situated near the capital city of Towa.
It would be good if she didn’t wondered into one o that dragon’s companions.
At that moment, it wasn’t the face of that black-haired woman that came to Lute’s mind, but rather an image of the young dragon child.
He might turn out to be useful to him in the future.
「I need to talk to Palette. Let’s go.」
Lute quickly composed himself and together with Bastard they went ot the room where Palette should be.
Kyle went to one of the prohibited zones together with Mikoto.
It seems that this area had something called ‘shintai’, or a God’s relic, in it, an object that served as one of the cornerstones of the entire barrier.
As long as that relic stays intact, the barrier shall not be broken and ‘Eclipse’s’ destructive influence won’t spill out outside of the prohibited zone.
However, the area itself had already been flooded with various ‘Eclipse’ monsters, who were destroying houses and killing anything that was alive in the vicinity.
So the ultimate task of every other Guardian and Shrine Maiden here was to protect Taisha’s branch office. Just that.
To Kyle’s understanding, they only needed to hold out until Lava and Ten manages to bring down that huge white dragon inside of Taisha.
The branch office at their current location was situated in the mountains, and although the terrain here was treacherous, it served as a sort of a natural fortification for the branch office. It wouldn’t be taken that easily.
Perhaps it was built in such location with this exact situation in mind.
Kyle, who only saw the ‘Eclipse’ monsters inside of the Melias dungeon, saw the white mist monsters in their natural form for the first time. They were similar to the monsters of the Western continent, but at the same time they felt much more chaotic and dangerous.
However, taking the terrain and the presence of demons into consideration, it was safe to assume that this place was relatively safe.
「Mikoto, they are coming from the front and to your right.」
Mikoto responds swiftly and shakes the lightning staff that she borrowed from Taisha’s headquarters.
Threads of lightning shoot out of the staff and strike the approaching white youmas, scattering them about.
Says Mikoto with satisfaction in her voice. Her usually golden hair and fur now had traces of brown mixed in them.
It was the proof that at that moment she was wielding demonic powers as part of her own.
Although Mikoto and Kyle’s contract was somewhat different from the ones usually made in this country, there was no need for them to change it in any kind of way, since it was more than enough to combat the approaching ‘Eclipse’.
When she first saw the monsters approaching them, Mikoto grasped firmly on her staff and concentrated, but her face turned as white as the sheet.
Even though she wasn’t alone, the actual combat must have been scary.
Still, she was doing her best to fight back, standing brave in her place and not backing down even a single step.
Although Mikoto certainly had potential, she was no different from any other recruit in terms of combat experience.
…… Honestly speaking, Kyle felt it was unfair and overwhelming to force girls Mikoto’s age to take part in something as terrifying as this.
That it why it was his duty as her elder to guide her properly and make sure that she would survive this battle, to live to see another day and to hone her own skills as a fighter.
「I know that much. White youmas may be scary, but as long as we keep them at distance with using magic, they are no different from any other monster out there. So you can compensate your lack of experience with actual magic skill.」
「It’s okay. We can do this. Now, let’s give it our best!」
Mikoto raises her staff again, this time around mixing the surrounding magic with her own spell as well, letting the memories of old days guide her.
Then she shapes the memories into magic, both thunder and wind, and she throws the raging sphere of magic towards the white youmas, right in the middle of their most dense formation.
It seems that the nature of white youmas was the same as other monsters and demons, in a sense that they were gathering around the stronger ones.
Therefore the white youmas continued to push forward without hesitation, running right into the Guardians and demons protecting the branch office.
They should be fine for as long as Mikoto continues to strike the large groups with her magic, eliminating the leaders and sending the small fries into disarray.
But their situation was tougher than anyone would have thought.
Of course there were other demons and Guardians here currently in combat with ‘Eclipse’, but they were lacking in coordination when it comes to their actions.
The cause was likely that their contracts were brand new and they didn’t have the time to familiarize with one another.
Because of that, even the demons with contracts were forced to manifest in physical forms.
Although physical manifestation was part of the new contract’s side effects, part of the reason for that was because demons had hard time adapting to the bodies of the contractors who weren’t all that compatible with magic in the first place.
It was like throwing the untrained soldiers right into the fray of the fierce battle, but if they want to pull through somehow they would need to learn all of the small stuff on the go.
Fortunately, because of the contracts none of the defenders was afflicted with ‘Eclipse’s’ eroding effects so far, and demons were getting used to their physical shells, but the real question was about the physical abilities of both of the sides.
While the forest was giving them some sort of natural protection, that was it. And since there were also normal monsters mixed in with the white ones, there was no time for them to rest in between skirmishes.
Because of that, Mikoto, who was more used to contract than the other, was staying at the very frontline of the battle.
And as to be expected, after several continued skirmishes, Mikoto’s breath was becoming ragged and irregular.
It was obvious that she wouldn’t be able to last for long.
However, Kyle could very well see that even though Mikoto physical strength was waning, there was still fire burning inside of her eyes.
She was still insisting on fighting at the frontlines, refusing to back away to the rear.
So the least that Kyle could do right now was to try to keep her from overdoing it, and so far that strategy seemed to have worked out.
Just then, Kyle noticed that he was smiling, and he quickly got rid of that expression from his face.
Doing something like that in the middle of battle was dangerous, he could even die because of that! Distractions were truly a potent risk right now, especially since neither Nectar nor Belga were here to watch his back for him.
Nectar was somewhere else. What’s more, they were surrounded with enemies whose every single attack could prove to be fatal.
But even if he was unable to go all out against them, he needed to focus his effort on protecting his allies for as much as he could.
Mikoto shouted at Kyle, pointing towards a youma that’s been slithering its way through the battlefield with the movements of its long body, swiping every other monster aside.
It was similar to a snake, but it was surely made out of the white fog.
Also, there were a few fog monsters coming at them from the sky now.
What’s worse, the assault of the ground youmas showed no signs of stopping anytime soon.
If Nectar was here, he could have taken care of the flying ones with one of his long range spells.
And if Belga was here…… No, it was pointless to think about that right now.
With youmas flying that high in the air, was it possible for anyone here to actually attack them and kill them efficiently?
It would be faster to take out the ground forces, that’s for sure.
So, having no other choice, Kyle and Mikoto prepared themselves to intercept the white youmas coming at them at the ground, while also being on alert for any aerial assaults.
One more person, it would be ideal to have just one more person here with them. One that specialized at long range combat. Without someone like that, they were doomed to die sooner or later.
Just when Kyle was about ready to give instructions to Mikoto.
「All at once!」
There was a loud noise and in the next moment a tremendous amount of magical lights rained down onto the ground from above.
The rain of magical bullets pierce through white youmas like they were nothing, and makes them disappear without a trace.
As soon as he saw it, Kyle flew upwards with his magic.
When he was at a considerable altitude, he raised his lightning-covered staff into the air and sent it plummeting to the ground with full force.
With a loud noise, the rest of the ground white youmas were nowhere to be seen.
Landing back onto the ground, Kyle gazed at the figure of a woman clad in black robes who descended to the ground some distance away from them.
Without a shred of doubt, it was Belga, his dear late wife who he met again inside of the dungeon near Melias.
After that day, he was looking everywhere for her, but was unsuccessful in finding any kinds of clues. He was even going to admit that she must have been an illusion and give up. With a storm of thought swirling inside of his head, Kyle was unable to say anything for a moment.
Finally, she looked at him.
「I don’t know who you are.」
She said that with a tone as ice-cold as her stare, even though she must have known that they’ve met once before.
Still, she raised her magic gun and shot it at the white youma that was still lurking about.
「But I must defeat all of the enemies.」
The moment Kyle saw that flame of determination in her eyes, Kyle’s chest was freed from all of the conflicting emotions.
And so, Kyle would devote his efforts into taking out the youmas that remained on the ground, while Belga fired at the ones flying in the air.
Thanks to her appearing like that, they managed to take down all of the youmas that remained here.
Now, even though Kyle knew she didn’t remember him, he was still happy that Belga was here with him.
「Aah. Let’s do this, Belga! Please watch my back!」
「……!? Idiot! What the hell do you think you’re doing!?」
Kyle pressed his back against Belga, who then looked as though she was severely shocked by that gesture, and started to swing her magic gun in a funny way.
But, she was smiling at the same time.
First things first, they needed to concentrate their effort on taking out the new waves of white youmas that was charging at them. The rest might come after that.