Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 5 Chapter 22: Dragon-san and Company’s Longest Day Continues, Part 3
「Here, eat up. If you’ll need a magical pot, just let me know.」
「Thank you, Gramps.」
Although she didn’t understand the language of the forest Elves, thanks to Gramps’ help Marca Slaggart was able to take proper care of everyone that needed help in here.
In the meantime, she was talking to mini-Vaas that was still resting in her backpack, cast into deep slumber.
「Vaas, Vaas, everyone is giving it their all. Have my brother already reached you? Io-senpai was working very hard to make the guns and bullets that are going to return you to normal, Mikoto-san’s barrier protects everyone here in Hibernia, and Aru is cheering everyone and protecting them. I’m also doing whatever I can.」
Marca’s knowledge about the current events didn’t really go beyond what an average person would know.
She knows that this white fog is called “Eclipse”.
That once it swallows any kind of life, be it plant, animals or humans, it ceases to exist.
The same thing supposedly happen a long time ago, and from that moment the world managed to rebuild itself into what it was today.
The dragons that witnessed the catastrophe at that time were now giving it their very best to protect this world.
「You were one of the people that tried to protect the world as well, right, Vaas?」
Marca shook her back just a little bit, feeling that the dragon inside of her backpack shifted its position.
Right now, one of the dragon that tried to protect this world has fallen while trying to do just that.
Now, various people were fighting against the white fog to bring him and the others back.
「Vaas was the one who helped me before. Now it’s my time to return the favor.」
It was said that because the dragon was now praying for their success, even the people with little to no magical power would be able to fight the impeding peril.
And the people who were unable to fight were praying all on their own from inside of their own houses.
Initially Marca was told to do just that as well, but she protested and said that she wanted to help everyone in their fights, and be at Aru’s side.
Because of that, Marca was allowed allowed to stay here and be the kind of “assistant medic” to those who were boosting Aru’s prayers. It saddened her that this was the only thing she could do for Aru right now, but she was going to give it her best as well.
Marca was very grateful to herself that she decided to study in the magical arts department at the Academy. Otherwise she wouldn’t even be here right now.
Of course it was the job of Shrine Maidens and real medics to do the actual treating, but she was able to aid those who were succumbing to exhaustion as a result of using too much of their magical power.
So even for someone like Marca, who was only able to treat small wounds and replenish lost stamina, there was a lot of work with aiding the Elves that were taking regular shifts in keeping the melody going without stopping.
It was a real wonder that Marca was able to talk to Vaas all this time while doing her actual job in here.
And even though Marca was aware that her efforts to talk to Vaas were probably in vain, she continued to do so nonetheless.
She was telling herself that it was a necessary thing for her to do, that without it, Vaas would never awaken.
He may have remained unresponsive, but Marca got a feeling that Vaas was always listening to her words, even those full of worry an uncertainty.
Without Elvie or Aru by her side, Marca was feeling somehow insecure and it was somehow reflectin in her voice and attitude.
But she needed to stay strong. If not for herself, then for Vaas’s sake.
While the Elves continue to channel their melody, Marca runs to the place where a provisionary kitchen was situated.
While on her way, she could see the golden stars scattering all over the place.
Marca catches one of the stars in her hand and talks to it silently.
「Do your best, Aru.」
“Thank you, Marca. I shall do my best!”
Although Aru’s response came almost immediately, for some reason it filled Marca’s chest with a bitter sense of pain. She could feel something in her chest tighten unpleasantly.
It must have got transmitted to Aru, for she could feel him growing concerned for her.
It’s already been half a day. The stars were shooting down without stopping.
It seems that the burden that Aru and other spirits were currently carrying was twice as huge as the ones the Elves were forced to bear.
And since that no one else could do that, the stress they must feel must have been unbearable.
Still, Marca knew that Aru would do it.
And with the rest of the dragons being free, his burden would be lessened considerably.
That is why Marca wasn’t losing hope and continued to speak to Vaas.
「Vaas. Vaas. Please wake up. ……It’s scary being by myself.」
Suddenly, Marca noticed that the direction she was heading towards was getting really noisy. There was a sound of something striking against something else. Of something being torn. And the voices filled with rage.
As well as the reaction of magic being fired at something.
「Don’t let them stop the spell from being chanted!!」
「More of them coming from the sky!!」
Then, Marca saw the fog monsters coming closer to the Elves from within the forest’s depths.
Their long torsos were full of thin and agile legs, with which they were blowing the soldiers to the sides while steadily advancing forward.
Seeing the repulsive monster’s appearance Marca came to a halt, but the fact that she was scared wouldn’t stop the monster’s advance.
Looking around herself, Marca noticed that there were no soldiers or magicians left between the monster and the group of chanting Elves.
Other monsters were appearing all over the place, and both soldiers and Guardians had their hands full at the moment.
They needed to keep chanting. They mustn’t stop.
Instantly, two thoughts go through Marca’s head.
Marca kept the tears from overflowing from her eyes, shook her whole body at threw at the monster whatever she had in hands at the moment.
Marca’s small arms have little to no power in them. The throw hardly did any damage to the monster.
But what it did manage to do, was to draw its attention.
The monster came to a stop, raised its long neck and looked at Marca.
As Marca walked back into the forest, she was relieved to hear that the monster followed after her.
Marca wasn’t sure, but she did remember that there should be a Guardians outpost somewhere in this general direction.
If it was indeed true, she should be able to reach it before the monster catches up to her.
Marca bites her lips and begins to walk faster.
However, she soon started to feel as though her whole body was burning up from exhaustion.
The then felt something pulling at her from behind, and she went all pale when she realized that her backpack was about to fall off from her back.
Hitting the nearby tree, Marca let out a short scream full of pain.
She was squirming on the ground like a puppet with broken strings, unable to get up because the whole of her body felt sore.
Her backpack rolled to her side.
Where is it? Where is it!? She had to protect Vaas!
However, she was unable to move even one finger.
Then she saw a shadow moving towards her, and the hundred-legged monster opened its monstrous jaw up.
But the people were saying that the monster were also coming from the sky. She had to go back and help Aru.
Lava-san, Nectar-san, Ligurila-san, Kyle-san…… None of them was here to help her.
Same for Gramps, Mikoo-senpai, Elvie and Aru.
She didn’t know why, but at that moment Marca desperately pleaded to Vaas’s body.
A roaring voice sounded throughout the forest, and Marca saw the ground about hundred feet away from her raising considerably.
The raising rocks gradually manage to scare the monster away.
When Marca finally rose her face, she was also able to lift her body up, if only for a little.
There was a hand that helped her stand up, so different from the one of her brother or Gramps.
An intelligent-looking man with golden-blonde hair and golden eyes was looking down at Marca, smiling apologetically.
「Apology, sorry for being late.」
In that short shout Marca put all of her pent-up emotions up until now.
「The boy’s voice guided me here.」
As Marca grabbed Vaas’s hand, she couldn’t stop her tears from overflowing.
But there was something she absolutely needed to tell him.
「Vaas! Umm, the thing is, Aru!!」
Marca managed to squeeze out her voice despite of her tears, but Vaas looked as though he already knew about that.
「Both my body and my friend are already on their way.」
Marca already knew who he meant by “friend”.
So, it looks like they managed to safely accomplish their task.
Although Marca’s feeling were running rampant, she still managed to ask Vaas in a soft voice.
「Vaas, can you move? Does anything hurt you?」
「Although my main terminal sustained some damage during the rescue operation, the amount of magic left in me is more than optimal. Is there something you need?」
His expression was really soft, and that made Marca feel genuinely happy.
Vaas has changed a lot.
But now was the time for action. So Marca wiped her tears and looked at Vass with an expression full of determination.
「Vaas, let’s go where the other are. They need our help!」
Then Marca was taken in Vaas’s arms and they started running back towards where the Elves were.
Just a little bit more, just how much time have passed since he began thinking that?
Having felt the thoughts of many people flowing into him, Aru continued to channel the spell from the top of the spirit tree.
Each time he felt that someone got attacked or that someone fell in battle he gritted his teeth, but he also sighed with relief every time someone got led to safety.
He understood that. That not everyone would get out of this crisis alive.
Not everyone was going to survive. But should Aru fail, the whole world was going to die, and no one would survive that.
Gramps told Aru that he would help him, so that the burden on him would be lessened and he could focus on his job properly.
Aru wanted to help as many people as he possibly could.
But it was hard. It was hard seeing and feeling the people who he met just yesterday to disappear today.
However, Aru did not stop making the stars fall.
Those who are still fighting, as well as those who are dying, all of them were receiving Aru’s blessing.
It was something that only Aru could do. There was no one else.
He couldn’t feel any kind of reaction from both Lava and Nectar.
Aru could only detect the presences of those who were within reach of his “Wake Up Prayer”, the shooting stars. But he wasn’t able to sense the people that were in the midst of “Eclipse’s” fog right now.
It was the first time ever that Aru wasn’t able to confirm if both of his parents were alive or not, and that feeling made him feel as though he suddenly became all alone in this world.
“Aru, your control over the spell becomes unstable.”
Hearing Ficell’s voice, Aru readjusted the magic accordingly. He felt as though his voice was becoming weaker and weaker, but he didn’t dare to ask to confirm it.
Ficell and Ten were here, and Aru still had the teachings that Lava left with him.
Hee had to do his work. He had to give it his all.
If Aru fails here, it would spell the doom of everyone else.
To encourage himself, Aru listened to the song the Elves down below were singing.
He wasn’t alone. He wasn’t doing this by himself.
Both Ficell and the Elves were giving it their best. So Aru couldn’t be the only one who was slacking off. This loneliness was only in his mind.
Suddenly, there was a huge reaction from the portion of the stars that were falling right under his eyes.
Looking down, Aru could see something moving in the distant sky.
It was a huge flock of fog monsters that was approaching fast. There was so many of them that they could easily cover the sky.
Aru knew what it was.
The flock of “Eclipse” monsters were gathering around the Spirit Tree, right below Aru.
These monsters were attracted by the huge centers of magic, as well as those who were heavily affected by Lava herself.
However, even if he would be covered by the fog completely, it would have no real effect on Aru.
But if he would allow them to spread their fog in here, there was the risk that their spell would be jammed and it would stop working.
Once it collapses, it would take a great amount of time to recast it again, but more importantly, lots of people would lose their protection from the fog.
He had t ointercept them somehow. But even though Aru knew that, he was unable to move.
Now that the spell took the vast majority of his magic, he was unable to cast new spells.
Aru turned the part of the shooting stars towards the monsters, in hopes of slowing them down.
In theory, the stars were supposed to be able to extinguish the “Eclipse”, not only protect from it.
Some of the monsters indeed disappeared, but their momentum did not stop.
If they get any closer, it would post a threat to all people who were fighting out there all over the world.
There was no time for thinking anymore.
Aru had to get rid of them.
Aru heard a voice of a person who was supposedly not be here right now, and in the next moment a huge ray of light penetrated the waves of monsters.
Much to Aru’s surprise, a huge yellowish-gold creature covers much of his field of view.
The sand-gold colored dragon flapped its huge wings and began to swept the monsters away.
「…… Seriously, if you could do something like that, you should have done so from the get-go, Iori.」
On the creature’s back there was a young boy with dark-brown hair, holding a magical gun in one of his hands.
The dark loneliness which was blooming in Aru’s heart was gone in an instant.
Seeing just how stunned Aru was, Elvie decided to encourage him.
「It’s alright, Aru. Vaas came back! Now we can finally do something about this whole situation, so let’s do our best!」
「I’m glad. Aru. My power dropped by forty percent right now, but I should be able to intercept the enemies here without much problem.」
Looking closely, both Elvie and Vaas were seriously hurt.
Above all, there was a large hole in Vaas’s body, seeping with remnants of Elvie’s magic.
Even so, Vaas’s eyes were focused yet again, and there was no trace of “Eclipse” in him anymore.
When Aru rained the shooting stars over Vaas’s body, he responded with gratitude.
「Once El get safely to the ground, we can begin fighting them here.」
「W, well, then. El-senpai, please get on my back.」
Aru didn’t know why he even said that.
Meanwhile, even though Aru didn’t lost control over the spell, it was becoming restless and unfocused.
Elvie jumped from Vaas’s back right onto Aru’s, looking all happy and entertained.
「I don’t know about you, but I’m staying here. It looks like those things can be taken down with magic guns, so I can at least keep them off your back.」
Elvie gently stroked Aru’s neck, and Aru could feel another wave of warmth spreading throughout his body. He then heard Elvie’s voice, mixed with his dry smile.
「But, you see the state that Vaas is in.」
Said Elvie, while Vaas flew forward, attacking the swarm of flying monsters.
Certainly, Vaas, even though wounded, was still as reliable as ever. Maybe even Elvie won’t have to use his magic gun. But.
Even though there was no transfer of magical power, Aru could feel the life coming back all over the place.
Aru felt tremendously relieved in that moment.
Even if you were in danger or felt at a loss, this here was the place that everyone could return to. The world was once again becoming such a place.
There was a bright warmth inside of Aru’s heart right now.
「Senpai, the fact that you’re here gives me strength.」
「Oh, yeah, whatever you say.」
Aru spoke from the bottom of his hear, but for some reason through the magical link he could feel that Elvie seemed annoyed as he let out a sigh.
Then, another sign of dragon returned to Aru.
One after another, the brilliance of life was returning to the world.
Right now he was sure that his parents are alive and well, and he was so proud of them.
「Senpai. I shall do my best!」
「Yeah, you do that, Aru! You do that.」
Elvie slapped Aru on the neck as to encourage him, and Aru began to rain down the shooting stars onto the monsters with renewed vigor and determination.