The red that gushes out of her dainty body is just vivid. Pierced by the dark red sword of light, the body flutters in the air from the shock, and after a second, falls to the ground with a thud. Then, quietly but certainly, a red liquid flows onto the ground. Agedilus looks down at it, strangely calm.
It takes a little time for Agedilus to realize that that muttered voice is his. He knows his intellect is faster than other people’s, but even he cannot understand just what happened at the scene in front of him. No, that’s not true. It’s not that he can’t understand, it’s that he doesn’t want to. His eyes, his head, his heart, all of him is refusing to accept it.
The hand which he’d been gripping his wand tightly with loosens. The wand falls from his hand to the lawn. The ornament on it makes a jingling, clear sound just once, but it’s terribly out of place.
At Clementine’s shout, Agedilus gasps briefly. ‘What is this? What does this mean?’ He silently asks himself that. He can’t help but do that. Because, isn’t that right? Why and how is it none other than her——Filmina, who is bleeding, collapsed on the ground?
With shaky footsteps, he approaches Filmina’s collapsed body, kneeling beside her and helping her body up. Her body is supposed to essentially feel light to him, but now it feels much heavier than usual. Her slender hand falls from on top of her stomach, feebly drooping and shaking. He takes that hand and presses it to his cheek, but he gets no response from her.
No matter how much he calls her, that gentle voice calling him ‘Edi’ is gone. Her eyes are closed as if she’s sleeping, hiding her calm eyes with those eyelids. If it was just that, he may have thought she was just sleeping. But the blood gushing out of her chest with no sign of stopping, thrusts the certain truth at Agedilus.
As Agedilus dumbfoundedly sits, holding Filmina, Celves’s sorrowful shout reaches his ears. His sunrise-colored eyes slowly leave Filmina, looking at Celves who’s still trying to run up to them.
Agedilus simply looks at Celves. It’s nothing more than merely looking towards him, but——Celves’s body suddenly flicked off like a pebble by an invisible shockwave.
Unable to even scream, Celves is thrown into the trunk of a tree in the courtyard. He loses consciousness just like that, but Agedilus pays him no mind, once again dropping his gaze to Filmina in his arms.
Even as he does all this, the blooming flower of fresh blood coming from her chest is steadily growing bigger.
Agedilus’s long white fingers stroke her cheek as it loses blood. What replays in his mind is that day when they were young, when he summoned a high-ranking spirit and Filmina protected him.
‘It’s just like that,’ Agedilus thinks. ‘Edi,’ Filmina had called him, then thrust him away. She had bore the wound that Agedilus was meant to bear.
——It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.
The voice that had repeated those words to him that day, isn’t here now. In front of Agedilus’s eyes, all turns to sheer red. That’s the color of the blood gushing out of Filmina. Red, just like that time.
Along with her face back then, what comes to Agedilus’s mind is her usual gentle smile. What replays in his ears is that voice calling him, ‘Edi’. Both of them are surprisingly vivid.
‘F-i-l-m-i-n-a,’ Agedilus tries calling the name of the person in his arms and fails. His voice won’t turn into words. His trembling, hoarse voice spills over and falls. There is no response, as if it’s only natural. Now, the only thing that’s still proof of the being he wants to hear more than anyone and anything, is the weight in his arms and the gushing blood.
Agedilus’s light-colored, petal-like thin lips tremble. Deep inside his body is hot. He feels like melted iron being mixed, round and round, rumbling. He can’t hold it back. It’s as if the reason to hold it back itself has melted in that heat. And then.
That moment, certainly the whole world screams along with Agedilus.
A colossal flood of magical power bursts out of Agedilus in the center, holding Filmina. It mows down the trees around, swallows down even the arbor, wildly devastating the surroundings.
With a voiceless voice, Agedilus calls to his beloved in his arms. But there’s no response to it. The only person in the world he had allowed to call him ‘Edi’, is now sinking in the depths of a sea of silence.
Until now, he had lightly picked up Filmina’s body in his arms countless times. But now, he can’t believe how heavy it feels. He doesn’t want to believe it either. He can’t look straight at Filmina’s face, turning paler than usual, and he tightly hugs her thin body.
‘Ah, that’s right.’ Agedilus suddenly realizes. That he’s the reason Filmina has gotten so thin. No matter how much he tried to hide her, he knew nothing all along, not realizing anything, and he hates himself for it. And even that thin body feels so heavy because it’s lost consciousness, Agedilus knows for the first time. It’s all too late.
The smell of her fresh blood, like rusted iron, reaches his nose. Why has it turned out like this? Why did it end up like this?
He raises his head from Filmina at the faint groans. When he recognizes the person his sunrise-colored eyes look towards, the flood of magical power grows even bigger, despite Agedilus having no intention of it. ‘Crack,’ he hears the sound of a crack running through something. The magical boundary he had made around the palace begins to reach its limit. Ignoring that, Agedilus just looks at that person——at Celves. The young man’s white mixed with ash hair is supposed to be in neat plaits, but now it’s come undone, and instinctive tears well up in his azure eyes.
Cracks in the earth run towards Celves. Agedilus doesn’t need to chant any spell. He doesn’t even need to pick up his wand. All he has to do is think it. Just with that, Agedilus has enough strength to kill.
‘Thud.’ He puts more pressure on, with Celves in the center.
One by one, the plants in the surroundings get crushed. Celves is made to fall flat on the ground, opening and closing his mouth in a voiceless scream. There’s no expression on Agedilus’s face as he watches it. His white face is beautiful enough that one would fear it; it would certainly captivate anyone who looked upon it, but everyone here knows that this isn’t the situation to carelessly be fascinated by it.
Holding his sword planted into the ground, Alhelm is close to getting blown away but somehow manages not to, shouting at Agedilus. Agedilus’s sunrise-colored eyes clash with Alhelm’s red-brown ones. A chill runs down Alhelm’s spine at that otherworldly, far too beautiful expressionless face, more doll-like than dolls praised to be the finest works of craftsmanship. But a friend of this beautiful person couldn’t possibly falter from that.
But Agedilus’s reply is blunter than Alhelm hopes for.
That voice truly sounds confused. It sounds like an innocent child asking his family why the sky is blue. But what it actually says isn’t that lovely at all. With his head tilted, Agedilus asks Alhelm again.
「Someone that hurts Filmina must be worthless to keep alive, right?」
「—you, you idiot!」
At that instant cursing reply, Agedilus’s eyebrows which were stuck as if frozen in place, finally move. ‘Who’s the idiot?’ Even though Agedilus tries to ask that, he can’t. Because even though Agedilus always thought that Alhelm’s foolishly smiling eyes were always lacking for tense situations, now his reddish brown eyes have a serious, certain anger in them, glaring at Agedilus. Agedilus’s sunrise-colored eyes are fiery, shaking and glittering as if matching the whirlpool of magical power, but Alhelm doesn’t falter from them, continuing to shout.
「Ya really think Filmina’s gonna be happy if ya do this?!」
Agedilus blinks once at Alhelm’s shout. He wants to say, ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Agedilus doesn’t need Alhelm to tell him whether Filmina would be happy or not. Filmina would probably be sad if he behaves like this. And she’d definitely be sadder than anyone else. He knows that better than anyone else. But, even so. Even if it means making Filmina sad, even so, there’s something he just can’t forgive.
Focusing on Celves, countless cracks run through the ground. No matter how agonizing a face Celves makes, Agedilus harbors no deep emotions, so much that it surprises himself. It’s the same as when a letter from Filmina was stolen at the Academy of Magic——no, it’s worse. He has to clean up. He has to get rid of Celves. Just that one purpose controls him.
Alhelm still calls out to him. ‘Shut up,’ Agedilus mutters on the inside. ‘What do you understand? Like hell you understand.’ Why is Alhelm making that desperate face that doesn’t suit him at all, calling Agedilus, even though he’s usually always pretending to smile? Agedilus can’t understand Alhelm’s intentions as he calls him at all. This isn’t related to Alhelm at all. And yet.
「I’m – begging you!」
‘Why is he getting so desperate?’ Agedilus thinks, holding Filmina. Pleading him in a way that’s so unlike himself, Agedilus can’t think anything but that Alhelm must have gone crazy.
Yes, that’s all he can think, but then why? The pressure he puts on Celves loosens up then. ‘Gah,’ Celves is finally able to breathe properly, his shoulders heaving as he still lies on the ground. Agedilus is shocked at that sight. He meant to kill Celves. He was supposed to kill Celves, and yet.
Alhelm smiles broadly, his entire body hit by magical power, kneeling on one knee, barely managing to support his body with his sword stuck in the ground. That smile deals an even further blow to Agedilus, who watches Alhelm dumbfoundedly.
Agedilus turns to look at that voice, so clear despite the raging magical power around it. He sees Clementine – finding it difficult to even stand straight from the waves of magical power, her silk-like silver hair blowing from the wind – but despite that, she still stands dignified.
She’s clad in a barrier of light magic, which she can use since she received the protection of the goddess. She somehow manages to approach Agedilus, half-running. With that force, she sits with both knees down on the ground, grabbing Agedilus by the collar as he holds Filmina, and raises her hand.
Slap! Strangely, that dry sound echoes loudly even in the torrent of magical power. Agedilus’s sunrise-colored eyes open wide, looking at Clementine who has slapped his cheek relentlessly.
「That’s enough, cut it out! This isn’t what you should be doing right now!」
「What I… should do?」