It was a strange silence.
Before them were large stone tiles that led up to the main building and on both sides were small bonfires blazing.
The 「Castle 」 that Youran had mentioned, was a place associated since long ago with warriors.
And all these warriors were lined up on the sizes.
Looking like an army or something, it was a rough line of men.
Even though there were more than 100 men standing, there was not one sign of movement.
But the scene wasn’t one of complete stillness.
It wasn’t a physical sensation, but one could sense there were sounds of things moving.
It was a sudden sensation, one that occurred almost immediately in the presence of a large mass humans.
The will to fight, violence, and these men’s hostility.
The feeling they gave off was enough to feel like it was piercing your skin.
Silence, yet not still.
Those are the sensations that Taiyou felt.
Suddenly, he could feel Aoba’s grip harden on his left side. Her thin grip around his arm seemed to jolt, and it seemed filled with anxiety.
Taiyou, however, was unaware and ready to go.
(I’m a mean guy I guess.)
He laughed at himself quietly.
He was used to things like this, so Aoba’s reaction seemed so cute because she was unprepared, while he also was now preparing to give her a real show.
Taiyou still couldn’t get rid of his fastidiousness strange at his age. He was happy that his love was startled…he wanted to feel her anxiousness.
He spoke to Aoba as he looked out on them.
「Lotta guys here.」
As Aoba answered in a small voice. She was trying to hide her fear, but was still unable to.
「100…no 200 or so.」
「Natsuno-kun…will we be…okay?」
「Nope, not okay.」
「If I beat all these guys up, it’s going to look like hell here.」
「It’s going to be scary. Could you close your eyes, Aoba?」
She thought he was joking and was momentarily surprised.
「No, I’ll watch.」
She shook her head, and Taiyou could see a slight smile on her mouth.
「I want to see you act cool again.」
「Okay, then I’ll show you.」
It wasn’t the conversation they had expected, but Aoba maxed out his fighting spirit with one phrase.
He could expect that someone he loved was watching him.
It was what roused this youth to fight like nothing else could.
An extreme power not understood by physics that was the power of real leveling.
Until now it had been impossible, however, he could feel that all the muscles in his body were powered to the maximum amount.
While he still held on to Aoba, he broke into the line of men.
The men sprung to action against him in lines and groups of men, but the front all ended up in a semicircle against Taiyou.
Using his strong arm, he countered the first fighter that lunged at him from the side. The warrior slammed into the ground on his side.
Aoba looked worried.
「Well, he didn’t miss the ground.」
He dodged the next fighter’s punch, dove near to his chest, grabbed his collar and threw him right through the line of other soldiers.
「I should have used him to beat them back!」
Just like a boxer, he was surrounded by fighter after fighter and knocked them down.
He heard Aoba’s emotional voice, as Taiyou’s energy got higher and higher.
He never stopped moving his feet.
Until now he was stopped in one place, standing and awaiting those attacking him and countering them when he could as strategy.
Now he began to move around, attacking and dropping the enemy in order.
Taiyou clinging to Aoba, a man and woman.
A happy couple breaking through a huge group of trudging soldiers.
As Taiyou’s energy grew and grew, the numbers of defeated soldiers on the ground increased.
「Natsuno-kun! Behind you!」
A enemy sprung at him from behind. He swung a sword from above his head, which Taiyou blocked with a blunt weapon, snatched his sword away, and hit him in the head with it.
He heard Aoba scream.
An enemy came at him from the left.
「Don’t stand on my left!」
Aoba changed her standing position as Taiyou delivered a painful punch to the face of the attacker.
His face changed in and explosion of teeth.
Instead of being blown away, he simply sank, defeated to the ground.
One more, then one more, were thrown to the ground which had accumulated an endless stack of men.
Taiyou’s fist was covered with fresh blood, as the number of new sacrifices increased one by one.
There was a pandemic that grew among the fighting army.
「He…he’s a monster!」
As nearly 100 men had fallen, someone screamed aloud.
Just then, the dam broke in their fighting emotions, and suddenly changed into fear.
「We can’t win against him!」
「Are you puttin’ your life on the line for her!?」
There were screams everywhere, and many began to flee.
All of the approaching enemy forces had now turned to run in fear.
He could hear a voice below. The was a man who had fallen down with fear in his eyes.
His teeth were chattering in terror and he shook in horror.
Taiyou, without mercy, kicked the side of his head with his right foot like he would a ball.
The soldier spewed out bloody vomit.
A merciless kill. After seeing that, the numbers fleeing increased.
The matter was decided.
He stopped to take a breath and allow some enemies to run.
「Aoba, it’s better if you don’t look.」
「No, I’m watching.」
「Well, I’m your wife, right?」
Whether that was an answer or not, she still drew closer to him as she said it.
There wasn’t a trace of that nervousness or fear she had just before and after the beginning of the fight.
And there was something even more different.
Taiyou thought he understood…better now.
(I think so now.)
He didn’t know if what he felt now was correct, but he thought at least it seemed that way.
Asv he thought so, he powerfully held Aoba to him.
After that, he attacked those remaining.
As they scattered in every direction, he attacked them from behind wherever he could.
One after one, the defenseless men dropped.
「So this is all of them.」
Taiyou’s legs stopped moving, and he looked around.
The fire around his illuminated a hellish scene of blood and bodies.
In the middle of that was the calm Taiyou and Aoba, who he drew close to him.
Blood dripped from his fist while he was bathed in spurting blood, as he looked like a Titan that was holding a princess in his arms.
「Three of them ran inside.」
「You counted them?」
「I’m your wife, right, Natsuno-kun?」
「So, is this the new line of yours?」
「I’m the least noteworthy of all your wives up to now, so I have to do something.」
「No, no, all the others just think that about you. Kotone and her sisters use telepathy, Kohaku is an old woman in a young one’s body, and Shirokiyami is the world’s best swordfighter. It’s not that they’re more noteworthy; they just stick out more.」
「But I think I should stand out more, develop myself.」
「Really? I think your character is developed more than enough.」
He imitated Aoba’s tone.
「Kyaaa, stop that! Please!」
「You call out to your parents when you’re scared, but it’s crazy you have four parents. There’s no one like you with all those parents like you have.」
They spoke as if they were on a cheerful date, as they walked along the stone tiles.
The atmosphere returned to silence, as they could hear groaning all around, but as both of them really went listening to it they were fine.
There was one thing that still seemed a bit off between them.
「Why did you say『Wha?』just then?」
「Because…being this age and still calling out to your parents is embarrassing… I thought.」
「So that’s it?」
Taiyou responded loudly.
「What about you having four parents to call to?」
「Well, I have four of them.」
Aoba simply said the truth.
「They all love me.」
「I was just thinking, from now, my kids are going to have it hard. In the same way, they’ll have a big family to call out to.」
His eyes opened wide as Aoba skillfully tapped at him while she held on. She spoke as if she were in a play.
「That’s not someone’s mother, but something else!」
After calling out seven different people, Aoba’s mouth closed.
Even if she tried, she couldn’t force out any more.
「Sorry, I can’t think of any more. I can’t think of more than nine.」
「Why did you give up there? Don’t give up!」
「Why are you getting so passionate about that?」
「Well, you have 20 people you consider as『brothers』in this world, so you still have a while to go!」
「Whaaaa? That’s a lot.」
He thought it was great he could think up these things without Kohaku or Hera here.
As they joked around, they walked up to the building before them.
They could feel something, as one man flew out at them.
「I told you…」
Taiyou spun half around, and faced the new enemy directly.
「Don’t come at me from the left hand side!」
Crack, crick, cronk!
The sound of bone and flesh being destroyed, as the enemy let up a small, fierce cry.
Then he grabbed the body and tossed it like trash, and turned to the building.
Before the two again enemies were standing.
They had come from inside, a small groups.
There was one figure that they recognized.
「Long time no see. I never thought I’d see you here.」
Whether this was the second stage or not was yet to be determined, as there stood Anna and her underlings.