Kaori had left the passage and stepped through the shining doors leading out of the maze. Just like for the others, she was now fighting with her false image which had appeared from the huge cylindrical ice pillar in the middle of the vast space.
Ever since the whispers started back inside the great labyrinth, Kaori had been feeling as though she was being dragged little by little into a bottomless swamp.
She had to fight while being relentlessly shown the filthy and ugly parts residing deep within her heart. Originally, since she was jealous of Yue and had an inferiority complex to the point even she was aware of how bad it was, she had ample negative emotions. Therefore, the words spoken by her false image struck her and hollowed out her weak parts with more efficiency than a sharp knife and more accuracy than Hajime’s bullets.
It had been thirty minutes since the start of the battle. Kaori’s heart was already badly hurt even though she wasn’t hurt that much physically. If her heart could appear as a physical object, it would definitely be in a tattered state, bleeding large amounts of blood, and squeaking in pain.
However, even so, Kaori never flinched. Her inferiority complex, fretfulness, and jealousy were already tested back in the Merujiine Underwater Ruin and she managed to pull through. Of course, she wasn’t able to completely come to terms with her weaknesses since it was a problem stemming from her heart, and Yue was part of that problem.
Rather, when Shia’s love was accepted by Hajime, she felt intense envy and rage in her innermost thoughts, and would also feel it unintentionally every time Shia would approach Hajime while putting on a lovely face.
However, it was also true that she felt blessed. She wasn’t only caught in fretfulness, jealousy, or her inferiority complex. She wasn’t only belittling herself and overworking herself in an effort to make up for it. On the contrary, she was also rejoicing at this proof which meant it was possible for women other than Yue to be acknowledged by Hajime.
She had grown. Instead of envying someone else in silence, she would now take a step forward towards granting her own wish. Which is why she couldn’t afford to lose to the image of herself standing before her eyes.
“The speed increased yet again, huh?”
Each time she was wounded by the words fired at her like arrows, her own power would go up little by little. It was proof she was slowly learning how to use Nointo’s abilities as if she was untying scrolls one by one.
At the same time, she felt as though her false image which had taken the form of a gray Nointo was starting to weaken.
While being assailed, wounded, and made to suffer by her own filthy self, she was able to take it all in, swallow the pain and turn it into power she could use. She was showing a righteous, reliable, and splendid growth. Thanks to sublimation magic, her mastery of the twin silver longswords had almost reached the level of the original Nointo who fought with Hajime.
Then again, the organ which made it possible to receive an infinite amount of magical power was missing, but by using sublimation magic, she succeeded in artificially increasing her body specs to the point she broke through all limits.
Now, Kaori and her false image both took out their high-speed swords fluently while creating afterimages. It seemed this trial had made Kaori grow up after putting her through suffering and pain.
“I won’t lose! I’ll become a good woman who will lose to neither Yue nor Shia and I’ll get Hajime-kun to look at me! I’ll protect the people I want to protect, and return with everyone to Japan!”
“… It doesn’t look like I can break you with words anymore… fine. Come at me with all your strength! Cut me, your weakness!”
The battle was getting to its most interesting part. Locking sword to sword and pushing, they were staring each other down with contrastive pupils as the twin large swords illuminated them with silver light. Kaori’s pupils blazed with determination while the pupils of her opponent were as calm as the surface of the water in a peaceful lake.
Incidentally, the fact that Tio was not included in her declaration was merely due to inattention.
Then, intuitively they understood that things would be settled in the next move after they broke the sword lock. They both simultaneously tried to repel the opponent’s twin swords. At that time…
The terrific sound of an explosion echoed through the chamber.
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Still engaged in a sword lock, they were dumbfounded at the sudden disturbance. Their eyes were wide open in astonishment at the shapes which emerged before them from the flames caused by the explosion in the wall. Standing before them were Shia, whose usamimis were fluttering, and Yue.
“Saa, Yue-san! If you don’t want to end up completely beaten up, hurry up and apologize!”
Kaori stood open-mouthed with a silly expression while looking at Shia who made a declaration of war and thrust Doryukken at Yue.
Things had been going very slowly so far, and now that it was finally the long awaited time for the climax, they were suddenly interrupted by the affairs of other people.
Kaori and her false image were exchanging glances while engaged in the deadlock. Then, seemingly having understood each other’s thoughts, they nodded to each other. Kaori strengthened her resolve and raised her voice towards Yue and Shia who were confronting each other.
“Ah, Ano, Yue? Shia? What in the world are-”
“… Shia. Think about the worst-case scenario.”
“Shut up! My beloved Yue wouldn’t say such a cowardly thing! The ‘special one’ Hajime-san fell in love with wouldn’t give up! What about a worst-case scenario? What would you do if I wasn’t here to knock some sense into you? You coward! You old shorty! You have neither small nor big breasts, you only have a fragment of breasts!”
“… You’re saying things you shouldn’t. Shia, you’re getting far over yourself.”
Kaori was completely ignored. Neither Yue nor Shia had shifted their gaze one bit away from the other. The edge of Kaori’s eyes were gleaming. False Kaori patted her shoulders in sympathy.
At one point, Shia had heated up to the extent she couldn’t restrain herself and started using abusive language against Yue. Then Yue’s words were spoken in a way that implied she might no longer have a future, which gave Shia a stomachache.
As expected, being criticized this much by Shia left even Yue questioning herself a little.
However, maybe she was mistaken about the memories she recalled so far. Maybe the man she trusted the most before being sealed was actually reluctant to seal her. The reason why was a complete mystery. She couldn’t dismiss the feeling he might have wanted to leave words behind before parting.
Why did Shia not understand? It was Shia after all, in whom she had great trust. So why did she deny her feelings after hearing them? Yue was getting frustrated.
Although Yue’s feelings made her fairly tolerant towards Shia, that tolerance was blown away in one go with the words Shia used.
A vein appeared on Yue’s forehead.
On top of that, Shia mentioned Yue’s breasts, putting emphasis on her own pair of melons. She was shaking Yue like a jelly with the intent to provoke her.
The remarks which were made on her were a bit too difficult to turn a blind eye to. The dark clouds beginning to form over Yue’s head attested to it. That was the residence of Yue’s specialty, ‘Thunder Dragon’. ‘GoRoGoRo’, the well-known roar of thunder resounded.
“… Now is your chance to back down, you deplorable rabbit.”
“That’s my line, you thousand-year-old shorty.”
Distinctive marks of anger rose to the surface of their respective foreheads.
“Ah, Ano, You two? Let’s calm down a little? I don’t know what happ-”
“… I’ll turn you into a roasted rabbit and teach you the difference in our strengths.”
“Ha, a cowardly shorty with small breasts is no match for me! Today will be remembered as day of the underdog for sure!” 1
From the dark clouds above Yue, the thunder dragon sprang at Shia with a roar. Shia brandished Doryukken and leaped forward with a war cry.
“*Sob* As I thought, I’m useless… …”
“A, Are!? My strength is increasing somehow!? N-, Not good! Pull yourself together!”
“… As I thought, I’m no good…”
“Ah, no, that’s not correct. You’re not useless! It’s just that those two have overheated and can’t see the surroundings.”
For some reason, false Kaori which should have been made from her negative emotions was comforting Kaori who had been totally ignored and was now on the verge of tears, scratching her contorted face. As expected, it seems even false Kaori couldn’t contain her sympathy when she saw her real form being ignored by Yue and Shia.
With a backward glance, they could see the first big argument between Yue and Shia was getting even worse.
“Reflect a little on what you’re saying! You horny granny!”
“Ts,… You’re the one who’s horny with your useless tits. You perverted rabbit!”
“Ho, Could it be you’re jealous, Flat-chested-san?”
“… You damn peeing rabbit. You can’t control yourself once more.”
“Ugh, just when did this story you’re bringing up happen! That’s cheap! You ‘Rounding measurements, isn’t it completely flat? In fact, isn’t it better like this, as a chopping board?’ woman!”
“… Long! Rather, don’t go around deciding my breasts mea… I’m not flat-chested! My breasts are decent! You saggy-chested rabbit!”
“M- my breasts aren’t saggy! They’re just bouncing a little! And Hajime-san likes them a lot!”
Let’s make a revision. Rather than worsening, it seems the argument was getting increasingly childish.
“… Hajime has no interest in worthless meat. He prefers buttocks! Especially the contour from the bottom to the thighs! And he said mine was the best!”
“Th- then I will simply be the oppai master! With my breasts Yue-san can never hope to match, I already did “Pi-”, “Pi-” and “Pi-”! And he was having a great time with them! Even for the contests at night, the underdog is drawing near!”
And thus, Hajime’s sexual inclinations were nonchalantly being spoken of.
If Hajime had been here just now, he would have been the one getting hurt.
“… I’m the one who taught Hajime night skills. I’m also the one who taught Shia combat skills. I know everything! I’ll show you that no disciple can hope to defeat the master!”
“Bring it on! The disciple will surpass the master! Be it at night or during the day! Today, right here!”
Shia poured magic into Doryukken and used it to hit the ‘Thunder Dragon’. For a moment, the shape of ‘Thunder Dragon’ was completely smashed, however, it immediately reformed itself and opened its jaws wide in an attempt to swallow Shia.
But Shia, with breathtaking speed, had already slipped past the ‘Thunder Dragon’ and was closing in on Yue.
Yue intercepted her by summoning a space barrier using space magic. Moreover, she tried to use the resulting shockwave to blow Yue away.
However, using sublimation magic to increase her physical strength twofold, Shia withstood the shock wave with unbelievable physical resistance.
Sublimation magic was a magic that enhanced the level of everything.
Naturally, since it depended on the quantity of magical power used, the enhancement only lasted while sublimation magic was active, and being an age of gods magic, its consumption of magical power was overwhelming.
Still, it was obvious that the effect granted by this magic was tremendous, and now the physical strength of Shia who was using it had surpassed Hajime’s non-strengthened physical strength. A half-hearted attack wouldn’t even leave a single trace on that body.
“How soft! It’s going to take much more than that to stop me!”
“… You cheat character! Hurry up and go down!”
There was the booming sound of an explosion, the ice walls, and the ground’s surface was breaking, and ice shards were flying around. Flames were scattering in the air as the thunder scorched everything in its path. Then a shock wave ran through the entire place and the sound of another explosion followed as magic was being unleashed over and over again all over the place.
Yue and Shia’s high level of commitment could be seen through the high-level battle which was getting increasingly violent, in contrast to their earlier argument which had steadily become childish.
“Yue-san no… etto, eto, baaka, baaka!”
“… Shia no… Shia no… Ahou~!”
It seemed they had used up all the insults they knew.
In the corner of the room, Kaori and her false image, who should originally have been the protagonists here, were sitting on the floor grasping their knees. Their faces blank, they were watching the huge fight between the childish Yue and Shia who didn’t seem to comprehend that battles were lethal.
To think that Kaori and her opponent had reached the point of climax, and as Kaori was about to clear the trial, she was suddenly interrupted by this battle… Only to hear words such as ‘baka’ or ‘ahou’. The scene before her was really idiotic. You couldn’t reproach her for her vacant stare.
“… I’m going.”
“… Don’t tell me, are you intending to go and try to stop them!? You can’t, you’ll die!”
False Kaori suddenly stood up from her sitting position. And then she said she was heading to the battlefield. Her face was so transparent it was hard to think she had been formed from negative emotions. As if she had just learned the time of her death.
“This room is meant for our trial. It should not be devastated by outsiders. That’s why I’m going. For both my sake and yours, your sake and mine.”
The newfound absurd friendship which had developed between them… maybe the crazy development had set a screw loose in their heads.
“… Make sure to come back. Without fail, safely. I’ll be waiting!”
“Fufu, if you tell me that, I have to make sure to come back.”
They took each other’s hands. It really looked like a scene from a film where a woman was seeing off her lover headed to the battlefield after making an oath to see each other again. Their emotional limit may have been reached in various ways.
False Kaori reluctantly parted her hands from Kaori, turned around, and glared at the two cheat characters with a resolute expression.
“Shirasaki Kaori, a false image of the trial, I’m off!”
“Please, please, be safe!”
She stepped into the storm of destruction brought about by high-level magic that defied common sense and cheat physical stats.
“You’re in the way!” X2
With a swift attack, she was dancing in the air. The trajectory was a beautiful parabola.
“I- you, I mean, me!”
“Ku, I- I’m fine! I can still do it! I’ll definitely show you I can stop them!”
Receiving lightning and a shock wave, the now stained false Kaori flapped her silver wings to rearrange her stance and showed her fighting spirit like a hero. What in the world is making her willing to go to such lengths… In all likelihood, the unfolding situation must have driven her crazy. Because the origin was Kaori.
False Kaori glared at Yue and Shia and shouted with all her strength.
“You two, Cut it out! This is our place! Don’t disturb our trial!”
That brave voice was entirely engulfed by the noise of the battle. Neither Yue nor Shia gave her a single glance. They were only seeing each other and had taken absolutely no notice of her whatsoever.
A vein appeared on the forehead of false Kaori. Barging into other people’s room of their own accord, and doing as they pleased as if they were in their own room. Seeing such a scene made her irritated to no end.
“Wh- Why you, then you leave me no choice but to use force! I won’t be taking complaints afterward!”
Flapping her silver wings mightily and leaving three afterimages of herself, she rushed towards Yue and Shia at high speed. She was aiming to attack with her twin swords. Of course, she did not intend to use the sharp edge of her swords but the flat side to try to knock them out.
First, she would target Shia who had been thrown into the ground by Yue’s ‘Cursed Sky’2. She would quickly move behind her and hit the back of her head.
“You’re mine! Flash of punishment!”
However, voicing her irritation with a voice just like Hajime’s, Shia turned around and easily stopped the sneak attack false Kaori thought to have succeeded. Barehanded, and with one hand at that. What was even more strange was that even though the flat side of the sword was directed at Shia, she had somehow caught the sharp side of the sword with her fingertips. In other words, she had not stopped the high-speed blow from the large sword from the front but pinched it from the side.
“Eeeh!? Th- That can’t be!?”
Shia clicked her tongue at the trembling false Kaori and suddenly pulled the large sword. As false Kaori was pulled forward, Shia seized her neck while taking a throwing stance.
She was flung away in one go.
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Even though it was a beautiful throw describing a parabola, it was not meant to move her out of the danger or the battlefield, instead, she had been thrown with terrific strength like a bullet. Towards Yue.
That is to say, she had just been used against Yue as a human bullet.
As false Kaori’s scream echoed all over the place, Yue who faced her uttered the following words.
“Thunder Dragon, eat up!”
She was attacked from the front by the thunder dragon. The jaws of the sparkling thunder dragon opened wide in wait for her flying form.
Screaming, false Kaori wrapped herself up in her silver wings. Then, she used her silver magical power to summon her decomposition ability at its maximum power.
BOHA! The thunder dragon’s shape dispersed.
Shia who was hiding behind gave pursuit. It seemed she was expecting this outcome before she threw false Kaori. An improvised shield, one could say. It was an extremely savage deed.
Yue’s defense, thunder dragon, had been successfully penetrated. However, she used a gravity ball of ‘Cursed Sky’ to create a high-gravity field on the front.
As a result…
False Kaori who was still flying was suddenly and forcefully pulled to the ground and slid face down.
What a miserable sight. If Shizuku was here, there’s no mistake she would be furious, even if she knew it was a false image.
Collapsed, face down on the ground, false Kaori moaned a weak ‘Uu, Uu’ as she struggled to get up in some way or another. Then, the moment she raised her struggling face…
Her face was trampled down by Shia who had come in pursuit. She was made to kiss the ground once more. Too pitiful a sight.
Shia’s Doryukken weight was increased many fold and dropped onto the ground. Debris was sent flying, incidentally taking false Kaori along. One could easily guess what was shining along with the ice shards fluttering about in the air and which had for origin the area near false Kaori’s eyes…
Without a single care about her, Yue and Shia entered the climax of their battle. Both of them were in a tattered state and showing an unladylike display.
Yue was healed with her ‘Automatic Regeneration’. Shia changed into superwoman mode and was fine thanks to her physical ability and regeneration magic. However, they were breathing roughly due to their consumption of magic. The fact that they weren’t using their demon crystal stones to replenish their magical power was just due to their stubbornness.
Yue summoned an extra-large ‘Thunder Dragon’. It took the shape of a huge arm in the sky and shot forward. Shia created a huge kendama, loaded it with magical power and shot it using Doryukken. They both released an unusual pressure.
And, therein, false Kaori was flapping her wings and flying unsteadily… her eyes lost focus.
Maybe she had not yet recovered from the previous shock.
“Get away—! You, I, get away quickly -!”
Kaori used both hands as a megaphone to amplify her voice and issue a warning. But, as expected, false Kaori who was barely conscious only gave a dull response.
The thunderous lightning and the red kendama collided in the center, bringing about fierce destruction.
The poor recovering victim who had been silent screamed. Jostled in the air from the white smoke, the victim was sent flying towards Kaori.
Bouncing off the ground several times, she continued rolling on the ground until she ended her course before Kaori. What a cruel fate. There was a certain charm to how she was coughing up white smoke, though.
“Su- Such cruelty…”
“Sorry, my other self. I couldn’t win against the cheat and bugged characters.”
Embracing her worn-out other self who was lying on the ground, tears formed in Kaori’s eyes. False Kaori gave her a faint smile.
“Uun. You tried hard. That alone is enough.”
“… My other self…”
There was a nice feel between the two, but they were the same person, after all, putting aside the fact that the aim of the great labyrinth was to play with the core of one’s feelings.
A threat suddenly appeared above the two who were cuddling close together, ready to deliver the final blow. ‘Bikiriii-’. An unpleasant sound reached their ears as a huge lump of ice began collapsing. Yes, that was the aftermath of the battle. The huge central pillar that supported the ceiling had been smashed and was crumbling, causing, in turn, the surrounding ceiling to collapse as well. And both Kaoris were right below.
“Run away! I’ll be fine!”
“Sonna! I can’t do that! At this rate!”
As expected, the development had become drama-like for both of them. False Kaori who had no way of dealing with the incoming danger was pushing aside Kaori in an attempt to let her escape the danger.
Kaori, with an extremely saddened face, refused to go. It would have been simply fine for Kaori to carry false Kaori in her arms away from the danger, but she was too thoughtless at the moment to notice.
The impact was imminent. The ceiling, as well as countless icicles, were close, and the next moment they would…
“Uu, Un. Understood. Sorry.”
As false Kaori was urging her on, a large sword was thrust at false Kaori’s chest. Along with Kaori’s sweet voice.
“… Eh? Why?”
Naturally, it was Kaori who did the stabbing, making a seemingly displeased expression as she averted her eyes. She answered false Kaori’s unintentional question with a pained face.
“Be, because if your death is caused by something else, maybe I will fail the trial… So before you die, I have to be the one to kill you.”
It was actually a fair argument. Actually what was up with the cheap drama-like conversation so far?
Thinking back, saying things like ‘Come back safely!’, yelling ‘Run away!’, objecting ‘I can’t leave you like this!’. Considering she was up against the voice inside her heart, maybe it could be said she had really been soft from the beginning. Before the disappearing false Kaori, Kaori’s expression was better left undescribed.
“Fufu, you became tough, me. I’m happy about your growth… However, I think this way of ending things was a little excessive.”
The icicles and the ceiling which had been seconds away from crashing started quickly going back to their former place and reforming due to the maze’s restoration function. It was obvious this would happen, just like it always had before.
Moved to tears, false Kaori, whose every effort had been fruitless up until Kaori’s last decision at the end, finally collapsed and disappeared without leaving any trace.
“… This victory feels empty.”
If someone was here, they would probably retort ‘Look who’s talking’. It seemed even Kaori had been fairly influenced by Hajime’s group.
On the other side, Yue and Shia who had mutually met each other’s strongest attacks were panting.
“Haa, Haa…, keho.”
They were breathing roughly while standing on the ground of ice with similar postures. Their magical reserves were running completely dry.
“Don’t say such sad things.”
“If something’s bothering you, let’s smash it together.”
“No matter what we’re up against, no matter the situation, we won’t lose. Together, we can do anything. That’s what I believe.”
Shia was reiterating her last speech with a rough breath. Yue, similarly breathing roughly, was listening silently.
“The ones who taught me that are Yue-san and Hajime-san, right? Right now, you aren’t being the same person who taught me that. I absolutely won’t acknowledge a Yue-san who is afraid of some future and silently gives up.”
Shia’s acknowledged beloved ‘special one’ was a person who would not give up under any circumstances and would rely on her and her power to peep into the future. Which is why there was no way she could approve of the current Yue. Not only could she not approve of Yue’s statement, but also of the way things were.
She didn’t know what exactly inside Yue made her pronounce the words ‘in the worst case scenario’, but if there is a chance such a thing will happen, they should not be making an excuse for it but preparing for it instead. Even if her comrades, her family, her friends, and the lover she ought to love were to get involved in the process, they should still be trying to seize the future in which they are all together. The idea of people close to Hajime intending self-sacrifice was unthinkable. Even if it sealed their fate, staying, eating and drinking together until the end, and then perishing together would still be ten thousand times better.
Of course, for her, their probability of perishing was so low she wouldn’t even give it a thought. If Hajime were here and had time to worry about such a thing, he would probably be searching for a way to kill the absurdity instead. Not even one millisecond before his death would he release his boiling killing intent.
And, Yue should be the first one to know that.
“Such a foolish request, you think I’ll listen to it?”
By now Shia was shedding tears. Irritated by Yue who was mentioning the possibility of no longer being with them, she couldn’t help but imagine this future which saddened her …
She thought that if she beat Yue in this fight that had started as easily as a child losing his temper, she would be able to prove that she had become strong enough to protect Yue and thus blow away Yue’s lack of resolve. But as expected, Yue was strong, and victory was not possible. This fact was disappointing and annoying for Shia…
Shia’s various mixed feelings piled up and saturated. Unable to contain herself anymore, her emotions turned into tears that started overflowing.
Lying on the ground, Yue, who had only managed to turn her sight to Shia in order to watch her, summoned magical power from her demon crystal stone and used restoration magic, before getting up slowly. Then she started crawling towards Shia on all fours.
“… Shia, sorry.”
Looking from above at Shia’s face, out of which tears and a dripping nose particularly stood out, Yue gently stroked her head. With both her gaze and hands, and in an extremely gentle way. Shia managed to stare back despite her field of vision being reduced by her tears.
“… It’s as Shia says. No matter the past, no matter who I am, it doesn’t matter. From now on, I want to remain all the time by Hajime and Shia’s side. So I will send flying anyone who stands in the way of that, no matter who it is. That is all there is to it.”
“Highu, Th- That’s right.”
“… Nn. Even if something happens to me, Hajime and Shia will definitely do something about it. There was nothing to worry about.”
“Isn’t that obvious, uh.”
“… Nn. Sorry. I made an awful request. Will you forgive me?”
“I’ll forgive you! So, don’t you dare make such a sad request again! Promise me!”
“… Nn. I promise.”
Sweetly wiping the sweat from Shia’s face, Yue lifted her in her arms. Shia tightly clung to Yue. Yue also hugged Shia back tightly.
Time was flowing silently. Things had become peaceful as they were stroking each other’s skin gently.
Yue and Shia had had their first big fight. It was a scene like that of friends having a fist fight by a river beach and watching the sunset after making up as their mutual bond grew even stronger.
A quivering voice reached them.
“… Thank goodness. I really don’t understand what’s going on anymore, but thank goodness.”
Puzzled, Yue and Shia turned their sight to the source of the voice. They saw Kaori’s smile as her cheeks were twitching. Although, due to her promise, her eyes weren’t smiling at all.
“Ufufu, I’m speechless. There was no consideration whatsoever for me. Going completely crazy and throwing my trial into a complete mess, to the point it was almost ruined, and not even having a care in the world. Rather, giving me this ‘Huh, you were here?’ look, ufufu.”
In response to Kaori’s suspicious laughter, Yue and Shia who were still embracing each other exchanged glances. And, at that moment, they remembered. When they were in the middle of their fight, there was something they kept blowing away, trampling down and detonating …
Then, realizing that this was the large room for Kaori, their expression made an ‘Oops’ face.
“A~ E~tto, Kaori-san? For now, let’s calm down?”
“Ahaha, you’re saying something funny, Shia-ttara. Don’t I look perfectly calm?”
… Kaori, the … how about the trial?”
“Nn~? I more or less passed it. By myself.”
Yue and Shia breathed a sigh of relief.
As one would expect, involving her into their fight and leaving her unable to clear the trial, taking into account all the hardships faced so far, would have been beyond forgivable.
However, they froze in place when they heard Kaori’s next words.
“Yes, I defeated her with my own hands. … After she got beaten up by you two very badly and was in a hopeless situation.”
“… ” X2
“That counts as a win, right? I won’t be told it’s invalid because she was already done in by you two first, right? What do you think about this? Huh?”
Yue and Shia were dripping cold sweat. Kaori came close to the two who were sitting down and embracing each other. She crouched with a friendly smile. Placing her chin on her knee, her gesture had a certain charm to it, but because her eyes were devoid of color, she appeared rather scary.
Then, Yue suddenly looked the other way and added oil to the fire.
“… Then, it would have been better to use restoration magic on her before finishing her off.”
“… It’s not my fault. Rather, it’s Kaori’s, who did her in too quickly.”
“Hawawawa, hawawawa. Yu- Yue-san, that’s a bit … Hum, Kaori-san, really, sorr―”
“Fufuu, Yue-ttara, you’re funny. After completely beating her up and sending her flying, to say such a thing … hey, raise your friendship level with me too.”
Kaori, who had kept sinking ever deeper from the start, kept her smiling face as a vein popped on her forehead and she extracted her twin large swords.
Seeing this, Yue quietly stood up and showed a fearless smile as she answered with all her strength.
“… I don’t mind. A friendship where I am above Kaori and Kaori is under me, I will raise the level of such a friendship.”
“Ufufufufufuu, get blown away!”
“… I refuse!”
Then, flashes ran through the large room that had barely finished recovering from the last intense fight, and thunderous roars were once again heard.
“Fueeeen, Yue-san! Kaori-san! If I may ask, please stop!”
This time, Shia was attempting to calm both sides. The new passage that made its appearance felt somehow like the reward of futile efforts.
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