54. The Full Moon Vanishes into the Night
The small shadow travels through the night with the purpose of eliminating a threat. Liliana Zandyke, one of the people responsible for the coma incidents throughout the imperial capital, received information from the tall shadow, “The nobility intend to harm Rouge.”
She gathers magical power to create a domain of darkness that confuses everyone trapped within it as she leaps from the buildings. Having weaved the spell many times, she begins to question herself. Am I getting used to it?
She pretends to ignore the uneasiness taking root deep within her heart as she lands on the shadow cast by the full moon. At times like these, she wonders, Am I landing on the shadow, or is the shadow landing on me?
Casting powerful magic sometimes makes her lose her sense of self. She looks down as she says, “Which one’s the real me? The human like being who treads through darkness? Or the one being shined on by the moon?”
The uneven roof distorts her shadow. What kind of shadow is this? Why is it giving me such a malicious smile? She knows it’s only an illusion, but even so, her heart won’t calm down.
She’s on her own tonight. The tall shadow isn’t there to whisper their objective into her ear. He’s attending to other matters. While they usually operate together, her moving alone isn’t rare.
The absence of his support doesn’t worry her. She has experienced live combat in several of the Empire’s military operations. Her current mission is child’s play in comparison. The target is no one worth worrying over either. Furthermore, neither the military police nor the Yuusha have been able to track her.
Only one person, Suimei Yakagi, makes her nervous. She isn’t sure how to respond if he appears again. Normal methods won’t work against him.
Liliana stops as she remembers what happened earlier that day. As requested by Rouge, she came into contact with Suimei Yakagi. Then, in a moment of carelessness, her glove slipped down her arm. Her hideous arm was exposed. He saw the degeneration wrought from her wielding of dark magic. How did he feel seeing this? Does he think I’m a monster, too?
Other than Rouge, he’s the first person not afraid to talk to me. He’s the first person I’ve ever spoken with that much.
Liliana undoes her eye patch as she descends from the building. The bright moon reflects her face off a glass window. Her left eye isn’t human’s, it’s the eye of a dragon. A golden eye lies underneath the black scale covered eyelid. At the orb’s center is a thin slit.
The eye of a monster. Everyone who sees it hates her. Her real parents were no exception. Would Suimei Yakagi still treat me the same after seeing this? He’s different from everyone else. He’s kind. He doesn’t get swept up by the frantic crowds.
Liliana’s first impression of Suimei was that he’s obstinate. Now, she sees him as a meddlesome person who always gives her a gentle smile. She hopes he’ll continue to smile at her the next time they meet, that they can keep their current relationship. So please give up searching for the criminal. Please, stop searching for me.
He’s searching for her in order to protect those important to him, but as long as she doesn’t get caught, his match will end neither in victory nor defeat. Therefore, she prays he won’t appear before her today.
“…..” She returns her to her senses. Hearing that cry was like having cold water dumped over her.
Another cat, perched atop of a wall with its tail coiled around its self, watches her. She’s been seeing this scene more often as of late. So much that she wonders if she’s starting to imagine hearing their cries. While entertaining such a though,
She’s surrounded. Countless eyes are staring at her. No matter where she looks, she sees the golden glint of a cat’s eyes. Cat, cat, cat. They’re on top of the walls, in the shadows cast by the buildings, on the roof tops, on tree branches, on the brick pavement; cats are everywhere and they’re all watching her.
When did they get here? Where did they come from? I’m clocked in darkness, how did they find me? What the heck is going on?
“Nyaa.” “Nyaa.” “Nyaa.” “Nyaa.” “Nyaa.” “Nyaa.” “Nyaa.” “Nyaa.” Golden eyes floating within the darkness pressure her with their eerie cries. Then, they stop.
The first cat she spotted on top of the wall opens its mouth, but instead of wailing, “Nyaa,” nothing comes out. The cat looks like it’s yawning. Cats sometimes preform that silent action, but Liliana feels like she can hear it.
She remembers back to when Suimei Yakagi first confronted her. She had been spied upon by several cats that day as well. He then showed up afterwards.
Suimei Yakagi had some cats with him today, too. The cats of the Imperial Capital aren’t so docile that they’ll allow someone to carry them in his arms. She never considered that he could be using them for something. Is that the answer? …Just what kind of trick did he use to recruit them into helping him?
She can’t figure out what he did. Then again, Suimei Yakagi uses magic outside her realm of understanding. Not knowing is only natural.
—The people here, they always deny the mysteries that unveil before their eyes. The masters from the Mage’s Guild always say, “That’s impossible,” but the advice he gave her is the correct one. That phrase is nothing but a shackle for those who pursue magic.
In that case, if these cats are using their silent wail to report their location like before—
The cats turn and leave. Liliana raises her head to see a silhouette stepping forth from the darkness. The darkness that person is clad in burns a deep purple afterimage into her retina. The regrets burdening him are much heavier than hers. His wisdom and knowledge run far deeper than anyone else’s—
The silhouette— Suimei Yakagi steps forth. His voice doesn’t carry its usual warmth. Instead, pity blends into his expression and tone as he says, “So, we meet again.”
Liliana’s voice leaks out, “Ahh—”
In the end, he didn’t give up. Her warning was lacking, but still. She told him earlier today that the criminal was dangerous. That next time, I might give you more than a few injuries.
“Sorry, I’m disregarding the warning you went out of your way to give me.”
“—!?” Hearing the word “warning” makes Liliana’s heart jump. This is almost as if he’s reading her mind.
Then, just as the shock in Liliana’s heart begins to settle, Suimei says, “Hey, you’re Liliana, right?”
Why does he know that? She didn’t do anything that would reveal herself, yet no doubt exists within his stare. His eyes tell her that he won’t back down from his claim, that feigning ignorance is pointless.
“—How did, you find out?”
His answer is direct and without hesitation. “One way or another.” Suimei Yakagi then says, “Why are you doing this? Even if you’re a special officer of the intelligence division, there’s no way this is part of your duties, right?”
“I don’t need to explain myself, to you. Why I’m doing this, who I am; that’s none of your business. If you really, want to know no matter, what,” Liliana exerts her magical power to cover her surroundings. The walls and brick pavement bubble like they’re being eaten by acid.
She’s preparing for war and he understand it.
“I’ll have to force it out of you, huh?”
Suimei Yakagi doesn’t respond to her magic despite knowing the correct answer. Instead, he says, “Regardless, there’s something I want to tell you.”
“To quietly surrender? That what, I’m doing is, wrong?”
“No, I’m in no position to judge whether what you’re doing is right or wrong. I have no way to tell if the people you’re attacking with your magic are the ones at fault, or if you yourself are. Since I don’t know what’s going on, I have no reason to stop you.”
“Still, there is one thing I cannot accept and that’s the magic you’re using.”
“My dark magic….?”
“That’s right, Liliana. Don’t touch that magic anymore or it’ll cost you your humanity.”
“On what basis?”
“I’ve a couple reason. I’ll tell you if you want to listen.”
“There’s no, need for you to, say anything. I will do, what I must. That’s why…” That is why— I’ll defeat him here? She can justify her action by claiming it’s for the sake of protecting that person. Even though my opponent isn’t an aristocrat, I’m going to use dark magic?
“Tch,” Liliana’s thoughts make her slip up on her chant. The question, “Should I really be doing this?” runs circles in her mind. Yet, now that she’s started, she can’t stop. She’ll continue to run down her path until someone stops her. “—Darkness! Thou paint this world a fleeting twilight as thy fusion of sinister beauty slits destiny wherever it sprouts. Argo, Lukla, Lagua, Skiot, Raphael, Babylon…”
She finishes by saying the key words, “—Hope results in equal despair.” [—Transient hope.]
The surrounding evening’s darkness and shadows gather around Suimei Yakagi like a bubble. Anything illuminated by light whether it be from lamps or the stars is stripped of color and sucked towards him. They torrent into a foaming bubble and make it swell.
The man seen between the bubble’s gaps remains calm. Instead of shouting out in frustration, he says, “—Aski- Kataski- Haix- Tetrax- Damnameneus- Aision…” [Darkness retreats from light. The sunlight returns truth to the despairing land…]
Moonlight is no longer able to penetrate into the bubble. Is it over?
That spell was one of Liliana’s more powerful in regards to dark magic. There was nothing he could have done to protect himself. After all, he wasn’t able to defend himself from her magic last time. A body riddled in countless wounds will soon reveal itself once the dark bubble dissolves. It will forever be wrapped in darkness. Trembling will set in once the respiratory system shuts downs.
Liliana reminds herself that there are no exceptions to what will happen while saying, “………So stupid.”
Is that to him, or to myself? Her soft curses vanish into the night. This isn’t what she wanted, but he left her no choice. Surrendering isn’t an option. Therefore, her only option is to remove her opponent’s ability to make her surrender. Yet, her heart aches with regret.
You were my first friend. Her thoughts vanish with the dissolving black bubble. “So… stupid…”
Her magic soon ends. The swollen dark bubble stops foaming and the darkness creating it disperses back into the surroundings. However, Suimei Yakagi is not laying on the ground in the center of the blooming darkness.
—The first thing Liliana sees is a shining magic circle made of white light. Etched within the beautiful circle are unknown patterns and letters. Did that circle protect its master from the darkness? A point above the circle is illuminated by moonlight. Not a single shadow remains there.
What sounds like a pair of snapping fingers is followed by an explosion that blows away the remaining darkness.
Sound soon returns to her frozen sense of time. Foliage tremble in fright and bits of rubble laugh keta keta as they roll across the ground. Color returns to the grayed, red brick walls, scarlet hedges, and steel tipped silver gates.
A crisp autumn night returns to the neighborhood complete with a red tinted full moon. Within the center glares a crimson eyed mage—
“—That magic, will no longer work against me, dark witch. (Left hand sorceress)”
–Cute Star ★ it’s Been so Long, Cute Star ★–
Suimei wants to understand Liliana’s motivation for two reason.
…..This evening marks the third time he’s encountered the criminal. Unlike those times, this meeting is different. First, he knows her real identity. Second, they are the only two present.
He came alone in order to better persuade Liliana. There’s a higher chance she’ll run away if Felmenia and Lefille are also present. Therefore, he came alone to meet the girl abandoned by the oracle.
He’s here to ask her of her motives and to stop her from using dark magic.
Liliana voice leaks out, “But, how…”
She’s shocked at my flawless defense against her powerful dark magic?
Suimei defended himself by invoking the charm engraved upon the belt of the Ephesus moon goddess, Diana. By speaking, “aski, kataski, lix, tetrax, damnameneus, aision,” words that represent darkness, light, the Earth, the sun, and reality, he was able to obtain protection against evil power attacking from a higher dimension. The spell itself is most effective when used underneath a full moon.
No respectable magician would ever employ such a chant in a duel, but since gods are existences built from substances similar to astral and etheric components, they can be utilized to protect the astral body. Therefore, dark magic will not be able to harm him.
Suimei sighs as he says, “The phrase ‘dark element’ has been tossed around quite a lot. The guy who organized your system of magic must have been left wondering what that power was all the way to the grave.”
Liliana, unable to accept his words, frowns by knitting her eyebrows towards each other. “What, are you saying? The dark element, is a servant of the goddess. It’s a source of, power to us spell casters.”
“Nope, it’s nothing like what you all think it is. You’re all misunderstanding the same thing. That’s why I can now protect myself from it.”
“—Tch. Darkness! Thou flash across the sky like lightning!
“—Face the darkness, without looking back!” (Thrust of Darkness!)
Liliana casts a straight forward, yet fast moving spell. However, even with the cover of night to obscure the spell from Suimei’s eyes, he is protected by the moonlight.
Suimei adopts an air of composure as he toys around with Liliana. He snaps his fingers while stepping towards her and the brick road explodes before her eyes. She stares wide eyed at the betrayal of her expectations.
Suimei says, “—I got an idea of what I was dealing with the first it hit me. Only a few spells are capable of directly damaging the astral body to that extent, after all. Those can include the power of an evil god awoken through Goetia, a devil’s touch enacted through the suicide of a fanatic demon worshiper, a true spell, a curse, or a spectral attack. Spells built around hatred, resentment, and jealousy are some of the oldest developed. They’re pretty simple to cast. They lack a specific casting procedure, but, despite that, are also quite powerful. You can find such magic among ancient religions.”
“…How’s that, related to the power I wield!”
“Don’t you get it? Dark element doesn’t exist. You could say that, ‘the hatred and grudges held by people become real curses with real consequences.’ The curses born from hatred overflowed from our physical world and gathered in the outer world.”
The oldest types of curses are those born from the hatred of people, animals, and the world. A malicious thought will follow its target no matter how far it tries to escape and will penetrate any defense erected. The curse won’t disappear until it harms its victim.
The Castle Walls of Suimei’s Golden Fortress were breached because they were only walls. They were not barriers designed to protect his body from emotions. His spell protects him from weak magic. His magician’s constitution protects him from curses, although powerful ones can overwhelm his resistances. Nothing, however, can protect him from malicious thoughts. The stronger the emotion, the worse the outcome. That is what differentiates dark magic from the power of the mazoku.
Liliana grows anxious and casts another spell. Suimei once more defends himself against it and continues, “Normally, people can’t wield this type of magic. Hatred and resentment often lead to ruin, after all. Well, it’s a different story if the wielder is well versed, but humans inherently aren’t compatible with those emotions. There is, however, one exception and that’s people able to harmonize their hearts with resentment and hatred. This refers to you.”
“Are you claiming that I harbor such emotions?”
“Pretty much. You might not realize it, but everything about your speech and conduct implies you do.”
“Impossible? The evidence is the thick coagulation of resentment and hatred hidden underneath your glove. Each time you wield that power, it harmonizes with your body and transforms your easily influenced extremities. That foul power is going to corrupt your body into something that’s no longer human. Isn’t that already the case with what’s underneath your eyepatch?”
Liliana’s hand flies up to her eyepatch.
“That’s right. The magic you wield is a curse humans should never touch, but hearing this from me is pointless. Having already touched that accursed power, isn’t this something you’re already well aware of?”
“But I, I’m nothing without this magic, I’m…”
“Stop! That magic will destroy you. It still isn’t too late. Stop wielding dark magic and focus all your attention to healing. If you don’t, then one day you’ll transform into something you’re not! That’s why-”
“That’s why…” Just as Liliana allows herself to be convinced, the air behind her shimmers as it bursts with heat. Her eyes widen as the malice within that outburst harmonizes with her heart. “—Tch! So what! I already know that! Through this magic, I’ll someday be swallowed by the darkness! But this shouldn’t have anything to do with you! So why, why are you bothering yourself over me!?”
“As a magician, I cannot approve of the magician’s path you’ve chosen.”
Dark magic is classified as a system of magic. It’s a secret art that could even be called heresy. In Latin, it would be referred to as [Sinister] or the [Left]. The English equivalent would be [Unlucky]. Left is a word given to magicians who walk the catastrophic path of manipulating vices and wraiths. Even within the world of magic, it is considered taboo.
Suimei cannot stand by and watch Liliana ruin herself, become a left handed sorceress. “Other than that, I’m just a whimsical and meddlesome type of guy.”
Liliana is left dumbfounded at Suimei’s shameless smile. “—”
He then asks, “Hey, are you really fine living that sort of life?”
“Do you really want to live a life where you destroy your own body? You might not regret wielding dark magic, but you’ll never be happy either.”
Liliana thrashes her head side to side in an attempt to shake away everything she’s hearing. “But I won’t be able, to fight if I do that! If I can’t fight, this country won’t need me! The Colonel won’t need me! I’ve been alone, ever since my mother and father abandoned me! The Colonel picked me up, he brought me to the Empire, and I had a home for the first time! Even if everyone calls me a human weapon! Even if everyone detests me! Without dark magic, I, I won’t…!”
“You’re alright with that!?”
“That can’t be it! What you want, what you really want isn’t anything that painful!”
Liliana must want something else. There must be something else deep down in her heart. There’s no way that what she wants is in any way painful. She wore an innocent smile when he ran into her earlier that day. No one able to smile like that could want such a miserable existence.
“What I want, that’s….”
“That’s right, what you want is—”
Liliana once more cuts off Suimei’s urgings. She rejects him by crying out with her rawest emotions. “Shut up! If fighting is all I’m needed for, then everything is just fine!” The darkness she had been gathering rampages as she screams, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”
Fumigating like smoke out of Liliana is a dark curse, no, it’s pure malice. Her heart’s harmonization with darkness allows for the refined resentment amassed within the outer world to channel through her body with terrifying vigor. That hatred uses Liliana’s scream as a focal point and overwhelms her emotions.
The malice swelling up underneath Liliana’s feet explodes in an attempt to swallow her.
Suimei throws himself forward to save her with no regard to his own safety. “Stop!! Don’t take in anymore darkness!!”
His screams of agony, “Guu, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!” help her to finally recover her senses.
“Wh- what, are you…”
“Don’t, take it in… You can’t. Don’t walk, down that road…”
“Yo- you can’t. The darkness, don’t come any closer!”
Curses born from the malice within the darkness seep into Suimei’s body. The thickness of it is incomparable to the power Liliana wielded. He protects his soul by keeping a strong spirit, but he’s fighting against time. He can’t even recite the spell evoking the moon’s protection.
Suimei ignores Liliana’s anxious warning. He shuts his eyes and recites from memory a chant to push the darkness aside, “Luce sacra, Ad utrorumque ergo corrigendum… Guu.” (Sacred brilliance, Rise, now is the opportunity to head my call…)
The darkness swirling around Liliana ravages Suimei’s body. Despite his chant, the torrential curse doesn’t waiver. Cold sweat pours down his forehead, over the bridge of his nose, and across his face. Him feeling it with such clear distinction could be a sign of his impatience.
Suimei musters his fighting spirit with a kiai as he reaches out and grabs hold of Liliana. “Guu, ah… ah… this—!”
He gathers his strength and flings her out of the maelstrom of curses. She hits the ground with a roll as he follows behind her by tumbling over.
Liliana, noticing Suimei’s condition, rises and walks over to him. “Suimei Yakagi…?”
Even though Suimei is gasping, he smiles and says, “Idiot… Any more and you would have died…”
Liliana realizes her foolishness upon seeing his condition and drops onto her knees. “I’m… sorry.”
Suimei gives her a reassuring smiles despite his blue face. “Seriously… just calm down, already…” He sits up relieved that she’s finally doing so.
That’s when, “Muu—”
The world trembles. The entire planet feels like it’s turning onto its side, yet none of their surroundings move. Neither trees sway, nor gravel tumbles; everything is still. This isn’t an earthquake. This phenomenon is different—
—Mysterious Field Movement (Mana Field Vibration)
Suimei clicks his tongue. “Chi, too much malice accumulated here.”
He curses as he examines the trembling world. An improbable phenomena is happening. When the amount of energy generated with a space is more than can be supported by that space, a parallel world shakes. The malice that channeled through Liliana overflowed and exceeded the dimensional boundary. Malice refined into a physical construct is most likely crossing over into the current world.
Then, as Suimei predicted, a horrendous visual and audial situation occurs. A bluish-purple haze of malice different from the black of night manifests and condenses into a more human shape. The anguished wail it releases as it steps forward is steeped in envy. Everyone who hears it is washed over with goosebumps as an unforgettable anxiousness takes root within their minds.
Liliana says, “Th- that’s…”
Suimei says, “The breaking of dimensional boundaries. Get back.”
Lightning flashes as the malice solidifies and a repulsive figure drops onto the ground. Is that supposed to be some sort of precursor?
The pitch black body isn’t rough or jagged, but is smooth, creating the image of a silhouette. Its arms and legs hang limp at its side in a way that gives the illusion that it lacks a skeletal system, slime made from organic matter is wrapped around it body like clothes, and finally, a blood red light glows like an eye on the right side of what it has for a head. The overall appearance is akin to that of a distorted human molded by untrained hands. A different theory, however, suggests that that form is humanity’s original appearance. That would be an outstanding design to say the least.
The manifestation of sin cries out its resentments. Interweaved within and echoing all at once is a shrill screech that grates the ears; a deep, hoarse yell; the wails of an infant made intimate with the world’s darkness; and the pessimistic grumbling of old man’s world view.
Liliana trembles as the voice overwhelms her with nauseating disgust. Since her body is already stimulated, it easily affects her. “A-Ah….”
Suimei clasps her shoulder and says. “Don’t listen to its voice or it’ll pull you in.” Her trembling stops at his reassurance.
The manifestation of sin moves. Each step it takes exhorts an unfathomable influence on the world around it. The brick pavement underneath its feet blackens and malice seeps off its body to pollute the air.
The sight makes Liliana cry out. “If -If we don’t, get away… that… we can’t…”
Feelings of dread are being stirred up within her. Suimei, as someone who pursues magic, sympathizes with her reaction. Normal humans would give up all hope in this situation.
He says, “What would running away accomplish? This isn’t something we can just ignore.”
Liliana says, “But that’s, impossible… How do we, exorcise something like that? Besides, it’s body…”
“Well, it’s my nature to do what I’m told is impossible.”
Suimei’s fearless declaration is followed by an almost human screech.
“— — — —!!”
The repulsive voice echoes within the residential district as their bodies are struck with a shockwave. The barrier of malice surrounding them mutes the sound, but someone will eventually notice the unusual phenomena.
The manifestation of sin morphs its surroundings into a living hell as it strides towards Suimei and Liliana. Any living creature would be driven mad by its voice and appearance. I have to avoid physical contact.
It leaps, kicking off the ground with all of its strength and springing upward like a beast despite having human like legs.
Suimei levitates Liliana onto a nearby hedge with magic as he watches its ascent. He then leaps back to create some distance. Everything it touched, whether it was the brick pavement or surrounding fences, underwent the same transformation. Getting hit would be a problem.
He times his counterattack with its landing. He ignores its appearance and snaps his fingers, one, two, three, four. The creature charges forward unphased, forcing him to evade its attack by darting to the side.
Despite expectations, the manifestation of sin doesn’t pursue Sumei. I doubt it even understands the concept of battle. It just lashes out at anything that gets too close. It’s a thing of malice that only wants to increase the misery of those around it. Right now it’s flailing its huge, black, rubbery arms. Gales of wind fly off its cylindrical arms, scattering debris as they smash into walls and brick pavement. Yet, despite all that strength, no purpose exists behind those swings.
Suimei leaps to the side while protecting his head from the rubble. He sees the creature stop attacking through the gap between his arms and responds with, “Abreq ad Habra.” He spears his hand forward and from the fingertips shoots blue lightning.
The manifestation of sin convulses once as the spell dissipates against its body, but quickly regains its footing. The spell was weakened by its impromptuness. The creature’s limbs again begin to sway without any consideration to a target.
Suimei says, “Look at it. That thing is a collection of malice, but at the same time it’s an amalgam of conflicting emotions. Its strange movements result from it being unable to decide on how to harm anyone. You don’t have any reason to be afraid of it.”
“Stay strong. You’ll lose the second you become fainthearted.”
Suimei takes in the manifestation of sin’s form even though it can flare up the latent fear sleeping within people. It has a vulgar nature that makes everyone cover their ears. It will never stop trying to imprison others within their fears and doubts as it aims for the gaps within their hearts. It’s something from the world ahead that should never exist in the current world. It’s a calamity.
Liliana covers her ears at the manifestation of sin’s grating wails. She even shakes her head in a desperate attempt to distract herself from it. No, no, her actions are perfectly normal for a girl her age. She isn’t someone who should be devoured by malice.
Suimei, for those reasons, disregards his body’s condition and says, “I won’t back down.”
The manifestation releases a shrill screech similar to that of sharp metal clawing against metal. Like a shooting star, it charges down the hill. Time stops for everything on its path only to resume flowing once it blows past.
It’s over if I get hit. Suimei searches for a way to avoid the charge with his eyes that he developed as a magician. However, “Gu, uuh…” pain wracks his body. The malice that seeped into him during his reckless dive to save Liliana flares up at the worst possible time.
Suimei’s awareness drops for several seconds, robbing him of his chance to evade the charge. The situation he awakens to leads him to say, “In that case, everything’s fine as long as I don’t get hit.”
Sweat rolls down Suimei’s face and drips to the ground as he uses right hand to cut out a thelema hexagram. Even so, despair bares its fangs at him with no intention of stopping. Liliana cries out to him from the side, but he doesn’t hear her. He can’t hear her. He’s in a world of silence where only he and his opponent exist. He has already decided, “I’ll destroy it as it pass.”
He needs to be careful with the spell he chooses. The time is currently evening. He can’t use the purifying blue sword, Bless Blade, and the decapitating blue epitaph is prohibited. Regardless, the danger looms closer.
The wind strokes Suimei cheek as he stabilizes the magic power gathering on his fingertips.
Sound returns with his words and the manifestation of sin charges through the hexagram. On its back is wound from where Suimei pierced it with his right hand. The manifestation of sin continues to charge without hitting the breaks and collapses on the brick pavement where it disperses into the night sky.
Yakagi Suimei wins by one one-thousandth’s of a hair’s breadth. Vanishing along with the manifestation of sin is the heavy atmosphere. Fatigue from the battle assails Suimei’s body on top of the pain already corroding him from the malice that entered him. He brushes his condition aside to walk over to Liliana and sit down next to her. “It’s over.”
Liliana, unable to believe what she saw, looks to where the manifestation of sin vanished.
Suimei looks with her and says, “Tell, me already… Why are you doing this?”
“Tha-That’s because… the aristocracy, are trying to harm the colonel. That person came, to me with a, proposal…”
“That person? You mean that other guy… who was with you?”
A military police whistle rings out during the middle of Suimei’s sentence. Their surrounds were cut off from the rest of the world when the manifestation of sin appeared. No one should have been able to detect their battle, So why—
Liliana’s shoulder flinches as footsteps and angry voices get closer.
Elliot and Christa soon appear leading a squad of military police. Elliot’s beautiful voice echoes as he says, “Over here!” He looks around upon arriving and is taken aback by confusion as he discovers both Suimei collapsed on the ground and next to him Liliana. He says, “Suimei Yakagi and, if I’m not mistaken, you are…”
Suimei trails of from finishing, “What are you guys—” with ‘doing here?’ as he realizes that Liliana is beginning to tremble. To his surprise, she steps back. Elliot’s arrival along with the clamoring military police on top of the malice she just experienced is more than her body can accept. Her heart has reached its limit.
A bitter groan escapes Suimei. “Shit, what lousy timing.” Their sudden appearance makes having a calm discussion with Liliana impossible.
Suimei gets up to confront the deteriorating situation. He extends his hand towards Liliana during her confusion and says, “Well, Liliana, looks like we’re going to have some trouble, but let’s get going.”
“—Are you fine with this? You’ll never achieve your goal if you stop here.” Liliana shivers at the sudden voice’s question.
“—?” Suimei spots a silhouette standing on a roof top. “You’re—!?”
The tall shadow ignores Suimei and continues speaking to Liliana. “What will you do? I don’t care, but isn’t it different for you?”
Suimei says, “Stop, don’t listen to him!”
The tall shadow points behind itself as it says, “—run.”
Is it telling Liliana to escape that way?
A gust of wind covers the area in smoke. Elliot and Christa remain, but the military police soldiers lose their composure.
Suimei says, “Shit— guu!?” He can’t move. His body refuses to run forward. The malice he received upon rescuing Liliana and the damage from fighting the manifestation of sin have pushed his body to the limit. To continue pushing past his limit is impossible.
Liliana, however, doesn’t seem to know what to do anymore. The chaos unfolding before her makes her tremble, then, “A- ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” She turns away from everything that’s happening towards where the tall shadow pointed. She runs off the hill and plunges into the darkness.
Suimei grips his chest as he breathes out in pain. He reaches for Liliana as she disappears while saying, “Gu…. Li- Liliana… don’t go…” The tall shadow then appears on the hill, obstructing his view.
Sweat rolls down Suimei’s face as he groans, “You bastard…” The tall shadow’s mouth twists as it sneers.
T/N: Is Suimei trying to give Liliana some sort of cat trauma?? I wouldn’t be surprised if she became afraid of cats after this. On a side note, this chapter was hard. That is the second reason I was delayed in releasing this. The first was because I needed a break. 😉 The third reason is that this chapter was freaking long! It’s much longer than any other I’ve translated so far. I kinda want to take break, but I just came back from one.
Also, your lovely translator in a box finally has a face. The hair came out a bit long, but it works, right?? Hmm, now that I give it a second thought, maybe I should have gone with an ermine motif?? Should I try again sometime in the future??
1 These words are a set of Ephesia Grammata, an ancient Greek magical formula. The name derives from being inscribed on a cult image of Artemis. They are meaningless words designed to protect those who can speak them properly. Each word has an interpretation: Aski = darkness, Kataski = brightness, Lix = Earth, Tetrax = year or the four season, Damnameneus = Sun, and Aisia = Logos
2 Goetia is a practice that includes the conjuration of demons, specifically the ones summoned by the Biblical figure, King Solomon. The use of the term in English largely derives from the 17th-century grimoire The Lesser Key of Solomon, which features an Ars Goetia as its first section. It contains descriptions of the evocation, or “calling out”, of seventy-two demons, famously edited by Aleister Crowley in 1904 as The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King.