It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (116/125), enjoy~
After that, a similar structure continued to be built layer by layer. If the interior of the shrine were as large as the Suiseiseki, it would be plausible to accept it.
After descending the stairs many times, they eventually arrived at their destination.
They were greeted by another long corridor. The floor was covered with a crimson carpet, and frames lined the walls at equal intervals.
The walls and ceilings were made of white stone, similar to the castle walls in the royal capital.
What caught their attention was that the picture frames did not contain anything.
There are no pictures on display, as shown above, just pure white paper.
“I can see a door at the back.”
Chris said, but that door seemed to be tightly closed.
The door’s appearance is very similar to the previous ones, but the distance is much greater. It is a long corridor that would take several minutes on foot.
“Let’s check the frames as we go. There might be something in there that could be the key.”
Both of them began to look around the surrounding picture frames one by one. All of them were just white paper, but they believed there was a key that led to the back of the room.
──It’s another blank piece of paper.
Ain let out a sigh as he looked at the unknown number of picture frames.
──Which one is the right one?
He had come this far. He couldn’t believe that there was no key to go to the back. He looked at several more picture frames, sometimes peeking out from under them, but there was no change.
Or maybe it’s hidden behind the picture frame.
A moment later, jokingly, he reached for the frame, pulled it out, and looked at it. The white paper in the frame suddenly began to glow, and something was drawn on it.
Soon, what was drawn was a person whom Ain also knew.
He smiled the coolest smile one could ever see and carried his greatsword on his back, his pride and joy. He was looking at the back of a little boy who had fallen on the grass.
“How is it? has Father’s strength sunk into you?”
There was a slight headache, but nothing to show behind the eyelids. The voice now just echoed calmly in his mind.
As Ain was stunned, the picture flickered and vanished like a firefly.
──What in the world was that just now?
As soon as he let go of the picture frame, he reached for another one.
“Is it okay? Skill is a special kind of power.”
A place that looks like a library, the figure of Misty calling out to the boy from next to the desk placed there, and her gentle voice.
“Undead who have lived long enough to seek wisdom, like me, eventually evolve into Elder Lich and are able to use a skill called Great Magic. I can use a lot of magic… For example, I can restrain an opponent who has no resistance to it and destroy any magic that is unleashed.”
When he touches another picture frame──.
…Oh, apparently, this picture frame was the right one.
The pain he had become accustomed to struck his head, and his eyelids naturally drooped.
The next scene that came to his mind behind his eyelids was familiar.
The bookshelves on the wall and the arrangement of the desk at the back of the room. All of this was none other than the basement of the villa of the first king, Gail, which Ain had visited in the port city of Magna.
“What am I going to do?”
The voice of the young man he had seen until now. As he said this, he wrote in the book he had on hand.
“Many of the races have begun to follow that person again. They are not listening to our voices but are exerting themselves to meet Sister’s desires.”
───Oh, As expected, so that was it.
“I wonder how Father and Mother are doing. Are they trying to stop Sister?”
Not a word different from the words written in the book he saw in the basement.
The young man’s, Gail’s, thoughts are revealed.
“Countless friends have died. What has happened to my sister? Do I have no choice but to fight her?”
Eventually, he stood up.
“…I have to do it.”
He closed the book and left the room.
As that heavy door closed, the headache that attacked Ain weakened.
Proportionately, his eyelids slowly opened.
Unable to think of much, he turned his attention almost unconsciously to the door at the back.
As expected. A sound like a lock opening sounded from the door.
He called her, who was exploring away from the area, to come over and lied to her.
“There was something like a button. I pushed it, and I heard a noise coming from the door.”
“…Next time you call me before you press it, okay?”
“Sorry, I’ll be careful.”
Chris was unhappy when Ain said it with a smile on his face.
She couldn’t see through the lie, and after showing that she had no choice in the matter now that it had been done, she took a few steps ahead of Ain and headed for the door.
Standing in front of the door, it openned on its own.
Even with such an attitude from Chris, Ain’s high spirits did not diminish at all, and he sounded brave.
Now, the back of the door was covered with dazzling light and could not be peeked through. But the wind was blowing. A wind that reached down to Ain and the others.
It was as if the air was telling them to go outside.
(What does it mean to go outside after coming all the way down here?)
Maybe they had left the Sith Mill for another place.
A number of other conjectures came to mind, but none of them were promising.
While he was thinking about it, he headed for the door with brave and unafraid footsteps. They eventually drew their swords and looked behind the door with more caution than ever. It’s so bright. Although they ended up covering their eyes with one hand, they did not forget to squint to see what was going on.
A cool breeze blew through the air as they stepped inside the door.
Where on earth were they?
They should have been inside the shrine so far, but now it was as if──
“Up in the sky?”
Chris said and let loose.
As far as the eye could see, they’re up in the sky. Looking down, they saw that the drifting clouds were tinted in places with an azure hue and the evening sky they usually looked up at.
“We should have been heading down…”
Ain was also taken aback by the strange situation.
In front of him was a stone path that continued for several dozen meters. At the end of the path, was a lone door.
Ain decided not to think about whether this was the real sky or not. It was enough to know that if they fell from where they were standing, there would be no pool.
“Chris, the path is wide enough. As long as we don’t do anything crazy, we won’t fall off.”
“…It was at times like this that I remembered that my sister was afraid of heights.”
“As for me, I used to get scolded for climbing too many trees when I was a little girl.”
That’s as reliable as can be.
Looking at her feet, she’s not trembling in the slightest.
“But, Ain-sama, look at the view below. That continent is supposed to be Ishtar, but… it looks a little strange.”
“──You’re right; I don’t see a single building.”
“It’s strange, isn’t it? It’s as if we were in a time when nothing existed in Ishtalika.”
It was strange to see so few buildings, even excluding the fact that they were on a far higher elevation. Not even the royal castle had been built where the royal capital should have been.
Is this view a fake after all?
As Ain took a step forward, following Chris walking in front of him, a sudden headache struck him.
His eyes became blurry.
The wind was making it difficult for Chris to notice Ain. Reaching out to her, Ain prayed that she would somehow notice him.
However, the limit arrived before she noticed.
A noise, like a sandstorm, occupied Ain’s vision and took away his consciousness to cling to Chris.
Then his body suddenly felt light.
As soon as he felt lighter, his vision… or only his consciousness slipped through the floor and plummeted. It flew through the air, and then the wind carried it furiously to the ground beyond. He looked up at the sky in puzzlement and saw the floor where he had just been. At the edge of the floor, he could also see his own crouched body.
There was no way he could resist.
An invisible, absolute force was pulling him to the ground.
◇ ◇ ◇
But that, too, came to an end with a sudden and powerful ringing in the ears.
If Ain involuntarily focuses on closing his eyes, his vision is fortunately enveloped in total darkness, and the ringing in his ears quickly subsides.
The problem came after he became conscious of opening his eyes──
The next thing he knew, he was in a cloud of dust.
A sandstorm so thick that he wanted to close his eyes, but if he looked at the ground, he would see that it was not a desert. At the same time, hearing the angry shouts piercing his ears, Ain subconsciously understood that this was a battlefield.
“Ha… hah… haaahh!”
Different species of beast people appeared out of the sand and dust.
The man looked at Ain with bloodshot eyes, raised his sword, and opened his mouth in excitement, exposing his fangs.
Around his collarbone, a pitch-black magic stone was pulsing with reddish-black veins.
Before Ain knew it, he had regained the feeling in his limbs.
His body was supposed to be empty, but his outstretched hand reached for the sword at his waist. He pulled it out and held it at the ready before he could deepen his understanding of this phenomenon.
The different species’ swords passed through Ain’s body.
He turned around, puzzled, and behind him was a human figure with a sword thrust into his chest.
“Kuh… stop it… I’m still… Kah… Hah…”
“Hah! Hah! Hah!”
Ain gasped at the sight of a human being dying.
But before he had time to catch his breath, a new different species jumped at him with renewed vigor. Humans responded, as did the different species who were with the humans.
But the new different species was so powerful that it took away many lives.
Ain swung his sword to save them, but Ain’s sword was unyielding. It only tore through the air and did nothing to help.
The battlefield became more intense, and the dust rose even higher.
The sound of flesh tearing. The screams of the dying. In addition to the sound of weapons clashing with each other, there was also the distinctive scent of the battlefield.
The smell of blood, the smell of iron. And the unpleasant aroma of burning flesh reached his nose, making him feel sick.
Is this what a battlefield is like?
However, he felt uncomfortable with the vigor of the different species, who seemed to have lost their senses. It was because they looked like the Wyvern that Viscount Sage had with him.
While Ain was gazing at them, the sound of horns echoed in the area.
“Are you kidding me? You mean to tell me there are still more of them?”
“Even now, we’re close to the limit!”
Humans and their fellow different species are dismayed.
Still, they did not run away, some secretly trembling and readying their swords, while a werewolf, in tears, stoutly opened his mouth to show his fangs and howl heroically.
Then a voice came from far away.
“If we shed blood, His Majesty will not have to shed blood!”
It was probably the commander. His voice inspires everyone and makes them determined.
But many footsteps are approaching from afar, mercilessly. Hundreds? Thousands? A large army of more than 10,000 troops was approaching.
“My proud brothers and sisters! Run──”
Run, he was surely going to shout.
But a moment later.
“Oh… that man! That man has come!”
As one person said this, the dust cleared instantly.
──The air on the battlefield changed.
It changed in a flash, in an instant.
Then, a horn was blown from the opposite direction. A loud cry of joy rose up, and the different species, who had lost their minds, were overwhelmed.
“Raise your sword!”
The man’s voice came from where the dust was supposed to be, just out of sight.
In response to the voice, everyone in the area raised their swords in unison. All at once, as if in unison, with a roar of high spirits.
Ain, on the other hand, had forgotten to breathe at the appearance of the man who could be considered a savior.
The man’s figure was too far away to see clearly. The only thing he could recognize was a radiance. The sword raised by the man on the horse was clad in a whirlwind of silvery white. The only other thing that was clear was that he was wearing light silver armor.
The army that appeared was frightened when they saw him. They were like a ravenous mob, rushing to escape and scattering like spiders.
But there is no forgiveness.
With a single swing of the man, a silvery-white whirlwind struck the army. A wave of pure magical power swept over them, and they were helplessly obliterated from existence.
It really happened in an instant. The man single-handedly changed the battlefield and vanquished the army.
The man looked back at his friends as they shouted in triumph.
At this moment, Ain was struck by a severe headache. The pain was even more intense than before, making him want to close his eyes immediately.
“Please wait! You are!”
He wanted to see his face at first sight, but he couldn’t open his eyes.
All Ain could see was the entirety of the man’s white, silver, and gold sword. He wanted to observe more than that and tried to force his eyes open.
His body suddenly felt light, just as it did when he arrived here. Floating in the sky, he flew away in a flash to a height where the voices of the battlefield could not reach him.