Chapter 3 – Logas Roundheart
At the same time, Ain, who was at a distance, looked at the battlefield and gauged the situation.
Heim’s army had already been reduced to less than half its number, and its morale, as well as its momentum, was declining. General Logas had taken the lead and thrown himself into the battle against Ishtalika.
Therefore, the time for Ain to move was approaching.
(Even the miasma emitters had not appeared.)
Perhaps, as Majolica had predicted, it would be difficult to create such a presence that emitted miasma.
It had never appeared since coming to the outskirts of Heim royal capital, and it was hard to believe that it would appear after being so cornered.
It was when he was a child.
When he stood up against Chris──he was struggling to keep up with her speed.
When he stood up against Lloyd──he struggled to figure out how to react to his power and his standing.
When he grew up, he stood against Ramza and then against Marco, a man of loyalty, and let the power that lay dormant in his body blossom.
There was nothing to fear. All he had to do was to show how he had developed over the years.
“You are going, aren’t you?”
Dill came next to him and said softly. He knew what Ain was going to do without even thinking about it.
“It’s rather a compliment to have two commanders fighting each other, isn’t it?”
“If we win, the morale of the enemy soldiers will drop to its lowest point. So I don’t think everything should be denied.”
Now is the perfect time to do it, Dill said implicitly.
“I see. I’m glad to hear it.”
The time was ripe.
To fulfill his wish for Ishtalika, Ain had only one thing to do now that he had come this far. He had to defeat the great General Logas.
“Dill, I will defeat General Logas and attack the royal capital at once. I’m also concerned about the situation of the King of Heim, but first, the red fox──Shannon.”
Dill nodded vigorously.
“If you can defeat the red fox, I’m sure that Marco-dono will be very pleased.”
“…I suppose so.”
“Marco-dono might also be watching inside of Ain-sama. …Just as Dullahan, whose magic stone was absorbed, was still alive.”
“Hearing that, I have a feeling they might be able to help us.”
“It is as you say. A knight as good as Marco-dono may be waiting to be called upon.”
Hearing his words, Ain put his hand on his chest and thought of him. In this way, he felt as if he could get courage from him.
Then, if he is in trouble, he should call on him. He thought about this half-jokingly.
──Around the space that opened up on the battlefield, many people were lying on the ground.
The corpses of the knights of Ishtalika, although small in number, also showed the tragedy of the situation.
In order to avoid further loss of life, Ain had to settle the matter with his father as soon as possible…
(No, the father is just a word.)
Although he took care of him when he was a child, Logas did not have any special feelings for Ain, and the same is true from Ain to Logas.
(Ramza-san was more like a father to me.)
In fact, the warmth he felt from Ramza was more memorable. Although it was only for a short time, the training by Ramza in the spiritual world is more burned into his mind than the training with Logas.
He was hesitant to even think of Logas as his father.
“You came, Ain?”
Logas, who had arrived one step ahead of him and was waiting for him, called out to him from his horse.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to say my name again, but I shall do so.”
Ain listened honestly, though he had not expected to be so respectful here.
“I am the great general Logas, proud leader of the House of Roundheart and the glorious Heim! I challenge the crown prince, Ishtarika, to a duel! Do you dare to fight with this great sword that His Majesty has bestowed upon me, or not!”
Whether this duel was worth it or not remains to be seen.
As Dill said, it was true that winning here would boost the morale of the knights, but was it worth the trouble to go all the way to Ain to deal with him?
If anyone dares to find value in it, it would be a distinction.
“Yeah, I’ll accept it. I──don’t intend to allow that beast to get away with it.”
“It seems you have no ability to learn. Once again, you taunt the faith of another nation.”
“No, the ability to learn is why I came to Heim.”
“Hmph… that’s nonsense.”
Logas put all his strength into his body. The thick veins of his body were highlighted, and his muscular physique was emphasized.
“For the glory of our Heim, I must present your head to His Majesty.”
Logas spoke triumphantly and looked at the royal capital of Heim.
The capital of Heim was even darker than when he first arrived here, and tingling of pain rushed through his chest at the thought of the memorable Archduke Augusto’s mansion in the midst of it.
Let’s quickly break off this connection──Ain made up his mind, got off his horse, and started walking.
“Oh. You want to get off the horse?”
“I’m better this way. I want to end this battle as soon as possible.”
“That’s just fine. I don’t like to fight on horseback either.”
The distance between the two sides shrunk as they moved toward each other.
No one was disturbing this space, and those on both sides, watching from a distance, tensed up. For once, both armies held their hands still and stared at each other’s commanders.
Suddenly, Logas sprinted.
He moved into position and raised his greatsword to the top.
A man from Heim. The pressure of the great general, who was famous throughout the continent, was only on himself.
It was directed at Ain.
“When I was a child, I never thought about it.”
With a vertical flash, the great sword of Logas swung down, but──.
With a black sword held at his side, Ain caught it with no difficulty and kept his face down.
“But if it were me right now… I could defeat you!”
And when he looked up, his jade eyes shot out at Logas.
The roar that results from the clash of the two swords. A strong gust of wind, which formed a circle around the spot, blew on those around them.
…..It’s like a huge rock.
…..It was solid, unbreakable.
Logas didn’t move the slightest bit, though he stuttered at Ain for taking it head-on.
“I don’t think those words should come from someone who’s been deprived of the initiative!”
“I’m telling you, you didn’t take the lead. I gave up the lead!”
The greatsword was unceremoniously flicked away by the strong arms that were attached to it.
“Take it; this is my sword!”
Ramza says that this was swordsmanship only the strong can use. The swordsmanship was a sword fight that emphasizes the strength of a single blow.
“Are you really Ain…?”
“Yes, I am! I am the former eldest son whom you taught the sword and judged inferior to the second son!”
Ain replied and changed his swordsmanship, which had been focused on his physical strength. The sword’s line, reminiscent of a wharf on a stormy day, was impregnated with calmness similar to that of a quiet, clear stream.
The son’s dignified and commanding sword dismayed Logas.
“──What is this change?”
However, Ain did not care about Logas’ state of mind and simply swung his sword. He only wanted to defeat Logas, and he pushed forward toward the victory he had envisioned.
(The fact that that sword can’t be destroyed even by this sword, that great sword must be a famous sword after all──!)
While the black sword boasted the brilliance to cut through even the material of the sea dragon without difficulty, the great sword of Logas, on the other hand, was there without being shattered or cut, not even if the blade spilled over.
But it’s not a big problem, and it doesn’t bother him. If he could defeat Logas here, that was enough.
The sword’s clear, flowing line suddenly shows a wildness similar to a storm hitting the ocean floor.
Unable to withstand the oncoming wave of sword fights, the jet-black sword flashed across the empty chest.
After the black sword passed, the fresh blood of the general stained the ground.
The blood that flowed out incessantly did not stop even if he held it with his hand, and something cold and cold passed through his body.
In proportion to this, the vision was faintly tinged with darkness.
The mental strain, rather than physical exhaustion, causes Ain to gasp for air.
“I’m not going to tell you that I’m better than you. But I will not be beaten by people who judge other people’s talent…”
While dealing with the shock that rushed through his body, Logas looked down at Ain, who was looking down at him.
Compared to himself, he was not as physically drained, and the fact that he still seemed to be hiding a lot of strength made him have several mixed emotions.
“I didn’t expect this much….. kahah!”
The blood that was vomited from one of the five internal organs must have been cut, and the greasy sweat on his forehead told of the intense pain that was rushing through his entire body.
But the power had not gone out of Logas’ eyes.
“But Ain──your words are not right…! Then who decides who is talented? If it is not others, are you going to say that you yourself determine it!”
He spoke to Ain with a mature and intimidating air, just like a great general.
“That is not confidence, but worthless overconfidence…!”
Hearing this, Ain replied without hesitation. He was not ashamed to express the thoughts he held in his heart.
“You know, talent is a terribly vague thing. That’s why I’m saying it’s wrong to judge it so easily.”
The Roundhearts were the family lineage of the great generals at the time of the war.
It was a prestigious family with a prestigious military background, and at the time, it was a renowned family of a count. Therefore, Ain understood that the Roundhearts had their own ideas, but…
“Father. You should have considered the talents that would lead to the future.”
If not you, then not you.
Ain called Logas “father” because this would be the last time they would meet.
He spoke to him in the same respectful tone as when he was a child, his cheeks twisted with the pain he felt in his chest at the thought of what was to come, and he pretended not to notice the slight tremor in his fingertips.
“It’s disgusting to be called father by you──hah!”
Logas, who had only been able to catch his breath after the exchange so far, was in high spirits.
“I will deliver that head to His Majesty!”
“If you can take it, then take it. Before you is the hero who slaughtered the sea dragon. If you think you can match the beast, then I will put an end to your fantasy──!”
Ain spoke in a manner that seemed arrogant.
As soon as Logas heard this, he ran out with a loud shout.
Even the knight of Ishtalika was overwhelmed by the power of Logas, and their bodies stiffened.
It was a wonder if he could still radiate his supremacy after suffering such a deep wound.
“Let me see it once more! Let me accept that blow which is said to be the greatest sword in the Kingdom of Heim!”
Logas’ greatsword was dragged along the ground toward Ain. It crushed the gravel and gouged out the earth as it thrust forward to strike the royalty of the enemy kingdom.
The great sword, which had been fleshed out, was eventually swung down on Ain from above the black sword.
“Wha… the sword.”
It has been miraculous until now.
Ain’s sword, made of Marco’s material, was a masterpiece that had no equal in Ishtalika. It was nothing short of a marvelous piece of work, with its sharpness endorsed by the fact that Mouton made the sword.
Therefore, he should be proud of having endured so much, and it was only natural that the great sword of Logas had reached its limits.
The great sword in his hand was cruelly shattered, but even so, Logas did not give up and picked up the Heim soldier’s sword that had fallen at his feet.
“The general will not die! I still stand here!”
Even the breaking of the great sword did not shatter the heart of Logas.
A moment after Ain uttered the name, their bodies overlapped.
The Heim soldiers cheered loudly and rejoiced at the victory of General Logas──but when they saw a sword sprouting from Logas’ back, some fell to their knees, and others stood speechless.
“──It’s my victory.”
Logas’ arm lost its power, and he dropped the sword to the ground.
His breathing gradually lost momentum, and he finally collapsed from Ain’s shoulder and lay face down.
“You….. abominable crown prince of… Ishtalika…”
With those last words, his breathing ceased, and only a trickle of blood drenched the earth.
For a few seconds, Ain stood there without speaking. The pain that cannot be put into words was eating away at his heart here, but he couldn’t stop.
The word “murderer” came to Ain’s mind, and it hurt his heart. But Ain kept his mind strong and raised his sword high and high to the sky.
“The crown prince Ain has defeated the great general Logas──!”
And made this victory resound throughout the battlefield.