“Let go of Chris-san!”
Krone’s voice was heard from the stairway leading downstairs.
“Oh… what an unusual visitor.”
Krone was hiding, but her body was trembling. She couldn’t fight; perhaps she should have stayed hidden.
But she couldn’t do that in front of Chris, who was in desperate need of help.
“Go away… Oz!”
Suddenly, a leather bag was thrown between them.
It had been given to Misty as a good luck charm, and as soon as it reached Oz’s face, it radiated purple magic that frightened him.
“What… this magic power, no way…!?”
Krone rushed to her.
Meanwhile, Oz was still trying to pierce Chris’s chest.
“There’s no doubt about the weight pressing down on my body──I don’t have a choice…!”
He changed his aim and kicked Chris’s body in the leg.
Behind him was a large hole.
The large hole destroyed by a waving motion was piped to the liquefied magic stone pool at the lowest level.
“Rot away at the bottom of the tower!”
Having just been released from the restraints, Chris had no strength left, not even the strength to put her hand on the edge of the hole.
Her body floated in the air, falling against the force of gravity.
Krone rushed over, leaned over the edge, and grabbed her hand.
…But Krone’s strength is not enough to support her.
“Let go of my hand! If this continues, Krone-san will too!”
“I don’t want to! Together… we’re going to save Ain!”
Her hand was shaking. This would only last for a little bit longer.
Chris wondered if she could somehow get her hands off Krone, but Krone’s desperation got the better of the fully wounded Chris.
Even so, there was no sign that she could be saved, and on the contrary, Oz was closing in on her.
“If that’s the case, why don’t you go with her?”
Oz flashed the ice blade at Krone’s back with a sideways cleave. He then kicked her in the leg and threw both of their bodies into a large hole.
Then, Chris threw her rapier at the last moment.
“Aaaaaaaaaaah! M-my arm…!?”
After all, Oz was not used to fighting.
The thrown rapier severed one of his arms, and the arm flew through the air and fell into the big hole.
At this point, Oz panicked from the pain and kicked the leather bag at his feet.
It reached the two in the middle of their fall, and their hands naturally clasped the leather bag in each other.
…..It was not enough to protect.
Even Krone, who had come to her rescue, was facing death because she was not strong enough.
Chris tears up and turns her face away from Krone. But Krone hugged Chris and treated the frostbite on Chris’s hand.
“…..I’ve come along with you due to a reckless request to Katima-sama, but I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t I?”
The wound on Krone’s back was hidden from Chris. It hurt, and the blood loss was drowning her vision.
But stubbornly, she turned her usual smile to Chris.
There was no meaning anymore.
They’re just going to die if they keep falling to the lowest floor.
“──You’ll be fine.”
They thought they heard a voice from somewhere. It was not Chris’s voice, and it was not Krone’s voice either.
The two of them quietly looked around, but all they could see was an expanse of metal pipes.
There was no way they could have heard voices…
Chris’s eyelids were heavy, and her eyes closed as she reached her limit.
Strength drained from her entire body, and fresh blood danced from the open wound.
Seeing this, Krone hugged Chris’ body tightly to stop the blood as much as possible.
Help me. Anyone is fine. As long as you can help us, it doesn’t matter who you are, Krone thought.
The only sound that pierced her ears was the wind noise, but she could hear the voice clearly.
It was a gentle girl’s voice.
“Who speaks to us…?”
The pain and blood loss that did not subside caused Krone to faint as well. Her eyelids were heavy, and her eyes were starting to close, just like Chris’s earlier.
Krone was thinking about Chris, whom she had embraced, right up until the moment she let go of her consciousness.
She didn’t notice the light emanating from the leather bag in her hand that overlapped with Chris’s, nor did she notice that before she knew it, her fall had slowed to a gentle levitation.
“──I will help you.”
A voice echoed from within the leather bag.
Krone was also unconscious when she heard the voice and could not witness the area’s transformation.
The Tower of Wisdom, the sky of the magic city of Ist. Everything was dyed like a purple crystal.
The liquefied magic stone pool at the lowest floor emitted a wave of magic power, and a dazzling light enveloped the two. The light gently surfaced on the rooftop, and a veil of warm wind covered the two unconscious people.
“Wha──Why is the tower’s magic power…!?”
Staring at the wave of magic power leaking from the large hole, Oz, whose face was stained with surprise, panicked.
The two returned, floating in the air, the wounds on their bodies completely healed.
“Ridiculous… no way!”
Purple electricity flew around the area.
The magic power was so thick that it seemed like it would drown you.
…It violently shook the Tower of Wisdom and awakened Oz’s old memories.
A long time ago, a certain girl revealed her majesty in the Demon King’s castle.
Impossible! For her to be resurrected──!”
No, it was possible.
At the end of Oz’s severed arm, a black stone on the back of his hand came off and floated in the air.
It absorbed the magic drifting from the leather bag, and one half of the control unit placed on the roof controlled it.
──Didn’t he say it himself?
The black stone was to use the power of this tower to control Ain’s magic stone.
“No matter what I have prepared, without the core, there is no way it can be resurrected──Huh! I don’t believe that my finished product, that material, was the core of a monster! Interesting….. Really interesting!”
The leather bag was ripped open by a wave of magic power while he was muttering, and the magic stone contained inside was revealed.
“With this, isn’t it time to re-research? If it is possible to substitute not the core of the different races but the core of a specific monster, then… kuuhh… I’m curious. I can’t help but be curious!”
The magic power flowed into the black stone floating in the air. And the device that controlled it. If that black stone was the core of some living thing, one should not forget the magic stone that appeared from the leather bag.
According to Oz’s theory, the conditions necessary for the body’s composition have been met.
But it was also unexpected.
Oz did not know what kind of material the black stone was made of, let alone what part it was made of.
Therefore, this was a miracle of coincidental conditions.
Frightened yet drowned in the desire for knowledge, Oz made a commotion in the vicinity.
In the wave of magic power, the body of a small girl was being created in front of the two bodies.
All the energy from the liquefied magic stone pool was absorbed into the girl’s body, but that was not due to the black stone. It was a means to compensate for the missing magic power.
Of course, in proportion, the magic power of the Tower of Wisdom approached depletion.
At the same time, a vessel of flesh was created and──.
The girl finally opened her eyes.
The core of Oz, the magic stone, beat loudly.
The knees naturally collapsed, and he found himself in a prostrate posture. The mere meeting of eyes made his breathing erratic, and he was at a loss for words.
But the girl turned her face away from Oz.
“…..Beautiful people shouldn’t die.”
The girl raised her arms, moved the two bodies without touching them, and laid them on the floor.
As the wave of magic subsided, the girl revealed her figure. She was slightly taller than Katima but petite enough, with a slender body. Her gothic dress covered her entire body, and her lustrous silver hair, reminiscent of silken threads, reached down to her waist.
Her face was fragile, and she exuded a dainty charm that made one want to protect her.
However, the pressure that pressed in was truly that of a demon king.
“──Yeah. I’m resurrected.”
The sky, which had been almost white, turned uniformly purple, and even the sky far away was eroding.
Faced with the high energy that surged in front of him despite his voice, Oz took a stance to intercept.
However, the vast amount of magic power that should have remained in the Tower of Wisdom had already been absorbed by her body, leaving merely a small amount left.
This was just enough to allow Oz to fight for only a few minutes.
“It doesn’t matter… I am as good as you are now.”
As long as the power that he named Almighty was there.
Even if one black stone was missing…
“That power! That magic power! I’ll take it all!”
With all of the data accumulated, he unleashed his skills. It was an attack that was different from any of the ones he had unleashed on Chris, an attack that used all of his magic power.
The spectacle created by the skills of numerous monsters was breathtaking.
But that was all.
“Are you stronger than Gail?”
He never thought that all of that would dissipate into a cloud in a mere instant.
But Arche wasn’t acting in any particular way.
Just a looming threat──or perhaps not a threat to her, but all she did in the face of all those skills was simply to breathe.
“J-just with a breath, my power… Almighty! This is ridiculous! All my hundreds of years are inferior to a mere breath? Am I dreaming…?”
“…Mm, do you like dreams…?”
Arche stretched out one arm and formed a fist.
Then Oz’s neck was tightened by a hand made of magic power, and his body was lifted into the air.
“If you like dreams, I’ll show you. …I’m very good at it.”
His vision became hazy.
Instead, numerous eyes were gleaming as they looked at him. He also heard a lot of laughter, young and old, male and female, coming from all directions, up and down, left and right.
The eeriness that sent a chill down his spine was hard to describe, and he could do nothing but be frightened.
“Hah… hah? Why is there a blade on my chest…? It’s strange. Why am I piercing myself….?”
With a blade of ice, he unconsciously pierced his body. The blood rushing from his chest and mouth startled him back to clear consciousness.
“It’s like waking up after a scary dream.”
“A nightmare is a dream, too, you know. Don’t worry; it’s just a dream.”
A clear consciousness sinks in. And also, the same as before.
His last voice echoed up to the sky, but only the sound was sad and silent as he penetrated the body once more with his own.
What Oz saw in his final moments, only he knows. It was a nightmare so bad that he ended himself in before the irresistible horror, and this was all that was left of him.
While looking at the two collapsed people, Arche also looked around the area.
There had been no structures as massive as this when she was alive. The view was spectacular, but it was disheartening to stand alone in a strange place.
But then, the sound of panicked footsteps could be heard.
“Hah… hah…! Both of you! Are you safe──Nya-nya-nya!?”
Katima was surprised at the devastation on the rooftop and was surprised again when she saw Arche.
Standing in front of Oz, who appeared to have cut himself, Arche was probably not the enemy. It was especially so when she thought of her anecdotes and the truth.
The problem was probably Krone and Chris, who were lying on the ground.
Meanwhile, Arche saw Katima rushing towards them, got an idea, and opened her mouth.
“Where is this place?”
She said in a wistful voice like a lost child, startling Katima, who let her white robe blow in the wind.