Alice and Regis were silently facing each other holding their swords out. The atmosphere around them was suffocating just looking at them, Regis was the first to move.
The moment I thought that, the figure of Regis blurred, he was immediately in front of Alice.
Seeing this, I knew he had been going easy on me earlier. Quickly, Regis pulled out his sword and slashed diagonally at Alice. Regis continued to attack in a flurry of blows.
Alice only just manages to avoid his attacks, or she is able to parry them with her own sword.
“As expected, you’re fast!”
“What strange magic are you using!?”
I only notice after looking closely at the two of them. Every time Alice parried his attack, a trace amount of magical power would dance around her. Is that…….Is her spirit magic deflecting his attacks?
“You’ve surpassed all of my expectations so far — it’s truly amazing! But, by constantly protecting yourself, you can’t win!”
Regis slashes diagonally again with his sword, before he rolls to the side of Alice. Regis then slashes sideways at her. Regis continued to change up his attacks in this way as he released a continuous wave of attacks.
“Oh dear, what’s wrong!? Are you only able to protect yourself!?”
“ —- How about this!”
Alice continued to avoid Regis’ consecutive attacks, before stabbing towards the chest of Regis. — That’s when, from Alice’s blind spot, Regis’ fist came flying towards her.
At that moment, I realized how Regis had countered my attack earlier.
Even if I yell out now, I know Alice won’t be able to react in time. At the same time I yelled out, Regis’ fist slammed into the side of Alice.
“Guu , what is this — !”
It was Regis that yelled out in pain. Looking at him, blood was flowing from Regis’ fist and his arm had shallow cuts along it.
“When I put spirit magic on the sword it only deflects attacks, but when I put it on a living object it can also counter.”
“Then, you were able to read my attack?”
“I saw when you used it against Leon. I assumed you would use it again in a similar situation.”
“Well done. However, wasn’t it a mistake not to finish me off now? I won’t make the same mistake twice.”
Regis said this and readies his sword again. It looks like he’s taken no damage. It seems that his left arm can also be used with no problem.
– Despite this, Alice smiled a little.
“ Yes, it’s already over.”
Regis looked at Alice, speechless. That’s only natural. Even I, who had been training with spirit magic under Alice, could not speak.
Alice’s body was completely covered in glowing, beams of light. I can’t even imagine how much magical power she has created.
“Why did you think I was going along with your meaningless words earlier?”
“Ar-are you a monster!?”
Regis began to retreat, one step, two steps backwards, but Alice didn’t care and slowly raised her right arm.
Multiple spirits answered Alice’s call and the dazzling lights reflected in Regis’ eyes. Then, a blade made of wind and flames slashed at Regis’ body. The wind cut through his flesh, before the flames would burn the wound.
An extraordinary amount of power that makes any resistance look pointless. Still Regis desperately tried to avoid the attacks. He tried to parry it with his sword, but there is no technique that could stand against this overwhelming attack.
Just as it seemed Alice would win,
“— That’s enough!”
A woman’s voice rang out unexpectedly. When I looked around for the source I saw Elyse, Carlos’ wife, standing in the entrance of the room. She was restraining a girl.
After finally being able to see Claire, I used all of my remaining strength to force myself to stand.
“…Otouto..kun? Why are you here!? Why are you so injured!?”
“It’s not as bad as it looks. Anyway, are you okay Claire?”
“I’m…..fine. I have been imprisoned, but they’ve treated me well enough.”
“Okay. Then, I’m glad…..”
“Is this touching reunion over now? If you don’t want me to kill your important sister, then you will obey everything I say.”
Trying to ruin our reunion, Elyse presses a knife against Claire.
“Otouto-kun, don’t listen to anything she says!”
“Be quiet! You will remain silent, unless you want me to hurt that pretty face of yours!”
Elyse brings the knife close to Claire’s face. Alice and I could do nothing but remain still.
“Regis, can you still move?”
“ —Guu, I’m fine.”
What a loyal subject Regis is, he’s completely covered in bruises and can barely stand. Yet, he managed to stand up unsteadily. Elyse looked at Regis uninterested.
“Then, defeat that Elf before it’s too late.”
“Regis, did you not hear me?”
Regis was confused at first, but turned to Alice as if he had made up his mind. Then, in an instant, Regis was next to Alice and slammed his fist into her stomach.
Regis must have put everything he had left into that one attack. Alice was sent flying and landed at my side with a groan.
“ — Alice, are you okay!?”
Even though my body still aches, I rush over to Alice’s fallen body and hold her in my arms.
“*cough*…Guu….I’m sorry. I can’t say that I’m okay….”
She must have been hit in the diaphragm. Alice is struggling to breathe and probably won’t be able to move for a while. This is bad, I turn my eyes to look at Claire.
Claire’s hands are tied behind her back and Elyse is holding a knife to her.
Even if Elyse is just a frail woman, I doubt Claire would be able to break free on her own. In other words, I have to help her somehow…..
What can I do? Maybe, knock Elyse over with magic and allow Claire to escape?
No, that wouldn’t work. There’s a chance I’d hit Claire. Also, if I can’t finish off Elyse in one blow, there’s a chance Claire may be killed.
Even if I can defeat her in one attack, Regis is still right here. He is injured, but if he manages to protect Elyse then it would be useless.
“So, have you given up?”
“Otouto-kun, don’t worry about me!”
“I told you to be quiet!”
Elyse presses the knife into Claire’s cheek, leaving a shallow cut. Seeing this, fear enveloped my heart.
“—Otouto-kun, take Alice and run away!”
“Damn you, didn’t you hear me!?”
Elyse shouts hysterically and raises the knife —
Elyse swung the knife down before stopping it right in front of Claire’s face.
That was dangerous. I thought for sure she was going to stab Claire. Elyse is behaving erratically, but Claire needs to remain calm to avoid angering her any further.
“Claire, please stay quiet!”
“But, otouto-kun all you want is to be happy, right!? How can you do that if you have to obey everything they say.”
I raise my voice and cut off Claire’s words.
Live freely and be happy. It was the last wish Saya had for me, but now it has also become my own wish.
Someone important to me misunderstanding me, making them sad, and then that important person died before I could fix the misunderstanding. I don’t want to go through something like that again.
“The worst thing for me isn’t to be deprived of freedom, but to lose someone important to me, so be quiet.”
“…It’s okay, Claire. If we’re all together, it won’t be that bad.”
As long as they can be used against me, Claire and Alice won’t be treated terribly, and if I get results I should be treated fine as well.
I hate these people that killed my family, but if I close my eyes and force myself, I should be able to create a reasonably happy environment.
“Otouto-kun…I’m sor….I’m sorry…It’s because of me…Uuu……”
Claire burst out into tears.
“Now that everything’s settled, throw your weapons on the ground.”
Carlos was now convinced of his victory. A disgusting smile appeared on his face.
“Do you guarantee the safety of Claire and Alice?”
“As long as you obey us.”
It’s something I’m entirely against, but for now I have to obey Carlos and hope to find a chance to escape……and at that time, after I had already given up — she woke up.