Act 2 – 25.1 : He Who Drove The Darkness, He Who Cast Light 2
–Now, with this one, how many does that make?
Shirone had already stopped counting after she had killed her twentieth zombie. It was a useless thing to do since no matter how many she got rid of, even more would come and replace them with even bigger numbers. It was a vicious cycle that just kept on repeating endlessly. No matter what method she used, be it hacking them, dissecting them, or burning them til only their skeletons were left, they just kept on coming.
Right now, Shirone was facing a giant’s skeleton.
「This is already too much… things will get more dangerous later on, so please get away from here…」
Gallios told Shirone as he fought with his back facing hers, trying to find a way for them to escape. He had already lost count of the many houses that had been destroyed while they were barricading the hordes of zombies and fighting them; however, their stamina was about to reach its limit.
「He’s right, Shirone-sama. It’s impossible for us to leave with our remaining stamina, but you still have a chance, that’s why you have to leave.」
Nimri agreed with Gallios.
「Thank you for your concern but… I will fight by your side til the bitter end.」
Shirone rejected their proposal. She wouldn’t tarnish her reputation as the Hero’s comrade by doing such a cowardly act. Moreover, she felt that there was a gigantic barrier enveloping this kingdom; she knew that escaping was literally impossible.
「Don’t worry everyone, Reiji-kun will do something about this situation!!」
Shirone tried her best to cheer Gallios and his fellow fighters, trying to raise their fighting spirit.
（I have no choice but to trust Reiji-kun, he’s a hero after all. He’ll definitely drive off this calamity.）
Shirone and her companions had already lost count of how many times they fell into such a crisis. Yet, every time, they had managed to overcome the crisis thanks to Reiji’s power; he was a true hero.
「He’ll do something about this situation. Like hell my relationship with Kuroki would just end with a quarrel.」
She believed in Reiji, yet, it was the face of her childhood friend that appeared during such a time. Her childhood friend, Kuroki, was the exact opposite of Reiji. He was a boring person who couldn’t make her heart tremble with excitement. However, he somehow always made her feel relieved and safe.
Shirone wanted to see him once again.
That was her greatest wish at this exact moment.
（I WON’T LOSE!!）
Shirone strengthened her grip on her sword. The only reason she was weak right now was because of this peculiar dark mist. Nevertheless, no matter how drained she felt, she would still fight to the bitter end.
「Everyone, just a bit more!!」
Shirone exclaimed to everyone fighting alongside her.
Some people regained their fighting spirit upon hearing her war cry.
（My body feels languid. I had barely been able to lift my sword for a while now. But, I cannot fall in this place.）
She recalled her friend once again. She also knew that her comrades were doing their best too.
「LOOK, IT’S LIGHT!!」
Suddenly, someone shouted.
And then, Shirone felt warmth on her head.
「The dark mist has vanished.」
As she looked around, she realized that the dark mist had vanished, Reiji’s pseudo-sun now shining brightly above Rox Kingdom.
Basking in the pseudo sunlight, Shirone felt that her power was returning at a rapid pace.The dark mist had vanished, replaced with the sunlight that was shining over the kingdom. Those who were out of breath just a second ago, were now standing up on their own two feet upon feeling the warmth of the environment. Moreover, what was even better was that the pseudo sun had also exterminated the zombies.
They were saved at the very last moment.
「In the end, we were saved by Reiji-kun」
Shirone laughed delightfully.
「Sorry, I’m… out of power.」
Sahoko was apologizing to Chiyuki.
「Spirit-san won’t come either…」
Rino added with a sad face.
Chiyuki shook her head in disappointment.
Lying by her side was the unconscious Nao.
After returning from the underground passage, Chiyuki reunited with Sahoko and the others at their original post. She had immediately asked them to heal Nao, but unfortunately Sahoko had already run out of mana.
（It seems we are in this hopeless situation due to this dark mist. Things will only get worse if we don’t exterminate this dark mist. Since the underground passage is guarded by that eerie masked man, could it be that it’s where the source lies?）
With such a thought in mind, Chiyuki decided to go back to the underground passage.
「Please take care of Nao.」
「Where are you going, Chiyuki-san?」
「I’ll go back to the underground passage and try to do something about this dark mist.」
Different from the two, Chiyuki still had enough mana to use her magic, which was why she thought she might be able to do something to resolve the situation.
「No, it’s too dangerous to go there by yourself, Chiyuki-san! The person who did this to Nao-san is in there too right!?」
「Sorry Sahoko-san, but we were only able to get out of there because someone came to save us, and that person is currently fighting the culprit all alone. I can’t turn my back on him.」
Sahoko and Rino let out a dumbfounded voice.
「There’s someone… who can still fight? Even though everyone else should be suffering from the same conditions as us…」
「Even Rino and her companions were having a hard time maintaining their power.」
Sahoko and Rino were really surprised.
「He… might be the pervert we’re looking for.」
Chiyuki had a wild guess. Currently, they knew that there was only one other otherworldly person like them in this country, which was the pervert they were looking for. If the one who saved her in the underground passage was really the pervert they were looking for, then that would explain the origin of his strength.
（But, why did he hide his face? Does he have some sort of circumstance? But, that doesn’t change the fact that he was fighting that dangerous masked man by himself in the underground passage. If I don’t go save him soon, he might…）
Chiyuki was just about to pass through the underground passage’s entrance when…
「Ah, the light…」
Rino’s voice came from behind Chiyuki.
Upon hearing her gleeful voice, Chiyuki looked up to the sky.
Reiji’s pseudo sun, which was blocked by the mist up until now, had finally appeared across the kingdom, illuminating it with its light. She then noticed that the dark mist had vanished.
（Did he manage to do something in there?）
That was the only possibility that came to her mind.
「Not bad, pervert-san…」
Almina’s anxious voice resounded in the passage.
But, Reiji had no leeway to answer her at all, he was cornered.
The warrior Zagbar, Reiji’s opponent, turned out to be an extremely formidable foe. Naturally, he was far weaker than the Dark Knight who had completely obliterated Reiji. However, the normal Reiji, who would’ve been able to easily defeat Zagbar, was no longer there. For some reason, Reiji couldn’t amass his power and use it at all, which was why Zagbar was able to fight on equal footing with him.
「Hou, not bad, or should I say, as expected of the famous hero? For you to still have this much power left… Orua, assist me.」
The Strige Orua started singing her magic aria. As she kept repeating her spell, a dark shadow started to wrap around Zagbar’s body, overlapping his night robe. Zagbar now had stronger resistance towards light magic. Seeing this scene unravelling in front of him, Reiji felt frustrated to the core. He only specialized in light elements and couldn’t use any other elemental magic. His opponent was now completely resistant towards his current meagre power.
「Not bad. But, this is far from enough to beat me.」
However, Reiji didn’t lose his will to fight, rather, he was more eager now to defeat his opponent. He loaded more mana into his sword, making it shine even brighter than before. Reiji then set his sword and leapt towards his enemy. Seeing the hero approaching him, Zagbar used his great sword to parry Reiji’s blow.
However, unlike what he expected, the hero ended up avoiding the clash with his great sword and rather slashed at his torso with his sword of light. Zagbar sneered at his opponent’s futile efforts and easily avoided the slash. Then, as if nothing had happened, he launched a counterattack towards Reiji with his great sword.
Reiji retreated, dodging the counterattack.
「Resistance is futile, hero. This dark mist is sucking the life force out of everyone in this kingdom, while restoring our body and life force at the same time. As long as the people of this country don’t die, you won’t be able to kill me.」
Zagbar mocked Reiji with frevor. The gash left on Zagbar’s armor by Reiji’s slash had already vanished, the armor restored as if brand new.
This scene repeated itself many times during this battle. No matter how many times Reiji cut Zagbar, the latter’s armor would always repair itself in no time, it was an endless loop.
「I see, so it’s not healing but restoration huh… Does that mean your armor is your real body?」
In this world, there were living armors, commonly known as Living Mail. They were arbors infused with a special type of magic that made them come to life. After seeing them, no one would be able to guess if the opponent they were facing was a human being or just an enchanted object.
Reiji had finally guessed his opponent’s identity.
「Correct, hero. In addition, this armor has eaten numerous human warriors’ souls. Your soul will definitely become part of my collection! Well then, it’s time to end this, Orua!! 」