Otomege Volume 3 Chapter 9Chapter 9 – Devil.
Part 1The main force of princ.i.p.ality army that was moving together with the sky guardian.
Hertrauda was in front of an old knight.
That old knight's right arm was covered with something black. He was Bandel, the former black knight.
Hertrauda addressed Bandel who was kneeling in front of her with a cold tone.
「I should have told you that I can't give you permission to sally out.」
Bandel didn't open his mouth. An influential retainer staying near Hertrauda explained the reason of this refusal.
「Bandel-dono, if you are after the kingdom then we the main force of princ.i.p.ality is the same. We wish for Bandel-dono to fight together with us there.」
Hertrauda narrowed her eyes.
(The magic right arm──in the end Bandel is the only one who can use it.)
More than ten people became sacrifice in order to choose a knight who could use the magic right arm.
In the end, Bandel was the only one who survived having the magic right arm attached on him.
There was an incision on Bandel's black right arm. An eye appeared from there and looked around.
The raw naked eye turned its gaze toward Hertrauda and stayed unmoving.
「My apologies. I'm still unable to control it perfectly. Your highness Hertrauda, I beg you to give me the permission to rescue your elder sister.」
「The rescue force is already departing. Do you intend to run away from your rematch with the fiendish knight?」
The princ.i.p.ality believed that the kingdom would charge toward this main force to decide the battle.
There was no way they would be able to face the guardian deity of the sky.
Similar with how the communication in the kingdom was in a bad condition, the princ.i.p.ality army was also in the same state.
They were on guard, but they were unable to detect when the kingdom army would come at this situation.
The greatest danger was if Leon came out to the battlefield.
If that happened, Bandel was the only one who could possibly stop him.
They wanted him to remain behind for the protection of the main force.
「The princess can be rescued with certainty if I'm the one doing it.」
Hertrauda laughed slightly at Bandel's words.
「You're Ane-ueelder sister's favorite after all. Well, we have sent out the rescue force. Perhaps it'll be better if there is someone to ascertain their result.」
Even though the influential retainer opposed it, Hertrauda didn't respond to him.
Bandel stood up.
「Then, I will depart immediately.」
「I shall prepare a fast airship for you.」
「There is no need. This body──no, this one armor will be enough. An airship will only slow me down.」
Bandel said that and left the room. Seeing his back, the influential retainer wiped his cold sweat that trickled out from fear.
His gaze was directed toward Bandel's right arm.
The right arm that changed color to black looked ominous. In addition Bandel's eyes were also bloodshot.
「So that's a part of Lost Item 【Magic Equipment】. It looks like a monster.」
Hertrauda leaned on her chair's back.
「It's said to grant its user immense strength in exchange of their life, but I never imagined that the day I see it with my own eyes will come.」
「I wonder if he'll be able to win against the fiendish knight.」
「He will win. Even if Bandel cannot win, we won't lose.」
Hertrauda closed her eyes.
(Onee-sama, please be safe. Bandel is coming to pick you up.)
Part 2The sky of the capital.
The battle is over. Airships are gradually gathering.
The figure of my friends who boarded their airship from their territory and returned here are on the deck of Partner.
Raymond is dumbfounded seeing the capital.
「──The city is crumbling.」
「There was nothing that could be done with them attacking from the sky.」
「Can we really win? There is this much destruction just from the attack of 30 ships.」
I cheered up my friends who are looking uneasy.
「Don't think that I'm fighting without even any secret plan. I've prepared properly. Look.」
Ahead of my gaze──a white and radiant airship is floating up from underground.
The royal family's ship.
It's troublesome to keep calling it that so Luxion gave it a name.
That name is Weiss──according to Luxion, it seems that the name has the connotation with white or something similar.
That name really sounded suitable. And also, I wish that he will tell me the meaning of the name Arroganz already.
Surely it has a meaning that suited me.
「That airship is a secret weapon?」
「It's smaller than Partner though.」
「Does it has some kind of amazing weapon loaded?」
My friends are showing interest, but they complained a lot that it's smaller than Partner.
The specs of the airship itself aren't as amazing as Partner.
But, Livia and Ange are on board inside it.
If the two of them who has confirmed their love to each other are on board, then that airship should display an amazing power without fail.
──I'm feeling complicated though.
To think that the two of them are in love with each other──what about my standing with them now?
Daniel is worried about me.
「Your complexion look bad. Are you alright?」
「I'm alright. More importantly, after you finished resupplying I'll explain about──」
While we're having that talk, something is flying toward the palace.
It went through a wall and smoke is rising from there.
I asked Luxion for confirmation in panic.
The reaction is slower than usual. And his tone made me thought that this isn't Luxion.
「Prepare Arroganz. I'm going out.」
『It's in the middle of resupply and maintenance. Please wait for a while.』
Furthermore this guy also isn't flexible.
When I looked at the palace, it's in commotion for some reason.
Part 3It was Bandel who flew into the palace.
His left hand was holding the magic flute that was kept under heavy security in the treasure warehouse, while his right hand was holding his great sword that was kept here──a great sword for use of armor that was made from special metal called adamantis.
The corner of his lips rose seeing the great sword that was bigger than his body.
「Partner, I came to pick you up. Though you're secondary after the princess.」
He said that and placed it on his shoulder. There the knights of the kingdom stood on his way in front of the door.
「Throw away your weapon and surrender!」
「Don't waste time, shoot!」
Bandel could see the kingdom's armors floating at the other side of the hole in the wall.
Even when the knights opened fire, something unseen protected Bandel and the bullets were deflected.
Several eyes appeared from the right arm. They rolled around restlessly observing the surrounding.
The knights were surprised seeing that.
「Mo, monster──don't stop shooting!」
The armors also entered inside the palace to pin down Bandel.
But, Bandel rushed at the armors without wearing armor himself. Without pause he swung around the great sword with one hand.
The armors were bisected. The knights were severed to pieces.
The battle was over in an instant. Bandel looked down on the knights.
「Worthless fools. Now then, I have to search for the princess.」
The eyes of the right arm rolled around restlessly. And then all of them fixed their gaze to a single place.
「I see, over there.」
Bandel started moving. He advanced while defeating the knights and soldiers on his way. He arrived until the room where Hertrude was apprehended.
He opened the door roughly. Hertrude was there safe and sound.
All the eyes on the right arm closed.
「Bandel? Why are you here? Even though I heard that the princ.i.p.ality army has lost.」
The princ.i.p.ality army that came attacking was defeated.
Bandel too was vexed by that.
「All of them are pathetic. After all they were unable to save princess and lost against the cowards of the kingdom. Now, let's go back together with me. Her highness Hertrauda is also waiting.」
Hertrude received the magic flute from Bandel, then she witnessed an unbelievable sight.
「Princess, please step back for a bit.」
The right arm suddenly swelled. It then swallowed Bandel and turned into the shape of an armor.
That figure──was similar in some respect to Arroganz.
But, the th.o.r.n.y and ominous shape looked like living thing instead of machine. It had wings like a bat and also reptilian tail with thorns on it.
It didn't give out mechanical sound, but a pulsing sound like heartbeat.
「Bandel, don't tell me you──that magic right arm」
Bandel was using the th.o.r.n.y black armor's right arm that Hertrude sent to the princ.i.p.ality.
Hertrude who knew what that meant shed tears.
Bandel was slightly happy about that.
(Please don't shed tears for me, princess.)
「Why are you using this kind of thing!?」
The voice of Bandel who became one with the armor sounded stifled.
『Princess──this is the last duty of this senile old fool. Now, please get on.』
「Even though, everything will be taken care of if only I can use this magic flute here.」
Hertrude clutched the magic flute tightly with both her hands and looked down, but Bandel hurriedly stopped her.
『You must not! Her highness Hertrauda already summoned the guardian deities. Your highness Hertrude is the only hope for the princ.i.p.ality right now.』
──Hertrude who knew the meaning of summoning the guardian deity shed a trickle of tear and nodded.
Bandel offered his left hand. Hertrude got on it and they flew out of the palace.
Many armors were lying in wait there but,
『Small fries of the kingdom! All of you aren't my match. Bring out the fiendish knight!』
He flew in the sky with a posture that protected Hertrude while destroying the armors of the kingdom with the great sword in his right hand on his way to escape.
Bandel came across Partner, but he ignored it for now because Hertrude was in his left arm.
Right now his priority was to send Hertrude to the main force.
He could also see Leon on the deck, but the match was postponed for now.
『Fiendish knight huh! I have taken back the princess.』
Bandel laughed while watching Leon's vexed face.
『I'll settle my duel with you soon.』
Bandel said that and escaped. The kingdom army didn't send out any pursuer.
Part 4Both Hertrude-san and also the magic flute were stolen.
Or rather, it feels like I have seen that black armor that was rampaging somewhere.
I can't recall where did I see it, but it's useless to keep thinking about it.
My head is slapped by brother while I'm thinking with folded arms.
「Ouch. I'm not sleeping.」
I pressed my head while looking at the many airships floating around Partner.
My friends who are bound with contract came as reinforcement.
The airships of the kingdom army can also be seen at the sky of the capital.
The airships of the feudal lords who hastened here──nearly 200 ships are floating in lines.
Father looked nervous at that sight.
「I didn't hear that Leon is the one commanding this fleet. Just what in the world happened that it became like that?」
From father's perspective, his son had become the supreme commander when he came running. It can't be helped that he's shocked.
「I became the commander because of mood and momentum.」
「No way that's true! Normally this is impossible!」
Brother made a face of resignation and asked me.
「And, how are we going to win against the princ.i.p.ality's army? I saw it from afar but, is it really possible to defeat a stupidly huge monster like that?」
I looked at the white ship──Weiss that was floating at the middle of the fleet.
「My principle is to not fight an unwinnable battle. I've prepared a trump card properly.」
Father sent me a doubting gaze.
「You mean Angelicsama and Olivichan? You're sending those two to the battlefield? That's not good. That's obviously not good. You love those two right?」
──Don't say anymore than that.
「Those two are necessary no matter what.」
Father couldn't accept it. Even so I a.s.serted that it's necessary, so he gave up.
「Protect them no matter what. ──You will regret it for your whole life if they die here.」
I understand that even without getting told that.
Brother is also worried for me, so I smiled.
「I get it.」
Someone came interrupting our family conversation. It's Marie shaking her head.
「Wait. Why am I in this ship?」
「That's obvious. Partner is going to be in the lead and charge at the enemy. You are a subst.i.tute barrier, do your job properly.」
I also sto──borrowed the saint equipments from the reluctant temple forcefully.
I'll have this fellow to work.
Brother and father tilted their head.
「Who is this person? It feels like I have seen her somewhere. Father, do you know her?」
「I don't know her. Leon, who is this girl?」
「This girl? It's her holiness the saint. I'm thinking to make her the shield when we charged.」
The two of them looked at me and made a face that seemed to say 「No way~」.
「Using a girl as a shield, I'm ashamed as your father.」
「Shut up. My principle is to use anything that I can use even if it's my parents. Naturally I'll make this fellow to work hard like a slave too.」
「You're the worst!」
I poked at Marie's head, then I sent her a serious gaze.
「Do your job even if it kill you. If you do that then I'll help to have your life spared.」
Marie held her head with tearful eyes.
「It'll be meaningless if I die here!」
「I don't give a d.a.m.n about that! Take responsibility at any cost. I'll kill you if you run away. I'll chase you until the end of the world and kill you.」
Marie looked down, but I cannot think of any other way than this to save her life.
She will die if we lose. Even if we win──this girl is a heinous criminal who pretended to be the saint.
The only way is to make her fight and risk her life and then holding hope that she would be given a pardon because of that.
「Marie, don't look so anxious.」
Armors with really showy colors landed down on the deck.
I wanted to click my tongue seeing the red colored armor.
「You guys──what are you doing here?」
Red, blue, purple, green──the four pilots came down from the armors and gathered around Marie.
「This Greg Fou Seberg is going to protect you.」
Marie cried seeing the confident Greg.
「You, you all──」
「I'll be troubled if you forget about me.」
Chris took off his gla.s.ses and smiled at Marie.
「It will be fine as long as we're here.」
Brad brushed back his front hair and took a pose. Then Jilk held out his hand toward Marie.
「Marie-san, this time we will be by your side. You aren't alone.」
And then a single armor landed down on Partner's deck, interrupting Marie's words.
「Allow me to also join you!」
It was a radiant white armor with blue mantel swaying from the wind.
I looked up and thought.
The chest armoring opened and a masked knight came out from there.
It's his highness Julius no matter how I saw it.
He is wearing a skin tight pilot suit, a mask, and also a mantle.
Just what are you coming here for? Stop with that idiotic appearance. It's embarra.s.sing.
「Who is he?」
Jilk who should be his highness Julius's foster brother and best friend is genuinely surprised. No, you're lying right? You're just reading the mood and pretend to not know aren't you?
Greg stepped in front of Marie and covered her.
His wariness was shown openly.
「Masked b.a.s.t.a.r.d, what are you coming here for!?」
I looked around. Everyone is genuinely looking surprised and wary.
Father and brother are dumbfounded because they can't keep up with the development.
Chris unsheathed his sword.
「Marie, step back.」
「Eh? But, that's Juli──」
Brad manifested flame in both his hands and started preparing to fight anytime.
What's with you guys! That's his highness Julius no matter how you look at him!
His highness Julius who is wearing mask jumped down to in front of us.
While the four are on their guard, he splendidly landed and slowly stood up──and introduced himself.
「It seems everyone is concerned about my ident.i.ty. Let's see──I ask everyone to call me the masked knight.」
Jilk aimed the muzzle of his handgun in surprise at his highness Julius who introduced himself as masked knight. It made me wanted to cry for real.
「That's right. I'm moved by everyone's spirit. Please allow me to help to the best of my meager ability──wha, what're you doing! Viscount Bartfalt, can you let go of me!」
「Shut up and come, this stupid b.a.s.t.a.r.d.」
My arm wrapped around the masked knight's neck and I dragged him away from everyone. The two of us moved behind a cover.
When my hand reached to the mask, his highness Julius held the mask in place with both hands.
「What are coming here for, your highness?」
「N, no! I'm not a n.o.ble personage like his highness Julius. I can't expose my face because there is a reason, but I come to join this battle as a knight. ──I'm telling you I'm not his highness Julius.」
──Is he perhaps, making fun of me?
「Never mind that just go back.」
「Hold on! Viscount Bartfalt, you shouldn't refuse any help no matter how little it is at this kind of time!」
「I can't use a suspicious fellow with unknown origin. Come on, go home.」
「Wa, wait a second! I, it can't be helped.」
His highness Julius said that and took off his mask, exposing his face to me.
「──I am, Julius.」
「No, I know that already. I realized from the start.」
「What!? My disguise should be perfect.」
「I now get it that you're making fun of me.」
「Got it. Then I shall tell the truth to you alone. About this battle, I also want to partic.i.p.ate in it.」
「The exit is over there.」
When I pointed at the exit, this stupid b.a.s.t.a.r.d clung on me.
「Please! I want to fight together with everyone.」
「If you die it will become my responsibility!」
「That's why I came wearing mask!」
So what if you're wearing a mask?
This guy, even if I sent him back like this, won't he just come along secretly and die somewhere? This guy is too dangerous now that he have become this useless prince.
Just what should I do?
When I turned my gaze away, Weiss suddenly entered my sight.
──Yosh, then let's gather the troublesome bunch in one place together.
It'll be fine if I put him in Weiss as Livia and Ange's guards.
The protection there is also the heaviest, so his survival rate will be high there.
But, if I tell him to stay at the rear, this guy will undoubtedly grumble out complains continuously.
「──Are you serious?」
「Then, I'll put you in the most demanding place.」
「You mean as vanguard? Fuh, so you get it after all, Bartfalt.」
I want to punch this guy's happy face, but right now is the time to endure.
「Don't be stupid. The cornerstone of our strategy this time is Weiss──the royal family's ship. In order to defeat that stupidly huge monster, we will use the royal family's ship. The enemy will focus their attack there.」
His highness Julius's expression became serious.
If I put Marie there too, then he surely will protect that place to the death.
「I'll place Marie there too. Enemies will march there and it will be the most dangerous place. Do you have the resolve for that?」
His highness Julius put on his mask while tugging a smile on his lips.
「You can leave it to me, lord supreme commander.」
──It really helps that you're stupid.
I'll have to place Marie behind too with this, but let's endure it if I can send the quintet behind too with this.
「Yosh, go to Weiss.」
「Yeah, I'll answer your expectation to me. ──By the way, I jumped down by impulse but, where should I climb from to get to the armor?」
The masked knight looked up at his armor and thought how to climb up there.
──This is too idiotic.
Part 5Weiss's bridge.
Livia and Ange were doubting their eyes. 「Err──Luk-kun?」
Floating there was a sphere with different coloring that Luxion with its white body and blue eye.
Its voice was also an electronic voice that was closer to a woman, so it was different from Luxion.
『Unfortunately you're wrong. I am what you call a familiar, ordered to control this airship.』
Ange was surprised.
「You can do something like that?」
『This ship's type is really old, but it's possible after it got repaired. With me here this ship doesn't even need any crew.』
There were robots moving Weiss just like Partner.
Riding inside it were Livia and Ange──and then the guards.
Livia touched the familiar that was similar with Luxion.
「What's your name?」
『That's troubling. It'll be wearisome to use my serial number here so──please call me Creare.』
『You can call me in any way you like. Even so, that sourpuss Luxion really likes the two of you. He asked me to protect the two of you properly.』
Ange looked down. Creare made a gesture that slightly looked like she was tilting her head in confusion.
『What's the matter, Angelica?』
「──Can't we meet Leon? We won't be able to convey our feeling to him if we depart like this.」
『Feeling toward master? ──Got it. I'll connect you to him.』
After Creare said that, an image was projected to empty air.
Leon's figure was there.
Glimpses of masked man could be seen but, Livia and Ange didn't pay that any mind.
『Mu? What's this?』
The man who wore a mask pushed Leon aside and covered the projection fully with his mask.
The two loudly asked the masked man to step aside.
「You strange person, please step aside from there!」
「What an appearance. What's with that strange mask and mantle? In addition a skintight full body suit? Are you a pervert? It doesn't matter, bring Leon forward already!」
The dejected masked man vanished from the screen. Leon was watching him with a really complicated expression.
Then seeing the two of them, he cleared his throat. He made an awkward face.
『Ee~aa~──what is it?』
Livia put her hands on her chest and spoke.
「Leon-san, we need to talk!」
『I have a briefing after this, if you can keep it short then it's fine.』
Leon agreed to hear them out. Ange calmed her breathing.
「It's about the matter before. Actually, there is something that I have to tell you no matter──」
When she spoke until that point, it was Greg who cut in this time.
『Oi, where is that masked knight? We've got to check that guy's face──hm? Oo, what's this!?』
The screen was filled with Greg's face fully. Vein pulsed on Ange's forehead.
Jilk, Brad, and then Chris also came along after that.
Everyone waved their hand at Livia and Ange.
『This is amazing. We can see the other side's face and also hear their voice.』
『We're going over there too so wait for us.』
『Marie will also come so please make the preparation.』
They suddenly said that they would intrude into their place, in addition they were ordering them to prepare a welcoming for Marie.
Ange hit the image in anger.
「Step aside all of you! We have something to talk with Leon!」
Then a noise ran through the projection and the image vanished.
Livia looked toward Creare. She shook her blue eye in respond.
『The communication is bad so it's impossible to hold it longer.』
「Wa, was it my fault?」
Ange was worried that the communication was cut off because she hit the image.
『It's simply because the communication is bad.』
Livia casted her eyes downward from being unable to talk with Leon. Ange held her hand.
「It's fine. We're going to tell him our feeling no matter what.」
Creare told the two who were like that with a teasing tone.
『Oh my, how pa.s.sionate. As expected from a relationship that is said to be true love. But, it will be time for departure soon.』
Livia looked forward.
「What amazing sight.」
Two hundred airships started moving to settle the decisive battle against the princ.i.p.ality.
「It's practically a mishmash group that cannot cooperate with each other. We managed to gather the number at least but, it'll really be a miracle if we can win like this.」
「Even a miracle will happen if it's Leon-san.」
「You're right. I'm expecting a lot from him.」
Creare added more explanation regarding the coming decisive battle.
『It looks like the battle will be held above a large lake. It's the place that is drawing up the sea water, so it's also connected with the underside of the land.』
Livia pressed her chest with her left hand.
「A battle above a lake.」
「That's right. Because that way it's possible to survive even if you fall.」
Because of that a lot of times an air battle would be held above a lake.
Livia also understood that in theory. But, her face didn't look like she could accept it.
「The water will be dirtied.」
The garbage that resulted from the war would fall to the lake and dirtied the water.
It would be a bother to the people who lived around it.
「The battle this time is do or die. It's too bad but we have no leeway to bother about it. When everything is over we will send manpower for the restoration work.」
A small airship came out from Partner that was moving to the forefront of the fleet. The ship approached Weiss.
The masked knight from before, Marie, and others were inside it.
Part 6I become alone on the deck.
I gave instruction to Luxion's empty sh.e.l.l before facing forward.
A thick cloud is visible at far away──the battle with the princ.i.p.ality's army will start in less than a day.
「We have a trump card at our side. Though I don't want to bring those two to the battlefield.」
I have a lot of regrets.
Shouldn't I be able to do things better?
For example, if I used Luxion to gather information, the story shouldn't deviate so much like this.
Perhaps I would also learn about the other princess of the princ.i.p.ality and also the other magic flute.
If I did better, there also wouldn't be any need for me to become the supreme commander.
In the first place, this fleet is a mishmash group that can only charge forward.
Does it really need to be me? Isn't this something that other people can also do?
At that time I recalled a nostalgic memory.
About that mask worn by his highness Julius, it was worn by a character that appeared in the game.
That character stood out quite much, but his ident.i.ty was unknown till the end.
In the game that person wasn't his highness Julius.
The character behaved a bit too theatrical and relatively no good but I think he was a strong character.
However, it's nice that I recalled it, but it's an information that isn't particularly important.
「But, if that guy is the one wearing that mask」
The masked knight──the real one, who could it be?
Part 7The palace.
Roland was searching the hidden room inside his room.
「No, not here! My transformation set isn't here! The key for my custom made armor is also not here. Who, who did this? Is it Mylene? This is that middle-aged woman's work without a doubt!」
That Mylene came to the room of the enraged Roland.
「Your majesty, have you seen Julius?」
Roland who got his hidden room seen turned around in panic.
「Julius you say!? He, he isn't here but──yo, you, aren't surprised?」
Even though Mylene saw Roland's hidden room, she didn't show any surprise.
「If it's this hidden room, I have known about it since a long time ago. Though I don't know as far as the inside of the room. More importantly it's Julius. I cannot find him anywhere.」
Roland was displeased.
「You know about this room you say? Fo, for my hidden room to be found out──rather than that, if it's Julius then I don't know where he is. Perhaps he is sulking and locking himself inside his room?」
「He isn't there, that's why I'm asking. That child is similar with you after all. I'm worried that perhaps he is doing something reckless.」
There Roland realized something.
「──Oi, does Julius also know about my hidden room?」
「Naturally. He reported it to me when he found it as a child.」
Hearing that Roland rushed out of his room in panic.
「What's the matter your majesty!?」
「It's Julius. That guy, there's no doubt it was him who took away my transformation set and armor!」
Mylene's expression paled.
「Why do you have something like that!?」
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