Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 81 (Part 2)
『Hmm… it seems that my descendant is at a slight disadvantage here, but I guess I could compensate for that as much as needed. Right, I’ll take you up on that offer.』
Since the gods had already decided, we had no right to refuse. Solving the problem through force seemed to be the same no matter what time period or what universe. Well, it was very conscientious of them to entrust the result to us.
Speaking of which, Soleil did actually notice us, huh? I thought he had eyes only for Lune.
All of a sudden, the barrier that had surrounded us disappeared, and Lune stretched out her hand toward me. Before the tips of my fingers could reach her, Lune’s human form crumbled into black particles, wrapping around my body.
Within seconds, she had transformed into armour. My head, torso, elbows, arms, waist, thighs, legs – it felt like much stronger armour than what I usually wore. I could feel Lune’s tremendous power covering me like a mantle.
Soleil too had changed into armour, enshrouding Luca in the same way Lune had me. The dimly shining armour of the light attribute looked really cool. Luca wearing it also looked so handsome I couldn’t help but admire him.
However, Luca himself still seemed very perplexed, or rather like he wasn’t fully on board with this idea. He looked at me, clad in the goddess’s armour, with a troubled expression.
“What’s wrong, Luca? Do you not want to fight me? If you think about it as an extension of our spars, it’s not that big of a deal.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m fine with fighting against you, but… even if I’m Soleil’s descendant, I’m still a human and don’t want to see this kingdom be destroyed, so should I just lose to you on purpose?”
『Ho? What a daring man – to wear me as your armour while boldly confessing your intentions.』
“Guessing by how Zagan and the goddess are, you can probably read my thoughts, no? Since that’s the case, it’s safer for me to just go ahead and say it out loud.”
『Seems you’re a quick thinker. But if you actually try something stupid, I won’t hesitate to kill you.』
『If you do that then I’ll hate you and never see you again.』
『Ngaah!? I-I won’t. I won’t do it ever.』Soleil withdrew his earlier statement in a panic and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I was glad Lune had all the power in this relationship, and I wished Soleil wouldn’t say stuff like that—that was bad for my heart. I almost showed killing intent toward a god.
『But since you’re representing us in this fight, it would be a problem if you do not take it seriously, so let’s add a condition. If Soleil’s side wins, we won’t stop you from doing whatever you want, but if our side wins, my descendant and I will leave this country. Of course, the two of you aren’t allowed to come with us.』
They were extremely surprised. No, I was also surprised.
It seems that if Luca wins, the country might get destroyed. But if I win, I’ll be forced to leave the kingdom with Lune. Wasn’t this condition one that would make Luca and I give up on the duel from the start?
“I’m never going to let myself be separated from Zagan! This is a national issue, please don’t involve him in it!”
『That’s right Lune! What am I supposed to do if you’re not here?!』
『Noisy men. You’re making me angry. No matter what reason you had, it doesn’t change the fact that Soleil disrespected me. On top of that, you used the excuse of loving me to get drunk on your hatred towards your own humans. I don’t need someone who won’t even turn to look at me.』
Come to think of it, even in the face of all these accusations, Soleil didn’t apologise even once, he just kept making excuses. That made me angry. Those times I thought Luca was in the wrong, he would apologise for it and it wouldn’t lead to us fighting. I also thought I did a good job apologising whenever I realised I’d made a mistake…
For now, about the conditions the goddess set forth – was it not possible to come up with some terms that would make me want to fight on her behalf?
『Worry not my child. I did not establish a timeframe for this condition. In other words, you may return here immediately after coming with me to my domain.』
Was that how it worked? In that case, there’d be no problem even if I won. It also meant that Luca, who’d lost his composure at the thought of being separated from me, would give his all in this duel as long as I did the same.
But wait – could Luca and Soleil hear what Lune just said?
『Of course I have adjusted it so only you could hear.』
It’s no wonder Luca’s face was still twisted in agony, and Soleil was still shouting this and that.
As expected of Lune – she was an almighty goddess.
『So please fight to the best of your abilities. So that your emotions… both of your emotions, reach Soleil. Our attributes are ones that embody emotions. Even if it’s hard to make him understand through words, if we seriously exchange fists, my thoughts and emotions will reach him.』
Conveying it, but not through words, huh?
That’s right. There are many things that can be expressed through fighting. Things you come to understand when your swords cross.
“Um, Zaga- …Zagan!?” Luca quickly dodged to the right after I drew my dagger and attacked him.
On the second strike, he took a step back so the blade wouldn’t reach him. I followed with another strike, aiming for his chest, but he blocked it with the shield on his left arm. The force of the blow, however, forced the shield down and Luca’s body was sent flying backwards, a large space opening between us.
Why? I knew why he was asking me that. If he chose the well-being of this kingdom, he would lose me. However, if he chose me, the kingdom would fall to ruin.
Luca loved me with all his heart, but he held a great sense of responsibility as a member of the royal family. Having come this far, it was something I was well aware of. Luca held the people dear and wanted to protect them as best he could.
Me or the kingdom? Luca couldn’t choose.
And that was fine. Because I too had no intention of abandoning either. I will definitely have both. Which was why…
“Luca, take out your sword and fight me. If you don’t, I’m going to give up on you and go somewhere else, ok?”
“…Wha…?” Luca’s eyes opened wide in shock.
He was surprised at my warning… or not. His gaze was turned slightly upwards. And what was this light?
I followed his gaze, turning around a bit and found the origin of that fleeting light.
It was the moon.
A full, white moon floating in the night sky.
For the Soleil kingdom, it was the first moon to appear in a thousand years.
Did Lune release the barrier because of my wish? Then again, she might have done it so she could face Soleil at full strength.
『Correct. Now even if you get hurt, you will recover immediately.』
Immediately healing at the end of the attack was like some kind of villain power. No, in the first place, Luca was the hero of “Lumiere” while I was the villain Zagan. If there are still compelling forces in this world trying to bring us closer to the future of this game, to the Akashic records… then the winner of this battle was probably inevitable. This might be the “Last Battle” for this story’s hero.
“Luca, don’t disappoint me.”
I took out my staff and, fully equipped now, turned back to face him. I could feel a tremendous amount of power well up inside me, probably because Lune was wrapped around me. It was the kind of power that made me want to fight Luca—to go at him with everything I had.
Luca, a pained expression on his face, seemed to realise I wouldn’t back down no matter what, and finally drew his sword.
The pale moonlight reflecting off his blade was beautiful. There was a strong determination in his blue eyes.
“Zagan. I’ll never let you go. Still, I won’t let this kingdom be destroyed either. I will win against you and I will persuade Soleil.”
“Yes. That’s the Luca that I love.”
Please don’t worry. Persuading him was the reason we were having this duel in the first place. Because there were things Lune wanted to express to him through this fight.
Not taking our eyes off each other, we re-enforced our bodies and waited for the other to make a move.
It was quiet.
The air was cold from our mutual bloodlust and it was made even colder by the winter breeze.
As the moon looked down on us, the air grew sharp.
The sound of scraping, a small movement of the foot and, kicking off the ground, Luca closed the distance between us in an instant.