Saturday, September 16, 2023 @

Volume 2 Chapter 25 The Reason for Betraying

 While Yuusuke and Tarim were engaged in their battle, the two guardians were also locked in a fierce fight.

 Bang, clank, bang, clank! The clash of magic bullets and spears created sparks in the darkness.

 Kanami used her storm of wind to disrupt her opponent's balance while firing off "Blast (Heavy Bombs)" to aim for damage.

 Irial, on the other hand, employed high-speed maneuvers, sometimes in mid-air, to dodge bullets and close the distance to strike with her spear.

 Chosen as guardians of humanity, both of them exchanged blows without giving an inch, clashing their magics.

 However, what was truly remarkable was Kanami's combat technique.

 She was skilled with firearms, which should have given her an advantage at medium to long range. Even when Irial closed in, Kanami handled the situation confidently.

 She gracefully evaded the thrusts aimed at her and skillfully parried unavoidable attacks using Ferger.

 Furthermore, she launched magical bullets at close range and occasionally used "Grem (Karmic Wind Bullets)" to blast herself away and create distance.

 Undoubtedly, Irial had the upper hand in defense, and Kanami's attacks couldn't catch her. Despite that, Irial couldn't break through.

 "Oh, are you getting frustrated?"

 "Is it just my imagination, or is it only you who hasn't landed a proper ATTACK!?"

 The spear and the gun clashed, and the two guardians' gazes met up close.

 Irial's wings flickered, and her magic power flowed into her weapon. Blades formed by magic enveloped the tips of her weapons. They resembled small, swiftly-moving chainsaws. The sudden impact caused Kanami's gun to be knocked out of her hand.

 "It's over."

 Irial pulled her spear back after deflecting the gun and thrust it toward Kanami's heart. But just in the nick of time, Kanami twisted her body to evade. Her gothic dress was sliced, and the pure white spear raced past her.


 However, the impractical move disrupted her balance. Seizing the opportunity, Irial unleashed a series of thrusts. Furthermore, using magic, she created new spears that bent halfway along their length to aim for different vital points—an arrangement for delivering certain, fatal blows in succession.

 Kanami managed to step back while fending off with the remaining gun, but her limits were soon reached. Unable to redirect the momentum of the spears, her arms opened, and her legs moved backward. Her upper body leaned back, her movements becoming lifeless, unable to put any strength in her legs.

 At that moment, Irial advanced without missing a beat, and her spear flashed. It was the perfect timing that Kanami couldn't evade.

 But right when the tip of the spear was about to reach her, Kanami smiled, as if mocking her trapped prey.

 "Too naive, desu~wa."

 A high-pitched noise resounded, and Kanami's fatal blow was deflected upwards. Irial's eyes widened in surprise.

 In Kanami's hand, which should have been empty, was a short knife that generated high-frequency vibrations.

 "A new magic tool!?"

 "Of course! A magic user wouldn't carry only one weapon, would they?"

 Kanami promptly threw the knife at Irial. Although her wings created a defensive magic, Kanami had foreseen this.

 "Cry out!"

 The knife quivered in front of Irial. No, it wasn't just a vibration anymore. It was a piercing scream that tore through the air and shook her eardrums.


 The explosive sound resounded. It pierced Irial's eardrums and shook her head. Kanami continuously fired off "Blast" without hesitation. The light and flames swelled and devoured everything, even threatening to consume Kanami. Her hair and dress fluttered in the heat, and her white skin shone brightly in the light.

 However, Kanami stared unwaveringly into the flames.

 "Shayka Eyes" visualized the flow of magic power as color and shape, allowing her to select the necessary information to see. This meant that Kanami could see the pure white magic power within the flames.

 With a violent noise, Irial leaped out of the flames to create some distance. She seemed to have barely managed to defend herself in time, but her hair was singed, and her white skin bore burn marks.

 Kanami held the remaining "Ferger" and pointed it at Irial.

 "'Sodian (Sword Bullet)!'"

 The bullet, faster and sharper than the previous magic bullets, sliced through the flames and reached Irial in an instant.

 Irial used her spear to deflect the bullet at the last moment, but she couldn't entirely prevent it, and it left a gash on Irial's cheek and shoulder.

 Still, it was far from a fatal wound. Just as she was about to launch another attack, a flash of light erupted from Irial's wings.

 The light dispersed along the way, assaulting Kanami from all directions, as if from a birdcage. Reluctantly, Kanami abandoned her pursuit and backed away.

 She was still a long way from completely overwhelming her opponent. Realizing this, she readied her Ferger once again.

* * *

 Meanwhile, Irial, forcing oxygen into her burnt lungs, glared at Kanami.

 With each breath, her lungs ached, and she felt like coughing. Her eyes were parched and opening them was painful. Her skin felt like it was being pricked by countless needles.

 Still, Irial continued to mold magic power, channeling it throughout her body. Her wings shone brighter than ever, and her spear trembled.

 As Kanami adjusted her posture, she immediately fired off three types of magic bullets: Voltra (Hundred Thunder Bullets), Blast, and Sodian (Sword Bullets). The thunder blocked Irial's escape route, while Blast and Sodian simultaneously assailed her.

 Irial clenched her teeth so hard it seemed they might shatter.

 She knew it from the beginning. She had limited combat experience compared to the other guardians. Although she had participated in the Church's defense during the God-Demon War, she had never actively fought in a war as a warrior.

 In terms of pure magical ability and physical prowess, she was by no means inferior to Kanami. However, when it came to actual combat, the difference in experience easily surpassed these advantages.

 At this rate, Irial would lose. There was no guarantee that Kanami's magic tools were all she had, and the tide was against her.

 But she couldn't afford to lose. Why had she betrayed humanity?

 The only face that came to mind was that of a single girl. Yunea, chosen as the "Key," was Irial's little sister. They were complete opposites. Yunea was petite, with an adorable face and a perpetually apologetic smile.

 Irial didn't remember her parents' faces. Even when she tried to recall them, all she could summon was a faint image of a woman with a hazy face.

 The earliest clear memory she could recall was her mother bringing home a baby. The next memory was of her sitting in front of the Church's door, cradling her sister in a coarse cloth that hardly qualified as baby clothes. It was still dark, and when she woke up, her sister was sleeping peacefully nearby.

 There was confusion and a sense of duty not to wake her sister. Even at a young age, Irial somehow understood what had happened.

 The two of them had been abandoned at the Church.

 She didn't consider that an unfortunate turn of events. Life in the Chruch wasn't exactly rich, but merely watching Yunea grow up healthily made Irial happy.

 The turning point came when they discovered Yunea's magic ability. Yunea possessed magic that only the beloved child of the goddess could use. In other words, Yunea had the qualities of a "Saint."

 However, that didn't mean she instantly became a Saint. From that day on, Yunea became one of the candidates for "Spiritual Woman," someone who would renounce the secular world as a spirit and practice until she was chosen as a true Saint by the goddess.

 As a mere believer, Irial could no longer converse with Yunea. That's why Irial worked hard to gain power. If she became a Church Knight and attained a higher rank, she could speak with Yunea. Even if they couldn't talk as sisters, if she could say just a few words, Irial would be satisfied.

 The turning point came with the outbreak of the Second God-Demon War. By some twist of fate, Yunea and Irial were chosen to be the Key and the Guardian in the battle.

 It was then.

 "Big sister... It's been a while since we could talk like this. ...I'm happy."

 Yunea said, her voice filled with apologies as usual but still oozing with happiness.

 I was happy too, more than I could express. I had thought I would never hear you call me "big sister" again. Irial said at that time.

 But once the battle ended, this casual relationship where they could talk to each other would come to an end. However, even if it was for a short period, Irial was satisfied. Yunea cared about her. Just knowing that, Irial was confident she could go on living.

 That's why when that monster stole Yunea's body, Irial hesitated for only a moment.


 She won't let her die. She absolutely won't let Yunea die. Even if it means betraying the benevolent goddess and becoming a pawn of the demons, she will resist that fate with all her might. What anchored Irial's heart in the darkness that day, without a doubt, was the tiny warmth breathing in her hands.

 Irial's wings emitted an intense light, spreading even larger than before.

 Her entire circulatory system expanded, and blood coursed through her body with the force that felt like her heart might burst.

 "Sephiliata (Radiant Spear of Annihilation)!"

 Gigantic wings flapped, and countless feathers danced.

 Each feather transformed into a spear in the blink of an eye, dyeing everything visible in white.

 Normally, using this magic required a substantial charge even with wings. Irial forcibly activated it. The blood vessels in her head throbbed with pain, and she felt that if she let her guard down for even a moment, she might lose consciousness.

 Blood sprayed from her fingertips, and her eyes began to redden.

 The approaching magic bullets were all obliterated, and the spear's forces surged towards Kanami like a tidal wave.

 Among Irial's powerful magic, this was the highest instant firepower.

 While screaming internally, "Let it end," Irial continued to pour her magic power into it.

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