Chapter 264, Grief
How long has this been going on
I don’t remember much of what happened after Lylia killed Belial.
No one among the adventurers is currently injured.
I’m aware of every movement of everyone in my supporting range.
For those who get hurt, I can use recovery magic to patch them right up.
“Shit! Another guy’s done in!”
For those who are killed instantly, my spells wouldn’t be able to do anything to help them.
This really goes to teach me how magic isn’t a universal cure.
Although I intended to be fully on top of the situation, I can’t deny that I’m not good enough yet.
This fight is chaotic as all hell… and not something I can really build up experience for, but it’s not like I want to, either.
Now I think I should have accepted Gaston’s invitation to join his brigade.
Surely being in the Royal Capital Magic Guardians would net me a lot of experience in large-scale battles.
Well, no point in complaining about what can’t be changed.
I just gotta what I can.
But man, I was naive as hell… I thought the Teleportation Spell Circles would bail everyone out whenever they need to, but it’s not that simple.
The adventurers who opted to remain here in the first place… they did that pretty much because they wanted to go ‘all in.’
Yeah, they knew what they were getting into.
They wanted to live their lives to their fullest, and in their dictionary, it means facing death without fear, fighting for each of their own causes.
“Master! Bright is running out of energy!”
In response to Pochi’s call, I looked up at Chappie high in the sky.
Just one look at Bright riding on Chappie’s back, and I could tell that both his stamina and arcane energy were almost completely spent.
And he’d managed to make me not notice that until it was almost too late! This kid is scary…!
“Rise, Giving Magic & Remote Control!”
I sent a Spell Circle packed with my arcane energy up to Bright, filling up his tank.
Looking around, many of the adventurers seemed to be at their limits, too.
…All right, it’s about time!
I opened up my magical storage — not the usual one, but the extra room.
One that I’d filled up with a whole lot of Pochibitan D.
I’ve been waiting for the right moment to bring them out, but I might have been a little late.
Using a special arcane energy control technique, I sent the Pochibitan D vials over to the adventurers, starting from those who seemed the most tired.
“Now I can keep fighting!”
And then everyone kept on charging head-first into hell.
By now, every single one of Sodom’s gates had been opened.
But not a single one among the Devil King’s army had made its way into the town itself.
It’s because this place is the decisive battlefield.
If they don’t kill all of the adventurers here, they wouldn’t be able to go any further north.
Those guys knew what they were getting into, too — not that I sympathize with them or anything.
And I do wonder if this chaotic mess of a fight will ever end.
Damn it… how annoying.
“Master! You mustn’t go!”
I subconsciously stepped forward, preparing to jump down from the gate and charge into the action — but then my noisy Familiar stopped me before I could.
Pochi knows full well that if I were to move away from here, every single formation of our side would instantly fall apart.
“I’m fully charged now, Instructor! Please, tend to the others!”
“Just stay up there and keep looking important, Poer!”
Bright and Ferris… Both of them are clearly bluffing out of worry for me.
At the same time, Giorno and Lylia are getting closer and closer to them.
Hmm, even someone like Giorno is getting pushed so far back, I see…
This might be the first time I’ve heard Giorno shout so loud.
“Hah… hah… hah…!”
And Lylia’s actually breathing heavily for once.
It’s as if the Pochibitan D isn’t working on them.
But it IS working — the chaos out here in the front-front lines is building up their fatigue THAT much faster.
All I can do right now are healing my allies, casting All Up, and using attack magic on limited areas.
I’m always standing on a Giving Magic effect area, so I probably won’t ever run out of arcane energy — that’s why I know I’m not using my unlimited power as efficiently as I can.
After all, I can’t be entirely sure that big spells like Pochi Pad Breath won’t also cause damage to our side.
And on the other side of the chart, an attack that’s not impactful enough will only serve to throw off my allies.
…Damn it, can I really not do anything about this at all
Pochi’s body is covered in blood — a large part of it being her own rather than the enemies’.
“Damn you–! Die, you little–!”
And Ferris is now too busy to even complain.
“Chappie, over there!”
“I got this, Bright!”
Come on, even the young ones are trying their best!
There MUST be something I can try.
Something that doesn’t include me wallowing in the grief over my perceived powerlessness.
If my head is empty, then fine, I’ll think like an empty-headed guy!
Before I knew it, I was biting my lower lip so hard that it bled; I wiped the blood off with my sleeve and took a deep breath.
“Master! Take your time! I’ll wait!”
Pochi is trying to tell me something… but just that short message isn’t much to work with.
Amid all this chaos, she’d forced herself to talk to me, but still couldn’t get enough words in.
Could it be that… she’s saying she understands me That I’m in a helluva state of grief
“Man, she’s always such an annoying furball of a dog…”
“The more empty my head is, the more things I can fit into it! THAT’s what she meant!”
I forced myself to smile.
…And suddenly, my eyes caught something of interest — a gigantic bird, standing on the edge of a cliff in the distance.
What in the…!
“Rise, A-rise, Telescopic Vision!”
Multiple lenses appeared from the Craft Circle and overlapped one another.
Looking through them, I could see that the bird in question was quite close in appearance to Chappie.
Right, it would be strange if a Heavenly Beast like Shi’shichou wasn’t aware of a battle of this scale.
Looks like it’s glaring at me, but isn’t acting against me because it knows what’s going on.
And I have a feeling that… I’m forgetting something important.
C’mon, Asley, remember.
I know I should KNOW something.
Like there’s one last puzzle piece still not fitted into this battle against the Devil King’s army.
Shi’shichou, Pochi, and Chappie… No, the latter two are anomalies in this era.
This means THE Violet Phoenix of this era is the Shi’shichou that’s right over there, staring at me.
And another Heavenly Beast here is the Crimson King Ox — also known as Weldhun, the beast filled with burning ferocity that Lylia’s riding on.
That’s definitely the right one.
But in my era, the Crimson King Ox isn’t counted among the Heavenly Beasts anymore because…
“Wait a second…! ‘In my era’! That’s right! The Heavenly Beasts also used to be called…”
The FIVE Sacred Beasts!
That time I’d asked Melchi about the whereabouts of the Heavenly Beasts, she’d told me that there was another Sacred Beast — which would be the Crimson King Ox — and they used to be called the Five Sacred Beasts, but then one of the Warriors made it her Familiar, reducing their numbers down to four.
As for how Melchi even knew that, it’s not important now.
The important part is the ‘only four of them left’ part.
Melchi would quite often lie and joke around as naturally as she breathes, but in serious moments like that, she’d always tell the truth.
In fact, she had been right about there being a Heavenly Beast in the Regalia Ravine; I first met Shi’shichou there, following her tip.
That means what she had said about ‘only four of them left’ applies to the current time as well.
And thanks to the literature I’d read in the future, I do know a certain point of truth to all this…
…That in the ages of Devil Kings, they had fought against his armies of monsters.
That means the Heavenly Beasts — and I mean all FIVE of them — are supposed to be present on the same battlefield, facing off against the Devil King’s army.
But excluding Pochi and Chappie, the only Heavenly Beast fighting on our side now is Weldhun, the Crimson King Ox.
It doesn’t add up.
But what if… what if I’m the one who must turn these wheels of fate
…For starters, Shi’shichou is already here, lured by the fiendish arcane energy of the monster army.
And the rest of them… They’re gonna be here eventually… right
Then there’s only so much I can do now.
I’ll try releasing a huge burst of my arcane energy, then use it to detect other large sources of arcane energy that react to it.
The monsters in front of Sodom’s gates were momentarily stunned, startled by the burst of energy.
Everyone on our side also faltered a bit, but they recovered quickly; they must have figured that I had a plan.
And now, I’ve got to stretch this energy curtain out… thing and wide…
All right… start searching…!
They should be here…
There gotta be some extraordinarily large sources of arcane energy amid these countless monsters…
They SHOULD be here!
Those three other legendary beasts that make up the five, their powers rivaling those of Weldhun and Shi’shichou!
Haiko the Ashen Tiger, Kohryu the Yellow Dragon, and Kokki the Black Turtle…!