Chapter 301, Everyone’s Determination
Intentionally or not… Lina’s words definitely had been said.
The look in Hornel’s eyes immediately changed, perhaps because of the name that had been brought up — the name of the one whom he strove to surpass.
“What makes you think it’s a good idea to say that now! Sir Gaston is doing this for us, so we can’t just–!”
Hornel’s tone was harsh and his voice rough, but the look in Lina’s eyes was stronger than that.
Although Hornel was at a loss for words, Barun spoke up, addressing him,
“Hey, you there.”
“W-what is it!”
“If you’re going to leave, then leave already.
If she’s made her own choice to stay, then let her stay.”
The tone of his voice was clearly different from when he arrived at the scene.
He former was among the ranks of the Six Braves, as short-lived his career might have been.
Against his aura, Hornel was too stunned to say anything back.
The next voice to call out to Hornel came from behind him.
“Will you be leaving, Hornel”
He turned around and saw another person with the same resolve as Lina.
She was none other than the caster of the Teleportation Spell Circle.
She did not respond to Hornel, as if to say that the look in her eyes — the same as Lina’s — was enough for an answer.
“You, too… Seriously…”
Hornel closed his eyes and clenched his fists.
Considering their exhaustion of both physical strength and arcane energy, they would achieve nothing but slow Gaston down.
Hornel understood that.
There was no way that Lina and Fuyu would not also understand.
But that was exactly why they chose to stay.
“What good would dying in a blaze of glory do! What are you even thinking!”
“……They’re not thinking.”
“And do you have any idea what you’re saying!”
Hornel lashed back at Barun.
“I do — I mean, the Asley they speak of is exactly that kind of fool, isn’t he”
Barun answered, somewhat trying to sound calm.
“…You know him”
“I won’t claim to know him as well as you do, but… I sort of understand why they would say what they just said.”
Barun did not confirm nor deny Hornel’s question.
He simply put his hands behind his head, started walking, and spoke up to everyone,
“Maaannn, if I wasn’t asked to rescue Sir Gaston, I would’ve left already! Wouldn’t want to disappoint Professor Trace, you know!”
His poorly-acted front was not fooling anybody, but hearing that, Lina and Fuyu chuckled to each other.
Perhaps they saw a little bit of Asley in Barun as he stood his ground — possibly due to him being influenced by Asley in some way.
Hornel, utterly taken aback, could only keep on listening.
Maïga, perhaps tired of his Master’s reluctance, or perhaps trying to cheer him up, kicked Hornel’s buttocks.
“–! Wha–! What was that for, Maïga!”
“It looked like you were gonna ** your pants, that’s why! And just so you know, I’m gonna keep fighting, even if you stop me!”
Maïga took a step forward despite his involuntary shiverings, his eyes never distracted by his surroundings.
Upon seeing that, a hot sensation washed over Hornel’s face.
[…Ugh, even my Familiar is standing his ground.
Now I practically have no choice but to stay…!]
He scratched his hair and shouted,
“Gah… great, just great! Why am I always the funny guy whenever you people are around, anyway!”
Neither Lina nor Fuyu answered — not verbally.
Their only response was to stand beside him.
Maïga proceeded to take another step forward, constantly keeping his eyes on Billy.
Hornel proceeded to pat him on the head.
You’re making me feel even more itchy.”
“Maybe you should go home and take a bath.”
“Maybe YOU should, and get a new pair of pants while you’re at it!”
“Oh, I’m sure as hell going home… to wash the Devil blood off my hands, that is!”
“Hah! Now we’re talking!”
Fuyu stroked Platina’s neck.
“You must be scared… Yeah, I’m scared, too…”
“We’ll win this fight, Platina, and I’ll introduce you to Sir Asley when he’s back!”
Platina raised its front legs high into the air, as if to psyche itself up.
Seeing the exchange between those two, Lina proceeded to look up at Baladd, who then said to her,
“Master Lina! I hate that guy!”
Lina was disheartened by the sight of Billy, changed beyond recognition.
It was exactly in times like this, however, that she would think about what she would do if she were in her mentor’s shoes.
“We have to stop him.
“–We can think about that after we’re done!”
Everyone steeled their resolve and stepped forward.
They were walking into hell — one that they had to get through, lest they never catch up to their mentor.
Such was what Lina and Fuyu thought.
“Gah… Hah… Hah……”
Gaston’s breathing had become dangerously rough.
Blood spurted from his left shoulder, and many puddles of blood stained the ground around him.
“Oh, Gaston… how stubborn can you be”
“I’m actually surprised myself… But all I need… is to hold out… until they all get away…”
Gaston, face cast down, promptly looked up upon detecting the presence of two people behind him.
Billy smirked, having noticed them as well.
“Why… are you still here…”
“Well, why are you still fighting, Sir Gaston~~”
“Hmph… I forgot… Must be reaching that age– Ngh–!”
“–! High Cure Adjust!”
Barun cast a recovery spell for Gaston, instantly erasing all the external wounds on his body.
The look on Gaston’s face suggested that he was not feeling any better, however — such was how severe his internal injuries were.
“I see, so the sheath of your knife is the ‘staff’… Still, being able to turn such a complicated spell into Swift Magic is… somewhat surprising, considering it’s you.”
Billy pointed at the sheath of Barun’s waist.
“I just happen to know someone who’s super deep into magic theory, you see…”
“Who are they”
“What, are you expecting me to just give you their name”
Seeing Barun narrow his eyes, Billy chuckled.
“That recovery spell you just cast… Why do you think I let you cast it”
“…I dunno, why”
“Because I knew that it would consume the last pint of your energy! Hehehehe…”
Suddenly, something happened to stop Billy’s laughter.
“Rise, A-rise, A-rise! Holy Virgin’s Boundary & Remote Control!”
The magecraft flew in from behind Gaston, restoring his internal wounds.
Gaston knelt on the ground and basked in the warmth of its aura.
[Lina… Why, why, why, why… oh, right, I shouldn’t even have to ask.
She’s the young man’s student, after all…]
[Oh-ho, that ancient of a magecraft is still used in this day and age Still, that craft… no, not the craft itself — but something more… fundamental about it gave me a sense of nostalgia… What is it And that rhythmic chant… why do I feel that I’ve heard it before]
“Hmph! Giving Magic!”
Hornel subsequently rushed over and set up a Spell Circle under Gaston’s feet.
“–Rise, A-rise! All Up & Remote Control!”
Fuyu’s physical enhancement spell helped reduce the pain and burden on Gaston’s body.
“Great… I’m surrounded by idiots…”
[There it is again.
That chant, and that enhancement magic spell.
Where have I seen it before And cast by whom Not my King, that’s for sure.
It was someone more kind-hearted and passionate…]
“Hahahahaha! Nothing you do will save this dying wreck of a man! HMPH!”
Billy threw a blast of arcane energy past Fuyu — at the Teleportation Spell Circle behind her.
“Now none of you can get away.
Even if you have enough energy left, I won’t let you cast it again.”
“They don’t need to run anymore.”
Gaston said, now on his feet again.
Fuyu stood to his left, as if to act as a replacement for his missing left arm.
Barun, Hornel, and Lina stood in front of him, so ass to defend him — while Baladd, Maïga, Ricky, and Platina were now behind Billy, ready to attack.
Despite being stared down by nine pairs of eyes, Billy laughed.
“Hehehehehe… You’re saying you can win, then”
“It’s not about winning or losing…”
Gaston opened his eyes wide.
“It’s about having the courage to keep standing here! That’s the greatest thing the young man — Asley — has achieved! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!”
Singing praises of the fool who was not even here, Gaston let out a hearty laugh.
A change occurred in Bathym, whose soul dwelled in the vessel that was Gaston.