「Oi oi. What kind of demonic being is that? It’s still alive after losing its head? 」
Nicole had a strained smile.
「Well, who knows. There’s no knowing if it’s alive at all but――」
As if reacting to Ardis’s words, the demonic being’s tail swiped. An intense gale was produced by the tail ripping through the air.
「――At the very least, it’s still moving. 」
Ardis once again recognized it as a threat to be defeated. Controlling 『Springtime Mist』 and 『Moon’s Blizzard』, Ardis shot them towards the demonic being’s neck in a straight line.
There was some kind of liquid flowing from the stump at the demonic being’s severed neck. But it wasn’t what a creature normally spills ―― blood. It felt awfully similar to the tree sap that flows out when a tree is cut.
Facing against Ardis’s two flying sword, the demonic being that lost its head performed equally to when it still had its head.
But there was something decisively different. The demonic being’s bluish grey body had been a natural shield that deflects any half-assed attack but, the stump at its neck was different. Even if it had a hardened tough body, if its flesh is exposed, its defense does not matter anymore.
Ardis’s judgement was correct. The flying swords that couldn’t do anything before easily cut through the flesh. The demonic being which had lost its means to even cry could only writhe in pain.
「It’s your loss the moment your weakness is revealed. 」
Ardis who rushed forward merciless stabbed 『Skies of Myriad Colors』 into its neck.
The demonic being which was split from its neck to its torso collapsed on the ground as if looking like a dried fish. This time, the outcome was certain. Under such circumstances, the mercenaries were surprised for the third time.
「It can still move huh……」
Ardis was also confused. With its neck cut off, and its body is split into two halfway. If it was any normal creature, it would be doubtful that it even has any consciousness left.
「A troublesome one. 」
Albeit that, Ardis calmly swung his sword for another time. Splitting the torso further, severing the thick tail halfway, and slashed deep into its ankle. Every time Ardis danced with his sword, the demonic being would get more wounds, the demonic being would get a part of it sliced off.
But the demonic being still wouldn’t stop moving. Its feet were still firmly standing on the ground, even the shortened tail would still try and swipe at Ardis. It was almost like a marionette controlled with puppeteering.
「Could it be……」
Ardis’s gaze turned to the severed head on the ground. The demonic being’s head that had features of a human. The head is still in good condition other than the fact it’s severed.
「Is that the main body? 」
If the demonic being’s head is the main body, and the body that Ardis was fighting against was just a dummy, then the current situation would be plausible. It’s like the coachman of a carriage, it might be that the body is just an extension of the head that it can control.
To verify that, as he dodged the attacks from the demonic being, Ardis let the two swords towards the head. 『Springtime Mist』 and 『Moon’s Blizzard』 couldn’t penetrate the demonic being’s hard skin.
Ardis threw the swords out with intentions of hoping the head might react in some way but what happened was unexpected. The two swords that was expected to be deflected stabbed into the demonic being’s head easily.
With more confusion added on, Ardis used the two flying swords to dice the head. While dodging attacks from the torso of the demonic being, Ardis looked at the head.
Even when the head was receiving slashes from the two swords, it showed no reaction. It was just cut into more pieces one-sidedly. In other words, it’s not a situation that the torso would stop even if Ardis did something to the head.
「What should I do……」
For the first time after Ardis came here, there was impatient on his face.
(Burn it? No, some mediocre magic can’t do that)
The demonic being’s body didn’t show any signs of stopping even if its feet and tail are severed.
Not just that, there were even signs that the severed body parts would reattach themselves back and heal.
(It might work if I cast the best flames but, making the area around a barren land would be bad)
It would be bad to leave the fight go on longer. Even if it’s Ardis, fatigue would pile up and his limit would come eventually.
No choice. Lure it away to some other place and burn it full power should do it――. The moment when Ardis decided to do so, one sword that was hanging on his waist let out a high-pitched sound before its cocoon cracked.
It was the crimson sword that Ardis retrieved from the ruins deep in Corsas Forest with Kyrill. It was the culprit that caused Ardis to come to Reiten as well.
Unusually, Ardis’s eyes widened with surprise. It was because the cocoon that was made of Nere’s hair had unveiled itself at the edge of Ardis’s sight.
The cocoon surrounding the crimson sword shattered and flew in all directions, and inside revealed the pretty decorations covered by the sheath.
Ardis took some distance from the demonic being before stopping. The sword still had the same design and color from when he found it in the ruins. Although nothing seemed to change, the unpleasant feeling radiating from it before was totally gone.
(But now is not the time for that――)
Ardis judged that dealing with the demonic being ahead must be prioritized, as he returned his gaze forward, the sword drew itself out of its sheath.
It wasn’t Ardis who drew it. The sword came out of the sheath by itself.
The blade was crimson. Although it was crimson, it was incomparably different from the color he saw before. It was not like the ominous crimson which resembled clotted blood before, it looked more like a noble symbol of life now. The sword aimed at the sky and floated to about two meters above the ground in front of Ardis slowly.
The next moment, Ardis immediately took a stance. The handle of the floating sword was grasped by someone’s hand.
As his gaze lowered back down in surprise, there was a young woman there. And looking at her face, Ardis was shocked once again.
The silky long hair that flowed down her back. Her sharp eyes and her face which gave off a graceful impression. It was the splitting image of Nere which should have been staying in the forest of Nagras Kingdom.
「Why is Nere here……! ……Wait, ……it couldn’t be Nere? 」
Ardis immediately had his doubts.
The woman had a splitting image of the Nere that Ardis knows. However, there was a few points that was evidently different.
Her hair is dark red, and her pupils is flaming red, and the black robe that was on her too, they were all suggesting that she isn’t the Nere that Ardis knew. On top of all, the woman was smiling at Ardis.
Nere doesn’t show emotions normally. It isn’t like Nere doesn’t smile at all but, Nere’s smile always seemed modest and gave off an impression that she is suppressing her emotions to not be shown. However, the woman here had a smile that was similar to the warm and bright smile of a child.
Although they look the same, she’s a different person. It wasn’t according to Ardis’s logical thinking but rather his instincts.
「You……, who? 」
Replying Ardis with a silent smile, the woman who looked just like Nere flew up gracefully like a feather fluttering in the winds. With her dark red hair fluttering, the woman flew over Ardis’s head.
Ardis reached out to her foot in an attempt to grasp her, but his eyes widened again when his hand passed through her.
「An illusion……? 」
Completely forgotten the fact that he’s facing against a demonic being, Ardis turned around. The woman rode on the winds gracefully, and landed at the place where the head of the demonic being was on the ground.
That is when Ardis finally noticed that the woman’s body is kind of translucent. The walls of Reiten was visible through the woman.
The woman faced the demonic being’s head, before crouching down slowly and stretching her hands. And as if embracing it, she stabbed the demonic being with the sword. It was like a scene out of a fairy tale.
「O-Oi! Look! The demonic being! 」
A mercenary from somewhere raised his voice. Looking back as he was prompted, the demonic being’s body which didn’t stop moving even though it was cut countless times collapsed to the ground slowly.
Along with a dull sound, the demonic being fell and shook the ground. And just like that, it never moved again.
(Did that woman do that!?)
Ardis who hurriedly turned back around met eyes with the woman who was standing with the sword. The woman smiled once again to Ardis, but this time it seemed to have a little sadness in it.
Wanting to say something, but didn’t know what to say, Ardis was speechless. And looking away from such Ardis, the woman turned around and started flying upwards. The woman who gracefully flew disappeared into Reiten while the mercenaries were still occupied with the demonic being’s defeat.