Leaving Greyth and the others behind, Ardis sprinted down the path that led deeper into the building.
They arrived at a vast hall with various glittering decorations after dispersing the common troops who stood in their path. With no restraint or manners in mind, Sark used his arts to blow open the heavy door letting the five people step inside.
Four people were waiting for them, and three of them were familiar faces.
One of them was the woman general Jelia sitting cross legged on a chair. On her left front were Marty and his remaining mercenary friend that survived. On her right front was a person that stood straight up without moving, a young boy with a red gem embedded in his forehead.
With an expression mixed with mostly hatred and some joy, Ardis shot a killing gaze towards the three.
「Where have I seen that face before? 」
The first person that spoke had a round face and wore a chainmail around his buffed body while wielding a sword.
It was one of the targets that he had chased after, Marty.
Ardis muttered the name as if making a groaning sound, but Marty himself only looked confused.
「What. Marty, you don’t remember? He’s that little kid that charged at us when we were still on their side. 」
Finally remembering Ardis from his friend’s words, Marty showed a face of understanding.
「Ah, the kid from that time. 」
Marty who was ridiculed seemed to realize something and his expression changed.
「……Don’t tell me you’re the one that killed our comrades in Fort Macrogol? 」
「Come to think of it, he was quite close with that girl. 」
Marty spoke as though recalling the events, as opposed to Ardis, who just glared in return.
「So you’re telling me that this guy, he’s the culprit who broke that black haired girl? 」
As if he was finding something funny, Marty laughed as he pointed at Ardis.
「That’s not something you……! 」
Even if it was a decision, he made to end Luciel’s life, it was a scar that would never disappear from Ardis.
But there wasn’t anyone in Westeria that blamed Ardis for his actions.
However, even without anyone blaming him, Ardis above all things could not forgive himself.
Marty gouged that wound open without any mercy.
「Ahahkhaha! I see, what a shame, kid! The chains that bound that girl were specially infused with the general’s mana. So that’s why you couldn’t even make a dent on it and chose to kill her! 」
「You bastard dare――! 」
Ardis’s grip on his sword handle was so tight as if he intended to crush it.
「I see I see, this is a masterpiece. 」
Then, Marty who had a good mood made an indecent smile.
「Don’t make that face, buddy. That girl was resisting at first but――」
Without even trying to hide the intention of provocation, he blasted Ardis with his words.
「Even when her own baby was going to get killed in front of her eyes, she begged. 『Please, don’t kill her!』」
As if something was funny, he laughed with his mouth widely.
「What a joke, it’s not like she knew whose child that was! 」
Ardis’s vision narrowed.
As if his pupils could only reflect the figure of the most hated man in the whole world.
「Don’t say it that coldly when it might’ve been your own child. 」
The man beside Marty chimed in, but his figure didn’t even make it into Ardis’s vision.
However, the round-faced fiend at the end of his glare continued to provoke.
「Ah―? That’s true, but the chances might as well only be one percent! 」
Scattering a vulgar laughter, Ardis who already had blood in his eyes was provoked even further.
「She was still fine the second time, but as expected, when the third was killed in front of her eyes, her head went haywire. Didn’t you see it too if you were the one that killed her? 」
「You fuckkeeeeeer――! 」
Suddenly, Ardis heard a voice that didn’t fit the circumstances at all, frigid yet with an arrogant character that couldn’t be concealed.
「What? Is he someone you know? 」
The woman general, whom Ardis despised in the same manner as he despised Marty, talked as if she was interjecting in a casual conversation.
「He’s the kid that was with the for-use tool stationed in Fort Macrogol. 」
「Aah, that cheeky black haired girl? 」
The flames in Ardis’s heart further lit ablaze from how they talked.
「Right right. That girl that turned into a daruma after getting her limbs chopped off by the general. She’s broken now though. 」
「Come to think of it, there was something like that. But didn’t it last long? See, my choice to cut her limbs off were correct. 」
Hearing the conversation as if his loved one was treated like a disposable, Ardis’s rationality finally reached its ends.
「You――, assholessss! 」
Ardis lunged in a straight line without any thoughts towards Jelia.
「Woah, that won’t do. 」
However, the attack that packed nothing, but rage and power was easily blocked by Marty that stepped in between.
Even with Ardis pushing his sword from forgetting himself in rage, the opponents were mercenaries that had climbed onto their position just from their swordplay.
Unable to win the contest of strength, both of them had their swords locked together.
「This is vomit inducing. 」
「How disgusting can a person be. 」
Even Sark and Elion that had stayed behind Ardis until now showed intense hostility towards Jelia.
「Looks like there are no options to spare you. 」
Elion narrowed his eyes while expanding his mana.
Even when it covered the entire large hall, Jelia continued to look down on them without breaking a drop of sweat.
「Oh my, do you not understand your own situation? Did you think you can win against me with just five people? 」
As if she was ridiculing them, or feeling disappointed, Jelia said so with such an expression.
「Should I have reduced how many pets I sent out? I thought all of you were elites, so I expected at least ten of you to break through, but what a disappointment. Isn’t the effectiveness halved at this point? 」
「What are you saying? 」
Sark questioned Jelia’s words of unknown meaning.
「I’m saying this. 」
Reina’s cry was heard just as she answered, at the moment when Jelia, who was simply watching, snapped her fingers.
Ardis finally regained himself hearing the scream of his little sister figure, and after taking distance from Marty by jumping backwards, he was greeted by a scene that he never could have expected when he turned around.
What he saw there was Reina with an arm slightly cut, and Kyo who pointed his sword towards Reina.
「Kyo, what are you!? 」
Reina asked her little brother with a strong tone, but Kyo himself showed no response, and only held his sword towards Reina.
The unfocused eyes that Kyo had were an indication that Kyo was not in a normal state.
Again, Jelia snapped her fingers.
「Come to me, both of you. 」
Suddenly, Reina’s eyes lost focus too.
「Oi, Reina! 」
As if the Sark’s shaken voice was not heard, Kyo and Reina both dashed to Jelia’s side with no hesitation.
Beside Sark who muttered without understanding the situation, Elion looked at the young boy that stood without moving from the beginning.
「Don’t tell me……! 」
「My, you have good intuitions. 」
Jelia praised Elion who noticed something, albeit full of sarcasm.
「Sark, the forehead on that boy……」
Urged by Elion’s voice, they looked at the young boy that had not moved a single muscle.
A small gem embedded on that young boy’s forehead was glowing red as it reflected the candlelight lit on the walls.
「Don’t Reina and Kyo have something like that? 」
Reina and Kyo both had similar gems embedded in their forehead.
At the same time, they finally remembered that the two were also rescued from the research facility that Jelia controlled.
「So we were betrayed……」
Jelia couldn’t stop her laughing to take a breath, as Sark muttered it as if it were unexpected.
「Oh my. Already being treated as a betrayer, how pitiable. Even though they themselves don’t even know anything about it……」
She said so while having her cheeks on her hand as she showed an expression of melancholy.
「But, I guess even if they weren’t conscious of it, they essentially betrayed you? 」
「What do you mean? 」
Elion’s question was answered by Jelia with a full smile.
「It looks like you were careful with information leaks but……your efforts were useless. After all, I knew everything from these two children. 」
Including Ardis, all three of them became speechless.
「Thanks to you rescuing these children that just finished adjustments, it really saved me the troubles of having to investigate myself. Fuh……fufufuh, how humorous truly. 」
Jelia showed an expression as though there was no finer entertainment for her than this.
If what Jelia said was true, then of all things, Ardis and Luciel would’ve been the one that invited spies into Wisteria.
Learning that all their actions were leaked through Reina and Kyo without anyone from the mercenary band noticing, including him and Luciel, Ardis felt like they were dancing on top of Jelia’s palms again.
「By the way, since they were adjusted, even something like this is possible. 」
Snapping her fingers the third time, Kyo directed his sword towards Reina’s chest.
「W-Why!? No, Kyo! 」
Suddenly, Reina’s voice returned.
Unlike her empty eyes just now, they had proper focus in them now.
Not understanding the situation, Reina tried to call out to Kyo who was extending his sword towards her, but Kyo himself didn’t seem to have regained his sanity at all.
「Get out of there, Reina! 」
「I-I can’t move! My body won’t move, Al-nii! Why, how!? 」
Slowly, the sword that Kyo held moved.
「Fufufuh, I didn’t give you permission to move after all. 」
Jelia looked at the fearful Reina enjoyably.
Ardis tried to jump forward with his sword, but Marty blocked his path.
「Get lost! 」
「Looks interesting, so you’re staying here! 」
Sark and Elion started dashing similarly but were met with obstructions too.
Glancing a little, Ardis saw that Elion was stopped by Marty’s friend, and before Sark was the young boy that stood without moving at all until now.
「Stop it, Kyo! 」
While in a lock with Marty, Ardis yelled out to Kyo, but Kyo didn’t show any sort of reaction.
Only the sword in his hands slowly moved towards Reina’s heart.
「Fufuh, it’s not like yelling like that would do anything. 」
「No! Kyo, stop―― please! 」
Reina who couldn’t move desperately begged.
Ardis tried to shake off Marty somehow to head for help, but he was being obstructed by a first-rate swordsman with his full power. It wasn’t like he could do it easily.
While their hands were delayed, the tip of the blade reached Reina.
「Noo……save me, Al-nii! 」
The voice of someone seeking help.
Her black pupils overflowing with tears of fear intersected with Ardis’s.
The next moment, Kyo’s sword mercilessly sucked into Reina’s chest.
A wordless voice leaked from Reina’s mouth, and fresh blood followed immediately after.
As Ardis screamed out, Jelia snapped her fingers again.
While his sword still stabbed through Reina’s chest, Kyo regained himself.
「Ah……aaaAAaah! Nee-san! Why!? 」
Then, not able to understand why his own sword was stabbing into his sister, he fell into a terrible confusion.
Kyo continued screaming, as if not even realizing the fact that his entire body couldn’t move as he wished.
「Shit, get out of my way, Marty! 」
Losing his composure, Ardis swung his sword recklessly, trying to get Marty out of his way.
However, it wasn’t like his desperate attempts could do anything to improve the situation.
The only thing that can reach was his voice.
Ardis was terribly irritated by the fact that he couldn’t reach out another way.
「N-No……! It’s…… it’s not me! It’s not mee! 」
Perhaps feeling that Ardis was blaming him, Kyo’s tears scattered as he tried to explain himself.
「Trust me, Al-nii! I would never stab Nee-san――」
「Good work, your role is over. 」
Amid saying that, Kyo was decapitated with a single sword.
In place of the continuation of his words, fresh blood fountained, and Kyo’s head fell onto the ground slowly.
T/N: This was so fcked up that tl-ing took some serious energy