Looking down at the Imperial soldiers that stopped moving because of her own lightning bolts, Riana fought against the trembling that originated from the core of her body.
Until now, there were many beasts and demonic beings she had taken down to get food or protect herself.
It was not the first time she fought a person either.
She recalled using some clumsy attacks on the inquisition soldiers that marched into the Corsas Forest.
However, this was the first time that she took someone’s life.
The clearly charred and unmoving corpse she saw with her magically enhanced eyesight was stabbing at her.
The discomfort and nauseous feeling ran through her whole body, as frowns started forming on her forehead.
Fillia asked with a voice of confusion towards Riana who suddenly changed from restraining soldiers into unleashing a deadly attack that robbed one of the soldiers’ life.
Being directed the expression of surprise and worry, Riana made her resolve in her heart.
「Have you made your resolve yet, Fillia? 」
Riana herself was surprised by the tone of her voice that was much colder than she thought was possible.
「I already made mine. Even if it meant getting these hands bloody, I will walk the same path beside Ardis. 」
Fillia’s words were stuck seeing Riana’s will.
「We were saved by Ardis’s whim, and allowed to live from his generosity. We were even given a peaceful place to spend our entire lives with his kindness. Without saying, being born as twins, there’s no greater fortune than what we’ve experienced. 」
「Of course, I know that already. 」
「Right. And Ardis probably thinks that it is enough that way. I’m sure Ardis wants us to live in peace in that village. After all, he would finally be released from his shackles that is us. 」
That was something they felt very happy about.
But at the same time, it was also very sad.
「Ardis will definitely leave us behind. After all, there’s no reason for him to be looking after us after knowing we can protect ourselves. 」
For Ardis, that’s probably what he hoped for.
However, at the very least, it was a future far from Riana’s ideal.
That’s why, Riana asked a question where she clearly already knew the answer.
「Fillia, are you fine with that? 」
「Something like that……」
Even without words, her expression told everything.
At Riana’s question, her expression of enduring something while biting her lips clearly indicated her denial.
「There’s no way it’s fine, right? Isn’t this the reason we came out from the village? Isn’t this why Nere taught us how to fight against people? 」
To protect them, Ardis had even made an enemy out of the Empire, church, and even Thoria.
Riana didn’t want to simply take lives, but if she can’t be resolved enough to even do that towards her enemies, then they will only be obstructing Ardis.
To be of help for him, at the very least, they must have the bare minimum resolve and power to kill their enemies.
That’s why, while in the hidden village cut off from the rest of the world, Riana learned and practiced fighting people from Nere.
She never did convey her ideas to Fillia, but she was sure that Fillia had the same thoughts.
「I knew it, Riana was thinking so too……」
With an expression as if she were confessing to a crime, Fillia stated the obvious.
「Of course. How long have we been together? Just this much, I know it as well as I know myself. 」
In the past, they both thought they were two people as one with each other.
Two existences where separation was unthinkable.
The other half of themselves.
Although they eventually acknowledged that the other person is not themselves after growing up, Riana has pride that she can understand Fillia better than any other person and the confidence that the same works in the other way.
「I want to continue standing beside Ardis. But if we can’t even stand on this battlefield, we won’t have the rights to even do that. At this rate, that girl called Minerva might just take our places. ……Is Fillia fine with that? 」
「Something like that…… no way. Definitely not. 」
As the name of the girl who had threatened their own places was mentioned, Fillia was obviously riled up.
Seeing her reaction, Riana was reassured.
She began speaking in a calm tone after making an expression towards Fillia that was closer to a bitter smile, as if she was reporting a failed prank.
「Say, the other half of myself. I love you very much. Almost as much as Ardis. That’s why, I’m giving you a chance. 」
Changing into a serious expression, Riana tried to pull Fillia to her side with her words.
「I won’t give my spot beside Ardis to anyone. That’s why, the only free spot is on his other side. If Fillia wishes to stand on that side, and doesn’t want to let it up either―――show your resolve here. 」
Even while the chaotic battle continued to happen below them, a cloud of silence overpowered the space between them.
Occasionally, magic arrows would hit the barrier they deployed below their feet and dissipate from the impact.
After a short period of silence, Fillia opened her mouth.
「…………Beside Ardis, is my spot. 」
Riana was happy at Fillia’s resolve-filled answer.
The reassurance as if having a hundred thousand allies flooded over as she felt a reaffirmation of how she is herself.
「In this battle, we will show our worth to be able to stand beside Ardis. Isn’t that right? 」
「Yes. Ardis probably won’t be happy with this, but if we can’t do this, I’m sure Ardis won’t take us to another battlefield after this. There’s a need for us to display our own strength, for Ardis to see us above anyone. 」
Fillia’s expression was void of hesitation.
Now that both their aims were made concrete, Riana had nothing to fear.
「Leave Ardis’s left side to me. Riana, his right side please. 」
Catching the figure of their beloved person running through a group of enemies, Riana once again casted the lightning arts towards his right side where the enemy soldiers were approaching.
Beside her, Fillia similarly used lightning on the Imperial soldiers.
With their understanding of magic and technique to manipulate mana, there was no need for a sluggish chanting process.
Because of that, it meant that there was no time constraint for their arts to manifest.
Six streaks at the same time, under the never-ending rain of lightning, Imperial soldiers who tried to crowd around Ardis continued to be struck to death.
Feeling pity for the soldiers who were dying without the ability to defend themselves, Riana’s words of apology were drowned out by the intense lightning flurry as her hands didn’t stop.