Chapter 57 Part 1. Princess Natasha
“What the f**k?”
Suddenly, a long sword dropped from the sky. Casca tilted her head.
Izuru and Keith, on the other hand, were relieved to see the arrival of a sword with a design that was impossible to be mistaken for anything else.
“Haha……you’re late, dammit…..!”
He wiped the blood spilling from the corner of his mouth with his hand and stood up, using the long handle of his shattered battle axe as support.
A fierce smile appeared on his face. In the blink of an eye, his high spirits that had almost faded regained their strength.
“Our leader has arrived. Your bullshit is about to end……!”
“Oh, that’s a good one. All right, all right. Now that I’ve relaxed my neck a bit, I’ll play with him.”
Casca then stretched her head around and smiled devilishly.
The fact that she was more powerful than the brawny Keith was shown by the fighting ability she had displayed.
–The fear that had been there earlier was gone, Izuru felt like she’d awakened from a bad dream.
Zack, the leader of the Fafnir mercenaries, and his second in command, Keith, the cut-throat warrior.
Together they were more than a match for the Wicker Man, the infamous bounty hunter whom many feared, and with her present they could even beat Casca.
Even if one person can’t do it alone, together they can overcome the strongest of opponents.
With lightning crackling at her fingers and her will to fight, Izuru looked at Casca in front of her.
A moment later – a figure jumped down from the roof of a nearby abandoned building.
With the moon at their back, they landed on the pommel of the sword, which was sticking out of the ground, with the grace of an acrobat.
By doing so, the attention of the three people was drawn to the figure that loudly shouted out.
“Ilze-san to the rescue!”
No one knew whether it was Keith or Izuru who uttered such a sound in a stunned voice.
They were both confused by the arrival of someone very different from the person they had expected to see.
“You thought I was the cool leader, didn’t you? Too bad, it’s the adorable Ilze!”
Ilze pointed her finger at them and laughed at her successful prank.
Casca then kicked her in the back and knocked her off the sword.
“What the fuck are you doing?”
“Maffu~ Oi!?” (1)
Ilze spectacularly landed on her face, and had chicks fluttering above her head.
After several seconds, she regained consciousness and bounced back to her feet.(2)
“Ai tata(3)…… that hurt. You’re awful, Casca-san ! Ilze-san was just waiting for the right moment to make her cool entrance!”
Ilze pretended to break down in tears.
Instead of tears, she wiped away the dust with her handkerchief and nodded to herself somberly.
“To think, I jumped from that height in a miniskirt! On top of that, I’ve just realised that I’m not actually wearing any panties today!”
“I ain’t wearing any, either. It’s a pain in the ass.”
“Ra ra ra ran~. Ra ra ra ran~. Ra Rira Rira rin~(4). The No Panties League, yeah!”
Needless to say, there is a fatal difference in protection between the slacks and miniskirts used by both of them as lower garments.
Ignoring all concerns, Ilze was innocently beaming at her fellow comrade.
Having completely gained control of the atmosphere, she twirled around and faced Izuru and Keith.
“Hey there! Members of the Siegfried Mercenaries!”(5)
“……Oh? Wait, aren’t these the Balmung Mercenaries?”(6)
“Mmm, was it? Well, it doesn’t matter either way!”
The two Fafnir mercenaries were in a daze, unable to keep up with the sudden change in atmosphere.
Ilze walked up to them.
“Well, well, now then, Ilze-san is bored and wants things to speed up! I was on the roof from the very beginning, so there is no need to explain the exchange between you two and Casca!”
Ilze smiled fearlessly – or so she thought – and tried to make a big impression.
The effect was not at all apparent due to her small size and cute appearance.
“Since I don’t want to be asked a lot of questions, I’ll just tell you the two things you’ll probably want to know the most!.”
“Kya~, Ilze-san, your belly is so thick.”
“Wait, who are you calling a fat loli –!”
It seemed that she was concerned about her stunted growth, despite her optimistic nature.
The fact that the nearby Mary, who is only twelve years old, was beginning to have the body of a woman was probably a big factor.
“That’s what you want to know, isn’t it? One is ‘who is Ilze and the others’ and the other is ‘why is only the Commander’s sword here’?”
At Ilze’s words, realisation hit Izuru.
She hadn’t been able to keep up with her thoughts, but Ilze was right.
She was not sure why Zack’s beloved sword was here.
The two pairs of eyes looked at each other and at Ilze, who pointed towards the lake.
“Hm……Let’s start from the beginning”
“…..Why don’t you just kill the guy and be done with it? I can’t wait to play with the girl.”
“Ma ma ma, We should tell a few things to them first. Besides, it will be fun to tell them, right?”
Ilze smiled happily at Casca, who scratched her head in annoyance.
She then took out a handful of things from her bag and threw them in front of Izuru and her friend.
“Seeing is believing. Here’s a gift.”
A round object fell in a curved manner, in front of them.
It rolled around in a cloud of dust, bumping lightly against Keith’s leg and stopped.
Keith and Izuru looked down at it blankly, and then felt their hearts freeze in shock.
A strained voice escapes from Izuru’s throat.
His hair was short-cut and dark brown.
His face was not particularly handsome, but it had the look of a man who had been through many battles.
A pale, bloodless complexion.
The eyelids were open, the light was gone, the pupils were fully dilated.
Zack’s head was lying at their feet.
“By the way, I threw the body into the stray dogs’ feeding ground. If people find him now, they’ll think he had been attacked and killed by dogs!”
A mercenary leader who was killed by wild dogs, that was just humiliating.
When Ilze said this, Casca burst out laughing.
“I was given the sword as a trophy. I won it!”
Ilse posed in a way that made a sound like a chime.(7)
Keith and Izuru could not even register what she was saying anymore.
They weren’t in a condition to listen to her at all.
“That’s right. I’m sure you two would like to know why Ilze and her friends did this!”
Izuru collapsed to the ground as if suffering from a fever.
Keith simply stood there, the pain in his fractured ribs forgotten.
The two were completely speechless.
But the next words from Ilze easily penetrated the fog they were in..
“It’s because you messed with Black Maria. Didn’t your mother or father teach you not to play with fire?”
Well, Ilze-san had killed her Pappy and Mummy herself!
The fun loving Ilze laughed happily.
The laughter was bright and cheerful, and out of place.
Tears, hot as blood, trickle down from Izuru’s eyes.
She was unable to even scream, let alone think properly.
Keith looked down at the girl as he stood there. Then, as if he had made up his mind, he glared at Casca and Ilze and said.
He couldn’t win.
For the first time in his life, Keith truly believed that.
Zack was his childhood friend, and he was proud of his skills.
He had believed that he and Zack together were capable of defeating any monster that came their way.
–Zack had been murdered.
The head was brought to them by a young child who looked no more than 12 years old.
He wanted to believe that it was just a nightmare.
“I’ll buy you time.”
But the pain of the fracture in his side told Keith that this was definitely real.
He had to admit that the exchange he had just had with Casca, which could not even be called a battle, was also a real one.
The two figures in front of them were far superior to them. They were real monsters, surpassing even the Wicker Man.
They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
They underestimated the fact that it was only an unknown organization, which meant not knowing anything about their capabilities.
Their previous achievements had made them complacent, they had come in ill-prepared.
“Black Maria…..Heh. People say that the fish that escapes is a big one, but mistaking a big fish for a small one, swimming deep in the sea, is no laughing matter.”
“Who the fuck are you calling a fish? Then you’re an octopus, you fucking baldie!”
“Casca-san Casca-san, Ilze-san believes that’s not what that bald man was trying to say!”
In response to the self-mocking words, the other side responded with an angry voice. It proved that the other side didn’t take them seriously.
One hand was more than enough, he supposed that’s how they see it.
Instead of frustration, Keith’s first emotion was relief.
He thought that now that his opponents were off guard, he would be able to help Izuru escape.
“I’m going in. So get out of here while you can.”
He whispered to Izuru who was behind him.
Keith made a desperate decision, he will use himself as a shield to buy her time.
“…….Don’t be ridiculous.”
After a few moments, the response was a firm refusal.
With her eyes red from crying, she stood up, and wiped the tears from her face.
It was obvious what would happen to the rest of him if she did what Keith said.
There was no way she could obey him.
“Listen to me, you idiot! You know we can’t do anything about this! Meet up with Roa and the others and get the hell out of this city. Go to the guild’s headquarters and ask for backup!”
“I can’t just leave you here like that! Besides, I’m the one who got this job! I’m responsible for Zack’s death, and you’re the one who should be running!”
“We all agreed to do it! I would never use a woman as a shield to turn tail! If I did that, I’d be a laughing stock for the rest of my life!”
They shouted at each other, with their eyes fixed on their opponents.
In the meantime, both Casca and Ilze were watching, or rather observing, as if they did not intend to take any action.
Friendship crises are amusing to watch.
In the middle of it all, a scowling Keith clutched his side.
The shouting must have caused his broken ribs to ache.
“…… I’m injured, I can’t run properly, so it’s only natural that I let you go. You should listen to me for a change.”
“No! I know we can’t win, but I won’t run away unless we’re together!”
Despite the bold tone of her voice, it sounded as if she was about to cry again.
Although he didn’t have time to look at her face, he could easily imagine her trying to hold back her tears.
Izuru isn’t the kind of person who will listen and do as she’s told.
There’ s no time for a long argument at the moment.
Eventually, Keith lost his patience and gave a little click.
“Tsk…..you must have some kind of a plan if you’re going to say that……!”
A very short reply.
Behind him there was a flash of lightning.
“Step forward as soon as the chanting starts. I’ll use my other hand.”
“Hey. Aren’t you going to finish your argument?”
Casca asked with a sigh, looking tired of waiting.
She had been completely distracted by Ilze’s intervention earlier.
In contrast, Keith and Izuru look at Casca and the other person with a determined look in their eyes.
They were mercenaries with several years of experience. They seemed to have come to terms with the fact that their leader had been killed.
“Mo~, they’re back! Ilze wanted to see a bit more crying and screaming! I wanted to have a good look at her face when she was screaming at the top of her lungs!”
“Don’t know about that but I like it when they resist desperately. It makes the game a little more exciting…..You stay out of this, because she’s my plaything.”
Casca smiled viciously at the sight of the two figures, who had not lost their will to fight.
She then pulled out Zack’s sword, which was stuck in front of her, and threw it towards Keith.
“Use it. It’s better than a stick.”
“Ah! That’s Ilze-san’s! I was going to use it later to play Tsujigiri and blame someone else for the murder!” (8)
Ilze thrashed around on the ground, whining to get it back.
But then she realised she wasn’t wearing any panties and stood up quickly, pressing her skirt down.
“…., you guys have got a lot of time on your hands. But I’ll take this one back, thank you very much.”
“That belongs to Ilze-san–!”
“Oh-oh, no problem. That’s good, because now you’ve got a few more seconds to live. You can thank me for my kindness.”
“Don’t ignore me!”
It was an arrogant thing to say. Keith, who had a quick temper, would have been furious under normal circumstances.
But this time, Casca’s arrogance seemed to be the key to his success.
“Lend me your strength…..Zack……!”
He picked up his best friend’s sword and held it up.
Keith preferred to use large two-handed weapons, such as battle axes, for combat purposes. But his martial arts skills were mostly self taught. He had used swords to a certain extent in his early days. There was nothing to worry about.
[Cry, Raven of the Sky]
Just in time, a voice began to chant from behind him.
At the same time, Keith roared and charged forward.
Just then – Zack’s head, which had been resting at his feet, was kicked towards Casca.
Casca swatted it away with the back of her right hand as it flew towards her, sending it flying out of her sight.
Immediately afterwards, Keith closed the gap in a single leap and swung his sword down.
However, she easily caught it between the index and middle fingers of her left hand.
The momentum came to a complete halt. Keith had put all his strength into it, but the sword could not push any further.
The strength of their muscles was too far apart.
“Hahahaha! Hey, that’s a funny one! That ball was your friend, huh?”
“Damn it……we can’t take any chances with you……!”
Whatever they can use, they will. Even if it is the corpse of a friend.
If he hadn’t done this, the blow would have been easily avoided or countered before it reached her, this time breaking every bone in his body.
That’s not going to stop them.
[Rashala Kamra Iste–]
It was a bitter pill to swallow.
But the price was worth it.
A buzzing, violent spark was heard from behind Keith.
Casca had been caught completely off guard and Ilze was brushing her suit, which was covered in dirt from the fall.
It was only then that they noticed the intense yellow spark.
“…… Huh? What the hell! what are you doing now?”
“You were too careless! It’s our best shot, you can’t take it and remain unharmed!”
The lightning, which had been converging in Izuru’s hand, formed a sphere and she held it above her head
After a short pause, it began to glow with an intense light.
“Ah――yaba, cho, ma ――”
Ilze seemed to have realized the sphere’s identity. Her eyes widened in panic, and she stumbled back, letting out an incoherent cry.
Keith released the sword from his grasp and jumped away.
With a flash of bright light, the sphere of yellow magic unleashed all the energy it contained.
Casca looked up at the dazzling lights, as an arrow of up to 5 gigajoules struck at a speed that left no sound in its wake.
(1), (3) and (4) are sounds which cannot be translated to english so i used them as they are.
(2) The chicks flying is an effect you can find in cartoons and anime lol.
(5) and (6)- They mistook their name for Siegfried and Balmung. And their proper name is Fafnir. All three are related. Siegfried was a hero who wielded a powerful sword called Balmung and was famous for slaying a dragon called Fafnir. For more info, you can google about him.
(7) another anime effect. Sparkle.
(8) Tsujigiri definition from wikipedia : Tsujigiri is a Japanese term for a practice when a samurai, after receiving a new katana or developing a new fighting style or weapon, tests its effectiveness by attacking a human opponent, usually a random defenseless passer-by, in many cases during nighttime.
This chapter was a nightmare to tl. Had to ask another tl for help for certain dialogues. Ilze’s dialogues, while fun, kill me.