“Damn it! Am I surrounded?”
After Schwert returned to the deck of the luxury liner, I dropped off Hertrude and Anjie.
After checking how many shotgun shells I had, there were only a few left.
Looking around, the monsters remained where they were and didn’t move. However, the principality’s warships surrounded me.
It wasn’t just north, west, east, and south.
There were also enemy warships above and below.
Chris had returned to the airship, opened the chest of his armor, and showed up.
“Baltfault, what do we do now?!”
I hadn’t thought about it. Well, I thought that we would have been able to return to the kingdom, but it seemed that they wouldn’t let us free.
Looking around, both the students and sailors were exhausted.
They held out quite well, but their opponents still had strength to spare.
Our fighting power had diminished after just fighting the monsters.
“Negotiating would be the easiest option.”
I glanced at my pocket watch and saw Olivia’s figure reflected onto it.
She was completely drained and sitting down, but seemed safe and without injuries.
However, she had pushed herself excessively. For the time being, it would tough for her to move.
Anjie’s followers rushed over to her, seeming completely helpless.
Chris’ armor was battered, and to make matters worse, his sword was broken.
He fought while in that state? What was with him? I had underestimated him a bit.
“Well then, what will happen next?”
As I said that, a command was given to the principality’s fleet through a megaphone.
“The princess has sacrificed her life for the principality! All warships, commence an all-out attack!”
It was Garrett’s voice.
Chris’ expression turned sour.
“She’s still alive. Are they really going to act like the princess of their own country is dead?!”
Hertrude made a slight smile and stood up.
“──You know nothing. The principality won’t cease with just this much. I have a replacement. I am merely responsible for the vanguard unit.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“Vanguard unit? We didn’t clear the final boss?”
Thereupon, Hertrude took the opportunity to recite an incantation.
As I pointed the muzzle at her, she smiled. When she finished the incantation──the monsters all moved in unison.
“What did you do?!”
When I asked Hertrude, she answered bluntly.
“You didn’t have enough resolve. You should have shot out me right away. You wonder what I just did? I released the monsters from my control. The monsters who had once been controlled will now go after the one who had been manipulating them. They’ll soon gather to this ship.”
As I looked around, the monsters completely gathered together, as if drawn to us.
The principality’s warship also began moving, aiming at our ship.
Anjie grabbed Hertrude by the collar.
“Why──why go so far?!”
“I’ve said it already. It’s for the sake of having the kingdom fall.”
Looking at Olivia, it seemed that she couldn’t protect the luxury liner with magic anymore. She couldn’t push herself any further.
I got onto the air bike and spoke to Luxon.
“In any case, we need to buy some time, let’s go!”
[Not an issue for me. I’ll be with you through thick and thin.]
Once the air bike floated in the sky, I pointed the muzzle at the gathering monsters and pulled the trigger.
The monsters were blown away from the magic and turned into smoke, but new monsters emerged within that smoke.
──This was the worst.
When Leon flew off, Anjie reached her hand out.
Chris, having received new armaments, flew up and killed the surrounding enemies.
When the red orb charm fastened to her right wrist glowed faintly, flames erupted around Anjie. As soon as the flames rose, they gathered and took the form of six spears.
Anjie knew about this magic.
“Fire Lance. How did──”
She was surprised that she invoked a magic spell that she couldn’t use up until now. While thankful, she hurled the spears towards the enemies gathering around Leon.
“I will──blow away Leon’s opponents!”
The spears plunged through the herds of monsters, piercing them, burning them, and creating large explosions.
Many of the monster had vanished, but even so, there were still many enemies.
One by one, units of armor from the opponent took off from their airships, heading towards the luxury liner.
When Anjie was about to use the same magic in a hurry, she saw Livia collapse.
Panicking at how Livia was about to be eaten by monsters in such a state, she fired magic to help her.
After hitting the monsters with fireballs, burning them until there was nothing left, Anjie rushed over and held Livia in her arms.
“What are you doing, get up, quickly!”
Livia’s breathing was rough.
Furthermore, her legs were staggering.
“Don’t tell me that you’ve exhausted your magic──”
Having overconsumed her magic, Livia was pale and couldn’t walk. She would recover after a while, but sitting in her current spot was too dangerous.
When Anjie carried her and was about to flee towards the ship’s interior, Livia spoke.
“I wanted to be helpful. I kept dragging you and Leon down──and I hated that, so I did my best. I wanted to go further, but my body won’t do what it tell it do.”
Livia was shedding tears in frustration, but Anjie smiled.
“You idiot! Your best was plenty. Besides, helping you out isn’t a bother. You──You’re my dear friend.”
The words Anjie squeezed in embarrassment surprised Livia, causing tears to travel down her face.
Immediately, Anjie saw warships of the principality approaching before her.
“──Are they charging?”
A warship of the principality charged towards the luxury liner’s large hull. It struck the side, causing it to greatly incline.
As the two were about to lose their balance, a monster approached while opening its big mouth.
As Anjie pushed Livia out of the way from the monster, she directed her right hand towards it and burned it using magic.
The monster was wrapped in flames and vanished, but the ship further inclined and swayed, causing Anjie to lose her footing and fall.
As Livia called out to her, Anjie clutched onto the handrail of the deck.
Her body had been thrown off of the ship, and she could see the sea beneath her.
She was high up, and there was no saving her if she fell. Furthermore, there were monsters flying around her. There was the potential for her to get eaten if she fell.
Some of the students saw Anjie grabbing onto the railing, but were too preoccupied with their own matters and couldn’t help her.
Unfortunately, the handrail Anjie grabbed was breaking and crumbling.
“If I had just said it a little sooner──”
Flashing before her eyes were the faces of her family, Livia, and Julian too, but finally, Leon’s figure image to mind. While thinking about his grinning face, Anjie smiled.
“Get along with Livia, you idiot.”
Time was running out and her hand was about to separate from the rail.
With a do-or-die spirit, Livia attempted to approach and help her.
Anjie shouted at Livia.
“Don’t come over here!”
Livia responded immediately and jumped over the broken platform, rushing towards Anjie. Livia, pushing her body despite her strength not yet recovering, breathed erratically while grabbing onto to Anjie’s arm and lifting her up.
Anjie mustered her strength and climbed up.
In the end, she didn’t fall, but Anjie got angry at Livia. She couldn’t help but get mad.
“You fool! You could have fallen off too!”
Livia lifted her head. She spoke while shedding tears.
“Didn’t you say we were friends?!”
Anjie casted her eyes downward while embarrassed.
“Fool. That’s why I──”
“I, I’m fine with being a fool. If it means being friends with you──”
However, the luxury liner shook violently once more, and this time Livia was driven off the ship. Anjie reached her arm out, but couldn’t reach Livia.
Seeing Anjie’s grieving face, Livia smiled. As she descended, Anjie was about to burst into tears.
A gray air bike then dove straight towards the surface of the sea.
I readied my shotgun.
I prepared to aim at the monsters that tried to eat Olivia as she plummeted. Seeing me, Olivia closed her eyes and put her hands together in front of her chest, as if praying.
Her affectionate face told me that she placed her faith in me──and it irritated me that I had no choice but to meet her expectations. I couldn’t make any mistakes.
Surrounding monsters were blown away as I pulled the trigger, and I put away the shotgun.
I let go of the handles and let Luxon steer.
“I’ll be relying on you.”
[I will adjust our relative velocity. Please take caution.]
I caught Livia in my arms.
It looked as if I was performing a princess carry.
[We will be landing on the sea surface. Prepare for impact.]
“This is getting really hectic!”
I tightly held Olivia close, bracing for the impact as the bottom of the air bike struck the surface of the sea.
As we travelled along the sea surface, sprays of water splashed behind us. The air bike gradually increased altitude.
Olivia clung onto me while weeping.
While embracing her, I lightly patted her head to comfort her.
“It’s all right now. I’ll get you back up there, so don’t worry, Olivia.”
She asserted that I call her by her nickname. She seemed to have a stronger will than before, as if she was angry in some way.
“It’s Livia! Why can’t you call me Livia?! Did you start to hate me? Why──are you calling me Olivia?”
Luxon was silent.
It was currently piloting Schwert and gradually raising its altitude, but it would have been nice for it to help me out. I wasn’t good at dealing with these kinds of situations.
“──I’m no good for you. You should be with a more decent man.”
“What are you saying?! What does this have to do with other guys?!”
“I’m no good! There are other guys out there with pretty faces, wealth, and other things, right? You’re better off with a suitable man rather than with me!”
She would normally become muddled at such a situation like this, but now she was being defiant and stubborn.
Her partners were the capture target boys.
They were all useless people, but it was fine as long as Olivia would be happy.
Those five were better than me.
“Someone like Julian!”
“I don’t want to be with the one who abandoned Anjie!”
“Well then, look! There’s Jilk!”
“Isn’t he black-hearted?!”
“An attention seeker!”
It seemed she had perceived their characteristics quite well. That was a bit amusing.
“It can’t be anyone else! I──I want to be with you, Leon! I want Anjie and us to have fun together like before!”
H, however, at this rate, I wouldn’t be beneficial for Olivia.
“N, nothing fruitful will happen if you’re with me! What good do you even see in me?!”
“I want to be with you. Leon, you’re kind, strong──no wait, that’s not why. I like you a lot, Leon! That’s all! I like you!”
I hung my head.
Up until now, the only other person who openly said that they liked me was my own mother.
I didn’t think I would hear that in this world.
Luxon spoke to me.
[Master, we’re arriving at the airship.]
I put the shotgun into my hand. I loaded it with bullets, and then I spoke in a quiet voice towards Olivia──err, Livia while embarrassed for some unknown reason.
“Hold tight onto my back──L, Livia.”
When I said her nickname back then, I was nonchalant about it.
I didn’t think much of it before, but now I was very conscious about it for some reason.
Livia smiled, went around to behind me, and embraced me. What to do? Wouldn’t anybody get nervous having someone’s chest pressed against them?
I couldn’t sense the feeling of her chest since the clothing I wore was so thick, though!
Perhaps sensing what was going on from my facial expression, Luxon spoke in a relatively bright voice.
[Master, your pilot suit has been specially made.]
“So you’re that kind of person!”
As I shouted while readying the shotgun, I blew away the monsters that appeared in front of the air bike.
The luxury liner was inclining from the attacks led by the principality’s warships.
It seemed that they were completely helpless since the principality’s warships and the monsters gathered around them.
Running out of shotgun shells to fire, I was forced to return to the luxury liner and sneak Schwert onto the deck.
[Schwert, thank you for your hard work. I will definitely do some maintenance on you afterwards.]
I placed the shotgun inside Schwert and took Livia along as I got off.
Anjie ran up.
She and Livia then embraced each other.
“You fool. Fool! You had me worrying.”
It was precious seeing the girls cry while hugging each other. Who was it that said a friendship between girls would be short-lived? This was lovely.
Mayhem ensued within the battlefield.
Due to the principality’s warships, we were indeed in danger, even if there weren’t any cannonballs being launched.
At this rate, the luxury liner would sink.
Luckily, there haven’t been any casualties, but it was only a matter of time if things continued on like this.
“Luxon. How much longer?”
[As calculated──it has just arrived.]
Once I heard that, I took out my pocket watch and checked the time.
Right on time──perfect.
In the far distance, I could make out the figure of Partner.
While Anjie was hugging Livia, she could see Partner approach.
“Could it be that you called it over? Being able to send information to it at such a distance──”
I smiled in response to Anjie.
“It was standing by somewhere close. I’m a worrywart, after all. Luxon──”
[I’ve already done it.]
Before I could finish speaking, Luxon stated that preparations were ready.
It was time to leave the chatting aside.
The military formation of the principality’s troops was destroyed once the new airship, Partner, entered the battlefield.