TNG Vol. 15 Chapter 3 Part 3

The following day, a messenger from the Luderia clan visited the residence where Shin’s group was staying.

“You wish to know what happened in detail?”

“Yes. We have heard Lady Lymliss’ report, but she is not very well versed in combat, thus we would like to hear more details from you.”

The sudden appearance of a dungeon and demon attack. Lymliss did not panic, but she was a beginner in terms of fighting. We were going to start the purification but a dungeon appeared, we were attacked, we fought, Shin and Schnee arrived and saved us. Lymliss’ account had apparently been very general.

The fact that the holy area was being transformed into a dungeon was a very serious event. Not being satisfied with such a report was very understandable. Other than Lymliss, the only person who knew what happened in detail was Tiera.

Shin and Schnee could tell what happened after their arrival, but it was more natural to ask Tiera, as she had been present since the beginning. Unlike Lymliss, she was versed in combat, so she was more likely to give a less confused account, excluding Crissot’s appearance.

“My master and her companion actually defeated the demon, so I will comply only if they are present as well. I am sure that more information can only be helpful.”

“Naturally, we would be thankful if they participate too.”

The messenger readily accepted Tiera’s polite request. Maybe because they were not in the clan head’s faction, the request was easily granted. The messenger had to have a certain degree of authority.

Tiera had already decided to be with Shin and the others; if they were not allowed to participate, she would refuse, so they were glad that there was no need for negotiation.

“Okay then, what are they going to do to us?”

“I wonder. The dungeon transformation might be unrelated to the clan head’s plans…but if it is, they will surely know what happened. They might show that they are handling the situation very seriously.”

Schnee mentioned a possible meaning behind the inquiry. If they had already compiled information, there had to be another motive behind it.

It was also possible that they wanted to pin the blame on Shin’s group to restrain them and maybe to give them the same treatment as the warriors who radically changed personality.

“We should prepare ourselves as much as we can. We can’t bring Lina with us either, so I’ll ask Shibaid to look after her during this time.”

“I’m sorry to be a burden…”

“No, you’re not a frontliner, so don’t worry about it.”

Shin brightly encouraged the dejected Lina. After all she would help with the purification. On the other hand, there was not much Shin could do to help the World Tree.

The group made the necessary preparations and headed to the Luderia residence at the appointed time.

“And we’re here, waiting.”

“They told us to come at this time, why aren’t they ready yet?”

They arrived at the appointed time, but were told to stand by in a sort of waiting room, as the clan head was not yet ready.

They were served tea and biscuits, because of Tiera and Schnee’s presence, but they didn’t touch them. Shin expected to be asked to relinquish his weapons, but thanks to his position as Schnee’s companion, he was let through without any particular condition.

“Anyway, this is really bad…even I can feel it.”

The atmosphere was something similar, yet different, to both impurity and miasma. A sort of noxious atmosphere filled the whole residence. Shin was not as sensitive as Tiera or Schnee, but it was thick enough that he could tell.

“I am sure that there are people who would turn strange simply by living here. Though the person who let us in didn’t seem to notice anything…”

Schnee pensively voiced her thoughts. The expressions of the elves they saw in the residence were all fairly normal.

“I can feel negative aura leaking from everywhere…it’s sickening. Why doesn’t anyone notice it? It wasn’t like this last time I came either.”

Tiera spoke while rubbing her arms. She was very sensitive to negative auras and such, so she looked more affected than Shin and Schnee. Next to her, Kagerou looked worried.

After about an hour of waiting, they were finally told that preparations were done.

“Let’s see what they have in store for us…”

They followed the elf attendant through the residence, making sure to map it as they went. There were many similar corridors, twists and turns, like a maze. Also, because of the attendant’s leisurely pace, it took them about 10 minutes to reach the clan head’s quarters.

The room was structured like many others, making it very difficult to differentiate from other rooms they had passed. Shin thought that the residence seemed to be made to hinder and repel enemy attacks.

“Enter.”

A male voice was heard from inside the room. The attendant then opened the door.

Inside there was an elevated seat, surrounded on all four sides by thin curtains, and several elves sitting on the right and left sides of the room. Shin noticed Ordoss and the elf warrior who had arrived after him and guessed that the elves present where warrior chiefs and other elves close in rank.

There was a silhouette behind the curtains: likely due to a special enchantment they had,  【Analyze】 was unusable. It wasn’t completely unusable, however: albeit disrupted, some information was still displayed.

“Lady Tiera, sit in front of the head. Lady Raizar and companion, behind her.”

The instructions came from Ordoss. Their seats were already decided and denoted by cushions. 

There didn’t seem to be any traps. After Tiera and the others sat down, the elf sitting next to the elevated seat asked her a question. He was tasked with speaking for the clan head, who, apparently, would not talk with them directly.

Covering a relatively wide range of topics, the questions were first about the World Tree, then the demons and monsters that appeared in the dungeon, and finally the impurity.

Shin and Schnee answered for Tiera when she didn’t know, such as the types of monsters in the dungeon and how powerful they were. Tierra had been attacked by the demon before she encountered any monsters, so she couldn’t answer even if she wanted to.

During the process Tiera asked some questions herself, but was always answered that the Lulac and Luderia would deal with the situation, so she could not obtain any information. She had been summoned just to provide information: the Luderia had no intention to have an information exchange.

While Tiera was answering questions, Shin examined the clan head for a while. The information displayed by 【Analyze】 was gradually increasing. Perhaps because Shin was the user, or something was lending him strength, he would soon be able to tell the clan head’s name and level.

He had to keep the target within his field of view to maintain the skill, so Shin glanced at the right and left sides of the room, without moving his head.

Many of the elves on the right side looked at Tiera with disrespect, while the ones on the left glared at them with anger and spite.

The elves on the left were probably still sane, while the ones on the right were the ones who had radically changed. Ordoss was also on the left. Shin also noticed another familiar face: Anaheit, the elf standing guard at the gates of Lanapacea. His surname was Luderia, but Shin thought that, as a gate guard, he wouldn’t be called to such a meeting.

“The next question is…what? No, yes, I understand.”

The inquirer seemed to be perplexed, so Shin looked back at him. He was visibly confused.

“Ehm, the next question, then. What were you doing after the banishment?”

“Eh?”

Tiera was confused as well. All questions until then were related to the dungeon and the demons, so it was normal for her to be surprised by the sudden shift to her actions after being banished from the village.

“What is the matter? Answer.”

“Er, it has nothing to do with the matter at hand, though.”

“Answer already!!”

Not only Shin, but also other elves around them were perplexed by this exchange between Tiera and the inquirer. Both sides of the room focused on him, wondering what was going on.

“What would you do after knowing something like that now?”

Tiera had no intention to simply answer such a question and asked what its purpose was. The clan head’s silhouette was hidden by the curtains, so the eyes of all present focused on the inquirer.

“That’s…my lord? Asking such a question at this time would—”

The clan head was probably urging the inquirer to obey his orders, but the latter looked more and more confused, especially as he was the center of attention in the room. His eyes went back and forth from the clan head to Tiera and the rest of the room, not knowing what to say.

“T-the inquiry is over! You may leave!”

The clan head clearly had more questions to ask, but the inquirer tried to forcibly close the meeting. Considering the nature of the previous question, Shin imagined that the following ones concerned Tiera personally. The clan head’s voice could not be heard, maybe because of the curtains’ properties.

However, the meeting was not allowed to be closed. Before Shin or Schnee could ask what was going on, the inquirer’s body was pierced by ashen thorns.

“If only 【Analyze】 ended a little earlier…”

【Analyze】 fully displayed the information of the figure beyond the curtains just one second before the inquirer was stabbed by thorns. Hiding the name and level until the very end was truly a demon-like deceit.

The inquirer was stabbed by six thorns in total. Sharp through their tips, all of them pierced his body. His heart was also likely pierced, as the elf was instantly killed and his HP gauge vanished instantly.

“Watch out!! That’s not the head, it’s a demon!!”

“It transformed into the head!?”

“Draw your weapons!! Protect lady Tiera!!”

Shin shouted to warn the elves on the left side of the room. Being warrior chiefs, their response was almost immediate. On the other side, the elves on the right moved rather slowly in comparison. They were probably under some sort of influence.

The elves only mentioned Tiera likely because they knew that there was no need to protect Schnee or Shin.

“PrOtEct!!”

When the elves on the left started moving, a twisted voice rose from behind the curtains. As soon as it was heard, the elves on the right started moving towards Tiera, with agility and speed completely different from seconds before. They really were under the demon’s control.

“Now that’s not what I’d expect a demon to say…”

Shin had immediately jumped next to Tiera. While knocking down the attacking elves, he couldn’t shake a strange feeling about the demon’s order. It was difficult to hear because of the demon’s twisted tone of voice, but he was fairly sure that the demon said “protect”.

In fact, the elves on the right were not only trying to take down Shin and Schnee, but also trying to capture Tiera. Their weapons were not aimed at her. They were trying to take a priestess, the natural enemy of demons, without hurting her. It might be feasible in a situation where they had an absolute advantage, like when Lina was kidnapped, but now they had to fight Shin, Schnee, and the elven warrior chiefs.

The elves on the demon’s side charged without regards for their wounds.

“What has happened to you…fools…!”

The elves protecting Tiera alongside Shin and Schnee shouted. To avoid killing their brethren, they attacked with the dull side of their blades and similar methods.

Shin recalled the elf he met when going to meet Lymliss: it was possible to talk normally with them, but now they stood back up no matter how many times they were hit, like living dolls. Their movements seemed separate from their will.

“The clan head is manipulating them. No, the fake clan head is!”

Shin materialized 『Moonless』, wrapped it with swirling water and swung it towards the clan head.

Katana/Water combination skill 【Glacial Moon Blade】.

A crescent moon-shaped blade of ice slashed through the curtains, speeding towards the clan head. However, before it could reach, the target moved away. A shadow jumped out of the curtains, landing in a corner of the room.

Having cleared the dungeon that appeared in the holy area, Shin recognized that the thorns that pierced the inquirer looked like they were made of concentrated mist, just like that of the dungeon.

That was enough to confirm the demon’s identity, and, thanks to 【Analyze】, he had further proof.

 

Crissot Lucent   – Level 952

 

The demon’s level had jumped up since their last encounter. Half of its body had a mist-like form, while the other half maintained the figure of an elf. The elven part looked at Tiera with a fiendish expression, while the mist part was very similar to an amoeba, extending and retracting without a fixed shape.

“What the!?”

“It’s a monster…”

“It can’t be…you are…”

The elves were shaken by the shadow’s real identity. Some of them recognized the elven side of the demon, but could not believe their eyes.

“Schnee, please take care of the enemy elves. I’m going to deal with that.”

“Understood.”

Schnee moved to aid the elves who had been slowed down by their confusion and shock. Shin’s attack caught Crissot’s attention, but the movements of the hostile elves did not change. They were damaged enough to be unconscious, but their movements did not stop or even dull.

In that case, they would either need to be either physically stopped by breaking their limbs or by status ailments such as paralysis. Schnee could surely deal with the situation in a variety of ways.

The problem was that the demon also decided to act during such a situation. 

Maybe because it was using the body of Crissot Lucent, Tiera’s father, the demon’s eyes were still fixated on her, despite the fact that Shin was standing before him, armed and ready to strike. He looked full of openings.

However, the mist part was different. It changed shape like an amoeba, but it ignored the elves and targeted only Shin. It clearly saw him as an enemy.

“AgAIn…yOu dARe tAke fROm mE agAIn!? I gaVE my whole lifE, all I ever had, to protect the world, protect the world tree, and this is what I receive!?”

Blood red tears streamed from Crissot’s eyes, dripping on the floor. He didn’t bother wiping them, but little by little his tone of voice lost the demon-like twisted tone.

Even as he shouted, the same thorns that pierced the inquirer continued attacking Shin. Along with its level, the demon’s stats had increased too. Every blow was fast and powerful. It was hard to believe that it was the same material which composed the dungeon walls.

If one of the elves was hit, they would certainly be turned into mincemeat.

“Peace!? Mission!? A world that curses those you love is better off gone!!”

Crissot’s monologue continued as Shin kept knocking away the amoeba’s attacks, making sure that no other elves were hit. Crissot’s right hand clawed at his face, carving the skin with his nails, drawing blood. His eyes were bloodshot. He was clearly no longer sane.

Shin thought it might be because of the demon’s influence, but even so, there was something off about him.

When Shin attacked the mist thorns squirmed and writhed, as if in severe pain.

“The demon’s information is disappearing…what’s going on here?”

When Shin checked Crissot’s status in the dungeon, the demon’s name was clearly displayed along with the elf’s own. The current Crissot’s status, however, was not the same.

As far as 【Analyze】 was concerned, Crissot was a normal person. 

Needless to say, no normal person had a lower body composed of mist. The writhing thorns increased, so Shin took advantage of the decreased number of attacks and prepared to strike.

He held 『Moonless』 pointed down to the left, with a low stance, then stepped forward. It was enough for Crissot to be in the range of Shin’s blade.

Thanks to the Movement-type skill 【Ground Shrink】, the distance between the two disappeared in an instant. Shin was ready to strike. His katana flashed, aiming to cleave Crissot in two.

Katana-type martial skill 【Armor Piercer】.

Shin realized how the thorns had high defensive powers during the previous exchange, so he chose a skill that inflicted more damage the higher the target’s defense was. Even if the elven part of Crissot had the same defense as the thorns, the skill was powerful enough to slice him in half.

“You could block that…?”

Crissot himself could not react, but the thorns were not as helpless. Thanks to their inhuman reaction speed, all the thorns that were not writhing in pain grouped together and protected Crissot from Shin’s slash.

Shin managed to slice the thorns in half, but felt that his blade did not reach Crissot. His katana’s speed was slightly slowed down as it cut through the thorns. In that small timeframe, Crissot’s body leapt out of the room. The thorns helped it move at a speed impossible for humans.

For Crissot as he was now, the room’s walls might as well be made of paper. The very moment he moved away from Shin, he had destroyed the wall and started fleeing. The destruction of the walls and pillars did not make a sound, but the map showed that he was passing through places where walls were supposed to be.

It was just like he could move ignoring the building’s structure: the only possible way was that he turned into mist and passed through cracks in the walls or ceiling.

Shin wanted to give chase, but the Luderia warriors, alarmed by the sound of battling, poured into the room. All of them belonged to the side which underwent radical personality changes.

“Kh, even the residence’s guards…”

“Could it be that their warrior troops turned crazy too?”

A massive amount of warriors appeared in the room, seemingly out of nowhere.

Schnee and the sane elves attacked them without holding back, though while making sure not to lethally wound them. As they stood back up after being knocked down, it was clear that they were under the demon’s control too.

Shin didn’t know what exactly their current status was, but if they were under manipulation he couldn’t just abandon them.

“We will take care of the situation here. Please chase the demon, Shin.”

“I would love to, believe me, but his response disappeared as soon as he fled.”

The map showed no signs of the escaped icon. Shin enlarged it and used his detection skills to their maximum extent, to no avail.

“Rather than that…do you feel it?”

“Yes…people under the demon’s control have started rampaging, and not only here.”

The demon’s presence disappeared, but others appeared in its place. A large number of presences started moving at the same time, heading towards the city and the holy area. They started doing so at the same time as the elves poured into the room, so the other presences probably followed the same master.

“We can’t afford to waste any more time.”

Shin activated the Earth-type magic skill 【Mother Earth’s Embrace】 on the group of elves who barged into the room. A heavy pressure manifested in Shin’s surroundings, forcing the hostile elves to collapse on the ground.

After sealing the elves’ movements thus, Shin focused on the map. The elves he just neutralized attacked in a haphazard manner, but in the city the hostile presences were separated in groups, attacking several locations at the same time. Among them, Shin recognized the Lulac residence and the residence Tiera was borrowing.

“There are other demons? Or maybe some elves allied with them on their own will…”

“It’s possible. In any case, we can’t stay here any longer.”

Shin and Schnee activated a Water-type magic skill at the same time, creating a wall of ice. They surrounded the hostile elves with it, blocking their movements. They also sealed the entrance to prevent any more elves from coming inside.

The ice, created by Shin and Schnee’s magic power, was too hard to even be scratched by the elves. Shin and Schnee then called out to the sane elves and left. They didn’t know what the demons would do next, but Crissot was very likely to target Tiera again.

Because of their nature, however, the demons were also likely to target the World Tree or other priestesses. Shin concluded that in such a case, they would just need to protect them all together, and decided to regroup with Shibaid and the others first.

“A pressure powerful enough to rival lady Schnee…what exactly are you…?”

“Let’s talk about that when this ruckus is over.”

Shin dodged the answer and blew a hole in the ceiling with magic, to open a path for him and the rest. He was sure warrior chiefs could manage to keep up.

Shin waited for everyone to climb on the roof, then headed out. As he had expected, all warrior chiefs easily climbed up.

“We will move with 【Hiding】 activated from now on. Please do not stay too far from me or Schnee.”

“No, we will go where lady Lymliss is. We had her wait in the holy area, in case anything happened. She is guarded by elite warriors, but if the opponents are demons, who knows what could happen. In the worst case, we have to protect her with our lives.”

Thanks to the World Tree’s recovery, the holy area’s power of repelling impurity and miasma had grown. At the moment, it was the safest location in the country. Some of the warriors could use Mind Chat, so they had already exchanged information. They asked Shin and Schnee to go with Tiera and said they would move separately.

“Will they be alright…?”

“Judging from their gear, they should be advanced Chosen Ones. If their opponents are just soldiers, they shouldn’t be in danger.”

There were warrior chiefs among the elves on the demon’s side too, but as far as Shin could tell, the sane ones were stronger. Some of them also equipped Mythology-grade weapons, albeit lower-ranked ones. As long as they didn’t encounter a demon like the one Shin defeated in the dungeon, they wouldn’t lose. If the warriors set out to kill from the start, mere soldiers could not overwhelm them, even with numbers.

Things would be different if they were up against demons, but that could be said about anyone. Shin’s group, capable of handling Grand Duke class demons on their own, were the abnormal ones.

“There’s a stronger group going to the residence…they might have sensed Lina’s return. Let’s join them quickly and head to the holy area. I’m sorry, but speed is of the essence now.”

Shin grabbed the worried Tiera and jumped. That was the fastest way.

“H-hey, Shin!? What are you…we’re flying!?”

Tiera was surprised to be carried like that all of a sudden, but she was even more surprised by the fact that they didn’t land after the first leap.

“I’d like to learn that too. Could you teach me after things are settled here?”

“I’d be happy to, but I honestly can’t exactly tell why it happened.”

Schnee floated next to Shin as they were jumping, grabbed his arm and spoke. Shin was now jumping while carrying Tiera on his left arm and Schnee on his right. In other circumstances, it would be a pretty enviable position.

“Here we go!”

Shin forcefully kicked the air. Lanapacea’s streets and houses passed like a blur under them. After a couple minutes, they saw the residence where Shibaid waited. It was already under attack: they could see magic spells and arrows being launched against it. A half-transparent veil around the residence, however, repelled them all. It was a protective barrier created by Shibaid’s weapon, the 『Great Shell Shield of Collision』.

The elf soldiers were about 50 in number, but only attacks from Chosen Ones could affect the barrier. Shin contacted Shibaid via Mind Chat, who said that Lina and the elves working in the residence were gathered together under his protection.

Yuzuha by herself would be enough to rout the attackers while Shibaid stayed on defense, but as they didn’t know the current situation, they chose to contact Shin while defending the residence.

“These guys have negative status ailments…they’re different from the ones before.”

“I will heal them.”

Schnee activated 【Cure】, targeting all the elves. As their status ailments disappeared, they lost consciousness and collapsed. Shin made sure there was not any more danger and joined with Shibaid and the others. They didn’t have enough time to lock so many people up somewhere.

“What are we going to do now?”

“I’m thinking of joining with Lymliss and the others in the holy area. I can’t tell how the demon using Crissot’s body will move, but they will definitely target the holy area and the priestesses. There are probably other demons around, they might attack as a group next time.”

The World Tree was healed, but it could not counterattack. If other demons were higher in level, like Crissot, it could be in danger.

“I’m coming too. I can be of help with the purification.”

“Yes, please do.”

In such a situation, concentrating all available fighting power in one location made it easier to fight. Now with Shibaid, Yuzuha, and Lina in tow, Shin’s group headed to the holy area. Shin couldn’t carry all of them while jumping, so they rode on transformed Yuzuha and Kagerou, after casting a boost on them.

“What do you think they will do next?”

“As you probably think too, I think that demon is going to target Tiera. I have not definite proof, but I believe he is taking over the demon. His words made it seem like he was governed by hate and rage, but I think that his feelings as a parent remain, as long as Tiera is concerned.”

Shin nodded to Schnee’s words. In the game, demons were always demons, monsters through and through. In this world, however, anything could happen, for better or worse. It wasn’t unthinkable for a demon, supposed to take over others, to be taken over instead.

The words spoken by Crissot were so powerful that they started considering that possibility. He showed a strength of will that did not disappear even after he died and was possessed.

“What’s this now?”

Before Shin’s group could arrive to the holy area, the situation shifted. He felt a sort of vibration, not caused by Yuzuha running. It was a very strong vibration: even Kagerou and Yuzuha stopped, wondering what happened.

“Shin, look at that!!”

The cause of the strange phenomenon was quickly revealed. Schnee pointed towards a rainbow-colored light emanating from the holy area.

“That’s…very bad.”

“Shin?”

Shin’s expression clouded, so Tiera called out to him.

A burst of light. If it was as he recalled, the situation was turning for the worst.

“That light appears when the World Tree is reaching its limits. It will form into a Divine Beast that destroys the world.”

Shin had never seen it directly: in the game era, he happened to see footage of the event, recorded by another player. The light appeared the second the World Tree was cut down, then gradually formed a mass. Ultimately it turned into a Divine Beast that destroys the world.

Its official name was guardian divine beast Reforgerer. It looked like a wingless dragon that walked on two legs. Its face was covered by smooth scales, except on the mouth, and it had no other organs. Its large, powerful arms ended in four fingers, each equipped with claws. Its legs were extremely robust as well. Its sculpted skin appeared soft, but was harder than adamantium.

Reforgerer also had a long tail that could sweep city walls and destroy them. It attacked with roars that caused physical damage, direct attacks with arms, legs and tail, powerful beams from its mouth and back, etcetera. Because of its silhouette and attacks, many players identified it with a certain famous Japanese kaiju.

“The demons must have done something.”

“It was probably Crissot…”

Crissot had indeed fled in the direction of the holy area. It was natural to think that he could have cut down the World Tree. The most urgent problem was that they had no ways to counter Reforgerer. It used impurity as its source of energy: without the World Tree, nothing could erase impurity, so it could feed on a nigh-infinite source of energy.

At the very least, one needed higher rank Mythology weapons to damage it, but even so it recovered all damage extremely quickly. It was a genuine nightmare to fight.

The beams it launched were also incredibly powerful: without at least Ancient-grade gear, anyone would melt if hit by them. Famously, a player hit by such a beam shouted, “Screw you, devs!!” after being struck down.

“Whatever can we do…?”

After learning about Reforgerer, Lina looked at the light, speechless.

At the time, all Rokuten members joined in the fight, but all they could do was buy time. When the battle was about to end, only two of the six remained. The battle ended only because Reforgerer used a great amount of impurity and stopped, then Rokuten’s Cook and other players specialized in farming started planting and raising the World Tree.

The World Tree resurrected and the impurity started to be purified again, so Reforgerer turned back into light and disappeared.

No one gained anything but destruction: it was the worst event in THE NEW GATE’s history.

“So, Shin, that divine beast disappeared when the World Tree was planted again and its purifying power returned, right? So even if it appears now, we could do something about it with the World Tree’s powers?”

“Yeah, the problem is that we don’t have farming skills that can make the World Tree grow quickly. I have the skill, but the level’s way too low. That time, there were more than 10 people with the skill at X, Cook included.”

In this world, it would be a feat just to find a person with the skill at level X. Finding several was unrealistic at best.

“In that case, it can work out. I can feel it, the World Tree is still alive.”

“Yes, I think so too.”

In the game, Reforgerer only appeared when all World Trees were destroyed. Tiera and Lina, however, both said that the World Tree was still alive. As priestesses, they could feel its presence.

“If the World Tree is still alive, then maybe that’s not Reforgerer? I can’t think of anything else, though…”

“I wonder…looking at that light, it might be trying to forcefully summon Reforgerer. If not even Rokuten’s members could defeat it, it could provide more than enough fighting power, even if not at peak strength.”

“Indeed, that could be. Just the omen of its summoning creates such intimidating pressure.”

Shin too felt his skin crawl. In the game, players from various guilds cooperated to fight it, but still failed to defeat it. It was far superior to average bosses, so one could say it was obvious that it couldn’t be defeated the first time. Reforgerer, however, was powerful no matter how many times you fought it. Too powerful.

Shin noticed that, without realizing, his hand was on 『Moonless』 and looked away from the pillar of light.

“Anyway, let’s go to the holy area. If Reforgerer appears, I will fight.”

“I shall accompany you. Diverting enemy attention is my forte.”

“….no, Shibaid, I need you to act as guard. We have Kagerou too, but please stay with Tiera. She can’t fight if she starts the purification, after all. We might have enemies other than Reforgerer.”

Shin talked, mixing what he really thought with what he felt he had to say.

“Hmm, if you say so. Understood.”

Shibaid was not completely satisfied, but understood that he was best suited to what Shin asked him to do, so he nodded.

Shin and the others headed to the holy area, noticing that there was smoke billowing from several locations. The pillar of light rose from the deepest area, right next to the World Tree.

“Let’s go. Tiera, Lina, always stay close to Shibaid. Kagerou, you assist Shibaid.”

Shin left the defense to Shibaid and went on the attack, with Schnee and Yuzuha.

“Yuzuha, stay with Schnee.”

“Hm…”

“Please”

“….kuu.”

Yuzuha was unhappy too, but after seeing Shin’s expression, she replied faintly and hopped on Schnee’s shoulder. Only Shin truly knew the extent of Reforgerer’s powers. It was the absolute strongest in THE NEW GATE: even Element Tails or Ishkar could not compare.

During the past battle against Reforgerer, only two of Rokuten’s six members survived. Shin was not one of them.

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