Re:Supreme - Chapter 5 - TheGimbler - Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 (2024)

Chapter Text

Funnily enough, Calamitas’ specialty wasn’t really her hellfire magic. It’s simply the most cost-effective mana-wise. She was better at creating weapons, at enchanting, at resurrection magic. Her hellfire was indeed powerful and she used it often. But she never actually worked on refining it.

She didn’t because there was no reason to. She was a weapon of mass destruction, used whenever the collateral damage didn’t matter. That, in itself, means that the less refined, the broader the scope of destruction.

A fire out of control will burn more than a fire within control.

And that was enough when she didn’t care about how much she destroyed. But now, with the curse in her mind weakening, and the emotional restraint of an adult returning, she wasn’t too keen on continuing as she had.

It was time to stop relying on the absolute destructive force of her magic and turn to refining the one thing she was known for. Her hellfire.

She didn’t want to rely on the weapons she kept in case of a strong opponent, but her hellfire wouldn’t work on someone who doesn’t get burned. The mana consumption rate of her magic weapons was much higher than her fire. There’s a reason why she was able to fight for 13 days straight when relying on her primary magic.

Even when she had trouble catching her breath, her legs felt shaky, and her vision blurred from exhaustion. The pain had returned to her body which still hadn’t healed completely.

Looking down and humiliating the man who seemed to think he was on top of the world was positively worth it.

She said her piece, denouncing him, and let her anger out on him. Of course, it would be enough once she was able to turn him to ash, but it was enough to keep her satisfied.

His silence disturbed her. She expected him to try and stand or to scream and cry at her. He did none of those things; he simply crushed a rock in his hand. She was already high in the air when he threw the sand at her. If he had even an ounce of capability in battle, Calamitas didn’t know how she’d fare.

At that moment, Calamitas heard the slight rustle of fabric, and her instincts told her to dodge. Instantly, her body fell back at a 90-degree angle, and she saw a giant purple wraith right behind her, the kunai meant for her heart flying over entirely.

The cold steel edge fell just below her ribs and swiped up into her vital organs. Calamitas groaned as she felt the burden of her defense magic and Perdition draining her mana. But it saved her life. In the split second before she was forced to choose which magic to keep active, she flipped her body away from the blade of the specter.

His blade missed her organs and slid along her body into her armpit; it glided effortlessly into her flesh and tore through her ligaments. She gasped at the sudden shock and pain. His blade continued and split her bone into two. Completely severing her arm.

Gah… GHHHK…!” She hissed through her teeth and moved faster than the wraith could follow, disengaging from him. More kunai flew to where she was, directly into her vitals, but a red barrier materialized and stopped them. She opted to use the barrier and undo Perdition’s effects, meaning the bastard on the ground would be free to move again.

Better to be alive than dead.

Her head felt light as she looked up at the one who aimed to take her life. Her shock took her mind off the pain, but the lightheadedness would only worsen. The blood coming out of where her arm was severed seemingly never ending. She needed to cauterize it lest she die of blood loss.

Problem is, her other arm is already useless, leaving her practically at the mercy of her would-be assassin.

Calamitous witch, what put you in such a state? Your enchantments are gone, your arm is functionally useless, and your magic is lacking.” Signus, Envoy of the Devourer, asked the Witch of Calamity.

Ghk– I think that… therealquestion is… why are you– Gahh– here, Envoy?” Calamitas bit into her lip, trying to take her mind off the pain from the lack of her limb. She tried to choke back her cries of pain, but it didn’t always work.

You betrayed us once more, you’re too large of a threat to leave alone. Surely, you would know this?” The six points of light in the face of the cloak narrowed. “I didn’t think that you’d be in such a state that evenI’dbe able to kill you. Perhaps this is your just-desserts?

Haha–Ghkk– Maybe you’re right…” Calamitas snickered.

Regardless, the truth of the matter is that I was unable to deal a fatal blow, but not an indecisive one.” Behind Signus appeared five lanterns. His unique weapons of assassination. “Would you like me to put you out of your misery or would you like to slowly bleed to death?

I’m gunna, gunna–” The witch slurred out, looking more unsteady by the moment. Her control over her magic failed, and she slowly fell to the ground. “Wheeeeee–

Signus followed her to the ground in silence, befitting a wraith. He watched the Witch of Calamity hit the ground with an “Oomph–

Hehehe…” Calamitas laid on her back, looking up at the sky. “Woooww, Sieeeeeg~, are you looking at thiss~? The skyy, it’s bluue! Hehe~

Very well, I shall end your suffering here, Calamitous Witch.” Signus pulled out a single kunai, its sharp blade glinting in the sunlight.

Someone interfered and stood in front of her.

“I’m standing right here, you know? Normally I’d not interfere, someone’s business is someone’s business; it’s none of my concern what you do as long as it doesn’t interfere with me and mine. Now, if you’re a good samaritan that disregards this and wants to help those in need, I won’t stand in your way if you want to do what you think is right. However, if that action goes against what I have, then I will retaliate. Interfering with what I’m doing, acting against my possessions when you have no reason to, that’s not something any reasonable person would do.”

Regulus Corneas stood in between Calamitas and the spectral assassin. He ran a hand through his hair,

“But you’re not a person, are you? It’s obvious, I’ve never seen anything look as you do. My wife is my possession, not yours, so why do you attack her like you can do whatever you want? She needs to be punished by me, It’s none of your business.”

I have been watching you fight, you attacked her with the full intention to kill,” Signus floated idly by. Gauging the reaction of the obviously unstable man in front of it. “I don’t see why you’re standing in the way when we both want the same result.

“Haaah-?” Regulus co*cked an eyebrow. “You’re trying to help me? I see, you thought you were doing a good thing. It’s not bad to want to be charitable with your strength and assist others, however, to get in the way when no one asked for your help will garner more annoyance than joy. Getting in the way, trying to gather goodwill from others when not asked for help, do you see the problem? This is my problem, don’t get in the way.”

You wish for the killing blow?” Signus questioned. “It’s best to make it quick then, she won’t last in her condition if nothing’s done.” The wraith slowly craned to look up at the sky. “Looks like we’ve talked too long.

“Huh? What are yo–” Regulus began before something crashed down on the stone between them.

Before the figure even stood up, Signus had already begun moving. It sped around Regulus and the figure, lanterns at the ready and kunai thrown all the while.

At the same time, the Sin Archbishop of Greed recognized them. He stood tall and raised his chin, his face contorted, “How many times!? How many times must I kill you?!”

“That’s fifty.”

The figure spoke calmly. They saw the many projectiles from the prominent figure shrouded in a purple cloak. Then, turning to see what it was aiming for, he blinked a few times, “... Lady Cal?”

He raced to place himself between her and the blades and magical lanterns. Crashes of steel rang out each time he knocked a projectile out of the air with his sword. Swordsmanship like the wind, flowing beautifully from one target to the next, instantaneously striking each down until none were left.

Calamitas looked up at her savior, “Huuh? You’re… Reinhardt? What are you doing here? My head hurts… So does my– my– Huh?” She looked down at her right arm, which wasn’t attached to her body. Laying only 15 meters away was what she was looking for. Her eyes widened, and she immediately tensed her body with the flood of pain from her gaping wound. “GHhhk!! T-this sucks–!!

“Were you keeping them occupied while I was away, Lady Cal?” Reinhardt’s brow furrowed and his eyes took on a somber sheen. “I’m… Please forgive me, Lady Cal. It seems you’ve had to deal with the aftermath of my mistake. I am in your deb–”

Oh, shut the HELL up, Reinhardt!” Calamitas gritted her teeth and strained to move her only remaining arm. Not moving the way she wanted, the witch could only get it to jump a bit from where she was lying. Finally, she let her anger and frustration out on Reinhardt. “If youwantme to forgive you, either get me the hell out of here with my arm and reattach it. Or, if you can’t be useful,for once,beat the hell out of them, you idioticmiscreant!

She was probably foaming at the mouth, but she didn’t care. And while she most definitely didn’t want to get on Reinhardt’s bad side, the pain made it alittlechallenging to reign herself under control. Her lightheadedness from the blood loss didn’t help, either. If she was going to die, then she was going to while telling it like it is.

Oh, right. If Calamitas didn’t stop the blood loss, she’d die. That’s not unfortunate at all.

Reinhardt nodded and turned to face Regulus. “Subaru! Lady Emilia! Would you please assist Lady Cal?”

“Oh, come on! You didn’t have to out us like that!” The voice of the half-elf’s knight came out from behind one of the few buildings still intact enough to tell what it was before all this. A bakery.

Reinhardt smiled a bit, with sword in hand. Regulus sneered and raised his arms as if to say, ‘so what?’

“Damnable monster, how many times do I need to kill you for you to die? It’s truly psychotic that you continue again and again. An affront to those who can die, do you believe that you’re above them? Above us?”

Reinhardt replied, “I regret to inform you, Sin Archbishop, but I won’t die until this world no longer needs me. No matter how many times my life ends, regardless of who ends it. I shall return to this waking world.”

Regulus looked almost dumbfounded. “Seriously? Then there’s no need for you to worry, ‘Sword Saint’,” He spat out those words like they were a toxin. “The world no longer has a need for you.”

“That day will soon come. But my purpose here is not yet achieved.” Reinhardt lowered his body and relaxed into a stance. “You are still undefeated, after all.”

Regulus scoffed and reached to the ground, but Reinhardt was on him in a moment, smashing his sword into the crux of his elbow, causing the Sin Archbishop to stumble. The Sword Saint hefted his sword over his shoulder and struck the flat of his scabbard into his opponent's face, sending him flying into the distance.

He surveyed the area, looking for the other figure, but didn’t spot them. Emilia and Subaru rushed out from behind their cover, having never fled the area entirely. They had too much stake in this battle to do so.

“I leave Lady Cal to you,” Reinhardt called out to them, both returning with determined nods.

He smiled at them, turned, and rushed towards his opponent for the final time.

When Cal had thrown that red fireball at Regulus, Subaru decided to pay her back. Sure, his life had less value than everyone else's, but he had already learned that not striving for life had consequences. So her saving him just means that he needs to return the favor.

She even opened up a path for them to flee from him. Making him doubly grateful. He was made triply grateful when she called him a blathering fool. The jerk deserved it. However, she called Emilia a ‘witchling’ like a kind of slur. Didn’t she say that she fought Satella for like, over a week? Maybe it’s a trauma. Subaru has a few of those. Can’t exactly blame her either; he’d said things he wished he could take back.

Emilia and he fled through the path she created, sneaking behind the building where Emilia made an ice path for a quick escape when Cal followed them. A few Regulus attacks later, a vast cloud of ash filled their vision, and she wasn’t appearing.

“Subaru,” Emilia whispered to him. “Where is she? Wasn’t she supposed to follow us? I don’t think she’s able to fight Regulus in that state, even I’m not able to do anything when I’ma-okay…”

“I’m not sure…” Subaru said with a troubled expression, his erratic energy causing his foot to tap against the stone ground. Where was she?

“Y-you don’t think…” Emilia continued to whisper. Subaru didn’t like her anxiety-ridden thoughts, but he couldn’t get rid of them.

“No, she’s still alive. There’s no way she isn’t. After all, Regulus hasn’t even started calling out to us,” Subaru would like to believe his words like how Emilia took them. He liked applying logic when he could. It made it easier to think. But Subaru didn't have an answer when it came to Sin Archbishops and their complete inability to make things simple and logical.

The ash started to settle back on the ground, which meant less cover for the two of them if they wanted to start sneaking around the battle. Then, a resounding crash, along with the sound of scattered rock, resounded out.

Subaru grabbed Emilia’s hand with a nod, and she nodded back. Then, keeping low to the ground, the two walked into the ash screen toward the sound. Sneaking from rubble to semi-collapsed buildings, they ventured forth until they could see further and further.

The ash was settling.

No Regulus in sight, no Cal either. It was dangerous to walk out into the open, so Subaru motioned for Emilia to hunker down behind one of the only intact buildings left. An overhanging sign said, ‘Sieg’s Bakery’.

“S-Subaru…” Emilia grabbed his wrist with a startling amount of strength. “L-look…”

She looked around the corner of the building, beads of sweat appearing on her face. Her face told Subaru that something had happened.

They swapped positions so he could get a peek out, and–

–What the hell.

Cal was there, smugly looking down on Regulus who was face-planted onto the ground. Surprising in itself but surrounding them in the air were numerous skulls of different shapes, colors, and sizes.

The many skulls were grey, silver, gold, huge, small, horned, and bald. A purplish or red flame was burning from the back of the head directly outwards. They were writhing, contorting,laughing. It was like a scene from hell.

Cal was talking to him, and he tried responding a few times. But each time he opened his mouth, one of the skulls would slam into the bottom of his jaw. Subaru would say that it was appropriate but… Nah, it was definitely appropriate; Regulus needed to learn to shut up.

Her speech grew louder and louder until Subaru could make out what she was saying.

All he needed to hear was, “WHAT’S IT TO YOU?! THE STATE OF MY VIRGINITY?!” before he calmly closed his eyes and removed himself from listening.

No way was he continuing to listen. It felt like he was spying on a conversation that Subaru shouldn’t.

When Emilia moved to question him, he shook his head with a “Not my business, but not to worry, Emilia-Tan, she’s giving him a good lashing, if only with her tongue.”

Probably the most surprising part was her ability to… beat Regulus. Not necessarily killing him, though Subaru would much prefer that. She could control him even better than Reinhardt, and she was severely wounded!

That might be giving her too much credit, and it could be attributed to the fact that Regulus doesn’t know the meaning of learning in battle. Of course, Subaru himself isn’t the best at it, but he could make connections if given enough of the pieces.

Regulus hasn’t learned to hit the broad side of a barn if it smashed into him.

That’s an understatement, but Subaru just wanted to make it feel like Regulus wasn’t as big a threat as he is. Even Reinhardt took damage from him, which attests to his power, at least.

If one lets their guard down around the Archbishop, he can turn the tables on them.

A sound akin to a woodchipper shredding stone exploded from the opposite side of the clearing where the two fighters were. Subaru jumped up and looked back out, watching a huge purple-cloaked figure jump from the grou– flew from the ground into the sky.

And there, in the open sky, the figure, in a move that Subaru couldn’t follow, severed the arm of the other denizen of the air, Cal. Her arm spun in the air, releasing blood all over the ground as it splattered next to Regulus, who started laughing like a madman.

“sh*t.” Subaru gritted his teeth. “Seems like we called it too soon,”

Cal spoke a few words in the air to the wraith-thing with four spikes stabbing out of its back. She laughed a few times and slowly accelerated to the ground, smacking it onto her back.

Emilia saw the purple-clad ghost pull out a kunai and prepare to throw it. She looked towards Subaru in a panic. “W-what do we do?!”

Subaru opened his mouth to respond but shut it when Regulus stepped up and chastised the phantom. Instead, he started preaching about punishment or whatever when Subaru finally thought up a plan that sounded the least insane out of everything.

“Emilia, do you think you can make one of those knives that the big purple guy threw? If we throw it at Regulus from the direction of the wraith, we might be able to get them to fight each other. Like with the Archbishop of Wrath and Regulus a few days before,” He explained to her, who listened closely.

When he finished, she quickly began funneling mana through her gate, creating weapons made of ice. Small knives, daggers, short swords, and finally, a kunai. The other weapons laid out upon the stone, Emilia and Subaru slowly creep out, with Emilia holding the kunai like she was going to stab someone with it.

Something crashed down between Regulus and the wraith. The two of them froze up at the same time Regulus yelled.

Subaru’s shock and Emilia’s worry melted away as they recognized the figure that interposed.

“Well, looks like it’s out of our hands,” Subaru smiled as Reinhardt walked forward, parrying many projectiles from the specter aimed at Cal.When did it even throw those?

It was good to see him, especially since Subaru didn’t have much to work with before. He was kind of pulling stuff out of nowhere and praying itmightwork, so not needing to put those plans to the test is helpful.

All that’s left is to sit back and jump in to get Cal once Reinhardt successfully dealt with both of the enemies and–

“Subaru! Lady Emilia! Would you please assist Lady Cal?” Reinhardt turned to the two of them and asked. Completely giving up their presence and position.

Sigh.

“Oh, come on! You didn’t have to out us like that!” Subaru cried out to the knight, who simply smiled a bit. There was probably a reason why he wanted them to move as fast as possible. Maybe it was not to take a chance on Cal’s life?

He turned to the Sin Archbishop of Greed, who sneered and continued speaking to him.

“Subaru…” Emilia whispered to him.

“Yeah, Emilia-Tan?”

“...Where’s the purple floaty one?”

Subaru tensed and scanned the clearing, seeing nothing but the Sword Saint, Regulus, and the wounded Cal. A cold sweat ran down his back. Wheredidit go?

His attention locked onto the red-haired blur as it flew forward and smashed into the Archbishop. He stumbled for a moment, and Reinhardt smashed his sword into his face, sending him flying. Reinhardt looked around and his eyes fell upon the two of them.

Taking this to be the moment they step up, they both rush out to the wounded figure on the ground.

Reinhardt called to them, “I leave Lady Cal to you.”

Together, they nodded at him. He smiled back, maybe because they were in sync? Subaru didn’t get Reinhardt. A rush of wind, and Reinhardt was gone.

Subaru skidded as he stopped next to Cal and looked over her injury. Yep, arm was cut off. Nothing else of note; those are simply the facts.

Emilia stopped next to him; Cal’s arm was in her grasp. It probably felt cold to the touch.

“Can you reattach it?” He asked the one who could use healing magic. She might be able to, but it would take time. The priority should be removing Regulus’ heart from her.

“I don’t think so, even if the cut was so clean,” Emilia looked down at him and then at Cal. “Miss Cal? Uhm, I don’t know how to ask you this, but can I freeze you?”

My arm? The one that’s bleeding all over the ground? The wound that’s going to kill me? Nah, feelcompletelyfree to ponder and ask questions as I’m bleeding out on the floor.” The patient said dryly.

“N-no, that’s not what I meant. Um, actually, let me freeze this first,” Emilia closed her eyes, and the temperature dropped. Subaru watched as Cal’s severed arm was frozen solid in a block of ice.

She laid it carefully on the ground, not that it mattered if the ice got dirty, but she was nice like that.

The half-elf kneeled next to the other half-elf, reached her right hand to the gaping wound where her arm used to be, and said, “Sorry if this feels… funny.”

Oh please, I can hardly feel anything at–ALLL??!!” Cal writhed on the ground as Emilia pushed her magic onto her body. The lazy river of blood flowing from the wound slowed as ice crystals caked on from the sides inward. Cal looked like a cat that just fell into water, a perpetual face of discomfort and horror.

“There, that should do it,” Emilia smiled as Cal inspected her work. She looked extremely pale and distant, but she was alive and awake. “A-anyway, as I was saying, can I freeze you? Completely?”

Before you tell me an absurd and stupid thing you want to do to me, where’s the Envoy?” Cal hazily questioned. Emilia co*cked her head to the name, to which Cal said, “The purple wraith, did Reinhardt kill it?

“No, it just… disappeared. Into thin air,” Subaru explained to the woman, who frowned.

Then it’s still nearby,” Subaru’s eyes widened as she strained her body, trying to sit up. He stepped forward, kneeling in her blood pooled around her body, and held her down. She didn’t look very amused, “What are you doing? You two are no match for it. Let me, let, oooghhh…

She fell limp in his hands, her eyes glazed over for a few moments before returning to their usual haziness. Her lips smacked as she spoke again, “Alright, that hurt. You may have somewhat of a point.

“Headrush?” Subaru grinned.

She looked over at him with a stink eye, practically affirming him. She huffed and turned away. A whole double affirmation, a true tsundere trope was playing out before him. If it weren’t still a dire situation, Subaru might point it out to her and laugh.

“Because you still have Regulus’ heart in your chest and we can’t defeat him unless it’s removed, Emilia wants to freeze you completely until he’s defeated and done with. It’s called cold sleep, where you’re put to slee–”

Absolutely not.

“Huh?” Subaru gaped. “B-but that’s the only way to defeat him! I thought you hated the guy?!”

I do, but I’m not sleeping.” She stated matter-of-factly. “I can’t kill him when I’m asleep, now, can I?

Subaru watched as her eyes strayed from him while she spoke. There was no way that was the entire reason. She was holding something else away from him.

“Subaru, that’s not true!” Emilia tapped him on the shoulder with a pout. “You were able to remove Regulus’ heart frommychest without me having to cold sleep myself!”

“Emilia-Tan, that’s…” He grimaced. It’s not like hecouldn’t… but it didn’t feel good having to rely on Divine Providence.

Behind you!” Cal suddenly shouted, and a red barrier materialized around them. The sound of metal ripping through metal screeched in Subaru’s ears. He cried out and clutched his ears as they began ringing from the harsh noise.

His eyes teared up, and he turned around to see a kunai mere inches from his face, stuck in the red barrier. A similar one was next to Emilia.

I cannot have you two heal her. An opportunity to slay the Calamitous Witch does not come casually.” There, a mere 4 meters from them, was the giant purple wraith from before; Cal called it ‘the Envoy’? Envoy of what?

…Calamitous Witch?

Guhh…” Cal groaned, and the barrier fluctuated. “This is such a pain… I can’t believe I, of all people, am saying this, but I–” She gritted her teeth. “Could you two help me?

“Hmm?” Emilia looked back at her and smiled. “I thought that was what we were doing?”

Cal blinked once, then twice. She laughed once, then twice. “...this world truly is too kind.” She whispered.

Don’t think I won’t repay the two of you, if we get out of this alive, ask for aid and you shall receive, no matter what it is.

“Wellll,” Emilia turned to Subaru, who immediately picked up on what she was going to ask. “Wearegoing to the Sage’s Watchtower soon… We could absolutely use your help…” She trailed off, looking at Cal with puppy eyes.

It was pretty obvious it wasn’t only because Cal was strong but because Emilia wanted to talk to her own kind. It was cute.

When I say ‘no matter what it is’, I mean it. If that’s what you wish to use this debt for, then I shall oblige.” Cal responded earnestly. Though it seemed she figured out why Emilia wanted her to come along as well.

Subaru also didn’t feel the need to mention thattheytechnically owedher. But, well, it would certainly be helpful if they had Cal’s strength at the watchtower.

He was still going to talk to her about the skulls and witch thing, though.

Are you finished?” Signus asked, tens of lanterns littering the sky behind it. “There is no need to talk about future plans unless you decide to step aside and allow me to end the Calamitous Witch. I shall spare you if you take this course of action.”

“Nooope~!” Emilia cheerfully said, and ice gauntlets appeared around her hands. She took up a stance. The red barrier around them fluctuated and fractured.

With nothing between them, Signus sighed, “Very well.

And all the lanterns flew forward.

A wall of ice met them, crashing together. Emilia smashed her gauntlets into the wall, causing it to explode toward the ethereal assassin. Icy fragments burst outward toward the Envoy who disappeared. Literally, into thin air.

However, Subaru saw where he went, and his whip snapped into the air. The air was displaced before he appeared, directly behind Emilia, who looked around in shock. Subaru’s weapon of choice wasn’t perfect for direct conflict, but if it could strike at max speed, it would leave a nasty wound. The tip would reach beyond even the speed of sound, and it snaked out to the Envoy’s position.

And cleaved right through. Emilia heard the noise of something tearing and rolled forward. She turned around and watched in surprise.

The Envoy was entirely torn in half by Subaru’s attack, but both halves still floated like nothing was wrong. And there, in between the both of them, were innumerable teeth. They conjoined together, and the wraith looked like nothing happened.

“That’s totally not horrifying at all…” Subaru muttered and sent his whip forward once more. The Envoy disappeared, but Emilia also saw the displaced air and prepared icicles. They were glinting like wicked blades.

Emilia flung them the moment the wraith appeared, and they skewered it all the way through. To the same effect, the cloak revealed teeth and stitched itself back together.

Natsuki Subaru, let your lady fight, you must remove the heart,” Cal called out to him. He looked at Emilia fighting and turned to the woman on the ground. “Don’t worry, even if she cannot kill it, it doesn’t seem like it’s able to kill her. An assassin relies on circ*mstance and surroundings, this is the worst possible place for a drawn-out confrontation. If you’re worried about us getting attacked while you do what you need… Well, you don’t need to be.

That alleviated some of Subaru’s worries; the faster he could remove Regulus’ heart, the earlier he could help Emilia. He knelt next to Cal and closed his eyes. He could sense her watching him, making him feel a little embarrassed. Even so, he reached deep within himself. To that worming portion of his soul, the part calling for him to use it, to depend on it.

The witch factor gleefully accepted his control, and a small hand slowly floated out of his stomach. Unseen by any, noticed by none. The imperceptible will of god, the unseen hand, appeared.

Subaru could already feel nausea pool into his skull. He needed to get this done and over with. “Don’t move, I can’t make any mistakes.”

She didn’t respond, and he slowly moved the hand into her body. It pushed past her ribs, through her organs, and arrived at the lifeblood of Cal. Her heart. The unseen hand gently felt it, and he heard Cal gasp. He searched for the organ that wasn’t supposed to be there, of the part she wasn’t born with.

A heartbeat that wasn’t her own. Overlapped with her natural heartbeat. It took a moment; each heartbeat reminded Subaru of the pounding sensation in his skull. Then, finally, he was able to feel it. He found the wrong heartbeat.

Invisible Providence grasped it, made itself intangible to all other things, andsqueezed. With the smallest amount of force, he crushed the irregular heart. The feeling of destroying a heart was now something that Subaru had felt twice.

He let go of the witch factor, which cried out, wishing to be used more. If Subarucoulduse it without any adverse effects, hewould. But there’s just so much he didn’t know about it. That, and well, he doesn’t like nausea and vomiting and feeling like all-around trash.

Subaru snapped back to reality and fell over immediately; bile rushed to his throat. The stone and blood intermingled together, making his stomach heave. He tried as hard as possible to keep it in, but Subaru expelled vomit from his stomach.

It went all over the slate, the bloody ground, and the bloody woman. Oh.

Uh-oh.

Is there a reason why I felt like I was going to die and then you spontaneously started vomiting all over me? Or do you want to die so badly that you decided to vomit on a wounded woman?” Cal’s scarily calm voice told him he was in grave danger.

“S-sorry, I can’t use that move without nausea and v-vomiting…” Subaru shakily explained, his eyes blurred out and dizzied.

‘Use that move’?” Cal echoed wide-eyed. “He, hahahahahah!” To his great confusion, she started laughing. “Did you just try to use dark magic without training?? HAHAHA!! That’s hilarious! Who knew that I’d be able to see such a thing again in this scenario! Hehahaha!

“Uhh…?” Subaru didn’t know what to make of her amusem*nt of his suffering. “You're welcome…?”

Honestly, you have no idea how long it’s been since I’ve seen someone try to perform dark magic without proper training. I remember whenIvomited all over my brothers when I ignored mother and went ahead by myself, thinking their teachings were nonsense!” She continued laughing. “Haha… Ahhh, what a time to be able to think and act freely.” She looked up to Subaru with a more severe expression. “Don’t think you’re getting out of cleaning my robes.

“...Understood…” Subaru sighed.

Before then, return to your Lady, Signus isn’t to be trifled with.” Cal jerked her head in the direction of the conflict.

Subaru turned to see Emilia still doing battle with the wraith.

Signus teleported further back, and an ice lance appeared in Emilia’s hands. She stepped in and raised her spear into the air. With a heave, she threw it with all her elven might. Signus slipped to the side, and three kunai slid through the air. An ice wall appeared between them and their target before they could strike true.

The wraith was already above her wall, flying through the air. Lanterns flew down by the dozen, the ice grew even more, and covered the sky above the half-elf, the lanterns unable to penetrate it.

“Uh, are you sure about that?” Subaru asked the wounded woman. Emilia looked like she was doing completely fine.

She’s already fallen for its trap.” She said simply, and Subaru's attention snapped back.

A kunai launched from her back, and she turned with an ice longsword and slashed it out of the air. At that moment, the ice wall behind her exploded, and Signus was there in an instant.

The half-elf spun her body in a circle, swinging her sword with her entire body weight behind it, but Signus had already seen that coming and ducked under it. Emilia’s eyes widened in terror as Signus drove a kunai up under her ribs and into her vital organs.

Its spectral eyes narrowed as it displaced itself, disengaging with the half-elf. “This is troubling…

Because right before Emilia’s eyes was a red barrier that had blocked the Envoy’s attack.

What? You think I’m going to let her die when she froze my arm? I’m going to need that reattached,” Cal wryly grinned at the wraith’s displeasure. “Though Iwastempted to see if her body was the same as that witch’s, that’s something I won’t be put to the test at this stage.

“Y-you… Emilia stared down at the barrier which flickered out of existence, and then looked back to Cal. ”...thank you…”

Don’t be an idiot. That wraith is not only faster than you, but stronger, smarter, more agile, and far more experienced.” She said dryly.

Saving your kin’s life? I didn’t think you had such a drive within you,” Signus spoke unnaturally calmly. “Is this an effect of the curse's removal?

An effect of the blood loss is more likely,” Cal amended.

A hissing sound resounded from the Envoy, the spikes stretching from its back extended and stretched, cracking.

Give it up, you have no chance to kill anyone here anymore. Throwing a tantrum isn’t going to help.

Hearing you, of all creatures, say this is quite strange.” The wraith’s remark caused Cal to fall silent. The usually boastful and chastising woman had gone quiet, and Subaru saw an expression on her that was entirely alien to the person he thought she was to that point.

She had a look of remorse on her face. Brow slightly furrowed, her eyes pointed to space, lips tucked somewhat into her mouth. It was almost pitiful.

I suppose it is.” Was all she whispered into the sky. The wind blew through the silent clearing, kicking up a small amount of ash. It slowly fell onto her still form, and she tensed a little. Her eyes twitched once.

She layed in a pool of her own blood while wistfully staring into the open void.

Subaru didn’t know what to make of her. One moment she was laughing at him, cracking jokes about her mortality. Then she was just… quiet. Her overwhelming presence reigned itself in, and all Subaru could see was a woman who was utterly lost.

Lost, and alone.

He knew what that was like, to feel lonely despite there being people around you. Though, it felt as though her emotion differed from his.

Signus looked up to the sky, same as her. “Seems like my chance has fallen through.

Heh, Reinhardt, you insane bastard.

A screaming Regulus Corneas smashed into the ground a second later.

Aaah, how could this be?! Again, again, again this has happened! These events that take me by surprise, this monster that gains the upper hand due to circ*mstances beyond my control! How deplorable, how impossible! Unwavering, unstoppable, absolute! That’s what the existence that Regulus Corneas, the Sin Archbishop of Greed, is! Don’t be absurd! This is no joke! Those that look at me and laugh, as if there is something funny, are scum better off dead. Those that smile at me, as if there is something joyous, are fools better off dead. I am just getting started, if I had taken this seriously from the beginning, there would be no contest! This misunderstanding of yours isn’t my fault, it’s simply your foolishness and inability to understand that’s led to that course of action. If I wished to from the beginning, there wouldn’t be a chance for them to gain the upper hand. Since you think you have it, why do you think that I’d gone and given it to you? It doesn’t make any sense, that pride and hubris of yours that thinks that that’s a given! It’s disgusting, repulsive, and means that you’re better off dead. If you’d just left me with me and mine there’d be no reason for this battle in the first place. Throwing away your lives like that, it just doesn’t make any sense! From the beginning, I’d always been like this! I’ve just lived my life, just gone about my days as one would! When granted my destiny, my witch factor, why would I change my ways just because of that? Wanting to live out my life the way it was meant to be. I killed those who looked down on me! I smashed and splattered the brains of the fools that helped me, that wished niceties upon me, that were kind; IF YOU WERE KIND, YOU THOUGHT I WAS BELOW YOU, A TRULY KIND PERSON WOULD LEAVE ME ALONE. A knight? Don’t make me laugh with your false chivalry. A princess? An ugly whor* like you, who denounces your husband is scum better off dead. When you look at that wife-murderer, you laughed. Why did you laugh? Your pretty face is the only thing suited to you, running your mouth and ruining the only thing you have going for you is foolishness. Laughing at me, looking at me and thinking there’s something laughable, just die. My heart cannot take this, it breaks and splinters and shatters because of you mouth-running scum. Just leave me alone, I want nothing to do with you. I wished to fade in the background because there was nothing else for me to have. I am perfectly content with everything I have and am. But you people continuously come after me, even though I’ve done not a single wrong thing. Living my life, is that my sin? You arrogant, impudent, repulsive, meaningless, irrelevant drivel! Laughing, and crying, and shouting, and screaming, and smiling, and smiling, and smiling, and smiling. Over and over and over and over and over! Floating along with your idiocy is something I’d never want, trying to get me to do something so utter asinine that it drives me to retch! Laying in that bed, covered in those covers, watching me with life in your eyes when your life is over! Smiling at me for the first time since I slaughtered our entire village, why did you do that? What was so funny? Why did you think I was funny then? Whywhywhy? With your auburn hair cut short, with your dirty eyes that were the clearest I’d ever seen them. With your face contorted into a smile, it ruins your good looks! It ripped my heart out of my chest that my wife would do something as such to me. Your laughter, the first I’d heard since your father was crushed into blood beneath my shoe, why did you laugh then? It rents my heartstrings, it tore apart my sanity, it hurt me! A wife shouldn’t hurt their husband, a wife shouldn’t laugh at them and not tell them why! You were lower than dirt, you were utterly inane and delusional, scum better off dead. I destroyed the dirt and threw the dirt in with the dirt. I waited for your corpse to be eaten by the worms, even when my wives were asking about me, how dare you. It’s a husband’s duty to punish their wives, if a wife goes against their husband, it’s the husband’s duty to correct them. How dare you try and stop me! Waiting in front of that mound of dirt, waiting for my heart to heal through the wound that you put on it! It doesn’t make sense, I needed to know why, why did you laugh at me. You hadn’t up until that point, you were perfect, beautiful, the correct wife for me. Yet, you’d go against that? Your perfect record of being my wife? Stepping on all your correct decisions up until that point just doesn’t make any sense, I cannot understand that at all. I am alone, I am independent. Tying me up in your fantasies is so utterly incomprehensible, I want just to be alone. Laughing, smiling, happiness, love, such things only tie one down to one another. Trying to make me dependent, your arrogance can only go so far. I searched for virgin women, in order to not be betrayed, that’s all I asked! Don’t be so selfish! My rights, my cosmic karma! You’d infringe on them so?! Continuing, wanting more and more and more of it! My possessions are mine and mine alone, yet you think you’re entitled to them? To be so alien, to be so completelytwisted!Inflicting so much on me, stealing, wanting, desiring, alienating mine! I am not pitiful! I am content! To want so much, to think that you ‘need’ when all you have is GREED! Leave me and mi– Leave me–

LEAVE ME ALONE!

-x-X-x-

Like a bad dream that he couldn’t wake up from, Regulus found himself back in the center of the sky.

Something like this shouldn’t have happened. Everything was going how it should’ve! He had a wife, and he had his authority of Greed! How could nothing have changed? How could he be right back where he started!?

Something smashed into his back, stopping all of his skyward momentum and pinning him in place.

“You seem confused. As if something was going to change if you’d done nothing to change it.” Reinhardt spoke calmly.

“W-what?!” Regulus coughed out, unable to regain his breath.

“You had a chance to escape. To learn something new, to give up your vengeance, and give something back to the world. Yet, when you returned, you’d changed nothing about your approach. You expected to not end up in the same place, despite doing nothing to change it.”

“You– What do you know-?! About me?! Abou–”

“Nothing. I know absolutely nothing about you and why you do things. Why did you attack this city? Why did you have my grandmother’s corpse? What is the witch’s cult truly after? There’s just so much I do not know.” He softly whispered into the air, solemnly accepting his duties, yet unable to act on them. A knight should ensure peace, not just attempt it.

He spoke in a firmer tone. “But I do know one thing, Sin Archbishop of the Witch’s Cult, this is the end. The time to accept fate, has finally arrived.”

Reinhardt’s feet left his back, and Regulus felt that same horrifying feeling as before.

Fighting spirit, a nauseating feeling of someone putting their life on the line. Despite the course of his long life having countless powerful foes emanating this feeling, he’s learned nothing.

He never felt the need to; he’s learned once throughout his entire life. Yet, the sword saint had honestly thought he’d done nothing different. If the result was the same, would he be wrong?

The shadow of a sword fell across Regulus’ head, and he activated Lion’s Heart at that very same moment. Reacting to a blow of the Sword Saint. He activated his invincibility, and the strike caused nothing to his form.

No damage.

But Reinhardt slammed his body downwards all the same. Spiked towards the ground, the slate of the stone exploded as he smashed into it. His screams were overshadowed by the torrent of rock and dirt left in his wake.

His body was invincible and immune to all laws of the universe, including friction.

His body didn’t stop; he continued falling through the ground, swallowed by the world itself. He was utterly helpless in preventing it.

It was at this point that he noticed something wrong. He wouldn’t stop, even if he fell to the lowest point in the world, orthrough it.The world itself is not endless, surrounded by the great waterfall. If there was nothing beyond it, logic dictates that there’d be nothing below it.

He would fall into it if he continued.

“T-this! Something like this couldn’t possibly be–?!”

His heart, without a wife. That loathsome thing in his chest, that he felt even when it was missing. He could stop it for a mere 5 seconds before irreparable damage occurs. He could hold it for longer, in theory, but that was him digging deeper into the earth. Nothing would change.

The power behind a single blow of the sword saint was immense, and that power would ricochet through his body if he were to dispel his authority.

Dead if he does, dead if he doesn’t. He was trapped. Both paths were inconceivable, but one had the possibility of survival. Stupidity should have a limit.

“GHHHK!!” Regulus gritted his teeth in preparation. The strength that collapsed his body in a downward spiral into the earth felt limitless, and it was all about to truly enter his body.

His heart resumed. That dreadful noise. That waste of space. A feeling that he rejected. That pain that he felt reminded him that his heart was with him. Despite his earnest intentions to throw away the pain behind it.

Ba-bump. Was all he heard.

His limbs were sheared. His spine twisted and snapped. Cracks ran along his ribs before fragmenting. His skull caved in. His blood showered up and around him, painting the walls. His clothes were shredded and slick with mud and blood. Unable to withstand itself, all of his body’s functions acted sporadically.

His eyes shed tears. His nose ran with snot. His mouth foamed and salivated. His body wasted itself. It expelled sweat from every remaining pore that he had.

And his heart continued beating. And then it stopped.

His body jerked and moved, eyes a crying mess of burst blood vessels and lost vitreous. His limbs which had lost their hands, and his legs which had lost their feet, scraped the mud and dirt, effortlessly clearing it away.

Ba-dump.

“GHHHkkk–?!” No intelligible sound could exit what was left of his chest. Only the harsh sound of agony from a man extending the few minutes he had to live by 5 seconds at a time.

His heart stopped. And he continued digging in the absence of pain.

Ba-bump.

“GAHhhk?!” A hoarse scream drove fragments of his ribs into his lungs, shortening his lifespan even further.

His heart stopped.

He needed to punish them, who were laughing at him. How dare that sword saint tell him that he didn’t learn?! He can’t tell Regulus what had happened! The whor*, and the horned slu*t, they both turned their backs on him! Watching their joyous faces from his supposed defeat turn to horror as he tore them in half would be enough to wash away his humiliation. That wife-murderer! How dare he try and step in! Trash should stay out of the way; that’s what they do! Thinking that they can make a difference, how arrogant must one be?!

Ba-dump.

“ARGHH!!” He hacked up blood. It filled his empty mouth, devoid of teeth. Cracked lips stung, scattered bones ached, his head felt hazy, and his limbs as if they were still there.

His heart stopped. His mind cleared, and the pain disappeared. His limbs were free to move and move them he did. Digging up, removing the dirt and mud, the blood and bone from his own body cast aside.

A slight rumble was all he felt before a red fire broke through the mud, exploding everywhere. Regulus couldn’t hold himself up against the slick mud, and gravity pulled his body down to where he had stopped initially. “Uhn?”

He couldn’t understand what had just happened.

Ba-Dump

“Guh, GAHH?!” With every breath, his ribs clicked and clacked from within his chest, and the haziness within his mind grew.

His heart stopped. Ah, so that’s what happened.

Regulus had dug in a circle; once he’d made sure his head was facing the same direction of the hole he created while falling, he dug upwards. The thing that exploded was the hole he’d come from. The path he’d made had vanished. The mud wall between the spot he came through and the hole he dug had fallen with him.

All he was left with was a broader bottom of the hole.

Ba-bump.

“Ha– HAA— GUHHAAAA?!” His wretched screams tore from his shredded throat.

His heart stopped. And he dug another circle and swiped away from above him. Again, clearing mud and dirt in his path.

Another explosion of red fire sent him to the bottom.

“Guh, guh…” He wanted to curse and scream, but he couldn’t. He no longer had a tongue that was fully attached to the back of his throat.

Ba-dump.

“HUHUHUAAAA?!” Another terrible scream.

His heart stopped. He dug another circle.

Another explosion.

Ba-dump.

His heart stopped. He dug another circle.

Another explosion.

Ba-bump.

His heart stopped. He dug another circle.

Another explosion.

Ba-dump.

His heart stopped. He dug another circle.

Another explosion.

Ba-bump.

His heart stopped.

“GHHH, GHHHHH!!” His throat received no damage from his wrath.

He couldn’t go up. He couldn’t dig up! Again and again, his efforts were fruitless! Why was he being treated like this?! He was supposed to be the karmic retribution of the universe!

Enough. He’d had enough! There was nothing he was able to do with digging. It was time to try something else! Something he should’ve done to begin with!

He bent his knees, which shuddered and clacked together, and jumped.

Ignoring the laws of physics was easy for his authority; it occurred whenever he wished. His heart could take any damage when he'd stopped it. His body would follow suit.

A red fireball flew into his face, but he passed through it. He knew it was coming; there’d be no effect. How surprised will those loathsome murderers feel when he appears from the ground? His face contorted as it tried to smile, but it no longer had the teeth or muscles required. Instead, it pulled in odd directions with the few muscles still attached.

After five seconds, Regulus forced himself to hold his authority, it took him a little more to reach the point where he stopped, and when he appeared out of the ground, they’ll be shocked enough for him to kill them all and to relish in their deaths.

He flew out of the rock, out of the slate, and out of the ground.

Waiting for him was a grinning horned woman, held up by her only remaining arm by the half-elf. It was twisted and warped beyond normal. The horned woman pointed her hand toward him, and a massive ball of red fire was coalescing into a tiny form onto that palm.

She didn't fear nor twist in despair at his reappearance. Instead, his heart screamed at him.

That now-small fireball flew toward his broken body.

Ba-bump.

Ah, he’d always hated that sound.

An explosion of red fire.

For a while now, Calamitas felt submerged in liquid. Her words felt numb, her head was fuzzy, and her actions were incomprehensible. Speaking to those people felt unnatural, yet it was equally liberating. How strange.

She merely wondered what she’d do when she could think clearly.

Heh, maybe she already was. Her thinking when she was cursed was anything but clear.

Her thoughts back then were stifled, strained, and always pointed toward one thing: destruction. Would the previous her want what she’s feeling now, or would she deign to destroy it?

It doesn’t matter now; her thoughts will now end with her death.

Reinhardt landed on the ground, having done that same thing she interrupted those few days ago. What an outrageous man. His aura hadn’t changed, and his fire hadn’t wavered. He acted with his purpose, without abandon.

He stepped forward, his sword still within its scabbard. He never got serious. He must’ve felt like he never had to pull it out. Well, he certainly won’t need to pull it out for Calamitas.

Signus wavered and increased the distance between the two. The hole where Regulus fell into lay off to the side.

“Might I ask what your purpose here is?” Reinhardt called out to it. Signus merely narrowed its eyes.

My purpose has already been achieved. There was never any need for me to continue, I know when it’s futile to proceed anyway,” Its form started vanishing as if slipping between the boundaries of the world. “Know this, as long as you still live, there shall never be an end to those who hunt you.

The world itself covered it; Signus’ form slowly slipped behind the veil of reality. As a being from the abyss between worlds, it’d make sense that Signus was freely able to shift between realities.

Calamitas saw Reinhardt tense as Signus echoed away with those words. But they weren’t for him.

“Thank you, Subaru, Lady Emilia, Lady Cal,” Calamitas’ eyes widened at his grateful face. “I must be on my way, I’ll be doing one last sweep of the city, to make sure everything is still in order.”

“We’re the ones who should be thanking you, Reinhardt,” Subaru chuckled and smiled at the Sword Saint. “If you weren’t here, I don’t know what we could’ve done to stop Regulus. There might’ve been no scenario where we broke through without you.”

“I’m glad that my meagre strength was of value to you.” Reinhardt bowed.

What. Meagre? Did he actually believe that? What kind of life must one live through to have that personality?

“We’ve already talked about your ‘meagre’ strength,” Subaru huffed and shook his head like he was disappointed. But his smile was still apparent, making it obvious he wasn’t serious. “Seriously, you’re a pretty great guy, Reinhardt.”

“Thank you,” He smiled. “Do take care of Lady Cal, get her to Felix, I’m sure she wants her rest.” He vanished, running through the city at a breakneck pace.

It was strange. Very, very, very strange. Not that Reinhardt was kind or he had a peculiar personable personality.

No, it was strange that she was still alive. ‘Take care’ of Cal? Did he not want… to kill her? To try her for what happened in the medical tent? Not even a question?

No.

He’s just going to wait until they’re alone to interrogate her. Yes, that’s it.

She exhaled a slow breath. The pounding sensation in her head kept interrupting her thinking, was what she was thinking logical? Would Reinhardt genuinely do that to her? An effect of her light-headedness, pain or any other symptom could be causing her to have extreme anxiety.

Well, she’ll burn that bridge when she gets to it.

“Regulus seemed… When I saw him, at first, I thought I’d seen him somewhere before…”

Cal cuts back into the conversation. Emilia was speaking to Subaru about something.

“So this wasn’t your first meeting? In that case, when was it?” Subaru questioned her.

“That’s the thing, I can’t remember.” She frowned and tilted her head. Her eyes closed in thought.

“Nope, I can’t remember,” She sighed, “Regulus, just where did we meet?”

Ahem.” Calamitas cleared her throat. Emilia jumped with an ‘Eeep!’ and turned to her on the ground.

While I’d really enjoy listen to you think on where you met that piece of waste, I’d rather we kill him and make sure that he doesn’t come back. His power is something that we cannot take lightly. So if you could kindly pick me up?

Emilia furrowed her brows in contemplation. “He’s not dead? Are you sure? Reinhardt is pretty powerful…”

I know, what it’s like to have only rage against the world. To curse everything as if it were second-nature, and to deny reality in favor of erasing things that cause displeasure. That man could very well be dead. But rage and hatred is the very foundation for a karmic force, to extend life like some kind of dark magic. It’s better to destro– to be safe than sorry.

“Makes sense to me, Emilia-Tan,” Subaru nodded along with Calamitas’ line of reasoning. “Not the karmic, dark magic kind of stuff, but ‘better safe than sorry’. That’s something the Natsuki family has integrated into our life from day one!”

“O-okay…? Well, if you say so, Subaru,” Emilia was slightly taken aback but went along with Subaru. “Uhm, so, Miss Cal, uh… How am I supposed to lift you up? Your entire body in a princess carry, or–”

Absolutely not.” Came her quick reply. She looked into Emilia’s eyes with a scary intensity. “Don’t you dare even consider that course of action again.

“O-oh, um. Sorry!” Emilia bowed down to the other half-elf. She looked back up, “So, um, how’d you like to be…?”

I still have an arm attached, lift me by that.” She waggled her limp limb, enjoying seeing the expression of uncomfortability on the two’s faces when her bones clicked and clacked together.

“Oi-oi-oi-oi!” Subaru took a few steps back. “I wouldn’t even let myself splint something that broken! It makes my spine shiver just thinking about putting pressure on that! I feel like I’m going to be sick!”

With an uncomfortable expression, Emilia stepped forward with hands stretching out to Calamitas’ remaining arm. She paused right before it, looking at Cal with a worried expression.

What. I’m not joking. Lift me up and let me point my hand down into that hole. Stop dilly-dallying and get on with it!” Calamitas snapped at her. But Emilia’s eyes twinkled.

“Nobody even says dilly-dallying anymore…” She turned away with a deep smile that Calamitas could barely catch. Subaru laughed.

What was she talking about? Was this some joke she wasn’t in the loop for?

Just pick me up already.

“R-right… hehe…” She scratched the back of her head sheepishly.

Reaching down, Emilia pulled Calamitas into a sitting position, who groaned and shuddered for a few seconds. Then, she gently waited for her to get over her headrush, looping her arms around Calamitas’ midsection. When motioned to continue, Emilia lifted her to her feet with the ease of lifting a bag of groceries.

Taking a moment to steady herself, Calamitas took a deep breath. “Alright, now the arm.

“Are you… sure?” Emilia had a pained expression. “I don’t think that’d feel too good…”

Even so, I need to make sure he’s dead, or the unrest within my heart will never abate.” Calamitas looked into Emilia’s pained eyes with the determination to allow no loose ends.

She closed them and drew in a deep breath of her own.

And reached forward.

Instead of pain, Calamitas felt a strange feeling spread into her arm. Emilia had indeed grabbed it, but it didn’t hurt. It didn’t even feel bad. Instead, it was a gentle, pleasant feeling that Calamitas hadn’t felt before.

What is… this?

“This is water magic! I can’t heal you as well as the best healer in Lugunica, but it shouldn’t hurt!” Emilia gently wrapped her right arm around Calamitas’ back, with her left hand attached to her wrist.

A gentle feeling. It felt almost right to let it flow into her body. Calamitas was never blessed with magic as soft as this. Her inability to heal during fights was her greatest weakness. If these two didn’t come along, she would’ve died.

Well, she did say she was in their debt and that she’d repay them. She just hoped there wouldn’t be anything crazy at this ‘Sage’s Watchtower’.

It feels quite pleasant. I thank you.” Calamitas lowered her head to the half-elf.

“Nono! It’s all good, no problem whatsoever!” Calamitas groaned as Emilia half-carried half-ran with her to the chasm in the ground that Regulus made upon contact.

The sudden jerky movement caused the horned woman’s world to start revolving around and around. Emilia noticed and apologized for suddenly jerking her forward, but Calamitas just held up a bandaged finger.

After a few heartbeats, everything stilled.

When destroying something, you have to ensure that all is turned to ash,” Calamitas stretched her palm down into the hole. “Ashes to ashes, nothing remains of the emotions of the old world. Allow no escape, and burn all.

Red fire sprouted from her body, traveling down her arm and into her palm. Burning nothing, yet feeling like the heat of the sun. “Brimstone Gigablast.

Like an entire inferno upon the palm of her hand, the torrent of fire is sent into the ground in a giant fireball. The ground rumbled and shook a few seconds later.

Subaru took a step back, covered in sweat. Emilia’s hands felt slick and slippery. Her grip was locked harder than before and tightened further when more fire coalesced onto her palm.

She shot fire down again, and again, and again. The cacophony of explosions and rumbles sounded like a choir of destruction playing out in real time.

She fired once more and felt something different from the other blasts. It hit something on the way down.

She grinned wildly. And squeezed out the last of the mana within her core. A meager few drops to fuel the most incredible fire she’d used today. They were consumed in an instant, and the blaze around her body flew into the sky, the tendrils of the flames flying freely.

The heat started melting the ice on her shoulder, sweat trailed down her brow, and her grin was as fervent as ever.

“It’s like… a miniature sun…” Subaru gaped as he stood further back, his body unable to withstand the heat from close up.

It started reigning in, slowly and slower still; the tendrils were absorbed back into itself. Then, finally, the ball shrunk, and the heat decreased. The purity of the flame was no longer in question, nor was its power.

A figure flew out of the hole. Although to say it was humanoid was correct, no other defining features truly remained. Hair torn out, suit shredded and covered in mud. His hips were at an awkward angle with bloodied limbs with no appendages attached.

Emilia tensed greatly, her face a look of horror.

Regulus Corneas had genuinely been undefeated.

The sun had turned into a perfect sphere, free of imperfection. His eyes were smashed into his head, but the emotion in them was the rawest she’d ever seen.

Hatred, anger, wrath, but also surprise and pain. He looked down at her in that split second in complete and utter dumbfoundedness.

She looked up, and her eyes widened a fraction. His form had changed, his clothing and existence itself warped in front of her. His clothing changed to red, granting him boots and gloves. Gold grew on the edges of his clothing, and a red jewel appeared above his sternum.

Horns came out of his head, and his skin color changed. Even his gender swapped.

Calamitas looked up at herself.

Her previous self. It wasn’t because of his thoughts and ideals, nor his actions. But the raw emotion within his destroyed eyes, his torn expression, his broken body.

Hatred for everything, anger against everyone. Curses against them all for daring to exist, for every action was against her. Every movement was a movement against her. Every word was to belittle her, and every thought was to demerit her.

Existing within her mind at all times were those few moments of respite. To let loose and feel the things she’d held back. When she destroyed her ancestor’s home and slew the goddess of the underworld, neglecting the eternal flame that had been their most extraordinary magic, she wished to know if it was meaningful to kill countless, whether or not she’d truly needed to.

Silva, an embodiment of the life of the world itself, what did Calamitas do but let her anger out on a genuinely immortal being? Yet, even now, she couldn’t remember what snapped her out of her anger, which her curse hadn’t enhanced.

Draedon and his asking her for assistance with his machines. Yharon and his sympathy which she didn’t ask for. Braelor and his stalwartness, Statis and his calm understanding when she went mad right before him.

It’s childish, but the moment that had stuck with her through all of it, was when she needed to run tests on a rip in reality. To understand something new and see new possibilities. To warn of danger instead of causing it. It was possibly the only interaction between her and the Devourer she had any fondness for.

It was time to lay those feelings of hatred and anger to rest. To allow for more respite, for more memories to look fondly upon. And build something anew, whether that is to make a country, a world, or just live in a small cave in the underworld, causing no disturbance for anyone.

Those feelings had controlled centuries of her life. That mindset set her back again and again, where she learned almost nothing but combat and strived to use her genius for nothing but slaughter.

A lifetime of nothing but senseless hatred. Both the person she was and the person she was left with had nothing. But only the latter had a future, and only the latter had something that Calamitas could make with her life.

It was time to let herself go.

The fire flew forward and engulfed her. An angled pillar of fire scorched past the buildings and above the wall, shooting out into the sky. The figure in the fire vaporized almost instantly. The flames slowly dwindled and expired. It was finally over.

The expenditure of the last of her mana sent twitches and shivers down her limbs. Her heart beat erratically in her chest, the lack of mana enhancement, the lack of feeling in her body, limbs, her mind itself, it felt terrible.

Yeah, it felt terrible.

“M-miss Cal! Did something happen?” Emilia asked her in concern.

What? Why would you say that?

“You’re crying…”

…Huh?

Her eyes were blurry, and that pounding sensation behind her eyes had strengthened. Was she crying? Her? The lack of mana wasn’tthatupsetting. This didn’t make any sense.

H-how strange… I haven’t cried in so many years… I had forgotten what this felt like. Why am I even crying? There’s none to mourn…” Cal pondered on it. More than five centuries ago was the last time she’d wept. It was over the deaths of her family. Not once had she done so after, not when she was slaughtering countless, not when Yharim was using her. Not even when she stared at the forms of what her brothers became.

“I didn’t think this Regulus business was getting to you like that…” Subaru walked up and patted her on the back sympathetically. “Well, he’s gone now, so there’s no need to worry anymore, Cal.”

That wasn’t it. It wasn’t; something else was making Calamitas feel like this. She felt relief, but that alone wouldn’t make her cry.

I’m thankful for your words, but they’re unnecessary. It’s getting a little difficult to see, tears are quite troublesome.” She blinked as hard as she could. The pooled-up tears trailed down her face.

When she opened her eyes, they fell upon a strange purplething.It writhed on the ground, like dozens of thick purple wires wrapped together like a ball. It was unlike anything Calamitas had seen before, clearly something vile.

“Hey, don’t say that! Tears are very manly in every aspect!” Subaru laughed. He walked next to Emilia, who was still holding Calamitas up. “Emilia-Tan, switch with me, I can carry her now.”

“But I don’t think Subaru can use healing magic…?” Emilia questioned. Calamitas kept her gaze on the purple sludge.

“Oh, right. Emilia-Tan is just so good at it that I forgot that you’re the reason why Cal can even stand to stand right now.” Subaru sighed, kind of just standing awkwardly by Emilia’s side. The purple writhing mass tensed, as did Calamitas.

It jumped towards Subaru. Calamitas leaned heavily into Emilia’s side and swiped her arm out. She smacked the purple mass out of the air. Emilia looked over in surprise, “Miss Cal, what’s wrong? Did something happen?”

She smacked it, so it should’ve gone flying; at the very least, it should’ve splatted against the ground. That was the natural course of action, yet it sunk into her flesh when it collided with her hand. It slipped under her bloodstained bandages, and melded with her flesh.

Guh…?!” It traveled up her arm, bulging unnaturally under her flesh. She tried to deploy magic to stop it but had no mana left. She had no arm to cut it off, no magic to destroy it, and no reaction from the other two people with her.

The mass went through her forearm, past her joint at the elbow, traveled up her bicep, and to her collarbone. Her heart pounded in her ears, and her breaths were short. She was getting cursed again.She was getting cursed again!She could only watch in horror as it slipped through her collarbone and nestled into her chest.

And then, nothing.

“M-Miss Cal?! A-are you okay?!” Emilia worriedly looked over her body and wound. Couldn’t she see it? Didn’t she see what just happened?

I-I’m fine. I think I might’ve overused my magic, I… need to rest.” Her skull squeezed around her brain, and her heart roared in her ears. Then, her vision faltered, and she collapsed her entire body weight onto the other half-elf.

“M-Miss Cal!!”

‘M fin’... Jus’ a bit– tirrred?” The two people continued shouting, but they sounded further and further away until she could hear them no longer.

The witch couldn’t stop the beckoning of the darkness; she had no will to resist.

She fell asleep.

Re:Supreme - Chapter 5 - TheGimbler - Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 (2024)
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