「KILL THE HERETIIIIIIIIIC!」
As the battle begins, the young believers let out voices that sound as if they have gone mad as they fiercely close in on Lily.
They are not all running in straight lines across the floor; some are jumping over benches while others run across the walls like agile bandit-class fighters.
Their physical ability is clearly abnormal for human children. The thin arms holding their deadly weapons are also likely to have increased strength.
「『Domination』can release their limits as well, how amazing.」
Lily casually voices her thoughts; she feels no threat in the current situation.
The restrictions placed on their bodies by their brains, known as limits, have been released, enabling them to exhibit 100% of their physical ability. There are thirty small opponents in such a state – However, Lily would have no difficulty defeating this number of enemies.
The believers close in on the young Fairy in front of them; the blades in their hands will reach Lily’s body in a moment.
However, Lily is already prepared to make a counterattack. She produces not one, but countless bullets of light in the area around her Oracle Field, the same bullets as the one she used to destroy the cross.
In the same way as her beloved Kurono, she sends all of her bullets of light out simultaneously in a full burst.
Drowning out both the children’s outlines and their voices, a storm of white flashes blows through the room.
It is the simultaneous firing of multiple Lux Sagita, but rather than merely piercing their targets, they explode on impact.
She just showed how powerful the explosions are; if one of these were to strike the head, that person would immediately become a headless corpse.
The white flashes and hot wind in the room caused by the explosions settle down. Pieces of children’s corpses are scattered around the chapel – or so she thought, but –
「Hmm, nobody is dead yet, right? Fufu, the children of the slums are nice and sturdy, aren’t they?」
They are indeed still alive.
However, all of them have a leg or two missing. There are more than a few with all of four limbs missing, barely able to breathe.
Lily is superior to Kurono and Fiona in that she possesses the precise control to have her attacks automatically follow their targets.
Large destructive power is not required to destroy the small, thin, soft limbs of children. Therefore, Lily focused her attention on the accuracy of her attacks rather than the power. Though they were not fatal, it was easy for her to aim at their limbs with multiple attacks at the same time.
Thus, with just one burst of attacks, the majority of the children are now sinking into a hellish sea of their own blood.
Seeing these children with limbs missing rolling on the ground on the verge of death, anyone would wonder what kind of demon would do such a thing.
Fortunately, the children do not fill the room with the background music of their agonized screams, thanks to the effects of the『Domination.』
The only thing reaching Lily’s ears are their animal-like moans and their broken recital of lines from the scripture.
「They got away, huh... Well, I suppose you wouldn’t want to die with these guys.」
Wearing a twisted smile on her face, Lily looks towards the stage where the young priest had been standing arrogantly just a moment ago, but he is no longer there.
As he sent his believers forward, he escaped with the girl and the bodyguards called Guardians.
Lily, with her Oracle Field in full effect, has been blocking the front entrance this whole time. So they must have escaped through a back exit.
However, Lily does not move to give chase; she faces the children, of which about ten are still alive.
There is no need to hurry; these small-fries are not even effective as a way to buy time.
In spite of the overwhelming magical attack that they faced, the children who are still alive continue to hold their weapons and scream with murderous intent.
And then they charge forward to make another hopeless attack.
They remind her of the Crusaders who closed in on Alzas Village, charging into the deadly crossfire to meet their unsightly ends.
The moment before she is about to unleash her full burst of white light to put an end to this –
「Oh, are you perhaps not actually under the effect of『Domination』?」
Among the children that are closing in on her while letting out twisted screams, she sees one boy who still has the light of reasoning in his eyes.
He is none other than the orange thief, the boy who had thrown the rock at Kurono.
He does not have any signs of having high resistance. It is likely that he simply has a high mental defense.
Lily was protected from the light of『Domination』by the defensive power of the Oracle Field alone.
The Fairy’s shining defense is even more effective against these kinds of magical, mental attacks than against physical attacks.
For the young priest who is reliant on the jewel’s magic, breaking through her spiritual defense would be impossible. No, even if he was a skilled mage, he would not be able to apply『Domination』to Lily through her Characteristic Ability that is unique even among fairies.
Still, this boy who resisted it through nothing but the mental defense that he was born with could be said to have incredible talent.
However, it is difficult to say that this special ability is good for him in this situation.
「Fufu, fine, I’ll spare just you.」
If he obediently allows himself to be controlled, Lily will not need to pay him any more attention.
As Lily looks at the boy, the children – no, child soldiers, whose physical ability is drawn out to its absolute limits, and whose speed is faster than if they were affected by a Speed Burst, approach. She does not have the time she needs to use her Lux Sagita.
In battle, even a moment’s hesitation or carelessness can be the difference between life and death – of course, this is not relevant to Lily in the slightest.
Such an idea would only apply if she had a different Characteristic Ability.
It is Lily’s offensive magic, the same white light, but it has been changed in shape from bullets to a blade. But the result is the same.
She has produced two Force Edges.
The blades of light glide across the round surface of the Oracle Field, accurately intercepting the enemies closing in on her.
The deadly weapons in the children’s hands look like toys in comparison to Lily’s Twin Sabers as they effortlessly cut their arms and legs off with overwhelming reach, power and heat.
Rather than being blown off by an explosion, this time their limbs are severed by a searing light, causing no blood spurts from the wounds to dirty the floor. Yet the result is the same as when she used her bullets of light.
Either way, Lily is already paying no further attention to the few dozen enemies that are now on the verge of death, unable to move.
Right now, her blue eyes are focused on the one boy who is unaffected by『Domination.』
He has not lost his senses, but he also does not have his physical abilities strengthened. Quite slowly, he finally approaches Lily.
How could he oppose these Force Edges with the tiny knife in his hand?
Even if he were to miraculously slip in between the two hot blades, would his knife be able to pierce the Oracle Field covering her whole body?
It is absurd and reckless, but even so, the young believer carries out this suicidal attack for the sake of his religion –
「For now, I’ll forgive you.」
God would never reach a hand out to save him.
Lily creates weakened balls of light in her hand and sends them forth to explode on the boy’s chest at point-blank range.
Lily, protected by the Oracle Field, simply stands there. The shock wave from the explosion does not even move a single hair on her head. But the boy’s small, unprotected body is sent flying.
The boy flies through the air like a ragdoll and is unable to even brace for the impact as his body crashes onto the bloodstained floor.
「Gu... Shit... You heretic...」
Despite being the only one who has retained his senses, he spouts a line similar to the other insane followers. Lily casually approaches him.
Their gazes meet. The boy looks up; Lily looks down.
The distance between them is close and yet far, just like the distance between man and god.
「Shit, shit! It’s your fault again! If only you didn’t exist –」
「You’ve remembered me, I’m so happy.」
This makes the conversation much easier.
Though her words must sound like sarcasm to him.
To this pitiful boy who was once a farmer’s child born in Kuar Village and then became a refugee in Spada before being caught up in this false religion.
「Hey, if you promise to apologize to Kurono, I’ll save you.」
Perhaps this is the whim of a devil or the truth, or perhaps she holds pity for this child; Lily offers a suggestion.
「Ku... rono... That black guy... Don’t fuck with me, it’s all that guy’s fault, isn’t it?!」
「That’s just a misunderstanding, Kurono led the adventurers and fought well. It unfortunately wasn’t enough because the enemies were just too strong.」
「You’re lying! You’re lying, you’re lying, it’s that guy’s fault, everything turned out this way because he tempted everyone to abandon the village!」
With a small sigh, Lily begins murmuring.
「I thought Kurono would be happy, but...」
Even if it was a great lie.
She was willing to let go of her anger if it would make Kurono happy, but it seems that these feelings have not reached this boy.
No, with Lily’s magical telepathy ability, it is impossible for her to be unaware that the boy’s heart holds an irreversible grudge towards Kurono.
In short, she is just confirming that nothing she says would make any difference.
「Well then, goodbye. Ah, if you happen to meet that fake priest in hell, ask him this –」
With the hem of her black one-piece dress fluttering, Lily turns her back on him.
As several bullets of light appear in mid-air, she leaves him some final words before he dies.
「How dare he trick you all?」
「Geez, what’s with that girl!」
「To think that she would attack tonight, how unfortunate.」
After successfully escaping the chapel through the rear exit, the priest and the girl are having this conversation as they continue running at a fast pace.
There is a large full moon suspended in the sky, but the back garden of the orphanage that they are running through is endlessly dark.
「Was it okay to leave just those children there?」
「As long as they last five minutes, it is enough.」
There is no sign of regret or guilt in his words for making the children attack the dangerous Fairy.
「The preparations have already been made for the new Guardians to move, we just need to make it to the sanctuary –」
As he says that, the shadow of a person appears in front of them, as if to block their path.
「You used your believers as sacrifices and are escaping by yourselves? All founders of religions are the same, aren’t they.」
The one who is making this cynical remark is a girl wearing a black robe and black three-cornered hat while holding a staff in her hand.
A torch floating in mid-air illuminates her beautiful, bespectacled face.
「This time it’s a witch; it seems that only the wicked have gathered here tonight.」
The priest probably expected that the Fairy is not alone, but rather that she is part of an adventurer party.
Unperturbed by the appearance of this new enemy, his words are fitting for a priest.
「There is also a Berserker who can use black magic, but he is doing something else today. I apologize for not being able to meet your expectations.」
The girl in witch’s clothing mentions a meaningless internal circumstance as she approaches.
「I’m going to leave two Guardians with you, can I trust you to deal with her?」
「Of course, I’m going to burn the witch to death with my flames!」
With a spirited reply, the mage girl happily steps forward to buy some time.
Seeing her red hair and the wand with a crimson crystal embedded in it, any adventurer would guess that she would use offensive fire magic as she said.
If the imperial uniform she is wearing is real, it can be expected that her magical ability is above average.
Additionally, the two giant fighters with metal masks, the ones called Guardians, step forward silently to act as her front guard.
Whether she is confident in her own ability, the Guardians are just that reliable, or perhaps both, there is no sign of fear in the girl’s face; in fact, her expression is full of joy.
「I’m trusting you.」
The witch is likely able to see that the boy and girl are sharing a farewell kiss behind the guards.
However, it seems that she is not unsophisticated enough to interrupt the two youngsters’ love; the witch stands there silently until their kiss has finished and the priest has left.
「Are you already lovers at such an age?」
「Yeah, are you jealous? You’re jealous, aren’t you? There’s no way such a gloomy witch wearing those lame glasses could ever get a boyfriend! Kyahaha!」
Though the girl is looking down on her as a woman, the witch’s face is still expressionless; not even an eyebrow moves.
「... I will make you explode.」
Yet her murmured words have a clear bitterness to them.