Under the full moon, as if it were a second sun – though this would be an exaggerated description, the fire from the torch illuminates the back garden where the witch, the girl and the two iron-masked giants are facing each other.
The one to make the first move is the red girl.
「There’s no way I’ll let you perform any incantations!」
Considering the distance between them, there is no way that she can hear Fiona’s whispered incantations unless she belongs to a race with exceptional hearing, such as the beast-men.
Still, the movement of her mouth is obvious, even with a human’s eyesight. In fact, not paying attention to the mouth of an opponent who is known to be a magic-user is a mistake that only a terrible amateur would make.
The girl waves the wand with the red, ruby-like jewel embedded at the tip.
She has not performed an incantation. Which means that her『Ignis Sagita』is invoked with just the name of the spell; no incantation is necessary.
Casting low-level spells without an incantation is a skill that any intermediate-level mage should know, but due to her talent at magic, she has learned it at this age.
What is even more surprising is that there are not one, but three fireballs in her hand.
Each individual fireball is distinctly larger than an ordinary『Ignis Sagita.』
Three simultaneously-created, incantation-less, large fireballs – She has shown three different skills as a mage with one spell. It is unclear whether it is her own talent or whether it is the power of the wand in her hand.
Either way, it does not change the fact that there are now three fireballs flying at Fiona, who is still slowly performing her incantation.
The『Ignis Sagita』soar through the air to fulfil their purpose of incinerating the enemy, leaving red trails behind them.
The three fireballs strike perfectly, illuminating the back garden in red light with a thunderous explosion.
「Kyahaha! That’s what happens when you’re a magic-user and you come to a fight without a front guard, ba~ka!」
Fiona had simply stood there, completely defenseless, unable to dodge or block the attack. Facing the spot where she disappeared in the smoke of the explosion, the girl sneers in a high pitched voice.
「بحزم لمنع الصخور جدار لحماية كبيرة واسعة」
However, in the next instant, the flowing melody of an incantation reaches her ears.
Cutting through the curtain of rising smoke, the pitch-black witch appears.
There is not a single burn on her soft, white skin and not a single one of her silky black hairs is shaken. In short, she is completely unharmed.
The blue eyes shining behind her glasses look incessantly sleepy; her expression shows no acknowledgement of the fact that she just received an attack.
Rather than panicking because the fire-element attack that she specializes in is not working, she seems annoyed at the fact that the witch has no reaction whatsoever.
She raises her eyebrows in hatred as she gives the command for the two giant warriors to charge forward. It is a simple but effective tactic against a magic user.
With their dirty, white surcoats fluttering, the two Guardians begin sprinting at a high speed that is unfitting for their huge bodies.
They have matching simple, ancient longswords made of iron in their hands, but this equipment is more than enough to kill a lone witch. In fact, even a single one of their boulder-like fists would be deadly enough to kill a human.
The fact that their charge is silent and not accompanied by a war cry makes it all the more ominous, but Fiona is already not even looking at the sturdy Guardians that are closing in on her.
She simply stares at the girl with a listless gaze as she takes a step forward through the black smoke.
It is because her method of dealing with these warriors is already prepared. Right now, at this very moment, the incantation that has been coming from her mouth is complete.
「– Terra Wall Defan.」
The magic invoked was an intermediate-level earth-element defensive spell, but because of Fiona’s overwhelming ability, what comes forth is a protective stone wall, solid enough to be called a high-level spell.
The place it appears is the surface of the ground in the back garden, where the dirt has been hardened by the footsteps of the Guardians’ boots.
From there, two stone towers appear, completely covering the Guardians’ tall bodies, extending upwards as if to pierce the heavens.
「W-what the hell is this!」
The only one to let out a voice of surprise is the girl; indeed, there is not a single word from her two guards who are now trapped inside these stone prisons.
Loud knocking against the stone walls echoes out as they try to remove the obstacle and continue their attack.
Of course, even the powerful Minotaur zombies would take a considerable amount of time to escape from such a prison. The Guardians are huge, but they are still humanoid; there is no way for them to break free faster than a monster could.
Thus, having successfully sealed these bodyguards, Fiona’s gaze does not waver from the girl as she leisurely closes the distance between them.
「Kuh, Ignis –」
With her vanguard gone, the girl has no choice but to rely on her attack magic once more, though it is doubtful that it will have any more effect when cast a second time.
The incantation earlier was for the spell used to seal the Guardians; therefore, the witch needs to begin another incantation for her next attack.
As the girl raises her wand overhead, the witch raises her staff at the same time – however, the one to fire first is Fiona’s『Ainz Bloom.』
Fiona did not even recite the spell’s name.
No, the more surprising thing is the overwhelming size of her fireball.
The girl’s own fireballs were larger than average, but the fireball that is drawing closer before her eyes is easily half a meter in diameter.
They are incomparable in the first place; the girl’s attacks were mere fireballs, but this is definitely a magical attack that is well above intermediate level – As she thinks this, her body is thrown into the air by the explosion and heatwave.
「To not even be able to block an incantation-less Ignis Sagita. And you call yourself a fire mage?」
As a user of fire magic herself, Fiona cannot help but to speak without thinking when confronted with the pathetic sight before her.
However, the girl should be praised for not becoming an incinerated corpse after being hit by Fiona’s super-Ignis Sagita, escaping with only some burns.
The color of fiery magical power reflected in her eyes and hair is not only for the sake of her appearance; her body has resistance against high temperatures.
However, this is not a situation where she can take pride in that fact.
The girl has landed face-down against the earth after flying several meters through the air. Her face that was colored with strong makeup is now covered in dirt, mud and scorch-marks, perfectly representing her broken pride.
As she moans in pain and raises her face from the ground –
「ثلاثاء نار متقدة عصا الشعلة سبيرز بيرس」
The witch is standing right next to her, humming a new incantation.
The girl already has some idea regarding the extent of Fiona’s magical ability – at the very least, she is aware that her own ability is completely unable to compete.
She is reduced to this state after one incantation-less fireball attack; it goes without saying what would happen if she received an attack with a complete incantation.
「S-stop, wait –」
Looking down at the girl rolling around at her feet, Fiona casually waves her staff and recites:
「–『Ignis Kris Sagita.』」
Two tornadoes of flame suddenly rise up.
The stone prisons that Fiona created are behind her, and the tornadoes engulf them.
In short, it is not an attack aimed at the girl, but to finish the Guardians.
There is no need to confirm their deaths. In the past, the only human made of flesh and blood who would have been able to survive that is the monster Apostle, Ai.
Thus the unidentified Guardians perish, without their identities ever being revealed.
In any case, it is not Fiona’s work to figure out the their secret, so she pays them no attention.
「حرق أعدائنا ، سحقت ، ميتز، ضربة قاسية الحارقة」
This time, the incantation is definitely for a spell that will bury the girl that is prostrating herself in an unsightly manner – no, to be more accurate, it is an enchantment.
If she swings『Ainz Bloom』, it is nothing more than a blunt weapon; this spell is an intermediate-level fire enchantment which changes the staff into an explosive, deadly weapon.
「– Wait! I’m carrying a baby!」
The moment she shouts this confession, the staff that has its end lit by a fireball stops moving.
Fiona sees the girl cowering with her arms tightly wrapped around her abdomen, a sight that begs for compassion.
「Is that priest the father?」
「Yeah... It’s our child.」
She is facing the ground, so Fiona cannot tell what kind of expression she is wearing.
Looking at her slim waist, there is no sign of any pregnancy; there is a chance that she is lying.
However, strangely enough, Fiona believes her.
And she can sympathize with her feelings. Because Fiona herself is a girl who is in love.
「I think that a pregnancy at that age is a questionable decision, though.」
「It doesn’t matter, because we’re in love!」
「Are you in love? I thought it was merely a physical relationship.」
「Don’t make fun of me! My love for him is real!」
Though her face is not visible, Fiona can hear the tears in the girl’s voice as she yells her confession of love.
Fiona unconsciously smiles at the surprising revelation of the pure love between the young priest and the fire mage girl.
She has managed to get a good idea of the girl’s passionate feelings through this short conversation. She begins to speak in a satisfied voice.
「That is suitable for a sacrifice, isn’t it?」
Thus, the deadly Ignis Breaker explodes on the girl.
Employing a full golf swing with such perfect form that Kurono would surely say「nice shot!」if he were here to see it, Fiona swings the blazing end of『Ainz Bloom.』
Her target is the side of the girl’s body, whose arms are desperately trying to protect her beloved child.
The girl flies through the air once more, scattering burnt-smelling flesh across the ground.
Her eyes, wide open with genuine shock, meet Fiona’s cool gaze.
Perhaps she had been holding onto a naïve hope that Fiona would spare her.
In reality, the girl’s body, which is now held together only by a single sheet of skin across her abdomen, crashes with full force into the wall of the orphanage.
A flower is drawn on the canvas of the dirty, white wall in the red paint of blood, entrails and the child who had yet to take form.
However, there is nobody observing this art. Fiona, who is now the only living person in this place, has her eyes closed.
「... What is it, Lily-san? I’m in the middle of something right now.」
Though it appears that she has suddenly begun talking to herself, the fact that she mentions Lily’s name means she has been contacted through telepathy.
As long as they are both within the orphanage grounds, there is no need for disposable crystal communication devices; direct communication is possible through Lily’s telepathy.
「Eh, I can start the fire already? But the experimental – we don’t need them? Haah, I see, then I’ll go ahead.」
Ending her conversation, Fiona indifferently moves on to perform her next task.
Her opponent was not even worthy to be called an enemy, but in any case, the nuisance has been taken care of. Her weapon,『Ainz Bloom』, has already carried out its required purpose.
She replaces it with something she takes from her three-cornered hat. It is, of course, the object she borrowed from the academy’s great library... The forbidden book,『The Guide to the Palace of Ten Thousand Demons.』
By reciting a line written in it, the sacrifices – in other words, the believers who have barely escaped death thanks to Lily holding back – are to be sent to an evil god in the unknown reaches of hell.
The preparations are complete.
In short, ambushing whoever came out was not the only reason Fiona came to the back garden. She has been drawing a wide-area magic circle to engulf the sacrifices, along with all of the buildings in the orphanage including the chapel, in flames.
It is equivalent to pouring tons of oil over all of the buildings, so to speak. With a spark, these shabby old buildings would be destroyed by the red-hot hand of a demon.
「Evil-god-sama, please grant us your divine protection tonight. I wish to return to Kurono’s side quickly.」
As she makes a request that is so self-centered that it cannot even be thought of as a prayer, Fiona receives the signal from Lily and sets the orphanage on fire.
「I offer to you, the God of all evils –」