I’m sorry, Onii-sama! V2C4
Lady of the Inferno Part II
The fortress at the border where the magicians were stationed had fallen.
The deployment of the enemy soldiers was also abnormal.
There is no valuable resources within that area.
Going from this development, even if it’s impossible, there can only be one thing.
It is easy to tell that the flow of the world was going accordingly with the growth of the light novel’s hero.
Thus this is the best I can do as the “villain”.
“Wood Magicians fall back and support Atlas-sama. I do not need any escorts.”
“Origa-sama it’s too dangerous!”
“I have no intention of holding back. Anyone around me will burn.”
I tied my flowing hair with string and adjusted the collar of my uniform.
Since I need to concentrate from now, I wanted to reduce any distracting factors as much as possible.
I began giving out instructions as I walked, and those who were previously objecting began moving to their post.
And with each order, the knights that were following behind me began moving out one after another.
Even if they are under someone’s influence my orders would still be carried out―――otherwise they would just perish by my flames.
“When I finish activating my magic send up a signal to the other companies. I don’t know if I can control everything perfectly, so have the water magicians be prepared to prevent the spread of the fire once the water in the river recovers”
I don’t intend on doing so, but if I happen to collapse from excessive magic use it would be hard to clean up.
Although I have been training extensively all the way to now, I still cannot gauge the full potential of the girl called “Origa”.
I am doubtful if I can even keep the fire under control If I unleash the full power of my flames.
The thought of this being essentially like an experiment crossed my mind.
That is exactly what this is.
A villain is a villain.
“Are there anymore questions? If not, move to your post immediately.”
“Hey, wait! The damage will be too great like this. There are many non-combatants near the border. Attacking them goes against our purpose!”
My arm was pulled forcing me to turn around, looking up I saw black eyes dyed with anger.
Even when I appealed to the surrounding people to remove him, everyone only slightly averted their eyes, disregarding the order.
There wasn’t much time so I was feeling a bit frustrated, frowning at the pain from the grip on my arm, I quickly laid out the facts.
“I realize the methods I proposed are not popular. And it goes against our purpose. However, since I was summoned here, we should consider that His Majesty wishes for a breakthrough as soon as possible.”
“…….The magicians in the fort might have been captured. Securing the safety of the magicians is also a wish of His Majesty.”
“It has already been three months since their capture. Even if we offer a trade, they might not even be alive anymore―――it is already too late.”
Defend this country at all cost.
Since it is a command given to me by the king, just by saying that I am prioritizing this order makes it impossible for anyone to overrule.
A statement like prioritizing the safety of the magicians is too weak to stop me in this situation.
Even so, he spoke up.
“There’s no reason not to give the enemy a warning to retreat. They also have families and people to protect. If we create victims unnecessarily, one day this will come back around to us.”
That was a valid argument. I understand that.
However, only the hero is capable of protecting everything with such ideals.
I cannot do such a thing.
This reminds me of the figure of the hero that I had admired in the past.
Just how would the current ‘me’ look like in his eyes? It was bemusing.
“Are you sure you don’t want to make the walls? Leaving the state of the land aside, having the magicians create a protective barrier around here will ensure the safety of the civilians so no need to worry.”
With a big sigh, I pulled my arm free and smiled.
Like ‘Origa’, I focused on a smile that would make anyone back off.
To make it so no one would understand my fear, so no one would mock me, so no one would sympathize with me.
So that aside from me, no one would have to carry this sin.
“Atlas Ville Harvester, the one in charge of this operation is me. You do not have any say in this matter. This will be a victory brought forth in my name.”
The grudges of the corpses that will amass here will all be directed towards ‘Origa’.
“I will burn with my full power. ―――If you wish to protect the civilians, then protect them from my flames.”
The trees absorbed the water and grew at an abnormal rate, a wall was formed, drying up the river.
The color of the trees were very different from the original, and a semitransparent wall was completed on the river banks.
I have heard that maintaining control over the abnormal growth rate is like the constant feeling of tension of threading a needle.
Just maintaining the growth with water alone was difficult enough already.
However, after water has been absorbed inside a life form, the water magicians become unable to manipulate it.
Thus unless the erected wall of distorted trees collapsed under its own weight, the water magicians cannot do anything.
With this, the stage for me has been prepared.
I stood on top of a rock overlooking the fort where the enemy army was.
The enemy cannot be seen clearly from here.
There was no way of telling how many there are.
It was possible the enemy magicians had noticed our movements, as I could sense massive amounts of magic being gathered.
Perhaps the magic was for defense, or perhaps it was for offense.
Either way, if I waited to confirm it after it activates, even ‘Origa’ will have trouble dealing with it.
This was no time to be immersed in sentiment.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and began forming the image of fire.
At the very least, so that they won’t suffer.
I felt shivers as the magic started flowing forth from my body all at once.
And burning flames began enveloping the opposite shore.
It began raining in the local area and it did not take long for the dancing sparks of flames to be brought under control.
The rain that fell upon the heated earth immediately evaporated, obscuring the surroundings.
As rain fell upon my body, it stole the heat from my trembling body.
The feeling of unleashing my full magic power for the first time since birth was overwhelming.
This was no longer a fight between magicians, but merely wielding a power of pure destruction.
The opposite side of the river bank became charred and even the protective walls of distorted trees built by Atlas were burning away in some places.
And ‘Origa’ should still be growing.
Although I have learnt the techniques from training, I should not have the same amount of magic power as the original ‘Origa’ yet.
As I began dragging my abnormally heavy body down the hill, the soldiers in wait were looking at me with dumbfounded expressions.
The only sounds that could be heard in the silence was the sound of someone backing away, and my own rough breathing.
Many eyes surround me, some were filled with awe, some with fear, there were even some filled with hatred.
I thought I also heard a voice murmur “monster” somewhere.
“……Scouts, report the current situation.”
The surrounding gazes were becoming unbearable, and the turbulence of my emotions was generating heat.
Under this situation where I do not know who is a traitor, I should not let my unease show, but it was difficult to suppress.
My vision was blurry and telling me I am at my limits, but even so I looked towards the scouts with unwavering eyes.
“Yes, along the river banks, it appears the ground has become dried but there seems to be no other hindrances. Also regarding the occupied fortress, there were no signs of any enemy soldiers remaining!”
“Good work, the heat should subside within fifteen minutes. Do not use the horses, and prepare your equipment before crossing the river. Inform the other companies with a signal fire……as for the bridge, have Atlas-sama arrange one”
As I was speaking I lost my balance and collapsed.
The voices of the concerned soldiers became muffled.
And my breathing became faster than I expected.
There was a calm part of me that thought that it has been a while since I hyperventilated, and there was another part of me panicking that I cannot show such an appearance here, I could only smile wryly at that.
Since this is due to excessive use of magic power and mental stress, I need to rest.
As I got on one knee and tried standing up, someone’s hand reached over to pull me up by the arm.
I felt lightheaded but looked up to thank him and saw the eyes of a confused Altas――――and my heart began aching.
“……..It’s alright, I just used too much magic power, I just need a bit of rest.”
Why did it have to be him, the him who has the shadow of the hero flickering inside him, I did not want him to see the current me.
Avoiding my eyes, I urged my powerless legs forth and muttered I’ll leave it to you.
I pulled my arm that was grasped away and felt relieved when it was dropped without any resistance.
As the soldiers began assembly of the bridge under Atlas’ order, I began walking back towards my tent and noticed a patch of hot air fluctuating.
The fluctuation was due to the power of wind magic and not natural.
It would seem my disgrace was just witnessed, while clicking my tongue I turned away from the fluctuation.
“Good work, Rat.”
Whispering those quiet words in passing, the body of an unfamiliar young soldier trembled.
When I woke up again, the first thing I heard was an angry voice.
“You there! Stop!”
The sky was dyed red, the magic turbulence within me had calmed down, and a boy around my age had burst into the tent.
I was still feeling sluggish but I managed to rise from the simple bed, and the saw the boy get caught by the guards as he tried to run this way upon catching sight of me.
He had simple clothing and crude hair―――my mind was still sluggish and as I was wondering why a villager was inside my tent, the boy screamed.
“Why! Why did you kill Sasha! You murderer!”
“I’m very sorry for this disturbance, Origa-sama!”
I myself am not sure why I stopped the panicked guards from dragging the boy out of the tent.
In my current mental state, I know that nothing good would come from listening to words of blame upon myself.
But I indicated that I didn’t mind and to let him continue speaking, the boy who was being detained by the guards continued shouting with tears in his eyes.
“Even though you all didn’t even bother looking at us until now, you all only came to protect us after the fort was attacked!”
“Even when there were hardships, when there was a famine, all you did was forsake us.”
“You’re not fighting for us! You didn’t need to kill them all!”
“Why? Why did Sasha have die just for your glory!?”
I knew that not everyone along the border were soldiers.
The war was over a wide front.
I knew that the enemy side had a merchant union residing there, a simple inn had also been opened, and I also knew that they were beginning to attract settlers.
So there were also civilians among those who I had burned to death.
It was likely the boy’s friend was one of those people.
―――No matter the reason, in order to attain my goal, his friend, a part of his life, had been burned away.
I inflicted a wound upon him that would not disappear for the rest of his life.
All the hatred that is being directed towards ‘Origa’ was justified.
That’s why I have to stay as ‘Origa’ all the way up to the end.
“……Yes, that’s right. This is not for all of you. Since this is my first battle, it has to be glorious don’t you think?”
After delivering those words I closed my eyes, as the boy began screaming curses at me in rage.
The words were the complete opposite of the words of praise I received a year ago, and yet I felt more relief than pain.
That’s right. That reaction is correct.
I am a monster.
I am a murderer.
I am a villian.
That is why for the future of that person―――.
As the boy was taken out by the guards I instructed them not to punish him too severely, and the remaing soldier in the tent acknowledged with a look of relief on his face.
“It would appear some of the villagers have been associating with the enemy.”
A gentle breeze brushed against the flaps of the tent.
Even though it wasn’t suppose to drift so far, a burnt smell entered my nose.