Chapter 148: The Death of a Villain
Ruti was pressured by how much Leonor’s values differed from those of this world.
This world revolved around divine protections.
All the heroes and villains recorded in history achieved their feats from the strength of their honed divine protections.
Some defied the impulses from their divine protections such as a 『Cook』 leaving a name behind as a great swordsman or a 『Sword Saint』 spending a peaceful life as a ranch owner.
But the blessings from the divine protections were essential for either lifestyle.
The 『Cook』 had the skill to utilize all kinds of blades and the skill to discern the most efficient way to dissect an object. Carrying a giant kitchen knife with 7 different shapes, he would use the appropriate blade depending on the opponent.
The 『Sword Saint』 was born blind but could chase after goats and sheep with his Heart Eye and he could diagnose poor health in animals better than a veterinarian. He had a gentle character that disliked fighting but he would be the first to leap into battle if monsters or beasts aiming for his livestock appeared. He lived in a pioneer village surrounded by pristine forest so there were probably frequent monster attacks.
Neither lifestyles were desired by their divine protections but they still received the blessings of their divine protection and raised their divine protection levels so the 『Cook』 was praised as a great swordsman and the 『Sword Saint』 was endeared as a ranch owner.
“And thus the righteous adventurers cornered the villainous queen.”
Leonor said with her beautiful bell-like voice.
Looking at Tise’s knife stuck in her left hand, she touched it with a finger on her left hand to attempt to pull it out but the pain distorted her face and she seemed to give up.
“So much pain that it feels like I’m going to die … let’s settle this quickly.”
An ordinary warrior might be able to endure the pain but Leonor was unable to.
Leonor tilted her head at Ruti’s question.
“Is my level that abnormal? Everybody starts at level 1.”
“It is impossible to avoid fighting by living in this world. Even a baker, a seamstress, a regular village girl or even children playing in the forest, they will have to fight if they encounter their divine protection. That was how God created this world.”
“God may have said that, but I am my own master. I rely on myself and not on God … I do not need divine protection in my life.”
Leonor had no hesitation in her words.
She denied her divine protection without wavering. She was not denying a life forced to live according to the impulses of the divine protection but denying the very existence of the divine protection.
Ruti’s life was made a mess by her divine protection but, at the same time, she still received the blessing of her divine protection.
Ruti’s ability to fight normally within the strongest spell and defeat the Asura Demons with a single slash who Tise and I had difficulty with was due to the blessing of her divine protection.
Even now, if Ruti wanted to, she could cross the distance in an instant and kill Leonor.
But she could not do it.
Confronting Ruti was a great villain who denied the divine protection that Ruti continuously had trouble with, messed up the lives of 『Emperor』 Geyserik and 『Arch Mage』 Misufia, and allied with the Demon Lord Army who continues to corner mankind.
Unlike the strength coming from divine protection, Ruti was confused by the strength emanating from Leonor herself.
“Ruti, I’ll swap you.”
“You do not need to cut down who you do not wish to.”
“ … But it is the same for Onii-chan.”
“I am okay with it if the opponent is Ruti’s enemy.”
I faced Leonor as though to cover for Ruti and drew my sword.
“So you will be my opponent.”
I took a step toward the corrupted villain who caused the unhappiness of many people.
Somebody grabbed my arm.
“I will fight next.”
As a result of casting the Demon Flare spell, fatigue was clearly shown on her face.
Although she was leaning on her staff, she seemed to somehow be able to stand. Naturally, having depleted her magical power, she could not cast any spells.
Even if Leonor’s divine protection level was 1, the current Mistome-san was …
“Leonor’s sins were targeted at me, Leonor is not an enemy to you guys.”
“Red, Ruti, Tise, Garadin. Thank you for bringing me to this point, this point onward is the conclusion of my life.”
Mistome-shi’s arms were thin.
The strength of the hand grabbing my arm was fleeting … but the strength of a hero remained in her eyes.
I stepped down.
Garadin couldn’t stop himself from raising his voice.
Mistome-shi slowly looked back.
Garadin looked like he was about to say something but he couldn’t voice them out and swallowed his words.
“Looking back, we’ve been together for a long time.”
“Ye-yeah … that’s right.”
“It was enjoyable.”
“Yeah, it was fun for me too. Mistome. I really enjoyed our adventuring days together.”
“Did I make your life tough?”
“Yes! You were always overdoing it. Even more so than me, even though I am already known to be a daredevil.”
Garadin shook his head as though he resigned himself to it and passed the sword in his hand to Mistome.
“A gem crafted by the Downtown blacksmith Mogurim. It’s light and sharp.”
“Thank you Garadin, I’ll be borrowing this.”
Mistome-shi took the thin and sharp longsword with no sword guard and swung it twice to verify the sensation.
“It’s a good sword. I’m charmed by Mogurim’s work.”
“Good luck, make sure to win!”
“Of course …”
A small shadow leaped from Tise’s bag onto Mistome-shi’s arm while she had a satisfied smile on her face.
Ugeuge-san wrapped around Mistome-shi’s right arm.
“You tied the sword to my hand with thread? So I won’t drop my sword even if my fingers have no strength. It has been an enjoyable meeting, thank you little Ugeuge-san.”
Ugeuge-san replied by raising its right arm and leaped back onto Tise’s shoulder.
Tise didn’t say anything and only looked at Mistome-shi.
Mistome-shi nodded and smiled.
Ruti was the last to speak.
“I won’t allow anybody to be injured if I am in the fight. Make sure to win.”
Ruti looked directly at Mistome-shi and said.
Mistome-shi gently stroked Ruti’s hair and replied.
“But you are injured.”
Ruti was surprised and looked down.
“Thank you, I am truly happy that a kind child like you came to Zoltan.”
Mistome-shi hugged Ruti and looked at me.
“I leave later matters to you.”
She narrowed her eyes in relief after receiving reassurance from me as I nodded and she turned her back to us.
After that, she walked straight toward Leonor.
“I made you wait.”
“You really did. Was that all the parting words you have for your companions?”
“What about you? You don’t have anybody to leave your parting words? What about Geyserik?”
“None. I have no interest in who thinks what of me after I die.”
“I see. A lonely life.”
“And your life is one where you constantly lose companions.”
The two of them readied their swords.
Queen Leonor dressed in a fitting and beautiful high-class dress holding a dress sword.
Mistome-shi dressed in plain clothes holding an unadorned long sword.
“Leonor, I just want to say this in the end.”
“I lost to you. You snatched many things from me. My love, my country, my child … truly many things.”
“So you wish to take revenge for those? Fufu, sure. But even with my death, the lives lost will not return … it is already my win, Onee-sama. It’s my win!!”
“No, Leonor. I am not fighting for revenge. I held that thought until yesterday but after meeting you, I understood after remembering my life.”
“What do you understand?”
Mistome-shi inhaled largely.
“I had a fortunate life!”
Mistome-shi shouted so loudly that I wondered if it could even be heard within Zoltan.
She had a bright smile on her face.
“I encountered the person I love on a journey! I am surrounded by tons of companions now and in the past! I love my homeland Veronia! The perishing Veronia returned as a strong nation! I love this Zoltan! I was able to use my life for the sake of the lazy, peaceful people that I love in this country! And I was able to connect with Tonedo! When I first met him he was an unreliable boy but he is now a more excellent and braver mayor than I am! I have so many things to be happy for! It was a wonderful life!! I had a fortunate life!!!”
I could hear cheering.
The Zoltan people were cheering for Mistome-shi.
Leonor looked at Mistome-shi with a stunned expression.
“Seriously … Onee-sama is an unpleasant person until the very end.”
“Sorry Leonor … now is the time to settle this, ask for mercy from God!”
“I refuse, I do not pray to God!”
Both sides dashed out at the same time.
Mistome-shi blocked Leonor’s elegant thrust head-on.
The blades collided and sparks scattered.
Perhaps Mistome-shi could not channel strength into her knees because she was out of magical power as her posture crumbled.
Leonor immediately thrust her sharp and thin dress sword at Mistome-shi’s chest.
Mistome-shi parried Leonor’s sword with the staff in her left hand and aimed at Leonor’s foot with her sword even during her broken posture.
Leonor avoided it in the nick of time.
The ends of Leonor’s cut dress fluttered in the wind.
“Onee-sama, your footing is unsteady.”
“Your breath is ragged too.”
Both parties attacked once again.
The blades clashed once and twice.
Against Leonor who was using textbook elegant sword techniques despite her fatigue, Mistome-shi was forced to a defensive battle as she could not move her body according to will due to fatigue.
As opposed to Leonor’s personality, her sword thrusts were straight and intent, with no hesitation at all.
She could not use any unusual techniques but her sword technique steadily pushed her opponent into a corner.
I muttered as I looked at Leonor’s movements. Leonor’s body was already crumbling.
Although the fight has only lasted for one minute, Leonor’s body was already screaming that it could not endure that fight.
“ … That’s enough!!”
Leonor shouted sharply and stepped in deep to deliver a thrust.
She probably decided on that attack knowing that her breath could not last any longer.
Mistome-shi flew forward as though waiting for that strike, without avoiding or parrying it.
Leonor leaked a sound of confusion due to the unexpected counterattack.
The top of Leonor’s sword grazed Mistome-shi’s shoulder and scattered fresh blood.
But it was not a mortal wound.
Mistome-shi closed in to Leonor’s chest with a large step.
And then thrust her longsword into Leonor’s defenseless body.
“Ah …. !!”
There was a clang.
Leonor’s sword fell from her hand and hit the deck.
“Ka, haa ….”
Mistome-shi fell to both knees.
She was fighting on willpower alone after depleting her magical power but she probably used all her strength for that final strike.
Mistome-shi pulled out the sword with trembling hands and pointed the tip at Leonor while still on her knees.
Blood flowed out from Leonor’s chest.
“ … I guess this is the end.”
Leonor muttered weakly after seeing her dress stain red.
“I’m vexed. Killing Onee-sama was supposed to be my final enjoyment.”
“That’s extremely wicked for a last wish.”
Mistome-shi said with a bitter smile.
Leonor slowly retreated backward.
“It’s vexing … but satisfying.”
“What are you satisfied with?”
“I … lived however I wanted to my heart’s desire. I did not become somebody other than myself.”
Leonor stood at the edge of the bow.
“Rejoice, it’s the exit of the villain. My evildoings and sins were all my doing. I will not justify it using God as an excuse nor will I have a single ounce of myself to return to God. I take pride in my evildoings and will disappear. Goodbye Onee-sama, goodbye you lot … I hope you guys find freedom in your lives.”
Leonor’s body danced in the air.
Her dress fluttered and the queen fell off the ship.
I immediately rushed to the ship bow and leaned over to look below.
There was a splash and Leonor’s body sank to the bottom of the river.
Due to the ‘Fishing’ skill that I have, I could clearly see Leonor’s figure as she sank.
“ …… ”
I turned away.
Perhaps it was inevitable due to her weak bones and muscles due to her usage of magic to maintain her image of a young girl’s body or perhaps God’s anger for denying him … Leonor did not pass away with her beautiful appearance.
Like a crushed and broken gem, Leonor laid to rest at the bottom of the river.
However, her eyes shone with strong light until the end … to the point that I unconsciously felt that they were beautiful.
I turned around and announced to everyone.
“I see, so it has ended.”
Mistome-shi no longer had any energy left and sat down.
She looked like she was about to collapse so Garadin supported her.
“Sheesh, don’t make me worry for you when I am already this age.”
“Thank you for your hard work. But … this is the last after all.”
“The last huh? Both you and I are already at the age where it is troublesome to wield a sword. Let’s live quietly and peacefully from now on.”
Garadin’s eyes were kind and there was compassionate affection found between the companions.
Mistome-shi didn’t say anything else and closed her eyes quietly.
I surveyed the battlefield.
“It seems that the battle has ended too.”
Lit raised a cry of victory to emphasize the defeat of Leonor.
Although even with the loss of Leonor and the Demon Lord ship, the Veronian army still had the upper hand in terms of military strength …
“Return to the ship! The enemy won’t reach the sea yet!”
“The commander was killed! This galleon alone is not sufficient as a reward!”
“We can’t return to Veronia since the queen is dead! Hurry up and run!”
The morale among the Veronian army had completely collapsed.
After all, it was a collection of shunned mercenaries who were willing to side with the Demon Lord army if there was gold.
Nobody tried to take revenge for the queen as some fled with ships, some got on land and ran far away and, not many but, some threw down their weapons and surrendered.
“As expected of Lit.”
Even though it was the first war experienced by the Zoltan army, the number of casualties was minor.
Lit’s command was excellent.
She did well protecting the soldiers who were not used to war.
“Good work Ruti.”
“Yup … I’m tired, I see, so this is what it feels to be tired.”
Ruti hugged me and ‘Fuuu’ exhaled.