In the fort city of the country of morning glow, the bell’s sound which conveyed caution and Machine Dragons' roaring were resounding. Several Drag-Knights were flying all over the town in order to inform of the Abyss's attack. In the school, the emergency meeting which gathered the instructors and top brass of the city was held immediately. Meanwhile, Lux and the officer cadets received orders to wear their Dress Gear and stand by, they had gathered in the Machine Dragon Hangar. Fort City Cross Feed, the Fourth Machine Dragon Hangar. That building which was located in the school premises was wide in itself; it was a shelter with bulky stone walls as well as a depository of Drag-Rides before transfer. It was said in case of emergency, that this place was the waiting place and could also become an evacuation site. “Well then, as everyone gathered, I shall notify you, ladies and gentlemen officer cadets.” The reason of the alarm bell was due to the appearance of Abyss. According to the report of Drag-Knight scouts, the kind was a large-sized one. The place of emergence was estimated to be the ruins in the south west, and the appearance time was late at night. There was talk about the fact that between the Fort City and the ruins, three strongholds existed, but the security network around the ruins and the first stronghold were already broken through, and the situation was urgent. “Currently, we are being stationed in the second and third strongholds and several Drag-Knights of the district defense unit are heading to the subjugation. But, the enemy is a large-sized one. In preparation for the possibility that it breaks through and damage extends to the Fort City, We will also form an interception unit and prepare for battle. Get ready and stay on alert while waiting for orders.” In an unusually serious voice, instructor Raigree explained so and ended the talk. There was the explanation that a reinforcement demand had already been sent to the Capital. Some female students sighed in relief after hearing that, but–– “They really are a bunch of peace idiots, eh. The young ladies of this academy.” “Eh...?” To the mutter of Krulcifer who was standing alongside the wall of the hangar, Lux unintentionally asked back. “They shouldn’t expect reinforcements from the Capital so easily.” “What do you mean? Everyone who is here are officer cadets, right? Unless the Drag-Knights of the army from the Capital come––” “Your voice is too loud, Lux-kun.” Sharis who came around suddenly put her index finger on his mouth and smiled wryly. “Just to note, you’re a former Prince and a Drag-Knight. I thought you knew the circumstances on that point about this country's military situation.” “To put it simply, there is a lack of manpower. That’s the practical problem.” Tillfarr who was on the side supplemented so while shrugging her shoulders. “Yes. Even you should know that this isn’t an ordinary city.” And as Nokuto added, she slowly walked towards the door going outside. “Where do you intend to go?” “We are of the “Knight Squadron”. So we should proactively take the initiative in case of emergency. Those living in this place certainly have some benefits; but there are always ups and downs.” Now that the Drag-Knights of the army were almost all out, there was military power which could oppose the Abyss. Sharis returned a smile and the three girls went out as such. They would probably wear their Machine Dragons in the practice field and head to the subjugation of the Abyss. “Well then, Lux. I’m going.” Coming to pat his shoulder with her hand was Lisha wearing a Dress Gear. The attack of a large-sized Abyss. In spite of the tense situation, Lisha’s expression showed no signs of tension. “Please, be careful.” “I’ll be all right. I’m strong after all. However, it’s regrettable that you can’t accompany me. Even though I intended to use this opportunity to teach you how to attack.” Lisha showed a smile as if her depression from yesterday had never existed. She should be all right at this rate. Lux felt relieved and saw off Lisha. Upon close inspection, from within the hangar, most of the members of the “Knight Squadron” were not there. Only Philphie who could use a Divine Drag-Ride seemed to remain for the defense of the Fort City, almost all the others seemed to have sortied for the Abyss subjugation. Lux was at a loose end since familiar faces temporarily disappeared. As he turned his gaze to the vicinity, the face of Krulcifer who was leaning her back on the wall could be seen. “Krulcifer-san, even though you’re of the “Knight Squadron”, you didn't go for the subjugation?” As Lux stepped up and asked so, “For overseas students from foreign countries like me, an original battle standard is established by the school regulations.” She plainly answered with her expression which did not change at all. “I have no obligation to be involved in a direct battle with the Abyss. Otherwise, I can at least cooperate with other forms of support, such as information transfer and goods supply beyond the scope of danger to my life. I can help if I want, but a complain will come from my country, so I don’t intend to do so.” Krulcifer was an overseas student from Ymir, a large country in the north. If learning the technology and knowledge of Machine Dragons was the purpose, to take the initiative, and fight in the crisis of other countries and lose their life would be the most unreasonable. In other words, it meant that the “Knight Squadron” led by Lisha would be exposed to danger. “............” As Lux was at a loss for words to that fact, “You don’t really need to worry about it.” “Eh...?” “We aren’t people who should fight now. It’s natural that even such situation happens. You’re a general student who hasn’t even joined the “Knight Squadron”. So, there's no need to be concerned about being unable to fight. You should just obey the directives of the instructor.” “............” Lux could not answer anything. “Nii-san. You mustn’t go.” As Lux was separated from the crowd, Airi came over in front of him. “With that <Wyvern>, you can’t attack and you can’t use the other sword. There is nothing that your current self can do, Nii-san. If it’s Lisha-sama and the “Knight Squadron” who are there, they can defeat even a large-sized Abyss. So––” “I know. I know, but…” Lux spoke ambiguously while nodding. The military power of the “Knight Squadron” was reduced to half, by the fact that the third-year students who accounted for half the number of the members, had gone to the Capital for practice. Even so, about ten Drag-Knights were strength enough to be able to find a chance of victory against a large-sized Abyss. But, something seemed awry. He remembered that Abyss which attacked them at the time of the duel with Lisha a few days ago. For Abyss which appearance rate was always low, two appeared in this short period of time. When Lux had guarded the ruins of the frontier before as an odd job, Abyss appeared only once a month. Of course, there was also the possibility of coincidence, but–– “Is there anything bothering you? From now, I plan to only see the situation from a distant position, but––” “No…” “Then, I’m going.” “Please, be careful.” As Krulcifer got up to leave, Lux began to walk slowly in the hangar. In order to look for unknown questions and answers.
A very spacious wasteland about 3km away from the Fort City. At one time, it was covered with a carpet of grasslands and there were several villages and settlements, but due to the influence of ruins and Abyss which appeared more than ten years ago, all these were destroyed and there was only abandoned wreckage. The first stronghold which was the closest to the ruins, and the second stronghold had already been broken through. It was said that the guard troops of the Kingdom army that could fight, was in the middle of gathering neighbouring soldiers and reorganizing. Stopping the Abyss heading to the Fort City would depend on the “Knight Squadron”’s activity. “Is this thing –– that Abyss?” From the ground and the sky about 200 miles away from the target, about ten members of the “Knight Squadron” confirmed the Abyss. It had no legs. From its trapezoidal large build like jelly, two arms like spires stretched left and right, and two purple spheres like eyeballs were floating inside the body close to the top of the head. It was just that much a creature. A Slime type said to have almost no intelligence. However, that Abyss, a large-sized one as the report said, boasted of an extraordinary large build which could swallow a castle. In the inner part of its translucent body, a slightly dark red sphere –– the thing called the core could be seen. And the frightening thing was that castle like large build was moving. It looked like the speed of the degree which a child runs at, but considering its huge size, it was too fast. The question now was how they should conquer it–– “Okay, I will fire.” Lisha who was left the command suddenly set up her Breath Gun with a smile. It loaded energy from the Force Core to the cannon. The main weapon of the <Chimeric Wyvern> took aim at the Abyss’ core. “Are you going to shoot all of sudden!?” One member of the “Knight Squadron” that was behind her shouted so as she was frightened. “It won’t begin unless I try, right? Here I go!” Lisha, showing no signs of being scared pulled the trigger of the cannon. boom*, the huge light pillar which was released hit the slime’s abdomen. “Goboh… Gubaaah!” Immediately after, the shock dashed across the Abyss’ body surface. And *splash*, its mucus scattered. “…!?” Since they took enough distance, the mucus did not reach the “Knight Squadron”. But, the mucus which scattered to the ground fell onto the grass and melted it in no time. The third-year student Sharis who saw that called out to the whole “Knight Squadron” using voice dragon. 『If you touch its body, you’ll turn out like that. It looks like we can't count on the Machine Dragon's barrier that much.』 『Yes. It would be best for us to avoid close combat. I think we should all prepare our shooting armaments. Lizsharte-sama.』 Nokuto asked for instructions. But, before Lisha could answer, “Hey!? More importantly, look at that!?” Tillfarr in a panicked voice pointed at one point with the blade in her hand. There, a shadow––, “Gopoh, Gopopopoh…” Without caring about Lisha’s bombardment, the Abyss continued its advance. No, it reacted to the attack and increased its movement speed. Climbing over the third stronghold which was before it, it was imminently approaching the last defense point –– the rampart of the Fort City second block. “The bombardment didn’t work…?” Among the general-purpose Machine Dragons that posseses a Breath Gun, the <Chimeric Wyvern> used one which had the highest power. However, the bombardment only flipped a part of the body surface it didn't touch the core at all. Even the holes pierced on its body were filled by the surrounding body fluids, and it regenerated in less than ten seconds. “Tch… It looks like that big thing’s body is made of troublesome mucus. It seems to scatter the Breath Gun’s power by conveying the impact and heat on the whole surrounding body fluids” Lisha, though subtly clicking her tongue, kept her calm. “So, what’s the strategy? Commander.” To the question of Sharis who was staying in the air nearby, Lisha snorted, 『It’s obvious. Simultaneous shootings while aiming at the core. Everyone, take a distance of 200 miles and load to the maximum. The power will fall if you’re too far. I’ll do the countdown. Understood?』 As she also called out to the “Knight Squadron” above ground using the dragon voice, Lisha let the energy fill her own cannon. (With this, we can surely defeat it. It’s our win.) Lisha was convinced of her victory. A concentrated fire (barrage) released by a dozen Drag-Knights. Based on the previous bombardment, as long as she confirmed the situation of the body fluids scattering, this power should be able to go through. “I'll begin the countdown. We all shot at zero… 5, 4, 3…” Following Lisha’s orders, all the machines set up their cannons loaded to the maximum. ––Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! “2, 1, sho––” At that time. The strange sound of a flute resounded from somewhere in the neighbourhood. (Where is this sound? From the rear of the Abyss––) When Lizsharte thought so in the corner of her head, the shock of the salvo shook the atmosphere. At the same time, something unusual occurred to the Abyss before their eyes. “What…!?” The dark red core inside the body that they were aiming at. It suddenly swelled like foam filled with wreckage. “Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” Immediately after, before the bombardment hit, the Abyss burst itself. The explosion of the core. High heat and impact which far exceeded expectations painted out the field vision and surged. 『Deploy a barrier! Use also the Machine Dragon roar!』 Lisha’s shout was drowned out by a roaring sound and disappeared.
“Huh…?” As Lux was aimlessly walking inside the Machine Dragon hangar, on the other side of an opened door there was a staircase leading to the basement. “There was such a place, huh…?” Lux’s feet naturally headed to the basement. As he quietly opened the door within reach, there –– Philphie was there. His childhood friend who was a user of a Divine Drag-Ride was sitting on a small chair, absent minded as usual. “…Philphie?” She was a girl with an usually mysterious impression, but Lux felt a strange presence and called out to her. “…………” But –– there was no response. Something was strange. As if she did not hear Lux’s voice since the beginning. “I can hear, a sound.” However, staring at one point of the wall as such, Philphie said. “A sound?” When Lux asked so, “A sound.” Philphie muttered as she repeated. Lux’s ears could not hear anything. But, “I can hear the sound of a flute… from the other side.” “…!?” badump* To her words spat out absent mindedly, Lux’s heart bounced. 『After all, If you were done without being able to properly defeat the army, I would have had no choice but to call the Abyss using the "flute".』 The tone of the flute. The Abyss’ sudden attack during the duel with Lisha. The timing of the third-year students of the “Knight Squadron” being away. All the gears were linked; one answer was born. “Don’t tell me––” Dooong*! Suddenly, a vibration like the ground rumbling shook the hangar. “…I’ll go check out the situation. Philphie.” “Yes. Please, Lu-chan.” With only her voice, Philphie saw off Lux who left the basement with a serious face. “Go help, in my stead––” She muttered so at the end with a hollow expression.
The military unit “Knight Squadron” which was fighting the Abyss fell into a partial destroyed state. “Ku, aah…!” “U…ku, ah…!” With the sound of acid burning, several Machine Dragons’ armors melted. There were also many members who switched from cannon or blade, which they had in hand, to a shield; their armaments had already become unusable. Even the Drag-Knights who were flying were blown away due to the shock of the explosion, and all of them were dropped on the ground. “…Kuh! To all machines of the “Knight Squadron” platoon, evacuate! We will rebuild our posture once again. Those who can’t use any weapons, step back for the moment!” The failure of the planned attack. And knitting her brows at the reality of there being great damage, Lisha groaned. “We can still fully fight! Don’t panic!” Calling out so to her comrades, she tried to raise their willpower. But, 『Hou, you’ve really gotten used to acting like a Princess, eh, Lizsharte.』 “…!?” Suddenly, through dragon voice somewhere –– a man’s voice which became hoarse could be heard. It was not a member of the “Knight Squadron”. It was a Drag-Knight attached to the defense corps of the New Kingdom army that had chased after the Abyss which broke through the strongholds. A man wearing a gray Machine Dragon and standing still in the sky, at the rear of the Abyss which charged could be seen. 『But you know? You aren’t of such caliber.』 “You bastard, what are you saying––…!?” Immediately after her words, a flash bombardment was released by that Drag-Knight towards Lisha. 『Commander!』 『Princess!』 The screams of the Knight Squadron echoed on the dragon voice communication. “Kuh…!” It was at a timing where she was completely taken back, but Lisha barely evaded a direct hit. But, the bombardment which grazed broke the armor and she fell over sideways on the ground with the <Chimeric Wyvern>. 『Uh… Kuh! What the hell are you trying do…!? Captain of the guard corps deployed from the Royal Capital––』 Lisha glared at the Drag-Knight standing still in the sky and shouted so. In response, the man in his prime, serenely, 『You are mistaken.』 Declared so as if ridiculing her. 『It's from the Imperial Capital that I came, Your Highness Princess Lizsharte. Acadia Empire, Imperial Guards Knight Squadron Chief, Velvet Barth is my name.』 『…!?』 To the polite voice heard through the dragon voice, all of the “Knight Squadron” members present gasped in surprise. After the Old Empire was destroyed by the coup d’état. The Drag-Knights survivors which were on the Empire side were once put in jail as war criminals. However, those who pledged allegiance to the New Kingdom and were proven their innocence became once again officers as the New Kingdom’s Drag-Knights, but–– Hearing the lines “I came from the Imperial capital”, Lisha guessed the man’s identity. An enemy of this country. The rebel army which was scheming the restoration of the Old Empire, and the man who carried that will in his body. “So you betrayed the New Kingdom? And you even went as far as to expressly pull an Abyss from the ruins––” 『Do not say a disgraceful thing like betraying. I got back on the right track. I obtained power.』 The voice of a man who was elated with success could be heard in the head through the dragon voice. 『Did you think that you could beat me with one surprise attack? Your arrogance will cause your loss, Velvet.』 Being shot on the flight device, Lisha calmly set up. Velvet who also saw that had a composed expression. 『I can win. After all, luring you out like this was also to create a chance for victory.』 The gray Drag-Ride got down from the sky. Strengthened Flight Type Machine Dragon <EX Wyvern> where there was the Old Empire’s army symbol on the coating. The guard squad commander Velvet picked up a small golden flute in front of the Abyss which fell in the mud. 『Now, hatch out. Eggs.』 And, he put his mouth on the flute with a cruel smile. A never heard before harsh dissonance resounded on the rough earth. Just after. On the surface of the Abyss which had exploded and crumbled down in the mud, countless oil slicks bubblingly floated. The small bubbles pimply increased in size at a high speed and popped off all at once. “That is––!?” The members of the “Knight Squadron” stared wide-eyed in surprise. What came out were birdmen of black metal. A herd of Gargoyles like the one which attacked the academy a few days ago. There were born from the Abyss’ body. 『O-Ohé, ohé…』 『Such a number…! Even though we have never fought more than two Abysses at the same time…』 『What do we do…, I haven’t heard about this––』 『In the first place, to think that the garrison in the army were enemies …』 Multiple voices overlapped in the dragon voice’s line. Giant bubbles of despair were born and burst. puff* puff**puff* puff**puff**puff**puff*… Black metal wings gradually covered the sky of the morning glow from which the day began to rise. There were about 30 Gargoyle Type Abysses. An enemy force of more than about 120 machines in terms of full-fledged Drag-Knights was born in that place. “––Awaken, Founding Ancestor. King of the Dragon Gods that is an Army in itself. <Tiamat>!” Lisha cancelled the connection of the damaged <Chimeric Wyvern> and wore her Divine Drag-Ride <Tiamat>. However, 『Lisha-sama! Please, prepare for withdrawal! A fight with this level of military power is dangerous!』 One member of the Knight Squadron shouted so through the dragon voice communication, but Lisha gave her head a small shake. 『Sorry, but it seems to be impossible. The enemy has wings. Even if we run away into the Fort City, they will fly over the wall. We have no choice but to fight them here.』 『B-But––. We will gain time, so at least Lisha-sama must escape! You who is the Princess cannot die here. Also for the sake of the people of the New Kingdom which finally obtained peace.』 Moreover, another member shouted as to urge her. But––, 『Do you mean –– surviving is also a Princess’ duty?』 Lisha’s wry smile came back through the dragon voice. 『Then, I’m not fit to be a Princess after all.』 With these lines, she lonely turned around. 『It’s bothersome, I’m not good at it. At surviving by sacrificing someone, extolling someone’s death as heroic, doing at least one speech to the citizens who survived and being exposed to applause.』 『…………』 『That’s why I will fight. It’s surely the mission which I can do as a Princess.』 As soon as she asserted this, Lisha’s <Tiamat> flew. 『Tell all the Knight Squadron’s members, from here on we will engage the enemy. Those unable to fight as well as the injured should take shelter within the walls. The members who can fight, cover me. Go down a little to not be hit by the <LegionAirborne Fortress>.』 『Lizsharte-sama…』 Even the “Knight Squadron”’s members who felt her resolution in her tone regained their calm naturally. 『Nokuto. You return to the Fort City, explain about this situation to the academy and ask for orders; can you do it?』 『Yes. Roger.』 Immediately after her answer, Nokuto’s <Drake> glided towards Cross Feed. At the same time, the members of the “Knight Squadron” set up their remaining armaments all at once. “Now, let’s play. Traitors.” Wielding her Sword Device, Lisha summoned her auxiliary armaments. Twelve more <LegionAirborne Fortress> and the ultra-fired gun <Seventh HeadsSeven-Headed Dragon>. “That’s quite a foolish mouth you have, Princess.” The defense squad Commander Velvet twisted his mouth in an arc, and once again pushed his lips to the flute.
“––That’s all, but I will confirm by sight from a long distance, the current war situation that I heard through dragon voice from Nokuto-san.” The students staying on standby fell silent to the fact which Krulcifer brought back with the speed of her Divine Drag-Ride <Fafnir>. “Withdraw from Cross Feed? Or fight back? It was necessary to decide this. The enemy was already closing in right now after all.” “Understood. I thank you for your cooperation. Krulcifer.” At the same time as instructor Raigree answered, a heavy silence filled the Machine Dragon Hangar. Having brought the Abysses was a man of the rebel army, who was the defense squad commander and somebody that inherited the will of the Old Empire. The biggest military power of the Fort City at present, the “Knight Squadron” was on the verge of annihilation. With that fact being thrusted at them, the female officer cadet students were at a loss for words. “…………” Meanwhile, Lux was about to go out of the hangar. In front of the door heading to the outside, Airi was standing there with a worried expression. “Where do you intend to go? Nii-san.” Airi asked Lux who had an expression showing that he had already made up his mind. With an obstinate expression which muffled something. “I' am going to help Lisha-sama.” “You can’t!” Airi flatly told so. “With that <Wyvern>, even if you can defend, you can’t defeat the Abyss; you also can't use the other sword. There's nothing that the current you can do, Nii-san.” “But––” “I understand Nii-san’s feelings. But, in this world, there are things which can’t be help. No matter how much you do your best, there are many things which can’t be reversed. We, the Old Empire’s royalty should have seen it as unpleasant it was!” Throwing off her usually clear expression, Airi appealed to him. Lux knew what she meant by that. “Weren’t we fighting for justice? Don’t forget our purpose. Do you plan to die here? Please. For this country, we––” “You’re wrong, Airi.” Lux interrupted Airi’s words and suddenly smiled. “My purpose is to defeat the Empire. It’s to defeat the enemy who takes important people away from me.” “…………” “I’ll be all right, Airi. I won’t leave you alone, so––” Airi calmly looked downward to these words. “I 've already finished the output adjustment of that Machine Dragon. It has to the bitter end been analyzed by me who's still studying, but… I cannot guarantee more than ten minutes…” “Thank you.” As Lux smiled at his little sister, he approached Krulcifer who was outside the door. “Krulcifer-san. I have a request.” “…What is it?” “Please activate your <Fafnir>. Not to cover me, but to save Lisha-sama. You are the only person who can go out of the Fort City right now.” As Lux turned straight eyes <--[need to fix] and said so, “Didn’t I say it before? I cannot go fight using this life that belongs to the religious country Ymir.” Krulcifer told so in a calm tone until the bitter end. But––, “I know the identity of the “Black Hero”. Let’s make a deal. I'll tell you if you listen to my request.” “…………” One could clearly feel even without seeing that Airi had turned her gaze away from Lux. “All right.” Krulcifer nodded after a short pause. “Then, let’s go.” And, the two people unsheathed their Sword Devices at the same time.
A mortal combat was unfolding in the battlefield of the wasteland. 30 metallic flying type Abysses; the Gargoyles’ fierce attack. And for some reason, the defense squad commander Velvet who wasn't attacked by the Abysses, was looking at that hell from the rear like a commander. Was it the power of the flute which he holds in his hand? It looked like he commanded the Abysses and controlled their movements. “Kuh…! Haah!” Lisha roughened her breathing and put strength to all parts of her limbs. She perturbed the opponents with a total of 16 <LegionAirborne Fortress>, blocked their movements with the Divine Raiment <Heavenly Voice>, Gravity Control, and surely consigned them to oblivion with the maximum bombardment of the <Seventh HeadsSeven-Headed Dragon> at last. An extreme battle which fully used the three major armaments of the Divine Drag-Ride <Tiamat>. She performed an attack with output beyond the limit consecutively and the Knight Squadron’s members who covered her were also making frantic efforts, but they were still outnumbered. Even so, without loosening the offensive, she continued to reduce the enemies’ number little by little, but––, “Kuh… Haa!” Finally, the limit which couldn’t be extended with just feelings was approaching. Her vision grew hazy and her hands and feet no longer did what she wanted. “Haa…, Haa…!” There was about a dozen of Gargoyle type Abysses remaining. Of course, even if only one was remaining, it was not an opponent to which you could let your guard down, but finally the chance of being able to execute the last plan came. “Sharis, Tillfarr…, are you safe?” Narrowing down the dragon voice to only the “Knight Squadron”’ members, Lisha called out to them. 『…I’m sorry, but Princess, I was saved by a comrade and have already begun to withdraw.』 『Yes, it looks like I’m also at my limit… My armaments have been blown off along with the armor of both my hands––』 To the reply with a voice which got husky, Lisha smiled wryly. She was rather thankful to her friends who fought with her in the middle of an overwhelming force difference. 『You guys should withdraw. Instead, I have a request. Tell the instructors who are in the Fort City to come out to attack. If my aim from now on succeeds, that is.』 『Princess. Don’t tell me it’s…?』 Sharis guessed Lisha’s intention. 『Yes, I’m –– going to aim at the boss who possesses that flute.』 It was recorded that Abysses originally had the habit of attacking living things indiscriminately. Nevertheless, that defense squad captain Velvet who sided with the Old Empire, far from being attacked, showed no signs that he could get caught up by their attacks. And, the golden flute which the man possessed was not a Drag-Ride’s armament. It was probably a treasure of the ruins, and he was manipulating the Abysses using it. In short, if she could even do something about that flute, or if she defeated even Velvet, it was likely that the Abysses would lose control. She couldn't do it until now as the numbers were too much, but her chance had finally come. “––How unsightly, Lizsharte. Originally, it was a mistake in the first place that the likes of a bitch like you, who must have lived waiting upon a man even if for a while, to seat on the seat of Princess.” Velvet who was staying in the air behind the Abysses was looking down at Lisha with a smile of mockery- “Hmm. So that's to say, men are fellows like you who act conceited and make up repetitive excuses after it’s over? And yet, they can only say things when they are in an absolutely advantageous situation, huh. I see; then it’s natural that the Empire has been destroyed by we, the women.” “…You’ve some nerve. No, I shall give praise for that remarkable bluff. Even though you’re exhausted to the extent that the Divine Drag-Ride which you wear has already begun its rampage.” As Velvet sneered at her, he put his lips on the flute and sent a breath. A strange noise that was hard to describe resounded, and the Abysses came back behind Velvet all at once. “As you wish. I’ll ride on the one-to-one fight that you desire. I shall give a glorious death in battle to you.” Setting up a large-sized blade in a overhead position, Velvet declare so. “What a funny joke. It will only be a shame even if my life was taken by a small thing like you.” As Lisha returned a smile to that, she pulled a small blade and flew up. Divine Drag-Ride <Tiamat> vs. Strengthened Flying Type Machine Dragon <EX Wyvern>. If the users' technique, stamina and equipment were equivalent, <Tiamat> was an advantageous combination in a difference of air frame performance, but now it was different. Lisha accumulated fatigue to the extent of vomiting blood and her armor was also crumbly. Her special abilities –– not only weren’t there the <Heavenly Voice> Divine Raiment, there were also neither the strength to operate the <LegionAirborne Fortress> nor the spare energy to perform a bombardment with the <Seventh HeadsSeven-Headed Dragon>. It was even difficult to fly straight to where Velvet was, who was waiting in the sky. If it was a one-on-one fight, the result could be seen. The enemy was also confident about it. Precisely because of this reason––, there was a chance of victory “Come on, you should scatter that life! False princess!” The moment when the energy from the Force Core streamed down Velvet’s large sword. Lisha threw her set-up blade before his eyes. “––!?” The throwing of the small sword. At the same time, <Tiamat> which was rising suddenly stopped. It wasn't limited to just Drag-Knights, if you lose your weapon in a battlefield, it will lead to an immediate death. Velvet cut off the blade which was thrown with his large sword swung downward. “Fool, did you think that such a move would work?” There were no substitute weapons in Lisha’s hands. The fight was decided. “Haha. It’s you who made a mistake.” Lisha’s small laughter reached the ears of Velvet who was facing her. Her hands were holding slender twin swords. The two Swords Devices corresponding to the <Chimeric Wyvern>. Once one wore a Machine Dragon, the Sword Device could only be used as a control stick. If the Sword Device to control the Machine Dragon was taken away or destroyed, one’s defeat was decided. Aside of using it that way, it was for self-defense before wearing a Machine Dragon, it could not be used as weapon after wearing the machine. Thus originally, it was an attack which could not be predicted. If it was a Sword Device where the Force Core was used in a part of the sword blade, one could also break through the barrier of a Drag-Ride. Velvet had completely exposed an opening immediately after shaking off his large sword. (Got you!) The moment when Lisha wielded her twin swords with conviction, “It’s a shame, bitch.” “Wha––!?” Lisha’s senses became dull as if time stopped. As if the flow of time which she felt slipped through her recognition. dong* Velvet’s large sword was swung first. The fragment of the armor scattered before Lisha’s eyes. In the blue sky where the sun rose, one red flower bloomed. “Ku, ah…!” The twin swords being flipped, Lisha who had a part of her armor broken fell on the ground. As if seeking something, she stretched out her right hand to the sky and suddenly ran out of energy as such. 『Lisha-sama!』 A member of the “Knight Squadron” that was preparing for withdrawal screamed. But –– it was no use. The dozen of Abysses which had been on standby quickly moved and stood in the way, as they formed a wall between Lisha and the “Knight Squadron”. “Ha! Hahahahaha!” Velvet’s sneer resounded in the wasteland and the sky. “W-What… is this…?” Hearing Lisha’s groan, Velvet fearlessly smiled. “Quick Draw”––. It’s a kind of Drag-Knight secret art once handed down to the Empire's army. After reaching the Imperial Guardsman Knight Squadron's head, and after five more years of training –– I finally mastered it.” “Quick Draw” A mind control operation in addition to the body control operation. A special move that dishes out unseen attacks with just one stroke, in an instant, through a sequence of movements from the perfect overlap of manipulating two differing systems. The Drag-Knights’ three secret arts had been handed down as a legend even after the New Kingdom establishment, and a person who mastered even one of them was praised as a super first class user. “I have been sharpening my fangs for this time for five years after the day of coup d’état. I endured the painful act of becoming the watchdog of you damn bitches. Hahahahahaha! It’s the best feeling!” “You low-life…!” Lisha, still lying face up with her arms and legs outstretched, chewed her lower tip. “With this, I’ve achieve my purpose. Afterwards, I'll hold you hostage and only use you as in a deal with the Queen.” Velvet played the flute and called back the Abysses behind him. Lisha herself had no more cards to play. “Kuh…” She pulled the trigger with a fingertip as she struggled, but <Tiamat> no longer reacted. (Finally, this time has come again…) As her consciousness become cloudy due to fatigue and bleeding, Lisha suddenly heard a voice. 『Lisha-sama!』 『––L-Lux…?』 A dragon voice limited to only her could be heard through <Tiamat> which could no longer move. Is it a dream, or an auditory hallucination? Lisha though that either was fine if she could talk to him at the end. 『Haa… my bad. I’ve been defeated. Haha…』 『Only a little more. Please stay conscious only a little more. If you do so––』 『Forget about me, abandon me. You don’t need to worry. It may be conceited, but you don’t need to come help me, so…』 Thanks to that, a small of amount of strength welled up within her. 『Instead, listen; keep my secret until the end––』
“… Like this, do you think that you won?” While speaking with Lux through dragon voice, Lisha muttered so towards the enemy before her. Her gaze was directed far backwards –– behind Velvet standing stock still in the sky. “Hou. What do you mean by that? Very interesting indeed.” “I haven’t given up yet. I still have a way to defeat you.” “Kuhahahaha! What a pathetic woman. I’m amazed beyond laughter. To think that you––” Laughing so, Velvet looked back behind himself. “I hope that you aren’t thinking that those are reinforcements from the Capital.” “––––” The moment she heard that, the face of Lisha who was desperately keeping her consciousness turned pale. Lisha who was lying down saw nearly 100 Machine Dragons from the other side of the wasteland –– behind Velvet coming their way. But––, all of them were gray. The same color as the coating of the Old Empire from before –– the rebel army! “How foolish of you, Princess Lizsharte. No, just a slave who betrayed our Empire, right? That’s your true identity––” “…Kuh!?” The moment she heard that, Lisha’s voice was clogged. The hand which was holding the Sword Device began to tremble with a clattering sound, and her crimson pupils shook. “Hahaha! How nostalgic, young lady. That’s right! It’s me, Lizsharte. The one who put the mark of the Empire on your belly! To you who was abandoned by the Earl House, you had no value as a hostage. That’s why I taught you how to use a Drag-Ride in order to make you live as an assassin…” “Ku, a, aah…” A soundless scream was squeezed out from Lisha’s throat. A scream of despair dyed in a bottomless darkness. “But, the coup d’état succeeded and you, who was saved luckily, was declared Princess as if nothing ever happened. Your little sister who was left as the inheritor died, and it became inconvenient, so another one was picked up. Kukuku, what a cruel country, eh. This New Kingdom.” Before she could say something, Velvet set up his large sword while ridiculing her. The 100 Drag-Rides which rushed in as Velvet’s reinforcements had already surrounded the area. <Wyvern>, <Wyrm>, and <Drake>. A total of hundred machines of the three types of general-purpose Machine Dragons. In addition, a dozen of Gargoyle type Abysses who waited for the signal of the flute. It was a military power which could gain total control of the Fort City at this rate –– no, even take away the Machine Dragon Hangar and the academy, and invade the Capital as it is. “But, it’s convenient now. I'll have you become our bargaining chip as a “real Princess”. Isn’t it nice? Lizsharte. You are a person on the side of our Empire. If you understand, then kneel on the ground and say that –– you will be our slave.” “…………” Lisha did not react to the triumphant Velvet. She was sending her voice towards Lux.
『… Listen, Lux Arcadia. You know? I ran away. I wasn’t able to die as a daughter of the proud Earl House.』 A hollow voice was sent to Lux through the dragon voice. 『Knowing that I was abandoned by my father, I was told to choose either becoming an assassin of the Empire or die. I was so scared that I wasn’t able to kill myself. Therefore, I once gave up on everything and decided to become a person of the Empire. From the beginning –– I wasn’t qualified to be a Princess.』 『…Lisha-sama』 『It was hard for me to behave like a Princess. But in fact, I wanted to become one, too. I, a person who betrayed the Empire once, might be saying something selfish. But you know; now I like everyone… I wished to be recognized this time for sure.』 『Me too––』 The voice of Lux who took a deep breath came back. 『I also have something to say. Sorry for having kept quiet about it. It’s something important. I want you to hear it. So––』 『Ah, sorry, it looks like I have no more time. Well then––』 Lisha smiled wryly and looked up at the sky. 『Take care of yourself, Prince.』 kin*! Immediately after, a long straight light ran straight through the atmosphere. “Ku, ah…, y-you bastaaaaaard…!?” The first and last weapon which Lisha threw at high speed. It was the Sword Device of the Divine Drag-Ride <Tiamat>. Lisha threw that lifeline which one must absolutely never let go, aiming at Velvet high up in the sky –– and, although taken by surprise, it had been barely dodged. On his cheek, a red line which was cut just now was running. “Fufu. Aren’t you a little good-looking now? You should be happy, underling; you will look good enough to be shown publicly when taking me to the Capital.” “Kuh, nuuh…!” Holding his wound, Velvet glared at Lisha lying down face up. “As a Princess even for an instant, I shall warn you. You should stop; someone of your caliber can’t destroy this country. You’re just an underling who was surely incited by someone’s sweet words and rode on them. You obtained power, you say? Don’t speak gibberish. You’ve –– changed nothing. You’re just the same like in those days when you were only used by the Old Empire.” A momentary silence. But meanwhile, Velvet’s whole body was shivering and trembling in anger. “––all right, Lizsharte. I changed my mind. I will tear you to pieces, throw your corpse into the royal palace and just invade it like that! Die here!” Velvet set up the <EX Wyvern>’s cannon. Lisha stared at it in a slightly distant look. “Haa. It’s frustrating.” Shedding large drops of tears, she looked up at the high sky. “Even though I was thinking that I'll behave like a Princess; without crying till the end this time even if I’m scared…” When she muttered so, a shadow fell on Lizsharte’s body. It’s over. When she held such a conviction, dooh*, the bombardment was released and the atmosphere burst. Soon after all was wrapped in huge flames––, “What…!?” A blue Machine Dragon –– Lux’s <Wyvern> was there. He deployed the barrier at maximum output and defended against the impact with his armor. But, the <Wyvern> which took a direct hit from the main cannon was smashed to pieces on the spot. “Kuh…! I don’t know who it is, but stop this useless struggle––” Velvet, whose bombardment was repelled for the price of a Machine Dragon, chewed his teeth and set up his large sword. The army of Machine Dragons which was waiting behind him set up their weapons all at once as it was the signal of attack. “Lux…? Why––” “…Sorry, Lisha-sama. Even though I had you repair it with much trouble.” At the same time, standing in the way before Lisha lying down face up, Lux revealed a lonely smile. Then, he cancelled the connection of the seriously damaged <Wyvern> and quickly put his hand on the other Sword Device remaining on his waist.
“You know nothing about this world. You aren’t in the caliber of kings. The weakest.” Five years ago, the last day of the coup d’état. That night when the jet-black sky was illuminated red by the flames of war. In the audience room of the burned-down imperial castle, his eldest brother Fugil said so. In a calmed voice as he looked down on him. As he scorned him. And, as he admonished him. “You weren’t able to become completely evil after all. You said that as a Prince, you want to make the citizens happy. You want to save those who were abused and received unfair treatment––. But you know, little brother? You had never had the qualifications to be King in the first place.” “…………” A fatigue from which he could not even groan let alone stand up. Even so, Lux, just lying face-down as such, maintained his consciousness. “However much resolve you hold, you believe that a “country” or “people” are valuable things. So, you were able to spit out pipe dreams like letting them live and making places for discussions. You should be thankful to me, little brother. If I didn’t massacre the surviving army and imperial family on whom you went easy on, you would have been assassinated by those people some day.” It was a mockery. ––He held the resolution of destroying the Empire and killed his own heart. Finally to Lux who wished for an ideal ending. “As King, you tried to save not only this country’s people, but also the rotten royalty and aristocrats. You didn’t try to abandon anything. That’s why –– you were outwitted without seeing through me, the ‘evil’ who tries to take away” A cruel tone. As he felt the cold gaze of his older brother, whom he loved and respected, on his back, “It’s meaningless, Lux. Someone who doesn't have the resolution of incarnating ‘evil into his own will, and who isn't willing to make sacrifices, however much power he holds, it will be meaningless. That’s why you are the weakest.” To these last words, Lux lost consciousness.
Lux drew out his Sword Device from the black sheath and held it up to the sky. At the same time as he pressed the button on the handle, , he muttered. “––Manifest, Violent Dragon which devours the gods’ flesh and blood. Cut off the cloudy heavens, <Bahamut>!” At that moment, particles of light gathered at high speed. What appeared was black. A lump of Mithril Dite wearing an ominous blood lust and brilliance. From the head –– which imitated a dragon’s, two piercing eyes shining red peeped out. “This is…––?” To that uncommon power and presence, Velvet in the sky raised his voice. “Connect On” The Machine Dragon which appeared before Lux transformed into countless pieces of armor and wrapped his whole body. “Don’t tell me…, you are––?” Lisha who saw this stared wide-eyed and muttered. Soon after, in front of the 100 Machine Dragons of the Rebel army approaching before him, Lux who wore the jet-black giant dragon <Bahamut> blocked their way. In his hand, a large sword of a black deeper than darkness was held. “I don’t know who you are, but it doesn’t matter! I will get rid of both of you!” In accordance with Velvet’s voice, the first three machines brandished their blades and charged. They intended to load energy from the Force Core to them (blades) and cut down the whole barrier. The simultaneous attack of the three machines from three directions, the right, the left and the front attacked Lux. At that moment––, bakin* “––Eh?” The moment when the three Drag-Knight were about to swing down their swords, the Drag-Rides which the men were wearing burst into pieces. The armor arm holding the Machine Dragon blade, the Force Core in both shoulders and the Sword Device hanging on the waist. The three points which were vital points of attack, power, and control were pulverized in an instant. And at the same time –– the three machines which came attacking all at once at that. “What…!?” The eyes of the men who were defeated were not able to see anything. What on earth happened? At a speed which the eyes could not catch, <Bahamut> swung its blade, and the moment when the swords crossed, the fight was decided. ––Why!? “Devour time and accelerate, <Bahamut>.” Before they could understand the situation, Lux’s large sword flashed once more and knocked down the three machines before him. “Guaaaaaaaaaah…!?” The three <Wyvern> of the Old Empire that were already destroyed instantly lost their power and propulsion output, and fell headlong. Although barely picked up by their friends’ Machine Dragons which were on the ground, they were no longer able to fight. “You bastaaard!” After a pause of several seconds, five Drag-Knights of the Old Empire army once again attacked Lux simultaneously. “< Reload on Fire >” But, their attacks from the top, bottom, right, left and the front were fruitless and once again all the five machines were simultaneously shot down. “Kuh…!?” “What does that mean––!?” “What is happening, what the hell––” “I-Is that a Divine Drag-Ride…!? Why does it easily, like that…!” A great number attacked all at once, and faster than anyone of them could swing his sword –– or could pull the trigger of his gun, they were knocked down in an instant. Just like a cheap-looking drama-like spectacle. The rebel army stirred to the nightmare-like reality. 『D-Don’t panic! That guy is just a Drag-Knight like us!』 Velvet raised his voice and rebuked his subordinates. 『There is no way that that guy –– a man has enough aptitude to use a Divine Drag-Ride for a long period of time! Besides, his movements will surely become dull soon after his attack! Aim for that chance!』 “Haah!” The Drag-Knights who received instructions from their commander surrounded Lux and attacked him once again. Certainly, Lux loosened his movements for a few seconds as he got tired from the processing of <Bahamut>. “Guaaaaaaaaah!” But, the next moment when his movements became slow and it looked like he showed an opening. He pulverized the seven Machine Dragons of the Old Empire that entered his range in an instant. “…Impossible!” Once again, unrest ran among the Old Empire’s Drag-Knights. “A jet-black Divine Drag-Ride… You bastard…! Don’t tell me –– your the one at the time of the coup d’état…!?” When Velvet muttered, Lux looked up to the sky as if responding to it. In the bottom of his eyes which closed just for an instant, Lux recalled the past. 『Do you want to cooperate with a wyvern along with my <Bahamut>? Or––』 What Fugil asked Lux before the execution of the coup d’état. 『Are you going to use <Bahamut>––?』
“Haa… So, you’ve done it. Nii-san…” On the other hand, Airi who asked Nokuto,who came back to the Fort City, went out of the rampart together with her, and was gazing at the battlefield as she deeply sighed. At a site separated from the rampart and about several hundreds miles away from the wasteland of the battlefield. Airi was carried by Nokuto’s <Drake> to a distance where the dragon voice barely reached the battlefield. She had to record the information about how long Lux could use a certain Machine Dragon. In order to closely grasp the Machine Dragon’s output and operation limit, Airi asked for the unreasonable things, like wanting to go nearby, and had Nokuto take her. “What's happening? Lux-san is… That black Divine Drag-Ride––?” The usually composed Nokuto asked as her voice quavered. The fact that though also correct for Divine Drag-Rides, Lux whose aptitude for the Machine Dragon should originally be inferior as he is a man, was handling more than enough. And, the incomprehensible high-speed movement which instantly shot down the enemy army which charged. “…Nokuto. Can you keep secret what I’m about to tell you now?” Unlike her usual straight atmosphere, Airi whispered in a slightly casual air. “Yes. I swear on the pride and the master of the household of attendants, the Leaflet House.” As Nokuto nodded, Airi suddenly began to talk after a deep breath. “That is Nii-san. The strongest Drag-Knight riding the Empire’s strongest Machine Dragon <Bahamut>. In the coup d’état five years ago, the one who destroyed 1200 Machine Dragons of the Empire army all by himself –– the “Black Hero”.” “––!? What do you mean by that? Airi Acadia.” Nokuto opened her eyes wide and asked Airi. “It was a Prince of the Empire –– that destroyed the Old Empire? Why…?” “…Diiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeee!” Soon after Nokuto’s voice quavered. Screams and explosions echoed again in the sky. A jarring tone of flute could be heard immediately after. Probably––, Velvet gave directives to the dozen of Gargoyles, which were left behind to invade the Capital, to charge. But, even if he used the Abysses, the results would the same as a little while ago. The sword which Lux swung at lightning speed destroyed the Gargoyles’ bodies to pieces and shot them down, In mid-air where numerous explosions occurred, the Drag-Knights of the Old Empire army charged furthermore. “<Reload on Fire> –– That is <Bahamut>’s Divine Raiment. Its ability is a 10-second magic called Compression Strengthening.” A Divine Raiment of seal and release. Or, repression and liberation. An ability which rapidly decreases the energy and phenomenon until a fraction of it remains in the former five seconds, and then explosively unleashes their power in the latter five seconds. “It decelerates the flow of time in the target to some fraction in the first five seconds, and accelerates it several times in the last five seconds. Thus, the moment when the enemy showed the preliminary movement of his attack, he easily overtakes it with an accelerated slash and destroyed the enemy. It’s Nii-san’s technique called “quick shot”.” “Quick shot” A special move which saw through the enemy’s attack preliminary movement, used the acceleration by <Reload on Fire> and instantly destroyed the enemy’s Drag-Ride. Therefore, the moment when they brandished their swords and put a finger on the gun’s trigger in Lux’s range, the fight was decided. It was the reason why he was called the strongest Drag-Knight. “T-Then if he's so strong, why is Lux the “Weakest Undefeated”––” “Yes, there is a reason. It’s quite difficult to do the “quick shot”.” Airi muttered while watching the fight between Lux and the Old Empire army. “In order to certainly crush the opponent’s Machine Dragon, you have to perfectly strike that opening. Therefore, training was necessary in order to perfectly see through the Drag-Knight’s movements and his attack preliminary movement. For example, such as keeping to defending oneself by doing nothing, but dodging the enemy’s attacks without attacking him even once in a match––” In other words, the weakest in order to become the strongest. The mock battle where Lux fought using the <Wyvern> was no more than training in order to use <Bahamut>’s Divine Raiment. A technique which he acquired after about several hundred thousand battles since the Old Empire's era five years ago. So as to move with the same sensation even with <Bahamut>, he had been adjusting by calculating the weight and air resistance and adding armor on the Wyvern. Therefore––,
30 machines, 40 machines, 50 machines… At the moment when they were about to attack, the Machine Dragons of the Old Empire army were shot down. The Old Empire’s Drag-Knights army of approximately 100 machines, which existed as Velvet’s unit had been reduced to less than half in no time. “Impossible…” Velvet, who was watching this muttered, dumbfounded. It’s strange. No matter how much he could use a Divine Drag-Ride, if he used its special ability, the Divine Raiment, it should put a considerable burden. There was no way that Lux, whose Machine Dragon aptitude should be lower than a woman’s could continuously fight for so long. 『It’s useless even if you try to gain time. Nii-san’s Machine Dragon aptitude’s numerical value is much higher than the basic aptitude value of us, women.』 Airi’s composed voice reached even Velvet through the dragon voice of Nokuto’s <Drake>. No way–– In the reality where he could only think so while doubting, “D-Don’t kid with me! Are you telling me that this bastard is that “Black Hero”!?” Even while being flustered, Velvet furthermore issued instructions to his Drag-Knight subordinates. But, even their movements to strike at the opening of <Bahamut>’s Divine Raiment, <Reloading on Fire> were seen through and they were crushed in no time. “Who are you?! Why do you bastard––!” “––Don’t you remember my face, Imperial Guards Knight Squadron chief Velvet?” “Wha…!?” Just an instant. To the words of Lux who turned a cold, fathomless gaze, Velvet gasped in surprise. A brief silence was born, and at the same time, even the Empire army’s Drag-Knights stopped their attacks. “Fu, kukuku…! Hahaha!” Seeing that, Velvet burst into laughter.
His gaze was turned to Lux’s collar. “Well well, isn’t it the seventh Crown Prince? Although I did not know, please excuse my repeated rudeness.” “Please stop.” To Velvet carrying out an impolite greeting, Lux returned to his usual self and curtly replied. “Please surrender at once. Fighting anymore than this is meaningless.” “Fu, hahaha…” Holding his lips so as to bear it, Velvet laughed again. “More importantly Your Highness. I would also like to say some words. For what reason––, why are you siding with the New Kingdom –– the Empire’s enemy?” “…………” “Why?! Lux Acadia! Why do you, a Prince and survivor of the imperial family, turn your sword to us?! Do you intend to become a hero by fighting for the people!? You are wrong! With such superficial feelings, be it the people or the country –– you will not move anything!” “I’m not a hero.” Lux answered so with a dry smile. And, “Please listen, Lisha-sama.” Lux looked at Lisha lying on the ground and gently called out to her. “For this country, for the people––; I couldn’t do anything as a Prince. I lose my mother; I was afraid of losing another close person again.” While he muttered, the memory of five years ago floated in his mind. “I was not able to become strong for justice. I tried to save all the people, but failed. So that it doesn’t happen so this time, in order to carry out my mission, I conceal myself as the chore Prince.” ––You know nothing about the world. You aren’t in the caliber of kings. The weakest. “But –– as expected, I want to help. I thought that I want you, who are suitable as the New Kingdom Princess, to recognize me. So…” “Lux…” Lisha’s scarcely audible voice. While hearing it, he turned his large sword towards Velvet and declared. “I am not a hero. I’m the weakest Drag-Knight who destroyed the Empire.” Soon after Lux defiantly declared, “…All right.” Velvet raised his sword and sent a signal to his subordinates. “In that case, You should die! As a cornerstone of a new Empire, rot away under the justice of the Acadia Empire that I serve!” All the dozens of Machine Dragons remaining simultaneously began an all-out attack. “<Reload on Fire>” In response to it, <Bahamut>’s Divine Raiment activated. It ate time –– and accelerated. The special move –– “quick shot” which saw through all the attack's preliminary movements, and pulverized the enemy in an instant. At the same time that several Machine Dragons’ armors were smashed to pieces, Velvet attacked as he wove his way to the momentary opening. “Lux!” Lux heard Lisha’s scream. The subordinates whom Velvet instigated were decoys. And, it was just after <Bahamut>’s Divine Raiment, <Reload on Fire> already activated its effect. Before the time accelerated once again, it must first decelerate. Even so, if it was an ordinary opponent, it was timing which Lux could prevent with his reading (see through). But––, the enemy was not a mere Drag-Knight. “Apologize to His Majesty the Emperor in the other world! Traitor!” Velvet let out a sharp, straight line slash. A high speed flash by quick draw. When the inescapable slash attacked Lux’s <Bahamut>––, Velvet saw it. The cut line which he should've trace with the point of his sword running on Lux’s Machine Dragon. And another cut line was running on his own armor arm wielding that blade. “––Wha!?” crack* “Whaaaaaa…!?” The damage minced on his Machine Dragon was reflected in the pupils of Velvet, who opened his eyes wide in surprise. Soon after, as if tracing the irreversible fact that “it was cut”, the <EX Wyvern> broke into pieces. The wrist armor, the Force Core and the Sword Device. Lux’s “quick shot” crushed all of them. “W-Why…!? Your Divine Raiment… You shouldn’t have been able to use it yet ! Why was my quick draw defeated––” <Reload on Fire>. A Special ability of compression strengthening by the Divine Raiment. The Divine Raiment cannot be re-activated immediately after he decelerates the time in the first five seconds, and accelerates it in the last five seconds. Even though Velvet should have cut him after seeing through it–– 『You are quite a reckless person, too.』 Soon after, a dragon voice through Nokuto’s <Drake> –– Airi’s voice reached Velvet. 『Just because you can use the quick draw, there is no way you can win with the same technique against the one who invented it, right?』 “Wha––!?” To the indifferent voice, Velvet was at a loss for words. The moment Velvet used the quick draw, the quick draw of Lux who saw through his preliminary movement overtook him with a Godspeed far exceeding it, and then did a “quick shot”. Be it the Divine Drag-Ride <Bahamut>’s performance and output. Or the skill of Lux who became the Empire's strongest. Or even the Divine Raiment of compression strengthening which could shot down multiple Machine Dragons in an instant. Lux’s strategy to lure Velvet by making him think “I can beat him”. (This guy, really how many trump cards does he hide––!) In the midst, Velvet realized a certain fact. “W-Wait! You invented it!? That can’t be! You were still 12 in those days––” “Good-bye, Velvet. Though I can’t judge you as royalty anymore.” At the same time as Lux calmly muttered, the <EX Wyvern> was falling. “I don’t want to fight for the Empire as a Prince, nor for your sake. I want to fight for these girls, hoping one day to get their recognition––” Velvet who was shot down fell to the dry earth. All the Machine Dragons of the Old Empire’s Drag-Knights were destroyed and the fight came to a close. As Lux got down on the ground, Lisha who somehow managed to stand up stepped up while her legs were staggering. And, she entrusted her small body to Lux wearing the Machine Dragon. “––Thank you, Lux.” “…………” To the words of the Princess whose eyes were moist, Lux responded with a small smile. Then suddenly, his body along with <Bahamut> slanted. “H-Hey!? Are you all right? Lux!” “Ahaha. It’s been a long time; I got just a little tired.” He cancelled <Bahamut>‘s connection and replied so. His consciousness became gradually blurred. While faintly hearing the shouts of joy of the “Knight Squadron” audible from far away, Lux quietly closed his eyes.