The boss of the enemy who brought along super-enhanced lizardmen—the Crest Master, suddenly showed himself before us.
“So, who’s the master magician among you all?”
The master magician—
It seems like the Crest Master was looking for someone.
Everyone’s bewildered gazes gathered onto me.
…I guess they want me to answer.
There was only one person who fit the description of a master magician in this team.
It was the academy instructor with keen judgment and shrewdness, the magician who could operate the highly destructive Fireball with ease.
“That would probably be Firvus, right over there.”
Firvus’ body shook with a jump, and he stared at me.
Everybody else gasped in surprise as well.
…Hmm. I can’t tell if you’re being humble or you’re just thickheaded, but it’ll sound like sarcasm if you’re too excessive with it—I feel like I’ve come to understand what Firvus said.
“The person most accomplished as a magician out of everyone here is you, Firvus. As a student, I’ve always respected the refinement of your skill as an academy instructor.”
Firvus spoke while blatantly avoiding eye contact with me.
The Crest Master licked his lips.
“I see… so it’s you…”
“I…I-I-I, I wonder… W-Well… I d-d-do believe I’m quite the skilled magician my… myself, but—”
Firvus trembled violently while constantly exchanging glances with me.
Leave this to me and go on ahead—is probably what he was trying to tell me.
I’d never expect less from Firvus. You’re always so frivolous, but the sense of responsibility you have as a teacher is a cut above the rest.
Firvus, I’ve understood your message clearly.
“HAHAHAHA! Great! I’ll spare everyone else except him! Take this and go back to your encampment!”
After speaking, the Crest Master threw a single sword at our vicinity.
It was missing its other half.
There were two crests engraved onto the sword’s guard.
They were the Luminous household’s crest and the royal family’s crest.
This was probably something bestowed by the king. There were few who could possess such an item; Only those who’ve gained considerable trust from the king—
Why does the lizardmen’s boss have that?
Does that mean…?
An invisible hand began constricting my throat. It was difficult to breathe. Even so, I couldn’t bring myself to stay silent.
“Whose… sword is that?”
“Your commander named… Ah, what was it again? I think he went by the name Alencia or something?”
In an instant, the atmosphere shattered like glass.
The first person to speak was Lihilt.
“…W-What are you saying!? You’re lying, you bastard! Why do you, the enemy, have the Supreme Commander’s sword!?”
“Hah? Cuz I fucking killed him?”
Those words took us by storm and shook us to the core.
Finding our reaction amusing, the Crest Master continued to speak while smiling.
“The commander personally came to the colony and had some strategy to take my head or something, you know? A delusion fitting for a dumbass big-shot noble like him! To think he can’t even separate his desires from his battle tactics!”
“Lies, lies, lies, lies!”
“This is a strategy to try and unnerve us! We must not pay heed to his words!”
Everyone regained a little composure from Lihilt’s words.
However, I was the only one who felt differently.
Unpleasant thoughts made their way into my head.
That sword was undoubtedly Alencia’s.
Alencia had an excessive belief in his own superiority; He was the type of person to come up with a risky strategy like that.
I felt a chill go down my spine.
I was the only one who knew the Crest Master was speaking the truth.
Alencia… really… died—
The Crest Master shrugged.
“It doesn’t matter if you believe me or not. If you show that sword to one of the big shots at your camp, then someone will probably realize. You guys lost. Hurry up and withdraw the army.”
“We have no intention to fall for such a trick!”
After Lihilt declared—
“…You’re pretty noisy.”
—The Crest Master glared at him.
“I was thinking of letting you go if you shut up and went back, but… Ah, would it be easier to abandon your magician friend if I roughened you guys up a bit? Jeez, I get it. I’ll kill one of you.”
The Crest Master pointed directly at Lihilt.
Immediately after, one of the lizardmen beside the Crest Master shot at Lihilt like an arrow.
The next moment, Lihilt’s body was blown backward. It was a strike powerful enough that it wouldn’t be surprising if he died, but—
“Guh, gah, ha!”
Lihilt was writhing on the ground. He reacted just in time and used his sword as a shield. His sword was now smashed into pieces, though…
“You’re persistent, huh! C’mon, finish him off!”
The Crest Master commanded. The very instant the lizardman tried to move—
The super-enhanced lizardman was blown away with a thunderous roar.
Nothing had changed up until now. The lizardman died in a single shot of my Magic Arrow.
The Crest Master let out a distraught voice for the first time.
“Sorry, but… we aren’t finished talking.”
I intently stared at the Crest Master’s face.
Having understood what happened, a happy look spread across his face.
“…It’s you!? You’re the white arrow magician!?”
Magic Arrow was indeed white, but… It seems like the Crest Master was looking for another magician on top of the “Master Magician.”
“…Yeah, that’s right.”
“What, so it was you.”
The Crest Master spoke in a jolly voice. I had no intention to play along with his conversation, so I forcefully changed the subject.
“Let me ask you one thing. Why the sword? Wouldn’t it make things quicker if you brought the head?”
That would be undeniable evidence. It’d be simple to persuade the other party as well. There should be a reason as to why he couldn’t. There could also be a chance that Alencia was alive—
“Unfortunately… it’s gone.“
The Crest Master grinned.
“The lizardmen got carried away and ended up stomping on the guy’s head. To make matters worse, everyone flocked onto his body and cut ’em into pieces. You can’t even tell whose body it is anymore.”
The Crest Master kept speaking after seemingly realizing something.
“No, I guess there ain’t even a body left. Lizardmen are omnivorous; The corpse of a noble who only eats delicious stuff would be a feast to them. They probably went, ‘Let’s dig in, everyone~’. He’s probably lizardman shit about now!”
The Crest Master roared with laughter and continued.
“What a great way to go out! What’s that? I’m a prominent nobleman! I’m not someone who should be dying in a place like this! The same big shot who screamed all that until death had his head smashed in, and now he’s lizardman shit! What an impressive promotion! Life sure is great, huh!”
The Crest Master couldn’t stop laughing, his voice resounding throughout the battlefield.
I felt nothing as I listened to him.
I didn’t understand my own heart.
Normally, I should be feeling mad.
He killed my blood-related younger brother, after all.
However, there were too many cold-hearted things that he’s done to me for me to feel that way.
The unfeeling pupils he looked at me with after I scurried back home ten years ago. The cold smile he had on his lips.
—Nice to meet you, Albert.
The cruelty with which he spoke after we met for the first time in ten years.
That same younger brother failed, dying pitifully.
I felt a dark pleasure bubble up from the depths of my heart. If I yielded my heart to that feeling, I’m sure it would’ve felt great.
In my heart—
I faintly smiled—
Just then, someone touched my right arm.
It was Laura.
Laura stared at me with a worried look. She knew that Alencia was my brother.
She was looking out for me.
For my heart.
Laura’s pupils were filled with sincerity. Those were the eyes of someone who grieved the death of another person’s family.
Aah, so that’s it.
Laura’s straightforward words reverberated throughout my heart.
—I believe Albert is more of a hero than anyone else!
Did I not respond to her expectations?
For the Laura that believes I’m a hero—
I’ll become a hero.
The dark joy that permeated my heart faded away. A hero shouldn’t have a heart like that; Laura didn’t wish for that.
I want to be—
A hero who Laura wouldn’t feel ashamed of; A hero worthy of her trust.
Which is why—
I’ll get angry.
I didn’t really know if that was the proper emotion to feel. I didn’t even know if other people would understand.
I wasn’t confident I could do it, either.
However, I wanted to be someone who could get mad. I wanted to be someone who could feel anger after a blood relative was murdered and their death was mocked—no matter how cruelly they treated them in the past.
At the very least—
You’re amazing, brother. I want to be just like you.
Although it was in the far, far past.
There was a time where we were close as brothers.
The words he said back then weren’t lies.
I didn’t want to stain that with deep-seated hatred.
That’s why I’ll choose to get angry.
“Thank you, Laura.”
I gently patted her hand and let go, then pointed my right hand at the Crest Master.
You might find it displeasing, but this is my answer as your older brother, Alencia.
This is my tribute to you. Accept it for me.
The white arrow I shot directly hit the Crest Master’s chest.
Then, I shouted as loud as I could.
“MY NAME IS ALBERT LUMINOUS, THE OLDER BROTHER OF THE PERSON YOU KILLED! CREST MASTER, PREPARE TO BE ANNIHILATED!”
Today’s first chapter. Finally finished, this one was the longest yet I think. I tried to make it as good as possible. I felt a bit cringe writing that last piece of dialogue lol. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy. Next chapter coming later today as usual, so see you guys then.