Sorry for the lack of activity, my masters thesis defense is coming soon, which is keeping me a bit busy, but I will do my best to be more active in the coming weeks.
Anyway, here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Skuld’s face was twisted from the pain all over her body.
【”You’re up? I’ve done soime healing on you but it’s not perfect. You can rest some more if you want.”】
At last, Skuld realized the situation she was in.
(Lord Kurats… is giving me a lap pillow?)
Though Kurats’ body was covered with muscles of steel, his thighs were surpisingly soft, like a bed of feathers.
This was because well-trained, flexible muscles had the attribute of being solid like steel in tense situations and becoming soft like clouds when relaxed.
Flustered, Skuld tried to get right up, but Kurats kept her down by stroking her head.
【”Don’t move too recklessly. If Gunther hadn’t held back, you would have lost your life by now, you know?”】
【”So he went easy on me――I see.”】
Skuld looked down to the ground, still in shock.
The empire’s first and second army were generally believed to be of the same level.
In fact, Skuld had trained her swordmanship many times with Gunther and she, too, believed that her sword skills were no lower than his.
【”Least I can say is he’s a step above you.”】
Maybe Skuld had a greater natural disposition towards the sword.
But this difference was more than made-up for by Gunther’s experience, his thorough information gathering process, and his obession with winning.
Gunther’s strength was his ability to completely analyze all the habits, the special skills and the weaknesses of his enemies, and to use that information to simulate thousands of battles in his mind.
But he had likely hidden those claws from Skuld, even though she had been his ally. That was simply the kind of man he was.
Warm drops of liquid fell on Kurats’ lap.
【”Are you feeling frustrated?”】
This was an emotion Skuld hadn’t felt in the slightest after losing to Kurats.
Why was she so furstrated that her heart was burning?
This was not a simple frustration from losing.
What had actually gotten to her was the fact that Gunther had deceived her all this time, and had then gone easy on her.
Not knowing how strong he truly was, she had been so conceited she had let herself to believe she was his equal.
【”I also have some unsettled business with him. Whatever he did, you should strive to return that two-fold one day, just like me.”】
【”――Even you lost against him, lord Kurats?”】
Skuld opened her long eyes wide with surprise.
Given how much he had overpowered her during their fight, Skuld never thought Kurats would suffer a humilating defeat at Gunther’s hands.
【”I didn’t lose, but he did play me. It’s been a while since I last felt like this…”】
That being said, Gunther had a made a decisive mistake.
Kurats was not one to stay quiet after being made to feel this way.
Gunther should not have fought to the point of making Kurats angry.
If he was going to make him angry, he should have defeated him right then and there.
In clear terms, all that battle had accomplished was creating a nasty, vengeful, wounded tiger.
【”――The payback’s going to be real expensive.”】
Regardless of the specifics of the battle, it was a fact that Jormungand had regained all its land after Gunther’s first army was made to retreat back to Asgard.
Jomrungand had not only defeated the second army, which was believed to be the cream of the crop, they had even driven the first army back to their own land.
Looking solely at the overall results, this first round of battles was marked by Jormungand’s overwhelmiong victory.
For the time being, at least, there was no one who doubted this.
◆ ◆ ◆
When he thought about the next batle, Bernst felt overwhelming excitment in his chest.
By now, he was aware that that excitement was no longer due to a psuedo-conformity with Kurats’ emotions.
(I have achieved my goal of aligning myself to an alter ego, accumlating emotional data, and then creating a pseudo-emotional circuit within myself. However…)
Bernst was extremely scared of losing his gains.
As the king of magic, the closest being to godhood, such a feeling was not supposed to exist within Bernst.
Such a feeling should have been eliminated from him.
But, at the end of the day, Kurats was made by Bernst. Reconstructing that feeling based on Kurats had been no sweat for Bernst.
The instinctive feeling of fear towards the future to come.
Without that feeling, Bernst knew he would be able to enjoy this world more, and yet…
(Emotions truly are a nuisance. However, that is why I love them so…)
Having finally regained the emotions he had long forgotten, it was impossible for Bernst to let go of them.
But beyond even such feelings―― Bernst was now perceiving an undescribable, fine thread coming right from the endless abyss and coiling around him.
From this thread, Bernst perceived a feeling of ecstasy, like he was starting to melt with the wind and the air and to fuse with the constellations. But that feeling had come along with another feeling: a feleing of loneliness, spreading in his chest.
This let Bernst know there was not much time left for him to enjoy his last play.
(Only for a little while… Please make it so I wi’ll have just a little more time to savor these feelings of fear, excitment, anger and joy――)
END OF VOLUME 4
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