To Be a Power in the Shadows! - Chapter 39[Updated at: 2021-01-11 09:21:41]
Rose observes the men in black with her ice-blue eyes.
It has already been quite some time since she’s been brought to the auditorium. The sun has already set, and the auditorium is illuminated by warm lamp light.
She had already cut the constraints tying her hands together with a small hidden knife that she had on her. While pretending to be still tied, she had passed the knife to the student next to her, after which the knife continued being passed on to each successive student.
She herself can move at any moment. But she fully understands that her moving wouldn’t mean anything.
The men in black are not high in numbers, but each and every single one of them are quite strong. And they are also following a clear chain of command.
There is that one called Lex, and also that ‘Thin Knight’ who seems to be the highest in command. Both of them are stronger than the others by several notches, and the teachers who had mistakenly gauged the difference in strength and tried to resist had been slaughtered without being able to achieve anything.
Even if she can use magic, she is not sure that she can win.
Fortunately, Lex hasn’t come back in quite a while. It would be great if he was defeated by the Knight Order outside, but…… she can’t imagine someone with Lex’s strength making such a big blunder. Honestly speaking, Rose really hopes to be able to do something before he returns.
The Thin Knight is frequently holed up in the green room at the back of the hall, but every once in a while he would come out and look around. Then when he sees that Lex hasn’t returned yet, he would curse a bit, then go back inside.
From the Thin Knight’s dense magic and posture, Rose can tell that he has skill far beyond that of any normal master. He might be even stronger than that Iris Midgar…… well, she hopes not. If he really is, then even if she regains her magic, her chances of winning against him are extremely slim.
Either way, now is not the time to move.
However, it is also true that time is running out.
Along with the passing of time, Rose can feel the magic inside her body gradually being drained away. It is very likely related to the phenomenon of not being able to use magic, but she cannot determine the cause. Rose herself can still hold on for a while longer, but the students with small magic capacity are already beginning to struggle. In several hours, they would begin to suffer from magic deficiency. Then the chance for a counterattack would be lost forever.
Unease and impatience whirl inside her heart.
But what helps her to rein herself in is the figure of a certain boy.
Every time she remembers the gallant figure of Sid protecting her at the cost of his own life, something hot wells up within Rose’s chest.
She must not let his feelings go to waste. Rose endlessly repeats that to herself while continuing to wait.
Then that moment arrives all of a sudden.
A brilliant white light suddenly illuminates the auditorium.
She does not know what it is. However, she is already moving before any coherent thought is formed in her mind.
It doesn’t matter what that light is. All she knows is that her instinct is shouting at her that this would be the only opportunity she would ever have.
When everyone is still blinded by the brilliant light, Rose dashes towards the man in black closest to her.
The moment her hand reaches his unprotected neck, Rose realizes.
She can use magic!
In an instant, Rose severs the man’s neck with a hand chop coated with magic.
She doesn’t know why she can suddenly use magic, and she really doesn’t care.
She grabs the sword from the waist of that man who is now missing his head, and thrusts it into the air and shouts.
“OUR MAGIC IS FREED!! ARISE, THE TIME FOR THE COUNTERATTACK IS NOW!!”
The auditorium erupts.
Boys and girls standing up, instantaneously breaking free of their bonds. Then the freed students begin moving.
Everyone is united with the same will, and the very air shakes with their fervor.
Rose unleashes her enormous magic, and sends one man in black flying.
Everything for the sake of victory.
Rose is fully aware that right now, this very instant, she is the symbol of their counterattack.
As long as she continues to fight, everyone else will fight.
She must continue winning in a way that everyone can see.
So she decides to pay no mind to her magic output, focusing only on swinging her sword with all her might.
“FOLLOW THE STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT!!”
“GRAB THEIR SWORDS!!”
While feeling the attention centered on her, the animosity and the acclaim, Rose continues killing enemies and freeing more students.
Her figure is exactly that of those heroes depicted in epics.
Everyone is looking up to her, and chasing after her.
However, what she is doing is also a reckless charge without properly pacing her magic usage.
No matter how much magic she might have, the more she uses, the closer she approaches her limit.
Rose calmly assesses her own limit while feeling the rapid drain.
As she loses magic, her strikes becomes duller, and her body becomes heavier.
An enemy that she could have killed in one strike now requires two. Then two becomes three.
Just a little more, a little bit more…… but against her wishes, she finds herself already surrounded.
Just one more person, then she’d probably collapse.
The auditorium is already fully enveloped in the students’ fervor. Even if she falls now, there is no stopping the students anymore.
One boy’s feelings passed onto Rose, then Rose’s feelings passed onto everyone else. Even though several lives had been lost in the process, those feelings had indeed been properly passed down.
It was not wasted.
The death of the boy, and also her own incoming death.
There is a reason why Rose of the country of arts had aspired towards the sword. It is a really silly reason that she had never told anyone, a mere dream of a child.
However, Rose had decided to seriously pursue it.
Has she gotten a little closer to that dream?
While such thoughts were flashing in her mind, Rose brandishes her sword for one last time.
There is almost no magic imbued in that attack. There is also not much strength. And neither is it particularly fast.
But drawing an arc more beautiful that any other strike that she has ever made, it cleanly decapitates one more enemy.
It is the the very best strike in Rose’s entire life.
That moment, Rose feels like she had grasped a very important sensation.
The fact that it had come to her at the very last instant of her life is just too regrettable.
While staring at the blades falling down on her from all four directions, Rose wishes that she can live for just one more day.
Her wish is granted.
A black whirlwind sweeps over her.
Leaving vivid red blood flying in the air, all the enemies around her are wiped out in a fraction of a moment.
Her vicinity becomes silent, as if time had stopped.
And in the midst of it all, there stands a man in a jet black coat.
“Well done, ye who wields a beautiful blade……”
That voice that sounds like a reverberation from the depths of the earth is directed towards Rose.
Those words were probably praise for Rose’s final strike. However, Rose has received a shock so great that it cannot be expressed with such words.
“My name is Shadow.”
The sword of that man who introduced himself as Shadow…… was stunningly incredible.
“I, I’m Rose. Rose…… Oriana.”
Unable to recover from her shock, Rose replies in a quivering voice.
Shadow’s sword is at a faraway pinnacle. It is a sword that is the fusion of the best techniques from innumerable schools, polished and sharpened to the limit, attained through unceasing effort. Rose even felt eternity from that sword.
It is a sword far more complete than that of anything that Rose had ever seen in her life.
“Come forth, oh loyal companions of mine……”
Shadow shoots a beam of violet light towards the sky. A large group of figures wearing black rush into the auditorium, bathed in that violet light.
Rose’s unease is quickly proved needless.
The group lands elegantly, then immediately engages the men in black in combat.
Internal strife…… does not feel like this. And neither do they seem to be from the Knight Order.
And when she observes them more closely, Rose realizes that they are all women. And also……
Every single one of them is strong. All of them are unbelievably strong.
The men in black are going down in mere moments.
All of these women’s swords are the same as Shadow’s. There is no doubt that Shadow is the one leading all of these paragons of strength.
“Shadow-sama, we are glad to see you unharmed.”
One of the women kneels besides Shadow.
“Their ringleader has set fire to the academy and is making to escape.”
“How foolish…… I leave this place to you.”
“Do they actually think they can run away……?”
Shadow laughs in a low voice. Then he turns around, slices the auditorium’s door into bits with a single swing of his sword. The men in black in the way were also reduced to mere pieces of meat by the same swing.
That swing had been quite similar to Rose’s, as if he was showing it to her. Then he calmly continues walking onwards, until his figure melts into the night.
In Rose’s eyes, every single one of his movements had been the greatest lessons of her life.
“Are you alright?”
The woman who had been called Nyuu is calling out to Rose.
“That was a really good strike back there.”
After saying that, she brandishes her own jet black blade, and dives into the fray.
However, Nyuu’s own sword has also reached outrageous heights. The men in black are only being single-sidedly cut down.
Rose’s common sense…… no, everything that she knows of being a magic swordsman has been destroyed.
The swing brandished by this group in black is not that of any existent school.
It is a completely brand new school.
Where on earth has such a group, of such a school, appeared from? It is beyond strange that she had never even known of them until today.
“Fire, there’s a fire!!”
That shout brings Rose back to her senses.
There is indeed a fire coming from the back of the auditorium that is spreading quickly.
“Starting from those close to the exits, calmly make your way out of the auditorium!!”
So shouts Rose as she takes on the role of guiding the students.
Thanks to the group in black, casualties are minimal. The fighting is already reaching the end.
Rose lends her shoulders to two severely wounded students and escorts them to the exit.
“The Knight Order is here!!”
That shout causes everyone to sigh in relief. Rose also feels the strength leaving her such that she nearly falls, but she quickly regathers her focus.
She continues to help students out of the auditorium. The fire is growing, and all the men in black are dead.
And before anyone realized it, the group of women have also disappeared.
As if they had never been here in the first place, leaving no trace behind, without anyone noticing, their brilliant figures disappearing into thin air.
Rose helps the last student out of the auditorium, then turns around to look at the auditorium that is enveloped in roaring flames.
“Exactly who were they……”
All of a sudden, Rose thinks back again to Nyuu’s voice.
For some reason, that voice sounds so nostalgic, as if it is a voice that she had heard long ago.