|Louise & Yuka K.|
| Book: Be Careful What|
You Wish For, Chapter 18
|Written by||Vanishing Trooper|
Be Careful What
You Wish For
Be Careful What
You Wish For
Author's Notes: Hello! Been a while eh? Due to various IRL things such as changing jobs and getting new games, I was not able to write in the pace I usually did. No matter, here is the new chapter for the story. I had to cut the battle in half because it was getting too long, so I'll post the other half once it's done.
I can honestly say, its times like that that I am glad to be an Ace Combat fan.
Anyway, please enjoy~
"We seem to have encountered a new complication." Griffin Knight Lyner Alec la Pyrean, Red to his squadmates, reported to the rest of the team via a modified wind spell that Viscount Wardes and Trombe learned from 'The Heavy Wind'. The young man was currently having the longest day of his life as he watched two mysterious and rather terrifying winged people, a man and a woman, tear through the Red Dragon Knights that stood between them and his squadron's main objective...literally tear through them. The sixty-sixth continued to carry their stigma even through the massive battle that was taking place between the Tristain and Albion fleets as they were ordered by command to keep the creature that was once their Captain in check while the rest of their forces deal with the Albion Armada. It was six-on-one but was still very risky when you consider what they were fighting. Their squadron leader demanded to know why they wouldn't be allowed to request or even seek out any reinforcements against the abomination if the need arose. All he got was a sneer and the statement that the sixty-sixth should clean up their own mess. Even in a situation where their priority should have been to destroy the greatest threat in the battlefield, the brass still managed to show how much contempt they had for the formerly prized unit.
"Elaborate please." Scarface, current Captain and Squadron Leader of the sixty-sixth inquired using the same wind spell. Red was about to respond when someone else beat him to it.
"By the founder's metaphysical beard! What the hell are those things?" The panicked voice of one Charles Casval la Fontaine or 'Char' was heard as he pulled up next to Red.
"Answer the question, boys." Scarface reminded.
"Two unknowns are currently ripping the Albion Dragon Knight Corps a new one, sir." Char answered the inquiry.
"Unknowns? Not ours? What are their emblems and mounts?" Second-in-Command, James Terrance la Raynore or 'Trombe' asked for more details.
"They don't seem to have any mounts, sir. They have wings on their backs and they are wearing civilian clothing." Stephan Alexander de Morris or 'Stephan' answered the question as he descended to match the altitude of his squadronmates. They were currently split up into two teams due to the dwindling number of Tristain forces in the battlefield. Char, Red, and Stephan were charged with keeping the Dragon Knights busy and keep them off friendly ships as well as the rest of their squadron. Meanwhile, Scarface, Trombe, and Lawrence Masters de Foulke or 'Larry' would keep the abomination that was once their Captain in check.
Unfortunately, few plans survive first encounter with the enemy. The First Encounter Assault Run by the sixty-sixth managed to get Wardes away from the rest of the Albion Forces. The bad news came when the trio that was supposed to have been responsible with harassing the abomination got bogged down by Red Dragon Knights. Char's team tried to sort them out but they were kept at bay by ship cannons and the onboard mages that Albion brought along with them. It pretty much degraded into a battle of attrition for the Albion Armada and a battle for survival for the Tristain Fleet. For whatever stroke of luck, debatable if it was good or bad, Char, Red, and Stephan all ended up finding Wardes while their seniors were trying to keep their ship losses from increasing due to the Red Dragon Knights.
"Also, they seem to be fighting off everything using umbrellas...I kid you not." Red added with a shake of his head.
"Are they attacking any of ours?" Scarface asked his subbordinates.
"No, only the Albion units. In fact, they look like they're gunning for Captain Wardes too." Stephan pointed out.
"What do we do boss? Do we jump in and help those two or do we attack Captain Wardes and leave the knights to them?" Char anxiously waited for his Captain to respond. In all honesty, he wanted to stay the nine hells away from those two monsters. He'd rather just have those monsters kill each other instead.
"Rendezvous with us at the Raddish. We're using the ship as a buffer between the Albion forces and the flagship. It's holding up pretty well so far but we're not sure for how much longer. If it goes down, then we'll be one of the squadrons left that can defend our flagship." Scarface gave the order, much to Char's relief.
"But what about Captain Wardes and the unknowns?" Red inquired.
"Leave the monsters alone for now. If we ever come to a situation where he have to fight all three, then we'd all be dead by then." Their Captain responded with a hard tone. The three knights looked at each other before glancing back at the monsters that were still being assaulted by more and more Red Dragon Knights. Char shook the question of where the opposing knights kept coming from and turned to his team.
"You heard boss, let's move out!" Char ordered and all three knights flew off to reinforce their remaining ships.
"Guh!" I grunted as I got hit with a concentrated blast of fire from four Red Dragons. I was finally able to get control of myself from my bloodlust earlier thanks to all the knights I have already killed and the fact that I made my other half appear. When I realized just where I was and what I was doing -I was in the middle of ripping the head off a Red Dragon Knight- I clicked my tongue and sighed at my actions. Really, I was disappointed at my lack of control when faced with a prey I really, really, really wanted to kill.
I scanned around the area some more to take stock of the current situation as I tossed the decapitated head of the Dragon Knight at my other half. She gleefully caught it before proceeding to play dodge ball with the rest of her targets. I noted that a few ships have already started to crash to the ground with the men onboard screaming their death throes as the battle continued. I wasn't sure who was winning because of all the fire, smoke, and screaming but I was sure of one thing: The Scent of Death was palpable. I then narrowed my eyes when I noticed something. I gave out a low growl in my throat when I realized it and tapped my 'Hey-Listen' with my left index finger as I smacked away another attempt by the Red Dragons at a combined fire blast with my closed parasol.
'Ruukoto. Viscount Wardes is the undead anomaly we were detecting earlier. I'm currently engaged alongside my double with what I believe is the bulk of the Albion Red Dragon Knight forces. Can you confirm the situation?' I asked the gynoid who should still be on overwatch over Tarbes. I sighed and swept my closed parasol at the Red Dragons that were still hawking me, scattering several sunflower petals in the air. I decided to try out that trick I learned from Guiche de Gramont during our little duel a few months ago.
It was a simple experiment to prove the concept that the casting method he used was compatible with my own magic. Lace the petals with my spell and see if it will trigger. The concept proved sound as the individual petals glowed bright before being converted into marble-sized teardrop bullets that launched at the annoyances with extreme prejudice.
'Fuga. Fuga Fuga?' Ruukoto responded to me as I watched the lifeless beasts and their riders plummet to the ground. So Wardes slipped away as I was in the throes of my bloodlu-
"Hooo~waaaahhh~!" The somewhat muffled but delighted scream of my other half interrupted my thoughts. I looked in her direction and saw her holding a pair of Red Dragon corpses by their tails in each hand and using them as flails. Her parasol was firmly clutched in her teeth by the handle which was why her voice was muffled.
"Hm..." Was the only thing I did to acknowledge the sight before turning my attention back to the matter of a sneaky undead Viscount. Wardes used the chaos of the initial bloodbath my other half and I caused to sneak away and make another attack run at Tarbes. Ruukoto was asking me if it should directly engage the offending abomination since it was unable to effectively hit it at long range. I considered the question before realizing that I needed to confirm something first.
'How are Louise and her friends? Have you advised them of the situation?' I asked Ruukoto.
'Fuga Fuga. Fuga.' So my master and her friends were working with what was left with Princess Henrietta's little army to evacuate the remaining residents of the village. Ruukoto didn't bother to tell them about the situation because none of them would have been able to understand the gynoid anyway. I closed my eyes and opened up another channel.
'Louise...can you hear me?' I tried to raise my master as I started to evade cannon fire from one of the burning ships...an Albion one it seemed.
'Louise...can you hear me?' The young Void mage visibly flinched when she suddenly heard her familiar's voice. The old woman, whom she was helping onto a wagon which will take her and her family away from the village, noticed this and placed a hand on her arm.
"Are you alright milady?" The old woman asked Louise. She was currently isolated from the rest of her friends but she was still being accompanied by a three members of Agnes' Musketeer Squadron.
"I-I'm fine. Please hurry so they can take you and your family to a safer location." Louise responded with a smile. The young woman sighed as she watched the family be carted off and saw the looks that they were all giving as they were taken away from their home.
"Are you alright Dame Valliere?" A firm female voice called out from behind Louise. She turned around and saw that it was one of the knights that accompanied her. Helgarose was her name, Helgarose Chevalier de La Falkenmayer. She was a rather serious looking woman with short dark blue hair and eyes. She was as tall as Princess Henrietta was and the way she carried herself in her armor showed her professionalism, just like their Captain Agnes.
"I am fine Dame Falkenmayer." Louise nodded to the knight after her response. It was still odd for Louise to be called by a proper title like 'Dame'. It was true that she was knighted as a Chevalier by Princess Henrietta, but she didn't really care for those kinds of titles. She cared for her knightly title about as much as Tabitha or Matilda did for theirs.
"Helga~! Are you two already done there~?" The rather friendly voice of Ilfriede Chevalier de La Feulner caught both of their attentions. Ilfriede was walking toward them along side the remaining knight that was assigned to accompany Louise, Lunateresia Chevalier de La Wizleben.
Ilfriede was blonde and had green eyes but was a bit shorter than Helgarose. Her hair reached her shoulders but was mostly tied up into a short ponytail. Considering her appearance and attitude, it was like Louise was looking at the opposite of Agnes.
Lunateresia had evergreen colored wavy hair and matching eyes and was the shortest of the three knights, but not by much. With the limited interaction she has had with the third knight, Louise concluded that she qualified as the 'Team Mom' as Cirno put it one time.
"Ilfriede! What did I tell you about speaking with respect?" Helgarose scolded her fellow knight, who deftly used Lunateresia as a shield. Considering the smoothness of the movement that the blonde haired knight did, Louise inferred that this sort of thing has happened before.
'Louise? Are you there?' Yuka's voice pulled Louise out of her thoughts and she quickly tapped her ear piece to respond while the knights were...distracted.
'This is Snake.' Louise grimaced after she unconsciously used that strange code name again. She didn't really intend to do so but it somehow simply felt...right...to do that.
'...did you hit your head at some point? Ruukoto never reported that you were hurt though.' Louise growled and effectively facepalmed at her familiar's words.
'I'm fine, Yuka. We're helping with the evacuations and are currently split up. The Princess assigned members of the Musketeer Squadron to protect us just in case. There are three with me right now but they're currently...preoccupied.' Louise explained her current situation as she watched Lunateresia calmly tried to facilitate peace between her two fellow knights.
'Very well. Just so you know, the source of the anomaly turns out to be the undead reconstructed corpse of your former fiancé and his mount. They were literally attached together by the hip and were likely revived by the Ring of Advari and were magically augmented to be able to use spells far more powerful than what Wardes was originally supposed to be capable of. By the way, he's headed there right now and Ruukoto is asking if it can intercept it directly since sniping it isn't really working.' Yuka's sudden, unexpected, and downright absurd information dump caught Louise so off guard that there was only one way she could respond coherently.
'What?' Was her response.
'The revived undead abomination that was once your fiancé is headed to Tarbes. I'm a bit busy with all the ships and Red Dragon Knights shooting at me so I can't get there in time to prevent Wardes from reaching the village. Ruukoto is asking if it can intercept it even though it will reveal its existence to just about everyone there.' Yuka deadpanned and Louise could swear that she heard screaming from the other end of their communique.
'Umm...sure...Ruukoto!' Louise called out to her gynoid.
'Fuga.' Who responded immediately. Louise grimaced at the fact that she still couldn't understand a word the robot-maid says.
'Yuka...' Louise deadpanned as she prompted her familiar to translate.
'She's simply acknowledging your call.' Yuka responded. Louise was about to speak when she noticed that the knights with her were already done with their little argument.
'Hang on...' Louise whispered before tapping her 'Hey-Listen' and turning toward the three members of the Musketeer Squadron.
"Dame Valliere," Helgarose called out to Louise. The apparently most serious of the three knights called out to the young Void mage.
"Ilfriede and Lunateresia are finished with their assignments so we are all done in this area. What would you have us do now Dame Valliere?" Louise blinked a few times at the question. She stared at Helgarose for a few moments before glancing at the other two knights. Louise couldn't really believe it but...were they waiting on her orders?
"Umm...can you please clarify what you meant by that Dame Falkenmayer?" The young Void mage let the question roll out as calmly as she possibly could. Yuka has pointed out repeatedly that she tended to suddenly lose composure when put on a spot by other people and it was starting to show. Louise gulped unconsciously when she noticed Helgarose's eyebrow twitch. For some insane reason, Louise was starting to compare Helgarose with her elder sister Eleanor.
"Jeez~! Stop scaring the poor girl Helga~" Louise let out the breath she didn't know she was holding when Ilfriede spoke out. Helgarose glared at the blonde knight but she ignored it and walked up to Louise before taking her hands into her own.
"Don't worry about Helga. She's strict but she just wanted you to know that we're here to support you." The oddly cheery knight said to Louise with a smile that reminded her of her other elder sister Cattleya. Louise glanced back at Helgarose when the woman let out an audible sigh.
"Ilfriede is right. We saw what you did for the sake of the commoners of Tarbes, how you even stood up to Princess Henrietta just to be able to help with the evacuations. Now we understand why the Princess always speaks so highly of you." Louise could only shake her head weakly at the words that the green haired knight told her. Her hair and her mannerisms reminded her of her tutor Matilda and how much Louise missed and worried for the woman.
"It is rare for nobility to speak their minds like that, especially against the Princess and even more so if it is for the benefit of commoners. Although, I suppose that it is possible for a Valliere." Helgarose nonchalantly pointed out as she gave the young woman a sideward glance.
"You have our support, so please use us as you see fit Dame Valliere." Lunateresia added as if to assure Louise with her words.
"...Louise." The strawberry-blonde stated as she looked at each of them in the eye, a familiar kind of fire started burning in her eyes.
"Call me Louise, all my friends do." The young Void mage continued with a smile but she still had that fire in her eyes. She had already steeled herself to help protect the village of Tarbes ever since she said those words to Princess Henrietta. Although, actually being acknowledged for that gave her a strange feeling of accomplishment. A feeling she rarely had experienced in her life until recently, a rather novel feeling indeed!
That was when she heard Ilfiede go 'Kyaaaaa~' and gave her a big hug. Yep. Definitely like Chii-nee-sama...
"You're so adorable~! I wish I had a little sister like you~" The blonde knight exclaimed. Louise was struggling against the loving embrace of the older woman when she noticed the tell tale crackling of her ear piece before she heard Yuka's voice.
'Louise, are you still there? Ruukoto is asking to confirm its orders.' Yuka reminded her that she was still supposed to tell her gynoid her decision on what to do about the 'Magical Anomaly'. Louise managed to struggle enough out of Ilfriede's grip to get her arm free to be able to activate her 'Hey-Listen'. She didn't really know how she's going to talk her way out of this one but she had a very strange feeling that the three knights she was with could be trusted. With that in mind, she spoke.
'Ruukoto! Intercept and use whatever you have to stop Viscount Wardes! Protect your village of Tarbes, Steel Goddess!' Louise yelled out, surprising the three knights that were with her. Thankfully, that meant that she was finally able to free herself from the blonde knight's grasp.
"Ummm...is everything alright, Louise? Are you feeling sick?" Louise ignored Lunateresia's worried voice and focused of her gynoid's response. After a long moment the same strange but soothing sound of one of Ruukoto's abilities came into her ear.
'Understood. Commencing armed intervention.' Ruukoto calmly stated after activating her 'White Noise' ability.
"I'm preparing our defense." Louise absentmindedly answered Lunateresia's question.
"Defense? For what?" Helgarose asked sternly. That was when they all heard a high pitched noise coming from the sky. They all turned in the direction where it came from and was rewarded with a sound of an explosion from on high.
"...that." Louise answered simply as the three members of the Musketeer Squadron still had varied looks of shock.
That one word encompassed the reason for her existence.
Two times she was struck down by monsters that threatened to destroy all life on that world.
Three times she was rebuilt to continue the fight.
The first time was because her first body was too damaged to be repaired after she arrived in that world.
The second time was because her second body gave out from the constant fighting.
The third time was because her third body was destroyed after trying to accomplish something beyond her capabilities.
Only after she received her fourth and current body did Professor Uzuki impose her 'Prime Directives'. Those directives were the reason why she was nearly part of the annihilation of that world along with Professor Uzuki. Only by the overriding order of that woman was she able to escape her doom alongside everyone else.
'Live on after our end. This is your life now, so decide for yourself. You need to choose what you wish to protect with your own hands, what to discard, and what to take with you.'
Those were the last words that Professor Uzuki said to her before she was shut in her capsule. She still has that video of the professor's final order and farewell archived and backed up in multiple storage mediums. She would not forget. She would never forget. That woman...and that world.
She was sent off into a rift in space and time after all the people there left and ended up in the place where she would eventually call home for the next few decades. Unfortunately, something went wrong and the machine ended up taking a few more things along with her...like the hangar she was in at the time.
She was awakened by a man who would eventually become Siesta's grandfather and by 'that person'. She acted upon the final order of the woman that gave her a reason to continue her existence and offered her services to the man.
She was originally rather perplexed as to why both of them could understand her without the use of Professor Uzuki's complicated translation software that was installed on her 'White Noise' and 'Level Six Shift' systems. However, when the man and 'that person' explained, she stoically accepted their word and continued on to become the local legendary goddess.
'Understood. Commencing armed intervention.' Ruukoto acknowledged Louise's order and recalled her R-Cannon in favor of weapons more suited for short to medium range combat.
Her left arm turned into the familiar blue double-edged blade that has ended threats large and small for those under her protection.
The empty space in her right hand flashed white before dissipating. In its place was a large white revolver that had six chambers. Each bullet was engineered and designed to be able to punch through steel like it was wet cardboard.
The gynoid flexed her wings and determined the most effective interception vector before launching herself at the threat.
That was once her reason for existing. However, one woman gave her an order that let her choose her own life. Now, there was one thing in her mind.
Once again, the Steel Goddess of Tarbes flew to protect those who needed her.
'Alert for Tabitha. Please remain out of combat airspace while this Ruukoto version four unit is engaged with the enemy.' Ruukoto noted to the young Chevalier who was still riding her Dragon above Tarbes.
'Done. Good luck.' The wind mage responded. Satisfied with the conditions, Ruukoto flew faster until it finally made contact that was punctuated with the sound of a concussive blast.
To say that Wardes really didn't expect this was an understatement...
"Really?" I asked in deadpan as yet another one of those silly Red Dragon Knights tried to have his mount bite my head off. I mean...after all the death my other half and I caused, you'd think that they would take a hint.
Apparently, logic was not their strong point as I backhanded another Red Dragon for what was the seventh time now. My other half was still having her fun when I noticed that some of the attacks that were being directed at me by the Albion ships were being redirected elsewhere. I gave a thoughtful hum before making my way in the direction where the cannon fire was being concentrated at. I raised a brow when I noticed a familiar magical aura coming from one of the larger ships. I raised the other brow when I finally saw who it was.
There, in the middle of the deck, surrounded by six griffin knights that had clothing similar to Wardes', was the exiled prince of Albion: Wales Tudor.
"Boss! We have a big problem!" One of the griffin knights suddenly yelled out while pointing at me with his sword. He looked young, around Jessica's age I assumed. The rest of them, as well as Wales, turned as one to where the young knight was at me.
"Sir Kazami! You...you were what the Sixty-Sixth reported?" The exiled Albion prince exclaimed in both surprise and horror. Surprise was understandable but I was wondering about the horror part. I blinked a few times and realized the cause of the prince's distress. I looked down at my current state of self and concluded that, yes, having splattered human and dragon blood on you could be considered intimidating to some. I gave out a tired sigh at the mess that I made of myself. Very messy. Although it was a small price to pay because of all the fun I had prior, and all the fun my other half was having still.
"The 'Sixty-Sixth' you speak off, I assume, are those knights who are with you right now, yes?" I asked casually while noticing that the red griffin of one of the knights was starting to get rather shaken. A familiar of its rider I supposed.
"Easy there Quattro..." The rider of the steadily panicking griffin tried to calm the beast down after sensing its distress. The rest of them looked fine so they must not be familiars and were just regular mounts.
"Yes, they reported of two unknowns who were constantly being attacked by the Albion Red Dragon Knight Corps. I never imagined that one of them would be you, Sir Kazami. What are you doing here?" Prince Wales explained warily before he asked his question, the six knights eyed me carefully as well. They were well disciplined. If they already knew what I was capable of, then they should already know that I was more than capable of ending their lives.
I opened my mouth to respond when I heard the whistling sound of a cannon ball streaking across the sky. I tightened the grip on my parasol before turning around and winding up like one of those players from that game...baseball was it? In any case, I saw the cannon ball head right for me and smiled before using my parasol to send it careening into one of the Albion ships. Probably not the one that fired it but, oh well. I turned back to the prince and his bodyguards and saw that they all had very shocked expressions.
I've been getting a lot of those lately...I just hoped that Louise hasn't been doing anything to draw too much attention to herself.
"I keep telling you that you can simply call me Yuka instead of something like 'Sir Kazami' or something equally as silly." I reminded the prince with a lazy wave of my hand. Honestly, I have no interest in meaningless titles such as that. Silly humans...
"To answer your question though," I continued while lowering myself to the ship's deck. I tried to flick away some of the blood that was on my hands and on my parasol but it seemed that the liquid once again continues to show how annoying it can be when you want to get rid of it.
"A certain member of my master's group detected a certain magical anomaly that was particularly large moving in the direction of the village of Tarbes. My master being the person that she is, insisted for us to do something about it...and here we ar-" My explanation was interrupted once again when a random soldier on the ship suddenly shouted...
"The Raddish is going down!" Said random soldier exclaimed.
"Shit! Time's up!" One of the knights that were accompanying Prince Wales barked out. The other five of them reacted immediately and took to the air on their mounts.
"Your Highness! We need to go! Now!" The same night exclaimed to Wales with an obvious tone of urgency.
"Sir Kazami...Yuka...I came here to try to convince my countrymen to stop this foolishness and cease all hostilities." The prince said grimly, ignoring the scar faced knight. I shook my head and gave him a sardonic smile before folding my arms and leaning back.
"Not as planned?" I asked the rhetorical question.
"Quite." The exiled prince responded while wincing.
"Prince Wales! We need to leave! Now!" The scar faced knight yelled out with more force than before, even going so far as to grab the prince's arm and try to pull him onto his griffin. As if to give him more incentive, the whole ship rocked after it was apparently hit with cannon fire from one of the many Albion warships that were still in the fight.
"Go. I'll do something about the Albion Armada." I stated before taking to the sky myself.
"Will you continue to kill my countrymen?" Prince Wales Tudor asked me seriously as he sat behind the scar faced knight on the griffin. I barked out a laugh as I noticed the tell tale sign of my other half continuing her rampage.
"My...our...objective in coming here was to protect Tarbes from whatever was approaching it. So long as the Albion Armada intends to mow down that village in their path to conquest of the country of Tristain...I will continue to keep killing them until none are left." I clearly stated before giving the prince and the knight the sadistic smile that I became legendary for.
"Look around~! Have a listen~! Take in the fragrance~! Man and beast killing each other ruthlessly for the sake of victory~! I kill to protect a helpless village from being wiped off the map~! Now tell me Prince Wales Tudor~" I pointed out gleefully while spreading my arms wide to gesture the massive fleet battle that was still going on.
"Who is the sane one in this situation~?" I asked him with a playful shrug. The young man didn't look like he had an answer to that.
"Hng!" Ruukoto grunted as she spun away from another tornado spell that was launched by the undead Viscount. She blinked as the tornado suddenly changed direction and once again tried to hit the gynoid.
"Homing properties of spells confirmed. Assume that all spells from target have the same potential." Ruukoto muttered to herself as she flipped in mid-air to avoid the oncoming tornado. Several feathers separated from her wings as she expertly grazed the spell. The gynoid twisted her body to be able to get a bead on her opponent using the G-Revolver. She fired a round as soon as she locked onto her target but the Viscount was already moving at that point and was barely able to avoid the high caliber round from hitting its shoulder.
Moving. Always moving. Never letting the opponent effectively track it.
Ruukoto begrudgingly admitted to herself that her foe knew how to fight aerial battles well. If she had all her equipment and abilities available, then this wouldn't even be a fight. Unforunately, that was not the case.
"Continuing to engage." The gynoid said to no one in particular as she flew in closer. She performed a barrel roll while firing from her G-Revolver to make herself a harder target and to force her for into defense. That tactic proved effective as the abomination was forced to rely on weaker spells to counter her attacks. Ruukoto was easily able to identify, lock on, and cut away the razor wind spells that were launched at her using her R-Blade.
The abomination finally realized that it was in danger and quickly started to perform evasive maneuvers. Ruukoto was on its tail in pursuit even as the Undead Viscount Wardes jinked left and right to try to shake her off.
The robot maid continued pursuit even while she was mechanically reloading her weapon. Locked and loaded, she raised the revolver before firing shots intended to corner her target and limit its maneuvering options.
"Hm!" Ruukoto suddenly lowered her revolver in favor of her arm blade when the Viscount suddenly tucked and rolled its lower half, forcing the griffin part of his body to face her. Normally, at the kind of speeds that they were going, such a move would have quickly killed the griffin and its rider.
'One of the advantages of being undead' Ruukoto mentally noted the maneuver for future reference even as the undead griffin opened its beak and let loose its own tornado spell.
"Note: Griffin head shows spell casting abilities. Assume it can cast other spells aside from tornado as well." Ruukoto muttered to herself as she used the R-Blade in her left arm as a fulcrum to spin away from the point of contact with the sudden magical attack. The half-second given by the unexpected distraction was enough for the undead abomination to perform a rolling dive straight down. Ruukoto quickly pursued her target and opened up a channel to everyone still at Tarbes when she noticed where her target was headed.
'Alert! Hostile is performing high-speed dive onto Tarbes immediate airspace! Miss Tabitha, perform evasive maneuvers at once. Mistress Louise, please brace for the sonic boom. Danger close.' Ruukoto yelled out as she continued to catch up to her foe.
'Understood.' Was Tabitha's only reply, which was enough of a response from the Gallian Chevalier. Louise on the other hand...
"Sonic boom? What the founder is that?" Louise asked out loud, a bit worriedly when she considered the urgent tone that her gynoid was using.
"Louise?" Helgarose called out to the young Void mage when she noticed that she was seemingly talking to herself again. Louise and the three knights were making their way back to the village square, where Princess Henrietta had set up a temporary command center, when Ruukoto's sudden alert came. Louise's eyes went wide when a very bad feeling washed over her. It was one of the many things that she had eventually developed during her training in Mugenkan with both Yuka and Cirno. It was her awareness to things that could potentially do her harm...and Yuka had made sure that particular skill was as sharp as possible.
"Everyone get down!" Louise yelled out to the three knights. They looked at her in surprise but they haven't been in the personal service of Princess Henrietta for nothing.
"Down!" Lunarteresia repeated Louise's words and dropped down on the ground after she saw how grave the young woman's expression was. The rest of them followed suit just in time for Wardes and Ruukoto to fly overhead at rooftop level at ridiculous speeds, taking out a several roof tiles from nearby buildings in the process. All four of them raised their heads at the same time, only to duck back down when they all heard and felt a shockwave a few seconds later.
"By Brimir's beard! What was that? Is it Albion?" Ilfriede yelled out as she and her two comrades quickly stood up once the shockwaves ended. Despite the obvious panic in her voice, the blonde knight still maintained the discipline that befitted her status. All three of them instinctively formed a defensive perimeter around Louise with their respective pistols drawn and were already looking around for any possible threats.
"Only one of them, the other one is one of ours. We need to get to the princess!" Louise answered the Ilfriede's question while tugging on Helgarose's mantle.
"What are you talking about Louise?" The blue haired knight asked after glancing at the younger woman.
"I'll explain later! Please, just trust me!" Louise pleaded with Helgarose but not out of panic, but out of urgency. This was not lost on the knight and she placed her hand on Louise's shoulder.
"Alright, we'll trust you Louise. But just so you know, we get really uncomfortable whenever we're out of the loop. Doubly so if its something serious like this." Helgarose pointed out, to which Lunateresia and Ilfriede nooded along with. While their duty sometimes demanded them to follow orders without knowing the reasons why, it didn't mean that they liked those orders.
"Don't worry, you'll probably find out anyway." Louise said as she and the three knights made their way back to the village square. Helgarose took the lead while Ilfriede and Lunateresia flanked Louise. All three of them still had their pistols drawn and were on high alert as they walked.
"Are you sure about that little miss?" Derflinger piped up from Louise's back when it noticed that she was about to contact her friends. The three knights didn't seem too phased about the talking sword since Derflinger already made its sentience known while they were still evacuating the villagers in the area they were assigned to. Louise didn't give a second thought about keeping their communication system a secret anymore, she was worried about her friends. She ignored Derflinger and tapped on her ear piece.
'Is everyone okay?' Louise asked, earning glances from the three knights. Derflinger gave an audible sigh before doing another one of its sword-shrugs.
"We'll explain later." The six-thousand year old magic sword stated for the benefit of the knights before slipping back into its scabbard. Helgarose and the others looked at each other for a moment before nodding back to Louise and moving on.
'Sylphid is dizzy. Headed back to the village square.' Tabitha was the first to respond. Louse exhaled the breath that she didn't know she was holding when the young Gallian answered. She was particularly worried about Tabitha since she and her dragon, Sylphid, were in the sky when Ruukoto and the undead abomination that was once Viscount Wardes and his griffin passed by.
'Monmon and I are fine. A bit shaken from the sudden noise, but we are unharmed.' Guiche was the next one that answered. He insisted on accompanying Montmorency to another part of the village to help with the rest of the evacuations. The young woman was originally opposed to the idea but both Kirche and Louise made it a point that they really didn't have time to deal with the issue between the two lovers.
'What was that? Louise, are you alright? Are you hurt?' Speaking of Montmorency, Louise's closest friend asked her questions in quick succession. The young Void mage couldn't help but smile at her friend's words.
'I'm fine Monmon. Dame Falkenmayer and the others kept me safe. Viscount Wardes and Ruukoto were the one that caused that. I'll explain more later. Meet back at the village square, Tabitha is already on the way.' She replied and she could hear a sigh of relief coming from Montmorency.
"Hurgh..." Louise grunted after several moments of silence. There was still one more person that had yet to respond to her. She hated to admit it but...she was actually getting worried.
"By the nine hells!" Louise yelled out before tapping her ear piece one more time.
'Kirche! If you don't answer me, I swear I am going to cast Explosion on you until I can't speak anymore!' The petite strawberry-blonde haired girl roared out in a way that made the three knights with her take pause and stare.
"Is...is everything alright?" Lunateresia asked her tentatively. Louise gave her a quick glare that pretty much said 'not now'.
"Scary..." Ilfriede muttered before they continued on. Louise ignored them and waited for the Germanian to respond.
'I'm fine. Busy, really. If you were planning to confess your love to me, you should be more subtle about it Louise~! You can scream all you want once we get some time alone~' Kirche said in her trademark teasing tone, making Louise blush new shades of red.
'W-w-w-w-w-what? No...I refuse to play this game, we don't have time for this. Why didn't you respond at once?' Louise inquired with no small sense of annoyance.
'Ruukoto and Viscount Wardes took down a few parts of some buildings we were walking by and one of the people I'm with got hurt. We're on our way back but you guys will probably get there faster.' Kirche explained. Louise huffed, both in annoyance at Kirche and in relief to know that the red head was alright.
'Well don't do that again...' Louise muttered and she swore that she could hear Kirche smirk.
'Because you were worried about me~?' Louise decided to stop talking to Kirche at that point.
"Hm?" I raised a brow when I kept hearing a chirping sound in my ear. It took me a few more moments to realize that it was coming from the 'Hey-Listen'. That was...odd. If anyone wanted to reach me, they would usually just say what they wanted. I tossed away the severed arm of a magician that tried to cast some sort of ice magic at me a few moments ago before tapping on my ear piece.
'Yes? Who is this?' I answered the call as I leaned away from an oncoming cannonball.
'Hello? If this is a prank call, then it isn't a good one. You should have at least asked me to call out to someone with a name that would sound obscene like I.C. Weener or E. Jack-Yulation.' I noted when I recalled those old pranks that Rumia used to pull on the residents of Gensokyo whenever she was bored.
'You claim to fight for the sake of the village of Tarbes, do you not Sanctuary?' A distorted voice of undeterminable gender spoke out, it was like listening to thousands of people speaking at the same time. Additionally, it was a distorted voice of undeterminable gender that was referring me in the way that the Embodiment of Water did.
'Who are you? What do you mean when you refer to me as Sanctuary? What do you know of the situation?' I quickly asked the mystery speaker as I deflected another cannon ball using my closed parasol. I made an annoyed grunt before letting go of the 'Hey-Listen' for a bit.
"Come over here." I stated to the open sky. The command was intended for my other half and she quickly appeared behind me.
"Someone or something has contacted me. I'm trying to find out more about what it knows. Deal with any annoyances until I'm done." I stated while glancing back to my double who gave her usual demented smile before flicking her hair back and giving me a playful salute.
"My pleasure~" My other half stated. I nodded to her and handed her my parasol. She beamed at the gesture and gleefully took it and tested out a few swordsmanship moves while dual-wielding parasols. It seemed that the knowledge that I gained in terms of using a sword because of the Gandalfr runes also applied to my other half. I've never really had to use any real amount of skill in swordsmanship since it wasn't my style, but my double was always up to try new ways of inflicting violence. I nodded to her once more before turning my attention back to my mystery caller.
'I'm still waiting for an answer.' I pointed out to whoever it was that was contacting me.
'If you wish to keep the village of Tarbes safe, the lives of Prince Wales Tudor, Princess Charlotte Helene Orléans de Gallia and Princess Henrietta de Tristain must be preserved. This is the primary condition to be able to achieve the best outcome in this situation. The three heirs to the thrones must not die.' The mysterious voice gave me an answer, just not the answer to the question I was asking it.
'Who is Charlotte Helene Orléans de Gallia? I know of no one with this name.' I asked the mystery voice. Was there yet another royal that was in hiding in Tarbes? Was this princess a political hostage of sorts? All was silent save for the sounds of battle and the joyous laughter of my other half whenever someone tried their luck and attacked us.
'Preserve the lives of the three heirs. Destroy the perverse mockery of life. Find a way for the prince of the floating country to speak with his people. Do these things and you will achieve the best outcome. We wish you luck, Sanctuary.' The voice stated before the line went dead.
'Wait! What are you? What do you know? Answer me!' I roared out but no further answers came. I snarled at the gall of whatever it was that spoke to me. Not because it refused to answer me, but because it clearly knew more than anyone else did...far more...
Mind games...I HATE mind games if I was directly involved in them. I took a deep breath and forced myself to calm down.
"Still, the entity clearly wanted me to accomplish the defense of Tarbes." I muttered as I mulled over the information that was presented to me.
The entity...'The Voice' provided three objectives that needed to be accomplished in order to achieve the 'Best Outcome', whatever that meant.
I had originally planned on simply hanging above the village of Tarbes along with Ruukoto and kill everything that came close to becoming a threat. However, it seemed that the plan is no longer the best option.
-Preserve the lives of the three heirs.
-Destroy the perverse mockery of life.
-Find a way for the prince of the floating country to speak with his people.
Those were the things that needed to be done. 'The Voice' referred to the three heirs by name. Prince Wales Tudor, Princess Charlotte Helene Orléans de Gallia and Princess Henrietta de Tristain. Wales and Henrietta I already knew. However, I have never heard of anyone by the name of Charlotte Helene Orléans de Gallia...much less a princess. From her name though, I supposed that she was the princess of the country of Gallia. If so...what was she doing in Tristain?
The 'Perverse Mockery of Life' was obvious as well. 'The Voice' was clearly referring to the undead abomination that was Viscount Jean-Jacques Francis de Wardes. That was fine, I was going to destroy that thing regardless anyway. Besides, Ruukoto seemed to be fighting it right now.
The last objective was the strangest one. What would be accomplished if Wales spoke to the men of the Albion Armada? Then I remembered something that the prince said when we met earlier. He was there to try to convince his countrymen to stand down and cease the invasion of Tristain.
"How bothersome..." I muttered because of how absurd the whole thing was when you take a step back and look at things objectively. After all, I was effectively taking advice from something that I had no knowledge of. It could be a trap...or worse...if could be all true and there really is something out here that had intimate knowledge about this realm and could hack into Ruukoto's communication network.
Wait...what am I doing?
'I have a question...' I stated after opening up a communication link to Louise and the others.
'Does the name Charlotte Helene Orléans de Gallia sound familiar?' I asked. After all, if this person really was a princess, then someone must have heard of her. I was particularly waiting for Tabitha's response since the young magician was apparently from Gallia originally.
'Second daughter of the previous king of Gallia. Exiled and missing after the assassination of the king and the ascension of his brother to the throne. Current whereabouts are...unknown.' As expected, it was Tabitha who answered immediately. So it really was another exiled royal then? How cliché...
'I heard about that, but didn't official report say that the previous king died from an illness didn't he?' Monmon piped up after Tabitha finished.
'That's right. The Gallian royal family said that the previous king suffered heart failure and passed away after appointing his brother, Joseph de Gallia, as the new king. It was said that the reason why was because the previous king thought that his daughter, Princess Charlotte Helene Orléans de Gallia was too young to rule effectively and because his wife, the queen, suffered from emotional trauma from the previous king's passing.' Louise elaborated on Monmon's point.
'That...was rather detailed, Louise.' Guiche couldn't help but point that out after all the information my master just provided.
'My~! I didn't expect Louise to be quite the gossiper~' Kirche once more used the open opportunity to once again start teasing Louise.
'Quiet Kirche! It was an important foreign event! My family always made it a point for me to know about those things because we are nobility! We have to know those things!' Louise shot back and I was sure that this would devolve into another one of their rounds of bickering.
'No!' Tabitha suddenly cut into the conversation again with a very unusual show of emotion. In fact, I was pretty sure that she was angry right now.
'The previous king of Gallia was murdered. The queen was given a poison that caused her mind to break down, poison that was meant for her daughter. Princess Charlotte Helene Orléans de Gallia was sent into exile because she threatened the rule of the current king due to her bloodline. Joseph Gaul is not the rightful king of Gallia.' Tabitha bit out each sentence with as much vehemence and hate as Fujiwara no Mokou once did whenever she spoke of her old feud with the Lunarian Princess Kaguya Houraisan before they finally got over it a century ago.
'...Tabitha.' Kirche called out to her best friend. The redhead's voice was tinged with worry for the young Gallian.
'...are all royal families in this realm trying to kill each other? That isn't a particularly good way to govern a country. Although, I am intrigued as to how you can say such a thing for certain, Tabitha. Your words are quite dangerous if my knowledge of monarchical government is correct.' I flatly stated before pointing out what Tabitha had just said. Really, a Monarchy was bad enough...but a Magocratic Monarchy? Such a thing was just asking for trouble.
'I am Gallian.' Tabitha stated in a way that was...beyond doubt.
'Well, I can guarantee that the Tristain royal family isn't like that.' Louise proudly stated, no doubt speaking for the sake of Princess Henrietta once again. Of course, I was rather certain that Tristain had its fair share of skeletons in the closet.
'Why did you bring that up anyway, Darling~? How did you even know the name of a missing Gallian princess that no one has heard from for years anyway~?' Kirche brought up a serious question in her usual teasing manner.
'That is a very good question, Kirche. Rest assured that I will be more than happy to answer it once things calm down. On another note, where is Ruukoto right now? Can any of you see it? Tabitha?' I dodged the question and inquired about the member of our little party who was fighting Wardes.
'Unknown. I'm grounded at the village square with the others. Sylphid got dizzy after Ruukoto and Viscount Wardes passed above the village.' Tabitha stated. I made a thoughtful sound and was to ask something else when I heard the sound of an explosion in the distance.
'Never mind...I think I found them.' I stated before looking back to my other half, who was in the middle of skewering a pair of magicians with her two parasols.
"Hm!" Ruukoto grunted as she was forced back because of the undead Viscount's counterattack.
The gynoid was able to finally figure out the attack patterns that the former griffin knight was using and used it to her advantage. After a series of aerial acrobatics, she was able to get in close and try to a G-Revolver shot at point blank range. She was almost successful too. Unfortunately, she had underestimated the utility of having an undead griffin for the lower half of one's body.
She was about to fire the shot but the griffin part of Wardes got in the way and managed to take a swipe at Ruukoto with its claws. Ruukoto was still able to get the shot off but it missed Wardes' head and only managed to take out his wide brimmed hat. Wardes quickly reacted and used its runed lances to cast a pair of tornado spells...which he aimed directly between the two lances. The sudden explosion of wind magic that followed was a result of Wardes crossing the streams -the tornadoes- instead of simply casting a double tornado spell.
Ruukoto dismissed both of her weapons after judging them ineffective against her current foe in the current situation. Both the R-Blade and G-Revolver were more than powerful enough to destroy the abomination but it kept making clever use of positioning and combat prowess in order to prevent Ruukoto from landing a direct hit. So...Ruukoto decided to take a page from Yuka's book instead.
The gynoid declared her new weapon of choice and reached over her right shoulder with her right hand. Flashes of light erupted from her back as she pulled something from her personal dimensional storage unit or 'Holding Bag' as Professor Uzuki once called it. Ruukoto pulled out the blue sword before flicking her wrist to unfold the weapon and activate the pink beam edge in one smooth motion.
"I am Ruukoto. Ruukoto Unit-One Version-Four. I am the sword that smites the foes of my mistress." She stated in her usual motherly voice whenever she uses 'White Noise' mode while pointing the Anti-Material Sword at the undead Viscount.
For several tense moments, neither combatant moved. Ruukoto simply kept pointing Arondight at the undead while the abomination glared at her from a distance. A slight flinch from Ruukoto's wings was enough to set them both off. They launched themselves at each other like a pair of knights who were about to joust. Ruukoto kept her sword leveled and pointing at Wardes while her foe had his arms held out wide which made his two lances point to the side.
The two of them were about to crash into one another when Ruukoto performed a barrel roll. The gynoid used the momentun from the spin in order to swing Arondight down at Wardes without slowing down. The massive blue great sword made a low humming noise as she swung the weapon.
The abomination reacted immediately and performed its counter-maneuver. Wardes leaned down onto its lower half and crossed his runed lances above him before casting a wind shield spell right before Ruukoto's sword hit. Wardes used the wind shield as a buffer in order to protect itself from any damage. It also used the force of the blow to help it perform its own spin to avoid any immediate follow up attacks from its foe. The whole thing lasted for only a couple of seconds.
The first strike ended up ineffective and both combatants were already flying away from one another to prepare for another charge. After a certain distance, both of them suddenly turned around to face each other.
Ruukoto quickly called out and her pistol materialized in her left hand. The gynoid grasped her weapon before locking onto Wardes and firing all six rounds successively at the abomination. Her foe had the same idea and had already cast six lances made of wind before launching them at Ruukoto at the same time. The rounds from the G-Revolver managed to take out four of the wind lances before the remaining projectiles continued to their respective targets.
Again, both of them were already charging at each other as soon as they were done with their attacks. Ruukoto easily managed to graze-dodge the remaining wind lances as she dismissed her pistol while speeding across the sky. Wardes simply avoided the oncoming rounds from the G-Revolver and continued its charge toward the gynoid. Ruukoto held Arondight's grip with both hands and kept the sword at the ready on her right side. Wardes was charging at her with the lance in its left hand extended right at her while the one on the right was pulled back for a follow up strike.
Another explosion in mid-air indicated their clash.
"How many of these guys are there?" Stephan complained out loud after creating another wall of water in order to block the continued relentless attempts by the Albion Red Dragon Knight Corps to burn them to cinders.
"Guh!" Red grunted as he pulled his mount into another sudden jink to the left in order to avoid the claws of a Red Dragon that tried to ambush him from below.
The Sixty-Sixth were trying to get Prince Wales Tudor to one of their remaining large ships that was still in fighting form. Unfortunately, the battleship 'Challenger' was at the rear of the battlefield as one of the reserve ships Admiral Sidney Meier la Highwind intended to use for the 'Glorious Tristain Counter-Offensive'. Obviously, the battles did not go the way the commander of the Tristain fleet had anticipated because of the inexplicable numbers off the Red Dragon Knight Corps and the sudden appearance of the former captain of the Sixty-Sixth.
"Don't stop moving! Go! Go! Go!" Trombe barked out from the front of the formation. They were using a spearhead formation with Trombe at the front. Larry and Stephan formed the second tier while Red and Char formed the third tier. Scarface was in the center of the 'V' formation because he was the one carrying Prince Wales.
"We've got incoming! Low and right!" Char yelled out. When he saw something headed right for them at high speeds.
"Dragon Knight or Jaques?" Scarface asked as he glanced in the direction where Char spotted the new contact.
"Neither! It's that crazy Unknown and one other!" Larry was the one who responded as he was at the same side of the formation as Char.
"What should we do boss?" The former 'Solo-Wing' asked his captain, who grit his teeth and looked like he didn't know how to answer that question.
Wales turned his head to the same direction when he heard what the knight said. The prince saw Yuka and someone who looked a lot like him fly in their direction.
"Your Highness!" Scarface called out to Wales while maintaining his gaze at the oncoming Unknowns.
"What is it Captain Falcone?" Wales responded. Scarface considered the question for a moment before finally asking it anyway.
"That one Unknown seemed like he knows you. Can we trust him or not?" Scarface asked the prince. The captain of the Sixty-Sixth wasn't really sure what the situation was between the prince and that green-haired man, but he doesn't want to fight anything he didn't have to. After all, he and his squadron still had Wardes to deal with.
"Yes. He and his master have saved my life once before and I can guarantee that he is an ally of Princess Henrietta as well." Prince Wales stated immediately. Despite the state he last saw Yuka, Wales still could never deny the man's actions back at Albion. Of course, saying that he was an ally of Henrietta might have been saying too much. After all, Yuka's loyalty seemed to lie soley with Dame Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere.
Regardless, Wales' impression of Yuka was that he was a man who would not participate in acts of slaughter and genocide as if it was merely some form of entertainment for him. That there was a reason for him to have that much blood on him when they reunited earlier.
Yuka seemed too noble to be a monster.
It took a bit of flying around and killing everyone who got in our way to finally find Prince Wales in the middle of this battlefield in the sky. I had my other half return my parasol to me before we set off to look for the Albion prince. I originally tried to track him by sensing his magic signature since I remembered what his felt like when I saw him earlier. Unfortunately, there was so much magic and death everywhere that I couldn't get a decent reading for it. Thankfully, I was finally able to spot him and his escorts after rounding a burning Tristain vessel. My double and I flew right at the prince and the Griffin Knights protecting him as they struggled to shake off pursuers.
"Deal with them." I told my other half while pointing at the Red Dragon Knights, who were hot on the prince's tail, with my parasol. My other half didn't need to reply and simply flew right at the Red Dragon Knights to begin her fun. I flew closer to the griffin knight formation and raised a brow when they didn't attack me...they didn't even try to fly away, despite my earlier performance.
"Hello." I gave the closest knight a simple greeting with a wave of my hand. The young knight, the one with the red feathered mount, simply blinked at me a few times before waving back. I suddenly felt a strange enchantment cast upon me before I heard one of them speak.
"This is Captain Hans Solan Millennius de Falcone of the Sixty-Sixth Squadron of the Sixth Order of the Tristain Griffin Knights. I just cast a wind enchantment on you that will allow you to directly communicate with me, Prince Wales Tudor, and the rest of my squadron. The prince seems to trust you but forgive me if I find myself hesitant to do the same. You didn't exactly give a great first impression." The scar faced knight spoke out to me. I gave a laugh at his words since I agreed with him.
"Quite understandable, Sir Falcone. You said you were the Sixty-Sixth, yes? Then you know of Viscount Jean-Jacques Francis de Wardes?" I asked him and chuckled to myself when I saw him and the other knights flinch.
"Judging from your reactions, I also assume that you know what he and his mount have become." I added and smiled when I saw him glare at me.
"We know what Jaques tried to do in Albion...Prince Waless told us the truth. And from what you said, you seem to know quite a bit yourself...Sir..." The scar faced knight bitterly stated before pausing when he was about to address me.
"Yuka Kazami. Simply call me Yuka, I hate it when people address me with titles that mean nothing to me." I offered and the man nodded in understanding.
"If I may, Yuka." I heard Prince Wales speak.
"Yes?" I acknowledged with a raised brow.
"Who is that other person who is with you? Your sister perhaps?" The young man asked while glancing back to where my other half was dealing with the Red Dragon Knights with a smile.
"I am she. She is I. We are one. If it makes it easier for you, you can simply think of her as a representation of what I was before." I answered him with one of my malicious smiles. The exiled prince stared at me with a confused expression before looking back to where my other half was ripping off the head of an Albion knight before tossing the body at one of the other knights.
"I'm starting to question his highness' judge of character..." I heard one of the griffin knights mutter, the one with the red hair.
"Shut it, Red!" I heard the scar faced man reprimanded the younger knight.
"Moving on. I have recently been told of the best way to be able end this little conflict. It just so happened that the survival of Prince Wales and Princess Henrietta are required for this." I said before giving out a small sigh when I remembered that I trusted a disembodied voice of all things.
"Henrietta is here? I asked her to stay at the capital for her own safety!" Wales suddenly yelled out at the knowledge that her beloved Henrietta was so close to danger.
"Obviously she did not listen to you…or she listened but went anyway. This is her country after all. Regardless, she came to Tarbes along with a small army to help with the evacuation. I assume that since everyone believes this an invasion, then the opposing force has troop carriers as well, yes?" I explained before confirming something that I had noticed while flying around the battle searching for Wales. So far, all I have seen were battleships and mounted knights. However, I have yet to see any land forces taking any action on either side.
"That is correct. The armada is the vanguard for the invasion. I believe that they plan to take out Tristain's fleet before landing any foot soldiers to ensure that they are the sole owners of the sky." Wales explained as we continued our way to wherever those griffin knights were taking him. I blinked when I noticed my double's presence come closer. I glanced behind us and saw that she had a satisfied expression before she finally caught up and took her place at my side.
"Already done? What happened to our pursuers?" I asked my other half with a raised brow. Normally, she would do as I would in a situation like this. Kill everything that tries to harm her.
"What happened? 'I' happened~!" She responded with a sly grin and a wink. My other half seemed to have stopped after she took out the Red Dragon Knights that were in pursuit of Wales.
"Taking a break. This is nice and all, but I want to play with little Wardes and his pet again~" She further stated her intentions and I could not help but sigh.
"You've had your turn. Wardes has things I want him to suffer for personally and I wish to do so without any interference." I clearly stated and my double pouted at me since she clearly did not find my words agreeable.
Yes, I was having an argument with myself on which one of us gets to kill Wardes.
"No chance. Jaques is ours to kill." Both my double and I raised a brow each when the scar faced knight suddenly spoke up.
"I don't know what your beef with Jaques is and I don't really care. He's our responsibility and we'll be the ones to take him down." The man stated while levelling a glare at me. I could sense the magic power of the knight and his subordinates spike up at that statement.
"I assume that you and Wardes have had some history?" I asked the man and heard him growl.
"The Sixty-Sixth was Captain Wardes' squadron, Yuka. They didn't know about his intentions when he went to Albion and they certainly didn't like what he did." Wales was the one who answered in behalf of the seething men. I see, it seemed that Wardes' subordinates were carrying the burden of being once led by a traitor.
"I understand. However, you will not stop me, knight. Wardes is mine. He may have betrayed you. He may have spat on everything you and your fellow knights stood for. He may have turned his back on his country. However, he manipulated, harmed and broke the heart of my master. I will see that debt paid in full and crush all in my way." I clearly said while letting my aura of terror slip through. I could hear my other half whistle and clap her hands at my words. The rest of them didn't share my enthusiasm.
"Wait…" A new voice suddenly spoke up. I then saw the knight in the red griffin turn back to me with an expression that was close to confused and surprised.
"Does that mean that your master is…Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere?" The knight asked me in a way where he seemed to doubt the question himself.
"And of what importance is that to you, knight?" I asked him with a raised brow. I didn't think that someone outside of Louise's family and her circle of friends knew about her previous relationship with Wardes.
"No…never mind…I just hope that she's fine. The Captain's betrayal hit us all pretty hard…I can't even begin to imagine what it might have been like for his fiancé." The knight said ruefully. It had been such a sincere statement that I was certain that he knew of Louise in some way. Perhaps Wardes spoke of his engagement with my master or something? Either way, I was not able to ask him about it as we seemed to have finally reached our destination.
"Looks like the Challenger is still good. We'll bring the prince there and guard that ship with our lives." The scarred knight said as we came closer to the battleship. It looked like it had sustained damage through the course of the battle but not nearly as much as the rest of the ships I've seen so far.
"Hans, what about Jaques?" I suddenly heard one of the knights ask. The scarred knight, Hans I supposed, remained silent for a few moments before looking at me and answering.
"Someone else will be taking care of that problem, right?" He said while narrowing his eyes at me.
"Of course. Just make sure you keep Prince Wales alive and on that ship. We'll need him for the final act of this little battle and I'd appreciate it if I wouldn't have to go looking for him in the middle of the fog of war again. Would that be alright, Hans?" I replied with a smile, using the knight's name after hearing one of his subordinates use it.
"Scarface." He suddenly stated in response.
"Call me Scarface, Yuka." He clarified before giving me his own smile.
"Hahaha! Very well! I wish luck to you and to your knights, Scarface. May you be able to bring your squadron back to prominence after I clear the stain that is Viscount Wardes." I acknowledged with a grin, to which my other half mirrored.
"Please be careful, Yuka." Wales piped up and I saw that he had a very tired but determined expression.
"Hm…I'm not the one you should be saying that to, Prince Wales. Now if you'll excuse me…" I trailed off before flying away and back to Tarbes with my other half close behind. Ruukoto should still be fighting Wardes. I'll need it and Louise for the final part if 'The Voice' could be believed.
I just hope that this wasn't some sort of Moriya Shrine Conspiracy or something…