Chapter 196

 The contrast between the clear blue sky and the blackness of the night is still a distorted sight.
 Now, Fatima and the others are in front of the Avalon.
 On the ground, short grass grows lushly, but only where it touches the jet-black it turns yellow.
 Around the area, there are several walls built around the jet-black, which are made of wooden fences with square metal plates attached to them.
 Behind the walls are armed Krangal soldiers. In the distance, tents of an encampment can be seen.
 Fatima sighs when she sees Sara and Valencia around her. Her hand clutched something that had slipped out of her hand during the battle instead of her staff. It was a pendant.
 But the string around its neck had been cut into strips. And the pendant, which Fransisca handed Fatima, still glowed after being activated.
 Now, Fatima looked at the pendant and remained silent.
「...Her highness is out of her mind...」
 Sara murmured in a whisper.
「They can't go home without it. We can't even go to Avalon to pick them up later. How could she send us back alone...?」
 Fatima remained silent.
「...I'm not worthy...」
 Valencia was the next to express her frustration.
「Can't we help her there? Why didn't Her Highness make the decision to go outside with us?」
 Finally, Fatima opened her mouth.
「...She already knew.」
 She couldn't help saying that. But she had made the decision and had to believe that.
「What is a Princess-Maiden? What is the position of a Princess-Maiden? I can only think that she knew that and that's why she stayed there. I mean, we have not told her anything, not a single thing」
「—Is that why she didn't come with us?」
 Fatima murmured in a small voice.
「What do you mean? Is that something that only the high priests know?」
 Fatima thought Sara's point was sharp.
 Fatima nodded and looked into Sara's eyes. She is always calm and easygoing, but now she is restless and sober.
「I'm going to break a commandment now」
 Fatima declares, and after checking that no one else is nearby, she confides in Sara.
「The Princess-Maiden has a blessing against the attribute of death.
 Fatima said clearly.
* * *
 The Princess-maiden is protected by the God of death. She has the blessing of the attribute of death.
 It is because she is a necessary being who should bear offspring for atonement. Without their offspring, the God of death cannot be comforted. Therefore, God also protects priestesses.
 However, their blessings are not perfect. There is a limit to everything. Therefore, if her body is severely damaged, she will die. It is one of the laws of nature that no one can escape.
 However, it has a blessing for those who can drag themselves directly into the underworld without damaging their bodies. It can be seen that the winds of the underworld do not penetrate the Princess-maiden.
「When you attacked Fransisca, you didn't use your hideously shaped staff, did you? I mean, your staff seems to be very powerful... —But, thanks to you, she didn't die. Well, maybe you didn't mean to kill her in the first place」
 God gritted his teeth as he listened to Alexis' words.
「An outsider. You know everything...」
 "I'm not an outsider," Alexis replied.
「How many times have I told you? I'm the new king of Sagrado. That means I'm involved.」
「The karma of a coveted heir like yourself... Will not be in the blood of my descendants」
「Well, that's too bad. I'm sorry. We've already made a pact」
 When Alexis shrugs, God grits his teeth even more.
「Well, you may think you're invincible with a priestess behind you, but I will attack you regardless of that...!?」
 God waves his left-hand staff.
 A flame is created from the tip of the staff, and it is directed toward Alexis.
 Alexis blocks it again with his shield, but before he knows it, the skeleton soldiers, who have finished putting back the broken bones, come around to attack.
「I will protect your back!」
 Fransisca says and fights the skeletons with the sword in her hand.
 Hearing the clash of weapons behind her, Alexis did not look back. He trusted her.
「...I'll have your back too. You can fight the skeletons with confidence!」
「Yes, Alexis-sama」
 Fransisca answered in a soft voice.
「Damn you! Don't think you can defeat a god with a human body!」
 God wielded the spear sword in his right hand against Alexis and his staff in his left.
 Again and again, fire and ice magic attacked Alexis. In addition, physical attacks were launched with the spear sword.
 Alexis could hold his shield with both hands, but he was slowly pushed backward. Then, he is hit on the back. It was Fransisca's back.
 However, in a whisper, she says.
「It's okay. You and I are one」
「No! You're not getting anywhere!」
 God swung his wand loudly in frustration. Then the jet-black wind begins to blow.
 The skeleton soldiers disappear again, turning into black sand.
「I'll make everything disappear with the wind of the underworld! If it doesn't work on the Priestess, it will work on you!」
 Alexis ducks down and readjust his shield.
 It was soon clear why God had cast off the other spells and created the winds of the underworld. This must be the most powerful technique. Alexis felt the wind force increasing through the shield, realizing that it was stronger than before.
 The burning wind pushes him, and his arms go numb.
 He has been blocking attacks for a while now. There is no way that he does not get tired.
 And just then, the arms holding the shield made a cracking sound.
「Ghhh, aaaahh...!」
 He feels a sharp pain and loses his strength. He is sure that the wind pressure through the shield has snapped it off.
(At this rate...)
 Alexis grits his teeth. At that moment, Fransisca's hands are gently placed on Alexis' arms behind his back.
 Alexis nodded at the voice in his ear.
 Yes, he can't let this push him over.
(I have something to protect...!)
 Alexis presses his body against the shield and steps forward with all his strength.
 He yells, then pushes forward with all the strength he can muster. One step, two steps, his feet move forward.
「Ggh—you son of a bitch!!」
 God has increased the power of the wind. The impact of the wind is felt not only in the arms but also in the body.
 But Alexis' legs did not retreat. He had someone supporting him.
 Alexis plunges into God's bosom with his shield. He hits his opponent's torso with a shield bash.
 Throwing himself forward, Alexis knocked down the God. And at that moment, the black wind died down.
「Fransisca, switch!」
 Fransisca jumps out in response to Alexis' voice.
 His intentions are clear as if by heart.
 Fransisca leaps forward and reaches for God's chest, which is staggering and about to fall off his back.
 Her outstretched hand grips the silver cup.
 The amethyst eyes, glistening in the wrinkled face of the God, widen in astonishment.
 And Fransisca shakes the cup, spraying the glistening liquid stored on him. Sparkling silver particles rose and spread like vapor.
「How dare you... how dare youuuuuu!!」
 God's cry echoes through the air as the vision fades to white as the particles spread out into the distance.

The next and final chapter will be the last one.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
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