The rain had already stopped at some point.
The wind was still strong, making the hectic clouds drift from east to west.
Cigal carefully parted the hair that clung to his forehead. At his feet was Hamyuts, who fell on her knees while clasping her sling.
While looking down at her, Cigal pulled out a match from the waterproof cigarette case in his pocket and rubbed it a couple of times. Water somehow got inside during the battle and thus it only emitted an unpleasant smoke.
Cigal threw the match away. Seeing that, the kneeling Hamyuts grinned.
“Such a pity. Even convicts on the death row are gran…ted one final smoke.”
Hamyuts cringed at the pain of her wounds.
Since it even interrupted her words midway, they lost all impact.
“Come on, attack me. Are you scared? You are, right? That’s obvious.”
Hamyuts continued. It was a bluff. Even with her strong body and her physical strength that was further aided by magic, she couldn’t move her legs anymore.
Looking down at Hamyuts’s state, Cigal spoke.
“Aren’t you going to beg for your life? You loser woman. Raise your rear like a dog and beg.”
“…You piece of shit.”
Hamyuts was thinking – which attack got me?
Just now, the right side of my body was cut pretty bad. I can’t move like this. Since it hit from my right shoulder to the navel my right breast is practically cut into two. Well, but that isn’t really the problem here.
The fact that the toes on my right foot were cut off is also bad. Only the joints of my little pinky remained. My wounds are buried in mud and sewage is coming in touch with my veins. Right now my head feels hot, but when it cools down it’ll surely be painful.
It’s pretty bad that I cut the tendons in my right ankle when I turned my body. That took care of my right foot.
My head was also hit quite a lot. Maybe I should review the basics of landing safely? My finger is also bleeding… it’s because I left the sling wrapped around it.
I made a terrible misjudgment in my strategy as well. If the typhoon was going to pass so quickly, I could have also devoted myself to running away.
Oh well, she stopped thinking. That’s it.
Cigal was grinning as he looked at Hamyuts.
“Hmph, that’s enough. Die.”
Cigal slowly raised Shlamuffen.
Hamyuts clenched her sling.
She wanted to at least try and take him down with her.
She couldn’t let the bastard who killed her stay alive – that was all.
Hamyuts looked at her surroundings. A newspaper was dancing in the wind. Broken wet branches lay on the ground.
She didn’t notice it until now, but they were near a vacant lot in the outskirts of town. Around them were scrap iron, wood and coals.
Hamyuts noticed that the ground had the traces of an explosion, almost completely erased by the rain and the storm. One of the bombs prepared by Cigal probably detonated here before.
She thought that her last view was rather dull.
Then, she heard a voice. It wasn’t the voice of one of the nearby residents who already ran away from danger.
Both Cigal and Hamyuts looked at the voice’s direction. A human pushed his way through to enter this superhuman battlefield.
This out-of-place intruder was gasping for breath, and talked in a calm voice.
“Wait. I’ll do it.”
The intruder was a boy. He was short and had a slight hunchback. His hair was overgrown and grizzled.
His grey linen shirt became slightly wet in the rain.
“Who are you?”
The intruder simply stated his name. And he was standing in front of the kneeling Hamyuts as if to protect her.
“Colio… who exactly are you? I can’t recall.”
“One of the bombs made by you guys.”
“Well, well. So you’re still alive? Some of you are tough after all, huh.”
While grinning, Cigal withdrew Shlamuffen’s blade.
Hamyuts searched for an opening there. But this wasn’t enough yet. Cigal was still vigilant against her.
“It sure is convenient… Colio, was it? Alright, that’s perfect. I’ll give you the honor of killing Hamyuts.”
Cigal smiled and pointed at Colio’s chest.
However, Colio didn’t move. Cigal looked puzzled.
“What is it? Quickly detonate yourself.”
Colio didn’t answer.
“Why did you brat come here? You’re in the way. Scram.”
Hamyuts said towards Colio’s back.
“What are you trying to do? It’s none of your business. Get outta here. Quietly go away and then you can live or die or whatever.”
Colio didn’t answer Hamyuts’s words either. She scowled at his back.
“What is it? Do it already. Well, I guess I can give you some time to enjoy yourself. Even if I think this world is worthless, there are still all kinds of people I want to see. Hahaha, this feels good.”
“You’re in the way. Scram, Colio. If you stand there I can’t kill that piece of shit.”
Colio slowly but carefully opened his mouth.
Colio started talking to Cigal. Hamyuts was completely befuddled.
“Do you have Shiron’s Book?”
“What are you saying? It’s nothing to waste time over.”
“So you do have it?”
Colio pressed further. Cigal looked like he didn’t want to bother answering.
“…Do you want Shiron’s Book? Are you stupid? What’s a shitty brat like you trying to do?”
Hamyuts said from behind.
“I do want it, but right now it doesn’t really matter.”
Colio pulled a single knife from his pocket.
“I came here to fight.”
Both Cigal and Hamyuts were at a loss for words at the sight of him holding a knife.
The one trying to interrupt the battle between the owner of one of the Memorial Weapons, Shlamuffen, and the world’s strongest sniper, was an amateur brandishing a knife.
Even when viewed from the eyes of Hamyuts who was far detached from common sense, it seemed ridiculous.
“Are you stupid? Do you think you have a chance? Do you really think you can win?”
Hamyuts said the obvious thing. Colio answered her,
“…I can’t win against an opponent that even you lost against. Even if I were to fight him thousands of times, I still wouldn’t beat him.”
Colio clenched his knife. He stared at Cigal, who stood about seven meters ahead of him holding Shlamuffen.
Cigal looked at Colio, grinning.
However, despite the overwhelming difference in their abilities, Colio didn’t waver.
“That’s why I’m not the one going to fight.”
“So who will?”
“Me and… Shiron.”
At that moment, the blowing wind grew weaker. Neither Cigal nor Hamyuts noticed that fact.
They only paid heed to Colio.
“How are you planning to beat him?”
“I don’t know.”
Colio waited. He believed that moment was coming.
“So run away.”
“No, I’ll fight.”
Colio firmly stepped on the ground.
“Because Shiron didn’t see me running away.”
At that time, the wind rapidly weakened.
“Is this the moment, Shiron?”
The wind ceased.
“Is this the moment, Shiron!”
Colio dashed towards the smiling Cigal.
“Is this the moment, Shiron Booyacornish!”
Shiron said the following at the time of dusk.
“When my words reach you…
Please go to the place where a precious person lost someone precious to them.
What you were seeking for a long time will weigh on your back.
For a brief moment, the wind will stop. Please run without hesitating then.”
Colio clearly remembered those words.
For an instant, just enough for the leaves dancing in the air to fall down, the wind stopped and Colio ran.
Cigal grabbed his sword so he could slice the oncoming Colio to pieces.
And just when Shlamuffen was about to start laughing…
All of a sudden, without any warning…
The world was dyed in a red light.
It came from directly behind Colio.
The red setting sun shone in from a small gap in the clouds.
The sunset drowned this world where the rain and clouds were colored grey for an instant. The clouds, winds, and the three people facing each other were all dyed by red light.
This wasn’t just another sunset typical of Toatt Mining Town.
It was an incomparably clearer sky.
The typhoon that came only once a century cleansed and blew away the town’s ashen air.
It was the light of an unclouded sunset that wasn’t seen for who knows how many decades.
That light was at Colio’s back.
Cigal was directly facing that light.
His eyes, which became used to the dimness in Toatt Mining Town, were now blinded by that red light.
Colio called her name again.
Cigal’s unaccustomed eyes couldn’t face the light.
He instinctively closed his eyes. He covered them with the hand that was about to grasp Shlamuffen.
In that brief opening, Colio closed the endless distance between them.
A storm came only once a century. Piling these coincidences on top of each other, this was the only chance for victory.
And Colio took it.
His knife closed in on Cigal’s chest…
Shlamuffen was pulled out…
A spider blade and a small knife were intersecting…
And everything was settled far too quickly.