The throbbing of the wound gave off a burning sensation like his chest was on fire.
Even though the pain was stabbing him in the chest, Raishin still wore a smile.
Even he himself found it strange that he was smiling. No matter how much he smiled, it didn’t change the reality that he could do next to nothing. If he lost focus for a moment, his knees would start to give away. The thread holding his chest together was taut, like it was about to break at any moment. On top of that, he couldn’t use his dominant arm.
Even so, he had to do it.
Rabi’s physique was like a bear, and he was growling in a low tone. Raishin stepped forward in front of him,
“Let’s do it, Yaya. Suimei Nijuu-?!”
Suddenly, something rammed into him from his side. Being weak, he was unable to withstand it, and fell over dramatically.
Having made such a cool entrance, this turn of events was embarrassing. Raishin hurriedly got to his feet, and turned to face the culprit-Loki who had bowled him over.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing!?”
“That’s what I should be saying. Unrelated people like you shouldn’t butt in. Cherubim!”
At Loki’s command, Cherubim started floating in mid-air. Before the steel automaton could do anything though, Raishin had smacked the back of Loki’s head, causing interference in its actions.
“What are you doing?!”
“That’s my line! Just what are you going to do?!”
“You imbecile! Obviously I’m going to stop Rabi!”
You’re the idiot! If you attack, then it’ll put Frey’s life in further danger!”
“You know nothing! An imbecile like you should just shut up and watch me!”
“You should be watching me!” “No, you!” “You!”
Once again the two of them begun to quarrel like children. This wasn’t the time or place to be acting like this, but the two of them just couldn’t get along at all. While they were arguing, Rabi charged towards them… but Yaya and Cherubim combined beautifully to block Rabi.
“So, you plan on getting in my way no matter what?”
Loki spoke with clear killing intent. Raishin looked him straight in the eye,
“Of course. That’s because you plan on killing Rabi.”
“… If I don’t, some of the spectators will get injured. Frey too, will die as well.”
“If that’s how you feel, then you should just step aside. Let me stop him instead.”
In the next instant, Loki’s leg drew an arc in the air.
The kick landed right on Raishin’s waist. The pain shot up to his collarbone, causing Raishin to writhe in agony.
“Look. What can you hope to accomplish in your current state? There’s only person who can rescue Frey, and that person is me.”
He turned his palm out towards Cherubim. The automaton began to transform.
Sounding very much like a storm howling as it changed, Cherubim assumed its giant sword form.
“One clean strike to the Heart will destroy it, and that monster will be stopped. Then Frey will be sav—“
“That’s not saving her at all!”
Raishin’s voice struck like a slap to the face.
“Don’t you get it?! She dotes on Rabi that much… he’s practically family to her! If you kill Rabi and save her only, that isn’t considered rescuing her at all!”
“— Then what would you have me do!? Stand by and watch Frey die?!”
While shouting out, at the same time he placed his hand on Yaya’s back, directly channelling magic energy into her.
“I’m going to save both. Suimei Nijuuyonshou!”
Crouched low, Yaya sped off with a burst, like a gust of wind.
Perhaps it was due to some feral intuition, but Rabi acted like he had sensed some danger. Stepping left and right, he dodged the oncoming Yaya. However, Yaya adjusted her body, chasing after him.
It looked like two birds playing a game of tag. The speed of the contest caused the viewing gallery to stir.
“I’m counting on you Yaya. Hold him off!”
Yaya was keeping Rabi occupied, diverting his attention away. Using this opportunity, Raishin dashed forward. Reaching the writhing Frey, he picked her up.
Other than killing Rabi, there was only one other way to stop him.
Instead of inflicting injury onto Rabi, he would render Frey unconscious instead.
An unconscious puppeteer was unable to release even the slightest of magic energy. It was the same reasoning behind why animals did not possess magic energy. The combination of a lowered level of consciousness and low intelligence meant that a human would not be able to generate magic energy at all.
Frey’s eyes were vacant and unfocused. Raishin swallowed, hesitating for a brief moment. It wasn’t his first time doing it, but since his opponent was a girl, he could feel his resolve weaken.
However, there was no other way.
If he was going to be the sort of person who left things half-assed now, then he would never be able to protect anyone.
Placing his arm around Frey’s neck, he began to wrap his arm tightly on top of her scarf.
Suddenly, Rabi changed direction, and charged over towards Raishin’s position.
Raishin reacted at once, pushing Frey away while evading himself. Unable to keep himself upright, Raishin tumbled down, and the shadow of Rabi hung over him.
His sharp fangs were going for his throat. Yaya, she… couldn’t make it in time!
He heard Yaya’s desperate cry, and then—
The clang of something hard clashing resonated in his ears.
It wasn’t the sound of teeth meeting each other, but the sound of a giant sword intercepting fangs.
Like he was protecting Raishin, someone’s back was in front of him. That someone was Loki, and the thing that stopped Rabi was the giant sword in his hands.
“If I may say so myself, I am a tolerant person… but now I find myself wanting to kill people who are only talk!”
While competing with Rabi in a contest of strength, Loki spat out his next words.
“Once I’m done with him, you’re next!”
Raishin chuckled grimly, and leapt to his feet, responding,
“Bring it on. I’ll be happy to kick your ass!”
“Speak for yourself!”
The two of them moved at the same time.
Loki swung the giant blade, sending the huge body of Rabi flying. Immediately he reverted Cherubim to its original state, sending it after Rabi in a pursuit.
However, it made no slashing attempts. It merely displayed all its blades. Forcing Rabi backwards, Rabi soon encountered Yaya, who was on standby. Stuck between the two automata, Rabi couldn’t move.
By the time that happened, Raishin was already next to Frey. Just like he did earlier, he squeezed her neck, constricting her carotid artery.
Almost instantly, with the blood flow to her brain shut off, Frey’s limbs splayed outwards and went limp.
Rabi began to stagger about in pain.
Scratching at the ground with his front paws, he began to shake his head. His feet looked unsteady, and his tail drooped, no energy in it.
His muscles which had swelled up now began to shrivel before everyone’s eyes.
And then, he collapsed with a thud. It all happened so quickly it was underwhelming.
Just as everyone thought it was over, it happened.
Rabi’s shoulder burst open, scattering blood and flesh everywhere.