“…Now, let us have some fun.”
By the time Gaspard finished his sentence, Asley had engaged his Ultimate Limit form once more.
[As long as I don’t let my guard down, the Arcane Drain won’t work on me…!]
Having decided that, Asley walked around Lylia, toward the enemy.
“Be careful, Asley!”
“I know! Everyone, get away!”
Asley also decided that the Silver trio already had so much to deal with right now.
“Pochi, you go help them out! Make sure you find Vaas!”
Pochi ran off without saying anything.
The Silver trio also promptly ran — following the dog, all gritting their teeth.
“Oh? You were just looking for Vaas? And I thought you were trying to destroy this Nation altogether…”
“Shut up! The Nation’s as good as destroyed if it stays the way it is — we’re trying to prevent that!”
“Nonsense. After the Devil King is eliminated, I will establish a new, perfect order in this land. What is there to complain about?”
Gaspard looked completely serious.
Then he continued,
“The collapse of human rule is but an inevitability. I will control them all — raise them as livestock — and then there will be complete harmony. Am I right, or am I right?”
Hearing Gaspard’s declaration, Asley tightened his grip on his Drynium Rod.
“Did you really just say all that with a straight face!? You’re no longer human!”
“When have I ever said that I was? Now, you are not aware of my hidden arcane energy… are you?”
“–!? What do you mean–!?”
“I will keep this short. You have committed two crimes warranting grave consequences: the damaging of my castle, and the wasting of my precious time. Die.”
Asley immediately held his Darynium Rod out in front of him — which proved to be a lucky choice, as the staff took the brunt of Gaspard’s powerful kick. Asley was simply blown backward, without suffering any injuries.
As Gaspard moved forward, Lylia waited for him to be right at her side before getting up and swinging her sword at him.
Gaspard flicked the face of Lylia’s sword — so lightly that it looked like a simple tap… But then Lylia’s whole body spun around, and she was kicked away as Asley had been just now.
Then Asley reappeared.
He gripped one end of his staff, focusing his power into it.
This magic spell had caught Devil King Lucifer off-guard in the distant past, but now, Gaspard had no difficulty whatsoever catching the swing.
“So devoid of creativity. This bores me.”
Gaspard proceeded to throw a right straight punch, knocking Asley away again — and this time, he crashed against Lylia who was already having a hard time getting up.
“So weak. Are you really Holy Warriors? Ah, no, perhaps… I am too powerful.”
“High Cure Adjust: Count 2!”
Asley healed himself and Lylia, then he glared at Gaspard — whose expression suggested disappointment.
[Shit, Tūs was right… His power level is off the charts. He’s gotta be as powerful as Lucifer, or even stronger!]
“Now, I have things to do. Time to die — Frozen Bombardment.”
Even Asley’s eyes could not keep up with Gaspard’s drawing speed.
Both Asley and Lylia were blown right through the castle wall, fainting upon impact.
“Oh? They are more durable than expected. All right, then…”
Gaspard let out a sigh and walked forward.
Asley and Lylia’s lives were in danger, but Pochi and the Silver trio had already begun running through Regalia Castle in search of War Demon Emperor Vaas.
Right now, there was no one who could rescue them.
But then, when Gaspard was about to enter the castle through the newly-blown hole in the wall…
[“–That’s right. Gaspard has finally shown up.”]
[“Now we’re talking! Go get him, chicken!”]
“CHAPPIE CANNON… FIRE! KAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!”
The legendary dark violet beast suddenly appeared from the sky — the legendary Violet Phoenix that had lived its life away from Asley for millennia.
And what immediately followed was a powerful, pinpoint energy blast, flying for Gaspard’s flank.
No one really know why Chappie was here now — perhaps it had been Bright’s idea, or perhaps it was simply Chappie’s instincts doing the planning.
“Ngh–!? …! OOOOOOHHHHHH!”
With Chappie’s Pearl Breath catching him off-guard, Gaspard had to dig his heels into the ground and try to push the blast back.
“Impudent little…! Know your place, beast!”
Gaspard could not move.
Chappie’s energy blast was so highly concentrated that, even when pushing back with both hands, he could not afford to divide his concentration into anything else.
The same applied to Chappie, however. Even though he was on the advantageous side, he was not about to let his guard down.
After all, his opponent was powerful enough to knock down both Asley and Lylia so easily.
This ‘advantage’ he had was a result of a surprise attack, with all the power he could put into his most powerful move.
And while he was able able to stop Gaspard, that did not necessarily mean he was dealing any damage.
Due to the impact and noise, Lylia regained consciousness. She immediately got up and slapped Asley on his cheeks a few times.
Asley slowly opened his eyes and sat up.
Then, a moment later, he was wide awake — clearly due to the clash of powerful arcane energy sources that was happening close by.
“What… what just happened!?”
“I don’t know…!”
“Ngh–! Rise! High Cure Adjust: Count 2!”
After healing his and Lylia’s bodies, Asley stood up and tried to get a better look at what was going on.
But then Lylia stopped him.
“We don’t stand a chance against him. we must run while we still can!”
“But what about… whoever’s fighting outside!?”
“Gaspard has barely even spent his arcane energy — surely you’ve noticed that! Whoever is fighting him, they probably know as well! They’re buying us time to get away!”
Lylia was right.
Gaspard was so powerful that she could feel his arcane energy in the air from all the way here — and he still was at almost full power now.
Asley tightened his grip on his Drynium rod, and made his decision to go without looking at whoever was fighting outside right now.
The inability to do anything about the situation brought along a great deal of shame.
And Lylia felt the same — so she looked at Asley’s face, nodded once, and ran deeper into Regalia Castle.
Asley, taking another look at the clashing of arcane energy sources in front of him, drew one last Spell Circle before he exited this battle.
“Rise! All Up & Remote Control!”
He calculated the spell’s trajectory by detecting the location of the unknown friendly, so as to send the enhancement effect to the right place.
“Thanks for the help! Don’t die on me, whoever you are!”
Asley shouted, and then he followed Lylia.
Chappie stayed in the air to keep pushing his energy blast, and before long, Asley’s support spell appeared, flying up past the Crystal in which Bright and Ferris contained themselves.
Then the spell burst apart, and was absorbed by Chappie — the spell of the bird’s dearly missed father, and the souls’ dearly missed mentor.
Although he was facing off against Gaspard right now, Chappie let a drop of tear fall from his eye — then another, and another, each of them hitting the Crystal hanging from his neck before falling further down.
[Why does this spell feel… so warm?]
[H-hmph! He still bothered to cast a spell for us, at least!]
The two souls in the Crystal did not cry, but their voices, both Bright and the bluffing Ferris, were helplessly shaky.
[Ah… Father! I wish you’d come just a little closer! I wanted to see you, and Mother, too! Just once, not even twice, I want you to acknowledge that I did my best this whole time…!]
Asley and Pochi, the ones who would surely wipe Chappie’s unstopping stream of tears, were not here right now.
Still, thanks to Asley’s magic spell — like a gentle hand of a father — Chappie could fight on.
The moment he was wrapped up in the warm aura of the spell, he felt it in every part of his body — and his tears would not stop streaming down.
[I can’t afford to lose! Not until they achieve their objective!]
Chappie’s enhanced abilities increased the power of his attack, putting even more pressure on Gaspard’s arms and knees.
“Hmph, you cannot keep this up forever. Once your arcane energy is exhausted, your attack will surely stop…!”
[“Hurry and get away!”]
Asley’s face was painted with frustration and regret as he ran through Regalia Castle.
But he did not stop his feet. He was unstoppable — as the sentiments of three familiar souls pushed him to keep running down the path he ought to take.