“Just ignore the High King! Focus on capturing the woman! It doesn’t matter if you rough her up a little – just don’t kill her!”
The lesser angels simultaneously dive down towards Anri, their swords in hand.
“Wow, didn’t think ya’d be this popular, Anri. Gotta admit, you’re makin’ me jealous!”
“Do me a favor, Peta, and don’t speak out of turn.”
“Oh boy, Anri got angry at lil’ old me. Alrighty then, I’m headin’ in first!”
Peta takes a step forward, her spirits high.
The group of angels suddenly comes to a perfect, statuesque halt, almost as if time had frozen around them.
“My arm… It’s moving on its own!”
Whatever spell Peta had cast on them, it’s now forcing them to raise their arms against their will.
“Here we go! Rock comes first! Rock-paper-scissors!”
Peta’s hand forms a rock. The angels themselves differ in their actions, some playing rock while others dish out either paper or scissors.
“What… what is this…? GUAAAARGH!”
“Someone save me!”
The angels that had opted for scissors begin crumbling away into dust, one after the other.
“See that? That’s my Rock-Paper-Scissors spell! It forces others to take me on in a round of rock-paper-scissors, and anyone who loses gets annihilated! Whaddaya think, Yuuto-sama?!”
“…That’s quite the spell, I must say.”
“Yaay! Yuuto-sama praised me again!”
Peta rejoices, her disposition still completely innocent. Dying because of a game of rock-paper-scissors? Now that’s terrifying. I’m starting to understand just why she happens to be so proficient at the game itself.
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“Okay, let’s go for another round! How many do ya think are gonna make it? Rock comes first! Rock-paper-scissors!”
The spell takes hold for a second time, and anyone who finds themselves on the losing side is eradicated from existence.
“I think I’ll just leave it at that. ‘Kay, Anri! You can take care of the others!”
“Of course. If you’d be so kind, Yuuto-sama, please keep your eyes on me.”
Anri takes over and steps forward. While Peta’s spell had let their numbers dwindle by not at all an insignificant amount, a good half of them are still among the living.
“D-Don’t fall back! We’ll show them what we angels are truly capable of!”
The angels jump back into action, their voices raised, and dive our way. Anri allows herself a bold grin.
“Incantation: Forced Suicide!”
At that moment, a sizeable gathering of angels cease their movement. They then take to their own swords, guiding the tips of their blades towards themselves.
“My arm… It’s moving on its own again… AAAAAARGH!”
“No… This can’t be happening… GYAAAAAAAARGH!”
For each angel that impales themselves on their own weapon, another follows, one angel crumbling away after another.
“My Forced Suicide spell impels others to take their own lives, just as the name would imply. Regrettably, its use is limited. It will only affect those with a level lower than three hundred.”
There are little more than a hundred angels left at this point. If I have to wager a guess, I’d say that they’re the ones with levels exceeding three hundred.
“D-Did you hear?! That spell doesn’t work on anyone above three hundred! It won’t work against us!”
“There’s nothing to fear now! Charge!”
The braver angels who’ve made it this far head straight for us.
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“Only a measly tenth of you are left alive, and you still wish to carry out your duties. For that alone, I will offer you my praise. However…”
Anri grins again, just as bold as before.
“Incantation: Urged Suicide!”
“I can’t do this anymore… This is as far as I go…”
“I want to die…”
The angels’ mood suddenly veers itself towards despair. I’m somehow reminded of a group of salarymen that had been axed by their company.
“Anri, tell me. What did you do to them?”
She gives an odd, trembling smile when I ask her this.
“They have all been forcefully exposed to all manners of despair, and at the same time. They now feel as if they’ve been rejected by their lovers, as if all their loved ones are dead and gone, as if they’ve been discharged from their work, and as if they’ve accrued some unreasonably staggering debt, all at once.”
Seriously? That’s way worse than just being fired.
“Come on now. Surely, you’ve had it with life at this point. Why not give yourselves some reprieve?”
“She has a point…”
“Guess I’ll just die…”
Pressed on by Anri’s urging, the remaining angels being offing themselves in rapid succession.
“What did you think, Yuuto-sama?”
“…W-Well, the spells certainly suits you, Anri. You have done well.”
“Oh, your words are wasted on me!”
I shiver under the veneer of my own words. It had never crossed my mind until now, not once, that Anri or even the others would have spells so gruesome in their possession. Wait, doesn’t this mean that they can just as easily kill off humanity if I weren’t around?
“Nasty spells as always, Anri!”
“You’re the last person I expect to hear that from.”
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Both Anri and Peta come off as totally composed. I have to say; I’d been a little uneasy. While I wouldn’t hold the power of a lower angel at a high standard, I’d believed that a horde of a thousand would still be a little much for them to handle. Just goes to show how silly I was to worry, really. Still, killing every single one of them might have been going a little overboard…
I look up to the sky, only to realize that a lone angel had actually made it through alive. He’s trembling an awful lot, and it’s pretty apparent that he’s forfeited the last shred of fighting spirit he had left.
“My Urged Suicide only affects those lower than six hundred in level. But you, you’re not even close to that, are you? There is a good reason I’ve spared you, mind. You will deliver a message.”
Anri had begun engaging the angel in a one-sided conversation.
“Tell this to the Seven Angels of the Stars. If they want to capture me alive, they should send someone with more backbone.”
The angel flees rather than departs.
And that’s it. Two Demons of Ruin battled again a thousand lesser angels, then closed the curtains to their little show by an overwhelming display of power. To tell the truth, I’m not even sure I should call what happened a ‘battle.’
“Hey, Yuuto-sama! Who had the better spells, me or Anri?!”
“Why, mine were better, obviously.”
“Well, I didn’t ask you, did I Anri?! I’m askin’ Yuuto-sama here!”
“Please, your Rock-Paper-Scissors spell is undermined by its own reliance on pure luck. My Forced Suicide and my Urged Suicide, on the other hand, operate on utter certainty. Therefore, it stands itself to reason that my spells were superior.”
“But there’s no humor in your spells, Anri! You should really take a note from my book!”
“So now we’ve resorted to mocking my spells, have we?! There’s just no need for humorous spells, for crying out loud!”
“Fine then, let’s play a round and decide who has the better spells!”
“…? B-But we just played rock-paper-scissors! We should settle this with a different challenge!”
“Oh, what’s wrong? Still scared of totally losing against me?”
“Urgh…! T-That’s not it, not at all! Fine. Let us settle this through rock-paper-scissors!”
“Okay, no backsies! Also, you’re not allowed to beg for another two-out-of-three match, got it?”
I sigh at the spectacle. I feel like I’m watching two children getting into each other’s hair.
“Alright, that’s enough, both of you. You were both wonderful, I assure you. There’s no need for either of you to play superior.”
Meanwhile, I can’t keep myself from thinking that… if there’s some way out there to measure either worth, it certainly wouldn’t be defined as ‘wonderful,’ or anything close to that for that matter.