The City of Rings
A small city called Rings. A mildly prosperous city that was usually quiet apart from the singing of birds, it was now enveloped in an almighty struggle.
That didn’t mean it was particularly louder than usual in the city. If anything, it was livelier before, the streets and alleyways had taken on the appearance of a ghost town now.
In contrast to the deadly quiet city, the surrounding plains were a cacophonous hellscape.
Dying screams, roared curses, and the sound of battle.
“Defend! Defend with your lives! Don’t let them take a single step inside our city!”
“OWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH! Our Lady Victoria has defeated another one!”
“Put your all into the defense!”
As the fancily equipped soldiers atop the wooden barricade defending the city cheered, the army opposing them cursed and screamed.
“Damn it all!! Where are our reinforcements!? Are we really going to be wiped out by a single woman!?”
“Fuck! Shit shit shit! What kind of monster is she!? Fuck!”
“Don’t give up now! So long as we take the city, victory will be ours! We’ve come this far, we can’t fall short!”
“I know that! Wh- UGYAH!”
The man’s throat was torn open by a sharp blade, and as the blood gushed they could see a woman standing there, wielding a scythe that exceeded her own height.
The woman graciously inverted the scythe with a twirl of her fingers, the single-edged blade resting under her foot, like a goddess astride a crescent moon. That woman is Victoria. No one knows her true name, but she is the ruler of this city. Whenever she is asked for her real name, ‘Victoria’ is the only answer given.
She was a woman full of mysteries, and it was hard to say what information about her was true or rumour, but despite all that, she was beloved and well respected by commoner and aristocrat alike in the city.
“Well then, our esteemed rebellious guests. Thank you very much for coming. But, it’s time to say our farewells.”
The woman before their eyes who seemed both part goddess and part grim reaper kicked up the blade under her feet and with a simple dexterous movement of her hands swung the two-meter-long weapon with unstoppable speed.
Anyone in range of her attack was killed instantly.
Where had they gone wrong?
How could such a thing happen to them?
Like deer caught in the lamplight, they couldn’t move.
Fighting Lady Victoria was folly. That was one of the reasons why they had struck at the city now.
That woman isn’t capable of using transmission magic. That’s why they attacked when she was absent, but they didn’t think she would have been able to return so quickly.
No, that’s not it.
That wasn’t all.
Looking past Victoria, there was more. A huge barricade had been erected around the city, frustrating attempts to attack with magic from afar. They had no choice but to attempt to bring the combat to close quarters, but the effort was exhausting their forces.
All the aristocracy of the city of Rings was devoted to its defense. During Victoria’s absence, Rings had turned into a fortified city.
They couldn’t understand it.
Looking at that city, why had they simply advanced on it as if there was nothing out of the ordinary?
They closed their eyes, accepting their fate. As if being embraced by the reaper, they braced for their demise.
“What a pain. If you do this much damage to the army, it’s going to make even more work for me.”
As the scythe shuddered to a halt mid-swing, the rebels in its path opened their eyes slowly.
Catching the slicing blade of the sickle with her own golden sword was a young woman, her red hair flowing over her shoulders as if on fire.
To the rebels, she was well known.
Someone behind her said.
One of the principal leaders of the rebellion, this person was Misha.
“…The Rebel Priestess, Misha? How unusual to see you on the front lines.”
“Yeah, I didn’t really want to be here either, y’know. Eyepatch was just worried about you. That’s why she sent me.”
Misha repelled the scythe and its wielder, then pointed her golden sword at her opponent.
“Honestly, I thought it was a waste of time sending me out here, but apparently it was the right idea. As expected of Eyepatch. She’s got good judgment for this kind of thing.”
“Such a base imitation of an Angel of Fire. You never really change, do you?”
“Not like you can talk. Swinging that scythe around, pretending to be a Grim Reaper.”
“Hmph, this is just a hobby for me.”
Victoria lowers her waist, and extends the scythe behind her. Misha took command immediately and quickly relayed instructions to the rebel forces.
She would deal with this opponent. Everyone else is to put their all into breaking through that barricade.
After being satisfied her instructions were received, Misha tightened her grip on her sword and readied her mind.
The enemy in front of her was formidable.
When it comes to Victoria, Misha is likely the only person in the rebel army who can deal with her, even the one-eyed woman would have a very difficult time defeating her.
No, even Misha might be driven into a corner if she’s not careful.
That’s how strong she is.
The two of them watch each other carefully, looking out for even the most minute movement.
It’s was as if time surrounding these two stopped in the middle of the raging battlefield.
In an instant, they burst to life.
Kicking off the ground at the same time, the weapons they each grasped were swung in unison.
The golden sword that left a trail of flame, and the scythe that cut cleanly through air.
At the point of collision, the ground below them was impacted and a shockwave spread in all directions.
For any normal person, they would have been ended then and there. But, they are far from normal.
Misha immediately moves into her next attack, and Victoria followed suit. Neither of them focus on defense. For them, keeping the enemy back with a constant barrage of attacks is the only defense they need.
“Tch, you… Why do you fight for the rebels if you possess this much power?”
Victoria said, as she swung the scythe again.
“Do I really need to answer that?”
Misha met her attack with one of her own.
“I suppose that’s an answer in itself. Well, not that I’m really interested.”
“Then, why ask such a useless question? Unless you’re trying to catch me off guard.”
“You figured it out already? Even so, I wasn’t lying when I said you’re strong.”
“You’re such a pain. You’ve been going all out on us the entire time as well, haven’t you?”
The two of them exchange words between the clash of scythe and sword.
“Underestimating your opponents is the same as signing your own death warrant. If I die, the city of Rings will be sacked and destroyed. I cannot let you do that.”
“We’re not barbarians, you know? We’re not going to destroy the place.”
Victoria once again extended the scythe out behind her. And, took a single step forward.
Fast. As soon as she thought that, Victoria’s long legs stretched out, kicking Misha in the stomach.
She groaned in pain but managed to regain her poise.
Holding her sword in place, she aimed to counter Victoria who was looking to follow up her attack. However, the counter was intercepted by a swing of that scythe.
The difference in their abilities was beginning to become apparent.
(She really is tough. No wonder Eyepatch wanted to avoid her. I might be in a tight spot here if this doesn’t work…)
Misha bought herself some space and began to form magic in her free hand.
A complicated sigil starts to develop.
She doesn’t know what kind of magic it is, but it seems like she’s changed her tactic from fighting at close range.
Victoria stood ready, wielding her scythe in a way to prepare for whatever magical attack is about to come.
She doesn’t have any openings.
She will intercept whatever magic is cast at her, and counter.
Misha has a thin smile on her face.
(Yeah, read you like a book.)
Misha activated her magic. Crimson bullets erupt from the center of the sigil in her hand, tearing through the sky.
Victoria was astonished for a moment, but then quickly swallowed her surprise and reacted as quickly as she could.
Misha wasn’t aiming at Victoria, but the city behind her.
In other words, her beloved city of Rings.
Victoria jumped into the path of the bullets using all her strength and smashed them into the ground with her scythe.
A tiny opening. Misha had aimed for that from the beginning.
“You’re done. It’s my win.”
Misha rushed towards Victoria, and laughed as she placed her hands on her shoulders.
In the next instant. A magic sigil begins to form below Victoria’s feet. It wasn’t her magic. It belonged to someone else. Of course, there’s only one person that could possibly be.
It was Misha.
Victoria tried to get out of the magic circle, but she reacted too late, and the sorcery activated.
It was the magic that Victoria couldn’t use.
“Later, Victoria. I had fun.”
As she said that, Victoria opened her mouth as if to scream.
But, she was swallowed in the light of the transmission magic’s activation and disappeared.
After Victoria disappeared, the battle was all but over.
Misha broke apart the barricades, and the rebel army flooded onto the streets, quickly taking control of the city of Rings.
The resisting nobles soon capitulated.
With the battle over, Misha sent a report to the one-eyed woman using communication magic. And,
“Good work out there. You can come back.” Receiving a curt reply from that woman, she used transmission magic again to transport herself back to Beirut.
As she did, she was greeted by the pale figure of Hakurei, who wrote the words “Welcome back” in the air.
I won’t leave you in chuuniville for today, cute chapter up next.