62.Nikka, the vice-captain of the Noir Guard

Nikka fell into a hopeless predicament her demise was certain. At the front was the fortifications Gregour had solidly built; at the rear was Anzerm’s army coming towards her, spread out so as to not allow her to escape. Just watching their approach would make her unable to breath. A hopeless situation nothing could be done.

 

“Nikka, can’t we do something to get out of this mess? It doesn’t matter even if it’s only you that gets to live.”

 

The voice of one of her subordinate broke the silence. Hearing that, Nikka snorted.

 

“Retard, I would have already been acting now if there was even anything to do.”

 

Perhaps, if Nikka was to throw away all her shame and reputation and use the fact she was a woman to her best advantage, she could at least save her own life. One could always get back up as long as one was still alive. This might be the only path which she would be able to one day walk along with Volf once again.

 

“I’m… a warrior.”

 

She renounced her identity as a woman. Rather, she rejected the path of selling herself out as a woman. Relying on men, clinging to men, fawning on men; she rejected the path of living like a parasite. Nikka’s mother was this kind of woman. All the women around her then were like that.

 

“If I’m supposed to live like after all I’ve been through… I might as well die here!”

 

But she was different. She had chosen to fight alongside Volf. From the time she had lost the only person she considered her best friend she decided to follow the same path of the man that used to love her. To survive, she must fight. There is no meaning if you don’t take victory with your own hands. Forget about living by relying on others.

 

Nikka’s spear roared. The boldness of her moves might fool one’s eyes, but her technique was sublimity itself. Attacks aimed at the joints of the armor and the neck; indirect approaches; to sharply tear through where the defense of the armor is light. Fast, sharply, with flexibility, the head and limbs of the enemy are sent flying.

 

“Come with all you got! You won’t be bringing me down so easily!”

 

Recklessness and eagerness to fight even before her demise. That was the way she lived.

 

“Really, our vice-leader…. I guess we got no choice but to fight it through!”

 

One must not forget. There is nothing scarier than cornered a wolf.

 

The pack of wolves howled.

 

 

Anzerm immediately noticed the change in Nikka’s troops. He wasn’t one to underestimate Nikka. She had been able to push back Gregour, the one to possess one of the most destructive and penetrative force in offensives among the young generation. Hence, it wasn’t unrealistic to assume she had even more prowess than Gregour himself. The one to look down at someone like that is a fool. Anzerm wasn’t going to be the one to.

 

“Keep the formation and kill them from afar with arrows. Something unexpected might happen if I let them get too close.”

 

Anzerm made the decision that not directly engaging with the wolves overflowing with killing intent was a better choice.

 

“There mustn’t be any mistakes. I must carry out the plan flawlessly.”

 

Putting his hand onto his mouth, Anzerm took a long breath.

 

 

Brim with arrows stuck on them, the wolves howled, standing on a great number of corpses. With Nikka leading their charge, they attacked. Inside the rain of arrows, they continued to avoid them, making use of the trees, rocks and difference in height. Of course, it was impossible that they could continue to forever avoid the arrows. Many arrows had deeply pierced Nikka’s flesh. There were comrades of her that had already perished. There were ones that had even become an arrow daruma*.(TL: Daruma is a japanese doll that is oval-shaped. Imagine it prickled with many arrows and you would get the image.)

 

“There’s still more from where it came!!”

 

A howl that has already lost any reasoning behind it. So that she could live through this battle, she stood, she moved, she fought. Kill the enemy and be the one to remain standing. She was just like a wild beast.

 

“How meddlesome! Let’s take them on from both sides, Anzerm!!”

 

Unable to stay put anymore, Gregour prepared his troops to attack.

 

“Don’t engage them, you fool!”

 

However, it couldn’t be helped as Gregour had already moved out. Surrounding the enemy troops, Gregour attacked in close combat so that he could end the battle for once. Indeed that could be considered a correct move; however, many sacrifices would have been made to accomplish that. It lacked elegance. It was as if the act itself could tarnish Anzerm’s now acquired aesthetic sense.

 

“”That thick-headed fool! You dare fool around! What am I supposed to do if that person start regarding me as incapable because of that!””

 

The dark flames flared up. The strategy must be beautifully and perfectly carried out. Arcadia must succeed turning the tables, not allowing the enemy to move as he wishes, ultimately obtaining a decisive victory through strategy. Completely eliminate the enemy without any casualties: that was what Anzerm visioned; that was the intent behind the plan he has prepared.

 

“Woman! For all your strenuous effort, this Gregour von Tundar shall respond with the same might!”

 

With his great sword raised, he advanced. Mincing Nikka’s subordinates like a monster, he made his way through and now stood before her.

 

“Hah! Did you just come here for your own death, stupid!”

 

The spear moved. Gregour blocked the attack with his sword.

 

“This head of yours, I won’t be able to sleep well at night if I don’t take it myself!”

 

Both faced each other in many charges, both equally matched. It was then that…

 

“Die.”

 

Anzerm jumped into the fight. Leaving behind his troops, Anzerm came by himself with the flames of anger burning throughout his body. The sword covered in the dark flame was headed towards Nikka’s neck.

 

“Zwah!?”

 

Nikka barely defended the attack with her spear. The price for saving her life was her own spear. The spear was cut in half at the handle.

 

“Anzerm! Don’t butt in.”

 

Ignoring Gregour, who was surprised by his sudden appearance, Anzerm ruthlessly went for the unarmed Nikka. Without a single change to his expression, he raised his sword, once again aimed for Nikka’s neck.

 

“You will die this time.”

 

Anzerm declared. Those were absolute words of the one possessing Nikka’s life in his own hands.

 

“”….Aha.””

 

It was hopeless. Nikka was done for the moment she was surrounded by Gregour and Anzerm. It couldn’t be helped that she was going to die. Her heart that believed in that….

 

“Like I’m gonna die here!”

 

…was gone at that moment. Anzerm’s words were the trigger to spark off her spirit.

 

“Oh!?”

 

That swordplay was so beautiful to the point even Gregour gasped in surprise. Nimbly, dancing like a butterfly, she deflected Anzerm’s sword so naturally as if Anzerm himself intended that to happen, causing the sword to be swung outside her range.

 

This mastery of the sword was the first thing Nikka learned: the power to protect herself. A dual-wield style; one sword for offence and the other for defense.

 

“Yoooooooouuu!!”

 

Gregour unconsciously ended up putting all his strength on his attack. He didn’t know if that was because the fighting spirit Nikka brought about affected him in some way, or perhaps for some other reason. He didn’t know at all. However…

 

“Hwa!? So that’s how you are going all out!”

 

Gregour’s sword too was parried. Through the created grap, Nikka thrust her sword. Gregour’s armor was damaged. Not allowing Nikka any moment of rest, Anzerm attacked once again, but using the sword in her left hand, she deflected Anzerm’s sword. All that while keeping the rhythm of the dance.

 

“Impossible!”

 

Neither Anzerm nor Gregour were holding back. They didn’t have the leisure to spare any effort against her to begin with.

 

“I won’t die. I’ll keep fighting and survive until my time comes!”

 

It was two against one. To Anzerm and Gregour, this was nothing but humiliation. Being surrounded by the two warriors, her vitality demonstrated her desire to live. It was the howl of when life is put at the brink of perishing; the time when life truly shined. A beautiful shine of obsidian. A charming wolf clad in obsidian black fur.

 

Just a single wolf was beautifully living through the attack of the two warriors. Their swords only hit the air, her fangs bore into their armor. They should have been able to overwhelm her. However, they couldn’t beat her. She just wouldn’’t die.

 

“You!”

 

Gregour’s all-out attack was smoothly diverted.

 

“Damn it!”

 

Anzerm’s sword passed through the air.

 

“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

 

In that short period of time that seemed to last forever, Nikka desperately continued to live, forgetting even to breath. She wasn’t scared of death. Rather, she was scared of the herself that would believe that death was scary; of the herself that would even think of forgoing her life of battles just because of fear of death. She herself was the only thing that she feared.

 

She had thrown away her weak self the moment she decided to walk on the same path as Volf. Resolved, she cut her long hair and desperately followed after Volf’s steps. All so that she could fulfill her promise with her friend; for her dreams that couldn’t be realized, and to fight the world itself that has engulfed her.

 

The one standing there was a wolf.

 

(TL:I assume Nikka’s friend is a woman because it was mentioned Volf loved her.)