No Game No Life

Vol 5 Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Learn

Part 1

(…I was wrong.)

How could she not have expected this – she had went out to get

groceries to prepare sas.h.i.+mi as they had promised, and as

Steph brought Izuna to town, she felt extreme guilt at her


Fear, hateful gazes, scornful insults – those negative feelings

rained down on Izuna who was walking alongside Steph.

She couldn’t possibly not have noticed them with her

Werebeast senses.

(Although we are a 「Federation」, it really isn’t all that

easy to accept different races, but still…)

She had a very clear image of it in her mind.

It was true that Izuna – the Werebeasts were conquerors and

tyrants to the Elkians.

However that was only because of the 「Ten Pledges」.

The troubles and suffering of the Imanity all stemmed from the

fact that they had lost in a game.

If it was hatred towards an end result that both parties had

agreed with, it meant they were just being sore losers –

“Why doesn’t Steph-kou hate Izuna, des?”

“Huh -?”

“…Izuna was the one that took away your continent, des; so it

should be perfectly logical for you to hate me, des; but Izuna

caused your grandfather to be called a foolish king as well, des;

so why don’t you hate me, des?”

Izuna looked up at Steph and asked, and Steph’s hand in hers

momentarily froze.

How could she be so rude – Steph felt angered at her own


Izuna was too smart.

She had faced off against Sora and s.h.i.+ro, with the continent –

the fates of the Imanity and the Werebeasts on her back, with

such responsibilities on her.

- She couldn’t possibly have read nothing about it in the late

king’s library.

The effects her actions could have on the Imanity, and how she

would be treated after that, she had already predicted and come

to terms with those, and the only one who didn’t realize it –

(It’s just me again…)

Looking back, since Steph had woken up – which meant right

after Izuna had learnt the Imanity language, she had covered

Steph with a coat as she slept, which was a rather large change

in her att.i.tude.

Why didn’t she realize why her att.i.tude had changed – Steph

got angry at herself once again, although she shook her head

upon looking at the young girl’s uneasy gaze.

Since she was asked a question – she had the obligation to


Walking on the streets like this, facing all those hateful gazes

like this.

Izuna might begin to wonder whether Steph might hate her as

well – she needed to sweep away those unimaginable thoughts

from her head.

(Yes…that’s right, normally speaking…)

If they were angry at the n.o.bles that had belittled Steph’s

beloved grandfather, must they hate those that had been the

cause of it, the Eastern Federation – Steph didn’t know. And

although she didn’t know why – she could confirm positively

that it wasn’t like that.

Suddenly, the corner of Steph’s mouth curled up in a smile.

“Why? I don’t know either ♪”

“Is Steph-kou an idiot, des.”

“Heh, maybe, but – I don’t think it’s that way.”

Steph said this while looking into Izuna’s large eyes.

- She was a young black-haired girl with stunningly obvious

ears and a tail that was even younger than s.h.i.+ro.

She had faced off at an almost equal standard against 『 』,

with the orders of the third largest nation in the world on her

back – she had unlimited potential.

She was smart, diligent, pure and obedient, and she had a

stunning amount of maturity and intelligence as well.

Steph smiled cheerfully at that girl, and smiled even wider.

“Because Izuna is a good kid, and you’re cute as well.”

Steph spoke her mind, thinking that was the simplest way to

express her feelings.

Izuna widened her eyes in shock, after which her hair stood on

end and she averted her gaze expressionlessly.

She bent her head low, not allowing Steph to see her face and

spoke weakly:

“Steph-kou’s such an idiot, des.”

- Even though she said this, she clutched Steph’s hand

somewhat tighter.

Steph smiled somewhat bitterly at Izuna’s easily readable

att.i.tude, and just as she was about to step forward once more –

“Ah~ it’s Izuna!”

The two turned around at the sound of that loud roar.

Multiple figures cut through the crowd, and rushed in their

direction – those were young kids.

“W-what -!?”

As Steph was frozen momentarily in shock, the kids

surrounded them.

After which they began cheering loudly.

“It’s Izuna! How awesome! It’s her in person!”

“Hey, Izuna, let’s have a showdown! You’re really strong


“You idiots, you stupid idiots, you need adults to come along,

you bald monkey!”

“Who are you people…des?”

Izuna asked confusedly as she was being overwhelmed by the

crowd of children.

As Steph was considering how to stop those kids – all of a

sudden, she noticed an animal ear and a tail in the crowd –

Werebeasts were amongst them, and she hurriedly asked:

“What are you all doing?”

“We’re playing! Together!”

One of the kids – a young girl with a pair of fox-like ears

replied as though she was just learning to speak.

“Are you…friends? With the Werebeast kids as well?”

“Of course!”

Steph asked immediately in confusion, while the fox-eared girl

asked confusedly with her head slightly tilted as well.

And the Imanity boy beside her said happily:

“- We became friends through playing games!”

Upon hearing this simple yet pure sentence…

Steph felt inexplicably emotional.

In that time, the kids surrounding Izuna were still blabbering


“Let’s have a showdown, I definitely~ won’t lose to you!”

“…I’m hungry, des. We’re going to buy fish, des. I’m very

busy, des.”

Izuna looked impatiently at the young boy that was grabbing

on her clothes and was demanding her to play a game with him

and said –

“…I’ll destroy you painfully next time, des.”

Izuna’s mouth curled up in a smile.

That especially obnoxious boy punched his fist into the air and

cheered upon hearing that.

“That’s great! So it’s a promise! Izuna! You better follow it!”

“I already said we need adults as well, you bunch of idiots! –

Izuna-sama, I apologize.”

Just like that, the bunch of kids disappeared just as swiftly as

they had come.

Even after all the commotion had subsided, the raging

emotions within Steph had not, and remained like ashes of a

hearth fire.

“Heh…the answer turned out to be just like that…”

…The atmosphere around them had turned into that of

confusion without them realizing it.

It may be too early…

But in the near future, when those kids turned into adults… the

fact that the races used to hate each other would probably be

treated as a joke.

Steph smiled with those hopes residing within her.

“It’s not very often that we get to play games – I’m sure it’ll

be more fun that way.”

“…Steph-kou, you aren’t an idiot after all, des. You’re

probably pretty smart, des.”

Steph appeared as if she had just seen a G.o.d after hearing those


“Ah, Izuna! You’re the only one that doesn’t call me an


“…But you act like one, des.”

Izuna smiled a bitter smile as Steph hugged her tearfully.

- The world would change, was changing, and would continue

to change.

If it didn’t feel like it was changing – that would mean – you’re

just not paying attention –

Part 2

The world around them had changed completely.

“Waaaaaahhh, what is this!?”

Sora and others that were flying about in the night sky yelled as

they plummeted from the impact of the explosion and the

strong winds.

But compared to that – the one that was screaming the loudest

among them at that turn of events was Plum.

“W-what is going on!? This Spirit power – it’s impossible

even for the Flügel!?”

The burst of energy was so strong that even Plum could feel it

behind the guise of her scarf, and she s.h.i.+vered in fear.

If it was someone who could use magic, he would feel

abnormal upon seeing that – this force that shook the earth, this

force that was from another dimension entirely, bent the world

to its desires with its power, switching about the scenery

forcefully – no, it repainted it entirely.

“Ah~ Plum, is the situation that bad?”

They didn’t restrict 「Changing the stage」…Sora asked

with that in mind, while Plum replied with a panicked moan:

“It’s not just bad -!! T-this power is from an Old Dei, if not –“

As Plum was halfway through her sentence – she suddenly

stopped as she remembered where they were flying over.

- The Phantasma that were ranked second among the 「Sixteen

Races」- Avant Heim…

“…I don’t understand, we can’t comprehend it.”

- Azrael was floating in thin air.

On her face was no longer that angelic, perfect – overly perfect


It didn’t even have that sensation of「Impending death」one

would experience when being stared at by a Flügel…no…

Sora felt a trickle of cold sweat run down his body, and he

smiled bitterly, for he was facing an overly powerful force – he

couldn’t even feel anything.

A power beyond comprehension and imagination, a power that

made Sora and s.h.i.+ro’s skin riddle with gooseb.u.mps.

The existence that had Azrael’s appearance – spoke slowly:

“「Final Unit」- we cannot understand what kind of ideals

you all possess.”

She then spoke in a hollow, emotionless voice:

“- Thus, we bequest of you to tell us the answer directly.”

「The existence」 declared to them as the scenery finally

settled down. Sora and s.h.i.+ro were speechless at this turn of


The broken skies were dyed blood-red, the swirling sands had

reached even the stratosphere, and the cracked soil stretched

across the horizon.

The skies and earth were all cracked, the seas were dry –

everywhere was full of death.

Countless splinters of rocks floated around them – those were

the remains of the earth.

The Flügel that had partic.i.p.ated in the game, and the countless

battles.h.i.+ps that emitted a menacing aura all appeared like a

weirdly shaped fleet of airs.h.i.+ps –

“W-what exactly is this?”

Sora asked as he recovered from his shock, however neither

s.h.i.+ro nor Plum were able to answer.

The Flügel that were still flying about in the air – they had

pained expressions on their faces, seemingly familiar with this

emotionally scarring scene unfolding before them.

- Six thousand years ago – which was the final stages of the

「Great War」.

The Old Deus that had created the Flügel collected the

combined energy of the 「Airstrikes」 of the Flügel, and

unleashed a single blow.

And that blow that crushed the earth, split the skies and even

destroyed planets and stars –it was a truly 「Divine Strike」.

They were standing in the very aftermath of that strike, and

Azrael spoke with the apocalypse behind her:

“- Previously we fought, and we lost.”

And behind that apocalyptic world – a huge piece of sinisterlooking

land appeared.

Could it be that this was – Avant Heim’s appearance before

the 「Great War」.

That slab of land looked just like a floating whale – and this

flying fortress was not made of cubes, instead it was riddled

with countless cannons and it had a pair of blue eyes that were

filled with killing intent.

“- Our Master released his most powerful strike – however it

was 「Reflected back at him」, and we were completely

annihilated, which was how our Master died.”

- What had changed Jibril?

“Why did we lose? Why did we lose our Master? Why did we

survive? Why –“

- What had allowed her to discover the reason why they were


Plum frantically attempted to keep herself conscious when

faced with this violent interrogation –

“Why did we survive, as empty weapons of a dead Master?

Answer me –“

“”- 「野砲 (ヤホウ yahou) 」-“” [1]

A bolt of light pierced through Azrael’s chest.

In an instant, a glow of light lit up the evening, and the

immense explosion that came slightly after made even the

atmosphere tremble.


Plum croaked dumbly, and the reply –

“You! Talk! Too! Much! Dialogues must be kept within forty

words, or else you have to include a setting to skip the text!”

“…Don’t underestimate…the impatience STG

player…” [2]

Sora and s.h.i.+ro blurted impatiently –

When exactly had they landed on the ground and combined

their 「Word Spirits」- the two were clutching onto a metal


Plum didn’t know…no, more correctly speaking she wasn’t

looking at them.

The two had used three characters to materialize a fivemillimetre

Howitzer which spat fire and released a bullet which

travelled at a speed even greater than the speed of sound,

piercing through Azrael, after which the fifteen pounds of

Composition B explosives contained within it blew her body to

bits with an explosion that propelled the pieces at eight

thousand miles per second, which then turned into smoke and

scattered – [3]


Plum cried out as she realized what had just happened, while

the two glared at her and replied: “Skipping dialogue.”

“…That guy looks like a p.r.i.c.k…disgusting…”

“D-d-do you know who that was? That’s –“

“Of course, that was Azrael – and the Phantasma Avant Heim



Sora sighed impatiently, shook his head and continued:

“Azrael is different from the rest of the Flügel, she has horns,

so I’m guessing that’s why – essentially speaking she is the full

representative of the Phantasma Avant Heim as well, although

I don’t quite know the full details.”

“…Which means…Azrael is the same as…a Phantasma…”

The two had figured out the situation completely unlike Plum,

and spoke in a rather bored fas.h.i.+on:

“…Jibril said it earlier, the Phantasma Avant Heim is an

entirely different world.”

Sora recalled her explanation she made as they arrived, and


“Changing the scenery means changing the entire world, but

if it’s an independent world of its own, I don’t think it can

affect the outside world entirely. Which means – it changed its

own world (within Avant Heim), but when that happened she

who should have been 「On top of」 Avant Heim appeared in

front of us – which is to say, that was an illusion.”

- The fact that they were able to deal damage to her proved that

she was an illusion, as if she was the real thing the 「Ten

Pledges」would prevent them from touching her.

“…Alright…Plum…here’s the question…”

Why do they look so happy? Plum didn’t seem to understand.

Sora and s.h.i.+ro were truly overjoyed, while Sora continued:

“The stage just changed drastically, a scene that looks like

some sort of fortress for a final weapon appeared in front of us,

and we just listened through some long final boss-like speech –

and among the 「Hour」 allocated for the game there is only


“…Nine minutes and forty-four seconds left.”

“What could this possibly mean? You may now answer!”

- Plum didn’t have the knowledge Sora and s.h.i.+ro possessed

from their world, so this was a rather demanding question for


But – as she saw the approaching thing.

Plum with an expression of despair on her face, by chance –

spoke the 「Correct answer」.

“…Does it mean it’s The End?”

“Huh? I’d never thought you’d guess it.”

The huge, violent 「Binding Curtain」 fired at Avant Heim…

Sora and s.h.i.+ro clutched each other’s hands and said with a


“Basically it’s the 「Final Stage」- the ending’s near!”

“…Climactic scene…great performance…♪”

The two stamped on the ground, flapped their wings, left the

huge burst of noise generated from their 「Acceleration」

behind them, then smiled as they flew towards the curtain of

binding lights.



They sped forward at extreme speeds towards the curtain of

light that spread across Avant Heim.

- Their numbers were large, but the lights didn’t have the

tracking ability that the 「Binding Light」 fired by the rest of

the Flügel had, so it was a curtain that merely relied on its

numbers and speed to crush its opponents – the two smiled


“s.h.i.+ro, have you figured out the pattern of the curtain?”

“…Almost there…Nii?”

“You know it right? I’m the kind that - 「Dodges by pure


Sora flapped his wing once more, while s.h.i.+ro flapped

according to his beat without faltering.

They were like aerial dancers, weaving through the countless

approaching rays of light while whistling a tune, proceeding

naturally –

“Compared to Touhou this really makes me wanna yawn, can

we really rely on Jibril?” [4]

“…If this is what the final boss is like…we won’t…the

Flügel…are harder to deal with.”

They nimbly dodged the curtains of light with actions Plum

couldn’t comprehend.

Sora and s.h.i.+ro could even look down at their hands to make

sure as they dodged the lights.

“…Total of 「Forty-six characters」.”

“…We’ve collected 「Forty characters」…”

“We’ve used 「Twenty-two」?”

The characters floating on Sora’s wrist were - タ(ta)•シ



The characters floating on s.h.i.+ro’s wrist were - レ(re)•ヨ


リ(ri)•コ(ko) -

They were stocked up well enough, but Sora said instead:

“Hmm~ ハ(ha)、コ(ko)、ミ(mi)、ヲ(wo)、チ

(chi)、ヒ(hi)…we haven’t got these six ones.”

“…But we have…the trump.”

s.h.i.+ro indicated that was more than enough.

“- I’ve said it before, I’ve figured out the 「Word Spirit」

I’m going to use on her, so I’m short of three.”

“…Under these circ.u.mstances…collecting characters


The fact that they could dodge and weave about the rain of

light was already beyond Plum’s comprehension.

But if they were to deal with the Flügel under these

circ.u.mstances, it would probably be too impossible for even


“…We can’t go on like this, s.h.i.+ro, I’m sorry, but we’ll have

to use the trump.”

“…Nii, how many characters will you need?”


s.h.i.+ro widened her eyes, which was a rare sight, and she

examined her brother’s face closely as though to read his


“Fourteen, that’s the least amount of letters we need, however

we lack three of them.”

However on Sora’s face – was an expression of pure


- A 「Word Spirit」 that needed fourteen characters?

The 「Trump」 that s.h.i.+ro mentioned – it was probably a

「Word Spirit」 that could tide them through any disaster.

Although it could only be used once – it really should be used

as a last resort. However –

“…Mm, I understand…”

Since her brother said he 「Needed」 it, it meant that 「They

needed it no matter the risk」, so s.h.i.+ro nodded her head in


Since she herself had no way to decipher her brother’s true

intentions, which meant her brother was correct – that was all

there was to it - !

- Sora’s left hand and s.h.i.+ro’s right hand, the two intertwined

hands – four characters slid and fell off those hands.

After which – Sora arranged them and formed a 「Word


He raised his hand high, and –

“-「切断 (セツダン setsudan) 」- !!” (TL note: Cut, split


He violently swung his arm horizontally – and in an instant…

The infinite curtains of light that were hovering over Avant

Heim’s airs.p.a.ce were suddenly cut in half as if by an invisible


- Making imagination reality was a rule of this game, which

was the 「Word Spirits」.

「Barrier」 and 「Cut」 were two words that could easily be

made reality as long as they were spelled out.

An omnipotent word that could attack, defend, and even both,

one that could deal with all possible situations – that was their


Also the importance and usefulness of the letter 「ン (n) 」 in

word games like these was common knowledge.

The consequences brought about by them being forced to use

that omnipotent 「Word Spirit」- according to Sora’s plans –

- Everything before him was just like a bad joke - 「Split into


s.p.a.ce, scenery, everything including Avant Heim itself was

sliced into half – even the cannons.

- After that? Just as Plum was about to ask, Sora and s.h.i.+ro –


“- Huh!?”

Plum cried out in surprise, as amongst the crumbling landscape

and the interrupted curtains, the Flügel were approaching.


“…Eighteen – more than I thought, how many of them have

characters on them?”

“…Six…all present…but…”

- The real question was how would they collect all of them?

Since they had used cut earlier, they had only 「Fourteen

characters」 left; and according to what Sora had said, the last

「Fourteen」had already been reserved.

He had also said, among the 「Six」 they had not collected,

「Three」 were important.

Even if they did collect them all, they could only use three

more, and now all they could use on them were「Three」.

“- Alright, this is our final bet, let’s go, s.h.i.+ro!”

As they said this, the two did a backflip and landed in a

parrying stance – facing the oncoming Flügel –

They were just about to flap their wings, but –

“- H-huh?”

Plum cried in surprise, no, Sora and s.h.i.+ro felt the same way as


Because the oncoming Flügel, just before Sora and s.h.i.+ro –

they stopped.

One of their numbers bowed respectfully towards them just as

Jibril had when they had defeated her.

“The two of you need this one right?”

…As she said this, her palm was cupping the 「ハ (ha) 」

inscribed on her chest.

As though in imitation, five more that had characters on them

revealed them as well.

Sora and s.h.i.+ro felt confused as they didn’t understand their

intentions, while the Flügel simply smiled and said:

“Because we’ve already had a lot of fun spectating –“

“To be honest it’s really disappointing that we won’t get the

handshake, signature, date and sleepover vouchers though~!”

“But since we’ve got the chance to play games with you

both, we’re all content ♪”

“- So, please.”

They heard the last one say –

“We’ll leave Azrael-neesan to you, in the near future – our

future Masters.”

- Finally…

Sora and s.h.i.+ro understood the trap Jibril had laid within the


Both of them stretched out their hands towards the characters

while repressing the urge to laugh out loud.

“…Hahah, Jibril’s got a few tricks up her sleeve now!”

“…Jibril…omega good job…♪”

Sora and s.h.i.+ro said teasingly, and touched the final six


“…U-um, what’s going on here?”

Plum asked, being the only one not understanding the situation,

while the Flügel laughed and replied.

“Did you forget, little bug, that we’re –“

“We are the Flügel, and although we are under the command

of our sister Azrael.”

“But more than that we are huge fans of Sora-sama and s.h.i.+rosama!”

They were all smiles – beating Plum down mercilessly with

their words.

Sora and s.h.i.+ro smiled bitterly as they sent them off, and once

again – flapped their wings and accelerated.

They flew towards the split open Avant Heim – towards the

place where Azrael was.

Part 3

“…It appears others have understood as well…now are you

still going to call me special?”

Jibril said with a bitter smile.

Azrael remained emotionless, although underneath that mask

was torment and bitterness.

- What was that? What just happened? I don’t understand at all.

Azrael continued to ponder the scene that had just occurred in

front of her.

Amongst the slowly crumbling Avant Heim, the two were

gracefully dodging the debris.

They were heading directly straight – at them, as though they

knew her exact position!

No, they did know! They had used a cannon to dispel her

illusion, then cross-referenced the 「Original landscape」 with

this broken and crumbling land, then deduced her and Jibril’s

original positions, a.s.suming they didn’t move – no, they were

sure of it!

- A bitter memory flashed through Azrael’s mind upon

realizing that.

Artosh was killed in the same fas.h.i.+on back then.

All his defenses were overcome, all his actions were saw

through, all his barricades and obstacles were slipped past by

the enemy, and in the end – her Master was murdered.

Why did we lose? Why did we survive! Why are we still





“Plum! You’re being too noisy!!”

As Avant Heim slowly crumbled around them, they weaved

about the countless debris faster than the speed of sound.

If they were to miscalculate even the slightest, they would die –

under those circ.u.mstances, the two flew at breakneck speeds,

causing Plum to cry out.



The scenery in front of them crumbled, countless cubes fell,

tunnels were blocked, and turning around was impossible – at

this rate they would crash.


Plum cried out once again, while s.h.i.+ro calmly a.s.sembled a

「Word Spirit」 beside her.

“-「ミニ (mini) 」…”

Eighteen characters remained.

The 「Word Spirit」 activated as it came into contact with one

of the cubes in front of them.

One of the cubes shrunk, creating a small gap, but the crack

was just too small for two to fit through –

Sora who was a.s.sembling a 「Word Spirit」 at the same time,

immediately pointed at the hole and yelled:

“-「ヘル (heru) 」!!” [5]

- Sixteen characters left.

The two continued soaring after pa.s.sing through that gap as

small as a pinhole.

As Plum was beginning to be astonished by their astounding

adaptability, Sora suddenly said:

“Plum, could you stick out your teeth for a sec?”

“No! I have a bad feeling about this, so no!!”

“Really? How disappointing – I wanted to give you some

blood –“

“Sorry, I was wrong! I will place my teeth on Sora-sama’s

shoulder, you’ll be able to tell from the sensation!!”

“-「血 (チ chi) 」” [6]

- Fifteen characters left.

The blood flowed out from his uncut fingertips, dripping onto

Plum’s teeth.

Plum managed to absorb blood without even biting with her


“Oh, what is this stuff!? This thick, rich, sweet yet bitter

texture and a smooth, refres.h.i.+ng tone, the bewitching sensation

of a soul is flowing through my body! If a comparison needs to

be made, it’s like a turtle shedding tears after giving birth under

a moonlight night ♥”

- Sora smiled bitterly as Plum began yelling out some rather

incomprehensible food review.

“Are you energized yet?”

“Of course~! My strength is coursing through me! Now I feel

like I can do anything!”

Plum – no, huge amounts of flowers began blooming on the

scarf, and floated about in the air.

Sora and s.h.i.+ro smiled evilly at her cries of joy.

“Isn’t that great, so –“

“…You can do…anything right…”

“- Yeah…that’s what I thought as well…”

Part 4

Six thousand years ago – Artosh was being conquered.

The Flügel were desperate at this unbelievable yet inarguably

true turn of events.

They were G.o.d-killers created by Artosh – a sword to eliminate

other races.

They would give the throne of the One True G.o.d to Artosh – a

sword for this very purpose.

But as they saw their Master murdered in front of them, his

lifeless body with no purpose of existence, the one and only

sword lost its meaning to live.

They were a sword that was always swung by the command of

others, so they never needed to make any decisions, although

then – questions surfaced.

The race created by Artosh and its acolytes had come up with a

conclusion in their desperation – which was to stop thinking.

She did not know who started it, but she had concentrated all

her strength – and pierced through her own body.

They were a tool created to fight for the throne of the One True

G.o.d, and since their Master whom they would give it to was

gone, the tool had no reason to exist.

As she saw her sisters piercing themselves through one by one,

Azrael – the first unit, in pure desperation, told a lie.

No, to be precise, it wasn’t a lie.

It was just that as she witnessed her sisters piercing themselves

through and losing the lights in their eyes, she couldn’t bear to

tell them.

- The orders of the Master were not yet completed.

It was impossible, but if, just if, he were to fall in combat – you

must replace me and find out why I, the G.o.d of war, fell to an

unknown power – that was the final order of the Master.

- It was a command given to Azrael alone – an order.

However she lied and said it was an order for all Flügel, after

which she continued:

- After we attain this goal, the final order of the Master would

be complete.

- So when that time comes please let me decide whether or not

we are still of use.

…It was a lie of convenience.

And despite this – the Flügel began pursuing the

「Unknown」 that had defeated their Master.

At the same time as the war ended, they had gathered all their

knowledge, as though they were going to transform all the

unknowns in the world to their knowledge.

And as time pa.s.sed, after six thousand years – they still had not

found the answer.

Azrael had thought that if there was one person that would be

able to find the answer, it would be Jibril.

Those were the Master’s final words, the Final Unit is a special



- I’m already…tired-nyan…

Part 5

Sora and s.h.i.+ro reached the main hall where Azrael may have


…It was very dark, so Sora a.s.sembled and activated a 「Word


“-「ヒ (hi) 」!” [7]

- Fourteen characters left, just nice.

Now they just had to use up the final fourteen, and they could

finish the level with all forty-six perfectly used.

“But, we can’t use any more 「Word Spirits」 until then…

sorry, s.h.i.+ro.”

“…As long as it’s Nii…if your judgement deems it…s.h.i.+ro

believes it.”

Along with this line that made the brother unbelievably blissful

- 「Light」 lit up the floor.

“- We searched for six thousand years, but we were still

unable to find the 「Answer」.”

There was an empty throne in the lit floor.

Azrael stood in front of it, and –

“Who is ‘we’ referring to? Aside from you, it seems that a lot

of people have understood already!”

Sora said while looking over at Jibril who was sitting next to

her with her eyes closed.

“Searching for a non-existent 「Answer」, I’m already

tired of floating around without a purpose in this boring


That was Azrael – and the Phantasma Avant Heim located

within her.

The two – no, a puppet and an illusion’s confession.

“- If the 「Answer」 of the 「Final Unit」 is the same as our


After a short pause, she looked at Sora and s.h.i.+ro with a gaze of

despair deeper than a crater and said:

“We will consider the cause for the Master’s death to be

「Simple coincidence」- and end the entire Flügel race.”

“That would be a problem.”

“…Jibril is…our…comrade.”

The two replied nonchalantly in a relaxed manner, intentionally

avoiding the subject while Sora slipped into thought.

“I see, so you guys crammed huge amounts of knowledge into

your brains just for your so-called 「Answer」, I understand

that part. To be honest, I don’t understand the meaning and

emotional drive behind that, but could you just let me ask one


After which, in the exact same manner as he had rejected

Azrael originally.

- He looked at her with eyes that clearly revealed he was truly

bored with the subject matter, and said:

“…Have you ever relied on yourself to think and write

anything -?”

“- !?”

Azrael widened her eyes, and beside her Jibril bent her head

low. Jibril was holding onto a book that she treated as a bible, a

book that garnered fans even in Avant Heim.

It was a hand-written – observational diary of Sora and s.h.i.+ro –

detailing the story of an incomplete future…

“But, I see now. If s.h.i.+ro and I win, you will help to collect

books for us, and if we lose we have to do an autograph

session, but you’ve actually made other wagers beyond our

knowledge other than this one. Jibril actually bet her life

without discussing it through with us, so we’ll have to punish

her later, but –“

- Sora grabbed s.h.i.+ro’s arm tightly and spread his wing.

“Do you really not know why Jibril would agree to a bet like


“- Because she believes that you can reveal an 「Answer」

we will be agreeable with –“

“Look, you idiot! You’re really a huge idiot!! You even dare

to call yourself a sister!?”

Sora yelled – his face filled with 「Pure rage」, and Sora –

yelled again:

“- It’s because she believes in you! She put her life on the line

because she trusts that you, as a sister, would be able to



Sora and s.h.i.+ro focused their strength on their legs –

a.s.sembling the final 「Word Spirit」.

“You can’t even understand something as simple as this, and

you dare to ask her to call yourself her sister!?”

“…It’s just too hilarious…sleep-talk should be said when


At the same time – the two kicked the ground and jumped.

- So fast.

It was a jump boosted by the acceleration 「Word Spirit」,

and the two approached at an astonis.h.i.+ng speed.

However Azrael had the power of a Phantasma within her, and

to her – their movements were as slow as a snail.

“…I see, Jii-chan believed in me so much that she even bet

her life…”

She realized that she had failed to understand something as

simple as that, and she wasn’t even able to deduce her

intentions – so…

“- Yes, just end everything…”

Azrael said this as she kicked the ground and lifted off as well.

Within the hall where the ceiling was barely a few hundred feet

high, the two would clash in but an instant as they were

traveling at supersonic speeds.

- The ending was predetermined, Azrael would stretch out her

hand and grab them, and everything would be over.

She really couldn’t find the answer in the end, but someone

found it – so – that’s enough.

Just end in like this – this six thousand – meaningless years –



“- What?”

Azrael bent her head down, and a loud cry echoed throughout

the room as she grabbed onto her target.

She should have caught Sora and s.h.i.+ro, but the one that was

yelling was – that, um, what was her name again?

…Huh? Had she ever asked for her name in the first place?

- It was some Dhampir girl she didn’t know.

- It was a 「Deception Spell」- she understood this just a little

bit too late.

The deceiving magic of the Dhampirs – it was a race-exclusive

magic that could fool even the Elves or the Flügel at its

maximum ability.

If it was just after absorbing a powerful Spirit – blood – maybe

it might even fool an Old Deus?

But if so, Sora and s.h.i.+ro’s wings were – where did they go

after they accelerated -!?

- Azrael’s mind began racing.

She felt a presence swooping by her at a terrifying speed, and

in an instant it was almost as if time had stopped.

Everything became slow-motion, and Azrael saw it.

Without Plum – without the scarf – the Imanity without their

wings –

As they met briefly, Sora’s fist landed upon Azrael’s shoulder.

“- 「縛りプレエデこの世を生きろ」-“ [8]

- Zero characters left.

Azrael widened her eyes in shock, but what she was surprised

at wasn’t the 「Word Spirit」 she was. .h.i.t by.

It was – the two who were flying at high speeds – managed to

remove their wings and allow Plum to disguise herself!?

“「No restrictions on magic usage」- right?”

After that brief exchange, Azrael heard a voice that should

have been impossible for her to hear – as she turned around she

confirmed that it was indeed Sora who said it.

But – at that sort of speeds, if a human body were to lose its

wings – and hit the ground, they would definitely die –

A sentence that utterly stunned Azrael and yet answered all of

her doubts rang in her ears.

“- Approximately sixty minutes…game…over.”

- Without any clocks nor other tools.

Just as s.h.i.+ro recited the numbers that existed only in her mind

Jibril teleported, and gracefully…respectfully caught her two


That turn of events made Azrael feel extremely distant, while

the 「Word Spirit」 previously placed on her activated.

「Forever burdened」. Within Azrael, even Avant Heim’s

strength was sealed as well.

As the colossal amount of energy that could rewrite worlds was

released, the hall and even the landscape began shattering like


Freefalling under such circ.u.mstances, Azrael’s eyes remained

wide in shock.

She didn’t need to think hard to remember – no doubt, this

feeling was the same as when Artosh – her Master was

conquered – a true sensation of 「Fear」.

…She didn’t understand.

There were too, too, too many things that she just couldn’t


Scary, how scary, how much do they actually know, they

actually could make such a dangerous bet.

No matter how much I gather knowledge, make battle plans,

how much I prepare, in the very bitter end it’s still an unknown

Within the darkness of all these variable elements, how could

they – how could they possibly step on a silk wire like this

without hesitation?

She had seen so many extraordinary things in quick succession.

The freefalling, continuously descending Azrael lost

consciousness –

Part 6

In her dream, Azrael saw her Master Artosh’s memories.

The everlasting chaos would only bring strength to the 「G.o.d

of War」 Artosh.

The Old Deus that fed on battle hunger, hostility, hatred and

blood – the G.o.d of War Artosh.

And now he and the splinters of his eighteen wings – the

feathers (the Flügel) and his follower the Phantasma (Avant

Heim), with such a small army, one G.o.d, one Phantasma, and

one race – waged war on the entire world, and had achieved a

crus.h.i.+ng victory.

The throne of the One True G.o.d was in Artosh-sama’s

grasp…it was unquestionable.

A Master like that, had only ever mentioned the possibility of

defeat once.

“There’s a chance I might be defeated.”

- You’re joking.

“I’m very strong.”

- Of course.

“n.o.body’s strength is greater than mine.”

- Of course.

“That’s why there’s something I just can’t understand.”

Something you can’t understand?

“I can’t understand it, because only the weak are able to. It’s

the unknown possibility that I may lose to one stronger than I.”

- ……

“That’s why I wanted to create – a unit that has the

「Imperfection」 one strong as I am does not possess.”

- Imperfection?

“The imperfect unit will use its full power – whether or not it

can exert its power and overcome adversities, I won’t

understand it.”

- ……

“But no matter whether I win or lose – in the end they will all

be 「Causes」.”

“The first feather of my eighteen wings, first unit Azrael.”


“When I fall in combat, please be my witness as the loser, and

mourn for me.”

- Azrael doesn’t know what Master saw.

But at the same time as he hinted at the possibility of defeat,

the Master wasn’t scared, instead he had appeared like a true

G.o.d of War –

Antic.i.p.ating the appearance of an unknown enemy – and

despite this he strived to overcome this unknown –

A smile of simple courage yet of true happiness.

“So, let’s now create this special unit…her name shall be –“

Just like that, the Master Artosh…

He finally produced his last work – the 「Special Unit」 who

became the 「Final Unit」- the imperfect unit.

In the end, it was also the unit that was able to witness the

answer at the end of the horizon where even the Master could


The Master called out her name.

- Jibril.

Part 7

“…Senpai, are you finally awake?”

- My body is so heavy, that was Azrael’s first thought as she


My wings can’t move, and I just can’t seem to be able to use

force – no!

She realized that she had never known how it felt to use the

strength of her own body.

How does my body move? Isn’t it just like teleporting?

The so-called earth – is this how it limits the presence of my


Raising her head that felt heavy as a rock, Azrael looked down

at her own shadow.

And looking down at her was Jibril – and the two Imanity Sora

and s.h.i.+ro.

The lowest ranked among the 「Sixteen Races」, the weakest

species looked down at her and said.

“You attempted to play a game with the status of 「I’m the

strongest」, then you decided it was a c.r.a.ppy game just after a

single loss, now that’s just ridiculous.”

s.h.i.+ro smiled as well as she heard Sora’s words – however

Azrael couldn’t understand what they meant –

“Now you’re going to replay the game with the status of

「The weakest」, and if you still think it’s a c.r.a.ppy game –

“…We’ll play with you…as many times as needed…”

She understood that the 「Word Spirit」 that used on her –

limited her abilities to that of an Imanity’s.

The very smiles of the siblings told her this – Azrael bent her

head down and smiled bitterly.

- So, she couldn’t fly, she didn’t have magic, and she wasn’t

even able to see spirits.

Distance, gravity, all these concepts that she had never

experienced were now tying her down.

She rolled to the side, focused her energy on her restricted arms

and stretched towards the sky.

- So high, the skies are so high, and the earth so wide.

The power that was acting on her body was as if an infinite

wall had been built up between her and the sky and earth.

She couldn’t even imagine what it felt like to 「Fly」


Even if one were to tell her she could fly, she didn’t have any

intention to. And that scared her.

While the two Imanity that were restricted in the same way –

laughed as they soared through the skies, and had said they had

tricked her.

“…The taste of the earth…isn’t that bad…right?”

“If you don’t crash to the ground, you’ll never have the urge

to fly again.”

They had soared in the skies so freely, and yet they were able

to say that cras.h.i.+ng once wasn’t bad.

“- Right, you can climb up after you fall down, so there’s a

next time, isn’t it?”

Sora smiled as he stretched his hand towards her – for that was

what they had done all this time.

- Finally, in Azrael’s mind, everything connected seamlessly

and she couldn’t help but smile.

Too late, she was just too late, it was but reasonable that they

called her an idiot, Azrael thought as she grabbed onto that

outstretched hand.

“…Senpai’s brain is just too stubborn.”

Jibril looked at her with her eyes half open yet caring, and

welcomed Azrael as she stood up.

Artosh’s final work – the imperfect unit. She was the

「Special Unit」, and the 「Final Unit」.

Her imperfections merely meant that – she would strive to be


Because she was imperfect, she would naturally strive for the

unknown, the future and hope.

- Azrael finally understood – the reason why Jibril insisted on

campaigning alone.

“…Jii-chan’s brain is too active-nyan…”

She had destroyed the Elves’ city and brought all those books

back with all smiles even without being ordered to.

She had conquered all the higher ranked species alone despite

being told it was impossible, and had returned near death every

single time.

She had deserted the council, left her hometown, and even

brought new Masters as she returned –

It was exactly because she was imperfect – that’s why she

would – become stronger than anyone.

“…I see, so there really are things that can’t be understood

just through reading-nyan…”

The so-called understanding wasn’t just reliant on

memorization and increasing knowledge.

It was through actualization, personal experiences, it was only

when it a.s.similates into your very soul that one can truly

understand something.

The thing that neither Artosh nor Azrael could understand -

「The unknown」.

That was the 「Possibility」- the characteristic that could turn

the impossible into possible.

It was exactly because they were the strong ones, exactly

because they absolutely couldn’t fail, exactly because they

couldn’t lose – that they were unable to understand this.

While –

“It’s obvious that when one becomes a loser one is no longer

perfect…however I…always feared that-nyan.”

Only Jibril had slowly understood that every single time as she

neared defeat/

- Whenever they lost, no matter the Flügel or Avant Heim, they

were unable to grasp this imperfection.

While – never once faltering in her footsteps, it was no surprise

that Jibril had left.

The Flügel – Azrael and the others could only gather


Only Jibril freely pursued her curiosity, created knowledge,

and left behind everything she needed to know.

She was a truly strong person, yet she was always striving

towards an even greater goal – she even had respect towards

the 「Unknown」.

- That could only mean one thing.

“Nyahaha, nyahahahaha…how boring, I’d never thought that

it would be this boring after I understood it.”

She looked down, and she could only laugh – which meant…

“Have you finally understood?”

“Yes, I get it now – there’s nothing particular to be


- How could she not laugh at that?

The answer that they had been searching for over six thousand

years – in the end there was 「No answer at all」-

“The unknown will definitely never be reversed into

knowledge, because our knowledge will eventually transform

into the unknown, there is no end to this as what may be

common knowledge yesterday may not be common knowledge


It was because that she had never lost, so after her first loss,

she was truly able to fear – the unknown.

The more she tried to understand it, the further it shrank away

from her.

“So the important thing is not to 「Memorize」, it’s to

「Learn」- and even enjoy the risk that comes with adapting to

the situation.”

Thus – the only way was to continuously strive forward –

“The reason why we lost in the Great War was because we

were unable to accomplish that. Azrael-senpai, when I lost to

the Masters and kneeled in front of them to acknowledge my

subservience, Artosh’s final order – was completed.”

Azrael looked down and mumbled:

“…Artosh-sama…did I accomplish your final orders as


- Did she not have to lie anymore?

Azrael looked up at the distant skies once again as she wiped

away her tears.

She had never realized that she had the ability to shed tears –

was this enough to appease Artosh-sama?

Sora looked at her face.

“…I’m not really sure what you’re getting at, but that

expression isn’t half bad.”

Finally – Sora spoke to Azrael with a smile on his face.

“…May I ask you four questions? Imanity – no, So-chan, s.h.i.+chan.”

- There was no answer in the first place, they merely had to go

back to square one – which meant that she had some things to


“You both…what do you live for?”

“For s.h.i.+ro, of course.”

“…For Nii.”

“What if one of you were to die?”

“If we die we die together, so there isn’t much of a big deal.”


“Why…what keeps you living?”

“I have no idea!”

“…G.o.d knows!”

“We don’t have time to be considering this sort of thing,

we’re different from you anyway, life is short.”


- They didn’t hesitate throughout, Sora replying with a smile

on his face while s.h.i.+ro replied rather seriously.

But – those weren’t the answers she was looking for – she

could only reference them.

So at last – Azrael asked:

“Can I…can I be like Jii-chan as well?”

“That’s impossible, you can only be yourself.”

- They replied without hesitation as well, which was to be


She had known that since long ago, but as Azrael began

looking increasingly melancholy, Sora instead –

“But what’s wrong with that?”

Completely cheerful – his smile was, without a doubt –

“Your expression now is excellent, I love it when you’re like


- He spoke with a smile as wide as the skies.


“The answer that we’d searched for over so long turned out

to be 「Going back to square one」, I can’t take this, even

people who can live forever get tired you know-nyan.”

Yes – thinking for oneself, which was their – reply.

She had to look for it herself, then find her own answer that

belonged to her and her alone just like Jibril had.

- As long as she knew she could accomplish it – it was enough.

Azrael said tiredly, however –

Suddenly, she heard Jibril apologizing to Sora.

“…Masters, I put my own life on the line on my own accord,

and even had to rely on your strength in the end…I offer my

sincerest apolo –“

“Ah~ about that, Jibril.”

Sora scratched his head, seemingly not knowing where to start

and said:

“This fellow over here doesn’t have the rights to order all

Flügel to commit suicide!”


Ignoring the speechless Jibril, Azrael said bitterly:

“Huh? The cat’s out of the bag!”

She stuck out her tongue evilly and laughed.

“Banning the act of suicide without permission – doesn’t

actually mean I can order you all to commit suicide! Hmm~

I’d never thought that this lie would go unnoticed for over six

thousand years, nyahahaha ♪”

s.h.i.+ro continued even more directly –

“…And even if she did…Jibril belongs to…Nii and s.h.i.+ro…”


She had dragged her masters in, and had prepared to die –

As Sora noticed that Jibril’s shoulders were beginning to

tremble in anger, he sighed and said:

“- But if it’s just Azrael alone, she can do it.”

Jibril inhaled sharply as she heard that, while Azrael

immediately erased her smile.

“This fellow over here bet herself and only herself from the

very beginning, as no matter the consequence she was prepared

to die alone. What kind of sister would tell her beloved imouto

to go kill herself? She’s Jibril’s trusted sister after all!”

- Azrael remained silent, then sighed and replied.

And that reply was more convincing than any form of protest

she may have made.

If there was an 「Answer」, and if the Flügel could find that

answer, even if she were to exercise her rights for all of them to

commit suicide, no one would want to die. Even if there was no

answer, with Jibril at the head of them, if they could all find a

reason to continue living, they wouldn’t want to kill themselves

as well anyway.

- At that time, Azrael whose purpose of living was to prevent

anyone from committing suicide, would have completed her


“…So-chan, have you ever p.i.s.sed people off by not minding

your own business?”

“Yeah, many times, and I p.i.s.sed them off a lot as well.

However I decided long ago that I won’t let anyone die in this

world (game), so –“

- She heard a single clap.

“Let’s play a game.”

Sora clapped his hands and spoke while laughing.

“It would be a pain if we had to start from scratch, huh?”

- No doubt, so let’s play a game.

“So, things are simple now, anyway let’s switch a game first.”

- It would definitely be an extremely interesting game.

“We want to make this world – even more interesting.”

- A game that would never get boring.

“As for whether or not we can do it – so, which side will you

bet on?”


“Nyaha…nyahahah, nyahahahahahhahahahah!!”

In six thousand years, no, possibly for the first time in her life,

she laughed sincerely.

Maybe because her physical abilities were being restrained by

the Imanity – she laughed too hard to the point where her

stomach began to ache.

Azrael laughed so emotionally that she even started to cry, and

she raised her head – and then -

- She grabbed onto Sora and kissed him.



“What – M, Master!? A-Azrael-senpai!!”

…For a full few seconds, Azrael tongue-kissed Sora and


“Nyahaha~ if both sides bet that 「It’s possible」, the bet

won’t be valid ♥”


Sora appeared lost, while the other two looked at them with

gazes that could kill, and Azrael spoke, ignoring them:

“ for me who wanted to die, you gave me a chance to

have fun with you all, and so I’m extremely overjoyed at your

request-nyan. But – I don’t yet have the right to walk alongside

So-chan like Jii-chan does.”

She waved and turned to leave…she felt the gravity that

restrained her body and continued forward.

Her sister worried about her, the Imanity worried about her,

comforted her, and even prevented her from committing


No matter what you were to say – if this were to go on, I would

be relying on them too much, and she smiled bitterly.

“But this is fine as well, since I bet it’s 「Possible」 toonyan?

Before the results come out – I’ll try my best to wait

for it, since Jii-chan believes in me-nyan, I hope that you all

can just wait for me a while more.”

Part 8

“…Nii…you let her kiss you.”

“Just wait a minute here, no matter how you look at it, she

forced herself on me right?”

“You say that, Master, but because of the 「Ten Pledges」 it

isn’t possible to abuse another’s rights, so unless the Master

had allowed it subconsciously there was no other way that

Azrael-senpai could have kissed you.”

“Wait a second, if I were to deny a beautiful lady like that

unconsciously that would be disastrous to me as a guy!”

“…Nii is fine with anyone…as long as it’s a girl…”

“You’re ju

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