Kicking the floor, Riku advanced without hesitations.
That is, she advanced the other way around.
She turned her back to the coffin and ran to the opposite direction. With the binding of the true name telling her to go forward, she ran towards Leivein with the speed of an arrow, pushing up so much strength that would make one scream in agony.
"Captain, I'm sorry!"
Throwing away her halberd, she grasped Leivein's right arm with her now free hand. Following that, she turned around and headily got Leivein onto her shoulders. A heavy weight pressed upon her back as if she was instead carrying on her shoulders a stone statue. It felt her body was splitting into because of how muchn heavy it was. Forcing her staggering feet to move with her willpower, she continued to move. Behind her back, the sound of many big and small stones falling down vibrated through the room as she dashed away.
It had been by a hair's breadth.
"What are you doing! I must have told you to go forward, haven't I!?"
"Yes, and that is what I am doing."
Riku continued to run towards the exit while carrying Leivein on her back.
Merely a few moments prior that a huge boulder fell on the place they were just standing before, completely sealing away the path to the coffin. If Riku had been late by even one second to leave the room, the entrance would have become obstructed and both would have been crushed to death.
"I want to become captain's right wing. That's why, I cannot let captain die."
The sound of thunder falling reverberated despite them being inside a cave.
"It is the path I am going to follow through."
Resurrecting the Demon Lord indeed was the order Leivein has given to Riku.
However, it was obvious that saving Leivein himself had the priority. What was there to even hesitate about? Of couse, there was no reason to falter.
She had been thinking about many things through her way there.
She had thought on Raimon's words, the shinigami's words, and also about Leivein's order for her to remain on standby and not partake in this war. She had been long thinking whether all this time she was only being seen as nothing but a disposable good, distressed whether she was only being used as a chess piece. All this time she had been confused about that.
After thinking through about all that, Riku made her decision. She would follow him even if she had to risk her life. This decision was made by her own will. She didn't mind if she was being deceived. Whether Leivein thought of her as a chess piece or whatnot had nothing to do with that. It didn't matter the people that were telling her about Leivein; it didn't change the fact that Leivein Adlar was the number one in her heart; it didn't change the fact that he was her savior.
There was no way she could lie to herself about those feelings. It was simply impossible that doing so would be fine by her.
Leivein didn't respond.
Riku simply continued to run with Leivein on her back, aiming for nothing but to escape that place.
The sound of the place falling apart drew near, reaching her ears. Her body was as heavy as if it had actually been made of lead. However, even with her wavering steps, she continued to go forward in a faltering stride.
"…I'm sorry, Riku."
"What are you talking about. Me saving captain is only the expected."
"We are close to the exit. Vrusto should be waiting for us outside. We should regroup and rethink our strategy."
Perhaps it was only her impression, but it seemed as if Leivein's breathing was getting weaker.
Because there hasn't been any time for Riku to give aid to Leivein, he had been bleeding out from his wound at the left shoulder all this long. Riku wondered if the wound had reached his heart. She soon threw away those negative thoughts from her mind. At any rate, she was too scared to confirm those thoughts, and didn't have the time to do so either.
"We will still have our reserve troops once we get to the demon capital. We also have Asty's army remaining in Myuz. There are also still many more troops on Karkata and Perikka.
Riku spoke out as if she was avoiding her eyes from the reality.
The dry soil soared as dust clouds. Despite the narrow path with bad visibility, Riku continued to speak in a very positive tone. She spoke out loud as if she didn't want to lose to the roaring sound of the tremors.
"That's why we can still fight on. Besides, we already know the location the Demon Lord is sealed at. At a later date we can excavate the area and release the Demon Lord from his seal."
Bit by bit, Leivein's breath was getting weaker. It was as if it he would cease breathing at any time.
She was given that impression that the more she spoke, and the nearer they were to the exit, the more of that life of his was fading away. However, there was no way she could stop going onward.
"That's why, that's why!!"
Interrupting Riku's words, a weak voice was whispered to her ears.
It was a weak voice that felt it could disappear at any moment; that felt it would be drown out by the thundering sound of the collapsing cave. Riku focused all her mind on listening to that voice.
"…Charlotte-sama was someone that I should have protected at all costs, even at the price of my life."
"There is no way I can forgive you."
That's why he gave her out the order to standby.
He left her to the side because he felt he would end up killing his precious subordinate due to his anger.
Riku became silent.
What if, for instance, Roppu or Asty had persecuted Leivein and if he was given a death sentence while she was still unconscious. How Riku would have acted once she became aware of what had happened. Even if the reason behind it was a just cause, it was possible she might have killed either due to the sadness and anger of having her loved and respected one being killed. However, both were very important subordinates to her. She couldn't just kill Roppu or Asty, her subordinates.
"…I didn't think I would have been forgiven for that."
If she were to be at these same shoes, she definitely wouldn't be able to have mercy.
Spouting out a few beautiful words of forgiveness would be easy enough. However, there was no way she could just act out like that, deceiving herself. Such thought felt repulsive to the point she shivered just on the thought.
"Once we get out of here captain, please deal with me with your own hands."
From the distance, the slight light coming from the exit started to become visible.
By now it should be about the time for the sunrise. The faint indigo-blue light, together with a bit of orange begun to fill the sight.
"If it is by your orders, then I…"
Leivein's voice was withering away, just like a wave of the sea retreating back from the land.
"You should live on. As my right wing, this will be my last order(punishment) to you."
"What… are you talking about."
Even though the exit was just before them.
Even though they would be able to get outside with just one more step.
The instant Riku stepped outside the cave, she stopped feeling Leivein's breathing.
The west sky was filled with the twinkling of the stars, and the east sky was faintly being tinged in the indigo color. Turning her eyes to the ground, Riku could see a plateau of dead corpses.
""So that man died."
Suddenly, a voice devoid of emotions reached her ears.
It was the shinigami. He was floating by Riku's side with his usual dubious smile. Without saying anything, Riku lowered Leivein down from her shoulders.
"You have lost your reason to live. What will do now? Are you going to bring him back to life in exchange to your soul?"
Sweet words that seemed to slowly strangle her.
Riku dropped her shoulders and unexpectedly showed a bright expression; a face of someone that had just made their resolve. That face felt so out of the place to the point it was as if it had come from an evil spirit.
"No need, thank you."
At the next instant…
The shinigami's heart was thrust by a sword.
With a speed one couldn't even be able to blink one's eyes, Riku thrust Leivein's great sword through the shinigami's chest. Fresh warm blood splattered on her face. The blood flowed from the tip of the sword, falling to the ground as if it was being sucked in by it.
"I-impossible… How is this…"
"For the act of disgracing the death of captain Leivein, as his right wing, I cannot forgive you."
He had ordered her to [live on].
Something such as selling her soul away to the shinigami would be inexcusable.
As she finished saying that, the shinigami vanished like dust. With not one feather of his being spared, the shinigami returned to dust with his face twisted in resentment and hatred.
Riku heard Vrusto's voice coming from afar.
Riku looked at Vrusto's approaching figure still with Leivein's great sword at her hands. Vrusto was also all covered in blood. It was as if there was nowhere in his body that was without injuries. He was filled with many wounds, whether it was at his cheek or forehead.
The instant Leivein's body came to his sight, Vrusto fell down to the ground like a marionette that had its strings cut.
"How can it be, the captain… How could it come to that…"
Without giving out any response, Riku returned the sword to its scabbard and silently fastened it to her back.
And then, without giving one glance to the cave entrance, to Vrusto, or even to Leivein, she began to walk.
"…Where are you going, ojou-chan?"
Vrusto asked with a dried up voice.
Riku indifferently answered him without even turning back.
"Captain Leivein gave me the order to live on."
While feeling the weight of the sword on her back and recalling Leivein's weight she felt on her shoulders when they were escaping from the cave, she began to walk onward through the land soaked in blood one step after another .
"As the captain Leivein's right wing, I will reestablish the Demon Lord army to a state nobody would find faults to it. Second lieutenant Vrusto, what will you do from now on?"
Vrusto didn't say anything.
However, just a few seconds after, Vrusto sighed, resigning himself.
"It is my duty to take care of ojou-chan. Gotta look after your messes to the end. Besides… You are going to be working on the Demon Lord Army. There is no to know what kind of muscle-headed bunch they will become."
The sound of Vrusto's footsteps neared.
Only then did Riku finally turn around. She was showing a carefree smile.
"Alright. Let's go then."
The dawn in east sky was being filled with light.
As it was expunging the slumber of night, a new day was coming to be.
The remaining fighting force of the main division of the Demon Lord Army was just of two people.
The long way ahead to the reconstruction of the Demon Lord army was only starting.
The spiritualist chronicles of war, the chapter Barusak.
The end of that chapter was concluded with the sign of the last descendant of the Barusak bloodline, the outcast Riku Barusak.
Having her revenge for being thrown away due to not having demon banning powers, she killed the four heads of the four spiritualist families and also plucked out many of the talented spiritualist future sprouts. She was a great sinner that caused a dark age to humanity.
On the other hand, she was idolized by the demon race. It was boasted of her strength throughout the generations among the soldiers of the new Demon Lord army she had built up after the destruction of the old one. There were many that referred to her with the titles of regent Demon Lord, or the reincarnation of the Demon Lord. However, it was accounted that she would always refer to herself in another way:
As Riku, the Right Wing.
With that it concludes the Chronicles of Barusak: The right wing Riku and Rook of the silverwhite.
Thank you very much for reading along until the end.
Although the date for the release of the second volume of the book is still undecided, これとは違う結末になることは確定しています。
Lastly, to all the readers, I would like to really thank you.
I hope you can continue to read my future works.
(TL: Sorry, I am not sure how to translate the line above there. It says that it has been confirmed that "it" (which idk what it is -.-) will have a different conclusion than "this" (That's japanese for you T.T). I am not sure if it is talking about the undecided release date in a weird wording, if the story will actually have a different conclusion in the LN, or if it is something else nothing to do with all that.)