“You were just telling us that you realized how annoying you’ve been all these years and were now contemplating the most effective ways of suicide,” Annie said.
“No, that can’t possibly be true,” Noel said, as if seriously contemplating the probability of such thoughts. “Either way, I highly recommend that you immediately return to your mother to receive an appropriate punishment for your actions, which will be much less severe than if you decide to follow the faulty instincts that got you into the trouble you are already in.”
“You must be joking!” Annie said and indeed her frustration with Noel turned to excitement as she returned her attention to Beatrice’s party. “The one responsible for several hundred deaths as well as the repeated rape of my beloved sister, the so-called ‘Savior’ that almost sent our last bastion of hope into chaos has just waltzed right into my grasp! And you want me to just run away? To my mother? Ha!”
“Run to mommy, yes,” Noel nodded with an ever-unchanging expression. “Contrary to what you may believe, I do care for your well-being. And thus, even if you are physically incapable of the better judgment that is necessary to follow my advice, as evidenced by your previous actions, it is my suggestion that for your own self-preservation you suspend all thought and blindly do as I say.”
“Absolutely not!” Annie screamed, red from rage, and returned all her attention back to the catkin. “Asuna will not let me forget this until the day I die! Even the innocent Melody would write songs of my shame! You must want me to fall even further into irrelevance! Yes, of course! Now it all makes sense!
“Confess! Who put you up to it!? Asuna? Julia? You’re all just jealous that I acted first and now want to trick me into running away when from a golden opportunity! No! I will not remain in the shadows of my older and younger sisters! You go and tell my sisters to go fuck each other! And then inform mother that I will bring her the heads of the disturbers of the piece that dared disrupt the entertainment of the people!”
While Annie argued with Noel, Ember told to Beatrice and the others, “Apparently, her hammer allows her to counter strong attacks. But her reliance on that gigantic piece of metal has an obvious weakness. Just bombard her relentlessly with small attacks from all sides.”
“Wait, wait, wait, we’re attacking royalty now?” Liam asked.
“‘Killing’,” Chris corrected. “Did you miss the atrocities she committed? It appears that bloodthirst runs strong in this family.
“Not only that,” Beatrice added. “The way she said it, this princess either was well-informed about Forge of Champions or was directly involved with it. It would be preferable to capture her.”
“Do not think that we can delay here with such foolish attempts,” Ember said. “Why do you think I tried to end it in one strike? We did not come here to fight! And though this is the High Priest’s personal grounds, we are currently now within the palace! And even if this entire massacre had somehow gone unnoticed until now, that giant explosion surely did not.”
“An unfortunate, but a predictable decision,” Noel said, looking ever slightly more melancholic than before. “But please know that despite your foolishness and general lack of intelligence, we do not hate you. That is, neither me, nor Her Highness, nor even your sisters of whom you speak so ill. And though they make sometimes treat you like the younger sibling that you are, you are in fact the one filled with unreasonable malice toward your kin.”
“Fuck off!” Annie screamed.
“I will leave,” Noel said. “But not because you demanded it, for despite being a princess, you have very little authority over me. I hope we will meet again under better circumstances. That is, for example, a circumstance that does not involve a small group of rebels plotting your demise right in front of you while you ignore my sound advice and impotently scream at me as if that would improve your situation that you yourself created.”
“Ah—?” Annie turned her head to better see what Beatrice and her group were up to.
The beastkin’s words had finally broken through to Annie. And while Noel disappeared from sight Annie saw several more fire attacks approach her at different speeds and from different angles.
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