Aogasaki was quite bewildered by the heron-type apostle who suddenly appeared and declared her participation in the competition.
Her fated rival, who she had fought with countless times and even went as far as to do a swimsuit showdown with...was now siding with her rather than the with the apostles, so it's understandable that she would be at a loss for words. Of course, I was quite perplexed as well.
(She said that she wouldn't come to cheer for me...and I couldn't sense her arrival either...)
No wait. Thinking back on it, Mion and the others only said that there was "minor business to deal with." If her aim for coming here wasn't "to cheer for me," then unfortunately, my objections fall flat.
So, what's this minor business the three princesses have? What does it have to do with coming to the competition?
Getting a hold of herself, Aogasaki raised her guard and asked a question to the sidetailed girl.
"Mion, why do you know about this competition?"
"Hmm. I know all about your conduct. Don't take the information network of the 'Apostles of Hell' lightly."
Actually, that information network is me, but that's definitely not something I'll point out. I'll take it to my grave!
"Don't misunderstand, Aogasaki. It's not like I'm here to save you. It's just that this has to do with our circumstances and duties as the three princesses."
"The duties of the three princesses...?"
While Aogasaki knitted her brows, Mion stepped forward.
Kiriya stood before her. His composed attitude from a while ago had completely changed, and now he was noticeably hesitant.
"It's been a long time, Kiriya. Don't tell me that you've forgotten the face of your superior officer." [TLN: Mion reveals Kiriya's apostle name (鬼裏耶) which is essentially his actual name as opposed to the name he was initially introduced with (桐谷). Different kanji characters, same pronunciation.]
"G, General Mion..."
Kiriya's face stiffened as he took several steps back. So that was his name. [TLN: Ichirou is pointing out Kiriya's apostle name]
"Entering the human world despite me not giving you any orders to and mobilizing subordinates without permission...you'll have to take responsibility as a commanding officer."
...Come to think of it, I remember hearing that depending on their strength, an apostle can have the status of "Soldier," "Commanding Officer," or "General." Standing at the top of the apostle army, which boasted six thousand members, are the three princesses and the top eight members, who are known as generals.
(Looking at this conversation, it seems that Kiriya is a 'commanding officer under Mion's control.')
In Kiriya's eyes, perhaps Mion is force to be reckoned with, even more so than an "Evil Spirit." Kind of like how a subsection head of a company is more afraid of the section manager than the company president. The one directly above them in power is the one to be concerned about.
"Kiriya. I think you know this, but──I'm very angry right now."
Bluntly stating her irritation, Mion's right arm transformed into a wing.
That wing was extremely sharp, as evident by the distinct sound it made when she brandished it.
"Now then, I'm going to purge you, but...you can resist if you want to, of course. If you win, I'll even let you take my place as a general. For apostles, 'power' is everything, after all."
"...You're not lying when you say that, are you? General Mion?"
There, Kiriya finally regained his spirit, and glared at his superior officer.
...The fourth match ended up culminating into an apostle vs. apostle battle, and it seemed that there was no stopping it. Well, there's no need for me to stop it anyways.
Mion's sudden entry into the competition is a blessing.
With this, Aogasaki can participate in the final match. The spotlight can be on her.
I still haven't given up on that, even at this late into the game. Well, if Mion loses here, it will all be for naught, but...since she's an equal match for Aogasaki, it'll definitely be fine. Probably. I'm entrusting you with this, Mion! If you lose, I'm going to lick your nape!
"General Mion. Certainly, the orders of the three princesses are absolute in the spirit world. However, this is the human world."
"Indeed. I know that as well."
"Even if I'm under your direct control, you have no right to issue orders in this world. The one I work for...will be myself."
"Well, what are you getting at? Are you expressing your discontent over Taotie?"
"That guy used to pull on my nose and tie it into a knot!"
"There's no helping it! You're an elephant-type apostle, after all!"
Not good. The sense of urgency is gone. This story immediately lost its focus.
When I attempted to move my legs forward in a hurry, Aogasaki held me back with one hand.
"There's no point in intervening, Kobayashi. The fourth match──is already over."
It happened the moment when I said "Huh?" with widened eyes.
"General Mion! I, Kiriya, will take your title!"
Kiriya unleashed a tremendous ill will from his entire body. Immediately following, his figure expanded and he turned into a beast in an instant. Is he planning on transforming into his peculiarity version?
However──his transformation was cut short before it could finish.
Kiriya's head fell.
It hit the floor with a loud thump and rolled on the ground.
While I was in shock, my eyes widened, Aogasaki continued staring intently at Mion's back.
Perhaps she had already seen it. A swift flash that her rival had unleashed.
"When Mion said 'I'm going to purge you. You can resist if you want to,'...she had already sliced Kiriya's neck at that moment."
So it happened during the first half of their talk. Kiriya was already done for by the time he talked about his "nose being tied into a knot."
Mion puffed up with pride in response to her rival's explanation.
"I can fire a wave of void. It's far sharper than Aogasaki's 'Sonic Blade.'"
"I can't overlook that, Mion. If you're so inclined to, would you like to compare our attacks?"
Mion and Aogasaki immediately began competing against each other. It seems that they now consider each other to be rivals. Perhaps that lingerie showdown will happen one day.
"Well, at any rate, this match is your win. I'll let Kiriya reflect on his actions for the next two hundred years until he revives again...Aogasaki, your opponent right now isn't me, wouldn't you agree?"
The heron apostle made a grim smile towards Aogasaki, who narrowed her eyes.
"The final match will begin right after the fourth match, remember?"
Right. Something's going on that will cause this competition to continue.
The score right now is an even two wins and two losses. Thanks to Mion, we somehow managed to save Aogasaki for the final match. And now, the final opponent──
"Now then, let's begin, Aogasaki. Or perhaps you're going to withdraw from the match? If that happens, you'll have to get married, though."
"A, and just who's going to get married? My heart has already decided on the partner I'll dedicate──"
Aogasaki didn't get to finish the ominous speech she was making.
"Alright, how long are you going to feign sleep for!"
Mion suddenly swiped her right arm, which had turned into a wing.
She fired a feather that tore through the air and flew in a straight line. It was heading towards King Arthur, who was lying on the ground.
In the next instant, King Arthur caught the feather with two fingers. Quite easily, in fact.
"...Good grief, this is too much. You've ruined the plans I took great pains to craft, Mion."
King Arthur got up while grumbling as such.
He then shrugged his shoulders and made that same eloquent smile as before.