An Easter Gift for you guys from Sushi and Lesari.
Sprout of Envy
Guy and Chloe have been locked in combat for 3 consecutive days.
Although neither of them are taking it seriously, fatal attacks are mixed in every so often.
They are probing each other, trying to discern the scope of their opponent's strength.
「Die, Calamity Claw!!」
Chloe received the attack that Guy released towards her with the Spirit Sword she wielded.
Her Spirit Armament has evolved into a God class weapon. It hasn’t been destroyed, even while she's used it to receive attacks from the “Strongest Demon Lord” Guy.
Not just that, she makes use of the sword's capabilities to repel Guy's attacks.
Chloe moves in for a counterattack.
But, strength escapes from Chloe's body.
「Gofu!!」(TN: it's a coughing/choking sound)
She began coughing up blood, and blood started flowing from her eyes and nose.
The previous attack was supposed to have been perfectly parried. But, that was only what it looked like on the surface.
An attack invisible to the naked eye made contact with Chloe, and was attempting to take her life――
「Die, Calamity Claw!!」
Without any change in expression, Chloe evaded the attack with large exaggerated movements.
Then, she took stance with her sword pointing towards Guy, like nothing had happened.
Her face, which should have been bloodied after receiving Guy's attack, was now back to her normal pretty face as though nothing ever happened.
It was a mysterious phenomenon, as though showing Guy's earlier attack hadn’t happened――
「Ahhahahahaha! As expected of the hero!! Not shabby at all.
I'm pretty amazed you managed to avoid this attack.」
「You'd probably be dying right about now, if you received that attack instead.」
Chloe gave a mild response, in return to Guy's honest praise.
She didn't give much of a response, to the many other taunts that came after. That was because, she knew what he said was all true...
Which was the reason, for how complicated she felt on the inside.
The attack that Guy used――Calamity Claw――, was an attack that carried an intense poison property.
But it wasn't something on the level of a "poison", it was an attack that infected the target with an infectious virus, which also corrodes the mind, starting from the point of contact.
In fact, Chloe has... Really "died" once to this attack.
Although her absolute defense automatically blocks incoming attacks, it doesn't stop the virus which spread to her from her sword.
As such, Chloe met her demise from the virus that was spread unto her from receiving Guy's attack.
Using Ultimate Skill『Space-Time King (Yog-Sothoth)』, she successfully evades the attack, after "remembering" the memory of dying once in the future.
After experiencing the event once, she returns to the past.
In other words, "remembering" a memory from the future.
To the opponent facing her, it’d simply look like Chloe made the "lucky" choice of evading the attack, but the truth is far from that.
With great confidence, Chloe was making the best choices in defense she could choose.
But, even though she is totally evading Guy's attacks by making use of her ability to "remember" future events, Chloe had no margin for making mistakes.
Compared to Veldora, one of the strongest existences, whom she had battled in the past, she needs to take all of Guy's attacks seriously.
Even though there was no intent of taking the fight seriously from either side, attacks that are lethal get mixed in nonchalantly, it wasn't a situation where she could be complacent.
Intricately cunning, Guy released attacks that meticulously attempted to set up his opponent in layer upon layers of traps.
But his intentions have been fairly obvious, as he has been using attacks that could be recovered from, even if the attacks were able to outright "kill" Chloe.
He was planning to get Rimuru to owe him one, from releasing Chloe from her curse.
But, Chloe knew, that such a feat was impossible.
The reason was that Chloe "remembered", in one of the instances where she died, Guy tried to undo the curse but regretfully mumbled「So it failed」.
This proved that he curse that Yuuki cast on her wasn't something that could be so easily removed.
So Chloe moved according to what she was ordered to do, which is to keep Guy occupied.
And from that, she understood just how nonsensically strong Guy is.
Hes seen through all of Chloe's attacks.
Even though neither of them are taking this fight seriously, Chloe has already "died" 3 times.
It wasn't caused by any single unavoidable attack, but was more of a series of moves which ended up leading to her death.
It looked as though she was being given choices, but in fact, the whole fight has been moving in whichever direction that Guy wanted.
There was once, where she "died" due to her own carelessness.
She made the choice to try and evade an attack by stopping time, but ended up getting her heart pierced.
This simply means, that Guy can move normally even when time is stopped.
After "remembering" that result, Chloe has forgone with the usage of time stopping abilities. As all it would do was let her opponent know she can stop time.
Guy has not made use of time stopping in his attacks.
If he did that, Chloe would also be able to move―― which meant that knowledge of her being a space time type ability user would be made known to Guy.
But Guy wouldn't make such a simple attack.
On this point, he was an opponent which was very different when compared to Veldora.
Having absolute confidence in his skills, he wasn't one who would use such ability driven attacks.
Which was why, Chloe was embarrassed at the fact that she made such a mistake herself.
When one releases an attack, one needs to take into account the possibility of the attack being guarded, so there was a need to chain attacks to the point of a finishing blow; this turn of events got Chloe to reaffirm this need.
This was something she was supposed to have understood, from her long journey.
Chloe was reflecting on her own actions, as she didn't notice she has gotten negligent, because she had attained an ability which was all too powerful.
And once again, she confronts Guy.
If they both went at this seriously, the situation would probably be a whole lot more different than it is now.
Guy wouldn't have the chance to play around comparatively, and Chloe had the confidence to defeat Guy with her full power Absolute Blade Flash.
But, if it was an all out brawl against Guy without the use of any abilities, there was almost no doubt that Chloe would be defeated.
That was just how powerful Ultimate Skill 『Space-Time King (Yog-Sothoth)』 was.
Which was also why it wasn't a good thing, that she has been so reliant on it up till now.
Through this battle with Guy, Chloe was brought back to the basics, she returned to the moment with her honest feelings and renewed focus.
Guy squinted at the appalling results.
He has yet to meet such a formidable foe, ever since his encounter with "White Ice Dragon" Velzard.
He prided himself to have become even stronger than before, but looks like this still wasn't enough.
Chloe never fell for Guy's traps. Another supposedly fatal attack whiffs, his many feints mixed into his attacks were all seen through.
That's damn impressive thought Guy.
Though neither of them are taking this seriously, would he be able to win if he did? Even if he asks this question it's not like he has the answer to it would be his honest thought.
What this means, is that he has to acknowledge it.
The fact that "The True Hero" Chloe Aubert, is an existence that was equal to Guy Crimson.
Guy let out a content snicker.
Here he was thinking of defeating Chloe and removing the curse that was plaguing her, as a card he can play against Demon Lord Rimuru, but things aren't going as planned.
Chloe, was an even stronger being than Guy has assumed her to be.
For Guy, he was already at the point of "A Farce? No shit dude!".
Against Chloe's ultra first class sword arm, Guy was unarmed.
At this point, this was more of an insult than anything, so Guy drew his sword whilst thinking of such thoughts.
「Take pride in the fact, that you have managed to make me draw my sword.」
As he said that to Chloe, he pulls a sword out of another dimension.
Demon Sword "Earth” has been yielded to Milim.
To replace that, he created Demon Sword "World".
It was the strongest sword in existence, forged from the hardest physical element known as the "Star Heart".
Compared to Milim's sword, this sword has been maintained constantly, and it gave off a rainbow colored luster.
The demon sword was pulsing, as it was gripped in Guy's hand.
Suppressing the waves emanating from the sword, he took a stance facing Chloe.
He had the intention of enjoying a pure duel of only swordplay.
He was confident in his chances of victory, against Rudra or Velzard.
But, as he faced Chloe, the strongest hero, he had no such confidence in being victorious.
This was what it really meant, to be on equal terms.
Although he has been treating Leon and Velzard as though he would a friend, deep inside he knew that neither of them could be called equal to himself.
That was why, he was elated.
(This is much more than I could have ever hoped for, "Hero" Chloe!!)
With tensions as high as that one time when he took on "Stellar Dragon King" Veldanava, Guy confronts Chloe.
There was someone observing the battle between the two of them.
It was "White Ice Dragon" Velzard.
Seeing that Guy is enjoying himself, she bit her lip.
That which was swirling within her innermost thoughts, was a searing blaze.
Anger? No, it's something else. It was Envy.
Velzard has been envious for the longest time, ever since her brother "Stellar Dragon King" Veldanava acknowledged Guy.
Staying humorous about the topic, she kept her true thoughts away from Guy.
What was coursing through that heart of hers now, were the contents of a message that she received a few days ago.
There was a special form of telepathic communication limited to the True Dragons, it was a message from her supposedly deceased elder brother Veldanava, that has her bewildered.
――Would you mind destroying Guy, for my sake――
She lets out a sigh, as she thought of the contents.
She has knowledge of the current dispute with Yuuki, and also about the contents of Demon Lord Rimuru's request to Guy.
To think the true identity of Angra Mainyu that resides within Yuuki would be Veldanava....
Velzard was hesitant.
In truth, there was no need for her to hesitate.
Her original purpose, was to observe Guy by getting closer to him.
She has enjoyed it a little too much, the time which she has spent together with Guy.
The proud Guy.
The foolish Guy.
The kind Guy.
The cruel Guy.
The fearsome Guy.
And, the friend who was acknowledged by her brother, Guy.
She has grown fond of spending time together with him, who has many faces.
But, if her brother is telling her to kill Guy, she....
Also, Guy would most likely, never show her that face of his own volition.
The face he has when he enjoys the battle as much as he is now.
When he fought Velzard in the past, it was as though Guy was an adult taking on a child, taking pains to not cause unto her undue harm.
It was probably since then.
When she began feeling the sprout of envy within her heart.
Towards the man acknowledged by her brother, the Demon Lord known as Guy Crimson.
(Guy, he treats me kindly. But, he never did see me as an equal to himself.)
――That was because, you were too weak.――
(I am strong. I, am of the strongest species, a True Dragon!)
――No, you are weak. Even now, you are still unable to stand beside Guy as equals, am I wrong?――
――Do you want power? If you had more power, you'll be able to stand alongside Guy.――
(But, that is not what I wish for....)
――Are you sure about that? It is because you do not have enough power, that Guy doesn't look at you.――
(If I had power, if I was even more powerful than before, would Guy finally look at me?)
――Certainly. Maybe even more than just that, he might even grant you what you have always wished for.――
(Aah.... Power, I want more power.)
Hearing those words, an evil will somewhere let out a snicker.
――Now then, release that Envy within you.――
The Keyword reverberated in her head.
That's right, this was the Keyword, to releasing the ability that was carved in Velzard's heart.
And thus, the seal on Envy, that "Stellar Dragon King" Veldanava set in place, began to unravel.
――After you kill Guy, you can do whatever you desire.――
She has gotten her elder brother's permission.
She now releases her original abilities, and gain new powers.
At that very moment, "White Ice Dragon" Velzard's heart fell under the influence of Velda, and any trace of her sanity were blown away.
Among the few rampaging True Dragons, her strength was second only to "Stellar Dragon King" Veldanava.
Immense energy waves raged about, and began filling the land.
Though Hirari tried to stop Velzard head on, it only resulted in her getting her upper and lower body separated into two from a single strike of Velzard's magic.
The magic was overpowering, it showed how properly controlled the potent energy was.
True to her desires, a goddess of Envy.
All for the sake of killing Guy, to fulfill her greatest desires.
In addition to her own Ultimate Skill『Patience Lord Gabriel』, she obtains Ultimate Skill『Envious Lord Leviathan』as well.
(I, shall be the one to kill Guy!!)
She stays true to her desires, blindly following that one motive.
Chloe and Guy retreated from where they were at the same time.
An incredulously powerful Absolute Frost Wave pierces through the ground where they previously stood, and began breaking down the molecular structure of the ground.
What stood there, was a beautiful woman with glacial white hair and alluring blue diamond eyes.
「Velzard――you.... Oh that's it, seems I forgot about this. So, you have been harboring Envy all this while――」
To Guy's murmur, Velzard showed a slight smile.
「Guy, did you know―― I have, for the longest time――」
And then, the world stopped.
It was now secluded, a world of indefinite suspension.
By the will of one of its rulers, all laws of motion came to a stop.
――All except the few who were unaffected by this Frozen World.
Chloe, Guy and Velzard.
The 3 of them were observing each other, in this world where time does not flow.
A world where even time has stopped flowing.
But, neither Chloe nor Guy have problems moving.
Is that for Chloe, there were now 2 enemies.
This turned her already low chance at victory to no chance at all.
Differing from her own ability to stop time, it can be said that Velzard has a near limitless amount of Energy.
That was, the kind of amount she felt emanating from Rimuru when she sparred with him.
Which means, the current time stop is going to last for quite awhile.
Though movement is possible, her ability to "remember" future memories has now been sealed.
Having one of her trump cards, a lifeline ability, sealed is a big blow to her.
She now needs to do whatever she can to survive, until the moment when time is allowed to flow once more.
The situation now isn't one where she can afford the leisure of holding back.
Though Guy isn't a "real" enemy to her, he isn't an ally either.
The biggest problem, is still the fact that Chloe is still bound to her curse, and is unable to make any moves of her own will.
This is the worst possible situation.
Chloe took a careful stance, as she prepared herself for the battle with the 2 of them.
Guy had mixed feelings, being slightly perplexed but also deeply understanding his current predicament.
At the same time he was thinking "Ahh, so that's why Envy took so long to fully sprout.",
(This looks bad. As I have given my word to Rimuru, I had only intended to play around a little....)
Time to think.
Chloe, is under the influence of Velda's curse.
She seems to be valiantly resisting it, but her free will is decisively withheld from her.
That means, co-op with her is out of the question.
And, Velzard is――
(Tch. She's totally being controlled.)
She was giving off the feeling of moving of her own will, but is actually being made to think that is what's happening.
Guy noticed, that it has been a very long time since he felt this much anger flow out from the depths of his heart.
(Unforgivable. To put your filthy hands on what's mine!
That's some balls you got there Velda, to control my cute Velzard!!
If you wanna die that badly, I'll give you just that.)
With an intensely prickly anger, Guy's crimson hair started to bristle up.
He needs to confront Chloe, so as not to outright kill her――but fatal attacks where revival is possible are acceptable――to deal with her.
And at the same time, protect Chloe from Velzard's attacks, and return Velzard to her normal self.
(This looks a little too hard, even for the awesome me――)
He was going 'Tch' in his head, while he prepared himself for the worst.
And, the was the very moment, when Guy confirms that he was going to totally kill Velda.
It was also the moment, where he confirms that Velda ≠ Veldanava.
(That guy, he wouldn't stoop to paltry moves as low as this.
If he was really serious, something like destroying the world, he can do it all by himself.)
Those were Guy's true thoughts.
Which was why, he was able to cut the emotions he had towards Velda without hesitation.
Veldanava has passed on.
And he sharpens his gaze, as he turns his attention to the 2 others he is about to face.
The situation seems to be a 3 way confrontation.
But, Velzard is the one with the biggest advantage.
As she has nothing to worry about, and only needs to advance towards her own goal.
Thus, the showdown in the Frozen World is about to begin.