Chapter 139 – Fire Ouroboros Used Sleep Talk! Fire Ouroboros Used Substitute!
Raw link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2211cx/140/ (2016/12/04)
Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (2020/01/09)
Editor 1: Hand of Vecna (2020/01/17)
Editor 2: Keii (2020/01/2020)
Translation link: https://twomorefreethoughts.wordpress.com/awlba-c139/
Aries and the others annihilated the demon’s city within a single night. On the following day, they were invited to the ice palace.
Inside the palace, all four walls were made out of ice that did not melt. Additionally, there were knights, adorned with ice swords and armours, lined up in an unmoving posture.
Aries wondered if they felt cold inside. Perhaps the thing inside was not a living person.
No, it might have been that there was no one inside in the first place.
Sitting on the throne was a young man in extravagant clothing, resting his arms on the armrests and looking down upon the five individuals in Aries’s group as if to evaluate them.
But his observation must have finished. He opened his arms wide in an exaggerated manner and spoke towards the five of them in such a way as if he was reading out a script.
“You have done us a great justice, travellers. Truly splendid was your achievement of striking down Pluto. Thus, we shall reward you with whatever your heart desires. Property, honour, authority? Speak as you will.”
Hearing that, Scorpius muttered, “Ain’t that generous?”
Additionally, she questioned the hilarity of the whole situation.
It seemed that, even after they had gotten this far, he had yet to understand whom he was speaking to.
Even taking into account that 200 years of time had passed, for him to forget their faces, what a dishonourable man he was.
Scorpius ran her fingers through her hair and stared at him in contempt.
“My, my, is that so? In that case, I wish to meet Aquarius, Mr Substitute.”
“Huh? What are you saying? I am Aqua-”
“Sorry, but I have no business with the Carrier. Ganymedes, the one we have business with is the Water Pitcher.”
After being called his “real name”, the fake king who had called himself Aquarius trembled.
Exactly, he was definitely not Aquarius.
Needless to say, he was not a completely unrelated existence either. He was actually an extraordinarily competent level 600 magical beast who was assigned the role of [Carrier] as Aquarius was lazy and hated acting on her own.
Although he did not possess any special abilities, if it was a pure punching contest based on stats, he would be able to put up a good fight even if the opponent was Castor.
Having said that, that statement was as good as saying he was nothing special when compared to the Twelve Stars’ combatants. As such, he was not someone who would pose a threat to Scorpius and the rest.
With what had just happened, he too started to recall who the people he was looking down upon were.
His face gradually but visibly turned blue and he started cold sweating.
“Y, you lot are… no, you guys are…!”
“We’re going to pass through. You’re not going to say that you won’t let us, right?”
“… U, understood.”
In this predicament, the knights in the surroundings showed no indication of taking any action.
If there were people inside, they would most likely have either been flustered by the change in the situation or tried to reproach the group for the disrespect they showed towards the person that they believed was their king. At the very least, they would most likely have shown some form of reaction.
But there was no reaction whatsoever. This meant that, as expected, these knights had no egos of their own and were like puppets.
Scorpius and the rest passed by Ganymedes’s side and casually opened the curtain which was hanging at the far end of the throne room.
Apparently, in this palace, the area behind the throne led to a room that was exclusively for the king. What a simple layout it was.
Aquarius… was also easy to find. She was at the far end of the room that they had just entered.
There, a giant water pitcher was boldly enshrined.
Its height seemed to be approximately three metres. It looked to be of a size which seemed like a hassle to carry around, however, for someone at their level, it was not a size that they had to be mindful about.
After all, their master, Ruphas, was someone who could casually throw the Dragon King, who had a length of 170 metres, with a single hand.
“It’s been a while, Aquarius. Why don’t you show yourself?”
“…… Mmm? Ohh, what’s this? I haven’t heard this voice in a while, it’s quite nostalgic.”
What responded to Scorpius’s call was the voice of a childish young girl.
The one who popped out from the opening of the water pitcher was a little girl whose outer appearance looked to be no older than around 12 years of age.
She was wearing strange cherry blossom-coloured clothing – a traditional clothing item called a “kimono” from the country of “Wakoku” which was said to have existed over 200 years ago. On her head, there was an ornament modelled in the shape of a cherry blossom.
The colour of her hair was deep blue and the colour of her eyes were a shade of blue. At first glance, she was an adorable young girl. That girl then smiled so brightly at her old friends that it seemed as if flowers could suddenly bloom.
However, by now, it was extremely normal procedure for the outer appearance and inner self to not sync up. Even amongst characters thus far, this trait was particularly true for the Twelve Stars.
Needless to say, she too was not at the age that she appeared to be.
No, perhaps whether the very concept of age existed for her or not was questionable.
After all, she was neither a magical beast nor a person. She was not even a golem.
She was a piece of equipment with a will created by the Goddess… in other words, an item.
[Divine Artifact: The Queen of the Seas (Aquarius)]. That was her true nature.
Even the little girl, who was currently showing her face, was only there so that communication between the item and the others would become easier. It was nothing more than a fake body made out of water. In the end, her true body was the water pitcher itself.
“My, my. It’s the lesbian scorpion, dumb crab and the sheep brat. Oi, isn’t this rather nostalgic? And the ones at the back are… hmm, who are you guys again?”
“Ohh, that’s right, that’s right. The yakitori and the blue snake.”
“It’s the Immortal Bird!”
“It’s the Water Snake!”
Also, although it was unknown if it was because her true nature was a piece of equipment or not, she just could not remember people’s names.
As such, regardless of whether it was an enemy or an ally, she would call them by their species rather than their name.
The problem was so severe that she could not even remember Ruphas’s name and simply called her “Master-sama”.
Fortunately, whilst the way she spoke was quite horrible, she was not a violent individual like Leon.
If anything, she had a favourable relationship with everyone and amongst the Twelve Stars, she was someone in the moderate faction.
She rested her elbows on the edges of the water pitcher and spoke whilst smiling with a chuckle.
“And? Do you have some business with me? Well, since you came here anyway, if you guys just came here to have a drink, I’ll be hospitable and take them out.”
“Umm, yeah. That’s nice and all, but we didn’t come here to have fun. The truth is Ruphas-sama has been resurrected. And so, she sent us here for the sake of bringing you back.”
“…… Ahh…… I see. So it’s already been 200 years… That was quick.”
Even after hearing about Ruphas’s resurrection, Aquarius did not show any form of surprise. If anything, she answered with a response that suggested she was fully aware of everything from the beginning.
Seeing this, Scorpius felt more than a little jealous.
Even though she herself had not been informed of anything whatsoever, people like Parthenos, Pollux and Aquarius had been told what was going to happen.
Scorpius understood the reasoning behind it. Ruphas must have actually wanted to hide the information from everyone, including her own allies. But if she did not say anything, even if people were to be put in charge of the ouroboroses, they might abandon their posts halfway through or, in the worst-case scenario, wake the ouroboros themselves as a means to take revenge on the humanoids.
As such, in order to nail down all the contingencies, she informed them of what was to come. Scorpius understood that.
But… what was vexing would still be vexing.
“But now’s not a good time. Please wait for a little bit.”
“Did something happen?”
“If you ask if something happened, well, yeah, something happened. You should already be aware that I’m sealing the Fire Ouroboros. But you see, this Fire Ouroboros doesn’t sleep very soundly. Approximately every 20 years or so, it creates a clone of itself as an avatar and roams around like it’s sleepwalking. And worse yet, it’s annoying because it’s half asleep and ends up burning away everything in its surroundings.”
Aquarius muttered as if she was tired of being hassled and then sighed out loud.
“Well, once you take care of the avatar, it calms down. Although, in the end, it’s still just a half-asleep avatar, so its abilities are actually not that significant. But even then, it’s still an ouroboros’s clone. I shouldn’t have to say this, but it’s strong enough that some random magical beast or demon that you could find anywhere couldn’t even be his opponent.”
“I see. In other words, until that’s defeated, you can’t move freely. No wonder you were having a hard time against someone like Pluto.”
“Ahh, that guy. Well, that guy’s probably too much for the Carrier to handle. If it’s one-on-one, the Carrier wouldn’t lose, but against that large of an army, the Carrier would have a hard time alone.”
Aquarius said as such and looked at Ganymedes.
Although she was not condemning him or anything, Ganymedes still shrivelled up.
“Well, he was whatever anyways. He was just a small fry so even if we left him alone, it was no problem.”
“Hey, hey. If you put it like that, our work was just a complete waste of effort.”
“Hahaha, my bad, my bad. Anyways, back on the topic of the ouroboros… It looks like you brought a fill-in for me, but as you’d expect, it’s a bit too much for the yakitori and the blue snake to handle. So until that’s sorted out, I can’t come with you guys. Sorry.”
Phoenix and Hydrus were by no means weak. If anything, those two were quite strong magical beasts.
One was an immortal bird which possessed high regenerative ability and firepower and was ranked as the strongest species amongst the bird-type magical beasts.
The other was part of a subspecies amongst the dragonkin, which was said to be the strongest race. It was a water dragon which possessed high attack power and arcane magic power.
If either one of them had the intention to do so, both of them had sufficient power to be able to change the geography of the planet itself.
Yet even then, Aquarius judged it to be “not enough”.
“In that case, Aquarius, me and the rest will join in to subjugate the avatar.”
“Huh? I’d appreciate that… but is that fine?”
“Yes. Me were all ordered to bring you back. If it is necessary, me will help out.”
Karkinos winked and turned around to look back at his comrades who were behind him.
In response, Aries nodded whilst Hydrus and Phoenix smiled back in assent.
The only one who might have had a problem was Scorpius, however, even she understood that this was the most optimal approach.
In the end, although she still seemed a little reluctant, she spewed out, “Just do whatever you want.”
“OK. Then come with me tomorrow. We’ll go make the sleepyhead ouroboros sleep together.”
Aquarius said merrily, followed by Aries and the rest smiling to match the atmosphere.
From the looks of it, this time, there would be no battle between the Twelve Stars before they could be recovered.
The following day.
Aries and the rest were led to the basement of the palace.
No, perhaps rather than calling it the basement of the palace, it might have been more appropriate to call it the basement of the city of Nectar.
Underneath the layer of ice that served as land was an extremely large prison made out of ice. Furthermore, its temperature was such that if an ordinary person were to be in here, even if they were wearing heavy winter clothes designed to keep warm, they would freeze to death in a very short duration of time.
It was 100 degrees Celsius below freezing point. That was the temperature of this space.
Notwithstanding that, Hydrus and Aquarius who were resistant to the Water attribute aside, even Aries and Scorpius were walking around this space without minding the temperature in the slightest.
Although it might seem like it was being repeated over and over again, common sense did not work well against such high level monsters.
If they were to succumb to something of this degree, they would not be able to bear against any sort of Water attribute arcane magic used by their enemies. However much of a weakness they might have towards the Water attribute, if it was merely a low temperature, then it was not a significant threat for Aries and the others.
Although they would indeed feel cold and would not come to feel like it was a place that they would like to stay in for a long time, it was just that.
Ganymedes, who was carrying Aquarius’s water pitcher, walked foremost, followed by the other five individuals.
Eventually, when they reached the deepest part of the ice prison, Aries and the rest got to see the appearance of “that thing”.
“So this is an ouroboros…”
“This is insanely ridiculous. Even the tip of its nose is bigger than this mistress with my humanoid form undone.”
It was an enormous living creature. A living creature which was way too enormous.
What was visible was merely the tip of its face. Only the very tip of its nose.
Everything except for that was buried underneath the ground. The part that they could see was merely the slightest fraction of the entire body.
Yet, even that slightest fraction was bigger than Scorpius’s whole body when she was in her magical beast form.
Imagining the full body of such a living creature alone was already ridiculous.
I see, no wonder Master wanted to seal it. Before anything else, before whether it’s strong or not comes into question, it’s the type of monster that needs to be prevented from moving from the onset.
“Hey, is this sealing method alright? I heard from Ruphas-sama, but apparently, ouroboroses are not actually entities that can even be sealed in the first place. Wasn’t it something like… by stabilising the surrounding environment and making them think, ‘The world is still at peace,’ they won’t wake up, or something?”
“Hmm. So that’s how they’re sealing it at the other locations. But honestly, I use a different method. Or more like, with that kind of optimistic method, this guy would wake up on its own. I said it before, but this guy really doesn’t sleep that well.”
What Aries recalled was the previous incident with the sealing of the Heavenly Ouroboros.
After that, they received an explanation from Ruphas. She explained that the sealing of the Heavenly Ouroboros was not something that could actually be called a seal, but was merely maintaining the status quo of the surroundings.
However, this Fire Ouroboros’s seal was clearly different. The entire environment had been changed in a way which could not be any more contradictory from how it was previously.
In response to Aries’s questions, Aquarius answered whilst playing with her own hair.
“My method is actually very simple. By making it cold, I’m just inducing a sense of sleepiness, so that it’ll just continue sleeping. This ouroboros is actually quite easy to understand, you see. When its surroundings are hot, it becomes active, and when it’s cold, it becomes dull. That’s exactly why I was selected to be the one to seal him, even though my attribute doesn’t match with him.”
Whilst explaining as such, Aquarius glanced in front of her looking like it was too much of a hassle.
At the end of that line of sight… was a single young man in front of the ouroboros loitering around like a lost soul.
“Well, even then it still occasionally sends out a half-asleep avatar though.”
“So that thing is the avatar?”
“Yeah, there’s no mistake.”
Karkinos asked to confirm it and Aquarius answered.
As usual, she only had the upper half of her body leaning against the water pitcher and did not show any indication of moving on her own.
Even though Ganymedes didn’t seem too tired, Karkinos felt a little sorry for him.
“Even though its body is that big, the avatar is a humanoid form, huh.”
“I don’t know the details, but apparently, the skill known as Avatar will always result in a humanoid form when used. There are four types of avatars overall. Spirits derived from of divine power. Fairies derived from of spirits. Demons derived from of arcane power. And lastly, there’s a method where, by inserting a part of the soul into the womb of a living person, one is able to derive a clone of themselves. The one that’s most problematic is the fourth type. After all, because it possesses actual flesh of its own, they’re indistinguishable from a normal person and even if [Observing Eye] is used, their true identity can’t be seen through.”
In response to Hydrus’s query, Aquarius gave an explanation.
Spirits and fairies did not need to be explained much further. Pollux and Castor, who were their comrades, were in this category.
Strictly speaking, it was difficult to consider the demons to be avatars. After all, they were arcane magic which possessed a will of their own and were not clones of anyone in particular.
As for the last category, she could currently give no corresponding example.
Although… Aries and the rest had been dealing with an avatar of the fourth category until just recently…
“Aquarius-sama, what category does your current appearance belong to?”
“Ahh, this is part of the first category. It’s a type known as a spirit.”
Aquarius responded to Phoenix’s question.
Even whilst giving all of these explanations, Aquarius’s line of sight was still fixated on the Fire Ouroboros’s avatar.
At that very moment, it showed no indication of moving. However, if they were to attempt to do anything to it, it would no doubt start to move.
In other words, as long as they did not instigate anything, they had some time to buff themselves a bit.
Aquarius activated a unique skill and applied it to everyone else.
The Secret Lucky Star (Sadachbia) – its effect was to bestow allies with a dedicated [Good Luck Star].
Once the Good Luck Star was granted, for the next few fixed number of attacks, that ally would be able to “luckily” evade them. As such, it was an evasion support skill. Putting things bluntly, it promised the buffed allies absolute evasion.
Nevertheless, it was certainly not an all-powerful invincibility skill.
If the enemy was like Benetnash who used insane speed to continuously attack, the Good Luck Star would quickly run out. Alternatively, there were also enemies with a skill like Libra’s Brachium, which would bypass the effect and deal direct damage.
Furthermore, there was something called priorities amongst skills. For example, if there were two skills, one with absolute accuracy and the other with absolute evasion, and they were to go head-to-head, the skill with the higher priority would take effect.
And whilst this skill, [Sadachbia], allowed the buffed individual to enjoy the effect multiple times, it sat low on the priority ladder in exchange. As a consequence, it came with the weakness that almost every absolute accuracy skill would bypass this skill’s effect.
However, even taking that into consideration, this skill’s supportive effects could still not be described as anything but almost cheat-like.
“Now then, after so long, we’re fighting as a team again. I’ll be relying on you, everyone!”
“Understood! Let’s go, Phoenix!”
Hearing Aquarius’s words, Hydrus and Phoenix responded in high spirits.
It was the subordinates’ role to strike first as the vanguard.
The blue and red magical beast combo both charged at the same time and commenced an attack on the Fire Ouroboros’s avatar.
The Utsusemi technique is dirty, as expected the Water Pitcher is dirty.
Anyways, with this, Aquarius has become an evasion cheat character.
The thing I used as reference is FF11’s Utsusemi technique.
She also has other evasion skills such as a skill which lets her absolutely evade long-range attacks or a skill which can only be used once a day as her trump card but lets her absolutely evade all skills directed at her within a specified period of time. Even though she doesn’t move, she evades them. She just evades them all.
Ganymedes carries the water pitcher around and tries his hardest to run away to evade them.
But because Ganymedes is not also endowed by the skill, they will hit him.
And besides evading, she will launch a bombardment of ice attacks under the category of Water attribute arcane magic at the enemy, so she’s actually strong.
Q: If Ganymedes becomes unable to battle first, would she still evade them?
A: She will. She will create waves using arcane magic to carry the water pitcher around and evade them.
Q: Can she still move even if Ganymedes becomes unable to battle?
A: She can. The water pitcher can roll around or she can create waves with arcane magic to carry herself and move around.
Q: Isn’t Ganymedes just redundant?
(Author note end)
 Sleep Talk (ねごと) “https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Sleep_Talk_(move)”.
Substitute (身代わり) “https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Substitute_(move)”.
So… here’s the thing. All the chapters with the title template of “X (person) Used Y (skill)” were actually “X’s Y.” It was originally translated as such, but was later retrospectively amended to match the Pokemon theme.
In this chapter, the second part actually used the wording for “used”. So the literal translation would be; “Fire Ouroboros’s Sleep Talk. Fire Ouroboros Used Substitute.”
 Ganymedes (ガニュメーデス), also Ganymede (ガニメデ): “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganymede_(mythology)”.
A divine hero whose homeland was Troy. In one version of the myth, Zeus falls in love with his beauty and abducts him in the form of an eagle to serve as Cup-Bearer in Olympus. Is it just me or are these Greek lores sometimes so weird…?
“The water carrier represented by the zodiacal constellation Aquarius is Ganymede, a beautiful Phrygian youth.” “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquarius_(astrology)”.
 Just as there are quite a lot of words for “I”, there are also a lot of words for “you” in Japanese. The first “you” (お前 – omae) is the “you” which is used when someone in a higher position (or friends) speaks to someone in a lower position. Whereas the second “you” (貴方+ gata – anata+gata) is used when someone in a lower position speaks to someone in a higher position, or equal position but in a respectful setting. Do note that there’s an “annta” derivative, which can be used as an insult. There are actually quite a few other ways to say “you”, but if you want to learn them, you should find a proper source since using the wrong one could get problematic… like really problematic…
Honestly, now that I think about it… if a person doesn’t know the nuances of Japanese language and says “you” when they go visit Japan, there are so many ways it could go wrong. (Edit: just as a courtesy note. You often see “temei” or “kisama” for “you” in anime, but never ever use them to address another [Japanese] person unless you are specifically trying to disrespect or swear at them.)
 Wakoku is pretty much Japan. Wa is used to mean Japan, and koku is country (even though it’s written in katakana in the raw). You might have seen/heard “washoku” or “wafuu” before, which means Japanese food and Japanese style respectively.
Kimono is self-explanatory.
 Divine Artifact: The Queen of the Seas (Aquarius) [神器・海の女王 (with Aquarius/アクアリウス superscripted on top)]
 -100°C = -148°F.
 Sadachbia (Gamma Aquarii) (秘密の幸運星 – サダクビア) is a binary star in the constellation of Aquarius. It is one of the brighter members of the constellation. It bore the traditional name Sadachbia, from an Arabic expression سعد الأخبية (sa‘d al-’axbiyah), meaning “luck of the homes (tents)”.
 Utsusemi technique (空蝉の術) from Final Fantasy XI