Arifureta Chapter 150

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All credit goes to the original author (Chuuni Suki), who has posted the raw data here:

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n8611bv/151/

Thanks for your continued support. If you like my writing style, check out my original works at www. wattpad.com/user/elementalcobalt, or just leave a comment.

This chapter was translated by Bakapervert. Elementalcobalt did the final edits.

For your convenience:

Orcus Great Labyrinth (The Abyss)–Oscar Orcus

Raisen Great Labyrinth (Great Canyon)–Miledi (alternate spelling: Miredi)  Raisen

Guryuuen Great Labyrinth (Great Volcano)–Naizu Guuryuen

Merujiine Great Labyrinth (Undersea Ruins)–Meiru Merujiine

Baan Great Labyrinth (God Mountain)–Rausu Baan

Haltina Great Labyrinth (Sea of Trees)–Luluo Haltina

Shunee Great Labyrinth (Snowfield Ice Cave) – Shunee

___________________________________________

Magic’s Depth

The first-rate sensation he felt on his lips gradually led Hajime’s consciousness to awaken.

“… What are you doing Yue?”

“… Nn? Wake up kiss.”

There was such a lovely way to wake up someone in this world. For a part of that riajuu. (TN: Riajuu, a person who is satisfied with his real life. Damn riajuu, just explode)

Hajime returned a light kiss at Yue who was lying down on top of him while kissing him, then he swept his gaze at the surroundings. What entered his sight was the familiar ice wall and a bed he was tucked in, and then several types of furniture.

It seemed that he was inside the mansion made from ice at the deepest part of the Ice and Snow Cavern. While pondering that, Hajime returned his gaze to Yue who was staring at him with moist eyes from a really close range.

“… So we were carried to a room somewhere because we passed out. Yue, what about the others?”

“… Nn, sorry. I woke up just now so I don’t know.”

Hajime thought that Yue had surely woke up first and grasped the situation before coming to wake him up, but his expectation was wrong. Hajime floated a troubled expression while once again asking Yue, who was still lying on top of him while making lovely gestures, her chin resting in her hands and her bare feet moving up and down in the air.

“… How long have you been awake?”

“Nn… about ten minutes ago?”

“Don’t tell me, since then you have been in this position all along?”

“… Nn. Because when my eyes opened Hajime was there.”

‘Because a mountain is there.’ While spouting out a line like a certain mountain climber somewhere, Yue pressed her lips *chuu* at Hajime.

Before Hajime had confirmed that at the edge of his field of vision there was another bed. He also had confirmed that its sheets were disarrayed. In other words, after Yue woke up in the neighboring bed, rather than understanding the surrounding situation or trying to ask an explanation from the other members, she instead slipped into Hajime’s bed. Regardless of his passed-out situation from an unexpected accident, she picked the choice of the lovely wakening up.

She was shaken so much in the last trial to the degree that Shia scolded her, after that she finally reunited with Hajime and spoke about her worry, and just when she was about to kiss him with overflowing emotion, it was blocked by the girl power cheat character… now the trial was over already, and her beloved person was sleeping beside her defenselessly… because of that, it seemed that she couldn’t hold back.

Really, really, what a… lovely lover she was, Hajime’s eyes turned into a wild beast. Yue smiled bewitchingly “Fufu- “to such a Hajime. Her tongue licking her lips very seductively.

“Yue. It seems that I need a little more time before I wake up.”

“… Nn. Then, until you are awake… I’ll do you.”

<EN: Two pages of erotic intercourse redacted. Figured you guys wouldn’t want to read that smut…translation continues at the end of that…>

Their lips piled up once more. Vivid sound colored with dampness resounded inside the room. At the same time, “Nna”, a sweet gasping voice caught in the nose resounded.

Just as it seemed that the two might do it until they got naked, at that time, a sound of the door opening was suddenly…

“Nn? You two woke up… waittt, juust whaaat are you two doinggg-!”

<EN: Just kidding…>

The one who entered was Shia. Looking at Hajime and Yue who were entangled on top of the bed with their fiercely disarrayed clothes, her rabbit ears bristled *bosaa!*

“Shia? What’s the… Hajime-kun? Yue? Just what are you two doing I wonder? I wonder?”

“――”

Behind Shia, Kaori who peeked her head in materialized a hannya mask behind her. Shizuku covered her red face with both her hands. However, following a cliché, she didn’t forget to peek between her fingers’ gap. Since she became aware of her love to Hajime, she was also excessively conscious to that kind of act, but she couldn’t help but hold interest.

On the other hand, about Hajime and Yue who were interrupted before they went further, they directed their sight to those three while embracing each other. Then they immediately looked at each other,  moved their gaze once more to the three, and said out words with splendid synchronization.

“Come back two hours later.” X2

In response, the reaction of Shia and others were naturally…

“Are you stupidddd――!!”

“It’s obviously not allowedddddd!!”

“…”

Angry roars reverberated in the ice mansion. Only one person was stealing glances at the exposed chest of Hajime with her face still red.

The bed was overturned with Hajime and Yue still on it and then they were dragged out, Shia and Kaori forcibly moved them to the living room at a corner of the mansion. It seemed that Shizuku was still unable to come out of her daze with her eyes still swimming around busily.

At the center, there was a table of ice that didn’t feel cold, its surroundings included a leather sofa. Ryuutaro and Suzu were already sitting on the sofa, their eyes were opened wide at Hajime and Yue who were dragged out by their scruff of their necks.

“Oi, oi, just what in the hell…”

“Aa, Suzu somehow understand what’s going on here.”

It seemed that Suzu could imagine what was going on. Her gaze was directed at the clothes of Hajime and Yue that were mostly still disarrayed. Chasing after Suzu’s gaze, it seemed that Ryuutaro also guessed the generality of the event. But right after that, something traversed the room with high speed, *zubishi!* and a loud sound was raised from Ryuutaro’s strongly flicked temple.

“Abeh!?”

Raising a strange scream, Ryuutaro rolled behind the sofa. He was pressing on his temple thinking “That’s unreasonable-!!” while writhing around.

“… Hmph. That’s the punishment for seeing Yue’s immodest figure.”

“… Nn, jealousy? Hajime, cute.”

Yes, what flicked Ryuutaro’s temple was Hajime’s bullet. A punishment for Ryuutaro who saw ‘Yue in disarrayed clothes’… Indeed, it was unreasonable.

“Geez-! Both of you, you are not reflecting! … Just how much do you think we are worrying hereee.”

Looking at such a Hajime and Yue who were acting carefree, Shia was trembling in rage. However, in the middle, she lost her momentum and sat down beside the two with teary eyes. Her appearance faithfully displayed just how much she was worried for the two who passed out for an unknown reason right after they cleared the great labyrinth.

“It’s just as Shia said. … We were really worried.”

“That’s right. We wanted you two to quickly show your energetic faces.”

It appeared that Kaori and Shizuku felt the same. Similar with Shia, they were directing slightly wet eyes at Hajime and Yue.

Looking at those three as expected even the two couldn’t help but feel guilt. The two looked at each other awkwardly and then lowered their heads at the same time.

“Aa, no, really that was my bad. When I woke up a super beautiful girl was kissing me so, my reasoning was blown away… yep, it’s the fault of Yue being too cute.”

“… Nn, sorry. I should notify you all immediately. … But when I noticed a defenseless Hajime beside me I couldn’t hold back. It’s the fault of Hajime being too cool.”

They were… lowering their head? It felt somehow like that.

“… Both of you, are not reflecting, are you?”

“Haa, it’s enough already. More than this is just going to make us tired mentally.”

“After looking with awareness of my own feeling, various things are coming to me…”

Seeing Hajime and Yue apologized while naturally whispering love fondly at each other, Shia directed a glare at them and Kaori made a tired expression. Shizuku made an expression that was a loss of words from realizing once more how strong an existence Yue was.

But, at that time, the door of the room made an opening sound. The one who entered was Tio.

“Oo, master and also Yue art safe then. I’m glad, I’m glad. It’s the best that what I was doing was just a wasted effort.”

“Ah, Tio-san. I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you about this.”

Shia’s expression turned apologetic looking at Tio whose expression burst into a smile seeing Hajime and Yue’s appearance.

Tio investigated the magic circle of the age of god magic and the mansion’s library in the worst case that Hajime and Yue wouldn’t wake up to determine the cause of their fainting. Shia whose attention was completely taken by her happiness of Hajime and Yue waking up and then by her anger at the two who were flirting without considering other people’s feeling had forgotten to contact Tio.

“It’s fine, it’s fine. In any case, right after master and Yue opened their eyes, they must be doing that kind of thing, weren’t they?”

“You really get it…”

“Hmm. That’s natural. If I am in Yue’s position, I will do the same thing! And then, master who scorns my disarrayed appearance will do that kind of thing and this kind of thing… nh, nh, haa haa.”

“And, just what happened to Hajime-kun and Yue?”

“Both of you raised a really pained voice and fainted, that was a really shocking matter.”

Kaori and Shizuku beautifully ignored Tio who was beginning to pant with an expression of ecstasy from her imagination and asked Hajime and Yue.

Naturally, Hajime and Yue acted like Tio was not there, they sat on the sofa while showing their intention to explain. Shia and the others also sat on the sofa. The fallen Ryuutaro also sat back on the sofa while rubbing his red forehead. There was no place for Tio to sit. She was kneeling seiza on the floor.

“Now then, the reason why I and Yue fainted… that’s right, to say it simply, our head or mind got overheated, something like that.”

“Overheated, is it?”

Hajime’s beginning explanation made Shia tilted her head.

“Yeah. At that time, the last age of god magic――’Metamorphosis Magic’ was engraved in our brain, after that, I and Yue were forcefully made to understand something further. The burden of that was too big, and it made us unable to maintain our consciousness.”

“Hmm… a burden so big that master and Yue couldn’t endure… was it about knowing the particulars regarding concept magic?”

“… Nn. As expected, Tio. Your comprehension is fast although you are a pervert. Although you are a pervert…”

It was said twice although it wasn’t important. Although she was a pervert but as always her guessing was outstanding. Tio had been thinking what was the difference between Hajime and Yue with the other members, and she noticed the point that it was only those two who had obtained all the age of god magic. She did that while sitting seiza on the floor and grinning from the numbness in her feet.

Luluo Haltina said that their hand would reach concept magic when they obtained all the age of god magic. And then among these members, it was only Hajime and Yue who had obtained all the age of god magic. Tio who fully remembered even that point conjectured that perhaps the burden of having the knowledge of magic that surpassed the age of god magic engraved in their mind was large.

She investigated inside the mansion thinking of the possibility outside of that for her peace of mind, she did that surely because even with her conjecture she couldn’t just stay still with the condition of the two like that. Her speech and conduct were disgusting, but it appeared that she was worrying from the bottom of her heart, similar to Shia and others.

And then, the guess of such a Tio was right on the mark. Hajime and Yue, after they obtained metamorphosis magic the same as the other, they had the knowledge regarding concept magic engraved further into their mind.

Knowing the reason why Hajime and Yue fainted, Shia and others nodded in understanding. For the time being, they leaked a sigh of relief after hearing that there was no after effect or anything to the two. Kaori pulled herself together and asked something she was the most concerned about.

“Concept magic… with that, we can go back home to Japan, right? By any chance, you two can use it already now?”

“No, not yet. Just like Luluo said, just because you have the knowledge doesn’t mean you can use it. Besides, the knowledge we obtained is also not something like the concrete way of learning or the way to use it, if I have to say what is it then it’s something like hypothesis knowledge.”

“Hypothesis knowledge?”

Shizuku asked by repeating the words. This talk was about the possibility of them returning home. Beginning from Shizuku, even Ryuutaro, Suzu, and Kaori too made a serious expression.

“Yeah. For example, the metamorphosis magic that you guys too are able to obtain this time, how do you guys understand that magic?”

“Eh? Err, let’s see. From the knowledge engraved in our mind, it’s a magic that remakes a normal organism into a monster, isn’t it? Using the magic power of the caster and the magic power of the target organism, it forms magic stone inside the body, with that as the core it’s possible to remake the flesh of the body.”

“Yes. I understand it like that too. Also, it looks like we can interfere with the already existing magic stone of a monster and mix our magic power into it to strengthen them and also make them submit.”

Shizuku and Kaori’s understanding was matching in general.

If it was explained further, metamorphosis magic had enhancement levels. In the case of transforming the normal living thing into a monster, the target would lose most of their reason and thought, and they would move following just their instinct. It was said that wild monsters came from the normal living things. In a particular place and through months and years absorbing the magic element in the surrounding and also with various other factors to naturally produce a magic stone, and the first level of metamorphosis, using metamorphosis magic was exceedingly close to this wild monster.

This wild monster would recover their reason and thought if they were strengthened even more using metamorphosis magic, furthermore, with the magic power of the caster mixing into the magic stone as the cause, it would be like imprinting and the monster would submit to the caster as though toward their parent. It needed not to be said what would happen if from the beginning the magic stone was created only from the magic power of the caster.

With skill, it was possible to pile up the performing of the metamorphosis many times and create a powerful monster to that extent――or rather than saying creating it was possible to grow a strong monster. However, the flesh of the target would break down if the metamorphosis was carried out with immature skill so caution was necessary.

“In other words, this is a magic to create obedient monsters, huh. As expected. Thinking about the steps, that white dragon seems like it has been considerably strengthened, though…”

“Uun, Suzu has only seen it once so she cannot say it clearly but… if Orcus’s monsters are divided in level by each floor, that white dragon is about level three hundred Suzu thinks? Suzu guesses that it’s about three to four times stronger than the monster in the eightieth floor.”

“Ain’t that more of it? It was weakened, but the great barrier of the capital was broken by just one dragon, that one yeah? Even Nagumo, you evaded its breath. Ain’t it about level 400?”

The talk was a little derailed. But Ryuutaro’s guess wasn’t mistaken. The white dragon strengthened by that Freed, if the monster at the floor 80 of the outer layer labyrinth of Orcus was about level 80, then the strength of that white dragon was about five times of that if it was now, then it was about six, seven times stronger.

Hajime’s face frowned for a moment as though he was recalling an irritating guy, but he pulled himself together and returned the talk back to its track.

“Well, in general, you are not wrong. Metamorphosis magic is certainly a magic that creates a monster to follow you. But, that’s a little inaccurate. What is called metamorphosis magic, to define it more accurately… that’s right, I guess it’s a ‘magic that interferes at organic material’?”

“Err…”

Shia’s eyes were swimming in perplexity. Putting aside Kaori and others, for Shia, those were words she was unfamiliar with. It seemed that Tio was also in the same state. Noticing that, Hajime cleared his throat and corrected himself.

“Let’s see… it’s a little lacking in accuracy, but to say it in easier to understand manner, you can also think of it as magic that interferes at material that originated from living thing. In other words, if you feel like it, not just an animal but something like a plant, and also things that are made from that――for example food or paper, this magic can also interfere with that kind of thing. Of course, it can also interfere at the human. The magic stone is nothing more than a byproduct.”

According to Hajime’s further summary, metamorphosis magic wasn’t ‘magic that created magic stone and produced monster’, magic stone was nothing more than energy body created as the result of interfering at the target using one’s own magic power and metamorphosis magic, in reality, it was magic that directly operated at flesh or the likes. And so if one felt like it, it seemed that it was theoretically possible to cause metamorphosis without producing magic stones.

“… Nn, this is only a guess, but the ‘dragification’ of Tio and others of the dragon clan, if the origin is traced, I think it has the root from this magic.”

“Hoho, so the metamorphosis magic is the origin of my race… hmm, I see.”

Sending a glance at Tio who was thinking deeply, Hajime continued his explanation.

“The hypothesis knowledge I said before, that is, in other words, that kind of thing. Age of god magic are magic that interferes at ‘principle’, but we didn’t really understand the exact foundation of that power. With obtaining concept magic as the absolute prerequisite, it was necessary to completely understand all the age of god magic.”

“… Nn. Besides, to understand this is too deep of an abyss, if someone is not in the level that can conquer all the trials, their body and heart won’t be able to endure the burden and they will break.”

That was the reason that in order to arrive at concept magic there was a need to earn all the age of god magic.

The current Hajime and Yue understood that even their understanding until now toward the age of god magic was still shallow.

For example, the creation magic that Hajime obtained the very first, and he used to keep his life until now. It wasn’t ‘magic to assign magic into mineral’ if it was expressed more accurately then it was a ‘magic that interferes at inorganic material’, a magic that was the opposite of metamorphosis magic. And so theoretically this magic should be able to interfere with things like water or salt too, not just mineral.

Furthermore, gravity magic was something that should be expressed as ‘magic that interfere with the energy of star’, not only gravity, theoretically, it could also interfere with things like earth vein or terrestrial heat, bedrock or magma, it wasn’t impossible to use this magic to purposefully generate earthquake or volcano eruption.

Space magic was a ‘magic that interferes at boundary’. Elimination of race-creature gap, formulating new boundary to create spirit world, it could be thought that those kinds of things were also possible.

Regeneration magic was ‘magic that interfere at time’. The use of regeneration magic was more of restoration rather than healing, it was just a portion of it. Originally it was possible to interfere with time itself using this magic, it could catch a glimpse of the past or take a peek at several branches of the procession of time. Shia’s characteristic magic of ‘Future Viewing’ was likely originated from this magic.

To define Soul magic the expression of ‘magic that interfere with negative material possessed by living thing’ showed its true nature the most. To say it specifically, this magic could also interfere with things like energy inside the body that was magic power, heat, electricity, then thought, consciousness, memory. Although this magic was designated as ‘soul’, what Yue and others could exercise with this magic was interference at thought body more accurately. And then if someone could handle this magic perfectly, the caster could personally create consciousness and the like, they could configure it too. To put another way, it was possible to create artificial intelligence using magic.

Expressing sublimation magic as ‘magic that interfere with the information of existing thing’ was more accurate definition. Its function that evolved an ability by a level was, for example, interfering a body information that said level 1 and raised it up to level 2. If the user reached the root, it was possible to browse and interfere with the information of all existing object.

The names of the age of god magic that Hajime and others recognized until now were only given by taking into consideration the interference that was possible to be done using the human body.

By the way, the ‘compass of guidance’ used soul magic to surmise what the user was wishing for, then using space magic it ignored the spatial gap and distance and searched the target, it seemed that the compass used sublimation magic to supplement the information of the target. All of those functions couldn’t be accomplished using the age of magic as they did until now.

After Hajime explained about those things too, in addition, Shizuku’s expression turned complicated.

“I see now. This is real, big, and yet these magics can interfere with fundamental matter. It seems that these surpassed the territory that humans can touch. … But, after hearing all those, I guess that you two still cannot create the concept magic for the sake of returning home then? Based on what I heard, it feels like it has considerable difficulty…”

“Well, certainly it will be difficult. Luluo explained it lightly as the purpose of the utmost limits or something, but in reality, it’s exactly as she said. We need to raise up our ‘wish’ using soul magic and sublimation magic until concept level, then we need to grant it magic power and forcefully materialize it… saying it simply it’s like that, but normally it won’t succeed even using sublimation magic.”

On the contrary, in concept magic the user needed the purpose of that time as the base, so just because it succeeded to be used once didn’t mean in the next times from then on it would be stable to use. Normally it became a magic that was just onetime use.

“… Nn. We have to use Hajime’s creation magic to endow the concept magic to something like the compass.”

“That’s right. Yue’s control ability for magic and my transmutation… we need to match our breath and create an artifact endowed with the concept to cross the worlds. But, we also need a concept for preventing summoning here again, like that… it will take some time for those.”

“It’s not impossible, right?”

“Isn’t that obvious? I’ll make it a success no matter what. I crawled until here for that sake. I can start right away for the returning home artifact, I’ll work out the concept for defending against interference from those guys too without fail.”

Hajime’s eyes looked like it was blazing up fiercely. He had survived through a severe environment and continued to wish earnestly to return home. It was unforgivable to stumble in this kind of place, such fierce will was gleaming inside his eyes.

Kaori and others who saw that had their chest constricted by homesickness thinking “Aa, we really can go home”, tears were gathering in their eyes.

Hajime and Yue looked at each other and nodded once, then they suddenly stood up.

“We are going to try it right away?”

“Yeah. I managed to sort the knowledge while we are talking. It’s like I’m a horse that got a carrot dangled in front of my eyes. I’ve got to try it now.”

Hajime punched on his palm with a snap. Looking at such Hajime, Yue’s hand softly touched him to calm him down. The sensation of the small willowy hand immediately calmed down Hajime’s heart. It felt like a sweet space was going to form once more, so Suzu opened her mouth with somewhat flustered feeling.

“Err, Nagumo-kun. About the magic for going home to Japan, how much time it’s going to take you think? If possible, Suzu also wants to look when it’s completed but… if it’s going to take long, Suzu and others also have to make various preparations.”

“I, see. I don’t think it will take that long if it’s just the magic for going home. After all, no one can say that my desire for going home is not at the extreme. But, for the defense against magical interference from others…. honestly, I don’t know. I also feel like I can make it quickly but…”

“Is that so? Suzu got it. Then, Suzu and others will concentrate on resting until the magic for going home is finished. It doesn’t seem like there is another thing we need to do until we understand whether we can really go home… there is also the metamorphosis magic that we finally obtained, so the journey to the devil territory will be after that. Err, what are Shizushizu and others going to do?”

Suzu decided about her plan from now on and then checked at Shizuku and others. For Suzu, Shizuku had also finally noticed her feeling, she was thinking whether Shizuku would be wishing to be at Hajime’s side from here on or not. While she was at it, she was also confirming whether Ryuutaro was really intending to embark right in the middle of enemy territory together with her.

“Of course, I will go together with Suzu.”

“Me too.”

In respond, Shizuku and Ryuutaro answered instantly.

“Putting aside Ryuutaro-kun, is it fine for you Shizushizu? You finally…”

“What are you saying? This and that are different matters. I cannot just leave Suzu in the care of the two idiots. Besides, we won’t be staying there for long anyway, right? We are going to escape right away after accomplishing our objective and link up with Nagumo-kun. I won’t feel lonely. Besides, I too won’t be able to settle down without saying something to Eri.”

Toward Shizuku who shrugged indifferently, Suzu understood that it was Shizuku’s real feelings, Suzu hugged her while praising “As expected from a woman that makes other woman fall in love, that’s so manly!”, but Shizuku showed a vein on her forehead from getting told she was manly and grounded her fist on Suzu’s head, making her scream.

Suzu changed the topic with teary eyes.

“N, next about Kouki-kun…”

Those words made Hajime went “Hm?” and he tilted his head. And then his gaze swept through the room.

“Now that you mentioned it, where is that guy?”

“So, you only noticed just now that he is not here. … If it’s Kouki, then he is still sleeping in a different room. He has deep damage, so it seems it will still take a bit more until he wakes up.”

It seemed that until now Hajime forgot about Kouki’s existence, to such a person Shizuku explained while making an expression showing a loss for words.

Kouki’s wound should have been completely healed by Kaori, so the deep damage she meant must be the mental damage. It should be possible to heal that too using soul magic that manifests its essential power, but even for Kaori who had grasped on how to use Nointo’s body, as expected it was next to impossible to exercise the deepest mysteries of an age of god magic. Combined with the factor that the more difficult it was to interfere, the deeper the mental damage was, it was appropriate for now to leave it to Kouki’s natural healing.

“Well, it doesn’t matter. After this, I and Yue will seclude ourselves inside the room where the magic circle of the age of god magic is located to create an artifact endowed with concept magic. In the worst case that Amanogawa wakes up during that time, don’t let him be a hindrance.”

“Hindrance you say… no way he gonna do that while you are making the tool for going home, right?”

Ryuutaro objected while making a bewildered expression.

“If that’s the case then that’s fine. But his mental burden was great, and I don’t think it’s going to happen but the possibility that he will get deranged when he wakes up is not zero. Well, this is just for in case. As expected, I don’t think I’ll have any leeway in the middle of working.”

“Leave it to me Hajime-san. I cannot help out, but in exchange, I won’t let anyone be a hindrance,” Shia declared full of confidence with her chest puffed out brazenly.

“Yeah. I’m counting on you, Shia.”

“… I’m relieved with Shia here.”

That strong and reliable appearance and words caused Hajime and Yue to also smile at her with unparalleled trust.

Like that the two went to the room with the magic circle of the age of god magic once more, they vanished behind the thick door while Shia and others were seeing them off.

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Arifureta Chapter 149

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All credit goes to the original author (Chuuni Suki), who has posted the raw data here:

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n8611bv/150/

Thanks for your continued support. If you like my writing style, check out my original works at www. wattpad.com/user/elementalcobalt, or just leave a comment.

This chapter was translated by Bakapervert. Elementalcobalt did the final edits.

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The Last Age of the God Magic

“It seems that everyone survived safely… Then, let’s go.”

“Wa, wait, wait! If Kouki-kun is not healed…”

Hajime urged everyone to go ahead while unhesitatingly ignoring Kouki who had fainted and was spread-eagled with the white of his eyes exposed. Kaori stopped him while rushing towards Kouki in a panic. It seemed that she wanted a bit of time for healing.

When Kaori examined him, Kouki’s body was even more ragged than his appearance suggested. On top of using the derivative of ‘Limit Break’, the ‘Supreme Break’, for a long period, Kouki also took in the reddish black magic monster-like power into his body and then further raised his specs forcefully.

As the result, just like Hajime who once ate the flesh and blood of monster and experienced the breakdown of his body, atrocious damage was accumulating throughout Kouki’s body. Also because Kouki even took in the rejection of his negative emotion to increase his ability, his mind was also damaged from the mental burden to a degree that one couldn’t ignore.

With regeneration magic and her common healing magic, if it was Kaori, then she could immediately heal Kouki’s body. Even so, it was a delicate work that couldn’t fail, so Kaori wanted a bit of time. Above all, the damage to Kouki’s mind couldn’t be seen by eyes, it needed to be treated even more carefully. If the healing failed and Kouki opened his eyes only to became a person who would jovially laugh “HAHAHA-!!” or something else, that would also be troubling.

However, toward Kaori, Hajime made a complaint without even trying to hide his reluctant expression.

“… Spare me from you healing him completely. It’s fine as long as he is not dead, right? Just make him faint for a while.”

“Eh? Why… aa, yes, it’s better like that, I guess?”

For a moment, Kaori tilted her head in doubt, but she immediately guessed Hajime’s thinking and frowned with a troubled look.

“Oi Nagumo, I understand that you cannot stomach Kouki but… you see…”

“Nagumo-kun…”

In contrast, Ryuutaro and Suzu thought that Hajime said that because he didn’t think well of Kouki. However, after they looked at Kouki’s appearance just now, they couldn’t protest strongly. So, as expected, they made a weak and troubled expression.

Shizuku looked sad somehow. Her look was unrelated with Hajime’s unwillingness to aid Kouki’s recovery, but it was directed at Kouki himself. The current appearance of her childhood friend that had been like family since they were still children was just really really sad.

Hajime looked at Ryuutaro and Suzu who while being lost for words still sent him pleading looks for Kouki’s recovery. He then made an expression displaying just how troublesome it was without showing even a bit of hostility and pointed to Kouki while speaking his mind.

“You guys, just think of how troublesome it will be after that over there is healed completely.”

“Troublesome? … ah.”

“Looks like Taniguchi understands, huh? Listen well. Amanogawa couldn’t clear this trial. He averted his eyes from himself and the result was him exploding at me. Even if he woke up now, that still won’t change. And so…”

“It will be just like now again, won’t it…”

“That’s how it is. Well, just now it was also because of his false image’s influence and also his bad habit of convenient interpretation spurring him on, so even if he wakes up, perhaps he won’t rampage right away, but…”

Hajime dropped his eyes on the compass he took from his pocket while continuing.

“The deepest part is just close. Maybe this is the last trial already, but I cannot say for sure that there is anything else ahead. There is nothing more irritating than to be attacked from behind when something happens.”

“… Haa, be grateful that he still has his life, that’s it, huh.”

Even Ryuutaro sighed deeply while nodding “Can’t be helped” at Hajime’s words. And then similar like Shizuku, he sent an earnestly sad gaze at Kouki.

Beside Ryuutaro and Shizuku, Yue directed a gaze as though looking at a trash and whispered to herself.

“… Rather, it’s better to just leave him alone here.”

“No, no, Yue-san. Rather let’s deal the finishing blow.”

“The two of thou… it’s not like I don’t understand the feeling but restrain thyself. The hero is dealt with a nightmare having pinpoint killing intent like that on him, see.”

Shia whispered even more dangerous things in succession and began to tap Doryukken on her shoulder. Her gaze was exactly like a certain person with self-employed profession and arrow attached to the head (TN: Don’t know what reference this is). With an expression that couldn’t say anything, Tio looked at Kouki who was beginning to groan “uu” while trickling cold sweat. Perhaps he was attacked by a neck reaper rabbit and a vampire inside his dream.

It seemed that Yue and Shia were still irritated by being called without honorific and Kouki’s vilification of Hajime.

Hajime was exasperated even while his cheeks loosened happily towards Yue and Shia. And then he approached the side of the two and put his hands on their shoulders to soothe them. Yue and Shia turned to look over their shoulder and guessed that those hands were stopping them. Their expression became a little dissatisfied.

“Hold back just like Tio said. If not, then there is no meaning in me doing something as troublesome as letting him live.”

“Muu… if that’s what Hajime says.”

“You are keeping your life, for now, damn hero.”

As expected, Shia was a little black.

Both of them sent a glance at Kouki who was still having a nightmare and immediately averted their gaze before they hugged Hajime fawningly. Yue was nuzzling her cheek at Hajime’s stomach, and Shia was leaning her cheek on Hajime’s chest silently with her eyes closed pleasantly. Her rabbit ears were flopping *wassa wassa*, and her rabbit tail was happily shaking *furi furi*.

Various things happened with both of them, so their break didn’t work now that they were reunited with Hajime as they completely behaved like a spoiled child. Inside their heads sounded something like “Aa, I’m healed (desuu)”. (TN: The desu refer to Shia. She usually talks politely and has desu attached on her sentence.)

Yue and Shia clung at Hajime rubbingly and pressingly as though they were trying to absorb Hajime factor into their whole body. Looking at them, Hajime guessed “They are acting really spoiled huh, did something happen?” And then with a smile that was dyed with happiness somewhere in it, he patted the back of the two soothingly. The two embraced Hajime happily even further. It was the invocation of super pink space. It was fifty percent more than usual.

Being hit by that pink color, Tio approached unsteadily. She put her finger on her lips longingly and looked at Hajime fixedly. It was a lovely gesture that really tickled a man’s heart.

Tio was also an important comrade for Hajime that didn’t change. In this labyrinth that was burdening the mind strongly, surely Tio was also exhausted, Hajime sent Tio a kind gaze…

“Annoying. Don’t look over here.”

“-!? Haa haa, an attack that completely destroys the place’s mood… nn… what a discerning master… ahn… but, I feel like crying a little.”

A pervert that felt it even when she understood that it was no good. She embraced her own body while her thighs were rubbing at each other fidgetingly. However, it was also her true feeling of wanting to be added to the circle similar to Yue and Shia, so her eyes were a little teary.

Looking at such a Tio, Hajime shrugged his shoulders feeling that it couldn’t be helped, his hand beckoned ‘here here’. Immediately, Tio went “waai” like a young child and rushed at Hajime’s back with a wide smile.

Dropping down and then raising up… Hajime who was able to naturally use the carrot and stick properly was in enough possession of the factor to be a pervert’s master. Though the person would surely deny that vehemently.

The pink space that thickened, even more, making Ryuutaro and Suzu avert their gaze as though they were going to puke sugar. But ahead of their gaze was another factor that might increase the sugar content even more while sending glances at Hajime and co. with an impatient look.

“Uu, I got a late start… The healing is… it’s fine already with this yep! Hajime-kun!”

“Eh? Wait Kaori! That last thing, it felt like something really irresponsible…”

Kaori who treated Kouki until there was no danger to his life, in the end, went “Ei!” and threw a healing light at Kouki, and then leapt at the pink space of Hajime and co. Kouki who received a healing that was brimming with irresponsibleness twitched. He looked a little pitiful.

Kaori was rushing with a pitter-patter and tried to hug Hajime without stopping, but she received nonchalant obstruction from Yue. A pebble of wind was shot with god speed and aimed at Kaori’s forehead. However, Kaori dodged that just with a light shake of her head and embraced the arm of Hajime beside Yue.

Naturally, the sensation of the arm that was hugging Yue disappeared. Yue’s smiling face that only looked like it was smiling while not smiling was directed at Kaori. Kaori too returned a smile that seemed to ask “Is there something wrong?”. Just like usual, phantom lightning from a dragon and a hannya mask glared at each other from close range.

A low-temperature space was formed together with the pink space, Ryuutaro and Suzu averted their eyes with different meaning this time. Inside such an atmosphere, it was only Shizuku who for the moment confirmed that Kouki’s complexion and breathing had returned to normal. His pulse was also beating normally. When she was convinced that there was no danger to his life she sighed in relieve.

“Ryuutaro. Can you carry Kouki?”

“No prob… So, it’s only Kouki who is no good. He is going to be down, huh.”

“That’s… but, it’s also still unclear whether Suzu and you two passed… Besides! As long as we are alive we can take the challenge no matter how many times!”

“That’s true… He did a really stupid thing but, if he is alive I can also wallop him later. Well, if this guy got to go ‘one more time’, then I’ll accompany him till the end. Just like usual.”

“Yep yep!”

The expression of Ryuutaro who carried Kouki clouded while thinking of Kouki. Suzu was also almost caught by that mood, but then she displayed her mood making act and livened up their feelings. Ryuutaro immediately burst into a grin of sympathy too.

Shizuku stared at those two with a smile. Her look was exactly like a mother…

Although, she wasn’t that Shizuku who only kept wracking her brain for her surrounding and concealed her emotion anymore. She had decided to stop that way of living by only acceptance without even realizing it herself.

Therefore, she directed a gaze that was filled with extraordinary heat without hiding it toward Hajime who was crowded and fawned by four beautiful girls and woman. The one who sharply noticed that gaze was Tio. “Oho?” She tilted her head like that while looking at Shizuku observingly. Yue and Kaori were constraining each other while Shia was busy intermediating the two so they still weren’t in the state to notice.

Shizuku put her hand on her chest to affirm the feeling she realized from the trial and her new determination. And then, she clenched her fist tightly as though to grasp something important. From that gesture, Tio guessed what was inside Shizuku’s heart.

“I say… fufu. Do your best, I guess I have to say that here.”

“Aa? What did you say?”

“Oh, master heard that? Fufu, what, that’s only a meager support for a maiden with worrying habit there.”

Hearing the whisper of Tio who was embracing him from behind, Hajime asked back with a doubtful look, and then such answer was returned to him.

For a moment, Hajime frowned wondering what that meant, but Tio was looking at the beyond when he looked over his shoulder, and then he understood when ahead of Tio’s gaze he saw Shizuku who was encouraging herself. After all, Hajime heard that extremely nonchalant confession of Shizuku to him. There was no way he didn’t understand.

“… Oi oi, don’t tell me.”

The cheeks of Shizuku whose eyes met Hajime’s were quickly dyed crimson, the next moment she approached with a determined expression. Suzu and Ryuutaro who shouldered Kouki who had no way to guess what was inside Shizuku’s heart followed her.

And then at the side where Shia was hugging――the spot that faced at Kaori, Shizuku stopped her feet. Her position was excessively close with Hajime. That position almost glued at Hajime’s left hand that was holding Shia’s waist.

With Shizuku, that close, the members other than Tio also noticed Shizuku’s state. “Mu?” They directed her fishy look.

For a moment, Shizuku’s eyes met Kaori’s. At that moment, Kaori discerned Shizuku’s heart because she was her best friend and her eyes opened wide. Although it wasn’t because of the feeling that Shizuku harbored, but it was because she was surprised at Shizuku’s state that didn’t even try to hide it.

During that time, Shizuku’s gaze returned to Hajime, and she spun words from her slightly trembling lips.

“Nagumo-kun, thank you for saving Kouki.”

“I just punched him out, though?”

“You didn’t kill him, right? It’s for Kaori and a bit for me. About twenty-percent, isn’t it?”

“… Well, something like that.”

‘Fufu’ Shizuku smiled. Looking at the dialogue of the two that connected with each other somehow, Yue mumbled “mumu-“, Shia leaked a murmur of “Aa, is it, finally?” in realization. And then Kaori, she didn’t really say anything, she was merely sending Shizuku a gentle gaze.

“Really, when you say that you will protect, you will protect even the heart, don’t you?”

“There is a line even in my heart. It doesn’t mean that I’ll do it for everything.”

“I know that. But, I, we don’t lose our childhood friend in the end. He is really a troubling guy in various things, a big idiot that displayed that kind of disgraceful behavior but… but, even so, he is still like a family.”

Toward Shizuku who was showing eyes where sadness and gratitude were entangled, Hajime shrugged his shoulders with an expression that couldn’t say anything. If he had to speak honestly, he wanted to just kill Kouki with a snap also for the sake of severing the potential trouble in the future (it was doubtful whether it would happen or not though), but looking at Shizuku right now, also at Kaori’s expression, he could think that letting Kouki live was the right thing.

At the very least, compared to having the seed of nightmare of the childhood friend they were raised with killed by the man they were in love with right in front their eyes in this world far away from their homeland, shouldering the trouble that Kouki might bring wasn’t anything big, Hajime thought. At the same time, the strength of Shizuku’s feeling who could still feel sad even after looking at that figure of Kouki, “As expected from a worldly-wise woman” Hajime couldn’t help but holding such a feeling of half admiration and half exasperation.

No, even Ryuutaro and Suzu, it would be a lie if they said that they weren’t disillusioned at all, but even so, their feeling of sadness was the biggest feeling. This showed just how much things had piled up between them until now.

If it was the people who didn’t have a strong relationship with Kouki―for example, the classmates that even now were in the Heilig Kingdom or the ladies that favored Kouki, there was no doubt they would be easily disillusioned and turned away. In the relationship of these childhood friends, there was a deep bond that was more than a simple word. That was exactly something in the degree that could be said as ‘the same like family’.

(If Yaegashi is the mother, then Amanogawa is just like a difficult child huh…)

Without even guessing that Hajime was holding a little impolite impression like that, Shizuku faced Kaori with strong eyes while listening to the sound of her heartbeat that was rapidly heightening from nervousness. There, Kaori returned a really gentle and soft smile as though she had understood everything.

It was as though she was pushing from behind at Shizuku’s determination. No, it was undoubtedly a warm cheering yell from a best friend. Shizuku felt her chest tighten strongly while feeling a deep emotion where she wanted to cry out very much, she nodded a little. And then, once more she directed to Hajime a heated gaze that might scald the person that was looked, and she spun her words.

“… It was the first time I relied on someone like that, but it felt really pleasant. Thank you for that too.”

“… Even though you threatened me easily.”

The redness that dyed Shizuku’s cheeks deepened. What she said about relying on wasn’t about having Hajime carrying her, she meant about him making her relieved that she could entrust her heart to him. That she could be fast asleep even with thunderous sounds raging was a good proof. And to go as far as calling that ‘pleasant’, certainly it couldn’t be helped that she became red.

The gap with her normally dignified atmosphere was really terrific. Without anyone noticing, even her hand was touching Hajime’s left arm gently. The hand wasn’t even clutching, it was really just touching, but on the contrary, it was expressing her feeling of wanting to touch Hajime even just for a little.

By the way, Hajime’s tsukkomi was ignored like air. A person that couldn’t read the atmosphere would become the atmosphere (air).

Shizuku thought that her heart was going to explode from all the gazes that gathered on her, even so, the determination was residing in her eyes, and then, she earnestly conveyed her feeling with those trembling lips.

“Tha, that’s why this is my thanks. A, also this is the proof that what I said at that time isn’t, a, a joke.”

Shizuku faced Hajime who couldn’t take any action because he was being embraced by Yue and co, at the same time she stood on her tiptoes. Her heels rose to the limit, the hand that touched at Hajime’s arm grasped tightly. And then, Shizuku whose body leaned forward by activating even ‘No Beat’, those lovely lips that nobody was permitted to touch touched… Hajime’s cheek.

The outrageously soft sensation was transmitted on Hajime’s cheek. A little vapor and burning heated breath tickled not just Hajime’s cheek but even his heart. The contact was just an instant. However, that kiss certainly conveyed Shizuku’s boiling heart.

*whomp* Behind Shizuku a sound of something heavy dropped resounded. Actually, Ryuutaro who was shocked by Shizuku’s action unintentionally dropped Kouki’s body that made such sound, but there was no way Shizuku had the spare energy to notice that. Rather, no one noticed it.

Shizuku was looking down with all her skin dyed with so much red that it reflexively made one doubt if she was actually going to explode. Hajime had a distant look thinking what was the deal with the sensation remaining on his cheek. Even so thinking that there was no way he could ignore this, so he tried to open his mouth, but before that Shizuku raised her face with strength filling her eyes.

“Yue, Shia, Tio… Kaori. In this trial, I realized many things. About my bad habit, and the emotion that I am feeling right now too. He already, has Yue and others, above all he is the person my best friend loved… I think that I am the lowest. But…”

Shizuku lost her words. There Kaori gave words with expression and tone filled with affection.

“Shizuku-chan… it’s fine. You are not the worst or anything. Because it’s a matter of heart you know? It’s something that cannot be helped at all. Rather than that, Shizuku-chan who will prioritize other people than yourself is now, trying to have your own way, this Shizuku-chan makes me happy.”

“Kaori…”

Perhaps she would make Kaori have unpleasant thoughts, by some chance she would make her sad, even though Shizuku knew well that Kaori wasn’t someone of that nature but she couldn’t help but feel fear, yet hearing Kaori’s words which were filled with overflowing kindness without a speck of shadow made Shizuku able to relax his stiffened shoulders.

Looking carefully, although Yue looked displeased, but it didn’t appear that she intend to cut in, she then stared at Shizuku while shrugging her shoulders. And then, she slightly showed a daring smile. The same like when with Kaori, she was saying that she would accept the challenge. Shia too was helplessly shrugging her shoulders with one of her eyes closed. Tio looked like she was having fun.

Such Yue and co and Kaori made Shizuku showed a natural smile without any stiffness, with calmness but overflowing determination, she put her feeling into her words and declared.

“I, like Nagumo-kun… That’s why I’ll do my best for my own sake.”

The refreshed smile of Shizuku who said that was something so lovely and pretty that charmed everyone there. Exactly like her name, like a drop of morning dew that was illuminated by the light of rising sun, or possibly, like a drop that overflowed from the berry, that smile was sparkling radiantly with a sweet fragrance. (TN: Shizuku means drop/drip/trickle in Japan)

“Fufu, Shizuku-chan, you are really cute there… Yosh, from now on in order to win against the Yue-Shia pair, let’s oppose them with the childhood friends pair! We are going to fight from now on!”

“Ee? Kaori, geez-. But, fufu, indeed perhaps that is better. It’s like I and Kaori monopolizing the left and right of Nagumo-kun.”

“… Shizuku, I had the premonition that it would be like this one day. I will consign you, together with Kaori to oblivion.”

“Yue-san, oblivion is no good. But, if you are talking about monopolizing, then there is no way we will draw back! We accept the challenge, Shizuku-san!”

Yue and co made a noisy ruckus. Hajime who still hugged and couldn’t move still looked far away. It was because there was no sign that they would ask him about his opinion. “Normally, isn’t it the person confessed that replied?” Even while thinking of such question, he couldn’t put a tsukkomi. Because this was something usual. Because he understood it was pointless.

For the girls surrounding Hajime, in the first place other than Yue the assumption was they were rejected, but even so they were determined to get close to Hajime. Speaking clearly, at first Hajime was unable to understand the feeling of such girls including Shia, but when he thought about how he had been made to surrender by Shia like this, he couldn’t say any complaint after this far.

“… Nou, master. How should I react when I am nonchalantly left out like this? They art roused up with the pair confrontation but…”

“Your character is the most eccentric, right.”

The weight on his back increased. Tio was leaning in while whispering sadly. In response Hajime’s reply was careless. Rather than that, Hajime wanted the two sides sandwiching him in between to stop arguing about how much they loved Hajime, that was what he thought from the bottom of his heart. He was busy thinking of how to stop the heated Yue and co.

“… So Shizuku too? Just how this happen that Nagumo. No, really I don’t get it.”

“Hawawa, even Shizushizu has fallen… Nagumo-kun you womanizer! What to do, if even Suzu fall without realizing it then…. together with Onee-sama, do, doing thing like this and that-! … … … …… fumu, that’s not bad.”

“Oi, get back to your sense Suzu. I don’t want to become alone in this strange space.”

Ryuutaro sighed in exasperation at Suzu who was pondering with her hand supporting her chin. And then, he noticed that there was no weight on his back and he picked up Kouki back in panic.

“Haa… Kouki. It’s not like I don’t understand your feeling you know. Certainly, I cannot complain anything even if you got carried away by your fake.”

With complicated expression, Ryuutaro murmured with a small voice even while knowing that it wouldn’t reach the ear of his best friend. When Kouki woke up, what kind of action he would take… imagining that, he hardened his resolve for the worst case to stop Kouki without fail as his best friend so that he wouldn’t make the mistake for the second time.

“… I see. Yue’s memory…”

“… Nn.”

While walking through the new passage that appeared in Kouki’s room, Yue talked about the discrepancy in her memory at Hajime. And then she talked without hiding anything about how perhaps herself was a unique existence more than she thought, and maybe in the future something that her uncle feared would occur.

Yue took Hajime’s hand and hugged tightly while looking up at Hajime questioningly. However, she didn’t find the serious expression that she expected there. Rather, Hajime was returning an exasperated at Yue, causing her to blink her eyes.

“What to say, that talk is already far too late at this point of time isn’t it?”

“… Nn? … By any chance, Hajime noticed?”

“That’s, yeah. If Yue’s immortality is absolute, then I can be more at peace of mind but… if that’s not the case then that’s the most important matter that concerns the life and death of my lover, how your automatic regeneration won’t activate if you are in an exhausted state. Then, even though there are many ways to cause magic power to be exhausted, why were those bunches could only seal Yue and nothing else? That’s just obvious question, right? After all, if I understand the reason then perhaps I can make Yue to absolutely not die.”

“… Hajime.”

“Even if I say that, based on what we talked when we were at the abyss, it felt like Yue didn’t remember about that anyway right? You were in a daze from the sudden betrayal and when you noticed you were already sealed you said.”

“… Nn.”

“That’s why. Rather than dredging up that doubtful point forcefully from your memory to investigate, I thought it’s just better if I simply do something about it. Perhaps by any chance, you don’t remember it because it’s a painful memory. In the end, no matter what kind of existence Yue is, my conclusion won’t change… I won’t hand over Yue to anyone if it’s for that sake then I’ll do anything. If someone tries to steal Yue from me, then no matter what kind of existence, no matter what kind of situation, I’ll kill them all.”

Perhaps imagining a vision of being separated from Yue, Hajime looked straight ahead while his eyes were glaring fiercely toward an unseen enemy. In the end, it was the usual conclusion of “Don’t mind about the small thing! If there is any hindrance, then just slaughter them all!” The truth was it was really simple and clear.

Toward such Hajime whose affection and desire to monopolize Yue was exposed out and plain to see, Yue’s eyes turned so moist that even now they looked like they would burst. With a gaze filled with so much heat that it seemed to burn, Yue stared at Hajime wholeheartedly, and then… *gabacho!* Yue jumped while hugging at Hajime’s neck, her lips were going to devour――but,

“… Shizuku, what is the meaning of this?”

A black sheath was thrust before her eyes. It was pushed out between Hajime and Yue, obstructing Yue’s kiss. Yue traced the source of the pushed out black katana and stared reproachfully and asked at the source Shizuku.

Shizuku’s gaze was wandering around restlessly, it seemed that rather than obstructing intentionally she did that reflexively.

“E, err… you see, we still haven’t even confirmed that the trial of the great labyrinth is over yet, right? That’s why, I wonder if doing something like that is better to be put on hold for later, something like that?”

“… And the truth?”

“It’s envi… not that. I as well… not that. Let’s pay attention to TPO, that’s what I mean. Yep.” (TN: TPO=Time, Place, Order (?))

Shizuku whose gaze was swimming around lied with a really unconvincing lie. Kaori beside her was “To stop Yue’s attack… as expected from my Shizuku-chan!” she was giving Shizuku extremely high praise.

“Even though you say that, but it feels like someone kissed me normally just before, though?”

Hajime looked back over his shoulder while talking to Shizuku teasingly. Immediately, Shizuku’s cheeks blushed with vivid red autumn. “Uu. That’s, because, something that only I haven’t done is… lonely.” She leaked out such whisper that sounded like an excuse. There Tio continued the talk with further teasing.

“Although, it was only a ‘chuu’ at the cheek. If thou art swordsman, then how about gallantly cutting in? The lips of master won’t be stolen without some forcefulness thou know?”

“Ste, stealing or anything… that’s improper. Something like that, I think it has to be in a proper situation, it should be done with the mutual consent of both parties. That, if possible, if Nagumo-kun is the one that does it by his initiative… I’ll feel happy.”

Reddened cheek, somewhat bowed head and the bashfully talking Shizuku. On her bosom was the black katana that she had already drawn back―the present from Hajime, she hugged it tightly as though it was the expression of Shizuku’s emotion of wanting to do something like that to the person himself.

And then Shizuku’s walking position was three step diagonally behind Hajime as though it had been already measured. Her gracefully following figure was just like a Yamato Nadeshiko (TN: Graceful in Japan could be spelled as shizushizu). With a momentary flash, the second part of Hajime’s present to her that was the hair ornament was shining at the base of her trademark ponytail.

“…”

With continuing silence, Hajime was directing a staring gaze at Shizuku as though he was looking at a rare animal.

Basically, the female camp that was surrounding Hajime was a carnivore with an assertive aspect. They are girls that wanted with all their might for Hajime to accept them. Therefore, hearing the word ‘improper’ just from one kiss made Hajime show his surprise with his eyes widened reflexively. “Eh? A girl like this, really exists?” He was thinking like that inside his heart, it could be said that he was already considerable dyed by the color of Yue and co.

Looking at that state of Hajime, Yue murmured. Even though it seemed to be a whisper, but her voice was transmitted enough to Shia and Kaori and the others too.

“… What girl power. Yaegashi, is she a monster?”

It seemed that Shizuku’s girl power that Yue witnessed was really a cheat. For some reason, Kaori was looking at Yue with the tremendous triumphant look. And then, Shizuku who was showing a tremendous gap of atmosphere with her unease of getting showered by attention from surrounding compared to her usual dignified air was suddenly pushed out forcefully by Kaori as though to show her off.

Yue groaned “muh”, and then she pushed out Shia beside her. “He? Wha, what is it?” Yue flapped the rabbit ears of the troubled Shia using wind to further appeal at the appeal point even more while directing a fearless grin at Kaori.

It appeared that they were doing partner showdown. “My best friend is absolutely cute!” Such wordless confrontation was being unfolded right now.

Such usual Yue and Kaori made Shia remonstrates them while showing a troubled smile. She tried to remonstrate them, but a vein appeared on her forehead seeing the two continuing to exchange sparking stare, she cut in between two while tapping Doryukken on her shoulder. A wordless pressure was spreading.

Yue and Kaori drew back with a stiff smile. Shizuku was directing a respecting gaze at Shia. Truly, since they came into this great labyrinth, Shia’s growth was striking.

Hajime was looking at the state of Shia and co, he then changed the talk while making an admiring expression.

“… Nevertheless, you reached a draw with Yue who fought seriously. You also rebuked Yue strongly, I’ve got to prepare a present for Shia like this.”

“Fue? I, is it fine?”

Hajime smiled believing that Shia was the MVP for this time with how she scolded Yue’s nonsense and made Yue revoked it with her strength. Shia who was praised suddenly looked happy even while getting flustered.

“… Shia’s slap. It was the first time for me who had never been hit even by my parents. I cannot forget the pain running through my cheek. Wish to your heart’s content.”

“… Yue-san, you are lightly holding a grudge, aren’t you? Well, it’s not like I have some special wish or anything. Everything has already been granted already. It’s fine if Hajime-san gives me a handmade present. The matter with Yue-san was something that I did because I wanted to do it.”

If it was in the past, Shia would yell things like “Date!” or “Take my first time!”, but now she didn’t really get high-spirited overly, rather she was smiling happily while leaving the choice to Hajime.

“… What composure… so Shia has already turned into a formidable enemy that rivaled Yue. It was careless of me of all people.”

“E, err, Kaori? For some reason, your face looks like a character of a dramatic story you know?”

“Shizuku-chan, so that we can obtain that composure, I think it’s no good if we are contenting ourselves with our position as a challenger.”

“Err…”

The composed attitude of Shia made Kaori feel impatience. Her appearance with her arms crossed and one hand supporting her chin pondering was like a certain scholar searching for the truth somewhere. Naturally, Shizuku was bewildered by her best friend’s eccentricity.

Looking at such a Shizuku, Kaori opened her eyes wide *kah!* and declared.

“Yes, we are not the challenger but we should be the attacker!”

“… Kaori. You are getting tired you know? Let’s calm down a little.”

“Shizuku-chan, when the conquer of the great labyrinth is over, let’s attack Hajime-kun when he is asleep with the two of us.”

“Really, just what are you saying!?”

“It’s fine. With the trial this time, I have grasped almost all the function of this body, so I think if it’s with the two of us we will manage it somehow.”

“The thing that has to be done at all cost is about the way Kaori’s head work. I beg you to please come back to your senses…”

“I, it will be the first time for both of us but… let’s have it plundered together okay, Shizuku-chan!”

“… I wonder if I should hit you flying just like what Shia did.”

Toward Kaori who was making clenched fists with both her hands while speaking her resolve with rough breathing “Funsu!” and red cheeks, Shizuku began to seriously considered whether she should slap her with a tired expression. It appeared that her worrying habit still didn’t change even with the various things she had become unbounded from.

“… Stop with the love comedy, we are proceeding forward.”

“Feeling this tired after we linked up, just what’s with that.”

Suzu and Ryuutaro’s voice that sounded even more tired than Shizuku resounded in the passage, but it seemed that it didn’t enter anyone’s ear. This was after they had finished a serious trial of facing themselves, so perhaps it caused them to lose the restraint of their heart in various things.

With that kind of feeling, they advanced forward with light atmosphere even while putting their guard up for ten minutes.

The party finally arrived at the end of the road. On the ice wall of the end of the road, there was a magic circle carved there in the shape of heptagon where its tops were arranged with the crest of each great labyrinths. When Hajime and others approached, it began to shine faintly. And then the whole wall was covered with something like a membrane of light. It was a phenomenon that really resembled the entrance of the great labyrinth.

When Hajime touched it lightly with his fingertips, a ripple spread as though a stone was thrown into water surface. As expected, it seemed that it was a teleport gate.

Hajime turned behind and ran his gaze at all members, then he nodded. Yue and others nodded in response.

And then Hajime and others lept into the light membrane all at once.

“… It seems this time we aren’t separated, huh.”

“… Nn. Also that.”

“Hmm, it appears that we hath finally arrived.”

“What a pretty sanctuary.”

When the light that dyed their sight cleared up, there was a wide space there.

That beautiful quadrangle space that was supported by several thick ice pillars was made from ice just as expected. It wasn’t ice with high reflection rate that could be mistaken as mirror like all the ice walls until now, but ice wall that was made from pure ice that was really transparent.

And then what attracted their attention the most was the ground. It was overflowing with water that they had never seen at all since they came here. It appeared the temperature of this space wasn’t that low. It seemed that a lot of spring water was flowing in, small fountains were put here and there on the spacious lake surface. Most likely there was also the hole where the water was flowing out.

And then on such a lake surface there was the floating floor in the shape of stepping stone that was made from ice. At the other side, ahead of that floor, there was a huge ice sanctuary. It was just right opposite the side where Hajime and others came out from. The foothold of floating ice was continuing until there on the quadrangle lake surface.

Because the water didn’t freeze, Hajime experimented by taking off his cold protection artifact. The result was as expected, it was a cold space but it only felt cool and not freezing. Just as Tio said, there was no doubt that this place was the deepest part of the [Ice and Snow Cavern]. Even for a ‘liberator’, surely, they would beg off to have a residence with extreme cold.

“… We… conquered it… hic- “

“Suzu-chan… you did it.”

Suzu was overcome by emotion and became teary eyed while looking at the sanctuary. In various meaning, she reached this achievement just barely. She failed, broke, but even so, she gritted her teeth and endured, and finally she reached the goal. It was natural for her to be moved. Kaori was gently putting her hand on Suzu’s shoulder while also crying in sympathy.

That deep emotion was also similarly felt by Ryuutaro. “Heh,” He chuckled while something shining was gathering a little in his eyes.

“… We did it.”

“Yeah. I don’t know how many times I almost died though.”

“That’s because every time you didn’t think of the consequences and just charged.”

“Nooo, haha, well, the result is alright so ain’t that fine.”

When Shizuku slapped lightly at Ryuutaro’s arm, contrary to his words Ryuutaro averted his eyes awkwardly.

With Hajime at the head, they used the ice foothold and advanced to the sanctuary. They managed to cross to the opposite shore without anything especially happened. A magic circle was drawn at a deep pool of the opposite shore. Nothing happened when they stepped on it, so thinking about it based on the position, perhaps it was a magic circle for a shortcut.

The entrance of the sanctuary was a large double door, there a crest that resembled snow crystal was drawn. It was the crest of the liberator ‘Vandol Shune’. There was no sign of something like a seal or anything, when Hajime put his strength and pushed, it opened without resistance.

“Even though the appearance is a sanctuary, the inside is like a house, huh.”

“… Nn. It’s like Oscar’s hideout.”

Ahead of the opened door, there was nothing at all like stained glass or altar like in church. In exchange, there was an entrance of the mansion with a chandelier made from ice hanging above. There was a corridor that continued inside and a stair that went to the second floor from two sides.

Hajime used the compass and searched for the magic circle’s location. According to the compass, it seemed that it was at the inner part of the straight passage on the first floor. Everyone advanced to the inside following Hajime’s lead. On the way, there were several rooms, so they tried to open the door, inside there was just normal furniture put there. The ice wall too when they tried to touch it only felt cool and not cold. Just like Hajime’s cold protection artifact, surely there was some kind of cold protection measure applied to it.

Like that, they advanced while admiring the inside of the mansion, and finally, they found a thick door.

“It’s here.”

Hajime whispered that and opened the door without hesitation. Inside there was indeed the magic circle that was their aim.

Everyone quickly entered into that magic circle. Just like usual, the inside of their brain was scrutinized and in the head of the people whose labyrinth capture was recognized, the age of the god’s magic was engraved immediately.

The last of that――by acquiring the [Metamorphosis Magic], Shia and others looked at each other’s face with their happiness plain to see, at that time,

“Guu!? GaAAh!!”

“… -, UuUUUUH!!”

Screams filled with anguish resounded. Shia and others were startled and moved their gaze in that direction. Over there were the figures of Hajime and Yue on their knee while holding their head as though they were enduring fierce headache.

“Hajime-san!? Yue-san!?”

“What’s the matter, both of you!!”

Shia and Shizuku raised shocked voices.

“Calm down! Kaori! Don’t be befuddled!”

“Eh? Ah, yes, I’ll examine them immediately!”

Tio’s thunderous roar fell on the members that were all shook up from the sudden happening. The healing expert Kaori was also scolded before she returned to her senses.

And then when she was about to examine in hurry, right after that,

“-a…”

“… nh.”

Hajime and Yue that were sweating a lot seemed to be released from the unknown pain, strength left their body and they slumped down, they fainted just like that. Shia and Shizuku immediately supported them. Looking for their state, it appeared that the two of them fainted together.

A burden to the degree that caused the two who had surpassed cheat character and reached bug level to faint… just what in the world happened. Silence returned to the room and a dumbfounded atmosphere was flowing.

“For the time being, we have to rest the two of them…”

The words of Tio (pervert), who became reliable with admirable calmness in this kind of time, made the confused members look at each other’s faces.

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Japanese Translation Dictionary Tool

While writing something else it occurred to me that something ought to exist, but I was unable to locate it with a few simple googles. And if the Arifureta translation is any indicator, when I find something not done that I want done, I do it.

Japanese Translation Dictionary

What is this? It’s a dictionary add-on for Microsoft office. I scoured the web for around 3,000 Japanese terms that might show up in a manga/ln/translation. With this list, you will no longer get the annoying squiggly lines on every single word. In fact, if you spell a word wrong, it’ll give you the proper word to correct with. No longer will you have to struggle on how to spell goshujin-sama.

It contains the 100 top Japanese names, both first and last. It has all of the onomatopoeiae and sound effects. The sans, oniis, the bakas, and all the other words often considered normal in a Japanese web novel. Also city names, island names, prefects, Japanese eras… basically anything I thought might show up. The list is far from complete. We’ll call this a demo or “version 0.1”.

Feel free to download and try it out. Let me know where it works, what it’s failing at, etc… etc… If anyone knows of one of these lists already existing, let me know about it. If you want to help flesh out this list, I’d welcome the help too. we can work on it over google docs or something.

Oh… how do you install it? I don’t know every version of office, but it should be options / proofing. Click add custom dictionary. Add it there. You might want to deactivate it when you’re not translating, but I’ll leave that choice up to you.

I’ll also need to get a better downloading site since it won’t let me host it here, but we’ll see how this works.

 

 

 

Update

I wanted an update to let you guys know how things are proceeding on this blog, so here we go:

The Arifureta translation portion is done! Yup, I have all the remaining translated chapters in my possession. They are unedited, but still in a readable format. I’ll continue to edit and release them once a week until they are finished… which should take a little under a year.This was all done thanks to the incredible efforts of Bakapervert, who did almost all of the work at breakneck speeds. As far as side stories, he will be doing the side stories on his blog (link on the side) once I finish the main story, so look forward to going to his site to see all the extras.

But long story short, the Arifureta translation WILL be completely released. Will I release faster? Regrettably no. Editing is still pretty hard, especially when you have to rearrange long run on sentences written in passive voice, which is how a lot of Japanese translates… so no, I’m not going to suddenly dump out a chapter a day. I’m not a lover of editing, and one 6000-8000 word chapter a week is about the most I can handle.

For those wondering about the continuation of Requiem… I haven’t abandoned it, but I only have so much time to do this stuff on weekends. Since I’m spending 3 hours editing Arifureta, I don’t really have it in me to then write new chapters of Requiem. Basically, by moving Arifureta to once a week, I pushed out my time I would have worked on Requiem. Requiem is more/less on hiatus until I finish the translation, although I might throw out a chapter on a good day.

Once last note: If you post a comment and it doesn’t pop, I have to approve certain comments (usually from new unverified posters)… and I don’t happen to live on the website… so it might take a day or three for your comment to show up, especially if you’re a first time commenter. Rest assured even if I don’t approve it, I’ve seen it. There are a handful of posts that spread out spoilers or rude comments I have deleted, but they’re exceptionally rare.

 

Arifureta Chapter 148

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All credit goes to the original author (Chuuni Suki), who has posted the raw data here:

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n8611bv/149/

Thanks for your continued support. If you like my writing style, check out my original works at www. wattpad.com/user/elementalcobalt, or just leave a comment.

This chapter was translated by Bakapervert. Magnagate67 (www.wattpad.com/user/Magnagate67) and Elementalcobalt did the final edits.

________________________________________________________

Child’s Retribution

Pure white radiance became a large waterfall that poured down from overhead.

That was the scene that Hajime witnessed upon passing the ice wall while carrying the pleasantly sleeping Shizuku on his back.

Hajime understood the true meaning of what happened. Because if this was just a misunderstanding made because he was confused for a monster or something using a ‘Yaegashi Barrier’, then the attack would surely be stopped desperately.

But no matter how he looked at it, there was no sanity in the eyes of the opponent, so he reluctantly performed an evasion from the spot using ‘Ground Shrink’.

Immediately after, the spot where Hajime was just at was struc by a brutal slash, a deep crack being created on the ice ground and wall followed by a thunderous roar.

Although the crack was repaired instantly, looking at the destruction mark, it was easy to see that the attack was not a joke – but was created with the intent to kill. And above all, the killing intent just before and the amount of magic power put into the attack showed the true seriousness of it.

Hajime sent a glance at the false image that was grinning widely in a slightly distanced spot, then he fixed the position of Shizuku on his back while narrowing his eyes at the culprit of the act of violence.

Shizuku didn’t succumb even to the thunderous roar of the attack and only twitched for a moment before continuing her sleep. Was she really that tired? Or perhaps she was so in peace that she wouldn’t react to a danger of this level? There was also the possibility that she was just merely being shameless, though…

“… So? What are you doing, Amanogawa?”

Yes, exactly as Hajime said, the culprit of the attack was Kouki. It wasn’t the false image, but the real one without any doubt.

That Kouki tightly gripped his holy sword that was still half-buried into the half-crushed ground while grumbling something. His bangs hung low, hiding his eyes so his expression couldn’t be seen clearly, but he was obviously not in a normal state.

“… ga…da. … de, u… ra” (TN: I don’t know if Kouki here is totally broken already or it’s me that cannot catch what the author means.)

“Haa? I cannot hear that. Anyway, your opponent is not us, it’s over…”

“… Us?”

Hajime frowned because he couldn’t really catch Kouki’s murmur while directing his gaze at the false image. He did that while implicitly telling Kouki to attack the enemy without mistake next time.

However, Kouki showed an excessive reaction to a part of Hajime’s words. Piercing eyes peeked out from between his bangs, then his stabbed holy sword was forcefully pulled out.

“The way you say that is like you and Shizuku are one set, isn’t it? Eh? What, the way you are talking is like she belongs to you? Are you screwing around?”

“… Just what are you saying? Don’t say such a stupid thing, finish this quickly.”

Kouki directed the attack at Hajime’s bloodshot look while dragging the holy sword. The unclear meaning of Kouki’s words made Hajime feel an unpleasant premonition while he urged Kouki to clear the trial.

However, as expected, Hajime’s words couldn’t get through to the current Kouki.

“… Ah, I’ll end it now. Even without you telling me every little thing, I’ll end everything!”

The moment he yelled that Kouki faced Hajime with a gaze that emitted madness from his opened pupils while charging forward. His figure hazed using ‘Implosion Ground’ while he pressed hard in one go and then unleashed a slash of light filled with enormous magic power.

“Tch, so you fell. You stupid bastard.”

“Shut up! Everything will return to before if you die-! DIE RIGHT NOWWWW!”

Hajime guessed the cause of Kouki’s eccentricity. Surely this was the result of his false image cornering him so much. Then, Hajime looked over his shoulder at Shizuku who was entrusting her body on his back, “So I’m the finishing blow…” he murmured in a small voice while frowning about his bad timing.

Kouki completely ignored that murmur of Hajime and he only recklessly held his holy sword at full power with a seething killing intent and hatred. He was obviously trying to kill Hajime. Regardless of Shizuku who was on Hajime’s back, Kouki attacked without holding back and Hajime concluded that he wasn’t sane.

“Nn, nmuu, what? Let me sleep a little mo…”

“You idiot! How can you sleep talk in this situation! If you don’t wake up right now, then I’ll make you into a human cannonball, just so you know!”

Looking at the half-asleep face of Shizuku who was peevish like a spoiled child, Hajime made a violently irritated look and yelled angrily. If she didn’t wake up in one second, then he was seriously planning on punching Kouki.

Hajime’s angry yell, the thunderous roar, and a flash of the cannon of light that was released right after that finally made Shizuku open and widen her eyes in shock. Hajime deployed the barrier using cross bits so the attack didn’t reach them, but the scenery in front of her eyes finally made her notice that they were in the middle of battle, and she dejectedly got down from Hajime’s back.

“You slept too much, like a log just now. What a shameless fellow.”

“I’m not shameless or anything. It’s just that Nagumo-kun’s back felt so…”

“Well, it doesn’t matter about you, Yaegashi. Putting that aside, do something about it.”

“Doesn’t matter what you say… or rather this situation, what happened… eh?”

Shizuku got teary eyed from quite the shock that she received by Hajime’s exasperated expression and words. However, after the flash settled down she saw the figure of the opponent that seemed to be the one who unleashed that attack. This caused her to leak out a dumbfounded voice while her body turned rigid.

That surely couldn’t be helped, because the opponent who unleashed the attack with an obviously high chance of casualties was a childhood friend she was familiar with.

“It seems that he fell, see? It feels like he’s thinking that I am exactly the root of all evil.”

“That’s…”

Ahead of her gaze was the false image of Kouki. He was sending them an amused look.

Shizuku who guessed the general situation filled her gaze with strength and then raised her voice at Kouki who was looking at them with clouded eyes.

“Kouki! Don’t do this! You mustn’t lose to your other self! Come back to your senses, overcome yourself!”

The gaze of Shizuku who was looking at Kouki was colored only with worry. Even though there were various troubles with him, he was still a good childhood friend of hers who was overflowing with good intention. He was an acquaintance of hers, including his family, from when they were children to now. He was like her important family. And now his expression was warped with killing intent and hatred that she had never seen before.

She really couldn’t look at him like this. Both her hands clasped as though she was praying, trying desperately to rouse up Kouki’s heart.

However, toward such a Shizuku, Kouki smiled and said something outrageous.

“… It’s fine. I swear that I will save Shizuku without fail.”

“Kouki? What are you saying…?”

“You are brainwashed by Nagumo, right? It’s okay. You will be freed if Nagumo is defeated…. Nagumo, even though you are my former classmate, don’t think that you can get off scot free after hurting my important childhood friend. I’ll defeat you, and release all your brainwashing of Kaori and the other girls too! And then, I’ll save the world together with them!”

Shizuku was dumbstruck at Kouki’s outrageous declaration.

The current Kouki, so to speak, could be considered like the Kouki had Shizuku not spoken with him the night when Kaori departed with Hajime’s group previously. At that night, the weight filled inside Shizuku’s words stopped Kouki from running wild.

He couldn’t immediately change the way he thought since there was also a lot of aspects in Hajime he was bothered with. That was why he bumped against Hajime over and over again, but even so, because he had the words of Shizuku, he wouldn’t say anything about Kaori too, as long as there was no complete separation between her and Hajime.

However, to put it in other words, it could also be said that Kouki could do that only because Shizuku was at his side.

Kouki’s sense of value and thought were perhaps included with ‘childishness’. He kept carrying the ‘ideal righteousness’ that was planted in his infancy without any wall of reality standing in his way, and he kept it like that until his current age, so perhaps this was only the logical development.

For such a childish Kouki, if the last female childhood friend where he directed his desire to monopolize was taken, then it would also seem natural that his ‘temper’ would explode.

Although, the temper of Kouki who was holding the power of a hero wasn’t a laughing matter at all…

Furthermore, Kouki who held a ‘childishness’ that wasn’t eager to recognize one’s own fault was thoroughly cornered by the reality that was shoved on his face by his false image. The emotion that wasn’t fitting for a hero like him was overflowing from inside his heart, carving into him like a slashing blade.

He desperately denied it. He averted his eyes. And when he just barely held his ground, his last fortress that was Shizuku was entrusting her body with a happy expression that obviously wouldn’t be shown to a man that was nothing to her. Even the thickheaded Kouki could guess just what the meaning of that was. And then exactly because he could guess that. his fortress crumbled. Kouki’s bad habit coupled with his cornered heart manifested in the worst way.

That was to say, Nagumo Hajime was the root of all evil who brainwashed his childhood friends and multiple other girls, who then became a hindrance for him who was trying to save the world. That was the impression his heart was set on. A really convenient interpretation without holding back.

“Kouki! Get a hold of yourself! I don’t know what was told to you, but don’t go astray!”

“Shizuku…”

“Listen, Kouki. Facing your own disgusting part is really painful. I understand that well because I also almost died from that. But if you don’t accept and overcome it, then you won’t be able to move forward. If you want to become strong and save a lot of people, then you must not cling to convenient thinking here. Your enemy is yourself. It’s the other smirking Kouki there! Open your eyes!”

Shizuku’s desperate persuasion echoed inside the space. It seemed that the false image intended to observe the current situation silently in amusement.

And then Kouki who was being told by Shizuku using words from her heart smiled widely at Shizuku. That was a smile that was done a lot when they were in Japan, a smile that charmed a lot of girls. However, right now it felt distorted somewhere in it.

“Thank you, Shizuku. Shizuku, you always become serious like that for my sake, don’t you?”

“Kouki…”

Shizuku’s expression was dyed in joy thinking that he had opened his eyes.

But…

“I’m really happy. Even though you are brainwashed, even so, you still think of me.”

“… Kouki?”

“It’s fine. I’ll defeat that man and that monster with the same face like me, and I’ll save you from Nagumo too. You don’t need to snuggle close to a man that you don’t even like anymore. I swear I’ll let Shizuku return back to the place where you should be at.”

“…”

Shizuku’s expression fell hearing out Kouki’s words. Shizuku silently asked back…

“… The place I should be at? Can you tell me where this place is that you mean?”

“I see. … So now you cannot even understand that. How pitiful. What Nagumo is doing is really unforgivable.”

“Kouki. Answer me.”

“Aah, that is of course, at my side. Just like all this time until now, and from here on out too.”

Shizuku breathed out a long sigh.

“… Kouki. I wonder if you remember about that night? That day Kaori departed when we talked on the bridge.”

“Yeah, of course, I remember. That thing about doubting my righteousness, right? It’s fine. I thought that Nagumo was dangerous guy since the beginning, but because of Shizuku’s words, I was looking thoroughly at Nagumo until now. But, as expected, he is nothing more than the worst betrayer.”

“Kouki, stop…”

“There is no use arguing. You don’t understand because you are brainwashed Shizuku, but this is something ‘righteous’.”

Kouki cut down the words of Shizuku that was going to keep arguing vehemently without hesitation. He was putting everything under the convenient interpretation of ‘being brainwashed’, in order to obtain the most desirable future for himself.

At the same time, Kouki directed those eyes which were cloudy like slime and dropped his stance. The radiance of ‘Limit Break’ that he intentionally weakened while he was talking with Shizuku recovered its brilliant radiance as though regaining a second breath.

“Kouki. Stop it!”

Shizuku raised her voice to stop him with impatience coloring her tone but… naturally Kouki didn’t stop.

He charged with a fierce momentum while leaving a track of light behind. His eyes already didn’t reflect Shizuku at all, he was only seeing the figure of his hateful enemy Hajime.

Having a fierce killing intent directed at him, Hajime who was until now looking aside as though what happened wasn’t a concern of his now returned his gaze at Kouki. His eyes were quickly narrowing. The face of Shizuku’s face went pale because she believed that it wouldn’t end well for the opponent when they directed a serious killing intent at Hajime. At this rate, her childhood friend would be killed!

“-, if I don’t stop him-“

In front of the charging momentum of Kouki who was in the ‘Limit Break’ state, the likes of Shizuku was just like a leaf. But even so, there was no way she could just leave this alone, and Shizuku immediately cut in between Kouki and Hajime to try to stop him.

However…

“Yaegashi, to your right.”

“Eh? -!?”

Almost at the same time as Hajime’s warning, she suddenly heard the false image of Kouki clad in reddish-black magic power attacking Shizuku. It was literally like the phrase of thrusting a spear from the side, and the false image commenced a tackle right from the side with terrific momentum. (TN: The phrase had the meaning of interruption in Japan.)

Shizuku immediately held up her black katana and braced herself for impact. At the same time the fast-approaching Kouki that could be mistaken as a reddish-black cannon was noticeably grinning disgustingly.

But just before the fake Kouki touched Shizuku, a shadow suddenly erupted between the two…

That was, a cross clad in wrong magic power similar to the false Kouki. It was a crossbit that contained a really vivid red radiance. It activated ‘Vajra’ and became an improvised shield.

Immediately after, Shizuku and the false image with the crossbit shield between them vanished from between Hajime and Kouki. It was as though the false image had kidnapped Shizuku.

The dregs of the reddish black magic power drifted like a lingering cloud between the two people glaring.

{I’ll be Shizuku’s opponent. You, you can fight your hateful enemy to your heart’s content.}

“Guh, you-. Let go of me! This is not the time for something like…”

{Now now, this is not related to me and Shizuku, is it? Let’s enjoy a sideshow while those two are dancing. Rather than self-destruction, getting possessed with his own desire is more fitting for that guy’s trial.}

“Doing as you please-“

It appeared that the false image made the trial for Kouki similar to Ryuutaro’s, where it incorporated the factor where he needed to win against his own desire. Whether Kouki could accept reality and return to his sense while fighting Hajime or not… that was the trial. It was a real nuisance for Hajime to be treated like an examiner as the labyrinth pleased.

“Is it fine? Your important childhood friend is being attacked there.”

“… That thing is also me. He won’t kill her. Some wound will surely be a lesson for her to get so easily brainwashed by a man like you.”

“… Just now, didn’t you say that thing was a monster?”

“It is a mimicking monster that copies my emotion, right? Then, even though it’s a monster then it won’t kill Shizuku.”

“That’s just absurd.”

That was too much of a convenient interpretation. While he concluded that it was a monster unrelated to himself, he said that it wouldn’t put Shizuku into danger because it was something that copied himself. It was really absurd.

Most likely inside his heart, Kouki understood that the false image was made up from his negative emotion already. That was why he subconsciously understood that Shizuku was safe because the negative emotions wouldn’t aim at her.

But, if he recognized that then it would mean that he recognized what the false image said as the truth. That was why, in order to throw away everything else other than Shizuku as bullshit, he concluded that it wasn’t his false image but a monster. It was a crooked logic that was too forceful, but it seemed that it had become a truth inside Kouki.

Kouki gave a glance at the false image as it unfolded a fierce swordplay with Shizuku while his killing intent was bloating up.

“Prepare yourself. I won’t let you do as you please any more than this. Shizuku and Kaori, then Yue and the others too, I’ll release everyone from you!”

At the same time as that proclamation, Kouki released the energy he gathered and explosively charged forward. He let out a wood chopping strike from the front without any hesitation.

*GOU!* Along with a terrific sound of cut wind, the holy sword that looked as though it was made from light itself attacked Hajime violently. However, in front of such a lethal attack, Hajime didn’t take even a step back and he only raised his arm.

That hand was holding Donner, *GOKIN-!* the sound of metals clashing and sparks scattered, Kouki’s full strength attack was easily blocked. Even more, it was blocked by the gun point of Donner.

“Wha-!?”

Kouki was shocked and leaked out a voice reflexively, Hajime directed a cold gaze at Kouki and opened his mouth.

“There is nothing more meaningless than insulting a true idiot as an idiot… But, I’ll just say this much… Asshole, who permitted a bastard like you to name my woman so casually? Huh?” (EN: Kouki used their first names, which is being a little too familiar in Japan)

“-!?”

Immediately after, a torrent of killing intent was overflowing. The pressure was like the pressing of a great waterfall. It was too vast to be called human, a presence of overwhelming ‘strength’ that was too terrifying. Kouki’s body that was struck with the serious monster’s coercion from close range was unintentionally stiffening.

*DOPAN!*

The trigger of Donner was pulled and an electromagnetically accelerated bullet flicked off the holy sword, plugging the muzzle as though it was insulted that it was in the way.

Unable to endure the fierce impact, the holy sword slipped from his hand and danced in the air in circles.

And then, toward Kouki that was making a banzai posture with only one hand, a black shadow from lower region―Hajime’s sure-kill yakuza kick lunged.

“Gahah!?”

The yakuza kick that struck Kouki’s stomach with a dreadful sound of impact made Kouki’s body double into a sideways ‘V’ shape while floating him in the air like that.

Without a moment’s delay, Hajime rotated on the spot and added a back-spinning kick filled with a lot of centrifugal force.

A sound of impact resonated once more. Kouki’s body was blown far away as though a large truck was running over him. Kouki that flew horizontally like a cannon had his back struck by an ice wall like that. One could only wonder just how great of an impact that was. The ice wall on his back was largely pulverized into a radial shape.

Kouki fell on the ground after that, he was on all four while coughing. Blood splattered out from his vomiting mouth.

With just a kick without a weapon or ‘Limit Break’, the internal organs of Kouki who was wearing an armor artifact of national treasure class was damaged. That fact made Kouki grit his teeth while groaning painfully.

But, there was no way Hajime would give him time to be frustrated or anything.

*DOPAN-! DOPAN-! DOPAN-!*

Consecutive sounds of gun discharge roared, and red flashes assaulted the crouching Kouki. Perhaps he noticed Hajime’s killing intent. Kouki leaped aside almost at the same time Hajime pulled the trigger, but it was as though even his dodging direction was read, that the moment Kouki jumped, the third bullet shot through his shoulder.

Furthermore, one of the bullets that Kouki evaded earlier seemed to be a normal bullet that was only clad in red magic power without being accelerated electromagnetically, when it impacted the broken ice wall behind Kouki it ricocheted, and red light attacked

Kouki was shot behind through the knee which passed through his armor’s gap.

“Gua… co, come, holy sword-“

While rolling all over the ground with blood flowing from his shoulder and leg, the collapsed Kouki reached out his hand at the falling holy sword at a slightly distant spot. The holy sword responded to Kouki’s calling voice and flew at him.

However, it didn’t settle into Kouki’s hand. Just before it reached, Hajime stepped on the sword. The holy sword struggled to return to its master, but such resistance was meaningless as the stepping foot didn’t even twitch.

“How unsightly. If you can skillfully use this new ability then surely you will be able to fight better.”

Hajime murmured with a cold tone. He was just speaking to himself without intention for Kouki to hear it, but it seemed Kouki heard it completely. He glared at Hajime with an expression warped in hatred as though he was trying to kill him with his gaze.

Donner was pointed at the temple of Kouki. Hajime’s killing intent wasn’t settled yet. He was maintaining the gruesome thickness of his intent that might stop the heart of a normal person. No matter who saw it, it appeared that Hajime intended to deal the finishing blow.

But, a desperate voice resonated at that timing.

“Nagumo-kun! Please, stop! I’ll persuade Kouki, so-“

It was Shizuku. While locked in a sword fight with the false Kouki, she begged for him to spare Kouki’s life with a look colored by fretfulness. But it became a fatal opening, and the development that Shizuku wished wasn’t something that the false image wished for.

Therefore…

{How about Shizuku leave the stage for a little bit?}

“Agh?!”

The shockwave from the false image launched and assaulted Shizuku. Shizuku was struck like that on her whole body, and she was blown away altogether with her consciousness until she hit the wall and collapsed powerlessly while sliding onto the ground.

Because a crossbit interfered between the two just before the attack hit and became a shield, it seemed that Shizuku was rescued from a direct hit, but for Shizuku who had a low defensive power even in the best of times, furthermore the might of a hero’s pure output, added by Kouki’s thorough rejection of his own negative emotion that strengthened the false image into something far stronger than the real one, just a glancing blow turned into a sufficient enough telling blow. Different from a pure slashing attack, it was a shockwave that induced cerebral concussion, so without taking a recovery measure she wouldn’t open her eyes for a while.

The false image of Kouki floated a satisfied smile from his success of skillfully making Shizuku faint, he then turned on his heel and faced Hajime. And then, with a really natural motion, he thrust out his black holy sword and launched a strong bombing of light.

The approaching flash that was drawing in a spiral was on a course that would swallow Kouki with certainty too. Was the false image trying to bury the both of them altogether?… Anyway, Hajime withdrew from that spot. He left Kouki behind.

“UWAAAAH!”

Kouki reflexively screamed and took a defensive stance, but just before the light bombing hit, it curved and began to chase after Hajime.

Hajime discovered the cover of the bombing with his magic eye stone and easily succeeded in pinpoint sniping that dispersed the attack. However, the false image successfully managed to distance Hajime from Kouki just as planned.

The false image walked toward Kouki’s side and he whispered something into the ear of the laid-down Kouki. While his mouth split apart into a grin that looked like a crescent moon, his figure that was likely whispering sweet words looked like a demon. There was no way that Kouki could admit that figure was his other self anymore like that.

Before long, Kouki’s bloodshot gaze was looking alternately at Hajime and the false image, and he then nodded reluctantly.

Right after that, the figure of the false image thinned down like mist and in exchange reddish-black particles of light began to whirl.

{Now you. It’s hero time. Let’s rescue the heroines from the scoundrel!}

“Shut up-. I’m not doing your instruction. I’m only using you for now! After defeating Nagumo, it will be your turn, don’t forget that-“

At the same time as those words, reddish black particles were entering into Kouki’s body and Kouki’s body began to pulse. *dokun dokun* A pulsating sound began to echo inside the room and pure white light that Kouki was clad in began to be mixed with a reddish-black color that looked like a blood vessel.

Kouki slowly stood up. Looking carefully, the wounds in his shoulder and leg were also healing. It appeared that the derivative ability Kouki had, ‘Healing Strength Improvement’ was explosively increased.

*DOPAN-! DOPAN-!*

There, a shooting without questions asked. Something like a kindness for reading the mood by a villain facing a hero, waiting for the transformation scene, was something that Hajime didn’t have. And while he was at it, he also threw several grenades.

Red flashes gouged Kouki’s shoulder and leg, making him unsteady on his feet.

Furthermore, the rolling grenades exploded in flame and he was swallowed in it.

“That’s pointless.”

But what came out from the flame wasn’t what turned Kouki into tatters, but those words.

That voice sounded like it was including joy in it somewhere as if it was trembling in happiness. It seemed that not much damage was inflicted, the magic power that had changed colors from pure white into reddish-black burst up and blew away the flame.

There, the figure of Kouki who became odd-eyed with one of his eyes dyed reddish-black appeared. Even the scar from the shot just now had been mostly healed. The change in his appearance wasn’t just his eye, his originally brown hair was mixed with white mesh, his holy armor was attached with several blood vessel thingies. Furthermore, at his hands, black and white, two holy swords were grasped.

“You combined?”

“It’s not my intention, but yeah. If it’s for defeating you, then I’ll resign myself to accept it. Although later, I’ll defeat this guy too.”

“What are you acting like a good kid for? You are just losing to the temptation.”

“You can insult me however you like. No matter what you say, you cannot win against me anymore. If there is this welling up strength then I can take back everything!”

“Why you are unable to notice that you got hit by loss because of that, I wonder.”

“No more talk. Prepare yourself Nagumo-! ‘Supreme Break’!”

Magic power burst up from Kouki in an even further scale of several times more. The last derivative of ‘Limit Break’ that raised up all his status by five times, ‘Supreme Break’―the strength of Kouki who had taken in his false image had already reached the total of ten thousand. It was literally a rate of increase in monster level.

Kouki made a stance with his twin holy swords. In an instant his figure hazed.

“Haah!”

A yell of spirit could be heard behind Hajime. Kouki had circled at Hajime’s back instantly. Two holy swords trailed behind white and reddish black magic power behind while carving a cross at Hajime’s back.

Hajime didn’t even look back.

(Got him!)

The moment Kouki was convinced of that, a familiar bursting sound resonated. At the same time, the two holy swords were snapped up together with a fierce impact, a red

flash pierced his torso that became defenseless. The defensive power of the armor that had been drastically increased and the ‘Physical Resistance’ skill as well as its derivative ‘Impact Mitigation’ made the attack not fatal, but an impact like a normal person receiving the serious body blow of a heavyweight boxer attacked Kouki and blew him away grandly backward.

‘How? He should not be able to react.’, even while his breath was blocked up, Kouki rearranged his stance in the air and landed. Ahead of his gaze, there was the appearance of Donner’s muzzle facing behind with only Hajime’s wrist turning back.

Looking at that, Kouki realized that it wasn’t because Hajime couldn’t react, it was that he didn’t even need to turn back. Kouki’s expression distorted in humiliation. He put strength on his feet, then he swung down his twin holy swords while screaming, ignoring the pain in his stomach.

“‘Heaven Soaring Sword – Storm’!”

Like that, what he launched was hundreds of slashes scattered in a wide range. Just the visible blades of light had been already in a hundred, and nearly three hundred blades of wind were following, lurking at the shadow. The attack was already at a level of obliteration magic.

But such a storm of hundreds of slashes was evaded by Hajime with a swaying motion like a leaf fluttering in the wind, what couldn’t be evaded was swept aside or averted.

Furthermore, while avoiding Hajime suddenly aimed Donner at Kouki with a natural motion and launched a counterattack that weaved through the gap of the storm.

The bullet that went through the gap like a joke stabbed under Kouki’s feet and scattered grand shockwave, overturning Kouki from under his feet.

And then Hajime himself also slipped through the storm of blades and approached Kouki with speed equal, no, it was faster than Kouki, and he kicked Kouki as though he was a soccer ball.

“Guah!?”

Kouki who raised a groan while thrown to the air was aimed at with Donner & Schlag.

Kouki immediately kicked the air using ‘Sky Force’ to try to escape from the line of fire, but the two revolvers’ muzzles didn’t shift from Kouki even for a bit and aimed at his future spot. Kouki’s expression unintentionally cramped.

The scene became slow as though Kouki and Hajime’s senses were stretched out. Inside the world of dull color, just before Hajime pulled the trigger, he caught the figure of Shizuku at the corner of his sight. Her figure that desperately tried to persuade Kouki and her entreaty to spare his life flashed at the back of Hajime’s mind. At the same time, he also recalled the figure of Kaori who was also this guy’s childhood friend.

Hajime clicked his tongue ‘tch’ a bit, averted his gun muzzles a bit, and he pulled the triggers consecutively with blurring speed.

*DOPAAAAN!*

The sound of a single gunshot that was slightly stretched was the proof of the simultaneous shots. Like a reversely-restored meteors, red flashes cut through the air, showering Kouki in the air with blows. Like a marionette that was unsightly manipulated by children, *gakun gakun* Kouki’s body shook while drawing a parabolic arc.

Kouki was scattering blood spray while he fell on the slightly distanced spot with a raw sound *dosha!* that resonated. Looking from the side perhaps it looked like a corpse that had been gouged by many bullets. But, that guess was denied immediately by the movement that came from Kouki. He wasted no time to stand up using the twin holy swords as support.

Blood was spurting out from his shoulders, both arms, and both legs, but those were healed in a moment. His bloodshot eyes were colored with madness, turning his look even more gruesomely. There was not even a trace of the hero who was stuffed with the dream and hope of the people anymore.

“You are holding back? Are you making fun of me?”

All of the places he was shot at weren’t vital spots. It was an attack that was transparently tried to make the opponent powerless. Therefore, Kouki felt like he wasn’t even seen as an opponent even though here he was fighting to kill. Inside his chest, a muddy black part was further welling up.

Hajime tapped Donner on his shoulder *ton ton* while answering easily as though it was nothing.

“Well, you who fall that far is just troublesome and it’s better to kill you but… if I do that Yaegashi and Kaori will cry. I’ll beat you up appropriately and I’ll leave the rest to your childhood friends.”

“-, don’t screw with me-! I’ll make you lose that composure right now!”

Once more Kouki brandished his twin holy swords while approaching closer. Hatred and jealousy were attached on his face.

It seemed that Hajime was thinking about the two girls more than himself, it made severe displeasure fill his chest.

Fierce swordplay assaulted Hajime, but everything was handled by him with a cold expression without any hurry, seeing that the black emotion was more and more seething in Kouki and he shouted, unable to bear it.

“You-, someone like you-, don’t speak as though you understand! The one who really understand Shizuku and Kaori is me-. The one who treasured the two of them more than anyone is me-. I am the one that should be together with the two of them-. It’s not the likes of you! It’s absolutely not a guy like you!”

“… You are like a brat throwing tantrum.”

Slipping through the twin holy swords Kouki brandished, Hajime’s Donner & Schlag pierced his body from range zero. However, the current Kouki was unstoppable by something like that. Even though holes were opened in his body, it was healed with power that literally surpassed any limit. Kouki ignored the damage and recklessly charged.

That figure was exactly like Hajime said, a figure of a kid that was throwing a tantrum because the situation wasn’t going as he wished it.

As though hailing Kouki’s negative emotion, the spec of his flesh that had passed its limit a long time ago was forcefully raising even more. Most likely the possessing false image was strengthened and Kouki himself was also strengthened following that.

Looking at the spec, Kouki was already at the level that neared Hajime without ‘Limit Break’ activated. The storm of swordplay that was unleashed possessed speed and might that resembled the apostle of god ‘Nointo’, even so, his power was still increasing as though to say that it still wasn’t enough.

“OOOOOOOOO-“

“…”

The shrieking of fighting spirit surged from Kouki’s mouth. On the other hand, Hajime was… silent. Even with Kouki’s spec raising to a level that wasn’t inferior to Nointo even though it wasn’t superior too, but Hajime didn’t let loose the roar of fighting spirit like what he exchanged with Nointo once. And then as expected, he also didn’t take a plunge into ‘Limit Break’.

It didn’t reach Kouki’s attack. No matter how fast it became, no matter how strong it got, it didn’t even graze Hajime.

The reason was simple. The user’s mental area was inexperienced, on top of that it was dull. The attack was frenzied and lacked calmness, the attack was merely wanting to crush the opponent and soaked in joy. Something like that, against anyone, in any kind of place, would surely not reach.

And, at that time, a part of the ice wall behind Kouki melted and an entrance of a passage opened. Hajime sent his gaze there while warding off Kouki’s war cry and vilification, there Yue and others, all the members came out.

Seeing Hajime and Kouki’s fight, their eyes opened wide and they stood still with a dumbfounded look. However, Kouki didn’t even notice them at all, he was merely scattering his hatred and killing intent earnestly in order to kill Hajime.

“If only, if only you weren’t here, everything will go well! Kaori and also Shizuku would belong to me forever! I would have saved this world as a hero! You, you are the one that messed up everything!”

“…”

“Even though you are a killer-. Even though you easily abandoned others-. There is no way someone who is the worst can be liked by people!”

“… And so, I brainwashed them?”

“That’s right! There is no other explanation except that! Kaori and Shizuku, and Yue and Shia and Tio too, everyone was brainwashed and played around by you. Sooner or later you are going to brainwash Ryuutaro and Suzu too, aren’t you!? I won’t let you. I am a hero. I’ll save everyone from your hand, I’ll take back everything, everything! You are not needed anymore-!”

That scream was also audible to Yue and others too. The eyes of Yue and Shia narrowed dangerously, and Tio frowned in displeasure. In contrast, Kaori covered his mouth with both hands from the shock she received. She didn’t even have any word toward the absurd grievance of his childhood friend that was too egoist. Ryuutaro and Suzu were also the same, they were staring in a daze at Kouki while being completely stiff.

Hajime made a long sigh inside his heart thinking that this was really one troublesome guy while transmitting ‘Telepathy’ to Yue and others.

{Looks like you all are safe too.}

{… Nn. All good. Rather than that, what’s with that idiot?}

{That’s right. He is saying a really reprehensible thing.}

Yue and Shia returned back to a tone that felt angry. Their beloved person was cursed unfavorably and in the end was declared as unneeded. In addition, they inadvertently also couldn’t stomach Kouki calling them without an honorific.

Hajime leaked out a small smile at the two.

{To explain it simply, he lost to his false image and now he is in the middle of venting his anger with his convenient interpretation in full throttle. He took in his false image and his strength was raised. Looks like he can clear the trial if he regains himself, but… that looks impossible. Even Yaegashi, she tried to persuade him but in the end, she ended up like that.}

Hajime threw a kick at Kouki’s knee to make him flinch while sending his gaze at Shizuku’s direction. Yue and others whose attention were lured by Hajime also sent their gazes there and discovered the fainted Shizuku.

{Shizuku-chan!}

{She wasn’t hit directly. She shouldn’t be seriously wounded, but for the moment, look at her Kaori.}

{Oh, of course! Leave it to me!}

Kaori who was petrified recovered her senses when she saw Shizuku’s figure and she rushed at her in panic.

That motion finally made Kouki notice the existence of Yue and the others too. He took distance from Hajime while turning his gaze at them with wide eyes, next he smiled widely at them.

“Everyone, you all came. Wait a little for me. I swear that I’ll beat this guy and release everyone right now.”

Kouki’s words made Yue, Shia, and Tio go past displeasure and now they directed a pitying gaze at him. In exchange, Ryuutaro and Suzu came back to their senses and they yelled desperately.

“Just what are you saying, Kouki? What the hell! Come back to your senses!”

“Kouki-kun, pull yourself together! The one that you must defeat isn’t Nagumo-kun, it’s yourself!”

Hearing those heartfelt yells of the two, instead of being happy, Kouki’s expression turned into rage. As expected, the target of that rage was Hajime.

“… Nagumo. Don’t tell me, you have even brainwashed Ryuutaro and Shizuku? Just how rotten are you? How much you are going to steal from me until you are satisfied?!

Ah, I see. I understand right now. Even Eri… that was your work, huh? I thought that it was strange that she changed like that. But, if that was because of your brainwashing, then everything makes sense.”

“It doesn’t make sense you know, idiot.”

“Making excuses this late is just unsightly. I’ll make you atone for your sin for sure.”

“I think that idiocy to your level is already a big enough sin, though…”

Kouki screamed and raised his twin holy swords. A torrent of magic power fiercely whirled. The surrounding ground was blown away just from the waves and the ceiling was obliterated. It seemed that he planned to unleash ‘Heaven Might’ using the tremendous magic power.

“There is no way I’m going to wait for you, you know.”

With an exasperated expression, Hajime took out a Bola from ‘Treasure Warehouse’ and threw it to Kouki. Because he was in the middle of charging, Kouki was late in dodging and he got splendidly entangled, he was fixed in place with both his hands bounded immobile in the air.

“Ugh, you coward. But, just this much-“

It seemed that a villain that couldn’t read the mood was a coward. Kouki insulted Hajime while raising his magic power even more in an attempt to escape from Bola. But as long as it wasn’t Nointo then it shouldn’t be possible to escape from it in several seconds, in that time Hajime had finished charging.

Yes, in Hajime’s hand a rifle with a shape that resembled Schlagen was grasped before anyone was aware. What was different from Schlagen was its caliber. Its firing mouth that could be filled with a basket ball smoothly was wide open.

A lump of red magic power shining brilliantly was converged in that large firing mouth.

Magic power cannon ‘Grenzen’――a pure magic power bombardment artifact. From his experience in Merujiine Undersea Ruins, there was also some situation where a pure magic power attack would be useful, so Hajime learned and created this. Although until now, there was no chance to use it, so it was something that was shelved.

The derivative of ‘Magic Power Manipulation’ that was ‘Magic Power Emission’,‘Magic Power Compression’, ‘Remote Control’, also ‘High-Speed Magic Power Recovery’ and its derivative ‘Magic Source Absorption’, all those skills were used as a base and included into the magic power cannon. It focused not just Hajime’s magic power but also the magic power of the outside world, combined with gravity magic so it could compress that magic power. The more the compressed magic power was then the more the amount of magic power of the target would be blown away.

And then right now the amount of the focused magic power was in the amount that would easily surpass ten thousand if it was converted into a status number. No matter how much Kouki had been strengthened outside of the proper track, Kouki was continuously consuming magic power thoroughly with all his might. The result was something that could be easily understood.

“Even if you deny your own words, at the very least you should accept Yaegashi’s words.”

Hajime said that and aimed the focused magic power at Kouki who was opening his eyes wide in panic, and then the trigger was pulled.

“You-, if only you were not here-. I――”

The scream that was filled with Kouki’s hatred resonated. The next moment, a red flash that resembled Schlagen traced a spiral, turning into a bombardment that rushed at Kouki, and his figure was completely swallowed without any spot spared.

Shizuku who was healed by Kaori had opened her eyes, and then Ryuutaro and Suzu gulped audibly. The silent bombardment that didn’t make any roar or destruction dyed the spacious room with a vivid red, and the ice wall was sparkling like a garnet. In a certain meaning, it was a spectacle that could be called fantastical.

Before long the thick flash thinned down, it melted into the air and dispersed. After that, it was as expected there was no trace of destruction at all, and Kouki appeared without any wound. The binding due to the Bola had been released.

*karan-! karan-!*

The stiff sound resonated. It was the sound of Kouki dropping his two holy swords. At the same time, the black holy sword flickered while disappearing. Looking at it, Kouki’s eye that was reddish-black also returned to normal, his hair also recovered its original color. Reddish-black veins also disappeared from the holy armor. It appeared that he had completely returned to normal.

“My, my strength is vanishing… uu, again, still again… I will take back, everything…”

Hajime’s magic power cannon had blown away the factor of the false image nesting inside Kouki. Matching with his return to his original appearance, the magic power had also stopped welling up from inside. Right now, Kouki could only feel the slight magic power just before it dried up.

Kouki was desperately tying down his consciousness that even now was going to sink into darkness while repeating talk in delirium. And then he was trying to pick up his holy sword even while staggering.

There Hajime who had stored back Grenzen into ‘Treasure Warehouse’ approached, he grasped Kouki’s collar and lifted him up. “Release me!” Kouki yelled angrily, but the clamping hand was too strong that he could only groan.

Seeing Hajime’s dangerous look, Ryuutaro thought that Kouki was going to get killed and he was about to jump, but he was stopped by Tio. Tio smiled as though to say that it would be okay.

Hajime lifted up Kouki while he sent his gaze at Kaori and Shizuku who were cuddling close to each other. Kaori and also Shizuku were directing Hajime painful and pleading gazes. Hajime sighed deeply looking at those two and he shrugged his shoulders with an air of ‘really it can’t be helped’. The expression of the two softened gently.

Hajime who turned at Kouki again threw words with calm but clearly resounding tone while everyone was watching.

“Start over your life from the beginning once more, you stupid, foolish idiot.”

Right after, Hajime’s right hand, his bare fist, captured Kouki’s face. It was merely a clenched straight fist.

*GOGA-!* Such sound resonated, and like that Kouki was struck into the ground and his consciousness was easily cut off, but the whites of his eyes were barely open.

Kaori and Shizuku rushed close, and the other members too.

Hajime looked at the fainted Kouki while wondering if his “Let’s Increase the Meat Shield in Preparation of the Worst Case That There is a lot of Nointo Strategy” was actually cursed. He scratched at his cheek while sighing deeply at how troublesome this was.

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