Arifureta Chapter 155

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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/156/

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.

Bakapervert translated this chapter. Elementalcobalt did the edits.

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Is it Lie, or Truth   (End)

“Move out of the way. I’ll make that guy into mincemeat.”

From Hajime’s voice anyone could understand that he was extremely displeased. But, at the same time, the gun trigger was pulled again, and a bursting roar echoed. Four streaks of crimson flash took flight, shooting through the four limbs of the collapsed Denreed. Denreed’s body twitched a few times.

Hajime took out a Bola from the ‘Treasure Warehouse’ and threw it at Denreed while at the same time he took out Orkan and pulled the trigger toward the collapsed apostles.

*pshu pshu pshu*, consecutive shooting sounds reverberated and several streaks of something left fire trail through the air.

After a beat, grand explosions and shockwaves were created. The swarm of missiles that displayed such tremendous might blew away the apostles. Here and there the apostles burst open like broken dolls. Hajime stored Orkan inside the ‘Treasure Warehouse’ and further aimed the muzzles of Donner and Schlag at Freed and Eri who collapsed in a false death.

There, the surrounding finally returned to their senses.

The first one who raised a strange voice that resembled a scream was Suzu. “UWAaAAH!!” While raising such a desperate or panicked scream, she leapt at Hajime’s arm and dangled there. If she didn’t do that, she thought that Eri would be turned into small pieces. Her teary eyes that were looking up at Hajime were desperately pleading “Remember your promiseee~!!”

Next, Shia yelled “Stop desuuuu!” while leaping at the opposite arm that Suzu held.

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha, Hajime-san!? What are you doing-! That’s Yue-san’s uncle you know!?”

“Tha, that’s right! The logic is just too nonexistent here! Aa, his head was completely shottt. Qu, quickly use regeneration magic…”

“Ka, Kaoriii, hurryyy! Super hurryyyy! No matter how I see it this is at instant death level but, if it’s you then perhaps he can make it somehow!”

“Na, Nagumo. I already thought since a while ago that someday you are really gonna commit a crime like this…”

Starting from Shia, Kaori and Shizuku also started making an uproar, Ryuutaro was getting cold sweats while saying something rude. Tio at first was making a dumbfounded expression before she put her hand on her chin looking as though she was pondering something. Usually, at this kind of time, it would be Kouki who butt in at the very front, but that Kouki was standing in front of Eri. It seemed that he cut in there the moment Hajime aimed his gun.

And then, Yue whose uncle was shot to death by her lover right in front of her eyes,

“… Haji, me?”

Her eyes opened wide while she looked up at Hajime beside her in a daze.

Hajime glanced at such a Yue and then he separated Shia and Suzu who were clinging on his arms, he then stopped Kaori who was about to rush at Denreed’s position to revive and heal him.

And then with really frightful naturalness, to the degree that there was no time for anyone to stop him, quickly, without even looking he shot Freed using Donner and threw a bola at Eri. Looking at Freed whose head had a hole put on it and Eri whose body was wrapped all over, Suzu raised “hih” a short shriek and Ryuutaro leaked out “Uwaa” in a cramped voice.

As expected, without even giving a glance at those two, the expression of Hajime’s eyes warped with an irritated look. Even so, without any carelessness he kept the aim of his guns at Denreed and the apostles who were still collapsed as he opened his mouth.

“I thought that I would keep quiet until Yue put an end to it by herself, but no matter what Yue is just too shaken and it looked like she was going to accept that bullshit. So, I forcefully ended it myself.”

“… Bullshit? What do you mean?”

Yue’s eyes were wandering in perplexity by the shocking fact that her important relative might be shot to death by her beloved lover. Looking at such a Yue, Hajime was slightly regretting that he wasted no time to kill the guy, since in the end she got this shaken and he had to explain.

“No, no matter how you look at it, wasn’t it just an explanation that is full of holes. Even Yue, if you are just slightly calmer then surely you will notice, but… well, someone with the same appearance with your relative suddenly made an entrance so perhaps it couldn’t be helped, huh.”

Saying that, what Hajime pointed out was that even though there was a necessity to hide Yue’s existence, if Denreed was alive all this time then he should have been able to come to meet Yue. If she was his beloved niece, then there was no way he would abandonden Yue alone for three hundred years in the darkness.

Also, the sealing method performed on Yue, no matter how one thought about it, it was obviously done by taking into consideration the aftermath of the caster’s death. So, that even if the caster wasn’t there anymore, Yue’s presence wouldn’t be detected by any means. Also with the caster’s death, the secret would never be revealed. Such intention was transparently obvious in the method of Yue’s imprisonment. If it was actually a method taken by a person who was still alive, at the very least there was no affection at all that could be felt from that.

Also, if Denreed made an excuse that he was gathering battle strength, then it was unnatural that the story of the liberators was not out in the open. Even if Aruv himself didn’t know, at the very least Denreed should have a very thorough knowledge about the Ice and Snow Cavern and the Orkus Great Labyrinth. If the story of the liberators was actually known then it was unnatural that there was no other user of age of god magic other than Freed.

In other words, no matter how they looked at it, there was really no sign of Denreed gathering battle strength for when the time came.

There were parts from the fragments of Yue’s memory and Denreed’s old story that were consistent with each other so in a glance, indeed, it looked like this person was Denreed himself. However, Hajime and company had thoroughly confronted existences that looked like them possessing their memory before coming here, therefore just having the memory wasn’t a proof that he was the real person.

However, even though this devil king wasn’t Denreed himself, it appeared that he had already inherited his memory/ Yet for these three hundred years, he didn’t come to the abyss to apprehend Yue who was an existence with a strength that attracted the notice of god, that was something questionable.

Because of that, Hajime didn’t make any intrusion waiting until Yue came to the understanding herself. Instead, he considered other objectives like whether the words of the devil king was the truth, or whether this person was really Denreed that was Yue’s uncle. He was focusing all his attentions to search for definitive proof.

The way Hajime looked for proof was to use his magic eye stone to confirm whether Denreed’s soul really resided inside that flesh. Using sublimation magic he was able to infuse even more ability into the eye, and making use of the soul magic Hajime inserted into the magic stone eye the addition of an ability that could look at the opponent’s soul.

The result, Hajime’s magic eye could see nothing except one dirty soul. It was like the soul was a spider that had laid out its web-invading through the flesh. Normally a soul should be in a harmonious state as though it was blending in, shining brilliantly at the center of the body.

For that reason, Hajime was convinced that putting aside the body, there was no way the inside was Denreed himself. Aiming for the moment when the impostor got out of the range of the powerful barrier artifact in the altar, he commenced a preemptive strike at the unknown who had pretended to be Yue’s important uncle.

Also, more than that, this person’s inside was fake, the impostor’s story about sealing the apostles lacked credibility, so he also prepared a preemptive attack at the apostles.

Of course, this was a story where god was involved, so the chance that Denreed’s soul was sealed somewhere wasn’t zero. But, even in that case, Hajime could just search the memory of this person who assumed the name of Denreed and ascertain the existence of that possibility. Even flesh damage could be easily dealt with using regeneration magic. In other words, he could just further search for the truth from what this person said after beating him up.

Hearing Hajime explaining the above matters in a shortened summary made all the members there flabbergasted. Their head didn’t work that far from the development that was like a raging wave, but now that Hajime said all that, contradictions and unnatural points other than what Hajime pointed came out in droves.

It was as though, by bulldozing through using facts that were too powerful in impact like the matter about Yue’s relative, devil king, the rebel against god, this person only focused on temporarily winning over Yue and nothing else mattered…

Hajime was talking about his conclusion to all the members who were beginning to make comprehending faces while watching the surrounding alertly.

“And so, there is no reason to believe this bastard’s words, not even a speck of it. And most of all…”

And then, Hajime cut off his words for a moment before he continued with words (real intention) that had unsettled irritation oozing out.

“What the hell with that ‘My cute Aleytia’ huuh, asshole! This girl is ‘my cute Yue’! Besides, Aleytia, Aleytia, how dare you keep calling her like that, you fuckers. Saying ‘let’s go together’ trying to hug her in the confusion, just who give you that permission? Haaa? You think I’m gonna let you take her as you pleased. I’m gonna tear off all your limbs and sink you in a cesspool, shitheadd!!”

“So it’s merely jealousy huh (desu-)!” X3

In short, that was how it was. Ninety percent of this was jealousy. While flashing his gun with vein pulsing on his forehead, Hajime’s speech and attitude that glared while spouting abuse at the body was perfectly a hoodlum.

If this was a meeting with Yue’s true uncle, even Hajime would surely straighten up his clothes and posture before seriously greeting with “Nice to meet you, I am his lover Hajime. I come today to receive your daughter. Any objection won’t be recognized.” (TN: Hajime even use polite language here using desu or masu.)

But even though he was obviously an impostor, he thoroughly shook up Yue. Furthermore, he called her with an old name while acting so familiarly, and in the end, he tried to embrace her. For Yue to be embraced by another man, putting aside that the inside was a stranger (probably), right in front of his eyes… that was something that was worth a ten thousand death, in Hajime’s mind.

Looking at such a Hajime who was drafting off that much dangerous love in a certain meaning, Yue’s heart that kept getting shaken since they entered the audience hall settled with a snap. As though to show that her wandering eyes also snapped in place, she was staring wholeheartedly as though she could see nothing except Hajime right now. Her cheeks were gradually colored with a dreamy rose color, her eyes that were dry like the desert began to moisten damply.

“… Hajime is jealous. Jealous for me… nn. I’m happy.”

Inside her woman heart, Yue was flattered by Hajime’s condition who was fully exposing his jealousy. Even so, she was also scolding herself.

Although there were so many shocking things happening, she still had exposed such unsightliness. To say nothing of how she was accepting someone while unclear whether it was really her uncle or not. She believed the unnatural story she was told without a doubt. Not only that, she was also going to accept the invitation to fight a god, even though that was a preposterous decision that forgot her promise with Hajime.

Indeed, her memory of Denreed was hard to forget, that memory of betrayal was traumatic for her. But right now, there were a lot of happy memories filling her chest that far surpassed all of those memories. It was only a short period of a few months, but the density of those memories easily exceeded the months and years she spent in her motherland. It was to the degree that even if this person was really her uncle, it was impossible for her to take his hand.

While she was talking with this imposter who wears the skin of Denreed, the warmth of Hajime’s hand that was put on her shoulder to support her, she should have been more aware of that.

Yue silently rubbed her forehead on Hajime’s arm while talking with a sweetly damp voice.

“… Hajime, I showed you my ugly side. I’m sorry. I’m fine already now.”

“There is no need to apologize. After all, I know really well just how deep what happened before Yue was imprisoned in the abyss took root inside you.”

“… Hajime. I love you. I love you so much.”

Just like their promise to protect each other, at this time where the greatest demon for Yue was standing in her way, Hajime supported her like a large tree. Toward such a Hajime, Yue spilled her feeling along with a sigh of feverish breath.

But, at that timing, *clap clap* applause sounds resounded.

“Oh man, really, I thought that even if there is some unnaturalness, but if it’s someone with the same appearance as the father of the lover you are doting on, you are going to falter a little. Who would ever think you were going to attack suddenly because of that kind of reason…  It seems I misread how diminutive a human is.”

Different from just now not only there was no warmth that could be felt at all, rather contempt and scorn filled the voice that was saying such things. While saying that, Denreed, despite the fact his head and four limbs were drilled by bullets and wrapped in bola that bound him in many layers, was standing up.

The clothes of the devil king wrapping that body had no disarray to them, to the degree that it made anyone doubtful whether he really was shot. If there was no wreckage of the bola under his feet, then everyone would doubt that they were daydreaming.

“Even though I almost managed to cause her mind to lean on this side after much work. Now we have to move on to the plan B… like this I cannot save my face toward that honored person.”

“… You are not Oji-sama.”

“Hmph, I really am that Oji-sama of yours. However, perhaps I should say that it is this flesh that is your uncle.”

“… Are you saying that you usurped that body?”

Yue floated an azure flame on her right hand while questioning the imposter. With that figure, Denreed’s mouth split open widely in a grin.

“You really have bad hearing. I want you to call it an effective recycling. This retainer god of Ehito-sama, Aruv, used this body even after the owner’s death. This person has chosen you to know? Just how honored and deeply moved this body is, don’t you think? Good grief, even this man too, before he died he erased the memory of when he hid you and also the memory of the age of god magic so that I can only use his flesh, what a useless man. If I knew that you were still alive, then I would have dragged it out of this man, by all means necessary.”

“… You killed Oji-sama?”

“Fufu, I wonder about that?”

“… Answer.”

Killing intent surged out from Yue. Her crimson eyes shined fierily, the azure flame on her hand increased in radiance. That blue flame was the ‘Flame of Divine Punishment’. It was something brutal that could even burn to nothing only the selected soul. That threat should be noticed by the very soul of the target itself.

But, the opponent Denreed――no, the evil god wearing his skin, he was only showing an arrogant smile as though he wasn’t feeling threatened at all.

“Hou, is that really fine? Perhaps my words just now lay, and actually, Denreed is still alive you know? What if he is hidden at the deepest bottom of this body?”

“-…”

Yue’s breath unintentionally hitched. Surely even while glaring she was about to launch the flame questioning whether she was just being deceived. But, the next words stopped her hand completely.

“Kukuh, you are making a nice face. In deference to that funny expression, let me teach you one thing. … It’s the words of Denreed just before he died. His last words that were addressed to you.”

“… Uncle’s…”

Hajime aimed his gun muzzle at Aruv as a threat so that he wouldn’t get carried away saying words to torment Yue continuously, but just like how Yue stopped her hand, Hajime’s movement also completely stopped.

However, later on, Hajime regretted this choice. He was only thinking about Yue that his reaction toward the enemy dulled. Even if it didn’t match Yue’s wish, he should have decided that there was no need to hear whatever the enemy was saying.

Aruv showed a disgusting smile while putting on airs grandeously, then he opened his mouth.

“You see, Denreed whispered your name while saying this.”

――It’s better if you die painfully.

“…”

The arrow of words pierced Yue’s chest. Even without any magic or anything that disordered the mind, she couldn’t help but feel a sharp pain.

At that moment, everything happened at the same time.

“UoOOOOOOH!!”

――Behind Hajime and others who confronted Aruv, Kouki who was beside Eri roared while slashing at Hajime(・・・).

“-“

――Silver light poured down from above. The Beautiful square light that penetrated the ceiling fell straight toward Yue(・・) from overhead.

“――’Degenerate Consciousnessss’”

―― From the other direction of the body of the collapsed Eri, Eri’s(・・) dark magic was fired toward Yue who was attacked by that light. Looking at that direction, from a space where there was nothing, an unharmed Eri that looked completely the same like the collapsed Eri came out as though oozing from the air. And then, a flickering darkness ball appeared advancing right before Yue’s eyes.

“――’Quake Sky’!”

――Similar to Eri, Freed appeared as expected from a ripped space that was in a different spot from his pulverized body, he had already finished his chanting and fired space blasting magic toward Myuu and Remia.

“This is payback. Irregular.”

――At the same time with Aruv’s finger snap, a gigantic magic bullet flew at Hajime.

“Exterminate.”

――An empty air where there was nothing undulated, and several dozen apostles seeped out from there, they went to attack Hajime and others all at once.

It was a perfect simultaneous surprise attack where they all must have been waiting for this timing. The remain of Freed that had its head drilled and Eri whose body was bound crumbled with rustling sound into atoms as though to say that their role was over.

It appeared that at that instant when their field of vision was blinded by the light, both Eri and Freed were replaced with some kind of artifact. It was something abnormal to be able to deceive even Hajime’s magic eye.

Even though Hajime made a bitter expression from getting done in like this, he immediately activated ‘Light Speed’ and stretched an instant into several dozen seconds. Inside the gray world where the flow of time slowed, the great number of attacks slowly approached.

He could hear the roaring holy sword behind him. Light pillar was falling from above Yue and in front of her flickering black sphere was coming with eerie pulsing. From the front gray magic bullets were approaching while tracing a spiral. Invisible shockwave was running toward Myuu and Remia, and the apostles were assaulting Aiko and others with their large sword raised.

If he left them alone, the only future waiting was the word tragedy.

However, with Hajime alone, there wasn’t enough hands. Hajime reflexively gritted his teeth, but suddenly a gaze stabbed him from the side… when he looked by moving only his eyes, the figure of Yue staring at him strongly was there. Just from that, Hajime realized Yue’s thought. Namely, the will that told him ‘protect Myuu and Remia’.

That pillar of light, the most abnormal phenomenon in this current situation was aiming at Yue, on top of that even that acting of Aruv, and just as he said, even this simultaneous surprise attacks that he said as the plan B made Hajime sensed that all of these were some kind of plan toward Yue, causing him to feel a slight mental resistance toward leaving Yue’s side.

But, even so, the gaze she directed at him was the proof of her trust to her beloved lover. Then, there was no way he could betray that. Therefore, he decided.

In this moment, less than a second.

*GOGAN-!!* Terrific shockwave sound resounded while Hajime fired a shotgun from the elbow of his artificial arm. Kouki who approached from behind was counterattacked by countless pebbles and shockwave and his breath got blown away.

Without stopping, Hajime used the momentum from the shot recoil and pulverized the ground with his step, his figure blurred. He rushed with speed that didn’t even leave afterimage while avoiding the approaching magic bullet, his figure then appeared in front of Myuu and Remia. Perhaps from Myuu and Remia’s point of view, Hajime looked like he had teleported instantly.

The shockwave of the space blasting that had approached until less than a meter was blocked by the large shield that Hajime took out while he was moving. The improved large shield reacted at the shockwave by releasing its own shockwave like an explosive reactive armor. With that, although cracks entered the surface of the shield, it managed to perfectly defended against the shockwave of the ‘Quake Sky’.

As the compensation of Hajime prioritizing Myuu and Remia, the magic bullet Aruv fired attacked Shia and the others who were at Hajime’s surrounding. Furthermore, just before the bullet hit, as though it was avoiding Yue, the bullet ruptured and scattered to the surrounding to make everyone lose all places to escape.

“-‘Drawn Sky’!”

The reaction speed of the speed fighter Shizuku forcefully changed the target of the magic bullet to herself just before it could hit all her other comrades. As the result, Shizuku’s body that received the whole magic bullet of the devil king, although it wasn’t a direct attack because she drew the bullet using her black katana, but she received an outrageous impact and got blown far away.

“I won’t let you!”

Ignoring all of those, Shia used bombing mode Doryukken to aim between the apostles and Aiko and the others, she pulled the trigger instantly. The fired bursting slug pierced the ground in front of Aiko and others, scattering shockwave along with the light blue ripple.

“KyAAAAAH”

“UWAAAAA”

Shia’s aim was to buy time. She didn’t think that she could stop several apostles at the same time, so she blew away Aiko’s group and the apostles to try to put distance between both sides for the time being. Her intention succeeded, Aiko and others were barely able to escape the large swords of the apostles even while they were shaken by the impact.

Shia and Kaori who had come back to their senses were about to head toward the apostles who gathered themselves. At the same time, Tio pushed out both her hands as though to say that she wouldn’t let them do as they pleased more than this. She was about to release her breath attack. Her target was the devil king and the totally unharmed Freed who appeared from the distorted space just like the apostles.

But, the only one who actually managed to act was Shia.

“HAAAAAAH!”

“Ko, Kouki-kun!?”

Kouki who was supposedly blown away by Hajime had come back unnoticed and slashed at Kaori.

“――’Degenerate Consciousness’”

“-, a?”

And Tio was dazed for a slight moment at the same time with Eri’s chanting.

Toward Tio who exposed a glaring opening even for just a few moments, a flying kick that was unthinkable from Eri’s amateur burst caused Tio to be blown far away like Shizuku. As for Kaori, she blocked the holy sword’s attack with her large sword while locking sword with an unbelieving expression.

All of this happening until now happened within only a moment.

Like that, Hajime aimed the muzzles of Donner & Schlag at Aruv and Freed and he was about to pull the triggers. Shia confronted the apostles with her back covering Aiko and the others. Tio and Shizuku were standing up while enduring the pain. Kaori was opening her mouth to look for explanation from Kouki. Ryuutaro and Suzu finally returned to their senses, and at that time…

“Uh, a?”

A small whisper echoed, Yue’s figure was swallowed by the pillar of light.

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Okay… this was a cool scene, but I’m going to have to put out some fanboy rage here. You’re saying all these characters did all this stuff in the intervening second… okay… but what about Yue? Yue is hardly a slouch. You’re telling me that everyone else reacted in a mere micro-second, but one of the most capable people on the team just stood there and took it without moving, teleporting, or erecting a barrier? If she was injured or protecting someone, sure… but this is just lazy writing for plot convenience. I’ll look forward to swallowing my words next chapter when the author better provides a reasonable explanation.

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Arifureta Chapter 154

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

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

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n8611bv/155/

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.

Surprised by this release. Bakapervert wanted to see the rest of this series finish, especially as we approach the finale, so he’s helping with editing. We will probably be releasing twice a week until the main story is finished.

P.S. Sorry about last Sunday’s release. I finished the editting now.

Bakapervert translated this chapter. He also did the edits.

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Is it Lie, or Truth  (Beginning)

“…Oji, sama…”

Yue’s hoarse voice resounded. Her eyes were opened unusually wide, her small and slender hands were shaking in small trembles as though expressing the agitation inside her heart.

Normally it was an impossible situation for her to not notice Hajime’s call to her, it showed just how deeply she was agitated.

Giving a glance at Hajime and the others who were evidently shocked looking at Yue’s condition, the golden-haired red eyed devil king smiled really gently while once more addressing Yue with the unfamiliar name.

“That’s right. It’s me. Aleytia. Looks like you are surprised. …That’s understandable. But, that look of yours is nostalgically lovely. You haven’t changed at all since three hundred years ago.”

A smiling devil king. Yue took a step back, perhaps finally perceiving that the person there was her uncle. And then, just when she was about to say something with her trembling lips, the apostle Acht opened her mouth as though to beat her to the punch.

“Aruv-sama?”

Acht called at the devil king with an expression that was like a mask, however, her intonation was clearly questioning. From that indication, it was as though the devil king’s attitude toward Yue was an unexpected situation for her. And it wasn’t just the apostles, even Freed was similarly making a slightly questioning look.

Hearing that call, the devil king faintly smiled and suddenly he lifted his hand. …Toward Acht and others, the apostles of god.

The next moment, light of magic power that resembled Yue’s exploded like a flashbang grenade, instantly everything was drowned in light. That light then was absorbed back into Denreed’s hand as though in a playback, after that the figures of the apostles crumbling down like a machine that had its electricity cut off became visible.

Furthermore, as though it was an afterthought, Freed and Eri also fell down. Kouki who was beside Eri was dumbfounded by the sudden situation, he was only staring at Eri fixedly without even a twitch.

In front of Yue and others who were dumbfounded by the sudden event, the devil king released a sigh ‘fuu’ as though he had just gone through a really nerve wrecking situation, next he lifted his thrust out hand over his head and snapped his tongue, invoking some kind of technique.

What was reflected in Hajime’s magic eye stone was a golden barrier spreading in a dome shape. However, its purpose seemed as though it had a slightly different effect compared to the normal barrier.

“This is a barrier for deceiving interception and surveillance. It’s something to show different voice and scene that I prepared. With this, the apostles outside this place won’t notice what is happening here.”

“…What are you planning?”

Hajime silently narrowed his eyes at this speech and conduct done by a person who seemed to be hostile toward the apostles while asking back.

“Nagumo Hajime-kun, isn’t it? Your vigilance is reasonable. That’s why let me say this frankly without beating around the bush. I am the current devil king of the devil kingdom Garland, and the prime minister of the former vampire kingdom Avatar――Denreed Gardia Wesperitirio Avatar…a person who rebels against god.”

The words that were said with the majesty as the devil king reverberated inside the wide audience hall dignifiedly. Those words carried the power that made the people in this place hearing them think that they were said seriously.

All the members other than Hajime gulped at the shocking truth. Who would ever think that the king of the devil race that opposed the human race was a rebel against god, such thing was unthinkable even in their dream. Their reaction was only natural.

Among them, Suzu who just managed to return to her senses yelled “Eri-” while trying to dash at her, but she was stopped by Kouki’s hand. His hand touched the nape of the neck of the fainting Eri and he felt her pulse, then he nodded while smiling that there was nothing to worry about. It appeared that Eri only lost her consciousness. Looking at Suzu patting her chest in a relieved sigh, Denreed spoke an apology “Sorry to make you uneasy.”

Incidentally, regarding the apostles, they had their function suspended. Freed and others had their body function suspended――to put it another way, they were in a temporary death state.

In addition, with the ‘devil king’s apology’, among everyone who was lost for words from the sequence of events, Hajime’s gaze was sweeping at his surroundings while he was about to press the question at Denreed about his true intentions. But, at that time a yelling voice suddenly resounded. It was a voice that sounded like it was desperately trying to deny something.

“Lies…there is no way that’s true-. Den-ojisama was a normal vampire! Indeed, he was exceptionally strong, but he wasn’t a true ancestor like me! There is no way that Oji-sama, that Denreed is still alive.”

“Aleytia…. You are shaken, aren’t you? Even so…that’s only natural. Although it was something necessary, I had done something horrible to you. If such a person suddenly appeared in front of your eyes, it would be stranger if you weren’t shaken.”

“Don’t call me Aleytia-! Don’t pretend that you are Oji-sama-!”

Denreed smiled sadly toward Yue who was in an agitated state that even Hajime had never seen. Perhaps getting rubbed the wrong way even by such an attitude, Yue pushed her hand out with seething killing intent. Tremendous magic power was bursting out from her body.

Although she had accepted the possibility of the difference in her memory inside the Ice and Snow Cavern, even so, the man in front of her eyes was the one who had locked her in the depth of darkness for a long three hundred years. It was the person who had betrayed her who had given him immense trust. There was no way she could be so easily convinced.

To say nothing of how that person who should have died to suddenly appear in front of her eyes, talking intimately, affectionately at her with the look that didn’t change at all from three hundred years ago. Her heart was churning like a sea that was hit directly by a typhoon.

Following an impulse that she didn’t even understand herself, Yue launched a lightning dragon. Nervousness ran through the other members at the current situation that was moving suddenly.

However, Denreed only kept smiling. With an attitude that could even be said as composed, once more, he snapped his fingers. At that instant, along the edge of the altar where the throne was located, a wall of light rose up. The lightning dragon that was howling thunderously while approaching Denreed crashed onto that barrier, yet it was unable to destroy the very strong barrier.

Inside the surging lightning, Denreed talked with a gentle voice from the other side of the barrier.

“Aleytia Gardea Wesperiterio Avatar. The most beautiful and wise queen in history, my beloved niece. I am certainly your uncle. I wonder if you remember. That I was a powerful monster user.”

“What are-”

“If it’s the current you then you should understand. Just why the I at that time was that powerful of a monster user.”

“…-, an age of god magic…metamorphosis magic.”

Denreed smiled saying “Good answer”, just like in the past when he watched over Yue’s study. Attacked by déjà vu, Yue’s expression distorted.

“Exactly. To say further, I also obtained regeneration magic. Though unfortunately, my talent in that area is poor, it’s like throwing a pearl before swine. In exchange, I can boast that I am very much talented in metamorphosis magic. I also worked really hard on it. As the result, not only creating monsters, I also became able to perform strengthening on my own body. That’s how I extended my life until now.”

Actually, Hajime had drawn out his railgun and nonchalantly fired under the cover of the lightning dragon, but understanding that the barrier couldn’t be broken through easily, he put his hand on Yue’s shoulder. With that lightning dragon that had bad efficiency and convergence rate incomparable from usual due to her disordered mind, it was only a pointless waste of magic power.

Yue suddenly returned to her senses from the warmth on her shoulder, she glared once at Denreed with dangerous eyes then dispersed the lightning dragon. She then recovered her calmness in a few minutes before making her question, even so, she didn’t hide how her tone became rougher.

“…That day the devil that uses the white dragon, he said that you are a god with the name Aruv. He said that you had led the devil race for a few hundred years until now!”

At the very least Denreed had worked as the prime minister of the vampire kingdom Avatar for more than twenty odd years until Yue was imprisoned, Yue slapped the contradiction with Freed’s statement at Denreed.

Even so, Denreed’s composure didn’t crumble. As though to say that what Yue pointed out was only natural, he calmly answered.

“What Freed said is not mistaken. I am certainly Aruv, at the same time it can also be said that Aruv is not me.”

Yue’s gaze became severe hearing Denreed answering with something that sounded like Zen philosophy. Denreed smiled wryly at that while continuing his words.

“The existence called Aruv was the retainer god of god Ehito during the age of god. He is someone like a subordinate. At first, Aruv swore loyalty toward god Ehito and became his hands and feet, yet one day, he held a doubt. Is it fine to keep overlooking the inhuman act of god Ehito like this, he thought. A few hundred years, a few thousand years passed while he was holding that doubt which grew largr and before long he grew to hold the intention of rebellion.”

Denreed walked around the throne with steady sounds of footsteps. That calm tone for some reason resounded really well despite its volume that wasn’t loud at all, even so it didn’t make anyone feel discomfort at all.

“But, there is no way he can match god Ehito who is the chief god. Therefore, Aruv formed a plan. That plan is, he would descend to the surface as Ehito’s pawn and intensified the war of the people, and as the situation fell into chaos, he would shoulder the role of devil king――under such pretense, he would then search in the surface for any method and battle strength that could oppose Ehito.”

Denreed stopped talking for a moment and opened and closed his hand repeatedly. He was doing that gesture as though to ascertain the sensation while continuing.

“But, a god that doesn’t have flesh body, needs a flesh body as a vessel so they can act fully on the surface. Aruv also searched for a person who could become his vessel to reside his soul into that body. Originally, making one’s soul reside inside another person’s body isn’t something easy even for god if the rejection of the body’s owner is strong but…if they displayed their existence as god then there won’t be anyone rejecting them. After all, it’s not like the person’s self will disappear, rather it even feels like an honor, right?”

“…Like that, Denreed was also chosen by Aruv?”

“Aruv was mad with joy, you know? If I was merely someone with aptitude, then he would only tell me that he was a retainer god of Ehito, but I knew the truth. I could possibly become a true fellow rebel. Aruv told me his will from inside my body while outside I was under the observation of the apostles. Even now Aruv is inside me, giving me help in various matters. Two souls in one body. That is the meaning of my words that I am Aruv and also not Aruv.”

Denreed paused to ascertain whether comprehension had reached Yue and the others while putting his hand on the throne. Seeing that, Yue made a complicated face while asking.

“…Since when?”

“It happened just a little bit before you succeeded the throne. At the same time, even I who was unable to do anything even knowing the truth understood that there was something that I could do. I thought that as my mission.”

“…Mission.”

“Yes, the mission to overthrow god. Though it was really hard making it so that god Ehito and his apostles wouldn’t catch my true intentions, you see. Thanks to that, I was made to do many things that were not my true intention countless times.”

Denreed smiled asking if there was anything else she wanted to ask, seeing that smile it woke up the memory of the time when he was in the role as her instructor, shaking Yue’s heart. The way he talked and his atmosphere felt like the uncle inside her memory. She began to think that by any chance he might really be alive just like he said.

And then, if that was really the case, there was something that Yue wanted to ask, no, something that Yue had to hear at all cost.

“…Why did you betray our country? Why, I was impri…”

“I’m sorry.”

“-…I don’t want to hear your apology-! The reason-”

Yue yelled at Denreed who was saying words of apology with a mournful expression. Hajime at her side put strength into the hand he put on her shoulder to calm her down. The other members were also directing serious expressions at Denreed without butting into this matter that was related with Yue’s past.

“Aleytia. You were a prodigy, to the degree that no other could possibly catch up to you in the field of magic. Even I who was a user of an age of god magic wasn’t a match against you. This strength was too conspicuous. That was why eyes were attracted to you. Just like Nagumo Hajime who is at your side.”

“…Irregular.”

“That’s right. Aleytia, I wonder if you remember? At that time, the upper echelon of Avatar was already in the process of being dyed by the influence of god Ehito’s faith. That included both your parents too. You should have felt a glimpse of that.”

“…I remember. Oji-sama and Chichi-ue quarreled often regarding my education. …Oji-sama was assigned as my instructor. That was why I was raised without really getting concerned by the faith.” (TN: Chichi-ue is father.)

Denreed nodded back toward the nodding Yue.

“That was because I knew the truth. I didn’t have any method to ascertain whether the liberators’ words were truth or not, but I thought that it was dangerous for you who was still young to put your faith unconditionally. I wanted to protect you. But, my effort to distance you from the faith became in vain.”

“…A pawn that didn’t move as wished for was a hindrance?”

“Something like that. The plan to assassinate you became fully all-out. Your immortality isn’t absolute. Especially if the enemy is a god then that’s even truer…even after I obtained the age of god magic, I didn’t have the confidence to protect you from god’s intention. Besides, I who had Aruv residing inside my body and awoke to my mission didn’t want to lose you who are a trump card. That was why, before the assassination was carried out, I arranged your death and hid you. Until the time when the beacon of the rebellion can be raised.”

“…”

Her uncle didn’t betray her. Rather he was trying to protect her. Even if he had a feeling that considered her as battle strength, his words contained the feeling that he didn’t want to let her die, which matched with a portion of Yue’s memory.

Right now, Yue’s expression looked anxious as though her unmanageable emotion that was too much for her had lost its place to go, as though she was a lost child.

Her powerless trembling voice that displayed her unstable feelings threw the last question.

“…The hostage? If you are really Denreed-ojisama then…if you say that you didn’t betray me, then why?”

Toward those words mixed with criticism inside from Yue who was casting her eyes downward, Denreed smiled wryly while murmuring “About that”. And then he snapped his fingers once more. Instantly the radiance covering the cages silently dimmed and vanished, the lock of the cages also clicked open.

The captured classmates, Myuu, and Remia stared at the unlocked door with bewilderment.

“I thought that if I didn’t do this then I wouldn’t even be able to meet you. Besides, I also had the objective of guarding them for the sake of when the times come. I want you to forgive me about their wounds. The one who went to pick them up were the apostles. I couldn’t treat their wounds in front of them. Just in case I commanded them to not kill anyone. After all, perhaps they might become allies from here on together with Aleytia.”

“…Com, rade?”

It seemed that according to Denreed it was that kind of reason. Perhaps she had used up everything that she could use to argue, that Yue only repeated Denreed’s words with doubt. Her voice already had no heat in it, furthermore her raging heart became even stormier. Because she was given a large amount of information all at once, and how all that information was something important and impossible to ignore for her, she was unable to sort her feelings.

Even Shia and others who were watching over Yue couldn’t hide their bewilderment of what to do. The people imprisoned inside the cages were unable to move feeling the atmosphere of the place.

Inside such an atmosphere, Denreed watched fondly as though he had seen through Yue’s heart, he descended from the altar while making a smile. The destination where he was walking calmly was Yue’s location.

“Aleytia. I want you to believe me somehow. I love you, whether right now or in the past. Just how impatiently I have been waiting for this day when I can see you again. During these three hundred years, there wasn’t a day that I had forgotten you.”

“…Oji, sama…”

“That’s right. I am your Den-ojisama. My cute Aleytia. The time has come. Please, lend me your strength, in order to finish everything.”

“…Lend, my strength?”

“Let’s defeat the god together. Just like when we fought the country’s external enemy together back to back. God Ehito is already going to end this era. Actually I planned to hide you until the time when we really have to fight but…this is a windfall. You have become far stronger compared to the past, and then there are even this many users of age of god magic gathered here. Surely we can even reach god Ehito.”

“…I, I am…”

Denreed’s words shook Yue. Denreed was spreading open his arms, as though he was going to embrace Yue who was like that.

That posture resurrected a memory of her childhood at the back of her mind once more. When the young Yue achieved some kind of result in magic training or class, ‘Den-ojisama’ would smile looking even happier than Yue who made the accomplishment while he would surely spread open his arms to welcome her. And then, he would praise Yue who jumped at him saying “You worked really hard” while stroking her head.

The hug of her important relative who was alive, and who didn’t betray her. She loved him dearly like a father, even more than her real father. Yue’s eyes wavered.

Denreed’s smile was increasingly deepening, he was about to say some words in order to embrace Yue.

“Now, let’s go together. Aleyti――”

Instantly,

*DOPAN-!*

Such familiar dry sound reverberated. At the same time, Denreed’s body snapped back facing up, and then he collapsed behind just like that.

No one was able to grasp what just happened, they were staring at the collapsed Denreed with their pupils turning into dot. His body didn’t even twitch. The vast audience hall was filled with silence.

Inside such an atmosphere, a ‘click’ sound that was like a cocked firing hammer, no, it was exactly the sound of firing hammer being cocked broke the silence. The people in that place twitched with trembling body and sent their gaze at the sound’s source all at once.

There a scene that they half-expected unfolded.

Namely…

“Move out of the way. I’ll make that guy into mincemeat.”

Holding Donner that had white smoke rising up from it, while spouting abusive line like a hoodlum, the figure of Hajime who had vein pulsing on his forehead was there.

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Arifureta Chapter 153

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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/154/

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.

Bakapervert translated this chapter. Elementalcobalt did the final edits.

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Devil King’s Invitation

Surely there were easily a few hundred bodies there. They covered the whole field of vision, a large number of monsters and Nointo. And then, Freed Bagua and Nakamura Eri seemed to be followed by the rest.

The two of them cracked jokes perhaps as an expression of their composure. After giving a backward glance at Kouki and the others, they were at a loss of words from the shock. Hajime narrowed his eyes dangerously. The string of his killing intent had been pulled until just before it snapped, what was left was only releasing the arrow of a sure kill.

Although Freed and his group should have been feeling the abnormal pressure of such a Hajime on their skin, even now, their composure didn’t break. There was one reason. Because they were surrounded by ‘the apostles of the true god’ who had the exact same appearance as the current Kaori.

Inside his heart, ‘As expected how unpleasant. What a bunch that are like cockroaches.’ Hajime spat out that curse, but Kaori had the same appearance with the Nointo and twitched with a start, perhaps from a woman’s instinct. Hajime quietly averted his thinking to search for a way to annihilate the enemy.

Previously, a mortal combat unfolded when Hajime faced one Nointo, but in the present, the spec of his body and weapons were raised using sublimation magic, so if it was one on one he should be able to finish Nointo without even using ‘Limit Break’. He didn’t feel like he’d lose even if he had to take on a large number of them at the same time.

Hajime exchanged glances with Yue and the others at his side for an instant. Now, when they were just about to release their killing intent to follow the saying of ‘victory goes to the one who makes the first move’. As though to beat them to the punch, Freed opened his mouth once more.

“Don’t be so rash. Right now, I don’t have the intention of indulging myself in killing each other with you. Though I greatly wished for you to grovel on the ground and beg for your life.”

“Hee, then, what are you coming for? I thought that you fell to despair toward the incompetent god who can only throw a tantrum and decided on suicide, though?”

Hearing Hajime’s ridiculing tone, Freed’s eyebrows twitched in reaction.

What Hajime said as ‘incompetent god’ was, of course, referring to the god Ehito. With Nointo’s presence here, Hajime’s conjecture previously――that Ehito didn’t differentiate the race, that he was the god of every race and how they all were his toy. And then, the god that the devil race worshiped was perhaps Ehito himself falsifying his name or possibly Ehito’s underling――seemed to be spot on.

And for how much Freed understood about that truth…

“… I won’t be provoked by that. This too is for the command my lord bestowed to me. I am merely executing that command.”

“Is that so. And? Loyal dog Freed, what kind of present(command) you got?”

“… My generous lord will shut his eyes even toward the shameless acts of all of you. He is inviting you to his castle. We are the greeting for that. This impossible fortune for you to be able to have an audience with that honored person. You can tremble on your legs with excitement.”

“Haa?”

Freed’s state showed quietness that they had never seen until now. It was unclear what he was thinking. While putting on a particularly expressionless face, Freed informed them of his words using a voice without intonation. Hearing Freed like that, Hajime unintentionally leaked out a taken aback voice. In various meanings, there was a lot of points that he could retort at. Even Yue and the others at his side sent Freed doubtful gazes.

“That Ehito guy or Aruv something is a god, right? Why is he in a castle, huh?”

Anyway, for the time being, Hajime asked about the most questionable thing. Toward that, Freed answered that question with a bland tone, however as though to show what an extremely great honor it was, he spread both his arms like an actor standing on the stage.

“Aruv-sama is certainly a god――he is the retainer of Ehito-sama… but at the same time, he is also the king of us the devil race――he is also the devil king. He manifested from the divine world into this dirty world, passing through a long time, he handed down guidance to us the devil race for the sake of a great objective.”

It appeared the true identity of the devil king was the god itself that was called as ‘Aruv-sama’. Also, the truth of how the devil king equals Aruv-sama seemed to be a hidden matter that was known only to an extremely limited number of people. Freed expressed joy that couldn’t be hidden because he was included in that really small number of people. From his way of speaking, it seemed he knew it only very recently, though…

“… Great objective, huh. Then, how much is the devil race is being made to dance, I wonder.”

“What are you saying?”

“No? I’m praising the devil king-sama here just how awesome he is yeah.” (TN: The way they call the devil king here is using maou. But sometimes Hajime is also called using that word maou, so I’m using devil king to call this king of the devil race while to refer Hajime I’ll use demon king.)

“…”

Freed who was sharp-eared noticed Hajime’s murmur, but he responded with a shrug and a frivolous reply. As expected, he got irritated and his temple twitched convulsively.

But, there with a tone even more frivolous than Hajime, Eri opened her mouth feeling that the situation was troublesome.

“Hey, Freed. Don’t just keep prattling on and on, finish it quickly. After all, I want to quickly pass sweet time with Kouki-kun seee.”

“… I know.”

It appeared that Freed did not think well of Eri. He clicked his tongue while fixing his collar as though to gather himself. And then just when he was about to say something, a desperate voice from Suzu raised to interrupt him.

“Eri-! Suzu is-… that-, with Eri-“

“Hm? Whaaat, Suzu? You are carefree like usual huh… no, you don’t seem to be like that, I guess? What? I wonder if you want to vent your pent-up feelings? Well, if you want to cry then you can just cry as you like, can’t you? For me, it doesn’t matter thoughhh”

“Yo, you are wrong-. Suzu is just, wanting to speak with Eri one more time!”

Eri looked down while chuckling at Suzu with her hand waving as though to drive away a dog, to that Suzu spoke desperately while her words got choppy. However, her words couldn’t be formed skillfully in this too sudden reunion with the one she wanted to reunite with.

To such a Suzu, as though to show that she didn’t have interest, Eri averted her gaze. Seeing that, Kouki finally returned to his senses and asked about Eri’s bizarre appearance with a hoarse voice.

“E, Eri… that appearance, what’s with that?”

Eri who was talked to by Kouki showed a full smile that was different compared to when she talked with Suzu. Although it was a warped smile that made one felt faint coldness somewhere in it.

“Kouki-kun! How is it? It’s lovely, right? You see, Maou-sama gives me a new power seeee. Because even though I just want to live sweetly with just Kouki-kun only the two of us, there are a lot of shitheads that become a hindrance even for just such a meager wish. It’s fine! The trash that bothers Kouki-kun, allll of them will be cleaned up by me okayyy! We are going to live together just the two of us foorever and eeeeeeever, okayy.”

“E, Eri…”

Eri cackled while rotating in circles in the air with a feverish tone and an expression plain to see. The gray wings growing on her back weren’t even black or white. They gave off a dirty impression as they flapped together with Eri’s motion, scattering gray feathers everywhere. The gray feathers dancing down in flutters fell on the ground, and then the touched spots instantly disintegrated.

Without any doubt that was the same disintegration ability as Nointo.

“Don’t tell me, just like Kaori… no, that’s Eri’s body… you were given only the ability?”

Shizuku who was glaring silently at Eri frowned while considering the situation.

But, before she could obtain the answer, *gyaki!* an ominous sound resounded. It was the sound of Hajime’s partner being readied that everyone had heard so many times.

“Anyway, it’s okay to slaughter them, all right?”

“… Nn. There is no reason to accept the invitation.”

“Blow them away and finish this desuu!”

“… As expected, with this many people having the same face lined up, even though I understand they are not me, it’s still eerie.”

“But, their way of inviting art too poor. To be this manner less, they hath to be chastised just a bit.”

At the same time Yue, Shia, Kaori, and Tio, the four of them were also showing intent to attack. Yue and Tio raised their hand straight up, Shia shouldered her Doryukken, and Kaori spread her silver wings with a flap.

Hajime’s killing intent was naturally directed at Eri too. Her grating cackling voice in the ear and ugly warped expression were getting on his nerves. The wish of Suzu was in a corner of his head, so thinking that at the very least he was going to pulverize her four limbs, he aimed Donner’s muzzle. Schlag was aimed at Freed.

But, just before the triggers were pulled, something silver was generated in front of Eri and Freed like a shield. In front of the dubious Hajime and others, the silver thing had noise that ran through and warped like jelly for a moment before it projected the scenery of somewhere.

A space magic. ‘Hermit Mirror’ ――a magic to projects in space the scenery of the faraway place.

What was projected in the hermit mirror were several impressive pillars standing, red carpet spread on the floor in a large hall. From there the camera changed its viewpoint and the image moved.

What they could begin to see was a place like an altar with a throne put there. As expected the projected place was a castle ――furthermore it was likely the audience hall of the devil king castle. High ceiling, various beautiful designs, and furnishings that were created in detail, all those projected the dignity of the devil king across the screen. The image further moved toward the side of the throne.

And then what began to appear was a large cage made from dark gray metal wrapped in shining reddish black magic power. Naturally, something was imprisoned inside it…

“… Fuck”

Dirty word reflexively flew out from Hajime’s mouth. At the same time, Yue and others also made an expression that seemed like they were chewing a hundred bitter bugs. The people who were especially greatly shaken were as expected Kouki and others in the group summoned from an alternate world.

“Everyone… sensei-!”

“Even Lily-“

Kaori and Shizuku yelled with tone colored by uneasiness.

Correct, just as the two said, the cage inside the image was imprisoning their classmates, Aiko, and then princess Liliana who were supposed to be in the Hairihi kingdom.

Aiko and Liliana were among the students where most of them were hugging their knees with uneasy expressions. They were desperately nursing several students who were powerlessly lying down. Looking carefully, those collapsed students seemed to be the party member of Nagayama. Other than them, even a member of Ai-chan guard party Tamai Atsushi was also crouching with an expression distorted in pain, although she was not as bad as Nagayama’s party.

Hajime immediately took out the ‘Compass of Guidance’ and searched for Aiko’s whereabouts.

“Chih, they are the real thing…”

“Hou, you have a really interesting item huh, young man. For a probing artifact, I’m feeling a really strong power from it. Can you ascertain the whereabouts of your important comrades with that?”

The compass was pointing at a point to the south continent. It showed that Aiko was undoubtedly at the devil king castle of the devil race. Hajime who was convinced that it wasn’t a faked image clicked his tongue. Freed who was showing interest at the compass was for the first time since they arrived here was obviously displaying his emotions. In his words, there was a lot of sense of superiority put there.

From Hajime’s attitude, Kaori and others also guessed that the image on the screen was the real thing and their expression turned bitter. And then in this kind of time, the first one to howl was Kouki. Kouki raised his voice in rage.

“You coward-! What invitation with you taking our comrades hostage-! Return everyone right now-!”

“Ahahah, as expected from Kouki-kun! You are straightforwardly kind, aren’t youuu. You are so serious even for those trashes, I’m falling in love with you all over againnn.”

“Eri, don’t screw around. There is nothing for you by doing this kind of thing! Return back everyone, you too also come back to us!”

“Aaahn, you said come back to meee. Are you planning to kill me in agony?”

“Eri-“

“Kufufu, wait a bit –kayy. Sooon, I will make Kouki-kun into only my Kouki-kun, okayyy.”

Kouki’s yell didn’t reach Eri at all. In a glance, it looked like a conversation but it wasn’t one at all. For Eri ‘the Kouki inside Eri’ was something fixed. Only Kouki who was convenient for herself was her Kouki. That distortedness seemed to have become even worse even compared to the betrayal of that day.

Kouki who understood that his words didn’t reach gritted his teeth while his gaze returned at Freed. And then the moment when he was about to argue further…

*DOPAN! DOPAN!*

“-!?”

A familiar gunshot interrupted him. Two streaks of crimson flashes soared straight at Freed and Eri. The flashes were going to instantly blast a part of Eri’s body and Freed’s skull, however, two Nointo cut in with afterimage left behind them and blocked the bullets with their large swords.

Different from before, a large crack entered the large sword with one attack. If there was one more shot the sword would break, but it didn’t change the fact that the attack was stopped. Hajime who irritatedly scowled was going to pull the triggers further.

“Do.. don’t! Wait! Please, wait, Nagumo-kun…“

The one who hindered that was Suzu. Her small body reached straight at Hajime’s arm in a tackle. Hajime didn’t even twitch with something like Suzu’s weight, but looking at her dangling on his arm with a desperate expression and voice averted Hajime’s attention for a moment.

In that opening, even while trickling with cold sweat, Freed barely kept his expression unchanged with an opened mouth.

“… This madman. Are you not valuing the lives of your comrades?”

“Hah, you forgot already how I blew away your prided comrades before this in the same situation? Obediently following you will only get us all killed anyway. After all, your self-proclaimed god seems to desire to see my painful death, isn’t it?”

“You are saying, that in that case, you will survive just by yourself even by abandoning your comrades?”

“Don’t make me say this repeatedly. Those guys aren’t my comrades or anything. Besides…”

Fearless smile and beastly glaring eyes were directed at Freed. Toward Freed who instinctively took a step back on the back of the white dragon Uranos, Hajime declared as though to say that his words were exactly the common sense of this world…

“Even if I accepted the invitation after slaughtering you all, there won’t be any problem, right?”

Incidentally, if it was an invitation to the devil king castle then they would need one or two presents. Hajime laughed while making a gesture of slitting his neck. Everyone understood that he was saying he was going to bring the heads of Freed and others as the present. Kouki and others made shuddering expression thinking that the way of thinking of this guy was exactly that of a devil king.

Hearing that really arrogant way of talking, also feeling rage toward himself for stepping back even slightly toward such a Hajime, Freed’s expression distorted for an instant although he immediately smoothed over his face and lifted the corner of his lips with a scoff.

“How high-spirited. In front of this many apostle-sama I cannot think of you as sane but… on this occasion, how about I put out one more card.”

“Aa?”

Giving a glance at the doubtful Hajime, Freed changed the viewpoint of the screen that projected Aiko and others. It seemed that besides the cage imprisoning Aiko and others, there was one more cage. It had the same build, but that cage was quite small-sized was something to imprison one or two people.

And then, the moment the people imprisoned inside there was projected,

――――

Sound vanished from the world.

An abnormal killing intent to the degree that made everyone hallucinated like that was covering the whole area in the surrounding.

Those who could recognize that sound vanished were those in the classification as a strong person. After all the killing intent――or possibly it should be called as demonic intent already, against the torrent of that terrifying presence, in order for their instinct as a living thing to preserve their mind, the monsters that were Freed’s subordinates immediately had their consciousness shutdown and fainted.

Even Suzu who was clinging to Hajime’s arm felt that her consciousness was going far away while flopping down on the ground. She bit hard on her lips and somehow maintained her consciousness with that pain.

“-――-――yo, you bastard, don’t you care, about what’s going to happen to those fish imitations-“

Freed was putting his awareness at his breathing that felt like it would stop anytime while giving off warnings with a warped expression. He already didn’t have any leisure to dress up any calmness.

‘Fish imitation’――the two silhouettes that Freed called like that as well as the reason that drastically changed Hajime’s presence were… Myuu and Remia.

At the center of the cage, the two were tightly hugging each other to confirm each other’s existence. They couldn’t hide their uneasy expressions, but even so, they stout-heartedly observed their surroundings without showing a tear.

Hajime had made preparation before they left Erisen so that not even the smallest chance could hurt Myuu and Remia. Artifact to isolate and hide the presences of the two and a detection artifact to warn Hajime in the case the enemy appeared were left there. Barrier artifacts to buy time were also set at the city of Erisen and Myuu’s house. Hajime didn’t spend six days there just for show.

But, none of those was effective and Myuu and Remia were kidnapped. The preposterous strength of Hajime’s artifacts and his bond with Myuu, without knowing those two things this was something impossible to happen. It was also something that no one would even think to carry out, to begin with.

In other words, there was only one person who could arrive at such idea and kidnapped the two with the perfect setup.

Hajime’s gaze slowly flowed at Eri piercingly.

“――-“

A presence that penetratingly invaded until the depth of the mind was crawling all over Eri’s skin. Eri’s body was shuddering with chills, her body temperature that was rapidly lowering naturally made her breathing disordered.

Afer Hajime pierced such Eri with his gaze for a few moments, his gaze moved quietly as though she was just a stone at the roadside. Immediately, Eri staggered in the air as though she was just released from a binding.

Regardless of being the source of the inhuman demonic intent, as though it was just a lie, Hajime’s eyes turned calm and even looked sleepy, that mismatched strange gaze moved at Freed once more. And then, his mouth opened with a calm voice as expected.

“… I’ll accept the invitation.”

“Wha, what?”

With the demonic intent still gushing out without change, the words that were let out from Hajime’s mouth made Freed’s expression turn bewildered.

“… I said that I’m accepting the invitation. Lead us on quickly.”

“-… Hmph, you should have said that right from the beginning.”

At the same time with the repeated words, the demonic intent was gradually settling down. Even while breathing in disarray, Freed made a sneer with an expression that recovered his calmness. Like that he jolted awake the fainted swarm of gray dragons with metamorphosis magic while beginning to chant the spell to open the gate toward the devil king castle.

While giving a glance at Eri besides Freed who was similarly drenched with a large amount of sweat while breathing roughly and Kouki and the others who were released from their stiffened body, Yue tilted her head while looking up at Hajime.

“… Is it fine?”

“… Yeah. If we know the place then we can use crystal keys to connect the space, but the time lag is too long. Besides, the other side should know too that we are in possession of space transfer power.”

“Perhaps, they have to make a countermeasure, won’t they?”

“It’s troubling that there is a worst case. Unlike sensei-dono and the others, Myuu and Remia art not able to buy the time to compensate for that time lag with their own strength after all.”

Just as Tio said, if they felt like it, they could use a crystal key and the compass and teleport accurately to the devil king castle where Aiko and others were captured.

But, because it was a concept magic there would be a time lag created no matter what until the magic was invoked, for the enemy side who knew that Hajime and compnay possessed space magic, it was unthinkable that they would miss that opening time lag.

Even so, if it was just Aiko and others, they were a cheat group so perhaps they would be able to endure and pull through that time lag using their specs. For that reason, Hajime chose an annihilation battle tactic before, but Myuu and Remia whose fighting strength was nonexistence… in addition, they were courteously entered into another cage, then the story was different.

Thinking about the worst case, Hajime wanted to refrain from the forceful method.

“… Now, I’ll guide you to the location of our lord. Don’t worry, if you don’t make any mistake then surely you will be able to touch those half-assed living things once more. Although it’s hard to understand just what is good for those filthy living things.”

Freed completed the gate and at the other side of the connected space, there were a large terrace and townscape below visible. It appeared that they didn’t teleport directly at the audience hall where Aiko and others were at, the gate was opened at the outside of the upper level of the castle.

Most likely the inside of the castle had a barrier spread to forbid intrusion. Even if it was an ally there was no doubt that they would be unable to directly teleport in. Thinking about the defense of the devil king castle was only a natural measure.

Freed’s expression became disappointed looking at Hajime who proceeded to the gate while ignoring all of Freed’s mocking words, then he seemed to notice something and opened his mouth.

“That’s right. Young man, before moving on let’s have you take off your weapons.”

“…”

Toward Hajime who was merely returning a silent gaze, Freed finally couldn’t hide his joy from standing in a superior position and repeated his words with sneer mixed in them.

“Are you listening? I told you to quickly take off your weapons. Aa, also, let’s have you wear this shackle to seal your magic power.”

The shackle that looked like handcuff was taken out with clinking sound, it greatly resembled the one that was once put on Aiko and Kouki and others. Even though Freed dressed up this as an invitation, yet the treatment was completely like a prisoner.

Perhaps because there was the threat of hostage, Freed sneered understanding that. He had the air like a religious fanatic since before this, but until now he didn’t seem like someone with a petty personality. Perhaps the repeated defeat had distorted his personality. Possibly there was something after the invasion of the royal capital that deepened the degree of his fanaticism and he lost all restraint…

In any case, Hajime’s reply was decided.

“I refuse.”

“… What did you say?”

“Don’t make me say it the second time. I said I refuse.”

Those words of Hajime without any enthusiasm made Freed’s expression turn taken aback for a moment, but in the next moment, he directed a gaze as though he was looking at something that was hard to understand.

“… Are you unable to understand your position? You all have no right to refuse. If you don’t stay quiet and follow what you are told, that ugly mother and daughter――” “Don’t get carried away.” “-… What did you say?”

The clichéd speech that was threatening to harm Myuu and Remia if Hajime didn’t obey was interrupted in the middle and Freed raised his eyes, a calm voice then reached him.

“Do you think if you take Myuu and Remia hostage, then everything of me is sealed? Understand this. The card you used, is a double-edged sword.”

“Double-edged sword… you say”

From Hajime, there wasn’t any demonic intent or even killing intent like before. Far from that, he didn’t even let out a speck of magic power, naturally, he also wasn’t using ‘Coercion’.

Nevertheless, when they noticed the white dragon Uranos had slightly backed away, even Freed himself who was riding on its back noticed how his hand was trembling in small shivers. Just what in the world… without even any time to question that, Hajime’s words were spoken.

As always, it was a calm voice without a drop of anger or hate that could be felt from it, it was like the robotic voice of Nointo, but without regarding ally or enemy the voice was accompanied with reverberation that caused gooseflesh to form on his back.

“The reason that all of you are still alive is also thanks to Myuu and Remia. … Just try putting even a single wound towards the two of them. … Children, woman, old men, noble or the poor, there won’t be any distinction, the race called the devil… I’ll make them extinct.”

“――-“

Freed gulped. Surrounded by hundreds of ‘the apostles of true god’ at the surrounding, and his lord was a living god, he should have rejected Hajime’s words as impossible and merely a nonsense that would bring no problem at all. But, he felt a strange power that was hard to comprehend in that toneless voice and even for just a moment the thinking of ‘he might be able to do it’ flashed in his mind.

“I don’t know what is your objective that you do something like inviting us, but I have no intention to ride into enemy’s main base bare handed. After all, like that perhaps everything will be over without us unable to do anything. Rather than falling into a situation like that, rampaging around in sink or swim is still better.”

“… You are saying you are abandoning that mother and daughter?”

“I’m not abandoning them. However, I’m only thinking that losing my weapons here will be related to abandoning them.”

A scene that often appeared in the story was one where the main characters had hostages taken and they threw away their weapon just like they were told, but Hajime didn’t choose that. He thought that it was out of the question for the helping side to be made powerless for the sake of temporary safety. Like that would only cause everyone to be done in at the end.

Therefore, in that kind of time, Hajime would choose to annihilate the opponent even if the hostage wouldn’t come out of it with all their limbs intact. As long as the hostage alive then they could be healed. Then the way to kill the opponent with certainty was rational. The intense preparedness that wouldn’t submit to irrationality inside Hajime made him like that.

Of course, that was something awfully misaligned from common sense, in some way that choice could also be called as wrongdoing. After all, the maximum consideration and carefulness were demanded in the liberation of a hostage. Normally, it was unreasonable to think that it would be okay as long as the hostage didn’t die.

Not to mention, if it was about someone that was an extremely important existence for themselves, it was normal for someone to hesitate and throw away their logic and belief.

“… As expected, you are mad.”

Therefore, the feeling that Freed harbored was such a thing. Just when he took the initiative as the attacker and stood in the superior position, the opponent would abandon their base and came attacking instead. Furthermore, the basis of that action was which one would be able to annihilate their opponent first. It was a chicken race like that. Indeed, it couldn’t be helped that Freed doubted Hajime’s sanity.

Although in this case, there was a lot of bluffing factor included inside Hajime’s words. For Hajime, he didn’t think for even a little bit of wishing Myuu to be wounded. If possible, he wanted to take her back unharmed. For that reason, as much as possible he wouldn’t tolerate being separated from his weapons.

Therefore, he caused the opponent to have the impression of ‘I don’t know what he will do if he is poorly cornered too much’ and tried to forcefully keep his card. Hajime had already shown a portion of that impression in front of Freed, so Hajime thought that the possibility he could have his way was high. But for argument’s sake, he was also thinking about what to do in the case that this was no good.

“Then, while that madman is still not lining up a lump of woman and children meat of your fellow race in front of you, quickly take us in front of Myuu’s location.”

“…”

Freed couldn’t answer. He understood that Hajime wouldn’t yield, but to take an enemy in front of his lord while they were still armed was something hard to be pardoned as a pious servant.

Speaking the truth, the devil king Aruv told him to use the hostage to bring them to him, but he didn’t give any instruction to Freed regarding the details like weapons or binding. Aruv wouldn’t mind it even if Hajime was armed.

In other words, the demand for disarmament was Freed’s own decision using his common sense, but as expected, honestly nodding at Hajime’s demand was a cause for hesitation.

There a Nointo, the ‘apostle of the true god’ who didn’t say a word until now cut in.

“… Freed. Stop this unproductive matter. That person won’t mind this kind of triviality. Rather he will even think that this will be good entertainment. Also, as long as we are standing by, there is not even the slightest chance he can do anything. The binding for the irregular is enough with the very existences of us.”

“Kuh, however…”

Giving a glance at Freed who was still balking, Nointo faced Hajime with exactly the same voice and expression like when she faced him before.

“My name is called ‘Ahat’. Irregular, the analysis of the data of your battle with Nointo is already finished. Don’t think that you can win the battle with us for the second time.”

‘Therefore, if you want to bring a weapon then just bring it’, it seemed that she was implicitly telling him that. Looking carefully, the ‘apostle of the true god’ with the same appearance like Nointo introducing herself as Ahat, her eyes looked slightly shaken. Perhaps it was just his feeling, but to Hajime, it was something that looked like hostility or perhaps hatred.

‘Don’t think that you can win the battle with us for the second time’――those words weren’t something from a simple doll, perhaps it was filled with more intense emotion.

But such thing didn’t matter for Hajime. And so, he quietly turned his gaze away and headed toward the gate with cold eyes. It was clear that he was telling them to hurry and guide him.

Freed scowled at that arrogant attitude, but with the addition of the pressing from Ahat, he shook his head in annoyance and slipped through the gate.

Hajime and others followed from behind.

At that time, the only one who noticed Hajime’s hand shining for an instance was only Yue who was beside him.

The large terrace that the gate was connected to had the space almost as big as a school rooftop, even with all of them stepping into there was still some space left. Nevertheless, that was also only after the gray dragons and the majority of the apostles flew to the sky.

The gray dragons flew up right after they came out, the apostles also went away somewhere leaving behind only ten of them. The ones remaining surrounded Hajime and others alertly.

At the same time with the gate behind them closing, Freed silently pointed his chin to urge them to follow him. Hajime also followed him silently.

“Kouki-kun, that monster was terrifying you knowww, console meee.”

“E, Eri-, you…“

Right after they began to walk, Eri took Kouki’s arm and she hugged him while beginning to prattle about such jests. Even though she had betrayed them and now she was taking their classmates hostage again, she didn’t look apologetic at all and grinned widely while pressing her body close to Kouki.

She didn’t even give attention to Shizuku and the others around her. She also completely ignored Suzu who called her. Shizuku and Ryuutaro were directing gazes overflowing with wariness, but they didn’t try to stop her. They judged that right now it was better to not quarrel imprudently.

Eri was glued to Kouki, her mouth approached his ear, her breath was blowing into his ear and she whispered something with a face that looked in heat. Looking at her like that was unbearable but even Kouki was distracted thinking about his classmates and didn’t forcibly shake her off.

Like that, they walked through the long corridor made from stone crossing several corners, and then at the place they reached there was a large door filled to the brim with the dignity that was worthy of an entrance that was connected to the audience room of the devil king castle. Perhaps to show the authority, there was a globe that appeared to be symbolizing the sun. A design that depicted several pillars of light pouring down from that sun was engraved there.

Freed sent a sign to the devil race standing in front of the door with his gaze. Thereupon that devil race quietly held his hand to a part of the door. Right after that, a heavy sound reverberated and the door opened to the left and right.

Behind the door, the scenery that Freed displayed using ‘Hermit Mirror’ spread out, ahead of the red carpet they could see a spot that looked like an altar and an extravagant throne. Just like the image, at the side of the throne, there should be cages set behind the large pillar.

Repressing their hot-blooded hearts, they approached toward the empty throne. And scenery exactly like the image they had seen was there.

It appeared that the figures of Hajime and others were also visible from the other side. The classmates opened their eyes wide, Aiko and Liliana who also noticed the door open gulped loudly in surprise.

Their expression were slightly clouded seeing how Hajime and others were surrounded by apostles, but looking at Hajime, who had a corner of his mouth lift in a smile for the first time since coming here, the two began to get teary eyes from deep emotions. And then, when they were just about to call Hajime’s name with a maidenly expression that was obviously filled with special feeling…

“Papaa――!!”

“Dear!!”

The mother and daughter Myuu and Remia preceded them. And then, putting aside Myuu’s ‘papa’, just what was with Remia’s ‘dear’? Such dangerous gazes from the two which contained that question went back and forth from Remia and Hajime.

Ignoring the two who were unable to know about time and place? Hajime’s eyes gently slackened.

“Myuu, Remia. Sorry, you two got dragged into this. Wait there. I’ll get you two out immediately.”

“Papa… Myuu is fine. I waited believing in papa. That’s why, don’t lose to the bad people!”

“My my, Myuu… Hajime-san. We are fine so please be careful.”

Even though she was unable to hide her unease, the moment Hajime appeared, Myuu made a full smile and felt relief from the bottom of her heart. Looking at such a Myuu, Remia who was also concerned made an 180 to Hajime’s calm atmosphere.

Freed was about to open his mouth to warn so they didn’t make a racket as they pleased, but just before he could do that a voice resounded from behind the throne.

“No matter what age, it still looks beautiful, the bond between parent and child. I understand because I also have experienced it. Although in my case, it was a relation between a niece and uncle you see.”

The wall behind the throne slid open. From there who came out was a golden haired and crimson eyed good looking man. His age was past middle-aged. He was wearing jet black clothes and mantle with good quality and golden embroidery worked on the sleeves, and his hairstyle was all combed back. Several strands of his blonde hair were dangling forward and the slightly opened shirt on his chest drafting off a strange sex appeal.

Although what he drafted off wasn’t only sex appeal. He also gave off the presence of youthful strength and the weight of a veteran. There was constant charisma in him that attracted those watching him. In all probability, this must be the devil king. And then, this was the guy introducing himself as the god ‘Aruv-sama’.

Hajime wordlessly narrowed his eyes at the devil king that appeared while smiling gently. And then he was about to open his mouth but similar like Freed someone beat him to the punch. However, that wasn’t by the devil king ahead of his gaze, but it was by the shell-shocked voice at his side.

“… Li, es… how can…”

“Yue?”

Yes, not even noticing at Hajime’s call, she was leaking out a hoarse voice as though seeing something impossible with a greatly shaken state, it was Yue. Her eyes were opened wide, piercing straight at the devil king.

Hajime was about to call once more at Yue whose state was obviously abnormal, but then he was attacked by a strange déjà vu. Yue’s golden hair and crimson eyes. Those were…

“Yaa, Aleytia (・・・). It has been a long time, hasn’t it? As always, you are so small and cute.”

The words said to Yue by the devil king that interrupted Hajime’s thought, those were filled with an affection that was really unthinkable for a first meeting. There, Hajime also noticed. The appearance of the devil king, compared to her beloved lover had a similarity somewhere.

Hajime murmured ‘Don’t tell me’ inside his heart. That conjecture which he couldn’t put into words was proved as correct by a word of Yue.

“… Oji-sama…” (TN: Oji=uncle)

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Arifureta Chapter 152

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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/153/

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.

Bakapervert translated this chapter. Elementalcobalt did the final edits.

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The Key That Opens the World Door

Along with Hajime and Yue’s words which sounded like a prayer, light explosively painted over the room as well as their consciousness. It was mainly Hajime and Yue’s strong wills supported in the alignment that were filled inside that light.

The large torrent of will made Shia and others unable to think of anything and they fell into unconsciousness, but that was only for a moment. Just before their limp bodies hit the floor, the pure white that overfilled their mind vanished like clearing mist.

Even while staggering for a bit, all present restored their postures and shook their heads. They then saw a beautiful radiance in their sight. Crimson and gold radiances that felt as if they were sucking up all the light covered every inch of the surface of that transparent key. It was a characteristic artifact that looked antique with its crystal form that had a complicated and delicate pattern and twelve exact sides―the ‘Crystal Key’.

“Wait, Hajime-san! Yue-san! Are you two okay-!”

Shia returned to her senses with a ‘hah’ and rushed toward them in a panic. Beside the Crystal Key, Hajime and Yue were lying down with their hands still holding each other while looking like they were passed out. Kaori and others were also rushing in a moment after Shia.

“Kaori-san, the two of them…”

“… Hm, they are fine. Looks like they just fainted. The cause is magic power exhaustion.”

After examining the two with a serious expression, Kaori answered with a smile towards the anxious Shia. The examination result made Tio and others breathe out in relief too.

Kaori extracted magic power from the magic crystal and gave it to both of them at the same time using the technique of magic power transfer. Then, as if to prove that her examination result was correct, Hajime and Yue leaked out groaning sounds while opening their eyes thinly.

“Aa? … What happened?”

“… Nnu. The artifact…”

Kaori explained the situation as Hajime and Yue rose up while shaking their heads, she also handed over the Crystal Key as she explained.

“Both of you passed out from magic power exhaustion. For the moment, I divided the magic power of one magic crystal equally between both fo you. As for the artifact, I don’t really understand it but…”

“I see. Thanks, Kaori. It has been a long time since I passed out from magic power exhaustion. I didn’t really know the right amount needed, so we did it at full strength at that moment but… the next time we will be able to regulate it I think.”

“… Nn. It’s fine. I grasped the trick somehow. Though the problem is whether we can manifest a will to the degree that can be sublimed into the concept.”

Yue answered Hajime’s words while making a pondering look. Hajime examined the Crystal Key in his hand with his magic eye stone. The artifact contained the magic power that couldn’t be compared with all the other artifacts he had created until now.

“… It’s a satisfying result. I feel a large power in it. The sensation feels like the compass of guidance.”

Hajime made a satisfied smile while designating a coordinate towards a certain spot using the ‘Compass of Guidance’ for a test. Then he poured magic power into the crystal key to activate it and thrust it out to the front. Even if ‘Open the door to the desired place’ was said, but if the distance of the destination and the image of the connected place couldn’t be imagined to a certain degree, then the space wouldn’t be connected.

The thrust-out crystal key was similar like the space transfer key-shaped artifact ‘Gate Key’, it plunged into space where there was nothing and ripples spread just like the creator Hajime imagined.

However, it carried a magic power that couldn’t be compared with a ‘Gate Key’. Furthermore, different from the ‘Gate Key’ that had the coordinates fixed beforehand, there was a need to fix the space coordinate with just this one crystal key, so it took a little more time. In addition, it was sucking his magic power steadily.

Hajime frowned at the magic power that was flowing out as though the plugging cork had come out, even so, he still twisted the crystal key next. And the result was the space in front of him shook, an ellipse hole began to open.

From the hole for some reason there was beating sounds *bishi-bashi-* and captivating sound “Aan!” of a woman that were audible.

Before long, inside the gate that had opened completely…

“This shameless female pigggg. I’ll make you ascend to heaven!” (TN: The ascend to heaven should mean die/passing away in Japan, but the kanjis forming the word can also be read as rising to heaven)

“Aa! Kam-samaaa! As expected, from Shia’s honored fatherrr! Amaziiiiing!!”

The drooping figure of Arutena being lashed with an ecstatic expression on her face while the figure of Kam who was doing the lashing were displayed.

The suddenly manifested scene that looked extremely gruesome in a different meaning from the scene some time ago made Hajime and Yue’s jaws drop, as well as every other member other than Tio.

At the same time, perhaps sensing the presence of Hajime and others from across the gate, Kam was turning back with “Oh?” expression, he caught the appearances of Hajime and the others ahead of his gaze and his eyes opened wide with a snap.

“Bo, bossss!? Wh, why are boss’s gate, in this kind of place!”

“Eh? Wait, Shia! Also, Hajime-sama and group too!”

Toward the shocked Kam and Arutena, Hajime and Yue spoke with cool words.

“… Yoo. Looks like we are intruding in the middle of your fun.”

“… Nn. Who can imagine that you two are in that kind of relationship? Shia, live strong.”

“Fufu, oh my comrade, Arutena. It seems that thou found a good master.”

Ignoring Tio who was strangely joyful, Kam was “Thi, thi thi thi thi, this is misunderstanding desuu!”, he was desperately making excuses towards Hajime and Yue’s manner of speaking with a tone that was exactly like his daughter but…

There was a rabbit that returned to her senses while trembling all over. The violent emotion rising up from inside her body became undulating magic power that burst out. Shia who was standing up wordlessly took out Doryukken with a sway. And then with eyes that lost their light, she glared over at Kam and Arutena across the gate. *jakin!* Such sound was raised and the muzzle of the cannon mode for Doryukken was aimed.

“Wa, wait, Shia! You are making a severe misunderstanding! Father is by no means-“

“Shia! Kam-dono is a magnificent person, isn’t he! As expected of Shia’s honored father! I who was only trying to look at Shia’s personal effect just for a little is treated this violently! Furthermore, his strength control is exquisite!”

Kam’s desperate justification was violently smashed by Arutena smilingly. “You bitchh, shut your mouth a bit!” Arutena’s body shuddered all over from the eye glint Kam directed at her. It appeared that it had been already too late for her.

And then it appeared that Arutena was being condemned for fishing through Shia’s left behind personal effects as she pleased. But even though there was such a circumstance which seemed plausible, Shia witnessed this abnormal scene where her flesh and blood father looked relatively high-spirited in swinging the whip against Arutena more or less? A girlfriend of the same age…

“Just die all of you-, these perverts-!”

The trigger was pulled with no questions asked. Burst slug bullets were fired. Hajime closed his eyes with a prayer so they could enter nirvana while closing the gate the moment the bullet passed. Just before the gate was completely closed, there was an explosion sound with audible “Gyaaaaa!” and “Aaaaaan!!” screams, yet there was nobody in this place who paid that attention.

“… Nn. Shia, be strong.”

“It’s fine Shia. That’s… right, that’s only a bit of momentary madness. Your father should have opened his eyes with the attack just now, surely.”

“… Hics, Yue-san, Kaori-san, thank you for your consideration desuu. But, my father surely won’t die with just that much, so before we depart to Hajime-san’s world I’ll stop his breathing first desuu … uu, I’ll make him into mince meat desuu.”

It appeared that in proportion to the amount of magic power the crystal key used it was possible to literally ‘open a door to the desired place’, the experimental use of the concept magic endowed artifact ‘Crystal Key’ which was done casually turned up a result that made a daughter resolve herself to kill her father.

“Aa, what to say, Shia? I’ll correct Kam’s fault, so anyway, stop crying.”

“Uu, Hajime-saan!”

Shia leaped into the chest of the wryly smiling Hajime.

At the side, “Nagumo-kun and Tio-san’s relationship is not that different, though…” those words that Suzu whispered were beautifully ignored.

After that, the members whose expressions were at a loss for words because the serious atmosphere was blown away pulled themselves together as they gathered in the living room once more.

“Now then, in the first testing, there are various bad performances that stood out but…”

Hajime confirmed that everyone had sat down and he lifted up the crystal key so that everyone could see it, and then with a wide grin, he resounded those words, the words of hope.

“The method to go home is in our hands.”

At that moment, it was Suzu who was the first jumping up and expressing her joy. Lured by that, Ryuutaro raised a happy roar while making a guts pose. Shizuku and Kaori hugged each other with a wide smile. Even Kouki whose expression had been dark all this time smiled faintly.

“Even though I say that, to make a concept that will obstruct future summoning, it will be a harder compared to making a concept for going home. Especially as an aspect of the will. It seems that trial and error are going to be necessary, so we still cannot go home for a while.”

“That cannot be helped. Even so just with hearing that we can go home… that’s real… amazing. Hics, Hajime-kun, thank you…”

Kaori was moved to tears while clutching Hajime’s hand from the side tightly.

That ‘thank you’ was filled with various meanings. It was surely also including her feeling after looking at those images. About how he had survived, about how he didn’t give up not any one thing, about how he rushed to her when she was in danger, about how he got angry several times for her because she was important to him, and then now, about how he obtained the method to go back home… various meanings were really filled with that thanks.

Hajime scratched at his cheek using his hand that wasn’t clutched while shrugging his shoulders helplessly, then he gently hugged Kaori back. For a moment, Kaori’s eyes opened wide with her shock plain to see, but she quickly became all smiles and embraced back *gyuuuut* tightly. She also nuzzled her face on Hajime’s chest.

Even Yue gave an expression as if to say “Well, I’ll forgive it this once”. She shrugged her shoulders and smiled to the fawning Kaori.

On the other hand, Shizuku was staring at Kaori with a little envy, but she instantly sent her gaze at Kouki and shook her head and her gaze became pleasant. If she had to speak her mind then she also wanted to be spoiled by Hajime, but thinking about the possibility of Kouki’s unstable mind, she restrained herself.

But, although she was reading the mood she also had resolved herself, to be honest just before this so she was scheming how to secretly get spoiled by Hajime later on. She didn’t understand whether she could overcome her shyness and properly asked to be spoiled but… at the very least she swore that she would hold his hand! She set that small objective.

Despite the fact she had already kissed his cheek, normally Shizuku was thoroughly innocent to the end.

Hajime somehow guessed Shizuku’s sentiment from her gaze where such cute ambition was residing, yet he looked the other way and gently caressed Kaori’s hair while talking about the matter from here on.

“Anyway, I’m thinking to go to meet Myuu and others while also striving to create the artifact for summoning obstruction. Opening a gate to their place is also fine but, the crystal key is something that uses magic power in proportion with the connecting of the space, so if we are going to open a gate until earth then magic power of three or four times my whole magic power is going to be necessary, that’s why I don’t want to use it as much as I can.”

By the way, the twelve surfaces crystal attached at the handle side of the crystal key had the function to store the amount of magic power that could be used to open a gate to earth once. Perhaps it should be said that it was expected from a concept magic that fuel consumption would be extremely bad.

Even the gate he experimentally opened to the sea of trees just now used up a considerable amount of the magic power Kaori restored to him. If it was transportation inside the same world,  using the ‘Gate Key’ was far more convenient although it was necessary to set ‘Gate Hole’ as the destination beforehand.

By the way, ‘Gate Key’ was something developed while they were staying in the capital, so there was none put in the above sea city of Myuu and her mother Lemia. To go meet them, they would use the airship ‘Fernir’.

“Then, during that time when Suzu and others go to the territory of the devil. … since they got their hands on the age of god magic after much pain, it is possible if Suzu wants to go there she can be accompanied by a powerful monster but…”

Thanks to their well rest their magic power and vitality had almost recovered perfectly. If it was now, they could attempt to invoke age of god magic.

But, unfortunately, the inside of the ice and snow cavern only had frost type monsters. Putting aside they were inside the labyrinth where flame magic was hard to be used, it would be easy to have their weak point aimed at in the outside world. Also, their main strong point, that their regeneration ability made use of the surrounding ice, also couldn’t be expected. Saying it clearly, they were monsters that didn’t suit to follow them to the outside world. The reason why there was no frost type among Freed’s monster was also for this reason.

Hearing that, Hajime made a little thinking face and suddenly took out a ‘Gate Key’ that he threw at Suzu. In panic, Suzu’s hands moved and somehow caught it before she tilted her head.

“I and Yue will rest a little more until our magic power recovers completely. That gate key is connected at the gate hole set in Fair Bergen, so how about you try making the monsters from the Sea of Tree follow you? There are a lot of monsters there skillful in manipulating their presence. If you make them submit and strengthen them, I think they are going to be fairly useful.”

“I see… yes, Suzu will try it. Thank you, Nagumo-kun!”

Hajime waved his hand listlessly at Suzu who was smiling in delight.

As the result, Suzu and the others would go to the Sea of Trees to hunt for monster while Hajime and others were resting. Kouki went with Suzu’s group under the pretext of helping but surely that was simply because he hated to be left behind with Hajime, such hypothesis didn’t seem to be wrong looking from Kouki’s awfully complicated expression.

Furthermore, Yue, Shia, and Tio were staying behind. They weren’t going to embark to the devil territory, so it was unnecessary for them to expand their battle strength. Only Kaori who would go with Suzu’s group because she was worried for Shizuku.

After that Hajime and his group for a while focused on recovering their magic power and replenishing magic power into the magic crystal while passing the time in relaxation. Even Hajime was somewhat drifting off the calm atmosphere that he had never shown until now. He even allowed the wanting Tio to an embrace and caress, looking at Hajime who was exposing a somewhat sweet atmosphere, it was Tio herself who was the most shocked.

The procurement of the method to go home surely had granted leeway at Hajime’s heart. Tio who made a pass in the hope to get abused was unexpectedly embraced with gentle gaze and hand gesture, Tio was acting shy and fidgeting bashfully so much that it would make anyone watching want to tsukkomi “Just where has the usual pervert gone!?” while fawning at Hajime with her all.

“Muu, master is kind… I thought that being hurt was the best, but this is also not bad in its own way, or perhaps I should say that this is a frightfully happy feeling. Though it’s also embarrassing to the same degree.”

“Tio-san, if only normally you are also like this, you will be a charming female without any fault at all, yet despite so…”

“… Nn. As I thought, perhaps, Hajime should take responsibility.”

Looking at Tio who was entrusting her body on Hajime’s chest with melting expression while her face was bright red, Shia and Yue were smiling wryly while whispering. Yue’s statement made Hajime couldn’t help but smile bitterly.

“Well, after this far, if I hear Tio calling another man as master as it will really not be a good feeling in that case…”

“Ho, hou? Ma, master. Wha, what kind of meaning it has… by some possibility, similar like Shia, I too…”

“You know, like if a worthless mongrel that I’ve already got attached emotionally at suddenly wagged its tail at another guy as easily as flipping over the hand, it will feel irritating, right?”

“Nnn-, in a moment like this, to be treated like a dog… furthermore it had ‘worthless’ attached. Haa haa, to be spoiled and made to have an expectation before got abused, what an advanced technique. Haa, haa, nnaa, it’s just unbearable!”

The worthless dragon that was in heat eternally pushed her face nuzzlingly on Hajime’s chest while her lower body was rubbing close at his waist. However, looking objectively at Hajime who was continuously making such Tio delighted all the time, he was also just like her. Yue and Shia’s exasperated gazes stabbed on Hajime.

While doing such stupid thing, by the time the replenishment of magic power at all the magic crystals was over, a gate opened once more and Suzu and co went back. Behind the girls, large tiger, and wolf, and then snake and so on, monsters that were high ranked even inside the sea of trees were there. It appeared that they successfully managed to make those monsters submitted.

after that, Suzu and co increased the strength of the submitting monsters using reinforcement under the simple guidance of Yue and Tio. In addition to the help of Yue and Tio, the monsters that were considerably strengthened were attached to the collar made by Hajime. The collar had a gate hole inserted in it if Suzu and co used the gate key then they would be able to call the monsters anytime. In ordinary times, they could just leave the monsters to do as they pleased in the sea of trees or anywhere.

Like that the magic power of Hajime and Yue were also recovered, finally they were going leave the Ice and Snow Great Labyrinth. Hajime and his group would travel around all the places with people who wanted to go home together with them and the people they wanted to say goodbye to while endeavoring to create an artifact to hinder summoning. Suzu, Shizuku, Kaori, Ryuutaro, and Kouki, the five of them would head to the devil territory where Eri was located.

“Hajime-san, here.”

When they exited the ice mansion, Shia handed over a pendant that was modeled after a dripping water drop. Inside the bluish transparent stone that was like ice, the crest of Vandur Shune was hollowed. It was the proof that they had conquered the Ice and Snow Great Labyrinth. After Hajime and Yue fainted, a part of the wall inside the room melted and this proof appeared to be collected.

Receiving that, Hajime walked above the magic circle drawn on the foothold right in front of the fountain. The moment Hajime’s foot stepped into the magic circle…

*biki biki-*

Such a sound was audible and the fountain before their eyes began to freeze, it was gradually swelling up. Like that it became a huge egg-shaped ice mass that was almost ten meters, before long the expansion and freezing stopped, right after that, *barin!* such a sound was raised and the ice scattered apart.

What appeared from inside the broken remains was a dragon made from ice. A magnificent lustrous dragon that looked transparent as though it was created from crystal.

The ice dragon lowered its head directly below Hajime’s feet where its long neck made a slope. It appeared riding this ice dragon was the shortcut for this great labyrinth.

“This is also a fantastical shortcut, huh.”

“… Nn. A present?”

“This consideration is far removed from the repulsiveness of the trial’s content, isn’t it?”

Each of them let out their impression while nodding at each other, then they crossed the neck where the scales were like a bridge and rode on its back.

Immediately after, the ice dragon flapped its wings grandly and ascended in one go. The ice ceiling was approaching in the blink of an eye, but just before they crashed the ceiling melted and a hole opened, a cylinder pillar was created there.

The ice dragon didn’t drop its speed at all and charged into that path.

The sound of cutting wind resounded in their ears and chilly wind caressed their skin, “The only dragon who master can ride is just me… does master want to change rides[ even now?” while enjoying such nonsense from a certain someone, they soared inside the ice tunnel for ten-odd seconds. The ice dragon Hajime and the rest rode finally flew into the visible light of the surface.

They were thinking whether they would be let down on the ground right after that, but the ice dragon didn’t show any sign of stopping at all and continued to climb into sky. And then without stopping it charged into the cloudy sky of the Shunee Snowfield. *Boba!* With such sound, the dragon flew out and it began to elegantly soar above the cloud sea while being brilliantly illuminated by the sun.

“From the position of the sun we are heading to the northwest. … It seems that it is kindly sending us until the border of the snow field.”

“… Nn. Miledi and Meiru should follow this example.”

“I get the feeling that the female camp of the liberator is just unscrupulous.”

The west of the snowfield was the territory of the devil, at the north was Raisen’s Grand Canyon, at the east was Haltina’s Sea of Trees. Advancing at the northwest like this meant that they would be let down at a place where it would be easy to go to the devil territory or to the north continent. Furthermore, they didn’t really feel the cold air of the sky, so it seemed a simple barrier was spread from the intermediary of the ice dragon.

Indeed, they wanted to be spared from getting tossed out into the snowfield of extreme cold after conquering the great labyrinth, but after thinking about the deed of a part of the liberators, “Such consideration!” this made Hajime and others a bit emotionally moved like that.

And then Shia’s guess was surely not mistaken. A woman who was an expert in irritating people, a woman who tossed them into the sea while saying it was a shortcut, a woman who forcefully made people love cockroaches… surely the male liberators in the past was considerably made to go through hardships of this and that which were caused by those women without doubt.

While thinking of such a thing, the ice dragon was gradually beginning to lower its altitude. It appeared they had approached near the landing place. Perhaps the ice dragon couldn’t go out of the snowfield, it seemed that it wouldn’t go through the sky and brought them outside the boundary, it once more plunged into the cloudy sky.

And then it softly landed on a spot that was just a stone throw from the boundary. Hajime and others reflexively said a polite thanks to it. The ice dragon shook its tail as though to say not to mind it and once more it soared and vanished inside the snowfield.

Even while thinking gloomily about the snowfield that covered their sight, the boundary of the snowfield was just right there so Hajime and others moved with quick steps.

But, at that time, Hajime’s senses and Shia’s rabbit ears caught something. The eyes of the two narrowed dangerously.

“Everyone, be on guard. Various things are happening outside the boundary.”

Hajime’s caution made nervousness run through them. Everyone held their weapon in hand while coming out at the other side of the blizzard that blocked their sight.

Over there was…

“As expected you all are coming out from here. It’s the same like my time… And, has every one of you conquered the labyrinth? Oh, white-haired young man.”

“Fufu, Kouki-kun. Long time no see. Are you healthy?”

A white dragon that was two-sizes bigger and Freed that was riding above it, a lot of monsters that were mainly grey dragons, Eri who spread wings of gray magic power, and then, there must be a few hundred of them, many women with the same face growing silver wings ‘the apostle of true god’―Nointo, they all were lying in wait.

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Arifureta Chapter 151

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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/152/

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.

Elementalcobalt translated this chapter. I used help from the Arifureta summaries, which included partial translations from myopius and borisdrakoni.

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Hajime’s Path

“Is it all okay?” In the living room of the ice home, Suzu muttered to herself with an anxious voice while sitting on the sofa.

Therefore, Kaori who also sat on the sofa asked gently. “Is what ‘okay’?”

“Mmm? All of it? Did Nagumo not fall unconscious? Can we return to Japan, truly? Will Kouki be alright? This trip to the demon territory… this…”

After taking this period to rest, it leaves the body with nothing else to do but think about these various things.

Since Hajime had started to make the artifact using concept magic, they had shut themselves up in their room for the last two hours.

When you include the time that Hajime and Yue had fainted, where they had nothing to do, they had plenty of time to recover. This left them time to think about unnecessary things.

“Suzu-chan… we’re safe. Hajime will get past any difficulty. And with Yue by his side, the impossible only becomes possible.”

“Kaori…”

“In addition, it’s up to Kouki to do something about Kouki. Of course, I’ll help as far as I can. As with Eri, I think… yes, we need to charge forward. There is nothing more to it. Thinking too much will only make you tired.”

To the rough encouragement, Suzu responded instinctively with surprising courageousness. “Kaori… has become handsome. You’ve already have become completely influenced by Nagumo-kun.”

“It is different, Suzu. For a long time, Kaori charges when she can decide. Kaori’s decisions, 90% of the time, are to charge forward.”

“Suzu-chan, It is… Shizuku-chan… so cruel… I am not like Ryuutaro-kun…”

“Hey, Kaori… why is being the same as me considered cruel? Am I noticing casual abuse?” Ryuutaro spat out with a bitter expression which concerned nobody.

Though Kaori wore her lips in a bit of sulk, but she took to heart immediately and fixed her eyes on Suzu.

“Anyway, I don’t know how things will turn out with Eri, but I will follow you and help. We need to get out of there in the confusion if things go bad.”

Kaori smoothly declared something frightful, but it was another word that Suzu was caught on. Blinking in surprise, she responded timidly in confirmation.

“Oh, oh, then Kaori will come with me?”

“Of course, I can’t neglect Shizu and Suzu.”

“But, Hajime…”

“It’s the same as Shizu-chan, it’ll be a while before we have the artifact that will allow us to return. We’ll also need to meet up to Lemia and Myuu. I can’t help with the artifact, so I think what I should do it protect Suzu then…”

“Ah… Kaori is… a good child, a really good child… and, thank you very much.”

“Suzu-chan, what’s with the Kansai accent?”

To Kaori’s words, Suzu made a joke while whipping away a tear. She was too embarrassed to return her sentiment seriously.

“If Kaori comes, you should be fine. Hmmm… before this mistress goes to Goshujin-sama’s world, I should return to my clan as well.”

“That’s right, Tio-san. You’re a daughter of the clan. What’s it like, I had forgotten about that.”

“Well, I mean… I guess you’d like to meet the dragonkin?”

“Well, we have space transfer magic set up so we could go there immediately. It’s definitely beyond the mountains in the north – across the continent on a solitary island.”

Tio gave a puzzled look so Shia recalled from her memory. When they left this world, Tio thought that she might not have the time to visit her family.

“Well…well, that is certainly the case. If I could receive jealous love punishment from Goshujin-sama before departing, that will be… let’s double the speed. Return home through the gate!”

“…If we return and her kin sees her ecstatic expression on her face… they will be shocked. It would be good if it doesn’t become a panic.”

While Tio imagined Hajime’s love and floating a smirk, Shia, and the others had a sick feeling while imagining the unpleasantness of that reunion.

After returning and seeing Tio, who has changed into a deviant, what kind of reaction would the dragonkin have? As Shia imagined it, Hajime would need to take responsibility. Shia let out a sigh as she imagined what should be done with Tio’s family.

At that point, the door of the living room made a noise as it slowly opened.

“Did we stay here…”

“Oh, Kouki. You woke up, how do you feel?”

It was Kouki who had entered. It seems he had awoken to find the other members.

Although it was Shizuku’s aim to look aloof, she had immediately hidden her vigilance in a smile while asking about his condition. Kouki smiled back, in the same way, However, it seemed that his expression was shadowed.

“I’m okay, I’m sorry I worried you.”

“Even now, it’s fine as long as you’re safe.”

“It seems that I have recovered.”

“That’s really good.”

Shizuku rejoiced at Kouki’s recovery. Kouki smiled once more and gazed around the room looking for someone. His expression stiffened as if he was getting nervous. Kaori who saw this answered with a bitter smile.

“If it is Hajime-kun, he’s in another room now, so he isn’t here.”

Well…so…so I probably need to apologize for being a nuisance… in various ways, but…”

Apparently, it seemed like he was no longer rampaging against Hajime like he was during the trial. His mental condition seemed to be relatively calm. Rather, it may be more accurate to say he seemed depressed over calm.

“I don’t think Hajime-kun minds, as long as you’re not rampaging anymore he wouldn’t demand an apology.”

“Shia-san… maybe so, after all…”

Kouki wore a sour look full of bitterness. Though Kouki’s recklessness has been troublesome, Hajime did not worry especially because it wasn’t that inconvenient. The way it was, it could be said to be like a child who had a temper tantrum and struck out.

Though it was certainly murderous intent he had faced, the behavior was stupid and Hajime gave priority to avoid hurting Kaori (and incidentally Shizuku). At least, he had not given a great deal of time and effort, his body and heart having become strong enough to shoulder that troublesome burden.

“Did the sleep snap you out of your delusions, or do you still think Nagumo-kun has brainwashed us?” Shizuku asked severely while narrowing her eyes.

Kouki being unhurt and Kouki being in control were different questions entirely. Hajime likely wouldn’t permit him raging out of control a second time, and it needed to be understood that Hajime didn’t kill him despite the killing intent because of them.

After receiving the still voice and glare from Shizuku, Kouki quickly turned his eyes. But Shizuku didn’t permit such spoiled behavior.

“Kouki, don’t look away.”

“Well… ah… I do not think that anymore. At that time, it really seemed like…”

Kouki’s face held a shadowed expression, but he answered firmly while looking up at Shizuku. For a while, Shizuku looked back at Kouki. Likely to try to understand his thoughts through his eyes. Shia acted similarly.

Eventually, although it was hard to say for certain, they were convinced and showed a tentative assent. Shizuku nodded.

“Well, if it is OK… Kouki. Is there anything you’d like to ask?”

Because the atmosphere was awkward, to change those drifting feelings, Shizuku turned to Kouki.

Were those feelings transmitted to Kouki? Kouki floated a small wry smile. He asked what happened after he had fainted.

And… all of the members except Kouki captured the labyrinth. Hajime and Yue looked into the abyss of concept magic. And at the present, they were shut off by themselves trying to create an artifact for their return.

Although Kouki’s expression didn’t particularly change as he remained silent and listened, it was obvious that he had wanted to overcome his native self. When he couldn’t capture the last trial, it was easy to imagine his inner heart wouldn’t be calm.

And has his childhood friend, Shizuku was hesitant on whether she should say was Kouki wanted to hear most. That is what caused Kouki to fall apart in the first place. Kouki made his own convenient interpretations in defiance of Shizuku’s attempt to persuade him.

Shizuku waited for Kouki to ask, but decided that the likelihood that he wouldn’t hear what she said was high given his situation.

“…Kouki, I came to like Nagumo-kun. I want him to see me as a woman.”

“…”

To Shizuku’s words, Kouki’s expression distorted momentarily. The words were told to him by his childhood friend right at his side. However, the reality of it would take a long time for Kouki to recognize. Shizuku appearing on Hajime’s shoulders with a sleeping face that seemed happy and relieved crossed his mind.

“With that, will you follow Nagumo in the future? Nagumo has a favorite, and there is Kaori, too? Shouldn’t you reconsider… Shizuku? It’s kind of a bad trap…”

While paying close attention as to not leak out black emotions that gushed from his heart, Shizuku shook her head to cover over Kouki’s words.

“Kouki, I’m not looking for your opinion. I am merely telling you. Because you are a childhood friend.”

“…”

Kouki kept silent with a sour expression not knowing how to speak. Somehow, it was Ryuutaro and Suzu who covered for her with their own glances. In a look, Kaori provided meaning that they would not struggle for the same man as best friends. It was a quiet expression of affirmation from all three of them. Of course, it was Shizuku’s words that were affirming how she felt.

Realizing there was no one to back him up, Kouki erased the expression on his face. It was impossible to dismiss the reality that was unfavorable to Kouki. All those feelings of irritation, frustration, envy, and hatred began to wander for a false point to cling to.

However, there was nothing to rampage with just feelings. This wasn’t about Hajime as an object and above all else, it was made clear. The feelings that stagnated darkly didn’t have any fangs to bite. This was a big opportunity…

Although Suzu empathized with the dark feelings that Kouki could separate himself from, but either way, he had to get over it himself, he needed to face the problems.

Even with such an attitude caught in the heart, Kouki emitted unwanted emotions and made a sarcastic comment.

“Haha, everyone is that guy’s ally. It’s a guy who easily kills people and easily abandons…”

“Kouki!”

Suzu spoke up unexpectedly. Shia and Tio wore narrowed eyes. Kaori’s smile deteriorated a little.

But Kouki, whose mind was like a child couldn’t stop the feelings that had no place to go. Thus, he said…

“If so, at that time, would I fall off a bridge, if it was okay?” (Tn: In other words… maybe I should just kill myself… I think)

To such insensitive and heartless words, Kaori stopped those words that hurt her heart. PASHIN! Kaori’s slap made a flashy noise and exploded on Kouki’s cheek.

Though her hand also throbbed, Kaori began to talk with an expression that looked regrettable to Kouki who had a hand on his cheek in dumb surprise.

“…Kouki. I think Kouki is an important childhood friend… so don’t make me dislike him.”

“…or maybe…”

Kouki was at a loss of words from the unexpected shock but still opened his mouth as if he had something to say.

Gou!

An impact resembling wind pressure ran through. Its identity were waves of enormous magical power. Although it should not be “shock transformation” or the like, an enormous amount of magical power spread through the wall of the mansion so that their bodies responded to it in shock.

“This is… Hajime-san! Yue!”

To this obviously abnormal situation, Shia flung herself out of the room at a dash. When Hajime makes an artifact, this kind of current is not usual.

The wave motion of magic continued to pulse intermittently. Magic in each of their bodies was severely stricken. However, Kaori who was startled back by Shia’s actions straightened herself and followed Shia immediately.

According to Shia, the wave motion of magical power seemed to be coming from Hajime and Yue. The waves of magical power seemed to increase in density the closer they approached the room the two people stayed in. It was as if a typhoon had hit them directly as they arrived before the room.

The door was already opened as Shia verified that the two were safe. After going in, it seemed to be the case. While protecting her face from the bewitchment that raged on, Kaori made up her mind and stepped inside.

What spread out from there was a scene where the magical power of red and gold became a torrent of spirals. The scene blew off from the center with the Hajime and Yue on their knees facing each other and holding hands. Before the two of them, there was a crystal of a giant and some minerals that emitted a pale light.

“What’s happening, Shia… this…”

“I do not know, but they seem to have done something.”

As she had already assessed the scene, Kaori asked Shia who’s rabbit ears were dancing in the storm of magic. Shia protected her face with her arm and a lower posture but was able to confirm Hajime and Yue’s appearances. When she could see they were both safe, she gave out a breath of relief.

If you trace their glance, it seemed a certainty that neither Hajime nor Yue was at risk. However, both of them were concentrating extremely hard. Shia’s entering was not even noticed. A large amount of sweat flowed from them. At this moment, it was clear they were focusing on making the artifact with concept magic.

“…If it is safe, it seems better to leave…”

“Well, if I fail as a mistress, I should be punished.”

“…You should seem so happy about it, Tio…”

Shia retreated towards the door softly as to not disturb Hajime.

Meanwhile, only Kouki was staring at Hajime. You couldn’t see the color of emotion in those eyes, but they seemed to hold down passion and looked dangerous.

“Kouki,” Shizuku called out.

Kouki did not answer. Rather, he took a step forward straight ahead, just one step forward.

“Kouki!”

“Tsu…”

Shizuku immediately grabs Kouki’s arms. While her trademark ponytail flapped in the magical storm, she looked straight at Kouki with a serious look. In the gaze, as if frightened, revealed shaking. Kouki made a step backward. One step backward.

At that moment…

“What’s this?”

“An image?”

“A dark…cave?”

Suddenly, images began to appear before their eyes.  Like a fog projecting a picture instead of a screen, magical light fragments became a medium.  To this strange situation, Shia and the others forgot to even leave the room.

At that time, Suzu muttered to herself.

“Somehow, it looks like Orcus.”

“Certainly, speaking of a large cave illuminated by green light, it would be the Orcus Great Labyrinth.”

Tio affirmed Suzu’s guess.  Speaking of a cave illuminated by faint green walls, it would be the Orcus Great Labyrinth that was created by digging into veins of Illumination Stone.

However, since the scenery was different from the structure of the upper labyrinth that Suzu knew, she could not say it for certain.  This looked like a natural cave that had not been crafted by a human hand. The magnitude of the height and width of the cave was different from the labyrinth Suzu knew.

The sudden situation and mysterious images deepened their bewilderment, but before long the image projected from the angle of the shadow next to a rock at a large crossroads, showed white hair, long hind legs, and deep red lines crawling across its body like blood vessels, and the true colors of the image was realized as the feelings of having been caught by the demon of the rabbit type were transmitted to them.

“This is anxiety?  There is also impatience.”

“I also feel fear.  This image is a memory.”

“It is probably Goshujin-sama’s.  The memory of the place of hell this one heard him speak about.”

Shia’s guess was correct.

Along with the image, feelings were transmitted from the magic that filled the room.  Anxiety, impatience, and fear were overflowing due to the clearly abnormal monster he had never seen before.  They couldn’t understand what had led such a situation to occur, but they at least understood that the images they saw and feelings they felt were Hajime’s.

Apart from the time after he had met Yue, Hajime did not speak much of the time in hell before that.  It was already over, and Hajime did not have a hobby of boasting about his misfortune.  It was simply troublesome to talk about it, too.

So, being given the chance where Shia and the others could learn from Hajime’s past that they don’t know about, after exchanging a glance with one another, they stared hard at the image as if to drill a hole in it without leaving the room.  To learn the beginnings of the person they loved, it was impossible for them to leave the room.  Similarly, Ryuutaro and Kouki began to concentrate on the image with interest too.

So, at that time, someone raised their voice with an “Ah.”  In the image, the demon releasing an abnormal atmosphere suddenly charged at him with an amazing power.

“Hajime-san!”

“Hajime-kun!”

Instinctively, Shia and Kaori cried out a warning with a raised voice.  Meanwhile, the image moves hectically while the feelings of fear and uneasiness transmitted by the bright red magic swelled up.

They ground their teeth seeing Hajime made sport of by the kick rabbit.   And then, when Hajime’s left arm was finally smashed, the feelings of anguish transmitted to them caused Suzu to avert her gaze.

“Hajime-san was…such a one-sided…”

“This is the Nagumo-kun that we knew.  His fighting strength was equivalent to having none at all…”

To Hajime being one-sidedly toyed with, Shia’s expression became teary eyed as she couldn’t believe it.  Shizuku spills her words to such a Shia while biting her lip.

Before long the image becomes momentarily interrupted because Hajime had closed his eyes when feeling the impending death from the kick rabbit approaching.  While Hajime’s feelings of terror are spread to them, the image appears again.  This time the frightened kick rabbit’s image was seen.

The view of the image was changed tracing the kick rabbit’s line of sight, and there stood a huge white bear.  A glance was all it took to understand the bear was not a normal demon.  To prove that, the kick rabbit that toyed with Hajime in the image was easily cut in two and preyed on, while scattering blood around Hajime.

The glint in the claw bear’s eyes crosses over through the image to shoot through Shia and the rest.  In the case of them today, the power of the claw bear’s gaze would be no big deal, however, because of the feeling it had in its eyes that it was looking only at food rather than an enemy and the fundamental fear that was driven into Hajime caused them to shake unconsciously.

What happened after that was too tragic for the girls who loved Hajime.

Being cornered, the left arm was taken, and it was eaten in front of him.  The eyes that see him as food and the arm that lost its shape while spewing blood, such a reality was unnecessarily given to him whether he wanted it or not.

The scream that could not be heard was transmitted to them by the magic.  Eyes that a human should never show are shown, having part of the body scattered and eaten, breaking down from terror and agony.  And without either shame or respectability, he crawled desperately to get even one millimeter further away from the incarnation of terror.

The reflected image is already dark.  The transmitted feelings reached a saturation point or were already unable to be defined.  Just…Hajime screams, however even that began to weaken as the light of life faded away.

“Haji…me-san….”

Shia is pouring out tears.  Nearby, Kaori and Shizuku… Suzu covers her mouth with her hand.  Tio’s gaze is severe.  Before their eyes the murderous intent to want to tear the claw bear limb from limb welled up.

While they watched, the blackout ended.  Hajime, doubting his own survival, advanced to the interior of the wall and found a strange crystal that dripped water.  The god crystal and holy water.

Hajime drunk that, holding his broken mind while he cowers in a dark cave.  While asking for help…

There where the memory is vague the image became interrupted.  However, to substitute for that, the feelings being transmitted increased in density.

Overwhelming loneliness is felt as no one responded no matter how much he asked for help.  The darkness in which even his own existence seemed to be swallowed.  Hunger to the degree where it seemed he’d go mad.  Unending phantom limb pain.

Day after day he bore the torture-like pain.  While lying down as if to die, eventually wishing that he could die, however, the taken holy water did not allow that, and so his feelings of hatred with nowhere left to go were directed at his classmates as he came to curse the unjustness of the world.

And yet, in addition to that, he gradually began to improve.  Hajime’s heart was dyed the blackest black.  The longing to live, and, the murderous intent for existences that are a hindrance.

Hajime began to move.  He started to collect holy water in a depression on the ground.  He will begin with eating the wolf.  His hunger and phantom pain have not changed, and only his energy had recovered, while his features reflected in the pool of water were already another person.

With the glitter of murderous intent shining in his eyes… Hajime slipped out of his cave.  His only weapon that could not be called a weapon (transmutation) is freely used to hunt the demons.

“…This is that appearance…”

“I heard about it, but he’s strong.”

Eating the demon’s flesh with his hands and clothes becoming bloodstained, the appearance of Hajime with his face made dirty with blood is exactly suitable for a monster.

And, a scream which isn’t given a voice is transmitted again.  The amount of his agony cannot be imagined.  Beating his head on the ground many times, with Hajime’s body writhing it is only possible to see the repeated breaking down and regenerating sometimes as it enters his field of vision.

Unable to bear watching the ghastly spectacle with the transmission from the hell of the storm of agony, Kouki and Ryuutaro both averted their gazes.  Suzu, looked like she could vomit at any moment, desperately trying to endure it.

Before long the transformation ended.  Looking at his appearance in the pool of holy water, the reflection shows the Hajime of today.  Still more than the Hajime of today, the deep tenacity and murderous intent overflowed from he who had gotten a strong body and a new power.

And, using the power of a transmutation that could not become a weapon because it is only a common job, he made full use of the raw materials and the other world’s gunpowder to produce a weapon after much trial and error that he could use to challenge the claw bear and by crushing it prove his ability to fight.

At the end of a fierce battle where the claw bear is overcome and its flesh is eaten, Hajime becomes self-conscious.  In the innermost depths of himself, his true longing has come out.

That is…

–I want to return.

Responding to the desire, the magic in the room pulsed.  Before they were aware of it, Hajime’s body was covered in the bright red magic power… With Hajime and Yue in the center, the magic power shot up.

However, it was not magic power indiscriminately scattered.  It was focused so that it was inhaled in a spiral torrent with the two people at its center.

–I want to return.

Once more Hajime’s pure, strong desire was transmitted through the magic power.  Deeply touched by such a wish, Shia, and the others tightly clasped their hands at their chests.

The brilliantly shining crimson magic mixed with the golden magic.  As the torrent of magic calmed down, glittering lights like the stars of the Milky Way galaxy began to spin around them.

–I want to return to my hometown.

It is quiet; however, everyone cannot help but shake understanding the strength of will being transmitted by that desire.  It should exactly be called the will of the utmost limits.

Hajime in the image, after looking up at the sky once, he quietly closed his eyes.  In himself, he must have been making certain of his resolution.  And, when he suddenly opened his eyes he unhesitatingly faced the interior of the abyss while proceeding down the passage to the depth of the labyrinth.

The magic light the image was projected on was then absorbed by the whirlpool surrounding Hajime and Yue.

Shia’s and the others’ reaction was generally the same.  They were dumbfounded by the extremely violent process Hajime went through to become the Hajime of today.

Shia, Kaori, Tio, and Shizuku shed tears from the emotions that even they did not understand how seriously far Hajime had gone, but at the same time also faintly floated smiles feeling proud that he could stand back up again after crawling up.

Suzu and Ryuutaro couldn’t speak as if they were simply overwhelmed, with somehow assenting looks on their faces as they thought “I can’t match this”.

They thought they’d survived some truly rough battles, but they’d always had the support of Meld and the other experienced knights in the order, and above all, had been surrounded by comrades with cheat abilities. When they tried to imagine whether they could truly, all by themselves, get through all that hardship and crawl out of the abyss, they shook their heads. Even the scene they were seeing now was just the beginning. They didn’t think that they would be able to handle it at all.

And Kouki… gazed into empty space vacantly, as if his power had left him. In his heart, it crossed his mind how he’d just said: “If I’d been the one to fall into the abyss…”

Up until now, Kouki had actually thought that Hajime’s strength was unfair. Even though Shizuku had said Hajime must’ve had a horrible experience, the idea was completely abstract to him. Kouki had seriously thought that Hajime was a guy who did whatever he pleased and easily obtained power just by falling into the abyss.

But now that he’d ended up knowing Hajime’s way of obtaining it, it was so incredible it blew away those thoughts.

(‘I want to return’… huh.)

He whispered it in his mind. A doubt welled up: do I actually desire to return home as much as him? At the same time, when he compared his thoughts when he’d declared that he would save this world as the hero everyone needs, with Hajime’s pure and intense wish, he had a feeling it seemed very cheap.

(N-No… I’m not wrong. Nagumo’s feelings… I understand them, but… But, even so… And, now, Shizuku’s also… He’s taken everything from me…)

He desperately shook off the self-criticizing emotions that floated through his mind.

As Kouki engaged in a mental dialogue with himself, a change occurred with Hajime and Yue. To be precise, with the crystal structure and mineral in between them.

It was wrapped in bright red magic. The shape gradually changed, or rather, it united as if to prove it was taking in magical power.

“Is that a key…?”

“Well, it looks like an antique key made out of crystal.”

Shizuku added to Kaori’s mutterings. It was shaped between Hajime and Yue, with a regular dodecahedral crystal body on the side of the hand. It was a key with a terribly sophisticated and complex magic line drawn in the planning part of the trip.

It was created with the fusion of the god crystal and other minerals, finishing as an antique key that captures the beautiful artworks that incorporated a lot of magical powers from Hajime and Yue, decorated in gold designs with a red crystal.

And just after the shape was perfectly formed, Hajime and Yue who did not make movements until now opened their eyes with their hands connected. It seemed that nothing was reflected in their thin eyes, which seemed to be looking at something only visible to the two of them.

In a strange way, the atmosphere felt mysterious, there was a sound that someone swallowed with a gulp of saliva. The next moment, the two lips trembled in time. Then the words spun from a small opening mouth…

“Open the door to the place you wanted.”

A moment later, a torrent of dazzling light like a fixed star blew up around the two. The flow of the galaxy that once calmed down dyed the room into pure white light as if it had caused a supernova explosion, and painted everyone’s consciousness with white as well.

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Be Back Next Week!!!

Just giving you a heads up I haven’t forgotten about you. Funny story, so while we were speeding through translating, I volunteered to translate this upcoming chapter, and due to the numbering scheme, I got it messed up, so I thought this one (Chapter 151) had been translated when it hasn’t. Only realized this a few days before Christmas. Holidays being the holidays, I wasn’t translating it over Christmas or New Years, so sorry for the absence of chapters, my mistake. You’ll have my MTL of Chapter 151 next weekend, and maybe… MAYBE… if I’m feeling good, I’ll release a second chapter to make up for my absence. We’ll see when we get to next week. I thought about spending the next four hours translating, and after staying up late last night and cleaning out my garage today, I just don’t have it in me, so please be patient and I’ll see you next week.