Time and Place – Prologue

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I know, I know what you’re thinking. A Freaking ‘nother one? Actually, this is a novel I’m in the process of writing. It is NOT a light novel-like story like my other ones… this is just pure science fiction; however, now that I think about it… it actually is kind of “another world” novel. It’s about a guy who wakes up 100,000 years in the future.  I’ve already written 50-some chapters of this, so putting it up is no problem. I thought maybe getting a few supporters might motivate me to eventually finish it. I already have a book series worked out in my mind, but I haven’t produced a chapter in a year or so, so I’m willing to give anything a try.

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The portal shimmered. The blue light from within grew and dimmed in a steady rhythm as if mimicking the old man’s heartbeat. He quickly wiped the sweat as it accumulated in droplets on his brow with a handkerchief. It was hot, much hotter than he had expected. The luminescent blues bouncing off the rocky white terrace gave the impression that it should have been a cool day.

As he pulled his handkerchief away, he noticed a smear of brown from the dirt on his face. He sighed. It was one of his favorites; it was all he had from his mother. Of course, that wasn’t entirely accurate. The original handkerchief had long been destroyed. This was only an approximation of what he remembered of his mother. Perhaps it was one of the only memories he had remaining of her.

As an infant, his mother had named him Nas’ Dera in the crib. He swore he could remember hearing her cry as he was taken away without a chance to glance upon his face. Of course, that was impossible. Even if Nas’ Dera could remember some repressed memory from infancy, it had long since between overwritten with the untold time that followed.

Nas’ Dera was a title more than a name, but it was the only name from which he had ever been known. The name had meant ‘last hope’ in the forgotten tongue of his people, but no one who lived remembered that name except for him. He looked up at the sky and grimaced. There was probably no one alive besides himself at this point.

His face was sunken and resigned, covered by the hood of his once clean robes. A red sash crossed over his chest but it had worn to a dull pinkish color, ripped and torn at various points, seeming to barely hang from his body. He pushed back his hood, taking a deep breath, his blue eyes seeming to absorb the light of the portal. He closed them, and in a flash, he felt a memory of green; of life. There was a time when he remembered life, when he remembered what it was like to be alive. So long, that seemed to be, since he had seen something so simple, so alive, as the color green.

He took another glance around. In front of him sat a small altar made from obsidian rock set within the white terrace. Small shapes and symbols seemed to be written all over the altar, seemingly random in placement.  Large spiral columns stood on each of the four corners of the terrace, each one cracked, blistered, and damaged from the ravages of time. On the top of each pillar, a stream of white light shot into the sky, creating a small dome that surrounded the terrace he stood in. The invisible walls shimmered and flexed, giving a strangely drunken appearance to the world outside.  The world beyond the dome was dark and indistinguishable. Shapes seemed to move and dance just out of sight within the shadows, but he ignored them.  He could not think of what was beyond in that darkness, not now.

A sudden burst of light came from the sky and he instinctively looked up.  He knew what he would see. The light was already gone by the time his eyes were able to focus. The dark sky above seemed strangely empty, devoid of the light one would expect during a clear night. Another star had vanished in the night sky. Some would call it the heat death of the universe. However, that wasn’t quite right. If the universe was truly dying from old age, then it would have gradually dimmed to nothingness once luminosity decreased to the point that it was no longer visible from Nas’ Dera’s point of view. This was more like the universe was being eaten.

“What star was that?” he wondered aloud.

It could have been any, really. It was a star that had been destroyed thousands of years ago, if not a million years gone. Why did it take them so long to realize they were disappearing, one at a time?  It was too late, now, to do anything about it. The sky did not contain enough stars, appearing empty and hollow. Regrettably, even the ones he could see were long gone.  He was happy that it was dark out, that he could not see the star that this planet orbited, the final death cries of a blackened universe.

A light tremor began to shake the ground around him. He braced himself against the shaking. It continued on for a minute or two before subsiding. He did not have very much time. The portal flickered uneasily, drawing his attention back. He was too old for this, too weak. He knew the task at hand would kill him, but there was no one else to do it.

He pressed one of the symbols on the altar, resembling a table with a cross sitting atop it.  It emanated a small blue shimmering light and images flickered across the portal. The images were of people’s faces, but no image remained for more than a blink as they jumped from one face to the next. He watched carefully as each face was shown, his eyes darting left to right, looking for the sign.

He began to feel a small ache in the back of his eyes.  He realized that he hadn’t blinked in some time, but he could not afford to miss the instance he sought. Sweat began streaming down his face, but he dared not wipe his forehead in the fear of missing that one image. He kept focus, for as long as he had to, he could not afford to miss the opportunity – it would only happen once.

Nas’ Dera had no clue how long he stood there, watching the streaming images of faces… so many faces. His legs ached, his back was sore, and he longed to sit down. He knew, however, that if he rested, that the job would never be finished. This was his last chance. The portal crackled, the steady pulsing fell off rhythm for a second. He grimaced at the momentary loss of concentration.  Then he saw it.

Did I?” he thought for a split second before pressing a second symbol, which caused the image to stop.

He wasn’t sure if it had been what he was looking for.  It was so quick and he was still a bit distracted. Once he moved the image backward, he wasn’t sure if he could get the device moving forward again. Was it what he sought? Or was it just a hopeful glimpse? The end of the world, the universe, and all of his plans could be wasted by a maybe.

Nas’ Dera sighed deeply. He was never a gambling man; he liked to have control of his own destiny and the likes of cards or dice seemed set to take destiny on by random. However, it seemed as if there was no choice. He gripped the outside of the symbol in his hand, turning. The lighted symbol seemed to rotate with his hand. He felt a kind of resistance, a weakness in the stability of the device. He held his breath, slowly and deliberately turning the symbol.  The symbol stopped with the cross pointing left and he let out a slow breath. Once again touching the symbol ever so slightly, the images began going back one at a time.

The images flicked back much slower. There was a woman with red hair, a man with a unibrow, a young boy with a dog. He could make out each of these people, people dead ages ago. People who lived short lives on a small planet a billion years ago. Who would have ever thought that the whole universe may depend on a man from that little planet?

Nas’ Dera did. He could feel the man’s potential across the ages. His fate on his small little planet would have been incredible. He would have been a man of great importance. He was a man who would have been known for thousands of years on his planet. A man whose potential would have been completely wasted making an imprint on a single planet, when he had the entire universe that needed him. It was a trade. The man could save the planet, or in the right time and right place; he could save the universe.

Nas’ Dera released his finger and the image stopped on the man. He had brownish blonde hair and hazel brown eyes that seemed uneasy. They seemed to know what was happening to them, seemed to feel the old man watching him.  A smile caressed his face for the first time since he had entered the crumbling machine. He had finally found him, the man whose fate would change the universe. It was time to redirect him to the time and place where he could rise to his true potential.

The man in his image would never thank Nas’ Dera for what he was about to do to him. He hoped the man could find happiness in his new life, after a fashion, but this new life would be a much harder path for the man. The shaking began again, this time not seeming to end. His time was running out. The smile faded from Nas’ Dera. He had work to do.

Nas’ Dera paused the image. The tremor steadily grew in a long drawn out roar, making it harder and harder for Nas’ Dera to keep his balance. He flicked another symbol on the altar and the image seemed to solidify. It wasn’t as if the image was faded before, but now it somehow seemed more tangible. Nas’ Dera quickly stumbled up to the image. In a swift motion, his hand dived into it. Grabbing the back of Darian’s shirt, he pulled roughly. The image did not move, but then again, it did not have to for the effect to be apparent. Running back to the altar, he flicked the symbol again, and the image continued.

He scanned the man’s life. Using the machine’s unique functions, he scanned the 4th dimension, trailing along this man’s timeline. Just slight edits, Nas’ Dera would need to have a fine touch here. Slowly, and with a deftness that only a man as long lived as Nas’ Dera could possibly possess, he began to make alterations to the man’s life.

He moved objects, and he moved people. He manipulated the man’s timeline, trying to guide him in the direction he needed to go. Nas’ Dera hated doing this. It felt too much like he was pretending to be fate. Nas’ Dera didn’t believe in such a thing as fate. Ironic for a man who was fated to be the ‘last hope’. To be fair, the man resisted relentlessly. No matter how hard the man fell on bad luck, he always seemed to bounce right back.

It felt like a tug of war, a desperate struggle. The man wanted to stay where he was, on a little blue planet, where he would undoubtedly bring about a new age of prosperity. However, for this to work, that planet had to be abandoned. Everything that man ever knew needed to be abandoned as well.

Nas’ Dera winced as he paused the image again. No, this man would never thank him for changing the course of his life, not that the man would ever know it had been changed in this manner. Perhaps he would take comfort in knowing that his planet would survive without him. At least, a remnant of his planet would survive.

This old destiny would no longer be fulfilled. However, time had a funny way of forcing people such as him into greatness. He had a greater destiny awaiting him. Nas’ Dera fell to his knees, exhaustion finally stopping him from his work. He pressed a button and looked into the man’s future. He moved forward years after the man should have been there. There he was, still alive in the time capsule Nas’ Dera had prepared for him.

It would be time for him to wake soon. Nas’ Dera could do nothing else but watch. Meanwhile, another star disappeared from the night’s sky, but no one noticed its passing.

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Hawtness – Volume 2 – Chapter 2

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Panty Lift Off

“What did you do, Allan?” Andrew asked, rubbing his head as he took in a deep breath.

We were now standing in a white chamber. It was cylindrical in appearance with white walls on every side. The floor had six white spots with a smooth glass-like appearance. It basically looked like the inside of an alien spaceship. I wondered if Allan did that on purpose to mess with me.

“I teleported us onto my spacecraft positioned in a geosynchronous orbit traveling at seven thousand miles per hour.”

“Why?” Rune asked, breathing hard.

“Attempting to explain my actions to you was a waste of time. It was quicker to show you.”

“A little warning would be nice next time,” Rune snapped.

Allan straightened his glasses, “A little consideration on your side would be appreciated as well.”

I was crouched against a wall, my head resting in my hands. Why did these things keep happening to me? Was my destiny completely out of my control? Was I fated to be dragged from random place to random place in the name of what, the future? I took a deep breath, suppressing all of my anger and self-absorbed whining. Getting depressed wouldn’t get me out of this situation.

“What do you want, Allan?” I asked directly.

The three boys turned to me. Andrew and Rune seemed to have looks of surprise. What? Did they assume Allan had kidnapped us for the joy of it? Boys could be so stupid sometimes. Allan wanted something, I was certain of that.

Allan nodded, the hint of a smirk at the corner of his face, “I prefer directness too. That will make this considerably easier. Your planet is in grave danger. My race, the Prefects, don’t typically take positions when it comes to this kind of thing. We are silent observers fulfilling our missions for the good of the collective knowledge of our species. However, I’ve decided to at least inform relevant parties as to the threat.”

“Relevant parties?” Rune frowned, “What’s relevant about us?”

“An Archangel, an Archdemon, and Jane Averygail, a girl whom I’ve recently confirmed was involved in the incident sixty some years ago, involving a time-traveling alien. If you haven’t realized it, your unexpected participation in the great treaty that occurred on that date helped lead to the capture of that particular time traveling alien. A necromancer detected time particles on you and was able to track down the offender as a result. He was a notorious evil criminal who was brought to justice by your actions. Your name, and your actions are well known across the three known galaxies.”

“Fantastic,” I muttered, although Andrew and Rune seemed to be looking at me with impressed looks.

I had told them most of what had happened in the past. I didn’t really mention my near death, Daniel’s mom, Victor, or Mr. Xavier’s ghost. I imagined Andrew figured out some of the things, but Rune seemed to forget ever meeting me. Either way, I didn’t want to associate what happened in the past with what happened now. It hurt my head just thinking about it.

“So you know what we are?” Andrew asked, walking around the small chamber we were standing in.

“It is my job to observe, and I have analyzed your group activities for some time. Regrettably, my previous attempts to gain access to your confidence proved unsuccessful.”

Andrew went to ask another question, but I interrupted first, “What threat to Earth?”

“There is currently a full-scale invasion being planned. In the next forty-eight hours, your planet will be invaded, conquered, and enslaved.”

“What?” Rune shouted.

“I don’t believe it…” Andrew shook his head.

I just remained silent, watching Allan as he stared unemotionally at the three of us.

“Do you not care?” I asked.

Allan’s eyebrow raised, “I’ve only been stationed on this planet for the last year. I will simply be stationed somewhere else. You have my sympathies, but that is all I can offer. It is my species policy to not get involved. I probably should not have even informed you about it. Now that the relevant people know of this, I will send you back to your planet.”

“What?” Rune shouted even louder than the last time, he approached Allan as if he was about to punch him. Allan held a finger over his wristband threateningly. It kept Rune at bay.

“You can’t just tell us that and then leave. We need to do something to save Earth. Have some compassion,” Andrew urged Allan, “At least, take us there. Maybe we can talk them out of it.”

“I highly doubt that. These aliens, the Riptari, gain too much from this invasion. They hope to join the intergalactic alliance by conquering Earth.”

“Why Earth?” I asked before I could stop myself.

“It is a resource rich planet that is labeled as a fairly easy push over. They planned this for some time.”

“And you didn’t tell us sooner?”

“Because I didn’t know sooner. I would not wait this long to leave the planet myself had I known this would happen.”

“Please,” Andrew put his hand on Allan’s shoulder, “Please help us. Earth may not be my planet, but I care about the planet and care for some of the people on it.”

A blush flared on my cheeks, which I shoved down with a passion. He said people, not person, when did I get such a big head as to assume it was about me? For all I know, he’s in love with Samantha.

“I can’t.”

Rune growled, a purple flame forming in his hand, “Then I’ll have to make you.”

“No, I mean, I literally can’t. Their base of operations is on the dark side of the moon. This ship is stuck in orbit. I can’t get it to go anywhere.”

“This is your ship, isn’t it?”

“Of course, it is my ship. However, it is powered by complex, subroutine algorithms that protect the main controls of the ship from outside influence. In an unfortunate twist, those algorithms became corrupted.”

I thought about it for a second, “So what you’re saying is, you forgot the password?”

Allan grimaced, “After only three tries, it does a system-wide lock. I’d need to contact the dealer to get a master encryption to unlock it, but with the invasion, they are jamming my signal.”

Rune’s fire went out as he put his face in his palms. Andrew turned away, shaking his head. So that was it? At best, we could sit up here and wait for the planet to be destroyed? At worst, we could be down there as the planet is invaded and be part of the invasion? Were those the choices we had?

Allan shook his head, “If I just had some advanced machinery, I could hard wire and bypass the routine and regain control of the ship. I’d need an extremely complex OS, an AI level adaptable sub-hardware routine.”

I tried to process the words he was saying once again, “What? You mean, like a robot?”

Allan pushed his glasses back up his nose, “Well, more like an android, but nothing like that exists on your planet.”

I pinched my nose. Why was my life just a series of unfortunate occurrences?

I turned to Allan, looking him directly in those big doe eyes of his behind spectacles. “If I can get you a robot, and we can get the ship back running, will you help me stop this alien invasion?”

Allan rose an eyebrow, “If you know of a robot, then we have an agreement.”

“What are you talking about, Jane?” Rune finally spoke up.

“Can we get out of this room first?” I asked, “We need to start making some plans.”

Allan touched a small button on his wrist control and a door seemed to appear out of nowhere. Our small group was led out of the small room into an even smaller corridor.

“I have to say, I expected everything to be a lot bigger,” Rune muttered as he crouched down a narrow pathway.

“Ships are not made for convenience. They are a utility. You don’t walk around comfortably in a minivan, do you?” Allan responded.

“That reminds me of something I wanted to ask,” Andrew said.

“Do you have to?” Allan responded.

Andrew ignored him, “You’re supposed to be some kind of alien, right? Well, you appear human.”

“That is a statement, not a question,” Alan said, moving into a room that looked a bit like a cockpit. It had five different seats but didn’t offer a terrible amount of space.

My breath caught at the glass windows in front. I could see Earth hovering under us, a sky absolutely bursting with stars. It was an absolutely beautiful sight. I couldn’t take my eyes away.

“Why do you look like a human?” Andrew finished.

“I don’t look human. I appear like my own species. You see, all sentient intelligent alien beings take on a form that roughly looks like you humans. Some have ridges here, or pointy ears, or green skin. However, every species more or less looks human.”

“Sounds ridiculously convenient.”

“It is.”

“Is this some kind of cosmic destiny thing?” Andrew asked, genuinely interested.

“It’s more an observation. The observation suggests that in order for a species to develop a culture in such a way as to become sentient and space faring, they must possess three attributes. They must have opposable thumbs, they must stand on their hind legs, and they must possess brains fed by a cardiovascular system that utilizes oxygen. It is not made clear why these things must exist, but it has become known as the Law of Star Transient Relocation Elementary Kinetics. Or the Law of Star Trek for short.”

“The Law of Star Trek?” I burst in. That law does seem convenient on more than one level.

“Yes.”

“What about you?” Rune broke into the conversation, “You don’t seem to have any strange features.”

“My species have large deep doe eyes. I wear these glasses to reduce their effect on native women.”

“What are you even talking about? Your eyes are normal.” Rune laughed.

Allan pulled off his glasses. Instantly, the space outside seemed a lot less interesting to me. His eyes were so deep and dark and cute. How did I never notice how attractive he was? I wanted to examine those eyes all day long. They were so thoughtful, so emotional, and so powerful. I giggled.

Allan put his glasses back on. I blinked, looking around. Andrew and Rune seemed to be holding me back from something. Both boys looked concerned as they pulled their hands away from me. I straightened myself out. What was I just doing now?

“You’ll probably want these back,” Allan said straightly, tossing a piece of clothing to me.

I snatched the clothing out of the air and looked it over, my mouth going slack and my face becoming mortified as I realized what it was.

“This is my underwear.”

“Yes.”

“Why were you holding my panties?”

“You tossed them at me,” Allan explained; Andrew and Rune gave slight nods to confirm it was the truth.

“My pants are on, how did I even get the underwear off?”

The boys all looked at each other, but it was Rune who spoke first, “We’re all kind of wondering the same thing. We saw it happen and don’t even understand it. You sort of just reached in there and… pulled them out.”

I was mortified, but I had to put on a stronger show, couldn’t let these boys seem me weak right now, “Never take your glasses off, Allan, ever again.”

Allan nodded, even he seemed a little startled at whatever I had missed a few moments past.

“So,” I decided it was time to change the subject, “You say all aliens are very similar to each other. Can we use this to infiltrate their base?”

“First, I would like to get my ship working. Where is this robot of yours?”

“Well, he’s not my robot, he just happens to be a robot. Do you know Ryan, he’s in the A/V club?”

“I have heard of him. Despite the fact you only gave me his first name, there is only one Ryan in the entire school.”

“How convenient.”

“It is. Fortunately, the transporting for this ship is not locked out, being part of a secondary routine. Another convenience.”

Allan typed a few buttons on his controller, “I have now teleported him to the ship. Can you return to the teleportation room and bring him here? I will begin overriding the system. I will need your help, Rune, and Andrew if you will?”

The two boys nodded, and I found myself crawling back down the tight spaced hallway to the back of the ship. Of course, it would have to be me who dealt with the robot. I felt a little guilty about it. I promised the guy that I’d leave him alone, and now I was dragging him into my crazy life. He was probably completely freaking out right now.

I entered the teleportation room. The door had been left open and for a second I feared Ryan might have wondered off into some random part of the ship. My fears were elated when I saw he was standing in the middle of the teleportation pad. It looked like he hadn’t moved an inch since he had been teleported. He still had those headphones sticking out of his ears and hanging loosely down his body as well.

“Ryan, I’m sorry, I know I promised that we’d pretend our meeting didn’t happen, but some things came up since then.”

Ryan turned his head to look at me, “It is alright. Humans often make promises with me they do not keep.”

I frowned at the way he said that, but when he turned back to looking straight ahead of himself, I shook myself out of it.

“This is a spaceship in orbit around space. Are you familiar with these at all?”

“No, mistress never showed me anything like a spacecraft before.”

“Mistress? So you have some kind of master?”

“Yes,” Ryan turned back to me and nodded enthusiastically, “Mistress is the one who created me.”

“I’m sorry; I didn’t take you away from your mistress, did I?”

Ryan shook his head, “No, mistress has not engaged with me in some time.”

“How long since you last engaged with your mistress?” I asked before I could stop myself.

“Two years, three months, twelve days, seven hours, forty-five minutes, twenty-three seconds since mistress has last given me an order.”

“Two years?” I asked in surprise, “What have you been doing for two years?”

“I have followed my base protocol. Stay low, and continue to execute routine maintenance for peak efficiency.”

“Where does school come in?”

“In this body, I would look stranger away from school. As a student, I can remain inconspicuous and volunteering for the A/V club lets me have access to leftover cables and broken devices I can scavenge for repairs. I will continue to follow my commands until mistress returns.”

“You seem shockingly open about this. Wouldn’t staying low mean you shouldn’t be telling me this?”

“I am programmed to follow any command my mistress gives until she countermands it. One of my last orders was to follow the instructions of any person who gave them to me.”

“That seems like an odd order to give…”

“Not at all. Mistress took great pleasure in giving me to others and allowing them to order me.”

“That sounds very ominous.”

“Ma’am, was there a question associated with that?”

I sighed, I really didn’t have time to get into android politics. The world was about to end.

“If I ordered you to repair this ship, would you help me do it?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I went to make the order, but something about what he had said unnerved me. His mistress had ordered him to stay put and so he had for two years without question. She told him to do whatever anyone asked. Some of Ryan’s reputation at the school came back to me. He was considered a complete teacher’s pet. Also, a handful of girls frequently used him as the carrier boy. It was always assumed he had a crush on one of the girls, but I was beginning to think they were just using him. They were using him like everyone else was using him. He was a thing to them. Something about that didn’t sit well with me.

“I order you to do what you want to do.” The words came out of my mouth.

“Ma’am? I do not understand the order.”

The thought that this was the right thing to do grew firmer in my mind.

“Think about what you want to do. I want you to do that. I’d like you to help me repair the ship, but only if you want to help. I’m not going to order you.”

“No one has ever given me an order like that before.”

“Well, what do you want to do?”

Ryan cocked his head for a second, seeming in thought, and then gave a nod, “I’d like to go home, and wait for my mistress to return.”

I frowned; that wasn’t the answer I was hoping for.

“Can you please help me fix the ship?”

Ryan shook his head, “No, If my order is to do what I want, I would like to continue to wait for my mistress. Can you please return me?”

I grimaced. I had done this to myself.

Ryan frowned as he looked at the expressions on my face, “You are welcome to recall the order, and then order me to fix the ship.”

I grimaced even more. This was wrong. Too much of this was wrong. A boy should not be that much of a complete walk-over. He should have spirit. He should have confidence. He should be as caring and as determined as Andrew, or as fiery and as spirited as Rune. He could be as loyal and steadfast as Daniel, and perhaps even a little sensuality from Alex wouldn’t go amiss. He should be fun and playful like Victor, smart and clever like Allan. He should be kind like… I stopped, realizing what I was doing. That wasn’t fair. Not to me, not to Ryan, and not to any of the other boys in my life.

I took a deep breath, and started again, “Ryan, in forty-eight hours, a race of aliens will attack Earth. Do you know what that means?”

Ryan cocked his head again before responding, “It means the Earth is in danger of destruction.”

“How do you think your mistress will feel if the Earth is destroyed?”

“Mistress’ plans would be foiled. She would be very upset.”

That wasn’t exactly what I was looking for as an answer, but at this point, I took it.

“If I can repair this ship, there is a chance we can stop this invasion from occurring. Will you help me?”

Ryan thought about it for a second, cocking his head in a strange manner once again.

“I will help you fix this ship,” Ryan finally answered, putting a smile on his face; it seemed almost genuine, “By choice.”

I smiled back at Ryan, offering him my hand. He grabbed it and I led him back up to the cockpit of the ship. As the pair of us walked into the room, I noticed the three boys were staring at something laid out on one of the consoles. I let go of Ryan’s hand as the three turned to us.

“Well, Jane,” Allan pushed his glasses back into place over his nose, “While you were gone, we worked out a plan to save your planet. It’s risky and a bit of a longshot, but I think it just might work.”

Rune gave me a grin, “Jane, how do you feel about wearing dresses?”

I looked back at the three boys, all of them watching me with curious looks.

“I’m fine in a dress,” I answered back, patting the pocket with my underwear in it, “As long as the underwear stays on.”

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Hawtness – Volume 2 – Chapter 1

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Idol Hearts

“IDOL HEARTS, AND IDOL DREAMS. THE DARKNESS OUTSIDE, AND LIGHT BETWEEN.” The words blasted as Demetrius began to next part of the song.

“Oh my God, Isn’t Demetrius the best!” Samantha shouted, jumping up and down and screaming.

Demetrius was dancing on stage. He wore black leather chaps and a black vest with nothing under it. This bared most of his chest and abs for his audience to see. His well-oiled body glimmered in the stage light and his ear piercing shined. Behind him a fire erupted as he jumped towards the crowd, gyrating his hips.

“AND IT’S ALL FOR YOU.”

The chorus of screaming teenage girls reached an all-time high. I covered my years, certain that the noise insured I’d need a hearing aid by the age of forty. Samantha noticed me covering my ears and jabbed me in the side.

“Lighten up!” She yelled, “You should be glad you’re out of the house.”

“I am, I don’t know how you talked my mom into ending my grounding day early!”

“Well, I’m special,” Samantha grinned at me, “Just stop playing naked twister with your brother. Or if you do, don’t get caught.”

“He’s my half-brother, and he’s adopted. Why am I even defending myself, it’s not what it looks like!”

Samantha shrugged, “I’m just saying, I knew you were kinky with some of the fan fiction you buy off me, but I didn’t think you were about family fun.”

“This coming from the girl whose first kiss came from her cousin.”

Samantha stuck her tongue out at me, “Well, my pet beagle wasn’t in the mood.”

The two of us giggled; that helped my mood a little bit. This last week had been a nightmare. The uncomfortable atmosphere that transpired after I had gotten some clothes on was unbearable. My mom had given me an uncomfortable talk about how when she was a girl, she had urges to experiment too. Alex got a little bit of the berating too, for failing to be the big sister and letting it happen. Between the three of us, we were able to explain an assortment of accidents that led to the event happening. I still ended up grounded for a week.

After mom grounded me, Tomodalton had moved into the last empty guest room in our oversized house. I had Alex to relay messages for me. One by one, all of the boys in my life went to check on me at the house. While my mom intercepted each of them, she had quite a bit of fun having long conversations with each and every one of them in excess. Alex wouldn’t tell me what was said while I was stuck up in my room, but the words “chastity of my daughter” were used a lot. Alex assured me she vouched for me in these circumstances, but I wondered how good her word was at this point.

“LET MY DARKNESS CONSUME YOU.”

“You know, Alex loves Demetrius. He’ll be so jealous we went without him.” I spoke before I was able to stop myself.

“Alex, the hawtness boy is in love with a boy popstar? He did always seem a little fruity. He being gay makes so much sense.”

I frowned, deciding not to correct her assumption. It was better this way.

“LET YOUR LIGHT CONSUME…. ME!”

The song ended to more shrill cries of adoring fans. Demetrians were what the fan-girls called themselves.

I leaned towards my friend. “Samantha, you’re drooling,”

She wiped her chin, giving me a ‘but out while I’m having my fun’ gaze, causing me to chuckle. The fan-girls were more entertaining than the concert. I heard one girl encapsulating a group of teens. She had a Kleenex that she swore Demetrius had wiped his sweat off on. I shivered at the idea. I wondered how much his used jockstrap would go for. On that note, Samantha had propositioned me to acquire certain personal items from my h club friends not too long ago. I refused her, of course, but the implications of her request were now starting to dawn on me.

“Hello my sweet little minions. It’s been great playing in my hometown.”

That was Demetrius talking up on the stage. He liked to call girls is little minions. His whole stick was a cross between an emo and a pop singer. He wore dark clothing, and slick black gelled hair, and had tan-less white skin. He even wore fangs some times. Most of his songs were about darkness and love. He had pulled off his vest now and was dangling it over stage. Several girls seemed prime to have him throw it out into the audience. I hoped he had the decency not to, it was likely to cause a riot.

Samantha slapped my chest several times with the back of her hand as she stared up at the stage with an appearance of awe on her face.

“What is it?” I hissed.

“It’s starting; he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it!” She was still hitting me with her hand, but I think she had forgotten it was even there.

“So what?” I snapped, grabbing her hand.

“He’ll pick a girl from the audience and she gets the royal treatment in his changing room.”

“That sounds a little pedo to me, everyone here’s a teenager.”

“He’s only seventeen himself, besides, Demetrius would never force himself on a girl!” Samantha seemed to have a little anger in her voice that I would even imply that.

“Tonight! One lucky girl will have the chance to go back stage with one of her friends and meet me personally!”

Another shrill cry of teenage girls. I’d need that hearing aid by the time I was thirty now.

“And the lucky winner by completely random drawing is…. Jane Averygail.”

There was a collective sigh as people cried out in sorrow at not having been selected. Samantha started screaming and bouncing, her hands on both of my shoulders.

“This is Jane, this is Jane. We’re coming, don’t forget us!”

This wasn’t fair. I tried to be a good daughter. I tried to treat people like they wanted to be treated. I always ate my vegetables. Why was it always me? Wait, was that why Samantha invited me to this in the first place? She realized that I always end up with the guy and so she brought me along? That evil woman. Still, I’d be late if I went backstage. Mom told me to head home as soon as the concert let out.

“Samantha, I don’t think this is a good idea.”

Samantha spun me around, pure malevolence in her eyes, “You don’t screw this up for me, Bitch, I will cut you.”

“Samantha? You’re hurting my shoulders a little, Samantha. Samantha?”

The look on Samantha’s face looked feverish. I did have some dangerous friends, and I wasn’t talking about the werewolf or the demons.

“Alright, we’ll go!” I threw up my hands.

Samantha laughed, turning me back and pushing me forward like a shield through the crowds of angry teenagers who wished they had been picked. At any moment, I was expecting to get shived. Relax, Jane, this is a pop concert, not a prison.

Samantha pulled me into a side hallway and led me down the path leading to the backstage and an intimidating security guard. As the two of us approached him, he looked me up and down.

“Are you the Jane girl?” he asked in a deep voice.

“Yes, she is,” Samantha answered, “and I’m her plus one!”

The guard sneered, “Yeah, he’s been waiting for you.”

There was something very ominous about the way he said those words, but with Samantha next to me bubbling with excitement, I decided to not say any more. The result might be her punishing me in ways I might regret. I didn’t know what kind of tortures my friend could devise, but based on some of the fan fictions she has written of late, I’m sure it’d be both painful and would prevent us from ever being able to look each other in the eyes again.

The guard moved aside, and once again Samantha was dragging me into the next room. It was a large area with a table full of a broad assortment of untouched food and several couches as well as a big screen TV. The room seemed to be decorated with Demetrius in mind. Dark swaths of fabric and several antique candles on stands were laid out across the room. I figured it was supposed to be gothic and edgy.

The door opened from the other end, and Demetrius walked in from the stage. He didn’t have his vest with him. I suppose some lucky girl was walking home with it. He had a towel on and was wiping the sweat from his face. As he walked closer to me, Samantha grabbed my shoulder as if she was having a heart attack. That wasn’t the part that worried me. What did worry me was the growing sense of similarity emanating from this man. I had met him before, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“Well hello, Jane, its great having a chance to meet you like this. I’m glad you chose to come to the concert. Did you enjoy it?”

Before I responded, Samantha pushed in front of me, moving up to the familiar pop star, “Mr. Demetrius, I have to say I am like your biggest fan. The biggest fan ever. I love you. I’m in love with you. Are you single? Do you have any naughty piercings? Can you read my fan fiction about you? No, of course you don’t want to read that. Can you sign my breasts? I suppose that’s inappropriate. How about my butt? I’m not asking that because I want to show you anything inapprop-”

Demetrius smiled throughout her entire barrage before lifting one finger and putting it over her lips. Samantha stopped, letting out a small whimper. Demetrius leaned forward, placing a gentle kiss on her forehead. Samantha’s jaw went slack and she started letting out an elongated moan. He backed away, eyeballing her for a second before turning to look at me.

The familiarity got to me, “I recognize you from somewhere, don’t I?”

“Yes, but your friend appears to be foaming at the mouth.”

“Forget her, she’ll get over it. Who are you?”

Samantha’s eyes rolled back into her head and she fell back, collapsing onto the ground with a solid thud.

“Oh my god! Your friend just passed out unconscious.”

“She does that, ignore her. Why are you so familiar to me?”

The unintended scrutiny from me seemed to unnerve the pop star a bit, he gave a nervous smile and put a hand up to his hair, slicking it back. The way he looked when he did it, doubtful and unsure of himself, stirred my memory even more. I recognized that face. It was the face of a man far less muscular and well-oiled who lived in a dark room and wanted to die.

“Victor!”

The boy broke out into a giant smile, “I knew I couldn’t pull one on you!”

“Oh my God, Victor, you’re a teen popstar?”

Victor laughed, twirling around in front of me, “It looks good on me, doesn’t it? I know, a little too bright and upbeat, but I try to keep it dark and vampire-like. Can’t forget my roots now, can I?”

“Oh wow! I never realized you’d accomplish so much!”

“Oh, well, with 50 years of prep time, I started going to the gym. A night gym of course. Gained some muscle mass, started doing the beauty treatment. Wandered around for a while as a vagrant. Learned to use a variety of instruments, after that I joined KISS for a while.

“KISS?”

“Yeah, the heavy metal band that wears all the makeup. Did that for a while, but they got a little too extreme. Scared me away from them.”

“KISS was too extreme for an immortal vampire?”

“Well, they wanted me to bite the head off a chicken.” Victor shook his head in disgust. “Now, I may be an immortal blood sucking monster, but murdering a defenseless chicken for entertainment is too far.”

“Sounds like you have a good sense of morality.”

“Exactly. I was like, now I’ll eat a rat or a small puppy just like the next guy. A vampire needs to eat after all…”

“Okay, now you’re oversharing.”

“But I’m not going to suck a used tampon on stage.”

“Yeah, definitely oversharing.”

“Well, anyway, I went low for a while after I ditched them. Eventually, the boy bands started to hit the scene. I popped out a few hit singles and here I am!”

I was in the middle of a nod when an idea occurred to me, “Your first hit single was ‘Jane’s Dilemma’?”

That stopped Demetrius’ barrage of words in its tracks. He gave me a slow nod.

“And that song is based on everything I told you?”

Demetrius hesitated a second before nodding once again.

“And in the end of that song, Jane gets with you…”

Demetrius did not respond this time, giving me a blank look.

“Why?”

Demetrius let out a long, drawn breath before answering, “Jane, in the last fifty years, I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve been with a lot of women. However, always in the back of my heart, I felt unsatisfied. I felt incomplete. I felt like half of a vampire. Do you want to know why that is, Jane?”

“Not really.”

“It’s you, Jane.”

“You did drugs in the 70s, didn’t you?”

“I’m serious, Jane. No matter who I was with, no matter what I tried, I always missed you. You filled a hole in my heart when you visited me those fifty years ago. When that time traveler of yours took you away, I was lost. However, I waited. I waited years to be with you. I’ve waited all the way up to now.”

“Why don’t I like the way this is sounding?”

“Jane, in my current identity, I am only a seventeen year old boy. I’ve talked with my manager and I will be transferring to your school effective immediately. I’ve even talked your club advisor into letting me join the H club of yours.”

“Mr. Xavier let you join the H club?” I grimaced.

“Let me? Not a bit. He even tried to do a partial possession of me to force me to leave. Ghosts.” Victor chuckled. “They act like they can walk over anyone, but you’d have to be an idiot, practically braindead for a ghost to take you over.”

“Suddenly, why he possessed Alex makes so much sense.”

“What was that?”

“Oh, nothing,” I redirected before sighing, “Victor, we barely know each other.”

“That’s the thing, Jane, I know everything about you. I’ve checked up on you your entire life. I even met your mom for a brief period.”

“Victor,” I pinched my nose, fearing the next question, “Please, tell me you didn’t sleep with my mother.”

The vampire froze for a second before speaking, “Yeah, I can say I didn’t sleep with your mom.”

“Victor, why did you emphasize it when you said ‘sleep’?”

“No reason.”

“Victor!”

“Okay, we were drunk!”

“No, Victor!”

“I assure you, we didn’t get past second base. Besides, that was like six years before you were even conceived. It isn’t cheating if you don’t exist yet. I haven’t slept with anyone, your mother included, since you have been born. I swear it.”

“You promise?”

“I promise, Jane.”

Why did I even care if he promised? I wasn’t going to go out with him. This was just all kinds of messed up. It was the final straw. I was done. No more boys would enter my life, supernatural or otherwise. I would take the eight I had already acquired and cut my losses. This was it; I was done.

“Is… you’re friend going to be okay?”

I looked down at Samantha. She was still unconscious, although her eyelids were still open. Her eyes were rolled so far up that all I could see were the whites.

“She’ll be fine; it looks like she is still breathing.

“This kind of thing happen often?”

“A few years back I took her to a Bieber concert. She tried to force herself past a security guard twice her size to get to him. Ended up being beaten down by a three hundred pound former wrestler until I convinced him that she was a thirteen year old girl and it wouldn’t look good on the news.”

“Wow.” Victor shook his head in amazement. “Hey, do you want to draw stuff all over her body with a magic marker?”

I smirked, “I would love to.”

****

“I want in.” Samantha demanded as she stormed into the art room like a whirlwind.

“You want in what?” I asked, deciding it was my duty amongst the group of boys to answer my friend.

“I want into the Helping Club.”

“The… helping club?” I asked in confusion.

Mr. Xavier coughed, “I thought it was a more appropriate name for the H club than the one you had previously chosen.”

Most of the other boys looked confused, but Rune snickered to himself.

“Either way,” the teacher continued, “The H club is at full capacity. I’ll tell you what I told another boy, Allan, this morning… you cannot join this club right now. Maybe next year.”

“But you let Demetrius join!” Samantha pouted.

“Demetrius,” Mr. Xavier grimaced, “Was an extenuating circumstance. But given all his other pop star duties he hasn’t even had time to come to a single meeting, so it is like he isn’t even in the club to begin with.”

Samantha turned to me, offering a puppy-dog eyes that rivaled Daniels, “Jane, talk some sense into them. You owe me after you ran off with Demetrius and let those random strangers write all of that stuff all over me.”

I nodded with a straight face, “Yup, I did that, I apologize for letting those random strangers mark you up. I came back in time and was able to chase them away and protect my friend.”

“You did, and that’s why you’re such a great friend, but come on. Throw me a bone here. I mean, what does this club even do? Have you even helped anyone yet? I swear all you do is wander off into the forest at night and… and…” Samantha’s eyes lit up, “Are you guys some crazy sex cult? Do you guys have sex orgies in the woods?

“No!” Andrew shouted at the same time Alex said, “If only.”

“Although,” Samantha seemed to speak aloud to herself, “That does give me an idea.”

Samantha typed something into her phone before turning back to us. My phone buzzed and I pulled it out. There was a new tweet. ‘New fanfic will be released tonight. Stay tuned. It’s a hot one!’ I rolled my eyes, putting the phone away and becoming a little more wary of the eager look in Samantha’s eyes.

“I’m sorry, Samantha,” I spoke up before anyone else thought to. “I’d help you if I could, it’s just the rules are the rules.”

Samantha sighed, turning her head down in a look of defeat, “It’s a shame too. Your group has such a massive guy to girl ratio. I figured this would help even them out.”

“Wait,” Mr. Xavier stopped her as she moved out the door, “What was that about?”

A little smirk appeared at the corner of Samantha’s mouth, “Oh, it’s just that right now, you have what, eight guys and one girl? I assume Tomodalton’s in the club even though he’s too shy to show up at a group meeting. With another girl here, the boy’s attentions might not be so focused on one girl. Do the math.”

That little snake! I fought the urge to growl at her. So this was how she was going to play the game? Well, Mr. Xavier wouldn’t fall for such a silly little trick!

“Deal!” Mr. Xavier nodded, “You’re in!”

“What?” I spoke up at the same time as seven other voices.

“I am the club advisor; I make the decisions, and I say she’s in!”

“I don’t think it’s really a big deal if another girl joins,” Daniel spoke up.

“Yeah, I bet it’ll be fun to have another girl here,” Alex winked at Samantha.

Samantha brightened up, “Yeah, I’d love to go shopping with someone gay! I’ve never had a homosexual friend before.”

“I… what?” Alex’s eyes widened, a confused expression on his face. Rune ended up spitting up his drink, laughing.

Samantha put on a worried look, “Oh, you’re not gay?”

Alex pouted, “I’m bisexual.”

Samantha froze muttering something under her breath I could barely make out, “God that is so hot.”

“Samantha, you’re drooling,” I told her.

“Huh? What? Yeah…” Samantha wiped her mouth.

“Okay!” Mr. Xavier intervened, “I believe this has been a productive meeting. Let’s adjourn for the day. I’m chocked full of so many papers to correct. Who knew being a teacher involved this much work?”

The group got up and started filing out. I picked up my fur purse and books and headed out with everyone else.

“You heading home?” Alex asked me.

“No, I think I’m going to stay here a bit. Mom’s going to take Samantha and I to the mall once she lets out of ballet practice.”

“Yeah, I have to stay later too. Andrew asked me for some help moving some stuff. I guess he was suckered into volunteering to help with some class rep stuff.”

I looked back at Andrew, who seemed to be chatting with Stephan and Rune. Stephan seemed normal enough, anyone would get along with him. However, Rune sticking around to chat, even if he looked angry about it, was surprising to me. Maybe the two didn’t hate each other as much as they pretended to.

“Andrew asked a demon for help?”

Alex gave his atypical throaty laugh, “He said he trusted me, after everything we’ve been through. I can’t let him down now, can I?”

“No, definitely not.” I smiled back, giving Alex a tight hug before we parted.

Of course, I wasn’t planning on just wondering around the school until Samantha let out per say. I was there on a mission. In the past, I would head down to the park in order to find some space and seclusion. However, that hadn’t been working for me. It seemed like every time I went to the park, I ended up with another boy in my life. If I could find a safe, secluded space in school, on the other hand, I wouldn’t have to suffer any more strange encounters.

I was halfway down the hall when a pair of hands reached out and grabbed, yanking me into a classroom. The door shut behind me and I turned to find myself facing the boy called Allan. He had very pale brown hair, a set of glasses over a petite nose and big doe eyes. The girls always talked about him as an intellectual. Unlike Andrew though, few worked up the nerve to talk to him. He could often be found reading in the school library. He had tried to ask me out once, and now I knew he had asked to join the H club too.

“Hello, Jane, I am sorry to pull you in here so rudely, I decided it was pertinent that I spoke to you immediately.”

“Um… hello, Allan, I’m kind of busy right now.”

“I suppose there is no use in trying to sugar coat this. I have a secret that I must inform you of.”

“Please don’t.”

“You see, I do not come from this world.”

“Lalalalala, I can’t hear you.” I stuck my fingers in my ears for good measure, “Share your secrets with some other girl.”

“I assure you, I have analyzed every being within this school, and I am 99.72% sure that you are the appropriate person to hear-”

“That you’re gay? That’s fine! Samantha’s always wanted a gay friend.”

“I assure you, I am not of a homosexual persuasion, as a matter of fact, people from my planet reproduce-”

Did he say people from his planet? No! Don’t listen. It’s a trap. It’s a god-damn General Ackbar trap! Run Jane! Run before it’s too late.

“You see? I am what you would call an alien.”

I backed away, opening the door behind me, “An illegal immigrant? Well I’m okay with the Mexicans, got to go, bye!”

Allan pushed back his glasses on his nose, “Absolutely ridiculous.”

I turned and ran. No, no more guys. No more secrets. I’m not going to let this happen. Not now, not ever.

“Jane, stop!” The voice came from behind me.

“No, stop sharing your secrets with me!” I snapped and ran.

Who the hell did they think I was? Supernatural Oprah? Stop confessing to me! I glanced back to see if he was chasing me. As I turned back, I rammed full force into someone and found myself rolling down a stairway. Bodies and limbs wrapped around me as the pair of us rolled down a flight of stairs.

“Jane, are you okay?” Stephan spoke from under me.

“Yeah, I’m actually fine, not a bruise on me. Sorry, can’t talk, I’m in a hurry.”

I reached down, feeling for my purse. My fingers wrapped around a furry strap so grabbed it and yanked. It seemed to be under Stephan, so I gave it an extra yank to free it from under him.

“Sorry,” I shouted back as I ran, “I’m in a hurry to get somewhere.”

I turned a corner and continued running. I planned to be hiding in a locked room and out of Allan’s sight for the rest of the day. If I avoided him until mom came, maybe there was some kind of cooling off period and he’d decide not to tell me anything.

“Jane, you seem distressed.” Stephan’s voice came from beside me.

“I’m fine, Stephan, stop following me.” I turned to my side and realized he wasn’t there.

Checking my other side, I still didn’t see him. Stephan had been right next to me, hadn’t he?

“Well, you see, I don’t really have a choice in the matter.” He explained, sounding a little shaken.

The voice was coming lower down my side. I looked down to see my hand gripping a large chunk of hair. At the base was Stephan’s severed head, bouncing back and forth with each step.

“Oh my god!” I shouted, bringing his head up into both of my hands, “Why do I have your head?”

“It would appear,” Stephan suggested, “that the fall loosened my head up a bit and you yanked it off thinking you had your purse. If you would be so kind, would you return my head to my body?”

I considered heading back to the bottom of the stairs, but that was too close to where Allan was. If I headed there, he would be there. I would end up finding out his secret. I couldn’t let that happen to me. A plan worked itself out in front of me as I turned another corner. A glimpse out a nearby window revealed Andrew, Rune, and Alex all walking through the courtyard. Rune appeared to be the only one not carrying a box.

I ran up to an open window. “Hey, Rune, think fast!”

I chucked Stephan’s head down from the window. Rune did not think as fast as I had hoped. For a supernatural Demon, he did not have good reflexes. He lifted his arms a second too late, and Stephan’s severed head ended up smashing head first into Runes. Both boy’s collapsed to the ground.

“You guys got this!” I shouted to Andrew and Alex, who had dumbfounded looks on their faces.

I turned and ran. They’d be fine. Now it was just a matter of locking myself into a room and hiding until mom came to pick me up. Good plan, Jane, good plan. I ran up to the Janitor’s closet and swung open the door, shutting it closed behind me. I leaned back on it, taking deep breaths. It was over. I was safe. No attractive supernatural boys in-

I opened up my eyes. A boy was sitting in the middle of the janitor’s closet staring at me. His shirt was pulled up to his neck, and he had a series of cables and cords running out of his chest. Circuits flashed and blinked across the board that connected his chest. He was a very attractive boy. I recognized him; he was a freshman named Ryan, one of Samantha’s hawtness.

Ryan had brown hair that he always wore over his eyes. He wore sweatshirts and always had an mp3 player plugged in his ears when a teacher wasn’t yelling at him to take it out. The boy was supposed to be smart, although not as much of a bookworm as Allan. He also was cold as ice, turning down every girl who tried to ask him out. They said he never got scared or angry either. I was now suspecting I knew why.

My hopes, my dreams, and my life came crashing down around me. I slumped down to my knees. I tried… I tried so hard.

Ryan spoke up, “I suppose it would be appropriate if I gave you an explanation.”

“You really don’t have to.”

“You see, I am a ro-”

“Um… roleplaying. Your roleplaying and this is all some top notch costume design.”

“I apologize, is this an attempt at what you human’s call humor?”

“No, not really. Just the dying hope of a girl who gave it her all.”

“You are Jane Averygail, are you not?”

“Yeah,” I whimpered, “I’m Jane ‘freaking luck sucks’ Averygail.”

“May I shorten Jane ‘freaking luck sucks’ Averygail to Jane?”

“Be my freaking guest.”

“It appears you caught me performing my routine repairs. I had picked this spot because I had assumed it would be secluded and that no one would find me.”

“That’s why I picked this spot too.”

“So I am hearing that you want anonymity, is this correct?”

“You could say that.”

“Very well, I recommend that we part ways and feign that our meeting proved innocuous.”

“What?”

“Let’s pretend this never happened.”

“Really?” I began to perk up.

“I think it wise if we do not speak to each other anymore, either. If we can part ways now, it will make the situation more acceptable.”

“Yeah, that sound great.”

“Then it is agreed,” Ryan nodded, “You may leave when you are comfortable.”

I nodded with a dumfounded expression on my face, leaving the room as soon as I recovered and turning down the hall. I was halfway back to the art room before I remembered why I had run away in the first place. Rune and Andrew were walking towards me with concerned looks on their faces.

“What is going on?” Rune asked, he seemed to have a bruise on his forehead now.

“Alex is reattaching Stephan’s head right now, but what the heck is going on with you? Stephan said you were panicked?” Andrew added.

“It’s just… Allan, and then…”

Both faces went dark at the same time, “What did this Allan person try to do?”

“I tried to show her something,” an arrogant voice came from around the corner.

Allan took a step out, and all of my hopes went with him. Andrew and Rune took a look at each other, then as a single unit advanced on Allan. I ran forward, trying to block them from attacking him. Allan didn’t do anything wrong. Why did these guys have to take it the wrong way?

Rune reached over and grabbed Allan’s shirt, but I wouldn’t let him get any closer. With some difficulty, I managed to keep Andrew at bay as well.

“What did you try to show her, your penis?” Rune demanded.

Allan scuffed, pushing his glasses back into place, “Ridiculous. I don’t have time for this. It’s better if I showed you.”

Allan pulled out a small device, tapping a few keys. I turned my head. No, this wasn’t happening. Today I was just going to go home, hang out with Samantha a little bit, no adventures of any kind. A white light appeared in a circle at our feet. The hallway around the four of us darkened to an impenetrable black.

“What in the world?” Andrew asked.

Andrew’s features started stretching up towards the sky. Runes did the same. Then my body started to stretch as I let out a scream. Oh great, here we go again. God damn it.

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My Review of Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou

So, a few people asked me what my opinion on Arifureta actually was after finishing the main story, especially considering I do so many pseudo-reviews in my list of another world novels. I wanted to give Arifureta a little more justice than the other web novels I’ve talked about, so I guess you can call this my official review on Arifureta. Although to be honest, with the LN being taken over by J Novel, technically Arifureta no longer meets my criteria as a “free to read” another world novels. Although people used to the nefarious copy/paste sites are probably aware they can still read the whole thing even though Japtem has dragged it down by all those horrible people that previously lifted it from their site.

Anyway, I tend to get pretty critical when I’m critiquing something critically, so before anyone jumps in outrage at my OPINION on Arifureta, let’s keep my ->Opinion<- in the appropriate context that I enjoyed this novel enough that when I reached a point that I couldn’t finish it, I spend the last year translating the damn thing. You have to assume, at some point, I probably genuinely like this web novel, so I just wanted to stress that first.

So, here we go. When I started reading Arifureta, I was actually fairly new to the whole web novel circuit. I had only been doing it for a few months before I picked up and eventually started translating Arifureta. Since then, it’s been a year, and a couple dozen some web novels later you could argue that my tastes have refined a bit from then.

Now, when it comes to Arifureta, there are many camps of people. You have the Revenge Lovers, people who love seeing assholes get their comeuppance. Every bad guy is an insufferable arseshat, and the sooner the MC brutalizes them, the better. You have the Skill Enthusiasts, those that like seeing a steady stream of skills being steadily accumulated on an increasingly OP’d protagonist. And then you have the Harem Kings, always wanting girl after girl after girl falling all over the protagonist.

This hits a lot of readers hard, because the story seems built with two phases. The beginning starts with a clear skill building and revenge phase, but that only lasts about 2 volumes… then what you’re left with is a considerably longer less revenge based harem fantasy played out in the remaining volumes. That said, I went into Arifureta looking for an experience similar to Rise of the Shield Hero. That is to say that I wanted harem. I wanted an OP protagonist. And I wanted skill building. And I think both stories have a similar thing… in that the revenge element seems to dissipate fairly early on to give way to an ever growing harem. So, simply put, Arifureta met my needs.

Although, I understand the frustration a lot of people have reading it. There seems to be this group of ultra-pessimists that want some super depressing everyone is scum world… and then there is the ultra-optimistic everyone is inherently good group… and this novel bounces back and force between the two (as opposed to the morally ambiguous Game of Thrones style guys popular in modern Fantasy) . With it’s dynamic between the Forever hero Kouki and the protagonist Hajime, it certainly pushes the argument that self-serving selfishness is good, setting Kouki as the ultimate fall boy (more on that in a sec), but it also fills itself up with moments of Harem and humor that completely obliterate the dark tones. Like, for example, Emperor Gahard… who is kind of treated like a fun punchline character near the end, with even heroic like qualities… completely ignoring the whole he oppressed an entire culture of people into slavery and his son tried to RAPE someone… Yeah… we forgot that only a few weeks/months prior he was running an oppressive regime… ah… look at that guy whose was basically a Fantasy version of Stalin squirm. Slavery is funny.

Here’s the thing… as a story… I’m actually more in line with Kouki’s beliefs. To me, Hajime is a bit of a douche. Kouki was flawed… but that was what made his character interesting. He wanted to do the right thing, he just didn’t know how. Of course, the story trashes “doing the right thing” by deliberately creating a world manipulated in just the right way that Hajime’s approach would be the right approach, while Kouki’s would fail… But, rather than writing it believably, the entire story feels like one giant strawman set up to just force this viewpoint on the audience.

I end up reading all these comments with people saying “screw KOUKI” or “I wish KOUKI would die!” and I’m just like, what? Kouki is the only interesting thing this novel has going for it at this point. But of course, everything was stacked against Kouki in a word literally designed to make Kouki wrong, so of course his end would only be disastrous… but to me, most of the time he was RIGHT. Hajime IS unreasonable. Hajime isn’t a good person. But a hero being heroic is “expected”… and that… to some people… makes it boring. Oh, it’s great to see a nontypical Japanese MC… they say… which is you know, fine… as long as you also accept that regardless of how the novel desperately portrays Hajime as great, his methods only work because this world is specifically designed for them to work. Hajime’s inability to trust is a weakness, and let’s face it… there is not a single reason for any of the girls like Hajime except maybe Kaori… I mean let us look at it.

Yue – Like, he rescues her and is the only human contact she experiences in 300 years. Total Knight In Shining Armor Effect.

Shia –There was never actually a reason other than “cuz”, but he emotionally abused her aggressively until she loved him, my thoughts is the author originally planned her to be the S&M character, I mean, she was originally introduced as a physical tough person who could bounce back from any blow while coming to love Hajime who continually abused her both physically and emotionally. Then, suddenly she stops being abused and a few chapters later they introduce Tio.

Tio – He was stronger than her and stuck his big, long, hard thing in her Hershey highway.

Shizuku – Knight In Shining Armor Effect like X3

Liliana – There is literally no reason.

Aiko – He’s… dependable… I guess? Also Knight in Shining Armor Effect.

Everyone Else – The Me too Effect…

I could also add that in the case of Shizuku and Kaori (and especially Shizuku)… that she’s only 16… and maybe the first guy she has any feelings for who already has monopolized 4 women and has no interest in her is probably not the guy she should pursue. Of course, Kouki mentions this, and is treated like an annoying child for stating what should be obvious. Heck Ryuutaro gets it, he was into Yue but at least he has the decency to back off… and the only guy with any brains is called the stupid “musclebrain” by the author… sigh…

All I’m saying is the story glorifies Hajime in strange ways. You might as well form the “Hajime is always right” club with how much everything always goes his way. He may be “different” than a typical Japanese MC… but that doesn’t make him any less a Mary Sue. He is the perfect never wrong protagonist. Seriously, does he make a single mistake after leaving Orcus? Heck even before? And I’m not talking about things going belly up or something unexpected happening… I’m talking about him showing a single damn flaw. Oh, when Yue was lost… he showed an “uncool” side… an “uncool” side that was apparently so “uncool” that they showed it to the Dragonkin to convince them of how cool he was. Within the world he is placed in, he is the perfect protagonist.

As far as the other characters… they weren’t terribly interesting. Each harem member kind of had that one trait… and that was it. They were memorable enough you could differentiate them… at least I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re interchangeable… but each one was a cliché in and of themselves… always repeating the same words/actions over and over again without depth or development.

Yue wasn’t an interesting and dynamic Vampire princess with a tortured past… she was the Loli seductress who licks her lips and says Nn. Shia wasn’t a troubled bunny burdened with the guilt of how her gifts hurt her family, she was a walking punchline, and later on she was even less than that… she was the Ryuutaro of her group… the one who hits things with a hammer and says things when the plot needs it.

These characters were flat… and their relationship with Hajime is flat… and Hajime is flat. That one chapter where Shizuku beat that crap out of Kouki showed more emotion and care than ANY interaction between Hajime and anyone else. I mean, Kouki mattered so much to Shizuku and Ryuutaro that they fought him, risking their life, even as he screamed abusive things at them, until they beat some sense into him. Not only did they show more care for him than anyone between Hajime and company, but that was actually freaking character development… you know, the thing your MC is supposed to do… yet all  Hajime’s character seems to develop is in the first three volumes. He mellows out a bit later on, but I think that has less to do with character development and more to do with the author altering his character to fit with the plot. When you have to alter the main character half way through the novel so that it fits your plot… well… Yeah…

However… from a purely “Harem” aspect… you get plenty of moments of Harem goodness. It’s full of tsukkumi’s and humor and I’m not saying I didn’t have a lot of fun. The first volume or two make you think it is a skill building web novel and a darkly themed novel, but the continuous humor and ridiculousness overshadow the later parts of the novel. Even when dark parts show themselves, they are quickly overridden with the humor of the moment, demolishing any tension that could possibly build.

The enemies were ridiculously weak and underdeveloped. The story didn’t have enough foreshadowing to tie itself together, making it feel a bit like the ending was kind of cobbled together. Freed was such a flat and disinteresting antagonist that it was a wonder he existed at all. Freed was literally an annoyance. You might want to shout that this means the author succeeded, because the reader feels the same way about Freed as the protagonist… as an annoyance that keeps popping up for no reason… but I have to think when I get to a chapter that the author is somehow failing if I’m annoyed and just want to see it over with.

While I think Ehito was built up enough… I think his subordinate was severely underutilized. The god is bad theme permeated the story… but Ehito was never really “down to earth” enough in the story that by the time he pops up I actually, felt… like… anything. I felt nothing for the antagonist… and if it wasn’t for the forced NTR I might not have cared about the final confrontation at all. That final labyrinth and then the battle just had too many characters fighting too many battles I didn’t care about. At that point in the story… I didn’t need to see everyone fight one more time. I think those last 15 chapters could have easily been turned into 4 and been better for it.

Although I know a lot of you love the action… I have to say that by chapter 160 I was pretty actioned out. Unless they were doing something new… I didn’t need to hear about the 10th time Tio uses dragon breath, Shia bangs her hammer, or Suzu pops up a barrier. By the end, I felt like this could double as a how-to guide on how many ways you can kill an apostle. You can slice them, dice them, fry them with a laser, beat them, decapitate them, burn them, explode their heads, shoot them, freeze them, hug them to death… Since the MC have been Op’d as fruck and we knew it… there is 0 tension in the final battle… and the manufactured tension felt manufactured. “Oh, you thought I was using my whole ability? Well NOW after you kicked the crap out of me for two chapters I’m going to use my whole ability!” *Sigh* There is no question they were going to win… so why story… why did you drag it out so long…

If they were fighting anyone we cared about… anyone who had previously oppressed them or had any discernible personality beyond “a monster” or “a lookalike angel… but like the general I guess this time? Well, we’ll give her name…” But alas… Don’t get me wrong, some of the action can be fun… but damn does the action drag, especially in the last two labyrinths and the finale when they start dragging Kouki and company everywhere and everyone keeps getting split up to fight separately.

I’ll give this story an 8/10. It’s a little generous, but it’s a solid web novel with a lot of good moments. If you want Op Protagonist and Harem girls, it does its job good enough. It’s bloated near the end, and the story never became compelling enough by the halfway point to justify the lengthy second half, but from a purely harem perspective it’s a good read. If you want to see a bullied protagonist become strong, get the women, and continually amaze everyone else, without getting too wrapped up on revenge, then this is for you. He gets the girls, he gets the power, he saves the day. It’s wish-fulfillment at its finest… just don’t expect complex and interesting characters or a rich engaging story.

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So… what did you think of my review? I was thinking of doing more of these for other web novels… just as, I don’t know, a thing I can post when I feel like it? Are you guys who are still around this site interested? Or am I better off just keeping my criticisms to myself (lol)?  Agree? Disagree? Let me know below.

 

 

Goodbye Cruel World

I actually was going to hide the link to the last two chapters behind a post to force you guys to read and thus stop sending me stupid as ballz questions… I was going to put a bunch of fake links sending you to gay porn sites… it was this whole thing… it would have been hilarious, but alas, I chickened out, and as a result, a few of you guys didn’t disappoint… baka questions galore.

First things first. Bakapervert has said he will continue on with the translations of the afterstory. His wordpress is in a link on the side, located over here!

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He hasn’t translated any yet, but given his age of god’s level magic, [Translation], you probably won’t need to wait long.

As far as me… I posted the last pdf. I will not post a pdf of any chapters not put on my site. I will not post the missing chapters from Japtem. I will not contact Chuuni and ask him personally if I can translate his book, you know, the one that’s already translated without his permission? Yeah… not going to do that. I’m not going to start a holy war with J Novel so you can get the first two volumes of Arifureta for free. I understand that “the web novel” is not “the light novel” and I don’t believe you give a hoot which is which, so don’t act like by not having the web novel translation for free you have faced some injustice. Want Arifureta Volume 1+2? Sign up to J novel or find someone to ask for them.

If you think something else should be done, do it yourself. Fill free to host the chapters or pdfs illegally, that is your prerogative. You can if you want. I’m just some dude who read Arifureta, came to the end, and decided to take matters in my own hand. I don’t own a business, I don’t make money, and I have no desire to start legal issues for myself over nothing. So… you know… stop bitching.

It’s been one year since I started Arifureta, found out I couldn’t continue it, and then started translating it. I’ve completed my goal. It’s been a lot of fun. I’d like to thank everyone who helped achieve this goal, Bakapervert, obviously, as well as Southbound and Tingle. I can’t say I would have finished without them, certainly not this year. You guys are awesome!

Now for me from now on? I’ll go back to releasing Requiem of the Stars, as well as continue to put out volumes of Hawtness for the non-wattpad readers. I still have the list of other world novels that I’m always updating. I’ll try to put something out at least once a week, but it won’t be Arifureta related.

Will I start any other translations? I don’t have any in mind. If you have any suggestions, my three requirements are.

  1. Already has at least 20 chapters out translated.
  2. Japanese Web novel main story is completed and online.
  3. Chapters are less than 3000 words. No 7000-9000 word behemeths like Arifureta, I can’t take that again.

If you think of any, feel free to suggest. Other than that, Thank you, the readers, for the incredible experience and continued support. I appreciate you guys the most! Thanks a bunch!

P.S. I know not all of you see my menu on the left side of the screen, you damn tablet people. Click menu and find it. It’s called Bakapervert’s WordPress… I’ve only mentioned it a dozen times.

Arifureta Chapter 178 (The End)

Previous | Table of Contents | After Stories

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

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n8611bv/179/

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. Bakapervert did the edits.

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Epilogue

Legendary Great War.

The people naturally called the battle like that, a month had passed since that decisive battle where the fate of the world was staked.

After that decisive battle, the gates that were set up at every place were opened once more and the voices of a lot of people that celebrated their reunion and victory filled the prairie in front of the capital.

A few days after that, although there was some chaos due to the healing of the wounded, the confirmation and burial of the deceased, and the annihilation of the capital which caused the people to lose their place, due to the hard work of every representative that worked together for a common cause, the post-treatment of the war was carried out relatively smoothly.

Due to the collapsed God Mountain, the Hairihi kingdom capital was also destroyed by getting swallowed into it, the non-combatant that was unable to participate in the legendary great war――especially the craftsmen were wholly mobilized for the reconstruction, in addition the merchants and the common citizens also gave their maximum support and the work which caused the progress to move rapidly. On top of using magic, there was also the good will and proactiveness of the people all over the world which crossed over race or country to reconstruct the capital, it was to the degree that they calculated the capital might be able to recover its former appearance within half a year.

At the prairie where fierce ravages of the battle remained, using the wreckage of the fortress a lot of temporary residences were established that were mainly used for the people that engaged in the reconstruction to lodge at. There, kitchen and inn, general store and the likes were created one after another, to the degree that it might possibly turn into a part of the capital by linking it with the city’s expansion. Surely, the city would become even livelier even compared to when it had the God Mountain behind it.

The temporary establishment of the holy church was also created in that temporary housing town.

At that battle, the story was that the enemy was an evil god that pretended to be the god Ehitorujue, so the people still had their heart supported by the holy church which worshiped Ehito as a god. Although the God Mountain and the holy church’s headquarter had disappeared, but suddenly taking away that support would only make the people uneasy.

Having said that, for the people who knew the truth, they felt more than a little reluctance for the holy church to keep using the name Ehitorujue exactly as it was until now.

There with the speech of the ‘Goddess of Harvest’ Aiko, this kind of story was dispatched to the world.

It said, that the true name of god Ehito was Ehicliberei, for a long time the mad god――Ehitorujue had stolen this true name.

It said, that the ‘rebels’ or rather the ‘liberators’ who knew about the danger to the world from Ehito once challenged the mad god in order to regain the pure faith, but because of the mad god’s foul play, they were unable to defeat him.

It said, that in order to grant their own power to people who could possibly defeat Ehito, the liberators slept at the bottom of the great labyrinths. And then, the chosen people who were summoned from another world by god were awarded this power. Aiko was the spokesman of these people, while the person who received the most power was the ‘Goddess’s Sword’.

It said, like that Hajime and others splendidly defeated the mad god Ehitorujue that was hiding in Holy Precincts. However, due to the last resistance of the mad god Ehitorujue, it caused a collapse in order to take along the world to accompany him in his death. In response to that, the last liberator――Miledy Raisen who made her soul to possess a golem and had watched over the people all this time, she exchanged her soul for the world’s salvation.

A complete lie, it was not. The story matched the gist of the truth. By the way, the name Ehicliberei was a coined word with the meaning of ‘seven liberators’ put into it. It was the consideration for them that they would surely felt unpleasant to have the story of them cooperating with Ehitorujue to be taught to the future generations. If it was asked whose consideration it was, then it must be the one who thought of this story which was not a lie but also not the truth which was complicated in various meaning, a certain white haired eye-patched man somewhere.

Due to this speech of Aiko, the historians who were excited to leave this time’s legendary great battle’s record in writing at once raised the name of Miledy and others to the front stage of history once more as the seven great wise men who saved the world.

Regarding the new top brass of the church, it was composed of the priests of the remote region. The people who participated in the choir squad at that battlefield and managed to survive became the core of this new top brass. Most of them were people who clashed with the central church and then got exiled to the remote region, so their thought and ideology were also exceedingly sensible, many of them were a man of character so it was thought that there wouldn’t be any particular problem.

Regarding Raisen Great Labyrinth that was left behind by Miledy, Hajime created a living golem as the replacement of Miledy Raisen and stationed it there. It was equipped with gatling cannon, missile pod, and even pile bunker, so the difficulty level might be jumped up there.

Hajime didn’t particularly do anything to the other great labyrinths. Perhaps it had no more meaning, but his stance was that if anyone searched for power and wanted to challenge it then just challenged it.

Regarding Hajime’s quality artifacts that were lavishly used at the legendary great war, after Hajime awoke from fainting, he destroyed all of them. Gahard and some other people yelled “Stooop―!” while clinging to him, but Hajime turned everything into garbage right in front of their eyes. Hajime created an artifact to gather all artifacts that had his stamp, so there wouldn’t any that got overlooked.

Of course, the artifacts that Kam and others of Hauria possessed were left alone in their possession, though Haijme applied various work on those first.

It was irritating for Hajime when Gahard’s resentful eyes, or rather the eyes that looked like a child whose important toys were taken away were staring fixedly at him, so while he was at it Hajime gifted him with a small version Fernier. And at the next day, for some reason Hajime became the best friend of his majesty the emperor. It seemed that Gahard was really pleased with Fernier.

In preparation of the worst case that Gahard used Fernier to invade another country, Hajime made Liliana and Karm carry the remote switch for the self-exploding artifact. If Gahard knew of this…just what kind of face he would make. Hajime was really curious about it but with an effort, he endured to not ask.

Regarding the relationship between demi-human and human race, not only the people from the empire, the other humans were also in the process of changing their feeling toward the demi-human with whom they had fought together with through the legendary great war. As expected the fact that they had entrusted their lives to each other was enough to repaint their discriminatory view.

Of course, if it was asked if the two side could immediately join shoulders together, it wouldn’t be that easy, but even so, none was holding animosity to the degree where they could act hatefully with recklessness. There was also how they had witnessed the gallant effort of the dragon race, and above all else, there was the fact that a rabbit-eared girl and a dragon woman were among the comrades of the savior hero who stormed into the Holy Precincts.

The demi-human weren’t called as the abandoned race that didn’t possess god’s blessing anymore. Rather, it was obvious that the two demi-human would leave their page in history as a great person that stood side by side with the hero. No word of contempt could possibly be directed to such people.

Due to such reason, the social status of demi-human was beginning to be reevaluated rapidly among the human without anyone even needed to do particularly anything. As one part of that process, the holy church wouldn’t call them as ‘demi-human race’ anymore, from now on they would formally name them as ‘beastman race’, the official notice for that had been created.

Because of that too, the ‘Necklace of Pledge’ that had been attached on the royalty of the empire had also been dismantled. After reaching this stage with great pain where it might be possible for an amicable coexistence, to keep holding the life of the empire royalty would only break the ‘equal relationship’, causing a halt at the compromise between the two side.

Although, just because of that didn’t mean that there was no more guarantee from the empire side to stop the persecution to the demi-human and making them a slave.

“Meteor and sunlight laser, or fully equipped Hauria, which one is better?”

At the occasion where the ‘Necklace of Pledge’ was dismantled, Gahard asked “Do you believe that the empire won’t move for revenge?” with a fearless grin, and the sentence that Hajime gave back to him was that. It went without saying that after that all the close aides of Gahard swiftly demanded for a handshake of friendship. The empire was based on strength supremacy doctrine…

Now then, talking about equality between races there was the matter of the devil race.

They were invited into Holy Precincts and made to sleep at the lower strata domain, but for some reason they escaped the collapse of Holy Precincts and got thrown out at the wasteland at the outskirt of the devil race capital which was far away from the battlefield, after that they were discovered there still continuing to fast asleep.

Even at the present a month after the battle, that situation still hadn’t changed. Most likely they could be awoken immediately if regeneration magic was used on them, but right now everyone was busy with the post-battle treatment and rebuilding, there was really no leeway to wake up the existences that could possibly become a seed of conflict, so now they were sealed at a corner of the devil capital under strict monitoring. The seal was using Hajime’s artifact.

By the way, regarding the devil race people who were deeply carved with the terror of Hajime at the devil king castle, Hajime only said a word of “troublesome” and put them to sleep too. It would be troubling if they said something like ‘We are going to save our brethren!’ and rampaged, so Hajime quickly took measures.

Although, for them who had been planted with a lot of terror by Hajime, and furthermore, after they knew that Hajime had even accomplished the destruction of God Mountain and godslaying, it was really unthinkable that they would do anything stupid.

Now then, Hajime and others had busily moved around doing things like the kingdom capital reconstruction, the artifacts’ withdrawal, driving in the wedge to the empire, fabricating history, restoring the honor of the liberators, and various other things, but that didn’t mean that they were lending their hand in this and that of this world because of mere whim or sophistication.

Naturally their first objective was to return home to the birthplace earth――Japan.

During this one month, they continued to stay in this world and moved around was also doubling as killing time, and that was merely because they couldn’t go home. Having said that, it didn’t mean that they didn’t have the method to go home or anything, and it wasn’t also because they were unable to create the concept magic.

The reason was simple. There was no material to create the ‘Compass of Guidance’ and ‘Crystal Key’.

Concept magic was powerful. Even though Hajime was able to enchant mineral, but using average material would cause the item to explode when activated because it wouldn’t be able to endure the effect. Before the difficult undertaking that was crossing the world, they didn’t want to take any risky venture like ‘It should be usable if used only for one time!’

Besides, even though they were taking along Myuu and Remia together, but as expected Hajime wanted to prepare a return path home to this world for them, regarding Shia and Tio too, Karm and Adol and many other people were remaining in this world, Hajime thought that they would want to go home here sometimes to meet with their family.

And so, an artifact that would break after just one-time use would be troubling for that.

Having said that, speaking about a mineral that could endure concept magic and also had high affinity with magic, Hajime couldn’t think of anything else but the god crystal. But, they had finished confirming that there was no god crystal anymore at the abyss. Now that they didn’t have the compass, it wasn’t realistic to search for god crystal around the world when there was not even any guarantee that it existed.

And the idea that Hajime got when thinking of that, was that if it didn’t exist then he just needed to create it.

God crystal was the crystallization of magic power where magic power accidentally piled up for a long time of a thousand years. It was the solidification of the magic power of nature that was so vast it was absurd. The process was like water drops that bore a hole on a rock.

But, Hajime had no interest at all in staring at water drops boring a hole into a rock. Therefore, he just needed to twist such theory with foul play.

And then what he did based on that was creating an artifact that converged natural magic element in high speed using gravity magic which was a magic that interfered with the power of star, and then he used space magic which was a magic that interfered with boundary to pump the gathered natural magic element into artifact(pool of human population magic power).

Added with that, with Hajime who was a possessor of inhuman magic power as the first in the list, the otherworlder cheat group pumped in their magic power every day into the artifact.

As the result, after a month passed, they succeeded in creating a god crystal with diameter around fifteen centimeters. It only had around half the size of the god crystal that Hajime first discovered and it also didn’t produce ‘God Water’, but it was still an amazing material that could endure concept magic satisfactorily.

And then, finally, today Hajime started making ‘Compass of Guidance’ and ‘Crystal Key’.

The place was the fountain plaza at the outskirt of Fea Belgen. It was that place where Shia’s feeling came to a realization. Hajime and others, in this one month they were using this Fea Belgen which was the easiest place to spend time in as their base, so Aiko and the classmates were also staying here. They were human, but the beastmen were in great joy with the hero party’s stay there.

At the plaza, Shia and Tio, Kaori and Shizuku, and then Myuu and Remia were there. Other than them all the classmates had also gathered to look at the moment when the artifact for going home was completed. In addition, Liliana, Karm, and everyone else from Hauria clan and others were also there.

“Yosh, let’s do this Yue.”

“…Nn-“

Hajime and Yue were facing each other at the center of the plaza. Yue’s appearance now was her original girl figure. Sometimes she also turned into adult mode depending on her mood of the day, but this girl mode was used a lot because it was convenient for sitting on Hajime’s lap or getting hugged.

Hajime too now had his new artificial arm and eye back, the vampirization from Yue was also undone. Until they returned to earth, Hajime planned to get his hair turned black and coated his artificial arm with skin and so forth, as much as possible he wanted to return to his original appearance.

The excessively lovely Yue whose body was wrapped with chic goth loli outfit and Hajime were closing their eyes in concentration with the god crystal between them.

The classmates who were watching over them at the surrounding gulped.

In such atmosphere, the ceremony of concept creation finally began.

Inside the forest of Fea Bergen, golden and crimson magic power calmly began to twist up. From the beginning the magic power of two colors was spiraling while mixing with each other, it looked as though the two color was getting intimate with each other.

Before long the leaves of the trees were blown and scattered around while a torrent of magic power was climbing to the sky, a clear will began to reside in it. Regardless that it was unseen by eye, everyone who was there felt it, an overwhelming will that made the skin to have goosebump.

At the same time, the god crystal began to shine. The stormy torrent of magic power was focused and absorbed into the god crystal with amazing force.

Calmly, yet sonorously Hajime spoke the power of words.

“――’Transmute’”

Immediately the god crystal split into two. The ores other than god crystal that had been prepared beforehand instantly mixed and they were forming shape.

Unnoticed the stormy magic power was shining like a star between Hajime and Yue, the forest of Fea Bergen and the surrounding people were illuminated, their heart was charmed by the spectacle.

That radiance was also getting smaller bit by bit. “Hou” Here and there a sigh of admiration was leaked. It was unclear whether the cause of that was because of the artifact’s creation, or else if it was because Hajime and Yue who created this miraculous spectacle while snuggling close to each other.

And then, the light finally settled down, Yue and Hajime quietly opened their eyes. Ahead of their gaze was a compass and crystal key that were sparkling bright.

“…Hajime. Test it.”

“Okay.”

Yue said that while separating their hand gently. Obeying that, Hajime tried activating the compass. There was no problem, it seized the location of earth intuitively. And then the crystal key was also operating on space properly.

“O, oi, Nagumo. How is it? Everything fine?”

Endo Kousuke asked timidly after becoming unable to endure the tension. By the way, Kousuke who had received an amazing nickname from Hauria clan, and got a lover from the same rabbit clan (in this one month he had worked very hard. Especially he paid a lot of compensation with his shame while mass producing dark history of his life), now he had a lot of common point with Haijme, the two of them were unexpectedly getting along and in this one month they were building a relatively familiar relationship.

Looking at Hajime who reacted to Kousuke’s call, several of the classmates gulped loudly.

Hajime ran his gaze around the classmates whose expression was stiffening from nervousness.

And then, he grinned widely and wordlessly gave a thumb up. The meaning of that was obvious.

“Yossha―――!!”

“Hurraay!!”

“UOOOOOOO, we can go home! We seriously can go home!!”

“Nagumoo, no, you are Nagumo-sama already! Really thank you!”

“Fueeeeeeeen, I’m really glaaadd. Nagumo-kuuun, Yue-saaan, thank you!”

“Hajime-samaaa, please make me your slaveeeeee!”

“Yue-san, make me your peeet!”

Joyful cheers exploded, words of thanks rose one after another. It felt like there were some dangerous words mixed in, but it would be troubling if perverts came out even from among the classmates so Hajime beautifully ignored it. But, the guy who made a strange request to Yue would be strangled later, while making that vow, Hajime sat down with a thud from fatigue.

Yue also sat on his lap in a tired state. He circled his arms around her slender waist to support her and then she snuggled in real close.

There, *sutetete―* cute footsteps resounded.

“Papaaa!”

“Myuu”

Hajime skillfully caught Myuu’s small body that jumped energetically and placed her on the knee opposite of Yue with his support. As expected, Myuu was also snuggling in real close on him.

“Hajime-san! Me toooo”

Shia jumped *pyon* like a rabbit. The place that she embraced was Hajime’s right shoulder. His hand that was supporting Yue temporarily let go and patted Shia’s rabbit ear. Shia happily snuggled close to him.

“Hajime-kun, you did it.”

The one who was saying that while quietly snuggling close was Kaori. And it wasn’t with an apostle body. Now she was in her original body. Thinking of the difference of lifespan between her and Hajime and others, it would be better if she stayed inside apostle body. Kaori herself thought that, but Yue who had comprehended the secret technique of apostle creation during the time she was possessed by Ehito said that it was possible someday to turn Kaori’s body into apostle and surpassed the limit of her lifespan, so in the end Kaori returned to her original body. In actuality, she was already able to change into apostle mode temporarily, where in that state she was able to use silver wings and disintegration ability and also handled twin swords art.

That Kaori clung tightly on Hajime’s left shoulder. When she got her head patted, as expected she then snuggled close to him.

“Goshujin-sama’s world is surely fun isn’t it?”

“Surely you will be shocked by it there.”

Tio and Shizuku arrived. There was only the back that was left open. The gaze of the two crossed. A spark scattered between them. When they were about to aim at the last clinging position…

“My my, a good place is left open here. Ufufu. Dear, please excuse me.”

Remia who smoothly cut in clung tightly to Hajime’s back. “ “Aa-“ “ Tio and Shizuku’s voice was raised. As expected from a widow. She couldn’t be made light of.

“Shia-san, haa haa, let’s get along well with me?”

“Gee, Altina-!”

Unnoticed Altina appeared behind Shia with her breathing getting rough “haa haa”. She was walking unsteadily like a zombie while approaching Shia’s back to cling there.

Shia whose rabbit ears stood tall with shudders running through them separated from Hajime to repel back Altina.

To take advantage of that opening, two more female approached with a jog…

“…Aiko-san? What could you possibly be planning to do?”

“Liliana-san yourself, what business do you have with him?”

Here too sparks were sparking off.

Hajime’s surrounding became noisy suddenly, even the classmates who cheered joyfully with each other began to notice the commotion.

Amidst all that, Yue sighed “fuu” toward the female camp who was noisily quarreling for Hajime. Hajime tilted his head asking “What’s wrong?” with his gaze, immediately after that Yue’s atmosphere changed from sweet to bewitching.

And then, Yue’s body shined flashily, and at the next moment, the adult version Yue appeared. Right after that, the adult version Yue easily tore off Kaori and Remia from Hajime, because of the sudden growth the length of the clothes became comparatively short, and with that amazingly risqué and seductive clothing, she hugged Hajime’s head onto her breast and Hajime’s head was buried *munyuu!* into those splendid twin hills.

The quarreling female camp raised “Ah” voice while Hajime leaked out a muffled voice “unmu-“. Myuu was still supported in one of Hajime’s arms.

“…By the legal wife’s authority, the noisy child will be prohibited.”

Gushing out sex appeal. The devilish beauty that would charm anyone without distinction of sex. The words of the adult mode Yue that was the personification of bewitching made everyone’s breath taken away. The female camp immediately tried to object, but when they were forestalled by the sidelong glance Yue sent them, immediately their cheeks reddened and their words “uu” got caught inside their throat. Even Yue’s self-acknowledged rival Kaori was like that. Speaking clearly there was no one that could go against Yue.

By the way, if it was asked what was the prohibition was referring to, it was referring at the permission to enter Hajime’s bedroom. In this one month, Hajime and Yue, and then Shia too had passed through several sleepless nights, but that was something that didn’t happen every day.

And then, even at night where Yue and Shia were not there, there were still women that warmed Hajime’s bed. It went without saying just who those women were. And it also went without saying just who was the one that was holding the baton of command. It could be easily guessed from the words ‘legal wife authority’.

“…Nn. As punishment, I will monopolize today.”

“Wai-, Yue, umu-!?”

Hajime who became gutless from getting buried in the twin hills, was raised up by Yue and at the same time he received a hot, and not just normal hot but a scalding hoooot kiss from Yue.

The female camp suddenly became noisy. And then, the classmates were also became overdosed with sweetness and got flustered (including a part of the female students who became excited in a dangerous sense).

Kaori and others raised a voice of protest and pleading toward Hajime and Yue whose lips separated with rough gasping.

“Tha, that’s not fair, Yue! I too with Hajime-kun…” (Kaori)

“E, err, me too…with Hajime…” (Shizuku)

“Goshujin-sama, please be with me.” (Tio)

“My my, dear, please take care of me too okay?” (Remia)

“Hau, Na, Nagumo-kun, me, me too…” (Aiko)

“Hajime-san…please…” (Liliana)

In addition, Shia who had just finished burying Altina to the ground with a backdrop was wordlessly sending Hajime a moist gaze. Myuu was tilting her head because she was not really understanding what was going on.

There, Yue opened her mouth while smiling softly.

“…Hajime. With whom you will do it?”

If Hajime was mischievously asked that by Yue, then his answer could only be one.

“Yue is the only option.”

“Kufuh…then, I’ll be kidnapping him.”

Saying that, Myuu was then enveloped gently by the wind and handed over to Remia, then Yue’s figure vanished with a whoosh while still embracing Hajime. It was the magic ‘Heaven Existence’ that Yue ripped off from Ehitorujue. In truth when Yue kissed Hajime she recovered by taking Hajime’s blood.

The plaza of Fea Bergen was once more filled with the protesting voices “Aaa――!!” of the female camp that was in love with Hajime.

“…God damnit. I’m so deathly jealous.”

“Yeah. Me too, I want to get kidnapped by that kind of beautyyy”

“But, this me who is feeling that if it’s Nagumo then it can’t be helped, it feels like I already lost something.”

Tamai Atsushi looked up to the sky and whispered, while Aikawa Noboru was earnestly in agreement, Nimura Akito shrugged and exposed an expression that couldn’t say anything.

“Aa, I totally understand you. It feels like I cannot make any word.”

“’Well, it’s Nagumo after all’, this sentence is the recent popular phrase huh…”

Nomura Kentaro and Nagayama Juugo that heard the conversation of Tamai and others were smiling wryly while nodding. To that Nakano Shinji and Saito Yoshiki also made a dry smile that similarly couldn’t say anything.

“Haa haa, I want to be stepped on by Yue-san. I want to get ground down hard while getting scorned by those eyes…”

“You are going to the hospital right away after we go home okay? Have them look at your head.”

Amidst a part of the boys that were turning perverted, the other boys were smiling wryly while feeling envious and understanding, while also feeling complicated because they could be that understanding.

Nearby those boys, Miyazaki Nana was similarly leaking out a voice was filled with envy.

“How enviouuusss”

Sonobe Yuuka who tilted her head asked back “Which one that you mean?”

“Rather than which one, I think I’m more envious of that kind of relationship itself.”

“I really get what you mean. Certainly that’s envious isn’t it?”

Sugawara Taeko was making a girly expression while leaking out an admiring sigh “hou”. Yuuka smiled wryly toward her two best friends that didn’t even hide their longing while staring at the demon king harem members who were rushing into the forest to chase after the vanishing Yue and Hajime before she opened her mouth.

“How should I put it, Kaori-chan and Shizuku who stepped into that relationship, and then Ai-chan who got over various things, they are amazing.”

“…What’s with you all, getting like this. Crap, Nagumo-kun is seriously demon king-sama.”

“Haa haa, Hajime-samaaa, please make me your slave…”

“Let’s go to the hospital together when we go home. You need to get your head looked at.”

The conversations of the girl classmates came into hearing too, they expressed their feeling that envied Hajime and Yue’s relationship, while also giving their praise at Kaori and others who entered the harem. At the same time, their cheeks reddened from knowing that the harem already did it. Actually, quite a number of them harbored the feeling that if Hajime asked for them then they would respond to him. But Hajime wasn’t asking for them, so those feelings didn’t come into realization though.

“Suzu is not going after them?”

“No no, I’m not going. Just what are you saying so suddenly, Ryutaro-kun?”

Suzu was staring at the progression of the commotion while cackling, to such Suzu, Ryutaro who was at her side asked her that for some reason, to which Suzu tilted her head as though to say “Just what is this person talking about?”

“…No, if you ain’t going then that’s fine. See, your inside is a perverted old man yeah, so I thought that somehow you would get carried away saying ‘me too’ and charged into there or something.”

“…Oi, are you calling me a pervert without integrity, you bastard. I wonder, do I actually need to have a talk with Ryutaro-kun regarding your impression of me?”

“No, because, you see, fundamentally you are a pervert after all…”

“Okay, you are asking for a fight right? You want to fight aren’t you? I’ll let you eat to your heart’s content you know, this evolved Barrier Burst of mine.”

Ryutaro scratched his cheek lightly while speaking his honest opinion, hearing that a vein appeared on Suzu’s forehead while her hand reached toward her restored iron fan. Looking at that, Kouki rushed in panic to stop her.

“Su, Suzu. Calm down-. Ryutaro doesn’t mean anything bad with what he said, rather――”

“Kouki-kun shut up. This muscle brain who had forgotten the concept of delicacy inside her mother’s stomach, he had to get talked strictly with at least once!”

Suzu cut off Kouki’s words and howled fiercely. However, if Suzu talked about him until that far, then it would make Ryutaro wanted to at least object.

“Oy you! I don’t want to be told that I get no delicacy or whatever by the girl who wanted to go peeking at the bedroom of Nagumo and others at the middle of the night! You yourself, you actually had thrown away this thing called a woman’s shame at the roadside around there ain’t you?”

“Tha, that’s, because! I just got bothered! This is the love affair of one-sama and others you know!? It will be a loss of your life if we don’t burn that scene into our eyes at least once you know!?”

“Who give a damn! Besides, if you want to see it that much then you can just go alone. Think about my feeling who got woken up at night and got taken along to peep!”

“That was my kindness to the no good Ryutaro-kun! Understand that!”

“Don’t bullshit! Something like getting invited by a girl of the same age, to peek at the ero scene of the classmates, there is a limit even to being awkward! Or rather I don’t get what you mean!”

The giant and tiny girl quarreled(?) noisily *gyaa gyaa*. The surrounding sent lukewarm gaze at the two who recently caused this kind of spectacle relatively often. And then, the gazes toward Kouki who was completely flustered around the two was also lukewarm.

The shining charisma when they were first summoned here was already gone, in this one month, Kouki had earnestly lowered his head to everyone and his former impressive presence was thoroughly disappearing. The gaze of the surrounding to him was still cold, filled with wariness and suspicion. Kouki who had resolved himself was merely accepting those emotions silently.

His expression was constantly hard, smeared with guilt and regret. The classmates who knew the former Kouki who always helped people without distinction, although at first they held suspicion at Kouki who betrayed them, but seeing Shizuku and others who had staked their lives to take him back, and their own feeling who simply didn’t want to lose anymore classmate, and then looking at Kouki who felt more regretful than anyone else, working hard trying to change himself, caused the classmates to try to accept him for the moment.

Kouki who lost his former smile, but at the side of Ryutaro and others, he was showing a slightly soft expression even while looking flustered, seeing that expression made the classmates feel a bit relieved. Because even though they had lost a lot of things, but somehow, the important thing from before they were summoned was coming back for a little bit, they felt such feeling from that expression.

With the commotion of Ryutaro and Suzu as the center, coupled with the confirmation that they could go home, the classmates also started making a ruckus with a bright expression.

The smiles of them who knew firsthand that in life, there were times where they had to fight with their life on the line…were really powerful.

Now then, if it was asked where were Hajime and Yue who teleported went….currently both of them were under the great tree. Hajime asked for a place where no one would intrude and also had a tasteful atmosphere, so this was the designated place that fulfilled both conditions.

Hajime was holding hand with Yue who went back into girl mode, their fingers interlocked with each other, the two of them were relaxedly walking toward the base of the great tree.

The weather today was clear, sunlight brightly poured down through the trees in this place where mist didn’t enter.

“Yue, use regeneration magic.”

“…Nn? Understood.”

If the entrance to the great labyrinth was closed, then the great tree would return into a dead tree. Presently, the great tree in front of their eyes was withered. If regeneration magic was applied, it would recover its green color. Yue understood that, but she didn’t understand why it was necessary when they had no plan to enter inside.

Yue tilted her head with slight doubt, but she somehow guessed that Hajime was merely wishing to see a more beautiful scenery, she smiled while applying the magic.

Instantly the great tree was overflowed with green while emitting light. The sunlight that shined through the branches and leaves were creating several angel’s ladders. If the tranquil atmosphere was combined with the splendorous great tree that could be associated with the world tree Yggdrasil in myth, the place would become something beautiful that was even more fantastical, or even mystical.

Hajime nodded in satisfaction before he took Yue’s hand and led her to the base of the great tree. And then, like that he sat down and put Yue on his lap. It was a posture where he was embracing her from behind. The Yue in girl mode settled snugly on Hajime’s chest.

While feeling each other’s warmth and pulse for a while, they tasted the silence. The sound of leaves rustling that was audible sometimes and the breeze that caressed the skin felt pleasant.

Before long, after enjoying the nature enough to their heart’s content, Hajime softly opened his mouth, whispering into Yue’s ear.

“Yue.”

“…Hm?”

“There is something I want to show you.”

“…Something to show?”

“Yeah. Actually, this is something that should be shown to you faster but…it’s something important so I was looking for a good timing, but it got postponed until the end like this. Sorry.”

“…? I don’t really understand but, if Hajime thinks that now is the right time, then that’s fine.”

Hajime’s eyes softened at Yue who looked up from his chest to stare at him. And then, he kissed softly at her beautiful golden threads that rustled in the wind while taking out an artifact.

That was a small transparent ore that looked like a diamond. The image recording artifact that he discovered at the sealing room in the abyss.

Hajime kept embracing Yue tightly and lifted the artifact forward before activating it. The artifact shined, and suddenly an image was projected. Seeing the person that appeared there, Yue opened her eyes wide in shock and murmured in a daze.

“…Oji, sama?”

Hajime wordlessly strengthened his arms that were embracing Yue. It was unclear whether it was unconsciously or consciously, but Yue was also gripping tightly the hands of Hajime around her waist.

In front of those two, the person in the image recording――Yue’s uncle, Denreed Gardia Wesperitirio Avatar slowly began to talk.

{…Aleytia. Long time no see, I wonder if saying that is a little wrong. I think that you are surely hating me. No, surely word like hate will not be enough at all. What I did……aa, that’s not it. This is not what I want to say. Even though I have been thinking of various things, now that the time has come to leave my last will I cannot speak smoothly.}

While making a self-depreciating wry smile, Denreed pulled himself together by clearing his throat.

{That’s right. First let me say my thanks. …Aleytia. Surely, right now on your side there should be someone who you are trusting from the bottom of your heart. At the very least, that person must be a strong person who could obtain metamorphosis magic and able to challenge the true Orkus, a person who didn’t abandon you from the guardian that I prepared and rescued you.}

Hajime’s eyes were closed. As though to listen to those words, or possibly to lament the departed.

{…You. You there who is close to my beloved niece. I wonder if you are male? Or else are you female? For Aleytia, what kind of existence are you? Are you her lover? Are you her friend? Or do you become her family, or her comrade? My apologize that I cannot meet you directly to say my thanks, but I still want to say it no matter what. …Thank you. For saving this child, for being close to her, thank you. I offer you my greatest gratitude in my whole lifetime.}

Yue didn’t even twitch. What Hajime could see were only her glittering golden threads that were sparkling from reflecting light.

{Aleytia. Surely many questions are flooding inside your chest. Or else, perhaps you have already know the truth. Just why, that day, I hurt you, and buried you inside that bottom of darkness? What kind of existence are you, and who is your true enemy?}

The story that was talked from there was the facts that they already knew and speculation that didn’t miss from the truth.

Namely, that Yue was born as a miko (TN: Usually miko is a shrine maiden, but from the kanji it can be interpreted as god child), and she was aimed by Ehitorujue. Denreed who noticed that pretended to kill Yue in his coup d’etat with the disguise that he was blinded by greed, he then sealed her in the abyss, the room where she was sealed itself was a hidden place that could fool even the god. The sealing of Yue was also a bitter choice for him so that her presence couldn’t be possibly detected even for a bit.

{I was hesitating whether to tell you the truth or not until just before that day. But, for the sake of deceiving those guys with certainty, I judged that I shouldn’t tell you. I also thought that if you hate me, then that would be a motivation for you to live.}

Surely Denreed also couldn’t stay for long in the sealing room. That was why, after pretending to kill Yue at the palace, there was no doubt that there was also no time for him to talk with her.

Just how filled with bitterness that choice that he made, it was shown by the strength of his hand clutching at the other side of the image.

{Even so, it doesn’t change that I had hurt you. I won’t say anything like your forgiveness after this late. However, I want you to please believe only this. I want you to know this.}

Denreed’s expression changed from anguish, into an expression of smiling while crying. That look was overflowing with gentleness and kindness, at the same time, it was also filled with a hopeless sadness.

{I love you, Aleytia. I love you from the bottom of my heart. I have never thought of you as bothersome, not even for once. ――I thought of you as my daughter.}

“…Oji, sama. Den-ojisama. I-, I too…”

Thought of you like a father. That feeling was flowing down along with the tears that traced through her cheek, unable to form into words. But, the strength of the hand that was clutching Hajime’s hand conveyed that feeling more eloquent than anything.

{I’m sorry that I couldn’t protect you. I’m sorry that I couldn’t do anything but to entrust you to someone in the future. I’m sorry that I act like a pathetic father.}

“…Such things-“

What was in front of their eyes was a recording of the past. It was nothing more but Denreed’s last will. But, such thing was irrelevant. Yue couldn’t help but yell no matter what.

Something shining was gathering at the corner of Denreed’s eyes. But, he didn’t let that flow by any means. While enduring tightly, he spun words toward his beloved daughter with all his heart.

{I wanted to be at your side, seeing your figure when you grasped your own happiness someday. It was my secret dream to punch the man standing at your side once. And then, after that, I wanted to exchange sake with him, and say “please take care of my daughter”. It was the partner that Aleytia chose. Surely, he would make a firm promise with a serious face.}

Denreed was looking at far away as though seeing a dream at the other side of the image. By any chance, there might be the Yue of the past at the direction of his gaze.

{It will be the time soon. There are more things that I want to talk, various things that I want to convey but…with my creation magic, I can only make an artifact of this degree.}

“…no-, I don’t wanna-. Oji-sa, Otou-sama!”

Denreed smiled wryly at the approaching limit of the recording, to that Yue reached her hand while crying. Her uncle, no, her father’s deep and deep affection, and that tragically tough resolve fiercely shook Yue’s heart, indescribable feelings were overflowing out.

Hajime hugged Yue even tighter.

{I cannot be on your side anymore, but even if this life is about to run out I’ll continue to pray. Aleytia. My beloved daughter. I wish for infinite happiness to shower above your head. For you to walk a path that is warmer than sunlight, and gentler than moonlight.}

“…Otou-sama-“

Denreed’s gaze wandered. Surely that was because he was imagining the person who was being close with Yue.

{To you who is very close with my beloved daughter. It doesn’t matter what kind of shape it is. Make that child, to be the happiest girl in the world. Please, I beg you.}

“…Naturally. I swear it with my life.”

There was no way Hajime’s words reached him. But, without any doubt, Denreed was smiling in satisfaction. Surely he was convinced of how the person in the future who listened to his words would answer. In various senses, he was a preposterous person. Perhaps it was just as expected from Yue’s father.

The recording was fading down. Denreed’s figure melted into empty air. It was as though his soul was going away…

Yue and Hajime were snuggling to each other so close that they wouldn’t separate no matter what while gazing straight ahead, there the last words of Denreed resounded.

{…Sayonara, Aleytia. I wish that the whole world that is surrounding you, to be filled with happiness.}

Inside the deep forest, a crying voice was echoing.

It contained sadness. However, that was not all there was to it, it was a voice that was choked with warm tears of gratitude. That warmth gently enveloped Hajime.

Yue rotated her body and clung to Hajime’s chest. There she vented her emotion to her heart’s content.

It was unknown how long time passed like that.

Before long, Yue quietly lifted her face that was wet with tears. Hajime’s hand gently wiped on those cheeks.

“Yue.”

“…Nn.”

While holding Yue’s cheeks, Hajime spun his words along with a gaze that was filled with love and resolves.

“I, am the happiest man in the world. The proof of that, is inside my arms like this right now.”

“…Nn. Then, I too, is the happiest woman in the world. The proof of that, is how I’m embraced like this right now.”

In a distance where their lips could touch anytime, while feeling each other’s breath, the two of them stared at each other. It felt funny for some reason, both of them chuckled a bit.

While chuckling like that, Hajime suddenly took out a ring. It was a simple silver ring. There was no special ability that was enchanted in it. If he had to say what was special about it, then it was a staggeringly tough ring, that was it.

That ring which was glittering brightly from reflecting the sunlight, was stared by Yue whose eyes were similarly glittering brightly.

“…nn. Proposal?”

Once, those words were said jokingly when Hajime handed her the accessories of magical bright stone series in the Orkus Great Labyrinth. At that time, Hajime spontaneously retorted but…

“That’s right.”

“…u”

This time, he responded straight back. His serious gaze was seriously conveying his feeling to her. As expected, Yue got shy and couldn’t even say her usual “…nn”. Her cheeks were already bright red like an apple.

“At Japan, the custom is for the man to say [Please give me your daughter] to the partner’s father. That’s why, I thought to say it in this place where Yue realized the true feeling of your father.”

“…Nnu”

Because the one these words should be said to have gone, Hajime said it to the person herself.

“I want Yue. Everything of you, give it to me from here on until the future ahead too.”

“…au”

Yue writhed.

Things like a reply or whatever, were obviously decided already.

A flower bloomed. The loveliest flower in this world. If there was a flower language for it, then the meaning would be unquestionably ‘happiness’.

Yue answered, along with a smile that was gloriously blooming in full.

“…Nn-!!”

The ring that indicated eternity was fitted into the ring finger of the left hand that Yue presented forward. There was one more ring. This time Yue was the one who fitted it into Hajime’s ring finger.

They showed the ring to each other, and then, they chuckled together.

After a while, Yue floated a mischievous smile while asking.

“…Then? How many rings Hajime are preparing after this?”

“…Yue. I think asking that in this kind of time is problematic.”

“…Give it to Shia next.”

“That’s why, enjoy the afterglow a bit more before saying that…”

Hajime was about to protest at Yue who was leaking out a teasing smile, but then his lips were blocked by a finger. Like that Yue directed her gaze to the beyond.

Hajime who got lured by that and followed her gaze caught the sight of Shia and others running from inside the sea of trees. It appeared that Yue made such question because she noticed their presences.

“…Fufu. If it’s Hajime, then you can make everyone happy together.”

“If looked with common sense, I’m just a lowly bastard though.”

“…Common sense doesn’t work for the demon king-sama. Besides, no matter what shape it is, if the people themselves are happy then there is no problem.”

“Well, I have determined and resolved myself so I have no hesitation anyway. Everyone, is mine.”

“…Nn. That’s my Hajime. But…”

Yue’s eyes shined.

And then,

“…I won’t hand over the ‘special’ position.”

Saying that, Yue seized Hajime’s lips.

From afar, with Shia, Tio, Kaori, Shizuku, Myuu, Remia, Aiko, Liliana as the first on the list, people were gathering one after another. The quiet and mystical place immediately became noisy like in the middle of a city.

While half of his sight was filled with the lovely vampire princess, Hajime looked at the girls at the other side and thought…

(Now then, when I introduced to Tou-san and Kaa-san, that everyone is my wives, what will happen huh…)

It seemed doubtless that even in Japan, Hajime would be in a whirlpool of turmoil.

However, surely Hajime would overcome everything of those. Crushing irrationality with irrationality, rewriting absurdity with absurdity, and if needed even fate would be destroyed, together with the ‘precious’ that he obtained in this world.

While making a gentle and also powerful smile, like now.

The tale of the young man who was summoned into another world, gifted with nothing but the talent of a common job, getting rid of even god while arriving as the world’s strongest, had the curtain lowered now with this.

After returning to Japan, due to the turmoil that was caused by the return of the group who got spirited away, the wives problem of Nagumo family, the rabbit ear legend of Akihabara, etc, etc, it went without saying that Hajime and others would go through uncommon everyday filled with turmoil.

Those stories, would be told at another chance someday…

The End

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Arifureta Chapter 177

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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/178/

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. Bakapervert did the edits.

____________________________________

Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (The World’s Strongest By Common Job)

*creak, crack* The barrier that Yue deployed was cracking.

The bombardment of light was unceasingly increasing in power in order to annihilate anything and everything.

{This place is Holy Precincts. Despite my body is being only a soul right now, just overwhelming the exhausted you two is not a difficult matter-! I’ll blast away irregular before the eyes of the vampire princess, and then, I’ll plunder that body once more!}

Ehitorujue’s voice echoed through the whole space.

Seeing how Ehitorujue didn’t use both penetrating attacks like the divine sword or divine flame, or space crossing attack like lightning divine spear that used Heaven Existence, the damage from the conflict against Yue’s soul and Bullet of Blood Pledge seemed to make Ehitorujue considerably exhausted.

But, even so the light bombardment was still tremendous. That was surely the original magic power light of Ehitorujue. From a glance, the light was radiant in a display of its divinity. But, it continued endlessly just like a bombardment, loud laughter that contained rage and madness were making the divine aura of the light to end in vain.

{Come, stop your useless resistance and repent. Now that your last hope has been severed, there is already no meaning in anything that you do!}

The light swelled up. The cracks on ‘Holy Severance’ were gradually getting larger.

It seemed that Ehitorujue’s pride was greatly wounded from being done in by Hajime and Yue, to the degree that he didn’t give careful consideration for Yue’s body state with his attack. He was surely thinking that he could just use ‘Automatic Regeneration’ after he repossessed the body. Rather than that, he put more importance in creating a spectacle where Hajime got erased away in front of Yue’s eyes without her being unable to do anything.

It appeared that Ehitorujue was convinced that such tragic future would come true. Hajime who was wounded all over with his two trump cards, the concept magic used up couldn’t possibly have any reserve power anymore, he thought. Even the liberators where they had seven members before could only create three concept magic.

Hajime creating two concept magic could even be said as a miracle due to the strength of his feeling toward Yue.

For that reason,

“It’s the end with this, just who was saying that’s the case huh?”

{Still bluffi――}

Ehitorujue’s words stopped midway.

That was because behind the barrier, he saw the figure of Hajime floating a diabolical smile, his lips splitting widely like a crescent moon. Even though Ehitorujue didn’t have a flesh body, yet that expression made a chill to rush through his body.

“Yue.”

“…Nn. Leave it to me.”

The two were on the same page. Even without knowing at all regarding the detail about the card that Hajime had, Yue clearly understood what it was that Hajime wanted just like the back of her own hand. That was why, excessive word was unnecessary. With the resoluteness that this would be the last, Yue roared her magic power and poured strength into ‘Holy Severance’.

Metal particles converged on Hajime’s hand. What he was transmuting was a single bullet. There was nothing special in it at all, it was just a mere bullet.

However, there Hajime gritted his teeth audibly. And then with a ‘puih’ he spat out something, the last concept magic that he crammed and hid in one of his teeth――Reject All Existences(Anything and Everything, Just Disappear)

That concept magic which was thought to be lost together with the breaking down of the chain where it was enchanted in, Hajime somehow managed to use Convergence Transmutation to secure some of it even though he could only gather about the amount of his pinky finger, he then processed it and put it at the back of his teeth beforehand. It was for the sake of this time.

Hajime himself was surprised that the concept still remained when he gathered it even after the chain turned into very small pieces, but surely that showed just how extreme the emotion of emptiness that he felt when Yue was taken away. It was a terrifyingly deep emotion.

To the very end, the Blade of Blood Pledge and the Bullet of Blood Pledge were for the sake of rescuing Yue. Therefore, since the start, the finishing blow was intended to be carried out by this bullet of concept, filled with the pure wish of destruction. The tooth was small, but nevertheless it was emitting a definite presence, using transmutation the bullet was then got coating by it.

{That’s-}

“The reason Aruvheit died wasn’t because he was a god. He was merely got dragged into my rampage when I snapped because you all laid your hand on Yue, that’s all. Something like the concept of godslaying, there is no way I can create something like that don’t you think?”

{You, you basta――}

Hajime corrected the misunderstanding that Ehitorujue had.

That whether it was Ehitorujue, or whether it was Aruvheit, Hajime didn’t oppose them because they were ‘god’ that acted tyrannically in this world.

They incurred the wrath of Nagumo Hajime.

That was all there was to it, the reason that Ehitorujue and his conspirators got ruined.

Being informed that implicitly, Ehitorujue lost his words. Because he noticed, that for Hajime, there was not that much difference between him the god and the random monster that attacked Hajime.

Regardless of the overwhelming gap in power between them, but Hajime’s attitude against Ehitorujue was exactly the same like how he treated all the opponents that came to crush him until now. That was, ‘you are the enemy so I’ll kill you’. Truly there was nothing special or anything in how Hajime acted against this god.

{Do, don’t screw, you bastard-}

Ehitorujue talked with babbling words. The humiliation he felt was too great, and not only that, the concept that was now aimed at him was too atrocious, the black purpose that wanted to destroy Hajime right now without delay and his instinct that wanted to run away right now were struggling inside him.

That hesitation became fatal for him.

“This is checkmate, small fry.”

With fearlessly crooked lips, Hajime loaded the bullet he held in his mouth into the derringer pistol, and then he pulled the trigger without hesitation along with some sharp words. The loaded Existence Rejection bullet became a crimson flash that was fired. Yue made the barrier to be able to be passed through with a superb timing, regardless of the bombardment of light, the attack of destruction was annihilating what it touched from the outset.

Although it was too late, Ehitorujue chose the option to evade which displayed his unease but…

“I command under the name of Yue-, ‘Don’t move’!”

{Ridiculous-}

After having her body taken over, Yue felt the flow of power inside the body many times over, she watched and listened to its result. For the genius of magic that was counted as a part of the strongest people in a war-torn era when she was merely a ten years old, there was no reason that she would be unable to do that.

Her magic power had already reached the very bottom. But, so what, she scolded her mind that was blacking out with her strength of will, she forcefully twisted her body that was pleading to her that it was the limit and squeezed out magic power, she also circulated the magic power that she was consuming for ‘Holy Severance’ and activated the magic――Divine Statement.

Surely Ehitorujue never thought that his own magic would be used back on him even in his wildest dream. Compared to the Divine Statement that Ehitorujue used, what Yue used was somewhat of a shoddy quality, however, it still splendidly restrained the target.

{I am-, I am the god!! Irregulaaaaaar!!!}

A shriek.

The crimson flash of ruin approached. Even though there was no face, but it was clear to see. Ehitorujue right now was showing an expression of terror. The impossible scene, the unbelievable reality, the sound of his path that he believed, without a doubt, would continue for eternity was crumbling fragilely resounded.

However, no matter how much he was denying reality, no matter how godly he was, even though he yelled how absolute he was…emotionlessly, heartlessly, irrationally, the murderous roar that the monster raised destroyed anything and everything in this world.

That was the reality.

Therefore,

{――—!!!!!!}

The crimson flash pierced through the torrent of light, erased the shriek, smashed the gruesome future――and penetrated the mad god’s chests.

Soundlessly, the crimson flash disappeared toward the faraway white space.

The torrent of light dispersed, Ehitorujue trailed his hand on the hole gaping wide open in his chest. And then, he raised a wordless scream while his hands moved as though tearing off his chest, or possibly desperately attempting to plug off the hole, exposing a state that even made anyone felt pity to him.

{aaAA, ridiculous…such thing…impossible}

Although he leaked out words that denied the reality, his body of light was still crumbling with the hole on his chest as the center of the breaking down.

And then, at the end, with one more whisper of “…impossible”, the light humanoid form that was Ehitorujue melted into empty air and vanished.

The radiance of ‘Holy Severance’ melted into the empty air at the same time before Yue limply fell down and sat on the ground femininely.

Hajime slowly lowered down the small gun.

Silence wrapped the area.

Other than the slightly rough breathing of Hajime and Yue, there was no sound at all.

Yue earnestly lifted up her eyelids that were trying to close even now while slowly looking back over her shoulder with a smile.

Toward that, Hajime too returned a smile…it was at that moment,

“Yue-!”

“――”

Hajime’s impatient voice resounded in warning.

To that Yue held her breath, at the same time a weird shrike that sounded unthinkable to come from this world resounded.

――aaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

At the same time, an invisible violent impact became a storm that attacked the two.

Unable to even resist Yue was sent flying, sending her on Hajime’s chest with her back to him. Haijme immediately circled his hand around Yue and twisted his body, covering her from the shockwave with his own body.

Thunderous sound.

That was the sound of the tiered gallery Hajime was half buried into getting pulverized into small pieces. It was lucky that he wasn’t pressed by the impact onto the chalk white wall, but it didn’t change that the abnormal shockwave was showering on him.

Hajime kept covering Yue in his embrace while he got blown away like a leaf toyed by a storm along with the wreckages of the tiered gallery, he then got bounced on the ground many times before he finally stopped.

“Guh, gahah, Yue-…”

“…Nnh, Ha, jime…”

Hajime called to Yue while vomiting blood everywhere. Yue only got a little damage because Hajime covered for her, but even so she seemed to be injured to the degree that she was unable to properly move.

Both of them linked their hand together and somehow stood up by supporting each other. And then, they observed the surrounding while sweating coldly.

“Oi oi, what the hell is that…”

“Haa haa…looks like…the Holy Precincts itself, get affected.”

Exactly as Yue said, here and there cracks entered the white space, there were also spots that looked twisted like jelly, showing that the space was clearly getting unstable. At the distorted spots, sights of unknown worlds, familiar worlds, and the scene of the surface were projected and disappeared, the sceneries were repeatedly projected and vanished.

And then, the source of the weird shriek and tremendous shockwave was…

“…Actually, the last boss, still has two transformations left…is this something like that? Well, in a sense, this is a normal template though.”

“…Nn. He is, already, just a monster…”

At the place where Hajime and Yue’s gaze were directed, clad in muddy black miasma that was being spouted out from the distorted space, or possibly it was absorbing the miasma, even now the thing that was Ehitorujue was raising a strange shrieking voice.

{uuu, AA, aa–――}

As though getting attracted by that extremely unpleasant groan which rubbed the mind of the listener the wrong way, miasma was gathering endlessly from the distorted space at the surrounding, from inside the miasma they could perceive figures that seemed to be monster or apostle. But, all those figures were being sucked into Ehitorujue without showing any resistance at all while staring blankly into empty air.

And then, there was more unpleasant sound resounding. *beki-, gokyu, gucha, boki-* Just like the sound of bone and bone grinding at each other, or like flesh and flesh crushing each other, graphic sounds were echoing from inside the miasma.

At the same time, intermittent words were spreading with echoes.

――Don’t want…to die-, don’t want, to…di…e

――Why…eno, ugh…you, said…I don’t, understand…don’t, want…to, die-

――Etern, nal……ly…everything…

――Go, d…I, be…come…god, already…ye, t…why…

――Mis…taken, no…..such, thing, I, am the…

――O, bey…everything…..break…sma, sh…

――Cho…ke, ye…ll…lament…gri, ef…

――Don’t, want…don’t, wanna…di, e-

Those words were an obsession to life, a deep resentment toward others, a childish self-righteousness, a vulgar self-conceit, merely an inexcusable outburst of anger.

But, whether it was the feeling of not wanting to die, or even the feeling of wanting to become alone and destroy anything and everything…it was something that he really didn’t want to acknowledge that he felt disgusted from the bottom of his heart but, Hajime could understand those feelings completely.

His heart changed at the bottom of the abyss thinking that other people were worthless, he pawed on the ground to survive even by slurping blood and flesh. When Yue was stolen, he rampaged wildly and even created a concept that brought about extreme destruction from his empty feeling.

“…That is, by some chance, if I…wasn’t able to meet Yue and others…that――”

Might be me. The lips of Hajime that were going to murmur that were blocked by the slender index finger of Yue.

And then, she silently shook her head and gently denied it with a whispering voice.

“…Hajime is different from that. …Even that thing, surely had people who thought of him, someone that he ought to reach out to, and also someone that reached out to him. The result of not looking back on those, is that.”

Yue’s crimson eyes gently squinted.

“…The path, Hajime has walked until now. That is Hajime’s everything.”

Even when his heart changed, the scream that was raised at the bottom of the abyss reached him. Even while saying that the matter of this world was inconsequential, in the end, he saved a lot of people. The path that he had walked like that stopped Hajime’s rampage.

That was why, even though the two might look similar, but the two of them were completely different.

That was why, Yue said, don’t look down on my Hajime.

She told that. Conveyed that to him.

“…If that’s what Yue said, then that must be so.”

“…Nn-“

Hajime made a wry smile from basking in sentimentality in the middle of this absolute great crisis of all place, and also from being scolded at this very late hour. Toward such Hajime, Yue also smiled gently.

Even while they were doing that, the thing that was Ehitorujue continued to spout out his selfish emotion that was unbearable to listen on, on the contrary, its soul was absorbing the miasma and the ruins of monsters and apostles with terrific momentum.

Ehitorujue was obviously losing sanity. Thinking from how the space was getting unstable, the cause wasn’t only because of the previous shockwave, obviously the cause was from Ehitorujue’s abnormality. In other words, that meant that the bullet of Existence Denial had certainly granted a lethal damage to Ehitorujue.

Even so he didn’t vanish, in his rejection he took in the miasma and the monsters into himself to compensate for his vanishing existence, this was surely Ehitorujue’s earnest desire of survival and the strength of his obsession for control.

Ehitorujue that could vanish anytime was holding out only with his tenacity, however, Hajime and Yue didn’t have any way to give him the finishing blow.

Their magic power had dried up, they were wounded all over and unable to even stand up properly.

The trump cards that Hajime prepared had been all used up. Hajime could do nothing but smiling bitterly toward that fact. Truly, this world’s difficulty level was a bit too hard to be expressed with the word of fantasy which was packed with dream and hope.

But, at that time, the miasma that was covering the area around Ehitorujue ruptured and blew off.

The thing that was Ehitorujue was still enveloped in whirling black mist, but now his full figure could be seen clearly.

“That is seriously a monster huh.”

“…Nn. Rather that looks pitiful.”

The impression of the two was frank.

What was there was a lump of meat. Flesh, bone, and skin of several races were haphazardly combined with limbs jutting out from the wriggling meat lump. Several tentacles were undulating, looking extremely grotesque. That figure would make people lost their sanity and felt like vomiting just by its appearance.

The thing that was Ehitorujue which was reduced into that meat lump suddenly shrieked.

――GiiaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!!!

A storm immediately blew violently. Black miasma whirled, invisible shockwaves that centered on the meat lump blew away the chalk white ground.

The shockwave was emitted radially without any direction, even so it hid a force to the degree that even Hajime and Yue who were already thrown to considerable distance were blown away even further.

Hajime and Yue were blown away while leaking out agonized voice, even then their linked hands didn’t let go no matter what while they struck the ground. Hajime shrugged in exasperation even while his expression distorted from pain and he gave instruction to Yue.

“Yue, suck my blood.”

“…-, but”

“It’s fine.”

Hajime’s words made Yue hesitated. Hajime said that it was fine, but there was no way that was true. He was already bleeding to the degree until one of his feet was already inside the grave, or possibly it had already surpassed even that. The wound on his stomach and also the wounds on both his legs weren’t treated yet or anything. Hajime had tightened his muscles and held back his bleeding, but he was in a state that it wouldn’t be strange for his heart to stop anytime from bleeding too much.

He was holding on to his consciousness, and even now he was wracking his mind in order to survive, to kill his enemy, he was able to do those thanks to his tough body that could be earnestly titled as a monster. Even so his condition was really on the brink. If here Yue sucked his blood, that might really become the finishing blow for him.

At far away, Ehitorujue was raising a roar that shaved on sanity once more. The space fiercely distorted each time with the shockwave destroying the chalk white world. Furthermore, the undulating tentacles could also be seen wandering searching for prey. At this rate, it was clear they would die without doing anything. Even so, Yue was still hesitating, to that Hajime showed her a smile.

That smile, was the bold and fearless smile that always made Yue’s chest to tighten. His canine was bared, his eyes gleamed fiercely, the ally gave immense trust to that smile, and the enemy was granted with a traumatic shudder by that smile, the smile of the demon that made the vampire princess as its slave.

“Didn’t I tell you? This is the template. Do you think, that I didn’t foresee this kind of situation?”

“Hajime…”

“Indeed, all my trump cards are used up. However, there is still the prepared finished product, see?”

Yue already didn’t have any word. Aa, truly, this person that I loved…was really diabolical. Such feeling throbbed loudly in her chest, Yue leaked out a feverish breath and she nodded briskly.

And then, while she felt the sensation of Hajime’s arm that was embracing her tightly, she put her teeth on his neck. The flowing in blood recovered Yue’s magic power for just slightly――no, at the next moment, a terrific pulsation came. *dokun dokun*, a really slight amount of blood that normally wouldn’t do anything for her was now restoring Yue with a momentum that was far surpassing the effect of ‘Blood Pledge Contract’ or anything else.

The reason for that was one.

――Yue exclusive artifact   Nagumo Hajime

Blood that had the effects to sublimate Yue’s ‘Blood Pledge Contract’ by several levels, to make the skill ‘Limit Break’ be possible, and then with the iron content of the blood abundantly bestowed with the ingredient of cheatmate, such blood liquid was flowing inside Hajime’s body.

By assuming a situation where he lost all his artifacts, where the taken back Yue was in exhaustion, and in addition the Bullet of Denial Existence was unable to kill the opponent, Hajime prepared himself to be the exclusive artifact of Yue. Exactly like the naming, this artifact was a secret treasure class artifact that brought about power and recovery which surpassed even the god water limited only for Yue.

“…Nna”

Feeling the extremely sweet and burning pleasure from inside her body, Yue unintentionally leaked out a heavy gasp. But as though sensing that recovery of Yue, countless tentacles shot out with a blur from Ehitorujue. The tips of those tentacles were sharp, what they touched would surely get pierced in one attack.

Yue separated her mouth from Hajime’s neck and she directed one of her hands like a shield toward the approaching tentacles. Immediately, the space before her eyes distorted.

The tentacles rushed there.

But, all of them didn’t reach the two. It was because the distorted space swallowed everything. No, more accurately the tentacles were dismissed into another space.

In order to build a reliable defense using little magic power, Yue made use of the unstable space. Yue didn’t have the power to create a gate using space magic from zero that shut out the space, and so, in that case she just needed to create a gate to a different world using the space that was already shaking. If it was only expanding a hole in space that was already open, then it wouldn’t consume that much strength.

After Yue confirmed that the barrier of space dismissal had displayed a reliable effect, she moved her gaze to Hajime once more.

Hajime’s eyes were beginning to lose focus slightly. As expected, his limit was coming just by sucking the slight amount of blood just now. His face was growing pale, even now his consciousness looked like it would fell off anytime along with his eyelids. He was in a state that was barely clinging on consciousness by concentrating on the pain of his wound.

To Yue who was supporting his body, Hajime talked to her with a hoarse voice, nevertheless strength could be felt from that voice without any sign of giving up.

“Yue…you can, recover me…to a certain degree, right?”

“…Nn”

“I have…no card left. But…if there, is none――”

“…it just needs to be made.”

Understanding Hajime’s intention, Yue manipulated the space while continuing his sentence. To that Hajime made a faint smile and continued.

“…Destroy, that guy――”

“The concept, will be created right now. But, with only the magic power of me alone, it’s still insufficient.”

“With metamorphosis…magic. Make me――”

“-…subordination. Because there is blood in me”

Hajime grinned widely. This plan that made her wondered just how far he had predicted, and then the great recklessness in it, yet with his tremendous faith to her as the premise of the plan right from the start, made Yue unable to say anything anymore.

“…The material?”

“My, eye.”

Obeying Hajime’s instruction, Yue’s slender fingers were held aloft above Hajime’s right eye, and then, the fingers plunged in all at once. A groan slightly leaked from Hajime, but Yue unhesitatingly pulled out her fingers while her lips tightened into a straight line.

On her palm was a small bluish-white crystal. The magic eye stone.

“Yue…plea, se.”

“…Nn. Leave it to me.”

Like that the rite of metamorphosis began.

In order to obtain the necessary magic power, Yue sucked Hajime’s blood further which weakened him more and more. Hajime looked really frail that it wouldn’t be strange for his heartbeat to stop anytime.

But, the moment Yue’s hand touched Hajime’s chest, fierce heartbeat sound resounded as though an electric shock had just been applied there. *dokun, dokun!* Pulsating heartbeat was increasing in strength second by second.

That was a magic that transformed Hajime into a vampire just like Yue. It had the same principle like how Tio transformed another monster into her underling. If a frail and delicate human that was different from monster was used, normally that human wouldn’t come out of it safely, not to mention if it was a metamorphosis magic that changed a human’s race, the difficulty was of the highest degree.

From how Tio who was an expert of characteristic magic dragonification which had the origin from metamorphosis magic needed the black slave whip for assisting her success, it was clear to see just how difficult this grand magic was. And now Yue who wasn’t particularly skilled at metamorphosis magic was using something like that to a human target without any training beforehand.

Yue was a rare genius, but this magic had the possibility of success existed only because the target was Hajime who possessed inhuman toughness in body and mind. No, surely from the beginning Hajime who proposed this method was convinced that this would succeed. It was because of his trust from the bottom of his heart toward Yue.

The meat lump of Ehitorujue could be felt approaching lumpingly from far away. That was surely the countdown toward their death.

Because Yue split her strength for the metamorphosis magic, her control of the space became lax and several tentacles began to graze their body.

But, even in such an extreme situation, her beloved monstrous partner perfectly responded and bewitched her.

“Yu, e-“

“…Nn. Come here, Hajime.”

Hajime exposed his canine tooth with his pupil dyed crimson like Yue’s, and he bit at Yue’s smooth nape that looked so slender it felt like it would break when touched. And then, Hajime converted the blood into strength using the special trait of the vampire.

“…Nnaa”

Each time Hajime’s throat sounded, a sweet feverish breath escaped Yue’s mouth.

Even though she understood that strength was leaving her body, and even though she understood that now wasn’t the time for that, “more”, yet she was thinking of something like that.

Amidst the resounding sweet gasping voice, Hajime’s magic power was recovering in the proportion of the amount of blood flowing out.

However, Yue thought while feeling impatience.

(Not enough…)

Yes, it wasn’t enough. It really wasn’t enough to create a concept magic no matter what. With an amount of magic power that was even far from enough for Hajime’s complete recovery, it wouldn’t be sufficient to create a concept for finishing off the monster of the Holy Precincts which was getting close to them even now.

The limit of the blood flowing inside her would reach the limit soon. She was also grasping the amount of Hajime’s recovery. At this rate, they would have no other choice than putting a stake of sink or swim with their insufficient magic power. In addition that stake would be one with a considerably bad odd.

“It’s fine. Do you think, that the artifact(me) which is dedicated to you is only at this level?”

Perhaps looking at the impatience displayed on her face, Hajime who separated from Yue’s neck was saying such thing while he leaned forward to plunder Yue’s lips this time. And then, “nnu” Yue’s lip that was leaking small voice was wounded by Hajime’s canine tooth, at the same time, Hajime’s own lip also got cut.

Like that, while they were kissing each other repeatedly, it came.

*GOU-!!*

Magic power swelled up with terrific force.

The magic power that should be a step from drying up burst out from Yue and whirled in gold color. At the same time, a tremendous magic power that was unimaginable coming from the recovery amount just now also burst up from Hajime. With the two as the center, a torrent of magic power climbed as though piercing the heaven, no, it was actually piercing the space of Holy Precincts and pierced toward the heaven with violent blowing.

Golden and crimson entangled with each other, as though expressing the relationship between the two people, they mixed with each other, forming a complete harmony that raged violently.

――Particle style artifact   ‘Vow of Entwined Branch’

Hajime’s blood that was turned into an artifact, and the metal particle that Yue took into her body. This metal particle was actually an artifact that activated only when under the prescribed condition. The effect and activation condition of this artifact was, the two who had tied the contract of blood pledge could then convert blood into power in a chain reaction with the two of them turned into artifact for each other and they exchanged blood with each other. The strengthening effect would continue endlessly until they stopped exchanging blood(kissing).

“…ahn”

The swelling power, and the happiness of intermingling with her beloved, it caused Yue to moan while her body was trembling. Hajime was also in the same state. The vampire princess in his embrace was so hopelessly lovely that he slightly repeated the blood tasted kiss.

The former shadow of Ehitorujue had arrived until right nearby them. It emitted an immense shockwave along with its tentacles.

――aaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!!!

Toward that, Yue canceled the distorted space without even directing her eyes there.

She did that because she understood that such thing wasn’t necessary anymore. To display that, the golden and crimson magic power towered high like a protective wall. And then, at the next moment, the magic power released a tremendous shockwave that neutralized all shockwaves from the meat lump. It was the ‘Impact Conversion’ by Hajime.

Even during that time, the two were still gluing earnestly close with each other.

The figure of the Holy Precincts monster that was left alone, to be frank was pitiful.

Unable to forgive that, Ehitorujue increasingly emitted an extremely unpleasant strange sound while unleashing severe attacks.

While repelling all of those with magic power impact, Hajime and Yue who were accompanied by the tremendous magic power that already swelled up to the degree that it might destroy the white space, slowly separated their lips. The silver bridge hanging down between the two looked really captivating.

The sweet atmosphere of the two already far surpassed the territory of being out of place, however, people who could obstruct them didn’t exist anywhere in this world.

Both of them kept hugging, their hands softly overlapped. Between them there was the magic eye stone that was partly made from god crystal, and the tiny gun that Hajime didn’t let go at all even when they were sent flying.

And then, Hajime’s trump card(commonness) was chanted.

“’Transmute’!”

Right after that, golden and crimson melted into each other, and light so bright as though a sun was created manifested.

That beautiful and powerful radiance made the Ehitorujue monster to writhe and draw back. It was as though it hated that warm light.

The light was converging.

At its other side, there was the figure of Hajime pushing out his hand toward Ehitorujue with fierce eyes that glared sharply. A small gun was clutched in that hand.

The terrible exhaustion was causing the worn-out right hand to tremble all over, unable to fix the aim. That hand was scooped out from below softly and supported by a graceful hand. It was Yue’s hand.

While snuggling close to each other, both of them readied a single small gun. The running sparks were crimson and golden. The sure-kill bullet that would end everything was buzzing, impatiently waiting to be fired.

What was filled into that bullet was unmistakably a concept magic.

――GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-!!!

Ehitorujue madly unleashed its tentacles. It instinctually comprehended the mighty power that was aimed at it.

But, there was no way such random attack could go through the golden and crimson the two were clad in, all of those were easily swept away by the impact of magic power.

And then,

“Giving victory to a man with a kiss, that’s really heroine-like huh, Yue.”

“…Nn. Hajime plucking off the victory at the end without fail, is just like a hero.”

Both of them were talking frivolously while aiming the brilliantly shining gun right at the middle of Ehitorujue.

“Well, putting that aside, there is one thing I want to say to that.”

“…Nn-“

For a moment, both of their eyes met. The fearless smile was floating on their respective face.

The spoken words were the concept of the newborn concept, the words that returned the favor toward the repeated calamities that were wretchedly forced on them. And then, surely, these words also represented the feeling of the people that were toyed around by Ehitorujue in the past.

“ “――The Scattered Pains Right Back Toward You(now you really have done it you shitty bastard-)” “

Soundlessly, a streak of light cut through the air.

That stabbed right in the middle of Ehitorujue without the slightest deviation.

Concept magic The Scattered Pains Right Back Toward You――this magic returned all the pain and wounds that the target had given to other people until now.

Just like the holy man that was once pierced by a holy spear on the hill of Golgotha, the thing that was once a god spurted out blood in a large amount from the wound opening. Although, the flowing out blood wasn’t something holy like that holy man, but something muddy black which looked sticky and unpleasant.

While the lump of meat was crumbling, the agglutinated mere shadow of Ehitorujue a beat later was,

――GIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

It raised a hair-rising shriek.

And then at the next moment, flesh and blood exploded to everywhere, silver magic power mixed with muddy black miasma climbed to the sky.

That was undoubtedly the scream of the death agony of the mad god. The repeated inhumanity that it had piled up for a few thousand years, or possibly tens of thousands of years were all returned to its own body. Although it had been reduced to a monster without any reasoning, it surely felt the pain of tens of thousands of years within an instant where even the torment of hell would feel lukewarm in comparison.

The flash that contained a shriek within pulverized the space, and it came out to the familiar dark red space at the other side.

Without any doubt, that must be the last scenery of Ehitorujue, the god of this world.

“…”

“…”

Hajime and Yue had no word.

They were merely staring at the last light of Ehitorujue that was vanishing toward the empty space that was gradually getting smaller. The gun their hand was holding couldn’t endure the burden and crumble into pieces.

The palms that weren’t holding anything now naturally held each other, their faces looked at each other. The magic power was already dispersing and the area around the two was quiet. Both of them had used up their stamina and magic power and everything else, they supported each other’s body leaning to one another and embraced the other party closely. And then, they smiled softly.

Perhaps because the creator of the place was gone, the white space began to rumble. The unstable space was gradually getting stormy, here and there breaking down was starting. Hajime ascertained the state of the surrounding and themselves and then he opened his mouth with a bitter expression.

“This is, bad. This doesn’t seem, to be the time, for looking…melancholic.”

“…Nn. Hajime, you can stand?”

“…Chih, my legs…not just that, my whole body, cannot move satisfactorily. Yue, you?”

“…Just sitting…take my all”

Both of them looked at each other and smiled wryly. It appeared that the true pinch only came after they consigned the god to oblivion.

“My bad, Yue. …The truth is, after killing Ehito, I planned, to wait for recover…and then used the particles…for creating gate key but…”

“…Nn. Doesn’t seem we will have that much time. There is, not even a drop of blood left to exchange.”

“Yeah. Besides…the particles themselves, are swallowed…by the unstable space, there is none remaining. At the worst case, I expected to use…the bone of the arm, or the leg…to make one-time use artifact…but…”

The crumbling of Holy Precincts was too fast that they wouldn’t make it in time if they wait for recovery, that caused Hajime’s expression to turn sour as though he had bitten a bitter bug. It wasn’t like he hadn’t imagined it, but Ehitorujue’s excessive obstinacy was to the degree that made Hajime had no extra leeway, that he had to pour all his strength to defeat him. Because of that, the composure to spare some recovery medicine, and also the blood for magic power conversion had run out already.

At the very end, Hajime curse inside his heart to himself “I’m an idiot”, however, there was not even a bit of despair in himself.

“To end…after coming this far…is unacceptable. We are going home, even if we need to crawl-“

“…Nn-“

They lent each other their shoulder and advanced bit by bit literally by crawling on the crumbling white world. They were walking slowly without any progress, but there wasn’t even a drop of the color of resignation in their eyes.

Even so, the reality was always callous, the crumbling of the surrounding was getting increasingly intense, approaching to swallow them altogether with their determination. Ahead of Hajime’s gaze, there was a veil of light that appeared unnoticed. That was the exit and entrance of this space.

The crumbling was approaching. Death was sneaking near. They desperately advance toward the veil of light.

But, the veil of light collapsed before their eyes.

“Shit-“

“…Hajime.”

Witnessing the path of their escape vanishing into sands, a curse leaked out spontaneously from Hajime’s mouth. The hand of Yue that was grasping Hajime’s hand clutched tightly to soothe him that was like that.

“…We are blocked from every direction. What’s left, is only…to gamble.”

“…Nn. Leap into, the crumbling space.”

There was already no other choice but that. Just like what Shia and others almost did, Hajime and Yue would also aim for the scenery of the surface that became visible sometimes and leaped right toward the crumbling space itself in a desperate gamble.

But, no matter how it was unthinkable that they would have future by doing that. It was a mad attempt that wouldn’t even be a gamble. If an example had to be made, it was something like someone who was holding a bomb was trying to skillfully use the explosion so they might be able to be sent flying to far away. Even before thinking about being sent flying, there was no assurance that they wouldn’t be turned into small pieces beforehand.

But, even so they didn’t have the slightest intention to give up.

“…Yue.”

“Nn?”

“I love you.”

“Nn-, me too…I love you.”

With a calm condition that was unthinkable to come from people who were in front of a crumbling space, both of them expressed their feeling to each other. At last, the safe spot also became gone. The crack was also entering into the spot where the two were at.

Like that, *creak* an unpleasant sound resounded below them, both of them resolved themselves and they were going to leap into the space where the surface was visible, it was at that moment

{Choa―――! Appearing at a miraculous timiiing, the beautiful warrior, Miledy Raisen-tan☆ Has arrived! The one who is calling for me is you two isn’t ittt? Isn’t ittt?}

Something came out.

“ “…” “

Hajime and Yue’s eyes turned into dot spontaneously.

However, without paying any mind to such pair, the intruder opened her mouth with jetting up tension.

{What’s with thiiiisss, even though I have come with great pain to save you two from something like a piiinchhh, just where is the reactiooonn. Miledy-chan is going to cry here! I’m going to go hics hics, glance glance you knooow?}

“…Annoying.”

“…Nn. This is certainly Miledy.”

The staggering annoyingness finally lets the two to accept the spectacle in front of their eyes as reality. And then when they looked around, it seemed that the crumbling had been held back before they realized it.

“This is…your doing?”

{Fufun, I guess. Something this much is really easy for the liberator Miledy-chaaannn. Although I say that, it won’t last for more than several minutes though☆}

“…By any chance, you can, escape?”

{But of courseee! I came here after tossing away Rabbit-chan and others to the surface already see☆ What’s left is only you two pyon! As expected, me! What an able woman-! Yes, applause applause!}

The smiley mask was sparkling with some kind of mechanism while saying that kind of thing, putting aside how annoying the words were, the two of them were seriously feeling admiration and gratitude to Miledy. But at the same time, Hajime and Yue also became endlessly vexed.

But, Miledy’s next words broke the half-smiling face of the two.

{Hoi, this is the Degraded Arrow of World Crossing, the last one of it. It’s a defective product that is usable only in this kind of unstable space, but it should be enough for escaping. Next, a healing medicine for service! This should recover you to the degree that you can activate the arrow’s ability pyon! After you two drink that quickly gooo from here! Gooo! Leave the rest to Onee-san okaaayyy☆}

“…And you? You aren’t, going to get out with us?”

Glancing at the thrown Degraded Arrow of World Crossing which Yue caught, Hajime threw his question at Miledy. Because from her speech it was as though Miledy was going to stay behind in this crumbling space.

That guess appeared to be correct.

{Yep, I’m staying hereeee. If this kind of codswallop space is left alone, the surface will also get swallowed and cause a chaining crumbling after all. I’m going to straighten this up.}

“…From how, you speak…it’s like you are going to die here.”

Thanks to the healing medicine, Hajime had recovered to a degree that he could indeed activate the artifact, he then asked with a tone that had turned somewhat smoother.

Miledy answered to that question frankly.

{Yep. My, the plan is for my Super Secret☆Magic to guide the crumbling of Holy Precincts and compress it pon pon. The space is on the verge of breaking down, if this body of mine and my soul are used as a medium to magnify my magic power then it will be enough. That’s why, I’ll end here.}

“Self-sacrifice? That doesn’t suit you. Rather than that――”

Hajime whose nerves were rubbed the wrong way by the resigned speech was going to argue vehemently, but then a blonde beautiful girl around fourteen, fifteen years old appeared overlapping the Miledy-golem. It seemed to be the projection of soul, this must be the original appearance of Miledy.

In contrast with her joking around tone, that girl figure of Miledy was putting an extremely satisfied and also gentle expression toward Hajime and Yue.

{This is juuust self-satisfaction. My promise with my comrades, with my important people――’Let’s destroy the evil god and save the world!’ reaalllly, that sounds like a fairy tale and it looks stupid, but we exchanged that promise seriously, I want to fulfill it, that’s all pyon.}

“…”

{At that time, we couldn’t do anything and lost, everyone became scattered, but thinking ‘even so’, we created the great labyrinths…right now, in this time, in this place, is where I’ll use my whole strength for the sake of people, this is exactly the reason that I survive for this long mon.}

Hajime and Yue listened quietly to Miledy’s words that sounded like a monolog. The reason Miledy wanted to do this wasn’t because she wanted to bask in the joy of cheap self-satisfaction, they comprehended that right now in this time, Miledy was going to realize the feeling that she had continued to hold in her heart from so far in the past that they couldn’t even imagine.

Looking at such pair, Miledy narrowed her eyes with even more and more gentleness.

{Thank you, Nagumo Hajime-kun, Yue-chan. For granting our dearest wish. For using our magic correctly.}

“…Nn. Miledy. Your magic is the most useful.”

{Kufufu, naturally! After all it’s me! What I said before was also like that right? ‘As long as you keep being you, you will achieve godslaying without fail’, I said.}

“…’You can just live following your wish. After all, your choice will surely be the best for this world’, you also said that. Was my choice the best for this world?”

{Of course! Presently, after all, that shitty bastard has been blown away until beyond that world, and I am right here! And then this dreg of a life can be used now for the sake of people following my oath. …Finally, I can head to where everyone is in peace.}

Surely if this was a flesh body than glittering things would be overflowing from the corner of Miledy’s eyes. That was just how intense the flood of emotions that Miledy’s words were filled with, which made them thought that.

{Nooow, both of you. Soon it will be the limit for me to hold back the crumbling pyon. You two need to return back to the place of the people waiting for you. I too, will head toward the place where there are people waiting for me.}

The stagnating space was beginning to rumble once more.

Even while staggering, Hajime and Yue stood up somehow thanks to the healing medicine, the two of them activated the Degraded Arrow of World Crossing that was clutched by Yue’s hand while staring back straight at Miledy.

“…Miledy Raisen. My greatest respect to you. Many months and years have elapsed, yet, there is not a single scratch on that strength of will. That determination is the best article under the heaven beyond any doubt. Oscar Orcus. Naiz Guryuen. Mail Meljine. Laus Vaan. Ryuteris Haltina. Vandour Shune. I will never forget, you and your important people.”

“…Nn. There wasn’t a single thing, of the path of the struggles of you all that was pointless. We will impart it to the next generation, without fail.”

{Both of you…wha, what’s with you twoooo. Like that, I, cannot say anything at all! If you said something like that! Come on, this is really the limit! Just get lost already, get lost!}

Her expression looked embarrassed somehow, and yet it also seemed to be almost overwhelmed with emotion. Miledy faced away with a huff and she waved her hand to shoo them off.

The rumbling was getting fiercer and fiercer, the crumbling was beginning to approach once more.

Hajime and Yue displayed a faint smile at Miledy who wouldn’t meet their eyes while advancing to the edge of the crumbling chalk white surface. And then, they nodded at each other.

“Good bye, protector of the world.”

“…Sayonara.”

Saying that the two leaped down toward the crumbling space that looked like an abyss.

Miledy that was left behind sighed “Fuuuu”.

{Protector of the world, is it. Thaaat feels itchy. Saying that at the very end, is just foul. …Should I think of it, like a payback or something.}

While talking to herself, a black whirling sphere was created with her body as the center. While the sphere was sparking with something like black thunder, Miledy quietly lifted her gaze to the center of the black star of calamity.

Before she knew it, there, she could see the figures of her important people that didn’t lose color no matter who many months and years passed.

{Everyone…}

There was no word that came back. Perhaps this was the revolving lantern before one’s death, or just her hallucinating.

But, such thing was inconsequential.

{What, so you all came to pick me up. Ehehe, then, perhaps I should say it. Finally, I guess I can say it!}

The star of calamity was swallowing anything and everything at the surrounding. Other magic like ‘Severance Calamity’ or whatever couldn’t compare with this. It swallowed everything and pulverized them inside, yes, so to speak this was a black hole.

While the golem artifact which was used as the medium was vanishing without a trace, Miledy’s soul yelled with a voice and expression that were the very picture of innocence.

{Everyoneee, I’m homeee――!!}

At the next moment, the white space was soundlessly annihilated along with all light.

 

Part 2

The silver angels were falling down to the ground one after another like falling star, the dark red world was rumbling unceasingly, above where the sky should be visible originally, reversed other worlds could be seen wobbling dangerously. Those reversed many worlds could be seen starting to crumble from a glance.

The end of the world.

Such words passed through the brain of the people of the allied force. Even though the apostles who wielded furious might had stopped functioning, but they honestly couldn’t feel happy because of the scream that the world raised which they felt.

“Aa, god…”

Someone whispered so.

In front of the collapse of the world, the sword in their hand felt really tiny. Everyone was merely staring at the shaking above worlds in a daze without being able to do anything else.

At that time, a dignified voice resounded. It wasn’t someone like a god that couldn’t be seen or anything. But it was someone who was right on their side, the ‘Goddess of Harvest’ that had struggled through the line of death together with them――the voice of Hatayama Aiko.

{Everyone, there is no need to despair! That person is over there! Right now, even in this moment, he should be fighting that evil god! The apostles falling, the worlds in the sky breaking, they all are the proof of the evil god’s suffering! That’s why-, let’s pray! For the victory of that person! For the victory of mankind-! Now, match your voice! Let’s show our will!}

The battlefield fell as silent as grave.

Aiko’s words weren’t something that came from the speech compilation Hajime gave her. The proof of that could be seen from how she was calling Hajime as ‘that person’ rather than ‘my sword’. It was undoubtedly a yell that came from Aiko’s own heart. Those words displayed Aiko’s will that believed on the safety of Hajime and others, and also of their victory.

The one who responded first was Liliana.

{To victory-!}

The lovely voice which was amplified with artifact echoed on the battlefield.

And then, the one who hailed at that voice with a blood soaked figure yet powerful yell was Gahard.

{To victory-!!}

Continuing after him, Karm, Adol, and Alfrerick yelled.

{To victory-!!!}

In that situation, the people’s heart was connecting to each other naturally.

――To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-! To victory-!

A Loud chorus of victory resounded in the battlefield. It swallowed the rumbling of the space, numbed the ground, and reached to the heaven, the will of ‘human’ swept the darkness and rose up like the light of the sun.

Human, demi-human, human from another world, those classifications were irrelevant, yells for their victory, and then yells of their faith for the people fighting at the heavens, they were all repeated with impossibly beautiful harmony.

Amidst those, one person didn’t join the chorus and stared wholeheartedly to the sky, a black angel. It was Kaori who was looking forward to the return of Hajime and others believing in Miledy. She kept floating midair and continued to stare at the collapsing Holy Precincts as though she could see nothing else.

And, at that time, Kaori’s senses was caught by something.

The place was, around the sky at the collapsed God Mountain.

She returned to her senses in surprise and turned her gaze there. The space about eight kilometers above the God Mountain distorted like jelly, right after that an elliptical hole opened with a pop. It was a distance that normal human couldn’t perceive, the hole itself was also only as big as several people could go through it so nobody other than Kaori noticed it.

Driven by her premonition, Kaori flapped her jet black wings. At the same time, with *hyupo-!* silhouette of people flew out from that hole.

“Aa――!!”

“NuOOOOOO!!”

White and black shadows. Even from afar she understood that those were her comrades’ figures.

“Shia-, Tio!”

Kaori accelerated in one go. For some reason Shia and Tio were falling straight toward the ground without any sign of slowing down. Kaori became a black silver meteor that rushed through the sky.

Midway, Shizuku and others flew out in panic riding their skyboard from the hole Shia and Tio fell off from, but for now Kaori didn’t stop accelerating and rapidly approached the screaming two people.

And then, Kaori splendidly caught the two altogether a few dozen meters near the ground. Looking closer, near the ground there was a shining barrier deployed that seemed to come from Suzu so it really wasn’t that big of a matter.

“Shia, Tio! Welcome back-!”

“Fue, a, Kaori-san! I’m back desu!”

“Thou saved us, Kaori. Also, I’m back.”

Shia and Tio clung at Kaori’s arms midair while sighing in relieve. Kaori flapped her wings and landed gently on the ground, she then gently put down the two on the ground where they sat with a flop.

There, Shizuku, Suzu, Ryutaro, and Kouki landed down from the sky.

“Kaori!”

“Shizuku-chan!”

Shizuku got off the skyboard and leaped toward Kaori. Kaori too caught Shizuku.

“Kaoriiiin! I’m back!”

“Suzu-chan. Welcome back!”

“Yo-, looks like you are also safe huh.”

“Ryutaro-kun too, welcome back.”

Still hugging Shizuku, Kaori then welcomed Suzu and replied to Ryutaro’s words smilingly. And then, she abruptly showed a soft smile at Kaori who was looking a bit awkward.

“Kouki-kun, welcome back.”

“…Yeah, I’m back. Really, sorry, for everything. Truly, sorry. Also…thank you.”

He had attacked Kaori at the devil king castle, because of that Kouki had resolved himself to not receive words of greeting. But now tears were gathering at the corner of his eyes and his head looked down. He was absolutely grateful that Kaori didn’t forsake him just like Shizuku. Of course, he wouldn’t make misunderstanding anymore.

After nodding once at such Kouki, Kaori looked up to the sky. And then, her gaze moved around searching for something. It was obvious who she was searching for.

“Kaori-san…..Hajime-san and Yue-san are not together with us.”

“Shia…that’s”

“Don’t fret, Kaori. We only separated in the middle because it was necessary. Goshujin-sama and also Yue, they will cometh back without fail.”

“Tio…”

Tio called at Kaori who was looking uneasy admonishingly.

After Miledy came for them, Shia and others received Degraded Arrow of World Crossing from her which opened a hole in space and they leaped into it.

Naturally when they heard that Miledy would go to Hajime and Yue right after, everyone said that they would go together with her. Shia, Tio, and Shizuku were especially determined, their blazing eyes told that it was impossible for them to escape ahead.

However, Degraded Arrow of World Crossing was necessary to cross space, there was no spare for them to go to Hajime and Yue’s position. Although there were several arrows that were created because they were failed work, but different from the real thing these degraded versions could only be used once before breaking and on top of that it could only open the hole for a few seconds.

In addition, the size of the hole that could be opened by the arrow was limited. It was unthinkable that they would have the leeway to pass through the hole in turn under a few second in a world that was collapsing with increasing momentum. Thinking that Haijme and Yue would be added for their return home, in the worst case the situation might turn into one where they would need to choose who would escape and who would be left behind.

In the end, Shia and others had to escape first. They were really reluctant though. They could do nothing but understand when they were told that perhaps not all of them could go back if they accompanied Miledy. Besides, “I swear I’ll send Hajime and Yue back without fail” the state of Miledy when she promised that was unusually filled with determination, that was also a factor that pushed their back to escape first.

Even so, there was no way their worry toward Hajime and Yue who were still in the collapsing Holy Precincts could vanish, Shia and Tio also looked up wordlessly to the sky. Shizuku and others were also similarly praying while looking up to the sky.

At the battlefield, the people of the allied force were still resounding their prayer powerfully.

It was unclear how much time passed. It felt like an eternity, but surely not even dozens of minutes had passed.

It was at that time, that happened.

“Ah”

The one who spontaneously raised that voice was Kaori.

Shia and others, and then the allied force too, ahead of their gaze a pillar of light that was a mix of golden and crimson suddenly pierced the space and stabbed at the sky.

That torrent of magic power which couldn’t be expressed enough even with the word tremendous, and then, the undulation of the overwhelming will that was filled in it, caused the war cry of the battlefield to stop unconsciously. Everyone without exception gazed in enchantment at the dichromatic magic power which ascended to the sky in spiraling motion.

“Hajime-san! Yue-san!”

Shia yelled, with a voice that overflowed with joy.

Right after that, the golden and crimson magic power began to converge back like in a playback.

And then,

A scream of death agony reverberated in the world. Immediately after, although the volume wasn’t to the degree that tore the eardrum, but, that voice of the end was certainly heard by everyone throughout the world. Without any reason, anyone thought, that it was the blood flowing out from the god.

Before long, a muddy silver light was dispersing toward the empty sky, and silence returned to the world.

What happened now, in the middle of everyone thinking that with their breath caught, the distortion of space covering the sky and the collapsing world of heavens that was visible in it, suddenly, they were all shrinking toward one point. It was as though something was sucking them all, or possibly it was like they were all being compressed.

The next moment, the world of heavens that was gathered into a point scattered.

There was no sound.

There was merely several layers of ripples with a vibrant color like the blue sky, radiating silently. Unnoticed, the rumble(scream) that shook the world stopped, the scared trembling of the ground also stopped.

Ripples were spreading through the world.

Not only the color of the blue sky, the color of the evening or possibly sunrise, the color of the midday sun, the clear color of the moon, the color of vivacious plants, the color of powerful earth, the color of enveloping night, they all laid on top of each other.

The beautiful ripples of seven colors spread to the end of the earth, before long, cracks began to enter the dark red world. That change wasn’t something violent that gave the impression like the crumbling just now, but a gentle change that quietly repainted the world…

“Aa…god”

Someone whispered. That wasn’t a prayer that wished for salvation anymore. But merely something that came from the deep emotion filling the chest.

The world was recovering its color. It was a truly a splendorous scene that should be called as a legend.

The dark red world was shining sparklingly while becoming broken fragments.

The ripples of the sky were gradually weakening in intensity, however, they didn’t vanish, as though watching over the people who were silently shedding tears drops by drops, it became a rainbow aurora drifting in the air.

“Hajime-kun…Yue…”

Amidst those, a voice that leaked out from between the clenched teeth resounded. Kaori clenched her hand so tightly it was bleeding while glaring at the annihilated Holy Precincts.

“Hajime…”

“Nagumo-kun.”

“Shit-, what’s going on-, that idiot-“

“Nagumo-“

Shizuku, Suzu, Ryutaro, Kouki, they gritted their teeth while facing the sky with a grim gaze. Tio too was looking up at the sky with narrowed gaze without averting her eyes even for a moment.

The dark red world vanished.

The sun began to illuminate the world with its natural radiance.

They waited for a long time, but the figure of the people they waited for couldn’t be seen.

Before long, that fact became unbearable and Suzu whispered.

“…This is a lie, right”

Ryutaro gritted his teeth hard.

“Damnit-“

Kouki opened his mouth in a daze.

“Don’t tell me…both of them…really, won’t co――”

And then, when that worst assumption was going to be said half unconsciously…

“It’s alright desu-!!”

Such electrifying loud voice interrupted.

Kouki and others returned to their senses suddenly and moved their gaze there. Over there, was the figure of Shia, her rabbit ears standing straight while she looked straight to the sky.

Shia didn’t avert her eyes from the sky and spoke with a voice that was full of conviction.

“Right now, Hajime-san and Yue-san are together desu. That entangled golden and crimson magic power is the proof. As long as they are together, they are invincible!”

That was why, they would blow away a mere difficult situation like this and came back with a smile. Those words which contained Shia’s immense faith became a power of words that resounded in the world. (TN: Power of words or soul of language. Called kotodama in Japan, some kind of believe that words which were said have some kind of power in them.)

Mysteriously, the heart of the people who were driven by unease became light.

“…..Yep. That’s right. With those two together, I cannot imagine any difficult that cannot be smashed through.”

Kaori was in agreement. It wasn’t a voice that was blurred with unease like before, but a powerful voice filled with conviction like Shia.

“Truly. Surely if those two become serious, the word ‘fail’ will be erased from dictionary. Rather, perhaps they art busy flirting right now that they art late to come back.”

Tio jokingly said such thing. And as expected, the grimness in her face was taken away and changed into conviction.

“Isn’t that right. They might, no, they are absolutely flirting right now. This is their emotional reunion after all. Perhaps the matter of us is already thrown to the beyond by them.”

While smiling wryly, Shizuku nodded thinking that it was probably the case. The way they talked also softened the expression of Suzu and others.

Right after that, as though to proof that the words of Shia and others were correct…

“Ah…fufu, see-“

Shia pointed her finger.

Over there was naturally…

 

Part 3

The rainbow aurora hanging in the sky. A small hole was opened between the veil.

“Uoh”

“…Nn-“

A silhouette of two people glued close to each other flew out from there along with shocked voice. It went without saying, they were Hajime and Yue.

Hajime firmly held Yue tightly with his one arm, Yue too also circled her hands around Hajime’s neck, clinging to him.

Like that, *gou-gou* while feeling the howling of wind on their ear, the two of them began freefalling leaving it to the gravity.

Based on the height it would be thirty seconds until the ground.

Hajime who was falling with his face up saw the mystical aurora they were rapidly distanced from and the distance to the ground that he confirmed by looking across his shoulder and instantly calculated. It seemed that the place they were going to impact was a spot slightly distanced from the allied force.

“Yue, can you fly?”

“…Impossible. Magic power was used up from the arrow’s activation.”

“Well, I guess that’s true. It’s going to be a bit rough, so hold on tight.”

“…Nn. I catch you. I absolutely won’t let go.”

“…”

While experiencing a skydiving without a parachute, Hajime and Yue conversed filled with composure like that. Listening and seeing Yue’s bewitching voice and gaze from very near like this, it couldn’t be helped that Hajime’s words got caught in his throat.

While being exposed against awful wind pressure midair, Hajime ignored his slightly ringing eardrum to the best of his ability and then rolled his stance while still holding Yue. And then, his body became clad in faint crimson magic power. With that he somehow controlled his badly balanced one armed body that was toyed around by the wind.

Although he had drunk recovery medicine, but the healed amount was insignificant. In the first place there was the effect from the depth of the damage he received and the creation of the concept magic that caused his magic power recovery to be slow. There was also a limit to the number of times he could use ‘Air Force’.

While he was controlling his posture, he had to land down on the ground by perfectly dropping his speed. Honestly speaking, the ‘Air Force’ could only be used for ten-odd times more, furthermore, in his current condition that could only use ‘Air Force’ which couldn’t be said to be displaying its complete effect, making a skydiving from altitude of several kilometers to succeed was nothing but a superhuman feat but…

“So the end is me skydiving with Yue huh…it’s not bad.”

Hajime said such thing. Something of this degree wasn’t even a danger.

Hajime gently straightened up his body. Immediately a crimson ripple spread below his feet, it collapsed instantly. However, he was definitely decelerating. He repeated that.

The people of the allied force also noticed them. Crimson ripples were spreading and scattering many times from between the aurora, and silhouette of people was descending like a comet.

At that moment, a deeply emotional voice resounded. The voice of the goddess.

{Thi, this is our, victory-!}

A beat.

――oOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

At the battlefield, no, at the new world the people raised shouts of joy that sounded like an explosion.

As though to reply to that cry of triumph that was like the first cry of a newborn raised by the world, glittering light particles were raining down from the rainbow aurora covering the sky. The light of the sun that recovered its radiance shined, making the world to gleam like a diamond. Surely that was the blessing toward the new world.

Amidst the raining shower of light, Hajime kicked on the last ripple and splendidly reduced his speed, he kept embracing Yue and landed on the ground. Even so, the wounds on his both legs still weren’t healed, using ‘Air Force’ also finally exhausted the magic power for his recovery, so like that he collapsed limply on the ground with his face up.

“Haha-, the finishing is totally messed up.”

Hajime wryly smiled while lying down with his body unable to even twitch. His expression somehow looked refreshed.

Yue who was embraced all that time then straddled Hajime and flopped down on top of him in a tight embrace, and then with a really close distance where it looked like their face could touch each other anytime, Yue shook her small head while staring at Hajime.

“…Not messed up. It was the coolest.”

“Is that so?”

“…Nn. Hajime, thank you. I love you.”

Like that, with bewitching and melting smile, Yue pushed those soft and sweet lips on Hajime’s.

Yue enjoyed to her heart’s content Hajime who could only lie spread-eagled without being able to move, where he could only let Yue do whatever she wanted to him. Although, even if he was able to move, but if this was what Yue wished for then there was no way for Hajime to resist.

Yue’s appearance was still in her adult form. Although the charm that was brought about from the gap between her external appearance and her mental age had gone, now she was emitting sensual pheromone from her whole body, perhaps the brutality of her sex appeal had increased instead with this.

Her adult appearance was most likely due to metamorphosis magic. In that case, perhaps when her magic power recovered she would be able to change between woman and girl appearance freely. It felt like he could see the future where he was toyed around by Yue’s demand. Although, Yue’s heart was also captured by Hajime to the same degree with his heart captured by her though.

The endless kiss erased even the cheering of the allied force, forming a world of only the two of them.

But, a voice that the two couldn’t ignore reverberated into that world.

“Aa――! As expected you two are flirting! You two don’t even care about other people’s feeling! No rather than that, Yue-san is…”

“She is turning aduuuuult! Yue is attacking Hajime-kun with adult charm!’

“Humm. Just as expected. No, the adult appearance art outside expectation though…let see, how about I join too.”

“Uu-, what amazing sensuality…bu, but there is no option for retreating! A maiden can only charge ahead!”

Shia, Kaori, Tio, and Shizuku, those four people. Behind them Suzu, Ryutaro, and Kouki also rushed to here.

With a lively state that was unthinkable for a deeply moving reunion, Shia and others leaped at Hajime. Yue who separated her lips saying “I’m back” got dragged into it, and Hajime became piled with beautiful women and beautiful girls.

And then, hearing the words “welcome back” filled with a flood of emotions from their mouths, Hajime also spoke “I’m back” like Yue.

Diamond dust rained down from the sky, making the world to sparkle. Around him were the important people with teary eyes and joyful smiling like blooming flower. From afar, he could feel many existences that dashed toward here while calling his name.

The warm enveloping him, the welling up senses of accomplishment, and then the content feeling, caused Hajime to smile. It was a mysterious smile where fearlessness and gentleness were entwined tightly…

While that smile of ‘Nagumo Hajime’ caused a tightening to happen inside the girls’ chest, Hajime entrusted his body to a pleasant fatigue and slowly closed his eyes.

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