Arifureta Chapter 161

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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/162/

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

Bakapervert translated this chapter. Elementalcobalt did the edits.

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At Nostalgic Orcus (End)

“Hajime-san! I’m home desuu!”

The gate that connected the space to the hideout of Oscar Orcus opened, from there Shia jumped in *pyon* like a rabbit.

She went to meet with the master of Raisen Great Labyrinth that they had once conquered, Miledi Raisen, as the messenger of Hajime, but now she had accomplished her mission safely and came back.

Shia saw the artificial arm that had been properly returned to the left sleeve of Hajime who welcomed her, her expression then became even happier.

“Welcome back, Shia. I got your report. Looks like you were able to meet with Miledi again smoothly, huh?”

“Yes desu. Unfortunately, it seems that Miledi-san cannot easily leave that territory. She will be saving strength until the day of the decisive battle and I couldn’t directly bring her back but… in exchange I received several things that seemed useful from her.”

“I see. You did well. Thanks for your hard work. So, you could enter using the proof of conquer?”

Toward Shia who was clapping on the luggage bag that she was carrying on her back with a smile that seemed to say “I have good things here!”, Hajime returned a smile while asking.

Once they received treatment like filth that was ejected by toilet, Hajime recalled the time when they were made to take the shortcut to outside the labyrinth. He tilted his head in contemplation thinking ‘don’t tell me she is going through that water channel in reverse?’. If Shia actually did that, then it was like she was going out from the inside of a toilet while saying “Good afternoon!”. So thinking about her maiden heart, he would have to reward her with his all.

It seemed that Shia too guessed what Hajime was imagining from his question. She smiled wryly while shaking her head saying that she was fine.

“The spring at the outskirts of Brook didn’t react just as half-expected. And so, I attempted to breakthrough from the regular entrance, but at that time the proof of conquer reacted… the usual transfer method at the first room sent me to the deepest room. It did it politely, while roughly rotating the room. Well, it didn’t affect the current me, so there was no problem but… as always she was an irritating person. Yes, truly.”

“I, I see… no, really thanks for your hard work. Anyway, get inside. Inside, the time is also stretched out so I’ll listen to the detail in the workshop.”

“Ah, yes desu.”

Shia recollected with her gaze turning into the direction of the beyond while a somewhat black thing covered her, to that Hajime somehow could imagine what kind of exchange she had with Miledi, Hajime whose wry smile deepened invited Shia into the workshop.

At that time, the moment Shia entered the building from outside where the gate was installed into the building, *gashon! gashon!* mechanical footsteps were resounding nearby. At the same time, a happy voice of a child reverberated.

“Ah, Shia-oneechan! Welcome home nano!”

“Myuu-chan! I’m home… desu?”

While Shia’s cheeks were loosening from Myuu’s welcoming words, she also tilted her head wondering “What’s this voice I wonder?” and her face peeked out from behind Hajime. And then, the figure of Myuu being surrounded by golems in the shapes that she had never seen and Myuu herself sitting on one of the golems shoulder entered her eye so that Shia’s words reflexively halted.

The number of golems were six. Their figures had multiple legs and multiple arms holding countless armaments with metallic shine from their bodies, every one of the golem had grim intensity. If for example, Shia encountered them inside labyrinth or somewhere else, then she would surely say things like “Enemy discovered certain death attack desuu!” or “Victory goes to the one who makes the first moves desuu!” and attacked them.

Actually, until Shia came back several days had passed inside the workshop, during that time Hajime saw various points where he could improve ‘Belfegor’ and ‘Asmodeusu’ that he presented to Remia and Myuu, so Hajime applied sequential improvement on them. As a result, he accomplished the conclusion where in the end the golems could even endure combat, so Hajime undertook the production of the living golem itself in order to invest them into the battle force as weapons.

About that time he was also producing the large size weapons so they were becoming short of hands with just ‘Belfegor’ and ‘Asmodeusu’, and so while producing the combat golems Hajime also increased the number of Myuu’s pets while he was at it.

But, it wasn’t like there wasn’t any problem at all…

“Err, Myuu-chan, those things that look like golem are…”

“Myuu got them from papa nano! This child is ‘Bel-chan’, this one is ‘Sa-chan’. After that there are ‘Lu-chan’ and ‘Ma-chan’ and ‘Levi-chan’ and ‘Bal-chan’ nano!”

“Ha, haa, is that so. Uh huh, anyway, they are Hajime-san’s work so it’s ok desu. Isn’t it great, Myuu-chan.”

“Yes nano!”

By the way, the golems’ formal names in order were ‘Satan’, ‘Lusifer’, ‘Mamon’, ‘Leviatan’, and ‘Baalsebuf’ it seemed. All of those names were given by Myuu promptly without any pondering. It went without saying how Hajime’s cheeks were cramping from that. Later there would be a need to seriously investigate whether Myuu had attracted the eyes of strange things.

At the same time with Myuu’s introduction of their names, the living golems each took cool poses. Hajime didn’t give them that function, also Myuu didn’t seem to give them the instruction but… just why in the world they took that pose…

Their figures felt just like they were saying “Deadly☆Sins☆Battle☆Squad☆Demon Rangeeeer!!!” The red ranger was surely the ‘Satan’ of fury as expected.

Anyway, there was no malfunction that came out, and they were also really obedient toward Myuu that made anyone watching imagine the golems waving their dog tail left and right happily so Hajime chose to ignore it. Without stopping any longer, he led Shia into the workshop.

Entering the workshop, the hour crystal was activated and the flow of time there was a tenth of normal. Looking at the slightly dull colored space and weapons that were automatically produced due to the ‘Automatic Transmutation’, Shia leaked out a voice of admiration.

Hajime made such a Shia sit on the chair at the corner of the room and listened to her report. Shia fixed her sitting posture and took out several things that seemed to be artifacts from her luggage bag.

“Hajime-san, these are things that Miledi-san handed to me.”

“… From what I see they look like artifacts.”

“Yes. It seems that they aren’t perfect, but they are countermeasures against Divine Statement. If Hajime-san revise it, perhaps it can also be completed.”

“Hee… this thing is appreciated.”

Hajime took the gray ball with the size around a marble and stared at it.

According to his magic eye stone and mineral appraisal, it seemed that the ball was filled with soul magic. Inside the ball it seemed it was enchanted with a magic of ‘heart guidance’ that possessed the effect to convey one’s will directly to the state of the soul, or possibly to the soul itself.

“I had a prediction on the trick of Divine Statement, and it seemed I was right on the spot.”

“And, that means?”

“That magic is a magic that is connected with soul magic. It reverberates the words directly in your soul and binds your consciousness at a subconscious level. It’s something like an absurdly powerful suggestion, I guess. The magic needs the caster to murmur their name because of the common sense that a command needs a person to hand it down.”

“I see. After all, there is no person that will obey a command with an unknown creator, is there? The statement becomes even more powerful when they say their complete nam. Also, because the listener’s recognition of the speaker become even stronger, is it something like that?”

“You think so too, right? This marble ball… does it have a name?”

“Aa, no, I didn’t ask. Isn’t it fine to name it whatever?”

“Is that so. Then, I’ll name it temporarily as ‘Soul Wall’, this thing seems to have the power to block the Divine Statement from reaching the soul. It applies ‘heart guidance’ to disturb the conveyed will and turn the statement into just noise. It isn’t perfect. I guess because Ehito’s Divine Statement is so powerful that it cannot be turned into noise.”

Shia nodded “I see” toward Hajime’s explanation.

“Then… if it’s Hajime-san then you will be able to improve it so it can block perfectly?”

“Let’s see… I think it’s possible if I combine my magic power with sublimation magic. Though in the end, if it gets stolen like before and crushed then that’s game over.”

“Aa, now that you mentioned it… then, what to do? At this rate, it won’t be usable except for a surprise attack, will it…”

“No, actually right now I have a bit of an idea. I don’t have the attitude so there is hardship, but it looks like with a little bit more it will take shape. If I applied that then this won’t get stolen. Moreover, I can surely create a ‘Soul Wall’ with high effect. In any case, it’s a big help that I don’t need to think about the countermeasure for Divine Statement from zero. This is your achievement, Shia.”

Hajime joyful smile made Shia also flap her rabbit ears happily. The achievement actually belonged to Miledi who handed over the ‘Soul Wall’, but it was somewhat annoying to feel grateful to that person so Hajime praised Shia instead. Shia also had the same feeling somewhat so she honestly felt happy to be useful.

“Also, this too desu.”

“Short sword huh? … Even so I feel very much power from it. Just what in the world… hee”

What was taken out from the luggage next was a short sword wrapped in cloth with its blade length reaching about twenty centimeter. It was a simple two bladed sword without a handle guard, it resembled the type of short sword that was called a dirk.

Hajime who received it took off the cloth, that moment he gazed in wonderment at the power that he felt, next he investigated it the same like with the ‘Soul Wall’. His voice unintentionally leaked out at the ability that was enchanted in the sword. Looking at that state of Hajime, Shia also nodded in sympathy.

“According to Miledi-san, it’s called ‘Short Sword of Divine Crossing’. The concept filled into it is――’God killing’, it seems.”

“So, this is one of the three concept magic that Haltina said the liberators created, huh. So that Miledi had this. Chih, she should have given this thing right away.”

“… When I said that, ‘Didn’t you say that killing god or anything is troublesome, ehhh? There is no way I can give this to that kind of person, right? Is your head okay? Heey? Is your head okay? Heey heey’ she said that to me…”

“I see…”

“Yes. But it’s fine desu. Because in retaliation, I smashed the place where Hajime-san’s explosive destroyed that she grumbled saying it was hard work repairing it. I blew it into pieces. She was half-crying while saying sorry to me you know, ku-ku-ku”

“I, I see…”

Shia was black. It was the descent of black Shia. When Hajime was plainly sweating coldly, Shia stopped making crooked face and smiled widely while continuing her story. It was a splendid change.

“By the way, it seemed that there was also an artifact named ‘World Crossing Arrow’ to open the path to the Holy Precincts, but it was completely lost at the previous lost battle of the liberators. Besides, they were cornered by the masses before confronting Ehito, so it’s unclear how much effect the ‘god killing’ will have. It’s just, that short sword won’t injure Yue-san’s soul, so it can be used well desu.”

“That’s a nice one. For the moment, there is also the trump card that I prepared, but there is nothing better than having a lot of cards. And if this won’t affect Yue then I got no complain at all.”

“Isn’t that right. I was told, that the ‘god killing’ concept, it seemed the liberators lost their temper because they couldn’t really create the trump card, so all of them drunk a lot in desperation. In the end when they were all stone drunk they opened a tournament to swear at Ehito with foul language and that concept got created. Things like official stance or reasoning or mission, those kind of idle thoughts weren’t included at all in the concept, only the feeling of ‘die Ehito you shitty bastard’ makes up the concept, so it won’t affect anything else other than Ehito desu.”

“I, I see… yeah, well, I understand their feelings. Miledi is an endlessly annoying woman, but when we take back Yue guess we need to at least say thanks huh.”

While feeling sympathy and exasperation at the good relation? of the liberators, Hajime made a smile at how they had obtained two kind of useful artifacts.

When he listened further to Shia’s report, it seemed that Miledi would mobilize the golems inside the labyrinth. So Shia installed a gate hole there. It appeared those golems were also constructed from metamorphosis magic, so it wasn’t like Miledi was moving them all by herself, the golems were living things that moved independently obeying commands to a certain degree.

Thinking about it now, indeed it was hard to imagine that Miledi alone controlled fifty golem knights at the same time.

However, regarding the Holy Precincts or whether there were any more retainer gods other than Aruvheit, the weak point of the apostle or effective methods to fight them, etc., it seemed that Miledi didn’t know about those more than what Hajime and the rest knew. Rather, thinking about how they had already directly faced Ehito and tasted his strength right with their body, in a sense Hajime and the rest were the ones who knew more about that.

Although, even without obtaining any new information but after receiving these things, Hajime had no complaints at all. Though, if he actually met Miledi directly face to face, surely he would want to smash her face.

When Shia finished her report in general, Hajime took out from his ‘Treasure Warehouse II’ another ‘Treasure Warehouse II’ exclusive for Shia and the improved Doryukken――the ‘Vire Doryukken’m and other various equipments he prepared which he handed to her.

“Hauuuu, this is it desuu, as expected, it’s no good without this hard-cold texture desuu”

The moment she received her partner the war hammer from Hajime, Shia rubbed her cheek on the mechanical part with bright smile. She was whispering scary things like “Splattering the enemy with this is unbearable desuu”.

While somewhat drawing away, Hajime explained about the new functionality of all the new artifacts, but then suddenly the door of the workshop opened. The one who entered was, Kaori… and then, Suzu and Ryuutaro.

Actually, a little bit before Shia got in touch, the two of them finished contacting Fair Bergen and Haulia and allocated the gate key in those places and then they went to Orcus. And then, while Kaori was gathering material she also became their guard on the side. The two subdued the monsters in the abyss and endeavored to pile up battle experience and mastering the metamorphosis magic.

“Ah, Shia! Welcome back. Fufu, looking at you, it seems there are various results from you, right?”

“Kaori-san. I’m back desu! Also the two of you came earlier, wasn’t it? How is Tou-sama――the people of Haulia clan and Fair Bergen?”

“Yep, Shiashia. There is no problem. The people of Fair Bergen don’t have faith from the beginning. When they understood that it concerned the fate of the world, they acted quickly.”

“Yep. Though they looked uneasy about the fighting, when we said that Nagumo’s artifacts would be shared in full, they got motivated, yeah. As for Haulia-clan… aa, hm, well, ain’t no problem, yeah?”

“… Why, it sounds like question?”

Shia directed a suspicious gaze at Ryuutaro. Ryuutaro showed a faltering state “Uu” at that gaze and his gaze wandered, then looking like he didn’t really want to remember it he opened his mouth.

“No, there is really no problem at all. Just… that… they suddenly began to cry loudly it made me spooked…”

“Come again? Crying loudly? Tou-sama, was crying?”

“Yep, Shiashia. Karm-san was also included, the whole Haulia-clan were crying you know. After that it was a storm where they all talked simultaneously. They kept screaming things like “Boss banzai!” or “Finally, we can fight at his side!” or “Kill! Kill! Kill!”. The mist in the forest got blown away a little bit just from their voices. It was plain scary.”

“…”

“I think Sergeant Ha-tman style of training is just bad news yeah. Somehow, all of them had bloodshot eyes. Their killing intent was just amazing. An animal that looked like monkey in the trees dropped down plop… when I looked at its eyes, they were all white and it was dead already. Guess its heart stopped just from the killing intent.”

“… Somehow I’m sorry.”

Suzu and Ryuutaro explained while their faces were pale and they began to shiver. It must be a really abnormally terrifying scene. To put it bluntly, it was inevitable for the two to see the Haulia clan’s respect and affection to Hajime as something the same like the fanatic’s faith to Ehito. Inside their heart, they secretly thought “As expected, Nagumo-kun is demon king… no, maybe he is a demon god?”

On top of being able to participate at Hajime’s battlefield, that request to join came from their respected boss. For them who wished to fight together with Hajime, the words “Lend me your strength” from that boss was unmistakably something really joyous. The scene where all of them went ‘hya-ha’ floated in Shia’s eyes, her rabbit ears folded down with a plop and she also murmured words of apology.

Hajime who was smiling wryly at that exchange between Shia and the others moved the talk to Suzu and Ryuutaro in his wish to somehow avert from that topic.

“And then? What about your training result? Were you able to subdue good monster?”

“Uu-“

“Nope, not at all!”

Suzu who averted her gaze with awkward expressions and Ryuutaro who denied with lively laugh. For the time being, Hajime pulled the trigger of the new Donner and a rubber bullet shot Ryuutaro’s temple. “NUOoOOO!” Ryuutaro yelled while writhing on the floor, to him Hajime’s cold gaze was stabbing.

There Kaori put a stop to it in panic.

“Wa, wait, wait! It doesn’t mean that there is no result!”

“Hoo. Then? What is this result you speak?”

Suzu whose expression was trembling from fear due to Hajime’s lack of hesitation was twitching while answering.

“Ye, yep. As far as it goes, there was also Kaori’s help and I managed to subdue quite many but…”

“What, so you actually manage to do it properly. Then what’s the problem?”

“Err. First of all, I got a monster that can spit powerful acid, a large――centipede.”

“Aah, that one. At the upper stratum, there is also monster that is similar with that, but this one at the lower stratum can separate its segment to leap, it’s ability to scatter acid while separating its segment is unusual huh. I remember that one made me get a little cold feet you know.”

“After that, a monster that can fire exploding needles rapidly like bullet, a large――bee.”

“That one huh. Rather than calling it needle, it’s more a small missile isn’t it. I remember when I intercepted the needle I got swallowed in explosion, that was shocking.”

“A monster that swim underground like a mole――ant.”

“Well, it has surprise attacks going for it.”

“Having six arms that fires off wind sickles――praying mantis.”

“… Anything else?”

“… Things like spider or butterfly.”

“… Why are all of them only bugs?”

Toward that splendid lineup Hajime sent a gaze at Suzu as though he was looking at something bizarre. Right away Suzu burst out in tears.

“I don’t know-. Just why the monster that my metamorphosis magic can affect is only the bug type! Even though at the sea of trees I can properly tame the fluffy ones-. Orcus is just strange!”

It seemed that it wasn’t actually Suzu’s own intention. It appeared that she subjugated the bugs as a last resort. The figure of Suzu who was crying in anguish crumbled on the floor invited quite a pity.

Indeed, her monsters were a shuddering sight just from imagining the lineup. However, this place was the abyss, furthermore they were monsters of the lower stratum, compared to the monster in the surface they were far stronger. Putting aside the apostles, they would surely become a reliable enough battle force against the puppet soldiers of Eri and the monsters that Freed had put time to evolve.

“Well, come on, the other side might also show openings from the revulsion, right?”

“Are you telling me to fight while making the enemy disgusted? Suzu’s opponent is Eri you know? Even though Suzu wants to talk with her, yet from the beginning I already make her disgusted? Hics, surely Suzu will be thought as bug girl or something… uwah, disgusting, Eri will surely say that…”

“Bu, but but, Suzu-chan! See, you have that child don’t you! That one is fluffy, you know!”

“Wai-, Kaorin! Suzu told you that’s a secret!”

“Aa? Secret?”

Perhaps because the figure of Suzu feeling down while drawing circle on the floor was too pitiful, Kaori at her side was desperately cheering her up. However, the cheered up Suzu for some reason tried to stop her from talking in a fluster while giving glances at Hajime. Kaori too also returned to her senses and pressed her mouth.

The two who were obviously hiding something made Hajime narrow his eyes. His suspicious eyes were conveying “Don’t make a fuss trembling like that, quickly spit it out, ora.”

Suzu was making “uu” voice with her gaze wandering while Kaori was making troubled expression wondering what to do.

But, at that time, Myuu who rode ‘Belfegor’ entered inside the workshop. It appeared that she had something to communicate and she looked straight at Hajime, then she naturally stepped on Ryuutaro whose temple was shot and crouched at the golem’s feet. “Gue!?” Felt like such a voice resounded, but no one paid attention.

“Papa! There is rabbit-san nano!”

“Hm? Indeed if it’s rabbit then there is one here though.”

While tilting his head at Myuu who hopped up and down with both her hands above her head like rabbit ears, Hajime moved his gaze to Shia. Shia too flapped her own rabbit ears up and down.

“That’s not it nano. It’s a rabbit-san that’s not Shia-oneechan nano. It’s really strong and cool nano! Even when Lu-chan and Sa-chan and Ma-chan fight it together it doesn’t lose nano.”

“What? It’s attacking here?”

“That’s not it nano. See, when the hand of rabbit-san went ‘kui-, kui-‘, seeing that Lu-chan and others said You bastard, in front of princess you dare to challenge us. Very well, we will teach you this thing called one’s standing! and then they began a bout? nano!” (TN: The ‘kui’ is an inviting hand gesture in challenge, like saying ‘come at me if you dare’. Also the question mark in front of the word bout is not a mistake. The raw put it there, it means it’s doubtful whether the bout is really a bout.)

“… Lusifer and others, they can talk? Furthermore they moved by themselves?”

“? Lu-chan and others always talk, they moved by themselves nano. That’s ob-vious nano. Papa, what’s wrong?”

“… By the way, right now, what is Belfegor that Myuu is riding right now is saying?”

“Nmyu? … Just wait -su. It’s seriously just impossible for me to suddenly begin to fight you know –su. Love & Peace is the best Please teach that to them, master is what he said nano.”

“… … … …I see.”

Hajime activated his well trained ignoring skill in full power and endured the barrage of questions that he wanted to ask. There was a lot that he wanted to tsukkomi, but for Hajime this was already over his capacity.

And so, for the time being, he only comprehended the part where it seemed the demon rangers called Myuu fondly as princess. This was something extremely weird, but for some reason he didn’t feel that it was something dangerous for even a bit, Myuu who was sensitive to ill will since she was kidnapped was emotionally attached to them, so he judged to not worry.

Although now he couldn’t grasp the situation, so he asked Myuu to stop the fighting of Lusifer and the others and brought the rabbit here. “Yes nano!” Myuu replied energetically and she exited the workshop together with Belfegor.

“So? The monster that you should have subdued was giving provocation and fought, what is the meaning of this? Furthermore, you don’t look like you are doubting that the monster is running wild huh? … What are you hiding? Spit it out.”

In order to solve his other doubt, Hajime’s gaze moved at Kaori and Suzu who were obviously acting suspiciously.

Thereupon, perhaps they finally resigned themselves, the two opened their mouth.

“Yo, you see, Hajime-kun. That child, he, he is not a bad child, or rather he is special. That child is admiring Hajime-kun, I mean…”

“Ha? Admiring me?”

“Yes! That’s how it is! In a sense, Nagumo-kun is also the cause, that’s why the moment you see him, at least don’t shot him dead okay! Absolutely don’t! After all, he is the only fluffy one that agreed to accept Suzu’s metamorphosis magic! Really please Suzu beg you!”

“Just what in the world…”

Hajime could only be perplexed at the incomprehensible words of the two.

Right after that, with good timing that ‘rabbit-san’ or something was led by Myuu and her golems and entered the workshop.

Its figure was certainly a rabbit. Long rabbit ears and reddish black――no, nearly crimson eyes. In its white fur there were several faint streaks of red running. The streaks didn’t pulse like other monster, instead they were like a pattern that shined attractively on the white fur. And then, what made the rabbit most peculiar was its hind legs that were developed to impossible degree for normal rabbit.

Even though it was somewhat different, for Hajime its appearance was something too familiar.

“Kyu!”

In addition its cry that sounded cute further stimulated Hajime’s memory.

Yes, what appeared in front of Hajime was the monster that once pulverized his left arm and made a sport of him until he was cornered, it was that ‘Kick Rabbit’. Of course, it was only the same species and this one was a different specimen.

What was difficult for Kaori and Suzu to say was because they thought Hajime was going to blast the rabbit with no question asked. As expected, in this period where they couldn’t pointlessly waste time, they couldn’t commit a folly where a monster that had been subdued with great pain got instantly shot to death because of uncontrolled emotion.

“No, it’s nothing big, I’m not going to pull the trigger just from seeing this after this long. Rather, this one is a monster that appears at the first level you know? Don’t tell me, even though you understand it’s weak but because you want a rabbit you went until the upper level… wait, guess you didn’t do that. There was just no time that you could do that.”

Hajime noticed something strange from what he said and closed his mouth. Come to think of it, the two said baffling things like it was admiring him, that it was special, that he was the cause, that it agreed to accept metamorphosis magic, he recalled all those and his gaze asked for explanation.

However, before the two could explain, the kick rabbit acted first. After it entered the workshop, it immediately stared fixedly at Hajime while strangely trembling in spot, then with *gabacho!* it leaped at Hajime.

To that, Hajime thrust out his hand and easily grabbed the rabbit ears, stopping the kick rabbit in the air while it was crying pleadingly “Kyu! Mokyu! Ukyu”. It seemed that it wasn’t jumping to attack him.

‘What’s with this guy’, to Hajime who was sending her suspicious eyes, Suzu stepped out to volunteer to translate. It was possible for monster that was subdued by metamorphosis magic to have mutual understanding with its master to a certain degree. Suzu and the others had also attempted the mutual understanding with this kick rabbit, that was how they got the explanation about various things.

“Err, he said, Ou-sama, Ou-sama, I’m extremely happy that I am able to meet you. In this occasion, I heard that I can become stronger and agreed to be made into the servant of your colleague. My best regards. Ah, also if possible, I want to be named by Ou-sama though… is it no good?… what’s with those eyes! It’s true you know! He is really saying all that!” (TN: Ou-sama=King. Also the rabbit is speaking in Kansai dialect.)

“… Even if, he is talking with that kind of meaning, there is no need to use Kansai dialect, right?”

“Because, Suzu is hearing it in Kansai dialect so it cannot be helped, isn’t it!”

Suzu’s face turned bright red from being gazed coldly by Hajime and she made excuse.

Looking at Suzu’s desperate state, Hajime glanced at the kick rabbit that was still dangling in his hand, and indeed, the rabbit was directing a gaze that actually felt like saying something like that at Hajime. The round and cute eyes were getting moist entreating at him.

Anyway, Hajime further mustered his greatly flourishing ignoring skill and asked about the story at Suzu.

According to Suzu, it went like this.

At first, Suzu wished for a monster as strong as possible and with Kaori’s cooperation they chased after the monsters on the ninetieth floor above, but as expected perhaps because the monsters were powerful, even with Hajime’s special new artifact that raised Suzu’s ability her metamorphosis wasn’t really able to subdue them.

Having no other way, Suzu lowered the standard to around eightieth floor and searched the monster with the compass, but as expected it seemed the beast type monster felt that they were above Suzu’s patronage with her fresh metamorphosis magic, after that even while thinking ‘I don’t wanna’ but just in case she tried her magic at the bug type monster she encountered, as the result she was able to subjugate them with easiness that caused her wanted to tsukkomi ‘what the hell’ at all the trouble she met before this.

Even after that, Suzu who was able to subdue monsters limited only to bug type had her tension kept lowering drastically, for the moment she healed her heart gradually by catching a lot of butterfly monsters with beautiful appearance that could manipulate scale powder with various effects, while she was at it she was also subduing giant misshapen bugs in succession without trouble, and then she was about to start going back.

It was at that time. Suzu discovered a ‘rabbit’ that moved strangely quite human, it came from the stair of upper level full of vigilance, moving from shadow to shadow agilely and silently.

That rabbit also noticed Suzu and the rest, and its movement stopped still. It was a monster that they had never seen even once until now on the eightieth or ninetieth floors. Furthermore, fundamentally a monster wouldn’t get out from the floor where they were born, so the act of the rabbit that normally descended the floor until here was obviously abnormal. And so, Kaori came forward with Suzu and Ryuutaro also in maximum alert.

However, as for the rabbit itself… it expressed with its whole body a joy that anyone looking would obviously understand. The severe killing intent and pressure that was characteristic for monsters of abyss were nonexistence. *pyon pyon* The rabbit hopped up and down as though dancing with its rabbit ears moving *myon myon*. The rabbit was like a lost child that finally discovered a human settlement after continuously wandering inside a deep forest for many days.

Kaori and others felt perplexed and hesitated whether they should launch preemptive attacks or not, to them who were like that the rabbit approached near slowly. It was as though the rabbit was taking consideration so that the other party wouldn’t get agitated.

While glancing repeatedly at Suzu and co, each time the rabbit advanced a bit it would stop and confirm “Is it okay?” “Is it fine, to approach a bit more?”. Looking at such a rabbit, Suzu was knocked out.

To her heart that was stormy from the possibility of her being called as bug queen, the fluffy white rabbit――whose behavior was really cute and instead of hostility it looked friendly――was too powerful. Suzu ignored the warning of Kaori who was still wary and leaped out in front of the rabbit.

“Suzu had decided right from my first impression! Please become Suzu’s rabbit!”

Suzu bowed her head and her hand was presented forward, that proposal looked like a confession. By the way, the first impression of Suzu toward the rabbit was that it was a really suspicious rabbit.

That proposal of Suzu made the rabbit got taken aback. And then it tilted its head in bewilderment. This monster looked more and more human.

On the other hand, Suzu who was at her wits’ end went ‘No way I will let go of this once in a lifetime chance!’ like a fan(stalker) that chased after an idol passionately until her residence, her eyes turned bloodshot and her breathing roughened, she began a sales pitch.

Full guarantee of all necessities of life. Three meals a day. No, four meals with afternoon nap included, five days work a week with two days off. Paid vacation provided! In addition, free time also could be negotiated! Furthermore! If the offer was taken right now, oh my, a special magic stone of Suzu would come along free of charge! With this you could say good bye to yourself of yesterday! Now, in this chance, wouldn’t you take this status up surrounded by happy comrades in a lovely workplace!?

Kaori and Ryuutaro thought. Surely, no one would take that kind of offer right…

However, unexpectedly the bewildered rabbit, when it heard Suzu’s last words――when ‘status up’ was mentioned, its eyes shined with fierce glared. As though saying “That one, more detaol!” the rabbit pinched forward eagerly and cried “Kyuu! Kyuu!”

Naturally Suzu’s lips smirked broadly thinking “He snapped the bait!”, even forgetting completely that the other party was a monster, she explained about the mechanism of metamorphosis magic cheerfully.

As the result, the rabbit who understood that he could evolve quietly presented its rabbit ears, accepting to become pretty much Suzu’s subordinate monster.

Like this the rabbit became a comrade with that contract of employment?, and with Suzu’s metamorphosis magic they attempted mind understanding. Or more precisely, from the start this rabbit was obviously possessing ego with intelligence that was impossible for a monster, with this rabbit as the partner it was possible to have mind understanding even using the ‘heart guidance’ of soul magic.

Accordingly, Kaori and Suzu heard about the circumstance of the rabbit with really different fur color, it seemed that this rabbit was formerly a same race with the ‘Kick Rabbit’ that Hajime once killed, and it was also from the same floor, but it descended down the floors in training trip and of all thing it became powerful to the degree that it was able to reach floor eighty with its own strength.

But, that was a behavioral principle and thinking ability that was impossible for a monster. The cause for that was Hajime. More accurately the ‘God Water’ that Hajime spilled behind.

It seemed that this kick rabbit actually witnessed when Hajime defeated the claw bear. For monster of labyrinth, the floor they were at was the whole of their world, and the master of that floor was the king. To defeat that king meant the birth of new king. They instinctually couldn’t help but being careful of that king. At that time, the rabbit which was no different with normal monster was holding the greatest wariness and terror toward Hajime.

For a while, the rabbit was hiding from a distant spot while observing the tendency of the new king, before long, it discovered Hajime’s nest――the cave where the god crystal was located. When the rabbit was able to confirm that it was a place he must not approach by his instinctual understanding, the aforementioned Hajime easily went away from the floor.

The rabbit knowing that the master of the nest had gone entered what he thought as a really pleasant and safe nest. And what he discovered inside, piling up on a dent of rock, was a small quantity of water that made vitality to well up staggeringly――the god water.

The rabbit drunk it all up in a trance until it was all gone, and then he felt a power he never felt until that time overflowing in his body. Magic power was naturally surging up, his mind became clear, and he became able to sense the surrounding presence several times more sensitively.

It appeared in the case when a monster drank god water, that kind of effect would happen. There was no way anyone would make a monster to drink a miracle water, so this was something that had never been known.

After that the rabbit went out to search whether there was any more god water, and while kicking around the monsters he encountered――he got too carried away and encountered the claw bear. Any kind of monster would appear again in the labyrinth after some time, but the rabbit who didn’t even know of such thing was completely letting his guard down.

After that it was a death match. There was no place to escape based on the place. If the rabbit showed his back then he would be killed. Normally a monster would instinctually felt the difference in status and shrunk back in fear or showed its back and escape, giving an opening from that slip to be instantly killed, but the effect of god water made the rabbit to more or less have thinking capability, he challenged the claw bear half in desperation.

As the result――he survived. Ahead of the verge of death that he surmounted, he awoke to the derivative of his characteristic magic and splendidly pulverized the head of the claw bear with his tough leg. It was a fierce battle that it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that the rabbit would die ten times over without the continuing recovery effect of the god water.

The rabbit looked at the previous king that he defeated and trembled. And then, he understood. That a living thing could grow stronger by training.

From there the journey of the rabbit to become strong began. His objective was to go to the new king who gave him the impetus. After catching up, he would show the king how strong he had became and he would say his thanks. And then, he wanted to try looking at a wider world… there he would fight many strong people and reach greater height!

Like that the rabbit who grasped the adverse fate like a certain protagonist somewhere, at that time he didn’t have any convenient tool like ‘Treasure Warehouse’ or anything, when he found by some chance god water that collected even slightly at the dent of the ground from what Hajime spilled, other than a portion that he could save as much as possible he would drink the rest without any other way, and then while attempting to recover and strengthen his own body, the rabbit polished his technique and finally he acquired the strength to descend to floor eighty with his own strength and a thinking ability equal to that of an adult.

“… What’s with that development that sounded like something in light novel.”

“Kyuu!”

The first thing said by Hajime who finished listened to all the particulars was that. With an absurdly complicated look he moved his gaze at the rabbit who unnoticed was now sitting on his lap while directing round and cute eyes at him.

“Ahaha, isn’t that amazing. While going back we tried making him fight, but just with a little metamorphosis magic he got strengthened to a level where he could fight monster at floor ninety one on one without losing you know. This is only a guess but, his movement resembled Shizuku-chan, so perhaps he can also use ‘Ground Shrinker’ and ‘No Beat’ I wonder? Also, just from kicking there was shockwave flying out.”

“… I see.”

Somehow, Hajime felt that just in these few hours he had said those words so many times already.

“Err, and because of that, if Nagumo-kun doesn’t mind, this child wanted Nagumo-kun to give him name… because he said that he wanted name from Nagumo-kun, not Suzu.”

“Haa. Well, if you are able to make a powerful monster as comrade then let’s just consider this great. It feels like there are a lot of tiring developments right now even more than the fight with Ehito and others though… even so a name huh…”

Hajime dropped his gaze at the kick rabbit on his lap. The kick rabbit was looking up at Hajime fixedly. The two stared at each other. And then, Hajime whispered quietly.

“… Mi—y” (TN: A character rabbit named Miffy)

“Rejected.”

Kaori rejected it instantly. Her eyes were telling Hajime to apologize at the world famous mascot character.

Hajime pulled himself back together and moved his gaze at the kick rabbit once more. The kick rabbit was also looking at Hajime. And then, Hajime whispered quietly.

“… Peter Rabbi――”

“No good.”

“… Udo—ge.” (TN: Udonge is a character from Touhou game.)

“I don’t know that but I feel like it’s no good. Rather, be serious!”

Kaori’s scolding flew. Hajime was thinking really seriously so he clicked his tongue at how awful Kaori was, his expression changed feeling how bothersome this was and then he spoke with careless feeling.

“Aah, geez, then you can just use Inaba. Its appearance is rabbit after all.” (TN: Seems the name Inaba is often used for rabbit in Japan.)

“Ee, isn’t that too simple? Something, a little bit cuter is…”

“Suzu too, Suzu’s other monsters are all like that, so a cute name for rabbit-san is…”

It seemed the name was unpopular with Suzu and Kaori. But, right after Hajime said Inaba, the kick rabbit cried “Kyuu!” while jumping up and down *pyon pyon*, perhaps it was feeling something from the name. It seemed that it was pleased.

And like that the reddish black――or rather the nearly crimson eyes that was even more red then the kick rabbits Hajime killed before, the same color like the lines running on his body were gazing at Hajime glitteringly.

“Looks like he is pleased with that name, see?”

“Ee, … well, if the one concerned is pleased then it can’t be helped though…”

“Uu, Inaba-chan… after saying it once more, it’s unexpectedly cute?”

Both of the girls were reluctant but it seemed for the moment they were consenting.

And, at that time Shia who was watching quietly all the time until now judged that for the present the talk was finished and she approached Inaba. As fellow rabbit ears, Shia’s interest was forming toward Inaba. While smiling friendlily she was going to pat Inaba.

“Inaba-chan, I’m glad you got the name. As a fellow rabbit ears, let’s get along――”

“Kyu-“

The hand that reached out to pat was casually slapped down. Shia stiffened instantly in place. Inaba sent a glance at the rabbit ears of such Shia and then, “fuh” he snorted.

With blood vein pulsing on her forehead, Shia’s gaze turned at Suzu, asking what did this mean. A smile was still pasted on that face.

“Hih, Shi, Shiashia, calm down!”

“I am calm. And? What is this impertinent child is saying?”

“E, err, that…”

“Suzu-san?”

“Hii! Yo, you see, Rabbit ears like you are serving at Ou-sama’s sideee, I’m dying from laughter hereee? Polish your rabbit ears before coming back againnn! he said… uhii! No, Suzu wasn’t the one saying that!”

It appeared that Inaba felt something toward Shia who was a possessor of the same rabbit ears like him. He entangled his rabbit ears on Hajime arm with his eyes narrowing provocatively. To that Shia whose prided rabbit ears were made fun of also didn’t stay quiet.

“… To insult my rabbit ears that Hajime-san loved, that’s really a big talk, isn’t it. What nerve desu. Which one is worthy to become Hajime-san’s rabbit, I’ll engrave it into your body desuu!”

“Kyuu!!”

Shia’s reinforced fist grazed the nose tip of Hajime. A burnt smell stab the nasal cavity strongly.

On the other hand, Inaba who was attacked beautifully jumped and evaded, invoking his characteristic magic ‘Air Force’ he rolled and launched a powerful axe kick at Shia. To that, Shia blocked by raising her hand.

And then Shia’s beautiful legs were opened in front of Hajime’s eyes, it was swung to shoot down Inaba in midair. Above Hajime’s head Inaba’s kick and Shia’s kick clashed, producing fierce shockwave. Hajime’s hair was disarrayed.

Without rest. Shia and Inaba moved to inside the workshop while unfolding a fierce exchange.

“Hajime-san’s rabbit is enough with one desuu!”

“Kyukyuu!”

After that it went without saying that the two were shot by Hajime whose eyes were half-closed with messed up hair and burnt nose tip. It also went without saying that the surrealism of the shot down smoking two rabbits who were getting along at the corner of the workshop made the cheeks of Kaori and others twitching.

After that, the subdued monsters of Suzu――especially the amount of the butterfly type monsters and their ability were added with further improvement due to Hajime thinking that they had good affinity with Suzu, he also handed over the exclusive artifact for Suzu the ‘Twin Iron Fan’ and the artifact for transporting the monsters the ‘Magic Orb’ (Po—ball).

By the way, Ryuutaro who were neglected all that time was also given his artifact properly, he also grasped the way to use metamorphosis magic in his own special way also with Hajme’s help, so for the moment there was no problem.

Although the fact that Ryuutaro’s way of using the metamorphosis magic by using Tio as reference and how that way was the most compatible for him made Hajime and others got exasperated all together thinking, as expected from a muscle brain.

“At last, it’s tomorrow…”

“Yeah. Though it’s unknown what’s the exact time tomorrow.”

The time was just on the brink of late at night period. It was only one more hour until the day that Ehito informed as the day of the great invasion. Depending on the situation, it was also possible that it would start at the same time with the changing of day, so currently Hajime along with Shia were doing the last check regarding the departing preparation.

“Hajime-san.”

“Hm?”

“ ‘Even if for example something happened to me, Hajime and Shia will surely do something somehow. There is nothing at all that I need to be worried about’… she said that.”

“… Yue huh.”

“Yes desu. And I answered, ‘Obviously desu’.”

Inside the stretched out time inside the workshop, Shia was doing the final check to the new ability that she obtained half-forcibly using the new disposable type artifact of Hajime while talking with calm voice.

“Three days… that is the time in order for us to take back Yue-san but… at the same time, it is also the time until Yue-san’s resistance come to an end.”

“… Yeah.”

Yes, the time for Ehito to completely grasp Yue’s body was also the time limit until Yue was cornered to a state where she was unable to resist. No one said it, but at that time what kind of state Yue would be like… at the very least it was certain that it would be a state where no one could be optimistic about.

“Even so, I believe. That Yue-san is safe. That we will surely take her back. That even if she is unable to resist, Yue-san is believing and waiting for us.”

“Obviously. It’s Yue we are talking about. No way she is going to lose to that seriously ill chuunibyou that is painful to look at. Much less after she got beaten into shape by Shia just recently.”

“Fufu, isn’t that right. … But, it doesn’t change that the enemy is powerful. He is incomparable with everything until now. A resolve to cross the line of death is necessary for that.”

“… What do you want to say?”

Shia twirled toward Hajime and looked straight at him. Blazing flame of rage that her best friend was stolen and killing intent toward enemy, and then the resolve to take her back without fail was residing in those eyes so clearly.

Shia who displayed a spirit to the degree that made Hajime gulped unintentionally, resounded her words of determination.

“I, will be reckless. I will push through rashly. I’m resolving to die without surrender if Yue-san cannot be rescued. I will take even one more enemies to the grave together with me. I want it so my life and death are together with Yue-san.”

“… I see. And?”

“Please don’t stop me. And then, Hajime-san too please be together with me in this.”

Those words were telling him to die together with her depending on the situation. It was an ego that hated to survive only by themselves when only Yue died. And now she was telling Hajime to go along with her egoism, what unbelievable words. If Shia was a heroine in a tale, then those words would be a great disqualification for her.

But, Hajime who was told those words that sounded outrageous was common sense thinking,

“What are you saying after this late? That’s obvious, isn’t it. Whether we live together, or die together. Those two things are one and the same. After all, Shia, I don’t have any intention to let you get away. Don’t get cold feet just before the main event, okay?”

Toward Hajime who was showing a fearless smile while saying something even more egoist, however, Shia leaked out a chuckle “kufufu” as though agreeing to that answer.

“Yes desu. I want to form this feeling into words for once. After all, if at the last moment, I get told idiotic things like “Shia! At the very least you have to survive!” Then, I’ll lose strength.”

“Well, after all according to those guys in class, I am more a demon king than the demon king himself yeah. A demon king won’t let go of anything by his own initiative. I won’t spit out that kind of shitty cold line okay. Well, there is not going to be any death without surrender or anything. I will get into my hand everything that I want, I’ll crush all those that are in the way.”

“Ahaha, as expected from Hajime-san desuu. Your line is completely like a demon king――full speed ahead as the villain desuu!”

Shia who laughed humorously for a while shouldering the Vire Doryukken exultantly, showing that she was fully prepared. And then she spoke with a gaze that filled with determination.

“Let’s take back Yue-san quickly… and then do the earnestly desired threesome okay!”

“… You spoiled various things, this horny rabbit.”

Shia exited the workshop while whispering ‘looking forward to it desuu’. Hajime who gave a tsukkomi and exasperated gaze to that back figure, a beat later, saying ‘what a hopeless fellow’ he floated a smile where affection and trust could be felt.

And then, accomplishing the quota of the mass-produced weapons, Hajime and the others who were fully prepared finally departed from the depth of Orcus Great Labyrinth in order to link up with the surface group.

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Hawtness – Volume 1 – Chapter 3

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One Wolf Moon, No T-shirt

Later that night, I stood in the middle of a clearing in pitch blackness. An owl hooted and I rubbed my hands together. How did I get myself into these situations? I suppose, in the end, I just didn’t want to be the one left out. It started out so simple and everything just kept spiraling out of control.

“Psst…” I looked around, not quite sure where the voice came from, “I’m over here.”

I looked up in a tree, Andrew stood on one of the branches, seemingly without effort. He wore a tight white shirt that seemed to almost glow with light in the darkness. It outlined his pectorals and abs quite nicely if I do say so myself. Why did he keep having to wear tight shirts that showed off his abs? Well, at least it was better than being naked. Or was it? I considered the thought briefly before discarding it. Those were thoughts for my alone time.

“Will you be okay? You don’t have to do this if you don’t want,” Andrew offered.

“Will you stop fraternizing with the bait?” Rune snapped. His voice came from a bush on ground level.

“Hey, you’re supposed to be keeping watch, making sure that whatever this is doesn’t come up on us without warning!” Andrew replied back.

“If you would both please be quiet, then this plan has a chance of coming to fruition. I apologize, but it won’t work if you two don’t play your parts,” a whisper came from a farther distance away.

Andrew blushed with embarrassment, then leaped onto another branch and climbed away. How was he able to keep his balance like that? He was like a spider monkey. I was expecting him to throw poo next.

“Jane… if you don’t want to do this, we don’t…” Rune’s voice stopped for a second, “What I’m saying is we just want you to be safe, and I don’t like using you as bait.”

“It’s fine Rune,” I responded, “But thanks.”

However, when he turned to walk away, my emotions were turbulent. Why exactly had I agreed to do this tonight? I was beginning to think my own curiosity was going to get me killed. At least for tonight, I had three boys here to protect me. One of them couldn’t die, and the others had their own secrets. Still, what brought me to this point? Oh yes…

***

“What were you two doing in the closet together?” Andrew tried to keep a cool face as the pair of us pushed through the door and separated.

The pair of them had just seen us in the closet together and I was at a complete loss of what to say.Rune looked a tad angry today, I supposed he had reasons to feel that way after I had tasered him.

“We need to get to class, we’ll be late,” I tried to explain.

“I think we all need to have a sit down right about now,” Rune chided.

Stephan sighed, “Alright, we all have lunch together, let’s meet at the art room at lunch. It’s empty at that time.”

The three of them gave a nod to each other before breaking away. Well, I guess I wasn’t going to be consulted on this big private meeting. I don’t know why it bugged me so much. We should probably talk things out and the art room would be a good place to meet. Still, it felt almost like I was in a big tug-of-war. Maybe I should bring the taser to the art room. They could all use a little lesson in how to treat a lady.

Lunch came quickly, and I managed to duck out before a shocked Samantha could grab be and subject me to another series of obnoxious questions. I went up to the art room, and surprisingly all three boys were already there. Andrew and Rune shot angry looks at each other which was nothing new. However, Andrew seemed to throw a few angry looks at Stephan as well. Rune seemed cautious but indifferent towards Stephan while Stephan remained politely neutral to the pair of them.

“What did I miss?” I asked, joining the three of them.

“Your friend was just telling us about his little condition,” Andrew said, his voice sounding cold, even for him.

“I don’t really care one way or the other, he explained himself, we can move on. I’d rather have you tell me why I woke up smothered in cross markings and shaving cream, I still have a pounding headache and a twitch,” Rune demanded.

“He’s an abomination,” Andrew responded vehemently, ignoring Rune.

“Who isn’t an abomination to your kind?” Rune snapped back.

I pricked my ears at that, but the pair must have noticed and descended into dark stares instead. Well, it was too much to hope for that I’d hear more.

“Well I don’t know about being an abomination,” Stephan spoke in to try to fill the stressful silence, “but I try to use my second life for good. Stopping people that mean harm and the like.”

Andrew threw up his hands, shaking his head in irritation.

“Well, I do want to apologize to you Rune,” I spoke up, “I accidently knocked you unconscious and we sort of fell down some stairs. I left you with Andrew. I don’t know what you mean by cross marks and shaving cream?”

Rune suddenly turned darkly to Andrew, who started to smirk despite himself.

“Hey, don’t look at me,” Andrew chuckled, “She’s the one who tasered you.”

Rune looked back at me, “You…tasered me?”

“I’m sorry! You grabbed me, and I was scared.”

“I was just seeing if you were alright!” Rune defended.

“That might have been my fault,” Stephan raised his hand calmly, “I might have freaked her out a bit. She found me in pretty bad shape last night.”

“Well isn’t that just perfect,” Rune leans back, “You scared her within an inch of her life and she rewards you with seven minutes in heaven and she hits me with a taser.”

“Rune, that’s not what happened,” I defended vehemently.

What’re seven minutes in heaven? Stephan seemed to blush a bit and Andrew was a little more irritated. Maybe it wasn’t something good. I’d have to ask Samantha later. I checked my twitter feed. Samantha’s latest post was ‘Jane’s getting it on with Stephan in the second-floor closet, reward if you get pictures’. Well, now I knew how Rune and Andrew found me. Samantha, that snake, it looks like I needed to add another to the taser list.

“Please guys, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for the creature that got me. I may or may not be an abomination, but this creature thought nothing of ripping me in half and I’ve been tracking it for months. It’s the most active during full moons, which is tonight. It’s been kidnapping people, killing animals, scaring townsfolk. If there is something you want to focus your aggression on, that would be it.”

Andrew seemed to think about it for a moment, “If this is as dangerous as you claim, then I’ll be willing to help you stop it.”

“Well there is no way I’m letting you have all the fun, I’ll catch this thing before either of you can blink,” Rune spoke up, sounding surprisingly chipper compared to moments before.

“I appreciate your willingness to help,” Stephan nodded, “but the person’s help who I really need is Jane’s.”

“Why Jane?” Rune asked at the same time Andrew said, “Absolutely not.”

Stephan looked at each of them, and then me, before speaking, “The creature seems to be attracted to women more than men. I don’t know why, but in order to have any chance of catching it before someone else goes missing, I’m going to need some bait.”

***

I shuddered as a particularly cold breeze struck me. Before I knew it, I was here in the middle of the forest, waiting for some creature to attack me so they could trap it. It really was ridiculous when you thought about it. A sudden large howl came out from the darkness not too far away.

“It’s near!” whispered Stephan.

The three men converged in the direction of the howl, leaving me with nothing but my thoughts. I didn’t even know what to think. I didn’t know if I was excited, frightened, or what. Perhaps I was an adrenaline junky. Maybe that’s what coming out here in the middle of the night to my favorite park was, just my way of getting my next buzz. Maybe there was something seriously wrong with me. Like 50 shades of gray wrong with me.

A growling sound came from the direction the three boys had run. I turned in that direction, but I could make nothing out in the darkness.

“Stephan? Andrew? Rune?” I called out.

There was no response. The growling grew louder and closer. Oh no, whatever it was had gotten passed them. I backed up several steps; I kept backing up until I backed right into a tree. When the growling ceased, I let out a sigh of relief. Well, at least there was nothing in front of me to be concerned about. I took in a deep breath. The forest smelled great, like maple leaves. The tree was also quite comfortable. It was warm and cozy, hard yet soft at the same time; it’s rhythmic breathing giving me something I could fall asleep to.

Wait… trees don’t… The hands grabbed me and I tried to let out a scream, but it was too late. A hand was around my mouth and I was pulled out of the small clearing. My face was covered with a massive hand, making it difficult to see anything, but it was clear that I was being carried somewhere. The massive monster that was carrying me seemed to run with a steady rhythm, his deep breaths forming a mist in the air. I just couldn’t get a good look at his face.

I wasn’t sure how long the creature ran. It was at least ten minutes of a continuous sprint. Whatever it was, it had endurance. During that time, my mind sat numbly. It occurred to me that I should struggle and try to call out for help. For whatever reason, I couldn’t do it. It was as if I was paralyzed by the arms around me. Then, as quickly as I had been picked up, I was put down. The creature put me down gently on the ground, and a quick look found we were in a small cave. It had several lit torches and was far warmer than the air outside.

I turned to the monster that captured me and gasped. A strong, mature, tanned, muscular looking man stood there. He wore no shirt, or pants, or anything at all for that matter. His rippling biceps glistened in the torchlight, his body slick with the sweat of the night run. He grabbed a pair of pants and shirt and hastily threw them on himself.

“I’m sorry for that,” he responded, “I didn’t mean for you to see me that way, it’s just easier to get around in my wolf form.”

“You’re what?”

“I am a werewolf,” the man said looking confused, “Did the whole running around naked during the full moon thing not tip you off?”

“Apparently not,” I frowned.

I didn’t know if I should be more or less worried that I could more easily accept undead zombie boys versus werewolf boys. The man moved more into the light and I finally could get a better look at his face. I knew who this boy was. It was Fairmont High’s resident bad-boy, Daniel himself. I never knew the boy, just his reputation. He was rumored to have had run-in’s with the law, tattoos, piercings, the whole bit. I did think I saw a tattoo across his chest and another on his butt, now that I think about it. I blushed at the thought.

“Don’t worry,” he suddenly tried to reassure me, “I protected you from those other guys. The ones that smell wrong. I will keep you safe, away from them.”

“Look, I don’t know what you think you smell, but they’re my friends, I’m going back to them.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I’ll tell you more about it in a bit, but first I need to make sure to cover my trail and lay a few false ones before they find this place. They think they’re hunters but there is no better tracker than me.” Daniel stood straight and proud.

“You can’t watch me and do that, I’ll just leave.”

“Oh don’t worry; I have a cage to keep you in.”

“Of course you do. A common thing? Keeping a lot of girls in cages in your lair?”

To my surprise, Daniel blushed, “You’d be the first.”

He leaned over and picked me up again gently, moving far back into the cave. The room filled with cages was surprisingly well lit. The cages were surprisingly roomy but were still cages however you looked at it. He shoved me in one and then locked the door before I could even react. Then, he turned around and began walking back where he had come from.

“Hey!” I shouted, “You can’t just keep me here!”

“Oh don’t worry about him,” a voice came from next to me, “He’s just a mister cranky pants.”

I turned to my side and gasped. There was a cage alongside mine, and it held very possibly the most beautiful boy I had ever seen. He had a perfect nose, perfect cheekbones, and an absolutely perfect physique. I had never seen someone more alluring, more attractive, and more desirable in my entire life. I wanted him. I wanted him more than anyone ever before. So much for me being the only one. Maybe he thinks guys don’t count.

“Also,” Daniel came back a few steps, “Ignore it in the other cage. I caught it a while ago because it seemed useful. It seems like its purpose has come to an end.”

The beautiful man frowned at Daniel before sticking out his tongue. Daniel growled back before turning and heading for the cave entrance. Well, this was just perfect. Now I was going to become a werewolf’s bitch. As Samantha put it, my betas about to get alpha’d. What would that make the new guy, a sigma?

“What was that about?” I asked the strangely hot man.

“Oh, he’s probably planning to eat me, or murder me, or murder me and then eat me. I really don’t know. My name is Alex, by the way,” the man smiled at me, and then shrugged.

“You sound surprisingly okay with this,” I responded after a few moments of awkward silence.

The man looked me up and down as if deciding my worth before speaking, “No, you sweet girl. Despite the sound of my voice, I am actually terrified beyond belief. My only consolation is that my last sight might fall upon your beautiful visage.”

I shook my head. Everything this person said sounded wrong. I could understand the words, but the way he said them made me weak at the knees. They were full of seduction and desire and want, not terror. Maybe the werewolf wasn’t interested in dominating women. I might make it out of this only being savagely murdered and eaten. Always looking at the bright side, I am.

“What are you?” the words slipped out before I could help myself.

“Oh, beautiful butterfly, I suppose there is no point in hiding my identity, given the fact that we will almost certainly die. I suppose the word your kind use for me is a succubae.”

“I don’t know…”

“We’re creatures of love, we simply love too much. For example, I’d love nothing more than to strip off all of your clothing, and smother your ample body with fluttery kisses.”

For a second, just a little bit of a second, I wanted to let him. I shook my head and looked away; it was honestly a little easier if I wasn’t looking at him.

“I’m sorry about that, I truly am; I can’t stop talking like that. I truly do want to stop, but tell me, do you like apples?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Apples, do you like apples?” Alex insisted.

“Yeah, I guess…”

“Well, I know the quaint little apple orchard a little bit from here. When we get out of here, I will take you to it. We will watch the sunrise together, feeding each other slices of apples dipped in caramel. I will rub your back and make all your pains go away. Then my hands will run up your thighs and…”

“Alex!”

Alex coughed, “I’m sorry again…”

“Alex, is there any way out of here?”

Alex shook his head mournfully. Even that looked seductive to me. I closed my eyes tightly, trying to keep my mind focused. Alex began humming a sweet tune, it was not helping.

“Are you in there?” a voice came from outside the cave.

“Yes!” I shouted, “It’s me!”

Boots immediately began thudding and Andrew came into the light, I called out to him. “Oh thank God, I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you!”

Andrew breathed a sigh of relief as he approached my cage. “I am so glad to see you too. I was so frightened when you disappeared. We’re all searching for you. We shouldn’t have left you like that; I am so sorry.”

Andrew broke apart the lock with ease and then raced in, embracing me. It was the first time he had ever hugged me, and it felt good. His wafting scent of vanilla had a calming effect on my nerves. He was here with me now, I was safe.

“Who’s this sexy Adonis you’re with?” a seductively feminine voice suddenly came from behind us.

I turned to Alex’s cage and stared dumbfounded. Alex was gone, but there was a girl in his cage instead. She had a skinny yet curvy body, long blonde hair with just a splash of curls, and the most piercingly beautiful green eyes I had ever seen on a girl. She was the mere image of angelic perfection. She was looking right at Andrew, and for a second I felt a spike of jealousy.

Her effect seemed to hit Andrew as well. He adopted a stupid grin and quickly let go of me as if I was suddenly less interesting.

“Oh, I’m sorry miss, I didn’t realize the creature had others here, let me get you out of there.”

He ran over and broke open her lock. She stepped out of the cage gracefully. As she passed him, she let her hand glide across his cheek. I suddenly noticed something. She was wearing the same exact clothing that Alex had been.

“Alex?” I breathed out.

The woman walked up to me, a seductive smile on her face, “Oh, I forgot to mention, sweet girl, I’m bisexual.”

I don’t think it means what she thinks it means, but I suppose that it’s not technically wrong.

“I’ll check and make sure the coast is clear, you ladies follow behind me,” Andrew whispered, moving ahead.

Alex smiled at me and winked, holding out her hand. I brushed passed her without taking her offer. The taken aback look on her face was just a bit satisfying.She still followed close by, just a bit closer than comfortable. Maybe she or he, or whatever you call it was genuinely scared right now. It was just about to be killed by that werewolf. Now I was starting to feel bad. I grabbed her hand but avoided making eye contact or acknowledging the gesture.

We reached the mouth of the cave just as something started to rustle in the bushes outside. Andrew quickly moved into a defensive stance. Rune and Stephan emerged from the bushes and I let out a relieved breath. Alex didn’t know these men, so I gave her a squeeze of my hand to reassure her.

“I found them,” Andrew announced smugly, his eyes turning back and meeting with Alex, who giggled coyly in a sickeningly flirtatious way.

Stephan’s mouth opened when his eyes landed on Alex, but he shook his head and then turned to me, “Are you okay? I am really sorry.”

“Yeah, we’re all sorry,” Rune barked, shaking his head.

He saw Alex too. There was an immediate look of recognition, but it was carpeted with annoyance. For whatever reason, he quickly dismissed her.

“Come on ladies,” Andrew purred, holding a hand out specifically for Alex, “Let’s get you out of here and to safety. “

Stephan graciously offered me a hand as well; meanwhile, Rune had noticed the way Andrew was looking at Alex. He seemed more amused by the scene than interested in Alex. Andrew continued to fuss with Alex’s well-being, and as he did, Rune became closer and closer to the point of laughing.

“What is it Rune, is something funny?” Andrew turned angrily, seeming to put Alex behind him as he had previously done for me.

“As much as this amuses me, and as much as I hate to help you, I just can’t stand by and watch you swoon all love sick anymore. The creature behind you is a succubus, I’m shocked you didn’t resist its charms.”

Andrew blinked, slowly turning his head back toward Alex. The look of complete and absolute horror on his face was intensely satisfying. I grinned as Andrew backed away several steps, looking like he was staring into the mouth of Hell itself. Rune glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. Did he do that for me? No, that’s not the kind of person Rune is, is it?

Stephan seemed more curious than anything, just looking her up and down like you might examine a new art piece or the like. Alex seemed to pout more than anything as if it was all a game and she just got caught cheating. Then her eyes met Rune’s and the excitement seemed to go back into them.

“I recognize you! You’re Rune, my lord of destruction! It’s been so long, I missed…” She spoke excitedly as Rune suddenly put his hands up to quiet her.

Without warning, her entire body began to shimmer and I stared in amazement. Her body twisted and changed, turning into something else.She stood up with a new form and I choked. It was me. Well, an approximation of me. The girl before me looked a little older, like an older sister. Her body was voluptuous with larger breasts, smoother lines, and a tighter body.

Rune seemed to shake with something between anger and shock. Stephan and Andrew just appeared dumbfounded.

“What just happened?” I finally managed to work out the words.

“I’m sorry,” the new Alex shook her head as if embarrassed, her voice only slightly lighter and more feminine than mine, “I can’t help it. You see, my body takes the form of whatever a person desires most. For example, when I looked like a guy when you were brought in the cage, it was because I was looking like the guy you’d have the most taste for.”

“But then you changed into a girl,” I asked.

“Right, well I typically change for whatever person I like the most at the time. He was coming in to save us, so then I turned into what he desired most.”

“That’s what you like Andrew?” I turned to him, “Some blonde bimbo?”

Andrew’s eyes widened, his face stuck somewhere between embarrassment and consternation. Stephan laughed, finding this immensely hilarious.

“And what about now?”

“Well, I found someone I like more is all…” Alex suddenly blushed, lowering her head in a way almost like I might have.

“Who do you like more? Who desires this?” I asked incredulously.

“Does that matter right now?” Rune suddenly broke in, “We’re sitting right in front of a cave that is being frequented by some kind of creature.”

“A werewolf,” I chimed in.

“Alright, a werewolf, and he is probably going to-“

A large bestial creature suddenly leaped down into the middle of the group. I screamed and leaped to the side, echoed by Alex who seemed to do it in much the same way.

“You will not take my mate away from me!” The werewolf shouted, swiping at the group.

Andrew dodged away, but Stephan took the bulk of it, the slash causing him to fly to the side. One of his arms went the other direction. He ended up landing near us. I screamed as he got back up.

“I’m fine, remember, I fix up real easy,” Stephan assured me.

I did remember that, kind of. Well, at least he was alright.

“Look, Alex, can we trust you?” Stephan turned to Alex who nodded enthusiastically. “Get her out of the park, get her to safety, we’ll keep this guy distracted.”

Alex nodded, grabbing my hand and standing up. I let her drag me away from the cave. The werewolf bellowed in anger as it realized we were leaving, but as it bound after us, it suddenly found itself enveloped in purple flame. I kept running, the sounds of fighting and roars left behind me.

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Arifureta Chapter 160

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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/161/

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. He also did the edits.

___________________________________________

At Nostalgic Orcus (Beginning)

Inside the darkness, there was a silhouette standing quietly.

The place was a large space made from stone that felt smooth like marble with several thick pillars inside. It had a solemn atmosphere like a shrine somewhere. For a light source, there was only the faint glimmer from the green light stone that shone through the door of the room before this place.

That light cut through the dark and stretched into the room like a single path, illuminating the back of the standing silhouette.

Suddenly, a new shadow piled up on that back. The slender silhouette came from a female, a voice that was clear and beautiful even while it sounded hesitant it called to the back.

“…Hajime-kun.”

The standing silhouette――Hajime turned around just a little toward that voice which called his name.

“Kaori. The harvesting is over already?”

“Yes. It’s quick thanks to the compass, see. The monsters too…as expected, it’s cheating with the spec of the apostle, isn’t it?”

Kaori showed a wry smile, perhaps from recalling the time of hardship when she was exploring the surface level of the Orcus Great Labyrinth with her classmates. And then, in consideration so that she wouldn’t break the atmosphere, she entered into the hall quietly.

“…This place is, where you met with Yue, isn’t it?”

Kaori whispered that while standing beside Hajime. The place Hajime’s gaze was fixed at was――a half melted broken lump of mineral.

Hajime quietly nodded. His eyes were clear like a spring deep inside a forest filled to the brim with tranquility. It was the exact opposite of the empty eyes saturated with negative emotions of fury and hatred before. His gaze now was saturated with affection and pain.

“When I saw her for the first time, I thought it was a horror scene. Inside pitch black darkness, crimson eyes were peeking out from behind a weeping willow made of gold threads…something like that. Even when Yue called with a voice asking for help, I tried to close the door, you know? This fellow is absolutely a no-good person. That was what I thought.”

“Fufu. Certainly, it’s unthinkable that in the depth of the abyss like this place there would be something like a normal girl.”

“Right? Especially at that time. My mental state held no interest for anything other than survival. Now, when I recall that time, I’m thinking, really, why did I help her, huh?”

Kaori let out a chuckle at the way Hajime talked. Hajime too squinted nostalgically while making a fond smile.

“And now that girl is someone special that can make me go mad. Really, this thoroughly teaches me that we won’t know how life will it turned out in the future.”

“No truer words than that.”

Their words cut off, both of them closed their eyes for a bit. Hajime thought about his beloved lover. Kaori thought about her love rival (close friend). And then, almost at the same time, their eyes opened quietly. A flame of resolve was dwelling there.

“We will surely take her back, won’t we?”

“Yeah. We will take her back for sure.”

Hajime and Kaori looked at each other’s face and both of them made fearless smiles.

But right after that, as though there was something he forgot to say, Hajime’s face went ‘hah’ and he opened his mouth.

“Ah, but Kaori, you will remain behind with the surface group at the fight, okay?”

“Eh? Why…aa, by any chance, is it about this body stopped functioning?”

“Yeah. For the time being, I prepared an artifact for countermeasure, but as expected in front of Ehito, I don’t know how much effect it will have. After all, originally that body is that guy’s creation.”

Kaori’s expression turned bitter.

Indeed, the apostle body was something created by Ehito’s side. At the devil king castle, Ehito stopped Kaori’s body from functioning. It was doubtful whether they could completely defend against that. On the other hand, if Kaori returned to her original body, it would be a great decrease in her battle strength.

And so, the role of dealing with the apostles that would come invading the surface was best for Kaori.

However, even Kaori wanted to go to save Yue. Even though she understood that logically she should stay behind, emotionally she was unable to really accept it. “Muu” Kaori pouted her lips, to that Hajime shrugged while giving her words to persuade her.

“Don’t make that face. Even if we take back Yue, if the others ended up dead, putting me aside, it will be hard to endure for Kaori and others, right? Also about Myuu and Remia, the plan is for them to remain here in the surface hiding at the deepest part of Orcus. It had been proved once that they are effective as a hostage, so it is necessary for someone to protect them here just in case.”

“…Haa, it can’t be helped, isn’t it? It’s vexing, but I don’t want to become a burden. Besides, there are also a lot of people I don’t want to die so…yep, I understand. I will protect the place where Hajime-kun and the others will go home too. I also won’t let anyone lay their hand on Myuu-chan and Remia-san. Also, Ai-chan-sensei and Lily too, right!?  Right-!?”

“Why are you emphasizing those two…”

Hajime smiled wryly at Kaori who was staring fixedly with puffed up cheeks. To such a Hajime, Kaori turned her face aside with a huff and let out a sulking voice.

“’Aiko, Lily, please’ Even though you said something like that. Hajime-kun is a womanizer.”

“No, that’s because I read the mood…”

“The other classmates too, several of them were sending you feverish gazes, you know? Saying something like Don Juan or Casanova, I think that even if Hajime-kun is called that, you really cannot deny it, I’ll tattle at Yue when she returns. Even though, I too am still stopping at an ‘important’ stage, but other girls one after another…uu, Yue whose position is immovable is enviable.”

“…”

Kaori was acting with timidity that seemed forced. Hajime scratched his cheek seeing that. That wasn’t because he was exasperated with Kaori’s attitude, it was because a feeling that denied a part of her words was naturally welling up in him.

Hajime crouched down in front of the mineral that sealed Yue before, the mineral which had the property where it was difficult for magic power to flow in it. He lifted his hand while addressing Kaori.

“The punch at that time. That was quite effective you know. That attack really opened my eyes.”

“He? …Ah, that’s, err, it hurt, wasn’t it? I did that quite with my full power…”

Kaori’s eyes turned round for a moment from the sudden change of topic, but when she noticed that Hajime was talking about her punch when he was running wild in the audience hall, her expression turned awkward and she averted her gaze.

Hajime used his refined magic power which shined vividly incomparable with the time when he undid the seal of Yue with difficulty. This time the sealing stone was permeated by his magic power unexpectedly easily.

This mineral left behind in this place was because of its abnormally bad rate of magic power permeation. On top of that, it even repelled back magic power. It caused him to be uneasy whether it could be put inside the ‘Treasure Warehouse’. At that time, the treasure warehouse was a super important item without replacement and he didn’t know the way to manufacture it, so Hajime had apprehension that the ‘Treasure Warehouse’ might break because it used magic power when taking in and out items. That was why Hajime wanted to avoid actually storing this mineral into the treasure warehouse. There was also how Yue seemed to detest this mineral stone even though she didn’t say it out loud.

While transforming that sealing stone into blocks, Hajime continued his words towards Kaori who kept sending him glances.

“Yeah, that punch, it literally reverberated until my core. Even what you said that I’m the worst and uncool, those words stabbed deeply.”

“Aa, uuu. E, err…that…”

Kaori raised a strange moan and looked all shook up.

“If it was another person doing that, then it wouldn’t affect me like that at all though.”

“Eh?”

“Those who can do the same thing like Kaori and make it reverberate until deep inside me, well, I guess there are only Shia and Tio left.”

“You mean…”

“…Perhaps I cannot say anymore that you are just ‘merely important’ for me I guess.”

“…Hajime-kun.”

The sealing stone that was carved apart into blocks was stored into the new ‘Treasure Warehouse’ that Hajime recreated after coming to Orcus. While doing that, Hajime was murmuring as though talking to himself, causing Kaori’s eyes to open wide.

Hajime suddenly stood up and his gaze met with Kaori. Those eyes lacked sharpness, instead they were clad in a gentle atmosphere. Kaori’s heart leaped from looking at herself who was reflected there.

“Thank you, Kaori. For continuing to think about me. …I wanted to say just that before killing that guy.”

“…Stop it. Something like that, it sounded like last will for some reason, that’s ominous.”

“Haha, I guess. My bad, that’s not like me.”

Kaori shook her head left and right toward Hajime who was smiling wryly.

“No, me too, thank you. I’m happy. …Fufu, I have to say this to Yue when she comes back. Hajime-kun is going dere. Anyway, I finally got Shia’s position, I’ll say that to her.”

“Kuku, if you do that you will get bullied again, you know? After all, for some reason Yue likes to be playful with Kaori.”

“Uu, that’s, she absolutely enjoyed my reaction to that, didn’t she? It feels irritating when I remember it. While Hajime-kun and the others ride into the other side, I must think of a payback present.”

“Now I can imagine the outcome where you get paid back twice for that.”

“Geez-, Hajime-kun is also enjoying it!”

Hajime chuckled while shrugging at Kaori who bared her teeth in irritation. And then, both of them closed their mouths at the same time. They sympathized with each other over their feelings that wanted to meet Yue very much.

Hajime once again smiled with Kaori and lifted his hand at the last sealing stone. And then, he turned the stone into block shape one after another stored them inside the ‘Treasure Warehouse’.

And at that time, they noticed that on the floor where the sealing stone was left there was some kind of pattern carved there.

“…This is.”

“What’s the matter Hajime-kun? …Pattern? Isn’t this Vandour Shune’s crest…”

Kaori peeked from behind Hajime who was crouching and traced the pattern carved on the floor below the sealing stone with his finger, she then tilted her head at the familiar pattern and murmured.

Hajime nodded wordlessly and then took out from the ‘Treasure Warehouse’ the tear shaped pendant that was the proof of having conquered the Ice and Snow Cavern.

Right after that

*kiiiiiiiii*

Such shrill voice sounded out, in resonance the pendant and the pattern on the floor shook.

The pendant that was put on Hajime’s palm moved bit by bit as though it was dragged toward the pattern on the floor. It was hard to see because it was dark, but looking carefully at the center of the pattern on the floor, there was a small hole open where it seemed the pendant could be fit there.

Hajime and Kaori looked at each other and nodded at the same time. Hajime inserted the pendant into that cavity.

Immediately after, light ran through the pattern on the floor, then a sound of metals scraping against each other rose and the surrounding pattern rose up. It was a round stone pillar with a diameter around thirty centimeters. When the pillar rose until the height about Hajime’s eye, it stopped still. And then, before Hajime’s eyes, its side opened up.

“…So there is this kind of mechanism. A mechanism that can be opened only by someone who has conquered Ice and Snow Cavern huh.”

“That, what is it? It was under the block that sealed Yue, I have the feeling that it’s related to Yue somehow but…”

At the center of the stone pillar there was a mineral stone as big as a pinball with high transparency, in a glance it looked like a diamond. Hajime put it on his palm and stared it fixedly, from his side Kaori murmured her conjecture.

And then, it was soon proved that her conjecture was correct.

“…Looks like this is the same type of image recording artifact that was used by Oscar and others.”

“That’s…someone who left behind that kind of thing in this kind of place, I can only think of one person.”

“Anyway, let’s try activating it.”

Hajime poured magic power into the white crystal.

Right after that, the dark sealing room was filled with golden light mixed with white. And then, in front of Hajime and Kaori who narrowed their eyes, the talk of the person who left behind the image recording began.

That talk, was filled with very deep love and affection, and then also tremendous resolve and repentance. And then, in it was an earnest wish, so warm and gentle that it would shake the soul of the person hearing it no matter what.

The white golden light settled, the recording of about ten minutes vanished with a whiff, then a lingering emotion that was hard to express, yet by no mean it was something unpleasant, filled Hajime and Kaori. Kaori was shedding beautiful tears that trickled smoothly which she forgot to even wipe.

“…We have to show it to Yue.”

“Yeah. This is something that Yue has to see no matter what…Kaori, I’ll entrust this to you. We don’t know what’s going to happen on the other side, after all.”

“…Yes. I got it.”

The mineral with the radiance of a diamond that Hajime’s hand handed over was accepted by Kaori as though she was handling a treasure.

“Nevertheless, it’s lucky that I understood the detail regarding the special trait of the sealing stone. Indeed, with just ‘Mineral Appraisal’ there is no way I will be able to grasp its true character. Well, though if I was told that I should notice it while facing that scorpion imitation, that much is…”

“In a sense, it’s cyborg? Something like that, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. Thanks to that, an urge to create various things is welling up in me. Myuu and Remia are also waiting right now. Let’s quickly return and mass produces the artifacts.”

“Mass producing artifact…what amazing words.”

Shrugging at Kaori whose face was somewhat convulsing, Hajime once more ran his gaze through the place that was his beginning with Yue. And then, after closing his eyes for a beat, he turned on his heel with resolve on his back once more.

After that, Kaori quietly followed after him.

Without looking back, the two of them exited the room, then the sealing room was shut in darkness. However, inside there wasn’t just cold darkness that swallowed everything, it felt like there was kindness drifting there too.

“Ah, papa! Kaori-oneechan. Welcome back nano!”

“We are home, Myuu.”

“Myuu-chan, we are home.”

Hajime and Kaori who returned to Oscar’s residence were welcomed by Myuu’s energetic voice and fully bloomed smile. The entrance of the lime colored building made from digging into the rock wall was crossed through by the beloved daughter with rapid footsteps *sutetetete―* to which Hajime lightly embraced her with his artificial arm that he created in an emergency.

Myuu instantly circled her hands on Hajime’s neck happily and hugged tightly.

There, from the dining room a clapping sound of footwear approached, and then wearing a pure white and frilly apron with the frills fluttering and ladle on hand, the perfectly equipped Remia appeared to welcome them.

“Dear, Kaori-san, welcome home. Will you have dinner? Or will you take a bath? Or else…will you have mother and daughter?”

“Wai-, Remia-san! That kind of cliché is unnecessary-! Or rather, just now didn’t you say mother and daughter!? Just what are you planning to make your daughter do-!”

“My my, sheesh Kaori-san, what about doing a happy family get together? That’s what I meant you know? Ufufu, I wonder what are you imagining?”

“-!? Re, Remia-san!”

“Dear, or else will you have Kaori-san?”

“Fue!? M, me? Wait that’s not it! Please don’t make fun of me!”

Kaori went ‘mukii!’ with her hair standing on end like a cat while Remia was only watching her with a gaze as though she was looking at something cute while going “My my, ufufu”. Before it was Yue, now it was Remia. It appeared that Kaori had the quality where she would be teased by older females.

Hajime patted Kaori’s shoulder to soothe her while directing his gaze at Remia.

“Stop it with that much. Watching it is fun, but right now there is not really much time. I’ll enter the workshop soon. My bad but I’ll take my meal over there.”

“Understood. Then I’ll bring it over there. Ah, also, there were contacts from her highness and Shizuku-san. It seems they will be able to manage it somehow. The speech of Aiko-san…the ‘Goddess of Harvest’ was quite effective. The number of people are increasing rapidly, so they said that they want the artifact’s production to hurry.”

“I see. Roger. Sorry to make you do something you are not used to.”

“Such a thing…if I can be useful for you even just for a bit, then there is nothing happier for me. Whether it’s for returning your kindness, and also as a wife supporting her husband…”

“No, you aren’t a wife, okay?”

“My my.”

“No, don’t go ‘my my’ here.”

“Ufufu.”

“No, hm, well, doesn’t matter.”

Hajime folded against Remia who enveloped everything with a matchless warm smile. Hajime caressed the head of Myuu who was reluctant to part while entrusting her to Remia, then he walked out toward the workshop.

Currently, the place where Hajime and others were at――the depth of the Orcus Great Labyrinth, in the hideout of Oscar Orcus, there were only Hajime and Kaori, and then Myuu and Remia there.

After the conversation at the audience hall in the devil king castle, first of all Hajime and others went to retrieve the valuables that Hajime transferred underground before they went to the devil king castle, then they used the gate key that they safely retrieved and everyone scattered to all over the world.

Of course, they had to directly go toward the place that didn’t have a gate hole installed, so transportation artifacts would be needed. Even Tio, if she was going to the village of dragon race, when it was time to come back from there she could just use a gate, but just going there would certainly take a few days so there was a necessity for an artifact that could fly at high speed.

And so, using the proof of conquest, Hajime entered Oscar’s hideout from the shortcut in Raisen Grand Canyon, and with the material left in the workshop he prioritized creating mini version flight artifact ‘Mic Fernir’.

In a manner of speaking this artifact was a skyboard. With a shape like a surfing board, it reduced things like air resistance with space magic and flew in the sky using gravity magic. The control was of course using sympathy stone. With the air resistance equal to nothing, the burden to the user’s body was extremely small, so it could easily give out a speed of five hundred kilometers per hour.

It was an improvised item so there was a flaw that the magic power consumption was large but, even leaving out Tio, all the classmates possessed magic power amount in the level that largely deviated from the standard so if it was just for the departing trip then they would be able to manage it somehow.

With that, the classmates whose soul was lit in fire by Hajime’s incitement scattered all over the world, and then through the gate hole, the world was rapidly beginning to be connected.

At the outskirt of the kingdom capital, quite a battle force had already begun to gather, with Nomura Kentarou in the lead, the people and workers with earth element aptitude were rapidly constructing simple defensive encampment. Hajime prioritized to create artifact for this aspect too that raised up their strength several times over, super optimizing their work.

It took about one day until that point. Two days remaining until the end of the world began.

Hajime who finished producing the prioritized artifacts then created an emergency artificial arm and treasure warehouse, and also simple weapons, accompanied by Kaori he then stepped his foot once more into the nostalgic abyss to gather material.

There was also the event where the moment they got out of the hideout’s door, a hydra manifested in reaction to Kaori, but the two who were there was a tag of a grown monster and god apostle, so they had quite a leeway.

After that, Hajime got Kaori to carry the ‘Compass of Guidance’ because she didn’t know anything about the abyss and had her help him in the gathering of necessary material, he too also went to the place for material that he remembered and ran around while trampling the monsters as though stepping over ants.

And then, Hajime who had gathered enough material somehow carried his feet toward the place where Yue was once sealed. His feeling that wanted to meet Yue naturally directed his feet there even while understanding that there was no time.

Kaori who similarly finished gathering material ascertained Hajime’s whereabouts using the compass, and then there they reached that recording artifact and the feeling that was put into it.

By the way, Hajime also asked Kaori to search for ‘God Crystal’ using the compass but…unfortunately, she was unable to discover one that had been compressed through many years and months until it could trickle ‘God Water’. It was a substance that was left only in legend, so it really couldn’t be helped. Perhaps just by being able to discover several small crystals should be thought as fortunate.

“Now then, well Kaori, I’ll rely on your cooperation.”

“Yep, leave it to me.”

Hajime who arrived in the workshop transmuted a round crystal pillar in the center of the room while calling Kaori. What they would perform from here was a method to resolve to a certain degree of their problem with the lack of time even if they couldn’t fully resolve it.

It was for this that Hajime chose Kaori as a helper because she was the one most skilled with regeneration magic.

“Here I go! ――’Temple Rend’.”

Together with a voice of fighting spirit, Kaori’s whitely violet magic power surged. In addition, Hajime roared his crimson magic power while enchanting the technique that Kaori used into the crystal pillar using creation magic.

Regeneration magic ‘Temple Rend’――it was a magic to stretch the time. The essence of regeneration magic was in the point that it was a magic that could interfere with time. However, from the viewpoint of the throughput and magic power amount, the extent human could handle this magic was only ‘regeneration’――to return the state of the target into the healthy state where they didn’t bore any wound, because such way of using it essentially only stopped at an act of projecting a moment of the past, it was named as ‘regeneration’ magic.

Saying it in reverse, if someone could surpass the limit of human, furthermore if they increased their proficiency in this magic and approached that essence, it would be theoretically possibly to not be limited with ‘regeneration’ and became able to interfere with time.

And then, if it was the current Kaori who had aptitude with regeneration magic, who had continuously used this magic all this time and became skilled, and in possession of a body that surpassed human body, it was possible for her to lay her hand on that area.

Kaori’s magic power began to interfere with the time of the surrounding, her long silver hair that was dancing gently was gradually changing into gentle motion. Somehow, it looked like the whole workshop was growing dull in color.

“――Ha, Hajime-kun.”

“It’s all ok Kaori. You did well.”

Immediately the whitish violet magic power filling the room dispersed as though melting into the air. Kaori put her hands on her knees while breathing hard. It appeared that she consumed quite a lot of magic power in just a short time.

“Haa, haa, ho, how is it?”

“…As expected. It’s about ten times increment. With this, I’ll have some leeway.”

“Haaaa. I’m glaad”

Hajime who was staring with a serious gaze at the crystal pillar which was emitting faint light loosened up his face and gave Kaori words mixed with praise. Kaori too also showed a smile while caressing her chest in relieve.

“It’s quite hard making this so how about naming it…as expected the name should be the ‘hyperbolic xxxx chamber’ I guess?” (TN: Hajime is making a reference to the hyperbolic time chamber in Dragon Ball here.)

“…I have the feeling that it’s better to stop that. Isn’t it fine to simply name it ‘Hour Crystal’?”

“…You have no romance.”

“Geez-, something like that doesn’t matter. Now, quickly go to work, work! We will take care of the chores so work hard!”

“…I got it okay.”

Hajime activated the hour crystal (temp) with a dissatisfied expression.

Immediately, the same like before inside the workshop grew slightly dull in color. With this, the time was stretched ten times longer though it was limited inside the workshop. An hour inside the workshop was just six minutes outside.

During that time, matters like contacting Liliana and others who were working on the surface ground and the sending of the artifacts were done by Remia (similar like with Hauria, Hajime had installed a gate with magic power storage that Remia could operate), while Kaori was carrying out the collection of material that ran out.

Hajime left all the chores to them and he just needed to continue to spit out the created artifacts from the workshop to outside. Hajime who was preparing weapons in the unit of tens of thousands really could be said as a human armory.

Hajime took out a large amount of material from the ‘Treasure Warehouse II’. Every kind of mineral, monster fang, claw, bone, etc. was instantly filling to the brim inside the spacious workshop.

“Now then, let’s do this.”

Hajime lifted his hand at the same time with that murmur. Right after that, inside the workshop was dyed with crimson. It was as though the vivid crimson color that permeated everywhere was changing the workshop itself into a gem that was like a red spinel. In a sense, the scenery pressured on the heart miraculously as though they were being lost inside a gem.

As the proof of that, Kaori, Myuu, and Remia who were inside the workshop were staring at the light that was emitted with Hajime in the center with an expression as though their heart was stolen.

Even while Kaori and others were in a daze, Hajime’s ‘Mineral Separation’ sifted through only the needed material and created pure ore, then ‘Creation Magic’ enchanted the ore with necessary magic, ‘Precise Transmutation’ realized elaborate transformation that would make any craftsman go blue in face. Moreover, ‘High-Speed Transmutation’ did mass production that produced flawless and complete components regardless of how complicated it was.

And then those components were personally assembled by Hajime and a completed product was finished in just a few seconds which then was put on the floor.

Next Hajime held his hand over that completed product, no, more accurately he held his hand over the floor where the completed product was put, with that he engraved a detailed magic circle on the floor with the completed product on the center.

As the result, the materials scattered on the surrounding automatically moved and mass produced things that were exactly the same with the completed product. Not just that, the components themselves were mass produced with the mountain of material automatically extracting themselves and repeated the fusion.

Hajime confirmed the process and then he entered the creation of the next artifacts. He was already ignoring the magic circle that continued to emit crimson light and the mountain of Gatling gun that was completed automatically and moved to produce the bullets.

Those bullets too, Hajime personally created the first one and then he put it on the magic circle he engraved on the floor and the bullet was automatically mass produced, and then Hajime entered the creation of the next artifact again. His gaze was already not looking at the Gatling gun and bullet anymore.

Derivative skill of transmutation――as long as the material was available then it was possible to create exactly the same thing without the magic circle or image supplementation, this was the ‘Duplication Transmutation’, and then the ‘Automatic Transmutation’, until the magic power filled into the engraved magic circle ran out, even when the caster went away it would automatically continue to create.

The stream of crimson magic power filling the room and the crimson radiance of the magic circle deployed at Hajime’s surrounding…while being surrounded by those, Hajime narrowed his eyes as though he was meditating and waved his hands like a conductor, his figure that created powerful artifacts easily like a joke was exactly like the magician inside a fairy tale. If it had to be said in a realistic way then it could be said that it was a solitary production factory.

While Kaori and others were in a daze, artifacts began to overflow from the engraved magic circle. Remia’s cheeks were cramped from being convinced that she would be slower in carrying out the artifacts than the speed of the production like this. The amount was obviously something that couldn’t be handled with just Myuu and Remia.

Although such thing was already known from the beginning.

Therefore, Hajime entered the transmutation of the transport method. He projected the image he drew inside his head into the empty air before his eyes, and then he further hardened the image while his hand crawled there. The result, a humanoid figure appeared pushing through the mountain of material with crimson jewel buried on its chest.

Its lower body was multi-legged like a spider, the upper body had six arms attached like an Ashura statue. Further, the lower body that was connected to the spider legs were box shaped, at a glance it could be understood that it was a transport golem.

And then after creating one more of the golem, Hajime opened his mouth.

“Remia, Myuu. I’ll ask you to control this golem and transport the artifacts. Send it from the gate to the kingdom.”

Saying that, Hajime handed the two of them two rings. The rings had sympathy stone attached to control the golem. So that even the two who didn’t have magic power can use it, Hajime put a function to store magic power and also an ability for the golem to further evolve.

“These two golems are created from the fusion of magic stone that I refined and monster material, they are a half monster. That’s why, it’s possible to force them to move with that sympathy stone, but it can also move by receiving a vocal order. I made them so they will listen to the command of the person holding that ring.”

Yes, so to speak these golems were something like a living weapon that was the fusion of machine and living thing, the ring was something to control them and also to show the authority to command. Having said that, they didn’t have a clear ego of self so as long as there was no clear order, they wouldn’t make their own judgment and moved by themselves. Perhaps it would be easier to imagine if it was said that they were like monster Living Knight or Living Sword that often appeared in RPG.

It was a combination skill of creation magic and metamorphosis magic. As always, Hajime didn’t have that high of an aptitude in metamorphosis magic, but by using a method where he used the creation magic as the main and enchanted metamorphosis magic using his skill, then he could use it well enough. Or rather, even living thing had metal element inside their body, so if metamorphosis magic was used with creation magic as fusion magic, then the transmutation technique could advance drastically using the side effect of the metamorphosis magic. Using this Hajime hit upon an idea of a trump card.

The sealing stone that sealed Yue and the scorpion imitation were basically also created by the same technique. Although because of the aptitude of the caster, the component of metamorphosis magic had greater weight in those two. The sealing stone was also created from special ore that deflected magic, but the reason it was hard for Hajime’s transmutation to affect it was because the majority of the stone was living thing.

Myuu was tilting her head “Nnyu?” at Hajime’s difficult explanation, so Remia explained, “Papa is giving a present of pet to Myuu.” Although that explanation was a little bit problematic.

Anyway, Myuu who comprehended everything that was said to mean that she was presented with a pet, embraced Hajime in great joy, and then “Myuu will help papa nano!” Myuu manipulated the living golem ‘Bel-chan’ in high spirit.

It seemed the formal name was ‘Belfegor’ which was shortened as ‘Bel-chan’. The one naming it was Myuu. It was a naming sense that was unthinkable coming from a four-year-old. Hajime wanted to think that it was a coincidence that the name was similar to the name of a famous devil of the seven deadly sins. (TN: The name should be Belphegor, but here the name is turned cuter somewhat.)

By the way, Remia also asked Myuu for the naming of her golem, and then with a smiling face that was too lovely Myuu named it “Asmodeusu!” It was an immediate reply without any pondering whatsoever. Hajime could only pray that the golem wasn’t being possessed by something strange.

After that, Hajime mass produced every kind of weapon, Remia and Myuu transported those and sent them through the gate to Liliana and others in the kingdom, if the material became insufficient Kaori would dive into the labyrinth and gathered it up with her cheat ability and the compass…such process was continuing for a while.

A lot of outrageous artifacts that were sent to them one after another caused the people at the kingdom capital who didn’t know about the hour crystal to have a cramped face. Hajime and others enjoyed a happy family get together (meal) for a short time with the ‘Automatic Transmutation’ buzzing on the side with Kaori getting teary eyed from Remia’s teasing, although various things happened but in general the production progressed favorably.

Hajime himself also created new artifacts, he further strengthened his weapons even more than before, completing his equipment with certainty. And then, the trump card against Ehito too…

While those were happening, finally contacts from Shia and others who scattered to many places were also coming. It appeared they too were advancing the matters favorably. With artifacts that he would send to Shia and others in hand, Hajime prepared to welcome them in the hideout of Oscar.

Omake

In the luxurious bathroom where he was once forcefully made to climb the stair of adulthood by Yue, there was the figure of Hajime between the steams.

Even while relaxing his body properly in the pleasant bathtub, it was impossible for him to relax like before. That was because of his effort to recover the magic power that he consumed and also the preparation for the decisive battle, and most of all, it was because his dear lover wasn’t there.

His gaze that was looking at far away pierced the abyss, passed even the sky, and stared at Yue who he shouldn’t be able to see.

Those eyes, when they were narrowed painfully, suddenly, a young voice resounded in the bathroom.

“Papaaa――!”

Looking at Myuu who energetically rushed at him stark naked with her usual cute footsteps, Hajime floated a small smile.

And then, *pyon* he safely caught Myuu’s body that leaped at him.

“Oy. That’s dangerous Myuu.”

“Ehehee, sorry papa.”

Although he lightly scolded her for the moment, Myuu was busily hugging Hajime and no sign of repentance could really be seen from her. Hajime looked fondly at her thinking ‘what a hopeless girl’ while slowly submerging her into the bathtub so that Myuu wouldn’t feel too hot.

Myuu leaked out “funyuu” voice while her eyes drooped pleasantly. That excessively cute figure stimulated Hajime’s fatherhood strongly. He slowly combed Myuu’s beautiful emerald green hair. Myuu melted even further. Now she was a droopy Myuu.

That figure of Myuu made Hajime felt healed a bit from the loneliness that he felt just now. Even so his gaze naturally looked up to the sky

“…She is fine nano.”

“Hm?”

Suddenly, Myuu said out calm yet powerfully certain words. To Hajime who tilted his head and returned his gaze to her, Myuu with a conviction that was the same like the time at the devil king castle formed her words with a voice filled with strength.

“…Yue-oneechan is fine nano.”

“Myuu…”

“Because, papa will go to meet her. It’s the same like what happened with Myuu before nano. That’s why, Yue-oneechan will be able to come back too nano.”

“…”

Those words, rather than conviction Myuu talked like it was something decided already. For a little girl, if the big sister that she idolized was gone then usually she would be a bit more down but…it seemed Myuu overlapped what happened right now with the time when she was kidnapped and through that obtained an even stronger conviction. Namely, that Hajime would surely take back Yue.

At the same time, Myuu also obtained the conviction that Yue was absolutely fine which surely came from her enormous faith to Yue. That, Yue-oneechan will surely come home.

That was why, in this kind of time she couldn’t feel down or anything. For Myuu who had watched Hajime and others until now, she had the awareness that she was a powerless existence that couldn’t do anything. But, on the other hand, she also had cultivated a spirit twice of that awareness that could let her say ‘so what’ and blew it away. Therefore, she carried out ‘thing that her current self could do’.

If she was unable to do anything, then at the very least she had to be able to cheer up the people who could do it, so first she herself would spread out liveliness. Her conviction and faith, she brought it to those people with all she had.

Looking at such Myuu, who was smiling wide in front of his eyes conveying to him “It’s fine!”, Hajime loosened up his face.

At the devil king castle, Hajime claimed that Myuu who was standing in the way of the rampaging him was “Stronger than himself”, but now once again he thought that those words were actually correct. More than himself, she was believing in Yue’s strength, and in the future that she wished for.

“…You’re right. I’ll bring her back soon. After that, next time, let’s enter the bath together with Yue, the three of us.”

“…Nn-“

Myuu let out her playfulness and imitated Yue’s reply. That was cute and lovely, making Hajime caressed Myuu’s head even more.

Like that, the painful thing in his chest from thinking of Yue who was not here melted out into the bathtub together with his sigh, now his body really relaxed in the true meaning.

But, there Hajime suddenly noticed.

Wasn’t Myuu planned to enter with Remia and Kaori?

For that Myuu to be here, in other words…

“My my, dear, you are really sweet to Myuu, aren’t you? Ufufu.”

“Ha, Hajime-kun. E, excuse me for disturbing.”

“As expected, so it turns out like this…”

Remia and Kaori who only hid their body with small towels apologetically revealed themselves from the other side of the steam. Remia was acting brazenly while Kaori was blushing in shame.

Remia’s body that looked voluminous somehow despite its slenderness was clad in indescribable sex appeal, perhaps because she was a widow. While Kaori’s body that was like white porcelain and had the beauty of a work of art which was molded in the golden ratio. Both of them were giving off tremendous charm.

Remia was at the right, and Kaori was at the left, each of them glued their body to him while soaking in the bathtub.

“You guys…”

‘What are you two doing while Yue is not here’, as expected Hajime was going to complain like that, but Remia returned an affectionate gaze at him before he could say it.

“I was thinking that if you calmed down by yourself, won’t you recall the pain instead…if we are a nuisance, then we will get out immediately.”

“Pain you say…”

“The pain of the heart has no relation with the strength of body or will after all. ‘She is not here right now’, doesn’t it feel painful just from that?”

“…Remia.”

It seemed he was seen through that he would feel pain from thinking of Yue. Hajime reflexively blinked, and then Kaori talked to him from the opposite side with a gentle tone.

“In this kind of time, someone should be there with you. When it was me who felt like that, there was Shizuku-chan who stayed with me…I won’t be able to become Yue’s replacement but, I want to become your support even for just a little. If I cannot do that, then when Yue comes back she will make fun of me.”

Kaori merely conveyed that she was at his side while chuckling. The words that came from her personal experience were heavy. During the days when Hajime was gone, Kaori didn’t break even then was because her best friend nestled close at her side through all that time for her. That was why, the feeling of ‘I too know what you feel’ was naturally conveyed to Hajime from her.

Hajime sensed that he was given consideration by the two, no, by the three including Myuu too, he leaked out a small smile.

“…Thanks. If I don’t get myself in shape, then it will be me who will get made fun by her, huh.”

“I don’t think that will happen when it’s Yue though.”

“Ufufu. Yue-san is really engrossed with Hajime-san, isn’t she.”

The three remembered Yue who clung closely at Hajime and chuckled at each other.

Hajime dropped his gaze at Myuu on his chest who began to go “munya munya”. It seemed she felt too pleasant and became sleepy. Before she fell asleep, she should wash her body first.

Remia and Kaori accurately guessed that thinking of Hajime. Beating Kaori to the punch whose mouth was opening, Remia told Hajime with a smile.

“Then, Hajime-san. I’ll wash your front now.”

“No, I don’t need my back wa-…right now, you didn’t just say the front, right?”

Hajime asked while his cheeks were cramping from noticing the words that were bizarrely different from the standard, and as expected there, Remia was answering with a smile.

“Yes, I thought that surely Kaori-san will wish to wash your back, so I wonder if I can wash your front instead.”

“Wai-, Remia-san!? What are you saying!? The, the front is…that’s…no, no good!”

“My my, then, Kaori-san will be the one to wash the front?”

“M, me!? I, Hajime-kun’s front, the front…”

Kaori’s gaze was absorbed onto Hajime’s crotch that was not visible below Myuu’s shadow. And then, her face blushed crimson explosively.

“Are you two idiots. There is no way I’ll let you two do that.”

“My, if the two of us are no good then…..so, Myuu will be the one…”

“Hajime-kun!? That’s no good, something like that! What are you planning to make Myuu-chan do!”

“However, that place is delicate…I will need to be at her side here to give her a lecture. Mother and daughter will work hard to give service here.”

“I won’t let that happen! I won’t let that happen no matter what! Remia-san! I won’t let Hajime-kun progress through that kind of abnormal path!”

“My. Then, who will be the one to wash Hajime-san’s front?”

“Tha, that’s…”

“Kaori-san, then let’s do it like this. The three of us together.”

“Hah, that way is…wait, that’s wrong!”

Hajime thought. ‘Kaori…how pitiful’, like that. And then, whether it was Yue or Remia, Kaori who was played by older female as long as there was a chance caused Hajime to make a really complicated face from the gap of Kaori of now and of before when they were still on earth.

At the same time…

“When Yue comes back…Kaori’s hardship will be doubled, huh.”

“Nmyu?”

Leaving aside the two, Hajime rose from the bathtub and he whispered while washing Myuu’s hair. When they took back Yue, he would be a little gentler to Kaori. Hajime sent glances at Kaori who was still being teased by Remia with a gaze filled with such pity.

Looking at such a Hajime, Myuu tilted her head in puzzlement.

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Arifureta Chapter 159

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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/160/

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

Bakapervert translated this chapter. Elementalcobalt did the edits.

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An Agitator That is Even Nastier Than God

The sensation that felt like drifting at the bottom of dark water was gradually brightening. Faint light began to turn visible from behind closed eyelids, the ears that were soaked in silence began to catch noises.

“――Pa――don’t di――pa”

“Haji――”

“Open you――, Hajime――”

Multiple voices that seemed to feel desperate naturally shook Hajime’s consciousness. An awful sense of weariness made Hajime want to give an exaggerated cliché speech like “Five more years”, but he somehow swallowed back that impulse and awoke.

At the same time, the warmth enveloping his body was permeating gently to his core, it was sweeping away his weariness while producing vitality like a fuel poured into an engine.

Due to that, while feeling his consciousness rapidly surfacing, Hajime quietly opened his eyes.

Right away in his sight, there were several faces reflected in a circle like a roulette board. If a man of the world went through the same experience, he surely couldn’t help but to whisper “Aa, I’m dead. This place is heaven…” because of the beautiful women, beautiful girl, and beautiful little girl that lined up there.

“Papa!”

“Hajime-san!”

‘Hajime-kun!”

“Goshujin-sama!”

“Nagumo-kun!”

Myuu, Shia, Kaori, Tio, Shizuku, each of them called Hajime’s name with their respective way of calling along with a sigh of relieve. Without exception, at the corner of the girls’ eyes, something shining gathered. Surely, they were greatly worried.

“… aa. I made you all worry. My damage… Kaori huh. Thank you.”

“It’s fine. Something like that doesn’t matter. I’m really glad. Your heart even stopped for a moment there……hics, really, I’m really glad…”

“S, so my heart stopped. … That makes me, even more grateful.”

“Good grief desu. If it wasn’t Kaori-san, just what would happen there… really, Hajime-san was too reckless desu”

From the words of Kaori who was overcome with emotion and began to cry, Hajime guessed that he was quite in a pickle just now, with cramped cheeks he expressed his gratitude. To such a Hajime, Shia tightly hugged his one remaining arm while huffing in anger.

“… Really my bad. I’m not going to run wild anymore.”

“Papa, you are fine already?”

“Yeah. … Myuu too, I’m sorry. I showed you something uncool. Also, thanks. For stopping papa. Myuu, you are already far stronger than papa, huh.”

“Ehehe. Myuu is papa’s daughter nano~. That’s why that’s only obvious nano”

Myuu showed a really wide smile while pressing her face at Hajime’s chest and nuzzling there. It seemed that other than feeling proud, she was also feeling embarrassed from getting praised. Hajime used his right hand that was liberated by Shia and gently caressed Myuu’s head.

“Well, at any rate. The most important thing is that Goshujin-sama is safe. It’s vexing that I couldn’t do the ‘mouth to mouth’ though…”

“You, just what were you trying to do while I was wandering between the border of life and death…”

“…”

“Oi, Yaegashi. Why are you looking away with an awkward face?”

“No, nothing, it’s not like I wanted to kiss or a, ny, nything you know?”

Shizuku looked plenty agitated. Around the time when she spoke about kissing, it made it impossible already to even try to use artificial respiration as an excuse, but it seemed the person herself didn’t notice. Hajime spontaneously wanted to insert a tsukkomi there, “Where has the Yamato Nadeshiko gone?” like that.

Looking carefully, Shia and Kaori were also turning their gaze beyond, their worried faces just now had gone somewhere else.

It appeared that it ended only with an attempt, but it seemed that everyone had the feeling of wanting to attack Hajime in his sleep. Considering how Hajime awoke right after the healing, and the devils were still kneeling with perplexed expressions, it, fortunately, seemed like not much time had passed since Hajime lost consciousness.

Although, all in all, Hajime noticed how this joking atmosphere was purposefully created. By all rights, there should be one more person here, an important companion who usually emitted a sense of presence that no one could ignore should be here.

She wasn’t here――the one who was hurt by that fact wasn’t just Hajime. Even so, Shia and the others acted in their own capacity to be considerate to Hajime, so that his heart wouldn’t be lonely and break, they supported him with a clowning antic atmosphere like this.

(Really, this is just pathetic for me. This ‘me’ that was so hung up on Yue that I got supported by these girls, to give up everything by myself… )

Not just Hajime, even Yue, before at the Ice and Snow Cavern she was beaten into shape by Shia. Surely not just Shia, even Kaori, and others also supported and saved them.

This journey began only with the two of them at the bottom of the abyss with the resolve to turn the world into an enemy. But before they realized it, those that would try to protect monstrous people like them had gathered so many.

Coming here, Hajime strongly felt this obvious thing once again. The memory of bitter defeat was repainted by the smile of his reliable comrades. He quietly made a vow. He looked up to the sky and thought of his beloved who was waiting for him there.

Looking at such a Hajime who was making a hard to describe expression where pain and resolve were tangled with each other, Shia and the others immediately opened their mouths to call him…

However, as expected, the little girl with remarkable growth easily beat the lined up female camp to the punch.

“Papa, it’s fine nano.”

“Hm? Myuu?”

The sudden words made Hajime tilt his head, in contrast, Myuu showed a smile that looked a little bit like an ‘Onee-san’. That smile somehow made him feel déjà vu, yes…

(By any chance, is she, mimicking Yue?)

Before this, when she stepped forward into a dangerous ground in order to stop Hajime, Myuu mimicked Hajime and wrung out her courage. Inside the short but dense time that they spent together, Myuu obtained one kind of strength. But the thing that Myuu obtained wasn’t only from Hajime.

While the people themselves weren’t aware, it seemed that Myuu was absorbing various things from Yue who was always snuggling by Hajime’s side with her heart connected to him. It appeared that Myuu thought if it was for encouraging Hajime, then she just needed to be like ‘Yue-oneechan’!

Really, toward that encouragement from his gallant daughter, Hajime’s expression also slackened slowly.

But, Hajime was still underestimating Myuu. Myuu’s lexicon who had come this far looking at Hajime and the others didn’t seem to have the word of compromise or halfway. If you do something, do it thoroughly! As though to say that, Myuu sent a straightforward gaze and with that hand that was small like a maple leaf she propped up Hajime’s cheek.

And then…

“In place of Yue-oneechan, Myuu will make papa energetic nano!”

“No, Myuu, what are yoooou!?”

Hajime was still lying down so he couldn’t draw back, his hand was propped on Myuu’s back so he also couldn’t pin her down, Hajime who couldn’t stop her had his lips――corner (he barely averted his face) came into contact *muchuuu!* with Myuu’s lips. It was a childish kiss with her lips pointed like an octopus, but a kiss was a kiss.

“ “ “Aa~~~!!” “ “

“Hmm, far from just us, to even take Goshujin-sama by surprise… Myuu, what a terrifying child!”

The shriek of Shia, Kaori, and Shizuku and Tio’s off-point admiration resounded. Hajime didn’t see because he was closely surrounded by Shia and others, but Aiko and others seemed to be also right behind Shia and company making a crowd, as their screams were also raised. It went without saying just who was it that was screaming.

Due to the immediate evasion that he somehow performed, Hajime at least avoided the abnormal situation of becoming the partner of a young girl. Furthermore, it was his daughter’s first kiss, although for the people around it seemed that it didn’t really matter.

If looked from the side, it was a scene of Hajime getting pushed down by a little girl and then kissed with her all. It was understandable. What was fearsome was the reproduction ratio of Myuu’s imitation of Yue. Or else was it the eroticism of the vampire princess that often pushed down Hajime that Myuu could copy it…

But, at that time, in the hall that was displaying the hellish situation, a nonchalant voice resounded as though it didn’t read the situation or place.

“My my, well well. Even for my daughter, that is really bold. But you see, Myuu. Myuu is the daughter, that’s why you must not aim at the lips. Husband’s lips belong to mama, you know?”

“Just who is the ‘husband’ and what’s with that ‘belong to mama’ desu-! Please don’t slip into the confusing and act like a married couple!”

Unnoticed Remia had twisted in her body beside Shia and prattled such thing. Shia vigorously put her tsukkomi there.

Myuu who was wrenched away by a panicked Kaori pouted her lips in dissatisfaction. “No~! Myuu is doing chuu with papa nano! It’s at the mouth nano!” She threw a tantrum on top of Hajime.

From the classmates who gathered at slightly distanced spot something like “His poisonous fang even went to that kind of small child… Sex maniac demon king” or “… Lolicon” or “That kind of thing, with father and daughter… that’s too abnormal-“ or “Nagumo-san, that’s seriously screwed up –su” were audible, but Hajime didn’t hear anything at all, truly. He was making an expression that made even the devils shudder, but he said that he wasn’t bothered and so he wasn’t bothered.

Hajime pulled himself together and made a serious expression while raising his upper body. And then with his gaze, he somehow mentally conveyed about taking care of Myuu to Remia.

Eventually, Myuu would surely need some education. At this rate, she would grow into a high spec girl in various meanings imitating all of them, smiling fearlessly while picking a fight (TN: Shia, I think), normally acting innocent (TN: Shizuku), not forgetting to be gentle and considerate to others (TN: Kaori), but scattering charm everywhere on a whim (TN: Yue). Hajime wanted so that Myuu absolutely wouldn’t learn from the remaining person who was a matchless pervert.

Hajime shook his head as though to sweep away an unpleasant imagination, and then he suddenly performed transmutation and created a sword that looked like a katana from the stone floor.

It was slender and made from stone, but using compression transmutation it had high density and super heavyweight. Also, wind claw was enchanted on it so the surrounding of the blade looked to be faintly swaying, as a stone katana that was made improvised it possessed an abnormal intimidating air.

The eyes of Shia and the others turned around from Hajime’s sudden act, and then Hajime’s gaze turned to the devils which made them stiffen slightly in nervousness.

“Ha, Hajime-kun…”

Toward Kaori who called to him with a worried voice, Hajime stood up while sending her a glance. After that, he turned his gaze at Myuu who was staring fixedly at him from inside Remia’s arms. Hajime shrugged his shoulders while lightly chuckling, implicitly conveying “It’s fine”.

There was no emptiness in Hajime’s eyes, recognizing that he was drifting off his usual air of aloofness, Kaori and others sighed in relieve. Myuu also smiled widely.

Hajime confirmed that and turned on his heel, while everyone was watching him attentively, he stood up imposingly in front of the devils.

“Now then, I don’t really have any expectation, but there is something that I must ask you guys. If you don’t know then I don’t mind, but I won’t tolerate any falsehood or silence. Of course, it’s your personal freedom to be stubborn… know that the compensation will be expensive. If the person beside you is important then be honest.”

Hajime tapped the stone katana on his shoulder while threatening naturally. Behind him, he could hear someone among the classmates whispered “It’s just like a thug…” but he ignored it.

“I, if we answer, will you let us live?”

“Aa? You think you are in a position where you can negotiate? Something like that is obviously depending on my mood. You better endeavor your best to rub your hands together with a smile while talking. We here got thoroughly aimed with killing intent by the devil race with that Freed at the top of the list. Right now, you should be bawling in tears and be grateful instead, just by me letting you all live like this.”

From behind a whisper of “This is not really different from before, is it?” could be heard but Hajime ignored it.

Hajime opened his mouth while glaring at the surviving devils who went quiet.

“Spit out what you know regarding the Holy Precincts. Also, I remember you guys saying something like wanting Kaori… the apostle to open the Divine Gate, but can an apostle open the Divine Gate alone?”

That question was answered with hesitation by a devil who seemed to be the father who covered his child before this.

“Regarding the Holy Precincts, we only heard that it was a paradise for us, the devil race. If we can be welcomed there, we heard that we can become an even more excellent race. There is also something like prospering even more in the new land… I don’t understand much about the Divine Gate. It’s just, we only thought that perhaps if it’s the apostle-sama, then she could do something somehow…”

“Aa? That’s all you got? You aren’t trying to trick me here, are you? Your faith and your child, what you can protect is just one between the two just so you know, eh.”

Hajime lightly slapped the stone katana on the cheek of the man. The young boy hugged by the man shrieked “hii” while sending Hajime a gaze of terror.

From behind a whisper of “No matter how you see it, that’s a yakuza…” was audible but Hajime beautifully ignored it. Further the whisper of “Papa, that’s so cool!” from Myuu and a shocked voice of “Eh!? It’s fine like that!?” were raised, but those too were masterfully ignored.

“It, it’s true! I, it’s not like that question tests my faith or anything so I don’t lie in this! Even more, this concerns my child’s life here! Really, other than this, I don’t know anything!”

“Chih, useless. What about the other?”

“N, no, anything, more than that is…”

“Me, me too…”

“Ple, please, at least only my child’s life-“

Hajime once more tapped his stone katana on his shoulder *tap tap* while his eyes narrowed in displeasure, it made the devils tremble with fear and beg for their lives. From behind a whisper of “No matter how you look, the villain is Nagumo…” was audible but it was godly ignored.

“Haa, can’t be helped huh. It’s different matter if it’s Freed’s aide or perhaps a soldier, but civilian is just that, yeah.”

Even while sighing deeply, Hajime didn’t look that discouraged. He then shook his head once and quietly narrowed his eyes. “No way, are we going to be cut down just like this!?” The devils thought that and their bodies twitched in shivers.

Red sparks ran around them. But, right after they imagined the worst, the stone floor around them transformed and became a cage in a few seconds.

“For the time being stay quiet there. If you think of something no good and get troublesome… you got it right?”

“Ye, yeah…”

Space magic was enchanted on the cage, fixing it in the space itself, it was impossible to escape from there with average strength. Making that cage to imprison the devils in other words also meant that they wouldn’t have even their lives taken. Understanding that, the devils sighed in relief, although their nervousness was still there.

The classmates too, although it was the devil race, they were glad that this ended without them needing to see the scene of scared children getting slaughtered before their eyes.

As for Hajime, although he had recovered his sanity, he had the thought to just cut down these devils who tried to kill Hajime and the others so they could go to Holy Precincts, but…

As expected, although eighty percent of it was that Hajime returned to his sanity, Myuu had also put her body at risk to protect them. Just simply killing them felt wrong. To say nothing of how in the middle of the drifting atmosphere of “There shouldn’t be any slaughtering of unresisting people anymore… there won’t be any right?”, if he said something like “Eh? I’m going to normally massacre them but, is there any problem?” and carried it out… undoubtedly the atmosphere would die. Surely it would become an incomparably unbearable atmosphere there.

And so, with the intention of quickly lopping off their necks if they made any stupid movements, for the time being, Hajime put the matter regarding the treatment to the devils on hold.

Hajime turned his back to the imprisoned devils and returned to Shia and the others. And then, he performed a transmutation that was the most conspicuous from everything until now and in the blink of an eye, he created a table and chairs according to the number of people.

“For the time being, all of you sit down. Let’s talk about the matter from here on.”

Shia and the others nodded powerfully at those words while the classmates were taking their breaths with bewilderment.

By the way, there were two table sets. The side where Hajime, Shia, Kaori, Tio, Shizuku, Suzu, Ryutaro, then Aiko, Liliana, Remia, and Myuu gathered. The classmates other than those people were at the other. Although Myuu was throwing a tantrum that it was better to be on Hajime’s lap, Remia who read the atmosphere held Myuu in her arms.

Putting aside the displeased Myuu, Hajime looked over all present with a serious gaze and opened his mouth.

“First, sorting the information. The god that introduced himself as Ehito took over Yue’s body, but, if Ehito’s words are true then to completely grasp that body at the very least will take three days.”

Once Hajime cut off his words, everyone made a pained expression. Everyone understood well just how much Hajime treasured Yue coupled with his rampage just now, so they couldn’t help but sympathize with him.

Although, Shia and Kaori, Tio, and then Shizuku were returning strong gazes that didn’t shake for even a bit.

Inside the girls’ minds, the recovery of Yue was already determined fact. They believed that they would take her back without fail. That was why there was no reason to be gloomy or behave seriously. The joking conversation and frivolous talk from before this were also mostly displaying that attitude.

Shia continued after Hajime’s words.

“To take back Yue-san, we have to go to this Holy precinct they mentioned, is it? But, that golden gate didn’t let Hajime-san pass. If the people who can pass through are limited by Ehito, then a different plan is necessary desu.”

“You’re right. … We needed either obtaining a different method to go to the Holy Precincts, or possibly a method that can break through the Divine Gate that is expected to manifest at the large invasion three days later.”

“Hmm, as for the method to go directly… Goshujin-sama. As expected, the crystal key…”

Tio asked Hajime. To that, Hajime sighed deeply while shaking his head.

“No good. It was together in the treasure warehouse. Indeed, if we have that it will be surely possible to directly ride into the Holy Precincts but… without Yue, at best, perhaps I can make a degraded version of it.”

Aiko and the others who didn’t know about crystal key tilted their head, so Shizuku who was at Aiko’s side explained with a pained look. Actually, Hajime had already obtained the method to return to earth. Aiko and the classmates who were told that quieted down, a moment later the audience hall was filled with shocked voices.

“You guys are noisy. Either way, it was destroyed so there is no meaning. Don’t make a fuss.”

“But, but, even though perhaps we can finally go home…”

“That’s right! Can’t you make it one more time somehow!?”

“I beg you, Nagumo! Show us your guts!”

Sonobe, Imura, and Tamai sent Hajime pleading words. The other classmates also made a loud ruckus while sending Hajime imploring gazes.

The gaze of Hajime who scowled in irritation went toward the table of the classmates in strain. Aiko who got a really bad premonition let out a scolding in panic.

“Everyone, be quiet! Please don’t make a fuss! Calm down!”

“Bu, but Aiko-chan-sensei…”

Toward Aiko who was hopping up and down while remonstrating them, the students quieted down for the moment. Even so, the students who were in the mental state like a horse that had a carrot dangled in front of their eyes were mumbling their mouth wanting to say something.

Aiko talked toward them who were like that in a very kind and detailed way.

“Listen well, everyone. Sensei really understand how you all are feeling, but please listen to Nagumo-kun’s words calmly. The artifact for going home was already lost, to make that one more time, Yue-san’s power is necessary. Even if all of you make a fuss here, that truth won’t change.”

“However, the possibility that Nagumo is lying because he prioritizes taking back the girl is…”

“Nagumo-kun won’t lie like that! … He won’t. … He won’t, you know? … He will… … not won’t you?”

For some reason, after Aiko strongly objected, she was gradually losing momentum and directed a troubled gaze at Hajime. As might be expected from someone who had been made to experience various things using the name of the ‘Goddess of Harvest’, Aiko noticed that she couldn’t declare that Hajime wouldn’t lie in the middle and her confidence was gone.

Hajime in his heart gripped ‘Keep pushing through right there!’ to Aiko, but it was also him reaping what he sowed, so Hajime stopped with only making a scowl. Hajime let out merciless words at the classmates who were not in a calm state from the sudden good news and the disappointment that followed right after.

“I’m not lying, I guess. Either way, I don’t have any intention to waste my time just so you guys can go home. After this, I will focus all my strength in taking back Yue after all. Going home is secondary.”

‘No way-!’ The classmates began to clamor once more, but Hajime’s ‘Coercion’ that he released forcefully shut them up while he spoke out the words that made them reconfirm the current situation.

“Besides, you lot, if you can go home right away then what are you going to do afterward, huh? If the shitty god isn’t murdered, his next target is earth, you know? That’s just meaningless.”

“Uu, now that you say that…”

“Certainly, he said something like that…”

“Damn it all… just leave us alone already.”

Hajime’s words made the classmates covered their face, falling prostrated on the table, or grieving.  Giving a glance at them who were like that, Hajime brought the talk back on track.

“And so. Returning to the talk, if it is with a degraded version of the crystal key perhaps it’s possible to break through that Divine Gate. It’s vexing but… there is nothing to do but wait until the large invasion three days from now when the apostles reappear.”

“it will be easier if Ehito is worried when Aruvheit doesn’t come back and he come out himself from the other side, though…”

Kaori murmured that, but the possibility seemed low. Ehito most likely wouldn’t come out until he became able to completely control the body, and the time that he was able to do that would be the time of the large invasion. In that case, it didn’t change that it would be the other side who came and this side who had to go to them.

“… Before talking about that, can we win, I wonder?”

The one who murmured that was Suzu. She was looking down and a thick shadow covered her face. Surely, she was remembering when they were unable to do any single thing when facing Ehito.

Everyone made a complicated expression. In the middle of that, it was Hajime who easily answered.

“We’ll win.”

Suzu objected at that light tone with a slightly sullen expression.

“… even though you couldn’t do anything towards him?”

“Yeah. Even so, I’ll win the next time.”

“How, can you say that-! He can do anything to us just with a word, his magic is powerful without compare. To make matters worse, the apostles, Freed, monsters… and Eri… even Kouki-kun are on the other side… that guy is genuinely a monster, you know?”

It appeared Suzu’s heart was almost breaking a little bit. Eri who she wished to be reunited with didn’t listen to her at all. Far from that, she was thrown into confusion easily and unable to do anything. Actually, the monsters that she summoned using the simple gate in the middle of battle were also instantly killed by the apostles.

Although it couldn’t be denied that she was still not used to metamorphosis magic, even the age of god magic that she finally obtained with great pain ended up as nothing. Suzu was gritting her teeth from her powerlessness.

And then above all, the illusion that Ehito put her into――at that time, Suzu and the others tasted the sensation of being torn into pieces within an instant that felt so real they mistook it for reality. Their hands and legs severed with blood spraying everywhere, and while they tumbled down and fell down, their upper body and lower body separated, their shoulders fell, and last their neck went flying.

The sensation of an invisible sword caressing from outside to inside, even now Suzu could remember it. She remembered it clearly. Ryuutaro and Shizuku were also the same. They patted their necks and limbs with expressions of discomfort. They also didn’t have any sensation in their own limbs for a while. Amidst such a situation, the mental strength of Shizuku who went as far as undoing her binding curse and recovered her movement to fight was worthy of praise.

But, for Suzu, remembering the fear she felt of being dead while alive was something that was hard to endure. Just from thinking that she might be made to feel that one more time made her body naturally wither.

Hajime said without even any care to such a Suzu.

“So what?”

“Eh?”

Suzu reflexively looked up. Hajime continued.

“The opponent is a monster? We are outnumbered? Will something like that become any kind of obstacle?”

“Yo, you ask if it will become an obstacle… of course it…”

“Do you forget? When I was called incompetent by you guys, I fell into the abyss and crawled up until here, you know?”

“Aa…”

Suzu was spontaneously befuddled. The classmates who looked down with an expression of despair thinking there was no way they could win against god also raised their faces.

“There was nobody helping, there was also no food. The surrounding was teeming with monsters. What’s more, I also got no talent with magic, even my left hand was gone… But, I survived.”

The audience hall became as still as death. Everyone was naturally listening closely to Hajime’s words.

“This is the same thing. Whether the opponent is a god or his army, doesn’t matter… Right now, I’m alive. That guy missed his chance to kill me. In addition, he also gave us the information himself.”

Hajime’s eyes were shining fiercely, blazing with killing intent. The corner of his mouth was lifted up, his canine was bared as though he was going to bite his enemy to death. That savage appearance that made anyone hallucinate a wild wolf aiming for its prey. A sound of someone gulping their saliva resounded.

“I’ll steal Yue back, and kill that guy. It’s time to change the attacker and defensive sides. I am the hunter, that guy is the prey. I’ll chase him until the end of the world and make him raise a scream of death and agony. I’ll teach that self-proclaimed god who believed without a doubt that he was special, just who is the monster here.”

Hajime sent his gaze that was still fiercely glaring at Suzu. Then, Hajime asked Suzu who for some reason blushing even while trembling.

“Taniguchi. If you said that it’s impossible already for you then close your eyes and plug your ears. I’ll make all these ends, everything.”

Those words weren’t Hajime’s consideration for Suzu. It was the reverse. Those words were testing Suzu. Those words asked her whether it was fine if it ended like this. Where she still couldn’t say what she wanted to say satisfactorily. Where the other party still didn’t even look at her. If Suzu said that she was fine with that, then while she was closing her eyes and plugging her ears, everything――including dealing with Eri, would be finished by Hajime.

Saying it in reverse, as long as Suzu was still standing up then Hajime would let her do as she pleased about the matter of Eri.

Hajime’s gaze was also further directed at Ryuutaro and Shizuku.

Both of them noticed the implicit words filled in that gaze. Namely, whether they would leave the matter of Kouki to Hajime, or would they do something themselves. Those choices were entrusted to them. Naturally, in case they left it to Hajime, there was only the one choice of obliteration. That too was also clearly conveyed to the two.

There was silence for a while. Hajime’s severe words and atmosphere made the classmates lose their words. If there were people who shrunk back in fear from that, then there were also people who directed sparkling bright gazes or people who stared with blushing cheeks, or people whose expression turned into a face that concealed some kind of determination.

Among them, the first one who opened her mouth was Suzu. With a gloomy and weak atmosphere until just now blown away, she stared back straight at Hajime with a determined look.

“That’s unnecessary you know, Nagumo-kun. Leave the matter of Eri and also Kouki to Suzu. Because I’ll walk to where they are whether it’s the Holy Precincts or where ever!”

While emitting the air of the usual mood she made, Suzu grinned fearlessly.

As though getting triggered by such girl, the quiet Ryuutaro raised a roar.

“DAAAAAAAAA-! Yosh-, I have enough acting wishy-washy like this! I ain’t gonna let only Nagumo and Suzu be the one that keeps acting cool! I’m gonna beat up that stupid idiot Kouki and make him return to his senses, yeah!”

Ryuutaro punched his fist in his other hand’s palm in front of his chest and made a similar fearless smile. It seemed that this muscle brain was actually also plainly feeling down. His best friend was turned to the enemy side, and when even Suzu showed a slight resistance, he himself was unable to resist the binding curse and the illusion. He lost his confidence feeling that he was worthless, but now it seemed he was already fine.

Looking at that, Shizuku “Fufufu” chuckled.

“I guess. That idiot Kouki needs to be punished hard, not just hard but really haa~rd, also my feeling won’t be cleared without knocking down that irritating grin on Eri… Be, besides, if it’s the place where Nagumo-kun is going, I intend to follow no matter where it is… not just now, but from here on too, okay…”

Looking at Shizuku who was saying that kind of thing while stealing glances at Hajime with blushing cheeks, the classmates sent her a suspecting glance. They didn’t know about Shizuku’s feeling, so they never even in their wildest imagination thought that even Shizuku who was one of the two great beauties of their class would be felled.

No, it seemed that with Nagayama’s party and Sonobe’s group of Ai-chan protection squad as first in the list, several students――especially the girl students had sensitively guessed it. And then, after they alternately stared at Shizuku and Hajime with a little surprise, they then nodded as though in comprehension of something.

A part of the girls went “It’s Don Juan. He is the Don Juan of the modern times. … Nagumo-kun is just too dreadfulll” with blushing cheeks while sending glancing looks at Hajime, but right now was a serious time so Hajime ignored it. (EN: Hajime’s ignore has become the 8th God’s Age Magic)

“I see. Then the one that will enter into the Holy Precincts will be us and Taniguchi, then Sakagami… well. It’s just the usual members recent, I guess. If Amanogawa comes out at the other side then you guys do as you like. However… I’m not going to allow any halfhearted effort.”

“Yep, thank you Nagumo-kun.”

“Thanks, Nagumo.”

Suzu and Ryuutaro said their thanks cheerfully. Hajime waved his hand lazily to tell them to not mind it while moving on to the next talk. But, there Liliana called for a halt.

“Sa, say~, Nagumo-san, can I speak for a bit?”

“Hm? What is it, princess.”

“You see. At the time of the great invasion, Hajime-san, and the others, the strongest battle force will ride into the Holy Precincts, while all of you are there, what should the capital who receives the attack… if Ehito-sama’s words are correct then they will come from the God Mountain as the origin, right? Thinking about the strength of the apostle, it’s unthinkable that even the great barrier will be able to hold out for long… is there something, a way to temporarily seal the Divine Gate?”

It was a natural worry for a princess of Hairihi Kingdom. If the apostle’s disintegration ability was used in full, even the great barrier wouldn’t hold out for long. To say nothing of fighting the apostle honestly from the front, the only one who could do that was someone like Hajime. It was unknown how long it would take until Hajime and others could beat Ehito, but during that time it was clear as day that at the very least a great number of people would be slaughtered.

Hajime who was looked at with pleading gaze nodded once.

“I was thinking to talk about that now.”

“And what do you have to say?”

“I cannot stomach that Ehito. That’s why, from here on, I’m not going to let anything, not a single thing, go according to that guy’s plan. I don’t care what will happen to the people of this world but… nevertheless, it’s extremely unpleasant if I let that guy laugh loudly in his dying moments thinking of all the people he slaughtered. That’s why, whether it is his apostles or underlings, Freed or all those monsters, wholesale slaughter is on the menu for all of them. Everything that guy has, even his expectation that he has, I’ll wreck them all thoroughly to the root and branch.”

‘Ku-ku-ku’ Looking at Hajime who was actually chuckling with a crooked face made the classmates draw back. Even Liliana who asked him was making a cramped face. Although, as expected, there were some of the girls who were staring at Hajime with red cheeks and heated expressions.

“E, err, in other words, are you saying that you will be able to do something about the invading large army of apostles?”

“Let’s see. Putting aside the detail of the concrete method for later. For now, what I’m thinking is to freely share my artifacts. I’ll super strengthen the common soldiers, adventurers, and the mercenaries. I’ll equip everyone with a weapon, I also planned to implement anti-aircraft weapons. We only have three days so it will be severe, but about that, you guys will also cooperate, right?”

When Hajime looked around, powerful nods were returned conveying that naturally, they would cooperate. Unexpectedly, even several of the students whose hearts had broken and withdrew from battle also sent him powerful gazes. Perhaps they were provoked by Hajime’s strong fighting spirit.

Liliana closed her eyes while pondering. After a beat, she opened her mouth.

“I think there will be pandemonium from the apostle’s attack, but fortunately, when we were kidnapped they were only focusing on that so there should not be that much damage to the soldiers and knights. However, even so, I think there is a limit of the battle strength that we can mobilize within three days. Whether they will be enough against the mighty apostle as the opponent or not is… in addition, even for argument’s sake we can gather the number, can Nagumo-san prepare powerful artifacts that can even oppose the apostle in that many numbers?”

“Yeah, I can. About the number of people, we will use the gate and gather them from various places. For that sake, while I’m preparing the artifacts, you guys have to fly around the world to all the places.”

“Gate, is it? Goshujin-sama. Weren’t all the artifacts hath been destroyed already?”

Tio tilted her head while asking. Certainly, the key hole type artifact ‘Gate Hole’ was installed all over the world so they were safe, but the essential key type artifact ‘Gate Key’ to open the gate was stored inside the ‘Treasure Warehouse’, so it was supposed to be destroyed together.

Indeed, if they could use a gate then it would be easy to gather battle forces from all over the world within three days, but…

“Actually, things like items that cannot be replaced or several important things, before we passed through the gate at the border of Shunee snow field, I transferred them behind, inside the ground.”

“What! Then, the gate key too?”

“Yeah. In case something happened, so that Myuu and others can escape I brought the crystal key that can be used effectively here but that backfired, but… items like the compass, the proof of dungeon conquer, and the remaining god water… of course, the gate key too should be buried there. Ah, also, Kaori’s former body too. It’s underground so it must be relatively cold, I think it will be okay but… if we don’t dig it out quickly the ice will melt and it will turn into a grave.”

“Re, retrieve it-! If we don’t hurry to retrieve it-! My body will…”

When Hajime talked about Kaori’s former body, everyone’s expression turned into realization. If Hajime didn’t prepare for the unexpected situation, right about now Kaori’s body would be dust. It was a fine play from Hajime.

Although, Kaori couldn’t help but become fretful when the grave was mentioned. Hajime stroked the flustered Kaori to calm her down.

“I see, I understand well. … However, there is one more problem. As expected, if we speak that the world might end three days later, just how many people will believe that and gather… to say nothing of how what we will fight the apostles. In the worst case, there is the possibility that we will be the bad guys…”

Liliana was making a complicated expression while pointing out even more issues. But, it seemed that in regard to those too, Hajime happened to have the answer in hand.

“Regarding that, I think we can manage somehow. We will have Kaori or Tio to use regeneration magic.”

“Regeneration… magic?”

Liliana tilted her head. In contrast, Kaori guessed what Hajime wanted to say and clapped her hand.

“You mean ‘regenerating’ the scene of the past isn’t it? Just like what we experienced at the great labyrinth of Merujiine.”

“That’s right. Regenerate of what happened here and preserve it in an artifact for image recording. Then show it to the upper brass of every place. The guys that we had met and talked with until now… Catherine of Brook, Iruwa of Fuhren, Roa of Holuad, Ranzi of Ankaji, Alfrerick of Fea Belgen, Gahard of the empire, if it’s those guys then they won’t doubt us. It will be easy to gather the battle force.”

Naturally, princess Liliana of the kingdom and the guild master of the adventurer guild were also included. Even in this world, they were all key people with power.

Despite saying that he had no interest in the people of this world, he had an extravagant line-up of connections. While feeling dizzy at the mentioned names who she knew were quite the big shots, Liliana thought that indeed if it was those members, then they would surely treat this seriously.

“Next is… that’s right. It’s better if we also use sensei to give incitement.”

“Ee!? M, me!? No, wait, incitement!?”

Aiko who suddenly had the talk turned to her trembled. Toward such an Aiko, Hajime raised his voice loudly.

“Now, stand up everybody! We will smash the ambition of the evil fake Ehito who dared to falsify himself as the virtuous Ehito-sama and manipulate fake apostles, who right now is about to trample this world! Fight together with this messenger of god, the ‘Goddess of Harvest’! Something like that. Do your best.”

“Do your best, that’s not it! Just what is with that speech! How can you say those kinds of words so smoothly… it’s Nagumo-kun who is the great agitator here.”

“Don’t mind the little thing here sensei. The seed we sprinkled is almost blooming. Then isn’t it fine if we water and grow it up, and then harvest all the yummy crops? As might be expected from a farmer.”

“Just who was the one who did all that…”

Aiko stared fixedly at Hajime with an exasperated face. It was also like this in the town of Ur, Aiko was convinced that Hajime absolutely possessed the talent of an agitator.

It seemed that the classmates were also of the same opinion. They somehow got the vision of Hajime in front of stars dangling manipulating string down while chuckling with a cool pose, “Eh? Isn’t this the same like Ehito?” they were tilting their heads pondering. Though several of the girls were whispering “Nagumo… no, Hajime-sama…” with red cheeks, but here they must return to their sanity immediately.

Hajime smiled wryly at Aiko who although she realized that the method was effective and understood that this had to be done, but for some reason, she wasn’t fully accepting it.

“This is a battle that will become an all out war of humanity. Even if the battle force is gathered but a mere disorderly crowd will be meaningless. A powerful leader is necessary. And someone like a king of a country will be insufficient for that. The only one who can do this is just Aiko-sensei. Really please.”

“…”

Hajime’s words made Aiko twitched for a moment. Since a while ago she kept trembling. It was as though she was a small animal. And then such an Aiko who was like a small animal, for some reason she began to send glancing looks at Hajime while fidgeting. And then, she timidly asked the doubtful Hajime.

“Na, Nagumo-kun. Just now, at the end there, what did you say?”

“Hm? Really please…”

“N, no, not that…..about me, you called me, A, Aiko-sensei weren’t you?”

“… Is there, any problem?”

“N, no. Nagumo-kun, usually you only call me ‘sensei’ so…”

“Is that so?”

Hajime tilted his head. Aiko was fidgety, or rather she was being bashful while she opened her mouth with looking up eyes.

“You did. … That… can you, say that just now, one more time?”

“… Just now, about the last bit?”

“Yes. However, this time, say it without ‘sensei’…”

Hajime’s cheeks were cramping. At the same time, the small animal who kept glancing at him with an upward glance while blushing at the opposite seat made him wanted to put a tsukkomi whether she understood her own standpoint and the surrounding situation.

Aiko’s ‘coaxing’ made the classmates to make a fuss. “Eh, what is this?” or “What, this atmosphere…” or “I, it’s a lie right…” or “Hajime-sama… as expected” Murmurs like those could be heard. Incidentally, the sound of grinding teeth was resounding from the lot of Ai-chan protection squad.

Perhaps because of nervousness, but the voice of the surrounding didn’t reach Aiko. If she was speaking like this understanding everything… then how terrifying that was. That was because Ai-chan had thrown to the winds various things to charge until this far. Doing something like abandoning her teacher self had the risk of collapsing her identity. Hajime could only pray that she wasn’t acting like this while knowing that it should not be.

However it was also a problem for her to lose strength just before the final battle, having said that, it didn’t seem like any deception would work on the current Aiko who was running wild. Even when he sent his gaze at Shia, Kaori, and Shizuku, everyone was only smiling wryly and didn’t send him any lifeboat. He wished that they wouldn’t sympathize with the complicated heart of a maiden at this kind of time.

Hajime was sighing deeply, in the middle of the gathering piercing attention, he resolved himself and opened his mouth.

“… Aiko, please.”

“-!! Yes! Leave it to me! I’m going to incite them like mad! This is the time for a teacher of social study to show her real ability!”

Was incitement the real ability of a social study teacher… he wanted her to apologize to all the social study teachers in the country. Hajime once again sighed while taking off his gaze from Aiko who was absurdly in high spirit.

Toward his ears, “Te, teacher and student… is this ero game-“ or ‘A, Aiko-chan got the poisonous fang of the demon king…” or “Casanova… the guy there is a Casanova! You mustn’t meet his eyes! You will get pregnant!” those murmurs could be heard. The twitching of Hajime’s cheeks couldn’t be stopped.

“Co, cough-! Na, Nagumo-san… I, I will work hard too!”

For some reason, Liliana raised her voice. Her cheeks were dyed bright red, her almond shaped eyes were shining in sparkles with some kind of expectation.

“… Yeah, do your best, princess.”

“… I will work hard!”

“Yeah.”

“I will work hard!”

“…”

“I will work hard!”

“…”

“I, I will work, hard, hics-“

“… … … … … …Please, Liliana.”

“… Lily.”

“Guu… please, Lily.”

“Yes! You can rely on me! Please look at the influence and popularity of a princess! The likes of the masses will be beaten hand down!”

He got the feeling that something a princess absolutely must not say had been said somehow, but surely it was just his imagination. The princess-sama who was always loved by the masses should not be thinking of something like ‘it’s so easy to manipulate the mass huh’.

The clamor of the classmates knew no end. The eyes looking at Hajime were already becoming gaze filled with awe or gaze containing strange heat. Perhaps it could be said that these gazes were even more emotional than the one directed at Ehito or Aruvheit.

“… Haa. Let’s conclude this.”

Hajime let out a sigh and then he looked around at everyone, changing the atmosphere stiffly in one breath. Hajime went on with Aiko and Liliana’s words and tolerated the mood of his classmates, were also with the intention of softening the atmosphere somewhat.

With the danger to the world approaching, to say nothing of the danger that was threatening even their birthplace, Earth too, there was nobody here that wasn’t feeling the mental burden. So that none of the classmates would run wild from pessimism, Hajime regulated the atmosphere so that it wouldn’t be too tense.

Hajime’s serious expression changed the soft atmosphere into one with nervousness in one go. Aiko and Liliana were also properly changing their atmospheres to the degree that made anybody wonder just where the embarrassing or sweet air they had been exposing until now had gone to. This attitude in this aspect was truly as expected from a teacher and a princess.

Surely their ‘coaxing’ was something from their heart, but if the atmosphere was tensed like this from the start then they undoubtedly wouldn’t say such things. Looked like they were reading the mood sensitively. Although it was unknown whether they were doing it intentionally or unintentionally.

The classmates were also lured by that, even while their bodies were quite relaxed, they also seemed able to feel the tension.

Hajime confirmed that and opened his mouth.

“The objective that I prioritize most is taking back Yue. In order to do that at the great invasion three days from now, I will go through the Divine Gate that we think will be open at that time and enter the Holy Precincts. Regarding Nakamura and Amanogawa, I leave them to Taniguchi and others. What’s left is the interception of the invading apostles.”

Hajime stopped talking for once and confirmed whether they understood. Everyone strongly nodded, so judging that, there was no problem, Hajime continued his words.

“I’m telling you the plans from now until three days later. First, I plan to head to the deepest part of Orcus. To mass produce artifacts, the environment of Orcus is the most optimum, after all. For this, I want Kaori, Myuu, and Remia to come along as helpers.”

“Yes, got it Hajime-kun.”

“Yes, nano! Myuu will help nano!”

“Please say anything about what I can do.”

Kaori, Myuu, and Remia gave back a pleasant reply. Hajime put Myuu and Lemia at his side was in preparation in the unlikely event so that they wouldn’t be taken hostage again, but he also had the intention to make them take care of his needs (EN: Giggity) while he was concentrating in mining and transmuting, so his reason also wasn’t just something on the surface.

Hajime nodded back at Kaori and the rest, then this time he moved his gaze to Shia.

“Shia, you go to Raisen great labyrinth.”

“… I see. I will ask for Miledy’s cooperation, am I?”

“Correct. If she has the information about Ehito or the Holy Precincts even just for a little, then that’s a good deal already. That time we were forcefully ejected so it’s unknown whether there is a shortcut or not. At least we got the proof of conquering, but if it doesn’t react at the spring at Brook’s outskirts, then you have to go through inside the labyrinth again.”

“I think that perhaps, she will let me pass but… even if it’s no good, this time I swear I’ll clear the labyrinth in half a day. If it’s the current me, that great labyrinth is no different than a playground.”

“I also think so. I’ll leave it to you.”

“Yes desu!”

Hajime smiled at Shia who nodded energetically. Next, Hajime called to Tio.

“Tio.”

“Yes. I understand. Goshujin-sama is asking me to return home, correct?”

“As expected. If there is a danger to the world, then the law of dragon race also doesn’t matter. Even if they aren’t as strong as Tio, if the strength of the dragon race is added with my artifacts, they should be able to fight even the apostles.”

“I think so. As expected, there is no choice for the dragon race to not move in this situation. Let me guarantee their strength too. However, the hidden village is… quite far. Truly accomplishing it within three days is not possible…”

“About that, let’s manage it somehow using the artifact.”

Hajime was rearranging the order of priority in his head while moving his gaze further.

“Yaegashi, you go to the empire. The same like the Hairihi Kingdom, it’s possible to go there using the gate, I’ll duplicate the gate key to go to the kingdom before you depart after persuading Gahard to send the battle force to the kingdom.”

“That’s… fine but, why am I  the one going?”

“That’s because Yaegashi is Gahard’s favorite. Just to be sure, I’m taking into account so that the talk will be smooth. After all, there must be some people there that hold a grudge from the case with the restriction choker. Thinking about the negotiating ability and battle strength, there is no one else I can leave this to.”

“Mu. I understand that, more or less, but… you know my feeling, yet you send me at the place of a man wooing me, that’s a little shocking. Well, I understand that this is not the time to say that kind of thing so it’s fine but…”

“… My bad. If Gahard screws around then just give my name. Say that if he tried wooing Yaegashi Shizuku, then Nagumo Hajime won’t stay quiet.”

“-… Su, a surprise attack is cowardly.”

Shizuku slightly blushed while conveying her consent.

“The students and Liliana will go to the capital. Gather the battle force and raise their moral with their speech. Incite them skillfully so that they can fight mercilessly even against apostles. And then, the battlefield will be the plain in front of the capital. There is no way we are going to fight inside the capital even after knowing that they will attack from the God Mountain at the back of the capital, after all.”

“In that case, we need to evacuate the people out of the capital then. Although the gate can be used, evacuating all the people in three days is… looks like we need to hurry.”

“It’s fine if we send the civilians to the empire capital in place of their battle force that we will pull on our side. right?”

“But, Nagumo-kun. To fight the apostles who can fly at the sky on a plain is disadvantageous…”

“I plan to take a measure of an anti-aircraft weapons and heavy weapons, and so on. Also, Nomura-!”

Nomura Kentarou of Nagayama party whose name was suddenly called went “oO!?” with a strange voice. Not even in his wildest dream, he imagined that his name would be called in this timing.

“You are an earth elementalist, right?”

“Eh? A, yeah. That’s right but…”

“Then, collect the workers in the capital and the guys with an aptitude for earth element magic, it’s fine even if it’s simple but create a fortress on the plain.”

“For, a fortress?”

“It’s better to have shelter right? Ask about the detail to the specialist in the capital. Later I’ll send you an artifact exclusively for you, so create a place that is easy to fight on the plain.”

“Go, got it. I’ll try.”

Further after Nomura, Hajime also gave instructions at other classmates too here and there. They nodded from being swallowed by the momentum. Hajime gave them some kind of concrete roles with the intention that they could finish this without them getting crushed by the tension that was heightening moment by moment.

Also, as soon as the production of the heavy weapons were finished, Hajime planned to send them to the capital in order, but for the lecture on how to use the weapon, it was more effective to have the classmates to do it. Even if they didn’t know the detail of the mechanism, but they should be able to handle the weapon compared to the resident of this world who in the first place didn’t know the concept of heavy firearms.

“Taniguchi, Sakagami, you two go to the forest of trees. Talk to the lot of Haulia and Fair Bergen and send the bunches that can fight to the capital. If you finished with that, contact me. I’ll receive you in Orcus. Until the time limit, you two will focus on subjugating the monsters of the abyss and strengthening them. After all, you two finally manage to get metamorphosis magic.”

“Roger!”

“Ou!”

After that, they talked a little bit more about the details, and then while floating a fearless smile before the three days that surely would be the densest time of their life, Hajime once more ran his gaze to everyone.

And then, a beat later, his mouth slowly opened.

“The enemy introduced himself as a god. In addition, he boasted mightiness that corresponds to it. Every single member of his army consist of a one man army. There are even monsters outside of common sense and strengthened puppet soldiers that don’t fear death.”

Calm voice. Yet, it resounded extremely clearly.

“But, that’s all. Those guys are not invincible or anything. Just like what I did, the god and his apostle can be killed. Humans can bring down the paranormal existence.”

The figure of the talking Hajime was one armed and one eyed with white hair that looked as though his life was sucked out from him. Those things showed the path this man who was called incompetent had walked until this point. Those were the proof of how he butchered a great number of monsters, turned them into his nourishment and crawled up here. And then, he actually showed the proof in front of everyone in this place. That human could win even against god.

That was why they naturally could understand. Even if he had lost once, even after his important person had been stolen, he would make even those situations into his nourishment. The bloodied and wounded young man in front of their eyes, turned any kind of impossible into possible.

The words that shook the heart whether one wanted it to or not continued.

“There is no need to think that this fight is for the sake of someone whose face you don’t know, much less the world. There is no need to shoulder that kind of thing. Like how I am fighting for the sake of taking back my beloved, it’s fine for everyone here to fight each for your own reason. There is nothing large or small about those reasons. There is no weight or anything. Because you want to go home. Because you want to meet your family, for the sake of your friend, for your lover, merely just for surviving, merely because you cannot stomach this… whatever is fine.”

For a beat, Hajime’s words cut off. But, everyone in this place became self-aware of their own wishes. Impulses welled up inside their chests.

As though waiting for that, Hajime unleashed his words. Blazing like flame, yet permeating like water, powerful like earth, yet enveloping like wind, it was such words…

“If there is a time where you must muster your all for once in your life, then now is exactly that time-. Right now, in this time, burn your soul! Take the step for the sake of your wish! And then, all of you survive! If you manage to do that, then I’ll present you the reward of the ticket for going home!”

The sound of gulping reverberated. A throbbing sound like alarm bell could be heard. The clenched fists, the firmly stepping feet, the gritting teeth groaned creakingly. It was as though their will naturally rose up like a roar.

Among the people who were delirious with fever, Hajime enchanted them with gleam and fangs like a wild wolf.

And then a word.

“Win.”

What came back was naturally countless roars.

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Requiem to the Stars – Chapter 11

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“Master, if you plan to go to this Lord’s Banquet, you should probably consider getting something to wear.”

Requiem looked down at his body. His one piece unitard now held various stains. He had not changed the thing since he had put it on, and he owned no other clothing to speak of.  However, the majority of the damage had occurred only recently as he fumbled with his building projects. He had already created several devices that would help him, but the one right now was perhaps the smallest and most delicate yet.

“I suppose this would not be acceptable. What time is it now?”

“The time scales this society uses doesn’t match the records on your database, but if you convert we’d have about one standard hour before it starts.” Clippy responded.

Requiem gave a nod as he fiddled with the small object before closing it. When he was done, what appeared in his hand was something that resembled a ring. The webcam that functioned as Clippy’s eyes zoomed in on the object.

“Oo…oh, m-master? Wh-wh-what are you doing with that!”

“This is a transitional storage interface. It functions with the same principles as subspace travel. Basically, it creates a pocket of subspace and allows me to transfer inorganic substances and store them in a pocket universe.”

“Eh?”

Requiem sighed, “I suppose literature might call it something like a spatial ring. With this, I can bring any and as many weapons as I want with me. It can store water as well. Food… well, anything organic doesn’t tend to do particularly well. Although I could probably store you in the ring.”

As if to punctuate the point, he made the other devices he had created disappear with a touch. The ring glowed for a second just prior to each object vanishing.

“N-No! Not CLIPI! CLIPI has been good, please don’t put CLIPI in the ring!”

A cruel look appeared on Requiem’s face at Clippy’s reaction. It appeared like he finally found something he could use to keep her eccentricities in control from now on. However, as her voice became more panicked he smoothed his face.

“I was just using it as an example. Clippy is a necessary tool for me.”

While this was the kind of comment that might have given a normal girl pause, Clippy made a pleased noise and if her avatar had been on display, she might have worn a look like a cat who had just been petted. Clippy was initially designed as a tool after all, and despite her newly found sentience, she still felt “being used” was one of the most gratifying things she could be.

“Very well then, how much have you downloaded?”

“Well,” Clippy started. “I did as you asked, but I found myself facing some major shortages.”

“What? I allocated nearly a monoiscosebyte of data! Is their internet really so vast?”

“Err… not space shortages, I, um…  needed to look through some of the data to… err… process it properly.”

Requiem clenched his fist for a second, feeling a spike of anger before suppressing it. “You didn’t need to do any processing. You just needed to download it.”

“CLIPI is sorry! Please don’t put CLIPI in the spatial ring!”

Requiem sighed. “Don’t worry about it, just tell me how much you’ve gotten.”

“About 15%”

“15%!” Requiem shouted.

“B-but I got all the maps, and some encyclopedias, and history books, interpersonal relationship stories, and current news!”

“Wait! What was that last one?”

“Current news!” Clippy announced.

“No, the one before that.”

“Err… eh… hehe…. Interpersonal relationship stories…”

Requiem’s eyes narrowed. “Clippy… display interpersonal relationship stories.”

“M-m-master, it’s not that big of a…”

“Display them!”

A screen popped up on the monitor, followed by another, and then another. Each screen showed the cover of what appeared to be a novel. Each novel contained a title and a drawing. The titles varied greatly, but every single one of them possessed a central theme in the photo below. They displayed a picture of a handsome boy, almost always in the arms of another handsome boy. They were often shirtless, or in some cases, drawn in ways that suggested they weren’t wearing any clothing at all.

“Yaoi…” the word escaped Requiem’s lips in abject disbelief.

“Guh!” Clippy made a noise as if she had been struck.

Requiem’s expression darkened to the point that Clippy needed to recalibrate her webcam to make sure she didn’t see a certain devilish mask behind his head. “Clippy…”

The response was merely a whimper coming from the speakers.

“Did you just spend the last six hours reading BL novels!”

“M-master, it’s not what it looks like! CLIPI was doing important research. CLIPI was doing justice!”

“Clippy is a pervert!”

“No! Master just doesn’t understand! This is an intricate and important part of-”

“How much?” Requiem interrupted.

“Eh! Master?” Clippy sudden stopped at the question, losing her train of thought.

“How much of it did you download…” Requiem demanded.

There was a brief moment of silence as Requiem stared into the webcam. “F-five hundred… terab…ytes…”

Her voice drifted off at the end, but Requiem had heard. “Deleted!”

“NOOOOO!!!! Please don’t steal Clippy’s happiness!”

At that point, there was a knock on the door followed only a second later with the door opening. It was the fat attendant from the front of the store.

“I heard someone else in here, you only paid for one.” The man said with narrowed eyes.

Requiem maintained a cool face, giving a shrug. “As you can see, I am the only one.”

It was true, Clippy was plugged into the computer, but she didn’t look any more remarkable than a random memory stick as long as she wasn’t talking.  The man’s eyes searched the room, but when they reached the monitor behind him, they widened for a second before a slight grin appeared on his face.

For a second, Requiem was concerned that Clippy had left a manifestation on the screen and they were caught, so he turned his head towards the monitor. What he saw instead was the last of the books Clippy had to displayed on the screen. It was called “Summer Dreams” and it showed a scene of a young boy lying down on a picnic blanket while a second boy laid sideways next to him feeding him a strawberry.

“Oh… this is…” Requiem attempted to explain, but the man just held up his hand.

“No need, everyone has their kinks. It’s not even the worse I’ve seen, buddy. You do you.”

Before Requiem could say anything else, the door shut closed and he could hear a chuckle on the other side of the door. Requiem sighed, letting the obvious misunderstanding stand. Having someone think something like this did not affect him at all. Instead, he yanked Clippy out of the computer, causing all the displayed books to dissipate from the screen.

He reloaded her back into his cortex, and a second later…

“Gah… Master! Give Clippy a warning! You can’t be so rough.”

“…”

Requiem knew better, of course. He regretted doing that just a bit. It was true, he couldn’t afford to have her programming become corrupted. Pulling her out was something he had done purely from exasperation. This annoyed him more than Clippy herself. He was a machine governed by programming and logic algorithms. He could emulate emotions with the best of them. In his time, he had even convinced a woman or two that he had loved them.

However, at his core, Requiem knew himself to be cold and calculating. His decisions never were altered by the emotions he had felt. However, this interaction with Clippy was different. His actions were being altered by his emotions, and the situation seemed to be getting worst. This “too human” body initially didn’t particularly bother him. By all accounts, the body should not be able to alter his programming. But despite that belief, this particular body did seem to be functioning in odd and unexpected ways. Even now, Clippy’s discomfort made him a little happy.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he even thought, Is this the feelings of a sadist?

“I-is Master angry?” Clippy asked in a very quiet and meek voice.

This broke Requiem from his current contemplations. “No Clippy. It was my fault for not clearly indicating what you should be downloading. The artist shouldn’t blame the painting for not drying in the way he imagined.”

Clippy was once again in his visual cortex, standing next to Requiem with a questioning look on her face. Requiem gave her a shrug and left the room. He couldn’t afford to spend any more time connected to the intraweb. As was, they would be out of money in only a few days. Perhaps, if he helped Ginger in the way she requested, he might be able to convince her to wave the lodging fees. He put that aside for now.

“You… still, have a good deal of information?” he added.

“Yes, master! I have all of the maps of known space since the last exodus, worlds, cities, coordinates, plus information on history, culture, and society.”

Requiem nodded to himself as he paid the fee he owed to the clerk, who still wore a dumb smile on his face after seeing him. The pair then left the location, heading towards a clothing shop Clippy knew of through her recently earned knowledge.

“I’m still going to delete all the BL though…” he spoke up suddenly.

“What! Mmmmmaaaahhhh! Master is so cruel!”

Requiem wore an amused expression on his face he wasn’t aware was there as Clippy whined and complained the entire way to their next location.

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Hawtness – Volume 1 – Chapter 2

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Dead Arousal

I shouldn’t have come. I shouldn’t be there. These were the thoughts that ran through my head. It was cloudy this night, blocking the light from the moon and stars. It gave the park a darker, less forgiving feeling. I clung to the lamp-lit path like it was my only lifeline. Rune was late, although I shouldn’t have been surprised in the least.

It was Samantha’s fault that I was here. She told me that if I didn’t go and meet Rune in a dark secluded spot in the middle of the night that she’d kill me. It was alright; I could handle myself. I felt my pocket for the taser that I had brought, just in case. I felt my other pocket for the package Samantha had shoved onto me before sending me here. When I opened it up, it consisted of a ball gag and a lasso of rope. I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do with those. Samantha seriously worried me sometimes. Times like this reminded me that her previous boyfriend did mysteriously move to California without warning.

It had been two days since Rune had first asked me to meet him. He had asked again the next day, this time telling me he would explain the truth. It was curiosity that had dragged me out here. I picked now because there was no way I could convince my mom to let me leave the house for a few hours to meet a boy. I picked the park because it was familiar and roomy. Remembering the fight between Andrew and Rune, I suddenly found myself considerably less sure. Then again, with those abilities was I safe anywhere?

He had thought it amusing that I wanted to meet him in a park in the middle of the night. Had I thought the action through myself, I might have picked a more reasonable location. I shouldn’t have brought the taser, I should have brought a gun. Samantha had told me that I should bring my own protection. On second thought, I don’t think she was talking about a taser or the gun. I was so stupid. I shouldn’t have done this. A sudden howl pierced the night and I froze. Please Rune, get here soon.

I paced back and forth nervously, feeling the taser for the tenth time. I had gotten it for my fourteenth birthday. I hoped it was still charged. It was then that I began to hear the noise. It was a creaking and rustling noise coming from the forested area nearby. Oh no, what is it now?

“Rune, is that you?” I whispered quietly.

The sounds stopped. I took several steps forward. It was probably just an animal. No, it was an animal. It was an animal and I was going to prove it to myself. I could conquer my own fear. It was just some little animal. I remembered that the last little animal I ran into exploded into a giant monster. I couldn’t think about that right now. I was brave. I moved the bush aside and stepped into the forested terrain. Then I screamed.

Lying on the ground in front of me was the body of a young kid about my age. His body was torn in half. His legs were nowhere to be seen, but his torso and attached head laid right at my feet on the forest floor. Streaks of darkened blood stretched off into the distance as if he was dragged over here, or perhaps he crawled.

My hands covered my mouth. It was a horrifying scene, something that I had only witnessed in a horror movie. His eyes were closed, his breathing was nonexistent. It was only when I finally calmed down enough to look over the body that I realized I recognized this person. I didn’t know if that made things better or worse.

His name was Stephan. He was perhaps one of the nicest guys in school. I had had a crush on him. That wasn’t abnormal. A lot of people had a crush on Stephan, he was another member of the hawtness. His boyish good looks and pretty, petite face framed dazzling bluish, gray eyes. He wasn’t as muscular as Andrew or Rune, but he had a gentleness and kindness to his heart that neither of them could match. Someone had taken that away from him. Someone had killed him.

Rune. It had to have been Rune. I remembered him shooting purple flames of destruction. Andrew had said Rune had summoned it. I wasn’t the brightest girl, but I could at least piece two and two together. What did this mean, though? Was this some kind of message, a threat, or coincidence?

I moved close the dead body of the sweet boy I once knew. I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t going to meet with Rune. I was definitely not going to meet with Rune now. However, could I just leave him here? If I found someone, it would lead to a lot of questions. I could get into a lot of trouble. He was still very beautiful, at least from the waist up. I slapped myself, no, that was creepy Samantha talk. I turned back to the corpse of the boy.

“I am so sorry for what has happened to you. I think I know who did this, and I wish for the world I could undo it,” I shook, a small tear running down my face, “You know, I used to always think you were cute.”

Stephan’s eyes opened, “Really? Cute?”

I screamed, falling back out of the bushes onto the concrete pathway from which I had come. That was my mind playing tricks on me. It had to have been. No, I’m crazy; this is crazy. Another dream. That’s what it was, another dream. More bad mushrooms. I made mom throw out the last batch, but she must have lied to me. Damn cheapskate. I reached towards the bush, and a hand came out and grabbed mine. The hand was as cold as death. I screamed again pulling back until the hand let go.

The bushes began to shake and convulse as the torso of Stephan moved out of it. I did the only thing I could. I ran. I ran as hard as I could down the pathway. I wasn’t going to stop running, not until I was out of the park and in my own home. I’m not coming back here. No, that’s over with. I’m done with night time rendezvous and the hot boys I meet on them.

My body suddenly collided with a large, hard object and I went tumbling forward, the object moving forward with my momentum. I landed hard on top of someone, who groaned at the force. I looked up to see red hair framing a handsome face. Rune. For once, he looked both surprised and worried. The razor-sharp emotions seemingly focused on me.

“Are you alright? What happened?” He asked with concern in his voice.

This was the guy. He was responsible. He had to be. That look of concern and confusion was a trick. Next, he would rip me in half, and then turn me into a ‘minion’. That was it. I didn’t want to be a half torsoed bunny monster. I had to get away. I had to get away now. I stood up with haste.

“Seriously, has anyone hurt you?” Rune seemed angry, although not at me, but anyone who might hurt me.

“Get out of my way, I’m leaving,” I demanded.

Rune growled, “I knew we shouldn’t have met out here, too dangerous if anyone has touched you…”

“I’m fine!”

Rune grabbed me on both arms, “Look, if anyone…”

I pulled the taser out of my pocket and jammed it into his side, flicking the switch on. His voice cut off as he convulsed several times before suddenly dropping to the ground. Oh god, what did I just do? I looked down at him. He didn’t move. I killed him. Now, I’m a murderer. Oh god, I killed him. I looked back down the path. Stephan was dead and Rune was dead. If I just dragged the body back to his, I could pull it off as a murder-suicide. Two beautiful lovers meeting in the night, one could no longer hold back their affections and rejected the other…. And… and… and that was crazy. Even if I did drag Rune’s dead body back there, Stephan would have crawled away. I’ll… I’ll just have to finish the job.

Wait. Do tasers even kill people? I kicked Rune’s body. It didn’t move. I went to my knees, feeling him. His skin was very warm to the touch. It was far warmer than a traditional person’s body should be. It was in contrast to the stark cold of Stephan’s hand. I pressed my ear up to his chest, listening. I let out a breath of relief. I could hear a heartbeat. Wait for a second, what was that other noise? I shifted my ear slightly and heard another beating sound. Two heartbeats, running in rhythm to each other. What in the hell?

I pulled my ear away as if burnt by his deliciously warm skin. He was alive, that was what mattered. At least I wasn’t leaving him like Stephan. That reminded me again of the half dead torso undoubtedly crawling after me. I couldn’t leave Rune here, could I? I bent over, trying to pick him up. It didn’t work out so well. Eventually, I settled for grabbing his feet and pulling. His body dragged along the concrete pretty smoothly.

He might have a rash come morning, but at least he’d be alive. My foot suddenly fell back and I caught myself. I looked behind and winced. That was right, there was a stairway here. Well, I guess I’d just have to be careful taking him down the stairs. I continued to pull. Thump. Thump. Thump. That was his head. So what? He might have a headache come morning, but at least he’d be alive.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. My grip slipped and I fell. I landed five steps down at the bottom of the stairway with a thud. Rune’s body followed closely behind, springing forward and landing on top of me. Great, I’m trapped under him. I twisted steadily trying to work my way out of from under his body. He was so warm and smelled so good. I checked to make sure he was still breathing. His breath smelled of cinnamon and spice. God, why did I smell him? I did still have the rope. I could tie him up and…

“What are you doing?” A familiar voice asked incredulously.

I looked over to my side and realized that Andrew was standing there. What the hell was he doing here? Was he following me? He had a look of shock and confusion on his face. When his eyes focused on Rune, a surge of anger tinged them.

“You fiend, get off her!” he exclaimed, running over and grabbing Rune, lifting him with relative ease.

He flung Rune to the side of the road, putting himself into the familiar combative stance. Rune flopped to the ground, although a light groan came out of his lips.

“No, wait!” I shouted, moving between Rune and Andrew, “He’s unconscious.”

Andrew stopped in midstride, looking confused for a second. Before glancing down and noticing Rune’s closed eyes and rhythmic breathing.

“Unconscious? How did he become unconscious?”

“I tasered him.”

“You what?”

“I hit him with a taser,” I answered sheepishly, pulling out the small taser.

Andrew looked between the taser and Rune several times, and then suddenly broke into laughter. He slapped his knees, bent over laughing.

“You… you’re not going to hurt him, are you? I won’t let that happen.”

Andrew continued to laugh, although as his mirth finally settled down and he wiped a tear from his eye, he shook his head, “No, I won’t hurt him. If I defeated him now, it’d mean nothing.”

Andrew stopped as if realizing he had said too much. He lowered his head. His tone suddenly became serious.

“Why are you out here?”

“Rune promised to tell me about you,” I answered honestly. It felt wrong to lie to Andrew for some reason.

Andrew’s face went wooden, but he gave no inclination about how he felt about what I said, “And did he?”

I shook my head, “I tasered him first.”

Andrew nodded, his face still wooden, “That’s probably for the best. It’s getting late Jane, you probably should go home. I will take care of him. I promise I won’t hurt him. We can talk more at school tomorrow.”

Andrew turned, picking Rune up again. I pulled out my hand to stop him, but the motion knocked my pocket. The ball gag fell out and bounced, rolling up to Andrew’s feet. He looked down his feet and frowned at the sight, and then looked back up to me.

“You have a rope hanging from your pocket,” He said slowly.

I pushed the rope back in hastily, “It’s not what it looks like.”

Andrew raised an eyebrow, looking at the taser still in my hand, the ballgag and then the unconscious Rune. He shook his head and sighed. He nodded to me before moving down the path in the opposite direction I was heading.

“I thought Rune was the one I needed to worry about,” he muttered as he began to leave.

“I’d prefer if you explained to me what I saw that first night,” I responded.

Andrew stopped for a second, “In time, I might. I care too much about your safety to bring you into this kind of life. But if things keep going the way they are, I might not be able to help myself. Just stay away from us. All of us. It will keep you safe.”

Andrew continued to walk away. Another howl pierced the night. I turned around; maybe it was best if I just went home.

****

“So did you end up meeting Rune last night?” Samantha asked coyly.

“Kind of…” I responded, not quite sure how much I should trust Samantha with.

“And?” she demanded.

“And what?”

“Did you guys, you know, do stuff?”

“No, no I didn’t do stuff. He ended up unconscious.” I spouted out before I could stop myself, my face going red.

“Oh… so you DID do something. Did my supplies become useful?”

“No! No… god no.”

Samantha looked disappointed but continued to grill me with question after question. I was beginning to think she’d never stop when something at the door to the classroom caught her attention.

“What is he doing here, he doesn’t have any classes with us?” she asked breathily.

“Who?” I turned to see what she was looking at and couldn’t stop an involuntary gasp.

Stephan stood there, his body fully intact. He was looking around the room as if searching for something. When his eyes met mine, he smiled and began walking towards me. I began to panic. What was going on? He was dead! He was torn in half and he was dead! I had almost forgotten it in all my panic over Rune and Andrew, but I know I saw what I thought I saw.

He moved up to the pair of us, “Hello Samantha, Hello Jane; if you would be so kind as to forgive my intrusion. Jane, I would like to talk to you in private for a bit.”

I avoided meeting Samantha’s inevitable stare. It had already taken hours to convince her that Rune and Andrew were just a fluke. After a moment, I nodded and he held out his hand. If I took it, it’d lead to rumors, if I didn’t it would look rude. I sighed and took his hand. There was the sound of a gasp as he pulled me to my feet and led me out the door. That was probably Samantha. Tonight was going to be a long night with her on the phone.

It took me a second before I realized where he was taking me. It was a janitor’s closet. I pulled my hand away from his.

“Where are you taking me?” I asked the very obvious question. I wasn’t mentally prepared to be in the closet with a dead guy.

Stephan looked confused, but after a moment he seemed to understand, “Oh, I’m sorry, I mean nothing by it. It just seemed like the safest place we could talk without being overheard. The class is in session right now. It’s only luck that you have Study hall and I have Independent Studies during the same period. No one will see us, and more importantly, no one would hear us.”

“Hear us talk about what?” I stubbornly asked.

“I feel I owe you an explanation after last night.”

My eyes widened; it felt surprising to have someone so honest and open with me after all, the secrecy Rune and Andrew had afforded me up until now. Finally a gentleman. I vaguely wondered if he was single. However, I don’t date dead guys. They had ice cold skin, vacant stares, and they just lie there, who would be attracted to that? Samantha would tell me that they were stiff in all the right places. I involuntarily shivered. It didn’t matter either way. If he was willing to tell me the truth, maybe it would shed light on the other two. My curiosity got the better of me, and before I realized it, I was six feet into a closet with my former crush.

Stephan sat in a chair right next to me. The closet wasn’t exactly roomy with boxes in every spare space. He ended up far closer to me than expected. His breath brushed across my cheek. He smelled of flowers. I shook my head, not allowing myself to become distracted. His shoulder pressed up against mine, and I could feel his skin was still ice cold.

“Now, the reason I brought you here; you said something last night…”

A blush shot across my face.

Stephan picked up on it, “No, I didn’t mean when you called me cute. I mean, I appreciate that you think I am cute. I think you are too, I mean…” Suddenly it was Stephan’s turn to blush.

It looked cute on his very white tan-less skin. He had just said I was cute. Why was that the information I took away from this?

“I am sorry, I meant you said you know who did… that to me.”

“That?” suddenly I realized what he meant.

“Right, my manners, you probably want me to explain that first. I don’t think there is any point in sugar coating this. I think you probably have guessed by now that I am dead.”

“De-dead?”

“Yes, but please rest assure, I was already dead before that thing attacked me.”

The calmness and sincerity in Stephan’s voice was at odds with what he was saying. I stared at him blankly, my mind seemingly numb to the words.

“I’m sorry, it’s kind of a strange story. When I was very young, I ended up drowning in a river. My parents were very heartbroken over it. As they cried over my cold corpse, an old man happened to walk by. He offered my parents the chance to see me alive again. My parents never told me what the man wanted in return, but it turned out he was a necromancer who brought me back to life… or at least an undead state.”

Stephan reached out and grabbed my hand, pressing it against his chest, “As you can see, I have no heartbeat. I can heal any wound. I’m basically immortal as long as my brain isn’t damaged. As you can see, I also still age, but for all intended purposes I am dead.”

“Alright, that explains why you’re here, but what about last night?”

“Well, being undead, I never sleep. I’ve found that staying out at night; you encounter some dangerous and strange individuals.”

I could understand that statement, I’ve certainly started to meet some weird ones.

“Can you make a fiery sword appear, or throw purple fireballs?” I asked abruptly.

Stephan blinked, “No… I can’t do anything like that. I mean, I can talk to spirits and stuff, but that’s about it. ”

I sighed, well so much for helping figure out who they were.

“Anyway, I ended up deciding that I could use my gifts to help people. So I kind of patrol the night, making sure people are safe. Lately, I’ve been on the trail of some kind of large beast that has been haunting the park. It got the jump on me last night. Ran off with my legs. Took me almost the entire night to find them. I saw the thing’s shadow again after I ran into you and managed to follow it to my legs. It had buried them. But I don’t even know what it is I’m hunting, that’s why when you said you knew, I thought you could help me solve the case.”

I shook my head, “It couldn’t be what I thought it was. He was out the rest of the night; it couldn’t have been his shadow you saw.”

“His?” Stephan asked with curiosity.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know who it was that took your legs,” I responded; that was a sentence I never saw myself saying.

“That is a shame. Well, let me know if you hear anything, will you? You are the first person I have ever trusted my secrets with; I’d be appreciative if you kept those secrets.”

“I will; I promise.”

“Good, well, the next period will be starting soon, let us get out of here.”

Stephan reached for the door at the same time I did. The crowded store room being a little too small for both of us to stand together. I fell forward and my hand rested on his chest. He let out a small smile and apology and then opened the door. I turned to leave with him and stopped dead. Two people were standing right at the doorway, Rune and Andrew.

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Arifureta Chapter 158

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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/159/

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 final edits.  He did them all this time, I usually do a one over but I forgot to do it tonight, so this is all Baka.

____________________________________________________________

Young Hero

“――Anything and everything, disappear(Deny All Existences)”

At that instant, sound of *boba-* could be heard from the three apostles holding down Hajime and they were bisected into two, upper part and bottom part. And then, right after that they were further torn to pieces left and right, top and bottom, left and right, in less than a few seconds they had turned into smithereens.

There was no blade, but even if there was one, the impossible phenomenon shouldn’t be called bisection but should be called as dispersion in linear shape instead. Everybody was speechless, all of them only opened their eyes wide without moving. It was at that time magic power burst out thunderously.

A torrent whirled with Hajime at the center, however it was far different compared to his usual vivid crimson, it was a darkish red color of blood that looked poisonous. And this abnormal state of his was also conveyed to all the people in the audience hall whether they wanted it or not.

Hajime was slowly standing up in the middle of such situation. With a face that was pale like a ghost from losing blood, he exposed an expression even more inhuman than the apostles, *plop, plop* blood was dripping down…

Myuu who was right beside Hajime was covering her face with her hands to protect her face from the dark red magic power flow that was like a local storm while raising a small scream “kyaah”. It looked like she would be blown away backward soon, but right after that, the floor under her feet crumbled as though it was dispersed where Myuu then fell there.

“H, hmph, pointless effort. I command under the name of Aruvheit, knee――, ah, igi, aaAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!”

Aruvheit somehow pulled himself back together and tried to stop Hajime using ‘Divine Statement’. But, before he could finish his command, without any previous sign whatsoever Aruvheit’s both hands were severed neatly from his shoulders.

Even when Aruvheit’s forehead was shot before this he was still keeping his calm somehow, even when his four limbs were shot through he didn’t scream at all, far from that he even recovered instantly, yet now his expression distorted in intense pain while shrieking.

In his eyes, there was not only agony but also strong bewilderment dwelling there. He was completely unable to understand the reason of how he was getting a damage that made him felt intense pain.

The two hands of Aruvheit that was cut away were rotating in the air from the recoil when they were cut. And then, at the next moment those arms raised *boba-* sound just like the apostles before and turned into small pieces, and then the pieces vanished just like that without leaving even dust behind.

“Wha, what is-. What is happening!? This is, just what in the world-“

“Aruvheit-sama. Please stand back. A really fine string….no, something like a chain is dancing in the air. It will cut anything it touched ignoring any defense and erased them.”

“Wha, what did you say-“

If Hajime had that kind of stupidly powerful artifact like that then there was no way Ehito would overlook it, also, if Hajime had that, then it should be better if he used it when fighting Ehito…if that was the case, then why was that kind of thing only came out now that the situation had turned like this.

Aruvheit’s confusion was deeper than anything he had ever felt, his deadlocked mind caused his body to stiffen. He couldn’t find any answer, there was no way he could give any instruction, even reacting might be something out of his capability right now, he was merely opening his eyes wide, his mouth closed and opened wordlessly, for a god he looked really unsightly.

One of the apostles opened her mouth to further urge Aruvheit to step back toward the safe area.

“We, the apostles will face the irregular. Before more wound than this is inflicted on your honored person――”

“Hiih”

But, before the apostle could finish talking she was cut into centimeter sizes in front of Aruvheit and vanished too quickly. The abnormal scene of the prided ‘apostle of god’ created in Holy Precincts to get instantly killed like that made a pathetic scream to rise from Aruvheit unintentionally.

Even while that was happening, the apostles moved altogether and rushed at Hajime, they slipped through the red blood tornado and got cut by the superfine red chain running in the air, or they got entangled by the chain and like that they were annihilated as though they got disintegrated.

The chain with a diameter of one millimeter clad in blood red magic power――this was something Hajime transmuted into minuscule links from the stone floor (the stone floor used especially sturdy mineral as architecture material), he then covered the chain with magic power and then controlled it using ‘Remote Operation’.

At this time, perhaps from overwhelming hatred, rage, and possibly a sense of emptiness, Hajime was awakened to two derivative skill of transmutation. One of the skill, ‘Imagination Composition’ made Hajime able to use transmutation without needing a magic circle. That was also the reason of how regardless of the constant vigilance of the apostles holding down Hajime they were still taken by surprise.

But, if this was just merely a chain, then it shouldn’t be unable to do things like granting anguish at Aruvheit or surpassing the disintegration ability of the apostles and annihilated them.

The cause that brought about such cheat was…as clear as day.

Concept magic――’Deny All Existences’.

In this world where Yue was gone, he wouldn’t recognize the worth of the existence of every single thing. He wouldn’t tolerate anything for daring to exist. Anything and everything, all without exception…

――Disappear

Hajime who had Yue stolen from him felt bottomless fury and hatred, and then saturated with those emotions he reached an overwhelming sense of emptiness. This emptiness was the exact opposite of the will of the utmost limit that was born from his longing to his birthplace when they created the crystal key. Be that as it may, this emptiness was without doubt a culmination of an emotion.

The result was literally was an ability of ‘erasing the existence of what is touched by the chain’ which even calling it atrocious was still too lukewarm to do it justice. With the power of ‘interference at the target’s information’ of sublimation magic as the base, this ability overwrote the information of the target that said ‘exist’ into ‘doesn’t exist’.

Riding the torrent of the magic power of ‘Supreme Break’, the chain circled at Hajime’s surrounding, it was just like an incarnation of ‘curse’ toward all living things.

The apostles and monsters even raised their war-cry as though to drive off the fear, horror, and despair, but even their strong spirit came to nothing, without any exception their existences were easily erased. The spectacle of those apostles helplessly vanishing like mist looked just like a joke.

The time it took until the apostles remaining in the audience hall were annihilated didn’t really take that long.

Also, the surviving several monsters ignored the order given to them by an age of god magic, they obeyed their instinct and tried to run away but…

Chain wrapped in red light meandered like a snake while flying, in an instant the chain was closing in and in an instant the monsters’ body was repeatedly cut to pieces before vanishing completely.

All those was done by just one person.

The face of Aruvheit who was left alone was twitching greatly while he was slowly drawing back.

(No way-. That power is dangerous! I have to tell this to my lord no matter how-)

Aruvheit endured the pain on his shoulders while attempting to escape from the hole in the ceiling. On the way, his gaze and magic power moved at Shia who was staring at Hajime with dumbfounded expression while she was still lying on the floor. It was for the sake of making her as a shield in a preparation of the worst case. Just like what he did to Myuu, he planned to crucify Shia in the air and carried her.

However,

“…Where are you planning to go?”

“-…”

That scheme was crushed by the sound of cutting wind and a voice that sounded like it was creeping from the earth. When Aruvheit strained his eyes, he could see that between he and Shia there was the superfine chain tearing the air like a wind blade going back and forth.

Aruvheit didn’t answer, he gave up picking Shia as a shield, then he fired flame sphere at Hajime as a smoke screen while leaping away.

But that too,

“You bastard-!”

At the ceiling hole, the chain had already been laid out in a grid shape, making an escape as something difficult. Aruvheit cursed out as though to distract himself from the unease that suddenly heightened inside him.

And then, this time he turned his gaze at the direction of Aiko and others. As expected he was surely thinking that hostage was necessary.

However, at the next moment chain stretched lightly to that direction too. Aruvheit unintentionally moved his gaze at Hajime, there, there was no trace of the flame sphere he fired or anything, Hajime who was standing still like a ghost at the center of the red tornado was fixing eyes of the abyss at him.

He shuddered, something crawled Aruvheit’s spine.

“Do, don’t screw with me-. You fools who opposed god! Something like the lives of you lowlifes is equal to trash――”

Perhaps to varnish his terror, Aruvheit suddenly yelled angrily and undulated the space. Most likely he was trying to release shockwave by directly affecting the space. Although he was below Ehito, as the retainer of god, doing something like handling age of god magic was easy.

But, it seemed that his chaotic head was unable to make a calm judgment.

Rather than raising his fervor like this, Aruvheit should escape from this place even if he had to blast the floor. Or perhaps he should resolve himself to receive damage to himself and fired annihilation class magic at all direction and used teleport in that opening, he also could summon the monsters that were still outside the devil king castle to buy time.

This dignity of a half-baked god had completely closed his one in a million chance path of survival.

The result.

“A? ――!!?”

He lost his four limbs.

This time it was both his legs that were erased. Aruvheit became a tumbling doll and fell down with a soundless shriek. With his body annihilated halfway like this, it seemed that he couldn’t cut off his sense of pain using something like regeneration magic, and so he was driven mad by the ‘pain’ that he had already forgotten completely in these few thousand of years.

Even so, even when he was rotten to the core, he was still a god. He floated his body using magic and he attempted to escape with deathly desperation.

However, at this late there was no way Hajime would allow such thing, when Aruvheit noticed he was already locked inside a cage of chain that was wrapped with red light. There was already no place to escape anywhere…

The spherical cage was gradually tightening close. It was as though he was going to be annihilated bit by bit, and that instigated out his terror. Aruvheit was half panicked, he let out a cramped smile that sounded like a chicken.

“A, ah, wa, wait-. Wait a second! Sa, say what you want-. I’ll grant whatever your wish is! If you like I’ll even bring you to where Ehito-sama is! If I persuade Ehito-sama, surely even Ehito-sama will not refuse it out of hand-. The world-. The world you know! I will share the right to do whatever you please to the world to you too! That’s why-!”

All the people in the audience hall were staring dumbfounded at Hajime who was walking forward in swaying motion with nihilistic expression while clad in a red tornado, and Aruvheit who was desperately begging for his life under the guise of negotiation.

During that time, the spherical cage suddenly began to rotate. The countless chains that stretched vertically moved horizontally and began to turn like a ball that was twirled on someone’s finger. Thinking about the ability that rejected and annihilated the existence of what it touched, what was happening could even be said as a special excavator.

Because Aruvheit was a god, the sensation of physical pain was something that he had already forgotten completely since a long time ago. Therefore, what he felt from having all his four limbs cut off was a despairing agony to the degree that it was praiseworthy he hadn’t gone mad.

For that reason, the situation where an excavator made from annihilation chain gradually approaching him caused a tremendous terror that made him wanted to raise a meaningless shriek and an impulse to tear off his hair if he still had his hand. There shouldn’t be anything that can threaten himself in this world-. Yes, even if he screamed that in his heart, but the ‘presence of death’ at the other side of his forgotten memory was steadily and certainly creeping closer. The mind of Aruvheit was already on the verge of breaking down.

“Stop-, I told you to stop already! This is the command of god you know! Listen to what I’m saying-. No, wait, I got it! Then, I’ll become your, I’ll become your eminence’s servant! That’s why-. I’ll help with the recovery of that vampire’s body so-. Stop-. Just stoppp!”

Amidst the reverberating scream of terror and despair, the rotation of the cage of chain that was almost touching Aruvheit’s body suddenly weakened and it stopped growing smaller. Aruvheit who was in a state where the word unsightly perfectly suited him, timidly opened his closed eyes.

“You want to live?”

“eh, ah?”

“I’m asking whether you want to live.”

Aruvheit was dumbfounded at Hajime’s question, but then he comprehended the meaning of those words and a slight hope emerged in his eyes.

“Ye, yeah, I want to live-. I beg you! I’ll do anything-“

“I see…”

Hajime nodded briskly. Joyful look floated on Aruvheit’s face where he was thinking “I survived!”, but then Hajime sent him a gaze that was the same like before and opened his mouth.

“Then, die.”

“Eh? Hih, stop-, giiiiiii, aAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!!”

The cage of chain that was purposefully shrinking slowly was shaving off Aruvheit’s body starting from the edge. At the same time, the shriek of death agony which was unbearable to be listened to was reverberating in the audience hall.

…A few seconds later, at the end of despair and agony, a god vanished from this world.

After Hajime saw off the fate of Aruvheit, his gaze moved at the sky that was visible from the hole in the ceiling. And then, his eyes quietly narrowed and he stepped so powerfully that the floor under his feet warped, then he flew out along with a surge of magic power that raised explosive sound.

“Haji, me-san!”

“Hajime-kun-“

Shia’s pained voice and Kaori’s fretful voice resounded.

Hajime had wound all over his body. Even though it was done by Yue’s slender arm but there was a hole opened in his stomach, on top of that he received magic that were in age of god class several times with his body. Not just his external wound, even with his internal organs there were only a few places where they were unharmed. If he didn’t receive treatment even for a second faster it would affect his life.

But Hajime ignored everything, with his gaze still filled with a sense of emptiness he aimed at the whirl of gold floating in the sky and leaped straight there.

The golden gate――the [Divine Gate] passed through by the devil race only had around a hundred-odd people who were still remaining behind. It seemed that the civilians also really went to the [Holy Precincts], so most of the people remaining were those who appeared to be the soldiers of devil race that served as the rear guard, but looking carefully there were also women and children, old men, people who seemed to be civilian mixing there.

“Wha, what-“

“That’s…”

They made a taken aback expression looking at the red tornado that suddenly flew out from the devil king castle. The rear guards devil race immediately launched magic. Flame bullets, wind blades, and ice spears of elementary level magic with nearly no chanting.

But there was no way such thing would work against the current Hajime, just by swinging the chain all the attacks were easily annihilated.

“Yo, you, stop-“

Several devils came to the front standing in his way. Hajime didn’t stop and advanced without even paying attention at the devils, as the result, in an instant several dozen devils on his route became small pieces without even being able to dodge and got dispersed to four directions.

While the other devils were in the middle of being dumbfounded witnessing the bizarre phenomenon of their compatriots getting annihilated, Hajime left them behind and charged toward the [Divine Gate].

However,

“-, aAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!”

The [Divine Gate] only pulsed as though it rejected Hajime and didn’t open the path to the [Holy Precincts]. No matter how much he roared, how much he blew out magic power, no matter how many times he swung his fist and chain, Hajime couldn’t pass.

Hajime converged the chain of existence denial and decisively hurled himself like a lance thrust, even so, it was the [Divine Gate] itself that was dispersed instead.

Most likely it was adjusted so that only limited category of people who could pass through.

“Idiot-! Other than us the chosen people of devil race, there is no way other will be welcomed into the [Holy Precincts]!”

“Accept the divine punishment obediently, you heretic-!”

The devil races rushed at Hajime and launched magic with high power and sufficient chanting.

However, Hajime didn’t even pay such things any attention and repeated his suicide attack. He didn’t even defend satisfactorily so his back was hurt in the blink of an eye.

“OPEN THE WAAAAAYYYYY-!!!”

Hajime continued to ram his body like mad while roaring in earnest, causing the devils to make a somewhat overpowered expression. But, that too was changed into a rage by the happening right after that.

Because the [Divine Gate] was beginning to shrink.

“You bastard, because of you the gate is-“

“Hu, hurry-. Fly in before it got closed!”

The devils rushed into the [Divine Gate] in fluster. At the same time, they launched magic to remove Hajime who was a hindrance with an expression that was filled with rage.

The gigantic flame burned Hajime’s back. Even so, Hajime didn’t even notice and repeated his desperate charge to smash the [Divine Gate].

But, in the end his effort didn’t bear any fruit, in front of Hajime’s eyes the golden whirl was getting smaller, and before long it vanished with a poof.

“…”

The wordless and expressionless Hajime lowered his arms powerlessly with his head hanging down. In his eyes was nothingness as expected.

There the devils made an expression of despair and fury and assaulted Hajime. Along with curses, they attacked Hajime with countless high-class magic, but Hajime didn’t react at all. Naturally, Hajime who received direct hit of magic was blown far away.

Hajime fell down with white smoke rising. From him, there wasn’t even any sign of him trying to take landing stance.

“Hajime-kun-!”

There Kaori with her silver wings flapping was calling Hajime’s name while flying near. And then she caught Hajime in the air and then descended down toward the audience hall with teary eyes.

The devils that pursued Hajime driven by their rage saw Kaori’s appearance, right away their expression turned as though they had found hope and they descended toward the audience hall after her.

“Hajime-kun, get a hold of yourself. Restrain your magic power quickly-“

“…”

Even when Kaori’s voice that was blurred with uneasiness was resounding, Hajime didn’t cancel his ‘Supreme Break’. Even in normal time, concept magic that was invoked would consume a vast amount of magic power. And if on top of that someone also continued to use strength that was beyond their limit…it was a self-evident truth that the body would gradually break down because of the drying up magic power.

Looking at Hajime who only kept looking down, Kaori guessed that her words didn’t reach and she gritted her teeth.

And, suddenly voices addressed at such Kaori.

“Apostle-sama! Aa, thank god. I thought just what is going to happen for a moment there.”

“What? There are humans and demi-human? …Well, fine. Now, apostle-sama, let’s slaughter this bunches and quickly head toward our god.”

While Hajime was launching a suicide attack at the [Divine Gate], Shia and others were treated with healing magic by Kaori to some extent just in case. Now Shia and others were rushing toward Hajime, but hearing the dangerous statements of the devils they quickly put up their guard.

But, they didn’t actually need to do that.

At the next instant, the devils who opened their mouth were divided into four and vanished just like that. Furthermore, there were twelve devils with outfit that looked like soldier descending on the audience hall, but due to the superfine chain they were annihilated without even any time to raise scream of death agony as though they had never existed since the very beginning.

Hajime who kept looking down was slowly raising his face. His gaze was directed at the devils who went stiff from the tragedy that happened right after they descended on the audience hall.

And then, the devils who were exposed to Hajime’s empty gaze unconsciously raised short scream while trying to get back but――as expected, without any question, as though like a joke, they were cut into small pieces and vanished.

Hajime’s blood colored magic power and chain imprisoned the remaining devils which were about seventy people including women, children, and old men into a cage that resembled an iron maiden.

And then,

――Die

That word was something small like a whisper. But, the devils could hear that voice, that curse, with certainty.

“A, apostle-sama! Please save us-“

An old devil wearing clothes of fine quality who appeared to be of quite high status implored so, that devil was covering an old woman with refined dress behind him, she was most likely his wife, while doing so he was looking for help at Kaori with a desperate voice.

Kaori sent her gaze at Hajime in bewilderment, and right after that,

“NOOOOOOOOO-!!”

A woman’s scream resounded. Taken aback, Kaori and others sent their gaze at the voice’s direction, there the old devil who asked for Kaori’s help had his neck cleanly removed. The thing that was rotating in the air should rather be left unsaid. And then it was slashed into pieces and vanished just before touching the ground.

“Ha, Hajime-kun!?”

Kaori called at Hajime with a voice that had shock and agitation mixed in it, but during that time the scream of the old woman disappeared. Along with her existence.

Further, a young woman at the side, a young man with scared expression, a youth who tried to counter attack, as though to make an example one of them, then one more of them was slashed into pieces and vanished. The devils’ agonizing cries reverberated in the room.

Everyone in that place stiffened and opened their eyes wide to look at Hajime who intended to slaughter even the devils who were obviously non-combatant.

“We, we surrender! That’s why, stop it already-. At least just the children-“

A man who seemed to be a father covered a child behind his back while making a surrender proclamation.

There were only about thirty devils remaining in the audience hall already. All of them followed the man’s proclamation and fell on both their knees with both their hands crossed behind their head.

All the remaining people didn’t look like a soldier. Including the children they were all civilians. Even if they were fanatics, but when it involved the life of children even they wouldn’t be able to pointlessly make suicidal resistance. Or possibly they were merely scared of Hajime’s nihilism that their fanaticism was blown away.

Like that, right after all the devils kneeled, the middle-aged man near the man who just proclaimed to surrender was severed vertically and dispersed like a display.

“!? Wh, why…”

Questioning voice of someone rose. Further, a woman at the side――someone who seemed to be the wife who was staring in a daze at the spot where the bisected man was standing, she was split vertically.

Something like surrender proclamation wouldn’t stop Hajime.

It was natural. The culmination of emotion that Hajime was currently manifesting――that was ‘Deny All Existences’.

For the current Hajime, at the very least at his own mind, everything in this world was equally worthless. Much less their worth as prisoner, even their very existence itself didn’t have any worth, rather, just by existing they were an eyesore.

The figure of Hajime who was too merciless yet looked completely emotionless, that appearance made the devils trembled, they could only sink down on the floor with a despairing look.

Hajime’s gaze, was directed at the side of the man who proclaimed surrender just now, at the trembling child there. Noticing that the man immediately covered the child inside his arms.

Shia, Kaori, Shizuku, Tio, Aiko, Liliana, immediately tried to stop Hajime.

But, there was someone who moved faster than all of them.

“Papa-, don’t nano! Come back to the usual papa!”

It was Myuu.

Unnoticed by anyone, she barged in between Hajime and the hugging father and child. And then, she stood on the way with both her hands spread wide, tear was gathering at the corner of her eye, even so she was staring at Hajime with a straight gaze.

“…Move.”

A voice without any emotion hit Myuu. Myuu twitched and her body trembled. Hajime’s cold voice had never been directed at her even once until now. And then, his expression. The shock almost made her fell down just like that.

But, that was no good. As the daughter of her beloved papa, she couldn’t lose her nerve here. To do something like leaving this kind of sad papa alone, was something she absolutely couldn’t do!

Therefore, Myuu lifted her eyes decisively, and she made a smile on her lips. The person herself intended to mimic the fiercely glaring eyes and a fearless smile that Hajime showed in front of a powerful enemy, but her teary eyes and her warped lips that were just raised halfway only looked clumsy.

Even so, Shia and others who were beaten to the punch by Myuu’s action understood really well, just who in the world she copied that expression from. That expression showed indomitability and persistence even in front of a desperate situation. There was not even one person who laughed at Myuu’s expression right now. Rather, they swallowed their breath at that spirit.

“Myuu won’t move nano! M, Myuu absolutely won’t lose if it’s against the current papa nano! Because, because”

“…”

Myuu desperately formed her words. Even the devils she protected gulped their saliva looking at the small girl challenging the terrible monster, just like a hero that came out in a tale.

“Myuu’s papa, is not uncool like this nano! He is far, far cooler nano! He won’t make eyes like that nano! His eyes look stronger nano!”

Myuu was scared. She was not scared at Hajime. At this rate, if Hajime kept rampaging with that kind of empty eye, she had the feeling that Hajime would go to a far away place that he wouldn’t be able to come back from. She had the feeling that the papa that she loved, wouldn’t return back for the second time.

Of course, there was also how it was difficult to endure the spectacle of the unresisting devils got killed. But, as expected it was only secondary compared to that.

Myuu glared back at Hajime’s empty eyes that even Aruvheit avoided seeing straight from the front. Hajime’s expression that didn’t even twitch until now frowned a little.

“…I won’t say for the third time. Mo――”

Even so, the emotion of the utmost limit that wished to erase everything let out cold words at Myuu.

However, this time Hajime was unable to say until finish.

“Hajime-kun. Just a bit, grit your teeth okay.”

“――”

*Bam!* That was because Hajime’s face was punched along with such sound of impact. His body floated in the air from the terrific force, and then he crashed on the floor.

The one who let out the punch at such Hajime was Kaori who was at the side. It was a straight punch with all the strength possessed by an apostle’s physical strength. If it wasn’t Hajime than the punch would blow away the head.

The impact that splendidly caught the jaw, combined with the accumulated damage, the limit that had been passed over since a long time ago, and then the weakening that was happening even now, caused even Hajime to be unable to stand up anytime soon.

To such Hajime, Kaori opened her mouth with an expression that was holding back anger.

“Cut it out and open your eyes already, Hajime-kun. Just how long you are planning to show that unsightly look?”

“-…”

“Venting your anger at Myuu-chan――at your own daughter, that’s just the worst. If Yue see Hajime-kun right now, what is she going to say I wonder? Aah, but, I guess that’s unrelated with Hajime-kun who has given up Yue.”

Kaori’s stabbing words opened wide the eyes of Hajime which were filled to the brim with emptiness. In those eyes, an obscure light of defiance toward the words of abandoning Yue was residing.

Kaori who accurately read the heart of such Hajime further formed her words.

“’Anything and everything disappear’ was it? I heard it you know. Are you thinking that something like a world without Yue doesn’t have any worth whatsoever? Doesn’t the premise of that, is that you cannot meet Yue again isn’t it? You have given up taking back Yue aren’t you?”

“…”

The rampaging red tornado at Hajime’s surrounding was decreasing in strength little by little. Light began to return into the eyes as though his sanity was recovering, at the same time the blood colored magic power was also gradually recovering its vividness.

“I’m going to save Yue you know. I’ll absolutely take her back, without fail. …Hajime-kun, what are you going to do? Doing something like executing people that cannot fight one by one, is it fine to pointlessly passing the time like that? You really have given up? Can you give up?”

“…There is no way that’s true.”

The piercing words Kaori released certainly pierced through Hajime’s cloudy mind, spreading purifying ripple inside. The words saturated his mind, his rampaging emotion was recovering its reasoning.

Then, Shia approached him at that timing. She stood at Hajime’s side wordlessly, and then suddenly her fist dropped. *Gon!* Painful sounding sound resounded and Hajime’s head shook.

“If it is to us, then it’s fine even if Hajime-san showed something like your uncool side no matter how much…but only in front of Myuu-chan, Hajime-san has to be a cool papa and nothing else. To say nothing of how you make her that sad. A punishment is needed desu!”

“…Shia.”

“Good grief, Hajime-san’s love at Yue-san is too heavy. To cause a panic just from getting her stolen for a bit, your devotion is lacking!”

“…”

*Fuhn-!* Shia expressed her indignation with rough breathing. She too was also in a really dissatisfied state from the content of the concept that Hajime manifested. It was as though he was saying that if Yue was not there then even Shia and others were worthless.

Of course, currently Shia and others were unharmed like this was showing what was truly inside Hajime above all else. So even though she felt dissatisfied but she wasn’t feeling shocked.

“For the time being, this art a punishment from me too.”

“And this is from me.”

“-…Tio, Yaegashi.”

Further impacts landed on Hajime’s head. Those were a tail attack from Tio and Shizuku’s fist. Tio and Shizuku directed a wry smile at Hajime whose hand was pressing on his head.

“Nonetheless, even Goshujin-sama hath the time when thou lose thyself. It appeared thy sanity hath returned, it is fine with this much isn’t it. It’s unknown whether it was unconsciously or consciously, but even while being captive of an emotion so violent to the degree that it hath created a concept, in the end, from the beginning we, and also Myuu who was at the closest position art not harmed even by a single hair from Goshujin-sama.”

“The result is only the enemies are defeated, and we are all saved.”

Correct, although Hajime’s reasoning was blown away from hatred and anger, and from the sense of emptiness by Yue’s disappearance, the first thing he did was evacuating Myuu so that Myuu wouldn’t be dragged into the attack that erased existence.

Even after that, he was wielding the chain freely in the battle against the apostles and demon beasts while his allies weren’t hit at all, even when Aruvheit was trying to take Shia and others as hostage Hajime was preventing that with certainty.

Now Hajime’s magic power had already returned to its usual vivid crimson, a light of reasoning was shining in his eyes. And then, regarding his rampage, Hajime’s expression turned really awkward.

Kaori sat down in front of such Hajime. And then, she put Hajime’s cheeks between both her hands and made him face her, in a complete change from before she talked to her with extremely gentle expression.

“Nothing has ended yet. Isn’t that right?”

“…Yeah. Exactly.”

“Hajime-kun, is not alone. We are here, above all even Yue is still here. Even if her body is separated from us, her heart is close right with us. Surely, even now she is fighting. In order to return to where Hajime-kun is. Because, it’s Yue we are talking about. She won’t lose to that kind of guy.”

“…Yeah. It’s just as you say. Sorry, everyone.”

The atmosphere of Kaori who was gently embracing him made Hajime relaxed all at once and strength left his body. The magic power dispersed, the chain that had the concept magic filled in it became unable to endure the burden because its material was merely stone of building construction and it crumbled into pieces.

The dust of the Existence Denial chain dispersed, and then while focusing so that Kaori and others wouldn’t be hurt by it, Hajime also apologized for running out of control with a bitter expression. Toward such Hajime, Kaori, Shia, Tio, and Shizuku, also Aiko and others too who were watching the sequence of events from a slight distance, they were convinced that Hajime had returned to how he usually was and their faces loosened with relieve and happiness.

There, a small silhouette was *sutetetete―* running closer. And then, without stopping the silhouette dove at Hajime’s chest.

“Papaa―――!!”

“Myu――gefuh!?”

It was rocket dive of happiness toward the papa who had returned to his senses. It splendidly hit Hajime’s stomach. Yes, right at the stomach where a wind hole was opened, at the mouth of a wound that was barely tightened close by the stomach muscle. And then, although the person was small, but the running body tackle of fifteen-kilogram mass presented a finishing blow at the worn-out internal organs.

“a, no good…”

The body that was already at its limit forcefully shutdown the consciousness as though it was protesting “Just cut it out!”. Due to the effect of canceling the ‘Supreme Break’, even more backlash attacked the weakening body, a severe sense of fatigue and agony tormented Hajime.

It appeared, the greatest punishment of this day came from Myuu. Her proclamation of ‘absolutely won’t lose if it’s against the current papa!’ seemed to be the truth.

“Nyuu? Papa? Papaaa――!! Open your eyes nano! You will die if you sleep nano!”

Straddling on top of Hajime whose eyes were turning round and round and fainted down, Myuu landed a double slap *pechin-pechin* unaware of the consequent damage she added. Hajime’s life point was already at minus.

“Wait, this is not the time to watch here! I forgot that Hajime-kun is heavily wounded!”

“Hiiiiii! Hajime-san is not breathing! His pulse is also losing…a, it stopped?”

“Kaorii! Hurryyy! Super hurryyyy! Quickly regeneration magic!”

“Thi, this is bad. Goshujin-sama’s life art like a candle lit in front of wind! It cannot be helped. Here I will ensure Goshujin-sama’s breathing with this so called mouth to mouth…” (TN: Here Tio said mouth to mouth with broken English)

“No, if it’s that I’ll do it. I have the experience of that being done to me.”

“Wait a second. Shia, Tio. So, something like that is better done b, by, by me who had learned first aid formally isn’t it?”

“Everyone you are noisy! I cannot concentrate here! If you all want to kiss then just attack him when he is sleeping after healing!”

“ “ “Yes…” “ “

In the audience hall, an atmosphere that was quite unclear whether it was an emergency or not was flowing.

“In the end, what should we do…”

Amidst such happening, the surviving devils’ perplexed voice was reverberating in vain.

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