Hawtness – Volume 1 – Chapter 10

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

On All Fours

This was aggravating. Tom just had me moving from one spot to the next. He gave me no real indicator of what I needed to do. Just visit the vampire here. Go here at this time. Be here now. So here I stood, with a vial of vampire venom and a diaper bag. It was the strangest thing too. I was just standing on the side of the road waiting where Tom had told me to wait.

A woman, looking disheveled just pushed the bag on me and said, “I quit. You take this. Maybe it will do you more good than it did me.”

With that, she walked away and I was left dumbfounded. On to the next place on the list. In some ways, it was pretty interesting getting a chance to walk around my city by how it looked fifty years ago. It was a lot smaller now, and I regularly walked by things I only remembered reading about, like payphones and shoe-shining stations. Gas was pennies to the gallon. I felt completely rich until I tried to give the man a five dollar bill for a soda. He told me it was funny money and I should scram. I wish I had brought some change with me, I remember seeing quarters with older dates on them.

I saw a peculiar woman walking down the street. The woman looked very pregnant, wearing an all pink dress that bloated out with her stomach. She had a little girl, perhaps six or seven, running around her, barking. She also had a baby that she was pushing in the stroller. I wasn’t sure I ever wanted anything to do with that many kids. I saw a video once; Samantha made me watch it. It wasn’t a baby, it was a fist, but whatever direction a thing that size was going, I imagined I wasn’t down with it.

Perhaps I was supposed to give her the baby bag. It seemed like another piece to the puzzle. I had played a few of those point and click adventure games in my youth; it felt oddly familiar. Next, I’d need a string to tie to the box to capture the mouse. I’d then release the mouse up a girl’s dress to get into the backroom of the… I was thinking about this entirely too hard.

I moved to give her the baby bag. At the very least, I wouldn’t need to carry it anymore. The woman had stopped at this point and had pulled her baby out of the stroller. She was distracted looking at something in one of the windows to a boutique while she struggled to feed her baby. The little girl was prancing around, jumping up and down. Oddly, she went to all fours and back, almost like she was a puppy at play. Then she darted into the street.

I dropped the pack without a second thought and raced after the little girl. She went down to four legs again, and the two little ears popped out of the top of her head. There was a honking and the little girl stopped, turning to look at a bus as like a dog staring at headlights. The truck wasn’t slowing down. I dove head first, shoving the small girl aside. The smack on my side didn’t feel like much. It was my body as it rolled over the roof of the vehicle that I knew things were bad.

I slammed down onto the ground behind the vehicle, hearing a resounding pop as my leg broke. I stared up at the sky, my body in a complete daze. A woman raced over to me, it was the mother wearing pink. She stood over me, a clear look of panic.

“Oh dear, oh no, a human too. Katrina, get your little butt over here right now young lady!”

One thought shot through my body. There was the vial of vampire’s venom. I reached into my shirt and found the vial still in one piece. I slipped it out and took a sip. Fortunately, my body was still in shock. The pain was only starting when a feeling of warmth shot throughout my body. My leg creaked as it spontaneously straightened itself. My arm snapped back into place. I could feel a few broken ribs setting on their own. It was the oddest feeling. Not exactly painful, in fact, it felt exhilarating. It was a complete rush, and when it was done I felt like a million bucks.

The woman hadn’t seen me take a sip, but she had seen me repair from the damage. I stood up, brushing myself off. The woman rose with me. She seemed surprised, but not as surprised as a human might seem to find someone spontaneously heals themselves.

“Oh my god, ma’am, are you alright?” The truck driver jumped out of his car. He was bleeding from his head and looked in almost as bad a condition as I had just been.

The pink woman turned with a sour look on her face, “Of course she’s not alright, and you almost killed her!” She snapped, “You’re lucky she came out of it completely unscathed.”

The driver looked dizzily at me, a skeptical look on his face.I did still have some blood on my face and my clothing was torn to bits. I felt great, though.

“Just you worry about yourself,” the woman waved her hands, “God works in mysterious ways. I’ll handle the girl. Just go get yourself to the hospital. You look like road kill.”

The woman grabbed me tightly on one wrist, then went to grab the little girl Katrina, who had once again slipped away. The woman looked back angrily to see little Katrina carrying the baby bag I had brought.

“This is hers, mama,” She said light-heartedly.

The pregnant lady sighed, tossing the bag on top of her stroller, grabbing her daughter and me, and ushering us down the street. When we had made it a block or two away from the gawking spectators, she turned to me.

“Well dear, it looks like I owe you an apology and an explanation. My name is Janine and this is my daughter, Katrina. So what are you? I see all that pixie dust on your pants you’re getting everywhere, are you half fairy?”

“No ma’am,” I answered politely, sensing she was a no nonsense woman, “Just glitter.”

The woman nodded, “I do apologize. We were supposed to have a babysitter to help out, but she stormed off without warning. She got one little bite from my daughter Katrina and started panicking about lycanthropy. Like being bit actually turns someone into a werewolf.”

“It is fine ma’am. I’ve been around werewolves before.”

The woman evaluated me sharply out of the corner of her eye, “Is that so? I suppose I do get a lot of confusing smells from you. Mostly vampire, though. However, underneath all that I smell human. You wouldn’t be a ghoul, would you? No… I suppose not, you don’t smell dead enough. Although, I’d advise you to stay away from the like of vampires, very depressing those guys are. Next thing you know, they talk you into a suicide pact when they can’t fill their side of it!”

“I…” I failed to interrupt.

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really harbor any hatred for vampires. The whole vampire versus werewolf thing came a long time ago. We had one little war a thousand years ago that destroyed half of Europe’s population and everyone thinks we hate each other. Now they call it the black plague and blame it on some kind of bug. Can you believe it? They think a bug can kill people.”

“Well…”

“So are you a babysitter by chance?” Janine went on like an avalanche, glancing over at my bag, “How would you feel about a job?”

“A job ma’am?”

“Well, first let me buy you some new clothes. It’s the least I owe you for saving my daughter. After that, I could really use a nanny. I was brought down here for the summit. I guess the Grand Archangel of the summit is having a little trouble keeping his son under proper supervision. And when the Grand Archangel says come, you better wag your tail and get over there.”

“Would the boy be Andreatis?”

“You’ve heard of him? That makes this so much easier. Come, let’s get you into something more formal.”

Before I knew it, Janine was leading me into a small boutique to begin dressing me. Dressing me was exactly the word to describe it as she tore off my old cloths and started throwing new ones at me. She apparently knew the boutique owner, who met her with open hugs and kisses. The two then began to chatter with each other as they grabbed item after item for me to try on. It quickly became clear that my input wasn’t necessary for this.

“Have you heard about who is running the summit?” The shopkeeper whispered over to Katrina’s mom as she took my measurements.

“About the necromancer?” Janine shivered visibly.

“Who’s that?” I asked before I could stop myself.

The two ladies gave each other a look before Janine turned back to me with a smile on her face, “Never you worry about him. He’s just a powerful and dangerous man. A human, like you, but keep your distance from him. Even the Archangels and demons step lightly around him.”

I frowned at that. I wanted to ask more, but it was clear neither wanted to say anything else about it. The shop owner had tossed Katrina a stuffed animal, which she started carrying around in her mouth, occasionally shaking her head rapidly causing it to flap about. Katrina’s mom finally picked out my attire, moving up to the cash register to buy it as I flopped down on a nearby bench.

She had decided on a long, thick light blue dress complete with an apron in the front. She insisted it was proper servant attire and would do me well in the babysitting business. She told me that whatever I do, I should dress for success. Offer babysitting and I could make some money. Dress as a babysitter and come presenting myself as one, and I could make a career. Personally, I felt like Mary Poppins in this getup.

Katrina moved up next to me, putting her head on my lap. Chewing sounds caused me to look down. She had now opened up the stuffed animal and was pulling the stuffing out with her teeth.

Her mom eyed Katrina and I up and down, “Well, you two seem to be getting along. Did you kill it good, Katrina?”

Katrina nodded enthusiastically, her wolf ears twitching as she spit the dead stuffed animal out on the floor.

I smiled politely, “She kind of reminds me of a boy I know, Daniel, he’s a werewolf like you guys.”

“That’s a pretty name,” Katrina giggled, “When I have a kid, I’ll call him that.”

“Aren’t you a little young to be thinking about boys?” I implied.

The pregnant woman snorted, “It’s never too young to be thinking about boys.”

“And if I had a boy, I’d want him to mate someone just like you!” Katrina laughed.

My face went white, I didn’t like where this was going.

“That might very well be possible. Now Katrina, if you want your babies to mate with a certain girl, give her a good sniff, and hold it in your memory.”

Katrina went over to me and sniffed. It was a single long snort that ended when she started coughing. She fell over and giggled some more.

“What?” I whined with panic in my eyes.

“Oh don’t worry, it’s just an old wives’ tale. They say moms always end up choosing who their pup’s mate will be based on their taste of smell. You don’t need to worry about it, by the time this one has a pup who is ready to mate, that’ll be some forty to fifty years from now. If it even did work, it’ll just be some girl that happens to smell like you.”

“You don’t say,” I dropped my head into my hands.

“Although if there is any justice in the world, Katrina will find a man like my husband. You know the type, rippling muscles, dedicated, strong, and earthy. When my husband and I first met, I was in heat. He sniffed my butt. I sniffed his… well, you don’t want to hear about the romantic stuff. But I will tell you this, if you find a man, find one that isn’t afraid to go shirtless.”

“Or pant-less,” I said before I could help myself.

“Oh, if Katrina could only be so lucky,” the mom almost visibly shivered.

I looked down at Katrina and shook my head. Daniel’s mom? I really needed to stop doing things in the past. I kept thinking I was just an unlucky victim, but it’s slowly looking like I did this to myself.

“Don’t worry, if the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I’m betting Katrina will find exactly that kind of man.”

****

“As a human, you normally wouldn’t be allowed into something like a summit. However, I’m making a special exception because I need a smart girl to help me watch all the little ones. This kind of thing hasn’t been attempted in a thousand years. If the necromancer wasn’t here, well, let’s just say this entire city could end up a giant crater in the ground if things go bad.”

I visibly gulped and Janine must have noticed, “Oh, don’t worry dear, I’m sure things won’t go bad. The demons and angels have been vouching for a treaty for a while now. Now the kids might be the problem. I hear some demon kids had been brought to this event as well. The goal is to keep them apart. The last thing we need is one kid punching another or setting their hair on fire. It’ll be your job to watch the angels. I guess the demon’s brought their own servants, good riddance.”

It was several hours later now. I had long since figured out that this had been Tom’s plan from the beginning. I managed to infiltrate the summit. I felt a bit like James Bond minus the Pussygalore. Wait, were all the boys in my life considered my Bond women? This thought process wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had to focus on what was coming next because Tom’s rather short to-do list ran out of instructions. I had no clue how the Time-traveling alien and his evil cult were going to break up the summit. That was a sentence I’d only be able to say once in my entire life.

We came up to a large building that resembled a massive cathedral. I didn’t recognize the building. I would have remembered a massive church in the city that looked as gothic as this one. I looked around to orient myself and then realized that this was located where a department store had recently been erected. They said there used to be an old church that mysteriously burned down many years ago. Why did I have to remember that particular fact right now? I took a deep gulp; this was not going to go well. I tightened my grip on the vial. Just two doses to go, I could do this.

When we stepped into the building, the pews were lined with groups of men and women. One side consisted of people wearing light colored clothing. A few of them almost seemed to glow translucently. They buzzed nervously, throwing nervous looks at the group on the other set of pews, a group of drearier looking people. The other group typically wore reds and blacks. There were a few demons that resembled what Reginal had turned into on that one fateful night. They had red skin and large protruding horns. However, even they wore suits, which looked particularly odd on a demon.

A man jumped down in front of us, seemingly coming from nowhere. I flinched with a squeak. Janine squeezed my hand and leaned over to me, “Be strong, you’ll be okay.”

“Well, if it isn’t Janine,” The man chuckled harshly, “Why have you graced us with your presence?”

“Hello, Stine,” Janine responded tightly, “I’m here for personal business. The Archangel himself asked me to be here.”

Stine sneered, “What business does the Archangel have with you? It is male werewolves that can serve as guards. Most of you women can’t even change unless it’s a full moon.”

“I’m here to watch his children.”

Stine puckered up his nose as he walked to the side, giving me a dark look as well before looking down at her stomach, “Another kid from that bastard husband of yours?”

“You lost to him fair and square, don’t be petty.”

Stine let out an angry bark directly into Janine’s face. She involuntarily flinched a bit but held her ground.

Stine turned back to me, “And what is this? A human? A pet of yours? You know they’re not allowed. I’ll take this one and dispose of it.”

“You will do no such thing,” Janine snapped.

Stine’s hand suddenly shifted into a stronger more animalistic hand, large protruding claws shooting out. He reached for me and I froze in my place. Janine attempted to block his advance, but he shoved her aside with relative ease, causing her to bump into the baby stroller. Katrina was hiding behind the stroller, a wide-eyed terrified look on her face.

“Stine!” A shout came from up front, “Get out of their way, I’ll be needing them.”

Stine stopped almost instantly, looking back at a tall blue eyed, blond hair man standing in front of the church. He had a strong, masculine chest, beautifully delicate features, and was swathed completely in white. He looked like an older Andrew, and I realized that this must be the Grand Archangel, Andrew’s father.

The man looked at Stine with a clear gaze that afforded no nonsense. The man growled, and then leaped away, a single bound taking him over the pews and up to a balcony overlooking the chapel. I could now see other werewolves on other balconies. It appeared they were functioning as the guards here. Janine dusted herself off with just a hint of a blush on her cheeks. She turned back to me.

“I’m sorry about that. He was an old childhood friend. He wanted to be my mate, but when my husband came along he lost the fight. Never did get over it.”

I nodded numbly, not sure what else to say. After she had calmed down Katrina, she began to usher the group of us up the chapel aisle to the front of the church. As I got closer, I could see everyone on the pew more easily. Andrew’s father stood with another man who wore dark cloths and had fire red hair. In between them was a terrifying being that resembled death himself.

The man wore a black cloak that covered his entire body, complete with a hood. I could barely make out his face swathed in shadows. It was wrinkled and sunken in. The eyes and cheekbones were almost skeletal in appearance. He had a long bony hand that held a large staff equal to his height, a glowing red stone sitting on top of it. He exuded an air of terror just by his very presence. That had to be the necromancer.

The red haired man was arguing with the necromancer and I could finally make out the words, “…in a church is just absolutely an insult. To demand a bunch of demons sit and negotiate on a holy ground spits on our entire culture.”

As we approached, the necromancer held up his hand, shockingly silencing the Archdemon with a single motion, “This church has worshiped God for some time. However, it was also the site of a satanic cult. They sacrificed virgins, summoned demons, and created pacts, not twenty years past.”

The red haired man scratched his chin, “Is that so?”

“So you see, there is no better location. It is a place that possesses both a history of darkness and of light. A place of both holy and unholy worship.”

Andrew’s dad now seemed less confident at that statement, but he had the better sense to avoid saying anything. He turned away from the pair, excusing himself as he took a few steps off the podium and bowed to us.

He looked over at me, “A human? You are a gutsy one, Janine.”

Janine shrugged, “My other nanny stormed off, and this one has knowledge of the supernatural.”

The Archangel looked me up and down. I fought the urge to turn my head and blush, instead opting to meet his eyes head on. They really did resemble Andrew’s eyes. Was this the kind of strong, focused man that Andrew would become?

“I do sense a great deal of familiarity coming from her. I also sense protective magic placed over her. It is both angel magic, and demon magic, and more besides.”

Janine’s eyes widened at me, but the Archangel continued, “A girl who both demons and angels alike would protect. I have never heard of such a thing. Perhaps this summit really can usher peace for our peoples.”

The man nodded to the right, “I have him in the back. Please relieve my advisor so he can be present for the negotiations. My son already ran away once today; just keep a watch on him. Being a father is never easy, but a son never understands when the father must attend an entire realm.”

Andrew’s father turned away, walking back up to the podium. I continued to watch him until Janine tapped on my shoulder. She ushered me on and I nodded to her. We headed into the back room, a long hallway wrapping around to the back of the church. I was about to babysit a guy who not too long ago I had wanted to kiss. This was a supernatural Jerry Springer episode just waiting to happen.

I opened the door, and the scene before me caused me to immediately freeze. There were several men standing in the room wearing dark red robes. Andrew was struggling as two of the men had a hold of him and were trying to drag him out a back door. There was a man on the floor unconscious with a small pool of blood under him. I was betting that was the advisor. The group stared at myself and Janine in shock.

I immediately pulled out the vial and downed another dose. In a swift motion, I shoved Janine, Katrina and the stroller back through the door.

“Get Andrew’s dad!” I shouted, slamming the door in Janine’s startled face.

I turned back to the men as a surge of power flowed through me. One of the men tried to dodge around me, most like to grab Janine before she could make it down the hall to warn the others. He was impossibly fast, but with the venom flowing through me, I matched him for speed. I grabbed him and shoved. The man had not expected me to be that fast or that strong, and ended up careening into a table.

Another man descended on me, I turned to him as he tried to throw his arms around me. My enhanced strength broke through his grip, but only just. He threw a kick that hit me in the gut. Even with the venom, it hurt and I lurched forward. Another two men had successfully wrestled Andrew out the door and were dragging him into a car.

I grabbed at the man, but he easily overpowered me. The strength of the vial was already weakening. I pulled the vial again to take the last dose. The man saw it and slapped the bottle from my hands. It landed on the floor and rolled away. I tried to pull away to jump for it, but he overpowered me. The man who had been tossed into the table recovered, casting a spell over the door before turning to the one that had me.

“Just take her with us!” He snapped, grabbing my legs as I tried to kick my way free.

The two men carried me out like a sack of flour, tossing me into the back of the car. One of the men leaped into the car I was in and the other jumped into a second car. The door leading into the backroom exploded open; the magic sealing it was torn apart in seconds. Andrew’s dad, open rage on his face, burst into the room.

“Go! Go! Go!” a passenger shouted to the driver.

He pressed his foot to the gas and the car shot off. The Archangel ran out the back door, but the cars had already made it out of the alley. He bellowed, a shot of lightning and an explosion filling the air behind the cars. Static rose in the air around me, causing my hair to lift from my head. However, it suddenly dissipated, the car gaining too much distance from the angry Archangel.

The robed man finished tying up my hands and feet, then dropped me into a seat right next to Andrew. I looked over at the boy. He seemed to have the same cold, placid look he had this morning. It was as if this whole kidnapping was boring to him. I lowered my head down, fighting the tears. I had failed. The summit was broken.

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

Hawtness – Volume 1 – Chapter 9

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

A Bloody Mess

I crept along the bushes, trying to stay out of sight. As Tom had warned me, I ran the real risk of changing time and history. At least my great granddad wasn’t likely to fall in love with me instead of my great grandma. He hadn’t immigrated over to the states yet. I shivered at the thought. I had never met the man, but he had died in the Vietnam War. Something to do with Chiropterans, whatever that was.

“What are you doing?”

My back went stiff as I turned to look at a young man behind me. He was about my age. He stood behind me with a grin on his face an old newsboy cap on his head. Even though he looked familiar to me, I couldn’t place my finger on it. He brought an apple up to his mouth, taking a bite before chewing and giving me another grin.

“I’m sneaking…” I said, turning away.

“Well, you’re doing a horrible job,” he laughed crouching down next to me.

He had a jovial swagger that shot up alarms in my brain. The boy reminded me of someone. I turned away again and began sneaking to the next bush. I figured if I ignored him long enough, he would just go away. The boy stood up again and followed me, chewing his apple noisily as he did it. I turned back to him with exasperation.

“Do you mind?”

The boy smiled again, “Not a bit.”

I ground my teeth, ready to smack that stupid grin off his face. Finally, I turned back to him. I wish I had brought my taser. A large degree of my problems seemed to be solvable with a taser.

“You are dressed funny,” He said before I snapped at him.

I stopped and looked down. Tom was walking around with a silver suit on, clearly, he didn’t think about fashion matching the proper time. At least I was dressed well, although I didn’t want to think about how I looked after tripping and falling through the forest.

“So are you, it’s the 50s, not the 20s, what’s with the hat, paperboy?”

The boy looked up at his hat and laughed, “It’s my da’s. I do work at the newspaper, though. I don’t deliver, though, I edit for them. See? I’m a mature eighteen-year-old.”

“Well, paperboy, I’m sixteen, so I’m too young for you.”

“Are you kidding? Girls always fall in love and get married at sixteen.”

“That is… an old-fashioned way of thinking about things.”

“Well, I’m a very old-fashioned kind of guy. Besides, I have a job, far more stable then all those boys just hoping to pass high school. Plus I have dreams; I’m saving up to go to college. Then I can be a professional journalist. ”

“Why are you bothering me?”

“Because life is short, and you are beautiful.”

That caused me to blush, but I wasn’t going to let this boy get to me, “Well, I’m sorry, I am not old-fashioned, and I won’t marry for a long while.”

The boy shrugged, seeming unperturbed, “My name’s Christopher, by the way.”

I sighed to myself, “Jane. Is there anything I can do to get you to leave me alone?”

“How about a date?”

“I’m busy.”

“Alright, how about a race?”

“I’m sorry?” I blinked in confusion.

“I see you’re wearing running shoes. Now, I’m not so slow myself. How about I give you a head start of ten seconds because you’re a girl? If I catch you before you reach that street over there, you’ll go on a date with me.”

He pointed at a ten block stretch of buildings. I glanced down at my shoes. They were just a pair of regular sneakers. Then I realized that in the 1950s, sneakers weren’t common. I glanced at Christopher’s shoes. They were beaten hard leather, something that looked like dress shoes by today’s standards.

I wasn’t fast, but the street had a lot of alleys. If I could duck behind one, I’d leave him in my dust and be on my way. He wouldn’t see me again. I wasn’t worried about him. He’d be fine. I gave him a little nod and he broke out into a smile, tossing the apple into a bush and wiping off his mouth. He pulled off the cap, giving me another flash of familiarity, but I ignored it. I was ready to ditch this person.

“Ready,” he counted with a strong voice, “Go!”

I bolted at full speed, determined to be in an alley and out of his sight before the ten seconds were up. Incidentally, I was not built for speed, though. I was only a block away when I heard the shout ‘TEN’.

Before he started running, I turned and ducked behind a building. I kept running as I heard a large shout of protest. He would catch up to me if I kept running like this; I wasn’t fast enough. Instead, I did the only thing I could do. I leaped into another bush. My arms got scrapped as I fell into it, but I was determined to be out of sight before he got there. The thumping of feet started getting closer.

Please don’t let him find me… please… please… His feet stopped right next to my bush. He caught me. I wasn’t going to go anywhere, much like the character development of Bella Swan.

“There you are, Jane. You caught me by surprise when you took off. How did you change your clothing so quickly?”

My eyes widened, looking up through an opening in the bush. Christopher wasn’t looking at me; he was looking at someone standing nearby out of my sight.

“Excuse me, I assure you, sir, you must be mistaken,” A young woman’s voice sounded.

Christopher chuckled, “Oh I see how it is, knew you couldn’t beat me so you thought you would pretend to be someone else? Am I that bad?”

I moved my head without rustling the bush to get a better view of the other person and barely stopped myself from gasping. I saw a girl standing there who looked exactly like me. She had on a solid light green summer dress and carried a basket. She had a look of confusion on her face but otherwise seemed kind.

“I’m sorry; I think you have me confused with someone else.”

“Alright, I’ll play along. It’ll be a fresh start, act like we’ve never met before. Hello, my lady. My name is Christopher, and I’ve been admiring you from afar,” Christopher bowed formally, “I would love the honor to take you out on a date.”

The girl turned beat red with a blush, I hope I didn’t look like that when I blushed, “Oh my, but my father would never approve.”

“Fortunately,” the boy gave his rich smile, “I am not asking your father.”

The girl giggled, becoming shy as she ground a toe into the ground and blushed. Christopher held a hand out to her. After a moment’s hesitation, she reached out and grabbed it. The pair ran off together, giggling like school children as they crested the corner. I moved out of my hiding spot, completely dumbfounded.

I now remembered where I had seen the boy before now. His image had appeared briefly to me as he shot out of Alex in the haunted mansion. He was Mr. Xavier, or rather the ghost boy who inhabited Mr. Xavier. I inadvertently hooked him up with my great grandmother Jane. It would be an event that I knew would end with his death. It put all of the actions of my creepy English teacher into perspective for me. He was just a man who fell in love and wanted a second chance. He was still a pushy creep, though.

I turned away from the awkward distraction that was Mr. Xavier or Christopher, I guess. It wasn’t something I wanted to think about right now. I had a mission I needed to complete and I was letting myself get distracted. I ran off following the directions Tom had carefully given me. He wouldn’t come with me, of course. He was too shy. He said he’d wait in the clearing for me to return. If he was from the future, then I would need to find his past self and spend some time toughening him up.

It was a dank, dark, and dreary building that looked little better than a haunted house itself. It wasn’t that the building was derelict. It was actually well-kempt. However, everything was plain. There were no flowers, no bright colors. Every window had a curtain pulled shut. Every door had a ‘do not disturb’ sign on it. So this was the lair of a vampire?

I moved up to the door, knocking three times using the doorknocker. There was no doorbell in sight. I knocked again. Then after a moment, I knocked louder. Maybe I was at the wrong place. I rechecked the address one more time. The address read 666 West Lane. Really? What an ironically stupid street number. I knocked even louder, almost hurting my hand on the big, thick wood doors.

“Go away,” A muffled voice came from the inside, “I don’t take visitors.”

“I’m a poor defenseless virgin girl whose car broke down. It’s so hot and I’m all sweaty, “I said, trying to coerce him any way I knew how.

“Well take your perspiration and go someplace else.”

“I cut my finger and I’m bleeding.”

“That’s fantastic, bleed on someone else’s carpet.”

“Um… I’m on my menstrual period?”

“What? Why would you even tell me that?”

“I thought vampires might be into that kind of thing,” I answered before I stopped myself.

There was a long pause before the man behind the door spoke up, “So you know what I am, and you’ve come to kill me.”

The door opened up a crack, I saw a man standing on the other side, completely shrouded in darkness. He took a few steps back, and I took it as an offer. I squeezed myself through the door and closed it on my way into the house. When I saw the man in front of me, I stopped short. He was tall and lanky with pale skin much like Stephan, but it had a bluer tinge to it. In truth, he was younger than I expected, only a few years older than me in appearance. He had a sunken in face and greasy messy hair. He might have been good looking, except that he was a complete mess. He wore dark clothing, a black button up shirt and black slacks. Wrapped around his body was a red blanket, which looked like a poor man’s vampire cape. Although, he came off looking more like a person suffering from a cold.

“If you’ve come to kill me, don’t waste your time. I’ve already tried, and I’ve found it impossible.”

“What? You want to die?”

The vampire Tom had called Victor shrugged. “Being an immortal is lonely. I have nothing but darkness and despair in my heart. The world is but a staging ground for my misery.”

“That is… very emo,” I responded, watching him as he turned around and entered his living room.

I followed after him as he walked over to a rope, beginning to tie it up in an elaborate knot.

“I am a monster, my dear girl, a shadow of destruction and chaos. Within my soul burns the blood of a thousand corpses. Within these hands, the murder of a thousand lives. I do not deserve your pity. I do not deserve this immortality.”

The vampire tossed the rope up, looping it over a light fixture on his ceiling, “You know, when I see a pretty girl like you, it reminds me of a time in my life where I had happiness. However, darkness overshadows everything. The world is a place of hatred and insanity. A cesspool of our decrepit world.”

The vampire stood up onto one of the end tables and wrapped the rope around his neck, “Goodbye, cruel world.”

My brain didn’t process what he was doing until he pushed off the table. The rope snapped tight around his throat. I shouted, moving over to grab him. His feet kicked several times as I tried to bear hug him, holding his body up to take pressure off his neck. There was a resounding crack as the light fixture gave way, tearing off the ceiling. Victor ended up landing on top of me as plaster rained down on top of us.

When the shower of dust and debris ended, I opened my eyes. Victor moved his arm around me protectively. It seemed like such an odd thing to do. However, he still was on top of me. He smelled of roses.

“I am sorry, my dear,” Victor sighed, getting off of me, “I don’t mean to bring another down into my despair.”

“Why don’t you go out into the sunlight?” I asked, trying to help him for reasons I didn’t comprehend.

“Do you see how pale my skin is? I will burn like a hot potato.”

“But doesn’t sunlight kill Vampires?”

Victor waved it away, “A bunch of superstition. However, we don’t tan. We burn. That’s why we don’t go out into the sun.”

“You don’t sparkle… do you?”

“What? You mean like your pants? No… I can’t say I’ve ever sparkled. Just heat stroke.”

“How about sunscreen?”

“Sunscreen? What is this? I’ve never heard of it.”

I scratched my temple, it was the 1950s. Sunscreen would still be a pretty new concept. Skin cancer was still unheard of.

“How about a stake in the heart?”

“Have you ever tried to stake your own heart?” Victor sighed, “Besides, a vampire’s heart doesn’t beat. All a stake would do is paralyze us. I want to die, not spend the rest of my existence as a vegetable in a living death.”

“How about garlic?”

“Indigestion.”

“Fire?”

“Burn myself alive? That sounds really painful.”

“Decapitation?”

“Because I always wanted to be a talking head for the rest of my existence. My dear, I appreciate your concern for my well-being, but there is no real saving me. The world sees me as a monster. A vile, disgusting creature to be shunned into the corners of existence. My existential crisis comes in the form of what I am. The world will never accept me.”

“I have to say, you’re not what I was expecting from a vampire.”

“And what were you expecting?”

“Pale, sure, but also muscular and sexy. An otherworldly beauty with deep sexy eyes, perfect hair, and a rock-hard, sculpted body.”

“What? Why would you think we’d look like that?” Victor’s eyes opened in shock, then narrowed, “Who are you? Why are you here anyway?”

I took a deep breath and began to relay Victor my story. I told him about the time travel. I mentioned the werewolf, the ghosts, and the dead. He seemed to take that in stride. When I mentioned the demons, the angels, and the aliens he was more surprised. I found myself relaying the story in a more complete fashion than I ever had before.

Something about the vampire caused the floodgates to open. Perhaps it was his laid back personality, his dreariness, or his personality Maybe it was the simple fact he wasn’t a super hot pretty boy. Once I started telling him about my life, I couldn’t stop. I even told him about the almost kiss Stephan and I shared, the touching moment Andrew and I had, and recent pass with my great grandmother. I kept talking and talking until I had explained everything. When I finished, I took a deep breath. Victor’s eyes were wide, but they didn’t hold disbelief. He had waited patiently and listened to everything I had to say.

“If you had told this story to anyone but an immortal vampire, I imagine they might think you were crazy. However, I know what you say is the truth. I would be willing to help you out if possible. However, first I’d like to ask you about this Anne Noodle you speak of.”

“It’s Anne Rice.”

“So you’re saying, in your time, women want to have sex with vampires?”

“She turned them into sex icons. Although they do have a homosexual vibe; it’s totally sex central.”

“That is fascinating. In this time, all we have are movies like Nosferatu and Dracula, where vampires are depicted as monstrous deviants.”

“Well, in our time, they’re sexy. More recently we ended up with Stephanie Meyer. She turned them into boy toys that even the less macabre girls want.”

“And she makes them sparkle?

“They’re basically Superman with virginity stealing metaphors. Even when they’re creepy, they’re hot.”

“Incredible. So you’re saying if I just wait another fifty years, I can get any girl I want?”

“Well, mostly just teenagers and lonely housewives.”

“Lonely housewives, you say? I could live with that…” Victor smirked, his dreary demeanor being overshadowed with a little happiness for once.

It seemed like being happy looked good on him. I began to realize if he cleaned up a bit, he’d actually be a pretty good-looking guy. Then I dropped those thoughts, the last thing I needed was another good-looking guy in my life. I was already struggling to deal with all of the guys already.

“So can you help me? Tom said you can’t help directly, but he mentioned there might be something you could give me.”

Victor nodded and turned towards a cabinet. He started rifling through several drawers until he found what he was looking for. He turned back to me and presented me with a small vial.

“What is this?” I asked as I took the vial.

“It is a vial of my venom diluted down. It isn’t enough to turn you into a vampire like me, but it does have other side effects.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t really know. It will increase your strength, make you faster, and might be enough to allow you to keep up with your supernatural companions. It won’t last long, though. There should be enough for three doses there. Only use them immediately before you need them.”

“Thank you so much.”

Victor straightened up, “It’s the least I could do. You’ve given me something to look forward to, a future where a vampire can live. It is I who should be thanking you.”

I turned to leave out the front door. Victor stood behind, his mood seeming considerably improved.

“Before you go,” he stopped me as I opened the door a crack, “In fifty years’ time, would you mind if I stopped by and said hello?”

I smiled back at him, “Make sure to wait until after I get back from this, I don’t want to accidently open up a hole in space-time.”

I closed the door behind me. It wasn’t until I was past the front yard when I realized the implications of what I said. Shit, I just added another boy to my list of problems.

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

Hawtness – Volume 1 – Chapter 8

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

Former Babysitter

My head throbbed painfully. I couldn’t really feel anything else, or see, or hear for that matter. It was just the throbbing pain. I hadn’t felt this bad since I had finished reading ‘Breaking Dawn’. The next thing to come back was the hearing. Noises flooded in, the sound of birds and wind. My eyes snapped open next. I was on the ground, looking up into the sky. It was blue and bright. Wasn’t it supposed to be night?

Finally, I moved myself with a groan. What had happened? Was I abducted by aliens or something? The thought was an idol one, but then the realization dawned on me. The crop circles, a flashing white light, now some loss of time. I must have been abducted by aliens. That was absolutely the most logical conclusion I could come up with at the moment.

I grabbed my butt; it wasn’t particularly sore. Samantha had informed me that after you were abducted by aliens you’d have a sore butt. She seemed to say it with a certain degree of personal experience. The weird thing is I was just asking her to pass the ketchup when that little nugget of truth came out. I stood up. While my butt was safe, the rest of me was fairly beaten up. My body felt like it had been tossed down a cliff hitting every rock on the way.

The sound of a cracking twig behind me caused me to turn. There was a person standing nearby. Whoever it was appeared to have been standing there, watching me. The sun blazed through the cracks of the trees, obscuring the person’s features. They had on some kind of strange silver suit. It looked like what an alien might wear. Oh god, I was abducted by aliens. The creature took a step forward, its hand reaching out towards me. That was all the provocation I needed. The alien was back to finish me off. I took my ass and ran. I’m not going to be probed today, thank you very much.

“Wait,” the voice cried in a rather human voice.

That was a trick. It wanted to lure me in. I’ve survived angels and demons, seen the undead walk the earth, and been propositioned by a werewolf. There was no way I was going to be violated by an alien.

My steps propelled me forward in a steady rhythm. Despite the change in time, I still felt exhausted. Apparently, whatever the alien did to me did not provide me with any rest during my abduction. That did not make me feel any better. I kept running anyway. It was stupid for me to come out into the forest by myself. You’d think I’d have learned by now. I thought I was meeting my friends, but it was still stupid. Why did I always do that to myself?

I was lost in thought as I ran. That is how I ended up running head first into someone. I ran into them, or rather, I tripped over them, careening head first into a ditch of foliage. I flipped over as I lost my equilibrium. My body rolled down a steep decline, hitting every branch and thorn along the way. I’m stuck in a ditch, just perfect.

“What the heck is your problem?” the voice of an irritated sounding young boy shouted down to me.

“I’m fine,” I muttered, spitting out some leaves, ignoring the impoliteness in his voice.

I twisted, trying to stand up. Two vines seemed to be wrapped around my neck and a third tangled up my legs. After some effort, I managed to unstick my head. I stood up causing another vine to tug and I stumbled down face first into another bush.

“Don’t help or anything,” I growled at the boy over me, looking up at him.

He was a young boy with blue eyes and blond hair. He looked oddly familiar to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. He wore a pair of khaki shorts and a polo t-shirt. It seemed kind of an insufficient dress for this time of year, which caused me to realize that it was a particularly warm day for some reason. The boy stood, looking down at me with strangely cold and unforgiving eyes. I gave him a reassuring smile in order to take the edge off of my words. Maybe I had offended him.

“You’re kind of stupid, aren’t you?” The boy asked his face completely straight.

The smile slipped from my face. I looked down, tearing off the last few vines before grabbing the side of the path and pulling myself back up. The boy took a step back, allowing me to climb up, but otherwise made no attempt to assist me.

Maybe I was just becoming too used to teenage boys fawning over me. The kid’s dismissal of me was particularly irritating. He was only about eight years old, but I already decided I hated him, the snot-nosed little brat.

“Hey, there you are. I thought I smelled garbage,” another voice came out from the woods.

I knew that voice. There was no one else I knew that spoke with that kind of sneer. However, when I turned to greet Rune, my mouth dropped open. A small boy, no older than the one with the blond hair, stepped out onto the path. He had Rune’s firey red hair. No, he had all of Rune’s traits. He might as well have been Rune’s son. Did Rune have a son? He now had some serious explaining to do.

“Rune!” The voice came out from the forest.

A small girl jumped out behind him. This seemed to cause the boy’s back to grow stiff with agitation. The girl wore a cute green dress and had a little flower in her hair. She held a small bunny in her arms that seemed to quite affectionately nuzzle her breasts. Was that Reginal? When she went to grab Rune’s hand, he twisted and took a few steps forward, completely ignoring her.

“This is demon territory, no angels allowed,” The boy said, looking in my direction.

It took me a second to realize he was talking to the blonde boy. When I glanced down at the boy next to me, his familiarities suddenly came crashing home. He looked exactly like a young Andrew. I hadn’t noticed before because Andrew never had a face that looked so cold and hard. Andrew’s face was usually kind and sweet.

The boy who looked like Andrew shrugged, rolling his eyes with a complete lack of empathy. This seemed to annoy the young Rune. Purple fire sprung from his hand and he flung it at Andrew. The boy waved his hand and the fire turned towards my direction. I screamed as fire exploded inches from my face.

When the blinding light of the purple blaze faded, Rune had turned to the young girl with anger on his face.

“Why did you stop my fire? You’re not supposed to use your demon powers around me, dad said so.”

The girl had her eyes downcast and was blushing, “But you almost hit the human.”

“What human?” Rune asked turning.

His eyes met my own, and for the first time, he seemed to realize I was there. He gasped in shock, and his face went completely white. Then his jaw dropped as he took a second look at me.

“You’re so pretty,” he said.

I stood aghast, not exactly sure how to respond to an eight-year-old telling me that. The girl standing next to him slugged Rune hard in the arm.

“Ow, Alex, what the hell was that for?” Rune broke his attention from me.

“So that’s the kind of girl you’re into?” the girl named Alex demanded with a huff.

She turned her eyes to me and stared. I was about ready to break the silence when suddenly her body began to shimmer. When she was finished, my jaw dropped once again. She now looked like me. Well, what I kind of looked like when I was eight. It looked like Alex’s ability to transform was dependent on her age a little bit.

With that, I realized something. These were Alex and Rune’s powers, my Alex and Rune. Oh, my god, the aliens must have turned them into midgets. No, that was stupid, but then again, this whole situation was stupid.

“It looks like I have to deal with another couple of idiots,” Andrew sighed.

The bunny jumped out of Rune’s arms. “How dare you talk to my master like that!”

The bunny bared its strait edge bunny teeth and leaped at Andrew with reckless abandon. Andrew pulled back. I could tell he was about to bring out his fire sword. I saw the night he chopped Reginal in half flashing through my head. I moved first, shoving the boy. His hand went sprawling. The sword appeared, although it was more like a knife than a sword, weak and piddling compared to what I remembered, before disappearing as Andrew hit the ground.

I turned and the bunny struck me in the chest. I took a step back, but he seemed to stop his attack just in time.

“What are you doing?” Andrew snapped angrily.

“You were going to kill the bunny; I don’t want to see anyone hurt.” I stroked Reginal softly, as he nestled my neck.

“I was just sending him back to hell,” Andrew growled, “He would have been fine. Besides, he’s a demon, why do you care?”

Rune shrugged, smiling at the sight of Andrew on the ground, “I’d just summon him again in a week or two once he regains the energy.”

“But what about poor Reginal?” I asked.

Reginal looked at me, tears welling in his eyes, “No one has ever cared about my safety before…”

“Aw…” I looked at the crying bunny, “It is okay, I’ve got you.”

“Could… could you pet me a little lower?”

I dropped the bunny, “Alright bunny, you’re on your own. Although it is nice to know you’re still alive.”

Rune was about to say something else as the bunny hopped back up to Alex, who picked him up affectionately.

“Rune, where are you?” a shout interrupted whatever he was going to say.

“Oh crap!” Rune snapped, “If he catches me out here like this, I’ll be in a hell of a lot of trouble.”

Rune glanced over at Andrew, who was standing up and patting himself off angrily.

“The next time we meet, I won’t let you off so easily,” Rune declared and then turned to me, “Beautiful girl, I will see you again!”

Rune bounded back into the forest with a jump. Alex blushed, bowing and apologizing a few times before turning and running after him with Reginal in her arms. I shook my head. That had to be perhaps one of the weirdest confrontations I had ever experienced, and given the last week or so, that was saying something.

I turned back to Andrew. He was already gone, walking down the pathway in the opposite direction. I let out a cry of surprised, then turned and ran after him. He wasn’t going to abandon me here in the middle of nowhere. Not with aliens out trying to probe me.

“Stop following me,” Andrew said once I joined up with him.

“Someone needs to keep you safe, your just a little kid and out here all alone by yourself.”

A flash of anger and annoyance danced across Andrew’s face, he stopped and turned toward me.

“I can take care of myself.”

“What about your family? A boy your age shouldn’t be out by yourself,” I demanded sternly.

“My family doesn’t care about me; that’s why I ran away,” Andrew replied angrily.

He stopped and turned away, realizing he had said too much. Before I could say another word, he was walking away from me again at full speed.

“Wait, I still can’t just leave you here.”

I wasn’t about to lose the last person whom I recognized in this place. Well, I kind of recognized him. What was going on in this place? It was like I woke up in the twilight zone or something. I took a few steps forward and tripped, landing hard on the ground. I looked up at Andrew. He didn’t look back to check on me, instead he turned, moving off down a side path.

I growled in frustration, patting the dirt off my knees and stood. I followed after him. As soon as I made it to the intersection, I turned to move in the direction he had gone. The path in front of me was completely empty. I had to take a second look. Andrew was not there. Where did he go? He left me alone. I looked around the forest a little nervously.

For the first time, I realized that things looked different. I was standing on a gravel path instead of the paved paths I was used to. I didn’t really know what part of the forest I was standing in. I typically knew the paths of the park pretty well, but this place felt unrecognizable to me. The trees seemed different somehow.

There was a crack of a branch in the woods behind me once again. I swear the people in this forest were stepping on twigs like freaking bubble wrap. If Andrew was playing a trick on me, I had every intention of making him pay for it. Then I remembered I was still on the run from the alien. Now I was alone in the forest once again.

I turned to run. The park wasn’t that large. If I took off in any direction, I’d eventually find my way out.

“Wait!” A squeaky voice came out from the bush behind me.

This caused me to pause after my first step. My foot twisted and I ended up stumbling once again. For the second time, I found myself on the ground the gravel path digging into my back. I turned towards the source of the voice. There was a large tree in front of me. Then a head peaked out from the side of the trunk. It was a boy a few years younger than me. He had short brown hair, dazzling hazel eyes, and a frightened look on his face.

“Boy?” I asked.

He shook and hid back behind the tree. What in the world? I stood up, brushing off the dust from my pants. Then, I looked back at the tree. The boy hadn’t moved an inch from behind the tree. Steadily, I began side stepping around the tree to see him press up against it like he was frightened of his own shadow. When he saw me, he squeaked, and then moved to the side of the tree, once again hiding from my view. This was getting ridiculous.

“Why are you following me if you’re not even going to talk to me? If you don’t come out from behind that tree, I’m coming in there after you.”

Another squeak, and then the boy sheepishly leaned out from behind the tree. He looked like a kid who had just been caught stealing candy. He took a few steps forward but kept a hand on the tree as if he was ready to jump behind it again at a moment’s notice. I realized he was wearing the silver clothing. So this was the alien? He looked pretty harmless, I supposed.

“Good,” I put on the most reassuring smile I could, “Now, why have you been following me?”

The boy lowered his head, “I’m the one who brought you here. I am sorry. I just get nervous around strangers and it was easier to just do it before you could say no.”

“That’s… a really a bad policy. Like seriously, you’re going to get in a lot of trouble one of these days doing things like that. Like, prison time.”

The boy blushed, “I just thought it was okay, because it was you.”

“Why me?” I asked confused.

The boy lowered his head shyly, “Well, I mean, we’re family.”

“Come again?”

“I’m sorry, let me introduce myself. My name is Tomodalton.”

“So why are you saying we’re… wait… your name is Tomodalton?” I asked.

“Yeah…”

“That is like, the worst name I’ve ever heard.”

Tomodalton blushed, “Well, you see, my parents decided to take the name of each of their fathers and combine them to make my name.”

“That is a stupid thing to do.”

“I know.”

“No, seriously, who would do that? That is the worst idea I have ever heard of. You’d have to really hate your kid to come up with such a stupid way of naming them.”

“I get it, but their dads were named Dalton and Tom, and so it ended up Tomodalton.”

I pinched my nose, “That’s odd; my dad’s name is Dalton.”

“I know…”

I looked at Tomodalton. He looked at me. I didn’t want to talk about his family life anymore.

“Alright, so you’re family or you’re not family,” I threw up my hands, “What did you do to me?”

“I’m from the future. I came to take you back in time.”

“I was time traveling?”

“Yes, I used this device,” Tomodalton displayed a band on his arm, “I traveled to your present to take you back here, to sometime in the 1950s.”

“And why would you… wait, the 1950s? Great scott….”

“Yes.”

“I just saw Rune and Andrew. They are eight, this can’t be more than ten years ago. No… don’t tell me they are in their 50s? All my male friends are old guys?”

“Not necessarily,” Tomodalton shook his hands, “I learned a lot about supernatural stuff from all of my uncles. The Demon world and the Angel world have time travel differently than here. If they grew up there then it could have taken fifty years for eight or so to pass.

“So what are they doing here now?”

“It’s the reason I brought you here. The Demon’s and Angel’s are having a summit right now. They are discussing a peace treaty. A certain dangerous faction against angel and demon cooperation is threatening to plunge them into war. A time traveler like me is trying to help the faction succeed.”

I shook my head, trying to process the information, “And just who is this time traveler?”

“An alien.”

“I knew it! I knew it was aliens!” I laughed, throwing my arm in the air. To flinched back a bit, “Sorry, I got excited. What do the aliens want?”

“War. Well, more specifically, they want the fallout of the war. Demons and Angels have the ability to make horrifically powerful weapons. They are warriors with access to both the magic of their realm and the technology of earth. If they were to go to war, they would begin to invent and manufacture increasingly more dangerous weapons. The aliens predict they will destroy each other in the conflict, and then the aliens can come in and recover all of their weapon advances and market them across the galaxy.” Tom explained, seeming more comfortable explaining things than looking people in the eye or socializing.

“That’s evil!”

“Yes, I agree, we need to stop them.”

“What would happen to Earth?”

“It would inevitably be caught in the crossfire and destroyed.”

“We need to stop them.”

“Agreed.”

So I was brought into the past by a family member from the future to stop an interdimensional war started by a group of aliens. Still wasn’t the strangest thing I had done this week. After all, I had read Samantha’s most recent fan fiction. It was a cross between Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Mortal Instruments. I still woke up in cold sweats from that one.

“What is the first step we need to do?” I asked, preparing myself mentally for whatever came next.

“We need to meet up with Uncle Victor. We’ll need a vampire’s help.”

“A vampire?”

About freaking time.

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

Hawtness – Volume 1 – Chapter 7

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Club H?

“It seems like this is the only option,” Andrew said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out the gun Alex had given him the previous night.

The boys had been arguing for several minutes now about what to do with the teacher. Mr. Xavier’s eyes opened wide with fear. We didn’t have any idea what this would do to the teacher or the ghost inhabiting him. Somehow, it seemed wrong to just shoot him and see what happens.

“No, don’t,” I said at the same moment Rune shouted, “Wait!”

Andrew pulled the trigger. The weapon didn’t really do anything. It just clicked. Mr. Xavier reeled back, shutting his eyes. However, as the seconds passed nothing happened. The teacher opened one eye. Then he opened the other. He patted his chest down and then laughed. Andrew looked between the gun and the possessed man several times in confusion.

“Alex…” Rune growled, turning back to her.

She had a sheepish look on her face and had taken several steps away from the group as if she planned to spontaneously flee the room. As everyone turned to her, she sighed.

“There is no such thing as a ghost gun…”

“I knew it!” Rune exclaimed, “You made it up!”

“Well of course I did. It was the only way to guarantee Jane’s safety.”

“How did that guarantee her safety?” Andrew demanded.

Andrew’s voice sounded cold and distant. He hadn’t turned to look at Alex with the rest of them. He still faced the teacher on the floor, who seemed to have a gleeful look on his face.

“I assumed that if the ghost was listening to us talk, then he would also hear me mention the gun. It wasn’t necessary to have a ghost gun, it was necessary to make him think we had one. So I pulled out a toy gun I happened to have in my purse and claimed it was something more. He wouldn’t take any of our bodies for fear it would hurt him when we shot each other.”

“Wait,” Stephan shook his head, “So what you are telling me is that I spent last night consoling Daniel over post-traumatic stress caused by Vietnam flashbacks because?”

Daniel blushed, “My flashbacks may have simply been indigestion.”

Stephan laughed, “Well, it was clever. You had me fooled.”

“It wasn’t clever.” Andrew spun around, anger painted on his face.

It was a shock to me. I had never seen Andrew openly angry before. Well, I had seen that kind of emotion on his face before. It was when the ghost had possessed Rune. However, the smug look on Mr. Xavier’s face seemed to suggest that that was not the case.

Stephan spoke up first, “It is okay Andrew. She is safe now, and now that the ghost is in someone, maybe we can deal with him easier.”

“What if you were wrong?” Andrew snapped at Alex.

He looked at each of them; his face suddenly looked desperate for a second. He threw the cheap plastic gun away with disgust, then left the room, pushing past Alex without another word. Everyone stared at each other in silence.

“I should go talk to him,” I suddenly spoke up, and as soon as I did I knew it was the truth.

The others nodded in turn before Stephan turned to me, “We’ll deal with this ghostly problem. You go talk to him.”

I turned and raced out of the room. It took me a while before I was able to find him. It turned out he was in the art room, where we had planned to meet for our first club meeting. He sat in a chair. His head was down and his eyes looked downcast. I didn’t know what to say. It was so strange to see him in a state other than cool and confident.

His beautiful face looked sad. His blonde hair disheveled and unkempt. Now that I got a chance to get a good look at him; it seemed like he might not have gotten a lot of sleep recently. I moved over to the chair next to his and sat. We remained in silence for a few minutes. I wasn’t exactly sure how to start. I realized that this was the first time we had ever really been alone. It was nice.

“Why?” that was the question that came from my lips.

It was a question that had been working its way through my mind forever. I didn’t really intend to ask it. However, as the word came out, my desire to know the answer became even stronger.

“Why what?” Andrew asked, finally looking up at me with his sad eyes.

“Daniel thinks I smell like his mate. Stephan is lonely and I’m the first normal person he could confide in. Alex is just a sexaholic with no better place to go. Rune just wants to challenge and fight you. Even the ghost thinks I remind him of my grandmother. Everyone has a reason for wanting me in their life. For wanting to be around me. Everyone except you.”

“Jane…” Andrew sighed.

“Don’t act like I don’t notice. From the first day we’ve met you’ve done nothing but follow me around and try to make me safe,” I interrupted, “What is it? Why?”

Andrew dropped his eyes. He remained quiet for some time before he finally looked back up at me.

“You remind me of someone.”

“Remind you?” I asked incredulously.

“Yeah. A girl. A long time ago.”

“Did… did you love her?”

“No,” Andrew snorted, “I thought she was the most annoying person I ever met. Kept trying to act like my mom.”

I frowned. Andrew noticed and waved his hands.

“No, not like you. I don’t think you’re annoying. On top of that, I was a little kid then, girls were still icky. I like you just the way you are.”

“So what happened?” I continue to press, fighting a blush from the comment about liking me.

“She died.”

My questions stopped right there. I didn’t really know what to say. I hadn’t expected that. When Andrew didn’t continue, I pulled my hand out and placed it on his shoulder. He sat up and I pulled my hand away as if it was burned. He looked me straight on, his beautiful features suddenly burning with intensity.

“I did everything I could and I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t protect her. In the end, she protected me. She died protecting me. I just… I just can’t forgive myself.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” I said, realizing I had no clue how to comfort him. It was a story I’d likely never know the whole of.

Andrew shuttered for a second. I saw his arms hanging loosely as if his entire body had gone slack. I nervously moved my hand to his and grabbed it. My palms were just a bit sweaty. He felt cool to the touch. He squeezed my hand. I squeezed his back. We stayed like that for a bit, holding each other’s hands in the empty classroom, making no other noise.

Finally, he looked at me, “Can you forgive me?”

“For what?” I laughed.

“Leading you on for such a silly reason. However, the more I’ve gotten to know you, the more important you’ve become to me. I may have started out because I was guilty, but now I care about you deeply. You’re a very important friend to me.”

I turned away, the blush forming on my cheeks, “Well, the person you really should be apologizing to is Alex. I think you might have hurt her feelings.”

Andrew winced, “Yeah, I think you might be right. Sometimes, I’m an idiot. I imagine that’s why I’m down here instead of in Heaven with all the other Archangels.”

“I’m happy you’re down here,” I spoke up, “I mean, I never would have met you if you didn’t come. I like you too, just the way you are.”

Andrew turned to me, his face finally growing soft as he stared at me with his bright blue eyes. He reached out his hand and cupped my cheek.

“Jane, I… l…”

“I love you guys too,” the door suddenly burst open as Alex barged into the room.

The other guys followed closely behind her. Andrew pulled his arm away, turning with embarrassment. Alex moved up to me and gave me a tight sisterly hug, then turning to Andrew while she held both of my hands in hers nonchalantly.

“It’s okay; I forgive you,” Alex smiled.

Andrew returned a sheepish smile, seemingly content that the situation was resolved. Then Mr. Xavier followed behind the group and he tensed again. My breath caught as I stared at the man. I still couldn’t get the image of him straddled over me out of my mind. I just couldn’t figure out if I should be flattered or feel violated. I wanted to slap him and blush at the same time. I certainly didn’t like him per say. He was cute, but he wasn’t cute enough to do whatever he felt like.

“I thought you guys were going to handle him,” Andrew frowned.

The anger wasn’t in his voice as it was before, but he still sounded annoyed. Daniel looked down sheepishly. Rune just seemed angry and Stephan blushed and shrugged.

“Well as it turns out,” Stephan spoke up first, “We’re not allowed to have these meetings in an official capacity without a school official to watch over us. We need a club advisor.”

“No,” Andrew threw his head back, “You guys want to let him continue to control this poor guy’s body?”

“Well, if he’s in Mr. Xavier, we at least know where he is and he won’t be able to get into as much mischief,” Daniel offered.

“But what about this person’s life?” Andrew asked

“What life, the guy’s brain dead,” Mr. Xavier grinned.

“What?”

“He was in a motorcycle accident. He’s been a comma for months. They were pulling the plug. Then I jumped in. They freaked out when Mr. Xavier woke up, but no biggie. A few calls and I was able to reinstate his former job as a substitute. It makes sense if you don’t think about it too much.”

“How can you even function as a teacher? You were just a kid when you died.” Andrew continued to demand.

Xavier chuckled at that, “I may have been a kid, but I was always very smart. Plus you don’t remain a ghost for six decades without picking up your fair share of knowledge. I read a lot. Plus with all of that texting and spelling/grammar programs you kids play with these days, it’s not difficult to come off as a literary genius. Before I was murdered, I even edited for a newspaper for a while.”

Andrew frowned, but couldn’t seem to come up with any other kind of argument.

“Hey Andrew, isn’t it ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’? It’s no different than us. I joined so I can keep a watch on you. He’ll join and we can keep watch on him. Plus it helps solve an issue. The H club is official now,” Rune offered.

“Why Rune, you sound almost excited to be part of this club,” Stephan grinned.

“No, it’s just that it makes things easier. I can keep track on all the crazies in town at once.”

The group chuckled softly, finally breaking the ice that had been hanging over the lot of them since Xavier had shown himself.

As the chuckles died down, Stephan spoke up, “So I guess that would make this the first meeting of the H club, huh?”

“And the problem at hand… the missing werewolves,” Daniel interjected.

“And the missing Demons,” Rune added.

“The missing people in general,” Stephan sighed.

“What is this now?” Xavier piped in.

The group all looked at him, but it was Stephan who took the lead, explaining the events that led them to all meeting. The insolent grin on the ghost teacher’s face actually went away for a bit as he listened intently to their information. He occasionally interjected with questions or clarifications, but his handsome face remained thoughtful and polite. Like this, he actually was quite handsome. He looked scholarly and mature.

When Stephan finished the story, he looked at each of them in turn, “So, it’s happening again huh?”

Stephan coughed, “I’m sorry, what do you mean, again?”

“I’ve been around a long time, some 70 odd years. Something like you described, a sudden rash of disappearances, seems to happen every twenty years or so in this city. A few dozen suddenly go missing, the authorities are baffled, and then it ends and the people are never found. I never gave it a whole lot of thought, but if it’s not just humans going missing; this could be something a lot bigger.”

Andrew leaned forward, also very intent, “Do you have any clues? A direction we could look next?”

Mr. Xavier rubbed his chin, thinking about it for a moment, “If I recall some newspaper clippings I’ve read, the disappearances were also associated with crop circles.”

Andrew’s face turned sour, but it was Rune who spoke up, “Crop Circles?”

He laughed derisively.

There has been a crop circle recently. It happened on the same night another person went missing,” Stephan spoke quietly.

The entire group went silent with that. The thought was there, but it was honestly too ridiculous to even mention. Not a single one of them would even entertain the idea.

“Aliens,” Alex said excitedly.

Well, maybe there was one person who would entertain the idea. Rune groaned, turning to Alex with a look of distaste on his tongue.

“It doesn’t need to be aliens,” Stephan interrupted the inevitable onslaught, “Crop circles are well documented throughout history. They could be connected to the missing people. Perhaps some kind of incantation.”

“Aliens is far too ridiculous a notion, it’s probably magic,” Rune waved his hand as if dismissing the thought before stopping himself. We were arguing against the thought of aliens by assuming it was magic. Something about that felt off to me.

“Not even necessarily magic,” Stephan interjected, “A cult might do it as some kind of cult worship.”

They all went silent at that for a bit, then Rune spoke up first, “It’d have to be a hell of a powerful cult.”

“Strong enough to take down an entire pack of werewolves,” Daniel added.

“The question I want to know, “Andrew asked, “Were the demons and werewolves just another part of the disappearances, or did they go missing because they got too close to the truth?”

“This could get very dangerous,” Rune said quietly.

The entire group turned to me suddenly. I blushed. They were all beautiful. Beautiful, yet dangerous men filled with supernatural powers that I couldn’t touch. I tried to stare down the group, their dark eyes, and each one deep enough to get lost in. I’d like to think I managed to hold my own against that onslaught.

“I can handle myself,” I responded, trying to laugh it off, “Look, I’m not going anywhere.”

The men slowly nodded, one at a time in turn. Andrew was the last. When he finally sighed and gave a nod, I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I had been holding. I felt like the group had come to a crossroads, and just gotten over something. It was an unspoken agreement. A unification of sorts. I couldn’t really define it, but it was important.

“Alright, well let’s call it a day then,” Stephan clapped his hands together, “I’ll need to do some research on these crop circles.”

The group disbanded and I left the room. To my surprise, everyone had something they needed to do, and for the first time in what felt like forever, I found myself free of my entourage. I almost expected Samantha to pounce on me as soon as I was alone, intent on grilling me about everything I knew of the new teacher and the others as well. I supposed she was still in volleyball practice. It would be in my best interest to be out of the school before she was done.

Her tweets had been steadily growing more insane. She came to the realization that my inside knowledge on the greater part of the hawtness could be used to make her fan fictions more biologically relevant. She kept asking awkward questions about their personality quirks and measurements. She seemed disappointed that I hadn’t taken a ruler and measured their dimensions and sizes yet.

When I opened my locker, the first thing I noticed was the note. I picked it up and looked at it in confusion.

Meet me at 8:30 pm in the clearing where it all started.

I blinked, and then reread the note. I read it a third time for good measure. Did Andrew write this? Perhaps there was still more that he wanted to tell me about his life before. Although, I suppose it could have been Rune. I’d assume they were the only two who knew about the clearing where we met. If there was a beginning, I’d say it was there.

However, which was it, Rune or Andrew? Did it matter which one? Would I go for one and not go for the other? Would I dress nicer for one and not the other? I couldn’t even answer those questions myself, without knowing which one was there. They were both boneheads, but I trusted both of them. I cared for both of them. There was little doubt I’d be there. Maybe it’s just some reconnaissance or something.

I crumbled up the note and left. I quickly made my way to my house. Alex was already there. I guess mom was teaching her how to cook. I decided not to get involved with it. I asked my mom if I could go to Samantha’s for a bit. She responded it was fine as long as I was back by 10:30. Alex looked at me suspiciously, but I was up to the stairs and changing in my bedroom before she could react.

Then, I found myself out the back door and heading down the street. I knew if I waited too long, Alex would butt in. For whatever reason, I felt it was necessary to keep this quiet. It was almost exciting. A secret rendezvous with a handsome man in the middle of the night. Of course, I remembered my last rendezvous ended with a naked werewolf and a big sister. The one before that had me drag an unconscious demon a half mile by myself. That dampened my excitement a little. However, this time would be different. I needed a win.

I had put on makeup, did up my hair a little nicer, and got my jeans with the glitter, and a cute blouse with a frog on it. The one thing I did forget was my coat. I realized this as I shivered in the cold. It was well into autumn and the weather wasn’t holding out. My arms were freezing. I rubbed them vigorously as the sun set and I found myself in relative darkness. I found the clearing without too much problem. It was a place I couldn’t forget. The fire damage from the fight the two had had was grown over with crabgrass. The stars overhead burned brightly and a half moon hung in the sky.

Other than that, it was pretty quiet. Perhaps it was a little too quiet. That got me to start thinking about the dangers the H club had been talking about. There could be some kind of cult capable of capturing demons and werewolves. Here I was, standing in the middle of a dark clearing, waiting for a demon or an angel to come take me. I suddenly found myself feeling like a complete idiot.

The crack of a twig behind me caused a cold spike to shoot up my spine. I spun around in shock. There was nothing that I could see. I stared into the darkness, but I couldn’t make out any form.

“Andrew?” I said out loud, “Rune?”

Then there was rustling. The rustling came from the side and I spun again.

“Daniel?” my voice raised an octave.

The rustling became more and more vigorous. It was coming for me. It was coming quickly. I took a step back, and then another. Then a form grabbed me from behind and I screamed.

The voice that spoke was completely unfamiliar to me, “I’m sorry, but this has to happen.”

A sharp pain shot throughout my body, and I felt myself being torn away from reality. My mind began to fade as the world fell apart. My vision faded to black, and then there was nothing. So much for a win.

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Hawtness – Volume 1 – Chapter 6

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

Past Relationships

“It knew things. Things about me. Things about you. It mentioned your secret. I thought… I’m so sorry Andrew,” I apologized as I gently stroked Alex’s hair.

Alex had finally stopped crying on top of me. Now she just rested. Her head lay comfortably in my lap as I sat up in the bed. Everyone had finally made it into the room now, and we all stood around, staring at each other in uncomfortable silence.

“It’s been listening to us, to our conversations. Since we entered the house, maybe even while we were out on the street. It’s using everything it has heard to manipulate us,” Andrew explained.

“So, I’m still a little confused,” Daniel scratched his head, “You are saying a ghost spied on us, possessed Alex, used her to turn into Andrew, and then attempted to attack my mate?”

“That’s one way of putting it; I wouldn’t exactly call it attacking. It was more like sexually assaulting,” Rune replied scornfully.

“I’m alright Rune; he didn’t do anything to me.” I looked away from his glare.

Andrew spoke up, “Either way, if it’s a ghost that has been the culprit, then we need to be very careful. He could possess any given one of us at any given time. For… some of us, that could be incredibly dangerous. I would hate to see what he would do if he possessed werewolf powers.”

“Or an Archdemon’s?” Alex offered, turning her head towards the group.

“Can it be safe to say that the dead cannot possess the dead?” Stephan asked, his face still downcast, his eyes looking away from everyone else.

“No. In fact, you might be the most at risk of any of us. I’d imagine a ghost having few qualms about taking over a body that is already dead,” Andrew replied.

Stephan lowered his head. “At least I’m the weakest here and invulnerable. If it took me you could easily contain it and do whatever you had to keep it down.”

“Stephan, are you okay?” Andrew asked with concern in his voice.

“I let it take her. I just walked away and let it almost have its way with her, right after she fell down that hole and was injured.” A look of anguish flashed on Stephan’s face.

“Stephan, you did what you could. Even Jane was fooled.”

“Andrew,” I spoke up, “I mean, the other Andrew, said some things to him. They were not nice.”

“I am so sorry,” Alex spoke up, “I never would have said those things. I don’t believe those things. The ghost just wanted you gone.”

“You remember?” I asked.

“Bits and pieces, like a foggy dream. Oh, Jane… I would never force myself on you like that. You believe me, right? I love you and hurting you is the last thing I’d ever want to do.”

“It’s okay, I… l… think you’re a great person too,” I responded.

I almost told her I loved her in return. It was getting too easy seeing her as a sister. I’d have to put my foot down on this at some point, but now that we lived together things weren’t going to be any easier. Fortunately, no one seemed to notice my slip, their concern elsewhere.

Andrew moved over to him, resting his hand on Stephan’s shoulder. He squeezed slightly, causing Stephan to look back at him.

“You’re a good man. If I thought anything less, I’d never have let you near Jane in the first place. I count you as a friend I can trust. That’s why I left Jane in your care because I know you can keep her as safe as I can.”

Stephan seemed in better humor, but that humor slid off as Andrew walked away. His appearance turned sheepish instead. I could relate; the two of us had almost kissed. I think Andrew just replaced one form of guilt with another. I felt slightly guilty too, but I didn’t know why. Was I guilty of almost kissing Stephan, or was I guilty for actually kissing someone I thought was Andrew? Am I guilty because I thought I was kissing Andrew, or because it turned out to not be Andrew? My emotions were a bundled knot of confusion.

“The thing I don’t understand,” I said trying to deflect the situation, “Why is it interested in me?”

Daniel looked at Andrew before speaking up, “There is no reason to hide it. I think you are long past keeping secrets at this point.”

“Before you answer that,” Rune interrupted, “I would like you to explain why you are not wearing any clothing again.”

I sighed; Daniel was most certainly naked again. He did have wonderfully tanned thighs. No tan lines either, but given what I’ve seen, it didn’t seem that surprising that he tanned without underwear on.

“When I heard the commotion, I jumped into my werewolf form.”

“You shredded up your clothing, didn’t you?” Rune shook his head.

Daniel slightly blushed. After a second, Stephan sighed, unbuttoning his shirt. He tossed the shirt to Daniel. Underneath he still wore a tight white undershirt. While he wasn’t as muscular as Rune or Andrew, and certainly not Daniel, he still did have nicely defined abs, now that I got a peak.

Daniel put the shirt on, buttoning it up. It didn’t fit well, the buttons bulging. The shirt only went down to his waist, effectively covering up nothing. In fact, if anything, it accentuated his complete lack of pants.

Everyone looked over at Stephan, “Don’t look at me; I’m not giving him my pants.”

“Here,” Alex tossed Daniel an article of clothing.

It was a coat. It was my coat. Daniel wrapped it around his waist, covering himself. My coat was now pressed up against him. I glared down at Alex, who just shrugged and gave me a mischievous smile. I guess she was starting to cheer up.

“Enough about me,” Daniel interrupted my thoughts, “Andrew? We need to tell her.”

Andrew sighed, “I suppose you are right. Jane, have you ever heard the story of the star-crossed lovers? It’s a popular one at our school.”

“Yeah, but there are so many versions of it,” I spoke up.

“Well, in the one I’m thinking of particularly, there were two lovers many years ago. It was a young boy and a young girl, only fifteen years of age. The girl’s father owned this mansion, as the story goes, and was wealthy. The boy was a poor kid, who only met the girl on happenstance. They fell in love, but the girl’s father would never have approved. He was a vile tyrant who controlled his family with an iron grip.”

Andrew continued, “Eventually, the pair ran off and eloped. The boy worked nonstop for months with three jobs, keeping every penny he had so that he could afford to take her away from her family, starting with a romantic honeymoon where they could consummate their hasty betrothal.”

“Unfortunately, the girl’s father had found out. The story doesn’t really say what happened to the girl, but the boy snuck into the girl’s bedroom on that last night with a pocket full of money and a plan to escape the city with her. Her father was waiting instead, and he murdered the boy and buried his body in the basement.”

“I remember that one, but what does that have to do with me?” I asked.

Andrew glanced once more at Daniel before pulling out a picture, “We found this while we were searching one of the rooms.”

I hesitantly reached out and grabbed the picture. It was an old time black and white photo. The person in it looked remarkably like me. I took a long, hard look at the picture. That was so strange.

“Why is my great grandma’s picture in this house?”

Andrew’s eyebrows rose, “You know her?”

“Yeah, I’ve seen a few older photos of my great granny. She died before I was born, but they said I took after her a lot. I’m even named after her.”

“You never heard about any of this before now?” Rune asked in disbelief.

“She kept her history private. She never talked about her past. Grandma said she never mentioned her parents at all. I certainly never knew about us being rich.”

“It would seem that finishes our story. Your great grandmother must have run away and started a new life on her own. The boy, however, never left the mansion. Even you could imagine how he might react if he saw someone identical to his betrothed, even carrying the same name.” Andrew shook his head.

“What should we do then?” I asked.

“Well,” Andrew continued, “Since we know what it wants and why it wants it, I think we can conclude that it was just a coincidence. Either way, you should probably leave. It’s least safe for you here. We’ll continue to search the home on our own.”

“What if it attempts to possess one of you to get to me again?”

“Oh, I have a solution,” Alex suddenly perked up.

She reached into her handbag and then reached in further. It was about the point her elbow went past the relatively small pack’s lip that I realized something was amiss. I raised my eyebrows as she struggled to pull something out of it.

“It’s interdimensional. You don’t stay a demon without picking up a handful of interesting artifacts. I keep all kinds of things in here. Makeup, changes of clothing, that kind of thing.”

“Changes of clothing?”

“Yeah, well, you never know when I might end up turning into a guy, or simply my sizes change. I keep an assortment of generic clothing for that purpose.”

“Daniel’s wearing my coat around his waist, and you have a magical purse with clothing exactly for this purpose?”

Alex blinked. “Oops.”

I sighed, “Just get what you’re looking for.”

Alex dug around a few more minutes. She tossed Daniel a pair of pants and I recovered my coat. It was all warm. I didn’t really know how I felt about that. After another few moments, she pulled out a small device. It was shaped like a gun, however, it was more like a ray gun you might see from some alien science fiction drama.

“Here it is!” she declared.

“What is it?” Rune asked in annoyance.

“It’s a ghost gun.”

“A ghost gun?” Stephan asked with curiosity.

“Supposedly, if you shoot it at a ghost, it harms them or something. I’ve shot it at myself loads of times and it never did anything. So I think we can probably just shoot everyone. If they had a ghost in them, we should be able to tell.”

“It can’t harm people?” Andrew asked.

“Well, it has a list of side effects.”

“Side effects?”

“Let me see,” Alex turned the device on its side, seemingly reading a label located on the bottom of the gun,” Exposure to radiation can cause itching, constipation, rectal bleeding, hot flashes, Vietnam flashbacks, diarrhea, feminine odors, general well-being and peace of mind, abdominal cramping, and inability to distinguish reality from a cartoon.”

“You’re making that crap up,” Rune snapped, moving over and grabbing the gun.

He looked at the bottom of the gun for a second, mouthing off the words as he read. After a moment, he shook his head in disbelief.

“What the heck are feminine odors?” he asked.

“I…” I shook my head; this was not a conversation I was going to have with him.

“You’re not using that gun on me,” Daniel demanded.

“It’s the only way to keep Jane safe,” Andrew defended.

Daniel stared for a few minutes at the gun like it was a snake, and finally nodded. The others nodded in turn. Then, all of the men turned to me as I sat in my bed.

“Are you okay with leaving tonight?” Alex asked me with concern in her eyes.

I looked at each of these friends in turn. Every single one of them was willing to risk themselves to keep me safe. I knew that I should feel like the luckiest person on the planet. At the moment, I just felt guilty that I was the weakest link.

“I suppose it’s the safest thing to do now.”

****

“You have not been looking good lately,” Samantha declared, “You need like, a spa day or something. Maybe we should go out and get manicures.”

That would be nice. I totally could have used a girl’s day. The kind that actually involves someone who was a girl 24/7 at least. On the surface, spending several weeks with a group of attractive guys sounds fun. However, that was only in theory. In reality, it was severely nerve-wracking. I might have been developing a twitch.

It had been some time since I had left that haunted house. My ankle turned out to be bruised, not sprained, and after a few days of limping, I was back to normal. I had told my mom I fell down the stairs. With Alex to back up all of my claims, it was a lot easier convincing her of things. Furthermore, the boys showed no signs of possession since then, so I supposed I was in the clear now. That didn’t stop me from being on the defensive, though.

A boy asked me out this morning and I screamed and ran away. He could have been a Frankenstein Vampire voodoo Santa Clause for all I knew. It was another member of the Hawtness, Allan, which only made things more suspicious. He was kind of a library nerd but was still on the list because Samantha said he was book sexy. When I asked her what that meant, she said it meant you wanted to have sex with him on top of a pile of books.

“We could also go to the Demetrius concert coming up,” Samantha winked at me.

I sighed, “You’ve already forced me to have a Demetrius poster in my bedroom. You want me to have to go to a loud noisy concert too?

“Well, not all of us are surrounded by a constant stream of hot guys. Going to a Demetrius concert might be the closest thing I come to heaven.” Samantha gave me a puppy-eyed look.

I turned my head, trying to ignore her. Her lip fell down, tears welling in her eyes. It was times like this I remembered she was also in the drama club. I turned back to her.

“Fine, you win! We’ll go.”

Samantha laughed, clapping her hands just as the bell rang.

“Alright everybody,” our aged English teacher spoke up, “As you can all see, I’m nine months pregnant and ready to pop if you hadn’t noticed up until this point. As a result, I’ll be starting my maternity leave today. You will instead be taught by Mr. Xavier, the new substitute teacher.”

Oh yeah, the teacher had been seeming a bit chunky lately. However, wasn’t she a little old to be having a baby? She was almost thirty. The class broke into whispers at this announcement. Samantha rammed her elbow into me numerous times. Finally, I smacked her arm away and turned to her.

“What is it?” I snapped under my breath.

“Hawtness…”

“What?”

“Mr. Xavier is one of the hawtness,” Samantha whispered

“A teacher can’t be a hawtness.”

“He can if he looks like Mr. Xavier. I saw him in the halls this morning.”

I knew what she meant a moment later when a young, handsome man walked into the class. He had dark brown hair, a deep smile, and perhaps the greenest eyes I had ever seen on a person. He was wearing a t-shirt under a sports coat. He had one hand in his pocket and moved with a swagger that I couldn’t put my finger on.

“I just wanted to be here to introduce him. He has already received all of my notes and will follow my class lectures diligently. Please be respectful. Now excuse me, I’ll be off.” The old English teacher waved to the students before leaving the room.

“Well, that was brief,” the substitute smirked, “But yes, I am Mr. Xavier, and I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.”

The new teacher had an accent. I couldn’t put my finger on it, it sounded old-timey and proper. Mr. Xavier looked at each and every student in the class, the girls especially, and his eyes seemed to linger on me just a bit longer. Was there a look of recognition in those eyes? I was just growing paranoid.

“The first things I will need is a student to help me after school. I have some things I want to rearrange in the classroom and some student perspective would be appreciated. Who would be interested?”

Several girls raised their hands. I wasn’t one of them. I had a meeting with the boys for club activities after school and didn’t have the time. Although, something was off about Mr. Xavier. The last thing I needed to find out was that Mr. Xavier was another supernatural being. No chances this time. What if he was a Frankenstein? Maybe I should investigate? Now I was curious. No, curiosity already got me, five guys, messing up my life. I would not add another.

“How about you Jane?” the man pointed at me.

The blood drained in my face. Samantha glanced at me, but it seemed she had grown past her jealousy. Now she just sighed at the inevitability of it all, her phone under the desk rapidly typing a tweet telling the whole school. A small panic attack surged through me. It wasn’t fair. I beat my curiosity. I didn’t raise my hand. Why was this still happening?

“How… how did you know my name?” I got out. Maybe if I just asked, things would be less problematic. It’s simple, are you, or have you ever been a magical creature, supernatural being, or dead?

“Seating chart?” he pulled up a folder from his desk, “I find the ones that don’t volunteer tend to have the more important things to say. I hope that’s alright.”

Some of the girls threw dirty looks at me. I just nodded; there was nothing else I could do. Mr. Xavier gave me a reassuring smile before looking back down at his folder. Suddenly, his smile turned sour.

“And another piece of news looks like we are getting a transfer student joining us today.”

Samantha seemed to perk up at the news, always the one for a new toy or a piece of gossip. When the person walked in through the door, my expression soon echoed Mr. Xavier’s. An incredibly attractive boy walked in. He had deep red lips and was perhaps the most beautiful person I had ever seen. Several of the girls around me shifted in their seats at just the sight of him. Alex.

Why did Alex have to be in a male form now? For that matter, why did he think this wasn’t extremely dangerous? If he shimmered in front of someone because of a sudden shift in who he likes, it would be impossible to explain. Alex gave me a deep smile, causing Samantha to let out another prolonged sigh of regret. Strangely enough, Mr. Xavier frowned at the behavior.

He put Alex in a seat on the exact opposite side of mine. It wouldn’t have been odd if he hadn’t had to kick a girl out of her seat in order to do it. That girl ended up moving to a seat adjacent to mine. Fortunately, no one was putting two and two together, simply more fascinated by the beautiful boy that joined their class. Samantha was most likely buying her time before she called me that night, demanding all of my secrets.

I sighed regretfully. It would be another one of those days. Mr. Xavier began the lesson. He seemed surprisingly adept in English, although he seemed to have almost a child-like giddiness associated with it. When one of the students fired a spitball across the room at the back of another student’s head, Mr. Xavier responded by wadding up a piece of paper and returning the favor. To everyone’s shock and surprise, it landed directly in between the eyes of the offender. The class responded by breaking out into laughter. The person deserved it; he was always gross, but can a teacher really do that?

The class was over before it began, and being the last class on this day, the students filed out and I waited for Mr. Xavier to tell me what he needed. Given my habit of staying later, I supposed I was probably a good choice to stay after school to help the teacher. I noticed Alex staying as well. After the majority of the students were gone, I moved over to him.

“Well?” I huffed.

Alex held up his hands, looking defensive, “Don’t look at me. This is mom’s doing. She saw me staying at home and before I knew it I was being enrolled in school.”

I pinched my nose. Of course, mom would do that. Well, he lived with me now. I couldn’t just leave him at home all the time. However, bringing another one of them into my school life just kept making things messier and messier.

“But why are you in boy form now?”

“Would you rather I came looking like your sister? I think that would cause more questions than this.”

“How’d you get around my mom enrolling you as a girl?”

Alex raised an eyebrow, “I’m a demon, is it really that hard to imagine? Plus, now I can be in the H club!”

“H club?”

“Oh right.” Alex stuck out his tongue. “We didn’t tell you about the name yet. We decided to call the club the H club. Stands for Hawtness Club. No one really got it, but Rune said you’d like it.”

A blush came upon my cheeks. Rune knew. Of course, he would be the one to know about that kind of thing. Still, doing that was embarrassing. Hopefully, no one else asked about what the club was doing. However, if Rune knew, soon everyone else would know too. I winced, so much for my private joke. Alex looked at me curiously and I focused back on him.

“What about you? Can you handle this? I mean, if you change… plus you’ve had trouble keeping a reign on your libido in the past.”

“I’ve got a better handle on it. Rune’s given me some tips to improve my ability to control myself, and it seems like it is working.”

That’s an idea for a Samantha fanfic right there; I scrunched up my nose. Maybe it’s better not to think about Rune having the talk with Alex on controlling his urges. Although now that it was in my brain, I wanted to hear that conversation.

“Alex,” Mr. Xavier suddenly spoke up from the other side of the room, interrupting us,” I appreciate your willingness to stay after, but Jane has already volunteered. You won’t be needed.”

Both Alex and I frowned. Volunteering isn’t exactly the way I’d put it. It was more like being forced against my will.

“It’s alright,” Alex gave Mr. Xavier a winning smile, “I’ll stay out of your way.”

Mr. Xavier grimaced. “Just go, I have things that need doing.”

Alex’s smile slipped from his face. He seemed taken aback that he wasn’t able to sway the teacher’s opinion on him with a look. I supposed he was the wrong sex for it. The smile came back a moment later when he turned to me.

“Well, I can see what I’m not needed,” Alex shrugged, standing up. “I’ll talk to you at our first school meeting. I’ll let everyone know to wait up for you.”

Alex gracefully stood and walked out of the room. Mr. Xavier watched his back with daggers until he left. Then, the teacher moved over to the door and peered out to make sure he was gone, and then made sure it was closed. That was a little odd. The teacher turned back to me, a grin popping on his face as he walked over.

“What did you need help with?” I asked, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable.

Mr. Xavier walked over to me with that swagger in his step. He smiled down at me, placing his hands on either shoulder.

“Jane, you and I need to do a lot of things together.”

I attempted to pull back. In a sudden swift motion, he grabbed the back of my chair and pulled me forward. He moved on top. His legs wrapped around me. His body pressed up against me. His eyes stared into mine. I gulped loudly, frozen as if in a daze. His body smelled of fresh apple blossoms.

I forced myself to work up the courage to say something, “Mr. Xavier, I…”

Mr. Xavier put his finger over my lips, shaking his head. “It’s okay. Together you and I are going to do everything.”

The door burst open and the teacher looked back in surprise. Andrew and Rune both raced into the room, heading for us. Each boy grabbed an arm, dragging the teacher back and then throwing him. I wasn’t sure which I was more surprised about, the teacher coming on to me or Andrew and Rune attacking him. Mr. Xavier landed hard on his butt in the corner of the room.

“You stay the hell away from her,” Rune snapped.

My eyes widened as I turned between Mr. Xavier and the two boys. I moved out of my chair and moved between the group. If I didn’t stop this now, someone would get hurt. The door flew open again in a rush, Alex in her female form burst in leading Daniel and Stephan. Daniel looked around the room quickly before taking a breath. His eyes snapped to the teachers, and he joined the others with open anger on his face.

“What’s the meaning of this? You can’t do this to a teacher!” Mr. Xavier replied angrily, trying to move back into a standing position.

Daniel moved forward past me, shoving his foot into Mr. Xavier’s gut and knocking him to the ground, “That’s true. However, you’re not really a teacher, are you?”

Suddenly, the teacher stopped struggling. The look on his face twisted and he grinned evilly. Andrew and Rune looked at each other. A brief flash of confusion on their faces was followed by understanding. They seemed to understand what was going on. Well, none of this was making any sense to me.

“What’s going on?” I demanded from the boys.

Stephan put a hand gently on my shoulder. “I suspected as soon as Alex told me about the odd teacher that rushed him out the door. This person is not your substitute teacher. He’s been taken over by the ghost from the mansion.”

Previous | Table Of Contents | Next

Arifureta Chapter 175

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

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

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n8611bv/176/

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

Bakapervert translated this chapter. Bakapervert did the edits.

____________________________________

The Specialty of Common Job

The roars of the five heavenly dragons shook the air.

The heavenly dragons that were turned into a monster while being half magic body left the control of the caster and aimed at the prey independently. The emitted pressure far surpassed the heavenly dragon that Yue often used before. The five elements magic that formed those bodies were also evolved where now they possessed a worthy wickedness that was clear to see.

“My former world was a world where magic was the foundation. I’m not boasting, but I remember that the development there was remarkable. There was abundant variety of artifact, people flew freely in the sky, they could get in touch with a far away place, they moved using teleportation, even their lifespan could be prolonged by a few hundred years more using magical treatment. Magic and technology that were based from that made that world abundant.”

*pashii!* That light sound resounded and the figure of the lightning dragon vanished. No, that large body changed into a streak of lightning and it moved with lightning speed. At the next moment, it appeared beside Hajime.

(Fast…but, if it’s only as fast as lightning then-)

The dragon raised a roar of thunder while its opened jaw rapidly pulled everything in the surrounding. Even the light stars were swallowed and extinguished inside there, Hajime who was almost got pulled in similarly like the light stars immediately took out several gravity hand grenades to empty air.

The gravity hand grenades that were easily pulled in exploded with a good timing just when they entered inside the mouth of the lightning dragon and generated super gravitational area.

The lightning dragon that swallowed everything while approaching was flattened by the downward pressure that was suddenly generated and passed through below Hajime who was hovering in midair using ‘Air Force’.

“But, what is waiting for the world that is over developed is only their end. Our world too wasn’t an exception to that. Something like a war of the end that happened because of exhausted resources, or sense of values, or possibly because of economical problems or different political idea, those weren’t the cause. The reason was something more, something that couldn’t be helped. Do you know what it was, irregular?”

“ts”

Ehitorujue’s questioned, however Hajime couldn’t answer. He had no composure to answer.

Because after he staved off the lightning dragon, the azure dragon circled right behind him and pressed hard on him along with an immense amount of heat.

In front of him was the meteor shower. Below was a lightning dragon, at left and right were the storm dragon and ice dragon. If he evaded then he would undoubtedly aim from right behind and forced to bear damage that would be hard to disregard.

Therefore, Hajime took out the variable chakram ‘Orestes’ to empty air.

A *kashun* sound came out immediately and wire that was divided into three part formed a round shaped gate. The azure dragon charged straight into the gate, right after that the azure dragon flew out from above the ice dragon that approached from the right side. Hajime had applied ‘Presence Isolation’ to one more variable chakram and made it flew there.

The suddenly appearing azure dragon collided with its natural enemy the ice dragon which caused the ice dragon to roar in agony. And then, the ice dragon glared at Orestes which teleported the azure dragon and breathed out ice and snow. With that the Orestes froze instantly as though it was bathed with liquid nitrogen, right after that it was impacted by a light star and was easily smashed.

Regardless of the roar of the ice dragon and the sound of Orestes getting pulverized, Ehitorujue’s voice still reached Hajime’s ear smoothly.

“They arrived at the truth. The magic technology was developed thoroughly until they could interfere with the information of the world itself, to the material, to life, to the star, to time, to the environment. And then, no matter the era researcher is always unable to restrain their curiosity. They fumbled with the technology that interferes with the truth spreading in the world like playing with a toy…and that became the cause that destroyed the world. Our world was killed by the curiosity of the people who handled magic.”

Hajime neutralized the light stars using Cross Velt. Furthermore, he commanded the Grim Reapers to aim at Ehitorujue. Eagle type Grim Reaper scattered cluster bombs above Ehitorujue. However, the squall of explosive was easily pulverized by the meteor shower fired from the halos, resulting in only sparkling particles scattering around. Hajime’s attacks didn’t reach Ehitorujue at all.

Ehitorujue’s expression didn’t even show any annoyance.

“The truth crumbled and the world was rapidly crumbling…the situation at that time was exactly like a picture of pandemonium in hell. There was nothing that could be done at all. Mankind had no other path other than destruction along with the planet. With the exception of a part of ‘the arrived’.”

Hajime took out all the Orestes that he could control in his attempt to deal with the five heavenly dragons, but Ehitorujue snapped his fingers while talking.

Right after that, several hundred lightning divine spear rained down from the empty air and fried all the Orestes without leaving even dust behind. Furthermore, the lightning that was thoroughly packed inside the spears was released and attacked Hajime from all direction like a spider web. While reinforcing his body with ‘Vajra’, Hajime evacuated hurriedly but he was unable to leave with no damage. His flesh was roasted which harmed his nerve slightly.

There the earth dragon attacked him.

“’The arrived’――these were the people who were able to individually operate the essence of what all of you called as the age of god magic. They, only they were able to discover the method to be saved. That method was the teleportation to another world. Fufu-, isn’t that laughable? After all only the ringleaders who destroyed the world were able to escape from ruin.”

Amidst the reverberation of Ehitorujue’s laugh that was filled with irony, a wire with ores attached at both its ends soared through empty air.

The wire entangled around the approaching stone dragon and lightning dragon midair in many layers. Right after that, a fierce ripple spread from the ores. It was the binding artifact ‘Bola’ that had been strengthened by really far.

Operating together with the ores, the wire part that was also a developed model was fixed directly to the space, so the half magic half physical heavenly dragons were also firmly bounded in place.

The two heavenly dragons roared and rampaged violently to escape from the binding.

Hajime took out Schlagen AA once more and fixed his aim using his magic eye stone and pulled the trigger.

Spark traveled the barrel and Schlagen AA roared, the bullet then flew into the mouth of the lightning dragon and advanced forward without paying any heed to the lightning and destroyed the magic stone of the dragon.

At the same time, six bullets that were shot from Donner along the same trajectory gouged further the hole inside the stone dragon’s mouth that was hollowed by the concentrated fire of the Cross Velts. The bullets were instantly petrified and became brittle stone, but even so, the bullets advanced inside the stone dragon and the last bullet shot through the magic stone without getting petrified.

The last bullet was a bullet coated with sealing stone. Hajime only had a bit of it remained because he wasn’t frugal in using them for the weapons of Shia and others or his large shield, this bullet coated with sealing stone was something that he needed to think carefully before using.

Hajime splendidly defeated two heavenly dragons, but because of that his feet stopped moving. The compensation for that was large.

“Like that ‘the arrived’ including me arrived in this world. At that time we were surprised. After all, this world was so primitive that it shouldn’t even be compared with our world. Mighty creatures with special power were running rampant, while mankind was hiding in shadow like cave or hole in the ground while living barely scraping by.”

Ehitorujue had a distant look in reminiscence while waving his hand.

Immediately Hajime’s legs were fixed in a place altogether with the space. Even though he was concentrating on his story but he perfectly grasped the instant Hajime’s feet stopped, a compressed space in block shape that was the same like the fixed space which captured Metsurai Disaster completely seized Hajime.

(No good-)

Unease showed in Hajime’s expression. He immediately converted his magic power into impact to attempt to break the fixed space.

But, the opponent wasn’t that sweet to let such opening escaped.

Storm dragon roared while attacking the unmoving Hajime. Its jaw swallowed Hajime before closing with a snap. The wind blades and pebbles contained inside its body mercilessly assaulted Hajime. The damage went through to Hajime who persisted using ‘Vajra’. Blood sprayed everywhere and graphic unpleasant sound *gokibeki-* resounded.

Inside the storm of violence that was equivalent to a torture, Hajime fixed the aim of Schlagen AA along with a yell of fighting spirit and tore the storm dragon from inside its body.

Ehitorujue continued his talk without showing any care that the monster he created was killed.

“In that kind of world, we ‘the arrived’ decided to cultivate it. We exterminated the monsters that had lived since the ancient times, and granted wisdom to the native people. The small village turned into town before long and then became a city, and then before we realized it had become a country. At that period we had already been revered as gods. We used the secret technique of the truth and converted the religious faith into power, we attempted to reinforce and sublimate our soul was also around that period.”

Hajime smashed the storm dragon and blasted out from inside it, his body became soaked in blood which made his appearance looked wretched.

But, the ice dragon roared without even any time to breathe.

Hajime threw all the ‘Bola’ that he had toward the azure dragon that was approaching from the opposite direction, he also held the dragon back further using Cross Velts, ordered the Grim Reapers for concentrated fire, then he turned toward the ice dragon’s opened jaw and aimed Schlagen AA. Instantly Schlagen AA was freezing with dreadful momentum from its tip.

“Coordinate attack huh-“

It appeared the ice dragon was able to directly lower the temperature at the coordinate it targeted. It was an ability that the ice dragon Yue handled didn’t have.

Hajime was already unable to pull the trigger, the freezing kept moving with the momentum that almost froze even his artificial arm. Furthermore, with Ehitorujue’s instruction, a meteor shower and light apostles rushed Hajime’s left side with good timing.

Although he was able to somehow repel back only the light apostles using the suicide bombing Grim Reapers and Cross Velts, but he was unable to neutralize the whole meteor shower, Hajime received a direct hit on his left arm.

Although the armor of the artificial arm slightly decreased the damage he received, the Schlagen AA that he unintentionally let go because of the impact was sucked into the jaw of the ice dragon. Like that it was obvious how the artifact would end up. The Schlagen AA turn into little pieces at the same time when the pure white freezing ice dragon closed its jaw.

“A few thousand years later after that, this world became greatly developed. But, as though in inverse proportion, one of ‘the arrived’, and the one more person lost their will to live, regardless of how they had transcended the truth of death they ended their own life. I was unable to understand that but…the last person who stopped prolonging his life said this, ‘It’s already enough’. In the end, the remaining ‘arrived’ became only me.”

Hajime threw countless grenades at the surrounding and immediately shot them.

Right after that, a flame blast was generated in the air which created a crimson flame wall between Hajime and the ice dragon. For an instant, the sight of the ice dragon was obstructed, but something like that was completely swallowed into its jaw instantly like nothing.

But, after that flame blast cleared up, at the other side was a gigantic weapon――a gatling pile bunker held by Hajime was there.

At the next moment, a crimson spark crackled and two-ton giant stakes fired with a rate of twenty shot per second were fired and turned into flashes. The barrage of giant stakes that should be called as a crimson wall rushed the ice dragon from the front, coupled with the gravitational pull by the gravity spot in its mouth, the giant stakes stabbed into the dragon’s large mouth without any deviation.

The freezing ability of the ice dragon was instantly freezing the giant stakes, but because of their force the giant stakes couldn’t be resisted, they advanced unstoppable and gouged in. And then, one of the giant stakes hit the magic stone inside and splendidly succeeding in destroying the dragon. While raising scream of death agony, the ice dragon changed into mere mist and dispersed.

“I became the last one, since then how many months and years had lapsed then…was it a thousand or five thousand years…I don’t remember anymore but, day by day I watched the humans came to me lifting up prayer and offering, and then one day, suddenly I thought. ――Let’s destroy them.”

Hajime directed the cannon turret of the gatling pile bunker toward the azure dragon. The rushing meteor shower and light apostles were all blown away by the Cross Velts and Grim Reapers.

Like that, he turned toward the azure dragon who even now was almost finished burning the many Bolas binding itself and he pulled the trigger――just before he could do that, Hajime suddenly felt a chill and leaped away from that spot.

It appeared that his choice was correct. The place where Hajime was at a moment before was pierced by several dozen lightning divine spears, they spread immense thunders everywhere.

It was just a hair’s breadth. While trickling out cold sweat and blood, Hajime sent a sidelong glance at Ehitorujue. Ehitorujue was still looking at empty space with faraway look while talking about his path in the past. And yet, his attacks were still tormenting Hajime accurately with superb timing so there was nothing more irritating than this.

After being toyed around until this far, Hajime confirmed that Ehitorujue was sensing him accurately and he made a frustrated expression. At the same time, he decided that first, he should slaughter the last remaining azure dragon and so he was moving the gatling pile bunker toward it.

But, as expected it seemed he had let escape the timing for a sure kill.

The azure dragon that was restrained using all of Hajime’s bola roared fiercely. At that moment, the crimson ripple was enveloped by blue flame. The lit blue flame traveled along the bola’s wire before rushing all over everywhere and the blue flame swallowed everything.

Explosive sound resounded and blue beams of light illuminated the space, amidst that Ehitorujue showed an ecstatic expression. With Yue’s beautiful face, that smile emitted an amazing sex appeal,, but for Hajime it only made his blood boiled without end.

“You understand right? Just like how a man wants to defile woman, just like how someone wants to step on fresh snow, beautiful things, those precious things that you desperately piled up, they give off their true beauty when they are broken. The pleasure you obtained from that is something that is really difficult to be substituted by anything. That time when I trampled everything that I had protected the whole time for several thousand years let me tasted unimaginable sweetness. The people screaming, the shriek that asked for help from me…even now, that’s the only thing that I remember clearly.”

All the bolas were burned to nothing. The azure dragon resumed its advance with blazing rage.

Hajime was going to make the dragon into the prey of the gatling pile bunker right from the front, but then the space all around Hajime shook.

“――”

Omni-directional space blasting.

While holding his breath, Hajime leaped out from the encirclement before the space could generate shockwave.

A severe earthquake.

Although Hajime at least avoided a direct hit, he got hit by the after wave and blood sprayed everywhere grandly from Hajime’s wounds.

“Guu”

Hajime unintentionally groaned and his expression warped, there was a flickering azure flame at the corner of his sight. Contrary to the approaching heat, an ice lump was sliding down his spine.

He tried to use ‘Air Force’ to escape while reinforcing his body with ‘Vajra’, but the meteor swarm whirled and danced boisterously in anticipation of that and blocked Hajime’s path of escape.

“Even though I have forgotten completely how long I have lived, only the pleasure I felt at that time when everything crumbled is unforgettable. Therefore, I decided. That this world is my toy.”

Ehitorujue’s gaze finally returned back from the past.

He faced Hajime who was trying to break through the dance of the meteor shower using Donner and Cross Velts, and then he snapped his fingers.

That was the signal for the explosion.

All the meteors following Hajime like a whirlwind exploded simultaneously. The generated shockwave was equal with the hand grenade that Hajime used. Hajime immediately used Cross Velts to lay out barrier and furthermore the Grim Reapers used their body as a shield in their master’s danger to soften the impact even if just for a bit.

Hajime who was swallowed by flame blasts and the light was swallowed by the fully opened mouth of the azure dragon. The jaw of azure flame closed with a snap. Everything that was touched would be mercilessly returned to ash by the hell fire of the highest class of magic. Thinking normally, it was impossible to survive after getting eaten by that flame.

However, the torso of the flaming azure dragon――inside the azure flame there was a shining crimson that showed Hajime’s survival. There were four Cross Velts around Hajime. They connected to each other using string of magic power and laid out a barrier of space isolation, ‘Four Point Barrier’.

But, in compensation for that, the surface of the Cross Velts was melting down second by second. The seven Cross Velts that Hajime directly controlled were naturally enchanted with ‘Vajra’ and also coated with sealing stone, yet even so these Cross Velts couldn’t endure. It was something that he understood, but as expected the heat of this dragon far surpassed the dragon that Yue used.

“Guh, don’t, underestimate mee-!!”

Inside the stomach of the blue heavenly dragon, a voice that paused intermittently yet filled with tenacious will resounded. The astonishing thing was that even with the laid out space isolation barrier Hajime was still enveloped in a lot of flame.

It seemed that this azure dragon had penetrating flame the same like the Divine Flame slipped into it. Scorched by that flame, Hajime was stepping forward while trickling greasy sweats, he took out Orestes which made a gate that connected the inside and outside the barrier. Ahead of the gate was the azure dragon’s magic stone.

Donner fired crimson flash along with bursting sound, the bullet passed through the gate and pierced through the sea of azure flame. The magic bullet coated with sealing stone accurately shot the magic stone of the azure dragon. The magic stone became little pieces with an explosive sound, at the same time the blue flame was dispersing.

“Yes, everything is my toy, irregular.”

A sinister sound that he had already heard many times from Ehitorujue echoed. The sound of a finger snap.

As expected, the dispersing azure flame wriggled like living thing, it intruded smoothly into the four Cross Velts surrounding Hajime.

Right after that,

“Gaah”

Hajime’s short scream accompanied a grand flame blast rising up. The four Cross Velts ruptured from their inside. The penetrating Divine Flame caused chain explosions from the bursting bullet loaded inside. Followed by crimson ripples, grand and countless shockwaves and scattering Divine Flame tormented Hajime thoroughly from four directions.

Hajime immediately scattered hand grenades. It was for the sake of drinking god water and forcefully making an opening. As expected, his damage had reached a level that he couldn’t ignore.

But, the wind of death caressed his skin chillingly at that time. Hajime’s instinct was ringing the alarm bell in full.

Right after that, the crimson wall that bloomed fully at the surrounding from Hajime’s hand grenades was pierced by a blowing down wind.

Hajime obeyed his instinct’s command and twisted his body, and right beside him a dislocated space passed through.

At the same time, his left hand that took out god water was fixed in space. It was a perfect timing that took advantage of the opening when Hajime took evasive action. The next move was also the same. The Lightning divine spear flew out from empty air and shot down the god water.

“Damn-――”

Hajime raised his voice unintentionally, but it was already too late. The god water had been lost from Hajime’s hand. On the same occasion, his artificial hand was also pierced and his palm dissolved.

Hajime immediately repaired his artificial hand using transmutation while leaping away in order to avoid the rushing meteor shower.

“Shit-, even though that’s the last god water-“

A swearing leaked out. Ehitorujue who heard that lifted the corner of his lips.

And then, he lifted his hand before dropping that hand quietly pointing at Hajime. Immediately, light swelled up explosively and light star shot out from the halos like missile moving in an arch with light trailing behind.

Hajime took out his gatling pile bunker, aimed it at Ehitorujue and then he charged forward while firing.

From above, like stars falling from the night sky, radiant stars were raining down, the Grim Reapers whose number had decreased considerably before one knows used their body as a shield, several Cross Velts laid out barrier above Hajime’s route, with those the momentum of Hajime’s charge didn’t stop. Even while that was happening, like a countdown going down, the autonomic weapons of Hajime’s quality products were bursting, their fragments scattered everywhere.

But, as though mocking that determination of Hajime who was forced to make those sacrifices…

“What do you think the devil and demi-human are?”

Such question resounded from right behind Hajime.

Hajime felt a shudder running through his spine. He used the intense recoil of his artificial hand to rotate at high speed and fired Donner behind him without even confirming anything.

But, there was no one there, in exchange a presence appeared at Hajime’s left-hand side where he was holding the gatling pile bunker. Hajime opened his eyes wide while sending his gaze there, at the same time a hand gently caressed the artifact.

And then, just like what happened at the devil king castle, the gatling pile bunker was easily returned to dust.

The one who was there was Ehitorujue. From his three layers of halos, in his back now there was only the first layer of halo, he skipped over even Hajime’s perception and his figure appeared in very close range.

(Teleport without using gate…as expected, he can actually do something like that.)

Hajime’s eyes narrowed from how one of the concerns that he harbored came true. It appeared that the magic which allowed the lightning divine spear to appeared suddenly from the empty air and teleported the artifact he possessed――’Heaven Existence’ could also be used for teleporting the caster themselves. And then, Ehito could also turn artifact into dust just by touching them.

The figure of Ehitorujue vanished quietly once more.

At the same time, a chill ran on his back.

Hajime fired bursting bullet behind from the elbow of his artificial arm, but the light emitted from the halo blocked it. Ehitorujue’s arm was swung down without even paying any attention to Hajime’s counterattack.

Sword of light attacked Hajime following the trajectory of that arm. Hajime rotated using the impact from firing bursting bullet and back-stepped to evade. He took a distance of more than ten meters within an instant using his super speed but…

“–!?”

A diagonal laceration was carved from Hajime’s shoulder until his flank. Even though he should have gotten out already from the range of the sword yet he was still hit. Hajime’s face warped in pain while his severe gaze stabbed Ehitorujue.

“No need to be shocked. This is called as ‘Divine Sword’, a magic sword that can freely contract and expand, it also can jump through space to attack. It can penetrate your defense is because it also has the penetrating ability like ‘Divine Flame’.”

Hajime had been reduced to a tragic appearance that was obvious at a glance. Ehitorujue was explaining to such Hajime who was breathing roughly while his hand was caressing along the divine sword.

That composed expression expressed how Hajime’s fang couldn’t reach him at all.

In contrast Hajime was all tattered. His black coat that was weaved with metal fiber which was stronger than even armor had become just like scrapped rag, the clothes under it was heavily soaked from absorbing blood. His skin that was visible from the gaps of the torn clothes was dyed bright red, his white hair was especially soaked with blood color from the fresh blood pouring out from his head, just looking at Hajime right now felt painful. The blood trickling down his head was like tears of blood.

Even the equal fight when the two fought a battle of resource was easily tilted completely into Ehito’s favor when he used age of god magic consecutively. The many artifacts that were the greatest trait of Hajime’s specialty were also being mostly destroyed.

What were left with Hajime was Donner & Schlag, Cross Velts, and then Grim Reapers…

“Hmm, it has become a little bit bothersome now.”

Ehito swung his divine sword. Not even afterimage could be seen from his hand motion. It wasn’t even clear whether he had swung the magic sword or not. But, the result was obvious. The Cross Velts and Grim Reapers that had been decreased until nearly fifty machines were cruelly turned into small pieces before they exploded everywhere they were.

“…”

What remained was only three Cross Velts that Hajime directly controlled. The army of demon king had been completely annihilated, even the crosses that symbolized death fell on the ground. Now Hajime only possessed mainly grenades of various kinds. Most likely Ehitorujue was intentionally aiming to destroy the artifacts in order to grant Hajime despair.

“Well, such thing doesn’t matter. Rather than that, I talked about devil and demi-human. What do you think they are?”

Without even showing particular care about the several hundred artifacts that he had cut apart instantly, Ehitorujue repeated his previous question. It appeared the talk of Ehitorujue still wasn’t over. He toyed around with his divine sword while staring at Hajime who looked like he could fall anytime with a wide repulsive grin.

“…Aren’t they…haa haa…the native here.”

Hajime answered the question in order to recover even for a little in this second opening he was given.

“No, you are wrong. The native people of this world are only the ‘human’. Whether the devil or the demi-human, they are the illegitimate children created by my magic technology.”

“…So you even, guh, synthesizing?”

“Fufu-, you have fast understanding. The devil and demi-human are synthetic organisms created by the combination of my monster and human. They are my genuine creation.”

‘Why did you do such thing?’ Perhaps Ehitorujue surmised that unasked question of Hajime, his tongue was moving smoothly to answer.

“No matter how much I was trying to sublimate my soul using faith and secret technique, no matter how much restoration and improvement I attempted on the body, the long several millenniums brought my body to its limit. Naturally, I searched for new body but…there was no flesh that could accept the soul of god.”

“If there is none, then just make one…huh?”

“It really helps that you have a quick understanding. Devil has high aptitude with magic factor, and the demi-human has powerful physic, they each came from me combining human with primitive organisms that possessed those essential aspects. I also tried creating the likes of dragon people by combining those two aspects but….they were a failure. They could only be used for side entertainment, like how the strongest race became persecuted.”

Just how many sacrifices came out along the course of those experiments? Even Hajime couldn’t help but sympathize with the people in the past. To say nothing of the fact that the reason of the persecution toward Tio and others was merely this guy venting his anger, knowing that caused Hajime’s killing intent to intensify further.

“In that process, I also created the currently existing monsters and apostles, but because of some unknown factor, in the end I was unable to obtain a body that could possibly become my vessel. Although some could endure to a certain degree, they would soon self-destruct.”

“…So the Holy Precincts…was because you had no vessel”

“Fufu. Correct. This place is so I can continue to exist only as soul and also a place where I can use my strength. Here I was enjoying the game while waiting. Extremely rarely there would be people with aptitude like Aruvheit or the ‘liberators’ that were born.”

Based on the truth that Hajime was told, it seemed that the people who were called as ‘true ancestor’ like Yue or Shia were more accurately people with aptitude. Although even the people with aptitude in the past like the liberators were insufficient as Ehitorujue’s vessel.

Hajime’s eyes narrowed quietly.

“Like, that…haa haa, three hundred years ago…you finally, discovered it, huh”

“Yes. At that time my heart danced for the first time after a few hundred years. Although, my vessel was immediately hidden after that…even though at that time I had even personally granted her the title as ‘miko’ specially. You know, at that time I was driven by fury that I even destroyed several countries unintentionally while destroying the vampire country. After that I thought of the possibility of another miko being born once more before I was able to finally calm down.”

Ehitorujue swept his divine sword. The halo on his back and the halos at the distance visible above the throne began to shine brilliantly.

“Let me say my thanks once more, irregular. You discovered my vessel and made me enjoyed myself until this much, you have truly done a great service. As the prize, I’ll consign you to oblivion personally by my hand.”

Platinum magic power painted over everything.

Hajime too also emitted his crimson magic power, he readied Donner-Schlag and lined up the three Cross Velts behind him.

A beat passed.

The figure of Ehitorujue disappeared.

Hajime fired the readied Donner & Schlag as they were. The launched flashes passed through the last Orestes that was placed in front of the gun muzzles and reappeared behind him.

Sure enough, there was Ehitorujue there.

However, without any hurry Ehitorujue surprisingly cut apart the bullets that came flying from Orestes with his divine sword.

Although Yue was a prodigy in magic but her close quarter combat ability was lower than average. Based on Ehitorujue’s feat just now, it seemed that because of the possession the body’s physical ability and battle skill were increased up like a joke.

The penetrating divine sword stretched toward the frowning Hajime. The sword flash that was impossible to defend against was somehow evaded by Hajime bending backward. At the same time the Cross Velts fired burst bullets wildly.

Those bullets were shot down by the light stars fired from the halo. The spreading ripples of impact bloomed everywhere between Hajime and Ehitorujue.

“There is nothing to feel surprised about. This is my original sword art that I learned for killing time. The twin large swords art of the apostle is also based on my swordsmanship. I can do not only magic you know?”

“Chih, so what.”

“Fufu-. At first, I put distance and stole the artifacts of you who were desperately struggling like plucking off your arms and legs. Next is close quarter combat, that’s how it is. There is no hope for you no matter what you try, I’ll teach that to you personally. How are you feeling getting overwhelmed with one hand by someone who was talking leisurely about the past? Hmm?”

Saying that Ehitorujue cut apart the shockwaves themselves and charged forward.

Hajime rapid fired Donner & Schlag. The bullets that he used were Living Bullet. Furthermore they were coated with sealing stone.

But, at the next moment Ehitorujue’s figure vanished as expected. And then, he appeared instantly at Hajime’s side.

Hajime who foreseen that used the recoil of his artificial arm to throw away his body. Immediately following that, the bullets that Hajime fired before this flew out from the space around Ehitorujue. Hajime understood that Ehitorujue would teleport using Heaven Existence so he made use of Orestes to teleport the bullets.

A storm of flashes that aimed at the moment Ehitorujue teleported. No matter even if it was Ehitorujue, it seemed that he would get drilled through by the bullets before he could teleport once more.

However, the moment the bullets impacted, the arm of Ehitorujue that was holding the divine sword vanished. No, that arm was moving so fast that it looked like it vanished. The sword moved flexibly like a whip, and sword lines rushed around Ehitorujue as though a barrier was layered surrounding him.

As the result, the bullets were wrecked into pieces. The sword was swung with a speed that even the Living Bullets’ trajectory correction couldn’t follow. Even the perception skill that Hajime had could only perceive the sword slightly as a streak of light. It was a terrifying speed.

“To be able to read my movement in this short time…that prediction came from experience rather than sense I guess. That’s really something. But, in front of my ‘God Speed’ that is still too slow.”

God Speed――it was the magic that Kaori used limitedly. But Ehitorujue used it with more refinement. It was beyond the pale that he was able to cut apart twenty shots of electromagnetically accelerated bullets that approached from a meter. Before this when he instantly cut apart several hundred Cross Velts and Grim Reapers was surely also because his sword attacks that were done within shortened time.

“Now then, how many artifacts you have left? Or else have you used up all of your plans? If not then you can use them all. I’ll crush everything you have and dye your brave face with despair!”

Ehitorujue used Heaven Existence.

Instantly, he appeared right in front of Hajime’s face.

“Kuh”

The sword flashes that were swung while Hajime groaned were ten times. All of those were evaded by Hajime who mostly relied only on his instinct. But, his dodging couldn’t be called as perfect with how he was unable to defend, he was grazed, or even thinly sliced all over his body.

The recoil of Hajime’s artificial hand forcefully threw away his body to an angle that was normally impossible. Hajime rotated like spinning wheel while desperately taking distance, during that time he randomly scattered a lot of grenades from inside ‘Treasure Warehouse II’.

Many of the grenades were cut apart by the lengthening divine sword, and destroyed by the meteors from the halo. The grenades that weren’t even allowed to explode were scattered as sparkling particles and fell on the ground.

Ehitorujue laughed disgustingly to that useless effort of Hajime who couldn’t even buy time while teleporting consecutively. He appeared and then vanished, appeared and then vanished. Just like an illusion. It was like he was being omnipresence around Hajime.

And then the divine sword that reached regardless of distance carved multiple layers in the air. Although Hajime avoided lethal wound each time that happened, wounds were mass produced with certainty on his body. He also counterattacked with the combination of Donner & Schlag, Orestes, and Cross Velts, but in front of the elusive Heaven Existence and God Speed, Hajime was unable to inflict even one telling blow.

The second and third layer of the halos and the halo behind Ehitorujue were dyeing the white space with platinum light by endlessly firing meteor shower. However naturally those meteors were automatically avoiding Ehitorujue himself and rushed only Hajime.

Hajime was clenching his teeth while shooting back, he was staving off the storm of death sometimes with grenade, sometimes with Cross Velt, and sometimes with Orestes. Amidst that he was trying to somehow arrest Ehitorujue’s movement but…

He couldn’t reach.

Hajime was being overwhelmed even in close quarter combat just like Ehitorujue planned. Each time he was attacked, blood splashed while he was being rapidly cornered, just like a chess match.

“What’s wrong? Won’t you use your trump card(godslaying)? If you use it while praying, perhaps you will be lucky and reach this body you know?”

“Shu, shut uup-!”

Hajime was already holding out only by his guts. Even the vocabulary of the words that he returned to Ehitorujue’s provocation was poor. Perhaps because Hajime was bleeding out too much, or perhaps because of the limit break that he continued to use, Hajime’s eyes were beginning to strangely get out of focus and looked blank.

“Hmm. You don’t look like you will take out a new artifact, your body is also on the verge of breaking apart…are you waiting for a favorable opportunity?”

Ehitorujue snapped his fingers. Lightning divine spear was flying out from empty air.

Its target was naturally the heavily wounded Hajime. Even now it felt like his consciousness would fly away, his body felt like it would crumble down anytime. Even so, he still somehow avoided a direct hit, really what an astonishing survival instinct.

But, even his resistance only went that far.

The lightning divine spears that fired rapidly destroyed the last Cross Velts and Orestes altogether, on the same occasion the lightning the spears contained were also liberated nearby Hajime.

“GUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-“

Terrific impact and thunderous sound, and then lightning hit Hajime. Hajime screamed and then fell on the ground with a smoking body.

Hajime bounced several times on the chalk white ground before collapsing face down. Then blood dripped out. Hajime’s tragic appearance that had been chopped up, beaten many times, and also grilled thoroughly, just from a glance he already looked like a corpse. It was hard to judge him as alive.

Ehitorujue descended soundlessly in front of Hajime. Looking at Hajime who was licking the ground in an unsightly state, while wondering if it was the end with this, Ehitorujue lifted up his divine sword in order to deal the finishing blow with an expression like a child whose toy was taken away.

But, ahead of his gaze Hajime’s finger twitched.

“Hou”

Ehitorujue reflexively leaked out an admiring voice. Even during that time Hajime’s body was moving and his body was rising up while dripping blood was dirtying the chalk white ground.

“Even with the majesty of god engraved to your flesh and bones, you are still going to stand up?”

Ehitorujue’s words were replied by Hajime with intermittent words that sounded like they were going to die out anytime along with his heartbeat.

“I’ll, keep…saying it. You are…not a, god. Rather, even, compared…to the ‘human’ fighting on the surface right now…you’re weak.”

“What are you basing on saying that? And with that heavily wounded appearance at that. Even though not even a single one of your power reach me.”

Ehitorujue made an exasperated expression, wondering if Hajime would still bluffing even after reaching this point of time.

“…Indeed, your strength, is astonishing. …Since I, got out, of the abyss, I have…never, felt death…this close”

“Hmph, if you understand――”

“But, that’s all.”

Hajime cut off Ehitorujue’s words. The focus of his eyes was disappearing. However, anyone would understand if they looked from close by. Far inside the wavering eyes, a flame that would never be snuffed out was residing there. As though to display that, strength was filling Hajime’s words little by little.

“Inside you, there is no…will to overwhelm others. That’s why, no matter how much…strength, that you show me, my heart…won’t waver. ――It’s like you are not scary.”

“…Are you making excuse?”

Ehitorujue talked provocatively, however, this times it was Hajime who was talking with a distant look. About the strong people that he met, or he knew in this world.

“I, know. …even though she is the weakest race, yet with a single feeling…that fellow stepped into a deadly no man’s land.”

Her face looked like she was going to cry, even so ‘to be together’, just for that little wish that rabbit ear girl kept running desperately

“Even though…despair, was thrust before her eyes…she just wouldn’t break, a fellow that continued to believe in hope.”

With a single feeling, even when no one believed other than her, she didn’t abandon hope. An earnest girl who in the end even chose to change her body to get close to him.

“For the sake of her comrade…in order to protect…a fellow that can use her body as a shield.”

Just how many times had he been protected by her? Even though usually she would screw around, but when push came to shove she would risk her life more than anyone, a wise woman with deep emotion.

“Even at the verge of death…a fellow that can think of her best friend, as the most.”

Surely, she was the most ‘girlish’ among his comrades. Despite so, she would take up weapon for the sake of someone, even many times at the verge of death, the one who she would think at the end would always be her best friend, it would always be somebody else. A kind girl who was too kind.

“Even when, the world changed…even when her own naivety was thrust before her, that fellow didn’t cast away her own dignity.”

Hesitating, scared, distressed, hurt, even so she didn’t stop being what she determined as herself. The teacher who admonished Hajime who only kept pushing on so he would stop and looked back.

“Even though she is just a little girl without any strength, that girl can risk her life in order to stop her idiot father.”

The time they spent together didn’t even reach a month. She was also just a four-year-old little girl. Despite so, she worried for her injured mother, she personally went to meet the father who informed her of their parting and spoke out, and in the end, that child could convey her feeling without taking even a step back against her rampaging father.

And then,

“…And then, even with her body taken, still, that fellow is continuing to fight.”

He believed. Yes, he believed. At her strength.

Hajime’s gaze, the gaze of someone who had been overwhelmed until he couldn’t move even a single finger and was almost died, pierced Ehitorujue.

The person whom that gaze was directed at didn’t notice himself. Of how the shining flame deep inside those eyes that were peaceful like a calm water surface yet dark like the abyss, was overpowering himself to shrink away with a step back.

“Even the monsters in the abyss emitted overwhelming killing intent and survival instinct. But, there is nothing in you. You are empty. Surely, since the time the things you have piled up together with your comrades were destroyed, you have been empty.”

Hajime stood up completely. In his hands, Donner & Schlag were clutched tightly.

“Your words were loud and clear. In short, you don’t learn anything since the past, you cannot even endure loneliness, however you are scared to even die…the point is that you are just a spoiled brat right?”

The meaning of “enough already” that Ehitorujue’s last comrade spoke was surely, because he believed that even if they let go of the hand of the people they guided in this world, it was enough, they would still be able to live prosperously.

That person was surely thinking of their destroyed home world, that existences like them who had touched the truth weren’t needed anymore, and then, seeing the activity of this world, surely that person thought that there was nothing left that he needed to teach to the people of this world.

Not noticing that feeling, unable to even sympathize, not learning anything from the past, scared of the fear of death despite being able to interfere with truth, and then unable to endure the loneliness, he went into a rampage. In the end, the existence named Ehitorujue was still ‘childish’ no matter how long he had been alive.

“…Fuh, is this a scheme to make my mind waver with that kind of provocation? After all it will be the end if your trump card fails to reach me. What a moving endeavor. But, at this rate your ‘godslaying’ cannot possibly work.”

That was why, he didn’t understand the meaning of what Hajime was talking about. Exactly the same like how he didn’t understand the meaning of the words of his comrade in the far past.

Hajime slowly drew back one of his feet and took his stance. Even though he was already at the death’s door, a supreme will was overflowing from that body.

“Perhaps.”

A calm word of affirmation.

But, right after that…

“That’s only if I am still like before yeah-!”

Immense power burst out from Hajime. It was incomparable with his ‘Supreme Break’ until now. A torrent of power that was equal with several times his former power whirled with Hajime at the center. It was just like a tornado of level F5. The crimson color got deeper into a deep crimson, the space was rumbling as though it was screaming.

“What the-“

Hajime who he thought to be almost died just now suddenly exploded out with power so great at this point of time, for the first time Ehitorujue’s calm expression crumbled. That was undoubtedly an expression of shock.

Giving that expression a glance, Hajime stepped forward. No, his figure was erased.

Where he appeared was right in front of Ehitorujue’s face. Ehitorujue gazed in astonishment.

Just by being fast wouldn’t be able to surpass Ehitorujue’s perception. No matter how much Hajime was strengthened, it would still be impossible by nature. But, even so there were many ways to fight. Just who decided that an instant space teleportation was the technique exclusive for god?

“Haah!!”

“Nuu!?”

The hand of Hajime that was holding Donner softly shifted the hand of Ehitorujue that was stabbing toward Hajime. At the same time, the bullet that flew out from Schlag ricocheted on the ground and aimed at Ehitorujue’s heart.

Naturally, Ehitorujue escaped with Heaven Existence. Instantly, a raging killing intent blew from behind him.

“-!? You bastard, as expected, you use Heaven Existence!?”

“Who knows, I wonder about that?”

Two gunshots resounded. However, there were twenty streaks of flashes that attacked Ehito violently. Half of them were slashed by the divine sword, but he then judged that he wouldn’t be able to deal with the rest of Hajime’s acrobatics rapid shooting that Ehitorujue escaped using further space teleportation.

But, at his next teleportation Ehitorujue saw it. Before his eyes one floating bullet vanished quietly, at the next instant, Hajime appeared at that bullet’s former spot. Yes, it was as though the position of Hajime and the bullet was exchanged.

――Special bullet   Exise Bullet

This special bullet that was transmuted from combined space-sublimation magic had the ability to exchange the coordinate position of the starting point and each bullet. Bullets so many like the number of stars in the sky had been scattered in this battlefield since the start of the battle until this moment. But, not all the bullets were attacking the enemy. Several bullets among them were scattering to the whole area and floated midair to become Hajime’s teleporting coordinate.

Ehitorujue used his divine sword to intercept Hajime who appeared in front of him.

However,

“Mu-“

He struck empty air. The blade passed through a bit in front of Hajime. With a returning strike Ehito attempted to shower Hajime with slashes――but when he noticed, Hajime had already slipped right in front of his face once more.

Hajime rushed at the opening of Ehito’s mind. He read Ehito’s breathing and made his timing and distance to miss. Hajime also intentionally disturbed his presence to make it difficult for Ehito to perceive his state. He used taijutsu to give an illusion to Ehito’s sense of distance. The more sensitive the senses of the opponent, the more these techniques could be used to throw the opponent’s perception out of whack. Furthermore,

――Illusion projection artifact   ‘Novum Idola’

This artifact layered shadow on the user, it strangely shifted the user’s position and enveloped the image-presence-magic power-etc of the user, at the same time it interfered with the opponent’s perception and made them misrecognized the camouflage and the truth. Hajime’s figure and presence that blurred in two or three layers, combined with Hajime’s own taijutsu realized a close quarter combat that was like an illusion.

“You bastard-, after this far, you still show new cards――”

Ehitorujue’s discarded voice was cut off. Seeing this person who had become that ragged, showered in words of humiliation, and made to snuggle really close to death, yet he was still preserving his cards until this time, as expected it was beyond the imagination of even god. For example even if someone actually was still hiding some plan inside their heart, but in a situation where it wasn’t strange that they could die anytime, the courage needed not to expose their hidden hand was already something that surpassed the realm of human.

Ehitorujue who felt a slight shudder going through his back unleashed attacks that were like surging wave.

“OOOOOOOOOOO-!!”

Hajime’s war cry reverberated, at the same time a crimson flash exploded like a solar flare.

Even when Ehitorujue swung his divine sword and fired meteor shower from his halos, his disarrayed perception couldn’t capture Hajime. Hajime’s attack was also becoming closer and closer to hitting before he noticed, that fact was already a godly feat that surpassed superhuman feat――no, perhaps it was more fitting for Hajime for this to be called as a demonic feat.

Hajime bared his fang using everything that he had analyzed and pounded into his body from the battle until now!

Ehitorujue teleported consecutively once more. However, Hajime who was starting to grasp his teleporting habit rapidly approached within zero comma several seconds. Hajime wasn’t using only the speed of the coordinate exchange and his discernment. His raw speed that was continuing to increase second by second was also progressively entering the realm of god speed.

Even so, the sword flashes of Ehitorujue was impossible to defend against, therefore he possessed overwhelming advantage against Hajime in close quarter combat, was how it was supposed to be.

*GAKIN-*

“Wha-!?”

This time it was Ehitorujue who leaked out a shocked voice along with the resounding hard sound.

That was only natural. The divine sword that should pass through everything except Hajime was blocked by Schlag after all.

With no delay the right Donner aimed at Ehitorujue. The fired crimson flash was evaded by Ehitorujue using teleportation by a hairbreadth with shocked expression pasted still on his face.

“Just, what in the world――”

“It’s only transmutation.”

Hajime answered concisely without telling everything.

The cause that blocked the penetrating ability of the divine sword came from the transmutation that was done on Schlag.

――Soul magic neutralization artifact   ‘Delischanors’

If the attack could pass through everything except the target using soul magic, then he only needed to enchant Schlag using ‘Soul Reproduction’ to create a pseudo soul in it. Originally this was a ‘decoy’ artifact that was produced from the assumption that the ‘Divine Statement’ which forced a command on the selected soul in subconscious level couldn’t be defended using Miledy’s artifact, but it was also sufficient to misalign the target of the divine sword.

And then, the decoys that were applied with Delischanors weren’t just Donner & Schlag.

Ehitorujue swung the divine sword at the stepping forward Hajime, which was blocked by the muzzle of Schlag. At the same time,

*DOPAN-!!*

A single gunshot. The flying bullet knocked back the divine sword that should be in a state where its penetrating ability was activated. Yes, what was enchanted with Delischanors wasn’t just Schlag. The bullets were also rejecting the penetration ability!

“Irregular-“

“You talk too much, small fry.”

The impact from the divine sword getting knocked back forcefully made Ehito’s posture to form a one-handed banzai, Ehitorujue who was making a humiliated expression fired meteors from his halo.

But, as though knowing that move ahead, Cross Velts and Donner’s bullet barrage repelled them. Hajime smoothly closed the distance and launched a fierce round kick. That attack, finally, run into the solar plexus of the god that Hajime had no hope to touch before! The kick that had ‘Strong Leg’ and ‘Impact Conversion’ applied to it was extremely intense. Ehitorujue’s body bent forward into ‘>’ shape and he was blown away.

“Kuh”

Hajime pursued, but as expected Ehitorujue didn’t intend to allow him going that far and used Heaven Existence to make his escape.

Yes, he escaped. Different from all his evasion until now from the thinking that it was inexcusable for god’s body to be touched, now he was purely escaping. Of course, Ehitorujue had automatic regeneration. Even so, that he escaped was because his heart was shaken. It was an instinctual action.

Because of that, the humiliation that was welling up in his chest was great. As though to display that, the expression of Ehitorujue distorted grandly.

“You-, your new artifact, that power-. You bastard, you didn’t fight me at full strength!”

“Oi oi, what kind of gullible fellow would believe his enemy’s words. Of course, that was obviously a lie.”

While unfolding an offense and defense against Hajime who was saying such thing boldly, Ehitorujue suddenly noticed. That Hajime’s tone didn’t even sound pained at all and flowed smoothly. That his wounds from being tormented thoroughly had been mostly healed.

What was the reason that Hajime was healed? The reason was the same with how his strength was increased even after activating ‘Supreme Break’ already.

It finally melted, the capsule inside his stomach. The capsule filled with god water and cheatmate that Hajime had drunk beforehand.

Ehitorujue didn’t know about that, but he conjectured that it was impossible for such rapid healing to happen except by god water and he raised an angry voice.

“What you said about the god water being the last was also a lie-“

“It was a really delicious water that is worthy to be called god water you know?”

Hajime spoke indifferently. Toward such Hajime, Ehitorujue took distance without fussing over close quarter combat where he was about to launch space blasting and lightning divine spear. The humiliation of being fooled was oozing out from that expression.

As though to promote that displeasure further, Hajime constantly closed the distance smoothly not letting Ehito got away.

While the divine sword and Schlag were locked with each other, Ehitorujue asked from very close range.

“Why, only now.”

“Naturally, in order to obtain certainty. I’m not underestimating your strength.”

There was only one chance for the ‘godslaying’. Hajime didn’t understand what kind of strength Ehitorujue who had perfectly seized Yue’s body possessed, because of that it was necessary to make Ehito showed out his hands that Hajime hadn’t seen before in order to use that one chance with certainty. Ehitorujue intended to play around with Hajime, but Hajime was also doing the same thing albeit for a different reason.

The strength of Ehitorujue that surpassed the imagination was to the degree that made Hajime felt the scythe of the death god, but by paying compensation of pain and many of his artifacts, somehow Hajime was able to confirm the battle strength and hands that Ehitorujue possessed to a certain degree, also, he became able to grasp the ‘habit’ of Ehitorujue.

Ehitorujue regained his footing from the shock and his expression suddenly changed into looking amused. And then, he instantly invoked a large scale space blasting that didn’t even spare himself from being dragged into it.

The space creaked and the meteor shower that was sweeping over all around was popping off. Among them, Hajime whose expression distorted was also included inside. It seemed that he endured using ‘Vajra’ that had its output increased, but he bore a damage that didn’t look light. Hajime vomited out blood while coughing.

But, Hajime immediately rallied himself and detected Ehitorujue. Ehitorujue had returned once more to his throne where three layers of halos were behind his back. It seemed that he was injured by his own damage but he immediately recovered using ‘Automatic Regeneration’.

“Then, whether you are really not misunderstanding me or not, the might of this true god will ascertain that!”

Right after that, light exploded. The halos were releasing light so intense to the degree that would make anyone hallucinated that. And then, Each halo were beginning to rotate while shining brilliantly.

Even during that time, Hajime was approaching while slipping through the meteor shower that had been doubled in intensity, right after that, a very thick beam of light was fired from the halos. If anyone saw it, then they would think that it was just like the ‘Heaven Might’ that Kouki unleashed. Although, the power and scale of this one from Ehito were in a different league.

“This cannot be avoided you know, irregular! This light of ruin will continue to chase after you forever until you die!”

In contrast with Ehitorujue who was raising a loud voice, Hajime fiercely bared his fang and answered.

“Then, I’ll breakthrough frontally.”

A crimson flash with honed killing intent surged straight ahead.

At the same time, Hajime scattered all the grenades that he had, furthermore a huge assault lance coated with sealing stone was deployed in the front. A mechanical sound was reverberating from that assault lance, the lance was spreading like an umbrella while it was elongating by three stages and it began to rotate at high speed.

――Target dispersal assault lance   ‘Lob Regenschirm’

A three-stage assault lance that rotated at high speed with its surface engraved by sealing stone and particular unevenness, that was to say it was a drill.

The target that was touched would be pulverized and dispersed as though being dug out. Hajime floated it in front of him, he used it as a shield while spreading intense ripples in midair, immediately after that, he charged toward the bombardment of ‘True Heaven Might’ along with a fierce impact.

While the coated sealing stone was being broken in the blink of eye, Lob Regenschirm was forcefully scattering the god’s might while leading its master Hajime toward the target’s position. Hajime also used ‘Vajra’, ‘Magic Power Emission’, and ‘Impact Conversion’ as explosive reactive armor and charged through the light of destruction!

“-uaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!”

Blood spurted out from the wounds that just got healed due to the after-effect that couldn’t be dispersed, his internal organs, his flesh, his bones were screaming. The crimson aura he was clad with and another red were scattered around him, even so Hajime screamed without stopping his advance. He wouldn’t stand still even for an instant! Overwhelm back the overwhelming torrent! Crush the absurdity with even more absurdity! Just like how he came this far until now, tear apart all the obstacles-!

“You are breaking through even this-“

Ehitorujue saw Hajime who was advancing inside the Heaven Might he unleashed and got stabbed with that eye glint that was filled to the brim with tenacious determination and tremendous killing intent――and he prepared to run away once more.

He was going to withdraw from that spot using Heaven Existence. He was taking that action mostly subconsciously.

But, Hajime didn’t allow him to do such thing.

The whole area at the surrounding was enveloped by explosive sound. It was the grenades that Hajime scattered. The spaces at the center where the explosions happened were distorting like jelly, shockwaves were blowing violently due to the side effect of the spaces trying to return to normal.

The cause of this was the space explosion grenade that distorted the space and generated shockwave. Originally it was something that made use of space to attack the enemy using shockwave, but right now it was displaying a different effect.

That was the destabilization of space.

Whether the direct teleportation magic ‘Heaven Existence’ that didn’t use exact and delicate gate could be used in this place or not…

“――tsk. Another artifact again-“

It seemed Ehitorujue himself understood well the answer. At the very least it was something dangerous to the degree that made him spontaneously hesitating to activate the magic. And then, he was also unintentionally swearing from witnessing new artifacts appearing one after another.

Using that opportunity, Hajime finally broke through the True Heaven Might. The Lob Regenschirm was smashed up, Hajime himself was also worn out, but that terrifyingly sharply gleaming eyes pierced Ehitorujue that was right nearby.

Ehitorujue immediately changed plan from escaping to intercepting. He was already materializing divine sword in one hand and swung it with God Speed. The sword lines that were drawn within an instant easily surpassed a hundred. He was seriously serious. This was the full strength sword play of Ehitorujue.

It didn’t matter that his perception was shifted or whatever, that was irrelevant if he was just filling the space to the brim with sword slashes. Therefore, even Hajime appeared unable to react against that, without even any time to put a defense all the sword flashes passed through that body. There wasn’t even any resistance that could be felt from the sword cutting through flesh.

At the same time, the Hajime that should be cut dispersed lightly, from its shadow Hajime leaped out.

“Impossible-. Something that only has small effect of shifting perception is――”

“Just who said that such thing is the effect huh?”

Ehitorujue’s surprised voice was easily responded by Hajime. Illusion projection artifact ‘Novum Idola’ fundamentally only had the effect of derailing the perception. But, nobody was saying that was its whole ability or anything. Even if, that was the only ability it showed even when in a critical time.

The corner of Ehitorujue’s sight caught a bullet that was transparent like a crystal floating there.

――Illusion projection assistance artifact   ‘Vision Bullet’

Combined with ‘Novum Idola’, an artifact that completely projected Hajime’s illusion was put in the core of this bullet. The moment Hajime broke through the True Heaven Might, he predicted that a severe interception attack would be waiting for him, so Hajime fired the Vision Bullet to the front while he himself drew back from Ehito’s sword range.

Ehitorujue who had just finished swinging his god sword, in addition to the shock, became slow in reacting, with an intense step Hajime threw away Schlag and he turned his artificial palm toward Ehito. Right after that, the gimmick in the palm worked and the five fingers there greatly elongated. Now it looked just like a skeleton hand of a giant.

Hajime struck with that expanding mechanical palm toward Ehitorujue. And then, in a flash the five fingers curled and restrained Ehitorujue’s body, then Hajime hurled himself forward which carried them through the halos immediately.

“aAAAAAAAAAAAAA-!!”

Hajime roared and then the gimmick of the artificial hand activated which let out many spikes that pierced Ehitorujue’s body like iron maiden, furthermore Hajime activated a space fixation that was limited to inside his palm and completely restrained Ehito.

Ehitorujue immediately attempted to use magic, but tremendous magic power radiation came out from the artificial hand that was glued close to his body――the magic power cannon ‘Glanzen’ loaded inside the artificial arm performed bombardment of pure magic power that stirred up the magic power inside Ehito’s body, due to that Ehito was unable to invoke magic instantly. Furthermore, Ehitorujue was able to swing his divine sword just by reversing his wrist, but that too was beyond his power due to the anchor and steel thread flying out from the artificial arm which bound his body and operated vibration pulverization.

“Raah!!”

“-!?”

Like that, at the end of dense offense and defense that happened for less than a second, Hajime succeeded in throwing down Ehitorujue on the ground.

The gazes of Ehitorujue who was held down on the ground and Hajime who was straddling him crossed each other. At the same time, along with a *kacha* sound, something hard was pushed on Ehitorujue’s heart from the opening of the five fingers.

It was the gun muzzle of Donner.

“This is check. The ‘godslaying’ that was born at the end of drowning in alcohol, taste it to your heart’s content.”

“Wa-――”

Instantly,

*DOPAN-*

A single gunshot.

Ehitorujue’s body twitched up.

What was fired was naturally the godlsaying bullet that picked only the god to destroy. The ‘Short Sword of Divine Crossing’ where the liberators’ tenacity resided was condensed, processed, and then remanufactured into a bullet.

Finally the trump card pierced through Ehitorujue.

Behind the halos were crumbling down as though they were weathering down into dust.

Silence filled the white space.

The closed eyelids of Yue quivered along with her long eyelashes. And then, on the eyes that slowly opened, the worn-out figure of Hajime was reflected…

“How unfortunate, irregular.”

“――”

Right after that, Hajime’s left arm was pulverized into very small pieces, and his body was spraying blood while getting blown away.

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Arifureta Chapter 174

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

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

http://ncode.syosetu.com/n8611bv/175/

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

Bakapervert translated this chapter. Bakapervert did the edits.

____________________________________

The Last Battle

Platinum light poured down.

The radiant pillar of light quietly stretched from empty space to the ground――toward a chalk white round pillar. And then, when the light touched the summit of the gigantic round pillar where seven or eight people could stand with room to spare, at the next moment it vanished completely without warning.

There was a shadow of a person kneeling on one knee after the light vanished. It went without saying that it was Hajime.

Hajime looked around with a dangerous gaze.

In that place, similar to the richly colored space where they arrived at right after entering Holy Precincts, there was a chalk white path that stretched straight deeper inside with the pillar where Hajime was standing as the starting point. However, the surrounding wasn’t richly colored like the first space, but closed in a darkness that was like an abyss.

The chalk white path that was stretching in a straight line looked extremely visible. At the end of that chalk white path, it was connected with a stair that led to above.

(This is not a mineral huh…)

Hajime whispered a little in his heart while looking beneath him.

He used transmutation’s derivative skill ‘Mineral Appraisal’ to investigate the chalk white path and didn’t receive any reaction back. He also used his sensing skills at the surrounding darkness but there was no reaction.

(Well, there was only one path. There is no meaning in sparing some thought for the unknown or trap after this far.)

Hajime began to walk calmly in the quiet space that was too silent.

In the first place Hajime had no problem with doing something like erasing the sound of his footstep, but right now he was consciously not erasing his sound. Regardless not only Hajime’s footstep, even the sound of his clothes rustling or the sound of his breathing couldn’t be heard at all. It was as though the surrounding darkness was thoroughly absorbing all the sounds leaving none behind.

In that world without sound, Hajime stared straight ahead while advancing. He walked while thinking of her beloved who was waiting ahead. Fury toward his enemy and sorrow toward his beloved mixed inside his eyes, those eyes were filled with abyss exactly like the surrounding darkness.

Hajime’s legs approached the stair. Looking up from below he could see the top of the stair being enveloped by faint light. Without pause, Hajime unhesitatingly threw his body into the light.

His field of vision was dyed white.

The space where he came out at was white everywhere. Whether above or below, or everything at the surrounding, as far as his eyes could see there was only pure white which made him unable to grasp any sense of distance. Despite the certain sensation that he felt by stepping on the ground, but when his gaze lowered there it became difficult to be aware of the ground’s existence there. It felt like he would fall below without any end in sight.

“Welcome, to my domain, of its deepest area.”

A voice called at Hajime who was looking around.

It was a lovely voice that sounded clear. The familiar voice of his beloved sounded pleasant in his ear like a flowing stream.

But, right now he felt something slightly cloudy in it. Surely it was because the will contained inside the voice was rotten the core, Hajime thought. A scowl was slightly appearing on his eyebrows.

At the same time, a veil of faint light shining behind him suddenly vanished. And then, the existence of Hajime who was clad in clothing that had black tone looked like a drop of ink that dripped on a pure white canvas.

Suddenly the space ahead of Hajime’s gaze was swaying.

It was as though the curtain of the stage was raised, the swaying space was cleared and behind it, there was a tiered platform with a height that was nearly ten meters. And then, there was a young beautiful woman sitting on the throne installed at its peak.

Wavy hair of radiant golden threads, white and smooth exposed shoulders, voluminous twin hills peeking out from the largely opened chest part, long and slender beautiful leg stretching out from the slit of the dress. Despite being slender on the whole, the woman also strangely looked sensually fleshy. Her legs were crossed, and she was resting her chin on her hand at the throne with a faint smile on her lips, that appearance looked like the personification of the word ‘bewitching’.

If an average man saw her, no, all human without any sex distinction would have their reasoning sent flying just by a fleeting glance sent by this woman, there was no doubt that they would then prostrate themselves before her with a tremendous emotion that was similar with faith. An overwhelming beauty to the degree that would make anyone unconditionally felt that was right there.

But, Hajime’s face was still expressionless, he was staring straight at that beautiful woman――who for some reason had the appearance of adult Yue, he was only staring fixedly without any particular emotion that could be seen on his face.

Surely that was because in contrast with the beauty of that appearance, ‘repulsiveness’ and ‘ugliness’ could be felt from those eyes and smile that seemed to expose what were inside.

Whether the person himself was aware or not of that was unclear…Yue’s body, Ehitorujue that took over that body was grinning broadly while his mouth was opening once more.

“What do you think? While I was seizing this body I was also trying to make it grow while I was at it. I can brag that the result is quite something I think? Hm?”

Ehitorujue said such thing with a tone that obviously sounded like he was enjoying this, to that Hajime was intentionally sighing deeply and shrugged lightly.

“It would be perfect, if only the filthiness inside not oozing out like this. Your score is minus a hundred. Everything is wasted just by you being the one inside there. This has already gone far past ugly. If you don’t notice it yourself then how about I lend you a mirror?”

“Fufufu, what impudent talk. But, I understand you know? In your heart you are not as calm as your appearance. Your blood is boiling that your beloved lover is played around freely with like this right?”

“Isn’t that obvious. What are you doing acting all wise like that? A warning from me. It’s better for you to not open your mouth too much. After all the more you speak the more your lowliness get exposed.”

It was a well executed poisonous tongue. During that exchange, Hajime’s expression was still expressionless without change. That indifferent tone eloquently indicated that what he said wasn’t sarcasm or anything but something that came from the bottom of his heart, which caused Ehitorujue’s eyes to twitch in reaction.

And then, with a smiling face that was obviously a mask no matter who saw it he opened his mouth softly.

“I command in the name of Ehitorujue――’prostrate’.”

The Divine Statement was spoken with extremely natural tone――it was the manifestation of god’s will that made anyone obeyed without question. Once this ‘foul play’ caused Hajime to struggle on the ground desperately, and now hearing this once more Hajime staggered in place…

*DOPAN-!!*

“――”

And he responded with a shot.

The bullet was blocked by a barrier in front of Ehitorujue, a ripple was spreading in the air.

“…Divine Statement has no effect at all?”

“Just how many times you had used that in front of me huh. You think a petty magic trick like that will keep working forever?”

“…”

Ehitorujue’s eyes narrowed toward Hajime who was pointing Donner’s muzzle straight at him. But, his composure didn’t crumble by any means, instead he held out his hand that wasn’t supporting his cheek in an inviting gesture.

Immediately at the areas around Donner & Shuragen, ‘Treasure Warehouse II’, all the artifacts that Hajime carried, the spaces were warping like jelly. But the spaces immediately returned to their original shape with a snapping sound as though there was something that got repelled away.

“…I see. So you came here with countermeasures prepared.”

“Rather, you thinking that I will come without doing that is the crazy one.”

“Don’t get cocky, irregular young boy. You really showed much arrogance just by defending against Divine Statement and Heaven Existence.”

“It doesn’t matter how you are looking at me, shitty bastard. I’ll say it one more time, the words that I told you at that time.”

“…”

With a click, Hajime fixed Donner’s aim at the heart of Ehitorujue while declaring clearly and loudly.

“――I’m taking back Yue. I’ll kill you. It will be the end with that.”

The white space didn’t absorb the sound. Rather it made the words echoed powerfully with dignity.

The expression of Ehitorujue that was bombarded with those words warped evilly, showing how he would enjoy trampling on that determination, during that his crossed leg went down and he lifted his resting cheek, before he suddenly stood up. And then, while glaring down from above with the throne behind him, an immense pressure began to leak out. Platinum magic power was painting over the white space.

“Very well. This will be the last entertainment in this world. Let’s play for a little bit then.”

Ehitorujue’s body was gently floating up.

He lightly spread his hands while his abundant golden hair was undulating, the sleeve of his black dress flapped.

At the same time, the platinum magic power light converged rapidly with Ehitorujue at the center and it formed a shape on his back.

What appeared on Ehitorujue’s back while shining brilliantly was three layers of ring halo. The size of those halos, with the floating Ehitorujue as the center the first halo had a diameter of around two meters while the third halo had a diameter of more than ten meters.

Countless light spheres were slowly being created from those halos. The number of those spheres really should be expressed as the number of the stars in the sky. But, in contrast with their splendor, the pressure emitted by those spheres was absurd. Every single one was obviously hiding a power that could easily destroy a human and could possibly change even the geography.

The figure of Ehitorujue with gigantic halos behind him, served by countless stars, and clad in platinum light, would make anyone comprehended, truly if anyone who didn’t know of the ugliness inside saw him then he was indeed emitting divinity that was worthy to be revered as ‘god’.

In respond Hajime was,

“No holding back. ――I’m going all out.”

Resplendent crimson light burst up. A whirlwind of magic power that spiraled wildly flapped Hajime’s black coat and wrapped his body in crimson color. Even in front of Ehitorujue’s power, his one eye didn’t show any sign of faltering, unnoticed it was shining with clear crimson like red spinel.

It was Limit Break’s last derivative skill ‘Supreme Break’. At this moment, Hajime’s specs swelled up five times over in one go. Then he activated Sky Step’s last derivative skill ‘Light Speed’ which reinforced his perception ability to a different magnitude.

At the same time, countless crosses were lining up midair behind Hajime. On the black fuselages that should be called as a color of darkness, a red pattern was carved, the total number of those crosses was seven hundred.

――New type versatile offensive drone   Cross Velt

While being two sizes more compact than the crossbit until now, it was clad with sinister crimson light that made one felt a lump of ice sliding down their spine. Perhaps that spectacle should be called as the grave markers of the enemies slaughtered by the demon king.

‘You too will be added to this funeral procession’, the current Hajime who was wordlessly asserting that was emitting unprecedented rage and killing intent while being silent, he was emitting might that was truly worthy for a person who was trying to achieve godslaying.

Dazzling platinum halos and countless twinkling stars.

Violently wild crimson storm and dark funeral crosses.

The two sides resented and bemoaned each other while the space between them creaked, where they were about to swallow at each other.

Ehitorujue pushed out one of his hands with an elegance that looked as though it had been calculated thoroughly until his fingertips.

“Now, this is the beginning of the game. First――dance for me!”

Right after that, a lot of light stars rushed toward Hajime. And it wasn’t something that simple, the great number of platinum lights from the halos behind Ehitorujue were flying out with a motion that was depicting geometrical pattern. The meteor shower of light would even make anyone watching to feel a certain kind of artistic quality from it. There were lights in a spherical shape, then there were also lights that drawn a curve like a blade, and also lights that were approaching while rotating like a boomerang.

“A dance invitation from you son of a bitch, I refuse. ――Full burst!”

Hajime snorted at Ehito’s invitation and gave his order.

At the next moment, all the crosses pointed forward simultaneously and the seven hundred Cross Velt fired all at once. All of the bullets fired were electromagnetically accelerated, furthermore all of the bullet heads were a special bullet that released multi-stage shockwave concentrated to a single point――Burst Bullet.

The platinum meteor shower and the crimson bullets filled the space to the brim. That scene was just like a war in middle age, where both armies were yelling war cry just before they clashed. Those two armies that were even more atrocious than death god clashed and destroyed at each other right in the middle between their commanders. Thunderous roars and violent impacts, and flashes were surging out to the degree that one could be deluded to think that it was the birth of a star.

A great number of meteors were flying off, bullets clad in crimson were extinguished. The meteors and barrage of bullets were struggling for supremacy with their destructive power.

“Hou, so you can endure this. Then how about the next move. Don’t you die so easily okay?”

Ehitorujue made a smile that displayed his joy, and then he waved his arm elegantly once. Then the brilliant radiance of the halos behind him intensified, right after that *zuzuzu* lights in humanoid form manifested. The silhouettes of person that were formed from light itself were also carrying two large swords made from light in their hand, giving them resemblance with the apostle.

“Their ability is at the same level with the apostle. However, amidst the illuminating attack of these halos, can you also deal with these attacking apostles of light that are moving independently in the end?”

Even while he was saying such thing, the apostles of light were created in large number. With Ehitorujue at the center and the halos behind him, the number of the apostles of light had already easily surpassed a hundred.

But, in front of such view that could be said as despairing, Hajime only snorted “hmph”. And then, he spoke. The soul of language to summon his own army.

“Battle of resource is the domain of transmutation master. You are still using these old puppet dolls even at this stage, aren’t you too behind the time? ――Come, ‘Grim Reaper’.”

Crimson magic power overflowed from the ‘Treasure Warehouse II’. The magic power that swelled up together with an intense flash scattered everywhere like explosion wave, although only temporarily but the space that was full of platinum light was dyed with crimson. Like that, a beat later the flash settled and then,

“This is…a golem army, is it?”

Ahead of the murmuring Ehitorujue’s gaze, a great number of monster swarm clad in crimson light could be seen. However, their body was formed from mineral that looked even harder than steel, behind their sharp fangs there was gun muzzle, while doors or missiles were attached on their back or stomach, their claws were vibrating in super speed where everything that they touched would be torn apart, the body of the golems were overflowing with bizarreness.

――Hajime’s exclusive one man army   Grim Reapers

Wolf shape, great eagle shape, spider shape, large turtle shape, large monkey shape, there was an abundant variation of the golems, it was an army of living golem. Their numbers easily surpassed a hundred, furthermore they were fully loaded with hybrid weapons inside their body. These were the massacring army of the demon king who knew no pain and no fatigue.

Ehitorujue whose corners of the lips were lifted up and Hajime whose eyes narrowed in absolute zero let their command resounded at the same time.

“Apostles of light, exterminate the unsightly monsters!”

“Death gods, tear apart the useless puppets.”

Right after that, the light apostles flew out while shooting light beams, the metallic monsters roared while charging forward. The light apostles who were moving in high speed that trailed afterimages behind were surprisingly followed by the mechanical wolves who rushed through the air with rippling wave in their wake and afterimages similarly trailing behind. And then, the wolves deployed a small type gatling gun from their back and also firing a cannon from their widely opened mouth.

The large eagles that ignited their thrusters and climbed up in one go were trampling the battlefield by scattering cluster bombs like heavy rain from high above. The large turtles were letting loose large amount of missiles from their back, transforming into fixed batteries. The light apostles who approached near to aim at the turtles were blocked by the large monkeys who were forming a wall with the large shield they carried, and then the spiders charged through the gaps and carved apart the shell of the apostles using the sonic wave they generated.

Naturally there were also grim reapers that were done in by the light apostles, but each time a grim reaper got lethally damaged they would self-explode that swallowed the surrounding, even at a minimum they would bring their killer to accompany them in death.

“To rival my magic with amount of resources…it is really something unthinkable for a human. However, if it is said in reverse, even the specialty of the irregular can only rival me at bes――”

“Don’t yap, you worthless god.”

Hajime fired off Donner & Schlag, cutting off Ehitorujue who was speaking ridiculingly. There were two sounds of gunshot. But the flashes that cut through the air were six streaks.

Inside the clashing fierce storm of destruction, those bullets slipped through swimmingly and sniped the caster Ehitorujue.

*GIIIIIII-*

With such hard sound resounding the bullets were halted before the eyes of Ehitorujue. The positions of the stopped bullets were before his head, heart, and his four limbs. While those shots were a sniping that was like threading through the eye of a needle, but not even a single shot shifted for even a millimeter from their target. It was a special move that fired bullets through a space overflowing to the brim with shockwave and barrage without any deviation at all.

The first bullets emitted shockwaves consecutively within an instant to a pinpoint spot. They were burst bullet. The shockwaves that were directed to a pinpoint spot made a fatal crack on Ehitorujue’s barrier just with one shot. And then, the second burst bullets right behind those first bullets that were fired with the same trajectory pushed in as though pile-driving the first shots and pulverized the barrier right away.

*PAAAAAAN* Faster than the resounding sound of pulverization, the magic bullets of simultaneous attacks on six vital spots approached to pierce Ehitorujue.

Ehitorujue quietly lifted his hand toward that. Even if he did something like that, the electromagnetically accelerated bullets should be unstoppable. It was obvious that a bullet would easily bite a hole into that palm and bore into the heart behind it, was how it seemed to be but…

“So you broke my barrier. Furthermore your personality that unhesitatingly aimed at your lover’s heart even though she possesses automatic regeneration…you are making me enjoying this, irregular.”

The palm and chest of Ehitorujue who was saying such thing with the corner of his lips raised didn’t seem to receive any kind of damage.

The cause of that was surely the small whirling black sphere generated ahead of that palm. Most likely it was gravity magic ‘Severance Catastrophe’. It swallowed the bullet and then crushed it with its super gravity.

His delicate control that could do such thing, also his reaction speed that could sense electromagnetically accelerated bullet and stopped it, were absurd as expected. It was unclear whether it was because he planned to play around or perhaps because of his dignity as a god that considered being touched was a disrespect to him that he didn’t rely on the automatic regeneration.

Even during this few moment of offense and defense, there was a meteor shower that slipped through the barrage of Cross Velt and reached Hajime. The light stars the size of a fist rushed at Hajime.

Hajime was in front of the swarm of lights that completely filled his field of vision, however, his expression showed no unease at all.

“――fuu”

He shortly breathed out.

At the next moment, the swarm of light bullets passed through Hajime’s body. While small strange sounds of *jijiji-* were resounding, the bullets of certain death meaninglessly passed through Hajime as though they were attacking an illusion of him.

“Hou, that’s splendid.”

Ehitorujue spontaneously leaked out words of praise.

What was the cause that made the light stars slipped through which made the enemy spontaneously praised in admiration? The cause was nothing special. Hajime was merely evading the lights in high speed with the necessary minimum movement. That was all. The sounds of *jijiji-* were the sound of the light bullets grazing Hajime’s clothing. That was just how barely he was evading the lights, by seeing the attacks through until the millimeter degree.

For ordinary person, Hajime looked like he was not moving, but with Ehitorujue’s perception, the reflected spectacle was as though Hajime’s body was making many layers of shadow clones blurring in the same spot to return to their original position.

“Well then, how about this?”

Ehitorujue waved his hand relaxedly.

Immediately several stretching lights that were moving with an irregular motion like twisting snake were fired from the halos. It didn’t stop there, huge light bullets with diameter around two meters were spewed out in large amount like soap bubbles toward Hajime.

“Chih”

Hajime clicked his tongue.

Hajime used ‘Ground Shrinker’ and ‘Air Force’ tp leap away from his spot. The light whips powerfully struck the place where Hajime was standing just an instant before while the light bubbles were flying off all over the place leaving not a single gap in space.

Cross Velts were flying in all directions and the Grim Reapers were commanded to aim at Ehitorujue from all angles. However, just by a single wave of a hand, Ehitorujue pulverized every machine that got close to him.

“…”

Hajime’s eyes were narrowing from seeing that scene while he made his ‘Treasure Warehouse II’ shined.

Right after that, a huge weapon was gripped in his hand. From a glance, it was the gatling railgun ‘Metsurai’ with six rotating barrels. However, its size was completely different. It was enlarged by two sizes bigger. Furthermore, looking closer all the six barrels, each of them consisted of also six barrels.

――Super large electromagnetic acceleration gatling cannon   Metsurai Disaster

It was a gatling cannon with 6×6 rotating barrels where each barrel had the same size with the barrel of the original Metsurai. It fired off seventy-two thousand round per minute, this weapon went even beyond being evaluated as a monster, an outrageous weapon where the idea of creating it could even be called as stupid.

Hajime pulled the trigger of such outrageous weapon.

*VOO–!!*

Such strange sound like the air itself was rupturing was resounding. Metsurai Disaster that instantly generated a squall of cartridges, pulverized everything in its line of fire――the meteor shower, the light bubbles, and even the light apostles just like scrap papers before approaching Ehitorujue.

The approaching attack was already like a muddy stream of crimson light, a storm of destruction in the same meaning of natural disaster that swallowed everything in its path.

“That’s something dreadful. But, what meaning it has if it doesn’t hit? ――’Great Vortex of White End’.”

Ahead of Ehitorujue’s two hands that he stretched forward, there was platinum light whirling. That sparkling vortex looked just like a silver river.

Right after that, the crimson muddy stream of magic bullets that broke through the likes of common obstacle like they were nothing, was split into two in front of Ehitorujue as though a single stroke had bisected it, and then the attack was swallowed by two silver rivers at two sides. Naturally not even a single magic bullet reached Ehitorujue.

“…So even this doesn’t reach. Good grief.”

A meteor shower rushed from the back at Hajime who was swearing reflexively. Perhaps they were even teleported that the many light stars had circled behind Hajime without him realizing, they approached to swallow him whole.

Sometimes with a movement that didn’t even leave afterimage, sometimes with a swaying motion like fluttering wind, Hajime was evading while using Donner and Metsurai Disaster, added with Cross Velts he detected the gaps of the meteor shower and fired crimson flashes toward Ehitorujue. The mechanical monsters that were unfolding a fierce battle with the light apostles were also launching an attack at Ehitorujue if they found an opening.

The platinum lights that beautifully dance boisterously in the white space and the rushing crimson lights that weaved in between displayed a view that should be called as superb which would surely steal the heart of the viewer watching from the side.

Amidst that view, without relaxing his offense and defense at all while handling Hajime’s shots and the Grim Reapers’ attacks, Ehitorujue was showing a composed smile and talked to Hajime.

“Come to think of it, irregular. How did you finish off Aruvheit? He too was more or less my retainer that possessed divinity. Even if it was you, I don’t think that he would be killed that easily.”

The revolving light stars took a great detour while aiming at Hajime from all directions, Hajime was intercepting them with his Donner spinning like a wheel while he snorted and responded at Ehitorujue.

“Hah, that snob is a god you say? Don’t make me laugh. He easily died while begging for his life unsightly. Even the monster in labyrinths has more guts than something like that.”

“Hou, easily you say.”

Light bubbles buried the space to the brim. Hajime stored in his Metsurai Disaster and in exchange he took out ‘Agni-Orkan’ and launched missile swarm to the front.

Terrific thunderous roars and flame blasts rose and a hole was created on the light bubbles cage.

Hajime instantly rushed through and he aligned the aim of Agni-Orkan at Ehitorujue and pulled the triggers.

But, at that moment Ehitorujue snapped his finger. At the same time suddenly thunders rained down from empty space. Those thunders that were focused and compressed to the limit already became spears made from lightning. If it had to be named, then it would be the lightning spear fired from god――the ‘Lightning Divine Spear’.

“tsk”

Without even any time to react using his perception skill, the sparking platinum spears that flew in lightning speed from Hajime’s blind spot within a few meter easily pierced Agni-Orkan. Just with that, the frame of the artifacts warped, in addition, the combustion powder packed inside the missiles caught fire which caused a great explosion.

Although Hajime had immediately thrown away Agni-Orkan and withdrew from that spot, the missiles that boasted tremendous might even by their lonesome were exploding all at once from really close range, in addition the lightning divine spears were also rupturing which scattered its compressed lightning to all direction, Hajime was unable to avoid getting damage. The blasts and thunders penetrated through his ‘Vajra’ and his clothing which was tougher than it looked because it was made from tough metal and monster hide, which clearly told just how terrible the radiated force was.

“Guu…(lightning speed attack from random coordinate that is instantly invoked…as expected, this guy is still holding many hands yet)”

Hajime was whispering in his heart while groaning unintentionally, Ehitorujue who glanced at such Hajime continued his talk as though nothing had happened.

“Nothing you could hide from me. I know already. You invoked a concept magic right? The situation at that time could be said as extreme for you. Although not even in my dream I could imagine you would produce a concept so powerful that could even possibly defeat Aruvheit, that was unexpected even for me…”

“…”

Hajime who lost Agni-Orkan displayed a look that pondered something for an instant, then he scattered explosion hand grenade at the surrounding which blown away the light bubbles while he took out Metsurai Disaster once more. Like that he held back Ehitorujue while he controlled Cross Velts and placed one of them above Ehitorujue’s head.

“Perhaps, you have even created a concept of ‘godslaying’? And then, you was hiding that trump card close to your chest, and holding the hope that you can do something with that you came until this far. Fufufu, how cute.”

Ehitorujue didn’t even glance at the Cross Velt above him, far from that he didn’t even close his mouth while swiping his hand overhead.

Just with that the Cross Velt that was going to shoot was cut with an invisible blade and exploded. The loaded bullets scattered around lethally like a frag grenade, but even those were repelled at the space before Ehitorujue and didn’t reach him.

Hajime saw that happened, but he didn’t even click his tongue, he closely observed the state of Ehitorujue who was talking while basking in joy and he quietly narrowed his eyes. Ehito who didn’t even pay any attention to such Hajime then licked his lips smoothly.

“By using that, it’s possible to separate the soul of me and the vampire princess, and kill only me, that’s what you are thinking correct?”

“…So you find out. Well, I also don’t have any mood to lie. My trump card is powerful you know? That calm expression of yours is going to warp into terror and regret soon.”

“Fuhah, so you still believe that the soul of this woman is safe. That figure of yours howling while clinging to a nonexistent illusion, is truly, comical to the extreme.”

Saying that, Ehito snapped his fingers once more.

Right after that, Hajime’s movement came to a sudden stop with his body pitched forward.

“――”

The cause was obvious. The Metsurai Disaster that Hajime held was caught in a distorted space. That space distortion was in a square block shape that tightly pressed together. Metsurai was fixed at the center of that.

Almost at the same time, a spear of thunder came flying once more from an empty space without any advance sign.

“Shit-“

While swearing abuse reflexively, Hajime tried to release Metsurai Disaster by storing it into ‘Treasure Warehouse II’. However, as though that action had been foreseen, Ehitorujue whispered “――’Manifestation of Perceived Nightmare’.”

Hajime’s neck flew off. His four limbs were plucked off, and his heart was gouged.

“KAAAH!!”

A loud yell of fighting spirit surged.

The source of the yell was from Hajime who was thought to be dead. The scene just now was the illusion that was prepared by Ehitorujue. The illusion was so real that if the victim wasn’t careful they might die for real just from that. Hajime exploded the magic power in his body and used the momentum to invigorate himself and blew away the illusion.

But, it didn’t change that his consciousness was stolen for an instant. The compensation for that opening was his Metsurai Disaster.

The divine lightning spear stabbed. Metsurai Disaster met the same end like Agni-Orkan.

――Strong

Hajime honestly appraised his enemy.

Deployment of technique, the scale of invocation, power, every single aspect was easily surpassing Yue of before. There was also no sign of his magic power running out. The great number of meteor shower fired from his halos might be moving almost automatically, there was no sign at all that Ehito was having trouble in controlling them, the light apostles were also created without end, and even with all that he was still rapidly invoking age of god class magic that was extremely powerful.

If it was anyone else than Hajime fighting here then they would instantly be killed inevitably.

As though to further cornering Hajime who had completely lost two of his prided artifacts, Ehitorujue opened his mouth exultantly.

“It echoed quiet lusciously.”

“Aa?”

“The vampire princess――Yue is it? The scream of your woman, it was really meltingly sweet.”

“…”

Hajime’s expression fell out.

“With the ownership of her body stolen, she who had become only a soul resisted admirably. But, the more she resisted the more intense the pain running through her. …Ku-ku-ku-, it was visible for me, the figure of the vampire princess enduring desperately with clenched teeth inside this body. But even that didn’t continue forever, she couldn’t endure and screamed. And then, she felt terror feeling her soul vanishing from the edge, while trembling…her last words were, […Hajime, I’m sorry]. Fufufu.”

“…”

“After that she disappeared. Everything happened while she was tasting terror and despair. Do you understand, irregular? The hope that you came chasing doesn’t exist right from the beginning-! Fuhah, fuhahahahaha-“

Ehitorujue raised a loud laughter. Indeed, Hajime’s magic eye couldn’t see Yue’s soul, he could only perceive a silver soul taking root inside melding everywhere. It was as though that view was displaying the truth of Ehitorujue’s words…

Hajime wordlessly threw several hand grenades to the air. He shot them all using Donner. At that moment, the light stars around the hand grenades dropped on the ground altogether.

What Hajime used was gravity grenade――it had a special effect that created super gravitational area when it was activated. With that effect, the surrounding light bullets were felled.

Hajime’s hand was holding Schlagen AA. It completed its charging in a moment and the eighty-eight millimeter sniping cannon(Acht Acht) specialized in penetration roared.

The fired crimson flash charged straight through the barrage zone that was thinned by the gravity grenades just like going through a no man’s land.

Ehitorujue lifted his hand. Barriers were visibly layered by two, three layers before him.

The fang of Schlagen AA blasted the first layer of barrier, bit a hole in the second barrier after a moment of opposition, and smashed even the third layer of the barrier and assaulted Ehitorujue. But, the three layers divine barrier had obviously decreased the strength of the shot, in that state naturally it was unable to ignore the effect of the two white vortexes staying at both sides of Ehito. The eighty-eight millimeter shell had its trajectory vainly twisted and got swallowed into the vortex of compression.

“I am a god. As long as I have automatic regeneration than you attack won’t even make me feel itchy but…know that even touching me is an insolence.”

And then, even while saying such thing Ehito waved his hand in a complicated gesture with a wide grin as though saying that this was payback.

“――”

Right after that, the space all around Hajime including above and below burst open. What was produced from that was a tremendous impact. It was a space rupture that was even more detailed and powerful than the ‘Quaking Sky of Four Directions’ casted in the devil king castle. Furthermore, from behind Hajime, perhaps even using teleportation, a lot of light stars were already there unnoticed moving toward Hajime.

This too was also an overwhelming attack where there was no time to react and no place to escape. Hajime took out his variable great shield ‘Aidion’ to face this. The spherical shield instantly operated its gimmick and deployed to cover Hajime.

Thunderous roar.

The impact of space rupture from all directions blown away the first layer of ‘Aidion’ into pieces with one attack. The fierce impact was transmitted through ‘Aidion’ that caused Hajime’s left hand which was supporting it below to scream.

Storm of pursuing attack came right there. Light stars in immense number attacked one after another, not giving any time for the shield to restore itself. ‘Aidion’ which was swallowed by the storm of light looked shining just like a star.

Even so, its hardness that didn’t allow penetration should be called as an impregnable fortress.

But, even that defensive power was nothing more than an interesting side show for Ehitorujue, he suddenly lifted his hand and created a bluish white flame on his palm. And then, he blew it off gently to fly toward the shield.

The blue flame soared softly without any sound, it then impacted ‘Aidion’ that was still receiving concentrated fire――like that the protective wall was easily penetrated.

Right after that,

“GAAAAAAAAAA-!?”

A scream resounded.

The gimmick of ‘Aidion’ was released and from inside Hajime who was wrapped in flame leaped out.

Teleported meteor shower approached him in no time at all, the Grim Reapers defended Hajime as the substitute of their master which resulted in a rain of scrapped steel raining down. At the same time, Cross Velts were also called closer from the surrounding to lay out barrier, but they too were pierced by  lightning divine spears by the dozens and exploded to all direction. While clenching his teeth to the sacrifices around him, Hajime broke through the encirclement and compressed his crimson magic power with an expression that warped in pain. At the next moment, he converted the compressed magic power into impact and just barely blew away the blue flame and the rushing light stars.

At the same time, ‘Aidion that was left behind’ had its iron wall broken and light stars rushed inside from the opening, it then received attacks from inside and outside and got pulverized into pieces.

“Haahahahahah, what happened with your big talk from before? You have turned into a really shabby appearance right now.”

Ehitorujue laughed in amusement.

Ahead of his gaze, there was the figure of Hajime breathing roughly with burn injuries here and there every single part of his clothing damaged by fire. It also appeared that he had converted a considerable amount of his magic power into impact to blow away the blue flame and light stars, so his magic power had decreased considerably. ‘All Element Resistance’ and ‘Vajra’ were reduced to mere consolation as protection in front of the attacks’ might, Hajime couldn’t help but shudder from that.

“Haa haa, just now was…Yue’s…”

“No, it was mine. It seemed the vampire princess could use it, but from the beginning this magic was something that I used. It penetrates every obstacle and destroys only its target. It’s called ‘Divine Flame’. How is it? It has quite a good flavor isn’t it?”

“…”

Hajime didn’t reply. Rather than that he was pouring his mind to convert his magic power into healing power to heal his damage even just for a little. If possible he wanted to drink healing medicine but, whether Ehitorujue would allow that or not, was unclear in the end…he couldn’t show an opening after receiving a fierce attack.

If Shia and others were here, they would undoubtedly stiffen from shock seeing Hajime being cornered this overwhelmingly. In actuality, even Hajime himself couldn’t help but smile bitterly inside from witnessing the true power of Ehitorujue who had completely seized Yue’s body.

But, naturally Hajime didn’t let that show in his expression, in exchange he struck Ehitorujue with a gaze of defiance and persistence.

“Hmm, even when I told you that your beloved woman was already gone, you still don’t show any sign of breaking…”

“Obviously. Just why do I have to believe your words? If you like bullshit then just talk to yourself until you are satisfied.”

Ehitorujue smiled wryly from the way Hajime talked. It was as though he was waiting for Hajime’s recovery, he relaxed his attack and talked.

“Your existence is truly irregular. Because of Freed’s appearance, the balance of the game was almost broken, so in order to make it more enjoyable I brought in people with power from another world yet…you become a strong person that not even my favorite could bare his fang to.”

“…Why, did you do something like summoning limited at just this time?”

A war game of human versus devil. The nasty game that Ehitorujue held. His words about Freed breaking the balance made Hajime slightly scowled. It was slightly surprising that Freed’s labyrinth conquering was something irregular outside of god’s will.

And then, about great labyrinth’s conquering, Yue’s uncle Denreed also did the same thing three hundred years ago. However, from what Hajime learned from historical fact, at that time there was no record of hero summoning being performed and he also didn’t hear any story about anything like that.

Why it was only at this time, such question was only something natural to be thought of by a person who got dragged into it. Though Hajime going along with Ehitorujue’s story also had the purpose of merely buying time to recover.

“Different from in the past, there was no capable person in this present era that was capable of opposing Freed you see. Never I imagined that other than the vampire princess, even the dragon race is also still surviving. Both of them were hidden skillfully. …If there is no good pawn in this world then nothing could be done except by providing it from another world.”

“…Another world, huh.”

“Correct. Although the connection to your world is completely a coincidence. It was a result that coincides with me searching for a person with high affinity that could possibly become my vessel. Even for a god body, crossing the boundary of the world is not something easy. To say nothing of a soul without a vessel, even directly interfering with outside Holy Precincts is difficult. As the result, I somehow succeeded dragging down someone from above world but…including an irregular like you, there were also a lot of extras coming along here.”

According to Ehitorujue’s story, Kouki was similar with Yue, he was chosen based on his possibility to become a vessel. Most likely Ehitorujue was using a magic like the compass of guidance to search. But, Ehitorujue who had no vessel that was a flesh body could only wield his power completely within Holy Precincts, furthermore it seemed that his power was repressed in the earth because that world had superior rank so his effort didn’t go well.

The result of that was the summoning of all the classmates. In other words, everyone else other than Kouki only seemed to get ‘dragged in’ unintentionally by god. There was no story more annoying than this.

“Although, thanks to that the best vessel that I thought had been lost three hundred years ago was discovered, that’s why this could be said as a windfall. Fufu, with this I can exhibit my power in full even outside the Holy Precincts. Crossing over to another world is also easy.”

Most likely even the body of an apostle was insufficient as god’s body because it would lower his divinity. If that wasn’t the case then he would not be this delighted from managing to obtain a vessel.

Ehitorujue opened and closed his hand basking in joy. Hajime then asked something that he had actually wondered about all this time.

“Ehitorujue…what are you?”

“What a really abstract question that is, irregular. But, no matter what is said, naturally the answer has been decided. I am the god that created and ruled over everything.”

Ehitorujue introduced himself as the transcendental creator god and also the ruling god.

But, Hajime snorted to that.

“No, you or no god or anything. You didn’t create this world, you are also not ruling over everything. You are not a supernatural existence that mankind imagined You are merely an existence that is possessing power mightier than mankind.”

“…Hou. With what kind of basis you are saying such thing?”

Perhaps he got his interest attracted from that, Ehitorujue then asked Hajime back.

“Isn’t that simple? Your perception cannot detect Yue who was at the bottom of the abyss, and also the dragon race who hid outside this continent. Your strength only reaches this continent, even then it’s only at the scale that doesn’t reach the abyss. Power at that level is just too tiny for the creator right?”

“Ku-ku-ku-, to call someone like me as tiny. And? If I am not a god then what am I?”

Hajime thrust his answer with an expression that vaguely looked like he was chewing a bitter bug.

“…You are a ‘human of another world’ the same like us.”

“Hmm. Because I am not a god but I possess a mighty power, then I must be a human from outside world the same like you all…that’s your reasoning.”

“Not only that. In the first place it was already strange by the point of time that you know about the concept of ‘outside world’.  ‘Because there is none in this world then search for a capable person from other world’…such idea won’t come out unless you know about the existence of another world right from the start. Even in our world that is overflowing with fantasy entertainment that concept is only a wild idea. If you are an existence in the level that is able to create the world then I can accept that, but just like I said just now, you are not an all-knowing and almighty supernatural existence, based on that it’s only natural to think that you know about the existence of another world by the same reason like us.”

Hearing those words, Ehitorujue went “hmm” and nodded once, then he began to clap dramatically.

“Splendid, perhaps that’s what I should say. Indeed I am a human from another world. Originally, I only reached the height of magic. Although, through the passing many months and years the gathered faith granted my divinity that sublimated my soul, through that there is no doubt that I am a god.”

And then, he suddenly lifted his hand. Right after that, thunder boomed in empty air, blue flame exploded, strong wind stormed, the air froze, white smoke whirled.

For Hajime, those were a sight he was used to. However, the dimension of the power focused there far surpassed what he had seen in the past.

Five heavenly dragons were created. They were the magnificent incarnations of atrocious tyranny that Yue created from the fusion of gravity magic and the highest class elemental magic. Those heavenly dragons were fiercely glaring at Hajime with dark red eyeballs.

The presence of these heavenly dragons was clearly different with Yue’s heavenly dragons. Hajime’s magic eye detected materials other than the core of the heavenly dragon that was formed from magic. That pulsing dark red ore was clearly magic stone.

It appeared metamorphosis magic was used on the heavenly dragons which transformed them into a monster. Perhaps the material to form them was gathered by using space magic. Not only monster, there was also the presence of apostle from the dragons. Hajime was thoroughly knowledgeable of how troublesome these heavenly dragons were, now these dragons were added with the function where they could move independently separated from the caster’s control to attack the prey, these caused Hajime to sweat coldly in his heart.

(I cannot overwhelm him in resource battle, now on top of that, there is also these troublesome newcomers in addition…well, I already imagined that this won’t be easy. If I resolved myself, I can do this.)

Ahead of the gaze of Hajime who was talking to himself in his heart, the five heavenly dragons were coiling in the air with Ehitorujue at the center.

That figure of the adult Yue obeyed by the magnificent dragons was exactly like a goddess in a legend. No, any goddess from any mythology would surely be overshadowed in front of the current Yue who was obeyed by the heavenly dragons with halos behind her. There was no doubt that even the goddess of beauty Aphrodite would flee barefooted in front of her.

The person inside that body which made that divine beauty to be spoiled opened his mouth with a repulsive grin.

“Now then, irregular. You have recovered a little haven’t you? We have to begin the game once more any time now. During that time, let’s reminisce a bit about the past. You are going to struggle as long as you can right? It has been really a long time since I talk about myself. Entertain me-“

At the next moment, the five heavenly dragons simultaneously roared, violent killing intent and pressured weighed down on Hajime. At the same time, the meteor shower from the halos also resumed coming. The white space was filled to the brim with the heavenly dragons turned monster and the torrent of lights.

Previous | Table of Contents | Next