Fast forwarding slightly in time.
Around three weeks had passed after Kouki and others saw off the departure of Hajime’s group and returned to Heiligh Kingdom.
Hatayama Aiko and Ai-chan’s guard party that was led by Sononobe Yuuka also finally took a break from their trip of agrarian reform and returned to the palace.
Although there wasn’t even any time for rest. Aiko was quickly asked to participate in the royal council’s meeting. The topic of the meeting could be easily imagined. Undoubtedly it was about Hajime.
Then Aiko had no reason to refuse. She ignored the fatigue that was heavily weighing her and went to the meeting resolutely.
「I wonder if Ai-chan is okaay~」
「Wouldn’t it be better for us to go together with her?」
The one who raised a worried voice was Miyazaki Nana and Tamai Atsushi.
After Aiko told them to go on their own business, they cleaned themselves from the dirtiness of the travel in their room and quickly headed to the training ground after that. Right now they were on their way there. Of course their intention wasn’t to train. It was because they heard from a servant that Kouki and others were there.
「The official who came with the summon said that only Ai-chan-sensei is called, so it can’t be helped.」
「We will be able to eat dinner together later anyway. More importantly, I want to quickly talk with everyone. About what happened at Ur. Like how Nagumo-kun has changed, it was really shocking~」
Yuuka shrugged in respond while Taeko was smiling mischievously.
Really, there were too many things that had happened. There were also a lot of things that were too heavy for them to keep inside themselves.
Even though it was only a trip for several months, the time that had passed was so thick like it had been several years already. Even this palace, or the voices of their friends that resounded from the training ground, everything felt nostalgic now.
Even without any words, they understood from each other’s expression that they were feeling like that. Yuuka and others chuckled.
And so the moment they stepped into the training ground,
「Aah!! Sononobe and co has returned back──!!」
An energetic voice reverberated ringingly.
It was the class’s mood maker Taniguchi Suzu. The other people there also turned their gaze simultaneously in respond to Suzu’s yell. And then 「Oo!」 everyone cheered before they immediately rushed toward them.
「Sonosonoo~, welcome back~!」
「Yes yes, I’m back. I’m relieved that you are still like usual.」
Yuuka said 「She never changed」 in relieve seeing Suzu leaping at her. She hugged her back with a smile.
The other girls with Eri at the lead also hugged Nana and Taeko too right after that. They became like a lump of only girls there.
However, it was a bit lacking. The figures of two of their friends who possessed overwhelming presence couldn’t be found anywhere. Nana who was reputed as someone whose thought and mouth were directly connected with each other frankly asked the question.
「Eeeh? Where is Shizuku-chi and Kaori-chi?」
Kouki who was smiling amicably at the return of their comrades jerked and trembled. His face looked like he had swallowed a bitter medicine. At the same time Ryuutarou was sending awkward glances at Kouki.
The girls also quietly stopped their hug and their gazes wandered.
The one who represented the group to answer was Eri. She was putting on a troubled smile.
「Err~, Shizuku only left just now. Nia-san came to tell us that Yuuka and others has arrived at the capital and she left right after. Perhaps she went to welcome you all but you missed each other.」
「Aa~, is that so. Then Kaori-chi──」
「C-come to think of it! Where is Aiko-sensei!?」
「Eh? Wait, Eri-chi, what’s the matter with you!? You are too enthusiastic!? Or rather your too close! Your lips is going to touch!」
Eri approached Nana and grabbed her shoulders hard as though to say I won’t let you speak any further than that! It was like her reserved and composed personality was just a lie. Her eyes behind her glasses looked a bit scary.
Nana was creeped out. Taeko answered the question in her place.
「If it’s Ai-chan-sensei then she got called to a meeting of the royal council right now.」
「I-is that so~」
Eri smiled to varnish over her odd behavior while letting Nana go. Nana muttered 「Eri-chi’s sudden change is scary……」, however she then stepped on another landmine beautifully.
「Then where is Kaori-chi──」
「You guys, we heard it! You guys got attacked by a large swarm of monster! Are you guys okaaaay-!」
「Fugih!? Sakagami-chi, you’re loud! What’s with you guys since just now!?」
The loud voice of Ryuutarou that was reverberating from the close range rattled their eardrum. Nana covered her ears while protesting with teary eyes.
As expected Yuuka and co couldn’t help but feel suspicious at their friends’ behavior that seemed to be somewhat suspicious.
A bad premonition crossed their mind. Perhaps something had happened to Kaori? They thought that nothing bad would happen if it was the extraordinary healer Kaori but……
「A-ahaha……about that, you see, you know? Kaorin has departed to a place far away……」
What an ominous answer. The expression of Nana and others turned pale hearing that.
「Departed you say……don’t tell me……Kaori-chi has gone to heaven!?」
Of course that wasn’t the case. Suzu hurriedly denied that, however as expected she avoided giving a clear answer.
Seeing the behavior of Suzu and others, Yuuka somehow felt something that was pulling on her. Yes, if it had to be described then perhaps it should be called as her maiden’s instinct at work. And so she tried to throw a stone to watch the ripple.
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「……Actually, you guys might have heard but, we met Nagumo at Ur you know?」
Suzu and others all jerked simultaneously. Their gazes were swimming around.
Yuuka was convinced. That Kouki and others had also reunited with Hajime. At the same time, her thought ran with unprecedented speed along with her maiden’s instinct working at full throttle. She didn’t understand at all why but, the mini Yuuka in her heart was panicking!
「Suzu, also everyone too. There is no need to be so considerate.」
The one who threw a lifeline to the flustered Suzu was the cause of that fluster Kouki.
「Amanogawa? Did something happen?」
Gloomy atmosphere was seeping out from Kouki. Even so he answered with a light tone as though nothing had happened.
「It’s nothing big. After all there was only Kaori confessing to Nagumo and then she followed him in his journey.」
Silence flowed for a while, and then 「Ee─!?」 shocked voice burst out from the members of Ai-chan guard party except Yuuka. And yet right after that Nana and Taeko immediately cheered 「Kya~ah」. Their tension was also rising.
「No way-, a miraculous reunion! So dramatic!!」
Suzu and others glanced at Kouki who was making a smile that looked like a Noh mask while trying to stop the two’s racket 「S-stop there!」, but Nana and Taeko’s tension kept rising up.
Their attention turned toward Yuuka who had turned to stone.
「Yuuka-chi! Yuuka-chi! This is emergency! Kaori-chi got the jump on you!」
「Hah!? Haa!? W-what are you talking about! I don’t understand what do you mean by her getting the jump on me!」
「Geez, really Yuuka, you are really not honest! Even though you got into a slightly good mood with Nagumo-kun at Ur!」
「Taekooo, I’ll punch you, you know! There wasn’t any, aa~ny good mood or anything between us! I’m telling you that I don’t think anything about that guy!」
Yuuka threatened like a cat going *Fushaa──*. Kouki and others turned a disbelieving gaze 「Eh? There is no way right!?」 toward Yuuka. Yuuka’s face turned bright red while she desperately formed some words to divert the topic from her.
「B-besides! That guy has a girlfriend! Yue-san! That ultra beautiful girl! Even though a beautiful rabbit-eared girl like Shia-san also got rejected, but Ka, Kaori got an okay!?」
「Sonosono……in the end you are curious─」
「Shut up! And-, just what happeneed!」
Should she stay quiet, or should she explain? Suzu made a conflicted expression, even so she opened her mouth.
「Err, in the end it was no good though……」
「A-as I thought……but, then, why are she going with him if that’s the case?」
「Kaori, she said that it’s fine even then. She said that she is challenging Yue-oneesama to make Nagumo-kun turn toward her.」
「……I-is that so?」
Yuuka muttered 「K-Kaori, so strong……」 while staggering as though she had received a shock.
Nana and Taeko hugged her from behind. The two of them were poking at Yuuka’s cheeks with grinning face.
「As expected it’s a complete defeat, Yuuka-chii~」
「How about leaving Ai-chan to us? You can chase after them even starting from now you knoow?」
「Shaddup! I won’t chase them! I also have no reason to chase them!!」
*Peshi peshi* Yuuka slapped down the hand of her two best friends before she cleared her throat to keep up appearance at this late.
Of course it was already too late. Everyone could guess when they saw the way Yuuka act just now. Even if they couldn’t affirm that it was a romantic feeling with confidence, she must be quite conscious toward Hajime to some degree.
「By the way, Nagumo-kun also has a child you know?」
「……? ……!? --!? C, chi, chi, chi-chi-chi-chi!?」
In the end Yuuka-chan’s language capability died. At first she was tilting her head in incomprehension, and then a beat later she noticed the meaning, and then she fell into a mini panic. She was the very picture of someone who had a shocking fact thrust before her.
It was a news that made even Nana and Taeko froze, so if it was said that it couldn’t be helped then it really couldn’t be helped.
A silence as though time had stopped was hanging over the place. A full five seconds passed before the reboot began.
「I, I’m, going to look for Shizukuu──!!」
It seemed that Yuuka who seemed to be overheating in various senses had to get away from this place first for the time being. No, perhaps it should be said that she was literally running away from reality. She turned around and left the training ground with lightning speed.
「Y-Yuuka-chi, calm downnn! Surely you’ll also have a chance if you can just make a fait accompliiii~!!」
Nana also ran after Yuuka while yelling something that was unknown whether it was intended to finish off Yuuka’s half-destroyed mind or as an encouragement.
「Tamai-kun! Just give everyone the explanation of what happened! Yuuka! Nana! Wait~」
Taeko left everything to Atsushi in order to chase after her two best friends.
*Whirl* Wind blew through the empty spot where the three were standing at previously. *Pechi* Ryuutaro’s finger flick burst on Suzu’s forehead. Suzu’s gaze wandered around after the scolding she received and,
「And, what happened at Ur?」
She questioned Atsushi as though nothing had happened.
Atsaushi’s face cramped at the gazes that were focused on him. Ryuutarou kindly patted him on his shoulder.
「Looks like you also have it hard huh.」
It was the moment when friendship was deepened by sympathy.
There was a silhouette of a person who was walking while thinking of something deeply at the palace’s courtyard that was filled with beautiful and colorful flower beds.
It was Shizuku who went ahead to meet with Aiko’s group first before they met the others so that the mental state of Kouki and others and their emotion toward Hajime wouldn’t give Aiko any prejudice.
She succeeded in her aim. She was able to share the necessary information without any misunderstanding.
However, there were the forceful heretic designation toward Hajime that was decided in the royal council and the secret matter that Aiko wanted to share with only the students. They brought a vague anxiety to Shizuku and took away her bright expression.
What would happen from here on……
The gentle smile of her best friend that would heal her at this kind of time was already not here. She didn’t have the slightest regret about seeing her off with a smile, but as expected, for Kaori who was always at her side to be gone like this……
「……It feels a bit lonely.」
Shizuku let out a wry smile at her own monologue. She had to be the one being levelheaded now that Kouki and others were emotionally unstable. Shizuku’s hands moved to slap her cheeks to fire up herself──but just before that,
「I fiiiinally found youu~. Shizukuuuu~!!」
「Eh? Ah, Yuuka! Welcome back」
「A child! Got a child! A baby! Nagumo’s baby!」
A shocking truth hit Shizuku right on the guts! Yuuka who was looking deranged for some reason was grabbing both her shoulders and shaking her back and forth, even so Shizuku-chan whose selling point was her calm, cool, and collected personality calmly verified Yuuka’s statement!
「Yuuka! How many months it is now!?」
It seemed she wasn’t calm. Right after she was reunited with a classmate, that classmate said that she was pregnant with a child of her best friend’s sweetheart, so it was unreasonable to ask her to stay calm despite that.
「I don’t know! That’s what I want to ask you!」
「Why do you think that I know!?」
「Only Shizuku is the one who can be relied on at this kind of time!」
「Hah!? Y-you’re right. This isn’t the time for me to feel shaken. It must be harder for Yuuka than for me.」
「I, I don’t have it hard at all! It’s not like I……c-care about Nagumo’s kid!」
「That’s horrible isn’t it!? The most horrible one here is Nagumo-kun though! But, this is about your own child you know!?」
The two stared at each other for some time while breathing hard *zee zee*. They finally noticed that something was strange. Shizuku asked a probing question.
「Isn’t this a talk of Nagumo-kun laying his hand on Yuuka?」
「Tsu!? The-, t-t-the-, there is no way something like that happened! Why do you think I have Nagumo’s baby-」
Her face exploded red. That was how red Yuuka’s face had become. She also began to writhe. It seemed that her own words made her imagined something.
Seeing that, Shizuku finally regained her composure for real. She looked back at Yuuka’s words inside her mind and imagined the what might be the cause that brought about such state of Yuuka……she then hit her hand in realization.
「Aa! You must mean Myuu-chan! She is the child that Nagumo-kun is taking care right now.」
「A child he is taking care?」
Oh? It seemed that it was completely different from her imagination. From here Yuuka too was starting to regain her sanity.
「Could it be, I have made a great misunderstanding?」
「Looks like it. There is just this child of the seaman race who got kidnapped. Nagumo-kun saved her so she is now looking up at him and calling him papa.」
Yuuka-chan’s face was blushing hard from shame……she was so red that perhaps her blood veins would soon burst and killed her at this rate. Shizuku gave her a warm gaze, but it stabbed her heart instead. It was like someone was pointing out to her, So you are secretly a pervert huh. Yuuka reflexively covered her face with both hands and apologized.
There Nana and Taeko caught up with her. Quite some time had passed until they found Shizuku here, but their curiosity to the child affair of their classmate hadn’t weakened at the slightest. Their eyes were blazing fiercely.
「Shizuku-chi! Tell us who did Nagumo impregnate!」
「It must be Yue-san as expected isn’t it!? Or perhaps, don’t tell me he cheated!? Either way It must be a carnage for Kaori-chan there! Right!?」
「You two……at least give a greeting first before asking something like that.」
It seemed that these two were also greatly in misunderstanding in their own way. Yuuka was shrinking into herself even more. It was like she was being objectively shown how she was also acting just now, so she squeezed out the words 「Just kill me now……」 from her throat.
Nana & Taeko’s tension kept rising without knowing any limit. At their feet Yuuka’s mind was descending further into abyss. Shizuku looked like she was holding back a headache seeing them and she massaged her temple while sighing.
After that, they sat around the table for tea party that was set at the middle of the flower garden.
The tension was also calming down during their report about each other’s situation while they were separated. Or rather, the cheerful air was also vanishing while they were talking about the shocking and gruesome events that happened to both sides.
Yes, at Yuuka’s side there was what happened with Shimizu Yukitoshi, while at Shizuku’s side there was what happened with the female demon Cattleya. The act of taking life that was carried out in front of them by Nagumo Hajime……
A deafening silence filled the place for a little while. The breeze that should feel pleasant felt strangely chilly. It made them really wanted to drink a warm cup of tea.
It was the words that spilled out from Shizuku’s mouth that dispelled the silence.
「It seems that Ai-chan, no, sensei has come to term with it.」
It was clear to see that Shizuku was choosing her words carefully.
「Sensei, must be unable to agree with it. It’s surely also difficult for her to just accept or understand the death. But, it seems she understand Nagumo-kun’s thinking and act, and doesn’t reject it.」
「Yeah, well, this is Ai-chan-sensei we are talking about after all……I think, she is really amazing in that aspect.」
Yuuka who had watched Aiko until now from the nearest position nodded with a wry smile.
Shizuku also returned a wry smile. Then her gaze also turned toward Nana and Taeko who were looking somewhat awkward.
「What about all of you? What is your honest thought about Nagumo-kun?」
「Obviously he is scary.」
The one who answered first was unexpectedly Nana. Her lips slightly pouted and she formed her words while her gaze was fixed on a nearby flower bed.
「Well of course, Shimizu was really the worst. He betrayed us, tried to kill Ai-chan, and set off a large swarm of monsters to Ur……seriously, that guy was full of sh*t.」
「But still, normally even then you won’t think that he should just die isn’t it? And yet, Nagumo-chi shot him without any hesitation at all. ……That wasn’t normal. It was scary.」
That was why when the topic became about Hajime, her tension was rising up to a stupid degree instead. Because if not she felt like she wouldn’t be able to act like her usual self.
「I think I’m also the same like Nana. Nagumo-kun, he has changed too much. When he shot Shimizu-kun, his eyes were really cold.」
Taeko put her hand over Nana’s hand that was placed on the table. She was being considerate to her friend, and at the same time she was also trying to soften the coldness that she was feeling.
Seeing the two like that, Shizuku muttered 「」As I thought they can’t accept it huh……」 inside her heart. Her gaze slightly lowered. But, a soft voice unexpectedly echoed there.
「But, it’s also the fact that he saved us.」
It was Yuuka. She was resting her chin on one hand with a troubled smile, however her gaze was looking straight at Shizuku.
「If he is really someone who is completely cold, all of us won’t be here right now. The current Nagumo is certainly scary but……but, I also understand that’s not all there is to him……」
She couldn’t accept him wholly like Yue and others. It wasn’t like she was able to fully understand Hajime’s creed and action, and she also couldn’t agree with him.
However, even so……
「As I thought, I’m glad that he is still alive. I want him to stay safe from here on too. ……I think he is scary but, I don’t hate him, that’s what I feel.」
The scene when Hajime yelled at Will Cudeta in the cave behind the waterfall crossed her mind.
Keep struggling, struggling, and survive. If you do that then one day, the day will come when you can think that there is a meaning in your survival today.
Until then Hajime was always calm and apathetic to his surrounding, but that was the first time he showed such raw emotion.
At that time everyone felt it. The hell that Hajime must have experienced. That he must be desperate even right at that moment in order to win through the battle of survival in this other world.
And then they witnessed his tremendous strength and understood the difference between him and them. It wasn’t about a simple battle strength. The difference was in the gap between their strength of resolve and willpower.
「I see……I see what you mean.」
Shizuku smiled with a gentle expression. She was drawn to make that expression because Yuuka had such expression on her face.
When she looked at Nana and Takeo, they also had a similar smile on their faces without her noticing it. It seemed these three had already talked about it since a long time ago and their mind had finished drawing their conclusion toward Hajime.
Unfounded worry, unneeded concern. Such phrases formed in Shizuku’s head. Somehow she now felt like drinking a bitter tea after this.
「What about you Shizuku?」
「Me? You should be able to guess already seeing how I entrusted Kaori to him.」
「Aa~, yeah, that’s really a clear answer.」
Shizuku treasured Kaori more than anyone else. She didn’t even need to tell them what she was thinking about Hajime just from her action.
「But, unlike us, it doesn’t seem like that Shizuku-chi is thinking that he is scary at all aren’t you?」
「Well, in my case, we were saved when it was really a pinch for us after all……」
The scene of Cattleya getting shot to death was sticking in her mind even now and wouldn’t leave. However, as expected the feeling that she felt the most was relief from being saved.
「It was really unbelievable. What is that thing called again, pile bunker? That guy showed up after such thing pierced the ground from the floor above you know? I won’t be able to forget the impact from that for my whole life.」
Shizuku’s eyes narrowed while saying that. Her expression was like a maiden who harbored a yearning for the hero.
Normally the maiden sensor of Yuuka and the two would sensitively react and they would become shaken or exploding in curiosity.
But however, for some reason no one reacted at this time. No, they were reacting, but it seemed their focus was taken by completely a different part……
「T-the thick, black, and hard rod……」
「The piercing, impact……」
「Eh? What’s the matter!? Why are you three covering your butts!? Why are your faces bright red!?」
The hands of Yuuka and Nana and Taeko were simultaneously pressing on their butts while fidgeting. It looked like they were recalling something but, Shizuku couldn’t help but feel bewildered by their completely unexpected reaction.
「I-it’s nothing, Shizuku. But, Nagumo……nope, it’s really nothing at all!」
「Nagumo-kun again!? You three are making me curious if you react like that!」
「W-we can’t tell you, Shizuku-chi. Something astounding like that……s-something like that, into that kind of place……」
「What happened!? Just what in the world Nagumo-kun di!?」
「I think, it’s a bit too early to tell Shizuku something like that. But if I’m forced to say, Nagumo-kun is too much of a sadist, that a woman ended up opening a forbidden door, something like that.」
「I don’t get it! Explain it to me, Taikooo!」
What in the world Hajime did at Ur? An extremely serious and wholesome girl like Shizuku couldn’t even what actually happened from the fragmentary words of Yuuka and others.
At the same time, now that these three mentioned it, she recalled that Aiko was also writhing in shame because it seemed that Hajime had done something to her. Shizuku held her head. Was it really alright for her to send off Kaori like that? It was only at this late that anxiety was welling up inside her.
「M-more importantly! Shizuku, what’s with that black sword! That looks like a Japanese katana!」
「Ah, it’s true! That weapon is different from before!」
「So there is katana in this world!」
「W-what’s with you three. Don’t change the topic so forcefully like that. You three really don’t want to talk about it that much?」
Rather than them not wanting to talk about it, it felt like they still needed to prepare their heart more in order to talk about it. That “ass pile incident” was just that shocking for them.
The three averted their red face with all their strength. Shizuku sighed at them. She didn’t hound them any further about it and started talking about the particulars of her getting presented with the black katana from Hajime.
While talking, she unconsciously placed the black katana on her lap and caressed it while her expression was slackening……
「……Taeko-san yo, what do you think?」
「Nana-san yo, I think she is in the grey that is nearly black.」(Note: In Japan, the word black could also be used to mean guilty)
「Eh? It’s not gray but black you know? Look, the katana’s blade is also pitch black isn’t it?」
It seemed that it was pitch black. It was Shizuku herself who said that so there was no doubt about it. Nana and Taeko nodded at each other, and then they looked at Yuuka.
「……Nagumo you idioo~ot」
She muttered something with a small voice. Her expression seemed sulky.
Shizuku herself was happily continuing with her bragging (?) of the present she received. She was so absorbed she didn’t even notice the three’s reaction.
Nana and Taeko were thinking while watching Shizuku and Yuuka.
Surely things would become interesting the next time they met Hajime again.
Around one hour after Brieze moved through the bronze colored world.
Myuu was smiling inside the vehicle.
「She is like a monk who has reached enlightenment……」
Kaori’s impression was actually right on the mark.
Air conditioning, cold drink supply, complete prevention of even a single grain of sand from coming in. The overwhelming comfort that was the complete opposite from when she was kidnapped made Myuu reached the state of mind of Buddha.
「Papa is amazing nano. This place feel pleasant even though we are at a desert nano. Papa is amazing nano.」
It was important so she said it twice. Actually after this Myuu would keep repeating the same thing every time the day changed to night and vice versa. That was just how pleasant this desert trip was for Myuu. Or rather it seemed like she was extremely moved. Although it was already too late at this point, it felt like their tears would come out from hearing the dead or alive experience of this little girl who crossed the desert as a captive.
「I-I see……then, when we arrive at Myuu’s house perhaps I’ll set up some artifacts there too for a comfortable living. Like air conditioner or refrigerator, or a bath with fully automatic cleansing function……」
「Hajime-kun, hold back yourself. Those things are going to become a national treasure artifacts in this world after all. The civilization level is too far forward. Myuu-chan’s house will get targeted like that.」
「Don’t be stupid Kaori. I’ll just need to tunr Myuu’s house into a fortress to prevent that.」
「Hajime-san, recently you’re acting as an idiot parent a little bit too much desu.」
「……Nn, I’m worried now whether Hajime will be able to separate from Myuu like this.」
「Even though Goshujin-sama’s attitude is that dry toward other people.」
Even though he was only thinking to make Myuu’s house a bit more comfortable and safer, he didn’t get their reaction. Hajime’s face turned a little sulky.
Kaori writhed seeing his slightly childish face while following up her statement.
「Besides, you might have forgotten but, both Myuu-chan and me can’t do something like manipulating magic power directly okay?」
In the first place Myuu didn’t have magic power. Kaori also mentioned herself in consideration to Myuu while sugarcoating her statement. Hajime who now could control magic power directly as though it was only natural muttered「Ah, now that you mention it that’s true」.
「Hmm~, that’s a problem in its own way isn’t it……」
He began to think about something. Yue tilted her head.
「……Problem? Do you have any plan to hand them some kind of artifact?」
「No, it’s not that but, I want to make sure that they can use artifact when it’s needed. Like this Brieze, if Kaori is the only one who can’t drive it at all……」
「Err……I can’t do something like driving a car though……」
「But there is no guarantee that there won’t be a time where you will need to do so. I’ll engrave it with magic circle that can be activated with chanting. I’ll also toy with the gimmicks a little.」
「R-right……ehehe, thank you Hajime-kun.」
Hajime immediately applied transmutation magic on the car’s frame and engraved magic circle, improved the gimmicks at every part, and taught the chant keywords to activate and control them.
Naturally he did it while driving. Although he was driving in a place that had no obstacle at all, his concentration ability that enabled him to do it at the same time while using magic power was just as expected from him.
His reply toward her thanks was half-hearted, even so Kaori’s expression broke into a smile at Hajime who was spending effort in consideration of Myuu and her. Her cheeks slightly reddened.
And so naturally Yue-sama launched a right straight with her words.
「……Kaori, will cause accident.」
「Yue!? In this world there are things that can be said and things that can’t be said!」
「……Just don’t take Myuu when you’re driving. A child won’t be able to endure a driving that will need healing magic to survive unscathed.」
「What do you mean by that I wonder!? I wonder!?」
Kaori leaned forward from the rear seat and pulled at Yue’s cheek *gunii* from behind. Yue got angry「What are you doiiiing-」.
Myuu ignored the usual quarrel and looked at Hajime with sparkling eyes.
「Papa, papa! Can Myuu also drive nano!?」
「It’s dangerous. You are not tall enough, so in the first place you won’t be able to look forward properly.」
Myuu was clearly disheartened. Shia chuckled seeing that and sent her a lifeline.
「Myuu-chan, next time Shia-oneechan will let you ride with me on Schutaif. If you sit in front of me and hold the handle, you will be able to move the bike by just shifting your weight, and more importantly you will be able to feel the wind so compared to Brieze it’s hands down──」
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「Shia, if you bring Myuu on your ride, I’ll pluck all the furs from those rabbit ears until not a single one remain okay?」
Hajime was a man of his words. Shia’s rabbit ears instantly flopped down and she hid it with both her hands. Tio smiled wryly and answered in Hajime’s place.
「That’s because thy art a habitual offender of dangerous driving.」
Exactly. Shia was the type whose personality changed the moment she held the handle. It would be simply a suicide if a powerless little girl rode the bike together with her. It seemed Shia herself was aware of it. She quietly averted her gaze.
「Uu~, isn’t there anything that Myuu can drive nano?」
Myuu’s lips pouted sulkily. Tio couldn’t bear to see it and patted Myuu’s head from behind while speaking with a kind expression.
「No need to feel sad Myuu. If thou wish to ride something then there is one here.」
「Really!? Tio-oneechan, what is this thing that Myuu can ride nano!?」
「Thou couldst ride Tio-oneechan.」
Myuu was bewildered. Tio-oneechan turned an affectionate expression to her and spoke while going slightly ‘haa haa’.
「Thou couldst ride on Tio-oneechan’s back and think of me as a horse. Thou couldst tell me to crawl on the ground or ride me to death like a real work-horse. Here, I also have a whip with me. If thou whip mine butt strongly with this, I promise thee that I shall run faster than wind──」
*Dopan* A gunshot echoed. Ahaaahn thank you very muchhhh- An excited voice also echoed. The shot pervert was pressing her hands on her forehead while bending backward in happiness at the rear seat.
「This damn pervert. What kind of request you are making to a child. Myuu, forget about just now.」
As expected even the kind Myuu was creeped out by Tio just now. She was staring straight forward without looking anywhere else so that their gaze wouldn’t meet. The anguished breathing ‘Haa haa!!’ could be heard so she closed her ears.
Kaori’s expression was similarly twitching from feeling creeped out. Shia reached out over her and said 「That’s bad for Myuu-chan’s education desuu!」 and her iron fist sunk into Tio’s solar plexus to turn her unconscious. The pervert rejoiced even more. She really possessed a magnificent sturdiness.
Then, at that timing,
「……Nn? Hajime, look.」
Suddenly Yue called at Hajime with a voice that was oozing with wariness. Looking there, at the other side of the window at Yue’s side, the desert further at that direction looked blurry.
「That’s……sandstorm huh? It seems the scale is really big.」
Hajime confirmed with his magnified sight using his far sight ability. The horizon a few kilometers away from the m looked hazy was because of the sand that was whirling up thickly. It was as though a brown colored giant wall was approaching them.
「Fumu. The scale of that sandstorm art big. We won’t get away with its speed and route. Goshujin-sama, the activity of the desert monsters wouldst increase inside the sandstorm. After all it make it easier for them to aim at the prey on the ground. I believe that we wouldst not have any problem with Brieze’s armor, unless a very big sandworm appear, but it wouldst be better if we art completely on our guard.」
「Roger. Yue and Tio, you two should prepare to deal against monster just in case.」
「Kaori, you can also use barrier right?」
「Yes. It’s not as strong as Suzu-chan but I’m quite confident in it.」
「Then make your preparation so that you can activate it with one word.」
「Uu, someone like me who can only punch thing is useless at this kind of situation desuu~」
Shia’s rabbit ears drooped down dejectedly in front of the instructions that Hajime doled out rapidly. Shia boasted an unrivaled strength in hand-to-hand combat, but certainly she couldn’t be counted as fighting strength right now when they needed to deal with things outside from inside Brieze.
Even so, that didn’t mean that there was nothing for her to do.
「The driving might turn rough with this. Myuu, move to the backseat. Have Shia hold you.」
「I need to be a seatbelt for Myuu-chan? Happily! Now now, Myuu-chan, please get on Shia-oneechan’s comfortable lap desuu」
Myuu must understand the situation. She was really obedient. She got lifted up by Shia and then she was placed snugly on her lap. After that Shia hugged her tightly from behind.
Shia was satisfied that she had something she could do, furthermore it was to hug Myuu. Myuu too especially loved Shia, so she smiled widely ‘nihee~’.
Tio glanced at those two with slight envy. Actually when rescuing Kaori and others at Great Labyrinth Orcus, she carelessly taught Myuu about the words neglection play. Since then she could only hug Myuu if there was permission from Hajime.
「Muu, Myuu. Don’t thy wish to feel the hug from Tio-oneechan already?」
The hugging permission from Hajime papa still hadn’t come out. In order to lift that ban, Tio-oneechan attempted to conquer Myuu first.
However the “incident of asking a little girl to treat her like a work-horse” had only just happen. Just before she was shot by Hajime papa──
「Eh? Err, that……this is good enough for Myuu, nano.」
A rejection that had been sugarcoated as much as possible from a little girl. Although Tio was a hopeless dragon who could convert pain into pleasure, as expected even this pain was too severe for her.
And then while that skit was going on,
「……Oi, Kaori. Why are you nonchalantly getting between Hajime and me?」
「Eh, because, the balance is better with three people at the back and three people at the front, see!」
As Myuu went to the back, Kaori also switched to the front seat.
She wouldn’t let the chance to get as close as possible to Hajime. How could she call herself Yue’s love rival if she didn’t charge forward. She wouldn’t even be able to call herself no good.
Even so, Yue’s blank stare was something powerful that rivaled a characteristic magic that could make ten thousand people to fidget nervously, so Kaori’s gaze jumped to look at another direction far away.
「You two, that’s enough for now. ……The sandstorm is faster than expected. We are going to enter its range.」
And then in less than a minute, the sunlight was obstructed. *Gou* With a roar a gust of wind hit Brieze from the side and shook the vehicle. Myuu let out a small scream「Kyah」, at the same time the surrounding quickly became dark. The window was making a sound as though it was fired at by a shotgun.
The darkness was like when there was only ten minutes left before the sun set completely. Brieze had light that shined at all direction so it wasn’t completely dark, but the field of vision was almost completely blocked due to the raging sandstorm.
Normally one should stop moving in this situation and waited until the storm passed, but Hajime had a compass and Brieze also wasn’t shaking anymore other than the shaking at the beginning. It was running with good stability.
Myuu’s body froze with all the sands surrounding the car, but then she sighed in relief seeing that Brieze didn’t allow even a single bead of sand to enter inside.
And then just when she was going to say another words of praise to papa with wide smile ──
「Papa! As expected papa is amaz ──nyo!?」
A loud impact *DON* resounded just before she finished speaking. Kaori also reflexively screamed「Kyah」 and hugged Hajime. Yue-sama then tore her away from him.
At the front, there was a creature that was colored reddish brown sticking on the front window that was made from crystal. It had a membrane on its arms that looked like it could be used to glide in the air. Its color was like a creature whose skin had been peeled. It had no eyes and sharp canines grew from its mouth. It looked like a deformed bat. Its appearance was really grotesque.
「W-what’s this disgusting thing! Nooo-, Yueeee-」
「Wait-, Kaori-, you are choking me!?」
「Fumu, it’s a sand bat. Normally this monster art sleeping under the sand and use sandy wind to travel and prey upon its target. It also hath a characteristic magic to absorb the water in its prey’s body by biting.」
Tio spoke her explanation calmly. Myuu who was really shocked and buried her face into Shia’s chest let out a sigh of relieve.
Kaori who was hugging Yue because it seemed she was seriously scared also lifted her face hesitantly. Also it seemed Yue was unable to breath because Kaori’s hug was unexpectedly strong. She had tearful eyes on her face.
Hajime moved the wiper in high speed and sent the red sand bat flying.
But at the next moment there was another sound *DON!. Another monster with grotesque appearance that looked like a piranha with tentacles that were shaped like saw growing from its body was jumping around on the car’s bonnet.
「Hyaa!? Yueee! There’s another disgusting monster!」
「I get it-, so don’t keep hugging my neck every time-, Bakaori─gueh!?」
「This time it’s a saw fish. It’s a monster that swims in the sand. It couldst control the sand and create a large jaw. It looks small, but it couldst bite off a whole horse.」
Even while she was saying that, a part of the sandstorm suddenly converged and took shape. It was the shape of a jaw. The jaw was trying to bit at the crystal front window, but it seemed it couldn’t win against Brieze’s defensive power.
While Yue’s voice「Give-! Give-!」 was echoing inside, Tio blew away the monster using her wind magic.
In addition, something as big as a medium sized dog flew passed at the front. It had a reddish brown carapace body with two sharp pincers and thorny tail. But the carapace on its back had a gaping crack where something like wings were flapping with a noisy buzzing. Its figure was like a cock○oach that was transformed to look even more fiendish……「Tio, what’s that?」「A scorpion monster.」「……It’s flying though?」「? Of course scorpion couldst fly. It couldst also shot out wind blade too.」「What’s that, scary!」It seemed that it was common sense that scorpion could fly at the desert. Also it was Kaori who yelled at the end there.「Why are there so many disgusting monsters in the desert?」 Kaori asked with tearful eyes while hugging Yue with all her strenght.「Well, calm down Kaori.」「Hajime-kun?」「The scorpion of another world can fly. So way. It’s cute isn’t it?」「How can you think of something like that as cute!」「The scorpion monster that I knew was longer than ten meters. Even railgun didn’t work on it, it could control the ground, and scattered needles and melting liquid you know?」「What’s that, scary!!」
「No, Kaori is far scarier with you keep choking Yue’s neck even though her eyes are about to roll back like that.」
「Eh? Ah!? Sorry-, Yue! Hang in theree!」
Kaori gasped and her hands let go. It seemed that she wasn’t planning to choke her love rival to death while taking advantage of the commotion. YUe resumed breathing and spoke「……Kill-, Bakaori-, kill-」 with tearful eyes and seething killing intent.
Hajime ignored the two of them and turned his gaze to the rearview mirror toward Tio who was diligently repelling the surrounding monsters with wind magic.
「Even so you are really knowledgeable Tio. Could it be that you already have knowledge about desert from the start?」
「Well, to some degree. Any member of dragon race naturally should have basic knowledge of everything. Even so although we sometimes wouldst send people to investigate, we hath shut in ourselves in our village for five hundred years. I wouldst need to supplement mine knowledge in any case. It wouldst be problematic if I act knowledgeable and yet there art discrepancy between the reality and mine knowledge.」
She hid her mouth with her sleeve and smiled gracefully. That gesture and her vast knowledge, then her radiant intellect that contained no haughtiness. Tio who was overflowing with elegance and intellect was truly a peerless beauty that personified a living legend.
That was why Hajime unconsciously spoke.
「You, it’s like you actually aren’t a pervert.」
「Nnhoh, what a sudden reward-, thank you very much-」
She convulsed while making an expression of ecstasy. But she was still repelling the monsters with excellent wind magic even while doing that without showing the slightest opening. Really, what a disappointing dragon she was.
They were able to hold such relaxed conversation also because they understood from actual experience that the desert monsters couldn’t do anything against Brieze’s defense. Monsters with grotesque appearance kept appearing even after that and Kaori alone continued to get startled, but even she would surely get used to it gradually.
Like that, they advanced through the sandstorm without anything worth mentioning. And then just when it seemed like they should get out of the sandstorm soon,
Hajime noticed the abnormality. The compass that was set up beside the handle suddenly began to rotate around wildly.
He tried tapping it with his finger, but the needle didn’t stop moving at all. Far from that, the needle was now moving around randomly.
「Forgive me, Goshujin-sama. I don’t understand the cause of that. There art a possibility of a monster with lightning type characteristic magic nearby that is causing it but……」
At the very least the sandstorm wasn’t the cause. After all the compass was pointing at the right direction until just a moment ago.
「……It can’t be helped. I’ll send Ornis to fly above the sandstorm. Then using the magic power’s sense ──」
Hajime raised his vigilance while trying to take another method. But, he failed to do that.
*GOU* An impact assaulted the vehicle. Brieze slid aside as though it had been punched from the side.
「Tsk, the car won’t move like I want it」
It was clear that the tires were rotating fruitlessly. Hajime poured his magic power to increase the rotation speed, but the car wouldn’t move forward as though it was stuck in a hole. Not only that,
「It’s alright! Myuu-chan! I won’t let you go!」
The car rapidly spun so much that Kaori and Myuu screamed. The car got dragged to behind just like that.
「……Hajime, the ground is undulating fiercely!」
「Oi oi, this is seriously like a sea.」
「This art truly, a bad timing. Goshujin-sama, this art most likely a great desert storm. It’s a desert’s wind that generally happen once every dozens of years. Be careful of the big waves!」
「How do you propose I should be careful here?」
Hajime’s expression was listless, even so he was desperately steering Brieze.
However, the fang that the mother nature sometimes bared was something that was hard to oppose by human.
「Geh!? Everyone, hold tightly at the grips on the ceiling!」
Right after Hajime ordered, the surrounding was enveloped in darkness. What brought this darkness where not even the slightest light could shine in was an enormous wall of sand. This high wave made the thickness of the sandstorm from before to look cute.
This wave that lifted up even the sandy group had been approaching undetected under the veil of the sandstorm. It appeared as a complete surprise attack to Hajime and co.
「Ohooh!? Ahanh!? The metal ceiling art priceless-!?」
Brieze was instantly toppled. It got fiercely shook around where up and down kept getting switched as though the car had been thrown into the sea with raging waves tossing it around. Thanks to the seatbelt and holding on the grips at the ceiling, they didn’t experience being smashed around like a pinball, but it didn’t change the fact that it was a bad situation.
Screams and the sound of the head of a certain hopeless dragon getting smashed repeatedly on the ceiling and a rejoicing voice were reverberating. Hajime raised his voice amidst that chaos.
They finished communicating their mind with just that. Yue activated gravity magic with a perfect beat. She didn’t activate any complicated magic. She was simply increasing the gravity to be several times the original amount with Brieze at the center.
But, Brieze stabilized with that. It was like a ship that had dropped down anchor.
「Papa! Tio-oneechan is making a disgusti──I mean, a happy looking face for some reason nano!」
「Yosh, so everyone is alright huh!」
Brieze had gotten swept inside the sand with a terrific momentum. At the same time, Brieze was sinking fast in exchange of the stability.
「……I know where the surface is!」
Yue’s gravity magic was reversed. Brieze was ascending to the surface even while getting swept away by the sand.
「Yue, are you alright?」
「……Heavy-! But I’ll do my bestttt!」
They were inside the sand. The amount of sand that was piled up between them and the surface was enormous. Even if Yue floated the sand or just Brieze alone, there was a vast amount of hindrance on their way. It was forcing Yue to consume a lot of magic power.
「Yue, can you fix Brieze’s front part to face diagonally above?」
As expected from the cheat vampire princess. She swiftly performed the difficult move of controlling the vehicle’s posture inside the raging waves without a single complaint.
「Ask me anything later. It’s your reward for working hard.」
Yue smiled happily even while sweating heavily. Hajime glanced at her before pouring a lot of magic power again into Brieze. Immediately the dashboard part flipped around and a panel with buttons lined up there appeared. In addition,
「Fuwah!? The back of the vehicle is changing shape desuu!?」
「Amazing nano! Cool nano!」
「H-Hajime-kun!? I think I have seen something like that before! You know, it’s the same like the car of the men in black who fight aliens!」
「Goshujin-sama! What art thou planning to do!?」
The answer to that was exactly as Kaori thought.
「Jet propulsion in a car, is romance.」
Hajime muttered something like that and pushed the red button at the middle of the panel──Don’t push! Absolutely don’t push this button! There was such warning (?) sentence written under it──with a satisfying *click* sound.
And then, the rear part of the vehicle that transformed into two nozzles made the sound *GOOOOOOOOO-* with red light converging in them……right after that, Brieze flew off like a rocket.
「This pressure that art pressing mine whole body! This also feels good──!?」
Kaori, Myuu, Shia, and Tio were screaming. The G-force that would make jet coaster felt gentle was pressing down fiercely on the seat.
The explosive power of “combustion powder” that was given directionality and the magical power emission made the jet propulsion imitation to produce a super acceleration. Brieze was charging through the sand like a submarine that was going through an emergency ascent.
Kaori didn’t have the highest grade cushion that was Shia’s breasts like Myuu. So her neck was pressed behind from the seat’s back to arch backward. When the angle of her neck was starting to become dangerous, it made her looked like a girl who was arching back from getting possessed by an evil spirit. Just as her face and posture was becoming something that a beautiful girl shouldn’t make (Myuu even screamed Hii? seeing it),
「We are going out, hold on!」
Yue sensed that the surface was approaching from the change in weight. Hearing her words, Hajime used one hand to hold her up to the right posture while raising his voice.
Right after that *BOBA-* Brieze flew out to the surface with such loud voice.
No, it was flying to the sky. Exactly like a rocket. It seemed the sandstorm had also passed, so the sun was clearly visible. There was a lot of sand whirling in the air and so the sunlight wasn’t really b=vivid, but it was like heaven compared to inside the sand.
The group’s eyes were stolen by the sun’s radiance for a while even while Brieze was ascending.
「……Nn! Kaori! Wake up! It’ll be a waste if you don’t look! Fainting easily just from this much is a no no, Ka - o - rii!」
「Hah!? It hurts-, it hurts-, stop slapping my faceee!」
Even though it was a beautiful sight, or rather, even though they had flown up until the altitude of several hundred meters, *pan pan* the slapping sound resounded rhythmically along with a protesting voice.
For Yue, being choked just now seemed to be very irritating for her……her expression while slapping was joyful.
But, even such time immediately came to an end. If the jet propulsion was turned off, naturally Brieze would freefall toward the ground. The sensation of floating in the stomach and their body that was hovering as though they were in zero gravity made Kaori and Myuu to scream again.
「Yue, you don’t need to use gravity magic when we land.」
「……Nn? Is that okay?」
「Why!? Hajime-kun why!?」
「Calm down Kaori. I have also properly prepared Brieze for a situation when it has to skydive.」
「What kind of situations you have been imagining!?」
「No because, you often saw car skydiving in movie right?」
「A movie is a movie you know!?」
「We are in a real fantasy world that is even more fantasy than movie you know?」
「……Kaori, your tension is high. Too high spirited.」
「I’m scared here!」
While Kaori was splendidly carrying out the straight man role, three large parachutes were deployed from the front, back, and roof of Brieze.
Brieze’s huge frame was swaying and slowly returned toward the ground like a leaf in the air.
「Even so that was an incredible experience huh. Myuu, are you alright?」
「Yes nano! It was a bit scary but, Shia-oneechan held Myuu really tightly, so now it feels fun nano!」
「Ehehe, Shia-oneechan also had fun you know~~. Surely there isn’t any other demihuman than Myuu and me who have this kind of experience whether in the past or the future!」
Shia and Myuu laughed ‘nihehe~~’ together. It was really a heartwarming sight, as though they were really sisters.
「Yue, is magic power reserve alright?」
「……Nn, I’ll resupply from the magic crystal just in case. Fine control of gravity magic is my homework from now.」
「Uu, I wasn’t useful at all……」
「Don’t mind it Kaori. Each of us hath our own role. More importantly Goshujin-sama, how art the magnet right now?」
「……It still ain’t fixed.」
While the altitude was gradually decreasing, Tio who was going ‘haa haa’ until just now showed a slightly serious expression. It reminded Hajime about the compass and he turned his gaze toward it and he spontaneously scowled. It was like jumping from one problem to the next problem.
The magnet was still rotating around busily like before.
「Oou? Hajime-san! Hajime-san! There is an oasis over there! Perhaps someone is there, should we go?」
Just as Shia said happily, there was the sight of a water body that looked slightly hazy in some distance away.
They had just been tossed around by a sandstorm of an absurd scale, and on top of that their compass was in this state. They could still use the sun’s position to judge the direction, but it would be safer if they could find someone knowledgeable about the desert at the oasis and asked them for guidance.
Brieze safely landed on the ground while he was thinking of such thing. Hajime rotated the axle with magic power and rolled the parachute back inside while turning his gaze toward the place that seemed to be an oasis.
「……Hey, that place, it’s not an oasis but a mirage isn’t it?」
「Certainly, that seems to be the case.」
Kaori who also had experience of seeing mirage several times at earth agreed with Hajime’s words.
Then suddenly that desert legend crossed the mind of hajime.
「The mirage that invite to the place you wish for huh……」
「No way! That’s just a legend right?」
Certainly that was true. It was a kind of lesson to be careful to not get stranded by mistaking a mirage as oasis.
「But, how shouldst I say it……there is this strange feeling I’m sensing. Though perhaps this art just me being pointlessly wary because of the out of order compass and the sandstorm just now.」
Hajime hesitated. For Hajime whose greatest wish was to return home, the content of that legend wasn’t something he could ignore. He simply prioritized conquering the great labyrinths because the reward from there was more definite then something this uncertain.
However, he couldn’t make the decision to go there to ascertain the veracity of the legend despite the impatience in his chest.
The cause for that was one.
Yes, Myuu. The existence of the little child who was adoring him. He promised to send back this child to her mother.
What if the desert’s legend was really true? What if by any chance it then made Myuu became separated for eternity from her mother?
It was a hesitation that Hajime absolutely wouldn’t feel when he just came out from the abyss. Hajime could only smile wryly at his current state.
Even though that mirage might vanish to somewhere while he was hesitating like this. Even though the possibility of returning home might slip from his hands without him being unable to encounter it anymore.
Unexpectedly it was Myuu who helped Hajime to form a conclusion from his hesitation that was unlike him.
「……Papa! Myuu want to go there nano!」
「What? Going there?」
Her wide smile contained no trace of hesitation. Hajime then turned his gaze in bewilderment to Yue and others. All of them were making a gentle expression for some reason.
It seemed that they had easily read what was going on in Hajime’s heart. They knew the strength of Hajime’s wish. So seeing Hajime feeling hesitation for Myuu’s sake despite that made Yue and others felt happy and proud right now.
It made him felt really embarrassed. Hajime scratched his head to gloss it over.
「Myuu, are you really okay with that?」
「……Papa came to where Myuu was for Myuu’s sake. So this time Myuu will go to where papa wants to go nano.」
Myuu’s decision wasn’t simply because of curiosity, but her repaying the favor in her own way. It was unclear whether she understood the risk or not, no, surely she understood without a doubt. If not she wouldn’t be able to look straight at him like this with such strong gaze.
「Don’t worry Goshujin-sama. In case the worst happen, I shall transform into dragon and bring back Myuu to her mother.」
「That might be just a needless worry you know? It’s still not certain if that’s really the mirage of the legend.」
「That’s right. Nothing is certain unless we confirm it first!」
Tio, Shia, and then Kaori also gave him considerate words without any hesitation too.
「……Hajime, it’s fine. Just the two of us are already the strongest in the world. But now」
Yue’s gaze turned toward Shia and others, then she put on an extraordinarily charming smile.
「Surely we are invincible.」
She said such thing. No matter what happened, they could do something about it, she told him.
He didn’t say anything clever. Hajime took a deep breath to calm his emotion that was going out of control and then he nodded with a fearless smile.
「Yosh, then for now let’s check that mirage first.」
Reassuring replies came back naturally.
Brieze took off. Even while thinking that there was no way the legend was true, Hajime allowed his heart to be filled with a slight expectation and the magic power that he poured into Brieze naturally increased. Brieze charged toward the mirage with a high speed.
Then, after a while,
「Ah? Could it be……we are, getting closer?」
It was a “question that was asked just in case”, but then midway the tone became “half believing”. The distance seemed to be shrinking in Hajime’s eyes. Then Tio supported his suspicion.
「Haha-, as expected from Goshujin-sama. Thou art truly blessed by fate.」
It seemed even her extremely sharp dragon eyes were also reaching the same conclusion like Hajime. Tio’s cheeks were unusually twitching.
「Eh? No way? For real?」
「It’s really the legendary mirage!?」
「……Right now the distance looks the same though.」
Just as Yue said, right now the distance looked the same.
Yes, as if the mirage misjudged the distance because of Brieze’s unexpected speed, so it corrected the distance in panic.
Hajime and co looked at each other. It seemed that they had found “jackpot”.
「The legend of a mirage that invite you to the place you wish for, is it a lie or truth……let’s ascertain it.」
Everyone nodded to Hajime. Hajime grinned and pushed the red button once more.
Brieze accelerated with a jerk. The grain of sands hitting the window played a sound like impacting bullets and the sight at both sides turned into streamline. An adorable cry 「Nnmya~」 slipped out from Myuu, but everyone else was silently enduring it because this was their second time experiencing this.
「As I thought it wasn’t just our imagination! It’s seriously starting to run away!」
Just when it looked like their distance with the mirage had been drastically reduced, like the distance with the mirage was gradually returning to normal again. The mirage was also starting to seriously attempt to escape.
It wasn’t their sense of distance with the mirage going out of order, they could even feel a will from the mirage right now. There was no doubt that there was something in the mirage that was like in legend.
And then, it seemed even that desert legend was unable to escape from the impossible speed of the magically powered car as expected……
The mirage that originally should be impossible to be pursued──was caught up by Hajime and co.
And then they saw.
There wasn’t just the sight of hazy water, the space itself was hazy. It was a fantastical space that was filled with sparkling particles like diamond dust or perhaps like the starry sky.
For a moment everyone was enchanted by that sight──then right after that.
Those particles flashed brightly like exploding stardust.
「Tsu, Shia! Protect Myuu!」
Hajime grabbed Kaori beside him and activated his defense skill Vajra. Shia hugged Myuu into her bosom to cover her. Yue and Tio immediately put up a barrier.
The consciousness of Hajime and others were instantly dyed by a pure white light.
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